Video log 7th March 2016: I like D&D and I cannot lie

A video log where I talk about the games I’m playing/running at the moment, D&D, Dresden and Star Wars.

Starting the session already injured

We’ve got the next exciting instalment of Thashif’s Dresden Files game coming up this evening, I haven’t got around to doing a session write-up yet but basically we had to clear a nest of ghouls out of a warehouse as a favour we owed to someone, now my character Murdoch wields the powers of hellfire thanks to having a demon inhabiting his body and this power is great for licking out the damage, however it also puts a terrible mental strain on the character meaning that I can only use the power for so long before I’m pretty much useless. During the last session I used the power about as much as I could to take down these ghouls and promptly passed out at the end, not realising one of them was still going, the ghoul then through itself on me and did some serious injuries and well as pulling one of my characters eyes out.

My character has some increased healing abilities, but I’ll be starting this session still on some pretty heavy damage, this got me thinking about the way lasting damage is handled in Fate and some other games. I really love the way Fate handles healing, essentially you are at a disadvantage during the game until you reach your next milestone at which point (assuming you have IC justification) the wound (or consequence as it is called in Fate) is healed. That milestone might come at the end of your next session or even in a few sessions time depending on how the plot of your game develops.

This is a great way of doing it IMO and helps get rid of one of something I’ve often seen in other games, players rushing their characters in recklessly heedless of the vast amounts of damage they’re taking because they know that they can rest up for a day or two, heal up and then get back to doing what they are doing best. I’ve always thought that if you take damage it should have some actual lasting effect during the sessions, when it does people in my experience tend to be less willing to fling themselves heedlessly into danger or, if they do, they are at least aware of the potential cost.

So in tonights session I’ll be starting off pretty beaten up, but that’s fine, it’s the price I pay for taking down the ghouls last session, it gives the characters who are healthy more time to be in the spotlight, adds some interesting complications for the session and also, above all else, gives me something a bit different and interesting to roleplay. How does my character react to being injured? How is his mood affected? Does he still behave in the same way? Will this have affected how he views situations in the future?

All these questions and more both help you to play the character during the session whilst injured and even considering them means that you’re adding extra depth and richness to your character portrayal.

Weekly vlog 12-01-16

In this weeks vlog I talk about a couple of the games I’ve played in recently and my decision to step away from LARP for a year.

Session 1 Sumary: I Gave Vengeance a Dirty Look

Last Sunday I played in the first session of Thashif’s Dresden files game, I play a character named Clarence Murdoch, a demonically possessed PI, the following is a brief IC report of what occurred.

It was New Years Eve and Murdoch I was drinking, I hate this time of year, there are are more murders and somehow the damn ghosts always manage to sniff me out, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when I lowered the whiskey bottle to see three ghosts in-front of me, two standing, the third in a wheelchair.

“Now I don’t hold with any of this haunting sh*t, if you want help, tell me what you need and we’ll see what I can do, otherwise you can turn and get out.”

The wheelchair figure relayed how he and his two fellows had been killed by a huge figure and that they had all served together in the same regiment during WWII, the ghosts wanted some kind of closure so, after a bit of a talk I decided that I’d help. As usual the voice of a certain someone wasn’t happy about it.
“What do we gain out of this Murdoch?” moaned the gravelly voice

I was that busy talking to the voice in my head that I didn’t notice some lunatic with a sword running at me screaming about holiness (or something) and that I had to die, I didn’t have time for that sh*t, sick of evil people trying to use me and good people trying to kill me so I warned him to stay back drawing my gun, when he didn’t I fired. I was surprised he went down so quality.

Of course, wouldn’t you know it, detective Connelly was there, damn IA agent has been dogging me every since that business a few years ago with Golubov, although he’d never been able to make anything stick, he’d made damn sure that I was ‘politely’ asked to leave the force. He’d seen everything and insisted on dragging me downtown, although I knew he couldn’t make it stick, I’d warned the madman and he’d kept coming it was an open and shut case of self-defence.

I was let out of my cell by Danny, a young cop I remember from my time on the force, he was one of the good ones.

Eventually they had to let me go and I was able to make contact with Tobias, he’s some kind of vampire, but he doesn’t feed on blood, he can sniff out his particular type of food, fear; I hoped he’d be able to help me find the murderer, it seems there’d been another killing while I’d been locked up. After a while of driving around the district where the other unit members lived we’d got nothing, zip, nada, and we needed to find some information before anyone else got killed by this thing, so I did what I had to do. I made a deal with Arioch, the demon that’s normally rattling around inside my head, the location of the killer in return for him being behind the driving seat of our body for 24 hours, I’m sure I’ll regret it later but we had no time and no options.

