jackofallgeeks: (pl4y with 3vil)
So, as my time here in Monterey swiftly draws to a close, I prepare to make my final purchace at The Game Habitat, the local game/hobby store where I've been spending the bulk of my weekends, playing MtG, chatting with the owner about any number of things, and buying a handful (or six) of boardgames and RPG books. The Game Habitat (which the owner wanted to name 'It's All Fun and Games' but his wife nixed it due to the intentionally implied 'until someone loses and eye') is one of the best local game shops I've ever had the joy to patronize (that's not the right word, is it...?), due in no small part to the great people I've met there, and I'm really going to miss it.

But that's not the point of this post. The point is I'm getting ready to buy a boatload of games, mostly RPGs, and as many of you on this list (1) play RPGs and (2) live in the area I'm moving to, I thought it'd be an idea to let you in on what I'm getting. Any opinions you have are unlikely to change *what* I get, but I'd really like to play (most of these) with you guys.

I already have most of the new World of Darkness, as as I've always liked the *idea* behind WoD, I'd love to play this new, more-integrated incarnation. In particular, I just picked up Changeling: the Lost and so far it seems to be everything I wish the Dreaming had been. I think, maybe, with a different storyline and slightly more organization and cooperation, it might be nice to try a game of it with some (or most) of the players I originally met at Loki's attempted Dreaming game. I know I'd like to see my character re-rolled in the new setting, and I *know* I'd like to see how our characters might've interacted if the game didn't... collapse onto itself.

Along similar lines, I've really liked the looks of Scion, and the second book (and thereby second arc of the story) comes out in another week or so. I think there's a lot of potential in that game, and who *doesn't* want to play the son of a God?

I just picked up the core rules for Savage Worlds -- a $10 core that supports some half-dozen or so separate, fully-functioning games. Of those, I intend to get Deadlands (supernatural horror in a twisted Wild West during the Civil War era), Rippers (supernatural horror in Victorian/Industrial setting, where people become monsters to hunt monsters), a game set in the middle of the Vietnam War (with a healthy dose of supernatural horror and a basic assumption that everyone will die withing a session or three), and Necessary Evil (a game where all the superheroes have been killed in a great betrayal and it's left to the super villains to protect planet earth from invading aliens -- LOTS of potential if thew villains are well-crafted, believable villains and not just the "you can't destroy the earth, *I* want to!" kind). I, uhm, tend towards supernatural horror, I think...

I'm also getting the Legend of the Five Rings game; I don't actually expect to *play* it, except with maybe my brothers, but there you go.

There may be a handful of others -- I already have the newest rules for Shadowrun and Ars Magica, both of which I'd love to play, never mind possibly treading into RIFTS...

Seriously, people, I *want* to RP. Honest-to-god table-top RP. I don't even mind (so much) if I have to be the one running the games -- I plan on having a house so I can certainly host games. I've time and again been denied playing in games, and I'd like that to change in the next couple years.

Heh heh, I'm starting to sound desperate, huh? Heh. Yeah. I'ma go now.
jackofallgeeks: (Moof)
Part of me is resigned to the fact that I am never going to play in a table-top RPG game, in no little part due to the fact that I will never find compatible players.

The rest of me is generally frustrated right now, having worked 18+ apparently fruitless hours on this Vulnerabilities final, so I'm all-together in a bad mood right now.
jackofallgeeks: (Nevermore)
I keep wanting to post something, but every time I get around to it, I either find I have nothing to say, or I have no motivation to say it.

Tonight is kind of a combination of both.

So, right. Life has been moving along since the last time I posted anything of substance. When was that? It looks like October 2nd, which I guess isn't that long ago, but it feels like an eternity.

I got Miriam fixed. I love Miriam. )
I had a bet with one of my friends, who said I would most assuredly name my bike. She knew me well, and I knew even then that I'd lose the bet. If we were still speaking, I'd owe her a batch of cookies...

