The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

Posts tagged with rpg

Play A Game And Honor Greg Stafford

A few weeks ago, Greg Stafford passed away. He was best known as the founder of Chaosium (one of the greatest role-playing game publishers in history), co-designer of RuneQuest (one of the greatest role-playing games in history), and creator of Glorantha (one of the greatest fantasy universes in history).

Since then, there has been a lot of talk about his life and legacy, but I can mostly recommend Ken and Robin’s Special Podcast Episode, which has several anecdotes about Greg, and the Chaosium Forums' Condolence Thread, which has quite a few nice pictures, stories, and words on the subject.

Greg rune

Now, the folks at Chaosium recently made a call to play a game in honour of Greg next weekend (November 10th). Although you can frankly play any game and be certain that Greg Stafford had at least some kind of indirect influence over its design and/or its author, it’s obviously even better if you play a game that is more directly linked to him.

Sadly, our weekly Friday game night is on a hiatus from our Call of Cthulhu campaign – that would have been our best homage to Greg, short of playing RuneQuest or Pendragon. But what we’re doing is still not too bad, as we just started a 7th Sea one-shot adventure, and John Wick, the game’s author, recently posted a nicely worded blog post about how much influence Greg had on his career (which includes L5R in addition to 7th Sea).

So I guess we’ll be plundering ships and fighting sea monsters for the occasion. Farewell, Mr. Stafford.

It's a Good Time to be a Geek

News of movie or TV adaptations come and go all the time but today my io9 RSS feed brought me a trio of titles that are directly related to my tastes:

Not only are those 3 opportunities for me to say things like “_I liked it before it was cool_” and “_the original material is better_”, but it’s also 3 things that will bring some additional cash (hopefully) to the original authors whose work I enjoyed.

These days, adaptations can often bring, at best, a lot of geek backlash, but I find that even if I don’t like the adaptation, I’m happy that it’s bringing attention to the original material, and money to the original authors. It’s almost always good news in my book, except for the uncommon case where those original authors get fucked for some reason.

Actual Play: Realm Of Shadows

After the nice one-shot “_The Murderer of Thomas Fell_”, my new gaming group decided to continue with the 1930s horror genre and we played through roughly a third of the Realm of Shadows campaign for Call of Cthulhu.

It ended with a near-total-party-kill.

Realm of Shadows

You can read the actual-play for “_Kith and Kin” (the first chapter) and “Provender of the God_” (the second chapter) over in the RPG section.

One thing that I realize now that I’m writing those things up is how often I feel the need to explain why, as a GM, I’m doing this or that – making the bad guys attack here, adding some clues there, etc. Most of the “actual plays” out there only focus on what happened around the players' side of the table. But I’m finding it more interesting to also include what’s happening behind the GM’s screen.

This is especially interesting because investigative adventures rely a lot on the GM improvising events and moving around clues to keep the story going, as opposed to, say, a dungeon crawl, where most of the design decisions can be done upfront during the preparation phase, and the improvisation is mostly about adjusting enemies to keep combat balanced.

Adding the GM side of the game makes it easier for me to see what I did right and what I did wrong, and may even get me some constructive feedback on some of those decisions. I’ll try to keep adding things like that in the future reports.

Actual Play: The Murderer Of Thomas Fell

To celebrate 2015 (happy new year!) I’m starting a new section on this website: actual play write-ups of RPG games. I got back into gaming a few months ago, GM'ing a few Call/Trail of Cthulhu games.

The Murderer of Thomas Fell

The first one is “_The Murderer of Thomas Fell_”, a simple, one-shot adventure that acted as an introductory adventure to my new group of players. If you’re the kind of person that reads actual-plays, or if you plan on running that adventure, you can head over here.