OK, I have been falling behind. There are too many RPG books to read, too many novels to read, too many minis to paint… all of that, and I also want to play board games. Besides all of that, there is the constant perusal of Kickstarter for a product which looks awesome. Also, the constant hope that the Kickstarter will top out to include as many expansions as possible. I am talking to you, DCC Lankmahr Kickstarter…
We adopted a third dog this week. She was named Kaspi by the Southwest Region Humane Society. That wasn’t going to work, so we decided that she should be named Frida.
Not that there is any similarity between Frida from Abba and Frida, the new dog. The name seems to fit.
I am a sucker for shelter animals. Every dog and cat that we have gotten has come from a shelter or a rescue, or in the case of Tora, our current cat, just walked into our lives. There are many good animals out there who need a good home, and I would hope that you would all think of adoption as you think of getting a pet.
So last weekend was Gamestorm. This is a massive nerdfest in the Portland Oregon area. Lots going on for gaming. There is ample possibilities for board gaming, RPG’s, LARPing, and every other type of analog gaming possible.
I had a great time. I ran about 12 hours of Call of Cthulhu games for Chaosium, along with another 6 hours of Zombicide. We had a massive game with way too many people. The players used something new, at least for Eric and Mike. It was something called “strategy”. The problem here was that there were new players who actually wanted to play and win, as opposed to just killing lots of zombies by guns, knives, clubs and cars.
I also played a game of the Morrow Project – kind of. I played that way back when in the 1980’s. As swag for running lots of games, I got a copy of the 3rd edition Morrow Project book. I also got a copy of the older RPG “Cyberpunk”, which is pretty much full of awesomeness.
Now, I love the concept of the Morrow Project. Unfortunately, the dude running the game rubs me the wrong way. I walked to the table to play, and saw a guy that I played in a D&D 1.0 game at Gamestorm about 3 years ago. I immediately thought “Fuck” and “Jesus, I hope this guy is just sitting here”. But no. You know, when there are 3,000 plus people at a con, and you remember a specific person as being someone who you really did not like from several years ago, that is not good.
There is nothing wrong with this guy. I deal with all sorts of people and for the most part, I can deal with anyone who comes by. But this guy… Well, he was an expert on everything. An expert is just a former drip under pressure… get it ex-spurt… I sat there during the game and dealt with this dude. Then he decided to start telling everyone at the table about how NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical warfare) worked. Now, I was a school trained NBC NCO in the Army. I went to the 6 month school and went through live agent chamber. I spent 6 years as an NBC NCO. I have forgotten a lot of the stuff that I learned 30 plus years ago, but it was my damn job. He started going on about organophosphates and how they worked in the human body, and I twitched. After listening to this blowhard for almost three hours, I called bullshit. I corrected him. He was not happy. He told me that I was wrong.
Now I learned a long time ago not to argue with idiots. They are too stupid to know that they are wrong, and enjoy displaying their stupidity. I let him display his lack of actual knowledge, and then told him that what he said was very different than what I learned in the six month Army NBC school. He continued with his line of bullshit, and I decided I needed to leave before he could get me to twitch again and make comments that were unpleasant.
All that being said, I love the concept of the Morrow Project RPG game. But there are people who you need to stay clear of if you don’t like them. It is a good post apocalypse militaryesque game. The basic premise is that people were placed in cryotubes with all of the equipment they will need to bring order to North America 5 years after the big one (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) catastrophe, only they warm up 150 years after the big one, not five years after the big one. Something went horribly wrong, and all of the things that they trained for may no longer apply. It isn’t gonzo, over the top post apocalypse like Mutant Epoch or Mutant Year Zero (which are also awesome games). It is a very straight forward post bad things happen RPG, similar in the overall tone and seriousness of Traveler or Twilight 2000.
I played several games of Savage Worlds (the best was based in the Reign of Fire world) You know…
Now say what you will, Reign of Fire is a guilty pleasure movie for me. This movie is so bad, it is awesome. Matthew McConaughey provides some of the best over the top action in any recent fantasy movie. I mean, how can you top lunging from a castle wall with a war ax at a dragon in flight?
I don’t know if there is anything to it, but a study showed a link between love of trash movies and high intelligence.
After all, we should all believe studies that are on the Internet, one study from Finland shows why Trump won the election.
After all, who can argue with this?
Lonnqvist, though, a professor of psychology and not necessarily political science, extrapolates his findings to conclude that Trump won because “less sophisticated” conservative voters were drawn to the former real estate investors dashing good looks and raw animal magnatism (SIC).
Now, I am a heterosexual male, and am not in a really proper state of mind to determine if Trump has “dashing good looks and raw animal magnatism” Maybe that is what happens when you have magnatism as opposed to magnetism? I am hoping that some of my female friends can explain why Trump has this fleeting magnatism.
Maybe someone can tell me if this man has “dashing good looks and raw animal magnatism”
Now in this picture, he is apparently magnetically attracted to the American flag…
Does that count?
Anyhow, I also played some GURPS with Eric, Mike and Brian. We kind of took over the GM’s table. There was only one GURPS game going on at the entire con. This was disturbing to say the least. GURPS is an awesome game. Too few people play GURPS. When Obama was the President, he started a crowdsource page on the White House website, where citizens could ask for things to be done by the government. If one person asked, and enough people actually agreed with it, then the Office of the President would consider following up on this as an action item.
I asked that GURPS be made the national RPG, similar to how the bald eagle is the national bird. The request had to have something like 100,000 likes to have the item considered. I got 32 votes.
