Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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2 New Game Hacks

Last week, I stealthily released two new game hacks for Epyllion!

The Moon Mage, a compendium class for Dungeon World to let you play using Epyllion’s Moon Magic. I made this for a possible CC to be used in our Sunday night Dungeon World game.

My hack that brings Epyllion and Tiny Dragons RPG together.

Speaking of Epyllion, you might not know the Kickstarter is now live, through Sunday, May 3rd, and that my Encyclopedia Draconica entry about draconic rites of passage funded within hours! That’s exciting to me, since it means I’m definitely on deck for creating something for this awesome game!

There are still some amazing stretch goals being announced here in the final week, so if you haven’t backed the project yet, you should definitely take a look. The Friendship Gem mechanic is one of the more creative "fan mail" style game mechanics I’ve ever seen.

ConTessa Game Weekend: Epyllion Video!

I ran Epyllion this weekend at ConTessa Online’s Game Weekend. Here’s the full video (4 hours, 15 minutes):

We had some technical challenges, a late player, and a prep issue (I didn’t send out the new, improved character sheets early), but otherwise we made do pretty well and had a fun time with it.

BryceCon Writeup

A quick writeup of games I played at BryceCon in mid-January!

BryceCon is a very small (100-200 attendee), first-year convention in Bryce Canyon, Utah. It’s pretty remote, but a lovely area, and a nice little retreat for the weekend. I will definitely go again next year– the organizers are super nice folks, and I had a good time. That’s despite being on the tail-end of my cold and discovering that cold air and altitude! are not good for my ability to walk and speak at the same time. I attended with a friend of mine, who also ran one game at the con.

We didn’t play a lot of games, mostly because I was still sleeping quite a bit and we were generally enjoying the vacation.

Night’s Black Agents: I ran the first playtest of the Night’s Black Agents adventure I’m writing for Pelgrane’s Dracula Dossier project. The players really grabbed one of the plot hooks and ran with it, which pleased me a great deal. They didn’t push for the mainstream, murderhobo storyline, opting instead to follow the "fellow agent is in trouble" hook.

My friend played in this game and threw a wrench in the plans when he decided to change up the mystery and have his character embrace the supernatural transformation he was about to undergo. Needless to say… PCs fled, an NPC became his thrall, and if this were an ongoing campaign, there would be a further adventure and adversary for the PCs to deal with!

Tanto Cuore: This is my favorite deck builder. I hoped to get more people into it, but alas– nobody bit. My friend doesn’t like deck builders at all, so we quit about half an hour into the game.

Mice and Mystics: This is a fun, tactical board game with a story element to it. I had 4 new players– two had played Hero Quest before. I explained the game to the players and read the story Prologue and opening of Chapter 1, complete with little heroic mouse voices. The players were very much on top of things, and they even completed the chapter with only one or two mice being captured.

The problem I have with Chapter 1 is that, instead of being a straightforward story, every tile introduces new rules and mechanics. That’s a problem to me, because I think the first play of a game should be the basics, and then escalate the game with additional rules as you go on. Not to mention the rulebook is convoluted at best.

I facilitated the game by playing (and role-playing) the adversaries– rat guards and cockroaches, mostly, who are there to threaten and capture the mouse heroes!

I demoed this for the Double Exposure program.

Epyllion: Well, you know how much I love this game! My friend ran this one on Sunday morning. We had some challenges in getting players– a 12 year old dragon-crazy boy and a younger girl joined us, though, and we had a blast going through what was essentially an ancient draconic chapel with a trapped book and a dragon who was fully Shadowed due to the book’s Darkness. I was playing a Seer and used the consume the Darkness move a few times, eating some pages from the book and becoming more and more obsessed with the book. Eventually, I ate the whole book and became utterly paralyzed. At that point, we were about out of time  and the other two got help from some older dragons to cast a counterspell.

The cool thing about this session, and the group was that the younger players effortlessly added to the scene and story. "What does the chapel look like?" the GM asked and the girl answered with a rich tapestry of details about the statues in the courtyard and the overgrowth all throughout the misty chapel area.

It was a fun, short (3 hour) session and we told a complete, engaging story that made both of the other players want to pick up Epyllion as soon as they could.

Epyllion: Fin

(Miss any of the past sessions? Read them in order: Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5, Session 6, or filter to the epyllion tag!)

