Albany Game Day XVIII

This semi-annual event, organised by Ryan, is an oasis of gamer-goodness in my life. In other words, it gets me from one PAX East to another and tops-off my tank—inspirationally.

Marvel RPG

I had 6 players for my Marvel RPG game. Only one player had any experience with the system and that was only a single-session.

I taught the game from scratch and the process felt a little rough to me. Teaching this game seems to require some subtle adjustment that like tuning in a radio station when you are on the edge of its broadcast area—you can spend a lot of time twisting the dial trying to get the clearest sound possible. I winced at every burst of static, but the overall reception was excellent and the players picked up the game faster than I did!

The pre-gens that I had made went over well too. There was only one real mistake (Sabretooth has Stamina, not Durability) which is amazing considering how late I’ve been staying up to finish them. Nightcrawler was the first picked, followed by Gambit. Rogue and Dazzler were the last. Rounding out the roster were Sabretooth and Colossus.

While I will be tweaking all of the pregens some, Rogue is getting a re-write. She was the most challenging PC to run.

My wife, Tina, didn’t like my character sheets, so she went over them once to make them more readable.

You can download the pregens here (Tina’s) and here (mine).

The best part is that everyone said that they would play again if I ran it at the next game day. Rogue, Colossus, and Gambit went home with their players. Mission Accomplised!

D&D 4E: The Petrified City

I was supposed to be playing in a Shadowrun hack of Old School Hack, which would have knocked two games off my “bucket-list”. The GM for that game, had to cancel due to life interference. I was diappointed, but I can’t be upset. Life happens! Fortunately, Jen had some space left in her afternoon D&D game.

Jen is an excellent DM who has rocked our faces off running Fourthcore events in previous Albany Game Days. Yesterday, she was running something that her husband wrote and nearly won a TPK in the first encounter.

Our party exited the forest and in the clearing was a troglodyte war-band. We had come out where we had forest on three sides of us, impeding our movement. The troglodytes had surprise and a high initiative. They inflicted horrorific damage in the first round, dropping out monk and nearly surrounding us before we could act.

I was playing Kriss, a dragonborn cavalier (‘Essential’s’ Paladin of Valor from Heroes of the Forgotten Realms). Kriss moved up to draw fire from his team-mates until they could regroups, but they were too wounded to stand for long. We chose to fight instead of retreat and that nearly cost us the game.

We were 6, sixth-level PCs vs 2 Troglodyte Maulers (sixth-level soldiers), 6 Troglodyte Grunts (sixth-level minions), and 2 Troglodyte Impalers (seventh-level artillery)—all were as written from Monster Vault pgs 269-271.

The initial thought was that the encounter was over-powered, but I’m not convinced of that. The dice were against us and we failed to adjust to circumstances. We could have performed better tactically and we could have run, but the retreat wasn’t sounded until 4 PCs were dying. Contrary to type, the surviving troglodytes spared the unconscious and limped away.

We mad it through the second encounter but the game times out before we could finish.


This Albany Game Day was a little smaller, but no less fun than before. I cast longing glances to the other tables at games of Paranoia and Fiasco ran alongside whater I was doing at the time. I was surrounded by opportunities to try something new.

I wish that I lived closer to this community of players & GMs because they play a wide variety of RPGs regularly. It shows in the the way they approach the game and in the interactions during it.

Just before the event, I recieved an e-mail from my FLGS asking me if I would like to bring an event like AGD to it. That’s a tricky thing to do. AGD feels like the sum of a lot of friendships built over years. It plays out like my old family dinners where the inevitible games of pinochle or Scrabble broke out after every dinner and would go for hours. We’re playing different games, of course, but the comradeire is no less a reason to attend than the games themselves.

The idea of trying the recreate such an environment is daunting, but I dare say that could find a few sturdy souls to dare it with me if I ask around. We’ll see.


~ by Hunter Rose on September 2, 2012.

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