Monday, January 15, 2018

A D&D Anecdote

I am running D&D at Bounce Milwaukee, a local indoor play park as part of my Dungeon Master on Demand services. Here's what happened the first night we played:

Three boys played tonight. They were sent to recover a dwarf who had not reported back home. They came across a wagon that had been turned into a goblin battle fortress with a goblin patrolling the roof.

The boys decide to talk to the goblin (since one of them discovered he could speak their language). After a brief exchange, they ask him his name. The goblin says he has no name, because he hasn't killed anybody yet. One of the boys goes into a heartfelt monologue about the goblin doesn' t need to kill somebody to get a name. I ask the kid to roll a Persuade check to get the goblin to point out where the rest of his tribe had taken the dwarf.

Natural 20.

The goblin, stunned by this revelation, sits down on the edge of the wagon and has a serious change of heart. He stands up, ready to help these Tall Ones find their friend.

And that's when another goblin sneaks up from behind and stabs the first goblin, pushing him off the wagon to bleed out.

"You guys," says the kid, "we have to save the cool goblin!"

"Okay," I say, "roll initiative."

Once we set the order, I point out to the paladin, the only healer in the party, that he's their best shot at saving the cool goblin. He can get to the goblin first, but he's putting himself in harm's way and will likely have to deal with goblin attack while he's out there healing. Also, if he uses his healing on the goblin, he won't have any for the rest of the group if the battle goes poorly.

"We gotta save him," say the others.

"We do," says the paladin and runs out from behind cover. After a round of poor rolls from the goblins, he drops all 5 points of healing into the friendly goblin, who pops up, grabs a knife off of a dead ex-comrade and says "Ok, what do you need me to do?"

The players ask the goblin to lead them to their friend, which he does after they tear up the goblin battle wagon. They ask him what his name should be. He tells them the goblin lord is the one who gives names based on deeds, and the boys say he's earned the right to take his own name. He pauses, asks about the meaning of this Common word they keep using to describe him, and decides to choose it as his name.

That is how the power of friendship and loyalty can make a nearly 40 year old man get choked up in front of strangers.

That is how Kuul the Goblin Rogue was born.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Harry Potter - Fate Accelerated Hack

When I talk about licensed games, one of the IP that I always get questions about is Harry Potter. This setting has an immense, passionate fandom. Why is there no tabletop RPG? The answer to that is a lot of heresay plus my own conjecture. The follow up question is: Well, what system would you use to run a HP game? My answer is, inevitably, Fate. Specifically, Accelerated because I think its abstractness does a good job at modelling established fictional characters.

So, after years, of suggesting it, I finally decided to do it. It's not a heavy hack, which its why I shied away from it for so long, but the itch to design it finally irritated me enough to put it down on blog paper.

Follow my Harry Potter Fate Accelerated (Fate Accio?) hack after the jump!