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August 11, 2008 / jadettman

Sometimes the timing is just wrong

Yesterday, we continued to stumble toward our Houses of the Blooded game. One player wasn’t able to make it, we spent the first three hours finishing up character creation and working out how Seasons work, and then we did a little roleplaying before breaking up for the day.

I found it unsatisfying, personally, and I doubt it was much fun for the other players but I think the critical factors are things that can be dealt with.

First, we’re still learning the game. This is not helped by the lack of the physical book which would make looking up rules and details easier. Having the PDF of the game is great but I hate bringing laptops to the gaming table (I’m easily distracted by shiny gadgets) and there is no grounded plug in the gaming nook so I couldn’t bring my laptop in there if I wanted (battery dead, has to stay plugged in, probably should get a new battery).

Second, I was a bit on the unprepared side. I could blame most of this on the fact that we’ve gone out of town every weekend for the last six weeks and that our weekdays have been unusually busy lately (compounded by the need to do things that we would normally be doing on the weekends), and that may be part of it. The real problem was that I was mentally unprepared.

See, when I run games, I tend to do things fairly fast and loose. Usually, I sketch out only the most basic idea of a situation and the characters involved and then I run things by the seat of my pants. This has worked remarkably well for going on fifteen years, so why change now?

Houses of the Blooded seemed like a good fit for my GMing style, too. I mean, it emphasizes letting the players direct play and come up with clever details to add to the game, so anything I come up with before hand is probably going to become invalid as soon as the players come in contact with the situation. So, hand meet glove. The game and I should work like a well-oiled machine.

Yeah, not yet.

Anyway, I’m going to hope that the book arrives in the mail sometime in the next two weeks, that the website goes live soon so that I can ask questions on the forums, and then sometime this week I’m going to print out and bind a copy of the rulebook to have on hand anyway.

Next session will be better!

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2 Comments

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  1. Britt / Aug 11 2008 1:55 pm

    I’m sure that part the problem is that at the moment, we are floating in a gigantic, unformed nebulous world, a void lacking geography, characters, and plot.

    I guess the idea is that the game will improve as we have adventures that establish where things are at, who lives in different places, and so on. We could even meet some *gasp* non-peasants!

    However, I fear that building the world one “Cunning” and “Wisdom” risk at a time might end up being pretty tedious. I wonder if there is any way we can (collaboratively or by GM fiat) put in some broad brush strokes to define the world a bit more, or, to mix metaphors, put up some scaffolding that we can hang a plot on. Maybe, now that we have the mechanical parts of character creation done, we can try to do more background, find more links between PCs, and between PCs and the larger world.

    For example, promoting my husband from vassal to NPC might give us some more hooks. (What house is he from? Who are his parents and siblings? Why did we get married? What is our relationship like?) Or we could do more with our parents: Why is my father just a Baron? Is there a tantalizing tragedy lurking in the result of that die roll?

    Or, ya know, we could just wander around Quelling Trouble and killing off our vassals in Mass Murders. 🙂

  2. J.A. Dettman / Aug 12 2008 3:38 am

    Yes, I suppose you’re right. We, or I, should flesh out the setting which would probably help.

    Although, wandering around Quelling Trouble and making Cunning Risks would be amusing too. 😉

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