I like keeping them together like this as a way to remember past games and for easy reference. This will be a living document, updated as more games, posts and ideas pop up.
Thanks for reading.
Actual Play & Game Specific Mad Ideas
Apocalypse World – link to the game
Just Outside the City: Links to AP at the AW forum, a game set in the Hudson River Valley 40 years after the end
I started this game not only because I wanted to play Apocalypse World but because I hadn’t gamed with this crew in quite a while. I will be attempting to get a job in New York City in 2011 and playing AW felt like a nice excuse to game again, a nice way to say good-bye to good friends.
Burning Wheel – link to the game
Traditions of the Swordlords: In which the Stolen Lands are settled.
Rachel and Drew teased this fascinating bit out of it, where Rostland is about to be overwhelmed and they were not only venturing into the Stolen Lands to claim land and bring law but they were also saving a piece of Rostland’s culture and Swordlord tradition.
Rafferty: In which a boy plays with fire.
The King and Queen convert to a new faith and now Sorcery is illegal.
Enter Rafferty, a 16 year old boy with the morals of an alley cat and the sorcerous ability to call fire.
O’Declan Brewing Company: In which a drunk and a gambler get into trouble in MoBu City.
I LOVE this aspect of the game! I especially love it when it gives me grist for the creative in-character gaming mill. I adore the fact that we are as the Mistress of Eight said: “A Gambler and a Drunk!” She then asked what could we do? I think we are going to show all of Mobu what happens in the Dog Days of Summer when you fuck with a Dwarf’s livelihood and art.
The Matrons Empire: In which giant spiders invade the Forgotten Realms.
Your Matron asks that you land on the nearest shore and look at their above-ground nests. Assess their defenses and if possible, web any meats whose understanding might be of value. They will see us as monsters, a class of peoples in their society without any rights and have an entire caste of folk who seek glory through the destruction of what they consider monsters.
Burning Waterdeep: AP and Monster Burning threads concerning our campaign set primarily in Waterdeep.
We both were and after some talk of resurrecting an old campaign setting, we went with the Forgotten Realms, specifically, Waterdeep, the City of Splendor.
Turns out, both Aaron and Pete are pretty knowledgeable Forgotten Realms geeks. I had no idea.
13 Cities: AP threads for a game I play with Storn. It is a swords & sorcery epic where we rotate the GMing duties but continue expanding the same world.
Frustrated, I e-mailed him late Sunday night/early Monday morning before I went to sleep to burn up a BW character and we’d game Monday, solo-style hell or high water.
MoBu City: AP threads for a game I play with Pete. It is a Burning Wheel pastiche setting inspired in equal parts by Richard K Morgan and China Mieville with Dashiell Hammett and Richard Stark.
I will find the person who sent me to jail and their punishment will be poetic.
Burning Skype – Hateful Orc: Rich, Jim and I met up over skype for a good long while and got our orc on.
They both expressed interest in the Dragon and his situation with the Dwarves.
Rich began making up a Named and Jim made his grim second-in-command. It was a neat match that made for cool play.
Elves Illustrated: Worth it just for Storn’s art. This was a fun game with me, Jeff and Storn.
My map = doodle.
Your pictures = art.
The Silver Throne: Storn GMed us on a fun political campaign where I got my first taste of extended BW play.
Medieval New Orleans vibe, port city, our family’s power has waned due to the influence of a powerful emperor but the campaign’s kicker is that the emperor has died and our family’s time to reclaim the city has come but now there are two other families set up in town with docks and ships to call upon.
The Last Stand of Ur-Baron George W. Washington: BW: Jihad one-shot with my favorite title ever.
Ur-Baron George W. Washington arrived in full splendor with his Analyst Assassin Benyamin Franklin, his witchling daughter, Jaqueline Washington and his newly appointed war leader, Slave-at-Arms 18.62. The Ur-Baroness Martha had been killed in a recent terrorist bombing.
The Vault: My first shot at a Burning Wheel Campaign. It was a glorious mess but had a satisfying ending.
I think the players really being willing to throw out weak beliefs, change beliefs that were no longer relevant and just continue to churn their character concepts and keep them evolving was a big piece of that. It was a nice, slow churn but really cool to see the years and the blood have their effect.
