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 Post subject: Whither WotG?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:44 am 
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So then. Summer's gone away (mostly), I'm back from my travels, we're down one player, we've got a full tank of gas, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

What to do? Whither WotG?

My enthusiasm for wuxia is currently at a low ebb. Actually, it might just be my enthusiasm for WotG. The fun that we have gaming seems to always come at the price of literally hours of confusion, review, and relearning. This is not the freeform, rules-light game system I originally thought it to be. In terms of bookkeeping, it's right up there with HERO. More and more, it strikes me that it's designed specifically to emulate a certain sub-genre -- e.g., crazy-ass Chinese cartoons in which characters routinely burst into flame or level mountains -- that's never been what I wanted for this game. From what I've seen of the comics to which the RPG so closely cleaves, I find them to be ridiculously plotted (and poorly drawn, but that's another thing) and populated with characters who are either stupefyingly powerful or stupefyingly flat.

Moreover, I feel like there was never proper motivation for any of you to get on the Campaign Train in the first place, as much as I tried to pretend there was, and the result is that the whole plot feels like a little too transparent of a carrot-and-stick exercise. Admittedly, I like the story I have in my head, but I'm so committed to it that in practice it devolves into alternating strains of "Go there" and "Fight him." It's all a little too external. I wish more of the story came from you players, but I'm keeping such a tight schedule, what with the breakneck chase to find Princess McGuffin, that you aren't getting a chance to explore your characters' most important aspect: what they want.

I have my own ideas about what could be done, assuming any of you are likewise dissatisifed (to some extent) with either the system or the game itself, but I want to hear your opinions first. The good news is that my classes end at noon on Fridays, so a monthly Friday night or Saturday game is possible. I dunno -- that seems like good news to me.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:03 pm 
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Well Albert's and my Friday night gaming group is gonna go down to every other week pretty soon, so that might work out.

Regarding the game, I'm of a like mind as far as the system goes. Parts of it I like a lot - like the River, and the mechanic of rolling sets. Parts of it are like unto Exalted, in that there is way too much to remember. Not to mention, I'm not too crazy about how damage is calculated (something I can never remember how it works).

As far as I'm concerned, we can start up a whole 'nother game, totally non-wuxia, non-WotG oriented.

I have a goofy idea Mike - why don't you run a WFRP game? Gary's PbP game never actually got off the ground at all, and I have that dang book burning a hole on my shelf (actually desk, but whatever).

'Course that might not be anyone else's cuppa. So, I'm open to whatever.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:11 pm 
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i'd have fun with this group (and my other groups for that matter) even if we were squatting in a ditch poking berries up our nose. serious. i had fun with wotg, but understand everyone's misgivings about the wonky hard-to-remember rules and am open to doing something completely different.

refresh my memory: what's wfrp?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:19 pm 
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Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play.

I'm not totally opposed to that at all. It'd mean another trip up a learning curve, as I don't think any of us are really all that familiar with the system -- I get it, but I feel like there's quite a bit more to know if I were to run it -- but I'm not especially concerned about that. I'm still in the mood to run something, although what that thing is I don't exactly know. I don't want to do D20, that's for sure (exception: M&M). YMMV, but I get plenty of D20 -- maybe a little too much -- in my weekly game up here.

But let's table that specific option until Sam chimes in.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:26 pm 
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i should've been more specific. what's wfrp about?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:32 pm 
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jimmy corrigan wrote:
i should've been more specific. what's wfrp about?


It's a fantasy RPG, but it's (supposedly) more gritty. It's based off the mini wargame.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:33 pm 
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Oh, and I'd totally be up for a M&M supers game! That'd be pretty awesome. Don't know if Albert would though, since he just finished one not too long ago in the current incarnation of the Champions group.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:37 pm 
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It's "a grim world of perilous adventure." I absolutely think it's grittier than, say, D&D. In general, your odds of failure are higher, and it has a simplicity of combat held over from its origins as a miniatures game that's fairly merciless. Like, two dozen rats merciless.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:45 pm 
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m and m would be cool with me. i had fun the champions m and m game and could stand playing in another.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:47 pm 
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jimmy corrigan wrote:
m and m would be cool with me. i had fun the champions m and m game and could stand playing in another.

