That’s NOT How I Thought It Would Go…

After my last game night and post about Game Night, Session 6, I got to thinking about how the story unfolded during the game.  It did not play out how I thought it likely would.  That is the gift and curse of tabletop role-playing games (RPGs).

A quick primer on tabletop RPGs…

For those that don’t know, a tabletop RPG is a game where a group of people play/act out an adventure/story as a group of characters they have created.  These characters are the heroes/villains of the story.  The “game” part is the rules system that helps determine the outcome of actions the characters take during this adventure when there is a chance of failure or success.  The “play/act” part is basically “theater of the mind”.  A character is created with attributes linked to the game system rules.  The player adds color and depth to the character that is appropriate to the setting in which the story/adventure takes place.  Then the group sits around the table talking about what their characters do as the story plays out.  The role-playing is when each player assumes the role of his/her character in the story.

Then the “other player” is the Dungeon Master (DM) or Game Master (GM).  It’s the DM who acts as referee for the game system and manages the rest of the game world in which the players play their characters.  This person is responsible for supplying the setting and general plot hooks for the adventure/story in which the characters are the heroes/villains.

That’s what I do.  I’m the DM.

Back to the point of this 😉

So, anyway, session 6 was meant to be a showdown with Slythis – the villain that was harassing the characters as they tried to make their way to a town (Piketon) a good distance from their home town (Braiton) to get information about the plot they find themselves in.  As the events unfolded in the past game nights, the players decided it was time to force a direct encounter with this menace.

And so, as DM, I worked to accommodate just that.  I fleshed out Slythis for game mechanics (needed to determine the outcome of the pending fight).  I also set things up so that the group of 3 had some potential allies (the merchant and his group) for the pending fight.  Finally, I made a few notes about how I thought the encounter should happen.  That involved an attempt by Slythis to infiltrate the camp by stealth and make surprise attacks.  Then the fight would ensue, and hopefully, the outcome would be a victory for the players.

Well… ultimately… that is kind of what happened… kind of. . . …

This is where the game mechanics come in… I rolled dice as prescribed by the game system rules to determine if Slythis could slip into the camp area undetected for his surprise attack.  He could not.  In fact, he was detected much sooner than that because Theren reminded me of the fact that he could sense the nasty magical dagger Slythis used.  That was part of the story I helped create. On top of that, my rolls for his stealth were not good enough to beat rolls by the characters standing watch to see if they detected the presence of an enemy.

Yep, the encounter went right off my intended path (the curse part of tabletop RPGs… anything can happen).  Now I had to start winging it based on the information about Slythis up to this point and reacting to the players’ actions with their characters.  On top of that, the merchant’s group now had to become more than just “warm bodies” for the fight.  They had to be more… dynamic.  That really is the “gift” part of tabletop RPGs.  Now even I, as DM – the creator of the base story, had no real idea what was going to happen next.

When I run a tabletop RPG, I consider myself just one component of the story.  Sure, I have to create the setting (or use published material as an aid) and kick off a scenario/plot.  But I rely on the players to help create the story.  It is OUR story and adventure.

Nope, it did not go how I thought it would go.  But that might have been the best part the other night.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to play out.  So, in spite of my plans/ideas, even I can’t wait to find out what happens next 🙂

Thanks for taking your time to read this.  Let me know what you think.  Click that like button and/or leave a comment.  A conversation is typically better than a monologue 😉

 

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Oops… It’s been a bit

O_o

Sorry…

I didn’t realize how long it’s been since my last post.  I’ve been caught up in other stuff, I guess.  And when I’ve had time to do something like… I don’t know… MAKE A F@CKING POST… I seem to be doing other things.

I have no excuses. I have simply let myself not write a post <shrugs sheepishly>

So, anyway…

The virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans went okay.  Our 6-man team had fun and brought the car home in pretty good shape; that was our goal.  We didn’t have a ton of drama or intense racing, but we gained positions in a split that was much tougher than we thought it would be.

D&D

The group played a short session the other night.  Differences have been worked out, I guess, because it was the same group.  That, in my opinion, is a good thing.

There is not much to mention since we were mostly recapping and getting our heads back into the game.  Besides, I had to cut it short to watch my St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup (HELL YEAH!!!).

What is worth mentioning, though, is that the group has decided to try and force a showdown with their goblin stalker, Slythis.  We left the session with them working out a camping situation on the road to Piketon.  A small merchant group is sharing their camp site – the chosen site for this possible encounter.  This merchant and his guards are well-equipped and seasoned.  They are, at the moment, considered by Bran, Fang and Theren to be an asset for the pending confrontation with Slythis and his nasty dagger.  We are planning on running session 6 Sunday night.  I will definitely let you know how things turn out.

