What did you play this week? (2018)

edited January 1 in Actual Play
Hello, gamers. What did you play this week?

The previous threads were great, so let's keep it going. If you want to ask questions about someone's game or go into more detail, spin off a new thread and dig in. That way we'll have even more discussions about games we've played, which would be awesome.

(Here's what we played in 2017 and 2016)
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  • I ran more D&D 5e in my Mirrorrim Megadungeon campaign. I had seven players RSVP to play. Turned one away (six max) and then one didn't show up (grumble). I had three "Maybe" RSVPs.

    I continue to learn to use the Roll20 features better. I purchased the official Monster Manual Compendium addon and that streamlined my monster setup. Last night's encounter was with seven flying swords (CR 1/4 each), but they were customized monsters: enchanted flying swords (CR 1 each). That mean I had to modify the stats before putting them onto the map, which I did before the game.

    I was able to easily use the controls in Roll20 for attacks and damage. Players who use the in-game character sheet respond about 10-20 times faster than players who simply type in "/roll" commands. I am encouraging players to get their stuff onto the sheet.
  • Interesting! I have yet to try roll20 myself, but I've watched a few games played on it (including a session of Dogs in the Vineyard!) and it seems to work very well. I'll definitely catch one of your sessions soon - perhaps this week!
  • edited January 2018
    We finished our Apocalypse World mini campaign, things got super dark in this campaign and just got darker; I think we all went a little gonzo at the end to deal it—plus, we were tired. I was a Machiavellian-ish character who used his luxe allure and body to get to the top. But compared to most of the other characters I was a saint. It was a strange experience, by the end I actually felt allied with my character a bit, because I felt used for sex a bit, haha. Usually, I’m more of an actor whose interest is in the narrative’s quality rather than empathizing strongly with my character. I ended up taking the most evil character out, which definitely fit my Machiavellian plan and character, as well as, the narrative, but there was a bit of indignance as well. A very interesting experience.
  • Very interesting! How long was your mini-campaign? And what are your thoughts on playing in a more "traditional" style of rpg?
  • 2nd session of our small Hillfolk-Campaign. 19 scenes in 6 hours. An eventful evening.
  • Paul_T said:

    Very interesting! How long was your mini-campaign? And what are your thoughts on playing in a more "traditional" style of rpg?

    3 sessions over 2 months.

    I'll echo what Jeff said, there were some manipulated and dark things.

    I was partially to blame. My battlebabe came to the hardhold seeking judgement & carrying a duffle bag that turned out to be full of children's bones. They had tried to eat him in his sleep and he killed them.

    The judgement of the hocus was that he had to give a limb to feed the children of the hardhold. Making a roll to keep still enough to allow the cult followers to rip his left arm off...was not a favorite gaming moment for me.

    I'm left asking: if you remove gore, sex, and PvP conflict from Apocalypse World, what is left?
  • I'm left asking: if you remove gore, sex, and PvP conflict from Apocalypse World, what is left?

    Mongrel, I didn’t really see it as an AW thing personally. I thought it was more about the players really letting their id out. It was really weird how my character was treated in terms of sex...kind of grossed me out. Anyway, if you and Paul want to discuss it further we can do so in another tread or IM each other.

    Paul, I like PbtA games because players have enough impute to make things interesting. They don’t really feel like traditional RPGs to me because of that :) Traditional game’s can feel like a boring slog to me sometimes, but I still like them, and they can be fun. But I like “Story Games” the most, and “Story Game/RPG hybrids;” they seem more interactive and inventive to me, rather that reactive.
  • Had a great game of Tremulus on Saturday!
  • Continued the previous session of my shenmo hack of Pocket Danger Patrol. The heroes freed the qilin imprisoned in the secret trap.
  • Jeff,

    Your description of PbtA games sound right on to me. Of course - as you saw in your playthrough of my game The Bureau, it also depends a great deal on the GM/MC, whose application of the Principles and Agenda is vital to making the rules work.

    Let's take the larger discussion elsewhere (thanks, Mongrel!).
  • D&D 5e

    Blood of Heroes (aka DC Heroes 4e)

    Star Trek Adventures
  • D&D 5e (Mirrorrim Megadungeon). Killed two 1st level characters.
  • edited January 2018
    (Yeah, but they didn't stay dead!)

    I killed someone, too.

    Last night we wrapped up our game of A Taste for Murder, which I'll have to post about sometime. I killed Everett, the American bootlegger millionaire. (However, since it was A Taste for Murder, I wasn't the one who made the decision to kill him!)

    However, my wannabe-actress femme fatale was led away in handcuffs and boarded a ship to America... maybe she was going to prison, but, dammit, she had achieved her dream at last!

