Friday, December 31, 2010

I could kill orcs to get to play D&D as player

Well, IF I got to play D&D as player, I could kill orcs.

Problem is, I only have one player available. And she is player. She has gamemastered for me, mainly Vampire though.

And she likes playing the most. She's okay with gamemastering though, but prefers the player's side on the table.

So, if I was cunning enough, I could get her to GM for me, but the problem is, that she is more story oriented than rules lawyer. She often asks me how the rules work or what should I throw in this and that situation, as she is not that aware about the rules.

She has read my rpg books, yes. But she is not interested in rules, numbers and that sort of things. Usually she learns rules by playing and me explaining them during the play, and repeating same rolls over and over again untill I don't have to tell what to roll and why anymore.

So, she learns rules by playing and using them, not reading.

That works with Vampire really well. We have played it so much, she knows the rules, or at least most of them.

But with D&D? Yes, she knows what is DC, what those +/- mean and where to use them. That she rolls D20 when tries to do something etc. Basics. But her to DM for me? Don't know. She might make some plot or adventure for me, but not sure how well she'd handle the rules. I mean, there are a couple of books full of them.

I personally don't use all D&D rules, only the most obvious and the most important. Other's I make up in my mind, if they are needed. Still not sure, could my gf run me D&D just the knowledge how to roll D20 and see did you success or not.

I quess, if she made adventure for me, it would me tailored that way, it doesn't need special rules. And if it did, she would just write down "poison here" and when I get the poison then ask me how it actually works.
That's the way she started doing Vampire adventures. Writed an adventure, and during game asked rules details.

That could work.

Another problem is, that she is not a big fantasy fan. Kind of. She prefers fantasy games on PC over modern or scifi-games, but in roleplaying games she prefers horror and scifi over fantasy.

RPG - Fantasy yuck
PC - Fantasy yeah

Is that the famous woman mind we men cannot understand? Because it feels like it.

So, how to get my girlfriend player, who isn't that much into GM'ing anyways to run me D&D when she isn't interested in rules and doesn't like fantasy except in PC-games?

That, is the question I am puzzled about.

But why would I want to play D&D then? Sure I've enjoyed her Vampire games. They are full of detail with rich plots and interesting NPC's.
But is it wrong for a man to ask to kill some orcs for experience points? Is it?

I could tell her, no Vampire untill I am level 10 fighter! Just started new Vampire chronicle, so that could actually work.

Or she might say back: "No sleeping in bed before you run me Vampire!"

So, no roleplaying, definately no D&D and sleeping on couch.

Women are so difficult.

D&D solo play

Dungeons & Dragons, if we talk about it as rules set, is ment for a party. Crew of adventurers, who all fill some purpose. In older editions this was more clear. One healed, one cleared traps, one fought, one was long range, one cast spells etc. Every character (class) had their function and place in the party.

For your average dungeon you most likely need them all. Lonely rogue cannot heal himself without stock of potions, warrior can easily run into traps and cleric can heal himself, but can he kill all the enemies?

Basically, all the characters in party are "one". Like human head. Ears to hear, nose to smell, mouth to taste, eyes to see. They are individual parts and alone not that effective, but as a "party", head they all function fulfilling eachother.

So, that quick idea about D&D party in mind, how does D&D work for solo play? I haven't played that much AD&D or older editions (I don't count few sessions or adventures) so I focus on D&D 3.X with what I have experience as DM (and DM character).

Party With One Player

You can make NPC's to fill the gaps in the party, or let your player to make several characters, as one as his/her "main" character to interact with. Other are like player controlled henchmen/NPC's. You might leave all or most of the interaction for this main or favourite character of player, or give player one character as others follow him as DM played characters. You might let player only control his own character in battles or let player to "move" all the characters in the party similar to tactical individual person war games (Necromunda for example).

If you as DM will control all NPC's and monsters in a combat encounter and let player only interact with his character, the problem is, that combat encounters might be a bit boring. First it's NPC 1, then NPC 2, then player character, then NPC 3, then NPC 4, then monster 1 and so on.

