Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rebooting the Search

It's been 8 months since the first session of this rebooted campaign and two months since the end. It also went on hiatus for quite awhile. For those reasons, I'm just giving the details. I can't remember much of the dialogue.

When we last left our heroes, um... they were all dead. Yossa needed to assemble a new team to take down Shiv.

Both my brother and I missed the first session after are restart (I'm playing the pilot, Drev, and he's playing Sparky, a mechanic/medical droid). The two of us had to pick a starting world. We chose Borleias. The GM laughed. "That's where everyone is meeting!"

We took the call from Yossa about the job. Unfortunately, we were low on starting cash. Most of it went toward the ship. The group was meeting on the other side of the planet and we couldn't pay our docking fee! How could a blockader runner, er, legitimate business man be so short on credits? It was decided Drev and Sparky came to pick up a cargo. When they arrived, the job offer was suddenly rescinded. Those two don't have the force to lodge a significant enough protest.

Yossa came over via commercial transport. The Tiss'shar, Val and Xin, were already on planet for some reason. I missed the session where that was explained. Xai Sho, the Nagai, crash landed her small ship in the wilderness. Any landing you can walk away from, right? It was only there to provide transport to the staging area anyway.

I can't remember if Yossa payed the docking fee so we could go to the rest or they took a transport to us. I just remember he tried to haggle the price down and failed. The group met without anything of note happening, besides Drev never spotting Xin, the infiltration expert.

As we took off, both the GM and Yossa's player started laughing. "Do you realize that he gathered all of you without telling you why you were going after Shiv?" The GM said.

It was then Yossa realized we didn't have any computer expert amongst the group. (Sparky didn't count in his eyes because Yossa hates droids.) The only trustworthy slicer he can think of is an old army buddy. After a quick explanation of the situation, his friend agrees to help. The only catch is that we must pick him up. He's stuck under an Imperial blockade. On N'zoth. In Yossa's words, "Right after we rescue him, I'm going to punch him."

This ended the session.

In our next session, the group left for N'zoth. Sparky briefed Drev on what to expect from the locals: death. The Yevethan natives are highly xenophobic. Due to the added risk, Drev elected not to take on any cargo bound for their destination.

Once in hyperspace, Yossa explained who the target of his wrath was: a highly dangerous Bothan computer/droid expert. Val disclosed what she knew of him as well. Her mother had worked alongside Shiv (in a previous campaign). That group managed to hijack a Star Destroyer from an Imperial shipyard and Shiv was the main component in that theft!

Until they arrived, the passengers amused themselves by playing holochess repeatedly. Drev joined in occasionally, but couldn't win a match (or even come close). "Why do I even have this thing?" he grumbled as he headed toward the cockpit. Experience told him there would be a hyperspace interdiction field around the planet. The ship would be pulled out of hyperspace upon arrival.

The interdiction field cut the Rodent's Bane out of hyperspace a fair distance out from the system. An approach through an asteroid field hid the ship's approach. I had bragged about Drev being able to perform any maneuver at full speed. I was wrong. As I approached the planet, Drev missed his pilot check to avoid hitting a Star Destroyer. The GM waved it off, saying Drev barely dodged it. "But be careful."

The run to the planet was uneventful, until it came time to land. My bragging came back to bite me. A natural 1! The ship scraped a stabilizer against the overhang Drev was trying to park under. The ship crashed to the ground. Sparky went out to check. The whole stabilizer was gone. Without that part, the group would be unable to get off the planet!

More to come next Wednesday.
Want to know immediately when there's a new post? Follow us on facebook! I also post links to RPG-related things on that page.Link

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

World Building: The Basics

First of all, not everything I'm planning to use in this world has been released under the Open Gaming License (OGL). I'd rather avoid any possible legal problems, so I'll try to avoid being too descriptive on non-OGL material. A searchable database of what is covered is available here.