You could stand it? That's the kind of enthusiasm I'm looking for!



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Some ideas -- M&M 2e just came out with a noteworth suppliment for golden age heroes, which sounds pretty damn cool. Also, there's that 1e suppliment called "Noir" which has possibilities.



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:20 pm 
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mordraine wrote:
Some ideas -- M&M 2e just came out with a noteworth suppliment for golden age heroes, which sounds pretty damn cool. Also, there's that 1e suppliment called "Noir" which has possibilities.

Yeah, I've seen Noir... looks like the M&M equivalent of Dark Champions (which is good). Don't anyone get any serious ideas yet, though. It's all still up in the air.



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:19 pm 
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Thanks for the heads-up PM Mike - I wouldn't have seen this otherwise. I'm back to having absolutely no free time at work (negative time, actually - it's nice to work your ass off and get farther and farther behind daily. And they brought in a consultant to streamline the process - I have a feeling I'll get a nice hour-long chunk stolen from my day tomorrow. Joy).



Anyway, I was enjoying the game - but I certainly agree that there is a ridiculous amount that I forget between sessions (that's significantly to blame on the 'monthly' part though, I think). If you guys want to switch to a more 'let's play something we can remember so we get more out of the very limited time we get to game' type of thing, I'm down. I'll echo Albert's sentiment about the comraderie being more important than the specific system/etc - though not literally or completely, as I don't like things stuck up my nose*.

I haven't tried WFRP (actually, I may have one time, but I can't remember if it was that or something else. Probably would if I saw a char sheet or something). It's an idea and I'd be willing to give it a go. M&M sounds good, I haven't had a chance yet to really sit down and play a campaign (just one-off type of stuff). If we're spitballin' anyway, I may have a few things of interest (to me anyway) that I might like to try/try again/etc

* Feng Shui (keep the Hong Kong, simpler system)
* Ars Magica (I dunno, I've always wanted to do a campaign of this)
* Adventure! (I Keep missing this one at every opportunity)
* Deadlands (Cause it sounds wierd ;)

Again, just throwing out ideas.

-Sam















* Dude, Albert - I didn't know you played NoseBerry. Which version 2.1 or 12.33456.5? I'm totally down if you have a regular thing going somewhere - let me know! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:39 pm 
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I've thought about Feng Shui as an alternate system, but I'm just not quite as crazy about the wuxia as I've been in the past, and I don't want to end up going through the motions. If I'm going to drive down to San Diego once a month for this, it'd better be the fucking highlight of my gaming life.

I'm interested in Ars Magica, but I don't know if I'm interested in learning a new system (again) right before running it. Adventure! and Deadlands -- same thing. I mean, I played in Andy's great one-shot Adventure! a couple years ago, but I'd hardly feel qualified running it; similarly, I've played a one-shot using Savage Worlds, which is more or less the same system as Deadlands (right?), plus I own the book, but... I dunno.

The thing that currently has my attention is M&M. Andy and I have been throwing back and forth the idea of a post-WWII noir supers game, sort of a cross between -- what were they again? -- Godlike and Watchmen. I've never even flipped through Godlike, but I've read the shit out of Watchmen. It wouldn't be quite like either, though. Most of the genuine superheroics would be part of the context and mostly a thing of the past. The action would center on the PCs' lives, not the fate of mankind. I put down some ideas off the top of my head yesterday that I think are pretty appealing.

