|Friday July 26, 2019 at 8:00pm||new campaign, savage worlds, delcron 2282, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
System: Savage Worlds
Setting: Delcron City
Players: Sheri, Taylor, Dave, Stephen
Schedule: Every Few Fridays
This game was started on Stephen's suggestion, and Taylor and Dave were really interested in getting to play something. After some voting, we settled on a cyberpunk-style game using the Savage Worlds system. I'm using a portion of one of my homebrew settings for this game.
Template: The party are a group of friends who have been taking jobs as private investigators and bounty hunters for the last year or so, and it's proving lucrative - or, at least, more lucrative than their crappy jobs.
- Sara [Sheri] :: a medic and emergent Empath
- Mario [Dave] :: an asteroid miner and pub bouncer
- Kendra [Taylor] :: a mechanic who runs a junk shop
- "V" [Stephen] :: a hacker now wanted by his former employer
Opening Session Highlights:
The crew got a message from their contact at the DCPD about a possible job. When they met up with sgt. Askara Kyotu at the usual place (an abandoned pier in the Old Harbor district), they were told about an armored car holdup. Three attackers, one of whom apparently killed the other two and was injured and on the run. They'd ID'd the man as Marrion Plaskov, a corp-worker in his late 40s who'd been let go about 15 months previous. The PD had gotten a tip about a man matching the description at a place called "Hotwired 6" in the Neon district near Res II. Askara told them bringing him in would be worth 20k to them.
- The group went to the bar, which was crowded and loud. They looked and asked around a bit, eventually talking to a couple of thugs who subsequently attacked them in the street outside. After Kendra took a wrench to one of their heads and Sara paralyzed the other with indecision, they learned that the group's target had paid them to "take care of" anyone asking questions about him. The thug told them the man indicated he would be back to the bar, and then fled down a back alley.
- The group resupplied and headed out of Rolessi to the woodlands to the west using Ravina's Wind Walk spell.
- The Charothi Forest is old, thick and has a very heavy canopy, so they weren't able to see much from the air. When they caught sight of a wisp of grey smoke, the descended to investigate, finding a couple of humans breaking camp in the late morning.
- They spoke with the humans - Eddard and Frennel - for some time, and learned that they and two previous traveling companions had been attacked by orcs on their way to Velgrin.
- While they spoke, a number of fey creatures appeared - warning them of a darker threat to which the orcs are merely an overture...
- After camping for the night, the group made it back to Rolessi. Their plan was to see if they could find someone to implement a more permanent solution to the problem at Ver'Sheole and then find some way to move against the growing orc presense.
- Rolessi, however, seemed to be in a state of social and political turmoil. In general, much of the populace seemed to be a little on-edge. The PCs reports of orcs to the west had developed into all sorts of rumors, and several sudden assassinations had made many feel unsafe. The leaders of the city were apparently engaged in heated disagreements about whether the primary focus should be on internal or external problems.
- Lily and Taryn spoke with Lady Wyrra of house Dyn'Talor about the nature of the rift they'd found in the ruined keep and the anti-magic field that was currently containing it. She told them that her house would see what they might be able to learn and hypothesize about possible solutions, but that few would be as capable as they (the PCs) were in actually acting against the forces at work.
- The city had sent out several militia parties to investigate reports of problems in the region - and some had not returned. After some discussion, the group decided they would head to the remote settlement of Saint Orvusk, which had been cut off from outside contact for some weeks amid reports of unusual orc activity...
So Spirit Island was definitely the new-to-me board game highlight of this year's Trogland meetup. Let's talk about it a little.
First off, Spririt Island is a cooperative game, which is always a big plus for me. There are a number of competitive games I enjoy of course, but all else being equal, coop is always more fun. I'm always glad to find a new, solid, coop game.
In this game, each player plays as one of several primal "spirits" inhabiting an island and taking care of the natives. Unfortunately, some punk colonists from who-knows-where have arrived and are messing up the place - like they do. Your objective as a group is to stop their spread, repair their damage, and ultimately eliminate them from the island - hopefully keeping the natives safe(ish) in the process.
