DramaSystem in the Bundle of Holding

Last year I ran Heroes of the City more-or-less every day for a week in a campaign that spawned a 6000+ word actual play write up. Later this year, the group is getting back together to run Season 2 of that campaign. Suffice to say, I really like this system.

The Bundle of Holding is currently selling the core game and a bunch of PDFs very cheaply (with 10% of your money going to charity) so now is the perfect time to pick up a copy for yourself.

You can find the Heroes of the City setting (along with useful advanced rules) in the Blood on the Snow book, so you may will want to beat the threshold price to get that.

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EVE Online for Character Portraits

EVE Online, along with many other video game RPGs, has a rather nice tool for designing your own character image. You can tweak hair, features, clothes and lots of other details.

With a Star Wars game coming up, I thought it the ideal way to get some visual representation of my Rebel and his Imperial father.

The latter was built by returning to the edit screen, adjusting a few features and applying some ageing effects. Hopefully the family resemblance is still visible.

Daska

Bendak

There are stand alone tools on the market (Poser comes to mind), but I’m not found anything so easy to use as the ones from video games. It would be nice if they could be released as stand-alone art tools.

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5th Edition

I wasn’t going to bother with 5th edition D&D. I glanced through the playtest materials and wasn’t really grabbed by them. Then the Internet started talking about it and praise was heaped high. When my FLGS announced it was going to start running Adventurers’ League, I was sold.

Last night was character creation and Dark Sphere managed to fill three tables (pretty impressive since the store focuses on wargaming with a strong sideline in M:tG). My table rolled up:

  • A Warlock
  • A Bard
  • A Wizard
  • Another Wizard
  • A Paladin

We are Team Glass Cannon and shall all hide behind the Paladin (which is going to be tricky since he is a Dwarf).

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Dwarf King’s Quest

(tl;dr, if you have some disposable income, consider directing it at this.)

A few years ago I picked up the original Dwarf King’s Hold which is a nice light weight 2-player dungeon crawl grid based skirmish wargame.

The miniatures are great (I picked up some more skeletons since they are sold separately too and they look lovely) although the rest of the components were only adequate.

The Skeleton Horde

Roll forward a few years, and the 4th set in the series is being kickstarted … and it has a lot of changes.

It has a new title. It has higher quality map tiles. It features named heroes against the nameless hordes (rather than two nameless hordes of different races). It supports more than two players (the heroes can be split among players). In short, it looks a lot more like HeroQuest. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.

It took about a minute for the 550 early bird deals (save $5!) to be picked up, and then the standard package started rolling off the shelf. In less than 12 hours it has tripled its goal.

The price feels a little too high for me, but since this is a Mantic kickstarter, the stretch goals over the rest of August are bound to make it worthwhile.

Take a look and see if you want to join in.

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Planning Season 2 (DramaSystem: Heroes of the City)

At the end of the fifth session, everyone agreed that they liked the game and wanted to continue it. Hopefully we’ll be able to pick it up next year! There will, however, be a couple of changes.

With Elron out of the picture, at least as a star character, Tom has agreed to pick up the GM reins and let me pick up a PC to play with. I been pondering promoting an NPC or introducing a new character with their own set of links to the other PCs. Sometime between writing my first draft of these session reports and now, I’ve made a decision but I’ll keep it under my hat for the sake of spoilers.

In the meantime, we can have a summary of where all the characters stand and the status of the world they exist in.

The city

Season 1 focused on Elron’s attempts to grasp power and the damage he was willing to do to achieve it. With his departure, a power vacuum has formed. The city needs a leader and a lot of season 2 is likely to be about determining who that will be.

We also have the portal to deal with, the beings on the other side appear to be honourable but quick to judge and often violent in their responses. Diplomacy could be interesting.

The main cast

Alec Alejandro Victor von Rose will have to come to terms with whatever changes have happened to his body, along with the change in his relationship with Xathra. As a son of the Archmage, he is a potential candidate for the rulership of the city.

Xathra, Warrior Princess will have to figure out how to relate to Stefan now she has accepted her blood relationship to him, and determine what will happen next with Alec.

Stefan, Mercenary Captain is widely respected and, given that word of his possible rise to Dukedom will have spread, may be a candidate for rulership.

The Nightstalker, Master Assassin was last seen entering the realm on the other side of the portal. There is potential for almost anything to happen there. If he comes back, then someone might think his bloodline would make it possible ruler.

The NPCs

Oriene, The Dwarf King is dead. Hopefully he won’t come back, zombie dwarfs are creepy.

Balor, The Dwarf Prince left, but is still Dwarven nobility. He may return, perhaps as King, perhaps as Ambassador, perhaps seeking revenge.

Sarissa, one time Apprentice of the Archmage and lover to practically anything with a pulse and a little power, will, no doubt, continue to try to curry favour… at least until it becomes advantageous to betray someone.  

Odson, von Rose’s Goblin assistant finds that the man he betrayed has risen in power and his new master has left in disgrace.

Ataria, despite being listed in the opening credits, did not appear in season 1. Her influence was felt only through her past actions and how other characters felt about her. If she ever arrives in the city, it will complicate matters for everybody. Ataria’s betrayal of the principles by which she raised her daughter has shaken Xathra greatly. Her one time lover, Stefan, is the object of Sarissa’s attention. Andrus killed for her in the past, but doing so has caused him strife. Finally, Alec loves her daughter.

Pira is the elf who has had the most significant impact on the story without leaving the city. She wants to heal but might be drawn into politics with Elron leaving a power vacuum among the elves as well as in the city overall.

Dirk made a deal with Stefan in season 1, but appeared little after that since there wasn’t much drama in a scene that would have gone “My people are dying… and so are you… so I guess you are looking for a cure then… OK… bye”. With the plague resolved, its likely that in season 2 he will likely become the voice of the people and be involved in the question of leadership.

Toralas was probably killed when Balthazar stalked the corridors.

Balthazar’s soul has departed but some fragment of him may remain in Alec.

Raphael has become a being of light, apparently the natural form for his people, and one that cannot survive in his home realm. As Ambassador he will be the voice of the other side, and his questions about the nature of flesh life may drive the main characters to question themselves.

Hellfire the dragon didn’t get involved in season 1. It is about time he showed up and started having opinions.

Elron is a possible NPC for Season 2, but general consensus is that he should go away for a season and maybe reappear in a theoretical Season 3.

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