3 BW games in 5 Days: My first games of Burning Wheel.
Agent BW517-MB108 reporting for duty.
A Matter of Trade: Gaming at the BWR release party.
We blackmailed an abbot in front of his male whore, the Dwarf threatened a whorehouse madame at knife-point and we bought the services of a vicious poisoner to take out the horses of a local mercenary calvalry unit by putting poison in their grain and pinning it on the local Dwarven merchant’s guild, sowing dischord in the supply line. Mission accomplished.
Starting a Burning Wheel Campaign: I need to finish creating this and give it a go.
You’ve got the Burning Wheel Rule Book and the Character Burner in your hands. Lifepaths are flashing before your eyes. d6’s are rattling in your brain. Beliefs and Instincts, Fight!, Range and Cover, Duel of Wits…Say “Yes” or Roll the Dice, Bloody Versus, Traitorous 1’s, Exponents, Greed, Grief, Hatred, Spite, Faith, Artha, Persona, Fate, and the treasured Deeds.
To quote Marcellus Wallace: What now…I’ll tell you what now.
In this thread I am going to write up a series of conflicts, using Fight!, Duel of Wits and Shoot and Cover that will hopefully, create a fantasy world pregnant with conflict. The players might come to the table with an idea but they are encouraged to keep it vague. If all goes well, the conflicts included here will define the world and create lots of little foundations for the players to build the campaign-to-come upon.
The adventure starts and the characters are fresh out of Artha, stuck in the middle of the Dragon’s Lair.
You are a proud member of the World Tree Pack and all of the nine worlds are your hunting grounds. You hunt, eat, howl and piss your way through dark groves that link with the primordial forest at the heart of creation from which you can prowl anywhere within imagining.
The season is changing. It is time to take the pack to a different world.
Where will you hunt next?
Trolls do best when between two absolutes. They were born between earth and hell and in them the best of each wrestles for dominance. Trolls always live between two great forces.
Hence their love of bridges.
Diaspora – link to the game
And that there is the magic of gaming. We got together, introduced ourselves, rolled some dice, drew some diagrams and a few hours later we had a setting.
D&D 4e – link to the game
No Age for Heroes: A short-lived and ill-fated D&D 4e game but Bret’s amazing setting concept is worth the click.
If the strongholds of civilization are points of light in the darkness, then this is a Dark Age, growing dimmer by the year as another candle flickers out. And another. And another.
Daggers & Deviltry: Played this game with Jim, Charlotte, Millie, Storn and Aaron and wrote up this story-hour style thread told from the POV of a self-aware player character. The game is dead due to scheduling SNAFU’s but I should really write up the game’s death and also about the night we killed a dragon. It was awesome and Storn drew up some epic art on it for my birthday. Also at RPG.net
I’m a Dungeons and Dragons character, made up in that new fourth edition. I’m a Tiefling Rogue, grabbed that feat that allows me to take some Warlock nifties, mostly because my player had a vision of a rogue with a dagger in one hand and a wand in the other.
“It is built on the body of a diety that had been dead for eons when the githyanki first came to the Astral Plane.”
To the east, murderous blood cults have been on the rise in many of the cities, one lord and lady ate their children in bloody rites to a hyena headed murder god. In the country, long dormant rocks that were once altars are once again covered in blood. The gnolls stormed through the gates soon after the 666th altar was used in a ritual murder.
1) Take your three favorite human-ish monsters out of the Monster Manual and they are minority citizens in the city. Detail how they get along, how being in the city has culturally changed them and what niches they fill in the city. How do the powers that rule the city keep them down?
2) Take three really bizarre fucking monsters and figure out how they exist in the nooks and crannies of the city and how the powers that rule the city keep these beasts from doing unacceptable amounts of damage?
Marvel Heroic Role-Playing
Here are a few character Milestones that try to do just that by attaching Milestones (Milestoning?) to iconic Marvel motivations.
“Welcome to the X-Men, hope you survive the experience.”
1 – For asking if you are now a member of the X-men.
3 – For taking stress in an Action Scene alongside an X-man.
10 – For either being inducted as a full fledged member of an X-team or walking away from X-folk forever.
Once a criminal, now an Avenger
1 – When you verbally defend your right to be among the world’s best super-heroes.
3 – When you give Emotional stress to a hero who doubts you.
