On chaos, confusion and werewolves

So my RPG players are causing havoc, again. All they had to do last game was go and talk to someone. But no, they decided to smoke-bomb a police squad and tear a house to pieces. I can’t take them anywhere!

We’re entering the final few games for this arc. It’s been quite a political section; I didn’t entirely intend for it to get quite so involved, but at the same time it’s been a lot of fun! The players have had to think, and unfortunately for them, the consequences of some of their actions – mostly their choices to go in guns blazing and try to Do The Right Thing – may come back to bite them in the ass…

The next arc is going to be a little more Saving The World; we already have a six-month time limit running due to a one-shot that one of my players did, and I’ve happily run with it! It involves Denarians, Knights of the Cross, Ivy, Venatori, a troublesome library and a whole dose of chaos. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

With this game – and these players – I have very much let them sandbox. I’ve put scenarios in front of them, but it’s been entirely up to them what they do (and in one notable case, hooking up with a sex vampire led to an entire arc which resulted in a bin lorry being used as a siege weapon – you know what I said about not being able to take them anywhere…) So I’ve been doing politics on the fly, and reacting to the players as they make the decisions. It’s a different style of game to a plotted one, but no less fun, and it’s given the players a lot more freedom. That said, the next arc is going to be a bit more prescriptive, mostly because the opposing team is on their own timescale and therefore it’ll be up to the players to respond.

So that’s the latest! We’re playing weekly at the moment which is brilliant, and hopefully that’ll continue into the New Year. Bring on more chaos!

Let the games re-start!

Everything tends to tail off during November, unless it involves writing (for fairly obvious reasons…writing 1600 words a day does tend to take up the time otherwise occupied by normal life. So, gaming also got put on hold; I did try to do one game in the last week, but a combination of brain-deadness from the writing and general anxiety over the game itself meant that we just spent the evening writing (which was fun!) However, we’re now into December. Let the games begin!

I started again with the wolf-pack last night for my GM’d game; they got a task from a rather unpleasant member of the Winter Court and then went chasing all over Swindon via McDonalds, a donut shop and finally an ice-cream parlour…! They’re a fun duo to play with as one player is thoughtful, while the other is silly and tends to prefer wolf-form, so sarcastic comments and barks are the norm, versus the human player’s actual, y’know, speech. A few members of my other group are starting up again next week as well, probably looking for an ever-so-shiny stone that could cause a few problems.

Looking to forward planning for this campaign, I’m starting to integrate the next stage of the plan into it. The first stage was to gain items, which the groups have been doing. They haven’t yet found out what the items are going to be used for…which may possibly be Teh End of Teh Worldz, or at least something approaching it in true Dresden style! However, being one of my games, it’s not quite that straightforward. There’s two sides and multiple choices, and they don’t all have to do the same thing or will know the same things. It could be quite a lot of fun…well, for me. (Everyone is assuring me they are enjoying playing, despite what their characters might think). So, next stage is to plot a longer session for my wolf-pack, and finish up the final couple of items with my other groups. The thoughtful ones might start the End of The World discovery plot, but if not…hey, things are gonna happen anyway!

In the other game, coincidentally, it’s also the Apocalypse. We’ve been aiming towards something for the last seven casefiles and it’s finally arrived, although unfortunately the GM is being extremely evil and has dumped three plots in together…so it’s zombies, chaos, Big Baddies and…well, us. Yay. But it’s going to be nice to round everything off and get this finished, as it’s been a year and a half in the playing! I love the game, so it’s frustrating that we haven’t been able to play as often as I’d like. On the other side of that, though, the other player are probably grateful we haven’t :-/ so hey, it teaches me patience.

I admit I am (was? I hope) struggling with anxiety for my GM’d game. No matter how much my players reassure me that they’re enjoying playing, my brain interprets that as “they’re just being nice” and then goes into “I did all these tiny things WRONG” and then, if I don’t manage to shut it up, does a nice “I’m so CRAP” which is just annoying. I also had the added anxiety of looking at my plots and just feeling that they were useless; I had no imagination, I hadn’t come up with anything interesting, I had no character hooks and no backstories and why were people even playing with me?

