Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I suck & Mass combat systems.

  Saturday night's game did not go as well as I had hoped, and I'm the only one to blame. For some reason the descriptive part of my brain just wasn't firing on all cylinders and it showed. The Death toll climbed thanks to particularly nasty random encounters(a group of four 1st level characters vs. a blind Bulette, and another encounter vs. a couple of Lizardmen).
  I know part of the issue was me not being decisive. Two people dropped out of the game due to RL issues, and another two showed up late and not bothering to tell me about until last minute. I was down 4 players out of 7 and for the first hour of the game I couldn't decide whether or not to call the game off for lack of players(heck, even they didn't know what they really wanted to do), but I really didn't feel like penalizing the people who did show up for the actions of those who didn't.
  That being said, what's done is done, and all I can do is suck it up and do everything in my power to do better at the next game in 2 weeks. 
  Thanks to the party's actions(pissing off the most powerful tribe of goblins in the local campaign area, as well as a decent sized kobold tribe, and possibly allying with a moderately influential bandit/mercenary band), I've been looking much more closely at which Mass Combat System I want to use.
  Though there are a fair number of stellar games out there, I'm going to use a modified War Machine from the Rules Cyclopedia. This is for 2 reasons, the first being that my move is going to keep me apart from the vast majority of my D&D books for a few months(and my bagspace for the plane is limited), and because I like the abstract nature of the system in general.
   For those not familiar with War Machine, you can learn more about it here. There are a few changes I want to make to the system to fit better with my interpretation of 2e, and I'll try to post them later.


  1. Yeah, sorry about showing up late - we took my daughter to the pool and when she was done it was basically "small daughter needs food badly".

    I forget that I can email from my new smartphone, or I would have let you know.

    Still, I thought we did alright, all things considered. Sure we lost Uhtred and the cleric, but that was just bad luck on Uhtred's part. The cleric would have probably been fine if he hadn't been stubborn about trying to actually fight the Bulette.

    Sure the goblins and the kobolds are pissed, but you can't make a sandbox without breaking a few kobold eggs!

    I wouldn't call the session a failure, though - things turned out moderately well. We killed the landshark, got some lootz, whittled down the goblins, made some friends in low places... not a bad session at all.

    One thing I would note, though - playing in an online voice-based game with no mic... I can't see that being workable long-term.

  2. It's quite alright about you not giving me a heads up. My big issue was with the other 3. I know stuff happens last minute, but some of the other 3 no-shows would have known in advance and said nothing until last minute.
    Not saying the session was a failure. More that I know I could have done a lot better on my end, and I apologize for the frustration I caused the players at the game w/ bad descriptions and the like.
    I'm well aware of the no-mic issue. I'm hesitant to kick anyone w/o a mic b/c of my own weak voice issues. I'm not sure how long the mic-less player is going to stick around anyway.

  3. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I've recently put out an ebook of my writing, called 'The New Death and others'. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story 'The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune' and HP Lovecraft's 'Under the Pyramids'.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please let me know your email, and what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy. You can email me ( or reply to this thread.

    You can also download samples from the ebook's pages on Amazon and Smashwords: (kindle only) (variety of formats including plain text and pdf)

    I'll also link to your review from my blog.