Posted in Fan Friday

Fan Friday – 7th Sea 2nd Edition – First Impressions

At my first GenCon something like 5 years ago, I decided to play a bunch of games I had never had the opportunity to try.  (I recommend all avid Role-players use Cons for this purpose) One of the games I was able to get into was a 7th Sea 1st Edition game.  All I really knew of 7th Sea was it involved pirates in a colonization era society.  Which sounded great to me.  The game was one of the highlights of GenCon that year.  It was a blast.  I was impressed with a system that rewarded players for doing cool daring stunts and not always take the tactilely sound approach.  Coming back from the Con and looking up the system, I found it hard to find, out of print, and none of my players too keen on the idea of jumping into a “dead system”. ( I hate the idea of a “Dead System” it is more like a mature system, you have all the material there you will need. You can still play even though it isn’t in print)  Funny how they would want to play WEG Star Wars but not 7th Sea.  I didn’t call them on their hypocrisy.

Flash forward a few years and John Wick is reviving his game via Kickstarter for a 2nd Edition.  It was a no-brainer for me, he had my money.

I Now have the Rulebook and have read over almost all of it.  I’ve also read quite a bit of Wick’s pretty darn good Novel Daughter of Fate.   However, I hadn’t had a chance to get it on the table until recently.   A few of us in a Google+ community were lamenting the fact that we hadn’t played the game and there were no good Actual-Plays out there (besides ones of the pre-release demo adventure) that we could find to get a feel for it with. (seriously if you know of a good actual play let me know)  However, another member of the community came forward saying he’d played the game a lot with his home group and had been working on a Con adventure and would be willing to have us run through it if we’d give feedback.  Of course, we said yes and quickly assembled a party. Continue reading “Fan Friday – 7th Sea 2nd Edition – First Impressions”

Posted in GM Prep, Masks, Role-playing Sessions

Prepping for a Season of Masks: A New Generation. As Marvel X – kids…

A few months ago I was talking to one of my gaming regulars about never having played a Powered by the Apocalypse game.  He happened to be playing in an online game of “Worlds in Peril” in a few days that had an open slot and so he invited me to join.  I, of course, said “Hell Yeah.”  This particular game was being run in the Marvel Universe but in the GM’s own continuity.  I jumped in as Spider-Man. I figured it would be easier to play a known character rather than create my own for a One-Off thing.  The game was a blast.  It ended up being the end of a season (arc) for the other players.   However, when they started the second season they invited me along.  I created a brand new hero named Daedalus and had a blast playing Worlds in Peril.  So as season 2 was winding down (a 5 issue(session) arc)  the GM said he was going to take a break and run or play something else.  I then talked the group into letting me run them through a season of Masks: A New Generation in the interim.  The idea being they would play as young X-Men in the same continuity as the Worlds in Peril game.

The Jean Grey School of Higher Learning

I had only played 6 sessions of a Powered by Apocalypse Game and had never run a session so the idea of running the game is a bit daunting.  But I watched and rewatched Adam Koebel (@Skinnyghost) run a One Shot that was such a blast it became a two-shot over at Roll Play as I tried my best to learn the rules and prepare. I find watching/listening to actual plays is a great way to get a better grasp of the rules I’ve read before I run a game.

I’ve always been a plot and characters over rules kind of GM so the narrative style I didn’t think was going to be too hard.  However, one thing I’ve seen in PBtA games is that a lot can happen in a few hours.  While some systems you expect the players to get through one maybe two encounters and maybe talk to a few NPC per session. Masks, I quickly learned required a whole different kind of prep.  Basically, I thought up who the villains are, what their plans were. I will have them just doing their thing until the heroes get involved.  Because in Masks, the Heroes have their own drama to deal with, and the story is really about them.

So now I had to figure out who the characters were and what kind of character arcs I would take them on. So I started with Session 0:  Character Creation.   We ended up with a Delinquent, a Nova, a Transformed, and a Doomed.  With a pretty interesting mix of ages and personalities. Continue reading “Prepping for a Season of Masks: A New Generation. As Marvel X – kids…”

Posted in Fan Friday, General Writing

Fan Friday: Tales from the Loop – First Impressions


Tales of the loop is an RPG from Miodiphious and the Free League.  It is set in the 80’s that wasn’t and uses the Mutant Year Zero ruleset as it’s framework.  Being someone that has quite enjoyed the Mutant Year Zero Rules, and movies like the Goonies and the show Stranger Things, which the game tries to evoke the wonder and magic of, I quickly backed this project when it showed up on Kickstarter.  I must say I am quite surprised by the finished product and not at all disappointed.

Mutant: Year Zero’s ruleset is and interesting game where you build D6 dice pools for actions and require a 6 on a die to succeed. If you fail the first roll, you can always push yourself and roll again with potentially additional consequences added to the situation whether you succeed this second roll or not.   In Tales from the Loop, you always take a condition if you reroll, like Angry or Afraid.  This aspect reminded me of Masks: A New Generations.  There is one exception to this rule, however, and that is a mechanic called luck.  Luck is a free reroll, and how many you get per session is determined by your age. If you Ten you get 5 if you are fifteen you get 0.

Another thing I wasn’t expecting in the game is there are no combat rules, there is no initiative, and your players cannot die. This may turn some people off but I found it refreshing and really fit the setting.  Your kids can still get into combat with an angry robot or a strange dinosaur, but you play kids you are not really going toe to toe with these things, instead, you basically must overcome them, like a quick descriptive skill challenge.  If you players understand that they can have a lot of fun with it.

I found in the quick session I ran it played a lot like a Powered by the Apocalypse game, which was super cool.   The game wants to make sure that you intermix the mundane life of being a kid in the 80’s with all the strange and fantastical stuff they are seeing.  So, dealing with your bully of an older brother, your parents fighting and the kid next door you’ve had a crush on since 2nd grade all play a part in the game as well.  It keeps the game grounded (while your parents might ground you when they find out you snuck into that ‘abandoned bunker’)

Character creation is quick and has a few neat world building and party connections elements thrown in.  It would help to have a few more character types for your players to choose from; as listed there are quite a few that are a stretch to see hanging out together after school. (Hick, Jock, Computer Geek…)

I grew up in the 80’s watching the 80’s adventure movies so this game really punches my nostalgia button, but I am not sure how it will play out for the younger crowd.  The rules I think would be really great for kids to learn and play and have a lot of fun, but I am would think the 80’s tech (Walkman, Arcades, large home computers) would be quite foreign ideas so the tone would be quite different.

Overall though, I think Tales from the Loop is going to be one of my new “Go-To” Games, also a game that I’ll probably use to introduce a few people to the great world of Role-playing.