10 – When you prove yourself by during an Trauma in an Event or leaving the Avengers (for a while).
“This Logan fellow is by all accounts a bad-ass.”
“I could kill him.”
“I know, dear.”
In the midst of WWII, a Crisis on 52 Worlds. Now they are stranded here on 616, an alternate reality embroiled in its own eerily similar second World War.
Between each Age, I’ll ask the players how their characters are showing their years. If they are getting old, how are they able to continue? Or is this age the birth of someone new taking the mantle with appropriate changes to the character sheet. That said, I’m happy with the players giving answers that amount to Kingdom Come cosmetic changes that are not reflected on the character sheet or Batman taking Fury’s Infinity Serum or Superman handing the Big Red S to Hyperion or Wonder Woman handing the golden lasso to Carol Danvers or Batman taking Rick Jones as Robin.
Do they become more and more like their Silver and Modern age equivalents or do they stay as they were when they arrived during WWII?
I’d set it up like Mouseguard’s Players’ Turn and GM’s Turn. In the Action Scenes I set up in media res action scenes like the first pages of a comic book. The Transition Scenes being those bits in-between be it fun social interactions, building something, training someone, seeking solace or healing or good ole fashioned investigation. If they had no ideas, just set them up with a conversation in very mundane circumstances with a cool super-hero.
Lacuna is a game about a city built by the human collective unconscious, curing serial killers whether they want it or not, misinformation and conspiracy and above all, job dissatisfaction.
The players started taking in Hamus, a serial rapist who was to be cured by the Mystery Agents in Blue City, the worst of his terrible urgers to be thrown in the Lacuna.
Yeah, shit went wrong, doesn’t it always?
I can’t leave the blood alone. Its mixed up with the Dark Fate and the Trust mechanics is this blood, spraying the snow and leaving little red flecks in some places and great gouts and rivers in others.
PTA – link to the game
If someone had told me that my favorite game session would happen at a con I would have said they were nuts.
If someone had told me that my favorite game session would be P.T.A. I would have said that was quite possible.
If someone had told me that game session would be a P.T.A. session that was a British Masterpiece Theatre set in the Victorian era that addressed issues of class struggle and violence against women I would have scoffed.
The Shadow of Yesterday
Guys, I want you to picture that you are 13 years old again. You’ve just gotten through with reading Piers Anthony all summer and you’re done with it, can’t stomach another of his books. And you pick up this shitty fantasy novel. It has a kick-ass cover. It is a bad fantasy novel filled with sex and violence but it rocks.
That is the book I want from tonight’s game.
Verwhenen, the once-holy City of Maldor.
Verwhenen, city of1000 cathedrals.
Verwhenen, where the dead gods howl.
“Where are you from, lad?”
“A Verwhenite, eh? Tough as they say since the dust settled?”
*shrug* “Least the gods don’t bother us no more.”
Sorcerer – link to the game
Sorcerer – A Menu: A great list of Sorcerer ideas, AP threads and discussions over on the RPG.net wiki.
“When its firing on all cylinders its not just Story Now. Its Story Now, motherf***er.”
A Sorcerous Month: A reaction to a month of intensive Sorcerer play.
I like writing ’em. They are a record of games and that’s a nice thing to have. The players often enjoy reading them and thinking about what worked, making the next game stronger.
I thought it might be good to think and reflect on this past month or so.
The sidewalks are stained with blood and ink.
The out of work Anime girls work the corners, watched by their zoot-suited Wolf and Jackal pimps and black-and-white madames.
Saturday Morning Cartoons beg for change, looking for a score.
And the classics, the Big IP’s sip refined cel chemicals in their skyscraper fortresses, guarded by corporate goons, getting computer-generated touch-ups.
Binding is sealing the deal. Summoning is calling Satan with good manners, otherwise, he’s pissed upon arrival. Contacting is getting his unholy attention. Punishing is exploiting a loophole for a time or ducking away while Satan’s eye is elsewhere.
But the contracts will break if bent too much, complex little beasts that they are.
Humanity is the ability to lead a life in control of sin, rather than allowing them to control you and define who you are.
Humanity gain when you help someone absolve themselves from sin or take the high road above sin.
Humanity loss when you make someone wallow in their own sin or make it worse through further sin.