We finished the Epyllion campaign last weekend, with a big epic rush to the finish!

I realize now that I’ve been remiss in writing up our sessions. Our November session had Kiddo’s dragon seeing impending danger from the noseless dragon. In a December session that I forgot to write up until now, things… progressed.

Continue reading Epyllion: Fin

Games from the past 2 weeks

This is going to be more of a "gamer note infodump" than "story about our games" post because I’m really short on time, but I need to throw some notes down so I remember them later.

Epyllion

Played it 10 days ago and didn’t get a free minute to jot down my notes, but I was positively giddy with the results.

Samera had a vision (rolled high, so she got to describe it) of a snake-nosed/noseless dragon destroying most of Dragonia! He returns to a "house" filled with monsters and very evil.

  • What does the Guardian monster look like? Like a goblin with wings, wearing a black pearl necklace, which glows red.
  • Do the other monsters have black pearls? Yes– not the servant class, but the rest do. Including the snake-nosed dragon.
  • What immunity does the black pearl grant? It doesn’t, but it has offensive powers.

Mom facepalmed at the last one, since they could have used that knowledge to prepare and plan…

During the journey to the feral colony, they fought a swarm of pterodactyls and Lydia took a wound to the torso. Trogdor doesn’t think Samsmelt has made overtures of friendship, but he’s keeping a secret– that Samsmelt is smitten with Lydia. The "scratcher feral" has been named Scully, by Samera.

After much discussion and uncomfortable posturing among the ferals, Samera and Trogdor make a deal for Samsmelt to get the feral dragon’s suit armor in exchange for a dragon skeleton. Trogdor magics one up, out of his own bone, so that it looks just like his own skeleton. Lydia sees it and panics before realizing it’s his own making. During all this, the party is taking some shadow points as they roll 6-‘s and I decide that, among the ferals, the shadow magic is very strong.

Eventually, the party decides to head back, with Lydia making a quest to help the petrified dragon, taking the unerring sense of direction so they can find him. She has vowed to help him!

I am laughing my DMly ass off and tell them to read the spoilers when this campaign is done.

Moving Forward

Gwenn’s adventures have not gone very far in the past week. The party has mostly failed to plan during their journey back to Comarr. We’re basically stuck trying to decide what to do next. I want Steve to trigger the masquerade so we can get to it already.

D&D 5th Edition

I ran a couple of Defiance in Phlan missions last weekend, as we had 2 tables worth of players. They weren’t anything special– I avoided the 4th mission because it’s a bad adventure (it’s a mystery that requires you to know what the designer was thinking… and solving it doesn’t follow any logic.)

Dungeon World

We had the campaign and character creation night for my "let’s kill undead" Dungeon World adventure last night, and it was so cool. We have 7 players, half of them are "gear heads" of some kind, interested in the fallen technology of the now-gone Age of the Living (picture a steampunk world… now picture the world 200 years after that world has fallen into chaos). Now that the unliving rampage the world and have pushed the little kingdoms of the Living to the very edge of the world… well, some might be interested in those tools and perhaps weapons?

Our cast:

  • Marion-Rose: A female Gunslinger out to solve other people’s problems.
  • Destructor Model 4: A gender-less(ish) iron Golem (Inverse World) who seeks acceptance and recognition of his value.
  • Allanna: A 13 year old girl and prodigy about mechanical stuff, the Mechanic (Inverse World) who wants to save the day!
  • Cecil Hague: A male Collector (Inverse World) of archaic devices from the long-gone era who wants to keep dangers away.
  • Fernando: a male Fool who wishes to acquire wealth.
  • Eldith: A male Dashing Hero who is something of a hedonist.
  • Jennifer Grey: A female Princess who wants to right wrongs in the world and has a nemesis in the Witch Queen of Kellermann (also her possible future sister-in-law). She is played by the guy who plays Ordune in the Moving Forward campaign. I am amused.

We made some NPCs and sketched out some ideas. I’m thinking about starting next week with a short delve to get their feet wet and start them on an adventure. I want something that will have some resolution, but leave enough questions for them to come back in January. We have a 2-week break due to the holidays, and it’s easy to lose players in that time.

I still lack a good tag for this campaign, so for now you’ll find it tagged as "ghostbusters."

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