Saturday, January 30, 2010

How Ram-Man got my son into RPGs.

This is a story about Ram-Man, and more importantly how he got my son to play RPGs with me they way they are meant to be played.

First a little background: My son loves rolling dice, so he has been "playing" RPGs with me for a good 6-7 months now. Although at the tender age of 3 1/2 he is far from being an avid role player. Anyway, he enjoyed rolling the dice, and basically playing out combat. It worked out really well for me, as I got into Savage Worlds around this time, and he was my always available player to test out game mechanics that were new and unfamiliar to me; I'm looking at you Mass Battles, Chases, Raises and Toughness. So while he helped me do this, and we even managed to create him a Character and introduce him into a little makeshift gaming group comprised of mostly newbies ( my little sister, my 12 year old Daughter, my Son and my old buddy through skype ), he never really got into anything other than rolling the dice, and uttering things such as "I bust that guy up!".

Second some alternate background: Roll back to a little over a year ago, Christmas, my son is 2 and just got a playskool castle with some Knights, a King and the Knight you see above. As soon as he opened it we proceeded to play with it daily, for a good month we were tromping on plastic horseback across carpet laden fields looking for...the Flag! Yup see the Castle had a single yellow flag that could be taken off and put back on. This same flag also happens to fit quite nicely in the hands of said knight pictured above. This is the infamous Ram-Man, the evil Knight who wanted the throne. However since he had no army, the best he could do is sneak in to the castle, and steal their banner, then fly away on his riding dragon ( yes the set includes a red dragon, that has pegs in his back for Ram-Man to ride on, as well as flapping wings and a biting motion ). This brought us hours upon hours of fun, as my son would chase Ram-Man around the house with his Knights firing Cannon balls, throwing axes, and just tackling me, to beat up Ram-Man, secure the yellow Flag and take it back to the Castle, all just to repeat the process all over again.

Now fast forward to about a month ago: My son asked if he could play "Dice" and I of course agreed, and we proceeded to pull down the dice, and the books, I handed him his Character, and prepared for another 15-20 minutes of me trying to find excuses for him to roll the dice. Then I looked over across the Table and saw him laying on the edge of the table. Ram-Man! It all instantly clicked. We have a setting! We have catch phrases, trademarks, backstory already to go! So a quickly tell my son, you know what would really make this fun! If we used the Castle and the Knights to play dice! So we quickly grab the Castle and the Knights and the story took over. Soon my son was all into character and even helped evolve the story!

"But Daddy, if Ram-Man doesn't live in the Castle, he needs his own Castle"

"But we don't have another Castle, Caleb"

"So lets build one!"

"Awesome! I'll get the Legos!"

So now Ram-Man has a Castle that we MUST build out of Legos before we play "Dice". And now my son plays RPGs for real.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally after a long break!

Well it looks like our RPG sessions might start up again after a longer than expected hiatus. It's annoying when life gets in the way of play, but it does happen from time to time. Anyway I've spent the morning making sure the server is running up to spec, and that the QJ is updated with the latest email questing Gnarr has done. I've setup a couple of sessions, hopefully we can nail both of them, but if we only get to 1 today, I'll be happy! I think it is time to ramp up the quest a bit, and push the story line a little faster. So hopefully there will be some good stuff happening in the next couple "lunch time power sessions"!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Players!

So I just got a couple more players interested in trying out our Lunch time Power session RPG experiment! It will be interesting for a few reasons:

1) they are my sisters
2) One has some limited RPG exp back about 10 years ago
3) the other has NO RPG exp at all.

That being said, I think the first couple of session will need to be in person so we can work through how to use our web based system, and just get the feel of how to play the game in general.

With that being the case, instead of rolling them into our current game, I think I will start them in a new game, and ramp them up a bit slower. Once they get ramped up, I will then roll them into the main game.

I think this will be really cool, as both of them will bring some very different perspective to the way the rest of my group has been playing.

So we shall see....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lunch Time power sessions, and Email RPG

So a group of my buddies started an RPG session a while ago. Due to the typical constraints of our lives: timezones, families, kids sports, chores, work, birthday parties, holidays, and life in general, we have been running what I like to call the Lunch Time power session! Our first issue is this: we live on different sides of the US right now, so physically getting together is pretty much not an option. However this is our core group of players that started back when we were like 12 ( ok some of us started around 18 but most of us around 12 but I digress)! The point is this is the group we wanted to play with. So I configured a server, through team speak on there, and got to coding. I created online interactive char sheets that calculate bonuses, attack rolls, saving throws, damage, ect, cleaning up all the crap that we always forgot to include anyway. Then we realized that getting together at night and having an online chat session was pretty much impossible too! So we tried conference chat during lunch time for some of us, and just after work for others. This presented an interesting flow. See basically this chunks up our sessions into hour long peices that just like watching a TV show need to either start and finish, or at least have a point to the session! The funny thing is, it really changed the course of the campaign and I think in all honesty it makes the game time more fun. See when we get to playing, there is no BS, we are there to work ( or play I guess ). So as soon as those char sheets come up, we are in the game zone! I'm running the game, so I realized very quickly that having something important happen in each session is crucial, and that combat wasn't always needed ( I noticed early on, that many of the standard combat type situations we have run into in the past took to long to really play well for our session ( unless we wanted to have an entire session of resolving combat....umm boring anyone? ). So usually every 2 sessions or so there is a combat. It's kind of funny, but it almost works like a TV show now. Well it has been a while, so a combat must be coming up! Or that guy is important because he is talking to us only 15 minutes into our session! Anyway that portion of it worked out really well.

Then it happened. One of our players got deployed! Yup you guessed it no internet access for a while! Now granted this is just a short stint, but a bigger one is coming up. So I decided to take this short guy to try some ideas. Since I have everything on the server, I can run his char if need be. But that isnt' nearly as fun.....So here is what I did.
1) split off the guy that isn't there, so he isn't working with the main group.
2) lunch time power session are only once a week, so not too much ground is covered.
3) started email RPG with the deployed guy.

So the email RPG was interesting. See we tried it before, and it was very short little blurbs, and we ended up basically having someone roll a die and report the number. If you were within 3 of the GM's number than it went your way. All pretty awkward and really didn't take into account anything that your Char had in the way of bonuses, ect. So I decided, hey you tell me generally what your plan is, and I'll run it through just like it was a regular session, rolling up skills, npcs, ect. after all I had access to the char in question, since it is all on the server. And then I just spice up the verbage on the email. Plus since we do it every day, it pretty much keeps the two groups in sync! So once a week I compile the emails we have and post them to our quest journal. It's all working out pretty good so far. We are 2 weeks in on the email front, and the funny thing is, we are getting alot of good char backstory, with all the free writing time. Pretty much every action has some sort of "lost" type flashback, explaining why the char does what he does. So far pretty cool, so hopefully the campaign can continue when he goes out for the big deployment!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Am I the only one?

That Hates everlong by the foo fighters? I just heard it on the radio
and really don't get it. I'm reminded how much I hate it when we play
guitar hero or rock band and EVERYONE wants to play that damn song! Oh
well I'll just force them to follow it up with some crazytrain! Now if
I could just get the radio station to always do that....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Caleb's best friend list

1 Charlie
2 auntie Chrissy
3 uncle russ
4 grandma
5 auntie see ya
6 uncle Riter
7 lily
8 Adam
9 auntie mermaid
10 we ran out of people to choose according to caleb

Monday, February 9, 2009

If I was on southpark!

So I created my Southpark image and decided to post it up here. I still love Sho-Nuff to much to actually replace my logo for twitter, but if I ever get board of it, I think this is a good alternative. Long live Libre Fighting!