|Sep. 2nd, 2012 @ 06:08 pm RPG Report: "Temple of the Water God"|
Dry Spoiler-Free Stuff First:|
I ran a game at Mephit FurMeet and had a fun time. We used a system called Mini Six, which is a variant of the Open D6 system. Both are free. My impression of the system was that it was just about right for my style of GMing, because I lean heavily toward freeform gaming (coming at RPGs from a writer's perspective) and Mini Six is straightforward. The worst thing I can say about it is that because the writers held themselves to a minimal, 40-page-or-so booklet, they phrased certain things confusingly or left out important examples: most notably for spelling out melee weapons' damage, how defense rolls work, and the effects of character size. In our game we had everyone make their own characters, refusing my pregens, and the players were able to make them in a few minutes for an unfamiliar system. My other criticism of the system was that min-maxing was easy even for starting characters. Put the maximum starting dice into Agility and Dodge and you're nearly untouchable, yet still respectable with other skills.
I would use this system again and might buy a print copy despite the PDF being free. It might also be nice to tinker with Mini Six using the "Independent Skills" option it suggests, which makes it play more like White Wolf's Storyteller system: instead of always rolling Might+Sword, you might roll Wits+Sword or Charm+Sword in different situations. I also used OpenD6's rule that whenever the Wild Die comes up 1, something interesting happens, not necessarily a crit fail.
As a GM I got experience with in-person gaming, which I'm not familiar with. I learned more about preparing a specific map and drawing it first in MapTool, then on my new vinyl mat, and about making improvised tokens. Unfortunately, I messed up the game balance and made things too easy, so that the PCs weren't even hurt until the second session and then only minimally. Also, I got advice that I hadn't considered at all before: in person, I should use tone of voice and gesture to better convey mood and information rather than verbally casting Wall of Text and being monotone. Next time I'd work on voice, get more tokens, and raise the difficulty.
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Three players joined, after I feared I'd have none: Teric as "Scar", a super-agile but charmless guy, Reisen as "Chris Crim", a smart and pyrophobic guy, and artist Tarns as Kitila, a charming lady. They went to tropical Sundrop Island to visit the mysterious temple recently discovered there, which had a reputation both for randomly changing and for conveying both magic power (in a formerly magic-less world) and gratuitous transformations. They messed around with the transformation stuff, had a couple of silly moments, and talked their way past the boss. Again. (Social skills do matter in a dungeon crawl!)
Two players -- the other said he had church to go to -- liked the game well enough that they asked if we could play again on Sunday! I hadn't planned on that, so I made up a new scenario using the OpenD6 Fantasy Locations book for ideas (it has a random dungeon generator) and deliberately not making another dungeon crawl. It would've been hard to do one anyway, since one of the PCs was now a giant otter! (Not my idea.)
Anyway, it was fun and organized decently for something run during the unstructured schedules people have at a convention.