Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Month of Online RPGaming

Due to a cinematic inciting incident (a pandemic) that has become a grim reality, I have surprisingly found myself logging more RPG playtime than I have in a while. Gametime has been split between two systems and settings:

Star Hero: Tales of the Confederation Starfleet (Hero System 5E)

The last time I played in this campaign was decades ago, one with lensmen, clan sentinels (think slightly more militant, and more combat savvy jedi), and a host of different military branches of the principled Confederation, carrying out missions in an intrigue-ridden galaxy populated by the the profit-motivated Alliance, the expansionist Second Empire, the militant religious Unity, and other stellar nations.

Our recent adventures have taken us on a variety of missions, including:
  • stopping a reactivated 20 mile long, 5 mile wide colony ship from impacting on a inhabited world;
  • enforcing a quarantine on the aforementioned world, where a bio-engineered plague that irreversibly converts victims into powerful, fast, and deadly units of a hive mind;
  • traveling to an ice planet within New Imperial territory where a number of Alliance companies have apparently carried out similar biological experiments with the plague;
  • using a surprising cache of Old Imperial technology, gating to a planet deep within Alliance territory to escape the tactical nuclear detonation in booby-trapped underwater research base;
  • surviving on an Alliance hunting preserve with some of the galaxy's deadliest creatures long enough for a secretly chartered vessel to rescue them;
  • surviving a short-lived battle against an Imperial Admiral in powered armor, in order to negotiate an information-sharing agreement regarding the bioplague;
  • investigating a low-tech, feral planet for the source of the bioplague's key components to help in combating its use in future warfare.
Seems like we were making up for lost time!

Challengers of the Lost Mine (D&D 5E on Roll20)

Because some old classmates wanted to try out D&D gaming (some with their kids), I volunteered to DM for them the intro module to D&D: Lost Mine of Phandelver.

Only two sessions so far, with most of them playing D&D for the first time (all of them playing 5E for the first time). As for me, it's been my first time running a game on Roll 20 (and Zoom for the audio), so I've been learning quite a lot about the features of Roll 20, and the special customizations for D&D 5E. And trying to get my player acclimated to playing with both D&D and Roll20.

However, it's been a lot of fun as I try to impart the fun of TTRPG play and maximize the digital toolsets to tell the story and impact the tactical challenges of the adventure. Added challenge: some of the players are limited by devices and bandwidth when playing.

So, it 's been great being able to reconnect with very old friends, and meeting the kids of my former classmates. Here's to maintaining this brave new world of gaming behavior as we emerge from the pandemic and adjust to our new lives under its influence.


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