Going Through Another Testament, Part 1

So now we begin with the Testament game. Like last time, I will be using the Plot Twist cards, but this time, I will be using their Flashback variant. The recap is simple: Dude comes to Egypt, invokes the Black Plague, then runs off. Our heroes must now go and kill him. Let’s just get right into the meat of things. Continue reading

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[SGAM 2016] Let’s Play Chainmail! Part 1 – The Siege of Bodenberg

Alright, so we’re gonna commence this year’s SGAM Campaign. The RPG we’re playing is another war game. This one is yet another precursor to D&D: Chainmail.

Chainmail was made by Gary Gygax and was pretty much a medieval wargame that, with some tweaking, led to the creation of Dungeons and Dragons. Whereas Braunstein gave D&D its fluff, Chainmail is crunchier. Sadly, in the path of the voyager, even the crunchiest of games will become fluffy.

I’ve already thought of a starting scenario for this campaign. It’ll be the Siege of Bodenberg, the game that started the entire RPG genre in the first place. Long story short, Gygax was inspired to do Medieval wargames thanks in part to the game Siege of Bodenberg. So what better way to pay homage by playing out a scenario loosely based on it?

And I say loosely in the loosest of terms, as redundant as that sounds. My character will be the leader of a small peasant uprising. And by small peasant uprising, I of course mean in the two dozens. The scenario’s simple: peasants are pissed that they’re treated unfairly, and they turned to me to kick start the revolution/reign of terror. Continue reading

The Valentine’s Day Special (Part 2)

So, we’re beginning the game exactly where we last left it off, with Shun going to a mad dash towards the base. While mechanically wise, Sayaka, our Anchor, is still controlling the dream, story wise, she’s probably not gonna be at the controls for long as she’s back at base where it’s gonna get attacked by the Bliss.

However, this is where I need to tweak the rules to make it solo friendly. See, when the Anchor loses control of the dream, other people, GM included, take their reins of controlling the dream. However, we only have an Engine as our other player, which usually acts as Anchor, and UNE if we count it as such. So, I decided that instead, Fate Solo will occasionally hijack the game.

As of right now, the Anchor has lost partial control. I’ll roll a Fate Die. A plus or a blank means that the Anchor is in control of the game. A minus means that the dream is in control of the GM, which technically means Fate Solo. Continue reading

[SGAM 2105] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 5 – Tiro Finale

Alright, I figured I’d stop beating around the bush and finish up this Braunstein story. The headlines for this game read “And The World Dies In ‘Freak Accident’”, which, coupled with the rats that are happening, pretty much mean that we bubonic plague now.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. This game has gone so far off the rails now from what was meant to be a simple wargame where people were given roles of civilians. Now I’ve turned it into Game of Thrones set in a banana republic with proto-Skaven replacing the White Walkers and Pokemon characters as my players.

Where the hell did I go wrong? Continue reading

[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 2 – Cleaning Out The Rats

Alright, let’s begin playing some more Braunstein. When we last left off the game, Drake and Skyla ended up having their own problems to face. Drake ended up with a box of Paopu Fruit that can make a killing in the market. Meanwhile Skyla has a huge rat problem. Oh yeah, and the mayor’s dead…

Alright, I’m gonna roll up who moves out of their hiding hole and who doesn’t. Skyla and Drake will automatically exit. Continue reading

The Fan-Voted Quarter Quell Part 2

Alright, when we last left off our superheroes, they discovered a zombie plot going down in Serah’s own circus. They took a while to get together, but now that they have, they’re going to investigate the abandoned funhouse that seems to have all the answers they need regarding the zombies.

I noticed that I have relied too heavily on Location Crafter. From this point on, the next few scenes will be created with the other Drivers.

