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Jeff's Gameblog
Thursday, 15 July 2004
Murphy Says: Friendly Fire Ain't
Topic: RPG Actual Play
avatardLast night was another great session of Dave's Savage Worlds campaign, filled with wacky hijinx and gratuitous violence. Just the way I like 'em. Our Heroes finally went down into one of those damnable giant ant tunnels. We were chasing an old Twisted friendfoe who decided he needed to avenge himself upon us with large quantities of arrowing. Then he ran into some Ant Riders of Doom sans ants. After falling down an antpit and repeated hits with arrows, my guy finally succumbed to a wicked combination of the sword stabbies and some friendly fire from Jonny the Kid. We went into double overtime on this one, ending at 11:30 still deep in the Ant Tunnels of Woe, nearly out of power points and me still grievously wounded. Cliffhanger for next session: Hordes and hordes of giant ants are creepy-crawling towards our rag-tag band of already spent adventurers. Can't wait to see what happens next! (Though I'm thinking about building a replacement character to bring to the next session.)

Posted by jrients at 11:04 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004 2:50 PM CDT
Thursday, 1 July 2004

Topic: RPG Actual Play
Last night was Dave Hoover's "Avatars" campaign, using the Savage Worlds system. I had a great time as usual. Although it delayed starting the game, we all had a great chitchat before the roleplaying starting, mostly chewing the fat about videogames. That was a lot of fun. Even more fun was the total slobberknocker of a fight we had with some more of the dreaded ant riders. Those guys are a great foe. We very nearly lost two PCs and Count Dante's horse. At one point things looked so bad I thought we were staring down the barrel of a Total Party Kill. I love it when rpg combats get that scary. We also hooked up with some non-dead friendlies (thanks for reading the blog, Dave!), so hopefully we can get some information from the locals next session. I had a really good time despite the fact that I had a bout of indigestion for much of the night. (Too much pop + too much food + not as young as I used to be = boo-boo tummy.)

Later I noticed an error in my revised advancement plans for my PC. I tried to slip Power Surge onto the ladder before its prerequisite. Power Surge is a nifty little edge that gives you a slew of extra power points whenever you get a joker for initiative. Considering that both my and Loren's spellcasters were depleted by the end of the fight, I think an edge like Power Surge could be beaucoup handy. Anyway, so I moved Power Surge further along the advancement track and finally buckled under and bought some Fighting skill for my little wussboy PC. Now I might actually hit my foes regularly. Of course, I still only get a d4+1 damage with my low Strength score. But them's the breaks.

There was a general consensus that everyone at the table would like to play the "Necessary Evil" campaign when it comes out. This is an official SW campaign book in which an alien menace invades and defeats the superheroic defenders of Earth. The PCs are the supervillains who must now step up to the plate and stop the bug eyed monsters. Sounds like a great concept, though I'm unsure how well Savage Worlds can be tuned for superheoic play. One problem with "Necessary Evil" is that everyone at the Wednesday night game would like to be a player in it. As far as I can tell it may well turn out to be one of those really cool games that no one wants to GM. I've seen this problem before. I might enjoy running NE, but I'm pretty darn certain that I would have a blast being one of the players. Especially with Pat at the table.

Posted by jrients at 4:54 PM CDT
Thursday, 17 June 2004

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.

Posted by jrients at 10:37 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, 18 June 2004 9:55 AM CDT

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