Monday, October 15, 2012

Oriental D&D 3.5 AP - Session 1
Have some Xenosaga Episode II. On to the game.
So I mentioned it last week - I'm in another game as well now! After Luke's dumbass scheduling, we finally got together and started setting up at a local Panera Bread.
As I may have mentioned, I was playing D&D 3.5, DM'd by Luke. He'd decided already it was going to be a kind of Oriental campaign, placed in generic Asia-land.
There were 5 of us.

Luke as DM!
Kenny as Neko Batsui-san the mostly-human Samurai!
Josh as _____ the monkey-person Monk!
Ron as ______ the half-dragon Paladin!
And me, Max/Ego, as _______ the Nizumi (aka rat-person) Druid!

So you probably immediately noticed some weirdness in there. First off, those blanks: most of us are unnamed as of now. It's worth mentioning that Ron is not going to be a consistent member of the party. Josh probably has a name I don't recall because he didn't leave his character sheet with me (and that's also why I don't remember his exact race name). I just don't have one yet. Other weirdnesses include:
* Mostly-human. Neko Batsui-san, I'm told, translates to honorable cat-bus, which I also gather is a Miyazaki reference. As such, Kenny's character has a cat head on his otherwise human body.
* Half-dragon. We just custom'd up the race on the spot. It uses the stat boosts of the 4e Dragonborn.
* Nizumi, monkey-person, and Samurai. All of these are drawn from the 3.5 Oriental Adventures book. The monkey-person has a real name, but I'm not the one with the book, so I don't have it for reference.
Other bits of cool are that Neko is a ronin, as in he has no lord. Most of the characters save for the paladin dislike me because I'm dirty and a rat. I'm not just a druid - I'm a vermin shaman, master of insects and other disease-vectors. Mechanically this means nothing, it's just cool flavor. Josh's monkey monk is bizarre in that his stats are incredibly skewed toward Int/Wis/Cha, which is going to cripple him severely in the long run. I wish it wouldn't - it's a weakness of D&D that you can't effectively survive with a non-combat character really. When you're a monk, being a peaceable monk rather than a kung-fu master should be a possibility!! But it really isnt'.
Luke kinda had us do a weird little bit of establishing who likes us most/dislikes us most. As he's only experienced AW outside of D&D, it's pretty obvious where the influence came from. Unfortunately, it has pretty haphazard and not written down - without any real structure, and with a party game vs a singles game (as D&D is vs AW), it's not quite the best. I should show him Bonds. Luke if you read this tell me to show you Bonds (if you didn't know, every variant of Apocalypse World changes the Hx system completely, and Dungeon World uses Bonds instead. They're my least favorite of the thee when taken in a vacuum, but are the most appropriate to the genre).

So we started as more or less members on a trade caravan moving through the jungle. Neko had been hired on, Ron was hear to supplement the guard as a volunteer, and Josh was travelling to get somewhere for training. I was a stowaway on the caravan. We were going along when the caravan fell under attack by frog-people, who we went to start and try to defend, but we were all cut down immediately. Luke railroaded the hell out of us. It was not particularly fun, we had no real control.
We woke up in a bamboo prison. Stripped of our stuff. Completely. We went through a couple ideas to break down the bars and get out, but a series of bad rolls meant we had to try several times. Note the null results that just happened! It is so weird to just be able to retry with no penalty.
As we tried, once we'd partially broken it open and were startign to go, several frog-folk came in the door! Seeing the escapees, they attacked. We had combat - in general, it was pretty uneventful, with a lot of rolling. We had a couple of cool narrations, mostly from Josh and I, him leaping around and me backing off and summoning up "giant spiders" (actually wolves) to maul on of the rats. We used a grid system, as is 3.5 standard, but seriously, I don't like gridmaps. I spoke out vocally against them in the pre-D&D-Next discussion, and continue to dislike them for most of what they are. If I can get the others to agree to theater-of-the-mind it, I'd be grateful, but meh.
So combat ended and we snuck outside and Luke drew the village, and there were some cages with prisoners from the caravan. We quickyl moved to a different hut and found our stuff. We snuck around back to let them out and carefully opened the puzzle locks on the cages, and opened them. As we learned from Luke later, apparently we were meant to talk to them before we opened them. When we opened them though, they ran out and away from us and the cages. Well, we soon hear screaming and chase after and they're all dead, massacred by two larger four-armed powerful frog creatures. We fought them. They had some interesting lightning powers. All of these frog people were built off the Kuo-Toa frame, by the way.
The rest of the frogs ran off into the jungle. We decided to give chase and I helped us track them to a town in the jungle where we basically settled briefly and resupplied before we went to go and investigte the leaders of the town, which is where we left off.

It was, well, it was a decent session. It wasn't bad, and having experienced Luke's GMing before, he didn't do a bad job. The game really highlighted how much my own playstyle has diverged from that of standard D&D though. We'll see how this goes int the future though. We're meeting again tomorrow, so hey, we'll see!

End Recording,

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