I’ve taken a few months of downtime, but I’m back and ready to keep on RPGing.
It is unfortunate and more than a little bit odd, but I just went through a lengthy run of deaths, wakes, and burials that involved grandparents, an aunt, a best friend which was entirely unexpected, and even a pet dog of 12 years. My heart wasn’t in communications, so my updates here stopped for a bit.
On the role playing front, I am starting to look towards my next campaign as the current campaign should finish out by the end of November. I’ve picked up Barbarians of Lemuria and Savage Worlds, both rule sets for Fantasy Grounds, and I am busy parsing the rules. Savage Worlds is likely to get the nod since the appeal of a multi-genre spanning system is hard to resist.
As for D&D 5e, I still like it, but there are some cracks, big and small, that I’ve started to notice. Some of these are probably true of any system. Anyhow, I do not like how rest allows a party to load-up and smash down an encounter – then retreat back for a lovely nap to power back up. I’ve utilized some consequences (like villains fleeing or preparing), but the problem is still there. I am also generally unhappy with the formula approach to encounters – the average of hit points being used, the power level calculations, and the ratings of difficulty. It all ends up a bit…bland. Too over-thought and under-wrought, it does too much to cheat cruel fate and the spectre of death is more like the spectator of death, watching harmlessly, almost forgotten.
I can remember the first campaign I played in. I was third level – and everyone else was first level because everyone else had died not once, but several times. I had 9 hit points and ran like a craven coward from almost every fight because I would drop with 2 hits. I was a thief and the group scout, leading the way deeper into the merciless dungeon – and running back to the party when I was detected. That game seems very distant to what I am DMing now. I understand that it is more fun not to have your character killed – but it certainly isn’t as thrilling or rewarding to level up.