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Hack For More

More Filler: A Little Introspection

by Edward McEneely
Dec 14,2004

 

Hack For More

More Filler: A Little Introspection

Week 34 ended about how you'd expect, with a big fight scene and not much else to really tell. For Week 35, we had one of those "State of the Group" discussions that we have every now and then.

I had a few questions that I wanted to know, particularly, was the campaign working for the players? There'd been a slowdown in pacing recently, with everyone seeming a little more tired, a little more distracted.

Well, obviously, they were a little more tired, a little more distracted; they were having difficulties envisioning their PCs as anything more than stat blocks, they weren't really interested in roleplaying in the environment, etc. etc. In short, we were in serious danger of proving the pundits right. ("You guys suck," the pundits had said.)

Of course, everyone had their own solutions. Erich had just gotten his In Nomine books back from storage and wanted to maybe alternate GMing duties and campaigns.

Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Oh man, is that an alarm bell for the power-mad. It's just a hop, skip, and a jump from there to being compared against another GM, something that no self-respecting mediocrity (me, that is, not Erich) wants. I've been a player in situations like that, and it's like having divorced parents (or so I'm told): you always have a favorite, and the louder you proclaim the equality of your love, the more pronounced the favoritism is. (Actual children of divorce are invited to not spoil a good metaphor with the facts. Thank you.)

So I was a little nervous. Add to that the fact that In Nomine (while a pretty cool concept game; I actually like the "Yankee Doodle Dandy" idea of it better than the more satirical original version) can be a pretty intense game to run when nobody in the group can agree on anything religion-related, and I was really nervous. I actually liked Erich's idea (although becoming a full-time player makes it a little harder to write the column) for a game, but Seth was uncomfortable with the system (which reminded him too much of the GURPS, which he hates) and a little leery of entering the realms of theological speculation with such dubious companions. So, no In Nomine, at least for now.

I tried to get everyone interested in a rousing game of Space: 1889, which maintained GDW's tradition of marvellous background and attention to detail combined with incomprehensible rules. I really, really wanted to try Space: 1889; I finally had a group of players who knew enough about the timeframe to make adding atmosphere worthwhile, and---as I pointed out---I still don't understand the combat system, so it'd be violence-light. There was some enthusiasm, but it wasn't really overwhelming (and to be honest, I'd prefer to run it with GURPS, which, as they say, ain't gonna happen).

So, in desperation, we finally decided to give a one-shot Feng Shui session a chance. It's a brilliant, brilliant game, it's very violent, so it keeps with the tone of the column, and I have a neat idea regarding one of the former Russian Kiev-class VSTOL/helicopter carriers and one of their ordinary aircraft carriers; one (the ex-Varyag, a genuine American-style carrier) is (allegedly) becoming a casino, and the other (formerly the Minsk, similar to the Royal Navy or Spanish Navy's carriers) has become, in the words of globalsecurity.org:

... a floating museum. The vessel was moved to Shenzhen in September 2000 to form the centerpiece of the "Minsk World" theme park. For an entrance fee of eight dollars, visitors can now board the former flagship of the Soviet Pacific Fleet and see MiG fighters on the flight deck, models of antiship missiles and other weapons systems, and exhibitions on the history of the Russian navy and the Soviet space program. Visitors can also watch displays of Russian dancing in the hangar, eat at a Russian-themed restaurant, and ride on a tank on parkland in front of the vessel. According to the pro-Beijing Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po, Minsk World is aimed at "popularising science as well as national defense education." Minsk World has proved a hit with both locals and tourists alike.
---"China's Aircraft Carrier Ambitions"
[http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2004/art6-w04.htm]

HOW CAN THIS NOT BE A GOOD FENG SHUI ADVENTURE? How has everybody but me missed this one? How could all of the weapons onboard be actually disarmed in the adventure?

We'll see, I guess.

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What do you think?

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