Other Gaming

I'd like to add that I'm currently not doing any other gaming other than Tuesday nights, though I've been trying to make it to David's Dark Heresy game, and I have a standing invitation to Tony's 4e game, and I'd like to play in it, but I've just not been able to.
I've got a new job now and hopefully once I get used to the hours and such, I can get back into the swing of things as far as gaming goes.
If you know of any non-D&D gaming in the Batesville, AR area, please let me know. The D&D rut I spoke of a while back is still kinda grating on me.

Dark Sun On The Horizon

Well...more like really soon. "On the horizon" makes me think of a ways off, but in just a couple of weeks, the DS campaign will be underway and hopefully off to a good start.

Though I've thrown out the group models for DS, I haven't truly thrown out other things I've spoken of. The sandbox model, for instance, isn't necessarily out, it's just modified for my purposes. As it stands, perhaps only one or two characters will know each other at the start of the game. This creates a powerful dynamic, much like the shows Lost or Heroes, who the characters are will be easier to define because there's not a default group mechanic to deal with right out of the gate.

Truth be told, I don't know how the ensemble cast thing will work. I really am just hoping for the best on this. I think it will go well, though. I've always ran Vampire like that in the past, and I think it's a workable model in D&D, though I've not used it before.

I'm not saying, also, that things won't bring certain characters together. There might just be story elements that will do just that, but that all depends on the characters themselves.

Having everyone with a developed character is primary to me, as well as introducing the things that make Athas a unique D&D world, and the adversity to playing that this might bring to the table. Gameplay might be profoundly different with the model I have in mind, and it might challenge some of those who are fairly new to gaming, but I want to build up a campaign that everyone will continue to want to play in for some time.

It all sounds really pretentious, but do I think I'm reinventing the wheel with this game? Not at all, and I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm implementing things that NOBODY has ever done before. I'm just taking all my past experience, and all these thoughts and inspirations that I've gathered from various sources and blending them into a style of gamemastering that will be new to me, and new (most likely) to some of my players.

In addition to the ensemble style, with everyone doing their own things, I've also been thinking about pitching dynamic storytelling to my players. I know that "shared experience" gaming is huge with some groups, but the concepts posited by my fellow bloggers and the online communities out there fails to reach my group.

And so, I'm hoping that a situation might crop up similar to this:
Me: "As you finally take stock of your surroundings, you note that this room is, strangely, more damp than the last few, with molds creeping up the walls of the far corners. The only other feature other than a door leading out the opposite way is a rusty axe with strange runic carvings on the blade."
Paul: "These carvings look familiar. Almost exactly likes the ones on that onyx orb that guy tried to sell me the other day. He claimed it was a relic of the Green Age!"

Sure, I might have to tell Paul he's on the wrong track once he studies the runes more, but to have that kind of spontaneous interaction with the game would make things much richer, not just for me, but for the players and their characters, as well.

There are a few other things...optional crit and fumble rules, alternative social interaction resolution, variants on initiative and combat. These will be addressed later in the blog, and spoken about with the group, but there are a fair amount of changes I want to go over with the players to see what they think will work and what won't, and perhaps someone else will have a suggestion that will be implemented.

Absence and Ashardalon

And so here I am, not having been heard of for quite some time again, and having finally finished our Eberron campaign. Hurrah!

I can't say I'm behind or too busy as reasoning for my silence here at the blog, it's just that, until today, I've not felt like doing it. That happens, ya know. I do have my plate full with alot of stuff, and maybe it contributes, but I dunno.
For what it's worth, I'm sorry to those of you who read this thing.

I do, however, feel like talking about games and gaming again, and maybe things will swing back up. Maybe not. I can't make promises.

Anyway, I'll talk a bit about the Eberron campaign and how it seemed to have an upswing at the last. Taylor had been joining us for the last few sessions, and pretty much everyone had seemed to have been having fun as things got a bit more focused. The last few sessions had good roleplay interactions, great character-play and just a good sense of fun.

Alot of the end of the campaign took place in a series of demiplanes, which I had to shoehorn into the Eberronian cosmology, but in the end, things seemed to have went smoothly, and the final encounter was engaging enough to not be as underpowered as everything else in the campaign had seemed up to that point.

In fact, the Ashardalon fight was downright dangerous, and Nas died. The reason was that everyone wanted to take the fight to Big, Red, and Scaly and failed to do some Adventuring 101 and CLEAR THE AREA. Important lesson. More combatants made things a big tougher, and overall, the sacrifices made to finish it made the encounter a memorable one.

In the end, everyone was rewarded by the Host with 0 Divine Rank. YeY Demigods!
This boon came with a price in the gods saying that the PCs will "continue to serve them," and perhaps we can revisit these characters after a campaign or two to continue their adventures.

Those who were present were all rewarded with divinity, even Mac's Iron Golem (who is now sentient) and Druss, who is a Paladin of another faith. Interesting stuff that might come into play when/if the game is ever resumed.

I can only hope that the energy and excitement that seemed to be there going out of the Eberron game will persist for the Dark Sun game that starts on the 5th.