Depending on how many monsters in the encounter and NPC's there are in the party majority of the time player might just sit there and observe as DM rolls dice against himself. Boring, isn't it.

You can deal these situations like mini battle scenarios. Player vs. DM. Characters (as player) vs. Monsters (as DM). It is more interesting that way even if player doesn't have full control over NPC actions in non-combat encounters.

Similarly if there is a trap doors, locked crests etc. mysteries, do you really want to play against your own dungeon?

For example, player has fighter/warrior character, and this dungeon is full of traps and secret doors. You have rogue/thief NPC what handles those things. So basically you are playing against your own dungeon when player character just hangs around waiting for some skeletons to kill...

Easy way to skip this is just play social aspects of NPC's. Let player say, which NPC does or should do what. This way single player can cast spells, fight monsters, search for traps etc. It might be a big task for one player to handle with, so you might help him out with NPC's own thoughts.
If for some reason player with his fighter/warrior is not good at riddle solving, don't give easy xp. He has chosen to be fighter in your game, so he should do what he wanted to do - fight. If he does do other character classes things (find traps with NPC) reward for that. But if player just wants to kill and you as NPC's do all the brainwork, remember it in party xp.

Don't give xp too easily for single character from things he doesn't do but you as DM.

Multi-Classing Or Higher Level Start

CR... how hard particular monster is for a group of 4. If there truly is a single character, you might want to start him from higher level. It might still be challenging to kill lower level enemies without a party they are designed for. For lvl 4 character low CR skeletons can be tougher than for a party, so experience is well deserved.

If you start game with higher level character or character rises levels, he could concider multi classing. That way his character could become more all-around type with skills outside his original class.

If you don't want to make things a bit easier to single player, start with level 1. There is just this Computer-RPG-syndrome easily formed. Kill rats and other small critters, help lady to find his lost ring etc. That kind of game would be your average story from peasant to hero, but if you both like it, that's great.

You could discuss about what player is expecting from single player game. Does he want to play by rules, or does he want something more epic for his hero?

Good point in 3.X is that basically every character can learn almost any cross class skills, so they can be developed into all-around average adventurers. Only problem is, that if player shares his skills on everything, he's not necessarily good at anything.

More experience for one character is faster level development, sure, but do you make game harder as player levels up? If you keep up game's difficulty based on character level, without a party he might feel, that even though his character does advance in levels the game remains the same. You know new stuff, but so does enemies.


You might want to make it easier for player by giving magical or special items. For example my player has sorcerer character, but he also uses spear. Unfortunately, she wasn't that good in it and there were situations she would have liked to use it rather than magic.
So, did I tell that it's too bad, you wanted to be a magic user then be it and stop whining. If you wanted to be better with spear make a fighter? No.
I know that magic users are good at magic, and not that good in melee weapons as other classes. Still, my player wanted to mainly be a magician, not fighter. Still, when she wanted to hit enemies with her spear, he was quite frustrated as her character didn't handle that very well. Mainly she uses magic, yes, but sometimes when she wants to do something else than just cast spells it did not work.
So, I let her character to find +1 to spear attack ring. She was happy with it. +1 is not that big change actually, but still, it's something. She knows that her character is not a fighter, but even that +1 made her day (and the game).

So, give character special items. Don't give them too easy though, or every time your player is unsatisfied on some stat on his character sheet.
For a special quest you might want to give some items that quest giver wants back after quest, or some what only has temporary or limited effect. For fighter wand of healing with 5 charges after it withers to dust, for sorcerer potion of +5 attack for hard situation etc. Be creative.
Also ready to cast scrolls with one magic what can be used once can be okay to give. For opening locks etc.

But remember, don't stock your player's character with magical or special item for every situation and every stat. And don't give them too often or they are not special anymore. Player should think twice, before he uses his limited items, as they don't grow in the trees.

