Evening ladies and gentleborgs.  I wanted to talk to you about RPG sessions. And I hope, hopefully, that you will talk back this time.

My RPG sessions have been varied and many. I’ve played them in club rooms while our history teacher does his grading in the background, while we all sat around a bunch of pushed together desks with a makeshift dry-erase grid mat. I’ve played in friend’s bedrooms, huddled on the floor while I work my way through an entire 12-pack of Mountain Dew: Code Red. I’ve played in game store backrooms, and while I scramble to get all my notes together two of the players sneak out to get high ( breaking the number one rule in any game session that I run: If you must partake, do it before the game. and I mean waaay before. Other than that, no performance enhancers).

I’ve played with people I will never, ever be in the same room with, over Skype and other neat little tools. Frankly, most of these sessions have ended in disappointment and frustration, or in a simple and utter lack of fulfillment.

Why I play though, are for those little moments. I think you know the ones if you are a gamer like me. The ones you can talk about later, even if at the time they didn’t seem that interesting. When my Malkavian died wrestling a dragon made of fire, the pile of bodies blocking the lightning rail from moving forward,  that time the Gangrel tried to assassinate the prince by crashing a plane into the Elysium, The time they met the Ogre bard who liked to sing nonstop.

Little tastes into other worlds. I always want a little more, but like I’ve admitted, I’ve never taken a D&D party beyond 6th level.

What I’m hoping to hear from you is this: What was your perfect game session? The one you’ve walked away from where you were truly content.

In response to The Gentleman Gamer

The other day, The Gentleman Gamer (the suavely voiced VtM expert) posted a video about how D&D isn’t a good game to start off new players with.

While I can understand why he said what he did, and I agree at times, I have to counterpoint him here.

He says that the amount of books you need to play it, and the contents of said books can be daunting to new players. Yes. But yours truly learned D&D by myself with only one other friend who had never played before. We sussed it out over the course of a couple of afternoons in highschool.

The complexity of D&D I think is actually a good thing. If you start on D&D, and you master it, then nothing else can phase you. If you start players off with a very simple game and they get comfortable with that, then you will most likely meet resistance when trying to bring them to a different system, especially one with more “crunch”.

Another interesting benefit of D&D is it’s  malleability, and based on your DMing style, you can prepare players for other games. If you want to stick to dungeoncrawls or war simulations, then you can introduce your players to different types of battle games with less resistance. If you play it very story heavy, or political intrigue-y, you can move onto games like Vampire or noir, or detective games.

I don’t really have closing thoughts. Umm…..Read any good sourcebooks lately?

Here’s the video I’m referring to, by the way:

An update with GOOD News.

Happy Holidays my robot brethren. So, this time off has been good for me. I’ve recharged, I’ve thought about some new projects, and I’ve been jonesing for an RPG to play with people like my last hit was years ago. My Christmas shopping finally got in, but the best of my purchases was something I got for myself. A graphics tablet!



Aren’t I beautiful?

I wanted to tell you guys, this is a big leap for me. My “big project” that I’m working on is a change up to video reviews. I’ve had some arguments in my head on how to do it though. My current camera set up is too harsh to do what I wanted. Then I thought, “why not do it as the Goblin?”. But the second issue there is my audio set up. My best friend has a $400 set up he’s been working on, but he lives two towns over these days, and works too much.

I’ll get it down eventually.

But until then, I’m going to keep taking it slow.

Hey, none of you have given me any stories to work with. Comments, people. You’re starving me. I need attention a lot. I’m going to go run with scissors. Until next time, see ya cyborgs!

Goblin Interstitial: Gaming Philosophy

I really need to play more D&D. Or any RPG for that matter, but I don’t have the schedule for it. My work schedule isn’t overtaxing, but it’s erratic enough to break up any ambient creative energies that might try to coalesce.

RPGs and I have an interesting relationship. I’ve known about them virtually my entire life (thanks Dexter’s Lab and Disney’s Recess!). I want to say I never actually role-played in any real form (besides regular childhood stuff) until high school, but that isn’t quite true. In Elementary school, I had a friend who was a big fan of the Deltora Quest book series. I hadn’t read them at that point, and he would sort of…run me through the books, as if I was the main character, Leif. it was neat.

In high school, I went through a couple of different “I’m not part of the group” phases. One of the phases was me asking my best (and pretty much only) friend if we should try playing D&D. I GMPC’d the first game, and I can still remember my first character, a Turban-wearing, battleaxe-wielding sorcerer named Jack Redwave. I convection roasted an Owlbear. And don’t even get me started on what my friend’s monk did.

One thing that I’ve held pretty true is that story should always be a pretty important part of RPGs. You can thank Hickman, Weiss, and Salvatore for that. I’ve been a really avid reader my entire life (sometimes to the detriment of other things), and the “flow” of a story has always been the most interesting part of RPGs.

As the Pathfinder game that kicked me out can tell you, I’m not that great a player. I refused to turtle before every single room in the dungeon and I always wanted to do things the “clever” way, plus I get really bored waiting for “my turn”. My real passion is running games, where I can worldbuild, create interesting characters on the regular, and be constantly interacting with the rest of the people at the table.

My favorite method of DMing is pretty spontaneous. I read through a lot of the books, and then I create a list of “Cool Stuff” to use. Example:

  • A good-aligned lich living in the walls of an old church
  • An assassin dryad ninja who is out for revenge for the death of her sister
  • A ship graveyard that was turned into an independent  floating city

And then I lead the players in the direction of one of said cool things. Often just as waypoints on a larger journey, but it makes the world seem that much bigger.

As far as the entire scope of a campaign goes, I honestly can’t help you. I’ve got a confession.

I’ve never “finished” an RPG. Ever. I’ve been playing for almost 7 years, and I’ve never had a game come to a satisfying conclusion, or even a conclusion at all. They’ve always been interrupted. It’s frankly depressing.

I always plan these epic journeys where the characters have interesting things happen to them, they defeat a big bad, maybe even get a girl or two, but I’ve never even taken a party over level 7.

If anyone has some interesting stories they’d like me to share for them about their D&D experiences, email them to me. If I like them, I’ll post them here.