Monday, February 20, 2017

DCC session report - Blackrock Manor #5

In this installment of Blackrock Manor, we return to our intrepid band of monster killers and treasure hunters, standing over the body of a slain construct of metal and glass in an otherworldly trophy room.  So far, their expedition has made good decisions and possessed good fortune.  The former would be remain the case, but not the latter.

Vanquished at the end of last session
The trophies in question occupied metal plinths, some of which were surrounded by strange fields of light, of which some were stable and others flickered unpredictably.  With little difficulty, the party was able to obtain all the artifacts that weren't protected by constant fields.

Let's pause a moment to take the roll call, in alphabetical order, no less:
  • Brendan, doing his best to prove with Gregh the Warrior that might makes might
  • Gareth, offering the sage judgement of the Wizard Sizarius, and getting the hell out of Gregh's way
  • Stan, whose Courve the Thief always erred on the side of Not Dying
  • Steve H., bravely rescuing fellow dwarfs with his Rune Priest, Martine
  • Steve W., insuring that Grognard the Dwarf gave Martine plenty to do
  • Xavier, pushing Archimedia the Thief's luck to nearly-tragic ends
So what treasures did our gang liberate from this forgotten museum?

Friday, February 17, 2017

An idea for the sandbox: no character progression

Sometimes, we are so used to traditions and convention that we forget to question them.  One that I've been re-considering lately, for the first time ever, is the idea of character progression.  I only know of one RPG where improvement of skill over time was not assumed to happen: classic Traveller

This was the rulebook I had back in the day

With that one exception in mind, I can't think of any tabletop RPG that doesn't have a system for character progress.  The main question that most rules answer is whether to have a class-and-level system, or track individual skill levels.  Games carefully consider what is the proper rate of character improvement.

But is this all absolutely necessary?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: The Well of Souls and The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad

This is technically two reviews, since we're talking about two adventures; The Well of Souls is billed as an introductory adventure, and The Vaults of Zadabad is its immediate sequel.  Both are sold by Stormlord Publishing, with both being penned by Carl Bussler, with Eric Hoffman on Treasure Vaults. You can find them on DriveThru, but The Vaults of Zadabad has versions for DCC and Swords and Wizardry.  I have both adventures for DCC, in PDF format, and that's what I'll be reviewing here.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Empress session report - The Rise of the Murderhobros #1

As I mentioned in my last post, I am now GMing for a weekly crew using my homebrew rules for Empress 2.0.  Now, I still need to catch up on session reports from the Blackrock Manor campaign, but due to its monthly nature, it won't be hard to bring this blog up to speed.

A legend is born

So as for my Empress gang, a bit of history...I was previously GMing a group with Empress 1.0 as a weekly thing, with all players connected to an audio group chat in Roll20 (later using Roll20 for shared maps and Google Hangouts for the audio).  With that group, we had some great moments, but I didn't feel that my campaign was working for the group, and we tried to transition to a weekly DCC campaign.

That campaign eventually ran into scheduling issues, and as a result, it's become my monthly DCC group aka Blackrock Manor.  And I have to say, the rules and whole sensibility of DCC are a much better fit for this crew, as are in-person sessions.

Unfortunately, the mix of in-person and online players didn't really work for the people online (crosstalk at at the gaming table can become very indistinct over webcam).  As a result, I lost one of my original players, but he wasn't done with our campaign, bless his soul.  Instead, he wrangled up a couple of players in HIS area, hyped them up on probably-untrue stories of my GMing prowess, and drafted me into being their GM.  Well, I always said I wanted enthusiastic players.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A long time coming, but content is nigh!

Hey non-existent readership, it's been a while since I've posted here!  That's not because I haven't had anything happening in terms of OSR role-playing - au contraire!  I'm currently GM'ing for two separate campaigns - my monthly DCC game, and a weekly group playing with Empress 2.0.  Both of these campaigns have been extremely rewarding, to date.