I found a place to play Magic out here; I'm glad I did. )

About half-way through the summer, I started a World of Darkness project. )It was going to be great. )But it's dying now, if not dead. )
I hate feeling like all my best ideas are being wasted.

Which brings me to NanoWrimo. I don't know what I'm doing. )

Tangentially, there's a lot of grumbling going on around CoH these days, with murmurs of a Great Exodus when City of Villains comes out -- and not to CoV, either, but away from Paragon entirely. people say there's a Great Change coming with the expansion, which will be the cause of wailing and gnashing of teeth. And it makes me sad, because... Well, I don't know anyone who plays CoH. My brothers used to, but when they did we were all on different servers (none of them have ever played with Bethan), and we've never really been able to play together much, even irregularly. No one I know plays the game, and I haven't been able to make friends there the way that Josh did, and... I love the game, but every night I get on to just wander around for half an hour before getting off because there's no one to play with (and the game isn't nearly as fun playing solo, I think)... Well, it makes me sad, is all.

And I joined an online dating site specifically for Catholics, which is full of nice, pretty girls I'd actually date (unlike OKCupid), but I've had to reject two girls already (which is really hard for me; there's history to that), and I've met a girl who I think I kinda like (her name's Tessa and we've been talking for about a week now) but who I'm afraid doesn't think much of me (mostly, I think this just because I can be really negative sometimes, especially when Good Things could happen, as a self-defense against disappointment), and on top of that I'm juggling things with my friend Meghan, who likes me (and I kinda like her) but I don't feel comfortable with anything more than friends, and it all seems so very delicate.

The end.
jackofallgeeks: (Solemn)
Back before I left WoW, I was running my Warlock Silvereyes pretty regularly, and was having lots of fun with her character. The trouble was, I found I was often wanting for other Players with whom to Role Play, and as much fun as the Quests are, wandering around the world alone wasn't my cup of tea. So, I thought I might try to take membership in a guild.

And there are lots of RP Guilds out there. The Knights of Lordaeron. The Alliance Protectors. The Archmagister's Guild. For a while I was in a group called 'Honor Unbound,' if I recall, and it was nice, and there was some nice character interaction (I think the leader of the band was enamoured with Silvereyes), but one thing kept bugging me. Silvereyes wasn't a knight, and she didn't care much about 'protecting the innocent,' and she certainly wouldn't serve an archmagister. After all, she was a Warlock, with all the quirks of character that come with dealing in black magics. She fit reasonably well in Honor Unbound, but there was still a something missing from my play experience.

And so I had an idea -- namely, that I would try to form a 'metaguild,' the Storycircle. What's a metaguild you might ask?
Let me explain. )

Anyways, I fell out of WoW before I could get the metaguild set up, but Silvereyes still has the Charter, unsigned, in her hands. I would still like to see this experiment come to pass, and see real character interaction and development. So I thought I might advertise here, and see if I couldn't drum up some support.

So, if you're interested, comment here, or send Silvereyes a letter through WoW to let me know.
jackofallgeeks: (Saddened)
Had a great day. Spent most of it with Anastasiya, saw Howl's Moving Castle, ran in the DnD campaign Daniel's doing (which I think was possibly our best one yet, even if he seemed to think it was lacking), and then sat in for a bit on an old-type Werewolf game Anastasiya's getting into (and trying to get me into).

Now, I'm just tired. And lonely.
I want to be loved.
-curls up by himself and goes to sleep-
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
You know, I once had this idea for a campaign, or rather, a character I wanted to play.
He was this Vampire, right, from White Wolf's Vampire:The Masquerade (Preferably, I think, a Gangrel, but it really works for any clan, save maybe Nosferatu or Tzimisce). Anyways, to put it simply, in his mortal life he falls for this girl (or guy, for you Anne Rice fans). Presumably, the subject also falls for said character, but also predictably, the subject is also a Vampire.

Now then, for whatever reasons Vampires do this (twisted ideals of 'preserving beauty', sepparation anxiety that always comes with loving a mortal, idea that 'maybe this one will be different', maybe to save his life), the Subject makes the Character a Vampire - Embraces him, if you will.

