Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dark is the Sun - February Ed.

Round two of our Dark Sun campaign went off without a hitch earlier this month. Unfortunately it did so with one chair empty. Mike could not make it and for the first time since I started running a game for family and friends I played without a player. Outside of figuring out the logistics of a missing Spitfire though the game went great though.

Quiting WoW really allowed me to pour a ton of time into this one. It was mostly a dungeon crawl, but I managed to introduce enough real choice and role playing to not make the whole night feel like one big dice role. I had fun running it and seeing my players wonder aloud if they were breaking my planning. I planned enough to account for most of their actions and even threw out whole encounters if need be.

Players as NPCs
I made the mistake of letting my players dictate the actions of an absent character in this past game. I was not prepared for it in that I did not have crunch for him and did not want to make choices that might effect his story. In the future when I have an empty chair that character is either out of the picture completely or I will let another player run them. I want no hand in it.

Off the Rails
Playing off the rail either requires more planning or the ability to improvise like a pro. As I am still wet behind the ears I am doing it through planning. Not getting attached to my encounters or a completely fixed story is tough, but ultimately makes for a better game. You can't plan for everything though, so I am flexing my improve muscles more and more often. I like where this is all going.

Skill Challenge Free
After stewing over skill challenges in my mind and on the web for a week I decided to bench them for the February game night. I made good use of skills in role play and in combat, but I think I am over official skill challenges. Even skill use without story or combat implication is out. My game and players will be better for it.

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Books Read

Recently Finished:

The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness