Topic: RPG Actual Play
Last night was Dave Hoover's "Avatars" campaign. I noticed an error in my previously planned advancement scheme for my PC, Rondoo. I had him gaining d10 in the Faith and Healing skill without ever achieving d8 in them! Here's my new plan:
15 Healing, Faith to d8 (gained last night)
20 Spirit to d10
25 Edge: Power Surge
30 +5 Power Points
35 New Power: Dispel
40 Smarts to d10
45 Healing, Faith to d10
50 New Power: Greater Healing
55 +5 Power Points
There's lots of room for switching things up in the above arrangement, so the plan has some flexibility. Like if wizards start popping out of ricebowls to cap our asses, I can move the Dispel power to earlier in the schedule.
I had a great time last night, plenty of furious action and zany antics. Somethings been bothering me though, and I'm having trouble putting my finger exactly on it. I guess part of the problem is that my expectations of "heroic fantasy" and the campaign as played aren't meshing. For example, twice now we've come across the scene of the crime after the bad guys have killed the innocents and split. In a heroic game I would expect us to show up just in time to save some folks. Instead, all we get to do is bury the bodies and avenge the deaths of people we never even met when they were alive. As a result of the folks already being dead, we find ourselves having to interrogate the bad guys and they are rather resistant. End result? The "heroic" PCs torture the captives and still don't get the information they need. I guess maybe I was expecting something a little more like the old formula 1) Save filthy peasants from boblin attack, in nick of time, 2) Peasants say the boblin attacks are the doings of the old Poopmancer who lives in the tower over yonder, 3) Visit tower, defeat Poopomancer. As it stands, the most heroic thing we've done was to save Uncle Lars from the Twisted, and he was never really in any danger, nor was he Johnny's uncle!
Also, we seem to have hints of "stuff going on" but not enough info to actually formulate a plan. Being impotent to thwart the badguys isn't very heroic either. Of course, I've twice now shot myself in the foot by shying away from the dungeons. Last night, though, I think Dante (Joe's PC) was right to not want to go down in the mega-ant tunnels, especially if doing so meant leaving his horsey behind to become ant food. Still, I regret not going into that first dungeon. We're short on food and short on money. Much of the treasure we've scored has been in the form of high-grade Twisted weapons and such, but finding buyers among the locals humans isn't easy. These issues aren't buzzkilling the campaign for me (yet?), but they do raise some concerns. What has Dave got in mind for the game? Is he attempting to address some sort of narrative premise and I'm out of the loop? Maybe next session I need to go over the campaign materials with a fine tooth comb to see if maybe I'm not connecting with something crucial in the setting info.
Eh, I'm clearly rambling at this point. It's not like the game isn't fun. Each individual session is fun. I just can't quite wrap my head around the overall campaign situation.
I want to end on this point: Last night we fought deadly ant riders. That rules! Dave's got a great flair for freakish fantasy foes.