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Tabletop to Massive Multiplayer Game:
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Comment now » When I last posted about playing D&D again I mentioned I was playing with the local RPGA group. Since then I have been GMing with them at their monthly game days and really enjoying it. I thought I would give you a quick write up of how it is to run RPGA adventures in the Living Forgotten Realms, the current RPGA setting. First a bit about the setting, I had never really read any of the Forgotten Realms novels and the setting came into the D&D world after I left for other game systems so I was a Forgotten Realms noob and missed the fun of the riots over the changes made to the setting in the new edition of D&D. The pushed back a hundred years from the old setting and reworked a large part of the world after an earth shattering cataclysm, literally. As I had no background in this I am only judging it on how it effects the campaign. Forgotten Realms is pretty standard fantasy setting containing nearly all the required fantasy stereotypes for D&D, pirates, wizards, floating castles, elves and the like. I have read a couple of the novels set in the post cataclysm world and they are pretty standard mental popcorn, Tolkien has nothing to worry about here, but the background does feel appropriately D&Dy and I have no complaints really. The early scenarios lacked any real world background, but the later ones contain much more flavor, some are very roleplay oriented and having read the background is actually a help in playing them.
So how is DMing in the Realms? Pretty good, not good like playing with old friends, but not a bad experience at all so far. I have had no real jerk players in any of my scenarios and the scenarios have been enjoyable to run. The limits I mentioned before are still there, the four hour slots are something you have pay attention to as a DM. Pacing is a key skill, but it works pretty well, there are rare tables that run long but most wrap up with plenty of time to get a lunch or a break between game sessions. The players have all been fine, I have been warned that there are some tricky ones out there but I expect that is no different from the miniatures games I run. Do they roleplay? Yes, about as much as in any other groups I have run over the years. There are players who really get into the roleplay and there are players who don’t, but the mix isn’t bad and the average player is by no means a min-maxing power gamer. They get a good mix of players, mostly guys as usual, but a wide range of ages and backgrounds. I am waiting for my first problem player, but not really nervous about it, I have faced down more than a few in the thirty years of running games so far I haven’t seen anyone as obnoxious as some I have had over the years.
So that brings it up to date on my RPGA experience, both as a player and a DM I enjoy myself. It has certainly made me sharper as a DM for my home game, I have a pretty solid grasp of the rules, certainly a much better grasp than I had after eight months play back in 1976. I have even tried some online play, which is a path I certainly wasn’t expecting to go down at all and I will talk about that in my next D&D post. Incidentally, today March 4th 2009 is the one year anniversary of Gary Gygax’s death. I respect the heck out of him and Dave Arneson for what they did, bringing about a fun new way of playing games, but the only story I have about Gary is about how he got thrown out of a hotel room, so I will save it for another day. Rest in peace Gary.
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For those not going to Cold Wars the Olney GW Store is having a Grand Opening Thingie on the 14th of March.
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From the HMGS Games Masters Mailing List:
RELEASE: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:50 am
To: HMGS East Members, Convention Attendees and Vendors,
SUBJECT: CONVENTION SITE OPTIONS
1. The HMGS East BoD is still discussing all options for Historicon 2010 with the Baltimore Convention Center.
2. Those discussions are addressing the needs of HMGS and all of the member/vendor concerns expressed so far.
3. We will release more when, or if, any decision is made, and expect to do so within the next month.
HMGS East Board of Directors
Brett’s Thoughts: Big jump from Lancaster to the Baltimore Convention Center. Hope they are playing it safe.