Thursday, February 27, 2020

Troika! Initial Impressions from the Game Table

Troika! is fun to run.
Troika! is easy to run, even if the initiative system is a little weird.

While it turned out a little zanier, and probably close to the original vision, then I had intended, it was nonetheless a good time. I used the module included in the back of the book, which is delightful and bizarre. We sussed out some hooks for further adventure. The game now stands open as a sandbox.  I'm looking forward to next session.

PS: For those of you who are stuck playing online, I recommend this tool for initiative, just type in a character or NPC's name as many times as they have initiative tokens, plus and "END OF ROUND" entry. It worked beautifully, though it takes a second or three to set up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Totally New and Previously Unexpressed Opinion

I fucking hate gaming online.
I. Fucking. Hate. It.

That's all. Resume your evening.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

My Recipe for Troika!

My game of Troika! (Numinous Edition) begins tomorrow. I must confess I've only got the slightest notion what I'm actually going to do with it.

As mentioned in prior posts, I am definitely not British enough to understand the Troika! vibe on a core level. I have instead replaced it with my own aesthetic. My recipe is as follows:

*Spelljammer- Basically I'm taking the premise of "space D&D with magic ships" and using it as the chassis for this game. I'm stealing some actual elements of the setting and reflavoring liberally.

*Saga (graphic novel) - While a love story, Saga is also batshit weird space fantasy. It has kind of a kitchen sink approach to aliens, magic, and other weirdness. Imagine RIFTS if the author were much, much hornier.

*SaGa Frontier (Playstation game) - Unrelated to Saga. SF has a setting composed of "Regions," which are kind of like planets or dimensions. Some have magic, some have technology, some have both. SaGa also has some cool stuff in it that I'm just going to straight-up steal.

The campaign has no story premise; I'm going open world/sandbox up in this. We'll see how that works out with this crew. Right now I'm just making up spheres and reskinning adventures and locations for players to visit and kick around in.

In terms of actual "under the hood" stuff:

-Stellar Adventures, a sci-fi rpg written using the Advanced Fighting Fantasy rules and published by the company that presently publishes AFF 2nd edition. I grabbed this for planetary generators and for starship/vehicle combat rules, should they come up. It will need some reskinning to turn the ships into Troika!'s golden barges and ships reminiscent of those from Spelljammer.

-The Floating Dungeon of Varrak Aslur, an adventure published for AFF. The dungeon setting is pretty novel but it's definitely bog-standard fantasy stuff. I'm reskinning it, but I needed to see what a dungeon using this rule system is "supposed" to look like. I'm mildly troubled about how to pronounce the wizard's last name: "A slur?" "ASS lure?"  Actually I think I'm going to go with ass lure.

-Keep of the First Scion, which... yeah, I'm kind of sorry I paid $1.80 for this. It's a one page dungeon that's mostly the author's hand-written scribbles and a half-formed idea or three. I could've gotten a fountain soda with that money. Still, I wanted to see what people were doing when writing for Troika! and not AFF.

I have also been working on some custom backgrounds that might fit the setting (as I envision it and plan to run it) a little better, but I haven't had time to come up with 36 of them yet to make a complete table. I have completed the Star Goblin (spacefaring tinkers and thieves) and the Silver Alchemist (they turn silver into other stuff, and sometimes it's even the stuff they intended.)

I guess we'll see what takes shape tomorrow!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

A Bit of Hard Reflection

Man, D&D be tedious sometimes... or perhaps I've simply lost my touch.

The session completely stalled out after the PCs decided to climb down a well (after the ranger and barbarian noticed  and examined explicit signs that a big fucking snake probably lived in the well) and the barbarian got bitten and poisoned and fell off the rope. With a third of the party on the rope, they couldn't effectively fight. They managed to scare off the snakes and barely save the barbarian from drowning/bleeding out. Since nobody in the party has any healing spells or potions  (and they missed the potion in one room because they aren't very careful searchers), they had to retreat and drag their party member back to town. They got laughed at by some townfolk. They then spent an inordinate amount of time doing whatever they possibly could to avoid paying a few silver for a room. We called it there.

I'm sure there' s a lesson about caution in exploration and the learning curve of new players, but for the most part I was just kind of... meh. Maybe next session will be better. Maybe I actually just don't like D&D very much anymore.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Tale of Two Parties

I have two gaming groups, one inherited (willed to me, in a way) and one being my "home" group. Recently they made characters for 5e and Troika! Numinous Edition, respectively.

The D&D party consists of a human fighter, human warlock, orc barbarian, half-elf rogue, and tiefling ranger. It was decidedly less-cringey than I had anticipated, though in fairness I did ban all races from outside the PHB, dragonborn, and drow. (I did allow full-blooded orcs, so don't say I never gave ya nothin'.)

The Troika! party consists of a Yongardy Lawyer, a Void Squid, and a Rhino-Man (actually a Rhino-Woman, but the player decided that outsiders can seldom tell the difference.) I wanted to stick to just the rulebook, but my s.o. jumped the gun and rolled up a character using a program that apparently incorporates 3rd party background. Troika! being what it is, I find I'm less concerned with allowing non-core elements into the brew.

What's weird, to me, is my different tolerances in the different games. With the D&D crew, I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at having a fairly "standard" party. I couldn't help but note the tactical composition... oooh, they don't have a healer and barely have any magic at all, but they've got plenty of combat characters... etc.

Conversely, I'm glad that the Troika! squad avoided rolling up some of the more vanilla* backgrounds like Burglar or Questing Knight. (Okay, they are vanilla relative to most of the other backgrounds in the book.)  I have virtually no idea what the party is capable of (aside from a vague notion that the rhino and the lawyer are good at fighting), and I'm largely unconcerned as to how this will affect their adventures.

*I actually love vanilla as an ice cream flavor ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Friday, February 7, 2020


Tonight: Character creation for D&D shall commence 

Wednesday: Character creation for Troika! shall commence 

It is so ordered.