"It'd take place in '46 or '47. Methumans exist and played a big role in the war, but they're generally not like Superman -- not the ones who are left, anyway. It was a meta, not the bomb, that ended the war in the Pacific Theater, although the results were similar. He had to sacrifice his own life to do it, but the details are sketchy from there. In the years to come, the Cold War will be one of genetics rather than atomics.

"Meanwhile, less-powerful metas who made it through the conflict, either by luck, skill, or concealment -- many were given special treatment in the military, with the trade-off being that they faced significantly more danger than their fellow servicemen -- are having even more trouble adjusting to life during peacetime than the typical soldier, saddled as they are with the additional weight of being 'special.' Some resent them, some fear them, some idolize them as heroes, but none of that's helping them learn how to go on with their lives now that their unique talents and abilities aren't in high demand."

I'm a fan of film noir, hard-boiled detective novels, and superheroes, so for me this is a trifecta of interests, but if it isn't for anyone else (except Andy, who has essentially ordered me to "run this"), then I don't want to do it. I'm already compulsively making notes on this idea in class when I should be, y'know, paying attention, so if this isn't the group's cup of tea, tell me now before I get in too deep.

P.S.: I'm already in too deep. Today I've read extensively about Nikola Tesla, Dashiell Hammett, and the Tunguska Comet of 1908.



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:04 pm 
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devlin1 wrote:
I've thought about Feng Shui as an alternate system, but I'm just not quite as crazy about the wuxia as I've been in the past, and I don't want to end up going through the motions. If I'm going to drive down to San Diego once a month for this, it'd better be the fucking highlight of my gaming life.


fair enough, and I'll add that I probably won't want to play if the GM is running something he doesn't want to ;)

Quote:
I'm interested in Ars Magica, but I don't know if I'm interested in learning a new system (again) right before running it. Adventure! and Deadlands -- same thing. I mean, I played in Andy's great one-shot Adventure! a couple years ago, but I'd hardly feel qualified running it; similarly, I've played a one-shot using Savage Worlds, which is more or less the same system as Deadlands (right?), plus I own the book, but... I dunno.

The thing that currently has my attention is M&M. Andy and I have been throwing back and forth the idea of a post-WWII noir supers game, sort of a cross between -- what were they again? -- Godlike and Watchmen. I've never even flipped through Godlike, but I've read the shit out of Watchmen. It wouldn't be quite like either, though. Most of the genuine superheroics would be part of the context and mostly a thing of the past. The action would center on the PCs' lives, not the fate of mankind. I put down some ideas off the top of my head yesterday that I think are pretty appealing.

"It'd take place in '46 or '47. Methumans exist and played a big role in the war, but they're generally not like Superman -- not the ones who are left, anyway. It was a meta, not the bomb, that ended the war in the Pacific Theater, although the results were similar. He had to sacrifice his own life to do it, but the details are sketchy from there. In the years to come, the Cold War will be one of genetics rather than atomics.

"Meanwhile, less-powerful metas who made it through the conflict, either by luck, skill, or concealment -- many were given special treatment in the military, with the trade-off being that they faced significantly more danger than their fellow servicemen -- are having even more trouble adjusting to life during peacetime than the typical soldier, saddled as they are with the additional weight of being 'special.' Some resent them, some fear them, some idolize them as heroes, but none of that's helping them learn how to go on with their lives now that their unique talents and abilities aren't in high demand."

I'm a fan of film noir, hard-boiled detective novels, and superheroes, so for me this is a trifecta of interests, but if it isn't for anyone else (except Andy, who has essentially ordered me to "run this"), then I don't want to do it. I'm already compulsively making notes on this idea in class when I should be, y'know, paying attention, so if this isn't the group's cup of tea, tell me now before I get in too deep.

P.S.: I'm already in too deep. Today I've read extensively about Nikola Tesla, Dashiell Hammett, and the Tunguska Comet of 1908.


Let's go down the 'Sam Likes this' list:

* Noir - check
* HBDN - check
* Superheroes - check

Yeah, I could see doing this. Depending on the specifics and day/time change I could probably muscle Todd in also, if you wanted a fourth player.


