Saturday, June 25, 2011

[RPG] A New Direction?

I’m not a team player- at least, not in an RPG. I tend to play characters that have a “hidden agenda”, who like to work behind the scenes, and who are tight-lipped about their motivations.

TheDude noted that I tend to be happiest in games with lots of overlying themes, where I can blend into the background and “do my own thing” without a lot of attention being directed at me or my character. Specific types of games that he mentioned were conspiracy, gritty future, cyber, dark, or some variation of those.

I do enjoy those types of games quite a lot, but I also love the “four color” superhero type of game. My subtle manipulative obscura don’t really fit into the “cape” types well, and as a result, I have struggled while playing in those games.

I knew that playing in the Superhero games I like so much was a struggle, but I hadn’t quite connected why until TheDude helped point out the obvious to me. Superhero games require a lot of openness, sharing of information and implicit trust that are completely contrary to the “under the radar” way I like to operate. 
Some of the most challenging and fun roleplaying I’ve done has been when my character has been trying to keep a separate life, but has been forced into a central role despite all protests and lack of qualifications for the position.

I love these sessions, where I’m forced to work harder to try to cover my tracks, but be part of something bigger as well. I love the duality of “not too much” information, but “not too little”, either.

It was with that thought process that I began to believe that I might be a good GM after all, despite all my trepidations and questions of confidence. The question began to develop in my head –

“How do I transition from a player to a GM?”

I love sharing stories and developing ideas. I love writing and telling stories, and developing great depth. I find bringing compelling characters and rationale for actions to be well worth the effort.

Now, how to bring that out in others?

But it slowly started to roll into my thoughts, in small whispers and snippets of ideas; I already do.

I excel at making others look good. I’m absolutely best when helping others bring out whatever works of art, creations of excellence and genuine inspirations might lie inside them. I’m an excellent muse, the wind that pushes others into greatness.

I’m interested in learning how to “organize people” for some of my professional goals. The ability to get 6-8 people to follow direction, cooperate and perform team activities for 4 hours at a time could be a great asset in some of the fields for which I have interest.

If I could work on those management skills (which need at least some development) while doing some of the things I am really good at, I might have a chance as a GM. Combining my natural talents, best abilities and areas for growth in a hobby oriented situation seems like a great way to achieve the best of both worlds- and maybe have some fun, too.

Uh, did I mention I like to overthink things, as well? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

[40K] A Bad Game and a Good Friend

Last week was the start of league and pretty much everyone got a chance to play-except my buddy FunDave, who volunteered to play one of our regulars who generally arrives late. It turned out that guy didn't show, so I offered to show up at the store early to help him get a make up game.

I was really excited to play this game- I've seen him play, and he is a riot. His ONLY goal is to laugh, and to blow stuff up. I love his attitude and I couldn't wait to face him. We got all set up and got to business. We played our KillTeam game, and despite making a ton of mistakes, I won. Even if I hadn't, I would have had a blast. It was a casual game with a lot of laughing.

Our regular game got underway and we rolled for deployment. It wound up as Dawn Of War- which I've never played and don't really understand. I don't mind too much, as I want to learn as much as possible and get to be a better player. We begin play and I got pretty smoked up right away- FunDave blew up one of my vehicles right away.

I've mentioned it before, but it's still true- I don't understand the rules for damaging vehicles. I didn't DOUBT FunDave in any way whatsoever- I just didn't grasp what he was doing very well. It was ok, though- I was hanging out with my buddy and doing the best I could.

I got to a point where I was trying to blow up his vehicle, and I got confused.

FunDave got me through the tough part, and we kept playing. Other guys started coming into the store, and a large number of them sat down at the table opposite us, and the volume got very loud. A couple guys asked how things were going, but stayed out of it. However, one guy just would not leave us be and was offering commentary very frequently.

We got to another vehicle damage situation,and I was pretty lost. The AP business confuses the crap out of me- it seems counter-intuitive to me and that sort of thing just makes me mental.

The guy tried to butt in, and FunDave shut him down. I appreciated it more than I could possibly express... it meant a lot.

We then got into a very complex and confusing wound wrapping situation. I will not lie- I completely misunderstood the explanation given and got myself absolutely lost. There were more than a couple guys trying to help, and one of them was the fellow from before- and he was very vocal. No matter how many times I asked FunDave to re-explain it, the OTHER guy kept trying to "help".

Honestly, what he did was make me mad.

Unfortunately for FunDave, I became so confused and angry that I shut down. I didn't want to deal with it anymore and forfeited, rather than try to contend with intrusive people and rules I don't understand. I know that's pretty crummy, but it seemed a lot better than losing my temper or throttling a customer.

In a show of compassion and friendship, I received the following email after our game:

Ok. Here ya go. This is the tale of Billy Bob and his magical layz cannon vs. his cousin Jimbo and his Land Raider

1. Declare Fire
    Jimbo, I'm a fixin to shoot you with this here layzer cannon
2. Roll to hit. Same as for firing with a unit. BS + D6 has to equal or be greater than 7.
    Billy Bob is pretty good with his layzer cannon he's BS 4. He rolls and gets a 4 BS+D6 = 8 He hits
3. Determine what you did.
    There are 3 possible options here. Take the weapon strength+D6 compare to the armor value (AV) of the vehicle
    It must equal or be greater than the AV
    1. Weapon strength 9+ 1,2,3,4 = (10, 11, 12, 13) All less than the AV 14 Land Raider (this is why land raiders suck
        Daymeet cousin that thar armured thingy beat my layzer cannon

    2. Weapon strength 9+ 5 = 14 Glancing hit Roll D6-2 (then add anything special like tank hunters or AP 1) and consult the chart.
        Dad gum. I scratched the paint on that sucker!

    3. Weapon strength 9+ 6 = 15 Penatrating (hehehe penatrating) hit. Roll D6 (add in special stuff like tank hunters or AP 1) and consult the chart.
        Yeee Haaw! My layzer cannon put a hole right through that sumabitch watch 'er burn!
Melta has a distinct difference in all of this. At step 3 above for melta you add: 3a. If you are within half the range of the weapon roll weapon strength + the sum of 2D6.
Hey Jimbo eyes gots me a microwavin' gun now. Let's see how ya like this one.

Weapon strength 8 + 2D6 ( let's say a 5 and a 3) = Wpn Str 8 + 8 = 16 penetrating hit. Roll D6 then add one for the shot being AP1 and consult the chart.

Ding! Ha! cusin. Youse a burrita now.
To summarize
1. Pick your target
2. Pick your weapon
3. Roll to hit (BS+D6) must equal 7 or more
4. Figure out what you did (Wpn Str+D6) or for Melta in half range (Wpn Str+2D6) subtract the AV of the vehicle. If you end up with a zero you glance. Roll a D6-2 and add anything special you have. If you end up with a positve number you Pen. Roll a D6 and add anything special you have.

That is a true friend, guys-- and I am glad to have him. He took the time to write up a summary in silly but "plain" language so that maybe I would have a better understanding of something that's been bothering me for a long time. Getting that email was a pretty good start to my day-- and of course I had to let FunDave know I was using it on my blog right away. He didn't seem to mind.

Maybe I can try again later, now that I know how to use a layzergun =)