December 19th, 2007


Serenity Game

Well, my short-term Serenity game wrapped up tonight, and I had fun. The group is a good group, fun and intelligent people, who perhaps make a few too many puns, but I invited them all, so it's my own fault if I heard a groaner or two. That's why I keep the foam bricks nearby, anyway. To throw at people who make bad puns.

The one problem with fun and funny people is that it's pretty hard to get real immersed in a game. Wisecracks and jokes are the norm at just about every single opportunity, so building tension? Not so easy. Setting atmosphere? A bit tricky, unless the atmosphere you want is Johnny Carson meets Jon Stewart. Which, you know, is hilarious, but not so conducive to keeping in-character when they're trying to break into a warehouse or figure out how to infiltrate a space station.

I had fun running it, and I did my best to get each character involved in their own way, to give each a slice of drama to worry about and a spotlight to shine in. I haven't heard any feedback yet, but I think I did well enough. I know I wasn't perfect. This was my very first attempt at running a short-term campaign, so there were rough patches. I usually run long-term ones that have no pre-set end point, and I'm afraid it kind of showed. I'm very much used to simply making stuff up on the fly and running with it, which is wonderful for an open-ended game, but not so much when you know you have to start, play and wrap everything up in three or four sessions. So I didn't stray too much from my plot (I really wanted to, but that would have added to the plot indefinitely), although I also had to keep the plot itself fairly open to change. I've learned never to "script" a plot too tightly -- players have a way of doing the unexpected and I like to keep things a bit loose so I can roll with the punches. I found that this is a very difficult balance to maintain: keep to the plot, but keep the plot loose enough to accommodate surprises.

Another side-effect of being used to only running open-ended campaigns is that I suck at climactic battles and wrapping things up without saying, "Well, okay. You've won now." Which is kind of anti-climactic and I can't help but feel disappointed in my own endgame.

Overall, however, I enjoyed the game very much, and I have learned a lot from the experience. Any short-term campaign I decide to run in the future will certainly gain the benefit of such.

Also: OMFG. Too much food. Blorf. Very good food. But blorf. Gingerbread cookies and shortbread and chocolate-raspberry cake and pretzels and Jelly Tots and chocolate rosebuds and candy canes and pizza. *falls into digestive coma*

This is what happens when two or more of one's group self-identify as "bakers" and you hold a game near Christmastime.
Crab Shack
  • hoojoe

DnD n00b.

I'm having trouble with creating a character. Either I'm a total retard or the character sheet I printed off is confusing the heck out of me. I choose the later, buts probably a combination of both. Could someone tell me or show me what I supposed to do?

Edit: I'm just looking for the basic steps to go through when putting together a character for play.  The whole group is a new set of people with no D&D experience and we need help setting up.
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