Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Hiatus...

No tabletops last weekend, between Tim being sick, Ythir's campaign ending, people being out of town, and moving.  Not looking like a whole lot this weekend either...  so it's back to videogames, theorycraft, and planning for me.  Decent progress on all fronts, though.

My graphics card is doing poorly, so no TF2 for me.  This is saddening, because I was getting to be pretty decent at it, but also good, because the pyro dreams were getting old.  No Tribes or UT either, which is unfortunate...  so I'm back to Kingdom of Loathing.  Running my 8th hardcore ascension as an Accordion Thief to complete the Nemesis Quest ring for the trophy.  I kind of hate Accordion Thief as a class; buffs are a pain to manage and expensive to boot.  So far it's going well, though; I've just been playing like a Disco Bandit.  There have been a ton of changes since I left in February; the Knob Goblin quest, the Liver of Steel quest (fewer hellions :( ), the Crypt, moon signs, no stat days during ronin / HC...  most important to me, though, was the Valhalla update.  It's letting me perm skills significantly more quickly and with much greater flexibility, so that's cool.  Likewise, the replacements for lead-in gear and consumables are awesome.  Compared to previous runs, I'm currently at the end of Day 2 where I was at the end of Day 5 on my previous fastest hardcore run.  It's just nuts.  My goal for this run was initially 10 days, but since my previous best was 10 days and I'm currently doing much better than that, I think I'm revising it down to 7 (which would also beat my previous best softcore run...  I've picked up a bunch of skills, knowledge, and familiars since then, though.  I think it's doable).  After this run, I'm looking at picking up some +non-combat skills; that seems to be what's holding me back in a bunch of places.  I also want to bank some karma in Moxie runs and then do a Turtle Tamer run to pick up Tao of the Terrapin, Hero on the Half Shell, and Shieldbutt to make further muscle runs more bearable.  Then maybe a Seal Clubber run as to go basementing for a telescope...

But enough of that gibberish.  I've also resumed work on the Starcraft -> Stargrunt conversion.  Zerg morale seems to be the really hard part.  I'm kind of considering stealing Warbard's rules for Kra'Vak morale; they would very much deliver a "Your zerglings have slipped the Overmind's leash and gone berserk" kind of effect.  On the other hand, since the zerg seem likely to have the close-combat advantage (both in numbers and in terms of close-combat weapons per squad)...  so giving them the ability to charge the enemy rather than retreating when normal men would fall back kind of plays into their hands.  I guess playtests are the only way to determine what really works.  I'm also lacking a good model for stimpacks or adrenal zerglings presently.  Finally, squad composition in Starcraft is totally backwards compared to the expectations of Stargrunt; 12 marines with no support weapons, and a separate squad of 12 firebats?  What is this madness!?  So that's an issue to be overcome as well...

I've also been planning Wilderlands.  I've found a Dungeon Crawl Classics module that fits well into the Wilderlands, and I think I'm going to run it.  It's one I've played through before, so I have an idea of how it actually goes (though hopefully the party won't be so horribly overpowered this time...  oh, True Sorcery Dabbler-stacking, you so broken...).  It also ties in nicely with another module I want to steal inspiration from...  and so a campaign is born.  I think I'm moving away from the episodic and open-table focus and more towards the style of the Traveller game I ran last semester, where a fairly-fixed party of PCs travels and gets into trouble wherever they happen to end up.  The issue, then, is long dungeoncrawls...  I might cut out extraneous encounters to keep things moving.  I guess I'm looking for a better balance between dungeon and wilderness than we had in Traveller; Traveller focused really heavily on the travel, and while dungeoncrawls did happen (er, "Ruin and/or derelict ship crawls"), they were played very loosely, had only 3ish fights in a dungeon tops, and did not dominate gameplay as dungeons do in D&D.  So I guess I'm looking for a middle ground between the super-abstract dungeon and the super-detailed dungeon.

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