Character Sheet

Posted in General on May 12, 2011 by Gotham Lord

Chris, AKA Mr. Gone of White-Wolf notoriety was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk to me the other day.  After a bit of back and forth he agreed to make a personalized sheet for my Gotham’s Finest game.  The full 4-page interactive sheet can be now found on his personal website. http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/  The sheet is located under Misc. Sheets and looks awesome! He was even kind enough to post up a link to the game’s Wiki page. My many thanks go out to “Mr. Gone” once again.

Life in Tabletop

Posted in Other on May 9, 2011 by Gotham Lord

In other news, as I mentioned before I will be attempting to give life to my Gotham game for the first time outside of its PbP roots. I have a local store where I’ll be hosting it. They have recently moved their location into a much LARGER establishment. Including a second floor which will be utilized for any gaming be it from tabletop to miniatures.

I spoke with the organizer there yesterday in regards to making final preparations before I start putting down a sign-up log.  I’m going to be looking towards six players total maximum, and I will be adhering to the current character creation requirements for police based characters.  As it stands I will be dropping off a “teaser” poster on Tuesday.

The Evolution Part5

Posted in General on May 9, 2011 by Gotham Lord

So the most recent version of the Gotham City Project has been Gotham’s Finest. The characters are police officers, detectives, possible other employees within the structure of the Gotham Police Department.  The choice of putting the players in this position now had several different reasons.

1) I work for the police department in real life. Knowing how the structure of a police agency works as well as seeing and hearing real calls in action gave me a great backing to pull real life experience from. Some stuff is just so crazy you can’t make it up. Now add in a twist from a bit of DC Universe flavor and you have an awesome realistic scenario.

2) The nature of PbP gaming tends to have people randomly vanish from time to time. As such I now had a valid reason to explain away character disappearance with injury, transfer, personal leave, etc. It also gave a much easier way to explain PCs into the game for many of the same reasons being a transfer, promotion, etc.

3) A valid and legal way to give the PCs weapons, including firearms without shoving a direct connection with Batman in their face. I’d try killing Bruce off before and it just seemed like there was a element missing in more ways than one. Bruce being injured wouldn’t stop him from his purpose. He would find a way to still make a difference even if he couldn’t put on the cape and cowl himself anymore.

4) Again, a more valid and legal way to allow for the PCs to investigate and gather information needed to stop and arrest the criminals they would be facing. The Citizen’s Patrol concept seemed to force the PCs to rely to heavily on the NPC police officers that would have been attached with the patrol. I wanted to avoid the NPCs becoming to much like Storyteller controlled PCs. Also removing those type of NPCs, would force at least one or two of the players into making a character with a profession with certain security clearances or force them to purchase of Allies/Contacts with said clearance.  That becomes counter productive when the whole premise was “average joe citizen rises up to fight the good fight”. There is also a bit more satisfaction of slapping on a pair of cuffs yourself than handing them off to a NPC to do for you.

5) A workable mixture of sandbox play and disguised railroading.  Patrol officers can be allowed to roam around the city as they choose, or be directed via dispatched calls. Either way it feels like they are always doing something and being proactive. Likewise the detectives I allowed a bit of leeway in picking their cases while their division has a few open ones. Otherwise when the need arises I can have them respond to calls from crimes committed.

So as it stands I’m nearing almost a full year of active game with Gotham’s Finest.  The one year anniversary will be in July. Its also currently one of the top 5 longest running nWoD games on Myth-Weavers.com. Now of course I’ve gone through two official application recruitment processes and several word of mouth recruitments but I’ve managed to continue to push the game forward and still maintain a continually active and working set of plots. I currently have over 200+ NPCs stated out in various degrees all pulled from different DC Universe sources. I have a ever growing and expanding interactive city for the players to move within and happily a slowly expanding Rogue Gallery being born. I’m also happy to say that despite a long and grueling road the PCs finally caught their first BIG baddie with the Mad Hatter. The skys the limit now.

Taking a break for ink

Posted in Other on May 5, 2011 by Gotham Lord

So I’ve taken a little break from writing the blog for a few days here.  I pretty much figure that I’m talking to myself for the most part but it gives me something to do. For the few random people that might actually read things here that aren’t people attached to the games I already run online, I figured I’d give part of the reason I haven’t posted. Well I went and got inked on Tuesday, spending almost three hours in a chair.  As such,  I wasn’t fully up to focus on a blog type post. Now the tattoo isn’t finalized by any means and I have several more hours of work likely to go. I figured I’d post it for others to see though as to where its at now.  I’d also like to take the moment to give a massive thank you to all the people at Gemini Tattoo. If anyone in Maryland ends up reading this blog and lives close by Odenton I can’t recommend these guys enough. As for the regular blog I will be looking to wrap up the Evolution process here in the next couple days. Also while I havent heard back from my local game shop about setting up my table top game I’ll probably be bugging them on Tuesday before I have to go into work for overtime. I can start giving some updates on that process as well and see how the game translates from its PbP roots into a full fledged table experience.

The Evolution Part4

Posted in General on May 1, 2011 by Gotham Lord

So the Gotham City: Taking Back the Night approach with the Neighborhood Watch idea ended up starting off with a rather decent group. (I thought so at the time anyways) I also got some feedback for the first time outside of my own players on the concept of my chronicle idea having some merit. For those that are familiar with the Darker Days Podcast, dealing with both old and new World of Darkness, it was one of the original hosts. Sadly I don’t believe Vince is attached with the podcast anymore.  I know there are still updates with the podcast but they dont seem to be as regular and I know the website that had finally feel off the grid a little while ago. Neverless I ended up talking with the people over on the Darker Days boards and with very little arm twisting and the potential to actually get my ideas across to some people that cashed a paycheck from White-Wolf I ended up running two similar games at the same time.

So like so many PbP games I ended up with a common frustration of unreliable players. It seems that the anonymity of the internet has served to make players online feel unresponsible to actually maintain communications with fellow players or the person running their game. Now of course I wasn’t necessarily a stranger to this. This wasn’t my first PbP attempt by any means. I’d been in my fair share of games as a player where half the other players or even the gamemaster had gone and vanished without word. Real life happens,  we all get that. However it seems that getting people to treat a game online with the same respect they would a table game is a bit harder to come by. Modern technology makes the excuse of “my computer died” a bit harder to swallow, that you couldn’t find some other means to get a hold of email. Hell, I had a player leave on vacation for two weeks and couldn’t have even given me the common courtesy as a heads up for waiting on them in the game. Needless to say, coming back acting like nothing was wrong was not a valid option once I found out the cause of his apparent disappearance.

However, back to the games. I got pummeled from two fronts with player disappearance at the same time now. Its bad enough when it happens with one game, but when its two… especially something that I had dropped so much time and research into constructing it was heart breaking. So that now combined with money issues and work related stress I got a rather sick taste in my mouth for awhile. I ended up needing to separate myself from gaming for a bit to clear my head.  By about this time it was April 2010.

So I took about two months off, maybe a little bit longer. Needless to say it was much needed and was very helpful in giving me new focus. I hit the drawing board once again in June, and by mid July I was ready to go again with a yet another new spin…  Gotham’s Finest.

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.

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.