Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year, more gaming!

Hullo non-existent readers!

The last three months so a sharp drop in my regular gaming and planning spirit. Some people say life gets in the way, most of the time I feel like I'm getting in the way, and I'm trying to fix that. One of the ways is of course, more gaming! And on to that because this is no place for my personal maudlin.

Like many other gamers out there I guess, my parents suffer an acute misunderstanding of what roleplaying actually is. My father has always been too serious to let himself go and my mother's only contact prior to me gaining interest was Tom Hank's Mazes and Monsters, you can see how this is not ideal. Thankfully my parents are awesome and simply let me be.

When I'm excited though I talk, a lot. Talking to a wall, even a human one with ears, is boring, and thus I decided to try and remedy my mother's ignorance (I dismissed my father, that was a mistake, and probably another blog post) so that she would at least sorta get what I was going on and on about.

I proposed the idea to her a few months back. She was not very sure at first, afraid she would not get anything and still unsure about what it all entailed. Once again I tried to explain what rping was ("Cops and robbers with rules, bla, bla...") Thankfully we both share quite similar tastes in literature, so I offered something that would be familiar: dragons, warriors, wizards and big baddies with twirly moustaches. If you haven't guessed yet, yes D&D. And yes, I ran 4th ed because its the edition I was most comfortable with. Also, I got together a group of old friends who she knows and would be comfortable with, and most importantly who didn't know the rules either, so she would be learning at the same time.

I was really aiming to make her feel comfortable and place as much of the work on myself as possible so she could focus on her elf warlock and blowing up giant rats and goblins.

When I started out planning I wanted to make it original, refreshing. Then I realized these were new players. Clichés and the old stuff are there because they are tried and proven. I did want though a simple game in a pretty generic setting that would make them focus on what we were doing and not worry about the rest, with a very obvious hook and a short dungeon crawl with a nice and epic final baddie.

Then came deciding how much effort I wanted to invest in this. The final hour tally is around the dozen because as per usual I went overboard.

There were a number of ideas I have wanted to use for quite a while, and it being Christmas what else is there to do? I waited until after the 1st, and once my friend and family obligations were met I sat down to work.

I have been toying with Scene Sound with quite a while, which allows me to organize sound effects, music, etc for scenes. Script sequences and have randomized effects.

I found a premade tile set meant for printing and used GIMP to mess with it and personalize it to my specifications.

I even printed out square crossed paper to map out the layout and mess with it until I was happy. I hadn't hand drawn a dungeon in almost a decade, it felt quite awesome.

Then something unexpected happened. The color printer died on me and the black and white printer was not behaving. Solution: Put the projector on top of my mother's hutch in the dining room and project the map onto the dining table. Sometimes the problems bring on awesome solutions.

We didn't manage to get through the dungeon because some people were late and the usual explanations needed to get newbies on their feet just took too long, but what we did manage to do was fun! A lot more fun than I had had in months.

My father calls after we finished and asks my mom whether she won or not and of course she's at a loss. I ask her if she enjoyed herself or not and she smiled and said yes, she had no idea what she was getting herself into and had loads of fun; we all won.

More when I finish the game tomorrow!

Don't Stop!