Okay, so I... I won't say lied, exactly, but was mistaken about my ability to catch up on Roundup posts in the intervening week. Anyway, here's what we've been up to, gamewise:
Magic The Gathering: New Phyrexia Expansion: So far, all right. Spendy in terms of mana costs, not so bad as Zendikar, and having the kinda neat thing where you can spend life instead of mana at a rate of 2:1 for some cards. Need to play a few more drafts to see what I really think, but there's some fantastically gross cards therein.
Mage: The Awakening: Last night's session was short, but really fun. First of all, went to Volchik's (my character) uncle's house to do research on an abyssal artifact received last session, and to research the Prince of a Hundred Thousand Leaves, who is apparently some sort of literary Lost Carcosa-- pieces of his book intrude on other works, and if they're all assembled, the abyssal reality which _is_ the Prince will replace our own. Horrible, sure.
But also wicked awesome.
Anyway, after that was a meeting with some banishers to convince them that they needed to help us with the abyssal, cannibal, cultists of the Prince, instead of, you know, killing us for being mages. We convinced the guys we were sitting with-- who could do absolutely nothing about the other banishers lying in ambush for us, and for whom they'd baited this trap. So Tommy (who I still think of as Tod Lowry, and is played by Stands-in-Fire), turned some of the decorative plants into a swarm of locusts, while Sequela (Four Color) controlled the shadows in the room to help us escape, and I went Incognito. Also, I decided to mind control a handful of the locusts, which was really useful when we got to the back door and there were dudes hanging out to jump us.
"Feast, My Hungry Children!" indeed.
I have to say, I like collaborative research in Mage-- first, all the assistants roll, and their successes are added to the final dice pool of the main researcher. This is some value more engaging than researching in a library in our AE game, which was pretty much, "you ask a librarian, who asks another librarian..." and so on. But I'll get to AE in a moment.
Best moment of the game? Our Obrimos, Suryia (System Sans Setting) agreeing to hand over a couple of Mages from the council to the Banishers in exchange for leaving us be. Since we had to cripple a couple of their dudes, don't know how well this will stand up, but we'll see. Because THERE'S NO WAY THIS WILL COME TO HAUNT US, RITE?
Also, Sequela and Volchik managed to find a couple of Rotes in Volchik's uncle's library. So that's awesome.
Arcana Evolved: On Sunday, while in Hotlanta, we managed to get in some AE, which was a pretty good time-- it was a shorter session for that game, which, in typical 3e fashion, meant all of one combat encounter. To be fair, this game is also frequently bogged down by IRL stuff and child wrangling, and was also the day after the 2nd World Event of Dust to Dust, so this Kainenchen was in a whole world of pain. That all said, my habitually whiny character had very little to complain about, as we mostly moseyed through the ruins of this city towards the bizarre interdimensional library by taking advantage of the extremely low going rates on native guides-- as in, 1 gold apiece. This was cool, as otherwise, it probably would have been three or four more sessions before we even made the library. As it was, we only wound up in a fight at the door, where some mooks called their Rune Reaver boss to come and bash us. Fortunately, we made it into the library first, where we met the (miraculously) still living last guy who seriously schooled it. At which point, we decided to cool our heels for a while, and do some research, while we made plans to give it a final beat down and restore some Imperial Order to the city. Banditry = Got to Go, and such.
Who can hate that? Not this Rabbit.
Dust to Dust World Event II: Return of the World Event: This world event was a thousand times smoother than the first one, which doesn't mean that it went perfectly by any means. Getting things that are basic setting information across to players is a huge challenge, and one we certainly don't have a good answer for yet. I suppose it's mostly a good thing that we're, you know, not a con/salon larp, and so not actually coming up with a bunch of pre-gens all the time. That said, everyone seemed to have a really wonderful time, so yay to that! We got to test a couple of different totems, and more higher level ritualism, which is _really_ dependent on the efficiency of the rituals in play. Not that any player could know that off the bat.
But, well, it is to find out!
GMing Tricks from the Defenders
14 hours ago