For a Starter Set is actually quite a good little adventure
We’ve had 2 more sessions, and it has been a delight. I must admit I am enjoying it quite a lot, especially love the balance between acting the investigation and the battles in the dungeons.
With all respect and credit to @lordof1; I got three friends together over drinks last night on zoom and we went through the Mongoose Strontium Dogs character Generation.
The Grizzled Veteran of the Group with three terms of service is Sinistar Fistulon. Severely deformed with a stretched chest, a missing left elbow, and boneless left knuckles. His devastating “hot dog morningstar” attack is feared the galaxy over.
The brains of the operation with two terms of service is a radically mutated customer whose entire head is conjoined into his right shoulder. Headly LeWarr specializes in hostage situations and sighting down the barrel of a blaster while preparing to take the recoil on his nose.
The young turk of the group with one term of service is the shambolically mutated Randow TF. His sideways toes, his crystaline knees, his pustulent stomach, his scaled neck, and his withered left nostril all mark him as hideous and disturbing, however perhaps nothing is more creepy than the distorted voice that issues from his throat… the throat of a seahorse!
Sinistar began his career stalking down, capturing, and making a lifelong enemy of the serial arsonist Toastmaster General on a distant world in the Gutbucket cluster. While Bruce Shambles (the stront with the triple size chin and double size stomach, ever since a professional rival) was distracted following up on Toastmaster’s crafty crumbs; Sinistar played possum by stopping his heart and then caught Toastmaster upside the head with a overhead sausage finger slam.
Hedy (Headly! What are you worried about, it’s 2182 she’s in the public domain!) began his career rescuing a starship full of hostages headed to the danger zone in the clutches of dapper gang The Kenny Logginses.
Sinistar’s second warrant involved a critical accident with a number 4 cartridge and he no longer trusts variable cartridge blasters. Sadly the resulting explosion took out most of the station and Sinistar had to escape the wreck in zero g.
Headly next skragged some mob guys. Just some mob guys. Seriously, it was boring. We couldn’t even make a Dinsdale joke stick. He probably just threw a T bomb into a barbershop and then had lunch.
Randow roared into the thick in one term though, not only capturing devastating hypno performer Billy Idle alive but also saving King Clarkie’s distant niece from becoming another blank slate bride during one of Idle’s wipe weddings.
Lastly Sinistar tracked down and engaged the foulmouthed Qubist in an avant garde battle of wits for survival. It took all of his cunning and skill to stop the orange headed weirdo from reducing the board of directors of Mondrain the designer plumbing manufacturer to cubes of inert matter with a dastardly innovation in dimensional weapons.
When next they meet, they will be on the trail of a mutant industrial terrorist with a bizarre agenda who has vanished into colonial space. I call it tough times for tracking down the three-eyed chicken headed mutant Roaster Cogburn.
This is amazing and I am in awe. I would have loved these stories in 2000ad.
That just comes from Character creation or is it your own dramatic additions?
All of the villain names and natures and all of the PC names came up from the folks around the table.
The mutations and events (the enemy and rival, the hostage situation, the weapon malfunction, and rescuing the noble) came from the tables. But deciding who a fugitive with a history of violence in a remote location was and what they were up to isn’t in the tables and was improved.
I think the Whartson Hall playthrough included serial arsonist as a quip and that stuck with me.
We had our 4th session last night.
Gosh, D&D can be a bit too ruled by dice luck. We had planned the perfect strategy to assault this tavern full of ruffians, sending our halfling rogue first with a crate of cider to get them all drunk and entice one of the gang to come out so we could kidnap him to interrogate him and guess who gets the most intoxicated of them all? She did. And gambled with them and lost 3 silver pieces…
So there we are, three of us waiting outside and the time ticks, until at midnight, expecting the worse, we had to start pelting the tavern windows with stones, and lure them outside. Were we very convincing? No, they just stayed behind cover.
Until our halfling riled them up, they were staying put, no matter what obscenities we shouted at them. And then they all came out at once. Which nearly cost us dearly. Luckily I got knocked over, got recovered by our cleric and rolled a natural 20 on my next turn, resulting with the fact that I minced one of them with my greatsword plus our mage blasted them with a cone of fire so they legged it, but that was close to utter failure.
Sounds about right for a halfling…
There’s a lesson there, true that.
My Drinax campaign (my second, the first was probably 2012) started with a very satisfying Alien homage that began mid catastrophe but with the newly minted characters waking up in low berths with amnesia. They then worked out the problem and their own plans to solve it that they had implemented before they set the controls for a very close slingshot round the star.
It ended perfectly in genre (blow the hold doors) and they abandoned the infected ship as they set the controls for the heart of the sun.
My Star Trek Adventures campaign just finished our 5th mission arc. We’re working our way through the first “These are the Voyages” campaigns (we did the Tutorial mission first, then the Tutorial mission in the base rulebook, then a homebrewed one, and then 2 from “TatVs” thus far).
This one was a big quicker… it’s the mission with the USS Nightingale “accidentally” stumbling into the Romulan Neutral Zone. Always a game of chess with those Romulans… anyway, the heroes kinda figured it out at the last possible moment, and by sheer good luck did a thing that meant they foiled the dastardly plot and kept the Federation’s hands clean.
I continue to be impressed by everything about ST:A except the combat, which is clunky, and the “Extended Task” rules, which are just combat against things and problems rather than adversaries.
I also lament the lack of “reactive” skills… like, in D&D or Palladium you can ask the players to roll Perception or Luck or whatever to see if their characters notice something without specifically being prompted by the players (“You’re walking down a long corridor… everyone give me a Perception check.”) ST:A doesn’t have an equivalent, as near as I can tell. It’s not a “problem” so much as it requires me to shift two decades of TTRPG experience into a new direction.
