Entry for March 18, 2008: Game changes

While various games continue to occupy a fair amount of my time and attention, changes are afoot. The D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: the Broken Chains" Arabian fantasy group, which meets on Tuesday nights, is gradually winding down and looking ahead to Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition. Fellow Game Master Tim M.B. in Virginia (we played GURPS together in the 1990s) provided some insight into the revised role-playing game from the D&D Experience demonstrations.

Although I think the current Boston-area role-players get along better than their predecessors — in the "Liberators," "Dragonslayers," and "Seekers of Lore," among other parties — the old hurdle of "name level" (Experience Level 10) is still an issue. The Player Characters' increasing power and complexity, plus divergent goals, are hampering their ability to choose or prioritize quests in the Halmed Desert. I tend to run a free-form homebrewed campaign rather than the more linear style of adventure modules.

The first local face-to-face D&D4e party — assuming that Beruk A., Greg D.C., Brian W., John C.M., and Sara F. & Josh C., plus returning college students Paul J. & Bri and Alex J. & Serena C., can agree on what race (subspecies)/occupational class/role combinations to play — will begin in the barbaric Gusorin Confederation after a series of one-shot scenarios in other games during May.

In the meantime, the D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: Holy Steel" teleconferencing team of Byron V.O. in St. Louis and Dexter V.H. in Brooklyn is moving its virtual sessions from Thursday nights to Mondays. Their higher-level heroes have been engaging in side missions while on their way to the distant empire of Khemet (New Kingdom Egypt). Byron plans to visit the Boston area in mid-April, and other alumni are always welcome, with some advance notice.

We've also had online cameos by Paul and Greg, and I want to keep the goodwill of our spouses, Janice, Cindy, and Linda, respectively. The role-play by e-mail group of Paul, Byron, Greg, and Gabe C. still hopes to raid the Temple of Elemental Evil, but that's only one of several possible one-shots, including a D20 Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Ed.: "Drake's Port" superhero game, Dex's D20 Star Wars: Saga Edition space opera scenario, and Brian and Josh's ideas.

In addition, the City of Heroes supergroup, which includes David I.S., Kim A.G., Steve M.R., Thomas K.Y., and Shari S., has been logging in on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, with some members playing more often. This group has players in Massachusetts, Upstate New York, and Northern Virginia, and I've been friends with most of them since my college years. I've been participating on Sundays, but I may move to Fridays if Dave becomes more available then. As with the D&D3.5/D&D4e update, we've started considering other computer games.

Of course, we also have work, family obligations, reading, and genre television shows to juggle, hence the ongoing struggle! With the weather getting nicer, we'll have evening walks, yard work, and other outdoor activities as well. As I've said before, it's probably a good thing that I don't have a console video-game system, or I'd never get any sleep!