Adventure Design

In single player game adventures which involve different classes and their individual skills could not work well with one player. If one player has full party to control, why not, but if he is single adventurer, it could be hard. So, design adventures for single player and for that particular character class.
Your player chose to be healing priest, don't make game monster mash.
Your player chose to be fierce barbarian, don't make game puzzle solving.

You can see from your player's character choise pretty well, what he would like to do in the game.

Make an interesting plot. For player party it might be easy just to put this random dungeon there with monsters for xp and random treasures and dragon in the end... that's easy, right? But for single character you might want to develope more plot and story than just character building.

If single player game is just grinding for levels and better items, it gets boring. Be creative, customize the game for the character class, make a real story.

Take some computer games, and see how they are done. Not necessarily computer RPG's but adventure and action games.
For example, if character is rogue, Thief games are great inspiration. Character can steal stuff, sneak, backstab, fight, solve mysteries while this huge plot is developing.

Of course for one shot games this is easier. Oh you are warrior, there are those orcs near the city. Thief, go steal inn keepers secret stash (when you find out where it is) and so on.

You can also make an investigation game. What kills cattle in night time? Why does the dead walk in the cemetary? Villagers are poisoned and sick, where is the source for this? Spy this merchant and find out what he is really up to. Again, with investigation game if player is fighter, you can put fighting in it and so on.


Even though D&D games are ment to played with party of characters from different classes, you can solo play it with one player. You can choose to use NPC's, give player more than one character to control or tailor adventure to be ment for single hero.

My D&D game with one player has contained NPC's to fill the party, but as player was newbie to this kind of roleplaying I controlled them (as explaining what is happening all the time so she learned during NPC actions). Some quests have been only solo tailored for character and I gave her character +1 to spear ring as she felt she sucks in it.

It's been fun. I bet it is more fun with player party and interaction between players in- and off-game, but still, you can have a full play of D&D with single player having fun!

Story of the Demon Boy

It was christmas eve, in 1866 when a christian woman Matilda Herrings got violently attacked. Or so she claims. No evidence was found of violence. No bruises, scratches, wounds. Only her story. When she was laying on her bed and questioned for the details about this attacker, he couldn't tell what he looked like. But she referred her attacker as "it", not he.
People of the town lit their torches and torchlights and armed themselves what ever they could find. Some with guns, other with pitchforks and even with kitchen knives. Search lasted for a month, but nothing out of ordinary could be found what could be this mysterious attacker.
Towns elder started to question, if one member of their community would have done this heinous attack. Maybe drunken after a day, but they did not find any evidence against no one or couldn't accuse anyone for the attack so it was speculated, that maybe some outsider or wandering traveller had did this.

With no evidence, physical harm on woman or anything to make fuss about the hunting for attacker withered and was forgotten.

A month or two later woman was found pregnant. Without previous children and his husband dead for five years for a mill accident woman started again to blame, that the seed she is carrying is from "it", the mysterious unsolved attacker. No one believed, and they thought now that woman tried to cover up her adultery, and she was spitted and outcast for giving her widow body for a stranger in a sinful lust.

Woman had to live alone, without support from his community. He was nearly forgotten for the sin he was committed.

The day came, when woman gave birth alone all by herself in late 1866. She had a baby boy, but soon woman realised, it was not normal boy. She hurried to town crying for a doctor and even though villagers told doctor to leave woman in sin alone, doctor couldn't but do his deed and listen to woman and he decided to look the baby. It was ethical way to do. But even though doctor was a respected member of society, from that night he was looked at suspiciously as he lost his reputation helping this sinned woman.

What doctor Matthew Smiths found, no one clearly knows. He did not write any official document about his inspection, but someone from the village has written:

And the boy was horrible. Not deformed as freaks you see in the circus, but something else. His head was not in right shape, eyes closed and ears a bit pointed. Guess there was little hard spots on his forehead, not bigger than the tips of my finger. Boy was of a strange color, what I don't know better of.
But the worst appearance of this boy was his back. Where his spine ended, there was skin flap like a small tail of a beast. And in his back, I heard him tell me, was wings.

No one knows who this writer is, and is it fictious or documental. It is speculated that "him" that writer referres is the doctor, and the writer would have heard this story from the doctor, maybe after few stiff's in a local pub.

It is also told, that local priest cursed the woman and her deformed bastard child, some rumors tell, that it was local witch, as priest was too afraid to go see a child what was told to be demon spawn.

No question, the village believed now that woman was violently attacked. Not by a man, but a demon or devil himself.

In 1874 the cattle was attacked at a ranch nearby. All of twenty sheeps were brutally killed and gutted. Butcher told, that it was not a knife used, but more likely talons or claws. Wolfhunt begun, but no wolves were found in the area. Killed sheeps remained a mystery. Whispers told, that it was same demon which attacked woman, or it was actually that child himself.
At this point no one had seen the woman or the deformed bastard boy anymore. They were forced to move away from the village, and were known to live nearby at a deserted old hunting hut.

It was 1876 when first human was killed in the streets of the village during night. Again, marks indicated wolf attack, but now people accused demon boy straight away and lit their torches and marched to that old abandoned hunting hut in the dawn. No questions, they just set the hut on fire and watched it burn, as priest chanted his prayers.

Villagers decided to keep their mouths shut about woman, demon baby and the arseny. "Tis' the way it should be," they told eatch other to make it right. "Ye must burn witch, it's the way it's always been."

People avoided the place where hut was burned down and told their children, that their sould would wither and they'd go to Hell if they go near the hut. So the hut's remainings were left alone, and village went back to normal life.

Some might say, that villagers killed innocent woman who did give birth to a child who got his life in violent attack from a male, and all superstition were just religious zealot. But it did not end there. It was just the beginning.

Few years after when village had it's peace during bright daytime they heard horrible scream outside the village. They did not know was it a man or an animal, but it was creepy enough to have attention. Night after the day it was raining hard when men in the pub saw a lady walk to the door. She was all wet, and her skin was ash gray. Her long dark hair looked like partially burned and her clothes were ragged and dirty. One of men told woman to go away, the pub is men's place, not women to set their foot in. Woman just stared them and grinned.
"You, are you proud of yourself? Burning down innocent and defenceless woman's and her baby boy's house? You, god fearing men, who tell yourself you are good christians tried to commit a murder?" Men gasped.
"Did you succeed or not?" Woman asked.

One of the men, Timmy Borgan escaped, and it is accounted that after those words pub's fireplace flamed and set it in fire. All doors and windows suddenly shut and could not be opened. Man did not know how he got out, but everyone inside the pub were burned to death and there was not much left of the building either. Man told, that maybe he was ment to stay alive to tell the story.
It was suspected, that maybe the man who survived was too shocked by the accident and was delusional. But in his death bed he insisted that he tells the truth.

Matilda Herrings was not seen since.

Timmy Borgan was old man and very ill several years later, when nurse downstairs heard him scream:
"It's the demon spawn! He is here to take revenge! Oh God give mercy for my soul and save me!" When nurse hurried upstairs rooms window was open and curtains waving. Man was laying on his bed his throat slit open. The wound was too rough to be from a knife and there was no way a beast could have got into the room what might have done that kind of damage.

But this was just only the beginning. One by one, people started to die. Those of old age in the village. They did not die in natural death, but allways ripped by a beast. Rumors started to roam to say, that Devil Boy was killing everyone who were involved in the arseny. They all died one by one by clawings even in places animals and beast have no access to. Some also claimed to see this "beast not a man nor animal, but a demon" in the village before or after deaths.

Panic started, as people believed that the deformed boy was actually a half demon, half human as they have expected back then. They knew in their heart, that it was a revenge it was after. Everyone was scared and hours before dusk they locked themselves in their houses and waited spooked by every little voice. But it was the elderly who died. At first.

Younger people started to move away at that point. They had borned in that community, lived their lives there and planned to die there, but nightly terror and murders were too much for them. Village started to wither. Elderly people was brutally murdered, younger people moved away and who were left were nerve wrecked. There was nothing left but church for them, but when old priest was murdered in his very own chapel, the villagers knew they were doomed.

