On Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Pathfinder_tabletop-e1450054060672I’ve played a few tabletop roleplaying games.

I started a year or two after I moved to the west coast U.S.A. I’ve always wanted to try something like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, something like that, but never had a group of friends that were interested enough to step away from video games. But once I moved to the other side of the country, I found the right group for it. I didn’t even know they played until I was invited over to one of their dorm rooms one night.

150957_10152473040220567_1435505547_nThey were playing a Warhammer 40k roleplaying game.

I’ve heard tales of their sessions from before I was invited to join in, mostly involving one impulsive player. At one time, the Game Master had them on some kind of derelict dreadnought spaceship and there was a vent above them with a hole in it. After hearing a slight scratching noise throughout the vent, the impulsive player decided to stick his head through the hole to investigate. The logical player, who knew that this was a bad idea, pulled the impulsive player back down just before a Tyranid (I don’t know if I spelled that right) almost cut his head off.

Before I joined that game, I wasn’t into Warhammer that much. Currently, that is still the case, but I had absolutely no knowledge in not only that genre but also tabletop roleplaying at all. While they were all trying to explain both the lore and rules to me as necessary, I was still confused, getting a double dosage of knowledge in two different areas. I was still willing to try, which in the end, I was glad I did.

The first session did not go so well for my character. I made a Space Wolf berserker like character that used, at the time, a sword and pistol, though I know it’s not called a pistol in the game. That gun made a pistol look like a children’s water gun. And I’m not talking about the super-soakers either, I’m talking about the small, clear, pink pistol shaped water gun you got in your easter egg basket and you used it to annoy your little sister. But anyway, the memorable part of that session was when we entered a church or something of that sort. I don’t remember what the threat was at the front, but I had first turn because of my high initiative roll. So, I do what I believed a berserker would do and I charged in. Since I was new to the game, I did not know what a perception roll was and failed to check the room for any other threats and traps. By the time I reach halfway across the room, a Chaos Marine jumps down from the rafters (I don’t know how rafters would support all that power armor) and heavily damages me. I almost had my character die in the first session. As you can can probably guess, after that, any time I entered a room, in both this game and future games, I rolled for perception, making sure nothing would jump me from behind. Lesson well learned.

d20The next game after that was Traveler.

I’m not sure how well this game is known, so I’ll give you the gist of it. From what I remember, it’s similar to Star Wars, but no Jedi or Force or anything like that and a lot more rough and realistic, as far as realism can go in these things. I enjoyed this one. I was a little more adept to tabletop roleplays by this time and no one else knew a darn thing about the Traveler universe. Everyone was pretty much on an even playing field.

This time, I went for an engineer type of character. He didn’t know much about combat, but he could repair pretty much anything and he was a decent gunner for stationary turrets as well. I don’t know how I had him decent at that and not normal combat, but I just rolled with it.

Events transpired and our group was gifted a spaceship for transport to our missions. It was either a frigate or a cruiser, I don’t remember which one. An eventful mission was on a jungle type planet where we encountered a giant scorpion-like machine. We were able to destroy it with some effort. At that moment, I was inspired by Ironman for some reason. I wanted to create my own suit of power armor. I asked the GM if this was allowed and after a few rolls for scavenging, I was on my way back to our ship with some scrap metal and two plasma gatling guns. I was going crazy with the possibilities I had in mind.

With some other scavenging later in the game, I built my power armor, one body part at a time starting with the chest piece. But it wasn’t just any ordinary power armor. It was the power armor that both Ironman and Doc Oc dreamed of. Yes, I created a full suit of power armor with four extra appendages on the back, the top two of which were mounted with the plasma gatling guns.

Needless to say, after the armor was completed, I started working on increasing my combat effectiveness. Any mission after that, there was always at least one unfortunate enemy that was literally melted if I connected a decent shot. And that was without a crit roll either. Include the other members of the group and we were unstoppable. After a few more missions, our characters actually had enough money to retire and live the rest of their days comfortably and that’s where we ended that campaign.

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Which brings me to my first time as a GM.

I never thought I’d actually want to try to be a GM for a game. I love playing as a character in someone else’s made up world. That’s one of the reasons why I love video games too. But a friend had suggested that if we play a tabletop in a world I’m familiar with, I should GM. I chose Fallout. My wife even wanted to play. Instead of the Game Master, she called me the Vault Master. The friend who made the suggestion said he would assist me if I needed help, which of course I did.

After some time reading the rule book and learning from said friend, I started to come up with session one’s mission. It would be pretty simple and I notified everyone that this session and a few more sessions to come will be on rails since I’m very new to being the GM. They were fine with it and the game began a couple weeks later.

Like I said, the session was pretty simple in terms of what was going to happen. The whole setting was in the New Vegas area but before the New Vegas game events. So in my little world, Nipton was still around. That’s where the would be heroes started off. While they were all doing their own thing in town, a group of four raiders decided to “Collect their protection money” and then started terrorising the citizens. Unfortunately for my wife, her character was the first one to be spotted and shot at. In fact, most of the session she was the one being shot at the most because her character was slightly drunk and in the middle of the road. I was getting some very annoyed and angry stares from her.

When I was creating the enemy raiders a week before the game started, I screwed up their primary stats, so they were weaker than I meant them to be. Although they had a good chance to avoid enemy fire, they couldn’t hit the broad side of the town hall. Unfortunately for my wife again, she was the only one that was actually hit. The friend who was helping me GM was one of the only two that made a pure combat character. He crit shot the first raider with his revolver and his head just exploded. The rest was slowly picked off, with my wife’s character being the only casualty with about half her hit points gone.

The sheriff, who tried to take all the credit, brought them to the mayor of Nipton who gave our heroes a job to remove the rest of the raiders from their hideout. After negotiating a price, the deal was made, as well as a short plot for the Fallout campaign.

I currently have the campaign planned for when they return to Nipton…if that happens. Although I want the game on rails for a few more sessions, I don’t know what I’ll do if they decide to go off track after they see something shiny.

We have a problem with planning another get together though. A lot of us are changing schedules soon, so I don’t know when we’ll be able to run session two. I wanted to make this campaign a regular thing to write about, so I’m hoping the stars will align as well as our schedules in about a month or so. I surprisingly had quite a bit of fun being the GM and making my little puppets dance.

 

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