Friday, August 28, 2009

More On Resistances

I've been thinking a bit about resistances lately, and I think I figured out a solution that I like. I'm sure someone else has come up with this before, so apologies if I'm stealing ideas here. Anyway, here's my idea:

Energy Mastery Feats
Energy mastery feats represent a character's specific training with, affinity for, or close bond with a specific type of energy. They offer two benefits. First, they give a damage bonus when you use your chosen damage type.

Second, if a creature resists or is immune to that energy type, you gain an added bonus against it. It's basically the reverse of the idea of giving a monster a boost when you blast it with its favored energy type. So, here's an example:

Dark Soul Devourer
You get a +2 bonus to damage rolls when you inflict necrotic damage.
If you hit a creature and its necrotic resistance or immunity reduces your attack's damage, that creature is dazed until the end of your next turn.

That's not necessarily the exact mechanic I'd use, but it gets to what I'm talking about. My initial idea for this specific feat was to describe someone whose soul was tainted with necrotic energy, and in harming undead (or whatever) they draw the undead creature's life force (such as it is) into their own. But, it's Friday, I'm about to head home, and it's been a long day. You're getting what you paid for!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Went to GenCon

For the first time since 1999, I went to GenCon as a plain old gamer. No press pass, no looking for freelance work, no manning a booth for me. I played a bunch of games and just did what I wanted to do.

Of course, I picked up a sinus infection before the con, so I had to take it easy on myself. I'm not sure I made it to more than one of the events I originally signed up for, but it was easy enough to cash in my tickets for generics and system credit. I guess that means I have to go again next year, since I have $8 worth of event ticket credit!

Thursday: I ended up cruising the dealer's hall in the morning and ate lunch with the indomitable Rob Schwalb. That afternoon I played a game of Chainmail, the pre-D&D miniatures game. The game was a blast, and it's pretty nifty that I can now say I've played it.

That night, I ran a D&D game for a bunch of friends. They tracked down a necromancer who had stolen a sacred relic, battled orcs and bandits, and managed to survive despite at one point having 7 hit points between 4 characters. Good times!

Friday: More gaming, starting with a miniatures game. Song of Drums and Shakos is a Napoleonics skirmish game. In 2 hours, I learned the rules from scratch and got in two games. Highly recommended, along with the fantasy version Song of Blades and Heroes.

Once the game wrapped up, I launched an ultimately fruitless quest to find 15mm Napoleonic and fantasy minis in the exhibitor's hall. After lunch with Paul Tevis, I got in a session of the BattleTech grinder. I had an UrbanMech shot out from under me and lost a Hunchback to a back shot from a Cicada that nailed the 'back's ammo bin. After that, I took to the field in one of my all-time favorite 'mechs, the Axman (not the lame LRM-15 variant, but the original AC/20 configuration) and made up for lost ground. I cored a Warhammer, ripped a Raven in half, and killed an Enforcer with a single AC shot to its ammo bin.

That evening was dinner at Buca with friends and wandering the con and chatting for the rest of the night.

Saturday: This was my D&D day, with an RPGA game from 8 AM to 4 PM. We had an all-changeling party, which was fun, and my barbarian was perfect for a city inexplicable built around a giant pillar of fire. His basic hook is that's he's dumb but overly thoughtful and rages when stuff doesn't make sense to him. With an 8 Int, that's fairly often.

After the game was a late lunch, another circuit of the dealer's hall, and dinner and drinks with a number of game industry folks. We swapped stories about pets and weird fans. Good times!

Sunday: The final day of GenCon always has a bit of a melancholy tinge to it, at least for me. I played some more BattleTech with a friend, took care of a little last minute shopping and trades, and then headed to the airport. Between ice cream at the terminal and a nifty, final conversation about gaming with a few folks, it was a good end to the con.

Loot: Of course, half of the fun of GenCon is browsing what's essentially a giant, gamer's mall.

I bought/traded for:

1. A few of the Pathfinder metal minis and one of the few flip-mats I don't already own from Paizo. Can't wait to see the Reaper Pathfinder line!

2. A bunch of Reaper minis. I love browsing their booth at the show.

3. A pile of Shadowrun and BattleTech books. The SR Seattle book is pretty nifty.

4. Eclipse Phase! I can't wait to dig into this game. It looks really interesting, and what I've read so far has me wanting to play it.

5. A Dragon Dice starter set. I've wanted to check out this game since it first came out, and the starter was less than $20, so why not?

6. Who Would Win? from Gorilla Games. I picked this up based on a recommendation from Monte Cook. It looks like a great party game.

7. Action Castle! My major failure at the con was my inability to convince anyone to play this.

Honorable Mention: Gaming Paper. I didn't actually buy a roll, since I didn't think it would fit in my luggage, but I was really impressed by it. It's more than just simple paper. It has a parchment/scroll-like texture to it, giving it a pretty nifty feel. I'm going to order some once my gaming budget regenerates.

MIA Award: 15 mm Napoleonics and fantasy figures. I didn't find any at the show! Of course, I didn't exactly spend hours searching (I had games to play!) but I figured there had to be some somewhere.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

GenCon 2009

I'm heading to GenCon as a gamer this year, rather than as a pro, so I'm playing lots of games and goofing off the entire show. Good times!

Here's my current gaming schedule:

9 AM to 1 PM: BattleTech - Chaos Style
2 PM to 6 PM: Battlestations - Pirates of Trundlia
9 PM to 1 AM: Horror Hero

10 AM to 12 PM: Song of Drums and Shako - Eggs for the Major
2 PM to 6 PM: Shadowrun - Mr. Johnson's Table
7 PM to 9 PM: Dragon Dice - Novice Event

8 AM to 4 PM: D&D - Stirring the Embers

I have tickets for a few other events, but I think I'm going to cash them out. Also, this schedule is by no means final. I signed up for stuff, but if other things come up I'll switch stuff around. I figured I'd fill my schedule and try new games as a default in case nothing else comes up.

I'm also planning on bringing a few games and stuff to run if the chance comes up. My plan is to bring a 4e conversion of the first d20 adventure, Three Days to Kill, plus another adventure or two. I might bring a copy of the 1st level of Monte's Dungeon-A-Day dungeon and run a 4e version on the fly. I'll have characters, minis, and everything I need on hand in my handy little haversack.

Other Games: Jungle Speed, Shab-al-hiri Roach, a few decks of TCGs (L5R, Magic), and maybe a few card games.

So, are you going to GenCon? What are you looking forward to?