Tuesday, June 28, 2022

From Nothing to Everything All At Once

 Wound up taking a week off of the blog, but that was mostly because things wound up being very busy. Also, the writing group didn't meet last week, so I didn't have the reinforcement to get me writing.

I went back to my hometown the weekend before last. Some old friends have been doing an annual camping trip for the last few years, and I've made a point of attending. This year, however, some signals got crossed and the group wasn't able to do the camping trip. I already had the vacation time allotted and train tickets purchased, so my wife and I just made an effort to catch up with the people that weren't part of the camping group. That was really gratifying.

The other thing that kept me away from writing club last week was the fact that we arrived home at 6 in the morning that day and I cannot sleep while traveling. Not well and not comfortably, anyway. I knew I was going to want as much of that day as possible to catch up on my sleep and stop feeling like death warmed over.

Then my gaming life got a little good news, bad news last weekend. It was Free RPG Day and I had volunteered to run a game at the nearby gaming store. There were going to be several D&D modules on offer, but I'm not much of a D&D guy. A few indie games as well, but my confidence level is not where it should be to run something like that.So I had talked myself into volunteering to run the Starfinder module that was going to be released. This was a mistake.

I have something of a love/hate relationship with Starfinder. I find the concept of the setting, the far future of a D&D-style fantasy world, really exciting and the description scratches a lot of that itch. But the mechanics are complicated and dense. Also, the last time I tried to run it, the players were jerks and things didn't go too well anyway.

The game store was very cool and let me pick up the module a day early so I could prepare. I saw that the first encounter was a starship combat, so I printed out the starship character sheet and copied the ship stats onto it. I assumed that the rules would be difficult, but woe unto me, I was not prepared.

At the store, there were enough people there that were interested in the idea of Starfinder that they were willing to give it a try. I had brought my copy of the rulebook and a tablet with the PDF so everyone had rules reference. It took everyone an hour before they declared that they were familiar and comfortable enough with the pregenerated characters for us to proceed. So I read the first few bits of boxed text and head into the starship combat.

I had warned everyone that I was only mostly familiar with Starfinder and that we were going to muddle through together. Boy did we muddle! After a full hour learning the characters and their abilities, we then spent 3 hours in a starship combat that used none of them. Right about when they finally defeated the enemy starship, one of the players announced that they had another engagement. I felt like that was a good time to call it.

I also finally got the courage to mention that I was a game designer and publisher and that I had a few copies of my RPG sitting in my closet. We're working that out and hopefully there will be news soon.

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