Each spirit starts off in their own little corner of the island. As the game progresses, they will spread their influence, gain powers, and increase in colonist-stomping strength. On each turn, you'll "grow" a bit, and then try to find the best way to apply your current powers to the situation at hand. The growth and power mechanics have a satisfying feel to them.
Each spirit also plays quite bit differently from the next. Not quite Vast-level "different", but enough that it meaningfully effects the play and feel of the game. Also enough that, with all you have to keep track of just for yourself, it would be hard to concern yourself with what anyone else is doing. This goes quite a ways in preventing the "alpha gamer" problem where you have one person that wants to tell everyone else how to play.
Since only some of the Spirits will be at the table in any given game, the particular mix present also affects the overall strategy and the general progression of the game. Really interesting dynamics there, too.
The pacing of the game has an interesting reversal of many games. Many games start out slow and easy and ramp up to a certain franticness. Spirit Island is almost the opposite - you start off feeling pretty overwhelmed by the colonial presence, but as you play through turns and gain power, you quickly begin to out-pace them and, by the end of the game (if you're winning), you're pretty handily wiping them out. At first glance you might think this would be anti-climactic (and, I suppose it could be in some senses or situations), but it actually plays really, really well.
So yeah, really enjoyed this one. Like I said before, my favorite find of the weekend.
So last weekend we had our mostly-annual Trogland meetup. I say "mostly" annual because we missed last year for the first time since we started doing this thing back in '07. Things just kinda fell apart in 2018. At this point, it's mostly just me planning the thing with some input from some of the others. Not that I mind, really, but it's a significant task.
This year, though, I think went pretty well. We had a different venue which was a little smaller, but our old location inflated the price on us about 700% which was undoable. Sunday we actually spent in the game room of a local game shop, which was actually kind of cool.
We operated at a bit of a deficit this year. I was glad we had some cash left over from previous Troglands to break even. May need to tweak some things for the future, but overall not a big deal.
I think this year's Trogland went quite well. One of the cool things this year was that several of the kids were actually old enough to participate. I guess we're getting to be that age. I mean, we have been doing this for 12 years.
Games at the Trog.
So we played games, of course. I mean, that's what we do. Didn't get to run the Fate game I'd pitched, but after the massive Battletech encounter, several of the participants weren't up for a longer time commitment.
I got to play Stuffed Fables again - still only made it to the junk-pile page, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Played through Mysterium as a player, which was fun even if I was terrible (I'd been the ghost the previous 2 times).
The Mind is a very interesting game in its staggering simplicity.
Sheri played a game called Comanauts, which I understand to be similar to Stuffed Fables but with a darker, more serious sci-fi theme.
I got to play Pandemic again for the first time in years - and, for the first time ever, we won.
Unearth was enjoyable, though we didn't get to play a whole game.
I think the board game highlight of the weekend for me was Spirit Island - will be making a post dedicated to that one.
And, of course, I got to run the Battletech scenario, which always takes a long time but I always enjoy. Ran this one as a double-blind where both sides felt like they were the underdog and a countdown timer brought other conditions into play. It went just about exactly like I'd hoped.
That's just what I made it to the table for (or observed). LOTS of other games were played. Lots more fun was had.
It was a good time, as always.
Oh, and on Sunday at the game store we picked up Folklore, which we heard great things about from some other attenders and we're planning to try out tonight.
- Lily, Tyrrox, and Ravina were upstairs battling the hordes of demons rushing out of the previously-sealed room. They were managing to keep most from escaping, but some managed to push their way through.
- Trying to stay focused, Taryn dropped the key and headed deeper into the room - trying to get closer to the rift before triggering the anti-magic effect. He was unexpectedly pursued, however, by a pair of devils that suddenly appeared.
- Kael, meanwhile, played as though he accepted the hezrou's offer for aid in defeating the more powerful demon while he too maneuvered further into the room.
- Fighting broke out between the two most powerful demons in the room, but the most powerful demon present seemed intent only on tempting Kael - presenting him with powerful artifacts and an implicit promise of great power. Taryn, on the other hand, was struggling against the devils to get the orb out of his pack. Seeing Kael less harassed by enemies, he threw his pack to his friend. Kael caught the bag, which interrupted interaction with the demon. Within that brief moment of clarity, he pulled out the orb and shattered it.
- The resulting shockwave plunged the room into darkness as all magical and supernatural effects were extinguished. The group hurriedly withdrew, occasionally being buffeted by demons also escaping.
- Near the surface, they reached the edge of the anti-magic effect. Outside they found a dense magical fog and the distant sounds of battle. As Ravina cast a Wind Walk spell to aid in their flilght from the region, they caught site of the bronze dragon, still very angry at the intrusion...
- The Foxes had discovered that Muggs (the leader of the Stone Club) was going to be attending a particular hound race at Vreen's and made a plan to pull of their hit operation then and there. Fortune was with the PCs' crew this time, as Muggs conveniently separated himself from his attendant and bodyguard - a woman called Rellanna. While Drave tangled with her and everyone else was distracted by the manifesting form of a horrific spectral ogre, Erik was able to move in for the kill.
- This turned out ot be Erik's last operation, however - the scoundrel's life had taken its toll on the man, unhinging him a little. His companions decided they'd turn him in to take the fall for the crew to clear some heat on them.
- While their leader is dead, the Stone Club is by no means defeated. They're undoubtedly planning a counterstrike, and foxes will need to press their advantage if they're going to make this strike really count...
- After some discussion and further study of Lily's map, the group decided to explore another possible entrance to the dungeon vaults: a secret passage that seemed to originate from another building. After finding that route impassable, they resigned themselves to the "main" entrance and decided to rest for the night. Passing through the streets again the next morning, they found them thick with an unnatural fog and could hear the sounds of some commotion in the distance - at least some of which was certainly the dragon.
- The plan for the dungeon vaults was this: they would break the seal and fight off the demons just long enough for someone to get near the rift and shatter their anti-magic orb (an object they'd picked up back in the horde of the dragon they'd fought in Velgrin) - believing that rift to be the source of the "wrongness" and hoping that the anti-magic field would seal it up at least for a while. They would then do their best to flee on foot until they escaped the magic-void area and could use spells and magical equipment to enhance their escape - hopefully avoding the dragon. They would then return to civilization and tell others what they'd found and what they'd done, and advise them that they had no way of knowing how temporary or permanent their "solution" might be.
- The warding seal on the vaults seemed ready to give and it collapsed immediately on contact with Lily's Dispel Magic spell. The door itself unexpectedly disintegrated, and demons began pouring out - though most seemed more interested in escape than combat. While Lily, Tyrrox, and Ravina fought with the fleeing hordes, Kael and Taryn fought their way down to the dungeons below. There, Taryn found himself with a familiar red key and a mental nudge toward the malfunctioning portal, and Kael was addressed by a Hezrou telling him he would need its help to destroy the Glabrezu now approaching them...
|Thursday May 23, 2019 at 8:30pm||new campaign, battletech, capellan march, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
For a variety of reasons we decided we'd start a new Battletech campaign rather than continuing Aralakh. We spent a session making new characters with some slightly different rules. The new gang will be a Davion-aligned merc unit operating somewhere near around the midpoint of the Capellan march.
- Though they could still hear the pounding of the dragon above them, the group decided Lily should cast her Legend Lore spell to learn more about the place they've found themselves in. In so doing, they learned that the deep interior of this keep was once the lair of Lochthuun, the legendary hydra, and that its death apparently tore open a rift into the lower planes which was the origin of the contaminating evil of the region.
- Deciding they needed to see what was actually going on in the dungeons below, Kael activated the ethereal ability of his armor and passed through the door. On the other side, he found several dozen demons, a malfunctioning portal, and the abyssal rift floating above the perfectly-preserved body of a massive hydra. The group now needs to decide what to do about the situation to prevent the situation from worsening and to keep the cult from abusing it...