Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So, what are you playing?

On Sunday the gang got together for another round of the Thunderspire. We had solid turn out with the usual suspects in place. The party headed straight for the Well of Deamons to confront the Gnolls that were in kahoots with the rouge mage Paldemar. Rumor had it that a Gnoll cleric, Maldrick Scarmaker, was also going to reconsecrate the temple to Yeenoghu. The party encountered a nasty set of lurkers that was hard to take down, but did get through the Gnoll Defense force in place in the front of the temple pretty quickly.

After a rest to 'Ding' the party made it into temple proper and met three previous adventures that didn't fair as well. From them they learned what is transpiring and how to get past the magic barrier. Undaunted, the gang hit the first challenge and was surprised by the magic that was entrapped in the room. Teleporting heroes and raging pillars of doom messed up the standard plan of attack and made the team improvise a bit.

In all the night went pretty well. We got five solid encounters in the 7 or so hours of play. The one challenge encounter in the area (three fallen previous party) needed a lot of work. It just didn't flow and become more of a RPG conversation vice a challenge to earn xp. Come on, impress a ghost with a test of strength in the middle of the dungeon? Really?

"Lift this heavy weight three times! Oh your strong, here is a clue!"

Not to be mean, but that was just dumb. We did a bit of role play on it to get the salient points across, but the challenge 'as is' was just badly written. I'll need to do a better job of proofing it before we try another encounter like that.

On Monday, Privateer made the 'Big Announcement' that Warmachine Mk II was hitting the streets in 2010. I think this will be fine in the long run. Many of the ideas will help simplify the game and streamline the rules, but still keep the game its lovely combo-licious self. More to follow I am sure!

On other gaming fronts, I picked up a copy of Pandemic board game. I got to play a few games before the holidays and it is a great co-op game. I haven't gotten a chance to force the Eldest to play yet, but I think she will dig it when we do. We did play a few games of Race for the Galaxy and a game of Settlers of Catan Card Game. Both games were fun and the Eldest and I hadn't 'hung out' since she found some friends in the local area. Glad she found friends, now she just needs to learn to control the spending on going out.

Tuesday I got to go to The Game Shoppe and play two games of Warmachine in the Call to Arms league. I was second from the bottom from the previous weeks adventures and hoped to maybe get one win this week.

I played Adam a 500 point game to start. He had Magnus, 2 Renegades, Mangler, Crowes Cutthroats, and Iradians all under an Agenda contract. I had Lt. Cain and a Squire, GMA w/ the Dude and a Hunter, Sword Knights with a Cent, and Rupert. I had a great game. Systematically took out the Cutthroats with Arcane Inferno under snipe, then had a quick dual between Obliterators and Hunter rounds. Adam had some great uses for Magnus that usually don't get shown on the table and when they do usually don't work. He did two Rain of Steels that hit plus an Arcane Bolt. Totally shmushed Cain with arched spells FTW!

Second game was against Erik and his Khador list. We played 750 so I added Lady and Holt, an Ogrun, Lancer for Cain (?), Capt Finn, Trencher Chain Gun and Cannon (only things I had to add... Didn't have the rest of my stuff!). Erik ran Epic Sorsha with two winter guard units, one with UA, the other had Uncle Joesph for support, two mortars, full unit of demolishers, Gray Lords, Yuri the Axe and two compatriots and widow makers. I won this game on scenario. I kept mentioning the scenario conditions... Like a lot, but Erik didn't take actions to prevent me from securing the needed spaces. I felt kind of bad as his list was getting ready to steamroller right through my lines with little I could do to stop it.

No RPG this weekend as the gang is doing a Flames of War Doubles Tournament. I think I may get some painting done, but will most likely piss away the day. Maybe I'll work on the Runes of Gallidon adventure some more.

Watchmen in a week!

Connoisseur of Fine Games since 1967


Tony Graham said...

WATCHMEN in a week? This year is going by fast.

Just scheduled a 4E D&D game for March. No idea what I'll be playing as yet.

So far, my experiences with 4E have been mixed. I've found the whole skill challenges to be fairly ham-fisted. Clumsy at best, the system is a good concept but pretty awkward in execution. The formula for leveling - X number of combats, X number of skill challenges, quickly becomes predictable and all-too-often leads to downright silly encounters. Or so it seems to my limited experience. Maybe it evens out further down the playing road.

JP's RPG Blog said...

Hi Tony,

I may have jumped the gun on Watchmen a few days... But I saw tickets were on sale for the midnight show at the local IMAX, so I got excited!

For the skill challenges I agree. The concept is good, but man the execution in the Thunderspire is just plain awful. I think some 'master trap' type event might work out. The one in the Keep on the Shadowfell wasn't as bad, lots of action involved so it fit the nature of the miniature aspect of the game. A diplomacy/intimadate check could work, but the DM should be able to give bonuses to players based on the role play aspect. Have the player give his say then ask for a Dip roll +5 or +8 or -2 depending on how they did. Instant feedback for role play but adds to the ability roll to get it right vice just a roll. Hmmm... That might work.


Tony Graham said...

I believe we're playing thru Shadowfells in this game I'm in. The skill challenges aren't bad so far, but they have already become obvious and a bit forced.

I like your solution on Diplo/Intimidate. Always best to inject role-playing when possible in D&D. Otherwise, I would rather spend the time playing one of the Warhammer skirmish-level games - I was a big fan of Mordheim.

Ellros said...

>> Clumsy at best, the system is a good concept but pretty awkward in execution. The formula for leveling - X number of combats, X number of skill challenges, quickly becomes predictable and all-too-often leads to downright silly encounters. <<

That is easily solved by the DM. A good DM ignores any sense of a "formula". In my campaign, the characters level when they level. There is no set time limit/encounter number.