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Dec. 8th, 2004 06:34 pm
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Hounds of Balazar has been fun but is winding down, as the team is likely to succeed or fail at freeing Firshala soon (shortly after the new year).

So I'm thinking about my next move, and wondering if there would be any interest if, starting early next year, I were to attempt to run Shadows on the Borderland, using Gloranthan Hero, for a small group of 3-5 players.

Unlike Balazar, it's for people who know Glorantha. Shadows on the Borderland is a campaign rooting out chaos in the wild wastes of the Zola Fel valley. It involves a fair bit of mystery-solving, where most of the clues make a lot more sense to players who have the above level of familiarity with Glorantha. It'd require a group of MV/PAers who:

a) have some number of Wednesday evenings free (either every week or every other week, as players prefer)
b) have some Gloranthan experience
c) have some interest

"some Gloranthan experience" is, hm, let me think of what a useful level is. Someone who knows whether a young man would be happier spending the evening with a worshipper of Babeester Gor or Uleria; how likely it is that you'll meet a female mayor in a Sun County village; what it means when there's Malia worship in a small town; and why you'd rather be sold as a slave to an Etyries than a Morokanth.

I'm asking this in horde email as well as on my lj, wondering if anyone's interested... or if everyone has too much life for another Wednesday commitment.
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We ran Hounds of Balazar -- and had everybody! Trip covered most of the critical events in his journal. (I really should start summarizing here, or somewhere, like I used to do for D&D and Ars when I first started journaling.)

After Hounds, I stopped by Tower for a while. I was humming 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' when I browsed through the books -- then wandered into the music section, only to hear 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' start up on the store stereo. Neat plate of shrimp.

While driving back to the Santa Clara HoJo's where I spend Wednesday nights, I saw the moon and Mars just rising, absurdly close to one another. I stared for a moment, then said 'People in Central America are right now watching Mars vanishing behind the moon.' And it turns out I was right...

(note that the point of view of the first picture is from the *center* of the Earth, which is why the moon is north of Mars instead of south of it as I saw it. But the Solar System Simulator appears to be not quite robust enough to draw from an arbitrary point on Earth, at least not via its published interface.)

Gaming

Apr. 28th, 2003 04:52 pm
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It'd been something like two months since I last GMed.

I ran D&D on Saturday, and actually enjoyed it... that's kind of unusual. I think it's because I relaxed and just designed a specific self-contained lair, with only minimal connection to the rest of the world.

Prior to that, on Wednesday, I ran the next piece of Hounds of Balazar. More Balazaring native children told stories of dreams; a sabretooth took apart one of the party's dogs, which made them sniffle a bit; they encountered a (non-animated) mummified great troll, being investigated also by griffins; they were slightly menaced by pixies; and they discovered why it's dangerous to go wade-fishing at night in newtling-infested waters, at least if you're a trollkin. And once in Dangerground, glowing children attacked a herd of deer but didn't eat their kills, which made the PCs nervous.

No gaming next week, but the week after, I resolve to: finish the lair adventure in D&D, and advance the plot in HoB... we had a number of vignettes, now we need some meatier encounters.
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So I've arranged for five and a half bay people to game with me -- I've been derilict in my proselytization lately, of roleplaying-as-myth in general and Glorantha in particular. So Trip and Dave and Cera and Ken and Laura and Bernie are going to be playing primitive balazaring hunters.

I'm nervous about changing as much about Runequest as I am. I'm cherrypicking from cleaner d20 mechanics and from Ars Magica just a bit, and I hope the result will have roughly the same Gloranthan feel, with less of a problem at the high end (where I always hope a campaign will go eventually).

New things always come with a burst of energy to read and reread fun things, so this is happymaking. Hope it's enjoyable when it starts...
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Most of the interesting things in my life end up in Sherilyn's journal in any case, so it's not like I don't have a record of what's going on.

Lessee. Catching up is basically futile. Most of my previous journals were gaming-related, so I'll talk a little about gaming...

Still running D&D for a group of eight 12th-level characters. Trying to include a plot is really really hard; they want to kill things, get treasures, and make items, and don't really care about the world. Not their fault -- heavy combat plus eight players plus no supplemental source material about the world equals a pretty lean universe. The kind of one-on-one clue-laden meaningful conversations that I love to pepper games with are almost impossible to do without boring the heck out of half the players (at least).

Ars Magica died. The same group tried to do a D&D campaign but it only lasted a few months -- I really can't (a) have this job, (b) run two weekly games on the weekend, and (c) be the kind of father I want to be. Gaming had to give.

Which isn't to say I might not start something up on Wednesdays in the bay area, or plan ahead for when D&D reaches the end of its run... Glorantha beckons -- it has been a couple years, now -- and it competes with the idea of running a space opera (something like Andromeda, or Battlestar Galactica, or something similar... equal parts fermented milk and real storytelling.)

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