Well, I guess that’s it for the moment.  Again, I’m sorry for not keeping up with my posts.  I’ll get myself back in a better routine 😉

Race Day! When’s Game Night?

Hey.  Wassup?  I hope shit’s going good 🙂

I guess things are going okay for me.  There are few complaints, I suppose.

Anyway, I decided to “bark” a little bit about the next couple of hobby things going on for me.

First, is my next endurance race.  iRacing is putting on its yearly version of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this coming Saturday (tomorrow, actually), and Delta-V will be in the BMW M8 GTE car.  I know y’all aren’t all that into auto racing, so I’ll keep this short.  I’ve been practicing this week, and I think I’m ready to turn some laps.  The possible problem the team has right now, though, is kind of a lack of team.  As of this moment, there are only 3 of us getting ready to race Saturday.  The other members of the team have been quiet.  There has been no chatter from them about their availability, if any, for some stints throughout the 24-hour time period.

I think we can complete the race with 3 guys, but it’s gonna be tough.  That’s a lot of time in the virtual race car for each of us plus time one of the teammates puts in as support/spotter while another is driving.  I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep Saturday :-/

Second…  the D&D game.

I think this next week I will break my “silence” and question my two estranged players about their situation in relation to returning to the “table” for D&D game night.  If there is no reconciliation between the two, I am going to take steps to acquire a replacement player for at least one of them.  I feel bad that they cannot work things out, but I am no longer going to hold off for them.  The other player and I want to game.

I’ll keep you up to date.

As always, I appreciate questions and/or comments.  Thanks for taking the time to “listen”.

Not Sure What’s Next for Game Night

I discovered yesterday evening that the next D&D game night (Session 5, this coming Sunday) has to be cancelled.  There was an unfortunate issue (outside of the game) between two members of the group.  I’m not sure if things will be resolved any time soon based on what I have learned.  That means I’m not sure if/when there will be another D&D game night for our Gods Save the King campaign.

The reason for putting the campaign on hold is that there were only 4 of us – me as the DM and the other 3 as players.  I have built the next couple of adventures in the campaign around the 3 players, so lacking one on any game night creates a significant hole in things for both the story and the needs of the game (a lack of “firepower” if you will).

If there are 4 players, the occasional miss by one player can usually be dealt with.  But losing one of three is far more noticeable.  Besides, I don’t want any of my players to miss out on any of the story they appear to be enjoying.  I’m guessing the gamers out there reading this get it.  I can only hope I’ve explained it enough for the non-gamers.  If not, let me know.

So, what’s next then?

I don’t know exactly.  I can honestly say that I am kind of down and out about this situation.  I was way happier than I realized about ‘returning to the table”.  And now, all of a sudden, the future of the game is uncertain at best.  It sucks.  Tabletop RPGaming is something I really love to do and the game I managed to cobble together with my gamer friends is on hold at best, or over at worst.

Part of me wants to get angry over the situation these two created, but it’s not an issue involving me… it’s between them.  I respect that.  I just don’t like it.

Part of me wants to channel that anger, say, “fuck it,” and go form a local group.  Maybe I should find local people that want to try something like D&D. I enjoy teaching people about tabletop RPGs.  I could also just do it online using Fantasy Grounds.  Since I am paying for an “ultimate” version, anybody that plays with me can use the software for free.

But I want to game with my friends.  I mean I might make some new friends by searching for new players, but that’s not exactly what I want.  I wanted to share this fun with my long-time friends.  I’m just not sure how this is going to work out.

I think I will continue to work on the campaign world.  I have a ton of details and depth I can add to the existing world.  With that new mapping software I have, I can create all the maps I want and help bring my world to “life”. :-/

I will continue to build the campaign arc, too, I suppose.  The story arc, though, is difficult to create sometimes without regular game sessions since the players help create some of the story as we play.  But I will try.

I suppose I will give this issue a couple of weeks to let things cool off and/or settle, but not much more than that.  I want to run a game 🙂

I know this sounds kind of selfish.  I don’t mean it to sound completely that way.  These two are friends, and I don’t want the falling out to be a permanent thing for them.  But all I can do is operate from my point of view and do what I need to do to move along.  It could be difficult to maintain a friendship with both of them, too, if things don’t get resolved.  Another reason I’m stressing… my concern over where this is headed for our little group.

Any thoughts or advice out there? I would appreciate some insight from others.

Thanks for “listening”

Sorry for Being Idle

Business… laziness… not writing a blog when I’m near my computer…

Those are the reasons/excuses for no posts recently.  I’m sorry about that… mostly.  I think y’all get it, though.  I got busy with some things.  I got a little lazy over the past couple of days.  When I was at my computer before that, I was doing other things for better or worse. Who can tell?

