Sunday, October 30, 2011

After Action Report, Erie Days of Gaming

Kelly Anne and I arrived at Erie Days of Gaming on Friday Night and set up her booth. She was selling hair sticks include some copies of Majestic Wilderlands and Blackmarsh. This included a nice selection of d20 hair sticks.

Friday proved to a very slow day. I brought my painting stuff and finished up the unpainted cauldrons that were in my collections.

Kelly Anne had a good suggestion of using the metallic green I had as highlight for the cauldrons with the icky green stuff. I thought they came out nice. Also shown is the last of the unpainted orc figures in my collection. Now every orc is painted and it off to finish up the unpainted official guards.

For Saturday I had two session slated. The first was to run another playtest of Night's Bride Coven. It was is a three level dungeon built into a cliff. It is the base for a coven of warlocks that the players were set to take out by the Invincible Overlord as they were frustrating his plans to colonize Dearthwood.

The adventure started well with the party killing a raiding party of Purple Claw orc. Given most current gamer unfamiliarity with older D&D, I have a straightforward combat encounter to get them used to the system.

For Night Bride's the party then has a choice of going to the base of the cliff or the top. The party elected to send all their hireling mercenaries to the base of the cliff. While the adventurers went to the top of the cliff. At the bottom they found a cave entrance and signaled the hirelings to charge into there. The party spotted a ledge twenty feet below and elected to repel down. Unfortunately the only thief in the party, Jasons of Underworld Ink, rolled very low for his climbing roll and plummeted to his death onto the ledge. A house rule in my game is that you don't die until you reach negative con, Jasons rolled a very low constitution for his thief. Then to compound the tragedy, one of the party's mage rolled a 1 for climbing and not only fell but missed the ledge completely and fell 60's to the base of the cliff. Needlessly he died as well. So we found out why hirelings are useful as the two took two of the mercernaries and rolled them up as fighters. It was good they had hireling left as the cave they charged into was filled with spiders and slaughtered 2/3rd of them.

The rest of the module went well. Unintentionally followed how the previous playtest went at Eriecon. However I ran out of time and had to cut it short before the final encounters. The players had it pretty much wrapped up with only one further death when one of the replacement characters, not Jasons but the other guy, fell into a pit with poisoned spikes. He just drew one of the remaining hireling and continued with the party.

Next was the game I was very excited play Traveller. It was the first time I played Traveller in 15 years and I went all out including setting up my referee screen just so.

I elected to use Classic Traveller and to have the player rolled up characters. The process proved to be more involved than I thought. The big omission was I didn't have any explanation of the cascade skills.

But with all the cards and cheat sheets I made it was borderline. Half of the players liked it and other half didn't. A couple of things I was going to use from Mongoose Traveller. First was their mishap table if any of the player blew their survival rolls, and second was I had a package of needed skills that the party could distribute among themselves. I may go with pre-gens next time.

We wound up with a Marine General who was a Baron, A one term Army Lieutenant, A Army General who was a Knight, A Scout, and a Rogue. The players were the crew of the Semper Fi and we quickly estabilshed that the Marine General was the owner/captain with the other players owning shares.

The adventure involved going to Focaline in the Aramis subsector. The players were contracted to deliver a cargo of breeding groat. Luckily for them they didn't have the Serenity problem of live cattle, instead they were in low berths.

The players had a lot of fun with the adventure, it involved Zhodani, Ancient artifacts, Vargrs, big guns, and all the usual Traveller fun stuff. Part of the adventure involved figuring out why a passenger spaced himself in the middle of the jump. One comment it I got was that it was like being part of a SF Short Story written by Phillip Dick before he gone bonkers. I was worried that it would play out like Adventure 3, Twilight Peak which also involves Zhodani, and Ancient artifacts but it played out much differently.

One interesting thing is that I studied the Traveller Combat and skills rules a lot to prepare for this game. However I didn't really use them at all. This seemed weird to me compared to the Majestic Wilderlands games when it hit me. It was pretty much how my original Traveller campaign went.

They play out like an old episode of Mission Impossible. The players figure out what they have to solve. Then they sit around the "coffee table" and discuss how to solve it. Finally execute the plan which usually involved surprise and overwhelming force.

I had a great time refereeing this and going to see how I can work this into a rotation of games at the Gold Star Anime.


Neil Ford said...

The Traveller scenario sounds fun. Any possibility it might see the light as a public release one day? Always on the lookout for con slot length Traveller scenarios.

- Neil.

Robert Conley said...

Yes, I plan on Publishing it.

Neil Ford said...

Woot! You have at least one customer here.

- Neil.

AcroRay said...

Oh, I wish I could have gone. I miss playing classic Traveller ... and hanging out with Rob.