    Tonight I will try on In Dreaming Avalon for size with a different crowd. I'm curious how playing that with relative strangers will go!
  • Blades in the Dark!

    Youtube vid

    AP blog post

    I can't think of anything more Doskovoli than smuggling ghosts past the Lightning Barrier to Skovlander terrorists.
  • Judd said:

    Blades in the Dark!

    Youtube vid

    AP blog post

    I can't think of anything more Doskovoli than smuggling ghosts past the Lightning Barrier to Skovlander terrorists.

    Oh, I thought these videos were only on Twitch (which I dislike). Nice to see that they're also on YouTube. Subscribed!
  • Played Fiasco using the Manna Hotel playset. Identical twins, a spiritual advisor, organ trafficking, circus performances, what could go wrong?
  • I gotta cheat, it wasn’t this week. It’s so hard to make the time! However, in the end days of 20017 We playtested a game (did it even have a name yet???) with a novel card mechanic. It worked and had potential for further development. Yeah Kate! Looking forward to trying it again some time.
    Davey.
  • No, they stayed dead and one lost some XP. I let them "soft reset" with the same character sheets and new names. Siblings or something.

    I ran D&D 5e again last night. Killed everyone repeatedly (but they got better). Deadly encounter, three 4th level PCs and a 1st level PC. Repeated drops, healing, and so on. The 1st level character took 19 damage and an insta-death ruling.

    Really, they need to try some new tactics. They totally fell for an ambush, got surrounded, failed to flee when things got tough, etc. Also, not having any kind of battlefield control (a wizard) hurts. They'll learn or die trying.
  • Symbaroum
    Blades in the Dark
  • Ars Magica. We ended the "Black Death" Adventure (in a completely different way than written).
  • edited January 2018
    7th session of homebrew post-apocalyptic cyberpunk, 8th will wrap it up (chapter end, but I don't see coming back to it being likely).

    In retrospect, the challenge/hardship level was not a match for the group's tastes (or at least some of the players' tastes).

    I wish I had drawn up a formal questionnaire and had the group nail down a consensus during the world build.

    Questions like PC talent and wealth relative to the rest of the fish in the pond would have helped immensely.

    Many other questions would have helped me have a better feel for how to populate the world.

    Pacing has been a fail, I should have had fewer interconnected NPCs.

  • Pacing has been a fail, I should have had fewer interconnected NPCs.

    That's an interesting comment. Can you explain what you mean here? Was there too much to discover/learn for the players and short/limited amount of time to play, or some other issue?
  • edited January 2018


    I wish I had drawn up a formal questionnaire and had the group nail down a consensus...

    If you’d like, I’d be happy to give you some feedback and let you know what the group has expressed, if you want to text or IM me. Or, we could schedule about 30 minuets to talk about it right before our final session? There’s no reason we can’t make some adjustments. :smile:

  • Paul_T said:


    Pacing has been a fail, I should have had fewer interconnected NPCs.

    That's an interesting comment. Can you explain what you mean here? Was there too much to discover/learn for the players and short/limited amount of time to play, or some other issue?
    Yup. I went with @Rickard 's fish tank, but 10-12 people/factions had ballooned up to 16-18 by session 5.

    Running it as a dynamic sandbox meant that I only minimally nudged discoveries, and because of the sheer bulk of info my hints maybe needed to be "blunts" instead.

    @Jeff_Slater My thought is that I'll try to let everyone get to whatever info/accomplishment stopping point seems good for finale/session 8 and call it good (or at least done).

    Vegas 2233 will only come back by demand, which I'm not anticipating.
  • My reading of Rickard's "fish tank" strategy is that the GM's job is to throw the information at the players, full stop, not hint at it.

    Here are his own words on the subject, and I think he's exactly right:

    Give Out All The Information

    Don’t be afraid of letting the players know too much. Every time they interact with someone, give out a relationship as a reward and for every new scene, try to give them at least one new relation.

    If the players get stuck in the adventure, repeat the factions and their relations, either in-game by reporting to someone or by just discussing it with your players. You could also create new scenes where you give them more clues (read: reveal more relations). Discover the fun part of giving too much information to the players.

    I think a lot of GMs internalize this idea that it's their job to "make things mysterious" and to hold information back from the players.

    That pretty much never goes anywhere good, in my experience.

