Although I haven’t had much free time lately, when I do have some I try to sneak in a few games here and there (both for work research and because I like playing games to relax). I haven’t posted an update on what I’m playing in a while, so here’s what I’ve been playing over the past several months.
Torchlight: I didn’t play this for a long time, because I was getting a bit tired of the grind and long loading times on my netbook, but with the new computer I picked it up again and tried a new character class (Destroyer). It’s still fun for a spot of hack and slash when I don’t have the time for a more involved game, but I’m not playing it terribly much at the moment.
D&D 4e: Still playing in two different games of this. Still enjoying it. Still finding people online surprised at the fact that I’m playing and enjoying it.
Icons: I’m actually getting together a game of this starting in July, a gritty take on superheroes called “Needs Must.” There’s a wiki for Needs Must up on Obsidian Portal, although it’s still pretty rough at the moment. I haven’t run a game in a while, and Icons looks to be a good balance of entertaining fun and low-prep that I need at the moment. I’m curious how the idea of putting all dice-rolling into the player’s hands will work in practice, though.
Loom: I picked up the LucasFilm Adventure Pack on Steam a few months ago, and have been slowly making my way through them. The first I played was Loom, which is a great, short little adventure that was indie long before indie was cool. The gimmick of having to do most things through the interface of musical notes was a little frustrating, but the charm overrode the annoyance for me, and I appreciated the deep focus on just the gameplay that mattered to tell the story. It’s disappointing that it was set up for a sequel that never happened, but still worth a few bucks.
Michelle's first game of D&D 4e as DM
(“Rasenna and the Realms” sounds like a cover band name.)
Today I originally wasn’t going to play D&D. Then I said I could, which led to it possibly happening, which led to it definitely happening, which led to it not happening. So, I’m left with some unexpected free time tonight, so I thought it would be worth talking a little bit about the two D&D games I’m in and comparing and contrasting them. Both games are using D&D 4e (or the fourth edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules, for those who don’t speak fluent nerd).
The first one is the game that Michelle (my wife) is running for about 6-7 of us. I don’t know if she ever gave the campaign a title, but it’s set in the Forgotten Realms, so in my head it’s just “The Realms” Since most of the group were 4e newbies and this is the first time Michelle’s been DM in, I believe, ever, we’re keeping it simple – only PHB and the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide, and she’s running a pre-constructed adventure (Scepter Tower of Spellgard). We’ve been running off and on since around Thanksgiving with a group of people with a variety of experience – from those who started in the late 70s and early 80s to those who know about this D&D thing, but haven’t really gotten around to it yet. Michelle’s been really open about taking it slow and making sure we learn the game.
The latest chapter of “For the Free” is now up. Tonight is what looks to be the final chapter of the cycle.
I had originally envisioned this to be a eight to ten chapter cycle, but the players are very on the ball, and a lot of the curves I threw at them they dodged really well (in fact, I expected this final story would take two chapters, but since that’s been consistently wrong thus far, I’m planning for one). They even managed to completely bypass a couple of the fights I put together. Chapter five is the only chapter thus far where the player characters went too far off my radar for any length of time (the entire party scene), although it ended up being probably my favorite part of the session — even if I was totally making it up on the fly.
While I originally had plans for a Demigod and God cycle for the game, I think I need to take a break after this cycle wraps up. One of my co-workers is considering a game of In A Wicked Age, and I have a couple of ideas for much lower-prep games I could run. But this has been a really fun experience for the past six months, and I think six months is about the right amount of time to get a good amount of gaming in without burning me out.