Understandably, the Character doesn't take this very well. I mean, the whole existing in perpetual night, never again being able to see the sunrise (or rather, only one more time...), living of the blood of the living, and generally becomming a monster. How ever, just as he hates his Sire for what's been done, there's still that vein of affection, ands a main conflict may well be that he wants to destroy her (or him) but in the end can't bring himself to deliver the final blow (maybe turning against fellows when they try to destroy the creature?), along with the typical 'I'm a monster, I don't desrve to exist, dam me for my infernal hunger' bit.

There is a point to all this. See, I was listening to, appropriotly enough, "Love Song For A Vampire", and in at least a few ways it fits the whole scenario.

And that's what sparked all this.

And this is the end.
jackofallgeeks: (Moof)

Well, today was passably good. It rained all day, and that always puts me in a good mood. A little water on the fire if you will. Thus, I'm no longer smoldering, but unhappy none the less. You see, as Leslie and Claire both pointed out, it must've been a horrendous experience to get me upset, and it was. Allow me to explain.

I like Role-playing. I figure since I can't act (stage fright) and I can't write (no plot), Role-Playing is my soul recourse, and how I long for it (though my stage fright plays into it, it's not so bad). For this reason, I can churn out massive amounts of characters - Elven Wizards, Human Fighters, Felinoid Huntercats, Goblin Bursters, Juicer Assassins - but I put alot of thought into each character, and try and make them as 'human' (read: realistic, in many cases) as possible. I Role-Play because I have a character concept and I want to see that character play out and overcome obstacles, and grow, and maybe become a hero or a legend, or at least die grandly.

My experience in Role-Playing is quite limited. I've played online through e-mails for a number of years now, but that's vastly removed from Real Life play. Even aside from that, finding a Game Master online is worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack - it's like trying to find a specific strand of hay. I eventually resorted to running my own games, in a sense living through my players, just because i'm bursting with ideas that have no outlet. My true goal is to play, though, not run.

This past summer I was blessed by having Leslie introduce me to Parker and the gang, who let me roll up a Bonegnawer for their Werewolf Campaign. I only played in but so many sessions, but in that time I developed a feel for Akio. And ending his career (though not his life) with a few footprints in the asphalt and an elbow to a guy's temple made me feel contented, to some extent.

When I came to CUA, I learned that Aaron played D&D, and naturally wanted to get into a game - ANY game, just as long as I could play. And so, he introduced me to his group - Ben, Abner, Yon, and Ca...dam, his name's on the tip of my tongue. Anyways, they're nice enough guys, but...

I've now played in three sessions with them. And in that time I've gone through 3 characters. For those of you unable to do the math, that's a character per session. The first was Janus - a dark, sullen fighter who had a past he didn't want to share. He didn't die, he just didn't DO anything. After he was introduced, Ben's campaign was dropped and Aaron decided to try GMing.

The second was Cedric - a cocky, hot-headed fighter. For some reason yet to be determined, he got on a ship headed for the orient. He never left that ship. One day, the group woke up after a storm and the ship was empty - cargo, crew, captain, everything - without a trace in the middle of the ocean. This would have been interesting save the GM gave us no clues, no hints on what to do. We were stuck in the middle of the ocean on a mysteriously-abandoned ship.

Then the pirates came.

Pirates being pirates, the boarded our ship, and in an attempt to gain the advantage my character (who could fight blind) jumped into the belly of the ship. The rest of the characters, for some reason, followed me into the darkness. When the pirates were above us, someone got the bright idea to pull the ladder down - marginally intellegent, I admit. But, *Of Course* the pirates noticed. And did they jump down into the hold like any decent, first-level adversary? No, no, no, they couldn't be STUPID. Heaven forbid. No, they *OF COURSE* have a smoke bomb, which they drop down on us, and when I told Aaron I was going to look for it with my feet, hey envisioned me kicking it down under the planks, out of reach, so we would all suffocate.

