Ideas for my online game

As you all probably know, I am planning on running an online game this summer. I am not officially recruiting yet, as I am unsure of my schedule once I start my job, and that seems like an important thing to know. However, I love writing out game ideas, so I thought I would set some down here.

Idea #1: “XSlayers” (Ie Dungeonslayers meets X-Crawl) I’ve blogged about this one a lot before, specifically when I first mentioned my summer game. To recap: The players are sports starts who descend into short, premade dungeons before a live and televised audience. A Master of Ceremonies runs the show,  providing live commentary, flavour and possibly altering the dungeon as the players move through it.

Idea #2: “Megaslayers” This is very similar to idea #1, except that the players move through a large megadungeon. A megadungeon is one of those giant, many levelled complexes with perhaps hundreds of rooms in it, where the players will never truly “clear” it: New monsters will move in, old ones will leave, and monsters may well migrate as the players kill others and create vacuums within the dungeon. This is set in the same world as number 1, but instead of being a short sports event this is a weekly show. Players still are in a modern setting, but instead of being in a small dungeon 1-page dungeon style affair they are in a long megadungeon, and thus can play monsters off against one another, retreat to the surface, will have to rest in the dungeon and conserve resources.

Idea #3: “XSlayers Classic”  This would be like idea #1 except that instead of going through an adaptation of a one-page dungeon or something short that I cook up the part will go through an adaption of a classic adventure. Probably an old TSR adventure, but I can take suggestions provided players promise not to use out of game knowledge to their advantage. This could very well branch into “Megaslayers Classic” if a longer adventure like the Temple of Elemental Evil is chosen to.

Idea #4: Straight up Dungeonslayers: If the modern-reality TV dungeon idea is not popular then I could go with running a traditonal fantasy version of Dungeonslayers.

Idea #5: “Dungeonslayers Classic”: If people like the idea of mixing Dungeonslayers and classic D&D adventures, but do not like the idea of the modern-dungeon crawling then I could do that to.

Idea #6: “Megadungeonslayers” Again, Megadungeon+Dungeonslayers but no modern.

Idea #7: Dimensional Hoppers: Another idea that I have blogged about before, this game would involve the players travelling across dimensions in search of a way home. Each dimension will be part of a slightly different genre and tech level for a highly episodic feel, but with (hopefully) continuing characters. I would be using a variant BRP system.

Idea #8: Dungeonworld/The Sargasso of Dungeons: Really I can’t think of much to add to this, except that I’d probably use Dungeonslayers, or if I can’t get support for that something like Warrior, Rouge & Mage or a retroclone. This one could be modern, fantasy or some combination of the above.

Idea #9: Tangents. I recently found the Tangents book for Alternity and discovered that it has a really cool adventure series in it. I would be willing to run this with the caveat that players either have to make their own characters or use a premade one from the adventure, as I don’t have enough experience to help them with it as I do the other systems.

I think I’m the most interested in running #1,#3 and #7, followed by #4, #5, #8 and #9, but if I get a bunch of enthusiastic players for any of them I think I’d catch the enthusiasm myself pretty quickly. Also it should be noted that while I listed a bunch of megadungeon ideas they all rated pretty low on my list: This is likely because I’ve not run enough dungeons yet to create a good atmosphere in most of them, and have them react organically to events in the dungeon. The Sargasso would be an inherently random place, so I think it might work more easily… That isn’t to say I wouldn’t try, which is why I listed them. Ideas which I really like, but am unsure I could run, like this idea I have for a game set on a Spacehulk/Sargasso of Death setting I haven’t listed, as I am sure I could run it, but can’t think of a system I am comfortable enough with and that has enough creatures for me to stock it with.

So, does anyone have any feedback on these ideas? Would anyone be interested in playing in one of them? Questions on bits of the setting that seem unclear? Just want more details on one or more of them? Please leave a comment!

Until then, or next time, Stay Geeky!