Those who were left or stayed in the village died. Not a normal death, but everyone was clawed to death. Village was now deserted. Everyone murdered by this beast or moved away.

You can today find that village, or what's left of it but strangely there are no good documentations of it. Little is known who has lived there, or who has died.

At this point, devil boy was forgotten. He was not even an urban legend, just a story, almost no one knew. And those who left the village, did not talk about it.

But the murders did not stop there. When the village was destroyed, first died brutally in the New York streets. Police claims it to be assault, possibly robbery but still wounds stayed unexplained. Too rough to be knife made. Official explanation is, that it was a large dog robber had with him, but still the wounds didn't match.

When similar murders started to occur across the continent, FBI started to investigate how are those murders related. And they indeed were related, by blood. Seemed that every killed person was connected by relations or blood to this deserted village with next to none of information. Also at the places the murders occured, urban legends of a weird creature started. Half man, half demon with horns, wings, tail and talons. Like a humane devil.

Of course they were not taken seriously by FBI, but as just legends around the murders. But when private investigator, journalist Jimmy Smiths started to dig deeper into this urban legend, he was astouned and shocked. He was sure, that this is just a legend as it had not real documentary in the history, only words and a nameless letter describing a devil boy with no eye-witness account from the writer himself, he found out that he is a distant relative to a doctor named Matthew Smiths.
Then he started to study relationships and families of murdered people, and tracked their family ties back to the village. He then found out, that the monster in urban legend is like deformed baby born in the village, and how he was described in anonymous account. Similarities couldn't be coincidence.

Few years later, Jimmy Smiths was found ripped apart in his office at work the next morning he stayed at work late night. His studies were classified by the FBI.

For Roleplaying Game

Demon boy, sounds like an urban legend, but it might be true. Still, if it was just a story, how would one explain the murders in different parts of the continent and the fact, that all similarly killed people are in the way or another relatives back to the village? History tells, that there is no single natural death for these people. All were killed early by accident or murder, not even by dicease.

That might be the mystery characters might be solving.

Or maybe character/s is/are relative to the villagers, and people from his family start to die. One by one in unnatural ways. And he starts to investigate, what is going on.

Character or characters might even be in FBI or similar branch and take this mystery to solve. They might be in X-Files type of sect, unexplained mysteries type of sect or ordinary crime investigators.

And the Demon Boy? Deaths and villages undocumented history are just too strange. So is Demon Boy in modern world and it is like any other urban legend except this has a pattern. If Demon Boy was real, is he immortal or does he age slower than ordinary human? Is he just deformed human after revenge, or really supernatural monster? Or is it just a creative killer making legend true?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Man eating tree

Not my text, but taken from the Unexplained Mysteries forums. Original poster there is Kar-Zid. Text below is copypaste, but I thought I'd share it as it could be fascinating for roleplaying games.



A tree which not only is capable of killing a full grown man, but uses the corpse to sustain it's own life. The Man Eating Tree is a fabled plant, and is one that dates back a long way. The earliest known report of the specifics of this botanical cryptid was all the way back in 1881. Carl Liche, the German explorer, wrote of what he had witnessed in Madagascar whilst in the presence of the Mkodo tribe:

"The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey."

What he witnessed was the various parts of a tree attacking, strangling, and pulling in a woman. The account details a brutal crushing motion that the tree went through with it's victim, the member of the Mkodo tribe destroyed. However, there are only dead ends to be found with this account. This particular tree has not been seen again, and there are no reports of any sightings before hand. Another thing to note, the same can be said for the Mkodo tribe.

After a little digging around, I found that the Mkodo tribe only exists in that context, about Carl Liche and the man-eating tree. Nowhere else is this tribe mentioned. I decided to try my luck at a translation, perhaps this supposed tribe's name meant something in Malagasy (the native language of Madagascar). However, it means nothing, and isn't even recognized anywhere that I could find. It seems as if the Mkodo tribe was only ever witnessed by the one man, which is quite a stretch. He also claimed to be the first to discover this tribe, strengthening the skepticism possible against this.