ANYway, we’re having fun!
Currently I’m running GURPS Chanbara/Chambara using GURPS 3rd edition, research into early Edo period Japan and watching a heroic quantity of chanbara/chambara movies. Some of which are excellent (Inn of Evil, Yojimbo, Seven Samurai, 26 Zatoichi films) and others which are not so great (The Bounty Hunter Trilogy).
I am currently running three campaigns at present, with a potential for a fourth to begin.
My longest running campaign is set in my own D&D world and run in D&D5e and follows a party as they journey across the world hunting down pieces of a powerful magical staff that have been hidden away before a doomsday cult can get their hands on it and bring about the end of the world.
Other other D&D campaign set in the same world follows the adventures of a group within a very politically charged kingdom and fighting against the machinations of a group of hidden nobles who are manipulating things and plotting the death of the royal family, and also the Fey are involved and causing trouble.
My third campaign is set in a fictional city and is an Unknown Armies campaign following a group who has taken down a megachurch and the secret cult that ran it and also maybe killed a dark god before it could be born, but in doing so have created a power vacuum and now the other major players are beginning to stir.
The potential fourth campaign is one that would be a Vampire: The Masquerade 5th edition game, but it is still just potential.
Yesterday our usual D&D campaign had one of our members missing, as he is on holidays in Melbourne, with the look to move definitely there by the end of the year, and I offered to take over as DM, so our usual DM could have a break and mingle as a PC for a one shot session.
It was great to have a well oiled team play together and go along with the little adventure I had prepared. I sent them to raid a Goblin Lair, with a few surprises (like a giant tentacle attacking from an underground lake that I think it was a bit overkill, but never mind), to recover a relic some shady merchant had lost in his last caravan. It was brilliant seeing our usual DM playing an obscenely optimistic halfling monk, our usual rogue halfling taking the reins of a Giant Barbarian, or how getting a Druid in the mix can be a lot of fun.
The big surprise of the night was how a little statue of a Goblin god with an imbued Frighten spell managed to keep the whole gang at bay from the boss treasure haul, they kept failing saving throw after saving throw for several rounds, and in the end I allowed somebody to shoot the damned thing after a good 10 minutes of giggles.
All around, seems like they all had great fun. And note to self, Frightened can be a very tricky status, specially when the whole Party suffers it.
That sounds amazing! I have often wanted to be a PC, but I almost always end up GM/DM/Storyteller. Such is life.
Speaking of which: last night was our bi-weekly D&D night. My group of players is a Kenku Arcane Trickster, a Half-elf Bard (that is basically Gob from Arrested Development), a Tabaxi Ranger, and a Tortle Monk (think Oogway, the old turtle from Kung Fu Panda… the player keeps spouting tidbits of “wisdom” like “A bird in the hand is worth fish in a barrel” or “To own something you must get jiggy with it”).
We’re working our way through the Essential’s Kit adventures, the Dragon of Icespire Peak, and the group (now level 3) was finishing up with the Dwarven Excavation quest (find some dwarves, kill some jellies for them, head outta Dodge), and the mission is supposed to end with a battle with 4 orcs driven from their homes and searching for a new layer.
The Bard immediately starts playing some calming music and the Kenku, who was raised by orcs but doesn’t speak Orcish, croaks out a greeting as an exact mimic of the voice of her orcish foster parents. The orcs, who I decide include two leaders of a band and their two guards end up negotiating to purchase the excavation from the heroes (with a little coin thrown to the dwarves as well). I made myself use only single syllable words (the orcs are smart, but not well educated). It was fun!
And then they went to Umbrage Hill, and the Manticore that the game specifically says they can negotiate with… they immediately attacked. The Bard cast Sleep (he is always trying to cast Sleep!), but the manticore had something like 4 times the hitpoints he rolled… but the woman they were there to save? Out like a light. The Kenku casts Fog to give everybody disadvantage, the monk sneaks up and wallops the manticore for half its hitpoints, and eventually they defeat it.
But the orc negotiations… I am proud of that. A good evening, overall!
A few days ago we played another Star Trek Adventures mission (well, part of a mission). I’m trying to transfer more of the creative load to the players, so I keep asking them things like “Tell me the name of a store on the promenade of the space station” and “Give me one memorable trait about this NPC” and stuff like that. Seems to be going well!
(Edit: Spelling mistakes)
** Traveller : Pirates of the Drinax ** continues well with the use of boardgames and skirmish wargames to supplement the core roleplaying. About twenty episodes.
** Curse of Strahd ** we are about 45 sessions into this 5e version of Ravenloft. We approach the climax.
** D&D Monthly ** more a loosely connected series of games at our theatre.
I’d like to revisit this some time.
- Tears of the Moon: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy using on-the-fly conversions of Pathfinder adventures: not at all my usual style but the players seem to be enjoying it.
- BCU Black: GURPS Action, occult police in modern England
- Privateers of the Caribbean: Honor & Intrigue, we’re still fighting a bit with the system but it seems to be producing useful results.
- Irresponsible & Right: GURPS WWII, two games by other GMs set loosely in the world of my own long-running campaign, one in India, one bouncing around Europe.
- Masks of Nyarlathotep: Call of Cthulhu with Whartson Hall, just finished the Kenya chapter (one more episode to release).
We are! I’m curious as to the meaning of the title, though
I had some ideas about a continuing plot which have largely been supplanted by the Kingmaker continuing plot.
Fair enough. There seems plenty more Kingmaker to go.