Thank the lord I didn't say 'with my hands', I may have CHUCKED it at an ally and causede massive head trauma. No, likely I would have just burned my hands severely or something, making my fighter (who can no longer hold a weapon) useless. but no, I said feet, booted it, and doomed us all to slow suffocation.

But all was not lost - Ben quickly told the Barbarian to punch a hole in the ceiling so we could climb out. Good idea. He punched 2, and we split 2 and 2 and came up on either side of the mid-level deck. Between us were a dozen Pirates. one fell - three - seven - ten - all twelve, dead. And none of us scratched save the girl-fighter. So Cedric, charged from the battle, climbs up to the top deck - really the only logical way to continue the battle. Not the smartest thing, no, but THAT'S HIS CHARACTER. cedric's the type of guy who doesn't quite know when to stop a fight, least of all when he's WINNING. He'll never learn, now.

He jumps up and stands just long enough for the Barbarian to follow him up - he drops just as the Barbarian gets up there, douple slashes from twin longswords. I'm dragged below decks by my Cleric companion and healed back to 4 HP, I believe, while the barbarian continues to mow down the enemy - swing, kill, swing, kill, swing, kil - two more, four more, eight more - in total he alone dropped 17 pirates that night, along with my three and at least one or two others from Yon and Ben. Twenty+ men dead, from four.

The barbarian drops, and the pirated *decide* that they aren't going to cut their losses of 20 men and leave - no, they're going to tear up the upper deck so they can get the FOUR GUYS who killed them - that's four men who have (effectively) killed 5 men each. When that battle turns to losing, the jump down at us and we drop a couple more, then four more, then silence. And they throw torches down on us. Three, twelve, twenty - no, we don't get a chance to fight the fire. or rather we do, but Aaron literally says "There's too much, the boat WILL sink."

Cedric once again goes uptop - at 4 HP he can only eat about one kit from these guys, maybe two, but 4 HP is 1/2 his total, so it really doesn't matter. He falls again, of course, but to his 'companions' come to get him? No, for the sake of running away under the supposition of death, they jump out the back and swim away - leaving our hero, Cedric, unconcious but breathing, to die a fiery death and lay in a watery grave. All in one session, and hardly fitting for any character, let alone a character destind for greatness.

Ertai's story is even more disapointing. Ertai is the character that I rolled up after I heard Cedric bit it (yes, I wasn't there when they jumped ship - I had to be rushed to the metro t'get home, and they told me the day after). Ertai, though, was a masterpiece. He was a Wizard Prodigy - Seventeen and already an accomplished wizard. He'd been through the required classes at the local accademy and graduated, with honors, years before his peers would even be eligable. He had stayed around to study, fascinated by the knowlege he'd absorbed. But he wasn't perfect - he was rather spoiled. You see, EVERYONE had ALWAYS praised him for his 'amazing natural ability' and this had gotten to him, you could say. He was SURE he was the greatest wizard to ever live, if not now then after he'd had appropriote time to research. He may well have been. We'll never know.

His school master freared for Ertai - he saw everything as potential research, as raw data waiting to be analyzed, processed, categorized, and filed - everything, including people. In an effort to get Ertai to grasp this truth - that people are people - he sent Ertai out into the world. He saw it as an opportunity for Ertai to intereact with other people and see them as more than study. Ertai saw it as a chance to explore what a Library could never provide - and a means to show the world just how amazing he really was. None of these hopes saw fruition.

What did Aaron do? Did he set up a scenario where Ertai could save the party, and cement his place in the party? Did he have the party save Ertai and cement Ertai's loyalty - or at least base interest? Did he at least have Ertai wash up on the same shore as the cast aways? No, no, no, nothing this epic. We ARE only human after all.... Ertai was just *there*. The best explaination was that Ertai had been one of the miscellaneous characters that he's mentioned but never encluded in the story (infact, when he first wanted to dispose of said characters, did he have a sea serpent attack us long enough to take some beating,eat the merchants, and then decide it'd had enough punnishment and leave? No, he had them jump over board and swim away...).