–Canageek

[Let me tell you about my character] Dick Chandler

Back near the start of my blog I posted up a character I was using for Ada’s Serenity game. I meant to post more characters, but I’ve been DMing pretty exclusively. However, to keep myself sane I joined a Call of Cthulhu group playing via Google Wave. Anyway, here is my character: I started with a concept, then rolled stats. Since I rolled so badly the DM let me boost them up to the point buy value, so I tweaked them to fit my vision. I added notes on him as I wrote it, which is why they are scattered throughout the statblock. I’m a bit worried that I’ve spread my skills a bit thin, but if we do more than one adventure it should work itself out as I’ll increase them more quickly.

Richard (Dick) Chandler

Summary: Dick Chandler is a cop who fell from grace after refusing to let a murderer walk. He now works in Arkham as a private dick, spying on cheating spouses, running background checks and whatnot. Lately he has been growing bored due to a lack of challenge, and melancholy as he feels he misses the feeling of making the world a little safer, one killer at a time. (more…)

My Christmas Game

EDIT: A very, very helpful person (Thanks Chrysalis) on IRC has helped me clarify my post:

The game is a dungeon crawl gone reality TV show. Contestants enter the dungeon, slay monsters and disarm traps, while live and televised audiences look on and are helped on through the gripping action, the highs and lows, in a manner similar to sports commentary.

This means players are expected to supply their actions as sports commentary, a wild and gripping way to describe the action, but also embed inside little statistical information such as ‘The last time a Young Adult Red Dragon was felled in 3 rounds by a 5th level party was back in 1996 by the Sharpe Dressed Elves.

The rules that will be used are from Dungeonslayers. No prior rules knowledge needed to play the game and characters can be made on the spot. Character creation and playing involves things like ridiculous outfits, over the top stage presences and armour that shouldn’t work.

I am looking at 4-6 players for a one-off session before the 2nd of January, due to holiday constraints. The game will be run over IRC or via Maptools.

Original, less well organized post follows.

Hello all! Another self-interested post: I am going to run a game over either IRC or via Maptools sometime between when I post this and January 2nd. It would be a one shot adventure and I’ll just pick whatever day the most people will be free on. Likewise I’ll pick whichever platform people choose, and just post the map as you explore it to flikr or photobucket since it doesn’t use tactical combat.

I’ll be using the very nice looking Dungeonslayers rules as they look quite good for fast play, yet at the same time are quite slick and modern.

To recap my idea:

Anyway the idea is…. a dungeon crawling game loosely based on XCrawl, where modern day gladiators descend into D&D style dungeons to fight monsters and traps for the amusement of the audience. Little touches such as bonus experience for narrating your actions like a sports commentator will hopefully contribute to the atmosphere.

To make this more silly your game states would be your stats in world, tracked the same way that they do baseball stats. My Dad likes baseball because of all the stats you can track and the weird things that happen (For example there is one play, don’t as me what it is, that has only happened 3 times. 2 of them were on consecutive days, as some player heard about it and thought ‘Shoot, I could do that’ and managed to do it the next day.)
Now instead of batting average you have BAB or THAC0, and so on (I was going to give more examples, but I don’t know baseball stats). Instead of some odd play with passes and runners you have “The last time a Young Adult Red Dragon was felled in 3 rounds by a 5th level party was back in 1996 by the ‘Sharpe Dressed Elves’….”

Now I’m going to have it a bit more fantasy than I planned originally, so that I can use a modified form of the adventure that comes with the rules, since I’ve never run Dungeonslayers before. This updates the idea a little, with it being more heavily fantasy that I originally planned, however I’m sure I can find ways to keep the fact that you are throwing your lives onto the alter of television in your minds. Also, though it should be obvious, please don’t read the sample adventure.

If you want any more details or want to express interest in playing please leave a comment below, email or IM my gmail: username Canageek. (Don’t you love spam? Stupid bots)

Anyway, until next time (or I run this) Stay Geeky!

–Canageek

P.S. I’ve run this game, and it went quite well, though I only had two players. They both hit second level, just, and got about 1/4 to 1/2 way through the adventure. I’m looking to finish the adventure, though I’m not sure when I will have time: If I am very lucky and don’t have much work I might be able to doso on the weekend of Jan 8-9, 2010. Drop me a comment here if you are interested in playing.

