Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Game Day

Another month has passed and another NWARPG Game Day has come (yay) and passed (aww).  This month it was another Benton County one, out at Gamer Utopia in Rogers.  The last one at their current location, by the time we get back that direction in a couple of months they will have moved into a new store. I kind of liked the old mall location, for the extra stuff conveniently located around it in the same building; but hopefully the new location will be even better.

This Game Day saw a good number of RPGs being played, and a decent smattering of board games as well.  There were some familiar faces that had been missed at the past few game days (I'm looking at you John), as well as the vast majority of the regular crew of wonderful people who I've come to know and enjoy at these and other gaming events over the past few months.  I did not really pay much attention to numbers or counts or anything, but my guess is that we were at least at the 25 mark and maybe upwards of 30 people there playing various games.

I had a truly wonderful time playing in a Dungeon World game.  As usual I absolutely love playing in any of the Apocalypse World based systems a hell of a lot more than I have enjoyed my short forays into running them.  As a player this system just really works for me and I have a ton of fun with it.  It also helps that I've played with great groups and great GMs every time.  This time of course was no exception.  Chris Colbath ran a very fun game, which saw our party of six adventurers undertaking a perilous quest to find and destroy the Corrupted Master.

Our party was composed of Baldric the bard, Mouse the halfling thief, Wolf the half-elf ranger and his bear companion Bear, Lux the paladin, "Horcrux" (not the actual name, but that's what the GM kept accidentely saying so it stuck) the elven druid, and Galadiir the elven mage (ME!).  It was quite an impressive party with lots of varying powers, skills, and alignments (shhhhh, I was EVIL!!)

I totally hammed up my character by dubbing him Galadirr the Unsure and playing him as being totally uncertain and in doubt about everything, including his own magical abilities.  I was constantly "hoping this works!" when casting a spell, and pointing out to the paladin that "the gods don't actually exist"  I also did a terrible take on a British accent, and cracked jokes as often as I could; so for me at least it was a ton of fun. Lots of others were laughing, so I think it was fun for most if not all.\

Our group faced an attack by goblins right off the bat as we were camped out on our journey to find the Corrupted Master (CM).  We handily defeated the foes, thanks in large part to my amazing fireball casting skills.  I'm not entirely certain I believe the stories that they rest of the party put forth about my fireball hitting them as well, I think they just are too embarrassed to admit falling into the camp fire.  After defeating the goblins we made haste to the secret mountain fortress of the CM, which I had never seen before because I definitely had not served an intern-ship with him back during wizarding school.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

After defeating another horde of goblins, and more party members stumbling into random fires that totally were not my fault, I consulted with the most trustworthy sort of individual (a demon) and learned of the secret passage into the tower that I totally did not already know about at all.  We managed to sneak inside and find our way to the CM after only some minor difficulties involving illusions, big scary spiders, fire traps (not my fault!), zombies, and paladins walking directly into the path of innocent wizard's fireballs.  An epic battle ensued, and after some hard fighting, and a fireball landing on the party that was NOT cast by their own wizard, I managed to just barely kill the CM right as his teleportation ritual finished and the body faded away.  The evil wizarding tower was now under new management!!

As I said it was a ton of fun, and hey only 3/5 of my fireballs hit the party!  I rolled well enough on a lot of those castings that I wish I'd taken the empower magic ability, I would have been doing a whole lot more friendly fire damage!

The other two RPGs that went on were a Pathfinder Society scenario (with 5-7 players I believe) and a game of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, a zombie RPG, with 5-6 players as well.  I was busy in my game, and was bugging the board game players when I was not; so I didn't pay much attention to either one, but we have such high quality GMs and players at these events that I'm sure both were a ton of fun.  Sadly the Marvel game did not end up happening, the GM ended up being late and leaving early because of health issues I believe.

As far as board games went I got to play in a few, and there were a ton going on that I saw but didn't participate in.  A group of 5 or so players were unfortunately cursed with having to play Cosmic Encounters, and while they seemed to have fun I'm sure inside they were crying.  ;)

A couple of folks played the new Fantasy Flight Star Wars mini game, that looked like fun and I'll have to try it out sometime.  A few games of Jungle Speed happened, with Emily winning them all I hear.  War of 1812 was played at least once with a group of five, and from the conversations about it afterwards I think everyone had fun and is looking to play it again.  Another one I'll have to try sometime.

I was able to play a 2 player game of Pandemic with Bobby, which we lost due to outbreaks.  Also got to try out Formula D for the first time.  I was trying to be careful and not hurt my car for the majority of the race, which doesn't lend itself to a winning strategy; so I lost that one as well, but it is a very cool game that I think does a great job of capturing the flavor and theme.  Which is something I'm always interested in seeing and learning from.

The big highlight of the board games for me was getting to playtest a game of my own design.  My election satire card game was played for the first time and I was super happy with the result.  No, it wasn't anywhere near perfect, nor was it the greatest idea ever.  But it was somewhat enjoyable, and I think most of the people there saw potential for a decent game to come out of it after more testing and refinement; which is all I could possibly ask for at this stage.  The two big problems were the balancing of the numbers, which I 100% admit were largely arbitrary and just thrown out there to see what would work, and a need for more interesting and dynamic choices at various points in the game.  I got some really good feedback and was super grateful to the group that was willing to try it out.  Looking forward to fixing some things and trying it again.  Thanks Bobby, John, Taylor and Josh!

EDIT:  Oh after I posted I remember that Anders and Chris did quite a bit of discussion about their "Pirate LARP" game, and may have played through some of the mechanics.  Another awesome example of the great community of gamers we have here in the area.  Chris mentioned an idea of making a website that would be a central hub for all our local game design stuff; which I think would be awesome.

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