Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Green Girls

Seems like drama has been surrounding more than one of the new Star Trek universes. GM Jon has completed his pre Star Trek Star Trek and has now had the first missives from Mordiphius as their playtest undocks. In reverse order they are apparently feeding us the Next Generation first and then by a twist of time travel the earlier series comes later. This will of course be very interesting in and of itself but as purveyors of the trade a play test has special interest for us as a club. I expect no less than two hundred opinions on various aspects of the game and hopefully by the end of the run we will have thrashed out the complete compendium of Starfleet Rules and Regulations. 

There is also drarma in the real world of Science Fiction as some of you may be aware that the upcoming series Discovery is also making its media present by way of the first castings but more importantly there has been significant controversy over the new ship.

Aesthetics can be a blurry subject and in futuristic scenarios will often split the audience or indeed crew, but for my part I come heavily down on the lazy bastards side of the argument. Over the generations there have been distinct efforts with regard to Starfleet ship evolution and there are various apologetic videos squeezing the Discovery design into the fleet lineup but basically, bollocks. Someone in the design team got out a compass and set square and had an early lunch. What do you get if you join a circle onto a triangle ? Well you get a circle and a triangle joined together. I do hope that the sheer nafness can enhance the experience in the same way as wobbly bits of soft focus sixties special effect.

As club numbers are up at the moment I had occasion to run an impromptu Chill but as it was originally intended for two sessions of about four players I couldn't quite squeeze it into one evening particularly as I had six players - immediately splitting the party up and shooting the good guys. What could I have possibly expected? Still, a game is afoot for the next occasion and the investigation phase is definitely giving way to the grisly death section.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A quiet revolution

So this Monday I popped down to the Craft Beer Co pub at the top of North St to see what all the virtual fuss was about on the Prime Internet Plane. Having survived the initial encounter with the bar staff thee is much to report...

Firstly there is the Hero, Simon Appleton, who has been running the Brighton Boardgamers for many years and as people were telling me, the interest in RPGs have grown to the point where he pulled up his socks, girded his loins, dusted off his glasses and spurred off a specific meetup internet group to handle the growing interest. This last Monday saw an Entmoot to welcome new players and coordinate GMs - I suppose a bit like a fast dating event where people can sample each other before exchanging bodily fluids. And speaking of fluids I did pry the bar staff to impress upon me their lightest and finest ale of repute, to which I received my due but at the princely bargain of £2.80 !! This is going to spur a serious debate in and of itself being 30p less that we get in our social club. Nevertheless I digress. 

Deciding to turn up 20 minutes late just to be cool I levitated my pint upstairs and was shocked to find myself jammed in a doorway due to the sheer number of interested parties crammed into the event. I counted at least 25 before I stopped. But it all started to make sense as each GM introduced themselves and offered up what they intended to run. There certainly weren't enough tables upstairs for all the games to be seated but a lot of the GMs were intending to start a game in the new year and not necessarily on the night. I also got the impression that the pub will prioritize other paid events so I can see on occasion the role players having to give way. Simon mentioned to me that space was indeed an issue, specifically in the classical Newtonian sense. After the meeting many left as others were sitting down to play so as interesting as it was to get the lay of the land I shall pop in on a 'normal' evening and see if I can get an impression of how things work during a typical week and also to see how many of the new players actually found a game. Nevertheless what wonderful people. But the bottom line is that our GMs should be posting our games on the meetup site also when we revolve..or whenever they need new players

On this note we have also had an up welling of interest through our doors and for now a few new visitors are staying to sample the universes we have on offer and typically, last week, even despite a couple of regulars missing, 14 people turned up.

This is definitely grounds for a new game at this point and although I have been carrying a Chill around in my back pocket during the games rotation, typically I didn't bring it last week, Nevertheless our Gary rescued the evening with a hearty Talisman.

Oh, and I accidentally bought  DMG over the weekend but more of that in another blog, except to say that the most venerable proprietors at the Dice Saloon also told me that there has been a bit of an upsurge in DnD sales and enquiries at their end. What on earthdawn is going on..?