Dungeonslayers and my Christmas game

So I’ve been having trouble finding a game that I liked the look of for a long time. I think I have finally found a fantasy RPG that is both rules light and not firmly stuck in the past. Dungeonslayers is a modern RPG, that still manages to have very few rules, while being in the same style as D&D. I’m planning on running a game of it over chat or maptools between Boxing Day and New Years if anyone is interested.

So what game will I be running? I will be running the modern dungeon crawling idea, however I am going to move it a few years earlier, when the DJs didn’t have as many resources, so that most of the stuff they put in was primitive fantasy-type stuff. This will let me use the adventure from the book to get a feel for the system. Drop me a line if you are interested in playing!

 

Oh yes, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc, etc. Forgot what day it was.

Just a short post

Sorry for the lack of posts in so long, I’ve been insanely busy with class, working from when I wake up till 2am type of busy. I will hopefully find a little time during my exam break, but really you should be looking for new posts after Christmas.

So a couple of updates:

I’ve talked to my group and they want to stick with BRP/CoC for now, largely due to liking their characters. However, I’m planning a big finally for the campaign, as one of the 2 remaining original players is graduating, and the others has a plan in mind for retiring her character. That means I am on the lookout for non-horror BRP adventures if anyone has any recommendations. Oh and they want more combat, in CoC as well. This should remove many characters very, very quickly.

Secondly…. I’ve started planning my next online game. I might run some maptools, IRC or skype or such over the Christmas break, failing that I’ll set up a play-by-post in April, after the end of 2nd semester.

Anyway the idea is…. a dungeon crawling game loosely based on XCrawl, with bonus experience for narrating your actions like a sports commentator, and a 2nd thread for non-player commentary. Since part of the game would be to please the crowd at the end of every adventure there would be a vote for the best character by the observers, with an XP bonus for amusing the audience.

To make this more silly your game states would be your stats in world, tracked the same way that they do baseball stats. My Dad likes baseball because of all the stats you can track and the weird things that happen (For example there is one play, don’t as me what it is, that has only happened 3 times. 2 of them were on consecutive days, as some player heard about it and thought ‘Shoot, I could do that’ and managed to do it the next day.)
Now instead of batting average you have BAB or THAC0, and so on (I was going to give more examples, but I don’t know baseball stats). Instead of some odd play with passes and runners you have “The last time a Young Adult Red Dragon was felled in 3 rounds by a 5th level party was back in 1996 by the ‘Sharpe Dressed Elves’….”

I’ve talked about this, and written about it so much that I want to give it a try. I’ll have to write an adventure, or at least convert one as I’m not running 3.5 or 4e online, they are both way too slow. I’m thinking of some retroclone or old edition since combat goes faster, possibly with a BRP style d% skills system tacked on (Very light weight: Like a page long in total).

Well, I have to go, until next time, whenever that is, Stay Geeky.

–Canageek

Players Scared of Death….in Call of Cthulhu

Sorry for the lapse in posts, university work has kept me insanely busy, and I probably should not be taking the time to write now, but I’m hoping that getting it out of my system will help me study.

I’ve encountered a new problem in my Call of Cthulhu game. I’ve written about ideas I’ve had for this game before, and I’m starting to implement some of them:I’ve not added in the XP system, though I have added a lot more liberal use of Idea rolls to give hints, and that seems to be helping– They breezed through the first section of the adventure, despite a fairly non-linear plot and quickly figured out what was going on, despite gaining a new player and some intraparty conflict. However they stalled for a bit at the bridge between the ‘figure out what is going on’ and ‘doing something about it’ stage. I managed to prod them into action, and they kidnapped a gangster, got him to confess and turned him over to the police. The adventure assumes that you are not going to do this, as do NONE of the CoC adventures I’ve encountered, despite it being the logical choice of action in many of them. Anyway, I have figured out a way to get them back into the plot (also a backup if I need, though it isn’t as good).