Now, people use the same website to ask for things like having President Trump release his tax returns. The last I looked, over 1,000,000 people agreed with that one. I figure that this has just as much chance of passing as my request for GURPS to be the national RPG.
Anyhow, the GURPS game was interesting, since it was run by a guy who was a Baptist Deacon and a NRA member. It didn’t take long for him to put his NRA card on the table. I thought that Mike and (especially) Eric would pop a gasket. Eric is pretty much a polar opposite to this. Things were awesome. This shows me that the joke is true about “what happens if a conservative and a liberal meet for a beer? Nothing because both of them are cool, and you can enjoy each other’s company even if you don’t agree with their politics.”
The GURPS game also determine player initiative Savage Worlds style. The GM played out the cards from a Looney Tunes deck, which worked for the game. Incidentally, I have been thinking of running initiative for D&D and Call of Cthulhu the same way. After playing GURPS with this type of initiative, I decided that it works for just about every game. I ran a Cthulhu Dark Ages game using Savage Worlds initiative last Thursday, and it worked really well.
I was disappointed with the dealer room. There were some nice tables, but most of the tables didn’t hold my interest. That is ok. They had several tables which had custom made (very nicely made) stuff for steam punk wear, tables with some indie game companies, hand made weapons and some indie publishers. Overall, I found that the Chaosium booth had most of my attention. There was also a booth that was from Crafty Games, and I got a screaming deal on several GURPS 3rd Edition books from that. Two game stores had booths. Guardian Games had a large table. I have bought a lot of stuff from Guardian in the past, especially at cons that they support. In this case, I only bought a Chessex pound of D6 dice. Gavin, my son was playing a series of Shadowrun 5th Edition. He came with a bunch of polyhedral dice, but not a bunch of D6’s. I got a text while I was running a Call of Cthulhu game that he wanted to know if I had any D6’s he could use. On a break, I went to the Guardian table, to look for any packs of D6’s that they had. They only had a Chessex random pound bag of D6’s. So I bought it, and showed up at his table, and dropped it with a loud thunk on the table. “Get your kids involved in gaming, and they won’t have money to buy drugs”
The other game store booth was a regular at Gamestorm. I don’t recall where it is from, but it is not a local. They had some neat stuff. One box was a sealed Star Fleet Battles box, for only $100. They also had a Thieves World box for the same cost. They had a bunch of Microgames for between $60 and $100 apiece. Bleh. I played a bunch of these games, and liked them in the 1980’s. I don’t need to relive my childhood that badly. Besides, games have become more complex over the lat 30 or so years. I think that after the nostalgia wore off, I would quickly realize that the games were not as good as what I remember them being.
Car Wars and Ogre are good examples of this. I loved both of those games way back when. I played the heck out of them. I have the Kickstarter big box of Ogre, along with a bunch of the extra sheets, and I have Ogre 6th Edition, along with two copies of the classic reprint in a bag. I also have the reprint of classic Car Wars, and several expansions along with a reprint of a couple of the larger books like Uncle Alberts.
I have played all of these with friends and Gavin. They are fun. Ogre is really a fiddly bits game with a lot left to random chance. It isn’t a really heavy game, but I still love it because it was so much fun when I was in middle school and high school. Car Wars is the same. As a modern game, it is seriously lacking. Build a car, drive it around like a maniac, push your luck ,hope for the best die rolls possible. It is full of schadenfreude. I love the game, because of the nostalgia. But, as a game, it is… pretty OK. There are many more engaging and interesting games available.
Now don’t get me wrong. I will play a game of Ogre, Car Wars, Titan (A Monster Slugathon), Illuminati, D&D 1st Edition etc with friends in a heartbeat. The game is a good reason for a bunch of friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. But as much as it pains me to say it, there are far better games available now than these “classics”.
D&D has consistently gotten better with each edition (except for 4th edition), so has Call of Cthulhu, World of Darkness, GURPS, TORG-Deadlands-Savage Worlds and Traveler have improved with new revisions (Except for the horrible D&D 4th Edition, and maybe D20 Call of Cthulhu, and maybe some of the D20 RPG’s.. and maybe several other games). Harn is one that I would love to run. However, with the gaming group that I currently play in, Harn would probably be painful. Harn is really a serious RPG game for serious gamers. I am playing with people on Thursday who want to become the best of the best of the best
OK, not like Men in Black, but the most important thing for many of the players is to find a way that they can increase the fighter’s AC to above 28, or to have the ranger be able to shoot 5 arrows each round. That is OK in Pathfinder or D&D. Unfortunately this isn’t really about role play, which I like. I am currently running some Cthulhu Dark Ages for the Thursday group, while Daron is taking a break from running Pathfinder.
The Saturday game is seriously fun. I have no problems with the gaming group on Saturday. They are all friends, and usually we need to play the Benny Hill / Yakety Sax theme several times to punctuate the action on the table. This is awesome fun. I love it. I really do.
I also love the deep RPG possibilities of games like Harn, Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperboria, Traveler, Coriolis and Runequest. I am not complaining. The games I am playing in are awesome. The groups I play in are awesome. I can use parts of my favorite deeper RPG’s in the games that I am running.
So I have rambled on about all sorts of things, that have little to do with Gamestorm, and have blathered on about what I am currently thinking about.
In general, Gamestorm was awesome. I bought next year’s tickets on Sunday. That is pretty nice, as I can get next year’s tickets for half price. Gavin and I can go for the price of a full admission.