2013 – Year In Review

Although I’ve not been blogging about it (nearly a year since I set the blog up back up now, and it’s  barely used), I’ve had a busy year of gaming. I’ve tried some new systems, I’ve left some behind. I’m now starting the new year with a new project, hoping to get things off the ground in the next couple of weeks.

Ongoing Campaign

The Heroes of the Nentir Vale campaign continues, reaching level 15 using D&D 4th ed rules. Unfortunately, by the time we’d got to that point, 4th ed wasn’t working for me as a ruleset anymore. In the last few games the average 3-4 hour session contained 2 fights, with little room for anything else, or one combat encounter with some social or story things built in – the unfortunate effect being that we were either covering very little story, and building the sessions around a couple of encounters, or we were covering some story which would be largely forgotten by the time the next social/story focussed session came around. Combat rounds were taking an age, and on occassion an individual player turn could take over 10-20 minutes by the time interrupts came up and were dealt with. Even using Masterplan to keep on top of the encounter side of things, it was taking too long and I had stopped enjoying those sessions. We’ve now re-created the characters using D&D Next, and we’ll be continuing from there. Hopefully the simpler ruleset will allow us to do more with the sessions we have.

I do still like 4th ed as a ruleset, and I have half a plan in my head to run some one-off boss fight/lair assualt type games. As well as letting me roll out the 4th ed rules again, they would give me a chance to use some of the more impressive miniatures that I’ve got as part of the Reaper kickstarter package.

New Games

The highlight of the year for me has been getting started with Star Wars – Edge of the Empire. I’ve been running a weekly game using this system for a few months now, and it’s been good fun. Although I’d always been tempted to give the latest WFRP a go, I was wary of the custom dice mechanics in the previews. In play, I’ve found they work a treat – the interaction between character talents, the dice pool, and the different ways of spending advatage results give our more crunch minded players things to think about, while narrating the effects of the dice remind me to keep my eye on the story side of things and not to get too bogged down into mechanics, which I can be guilty of. To top it all off, the books look great – I love the artwork pieces. Tony Foti art is now being used as wallpaper on plenty of my devices. I’ve only managed to pick up the core rulebook and beginners set so far, but I’m looking forward to getting some of the expansions.

I’m also due to be in a Numenera game, but haven’t managed to make it to a session yet. The setting looks good, and the character creation side of things looks nicely lightweight, but with plenty of options. Looking forward to getting started with that this week.

Looking Forward

As well as keeping the D&D Campaign going, I’m looking to get some new stuff started this year. The first thing is to try to kick off some Pathfinder Society games in Edinburgh. There’s a big gaming community in Edinburgh, and ORC Edinburgh does a good job of getting people in contact with each other. I’m hoping having something like PFS running will give new players a place where they’re always able to slot in without needing to wait for a new ongoing game, or a place in an existing game, to become available, and will also be a useful thing for folks who want to either play or GM, but can’t commit to a regular, ongoing game. There’s been plenty of interest on the playing side of things, but I think that we’ll need to drum up some more DMs to really make a go of it – Ideally, once we get started, I’d like something to be running a couple of times a month. I’m not sure I can do that on my own this year, but there are plenty of Pathfinder DMs in town and I’m hopeful some of them will jump in. Even with that potential snag, the first session is booked in for the middle of this month, and I’m looking forward to running it.

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