Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shadowrun: Rat's Nest Campaign of the Month

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The Shadowrun Rat's Nest campaign is Campaign of the Month over at Obsidian Portal! I am so freaking proud of this. We put such a lot of work into that campaign, both into preparing the actual sessions and into the wiki, the adventure logs and the NPCs. I don't even want to think about how many hours I have spent writing all those wiki articles, looking for good NPC photos and keeping everything well linked and tagged. We even got to talk about it in an interview.

If you're unfamiliar with it, Obsidian Portal is a website geared towards gamemasters and their groups, no matter the system. It offers you an easy way to keep track of your characters, host maps and character sheets online, you can create your own wiki and write adventure logs. And if you're looking for inspiration, check out the mass of campaigns hosted there, with lovingly created sites and a lot of great content. The community there is very friendly and helpful.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Deadlands: Prison Break

Cast of Characters:
Alan Trehorn: Half-Apsalooke/Crow scout who might be taken for a greenhorn, but at your own risk.
Etienne DuMont: Texas Ranger. He used to be dead, but he got better.
Kenneth Lake: Professional poker player and reluctant participant in these events.
Dr. Frances Gray: Doctor and a strong believer in science and natural explanations.
Sister Elisabeth: A nun of maybe questionable past, but unquestionable faith.
Eliah Davis: Black cowboy who has seen some weird shit in his life. He spins this tale for you, somewhere at a camp fire on the prairie.

last time

I spent the day in prison with Elisabeth, playing cards and I even got her to read to me from a book other than the Bible. Alan spelled me in the evening and I got a couple of hours of sleep before we were out on the streets again, waiting for the murderer. This time with Doctor Gray as the intended victim.

It was quiet for much of the night, but then we heard shots from the prison and I was close enough to hear Elisabeth scream. Didn't take the time to knock on the door, just kicked it down and landed hard against the bars of the empty cell. The sheriff was in the other cell and doing his best to murder Elisabeth. Alan shot at him and he walked right through the bars as if they weren't even there. I saw that bullets didn't do nothing to hurt the sheriff and clobbered him with my gun. Didn't hurt him either but he seemed to have enough and just walked out through the locked door into his office. Through me. If no-one ever does that to me again, it will be too soon.

I shot open the door to Elisabeth's cell and got the doctor to help her, she was bleeding badly. I've seen people die from less, but the doctor saved her, unless the wounds get infected. The sheriff's gone, although Alan thinks he might have found tracks. But there's no sense in walking all over those in the middle of the night, so we'll all get some more sleep and see what we can see in the morning.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Castle Blackbird: A Forest

I completely forgot to write about this, but we finished our Castle Blackbird game a while ago with a third session. The characters decided to flee through the forest and find shelter at a small village. The village was deserted and when they opened the door to the inn, they were greeted by the sight of the Baron's soldiers. Quick reflexes saved them from getting shot, but not form the confrontation with the Baron. Not a man to be trifled with, he used all his powers to capture Konstanze again and those powers included dark magic. It took the combined effort of the group to kill him - and when he died, his troops vanished with him.

The group decided to go back to Amselburg. But when they turned back, the city was gone and there was no trace of it, like it had never been there.

I quite liked the ending of the whole story. After everyone thought that they had saved the day with killing the baron, that came as a bit of a shock. It also leaves a good hook if we ever want to play in the setting again.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Deadlands: Suspicions

Cast of Characters:
Alan Trehorn: Half-Apsalooke/Crow scout who might be taken for a greenhorn, but at your own risk.
Etienne DuMont: Texas Ranger. He used to be dead, but he got better.
Kenneth Lake: Professional poker player and reluctant participant in these events.
Dr. Frances Gray: Doctor and a strong believer in science and natural explanations.
Sister Elisabeth: A nun of maybe questionable past, but unquestionable faith.
Eliah Davis: Black cowboy who has seen some weird shit in his life. He spins this tale for you, somewhere at a camp fire on the prairie.

last time

We waited in our hiding places, with Elisabeth walking up and down the street. Nothing much happened until we heared screams from somewhere behind the houses. We found a woman yelling her head off and a man with his throat cut. He died, there was nothing the doc could do. Elisabeth tried to save him, but only closed the wound. Of course no-one had seen anything. Kenneth, Alan and I tried to follow the tracks of the murderer. That brought us to a field a short way out of town, with only a scarecrow. These things always give me the willies, can't help myself. Wouldn't have been surprised one bit it if started walking, but it was just straw and some old clothes. The tracks stopped right behind it and we couldn't make heads or tails of them.

