12 November 2011

A Hotchpotch Gaming Post

OK, lots of little bits I could talk about, so...

November 11 was Skyrim's release day. And on that very day, the postman dropped it in my mailbox. It's been ages since I've actually gotten a game on the release day. If I ever have, even, I can't remember for sure now. I remember pre-ordering MGS3, but due to some mix-up I got it several days late (gasp!). I might have gotten Silent Hill 4 on the day, or very soon after. But, yeah, mostly I have no problem waiting, as there are relatively few games I'm that passionate about based on hype alone.

It got off to a rocky start. The game crashed a couple times during the tutorial part. For a console game this is pretty unforgivable. But after a new start (and, just to be safe, a fresh install) it has been working without problems, for the first few hours, at least. And, although I've barely scratched the surface of the game, it is pretty cool. Many things seem instantly familiar from Oblivion, but I do think the UI and gameplay have improved some, and the setting might just seem a little fresher. The snow is pretty etc.

During the previous weeks, while waiting for Skyrim, I played Grandia for a while. This was a very different experience, of course, being a traditional Japanese RPG. And it was quite fun to play. I enjoyed the battle system, and the experience system was interesting, too. The story... well, despite there being plenty of dialogue, it didn't really progress all that much during the 20 odd hours I played. The characters were fun, though (albeit some a bit... young), and there's plenty of humour. Maybe I'll get back to it someday, when I feel like a change again. Or maybe I won't. I'm afraid I have a tendency to get sidetracked playing these long RPG's, never to return...

Onwards to the tabletop gaming part.

I don't usually re-run many RPG scenarios, even though I run games for a couple different groups. Mostly 'cause I'm committed to running campaigns, of very different styles, which doesn't really lend itself to reusing material. I think the only example thus far was my horror scenario Beyond the Bridge. Last weekend, however, me and a handful of friends got together intending to play some Halloween-themed RPG's. So I decided to run one scenario from my campaign from a few years ago, Kin of Cerberos. The scenario was titled The Day After the Living Dead, and I guess you can guess what the theme was (yes, it starts with a 'z'). Instead of the professional demon hunters of the campaign, this one-shot featured 'regular' people, who were rather more out of their depth. But it was fun.

My Pathfinder campaign is progressing. It still feels like we're learning the game, really, but I guess session by session it's getting smoother. And I still like the system, it's very different from the other games I've been running lately, and steeped in tradition, etc.

And lastly, I kept running into the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic in the strangest places, so I finally had to find out what all the fuss was about. And it turned out to be surprisingly addictive. (Seriously, though, a show created by someone called Faust can hardly be bad. Evil, maybe, but not bad.) And, being the gamer geek that I am, I started thinking the show's setting and style could make for a pretty fun, light RPG adventure. So I started designing a simple system based on Fudge for it, and making a draft of a cute character sheet (and that's probably the first time I've described a sheet design of mine as cute). I haven't had a chance to try these out yet, but, judging from the reaction of at least one of my (female) friends, that is probably only a matter of time...

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