Friday, April 10, 2009

Gaming Distractions

I've been distracted from my Lord of the Rings miniatures by Dungeons & Dragons. This is probably good, because the LOTR stuff was starting to feel like an obligation, like work. Adventure writing for 4E has been a slow and clumsy process. It started with rubbing the serial numbers off a dungeon delve and after a month my head is full of campaign ideas. As soon as I could introduce NPC's, my imagination came alive. We now have story continuity and background. I've got enough content for a full level of adventuring, but I don't want to stop. I know where this train is going.

Lately I've been reading about skill challenges, after discovering that I've been doing them completely wrong. They seem devilishly complex to create and very challenging to administer, a sort of skill combat with just as many options for every player as a normal encounter. These should be very appealing to story gamers, as they're highly collaborative. I'm in the process of reading the many articles and errata about them. Perhaps it's their complexity that caught my attention.


  1. RE: Lord of the Rings/War of the Ring.

    I really love the rules for War of the Ring, more so than those for Lord of the Rings, although I like the latter as well. The problem is that I'm not really thrilled with the idea of creating an army large enough to play War of the Ring all at once.

    My solution is to paint up forces for Lord of the Rings for now, with the plan to expand on them gradually. That way I can get to actually playing a game sooner rather than later, and hopefully not burn out on painting.

    That's gotten me to the point where I have been able to get two 255 point LotR forces ready to play in less than a month (phenomenal speed for me). All I have left to do is to seal the second force with varnish and I can get them on the table.

    Just suggesting that maybe in addition to giving D&D some play (something I'm finally doing as well), you might want to try some skirmish games of LotR before going all out to finish a WotR army.

    There's even a set of Mordheim based rules out there called Battle Companies that I'm thinking of giving a try. At least some of the starter forces can be built from a single box of LotR plastics. Naturally, GW no longer carries the rules on their website, so you have to hunt down the PDFs elsewhere, or else go through your back issues of White Dwarf, but it looks like a good way to get into playing with the miniatures with a minimal amount of preparation.

  2. Where are Skill challenges found? In the DMG?

  3. So let me get this straight, your gaming distractions are... other games?

  4. Skill challenges are in the DMG page 72.

    And yes, my distractions seem to be other games. It seems like a great way to avoid gaming burnout, no?

  5. I don't consider other games as distractions from gaming - just from a specific game.

    Yardwork, housework, bill-paying, relationships, job stuff, eating, sleep, the internet, drama... those are things that tend to distract ME from gaming.

  6. JoeDog be sayin'
    "So let me get this straight, your gaming distractions are... other games?"

    Stupid other games. Derail my train of thought, make me want to play them, read them, precious.

    Then the flip flopping starts.

    Too much good stuff.

  7. Better too much gaming than not enough.

    I'm sure there's a balance that I could achieve through careful consideration, thoughtful planning, and a pinch of luck...

    But then again, too much may be a safer option.

    As I assemble and paint LOTR models, I have some pulp minis that cry out to be painted, and 40k models that call to me. I also have Game of Thrones cards waiting to be built into decks, boardgame rules that need to be read, a pulp RPG adventure that sits, simmering away on a back burner of my mind, and hundreds of other game related ideas waiting to be realized.

    I far prefer that to clicking the remote, wishing that there was something - anything - interesting on the tv.

  8. Does your pulp adventure have a system?

    I gave up actual "TV" about two years ago. It has saved me over $1000, but I still find stuff to watch online, especially Hulu and Netflix.

  9. My wife works or Comcast, so my cable's free. I still don't watch it, because TV sux. BSG is gone, Clone Wars is done for the season.

    I read, I write, and I work. Right now, I am in the process of stripping my Warmachine minis and prepping an Eberron 3.5 game, as well as playing in three other games.

    Maybe my plate be too full. Perhaps I be needin' to spit on my hands, hoist the sail, and go slit some throats?

    Yo ho ho.

  10. When I do eventually run a pulp game, it will either use a modification of "Spirit of the Century", or perhaps a miniatures rules set like "G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.".

  11. My vote would be for Spirit or Savage Worlds.

  12. I would say, between Spirit or Savage Worlds, go with SW. Even better, use Starblazer Adventures, a space pulp version of SotC (lots more rule options and tailoring, fits other time periods as well).