Anyways, Ertai's story is sadder than Cedric's because Cedric died due, inpart, to his character. he SHOULDN'T have, and aaron shouldn't have expected so much fromFIRST LEVEL CHARACTERS, but that's not the point. He hid, and Cedric was dead. Ertai, however...

He was an awsome character - an amzing wizard who was not only increadibly intellegent and quick-witted (numbers-wise) but could also take some mount of damage - something most mages can't. But he was *phased* onto this island and pretty much just followed the other three as they searched the island. We came to a mountain with a cave, and voices in the cave. We try sneaking around to get a better view, but skrew up.

Reasonably enough, three of the SAME pirates (figures we'd wash up on their island - it's almost cinemaic) come out of the cave. But when they see us, do they charge us, like any decent villain would, even though WE (the players and GM) know it would hardly be a fight? No, two run back inside and one stays and watches us. Of course, we kill him, but figure we'll stick around and wait for the other guys to come back - revenge for the ship - mayhaps for Cedric, as well, but I think too highly of my comrades, I believe.

In anycase, Ben gets the BRIGHT idea to toss a rope across the clearing when we hear alot of them comming, in order to trip them up. Not a bad idea, really, but sadly they saw the rope fly through the air. It was a stupid move - really, waiting for them to come back was stupid, but we HAD killed over twenty of them before. But did they come back with reasonable numbers to assault FOUR men? Did they come back with eight? Ten? Fourteen? No, no, nothing that sane - THIRTY or more of these bastards pour out of the cave. Combat ensues.

The combat, really, went almost decently - the girl dropped, Ertai was out of spells and at 1 HP, the Barbarian had taken out an additional 8 guys (25 cumulative from the boat), but the Bard cast fog and we managed to escape. Then, Aaron said he was stuck. Why, one might ask? Because we couldn't escape alive.

WTF and various other explitives come to mind. WHY won't we survive this, one might ask? It's simple, really - these pirates are insane. Instead of ignoring us and staying in their fortifyed caverns, or even just sending out a group of two, maybe ten or so each, to search us out, the WHOLE FLIPPING TRIBE (or at least all 80 of them left standing who can fight) decide to ALL come out, en masse, to search for us. we can't escape alive because they are travelling in groups of twenty each and looking to scour the entire island and KILL FOUR MEN. Ertai, at 1 HP, lastend an amazing 2 rounds (12 sec) and even succeeded in grounding 2 pirates. But his character was never played out and he died on the end of a longsword on his first day of play.

And the REALLY sucky thing is that had we gone THE OTHER WAY around the island, we would have found boats and key plot hooks. Now, I can understand that if you plan something out geographically, it's bad form to warp space just so your characters can find it, but with something THAT CRITICAL, it's absurd!

But the fun continues. Later on, riding back to his place, Aaron criticized me for not 'playing your mage smart' and letting him die. He said that if he'd rolled stats the way I did, his first priority would be self-preservation. Well, I'm SORRY, but I'm a NWBIE, and this is (technically) MY FIRST FLIPPING CHARACTER. When he went on about how he'd been GMing for so many years and seen Level 1 characters take on much worse (he quoted a Lich, at one piont) I wanted to say 'Well, I've been playing for so many HOURSE - cut me some FLIPPING SLACK.' I don't know if it's nessisarily apparent, but I have to be pretty steamed to cuss, and in any of these cases, I intended to say then what I imply now. Needless to say (though I already did) i didn't say much after the game ended.

Now then, we come to the subject of the post (collective groan from the audience). No, no, no, that means I'm finally ending, not beginning. You see, two types of players exist in this world: Role-Players and Roll-Players. A Role-Player is interested with story, character development, and acting over mechanics, statistical power, and Munchkinism (the ability to twist the rules in such a way as to 'legally' make a walking tank). A Roll-Player, of course, is just the opposite.