First scene will be made by Covetous Poet. Continue reading

Let’s Overdramatize A Flower For Mara

I can understand LARPs. I really do. Most people tend to refer to roleplaying as being in a play, but in reality, it’s more like playing a game, but you and your friends make up an epic story to justify why you have to get through your obstacles. LARPing, however, is the quintessential idea of roleplaying, at least with what people say about it. There’s no literal rules like in most RPGs, and even if there is, there’s usually a reason that makes it fair for everyone, like how you’re required to make weapons soft.

Most people make LARP scenarios. Some of you can recall me mentioning one where you have a final conversation with someone before they finally pass on. Seems grief is a popular topic, as there’s another LARP based around the death of a loved one: A Flower for Mara. The story’s simple: you have a cast of characters having four acts to voice out their grief, concerns, sorrows, and all that other stuff, all while Mara tries to have them cling onto their regrets.

Like Fiasco, the scenario sets up inter-character conflicts and ulterior motives of intrigue, which I like very much. Seeing Thomas wanting to get to reading the will ASAP much to Caleb’s chagrin due to it being too soon (and also because part of the will discusses what becomes of his house), only for Thomas to confess later that he’s more concerned with how Caleb would make use of the house that has been in their family for a long while and would rather have some of the heirlooms they have be put in the museum so that they’d be treasured in an attempt to get his father’s approval is a pretty sweet moment.

Though, A Flower for Mara’s tone is less comedic than Fiasco with the whole grieving storyline. One of the game’s main concept is each character having a grief that motivates them. Here’s the thing: the grief has to be a real thing that happened to the player. The game warns that playing A Flower For Mara will hit close to home for some players.

That said, there is room for comedic moments in the game, as the playtest shows and you don’t have to reveal your Grief if you don’t want to. So what am I going to do with this RPG, per se? Well, in celebration of GM Day (which I missed by so many miles) and the CRGE being released, I’m gonna do a double whammy. Using A Flower For Mara as a Driver, I will also use BOLD, UNE, and CRGE to play through a LARP. Before we begin though, there are a few things I wanna get clear.

The first being griefs. At the risk of shooting down the message A Flower For Mara is trying to convey, namely it being a story where people get to converse and act out feelings of sadness and grief, I’m gonna change up the nature of them. Although, considering that I’m playing only one character and everyone else, Mara included, are gonna be controlled by UNE, it’s probably gonna be a given.

Each character will have a grief that’s unique to them and will serve as a driving motivation for why they act that way during the grieving process. This ties into my second thing I want to settle. Zoe’s age. As stated in the game, Zoe’s age impacts everything because she is Mara’s daughter. I need to determine this before I determine griefs because Zoe’s grief might just be “this is the first loved one I lost”. With that, let’s get to our first CRGE question:

Continue reading

Test Driving The CRGE Engine

Hey everyone. This is going to be a bit of a special playtest, since it’s literally a playtest. Conjecture Games’ founder, Zach Best, asked if I can test out the Conjectural Roleplaying Gamemaster Emulator, or CRGE for short. I agreed and here we are. The RPG I’m playing with this is another movie-based title: There Is No Spoon, by Steve Darlington. Unlike Ghostbusters, I do not have a starting scenario in mind, so any story I have will be generated by CRGE.

One thing I will note right now is that there is a section that addresses the paradox of solo RPG being more of a GM’s job than a PC’s job and makes a suggestion of how to separate GM knowledge from PC knowledge, which I give kudos for. One thing I also found interesting was a section devoted to multiplayer Play-By-Post RPGs. I am actually a veteran of PbP RPGs and that I believe is where I got my start to roleplaying. There’s a lot of nice information regarding what to do when solo roleplaying, including whether to ask a big question or ask smaller questions revolving around a bigger one.

Perhaps the most important is the advice of always asking “why” after your questions are answered. Most games I played never tell this to me, but instead say “conclude from there your answer”. For example, if I were to ask Mythic if this door is locked and it says yes, it will just tell me “the door is locked. What do you do?”, but if I ask CRGE the question, it will instead say “Yes, but why is it locked?” It’s pretty thought-provoking and I like it for that. In fact, that is actually how I’ll begin this game, by asking why. Continue reading