In 1924, a book entitled Madagascar, Land of the Man-eating Tree written by the former governor of Michigan, Chase Osborn, was published. In this book, Osborn claims that both tribes and missionaries that reside in Madagascar know about the tree, and he quotes Liche. Unfortunately, his claim does not hold up either under simple analysis. For a start, if Liche's comments had been falsified (which is nearly certain), then the Mkodo tribe would not exist (also nearly certain), and thus this ritual would not exist with sacrifices to the tree. In turn, without these sacrifices and the Mkodo tribe, either the tree would not have been discovered or focused on, or it simply does not exist. Another strange, and convicting, fact about his book is that it was published at least six years after he came back from traveling the world. Six years is a long time, and he would've been 64 years of age at the time of publication. Memories do not stay solid for that long, especially so when at that age.

The account from Carl Liche is more than likely a fantastical tale with no basis on fact, the Mkodo tribe, the tree and even perhaps the character of Carl Liche were just parts of the story. The tale then grew as a factual account, as it had been advertised as such. The mythical Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar is but an object of imagination. However, even if this particular tree does not exist, that does not mean a tree of the same build cannot exist.

If adapted and evolved to this habit, a plant could theoretically sustain itself upon human blood. However, a plant of the size of a tree would require vast amounts of blood to live and grow, and this amount is unrealistic. Animals could, also theoretically, be another source of the blood but that just leads us to the simple Venus Fly Trap and other such real life small plants which feed off other living creatures. A tree which has the ability to swing it's vines or branches or any part of it, and use those normally fairly weak appendages to pick up and destroy a human being is also very very inaccurate and unrealistic.

To sum the study up, the original accounts of a Man-eating Tree from Carl Liche are pure fabrication. The subsequent comments from Chase Osborn are either fabricated or simply not true. The tribe of Mkodo is, likewise, falsified. A Man-eating Tree would not have the proper resources to grow or flourish into an actual tree, and plants inherently do not have enough power or maneuverability to capture and kill human prey and prevent them from finding a way to escape.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas rpging

Finally finished last adventure. It was ment to be only 1-3 game sessions, but stretched to be over 10. I liked it, but didn't like how it came out.

I have another Call of Cthulhu in more traditional Mythos way what I also would like to do as 1-3 sessions game, and this time I will success! It just needs planning ahead.

Another option is to play Vampire: the Masquerade with the same character we used in last campaign what we finished.

Two options to choose from.

I also got us Nintendo Wii. Our only of these new gaming consoles. I already have old XBox an PS2 though, but this is the new shitz. I know, that graphically PS3 or X360 would have been better choises, and to be frank, I don't find that many great games in Wii collection that I find from those two other consoles.

Still, the reason why I decided to go for a Wii is it's party-gaming function. I think it would be fun to use Wii-mote to actually swing a club etc. Physically involved gaming. It's totally different than PC, PS2 or XBox what I already have.

So, Christmas will be CoC or V:tM and Wii in gaming.

Old World of Darkness - Easy way to create a plot + Few ready made plots for you to use

You might have planned a campaign you are running, but you would like to run some side quest. Or you might have sandbox styled game but for the next session you are out of ideas. What ever the case is, here is simple way to get inspiration in creating a plot.

Take character sheet of the game you and your group are playing. You see, that skills are in three categories and in each category there are 10 skills. And V:tM uses ten sided dice.

Roll D10 for each skill category, and see what skill the die result points at. Write those skills down. They are moods, settings, ideas, actions etc. for your adventure, quest, plot or even campaign.
You just have to fill out the rest, how to tie together those skill based ideas.

You don't necessarily have to be 100% literal about the results. They are just for inspiration. If you get result "linquistics" but are inspired about political plot, do so.

