Monday, January 23, 2017

Guild Ball - Granite!

Last Friday I was able to pick up my new Brewers player: Pint Pot, but more importantly, I was able to get Granite, the new Masons player on the pitch for 2 different games.

The first game was against Alchemists, who I assumed would be a bad match-up for Granite, and I was proven correct pretty quickly.  It was against Ian, who pretty much exclusively plays Midas-led Alchemists and Rage-led Union, but this time he tried out Smoke.  I think his line up was Smoke, Flask, Vitriol, Calculus, Decimate, and Catalyst.  I was looking for a Masons line up that would be all about clogging things up, so I used Hammer, Marbles, Brick, Granite, Tower, and Flint.  It went roughly as roughly for me as I expected.  He got the kick off, and was able to score with Smoke at the end of turn 1.  I was able to get Vitriol with a double counter-charge when she tried to attack Hammer, not doing much damage, but setting her up for a turn 2 take out.  I got a second take-out in turn 2, I think it was Calculus, but he got the ball to Decimate who gave a snap-shot to Smoke, and then in turn three he was able to get the ball into open space, and Smoke scored a third time.  Defense 2 makes applying conditions far too easy, and Granite + Burning is terrible.   I wasn't expecting much from that game, so I wasn't too worried.  I thought he would want to use his Union team, which might have been far more interesting.

The second game was against Alan with his Brewers.  He bought Pint Pot, but hadn't had the chance to glue him up, so Corsair stood in for the new player.  It was his first ever game using Tapper, he's usually an Esters man.  I think he had Tapper, Mash, Hooper, Spigot, Pint Pot, and Quaff.  I kept the same team as before, and I even won the kick off, so I wanted him to kick to me.  He lined up with Spigot on the far left (my right) of the pitch, so I put Flint opposite him and Tower just to the other side of some rough ground.  He kicks in Tower's direction, which was perfect for my plan: I had Tower move up and pass to Flint, getting ready for his "I run the field and score" play by taking the pass and moving up 4".  Sadly, this leaves him in range for Spigot to get to him and trigger "Ball's Gone", passing into the space far from me, near Pint Pot.  There's just no way I am sending Flint, all alone, to be murdered by the new Brewer, so I bide my time.  Sadly, for me, he just methodically passes the ball across the pitch, one model at a time, ending with it on Mash.  I realize that my 4 Influence on Flint is going to be wasted, but I do realize that he and Spigot are maybe 6 inches from the edge, so I make 4 attacks, choosing the Momentous push/dodge result, getting Spigot into perfect position for Tower to start turn 2 with a Take Out - which he gets with his charge.  2" + 1", both Momentous results, and the Knockback combine for 4 inches, enough to make Spigot and his 2 Influence go away, and putting me on the board.  With all the passing, he won first activation, which he used to have Tapper move up to Granite and attack.  Sadly for him, I used my Momentum to Counter-Attack, and was able to get 2 inches of push, and since he was not base-to-base with me, he couldn't continue to take swings.  Long story short, it was a pretty dominant performance by the Masons.  I was able to score one goal from Flint after he eventually got one from Mash, and he scored a second goal with Mash (and took out Flint), but by then I was already at 10 points, and with Iron Fists and Tooled Up, Hammer can pretty easily take out a knocked down, triple ganged-up Hooper, which is how I got the win.

Overall I'm really impressed with Granite.  Don't let her get set on fire, and as odd as it seems, make sure she has 2 people marking her when possible.  She's a great early activation to get Tar Pit up, but she does enough damage that waiting for a chance to give her a Tooled Up is pretty viable.  Sturdy is nearly broken levels of good against Brewers, and taking a free 3" Jog during the turn is really handy.  I would advise against doing this when Pint Pot is beating up on Hammer, because he doesn't care about the Crowd Out, it just added 2 damage and Bleed to Granite - my mistake, she just paid for it.  Creating Rough Ground for the Brewers kept a lot of people from being where they wanted more than once.  Hopefully I can get Pint Pot on my side of the table soon.


Is this thing on?

So, I just remembered that I made this blog a long time ago.  I'm not sure what reminded me that it was out there, but thanks to the power of the internet, it's still there.  It looks like my last posting there was during George W Bush's administration - before we even elected Obama - so to say it's been a while would be an understatement.

So, it's been about 9 years.  How are you?  Things have been interesting for me in the last almost decade.  I got divorced, changed jobs, bought a new car, got a really cool Geek Chic gaming table, largely out-grew said table, got two nice groups of reliable gamers to play board games and RPG games with on a regular basis.  I consider myself more of a board/tabletop gamer now than a video gamer.  It really enforces the whole social aspect, plus my old-man reflexes don't hurt me as much in a turn-based board game as they would in the latest Battlefield game.  It doesn't mean I don't want to buy Battlefield 1, but I'm holding off since I haven't been playing a lot of shooters these days.  My current games of near-obsession are Guild Ball, Scythe, and Tesla vs Edison.

I will try to not let another Presidential administration go by before my next post, but no promises.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No party deaths

Last night we took the huge party of eight players from the town of Brindol to Rivenroar Castle. The party decided to head to two nearby towns to try to get more precise directions, which actually surprised me. I thought for sure they would bring the map of the Elsir Vale to the captive Hobgoblin and ask him to point out the location. If they had done that, I would have had them make a new Intimidate attempt, and if it was successful, he would have pointed them to the right area. Instead they came to the solution in a more clinical manner. It lets them avoid doing skill challenges to navigate the direct path through the woods, along the river. It lets them avoid running into wild animals (even though some would live in the mountains, I assume they would steer clear of people hiking the hills). It also took them a full two days, when the trip should be able to be done in 8 hours. With the second day ending in a huge fight that took most of the party's Daily powers, nearly half of all of their healing surges and left most of the party close to bloodied, not to mention about two hours of real time, we decided to take a breather after that, with the characters camping outside of the Castle ruins.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

DMing after 2 sessions

So much for the idea of posting weekly about the experience of running a DnD campaign. Oh well. Tonight will be the third real session of my Scales of War group, so hopefully by now I've gotten enough of the hang of things to run it pretty smoothly. Last week things went pretty well. It started with the encounter with an Ogre and his two hobgoblin allies, and I added in two Blackblades to try to up the difficulty for the number of characters. So far, all eight players have shown up both times, and it seems like the turnout is going to be good again tonight. I re-worked 4 encounters to be an appropriate fit for a party of 8, so as long as we don't get too far into the dungeon this week, it should be tough battles.

If the party gets to the portal room then I'm really interested to see how this all goes. The first encounter: Bar Fight, was a huge number of enemies, but since so many were minions, and the party was so big the whole battle went by with barely an encounter power used. It was a good place for everyone to get used to their characters' powers, and gave us all a fairly good impression of how I would be at running battles. Overall, I feel like it went pretty well, but not great.

The second session flowed right after the first, with the Ogre encounter mentioned before. The combat went really smoothly - but a little too quickly. Between the characters rolling several critical hits and them using action points and even a few daily powers it was over much faster than I anticipated. I added two more monsters to battle, but they were coming around the back of the fight, and the fight was basically over before they got into it. We followed that up with some role-playing, where the party met with a Councilman who hired them to rescue the townsfolk. Since the party did well role-playing (and got some good rolls on Skill Challenges), they were also commissioned to retrieve some artifacts, with both of these quests being rewarded with their full monetary value. This took longer than I wanted it to, but I wanted to make sure the players had a chance to learn what they needed, so I kept dragging it on. After that, they interrogated a captive hobgoblin and learned that they need to go "North". We stopped around this point.

Tonight we begin the third part. If my players are reading this, then they should know that "North" is not going to cut it. If they press this guy and get a map of the area he can give the basic location. If they fail that challenge, or just don't try it, they will be running into a nature encounter. This was planned on being one bear, but for the larger party I'll be making it into two bears. After that, they have a bit of road to travel on, and then they will be at the entrance to Rivenroar. I'm guessing that the road and the bear will go by fast enough to let the players get into the catacombs, so I have the first room, and the three rooms off of it ready to go for tonight. I think the odds are good that one of the party members will not survive the night - right now I feel like eliminating a player if their character dies (with an option to fill-in later on).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DMing starts tonight

So tonight is supposed to be the big night where I first get a shot at killing a bunch of player characters. I'm not that crazed about killing PCs, really, but I don't mind doing it if it happens. I finished up with the input of the needed monsters from the Monster's Manual and pretty much all of the Player's Handbook, so I'm in good shape there. I decided to just add stuff I was interested in to the existing library, at least for now. As time goes on, I will probably resort to splitting out a Supplemental Module that contains both Monsters, Skills, Classes, Races from other sources, but the ones I really like I will incorporate into the Core versions that I have. As it stands now, I can see the Dragon rituals, the Star Pact powers, Warforged, Artificers and the non-named Scales of War monsters making it into my core. If I get ambitious, I'd love to allow playable Dopplegangers, Lycanthropes and some other monsters, but I think those would need some collaboration to get working right.

I've spent the last two nights fighting with Firewalls, trying to make sure that players will actually be able to connect to my campaign. It still didn't work last night, so I'm fairly well concerned about it tonight. It will be an adventure unto itself, no doubt. Hopefully, everyone can show up and get connected long enough to get characters rolled up, and if we're really lucky, maybe we can run a quick battle to make sure I know how these things work.

Up next week (assuming this week works!) - starting entering Siege at Bordrin's Watch into FG and updating the ruleset to 1.1.0 and the new parsers (now with rituals!). Fun fun.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Getting Ready to DM

I've been pretty quiet here for a while now, I'm just not that into recording my thoughts on the various games I've been playing: it takes too much time away from playing them! My biggest thing, game-wise, that I have going on now is getting ready to use Fantasy Grounds II to run a bunch of GWJers through Dungeon Magazine's Scales Of War Adventure Path. I've probably spent 15 hours on adding maps, story blocks, characters, monsters so far, and I'm not even done! I finally had a breakthrough in getting the parsers working, so I can start the painful data entry with tools, instead of trying to hand-do everything. Once I get a good part of the PHB and MM entered, I definitely want to get a bunch of stuff from the magazines entered, too; I just need to decide if I want a third (and fourth) Library, or a beefier set of two - I'm leaning towards two.

My plan is to actually keep some sort of a journal of what I did to DM this here, and update the Wiki with the story parts. It will be a lot of work, but I think it might be really fun, too.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stack Pop

Bioshock is complete!

I really enjoyed the game, even if I felt there was a bit much after the pivotal moment. The game got almost shockingly easy in the later levels, it makes me wish (yet again) for more developers to put in a sliding scale for difficulty through the whole game. To this day I don't know any game that does that. Let me make your game go Easy mode for the first few levels, then make it more difficult when I want, then REALLY HARD or back to easy at any point. Great atmosphere the whole time, and just creepy enough to make me nervous, but not so much that I can't play. Up next? Either all-Gold in Mario Kart Wii or Overlord, maybe System Shock 2 (but that is terrifying!).