Thursday, May 31, 2012

Boot Hill campaign in full swing.


Tommy two-guns gang (Outlaws)
Lazy J ranch
Texas Rangers
Skinya's indian raiders.

Have played almost a month of time, starting may 1 1866.

Painted 71 15 mm size western plastic figs.

They are all mounted on pennies to given some weight and keep them up right in play.
Prop (toy) guns and hats add to the festiveness of Boot Hill.
While playing out a card game one player pulled a gun on another who was cheating and surprised everyone at the table.

2 sessions 3 deaths

Kill totals

1 Indian raider, 1 outlaw, and 1 law man dead. So far the rancher is playing it cool. The outlaw has robbed 2 banks and a stage. the raiders killed and burnt down an entire ranch. The law made a couple arrests and killed two trouble makers in the county seat.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Drug out Boot Hill last weekend. Couple people seem very excited to play. Aiming a campaign as opposed to a short bloody bank robbery gang. Everyone had to create a group to play.  I made everyone roll up one character in everyone elses group. So far we have
1 Gang of desparados (bank robber gang)
2 Indian raiders
3 Lawmen of the county

I am placing the game in nevada shortly after the civil war. 1866 vetrans are streaming to the open west and bringing guns with them. It will be very wild and wooly.

Working on goals for the players so far i am going with

1 outlaws, rob 100,000 and escape to Mexico.
2 Indian raiders, kill/loot/pillage enough to start an Indian war. Escape with their tribe to Mexico or Canada.
3 Lawmen, capture all the wanted men in the teritory.

Working on town maps and such , reworking some encounter tables from an old gaming book. Will post my western encounter tables asap.

Happy trails!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Most important

Who is the most important person in a rpg?

I know some story teller games people will cry 'No one is more important than any other. We are all equally important at the table.'
I tend to disagree with that. The GM/DM/CK/ref is the most important. No GM no game period. How ever every member at the table is important. There is a social contract of sorts between player and GM. There is a fine balance of power between players and GM. The GM can can do any thing , make any ruling kill any character on a whim. The players have the collective power of no confidence. They can walk or threaten to walk and influence the GMs decision.

If either party is too heavy handed the game breaks down and no one is happy.

As a GM i find recently I will tend to allow more of the players ideas to succeed lately. By giving them the illusion that they are helping direct the game when i take their suggestions. I know everyone can be creative why limit my game to only my creative input?
So I am saying yes to plans and ideas in the past might have said never gonna work or roll for it. It seems to speed play and the players only really want to bash things get  cool stuff and feel like their characters matter.

I guess it all boils down to everyone having fun. No one sits down to game with the idea of not having fun.
Finding the balance in the GM -v- players struggle is what I think makes a good GM.

Side note, wife just baked brownies and gave me some still warm from the oven.. yum!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Who owns the character sheet?

Back in the early days of my gaming. I had a portfolio folder that i kept all my character sheets in. Heck everyone i knew had a folder like that. or some people that played alot had 3 ring binders for their sheets.
As my horizens broadened I started separating character sheets by game. D&D had its own folder. Champions had a couple folders (like 6 I think..). I had a folder for all the games I played but had only had one character in. Like I said everyone kept their own sheets.

In the mid 90's frustrations due to forgoten character folders got GM's I knew to start campaign folders to keep all the characters of their players. I did this for every game. Some games I ran have character folders with PCs going all the way back to my campaigns beginings. Gamma World is one I always kept the PC sheets for. I have every character ever rolled under me as GM for that game. D&D was the only game I never kept sheets for.

When 3rd ED came out i initialy switched from my old 1st ED AD&D to it. That was when i started keeping sheets for D&D. I quickly realised how much i disliked 3rd ED and since I had sold my old books we switched to HackMaster. I had been buying the books for HM for about a year and half as they came out with no real intention to play it.

As i realised my distaste for 3E my gaming group pretty much fell apart. One moved to Arkansas, a couple just quit coming and a couple drifted away. So a few weeks after Scott had moved away, I found myself staring at only 2 players. We sat around the table discussing who we could bring in to fill the group out a bit more. The only person I knew we could get that night was a friend who would not play D&D for religious reasons. A quick phone call was made and he said he would a parody of D&D. So my first HackMaster campaign kicked off.

After about 6 months of playing we decided that HackMaster was cool and retired the test characters we had been playing. I then kicked off a new campaign. This campaign continues to this day. Over the 3 to 4 years we played HM the group waned and occasionaly waxed. At one point the group was 16 people strong. I think we had a couple of  game nights with all 16 in attendance.

Over the course of HackMaster: I moved from a house to an apartment and then bought a house. Shortly after buying the house myself and 5 of the group went to Gencon. That was the last time we played Hackmaster. The tourney for HM was so badly run and we got screwed so badly we dropped the game.
For awhile we played HM light. basicly stripping HackMaster down to AD&D 1st ed. (no skills talents quirks or flaws).  I bumped into Castles and Crusades and fell in love.

Castles and Crusades is rules light. (current players are not into rules crunch and like simple systems) it plays quick and easy. I can run things by the seat of my pants if I need with out stressing about monster stats. Over all the game feels alot like AD&D 1st ED but with some modern bits..assending AC and a few other minor bits. Its in print so players can find it at the local game store and i can easily port in any version of D&Ds stuff.

I converted my campaign lock stock and barrel to C&C. I still use spells, monsters and classes from HM. Spells from every edition of the game except 4th ED. Through this time I still keep everyones characters. HM brought about individual folders but they all stay at my house. When a player left the characters stayed.

A couple days ago a former player texted me asking for all their old characters if they hadn't been thrown away. I am kind of loath to give up those character sheets. I think i am going to photo copy them and let the player have the copies. Some might think i dont have the right to keep them from the player.
My reasoning is this...
1 They are in my world even if the player quit the caracter didnt just vanish.
2 I supply all the sheets either printing as needed or photocopies i paid for.
3 They are written in pencils I provided
4 No other GM is ever going to let these house ruled things into a game. Heck the person asking for the sheets didnt game before I taught them to play and probably never will game again.

Am I wrong about keeping the sheets?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Been a few days since i posted anything.

Played in Joe the Lawyer's G+ last week. Was a blast we mostly explored out side the chateau but got inside a bit. I found a magic saddle, and gained enough xps to advance to second level. This officially makes My fighter the highest level character I have played in about 3 years.

Missed my regularly scheduled Constantcon last night due to extreme pain and suffering. Sorry to the maybe 2 or 3 people who might have played.

I notice the established games on G+ seem to over flow with players while new games barely have have any. I hope everyone will give a stranger a break now and again. Remember being popular doesn't equal good DMing.

Finally received my copy of "Classic monsters from Troll Lord Games. Kickstarted this project in November. The book is pretty cool alot of those old Monster Manual, Fiend Folio and MMII critters have now been added to the C&C game. Not that converting them was hard. It is so simple to convert a classic D&D variant to C&C I usualy do it on the fly at the game table. Some of the cooler monsters cant be published. Some had to be renamed and reworked to avoid copy right problems. I love monster books, hell i bought all the HackMaster Hacklopedias and there were 10 of those. If you want to add more beasts to your game this tome is the way to go. I am very pleased to add it to my shelf.