I give few examples next based on Vampire: the Masquerade. It took only few minutes to come along with these plots after rolling the skills for moods.

Leadership - Firearms - Occult

Band of renegade Brujah in Camarilla city have found an old tome about city's Ventrue history what can be harmful for Ventrue leadership. Ventrue want that old tome away from Brujah renegades. Brujah renegades are heavily armed and won't give it up easily and are ready to protect that old tome to harm Ventrue leadership.

Leadership = Ventrue
Firearms = Heavily guarded Brujah renegades
Occult = Old tome containing harmful information about city's Ventrue past

Expression - Animal Ken - Politics

Gangrel are not happy with city's status. They don't like how their clan's ideas have little support in city hierarchy and Gangrel's close relations to Brujah could be dangerous. If Gangrel are not pleased, it would be easy for them to turn clan Brujah head also. Negotiations and politics are needed to keep Gangrel satisfied and loyal to Prince.

Expression - Negotiation
Animal Ken - Clan Gangrel
Politics - Gangrel who don't feel that city has anything common with their interests

Brawl - Survival - Linquistics

Characters' coterie is attacked in remote alley by unknown vampire coterie. Their clan, sect or motives remained unknown. Characters don't yet know was that only a random attack from angry caitiff, vagabond Camarilla members or even Sabbat brutes. It's character coteries responsibility to take action to find out themselves who attackers were or even tell some of the primogens or Prince what happened.

Brawl - Attack in alley
Survival - What is going on?
Linquistics - To find out who the attackers were

Athletics - Firearms - Occult

Atmosphere in the city has been dark for few nights. Everyone knows that something is about to happen. Character(s) while minding their own business in streets see in distance a strange person, who flees after notices characters seeing him. Character's might try to pursuit him. If character's capture this person, they find out he is a caitiff with strange symbol on his forehead. Caitiff refuses to talk and seems to be insane. Behind the curtains of Camarilla, there is Lasombra brainwashing city's unfortunate caitiffs to make his small shock troop army to keep Camarilly busy while Sabbat grows its roots into the city.

Athletics - Pursuit
Firearms - Brainwashed caitiff shock troop
Occult - Lasombra, who brainwashes caitiff to mindless Sabbat drones.

Final Words

Have fun with experimenting. If some result doesn't fit your idea, re-roll. If you suddenly get idea outside your rolls, use it.
This is just for inspiration, if you are out of your own ideas for plot, quest, adventure or even whole campaign.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I must learn to gamemaster short sessions!

There are several games in my shelf I want to play. But I don't want to play full campaign, but one to five sessions adventures. Problem is, that my gamemastering style is slow. By slow I mean, that my games always are long.

I tried to run Call of Cthulhu campaign set in modern world in one, maximum two sessions, but last weekend I ran eleventh session. Why? Well, even though I wanted to make one-shot I got carried away with mood and character relations building.

Mood takes lots of time. If I'd run one-shot, I feel that I had to rip so much off from the role part from roleplaying. It would be like fastforward to only those key scenes relevant to the adventure and leaving everything else out. That is hard for me.

I have another CoC adventure planned, and I must try to make it real one-shot, or two to three sessions total. How would I manage to do that?

I don't plan games. Well, I have idea what I want to happen and how I would like to end it and plan for main plot. I should write it down in a timeline to carry out. That would help alot in time managing when I know what happens and when and propably why.

I have enjoyed this Cthulhu adventure, even though it has been fail as it did not last only few sessions what was my original plan. If I want to play all the games in my collection, I must manage the stories and adventures so, that they don't take weeks or months to play through.

After I have gamemastered this one over, I will make real adventure plan for next CoC adventure. It will be kind of a test for me to make short adventure I can gamemaster in one, two or three sessions.

After this one, I will see how I work it out. I am a storyteller, so restricted and focused adventures are hard to manage. Don't know when my gamemastering took this path, but I'll try to fix it as soon as possible. It doesn't mean I won't gamemaster campaigns anymore, but I want to be able to grab a game, throw an adventure and finish it in few sessions.