Archive for April, 2011

The Evolution Part3

Posted in General on April 27, 2011 by Gotham Lord

So I stated batting around ideas for a serious game late in 2008. Hunter the Vigil had come out by then and seriously given me the concept and mechanical ideas I needed to use to get something more concrete on paper. My first attempt of course was on a PbP, since that had become my only real access to a gaming group of any kind. It was a modest attempt on a old Proboards site I had made. I tried to wrangle a couple people over from my Mage Awakening game. I think I had two of them come cover to try. It didnt have much structure at the time as I really just wanted to try out a couple ideas. There wasnt anything to really have the PCs work together either, so things were kinda running more as just solo games for each of them.  Needless to say it didnt work very well. Of course a rather nasty disagreement with one of the players on a completely separate matter didnt help things either.  Long story short it died shortly out of the gate. So it was back to the drawing board.

A few months later I moved over to a much more structured PbP site, rather than trying to maintain my own site and go around to various places fishing for players. It seemed a bit easier, and allowed me to find more games to play myself outside of just running games.  So the next attempt at things had a been more structure but again seemed to be a random splattering of PCs from all walks of life. However the premise had everyone at the same location when a major event occurred. The idea was to have everyone brought together by a life-changing event. The various PCs pooling all their different contacts and skills from various occupations to work together to try and change Gotham City.

Well things dont always go as planned. Needless to say I had a couple players take the “D&D approach” to the situation. They charged forward expecting to be able to “beat down the baddies and loot the corpses”.  Well when the Joker says he’s planted a bomb in the bank with hostages its more than likely he’s not bluffing. Well the two players of the six person group opened fire at the goons and well the bomb in the bank was detonated. Now of course, then seemed to cause some friction as one of the players didnt want to seem to take responsibility for anything that happened, either IC or OOC.  The character got arrested and several arguments followed.  It also ended up with a major PvP issue as another player was playing a Gotham police officer.  The other one that opened fire on the crooks ended up running from the scene that resulted in a major man hunt or a suspect in the bank incident.  Well things went okay enough for awhile for the rest of the group. However like many PbP games I had players vanish on me without any notification. Eventually my motivation with things kinda died in frustration as well and I pulled the plug on it.

A couple months later after a few more ideas being batted around I went ahead and gave things another go. This time I went and tried to structure things a bit more. I still wanted to try and have all the players be random citizens that couldnt take the crime and corruption of Gotham City anymore. I ended up setting things up that everyone was part of a citizen watch group created by James Gordon. I also went and started trying to utilize a few more know characters like Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon working them into things. This now gave the characters some NPCs to interact with and would function as a means to connect them back to Batman later down the line. I’d also like to mention this was the first version of the game that I actually left Bruce Wayne alive, though I still had taken him out of the fray by having him crippled from another event that happened prior to the game.

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The Evolution Part2

Posted in General on April 21, 2011 by Gotham Lord

So for the last several years due to the rather small amount of public support for the gaming community in my area I’ve become a major player using play-by-post to satisfy my role-playing needs. My current work schedule also makes my availability extremely limited, as I end up working evenings and most of the weekend. That aside however, PbP gaming has become greatly more popular over the last several years as it allows people to find groups and play with a much more flexible scheduling. Sure the pace is a bit slower than some might like, however finding the right group of people can keep a decent flowing game. It also can cut down on the “forced group by default” I’ve seen had to happen at local gaming stores when the gamer pool is slim to none, unless you already have a established group you’ve had for years.  Its hard to avoid taking “boB the Fish Malk” (if you dont get the reference – Google it) unless you dont want a full group at the local shop, however when you have 20 people wanting to join a PbP game its a bit easier to avoid the easily identified problematic player/character.

So this bringing me to where this all started.  Its spring of ’08. The Dark Knight is a few months off still and I’m fiendish for the movie.  I also had several PbP games I was playing in tank.  Needless to say I was in a serious need for a fix with my nerd factor.  I started working on a major Mage Awakening game at that point and had decent success as a ST with that game. However I wasnt playing in anything still of major significance, so my mind was left to wander. Somewhere along the line in all of this I remember having a discussion on the new Batman movies and how much more realistic they were and how dark and gritty the world was portrayed.  Meanwhile gaming wise I started trying to run another 3.5 D&D game. I wanted something a bit edgier though, compared to a basic dungeon crawl. I had my own homebrew world but the amount of house rules I needed to drop on the system was just making it more cumbersome that in was worth. Then the wires seemed to connect, and the beginnings of nWoD: Gotham City were formed.

The Evolution Part1

Posted in General on April 19, 2011 by Gotham Lord

So I’m going to bore you with one or three more of these posts of rambling probably before I start getting into the meat and potatoes of things. I’ve slowly been plugging away at building this chronicle setting since the spring of 2008. As such I feel I’ve earned the right to talk about my “baby” in a little detail. Its been a bit of a morphing process over time to get to the current form its at, and I dont doubt it will morph again, if not several times before I consider it finished. Its had four attempts as a play-by-post game and in a little over a month I’ll be giving it the first run as a official tabletop setting for a game at my local gaming store.

