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Kaves and Kobolds

12 Jul 2018 in Blog

As promised, read about my latest adventures in the RPG world !

A Brief Note

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See(♯) what I did there?

Right, so the reason you aren’t getting a TIL for Wednesday & Thursday is because:

  • (a) I’ve been busy working very hard, accomplishing much (the Cache is almost completely designed, and my PR for build refactoring almost merge-ready)
  • (b) I was out late at game stores playing games with people
  • (c) Last night I finished Season 13 of NCIS, where some of my favorite characters left, as well as the bittersweet Joyland by Stephen King

So instead you get this. Feature coming this weekend!

On With the Show !

Let’s recap, like any good GM should do…

  • Wednesday, I played D&D 5e Adventurer’s League for the first time
  • Thursday, I played Kobolds Ate My Babies ! (kamb) for the first time

Overall, both experiences were positive. I enjoyed the thrill of being a player again–I normally run Games, so it was a good experience to work out how to roleplay a character. It taught me that I can and should do a better job of applying that to characters in my Games.

I also enjoyed trying some new things and the interruption to my routine–yes, you read that right, I enjoyed the interruption. :scream: The horror!

I do have some thoughts about both nights, which I’ll intersperse with my recap of them.

Lost Minds of Phandelver

Yes, that’s a reference to the adventure Lost Mines of Phandelver, published by WOTC. Yes, I’ve run it a few times before.

And yes, that’s what we played.

You might know, I was expecting to walk into a Rage of Demons storyline adventure. In fact I specifically build Hargroth, my Human Ranger 2, with that in mind. His favored enemy is fiends, favored terrain the Underdark, and he is a mash-up of Dr. Van Helsing from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Hugh Jackman-Van Helsing, and Gibbs. Silent, stealthy, and gruff, but intelligent. And deadly.

! Spoiler alert

But the great thing about this hobby is imagining how someone would react to new and surprising situations. So Hargroth became a prisoner in the Goblin Caves from the early part of the adventure, eventually being rescued and rescuing in turn the players who had already been around.

Unfortunately, I struggled a little with our GM’s pacing, information flow, and application of the rules.

We disagreed on some of the rules, which happens, and I won’t argue that one of us must be right–he’s the GM, his game, his call. However, any time there’s a rules dispute, I believe you take 60 seconds max to talk about it; then, the GM makes a decision and we move on. There were too many scenes that got slowed down by constant rules arguments.

Further, I don’t feel he pushed the tempo during the tense–and only–combat of the game (that’s all we had time for, by the way). It was slow and drawn out except for a round or two in the middle. Things just moved and hit people.

I did get to have one, story-impacting, tense decision. An important NPC is bleeding out on a spear next to me, with 2 failed saving throws. Removing him could kill him, but I have no weapons, no armor, and am backed into a corner with little hp. I have to make a decision: save myself, or risk his life to defeat the enemy?

My character had already decided he was ok with sacrifices if it furthered the greater good (or his quest for revenge). So I pulled his body from the spear, needing a successful Medicine check, on which I got… 21! Holy smokes, did I do it. And that was one of the turning points.

Up until then, see, I and several other characters had been bound, useless, stuck trying to free each other. So there were several rounds of general boringness and confusion as we got lost on who was where and when and what was happening.

In the end, though, I enjoyed the players and the chance to play. I will likely return, if only to play around with Hargroth’s lack of manners in town.

Hangry

Tonight was Kobolds with a capital K, and let me tell you this game is worth picking up and playing for the sheer hilarity.

It’s a beer-and-pretzels style game, meaning it’s not meant to be too serious or complicated. It even runs on the BEER engine: Brawn, Ego, Extraneous, and Reflexes.

Players take on the role of small, hunger-crazed, kobolds under the rule of King Torg (All Hail King Torg !), and they must find babies for their cave.

Character generation? 5 minutes.

Fun had? 4 hours.

Really, that’s all it takes. If you have a willingness to act out a zany rodent-like creature with barely a scrap of understanding of the human world around him, you will have a great time. It takes a group though; we all got very into our own personality quirks and that made it a great time.

I played Hangry, who ate anything that looked like food in a frenzy. He successfully ate some chickens, his mortal enemy, and dropped a chandelier on some guards so we could escape with the babies. He also swam, was ridden like a horse, and took a bite of the other kobolds.

There were some slow moments, and I could tell one of the players was quite frustrated by his lack of meaningful contributions at certain points, but overall the game was a hilarious success, with smiles had by all.

Wrap It UP Already

It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m driving home to Charlotte for a Black Belt Recertification tomorrow afternoon. So this is the end.


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