Now that that's out of the way, there's a little back story before we get started. While attending Emerald City Gamefest in Fall of 2009, I played in a Pathfinder adventure run by Seattle-based author Erik Scott de Bie. The shear creativity exhibited inspired me to concoct my own world. I will admit, some of this is inspired by my experience with his game but over time my ideas have morphed into an independent creation. And I plan on naming a major NPC after him. I'm really hoping he decides to publish the setting.

Overview of the world:
The campaign I'll run will focus on a land we'll call "Gygax" for now. Fifteen years ago, the human king was overthrown. Whether it was a baby son or daughter smuggled out in the night, or a distant relative of the king, rumors that an heir to the throne still exists are not uncommon. I realize that this invokes several common tropes, but it adds some tension and drama to the world.

At the time of the revolution and ensuing civil war, the king was advised by several wizards. When an extended drought hit the land (may become an earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, or some combination thereof), the citizens looked for someone to blame these problems on. Troublemakers directed that public ire toward the aloof wizards. My working reason is that the instigators claimed certain deities were blocking the rain since magic is an "unnatural abomination." The fear of job loss due to these tireless magical golems recently developed by the politically-powerful wizards pushed the general apprehension toward magic into a pure frenzy of hatred. When this coup succeeded, casting spells or possessing magic items became punishable by death. Anyone using spell-like abilities faces the same punishment. A few casters are allowed to go about their business as clerics of certain deities. The nature of these deities have yet to be determined.

When we return to the world building series, races that are staples of the D&D product line are put under the microscope. Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Gnomes, and others find their roles in society.

Next week, I anticipate a Search for Shiv post.
Want to know immediately when there's a new post? Follow us on facebook! I also post about other things related to RPGs there.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Blog Strikes Back!

I'm back from my school-induced hiatus. My new schedule should permit me the time to resume the blog. Here's tentative schedule for the next few weeks:

Wednesday, August 24: An intro to the D&D 3.5 campaign world I'm creating. I'd really like some feedback on my plans. As soon as this entry posts, I'm going to write this up. This will probably be the direction the blog takes for the foreseeable future. My goal is to have the setting ready to go by January. The campaign would begin following the end of whatever thing my group is running at that time.

Wednesday, August 31: The beginning of the end for Star Wars: The Search for Shiv campaign. I won't include as much in the way of dialogue with these posts since the campaign wrapped up in June.

Wednesday, September 7: More Search for Shiv.

Tuesday, September 13: Part 3 of the dramatic conclusion. This may or may not be the final entry. It depends on how long the last post runs.

Tuesday, September 20: If the prior entry did not complete the campaign, this will do it.

A review of the 3rd edition adventure The Burning Plague will insert itself somewhere in the mix. This is my second DM experience and what my group is currently doing when our new Star Wars campaign doesn't run. We have 1-2 sessions left with this. I may be able to get my brother to do a report on his experience at Dragonflight this summer. I didn't make it due to work.

There are a few different directions the blog could take.

The possibilities:

1. World creation journal with the intention of gaining feedback from a (hopefully) growing readership.

2. A journal for the new Jedi-focused Star Wars campaign my group started.

3. A review of the D&D 3.5 adventures on the Wizards of the Coast website. I would be running these with my group on the nights our Jedi campaign doesn't run due to the DM's work schedule or too many missing players. I may or may not be briefly participating in a Friday night Serenity campaign as well. My work schedule should allow me to participate 2-3 sessions. I'd put together a review of that as well.

4. Guest posts from other members of my group telling of their RPG experiences.

5. Reviews of various board/card games, gaming blogs, webcomics, and other geeky stuff. This would run in addition to other content. This would be posted when either I have to miss a session or the group plays a non-RPG.

6. Some combination of the above. The third option is a certainty and the others may or may not be mutually exclusive.

Until next time, roll well.

Want to know immediately when there's a new post? Follow us on facebook! I also post about other things related to RPGs there.