So like every good red-blooded American male, I am a major Batman fan. I’m also a bit of a Green Arrow junkie, but thats besides the point. I’m also a bit of a nerd and damn proud of it. Being almost thirty now, I can honestly say I’ve been gaming around half my life.  My first gaming console was a Atari and I cut my teeth on 2nd Edition AD&D with Planescape. I read comics and looked forward to the end of every school day for shows like Batman: The Animated Series. Time of course marched forward and so did I with my gaming and other hobbies. My consoles moved into Nintendo and Sega Genesis, and has continued to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 that have homes in my houses’ entertainment center now. Likewise my table gaming changed as well. 2nd Edition became 3e and then 3.5 then Pathfinder. I also along the way of my D&D gaming was introduced to a large array of other systems.  Vampire: The Masquerade and the other World of Darkness lines, Deadlands, Legend of the 5 Rings, and a dozen more over the years. The White-wolf books leaving the most lasting impression of them all.

Sadly however with all good things, there are also those that are not so good. The group that I had started all those years ago while still in high school slowly faded apart. Life and careers take priority over gaming and eventually my gaming friends faded away into nothing more but memories of the past. Also the gaming industry, in terms of the paper and pen variety, isnt the same as it once was. Many of the family gaming stores have gone under, unable to make the profit against the economy. Wizards of the Coast, who use to have their own chain of stores in every mall, closed them all up. Another Universe was another one I remember in my local area that had to go belly up. Technology has transformed the hobby and is still continuing to do so. While the days of people gathering around a table to play have lessened slightly, its also given way to people sitting at their computers and playing with like minded people half way across the county, or even the globe.  Gaming over things like OpenRPG or Skype are more common for live gaming and given birth to the Play-by-Post crowd.

DC and The WoD

Posted in General on April 19, 2011 by Gotham Lord

Now one of the biggest concerns I’ve had people asking about doing this kinda game is the fact that I am using stuff from the DC Universe. DC as a whole is much more than just Batman and his personal Rogue Gallery, its a rich comic universe spanning several decades of history. Taking the Nolan approach to things however works for the most part in keeping things a little less over the top, but being a RPG can allow you a little more wiggle room to still give certain characters the true flavor they would lose if *everything* was kept truly realistic.

The World of Darkness setting however developed by White Wolf Inc, and the current Storytelling system does a excellent job of crafting the dark and gritty world that Batman moves within. The combat system is unforgiving and far harder to powergame or “muchkin” than certain other games on the market that involve a certain twenty sided die.  The new World of Darkness setting unlike older adaptions also gives a much easier option of creating mortal based characters. Its also dramatically more flexible and easier to customize. Recently released toolkit books such as the Armory: Reloaded and the Mirrors supplement show just how much the system can be modified for just about any desired style of play.

Now of course World of Darkness isnt the only system thats taken a crack at the  DC Universe in some fashion. Smallville currently has a book out using the Cortex system by Margaret Weiss Production’s. I’ll leave my own personal feelings about Smallville itself for another time. DC Adventures hit the market a few months back with Green Ronin’s third edition of Mutants and Masterminds. I highly recommend DC Adventures if you want to go the route of playing your superheroes in a much more over the top environment. West End Games even got a crack at the DC Universe back in 1999 with the Legend system.

As such though, I will be using this board in the upcoming weeks to give a overview of the last several years of play-by-post game testing I’ve done, as well as give a weekly review of the first attempt at running this as a real tabletop game. In between all of that I’ll be posting ways of using the system with various characters and the city of Gotham itself.

ReBirth

Posted in General on April 19, 2011 by Gotham Lord

Greetings and welcome to the home of the Gotham City Project.

First off let me make it clear that I am NOT associated with White Wolf Publishing or Warner Bros/DC Comics and any way, shape, or form. I’m not making any money out of any of this. I’m not getting paid for my time, nor have I got paid for any of the work I’ve done over the last several years involved in doing this. However in during all this, if one of them wants to make me a job offer, I’m not going to necessarily turn my nose up. Anybody hiring?? Comon’ guys…

So what is the purpose of this site? Well, after several years of painstaking research, playtesting, writing, re-writing, erasing, and more re-writing of mechanics and fluff I have decided to put all of my NWoD: Gotham City work into a professional type format. So outside of me just going off here to hear myself talk? type? eh… I’ll be posting stages of the project. Character drafts, insights into my personal campaign so maybe other people can take it and use it for their own ideas. Also maybe a few highlights and comments on the current game I’m running using things.

Now I’m not going to lie. I started to do this once before last year, and technically I’ve been fooling around with this whole thing for off and on over two years now. Hence the title “ReBirth.” I let a lot of things stress me out and worry over things involved with this I shouldn’t have. So I have a new outlook on this. Hopefully in my opinion, a better one. I have a lot more support this time around I believe too than I did last time. So I’m going to give this thing a whirl again.