    (Just learning gradually about 16-18 factions/NPCs is plenty enough "mystery"! It's all new to the players, so piecing it together is both challenging and exciting.)
  • Hey Paul and Mongrel,
    If we want to talk about this more we should start a new thread obviously, but the link to Rickard’s article didn’t work so I thought I would post it real quick:
    https://gnomestew.com/game-mastering/gming-advice/the-fish-tank-as-a-mystery-2/
  • edited January 2018

    If we want to talk about this more we should start a new thread obviously

    Much appreciated, Jeff

    I played great one-shots of No Boundaries and Union, and we returned to our Uncharted World "A-Team in Space" game. We've started digging a lot more into exactly how our deserting Legion veterans feel about their past deeds and the human cost of any real rebellion. Action A-Team has turned quite serious.
  • I was in that great one-shot of Union with Ben! What he failed to say is that we were adorable lemur-aliens and shit got dark fast. Terror Hawks will mess you up when you're a space lemur.
  • Got to play No Boundaries at our weekly meetup. You know your business is in trouble when it turns to blood sacrifices to increase sales...
  • In Dreaming Avalon, one of Vincent's playtest drafts of GMless mini-game collections, earlier this week.

    The game was quite intense, as I was playing with some serious LARPers who got quite heavily into character. I'm not at all familiar with the whole "faerie" genre, so I played an outsider - a knight, a woman disguised as a man who fought to become Captain of the Guard.

    I was asked to fight a fellow knight and I let her win, to please the Faerie Queen.

    Morgan le Fay, who sat over the Faerie Court, chose me to take her throne temporarily. Making faerie-like pronouncements to a group of whispering people is a pretty interesting procedure!

    Finally, I realized that it was my presence which allowed the Ogre into the Faerie Kingdom, and everyone had to hunt him down - it turned out the Ogre was sitting on the throne at Camelot, posing as the aging King Arthur.

    The game was very effective, even though I'm less sure of its replay value than the other ones (like The King is Dead).
  • Two more two-hour sessions of D&D 5e, Mirrorrim megadungeon.
  • Mission to Mercury from the Fiasco Companion.

    The technical data supplement is a great way to incorporate prep into the game. Playing really felt different.
  • Yesterday was the second indie RPG day at my FLGS. I hoped to continue my Masks: A New Generation session from last time, but two of the players (sadly, the ones who had the most intriguing characters) dropped out without any further communication. I recruited two replacement players, and gave the players of the other two characters the option to continue with their existing characters or make new ones; they decided to explore new playbooks and make new characters.

    Not wanting to scrap a heap of work I did to build on the prior session, I kept several setting elements intact for this session.

    The group ended up playing:
    Yayael (the Transformed)
    Experiment 113, AKA "Ex113" AKA "Excel" (the Brute)
    Evan Horizon (the Nova)
    Flashing (the Janus)

    Those who know Masks' playbooks know that 3 of those are the most destructive playbooks. I see the team as a sort of wrecking crew who will draw harsh criticism for their excessive collateral damage, but who will be called on to save the day.

    Inspired by nothing so much as convenient timing of a Harry Potter ad I saw while preparing the game, I set up the Rook Academy, a academy for young supers that is secretly run by a corporation with ulterior motives. The first (reboot) session saw the PCs invited to an "informative session" and tour of the rook academy, when the academy gets attacked by robots meaning to abduct the new students for sinister experiments.

    The new players seemed interested in continuing the game outside of the venue of the store's monthly gameday, and one of the players offered up the possibility of running some events at the monthly gameday.
  • We had to skip the usual Sorcerer session this week.

    However, we did finish episode 10 (a game of Microscope) and started episode 11 (a Leviathan Manifesto mission) in our long-running, 2-player, house-ruled Leviathan Manifesto campaign with a smattering of other games thrown in for variety.

    (I know I haven't been posting regularly about either of those, but the latter has actually been going on since late July or early August last year.)
  • It was Kapcon in Wellington this weekend, so:

    1. The Nightmares Underneath (Which is top notch!)
    2. Playtest of Devil & the Deep
    3. The Skeletons
    4. Playtest of Heavy Metal Æons
    5. Classic Traveller (from an original 3 little black books box set!)
    6. Blades in the Dark
    7. Some more Nightmares Underneath
  • I ran my group's weekly campaign of Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine a couple of days ago. We're getting close to finishing up with the second story arc, which is exciting. And then tonight I ran a prologue session of Blades in the Dark. It was my first time running it and our first time playing it in general, and it was super exciting. They stole a train and everything became a huge chaotic mess and it was great.
  • I ran my first tabletop session of Cyber M/77, the game I've been working on since May. It went well. The players had fun.
  • Working on rewriting our larp for the upcoming Intercon. Several rounds of

    Josh: Why did you do that?

    Me: ...it seemed like a good idea? It wasn't, was it.

    Josh: Really not, sorry. (pause) Why did you do THAT?

    Me: It was 3 am and we had to run it the next day. Really sorry.