I do have game night, session 4 in the pipe. We actually played a week ago this past Sunday.

I have another post about my game world in the works, too.  It’s about the world’s pantheon… and maybe more.  I wanted to put some more depth/color out there for my gamers and my readers.

I also got a “shiny new toy”.  I bought Campaign Cartographer.  For the first time in over 20 years, my hand sketched maps and mind’s eye for this world are finally becoming “real”. I’m making the maps of this world as something that looks like a map out of an actual published campaign… so awesome to me.  Needless to say, there have been some hours sunk into that as I learn the software and make my vision into something others can see (and use, in the case of my gaming group).  I’ll come up with a way for y’all to see it, too, if you want.

Anyway, just wanted to do a “drive-by” blogging to let y’all know that I ain’t quit <grin>. So the suffering will continue 😛

Catch y’all hopefully sooner than later 😉

Game Night Is Upon Me

I’m not sure what exactly to think or how to feel about this.  Sunday night – as of right now – will be my first “game night” in quite some time.

Let’s define “game night” from my perspective.  To me, it means tabletop role-playing games.  It means D&D, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, Twilight 2000, Hero, Alternity… etc.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was asked to get a D&D game started.  Well, I guess I’ve done that.  I got a group (my best friend, a mutual gaming friend of ours, my daughter’s boyfriend and possibly my daughter) together.  I started a dialogue of campaign idea and character creation.  Now on Sunday, we should begin “official” character creation and kick off the campaign.

I’m pretty excited and looking forward to the idea of “returning to the table”.  I’ve been playing tabletop RPGs since I was a teenager (many moons ago).  But it’s been about a 5 year stretch since I’ve played or DM’ed a game.

So, I’m a little nervous due to the time since I’ve played and my expectations.

The time issue is just being concerned about being rusty… no big deal.

The expectations thing is what has me apprehensive.  What I want in a D&D game is not necessarily what others want.  Perspective: most gamers are looking to play the game and have a good time. I am looking for similar things, but I want a great story to happen.  I get hooked on the characters and the adventures and the end goal of the campaign.  The game itself is merely a tool to help accomplish that to me.  I am pretty forgiving of many game systems because, to me, it is only the vehicle that helps to create “reality” in the action and produce a mechanism to allow a chance of success or failure for the characters in the story.

I do like the game, but I will happily sacrifice rules and game mechanics if there is an opportunity for a great “scene” that could be… less… because of game play.  I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, my nerves over this are because I am running a group where I know the game is significant to at least one of them.  I’m not sure about the others yet (haven’t games with them much or not at all).  I want everybody to get into this and enjoy it, but I don’t want to lose the “integrity” of my style of play.

The only thing I have for me is that this guy has gamed with me before and seemed to be good with how I run a D&D game… we’ll see.

Had to rant a bit.  Thanks for listening.

By the way, would you like me to post game session “diaries”?  Let me know 🙂

An Opportunity to Return to the Table

My daughter’s boyfriend and I were talking tabletop gaming the other day.  He told me that he wanted to get into a D&D group and mentioned that he liked the idea of having me run a game.  I thought that I like that idea, too. 🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to play some D&D – or any RPG for that matter.  In fact, I’ve been grousing recently about not having a tabletop gaming group.  So, I suppose this is a potential opportunity…

I’m a bit nervous…

It’s been a while and I’m probably a little rusty.  I hope I can still produce a good campaign story and run a good game.  I’ve never been anything special, but most players that have gamed with me as DM/GM have always complimented me.  So, I hope I can still perform like that.

I mentioned the possibility of running a D&D group to one of my online gaming friends and he said he was in.  Him and I have only gamed together at the table a couple of times.  He was DM one time and then we were both players.  Nonetheless he doesn’t know my style and I know little about what kind of campaign stories he’s into.

I need to secure a couple more players, too.  I’ve only gotten interest from two.  At least 3 are needed, in my opinion, to have a decent group.

I need to come up with a way to run this game over the web since these players will likely be scattered around the country.  I’m not sure about using things like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.  It’s not that I wouldn’t want to learn to use them and even spend a little money to make use of some of the nice features they offer.  I just like to do things differently.

My one thought is to set up a webcam over a nice-sized table and use Discord.  I would handle all the tabletop aspects (combat, maps, etc.) and only need the players to manage their characters and communicate their characters’ movements, etc. when necessary.

That could work since the games I’ve run in the past don’t require a lot of “on the table” action for every aspect of the campaign.  I only use minis for story critical combat and then presentation of visual aids like maps for travel and exploration end up on the table.

So, maybe I can make this happen and return to the table…

Advice?  Thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by.