Demons are: Pieces of sin wrenched free and given form by the Sorcerer. Bonuses for calling forth one’s own sin or a sin they had a hand in creating.
The solar system at the end of the 22nd century is rapidly becoming colonized by nation-states, corporate entities and refugees from earth. Probes have been sent into the void beyond Pluto and Charon; data is transmitted from the deep black. Some settlers have even found remnants in the solar system itself, evidence that something had bathed in the light of sol before us. Something else is out there.
Technology continues to change what it means to be human and how humans relate, to one another and the worlds around them.
Spirit of the Century
Century Club members the world over are puzzled as five maximum security Federal U.S. prisons disappear without a trace, buildings, guards, inmates and all.
The disappearance takes a more nefarious turn as an unprecedented crime wave erupts in cities around the world, from Denver bank robberies to London kidnappings to Paris art hiests. Vigilantes, sleuths and G-men are on each case as it comes but how long can the world withstand this onslaught of robbery and murder?
The epic crime wave comes to focus as the wolf-like Baron Karl von Fenris sends the newspapers of the world the film reel of his statement:
“We are not a gang, not a common gathering of thugs. We are a new nation and we will take what we wish from the world that sought to throw us away and forget us. You will not hear requests for demands, nor will you hear requests for money or bribery or a car to get away from some amateur hostage taking. You will not hear from us again until we march victorious into the World Assembly and declare the founding of a new nation that answers to no law.”
We had a sword vs. mace fight, the duel between the Quantum Pistol and the Nova Pistol, Johnny Star’s smooth talking scraping away at the resolve of Johnny Stripes while Stripes let his fists do the talking and the words were winning, I tell ya. Though Stars certainly took his share of lumps.
Star’s Jet-car vs. Helm’s Jet-pack in a dog-fight through London while Hadrian Helle and Stripes duked it out at the tomb of British Science-Hero Big Ben (don’t worry, kids, Big Ben’s only dead in the Evil Dimension!) and it was a good time.
Anyway, the countdown. Every time the players rolled the dice a red chip got taken away. They could spend a Fate Chip to keep it there.
- Mind-Tyrants of Tyria Request Embassy in New York City
- Giant Robot Seeks Sanctuary in Local Cathedral
We had also preliminarily discussed doing “cops in Sharn” as the framework. Jim, who owns Eberron and Sharn (I don’t) came to the table suggesting the Red Cloak Battalion, a veteran merc outfit who fought in the great war, and a Unit is the shock, veteran fighter backbone of city of Sharn authority.
We all thought that was a good fit, as there was nice conflict between The Watch, the King’s Citadel and the Blackend Book (other law enforcement arms of Sharn). As we are all lovers of HBO’s Wire and its internal enforcement struggles… this seemed tailor made.
World Aspects can be anything that is inspired from the game’s play, from anti-vigilante laws in Gotham to flying cars become affordable to Gorilla City’s first ambassador greets U.S. president. They work just like aspects.
Pulp characters do not change but dammit, at the gaming table, they should change the world.
This is one sentence that you’d toss out to your players as a game concept for a 20’s pulp two-fisted, mad-science, ninja-drop-kicking romp.
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!
My next adventure for SotC is going to be a low-key one, where the heroes can sip martinis, flirt with dames and get into plenty of two-fisted action without saving the world today, thanks.
So, I am going to have a bunch of fun, low-key scenes along with a bunch of newspaper headlines from around the world, coming in through the wire, gathered by the Spirit of the Century Tribune’s international reporters who gather news from around the globe for the club’s members.
Conspiracy of Shadows
The core of the conspiracy is the Hungry Leviathan, Devourer of Atlantis. Beneath him are his spawn and two secret societies, one that has witness oddities on the seas and jealously guards mystical secrets and the other a group of nobles who wish to be spared when the world is once again flooded. Both of these groups are made up of cells in kingdoms and nations all over the old world and their conflicts have flared up in the island colonies of the New World.
I sat Jeff and Storn down today because I wanted to show them how cool Reign’s One Roll Chargen was.
They rolled 11 dice and before we knew it we had a sailor who had been kidnapped by barbarian corsairs and went native and his friend, an violin player who was also kidnapped but didn’t take it it quite so much.
Before chargen was done we had Rum & Bones, an organization based around the galleon, The Pearl, a bastion of gambling, drinking and whoring just off the shore of the city of Marsui. Rum & Bones’ Goal is to Dominate the Underworld of Marsui.
