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Game Night 3-13-09

Open Game Night @ the Youth Center ( I REALLY need a cooler name for that).  We had 22 folks show up.  The RPG table ran our ongoing Stargate campaign.  Below is a synopsis of Friday’s game.

Stargate SG-21– The team has gated to P4X-514 or Scatterpoint as it is known by the locals.  Led by Lt. Col. Winston, the team consists of Major Johnson, Sgt. Emo, Sgt. Mystery, Sgt. Sassy, and Sgt. Kyle.  The gate on P4X-514 is located in the mists approximately 10 miles SE of the city proper.  The world is rich in Naquadah.

SG-21 is tasked with determining who the planetary ruling body is and then negotiate with them for the mining rights.  The problem? SG-1 spent a week on planet and was unable to determine if the was a unifying planetary government.  SG-21 is on extended assignment to determine as much as possible about the planet.

Sg-21 gated in and made their way to Pitchpit.  After determining what the local currency was and discovering that the local law enforcement is not all that observant, they hopped the Spiral to Grey Mesa.  The team determined that the best way to learn about Scatterpoint was to go to a local bar.

Sipping their drinks in the Broken Arm Bar, the team witnessed a nicely dressed woman come into the bar and then leave by the back door.  Four thugs followed immediately behind.  Major Johnson and the four Sergeants immediately stood to render assistance.  Col. Winston gave them permission to go while he stayed inside to question the bartender.  Three of the thugs were attempting to separate Lady Winterwood from her amulet.  The team rescued Lady Winterwood in the alley while Col Winston pulled a gun on the bartender.

While Col. Winston discovered that pulling a gun on a bartender in Scatterpoint is not a good idea, twelve Bluecoats demanded that Lady Winterwood give them her amulet.  Before fleeing the scene she threw her locket into the trash and told the team that if the returned it to her she would reward them.

After defeating the Bluecoats and finding the amulet, SG-21 found Lady Winterwood and returned her locket.  SG-21 now has a lead on ‘work’ on the planet so they can earn some of the local currency.

I’m using Reality BlursRunePunk as the setting for P4X-514.  I’ll be commenting further in upcoming game logs about my homebrewing this setting for use in my Stargate campaign.

March 14, 2009 Posted by | Gaming Notes, Other Systems, Play, Stargate | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Game Night 2-27-09: Stargate SG-21

I have been waiting to to write this up for three weeks.  After the first open game night at the youth center in town we had some setbacks.  The second week was scrubbed due to a basketball game between the two high schools that account for 90% of the teens who hang out at the youth center.  The following week the youth center was open for a Valentine’s Day Dance, no game night.  Last week was inclement weather that kept most everyone at home.

Last night, I had six of the original thirteen interested players show up ready to play.  We played Ron Fricke’s Savage Worlds adaptation of Alderac’s Stargate SG-1.  I had two main reasons for using the SW ruleset; the first was that I find SW to be one of the easiest systems to explain to new players and two I’ll be able to use Reality Blurs’ Rune Punk SW setting as a Stargate world.  I’ll explain that more in a later blog.

The players ranged in age from 10 – 17.  The youngest is PIT#3, through a fore-knowledge of the hook the GM (me) was suing to determine rank in the SGC ended up being a Lt. Col.  The other players weren’t happy with it but are at least giving him a chance to prove he can be the team  leader.  Kudos to the other players for showing the maturity necessary to keep the peace.

SG-21 teamed up with SG-18 and went off to provide backup to SG-1 who had been overrun by Jaffa.  Upon exiting the Stargate, SGs 18 & 21 faced off against 24 Jaffa wielding staff weapons.  Showing a remarkable unity for a team that had just been brought together, SG-21 along with the NPC team of SG-18 defeated all 24 Jaffa with only minor injuries.

Just as the last Jaffa fell to a tossed hand grenade, Colonel O’Neil’s face came across the radio, “Col. Winston, dial up Earth we’re coming in hot.  Jaffa on our tail.”  SG-1 appeared over the rise on the run followed by another two dozen Jaffa.  The PCs secured the gate and wiped out another platoon of Jaffa.  After returning to the SGC, General Hammond told then job well done.

48 hours later SG-21 was called to the briefing room.  Daniel Jackson and SG-1 had retrieved a parchment containing the gate address for a planet rich in Naquada.  SG-1 made a first contact to the P4X-514, designated Scatterpoint by the natives.  SG-21 has been ordered to Scatterpoint to determine the societal mores and ruling body of the planet so as to strike a bargain for the Naquada.  Next week we go through the gate.

