16 July 2012

Pen & Paper: Some actual play part 2

The party is still split, with one of them stuck in the city in the middle of riots protesting the recend draft for the civil war that is about to ravage the Empire again. Our main host of characters couldn't care less though, as they are stuck with their leader badly wounded in an improvised shelter in the mountains and a group of elite head-hunters with them, suspecting that it is indeed them they're looking for...

The session starts off with a rainstorm pelting down on the mountain-shelter the group has built for themselves (one of them is a carpenter so they're good at things like that). The group-internal animosities have somewhat cooled down and the team of mercs is out hunting so the players decide it's time to talk through what to do about the whole situation. There is a lot of arguing back and forth whom to put the blame on that kids death on once the mercs come back. Should they sacrifice the badly wounded group leader? Should they blame the actual killer, their scout who is currently gone with most of the groups money to get help? Will he even return and come back for them or will he simply spend the money and make himself a nice life for a few months?

04 July 2012

Recommendations: June 2012

Better late than never, and skipping the month of May entirely, here's my usual set of recommendations. You may notice that I've talked about some of it before but that doesn't make it any less valid, I'd say!

Podcast of the month: Nerdbound
A venerable and long-running actual-play podcast that started out with a group of guys sitting around a table and has since spread itself to skype-games, an active forum-gaming community and all sorts of different role playing games being played. The guys care about neither strict game-form nor political correctness but if you can cope with their humor, they're one of the most reliably entertaining actual-play podcasts out there. I highly recommend especially their one-shots and anything Warhammer 40k-related.

Blog of the month: Microdungeons
Tony, maker of the excellent and aforementioned How to Host a Dungeon has this little art-blog. He's doing mainly mapping of what he considers microdungeons, meaning anything from a basement to a hollowed-out asteroid to the mind of a kraken-god, charted out on small sheets of paper he draws on. Mostly not directly playable but a joy to look at and get inspired by!

Free game of the month: Spelunky
The old PC-version is still free. As I've talked about this one before quite recently, I won't say much more than this: Play it! Just do it. You can! I believe in you! The rewards are endless!

02 July 2012

Pen & Paper: Some Actual Play part 1

So, the bi-weekly gaming-group I have designed that world for and which is now my group of testing guinea pigs with regards to the injury chart I made has played again the other week and I thought I'd share what happened during the session (and before it, to bring you up to speed).

So, the group happens to be in deep shit. They had, tasked by the lord their apprentice-knight-leader, left the safe ground of the Empire, crossing the river into the territories of the barbarian tribes of the North, to aid a local king in a matter that needed intervention by foreigners. Now, Northern Barbarians do sound more terrible than they actually are, being mostly peasant-warriors minding their own business and/or carrying around wooden idols to worship their strange pantheon of gods but neighboring their lands are the swamps and moors inhabited by the Naga Queendoms, of which the entire party was rightfully afraid (except for the animal-trainer-chick from the Kalifate - she'd immediately hatched a plan to get a hold of a Naga egg to start breeding them or something...). After some back and forth the party managed to more or less accidentally escalate the situation between the Nagas, who had captured the local kings son and wanted to trade him for land, and the local king and his men, who had rushed out after the party had returned only with the childs hand (as they had only brought part of the silver intended to pay off the Nagas, the Nagas had only brought part of the prince - Nagas have no concept of respecting health and/or life of humans). The whole thing went terribly wrong with the king and his men and the party of adventurers fighting off one of the Naga Queens and her warrior escort. As the group was well prepared because their alchemist, having let herself into the house of the local barbarian scientist-guy, had developed a skin-effective poison that would hurt Nagas but not humans - bottles were thrown, chemical warfare was invented and the Nagas driven off eventually.