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Wed, Jul. 27th, 2011, 12:22 pm
Administrative Post

I'm considering consolidating this blog into my writing blog, and moving both to my bolthy.com site. Thoughts?

Wed, Jul. 27th, 2011, 12:21 pm
Scion: Diceless?

I've been poking around Scion books for the last few weeks. This started because I came up with the final game I'd like to run at AmberCon Northwest. Just as I ran a diceless Exalted: Dragon-Blooded game at AmberCon in Michigan, I want to try and run a diceless version of a game where I love the setting but find the rules frustrating. I've got a rough frame work for what I'm thinking, so I thought I'd toss it out there for people to respond to.

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Thu, Apr. 28th, 2011, 08:18 pm
AmberCon US 2011 Recap

Once again, the soon-to-be-wife and I flew out to beautiful, scenic Livonia, MI, to spend four days drinking deep from the well of playing make believe in an Embassy Suites while a couple wedding receptions raged in the background. That's right: Ambercon.

Here's the recap.

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So, yeah. Totally looking forward to next year, even if most of my schedule is already blocked out.

Mon, Mar. 21st, 2011, 08:03 pm
The Motley Institute, Season 2

I've really loved running the Shadowrun campaign I've been doing. I've had a stellar group of roleplayers who have really made the game come alive. I've also learned a whole lot.
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Wed, Feb. 23rd, 2011, 01:13 pm
ACUS Games, Take 2

Here are revised versions of my game write-ups, with one more added in. I had a Betancourt game I was going to run, but bagged it last minute. I just couldn't bring myself to run it.
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Tue, Feb. 22nd, 2011, 07:09 pm
Games for Ambercon

I need to get game submissions for AmberCon US turned in pretty damn quick, so I figured I'd post them here for people to review and offer feedback.
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Thu, Feb. 17th, 2011, 01:21 pm

I don't normally read the long emails that come in from DriveThruRPG.com. Usually I just scan through the products the mention to see if there's anything I want, and then hit "Archive." but sometimes I find something nifty. This time it's an article by Stephen Chenault that originally appeared in Crusader Magazine. The money quote for me came in the middle:

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Sat, Nov. 13th, 2010, 11:05 am
Lesson Learned

I had an interesting insight into the care and feeding of a game a couple weeks ago. This insight chiefly revolved around the importance of communication and how one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.

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Mon, Nov. 1st, 2010, 08:41 pm

Against my better judgment, I've joined an ongoing Amber campaign. I don't have time for another game, and yet here I signed on for one. It's been a while since I'd played Amber, and the player list was a who's-who of "awesome local gamers I haven't played with in a while."

I've recycled an old character concept, though his stats are markedly different. I'm really not one of those people who feel that stats and character concept have to go so closely in hand. Other people disagree.

So far the game has been fine. The fascinating social commentary is seeing the sorts of characters some people choose. Even though they are trying new things, they still feel intrinsically the same as their usual characters.

In other gaming news, we haven't played much D&D lately. Due to schedule conflicts and, most recently, the GM having the plague, we haven't played in several weeks. I'd be very sad if the game ended, but the future still looks rocky.

As for the games I'm running, they've been chugging along.

Shadowrun has been good, though there have been some plot reveals earlier than anticipated. I kicked things off at a big level and it's hard to steer it away from there. It's a common problem for me.

In the Scion game everyone's upgraded to Demigods, and I'm having trouble providing challenges now. Bizarrely, the rules are no help at all. Some of the players have shot straight to the highest Legend they can have as Demigods, and have powers and Epic Attributes to match. Since this is beer and pretzels, the sessions are pretty combat heavy. There seems to be nothing in the book that could kill them. There are some gods that would reach a stalemate, but nothing I've found can outright put them at risk for their lives.

This all assumes, of course, that I don't drop the big guns of Avatar/Ultimate Attribute. The scope of what they can do is nebulously defined and would probably result in a TPK.

Last session I re-skinned Susano-o for another god, and discovered that the great warrior Susano-o had only a handful of dots in Epic Dexterity, so there was no chance in hell that he could hit any of the PCs. Not even the non-combat oriented ones. For those familiar with the system: The non-combatants have Dodge DVs of 30+. The combat monkeys have Dodge DVs of 50-60+.

The other challenge I find is that there can be vast disparities in power level between PCs in combat. If I make a threat that can get past the 60 dodge DV, that means that any weaker PC that gets in his way will have 30 net successes rain down on his head. Unless they have a monster soak to match that, that kills them right off the bat. Which is a similar problem that we faced in Exalted.

I have a huge post brewing about Exalted. I'll have to come back to that when I'm not hip deep in NaNo.

I'll give DemiGod a few more sessions before I throw up my hands in despair, running something else instead. But holy crap, this is discouraging. How can they not design a game with the anticipation of having someone focus on combat ability?

Mon, Sep. 6th, 2010, 11:45 pm
PAX After Action Report

This last weekend I went to the Penny Arcade Expo, so I thought I'd do a quick summary of stuff I saw and did.

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