Sunday, June 29, 2014

General Gaming - Summer to do List 2014

School year is over and although it ended on a really sour note (see BC Teacher Strike) at least I'll have the summer to do some gaming.  Not as much as last year though as I am going on a 3 week vacation with my family mid-summer (see here)

Alright so in no particular order here's my to do list for this summer.

  • Finish painting my Deathwing squad.  Carry over from last year, they are primed and ready for painting at least.
  • Get to Gold division in League of Legends.  Currently at Silver II so just need to get into Silver I then from there it's on to Gold!  Better than last year where I ended the season in Silver IV.
  • Finish Assassin's Creed 3.  - Completed July 9th
  • Finish one of the Imperial Story lines SWTOR.  Still working on my Bounty Hunter but at least she's now past chapter 1!
  • Show Penny how to play D&D with rules!  Currently she plays a rule-less version where we just throw down random minis and she knocks them over with her hero mini.  Time to introduce some structure and dice!
Smaller than last year but again I'm on vacation for 3 weeks this summer so less time.  Hopefully I can cross more off this list than last year's list.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

D&D - Learning from Critjuice

I had the pleasure of driving myself to work on Monday so rather than listen to the radio stations I decided to do what I usually do when I drive by myself: catch up on the episodes of Critjuice that I missed!  Note: my work commute is about an hour both ways and I carpool on most days.

For those that don't know what Critjuice is, it's a podcast of a bunch of professional actors and comedians playing Dungeons and Dragons while drinking.  I don't remember why I started listening but in the two years I've been listening to them play (I think I'm one of their first listeners now that I think about it), I've always had a good laugh and they always make my drive home very entertaining.

The DM, David,  is great and from listening to him (and Chris Perkins' PAX games) I've become a much better DM myself I think.  While my games always had a lot of free flow in terms of rules (I regularly throw out rules or adapt them if it makes the current scene cooler) it lacked a lot of NPC involvement.  Since listening to Critjuice my NPCs have a lot more character now as I've attempted (with varying degrees of success) to give them voices and mannerisms different from my own.  It's really changed the feel of the games I play in my opinion.

Anyways, what I really wanted to write about today was the new Team Up mechanic that David introduced in the last few episodes.  To me it reminded me a lot of the Chrono-Trigger dual-tech abilities.  The visuals described by two heroes combining their techniques into a super powerful technique is just really cool.  This would  give players a reason to understand the other characters abilities and allow a lot more role playing during a combat encounter which is always great.  Too often my players just say "I'm going to swing my sword at him." or "I cast magic missile at the goblin.".  While there is nothing wrong with that, it can make for a boring game if that's all you do or say for every combat encounter.

While the net effect in Critjuice is just a damage modifier I can see it leading to all sorts of other in-game effects.  Imagine a ranger letting loose a flurry of arrows while his mage buddy imbues them with some sort of magical power like ice.  Upon impact, in addition to the damage of both attacks, the impact of the ice arrows might make an area of difficult terrain or encase the targets in ice for a round.  The possibilities are quite endless and I am excited to bring this mechanic into my own games of D&D in the future.

I wonder if any of the players in Critjuice will try a triple or quadruple team up move at some point in the future...