Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gaming On

I ran Pathfinder again last night. The game session was unfortunately brief... only about three hours, due to various factors. We didn't get as far as I wanted. I did, however, come up with a dungeon concept I really love: abandoned (?) maze-complex of a clan of degenerate dwarves exiled because of their curse of hereditary madness. I threw in a taste of some unsettling architecture, but they ain't seen nothin' yet. We have another player joining us next weekend. I can't wait... I kind of wish we could play Wednesday or Thursday of this week. I find that my game has me excited to be running fantasy again.

I also find, curiously, that my game is a lot less "low magic" than it initially appeared in my head. Pathfinder is, by default, not a low magic game. I think my game is going to be low-medium magic, with the main difference from mainline Pathfinder being that magical items are not so readily available that every fighter just sells "junk" magic items to finance his amulet of natural armor or gauntlets of strength or whatever. Spellcasters are relatively uncommon and the people of Gildred are somewhat nervous around elves, having had little exposure to them.

One bone I still have to pick with PF is that I never feel sufficiently "studied" on the game system. It feels like there is so much to learn and know that I am winging things I should not be winging, like terrain modifiers and how much treasure to dole out. I have a feeling that I will be just fine, but my nagging desire to have all the eyes dotted and tees crossed is plaguing me. Oddly enough, I don't worry about this in games where it isn't addressed directly. (You know, stuff like B/X or Cyclopedic or Stars Without Number...)

The wife still likes my NPCs, which is always nice to hear.

Sunday I will be running Stars Without Number. The party has landed on the moon from which they were originally attacked back in the first game session. I expect this to be another high-tech dungeon crawl, hopefully after which they will begin starfaring in earnest. I have a surprise or two for them, but nearly all of them read this blog, so I'll have to present it after the fact.

I am still stalled out on the subject of magic and psi in my RIFTS revisions. Perhaps I can iron it out a bit more with the Sunday group. I always welcome their insight.

Summer has arrived, and for some reason summer always brings the delusion that I'm going to somehow find the time to learn all those gaming systems I never learned, like Rolemaster or Basic Roleplaying or whatnot. (I don't actually own BRP, but I do own it's cousin, OpenQuest, which I still haven't finished reading) I'm loving the settings that Chaosium is putting out for BRP, but I dare not buy them, as they will sit unplayed on my shelf, and the last thing I need right now is something new to distract me. Hell, I feel like I could spend the next week studying Pathfinder and still not feel like I've mastered the nuances. I wish I could somehow have the part of my old teenage brain that was able to learn even needlessly complex rpg rule systems in a very short time. At fourteen I was able to master Champions/HERO 4th edition in the space of a week it seemed; twenty-nine year old me would rather take a nail gun to the left foot than try to make a Champions character.


  1. Don't worry, improvise :-)
    You don't need to learn all those rules.

  2. When there are rules for everything, I worry about everything. When there are rules for nothing, I worry about nothing. :)

    When I play a crunchier game, I find that I have this nagging need to do it "right." (Though I did actually improvise quite a bit)

    My preferences tend toward games with lighter rules like Savage Worlds or older versions of D&D, but I am enjoying myself nonetheless.

  3. I wouldn't sweat the treasure too much. Just make sure that starting at mid-levels you are careful with the beasties the PCs fight. A 6th level party may be at a disadvantage if they are fighting 6th level critters if they aren;t properly equipped.

    Then again, that might simply be a nice challenge.

  4. My biggest pet peeve with PF is that some fairly important rules are just there, right in the middle of a paragraph. No bolding or underlining to signify it's importance.

    But winging it in play is why you are there, so don't worry about it. It your ruling differs from the rules sometimes, it's magic. Or the gods. Either way, the PCs won't know why, and the players don't need an explanation. After all, they are merely there for your amusement.