Anyway, the main problem I’m having with my game is players being scared of dying. I mean, no one wants there characters to die, but well, it seems a bit extreme. Now one player is retiring her character at the end of this adventure, so that she will not die and she can play one she is less attached too. Now, I like it when people get into my game, but I’m running CALL OF CTHULHU. The horror RPG known for killing characters. Confession time: I’m a bit of a carebear DM. I’ve only killed one character in all of my CoC games, that is ~3 gaming groups over 4 years of play. Which given the horror nature of the game is kinda low. On the other hand, they usually seem scared of dying, so I guess that doesn’t matter much.

Anyway, I would be interested in trying a different game with my group. Something outside of the horror genre, to let them have characters they can grow attached to without the constant fear of death. However they don’t like rules: CoC is about the heaviest thing I can interest them in I think, even the core BRP book has too many rules for them. They make there character based on the 1 page ‘how to make a character’ description, and ask what the skills do if the name is unclear. That is pretty much the extent that 3 out of 4 players want to know about the rules.

They also think CoC combats are about the maximum length they would enjoy, and let me tell you, combat in CoC is pretty damn fast as long as you don’t get a wiff-fest (Trying to do long ranged combat without anything but default rifle, for example).

So I’m looking for a new game where they will not be quite so paranoid about dying. I was thinking Savage Worlds, but that seems expensive to me, and when I browsed through it the rules seemed a bit too complex: I’m looking for something like ‘Pick a skill, roll under it’ like BRP does, not a big stack of advantages and disadvantages.

Now there are lots of retroclones and indie RPGs I could run, however I like a concrete rules system: None of this abstract ‘You have a combat state, a mental stat and a magic stat’ type of stuff. I like a nice concrete list of gear and stats and whatnot. D&D retroclones would probably be about the right rules density if I went and cut out THAC0 and all that legacy cruft that my players would be confused by, however they are not interested in D&D from what I understand.

Anyway, even if I do find a game I don’t have time to write adventures: I’ve had to take time off from studying just to write this blog post. So a large published base of adventures would be good, preferably short, episodic type ones. CoC is pretty good for this, since it is so old, there are a lot of ones from the 80s and such online. Ditto for pretty much any edition of D&D. I’ve contemplated the Serenity RPG as there are some published adventures for it, however 2 of my players are not really fans of the show, so that would be a hard sell.

So in summary: Are there any games that have:

1) Players do not need to own any books or look up anything during play

2) Non-abstract rules. Ie D&D, GURPS or BRP like, rather then The Pool, Wushu or such. (However both any edition of D&D newer then 3e, possibly even 2e, have too many rules for them, likewise with GURPs).

3) A large published base of adventures. They can be pay, though free is preferable. These should be episodic, not epic. In terms of plot more like an episode of CSI, Firefly or another serial show, monster/crime/problem of the week, as opposed to a epic Adventure Path or Lord of the Rings or something like that. Alternatively: If there adventures that I can convert to it given a couple hours of work that would be acceptable. For example, if they were interested in fantasy I could use Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game since I could convert any old D&D adventure without too much trouble since the monster states are almost identical. I couldn’t convert it to microlite20 however, as I’d have to write custom monsters, which takes too much time.

4) The ability to make a character in under 30 min. Under 1 hour is allowed the first time, after that it should be faster. It can also be longer if you take into account passing around 1 copy of the book to a bunch of people.

5) Works with 2-6 players + DM

6) Not horror, that is what I want a break from. Also low character mortality, something that will make them feel confident.

7) An interesting setting, not typical fantasy. I think I could sell them on Eberron, I could not sell them on Greyhawk, Dark Sun or the Forgotten Realms. 1890-modern would be cool, but other things could also work. Something I can explain simply is a big plus: CoC is pretty simple, I tell them it is the 1920s USA, and possibly a bit about the horror. Basically it needs a simple ‘hook’ that is all the players really need to know to get started, the rest they can learn as they go. Ex: Twilight 2000: “Instead of peace as in our world, in the 1980s nuclear war broke out between the USSR and USA. You are members of a military unit stationed in Europe. Both sides militaries  have collapsed, leaving you with one final mission: Get home.” or Fallout “Nuclear war broke out in the mid-21st century. You, along with many others, fled to underground shelters to survive. Now you need to go retrieve the water purification chip from Vault 60 to keep your vault safe.”. Stuff like that.

