A Different Kind of Game

Once every three months I play in a roleplaying game group whose members are scattered over the Central Ohio area.  While I’ve only played with them a couple of times, they have been gaming together for the better part of twenty years, playing mostly science fiction games: Star Trek, Traveller, and their current game, Morrow Project.

This group is sort of the antithesis of my C&C Campaign, which meets irregularly for small, inter-connected sessions.  The C&C group is also multi-generational, has players of both sexes, and is fairly new at gaming.  The Morrow Project group meets with a fairly regular schedule, and is composed entirely of men about the same age.

The Morrow Project game also focusses a great deal on the tactical.  The two sessions I’ve played in both would constitute “smash and grab” sessions, and a lot of thought went into what kind of gun would be brought along and a discussion of the properties of tear gas grenades.  I’m not knocking this: games like this are sort of the modern-day equivalent of a dungeon crawl, which is a staple in my C&C game.

Anyways, once a year the group gets together for three days of straight gaming, almost a mini-gaming convention into itself called “End of the World” or EOW.  The general rule is that there is one game per day, any genre, self-contained in terms of plot, and using the house rules.  The house rules (called the EOW rules) were developed so that time wouldn’t be spent learning new rulesets for each day; think of it as a homebrewed version of GURPS.  In fact the game has its genetic code taken from Traveller, the old FASA Star Trek rules, and a bit of homemade stuff.  Percentile stats and skills, d10 combat system, and a high degree of lethality.  For example, in combat when  you’re hit you are either “fine” or “stopped” with “stopped” meaning you are dead or unable to fight.  There’s no in-between of being wounded and penalized in combat as a result, etc.  You can either do what you can do, or you can’t.  And “can’t” often means dead.

So, the group asked me if I’d be willing to run a game for EOW.  I’ve got carte blanche in terms of genre, but have to use the EOW system.  This is a big change for me.  I’m used to running short sessions that all link together into a longer story, not one long session of a self-contained story.  I’m also used to being tied genre-wise to a rules system, not inventing my own magic rules or whatever.  I’m interested in that part–my first chance at game design. It’s making sure I have enough game to go the distance that really is giving me pause.  I’m also a little adrift about what to do genre-wise.  These guys like the tactical stuff, but I’m tempted to do something totally different just to switch things up.  I have until October to get this together, so I’ll be posting things here regular about it.

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Descent Set: finished!

I’ve been working on this one for a long time, so long that I’ve already begun considering replacing it.  But, before I did that, I need to see this one through. It’s made with molds #201 and #205 from Hirst Arts.  The pieces are based on taskboard, which is rather expensive but cuts easily and appears to resist warping.  It’s also fairly lightweight.

I don’t play Descent, but like Bruce Hirst’s model (using the cavern molds) as a way to have a modular dungeon without walls blocking players’ views or scraping the points off of weapon tips.  I may put some dense craft foam on the bottom as an added protection for the set.

Small Gothic House: finished!

It’s nice to get another one in the “completed” column (you’ll note I’ve added a scorecard on the side just so it can constantly shame me into getting stuff done).

For this house, I decided to add a base to increase stability and make it harder to break. I used a piece of MDF board, added sand texture, and primed it black. Then, rather than do cast plaster floor tiles (which would either raise the windows up 1/4″ or have to be sanded to fit inside the walls), I freehand painted on a stone design. Then I painted the sand brown and tan and glued on the building.

Once the glue had dried, I did a faint watered-down black wash for some weathering, and then added flock.

I really like the way this one came out–certainly a lot better than the earlier one it looked like. Next, however, I need to work on those orcs and finish the Descent set.