Dogs in the Vineyard
Dogs in the Vineyard (DitV) is an indie RPG that I picked up on Thursday at Gen Con at the Indie RPG booth. The game’s creator sold me on the concept right away and the demo showed me in a simple and concise encounter how the brilliant dice pool mechanic works and escalates conflicts from words to blood.
A solo campaign in a wild west that never was and has moved on, starting off in a ghost-town called Bridal Falls, winding through what is left of the Desert Territory and ending Back East.
Taught by the Ghosts elders, prophets and former dogs in the empty streets of Bridal Falls.
Walking through the wastelands of the Desert Territory dispensing justice.
Ending your journey Back East, among cabals of warlock rail barons and high society witches.
If your charater dies along the way, you choose a relationship you have as your next character to pick up your jacket, pistols, horse and sanctified earth and continue the journey.
Man, I want to run that.
Midnight – link to the game
Dark Tower: A story hour-style account (more of a short story than a report on how play went) of a game set in Midnight with my buddy, J.J. We switched over from d20 to Riddle of Steel mid-campaign.
Karhoun Esben was caught worshipping small statues, praying to his ancestors through them. His father beat him severely and sent him away to Theros Obsidia for schooling. The dark tower was magicked out of the sea rock; it towered above the skeleton of the old Highwall library. Karhoun first arrived to the dark tower during his ninth winter.
Another Bastard Child of Tolkien: the first bit of game-inspired writing I did and also a total mess.
Ladymist is what happens when a Dragon builds a city for her children. It is called the Lady or the City of Lairs.
Alterna-Western I cannot get out of my head: I have a soft spot for this thread, as it is the RPG.net thread that, though Matt, led me to the Forge.
I had an image of a battered brass scarab belt buckle, holding up a worn pair of jeans. The buckle is also an amulet, keeping the rattlers away from his horse while on the trail. Whose horse? I don’t know. I don’t know yet. But I know his dusty boots are engraved with cats chasing snakes and the heels are worn. There is a leather band with hieroglyphs around a black hat.
You have less than ten questions you can ask your players. They will answer as a group, finalizing answers that everyone agrees are right. When the questions are answered you will have your campaign setting.
Of course the questions can be leading.
The SKYWALKER DYNASTY, whose dark will is enforced by the brutal nobles of the SITH COURT, has ruled the Galaxy for a Thousand Years of Tyranny.
LG – The Paladin’s Son – Took the Paladin’s place when he died defeating The Liche.
LN – The Judge – Blind law and justice. Many Wizards worship the Judge because he is said to adjucate over the laws of nature and magic also.
LE – The Conqueror – The Paladin’s angry, imperialist twin brother.
NG – The Saint – Some say she Paladin’s mother. Her statues weeped blood when he died.
N – The Sea – The oldest of the Gods and hasn’t ever been attempted to be overthrown in recorded history, though some say the Sea took the Continent’s place when they broke apart…or it was their battle that broke them asunder and the flood was a cosmic power-play.
NE – The Witch-Hunter – Aided the Paladin in the Liche’s defeat but is pure bitch evil. Sees magic as evil and views alignment (and hence the structure of this pantheon) as a conspiracy of Wizards to hide true evil.
CG – The People’s Champion – Think Robin Hood with a priesthood.
CN – The Jester – None know what the Jester’s relation is with the rest of the pantheon but he gained alot of fearful respect since defeating Primordial Chaos, the holder of this position before the Jester. This God has been aspected as both men and women and some say this is a new incarnation of Primordial Chaos and not a new God(dess) at all.
CE – Since the defeat of the Liche no one knows who sits on the seat of CE. This isn’t going to be the subject of our one-shot but just a mysterious thingie, floating out there.
the Owl’s Oak – a big, dead oak filled with mice bones and cobwebs where Ulula lives
Blurb: You’re in the belly of the beast now and you’re clinging to something from the outside world. Maybe its your love and maybe its a ring or a uniform but it is all you have that gives you power, but to remember the outside world and remember who you were it has needs as dark as hell that must be fed.
Demons are mementos from the outside world. Humanity is remembering who you were. When you reach 0, you forget and become a creature of the leviathan, lost forever.