The town's resident scientist is experimenting with some kind of missile. At least we saw one go overhead, but when we went to look at the place it came down, we didn't find much of a crater. Just some burned grass and a dent in the earth. Same thing we found behind the scarecrow. When we returned to town, Elisa had been arrested by the good folks of Drywater Creek. Someone had produced a note that names her as the murderer and people found bloody clothes and a bloody knife in her room. Not much use in explaining to them that the clothes were bloody because she had tried to help the murdered man and that we had our eyes on her the whole time.

The sheriff wasn't to be found or maybe he just sleepy soundly. In any case, Elisa got locked into a barn. Not that she noticed because she had been drinking with Etienne and I don't think that's a competition any of us could win. I guarded her because I've seen people decide to take the law into their own hands more than once. This could get ugly mighty fast, people were already talking about witchcraft and how she was the whore of the whole gang who's supposed to commit these murders. In the morning, the sheriff brought her into prison and I stayed with her. He even left us alone and I thought about getting her out and making a run for it. But I don't know this land, we wouldn't have had a chance in hell to get away. We stayed put and we waited.

next time



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Zaduszki



November 1st at Warsaw's Powązki cemetery. The song is a ballad by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, sung to music by Adam Strug. People use the day to make visits to cemeteries, putting candles on graves of relatives and wandering around. This is related to, but not exactly, All Soul's Day (it's a lot of older traditions merged with the catholic holiday) and it's called Zaduszki.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fallen London

I have trouble sleeping, nightmares haunt me. My days are spent dining with devils and scrounging for secrets. Also, rats have infested my lodgings and want to settle the dispute with a game of cricket.


Fallen London
is a free text-based browser game in the style of chose your own adventure-books. You must make a living in a city that has been brought underground and is now populated by all kinds of monsters, freaks and desperate people. If you always want to know for sure what is going on, then this is not your game. But if you relish a good mystery, unexplained events and atmospheric worldbuilding, then by all means give Fallen London a try. It's a mix of steampunk, Victorian London and Lovecraft, with some Gaiman thrown in (Neverwhere in particular).
Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-10-28 10:31:21
Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-10-28 10:30:41

Gameplay is very easy and nicely done. The world is huge, over 3000 storylets to follow, and I really applaud all the creativity that went into this. It's addicting, I can promise you that. But you only have twenty actions and when those are used up, you have to wait for them to refresh (ten minutes/action). That keeps the amount of time spent on the game in check, a feature I'm thankful for or I wouldn't come back to the world above at all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Fun and Games

My players are on their way to smuggle a truckload of chocolate from Seattle to Boston. After a tornado damaged their RV, they had a bit of downtime and decided to visit an amusement park. Okay, two players decided and the rest groaned and went along.

I had this throwaway idea of a fortune teller who'd give them a cliché reading and then later would be seen leaving the park in a hurry. This worked absolutely beautifully. The characters had found out that the fortune teller was the real deal or at least had actual magical talent. If you are doing something illegal, maybe it's not such a brilliant idea to let someone like this read your past and future, no? Cue major freak out of the players.

I thought they were going to rugby-tackle the poor woman when I describes her heading for the park exit. But the characters were content with some bullshit explanation and the advice to one of them to keep away from the white-water ride. For some added paranoia, they placed an RFID tag in the lady's backpack and where does she seem to be headed? To the town where they left the truck full of chocolate.

The rest of the day didn't go exactly smoothly (there was a guy who might or might not be a vampire and they attracted his attention AND a spirit took over a drug addict and ran amok), but the fortune teller was my personal favourite. I wanted them to feel a bit unsure, but I had not thought that I would cause this amount of panic. And we are not done with Madame Esme because part of the group wants to find her and ask her what in hell all this actually was about?

We are on Obsidian Portal