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Dooom and Gloom

 The Star Trek has sort of pre started as Modiphius plays with the space time continuum within its own release window. GM Jon has kindly  stepped in with a pre Star Trak, Star Trek. Whilst he sports a couple of early systems he has gone for an original Last Unicorn implementation of the original series. Whilst it was produced by Last Unicorn Games (LUG - now absorbed in WotC) in the 90s it is an extremely nostalgic rendition in the style of a genuine late 60's Haynes Manual, More specifically the iconic artwork of typical 60s and 70s compendiums are faithfully reproduced in terms of it production style which lends itself even more faithfully to the setting of the original series - the only thing that's missing is the soft focus.

Apparently the scenario surrounds a prime directive protected pre warp planet upon which a starship has crashed - accidentally I presume. On further investigation it seems that the crew are missing along with a significant amount of advanced equipment. This has all the hall marks of a great episode and I am wondering whether it will be resolved through time travel, shooting evil aliens or sleeping with an Admiral's daughter. I shall attempt to sit down in this game for an episode depending on what the rest of the club is doing.

The DnD is on hold for another week due to our GMs night shiftyness which is always an excuse to bring out a weird card game or two. True to our constitution someone brought along a 2nd ed 'Gloom'  which is a wonderful and slightly narrative card game where each player starts with an Adams family set of characters and has to ruin their karma so much it actually kills them. Opposing players can use their cards to cheer them up so its a basic tug of war between positive and negative modifiers but if you character dies happy then their positive score counts against you whereas a fatal event for a severely disturbed character with a negative score counts for you. During each play, a story is advanced based on the action of the previous player to compile a wonderful and ridiculous adventure.

It an refreshing and creative change from desperately trying to keep characters alive.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Roleplaying Radar

Over the last week we have been casting out our roleplaying radar into the local community to see what is floating about.

This blog, whilst an ancient and revered tome, is probably not one one would choose when promoting a club, tho as I inherited it, it still tops the Google list for the sheer amount of time it has been around when one searches for roleplaying in Brighton. Despite ones opinions of Blogging we do seem to get wanderers in on a semi regular basis. whether it is shelter from the elements for a cup of tea, or someone specifically interested in something we are doing, its always interesting to meet adventurers passing through our doors and occasionally, they stay.

For our part the club is designed around  more transient, public facing experience with a hour or so of socialising followed by a couple of hours role playing - a gentle and welcoming pace I would say but with just enough time to get a sense of adventure for a newcomer and if you are lucky, a feeling of accomplishment and who knows, good friends of dubious character - or dubious friends of good character - I forget which. The format has been tinkered with but evolution has set us in our current niche. The games are short at about 3 months and synchronized so that players turn over to mix - new stuff is never far away.

Like a good TV show, some games generate spin offs in the form of home games where people can get a more in depth experience and there is also a monthly Earthdawn running for five to six hours at the local Dice Saloon role playing center as yet another opportunity to escape reality, tho there is a small cost  for the table for the day, its a pleasant albeit busy environment. There are also open Pathfinder games for passers by run by the regulars there I believe.

This last week gone some of us have also invited ourselves to a fairly new Mondays meetup event at the Craft Beer Co in upper North Street where we understand that two DnD games are running. The Meetups site is a natural place to look for RPG games and I think the North St GMs are using it as a sort of e-booking system so you have to register with each of them or get on their respective waiting lists. They start at 18:30 to 19:00 so earlier than us but I dont know if it would describe itself as a club in the sense of events being co-ordinated. However there is a specific meeting on the 21st to discuss additional games and some of us will be popping along, so I shall report back, but I can tell you now that we shall not be sheltered from the full force of retail beer costs compared to our spit and sawdust, slightly damp, late 70s, Dr Who episodic, public facing, jukebox dysfunctional, subsidised railway social club.

As 'special interests' go Brighton does seem to have a thriving roleplaying scene; ironically from my home on the 7Dials I can go North, East or South for about 10 minutes either way and hit a public roleplaying event of some sort. 

I wonder what dark forces in the West have done to veil the scene....perhaps it is just for evil parties.