Friday, March 10, 2017

2017 is not 2016

For some reason I haven't posted here in a while or run any games or played in any. And not even just because google hangouts no longer want to have anything to do with RPGs and want to be 'enterprisey' and such. Why could it be that I'm not doing any



Oh yeah my wife and I made a tiny person. She is very small and angry. And hungry. She is so itty bitty and little and I try to read to her and she is all, Dad, I am hungry and am too young to listen to Shadow Over Innsmouth. She did make it through At The Mountains of Madness pretty well though.

In 2016 I ran a lot of DCC and then when I got burned out a bit on the gonzo crazy world prep and scheduling, ran some larger-than-life PCs through The Sprawl. Had a lot of fun doing all this, figure DCC isn't quite my favorite system, and now have a hankering to run Lamentations of the Flame Princess, in a proper sandbox. With some of the classic Raggi 'you are horribly mangled' dungeons and fear and such.

Also had a big hankering for Delta Green and running some modern horror stories. Because Zak S knows all and is prolific, he has already written tips for running Call of Cthulhu. And an amazing pattern for running investigative games, without railroading or auto-succeeding clue collection. That's Hunter/Hunted. He has a lot of cool Call of Cthulhu and Lovecraft-reading posts, and of course he is now working on his own modern horror game, Demon City, and has a first-rules-peak on how downtime works. It's very cool; it's something I'm happy to support on his patreon.

(And of course people are now up in arms that Zak exists and believe he is transphobic or homophobic or a brigade-builder. It seems like the worst thing he's done that I can see is running a sockpuppet or alt on reddit? With a username based on someone who banned Zak from a forum? Which isn't great. OTOH he's not using this alt - _if_ he's using this alt - to drag this person through the mud. The reddit user just seems to post... thoughts about RPGs. Seems pretty friendly and chill.

I mean, if you argue with the dude, it's like arguing with Rust Cohle in True Detective. You're not going to have fun, you're going to react the way Marty reacts ("And now I am begging you to shut the fuck up"). But I don't think that makes him a brigading trans/homophobic serial harasser. And True Detective wouldn't be True Detective without Rust (seriously I love Rust. He's so dreamy). If you have evidence of him brigading and harassing, email Patrick and get it added to A Timeline of the Zak Wars.)

So anyway, 2017. I'm not going to run any games this year, in all likelihood, and I doubt I'll play in many, or any. But I have had fun playing Miso RPG, which is this awesome super-light RPG / solo engine / oracle setup. Sophia's RPG is cool as hell and easy to understand.

I combined that with a Sanity usage die, like as in The Black Hack's usage die, and have been writing a lil solo police detective vs Lovecraftian horror thing, which I should write up here sometime. I started my protagonist with d12 sanity, which seemed very, very high, and at some point gave him a -4 to the roll against the main Big Bads, which is way too big of a penalty. Went from 'unflappable' to 'only flapping' very quickly.

I might try something like Zak's Demon City system, where I'd roll a d10 for my character and a d10 for the trauma, and sometimes one side gets an advantage (a police detective has an advantage against normal human horrors, the big bads would get an advantage because it's a dude firing ropey flesh-tendrils from his face and using those to scout and suspend his once-human body in the air). That'd give about a 50/50 chance of fail normally, then it's just a matter of tweaking how many fails you can take before you are completely insane.

Sanity can be regained during a downtime. I roll a d20 and see if it's above the current useage die number - so to go from a d8 to a d10, you have to roll above an 8 on a d20. You can only go up one step per downtime. During downtime, the enemy does something proactive.

If the PC takes any downtime, I come up with some 'enemy action' options (break into the detective's home, try to have a corrupt coworker dispatch him) and use the Miso system to pick one. That also happens if the detective flubs obtaining leads or investigating, a la Hunter/Hunted.

But yeah, that's about all the gaming I can do now - 5 minutes at a time. It's solo or play-by-post, so for now, it's solo. I'll probably give PbP a try at some point, but don't have high hopes, given how slow and fragmentary it can be.

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on the itty bitty hungry person!

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  2. I didn't run a sock puppet and yes, arguing with me is like arguing with Rust.

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