Arioch was as good as his word and we were soon driving to an apartment where a little guy called Tony leaved, we talked our way in and were looking around when Tony swelled up into this huge troll creature. Summoning fire I set to bringing the monster down, with Tobias providing firearms support, we were starting to bring him down (although the hellfire magic I learnt from Arioch was taking its toll on me) when he started screaming about the victims deserving it and them betraying him. Well it turns out that Tony was part of the military unit in WWII and had been the one holding secret information about a code used by the Allies, when captured, his friends had handing him over for interrogation by the Nazis in order to save their own skin, and now he was seeking revenge. Tell you the truth I can’t blame him.

I told Tony a bit about my own past and how my father had a hand in making me like this, we eventually able to convince him to confess to his crimes on the understanding that the still-living members of the unit would be investigated and bought to task for their betrayal. When he’d shrunk down, I left Tony at the precinct with Danny, although I had to bring the kid into our world, something I was hoping to avoid, once you’ve seen the supernatural the damn stuff seeks you out and you can’t go back.

Then I returned to my apartment, leaving Tobias to go about his business, after all I had a deal to keep.

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Session 0 for Thashif’s Dresden Files Game

We start preparing for Thashif’s forthcoming Dresden Files game, and I get confused about some of the difference between DF version of Fate and Fate Core (I blame tiredness):

Weekly vlog 18-11-15

In this weekly vlog I talk a little bit about LARP but mostly about TheRogueDM’s WFRP campaign that I’m currently playing in:

 

Clarence J. Murdock – Dresden Files Character

Dresden-Files-RPG-V1-V2As you’ll probably be aware if you’ve read my recent posts, we wrapped up my Jadepunk Campaign a short time ago, Thashif has stepped up to fill the timeslot and is going to be running a Dresden Files game, alternating with my FFG Star Wars campaign. I’ve played a little bit of DF but not a great deal and have only just actually acquired the books and am avidly reading my way through them, it uses a version of Fate that is a pre-cursor to the Fate Core rulebooks. It is easy to see places where the game was streamlined and tweaked between this version of Fate and Fate Core.

Continue reading

Weekly vlog 10-11-15

In my third vlog I rambled about the close of my Jadepunk campaign, Star Wars Tides of Change, LARP and Thashif’s forthcoming Dresden Files game:

Weekly vlog 03-11-15

My second weekly vlog is now uploaded to the Youtube channel (a little bit later than planned):

As I film more of these I’ll be added them to the playlist page.

Interview with a (half) Vampire (IC summary of Dresden Files game)

Disclaimer: This is an in-character write-up/summary of a short Dresden Files RPG that I played in recently and is entirely fictional.
“You look disappointed that I look like a normal guy, what were you expecting? Brad Pitt or something? Sorry but the real world don’t play that way, tell you what, you want I should make my tattoos glow red, no? Well perhaps it’s not such a good idea anyway, they’re not there to be pretty.
Okay, so, where to start.
Is this thing on?
Right, well my name is Luciano Santiago; you’ve heard saying ‘unlucky in love, lucky at cards’? Well I was never very good with either, so my family saddled me with the nickname Lucky, funny thing is, i’m here now and they’re not – so whose the lucky one at the end of things eh?

The Santiago family used to run the criminal world in this city, wasn’t a shady deal or underhand enterprise went down without them knowing about it and taking their cut; it was a good time, things got done professionally, not saying that we were nice people, far from it, but we took pride in our work and kept the collateral damage to a minimum – no real sentiment involved, it just wasn’t efficient. Well that all changed when some chump named Straiker grabbed me and my brother Giani when we were heading back from a job, I don’t even remember how he got us to get in the car, but (even knowing nothing about the supernatural as I did) i’d seen enough movies to know what he was when fangs slid out of his mouth and he started snacking on my brother.

