1 April 2013

Where Has All the Fighting Gone (Not an April Fool's Post)

(...nor does this post actually have any real content. Just me killing time. So ha!)

So, what's going on in my life? And, particularly, what's going on in gaming, which I expect most of you (whoever 'you' is) will be most interested in...

Well, after playing Skyrim's Dragonborn expansion, I was going to get back to the Mass Effect trilogy (my playthrough having been interrupted first by a Christmas trip, then delayed by illness, general laziness, and, naturally, Dragonborn). However, soon after finishing up with Dragonborn (btw, have I mentioned Dragonborn enough?), I happened to visit a local flea market, where I just happened to pick up Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout 3 for a bargain price. I found I was still somewhat in mood for fantasy, so, on a whim, I decided to give Dragon Age a try. I've been playing it over the last few weeks now and should be pretty close to beating it. I'll write a proper post about it once I do. After that, maybe Mass Effect 2 at long last...

On the pen & paper RPG front there's little new to report since my recent post about the joy of rulebooks. I'm still intrigued by Numenera. (And still in no position to pre-order.) Haven't found any new things to be also excited about, but I'm sure they're just lurking behind corners, ready to pounce on my nigh non-existing wallet...

I've recently been lamenting the lack of epic fight scenes in the games I run. There's a lot of reasons behind this. One is the challenges posed by timing. I usually like to keep my sessions as more or less cohesive stories, with clear beginnings and endings, kinda like episodes in a TV show. Naturally in most stories the logical place for a big showdown is the finale. However, it often seems to be the case that by that time we're either running out of time or energy, frequently both, and things need to get wrapped up. Another reason is often a lack of planning. (Yes, I'm a pretty bad planner, I have to admit. I tend to leave everything to the last minute...) And then there are, of course, the creative players who all too often seem to find other, ingenious ways around problems that don't involve tackling it head on... Which is, of course, a great thing in itself. But sometimes you just need a good bit of brain bashing...

Actually, finding the right balance of rules based action (namely combat) and storytelling based on character interaction has always been a big challenge for me, and I'm not certain I've ever quite succeeded in it quite to my satisfaction. The thing is, I'm actually quite interested in both. But mostly games of late seem to veer towards the latter... Which may be one reason I got so interested in Pathfinder a couple years back. All that potential for classic, nostalgic hack and slash action... However, even my Pathfinder games have been becoming a little less heavy on combat... And speaking of Pathfinder, my campaign has been on hiatus for several months again due to some difficulty in scheduling. I've been missing it a little of late, not least because thoughts on the above issues have been going through my brain...

Any other, random titbits and personal musings to share? No? Well, catch you again on another day then, I guess...

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