Monday, 31 January 2011

Adventuring for Beginners

I'd like to say I've been busy, plugging away at my Trollbloods, but alas, I haven't.  I'd like to get to work on my Swamp Troll but so far I haven't had a day spare that wasn't windy or wet to undercoat the poor guy.  Tomorrow I'm going to stop by some engravers to find out the pricing for my Tartan Brawl dog tags.  Hopefully when Janissa arrives I can sit down and plug away for a week, get all my half-painted stuff finished.

Having delved into the crack-addictive World of Warcraft and sampled their boss mobs of almost all varieties, it got me thinking on how good RPG fights against villains are designed.  The PCs typically only get one chance at defeating a villain, so designing a complex encounter that requires puzzle solving may lead to an early demise for the adventurers.  Conversely, a straight beat-'em-up encounter is exceedingly dull; how is the encounter different to the minions the adventurers just ploughed through?  So, a successful and enjoyable encounter is one where the adventurers win (perhaps if only just) but the villain (of whatever rank) has some cool tricks that are blindingly obvious to solve.

That reminds me, will we see the IKRPG this year?  I'm saying Highly Unlikely, but it would be nice if it did appear.  I looked at the Warmachine/Hordes rules and realised both games are excessively deadly.  Stuff dies, and in vast quantities.  While this is a boon for adventurers killing monsters, this is not a good idea for monsters killing adventurers (unless you hate your adventurers).  Thus, the adventurers must have more health, and quite a lot of it.  They also need a way to recover health - healing is notoriously dismal in both games, a lack of health recovery once again leads to dead adventurers.  There's more to think about (skills and spell choices specifically) but otherwise the game mechanics are already in place.

Maybe I'll round up the lads for a couple of set-piece scenarios with pre-made characters to see how the system works out.  Worth a thought.

Monday, 24 January 2011


So... I haven't updated this blog in forever as World of Warcraft ate my life.  When I play a game, I HAVE to complete it.  MMORPGs by their very nature are not supposed to be completed, so it's much like crack to me.  I played for about 5 weeks with the new expansion and it's done wonders for WoW, and I certainly did enjoy playing it.  However, I enjoyed it a little too much, and found myself become very unreliable in both my personal life and at work, so it is now uninstalled in the hopes that it never against rears its vicious and addictive head.

All my plans for the Tartan Brawl remain intact (just), as I set most of those into action before I was living in Azeroth.  However, I still haven't had a chance to sort out the dog tags, which isn't so much a matter of time as a matter of money (I literally have none at this moment in time).  I heard today that the Boosted Damage crew won't be visiting, heading to the Irish Masters instead.  That really annoys me.  Who kept asking us to run a two day event in Scotland?  It's not like I've been working at it, noooooooo.  Unfortunately, there have been other cancellations too, so I'll get a quick tally of numbers in the next week or so, if the numbers drop below 20 I'll probably cancel it, hang up my hat and call it a day.

On the plus side, Jamie P asked me to attend the ETC as a referee, which would be awesome.  The UK Masters was great fun even when we weren't playing games, and I expect the ETC to be more of the same, potentially with more foreigners (like me!) to spice things up.  This, in turn, dovetails nicely into my plot to seize the Head Referee position for the UK Masters, though the temptation to play and once again take Top Troll (or a placed position) is strong.  I suspect my final decision on the matter will be based on money.

In other news, I passed my driving test!  First time too!  Woohoo!  More exclamation marks!!!  Now all I need is a job with regular pay, give me a shout if anyone has a spare one.