You ever know what it’s like to try and move and not be able to? Well yeah it sucks balls, but I couldn’t move a muscle, and I was straining so hard I was worried I was gonna pop something; but Straiker lets my brother go and puts the bite down on me, I started to feel myself drift away when from nowhere there was a loud crunch as another car hit us.
Lucky at cards right?
Straiker took a hit to the back of the head and I found that I could move again, so I scrambled out of the car, I thought that my brother must’ve been dead, it was only later when I tried to go back that I found out he was walking about; only he wasn’t my brother any more, he was like Straiker some bat-faced blood sucker. Once Straiker got a taste of the criminal world, he decided he wanted to take a big bite out of it and began munching his way through my family.
All the while I could feel this churning hunger burning me up inside, I had to get away, the family would be looking for me either to kill me or to put the bite on me (I wasn’t sure which one was worse); it was then I saw a young kid running out infront of a car, it wasn’t going to stop. Before I knew what I was doing I felt a surge of strength flow through me and ran across the road faster than the car was moving, grabbing the child and putting her safely down on the other side; I was about to speak to her when suddenly the hunger pain returned, twisting like a knife in my gut, so bad that I collapsed at the side of road, groaning in pain.
The next thing I knew was that some guy (I later found out he was a senior detective) was picking me up, he’d seen me save the kid and introduced me to this weird group called the Order of St. Giles, after setting me a few trials they gave me these tattoos; yes I know, you can’t normally see them, but when I get the hunger on me they start glowing, both to warn people and to help hold the hunger back.
So how does this relate to the supernatural war and the re-dressing of the balance?
Well I ended up hooking up with this american-indian woman called Wayaya who was pretty clued in to the world of the supernatural, had some kind of fierce sorcerous mojo going on that I wouldn’t want to mess with, not least of which was that she seriously messed up any technology that she got near (well anything post-1950s); my other ally around this time was a Detective Howell, a young woman who (despite my best efforts) got dragged into the whole messy affair when she broke up a drug deal I was doing. Trying to hide from my family, i’d been forced to use outside help, they got sloppy and the police were tipped off – i’d written the whole thing off and was about to make myself scarce when one of the police officers fell of the boat they were on and hit his head. I’ve seen a lot of people die in my time but no-one deserves to go out like that so I dived in and rescued him, Detective Howell was his superior and was on the boat, turns out she had been with the old man who’d taken me to the Order but she didn’t know jack all about the supernatural.
See the Santiago family were going to war with another criminal family over who owned the docking and shipping business, this would have all been fairly normal but this time they were getting sloppy, their street battles were spilling out and started to involve the public; I don’t know if this was because the vampires were involved in it or not, but they certainly weren’t making things any better. At about the same time we received a message from some kind of world spirit (Wayaya called it ‘Gaia’) during some trippy ceremony at an indian lodge where we were told that the balance was being tipped over and that unless it was restored the world would fall into darkness. Well, fuck that noise, so I sent a message to the family the only way I could, some would call writing on a severed arm in marker pen brutal but, when there’s a lotta noise going on, sometimes you gotta shout to make yourself heard.
I knew they’d be coming for me and I didn’t want to drag Wayaya and Howell into it so I headed for the one piece of neutral ground in the city, the one place where no supernatural would risk messing with me; the Crimson Moon looked like a normal club but it was run by some big power, called himself Van, who enforced the peace. Well Wayaya rocked up, she’d been doing some research on this symbol i’d discovered in my room at the club, turned out it was the resting place of some ancient spirit warrior or some such (I don’t claim to understand that stuff, leave it for the wizards, I got enough shit on my plate as it is) called Kele or “the Fallen Man.” Well after some talking with Van we were able to get him to take us to a hidden chamber under the club where there was this stone coffin thing; apparently only native-american indians could enter the secret area, even Van hadn’t been able to get in, but since we had Wayaya with us we were sound apparently.
Well our indian friend had been hitting the books and had worked out that to awaken the Fallen Man we had to do all many of crazy stuff (don’t even ask me about how we got a dragon to breathe fire on the stone) and Kele rose from his rest; unfortunately that kinda power sent alarm bells out the White Council (some society of occult big-wigs who like to think themselves judge, jury and executioner for the the supernatural world) and they launched a full assault on the Crimson Moon. It was pandemonium out there, people fighting and guns firing, the Fallen Man offered to evacuate us using the spirit world, but I couldn’t take the risk there might be innocent people getting caught up in this war so I went upstairs to help evacuate the normal people before plunging back into the mass brawl that now occupied the dancefloor; next thing I know a huge tear opened up in mid-air and i was pulled through into the spirit world.
We gathered up some local materials (rocks, clay and the like) and Kele made them into paint which he used to draw some animals on us, he then asked if we would sacrifice some of our time in order to help re-dress the balance; we said that of course we would and he left us. The first to disappear was Wayaya, just fading from view and then Howell, leaving just me sat in the spirit world holding Wayaya’s peace-pipe; there was a flash and I was back sitting in the club, pipe in hand with Van looking at me strangely, I rang Wayaya, apparently I had been gone for three months, Wayaya had appeared a few days after we had gone into the spirit world and Howell had appeared a month ago. Kele had used our time to manifest himself in the real world and selectively target and remove certain supernatural elements from the city, redressing the balance.
And that was that, you presumably know what happened next or you wouldn’t be here talking to me?

Now I suggest you get out, i’m sure you’ve noticed the dull glow emanating from my tattoos, that means i’m getting hungry and, whilst I might not like seeing innocents suffer, I aint no saint.”