8) BONUS: If it is in either of the charity bundles that RPGNow has put up, I own both of those .

I’ve looked at Savage Worlds a couple of times, but it seemed complicated in all the wrong ways, i.e. adding in cards and such when it did not need too. I’d be willing to give it another look if someone pointed me me to a supply of adventures that will not eat my wallet.
I also own some other games that I have not had time to read through: I’ve downloaded all the OpenD6 books, and bought Atomic Highway. If someone could let me know if these might fit my requirements that would be cool.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I might try running the sample adventures from the BRP book and see how that goes once I finish the current adventure, and one of my players wants to run some Don’t Rest Your Head, so that gives me some time.

When should I update my blog?

I’ve been wondering when I should update my blog? I used to find that I got the most hits on Monday right before lunch, but that seems to have changed. So when would you like my blog to update? Check each day that you think would be good.

While I’m at it I’d like to know your opinion on the sharing buttons I’ve added to each post: Annoying or useful?


Also are there any services that I should add to the list? I’ve gotten hits from Stumbleupon before, and I know a lot of RPG bloggers on Twitter. I think Facebook now has a higher population then Canada so it gets added. But would anyone really Digg one of my posts? Or Reddit? I don’t want to clutter up my posts too much, but if you want something added just leave me a comment.

Alright, that is enough for this post. I’ll try to get something less lame up for next week. Until then, Stay Geeky.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 11:23 am  Comments (1)  
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Sorry for the lack of posts

Once again I have failed to update: I’ve been preoccupied with the end of my summer job, then moving and starting recently, personal issues. I will try to get something up soon, probably the final Hellriders post.

Until I do, Stay Geeky
–Canageek

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I’ve joined the RPG Bloggers Network!

Hail and well met my fellow geeks! I am now an official member of the RPG Bloggers Network! It is a collective of people who blog about RPGs. Yep….that is pretty much all I have to say, other then that you should go check it out. If you like my blog you will certainly find something good to read there.

Anyway, sorry for posts being late recently- This were rather hectic at work and it took a lot out of me. I’ll try to keep to a post a week, though that may not last past the start of uni.

Anyway, until next time, Stay Geeky.
–Canageek

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 11:29 am  Comments (2)  
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My Absence

I’d like to apologize for my longest ever absence from the blog. I know you don’t want excuses, but hey, it is my blog! I was quite tired from biking to and from work and additionally I was working on a full length adventure, so what time I did put into the blog wasn’t visible. I tried to get going again and got one post up, but after no one commented I got busy with other things and well, here we are now.  I’m going to put the adventure on hold for a little bit to get some posts up, though I do want to finish it someday. I’ve got the plot done, the stats mostly done but not typed up and crude descriptions of the locations done. I just need the final fight and to type up the statblocks. If you are interested in that adventure please ask me about it or give feedback on the monster I wrote up in my last post.

I’ve been given some really good ideas on what to blog about next which I am going to list here. If you like one of them please let me know! I may not do all of these, but they seem like a good starting point to get back on the blog treadmill.

Thanks to Exploding Dragon:

  • Miniatures and maps. Do they enhance play? Restrict play? Are they just a money making gimmick?
  • Party roles defined by class. Clerics healing, barbarians tanking etc. Good pints, bad points, alternatives.
  • Gender bending. Guys playing girls and vice versa. The drama, the stereotypes, the hilarity.
  • Dice, luck and superstition. Different things to guarantee rolling double sixes.

So do you see anything you like the look of? Want to hear about something in specific? If I get a request or comment of somesort it will be much easier to keep posting!

I’ve been offered membership in the RPG Bloggers Network once I start updating again, so I’m very eager to get back into the once-a-week schedule I had going for so long.

Oddly though I’m less obsessed with RPGs now then I was a couple of months ago I am in my first ever weekly game. It is BRP/CoC and going very well. We’ve gone through a couple of adventures so far and everyone seems to be having a blast.

Anyway, that is enough rambling from me, until next time, Stay Geeky!

–Canageek

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 7:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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