Scatterpoint is of course the world in Reality Blurs’ Rune Punk.  I’ll talk more about how I’ve home brewed that setting into the Stargate universe.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Observations of a Noob GM, RPG, Stargate | , , | 3 Comments

Report on Open Game Night 2-27-09

At 6:00 pm Steve Nibbelink was at the Youth Center setting up tables, turning up the heat and making sure everything was ready to go.  By 6:30 people started arriving.  By 7:00 there were four adults, four teenagers, and six children attending open game night.  These numbers include a new family that asked questions about game night, Wednesday evening services, and Sunday services.

The teenagers and two of the children played Stargate SG-21 hosted by Steve Nibbelink, while the new family sampled the various games in the game room and played Hungry, Hungry Hippos with the other adult leader and the remaining two children.  Youth Center closed at 9:00 and everyone stayed until closing.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries | , , , | Leave a comment

Getting a new group started ain’t as easy as I thought.

Friday Jan 23rd, I had my rulebooks.  I had my GM notes.  I had everything I needed to run the inaugural open game night at the local youth center.  I got there at 5:30 and set up.  By 7:00 I had 13 players and we spent a fun evening generating characters for the Stargate-SG21 game I had set-up.

Because it took us awhile to get 13 characters generated, we didn’t get much into the actual game.  Everyone seemed anxious to come back on Jan 30 for a game continuation.  Jan 3o rolled around and no one showed.  Turns out that the two area high schools where 90% of my players attend were playing each other (high school b’ball is big in Iowa).

Last night I was ready for round two.  Once again no one showed.  Called the players, everyone was at a B’ball game.  The first thing I can hear is folks telling me that I need to run a game night at a time that fits my players schedules.  That’s the rub.  The local youth center is housed in the church where I’m the Children’s Pastor.  Automatically, Wednesday and Sundays are out because the youth center is closed as church is in session.  Tuesday and Thursday evenings, my business is open to the general public.  That leaves Monday, Friday, and Saturday and I want to stay away from gaming on a school night.  I  plan on asking my players which works best for the schedules, Friday or Saturday.

Small town Iowa doesn’t have a local comic book store where I can post flyers for the game night.  In fact the church is starting the youth center because there’s no place for the local teens to hang out.  I know the interest is there.  I just want to get it running on a consistent basis.

February 7, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries, Gaming Notes, Observations of a Noob GM, RPG | , , , | 4 Comments

Confessions of a Noob GM 1-23-2009

Written as a guest Column for Uncle published there 1-30-09

I was nervous.  I’ll admit it.  I’ve gamed with people my own age.   As a high school student I gamed with the local college group.  I’ve gamed with my kids.  I’ve GMed for family sessions, but I had never before GMed for anyone else.

The local youth center has wanted to have an open game night for some time.  I volunteered to be THE adult in charge and supervise the activities.  I figured most of the kids would play pool, ping pong, or foosball.  PIT #1 suggested that Daddy run an RPG game for the teens that night.  Sure, why not? My kids seemed to enjoy it when I ran Pirates of the Spanish Main at home.  I agreed to be the GM for this new game group.  Now I just needed to decide what game and system to run.

I personally have the core rules for PotSM, Stargate, Serenity, GURPS and Car Wars (I know CW isn’t technically an RPG but it’s close).  I decided on Stargate as I had already done a lot of work “Savaging” that universe.  I prefer the Savage system as it is easy to use and very versatile.  The PITs were ecstatic; I knew I had three players for sure.

I had my sparse notes, my 5×7 dry erase board, my bag of bennies and I thought I was ready to go.  The inaugural night was canceled due to weather.  The next Sunday at church I had 2 other teens express disappointment that game night had been canceled.  I was informed that at least five other teens were anticipating the game.  Five additional teens, my three kids, eight people? I began to panic.

The next week I developed out my sparse notes as I wanted this to be something special as some of these kids were experienced gamers and some were complete newbies.  I took advice from many of my online buddies about what I needed to do and really got as prepared as I could.

I developed my own GM screen so I wouldn’t have to thumb through the Savage Explorer’s Edition for combat rules.  I bought a larger dry erase board.  I photocopied off character development rules so we wouldn’t have to pass around the rulebook.  Friday night came and I set up the table for eight people and my GM seat.

6:30 came and went and no one other than my kids had shown up yet.  My nervousness increased.  7:00 arrived and teens started streaming in through the door.  They kept coming.  I had to set up another table.  Eventually I had eleven young people ages 10-17 all looking to me for answers.  We started character generation at 7:15.

I learned three things from my first non-family GM event:
Character generation takes more time when there’s more people, even with a simple system like Savage
Even with all the work, I still wasn’t as prepared as should have been
Teenagers have crazy imaginations (I thought I was strange)

Yet even after an hour and half of character generation, we got started and played the introductions.  The kids had a blast.  I had fun as well.  I’m looking forward to getting to the actual game.

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Gaming Notes, Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Observations of a Noob GM, RPG | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment