Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Having a Cookout

As part of my involvement in the Skies of Glass project with the good guys over at Fear the Boot, I'm converting my Gen Con demo adventure, 'Cookout' to the new and updated Tier 1 rules. We playtest on Thursday (11/29). I'm looking forward to it.

The interesting thing about all this is the way I find myself looking at the adventure. Any other time I've ever written an adventure, whether for publication or personal use, I've always attached some sort of emotional tie to it. The adventure felt very much mine, and to tamper with it was a difficult process, because so much time and love was put into the work.

'Cookout' has not had that same attachment for some reason. While I still want to have a top notch adventure, I find my ability and willingness to change things around to be no big deal. In fact, I am looking at ways I can change things around, or even add to it all to make the adventure more than it was when it debuted at Gen Con. The prospect of making this adventure the "launching pad" for any number of small, pickup games at gaming tables around the world is pretty cool.

Perhaps my emotional attachment has changed its perspective.

Either way, I'm looking forward to see how the playtest shakes out, and how both the rules and the adventure will develop from this point forward.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strange Connections

You never know where you are going to meet other gamers. The other night, my son's band was playing their first professional gig, and they did a cover of the Deaf Pedestrians "Hail to the Geek." In the second verse, they sing about playing D&D. Of course, I had to cheer. Stand up and represent your hobby, yo!

Anyway, while I was cheering, one of my son's classmates was cheering just as loud. She looked at me and asked, "Do you play?" I responded with a "Hell yeah!" She cheered once again and gave me a very enthusiastic high-five.

After their set was over, I asked her if she really did play. Rather than simply say, "Yup" she launched into a description of her character (dark elf Rogue, level 12). As we continued the conversation, I learned that she gamed with her dad, who was also at the gig. I quickly picked up the conversation with him, and from the scattered bits we could understand (the second band was playing then), he sounds like a guy that wouldn't be too bad to sit at the table with. We made an agreement to try and get something together after the Holidays. I just have to make sure I follow up.

I may have finally found an adult gaming connection down here, which is great. The manner in which I found said connection blows my mind, however.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Smaller Party

One of the things I've really tried to get back into is regular gaming sessions with my kids. Since my oldest is in a phase where he's just not interested in playing, that drops my players to three. My wife is pretty busy, and not an avid player, so she's kind of out. That drops us to two. It's a different challenge, especially when you are used to 4+ players, but I'm learning to scale my encounters and make better use of NPCs.

We played a session about two weeks ago, and I was blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of my 11-year old daughter. As we played, I presented plot hooks and options to her and my son in a fashion I was used to (as would most gamers be) doing. While she may have nibbled at such hooks, she never fully bit. She instead really pushed her own agenda. Example? After taking care of some necessary business, and using her magic (she plays a sorcerer) to try and earn some cash, she wanted to check up on a riding horse they had acquired from a previous session. Once she saw the horse was fine, she simply wanted to find a place in the city where she could ride the horse around. Just ride. That's it. That was all she was really looking forward to.

My 13-year old son? He kept waiting for the next fight.

That I can handle.

I did finally get the plot on track, and we may be playing this weekend. Also looks like the wife will be joining in, so it should be fun. They'll actually be taking on their first dungeon crawl. Still, I got an inkling into how my daughter thinks and what she is looking for. I'll have to make sure I keep things balanced.

I'll let you know how it goes.