    Josh: Okay, why did you do that?

    Me: It was 3 am --

    Josh: No -- I think you may have had a reason for this one. And I need to know it before I try to change anything.
  • Just finished our 5th Sorcerer session, online. Shit is getting intense.
  • I played a one-shot of Masks, and then I'm running a session of my group's weekly Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine campaign both tonight and this weekend.
  • I've played two games recently. I've continued an Apocalypse World's campaign, as a "Vaudou-style" Hocus named Samedi. A soft game, as we were between two story-arcs.
    Then, I've introduced two friends to Swords Without Master. We've played my module "In the Hell of Jade". They took my pregenerated characters Jack d'Illaque (a Naive knight with a little sow) and Glipillidi (a frogmen adept of poisons). It was a blast, with a jungle trip, some flashback memories, a swarm of insects, and the resurrection of Arihman, a forgotten demon.
  • Episode 7 of my DayTrippers campaign with Legends of Tabletop - "Press Junket"
    While Chip undergoes detox at Diaspora Ranch, Nash and Reggie (under their new identities) meet with the guys from DarkMatter Inc to discuss their situation, and a plan is put together to get inside Somnambula Inc's headquarters, where they suspect Suzie is being held captive.

  • Paul_T said:

    Last night we wrapped up our game of A Taste for Murder, which I'll have to post about sometime. I killed Everett, the American bootlegger millionaire. (However, since it was A Taste for Murder, I wasn't the one who made the decision to kill him!)

    Fun times! Also an interesting experience on many fronts.

    The contest-deciding value of the white and black die caused us to give them a lot of attention, to the point where I was shooting down awarding them for transparent die-whoring, only to eventually want them to be used so they'd move from their current positions which had been rather exhausted.

    For a while I thought we were doing the genre wrong by getting somewhat gonzo with it, but no, "wanton destruction" was right there by the black die.
  • I played Kingdom yesterday! Our dinosaur park, Cretaceous Kingdom, would have been fine if we'd stuck with genetically engineered mini-fuzzy dinosaurs, but nooooo.
  • I played Kingdom yesterday! Our dinosaur park, Cretaceous Kingdom, would have been fine if we'd stuck with genetically engineered mini-fuzzy dinosaurs, but nooooo.

    We were *this* close to saving the park. We'd all been united and inspired by the rising intern, Bethany McCully (now the future Mrs. Chaz Winderbilt), and we were ready to eat the cost and restart the program and grow natural dinosaurs instead of the programmed-to-passivity monstrosities we'd been peddling.

    But we forgot the cardinal rule: natural dinosaurs are bitey. Too bitey. Cue Crisis.

    image

    I'm behind so this is more "what did I play in the last ten days" than the last week:

    Mind of Margaret at Story Games Seattle. Lance Riviera was determined to step out of his rival's shadow and become the star of the cruise ship show, but Pride sabotaged him at every turn. Mind of Margaret continues to be a big winner in my book.

    And then a great intro game of Polaris, also at Story Games Seattle. Everybody really embraced learning the Polaris-style of play.
  • Got to play Follow twice last week.

    Once via Hangouts with a group I used to play D&D with in person. We played the Colony scenario: we were a team sent by some investors to drill and mine natural resources out of "Planet 7". I was worried that they would not like the game as it is a complete departure from what we had played before but it worked really well. The power gamer did manage to get his want out of my character sometime in the 3rd Act, so he was happy that he had "won".


    Played at our weekly meetup with a large group. We were seven, playing with two new players. We played the Rebellion scenario as a group of outcasts in a medieval world, trying to summon Cthulhu to bring them to power. The game went very well, even with the high player count.

  • Played a nice one-shot of Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers. I liked a lot of the details of the setting and the colour of the whole thing. The mechanics worked well, but were a little vague in places, so they didn't completely win me over.
  • Got to play another Sorcerer session yesterday. All the vids are posted at Ron Edwards' new website, in case someone's interested. Most of the session was to fine-tune what we wanted out of the game, since one of the players was feeling some dissonance with how he envisioned his character and the actual gameplay. Nevertheless, we got to play for about half an hour and it was pretty OK, but too short for awesome.
  • Completed episode 11 in our long-running, 2-player Leviathan Manifesto game: it was a success of sorts, or at least nobody died (yet).
    Started episode 12, which perhaps deviates a bit more from RAW in that we are only nominally starting with an identity, but actually from tying up some of the loose ends of an old failed case (episode 2!).

    Played Sorcerer on Sunday afternoon, as usual (our SF "Mother-ships" game).
  • D&D 5e, Mirrorrim Megadungeon session #28. Got @Paul_T into it. Near TPK.
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