It took my wolf-player pointing out that a) we haven’t really played that much and everyone’s still working out their characters, and b) I have A LOT OF PLOT, to make me calm down. I also realised where some of the anxiety comes from; I don’t want to be That GM, and I’ve read so much about shitty GMs online (and played with one or two) that I’m a little paranoid about what I’m doing wrong. I have to remember that I am a new GM, despite everything; I’ve only played a few games! This is my first long planned campaign. So…I need to have confidence in my world and my imagination, and also gives my players more credit; they’re as good at world-building as I am! I can give them free rein and they will enjoy playing, whatever I throw at them. Yes, I can always get better, but I’m not That GM. I’ve got a world that people want to explore, and they’re still surprising me with their directions. I need to trust that they enjoy playing as much as I enjoy GM’ing.

I did manage to chill out and enjoy the game yesterday; I’m looking forward to both of my games next week, both as a player and a GM. It is good to be playing again!

Dresden Files: my casefile

I might have mentioned a few times that I’m involved in a Dresden Files RPG game, and that I got to steal one casefile from our GM. And finally, finally, I got to play it!

TL;DR*: no-one’s died yet (despite their best efforts) and they didn’t screw up too badly. They’ve gone chasing after the baddies and we stopped just before one of the main bosses turns up, so next session is going to be a lot of fighting…

If you want (probably long) details, then read on!

*Too Long; Didn’t Read.

Continue reading “Dresden Files: my casefile”

Crafting for Gaming

Dice_bags_1I have finally stolen my Fate dice back from our Dresden GM (he has his own sets, anyway, so we’re not going to be short for those games). I have the Eldritch set – they glow in the dark! – but I’m also a fan of the Winter set, which is the other special one we play with. One of our players swears that any blue ones hate him, so…um…I may have just ruined his game by stealing the green ones. Oh well!

Dice_Bags_2But anyway, I needed something to keep them in. Having a brief pause between skirts at Hackspace, I decided to make some dice bags.

The one on the left has drawstrings, and was my second effort. The one on the right is lined but was just a simple bag, and I’ve currently got that tied with ribbon. They were both done with rectangles of fabric, sewing the sides and top, and then turning inside out; nothing too complicated until I got to the drawstring top, which refused to co-operate! But I did get there eventually, and so far they’ve worked very well and mean I don’t lose twelve dice someplace in my bag every time I have to travel, which believe me is a real problem for gamers.

Caesar: elephant

On a slightly related note (as in they’re currently in the dice bag as well), have I told you guys about my coins?

Augustus: Mars

I got four reproduction Roman Denarii from Dorchesters.com. I can’t get a decent photo of mine so I’m using the site’s ones (damn camera phone).

I chose coins from the first century AD; they had to be in use at the time of Jesus. It’s a Dresden Files thing; the Order of the Blackened Denarius are fallen angels, bound to the thirty denarii paid to Judas for betraying Jesus – so it had to be things that were already in circulation. I admit I got to geek out a little over my choices; Antony&Cleopatra wouldn’t have been in wide circulation, so I didn’t got with that, and the same with Antony&Caesar.

Augustus: Comet
Augusts: Comet

I also got to absolutely geek out over the coins themselves; although I partly wanted them for a project (which I’ll explain in a minute), I also wanted an excuse to get Roman coins – and from my period, too! Or at least as there aren’t many Republican coins in existence, I’ll take early Empire.

My choices; two with Caesar’s head, with a sacrificial bull and one with a triumphal elephant. And two with Augustus’ head; one with the comet of his ‘father’ Caesar, and one with Mars to celebrate his Parthian campaign.

Caesar: bull

The project that I had originally intended them for was to try to mould them and create replicas, and then engrave or enamel them to get the sigils onto the obverse. However, we’ve been batting around ideas for doing it, and haven’t got any closer to working out what would actually work…so it’s in progress! Other projects have unfortunately got in the way, although I don’t particularly mind; the coins are awesome and I can still use them!

I’m just waiting for someone in a DFRPG to take a Coin, and then I can actually give them one…