.. and you know that was no comet - it was a nuclear powered spaceship explosion caused by a collision with a tiny black hole generated by secret russian experiments with antimatter!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:15 pm 
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dnd3eplayer wrote:
.. and you know that was no comet - it was a nuclear powered spaceship explosion caused by a collision with a tiny black hole generated by secret russian experiments with antimatter!

Um... duh.

I honestly can't even conceive of the kind of person who wouldn't love a properly done post-WWII noir supers game, so your response comes as no huge surprise (but it does make me happy). If there's someone out there who couldn't get into that kind of game, then the terrorists have already won.

I'll start fleshing out my ideas a little more, then. The thing with supers games is that you always have to answer the same question: Why do these people exist? My loose talk about Tunguska probably gives that away, but we need to consider the major events of the first 40 years or so of the 20th century in light of the existence of supers, or whatever they'll be called (certainly not supers). That bit about Hiroshima not being bombed, f'rinstance. But I enjoy that sort of thing.

None of that is as important, though, as figuring out a time to play. My preference is probably Friday. I shouldn't have any real commitments the next day, and since I'm done with class at noon I can be down there by 2:00 (not that that'll do anyone any good). I know Friday works for Andy and Albert -- how so for you, Sam?



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:46 pm 
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Yeah, Friday would work. Remember that I don't get off of work until 6 (technically) and I usually end up staying later a couple times a week (friday generally being on of those times, so I don't have too much extra on mondays) - but fuck that if I'm gaming.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:04 am 
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BTW, I like a shared origin story (such as the Tunguska comet, or something similar).

And I like the name "metas" for supers. Or "enhanced" might be good too. Or "amps" maybe, short for amplified... There's always "muties" (don't you love the X-Men legacy?).

Speaking of Adventure!, they've got a shared origin story there too. It has to do with Z-Rays, which were released into the world after some sort of event (which I don't recall at the moment, but it wasn't the Tunguska Comet). Z-Rays spread throughout the world and those people with a certain potential discovered special abilities after being exposed. Anyway, just throwing that out there cuz your musings reminded me.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:21 am 
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"mutes" is one i've used in-game. if you go with the z-ray thing you can use "gen z's." "hypers"? though, i like "metas."

(sam, i like to kick it old skool. noseberry one point oh all the way, baby. me and my friends get together by the docks about three times a week. call me.)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:23 am 
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mordraine wrote:
BTW, I like a shared origin story (such as the Tunguska comet, or something similar).

And I like the name "metas" for supers. Or "enhanced" might be good too. Or "amps" maybe, short for amplified... There's always "muties" (don't you love the X-Men legacy?).

I think it's reasonable to have more than one name for "them," depending on your point of view or background. In the military, the slang term may be "specials," while scientists frequently refer to them as "deltas." The official government term could be something like "SPBs," short for "super-powered beings," or "paranormals" (as in the Department of Paranormal Affairs), but the man on the street could call them nearly anything, from "supers" to "freaks."

I tend to think of them as "metahumans," personally, probably because that's what we called them in our long-running Champions PBeM.

"Capes," normally a regulation slang term for... those people, wouldn't especially apply here. I don't picture a world full of spandex-clad heroes in capes. The only place you'll really find them is in the comics.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:59 am 
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I picture my guy as wearing military khakis, with a special patch on his shoulder, designating him as a member of Delta Division, or whatever the military called the unit that all specials were assigned to. He always wears one of those caps...

Something like this:

Image

Or this:

Image



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those pics are tres cool. they get me all amped to play.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:29 am 
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mordraine wrote:
I picture my guy as wearing military khakis, with a special patch on his shoulder, designating him as a member of Delta Division, or whatever the military called the unit that all specials were assigned to. He always wears one of those caps...

