Last night (Thursday) I was out gaming again, but I was back at the Baranof again, for the first time in many moons, and my usual table of players was nowhere to be found. That's because they're still back at Cafe Mox enjoying Dungeon Crawl Classics and I...well, I wanted to try something different.
Yes, I've made a split from my gaming group...an amicable split (I hope). But after doing DCC for a few (six) weeks, I've decided I've had enough and want to get back to something else; however, most of the other players are still greatly enjoying the game and I want them to keep playing/enjoying it if that floats their boat. I am about encouraging table-top role-playing and growing the hobby, after all.
So, I've withdrawn from that group (for the time being anyway) and now find myself back where I initially started, more than a year ago: in a booth at the Baranof, sitting across from a single player with a pitcher of beer between the two of us.
[the bartender was so happy to have us back, SHE bought the pitcher...nice!]
There were a couple-three differences between that 1st session at Baranof's and this week. For one, the player at the table was Josh from the regular Thursday night group instead of my brother (who doesn't show up anymore). For another thing, I'm not feeling like "oh the group will never grow to be bigger than me and one dude." I've done the "build-from-scratch" thing once already and know it works (too well...the regular group has just gotten bigger and bigger over time!).
The main difference, though, is we were playing my new micro-game, Out of Time, instead of B/X. Really wanted to try out the dinosaur thing (in case you haven't gathered that from my recent posts).
All things considered, the game worked pretty good, even with only one person. Josh hadn't actually bothered to read the rules (one page, dude! C'mon!) but it took very little time to explain things and character creation was extremely quick (as designed). The most difficult part for me was the prep time involved in creating an "adventure;" however, even that yielded some good thoughts/fodder for game design theory, and I'll be posting a series here shortly about RPG objectives...or rather the lack thereof in many (most?) RPGs.
For this first session, I limited the character concept somewhat in that all PCs (in this case, just Josh) would have to be someone who'd be found in a Humvee driving around Afghanistan. This could be US army, UN peacekeepers, imbedded reporters or foreign correspondents, etc. Josh's character turned out to be an army engineer/demolitions guy and (as a sergeant) the highest ranking enlisted man in the Humvee.
There were three other army guys in the Humvee (NPCs): Sally the driver/greasemonkey, "Tex" (he had another name, but I can't remember now) manning the coaxial machine gun, and Bill who had some medical training (at least, he was the guy carrying the medkit). While in hot pursuit of some Afghani patriots...er, "insurgents"...the Humvee crew managed to drive through a dimensional warp and into the Land of the Lost, smashing their rig into a huge-ass, prehistoric tree.
Much hilarity ensued.
I like the system of the micro-game a lot, and I'm thinking of ways to incorporate it into other, non-dinosaur-themed games. Josh was rolling well all night, and never had to burn cards to get "extra effort," nor did he spend them to offset the damage he took in the single actual combat encounter (a fight with some dire wolves that killed good ol' Bill). Combat worked well, though I had to invent some spot morale rules (which were fine). It sure is tough to hit a pursuing t-rex with a vehicle-mounted machine gun while bouncing across a grassy savannah at 50 mph.
Anyway, that's enough for now...I need to catch up on some sleep. More later.