Maybe I Should Be Better Prepared.

When I write an adventure; I write notes, several scenes that I have envisioned, as well as ideas that I want to convey at the game table. I don’t usually write down everything in minute detail and mainly keep things vague. I make sure that I have an underlying arc which ties the scenes together but when I start running the adventure and the paranoia  of the players kicks in this fuels the adventure even more.

Where a simple red herring becomes the adventure and where off in uncharted territories and making it up as I go along. Sure, my original idea and adventure gets lost in the fold but here we are exploring this avenue and unlocking things within our imagination as well.

Which is kind of a bonus isn’t it? Here we are making new discoveries together as players and a GM.

My Christmas Gaming Booty

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This year I got a Dice Bonaza case which had about 60 various dice. Gaming dice, poker dice and a slew of six side coloured cubes as well. I guess my family knows my tastes.

I was very surprise to find High School of the Damned Freshman year Zombie Role Playing Game as well, my eldest had saw it on sale and nabbed it for me thinking I’d get a kick out of it (and I do). As the name implies its a rpg about surviving the zombie apocalypse as it starts out and players are students who happen to be at school when the outbreak occurs.

It seems like a fun little game and I’m going to give it a thorough read through this week.

The other rpg supplement that I manage to get with my Christmas Loot is the D&D 5e module Out of the Abyss! After a quick skim through it’s an epic adventure that takes the characters from First level and end at 15 (that’s if they manage to survive that long). It’s an undertake adventure and the players start with only the clothes on their backs as they have been caught by drow and are in a outpost in the Underdark.

I got other stuff as well but since this is mainly a gaming blog I thought I just focus on the role playing stuff.

 

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime

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It’s Merry Christmas Eve Eve the day before Christmas Eve.

It’s been a week of different versions of the Charles Dickens classic The Christmas Carol. Over the years they’re been several remakes and various interpretations simply called “Scrooge”. So, a week or two before Christmas Day I sit and watch a version and enjoy each movie for what it is.

Also, it’s a week of prepping for Boxing Day game as well.

I’ve been working on a couple of adventure for fantasy games; a RoleMaster 2nd Edition scenario which leads into the LoreMaster modules, the other for D&D 4e and finally something for Earthdawn 1st Edition. Fantasy games that I have in my collection but haven’t played in a long while (or in one case not at all). It will be nice to sit with a group of players and roll some dice, chug some coffee, eat some grub and basically making merry as the adventure chugs along.

Which game will I run on Boxing Day?

Time will tell. 😉

Unlocking Memories with Living Steel

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Imagine my surprise when the wife entered the door stating there was a parcel waiting for me on the steps. I wasn’t expecting anything yet, but to my surprise there was a box waiting for me to open it. The content of the box were some role playing games and the one that I was truly looking forward too was the box set of Living Steel High Tech Role Playing Game.

Living Steel is a role playing game my buddy, Tim C, had picked up because he liked the concept of the game. The rules where a little clunky and that was fine, since the whole premise of it was an alien invasion on a colony world. Tim had the game and he ran two sessions of it and we had fun, but really he wasn’t to keen on running it since he wanted to be a player and do the exploring from the other side of the screen.

So, he passed the game onto me as well as the adventure KViSR Rocks! And then I ran a couple of  sessions and it was a real fun as well. Once that was over and summer was coming to an end and we both were heading back to further our educations. I was going to North Bay, ON and he was heading back down to Toronto, ON. He had handed me the box set and said that I’d probably got more of a kick out of it than he ever would.

Over the years my original box set demolished, and I had lost a couple of booklets for it as well due to a series of moves from one location to another. So, I thought I’d never get my hands on another Living Steel box set again, though I was glad to find a hard copy version of the book at Cangames just last year. Until now, I have the box set in my hands once again and this time a wave of nostalgia washed over me as I remember my good friend Tim C.

Tim had passed away a few weeks back, even though we had lost track of each other over the years we had connected over Facebook and messaging relieve old times and keeping in touch in general. The news of his passing hit me like a ton of bricks, a piece of my past had broken off and to fix that I wanted to see if I could find another box set of Living Steel just to have on my shelf for old time sakes. So I hunted and hunted until I did managed to find one

I’m glad I did. Tim C. may be gone… but he will never, ever be forgotten.

 

 

 

One Shots Is The Way It Is

It’s hard to get a live action going around the tabletop these days when players don’t show up for a session. That’s why I think I’m going to treat all sessions from this point on like convention scenarios. Wrapping it up at the end of the night and not worry about whose going to show up the following week to pick up where we ended from.

I’ve got two current campaigns that are left hanging like cliffhangers of cancelled television series that will probably never get resolved. Over time I, and players, forget what happened in the session. Like there’s one from a few months back with Conspiracy X in which something was going on in the Antarctic and a really big discovery. The other is a D&D campaign that we started and then it was left hanging due to life events.

There was a time when a grand adventure with take several sessions and the players were back at the table the following week looking forward to see what lies ahead.

But, I guess as we get older, life events happen to waylay the best plans of mice and men. I think my days of epic campaign gaming is behind me as the players at my table are few and far between these days. I should focus more on one shots and convention style playing and wrap the adventure up in the evening no matter what point of the scenario we are at. To give it closure and not leave it as a cliffhanger that might never be resolved.

 

 

 

We Are Stardust

Sipping coffee and enjoying the crisp cool November air.

It’s November, already. It just seemed like only yesterday the news of David Bowie’s death shocked the world. It still hurts knowing that he had shuffled off this mortal coil of ours. But, there is comfort thinking that maybe he’s exploring the universe as Ziggy Stardust?

Right now, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters … and Super Creeps album is playing in the background, it’s one of my all time favourite albums to listen to. It’s been on my heavy rotation of playing this year and the reason is understandable.

For the past several days now I’ve been hammering out a couple of adventures for Dark Conspiracy Role Playing Game. I had recently acquired Heart of Darkness scenario (I had it before but then I loaned it to someone and forgotten who I had loaned it too) as well as another copy of the core rule book.

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It’s always been a personal favourite of mine but I haven’t had a chance to run a proper campaign and such a long, long time that I think I’m due to run it. Well, let’s see what the future will bring.

On A Very Personal Note

Tuesday evening I learned that an old friend of mine had shuffled off this mortal coil. Tim Carter is a good friend of mine, we had met in high school and had bonded well over the years there. We played role playing games, we headead out to the big city of Sault Ste. Marie to catch a movie, play some video games and just pal around. A couple of small town boys adventuring in the city.

Even after two years when he transferred to another high school in another district we kept in touch. Going to his home for the odd weekend of playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Top Secret, or even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness. Tim certainly had a creative eye the adventures he ran were jam packed full of mystery and intrigue and cap it off with a whole ton of action. He was more of a “director/producer” than a game master at the table. It’s one of the reasons why he went off to cinematography course after he graduated high school.

I still remember that summer the year all of us were going our separate ways; I was heading off to North Bay, ON he along with Anthony C were heading to Toronto, ON to further their education. This was the year that DC Heroes Role Playing Game hit the shelves and I picked it up. We had a blast playing it and will be one of the most memorable summer games ever. It was also the time when frequently headed to Sault Ste. Marie, ON as well to spend the evening at an arcade (I think it was Top Hat Amusements) watching a ton of quarters disappear into games like Gauntlet, Demolition Derby, and Off Road. And,  cap off the evening by hitting the cinema and catching the latest action or horror flick on the silver screen.

Our game weekends would begin Friday evening and last til Sunday Night (and sometimes splashed over to early Monday mornings) we would go from each home and play til our hearts content. When it was Tim’s turn to host he would make it a really cool event other than just gaming, we’d go out and shoot some photos, explore the area some. He’d always had a movie scenario going through his head. He had a camera in his hands and he’d want to act out a scene that would probably look cool on the big screen; especially the night we stormed his parents house in a mock rescue situation. Our imaginations in high gear, the look of non-pulsed surprise on his mom’s face as we hit the kitchen and took the baked goods. Good times, good times indeed.

Then we went our separate ways seeking our niche in the world. It was hard keeping contact with each other since it the age before the internet. Addresses constantly change as well as phone numbers and we did get to group every now and then; a once in a blue moon kind of thing. Our lives constantly in a state of flux. Our face to face meetings became few and far between and the last time I really got to see Tim was nearly two decades ago, after the birth of my eldest daughter. He had popped by and spent a weekend with us, we gamed and went down and had a few pints and chatted over that DC Heroes campaign that I ran.

I would head off down to Toronto a few times and crash at his place once or twice a year for a while until life happened to get in the way. Work, schooling, work, etc… that old song and dance. We didn’t have social media like today so sometimes there were months when we didn’t communicate but when we did we’d chat til the cows came home.

Tim had gotten into the gaming community in Toronto and had play-tested a couple of games and he is the one who clued me into Nexus: The Infinite City back in 1994. I was working in a comic book store at the time and he mentioned it was a “very cool metaverse game” that I’d probably like since I was into that sort of theme.

He also handed me a rough copy of a sci-fi rpg he had put together: called Corefire. It was a science-fiction game along the vein of Traveller but was focus on a world that was being terraformed. He imaged it to be a “jungle conflict” on an alien world.  The game sits on the shelf nestled in with the other role playing games in my collection.

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Core Fire was a rough draft and he wanted me to have a look at it. I did and I liked it. In true Tim C fashion it was very detailed. It sort of reminded me of Aliens movie:  the players are part of a military/mercenary unit discovering a new world, protecting outpost and battling not only alien critters but some greedy corporations as well. I think he had updated it with a rewrite but nothing else ever came to light with it.

We kept in touch over the years with the odd call now and then, but especially reconnected on social media in the past five years. We chatted up a storm through messenger and then suddenly several weeks back all that stopped. He had deleted some of his accounts and I just brushed it off as mid-life crisis. Maybe I should of clued in more or be a better friend and reaching out to him. I didn’t realize that he was going through a dark chapter in his life.

The news of his death hit me like a ton of bricks, unlocking a flood of memories and moments that replay in my mind like a bad 80’s movie montage for some strange reason.

Tim, I’m going to miss you old friend.

I love you and I’ll miss you, brother.

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(Pictured from left to right is Matt C, Me, and Tim C.)