That's pretty much in keeping with what I was thinking. An easy (and useful) way for the PCs to know each other is if they served in the same unit in the War, either an all-meta unit (a "Delta Squad," if you will), an integrated unit in which they were known metas, or one in which they kept their "condition" under wraps. Either way, there's built-in loyalty there. Just something I'm thinking about.

It would probably be a little difficult if a PC were still in the military, since he wouldn't have much... y'know, freedom. He could be on leave or something, or on reserve (maybe all registered metas were offered indefinite leave with the stipulation that they'd be on indefinite reserve), but active service would keep him a little too busy, I think. And as far as the noir aspect goes, it'd be good if the PCs were at least a little aimless, without the kind of structure active military service would provide.



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devlin1 wrote:
It would probably be a little difficult if a PC were still in the military, since he wouldn't have much... y'know, freedom. He could be on leave or something, or on reserve (maybe all registered metas were offered indefinite leave with the stipulation that they'd be on indefinite reserve), but active service would keep him a little too busy, I think. And as far as the noir aspect goes, it'd be good if the PCs were at least a little aimless, without the kind of structure active military service would provide.


True.

Okay, so my guy wears a trenchcoat and a fedora now...

Image

And just cuz it looks cool, even though it has nothing to do with my character (unless I decide it does later):

Image



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:08 am 
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mordraine wrote:
True.

Okay, so my guy wears a trenchcoat and a fedora now...

Image

You can't go wrong with Robert Mitchum.

Quote:
And just cuz it looks cool, even though it has nothing to do with my character (unless I decide it does later):

Image

If this doesn't have something to do with someone's character, we should play D&D.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:11 am 
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I like the idea of the 'infinite until called back' leave. Perhaps they could just call it 'reserves' - that's what I would do if I were the government, because then the 'metas' have to check in every month or so (you can keep tabs on them, check the progress of their powers, etc) quite well.

If it's 'reserve' then there would probably be a salary also (maybe just enough to live on, giving the PC's lots of free time, but still retaining the desire to do some 'jobs' for pay - cause nobody likes the 'bare minimum' living standard).

.. and darnit, I wanted to do the Sam Spade outfit. Andy beat me to it! Hm.. actually looks like Bogart mostly wore a suit in that one (i'm probably mixing with something else). Ok, I'm going with high class suit then.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:14 am 
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dnd3eplayer wrote:
I like the idea of the 'infinite until called back' leave. Perhaps they could just call it 'reserves' - that's what I would do if I were the government, because then the 'metas' have to check in every month or so (you can keep tabs on them, check the progress of their powers, etc) quite well.

If it's 'reserve' then there would probably be a salary also (maybe just enough to live on, giving the PC's lots of free time, but still retaining the desire to do some 'jobs' for pay - cause nobody likes the 'bare minimum' living standard).

Yeah, that all sounds plausible to me. The government wouldn't want to lose track of these people.

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.. and darnit, I waned to do the Sam Spade outfit. Andy beat me to it!

Hey, it's the '40s. Thirty percent of the gross domestic product is trenchcoats. Plenty to go around.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:32 am 
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So, what power level will we be starting with? The standard power level in M&M is 10, but I'm figuring that we won't be that powerful... 5 or 6 maybe?

And should we be using M&M2e?



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mordraine wrote:
So, what power level will we be starting with? The standard power level in M&M is 10, but I'm figuring that we won't be that powerful... 5 or 6 maybe?

And should we be using M&M2e?

M&M 2e, PL 6 or 7. I have to do more reading to sort out more details from there, though, plus I'd like to acquire, or at least look at, Noir before we figure out more guidelines.



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:06 pm 
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So hey, would it be possible for us to get together on the 6th or 13th to talk about the game, work through some character concepts, maybe watch Double Indemnity or something, etc.? Andy and Albert, are your next two Fridays taken up by Star Trek and Shadowrun?