In the end, Roll-Players run out of things to do - you get stronger and stronger, first you defeat 120 pirates, then enforce your will over a town, seige a castle, conquer a nation - by the time you take over the world at 5th level, you have to start fighting trans-dimentional raiders and demolishing planests to have any challenge.

Role-Players are never out in the cold because they always have some new idea they haven't tried yet. It's often joked that a Role-Player would play a bind, mute, deaf, numb, parapaligic scholar who is tormented because of the great wealth of knowlege he has and his inability to exoress it to the world. Yeah, it's an exageration, but...just imagine....

Needless to say, I fancy myself a Role-Plasyer and (of course) I should suspect you would agree with me. Now, while I won't flat out say that Aaron et al are Roll-Players... Well, they have the SEMBLANCE of caring. I mean, they come up with interesting character concepts, but that's pretty much where their role-playing ends and their roll-playing begins (aside from the language they choose to use when speaking in-character). Mostly, their character concepts exist simply to masque their rules abuse, and give their characters some semblance of viability.

To wrap everything up (relieved sigh from the audience), I got so mad because what could have been wonderful, what could have been amazing, what I could have loved nearly half as much as girls, what crumpled, burned, and tossed in my face. The game was ruined, as even Aaron admitted, but he would accept no fault in the matter, and that too bugged me.

And now Leslie finally realizes the extent to which I an captivated by Role-Playing.
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
Yes, yes it was.

I had a rather bad night of Role-playing last night, but for the sake of length, I'll save that for a later post. Suffice, for now, that is wasn't fun.

I will, however, explain the events there-after. You see, we finished playing at about 2:00 AM, upon which Aaron and Abner decided to play a game of 'Lord Of The Rings' which lasted until 3:00 AM. Aaron being my ride, I could do little else but sit there and smolder. I do believe 'smolder' is a good term to use.

Anyways, since the last Metro left at about 1:20, it'd been pre-determined that I'd crash at Aaron's (so we could play later), and so Me, Aaron, and Yon got into his car, he drove Yon home, and then me and him got to his place, upon which we went to bed. I must say here that, while narrow and unfamiliar, it was a very comfortable night's rest.

In anycase, me and Aaron had decided to get up and leave his house at 9:00 so I could get back here, get changed, and be at work at 10:00. He wakes me up, I throw on my clothes, but don't bother to put my contacts in. I put my shoes on in the car, and he drops me off at the metro - reasonable, and predictable, though I would have much prefered if he'd driven me to campus. Not a big deal, really, but mind you, I may STILL be smoldering from last night, so... *shrugs*

I get in the Metro and, as always, it goes. I get off at CUA and trek back towards my dorm. Glancing at my watch, it's 9:45 - it's a ten minute walk to my dorm and then another ten minutes to work. And along the way I have to get dressed. I get up to my room, grab my clothed, change, put on my shoes, and look at the clock - 8:55. I'm not gonna make it - it takes ten minutes to get there and I'm supposed to be there in five. I should have called and said I'd be late. I SHOULD have had Aaron drive me home last night. I -- wait. Did that say 8:55? I looked at my watch - it said it was almost 9:00. Then I pieced it together - Aaron hadn't left at 9:00, he left at 8:00. I was off by an hour.

Skrew this. I went and took a shower, put my contacts in, and then sat down to begin my gripe-ing. And yes, I mean 'begin' because I still have yet to explain WHY last night was so much of a waste. Leslie, in particular, knows I don't get upset easily (though I would say she gives me more credit than I'm due) and I was upset last night. i didn't say much of anything after the game, and I really really wanted to hit something - or hold someone. Both are amazingly good for releasing tension. Sadly, I went unfulfilled last night, probably why I'm still smoldering now.

But, now I DO have ten minutes to get to work. I'll post about my Roll-playing session from last night when I get back after work. Till then, fare well.


jackofallgeeks: (Default)
John Noble

August 2012

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