Thursday, September 1, 2016

Skills checks

I have been trying to get a handle on Skill Challenges, although they are not officially in D&D 5e. I listened to the Critical Hit podcast for several years, and loved the way Rodrigo handled his Skill Challenges. I searched around the internet and found several quotes and ideas I blatantly copied and pasted into a private document. Then I decided to share them with my gaming group (if anyone ever gets around to reading this blog.)

My apologies to those whose work I copied. I wish I could give you all credit.

Skill challenges carry the narrative of the story forward in a manner that includes the players in the telling. Through participation in skill challenges players can work with the DM to craft the story. While the DM holds the power of the overall direction of the story by creating the challenge, players control the tiny details by how they react to the situation and what skills they use to overcome the obstacles presented. It’s a great collaborative system that ends up being a win-win.

Here is the essence of my rules.

  1. I will give you a scenario, and tell you each to pick a different Skill and describe how you are using it.  *No duplicates.
  1. Everyone rolls, and majority determines Success or Fail.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Adventuring with Kiddo

Kiddo is my son.  He is seventeen, and heading off to college next year.  I am beginning to understand the pain in my own father's eyes when I left home.  I am luckier, though.  Technology has progressed a long ways in 30 years.  Add to that the fact he is planning on going to the junior college here in town for his first two years.  So, for him, heading off to college does not entail leaving town.


Still, after that, what do we do?  I have been exploring PbP and PbE for several years now, but have never done anything with it yet.  I think it is time.  I have discussed it with Kiddo, and he agrees.  PbP is the way to go so we can keep role playing together.

Yes, role playing.  Dungeons and Dragons.  I looked at my Amazon history, and ordered Savage Worlds way back in 2010.  We had already been role playing for about a year at least by that time.  So, seven, maybe eight years of game play. And we don't want to give it up.

Gamer's Plane is probably the platform we will use.  I have invited a local friend, and my brother, who lives in Wyoming, to join us.

Our adventure started tonight.  I created a human fighter named Zacriel Thunderhand, with the Criminal (Spy Variant) Background.  Then we rolled our stats, and swapped them back and forth between us.  That was interesting.  He is playing a female halfling monk named Rin Tealeaf.

We started in the town of Meadowbrooke, where an envelope was slipped under my door by a member of my spy ring.  A local cult, the Rubdites, have kidnapped some peasants, and I was tasked with getting them back.  

I am attempting to play this without a GM or a module, so we are using lots of online generators.  The Red Dragon Inn generated the info on Meadowbrooke.  I don't know where Kiddo went for the cult name, though.  I bought an Adventure Generator from RPGNow, and after rolling some d8s, we came up with "Steal Peasants from Underground, but we have to contend with [Religion] while being confronted by [Enemy].  After a couple more rolls, we decided it was my religion, since I was a church spy, and also my Enemy.  The Prophet of my temple hates me, so he wants to see me fail.  Plus, the cult leader knows me personally  (That was Kiddo's idea.)  Kerri Wan came from a generator on ENWorld

Lots of generators mixed together, and a willingness on our part to discuss things rather than just relying on my own imagination, seems to be working well for us.  I am also relying heavily on the Mythic Game Master Emulator.  It was highly recommended on several sites.  I had stumbled on the Flash generator a year before, but had no idea how to use it.  Now, I stumbled on the source, bought it, and now feel a bit more confident in running a GM-less game.  

Back to the game at hand:  We asked after local access to the Underground, sewers or catacombs, and there are none.  We asked about mines or caves, and everyone clammed up.  Rin went to the library and the town hall to Investigate, but came up empty.  The people of Meadowbrooke are so scared of the place they eradicated it from their records.

However, I was able to get an old geezer drunk enough to spill the beans.  There is an old mine outside of town called the Buried Stairwell.  (Part of the Mystic system is random rolls to flesh out the world around you.  But, use logic and interpretation to figure out what you can.)  Kiddo and I discussed it and decided they "delved to deep" and "woke something," like the dwarves of Moria.  Rin and Zachriel don't know this though.

End Scene.  Now we are standing at the entrance to the mine, and it is bedtime for us.  We will pick up tomorrow after school.  We will get things rolling, and move to Gamer's Plane in a while.  Then I will send invites out to see who will join me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I play with my kids

This here blog is my place to explore role playing games (and other forms of creativity) in relation to my children.  I have two, a boy, Kiddo, and a girl, Baby.  (I call them that at home, and I don't trust the whole world enough to give you their real names or ages.)

We play Savage Worlds, but have dabbled in several other systems.  Of course, there is the obligatory try at D&D.  I have had other people tell my my kids are old enough to comprehend all the rules.  Perhaps, but I don't have the time to learn them all.  (Kiddo tried reading the DM's manual, but Baby didn't even try glancing through the PHB.  It fell to me to read and understand everything, even though Kiddo was the one DM'ing for us.)  That lasted for one whole session.

Old School Hack was great fun.  Quick.  Simple.  I loved the weapons systems.  You have four types of weapons, IIRC.  Heavy, light, ranged, and, um, reach, maybe.  It didn't give stats on individual weapons.  If you wanted to fight with two pewter beer steins, label them "light" and go with it.  (Light weapons are faster, but do less damage.)  My character ripped the fangs out of fallen orcs and used them as throwing daggers.  As a goblin, at higher levels, a bigger character could pick me up and use me as a ranged weapon as one of my chosen feats.  I got a free grapple out of the deal.  However, the game was in its testing stage, and we leveled up so fast I had to start manufacturing my own feats and advantages.  (Plus, school started up and there went all our free time.)

I have vague memories of trying MicroLite 20.  I had a good setup, scenarios, ideas.  Once again, Real Life intervened, and the kids started spending every weekend at their grandparents, and we lost play time until it all faded to dust.

Savage Worlds is easy enough we can create characters in a few minutes if we want.  The new Deluxe guide has Archetypes, so all you have to do is slap on a name and go if that's what you want.  I may go that route with Baby, since she isn't really showing the drive to assign her own stats.  Kiddo is done, and has been, for a week.  I've made up two of my own, in the hopes that each of my kids will try running some scenarios so I get a chance to play, too.

Do any of you play with your kids?  How do you handle setting aside time for games when you are with them all the time in the first place?  What about younger kids who don't manage their own characters?  Any ideas on teaching them how to run a  gaming session?