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:57 am 
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devlin1 wrote:
So hey, would it be possible for us to get together on the 6th or 13th to talk about the game, work through some character concepts, maybe watch Double Indemnity or something, etc.? Andy and Albert, are your next two Fridays taken up by Star Trek and Shadowrun?


Looks like it yeah. This Friday is, I think, Star Trek. Next Friday is for sure Shadowrun.

I'm thinking if we want to get together for chargen, it'll have to be on another day besides Friday, unless we want to wait a month. The way I see our schedule on the Friday group is:

Oct. 6th - Star Trek
Oct. 13th - Shadowrun
Oct. 20th - Star Trek
Oct. 27th - free



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mordraine wrote:
Looks like it yeah. This Friday is, I think, Star Trek. Next Friday is for sure Shadowrun.

I'm thinking if we want to get together for chargen, it'll have to be on another day besides Friday, unless we want to wait a month. The way I see our schedule on the Friday group is:

Oct. 6th - Star Trek
Oct. 13th - Shadowrun
Oct. 20th - Star Trek
Oct. 27th - free

The 20th is Simon's CoC one-shot, too. I plan on being down there for that, BTW.

Well, hopefully we can do some of this character conception (but not generation) stuff online, then, because I'd prefer to have the PCs before the plot. Oh, and also, we all oughtta go to GenCon SoCal and play a session there. YEAH!



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devlin1 wrote:
The 20th is Simon's CoC one-shot, too. I plan on being down there for that, BTW.


He's doing it two days in a row, I believe. Yeah, I wanna play in one of those too.

devlin1 wrote:
Well, hopefully we can do some of this character conception (but not generation) stuff online, then, because I'd prefer to have the PCs before the plot. Oh, and also, we all oughtta go to GenCon SoCal and play a session there. YEAH!


That is a TOTALLY AWESOME IDEA!!!



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mos' def'!


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Online or off - either is fine with me. I can make the 27th if you guys want. I'll be at GenCon for sure- barring games I've already scheduled we can certainly do something.

I've been perusing some M&M info, mulling things over. I've got some ideas.


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dnd3eplayer wrote:
Online or off - either is fine with me. I can make the 27th if you guys want. I'll be at GenCon for sure- barring games I've already scheduled we can certainly do something.

Cool. I'm in probably two to four games between Friday and Saturday, but not all of them are "must-play" games (but one of the ones that is is a Ken St. Andre T&T game, of course). I'm sure it'll work out one way or another.

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I've been perusing some M&M info, mulling things over. I've got some ideas.

Good! Ideas are more important than numbers. System definitely takes a backseat to setting for this game.

Andy was kind enough to lend me the Noir book for M&M, so I've been reading through it to get an idea of just how this thing can work. I should have some mechanical guidelines soon, but in general, think low power. Most of the truly "super" metas were either lost in the war or have better things to do. You guys, on the other hand, are functional but struggling, noir-style. So a wide variety of powers, from UV vision to incorporeality, are off-limits. The focus should be primarily on Skills and Feats, with Powers as the icing on the cake. Sans Powers, you'd probably be around PL 5; with them, PL 6.



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Background info coming soon (spoiler: Tunguska), but in the meantime, here are some character creation guidelines.



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RE: backgrounds, it should be noted that we're all ex-military, and that we all know each other because we were members of the Specials force.

And our current year is, what '47? '48? That means, since WWII ended in '45, it's only been over for a few years. I'm just mentioning this as a point of continuity.



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Also, yeah, I bought M&M 2e today. So I'm ready to rock!



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mordraine wrote:
RE: backgrounds, it should be noted that we're all ex-military, and that we all know each other because we were members of the Specials force.

And our current year is, what '47? '48? That means, since WWII ended in '45, it's only been over for a few years. I'm just mentioning this as a point of continuity.

I may push it back to as late as '49 or '50, just to make sure that no one's too young. Noir "heroes" are generally a little older and wiser.



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