Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Monster of the Week Season 2 Finished

Tonight we ended up wrapping up the second season of Monster of the Week. This season ended up being eight sessions, the same length as the first season. Hard to believe I've been running this game since August, with a break for Monsterhearts 2 season one and a three week break where those silly holidays fucked everything up.

I had thought to perhaps take a one week break before starting up MH2, but the players seem pretty determined to dive right into it.

We ended on a cliffhanger, but the PCs did manage to redeem (or partly redeem) the party member who went pretty evil. An NPC has been set up as possibly the next PC to join the hunt. It was a good session.

I might be starting another campaign totally unrelated to this PbtA business, but that'll be another post entirely.

Friday, January 25, 2019

PvP in Monster of the Week


So we're definitely barreling toward a season closer for MotW. The Spooky has gone full on-traitor, actually attacking the Divine (and getting her ass handed to her...) There's a definite schism in the party as to how to resolve the present season's dilemma: blow up the big evil stone that is probably a portal into the Shadow World, or patch it up with magic. (The Spooky and her sinister patron want to do the first, the rest of the party wants to do the latter.)

PvP is an interesting thing, if it's done right. About 90% of the PvP I've personally experienced in my gaming career has been pedantic bullshit. I don't like paladins, you made a paladin, I attack you. I want to murder the NPC, you don't, I attack the NPC, you end up fighting me. It's been mostly flash-in-the-pan and entirely motivated by player personality and player relations.

This has been quite different. The antagonist player is the best friend, friend, and significant other of the other players in the group. She played her antagonism over a long con. She picked a decisive moment to strike, it just didn't work out. She has complicated relationships with the other characters- she bears no ill will toward them and is even friends with one, but she has a dark power pulling her strings.

The attacked character likewise handled it awesomely. The player has admitted she's uncomfortable with PvP, but she chose to have her character capture, rather than outright kill, the traitorous Spooky... and she could have easily killed her in their fight.

What I think is the most interesting is that the party has decided to let her live, and there is even a plan to help her break away from the dark powers in the works. They've even lost a potential NPC ally over their decision to spare the Spooky.

I realize that I haven't provided a lot of contextual details, but the nature of the PvP has been on my mind the last two days. It's literally the only time I have ever, as a GM, enjoyed PvP in a game I was running. It's the only time PvP hasn't resulted in resentment or the losing party being killed and making either a carbon copy of the slain character, or a "revenge" character.

I'm really lucky to have this group, even if they don't like the same D&D editions that I do.

(I'm also madly in love with one of the players, but that's off topic)

Monday, January 21, 2019

I Miss Dice

I was at a local game store with my girlfriend yesterday, and she was browsing for a set of new dice.

My dice cup runneth over. In addition to the sets I've accumulated over the last 27 years of gaming, I bought one of the Chessex "Pound o' Dice" a couple of years ago.

Sadly, I don't get to roll dice. The two games I'm running these days are Monster of the Week and Monsterhearts 2, both of which are games of the 'Powered by the Apocalypse' system. The MC does not roll dice in that game.

The games are great, don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying the hell out of them... I just miss the tactile joy of rolling dice, but only the players get to roll in PbtA. All rolls are also made with 2d6 (unless you're playing Dungeon World), so the polyhedrals sit neglected while their more standard brethren get all the action. It's a shame.

This post brought to you by a mind-numbing staff meeting.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Scent of 2nd Edition

You ever have a memory of a particular smell?

This morning I think I had one of those.

I seem to recall that brand-new AD&D 2nd edition books had a certain smell to them, not entirely like the generic "new book smell"  one usually experiences.

Granted, the last time I held a new AD&D 2nd edition book was probably some time in 1995-96, and memory is a pretty nebulous thing...

Anyone else remember the scent of 2nd edition?

I suppose it's also possible that I'm about to have a stroke. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Monday, January 14, 2019

In Need of a Good Read


I need some new blogs, preferably of the OSR variety (but any rpg blog will do) to put on my sidebar. A lot of blogs I follow have died off, or simply aren't of interest to me anymore. I'm interested in some good PbtA stuff, but I seriously doubt I'm going to get any recommendations from this corner of Blogaria.

Hit me with your hot recommendations. (I mean like three people read this blog, so I'm expecting three recommendations)


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Back in the Saddle - First Game of 2019

We returned to my Monster of the Week game today, resuming season 2. The PCs found themselves tracking a sinister black hound from Welsh myth from systematically murdering families of Welsh decent in Harrison. We ended on a cliff hanger, with half the PCs working on a ritual to banish the thing and half of the PCs wandering around in the dark woods trying not to get eaten. Good times, and my GM confidence has been restored after the crappy game I ran over break. 

We'll be playing again on Wednesday, and it looks like my docket will be filled with PbtA games for the foreseeable future. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Curious Follow-Up to a Bitter DMing Failure

So maybe you read my last blog post about trying to get some of my group to do old B/X D&D and they hated it.

You know what they loved? Like, absolutely loved?


Yes, Dungeon!*, the old** TSR board game where you literally win by collecting treasures. You play a character that has really no special abilities. (Unless you play the wizard with his three spells, two of which are incredibly similar.)

It was almost everything they hated about B/X D&D: lack of mechanical options, treasure as the way to win, combat where you usually just attack over and over. Hell, there's no way to circumvent traps in this game. 

They fucking loved Dungeon! and want to play it again.

Being a board game, I suppose the expectations were different. It just strikes me as amusing how

In the words of Casey Kasem: ponderous, man. Fuckin' ponderous.

*It hurts me to put the exclamation point in the middle of a sentence like that, but sometimes good people do bad things.

**I am aware there is a shiny new version of Dungeon! that has been available for several years. I also don't give a single fuck about it. I like my Superhero.