Friday, December 5, 2014

Why I Don't Care for Dungeons and Dragons (5e) Inspiration System

I've come to realize that while I enjoy the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons (5e), I'm feeling less than inspired by its new inspiration system. The inspiration system is meant to encourage creative role-playing by having a player utilize a series of predetermined backgrounds, flaws, traits, and bonds on his or her character sheet. The GM will then determine whether or not a player has sufficiently played to his/her character's strengths and/or weaknesses and award them an "Inspiration Point".

The player can then use this inspiration point to make any one roll with "Advantage". The player rolls 2 d20 and takes the better of the two rolls. The problem I have with the system is that it's very subjective, and it's left to individual DMs to decide when a player has earned inspiration... and that fact leaves me with a bad taste for this rule.

I have played in two Fifth-Edition D&D games so far and it seems (to me) that while not necessarily intentional, game-masters have a tendency to play favorites. What I mean is that some players receive boons rather consistently, while others do not. If you're not a very verbose player (like myself), you end up watching as other players who are very vocal and animated get inspiration point after inspiration point.

I feel that I have contributed to the various games I have participated in very meaningful and substantial ways; I consistently use my skills to aid the party, and role play my character's background and flaws when and where I feel that they are appropriate. However, it would seem that my efforts and contributions are not valued (or just overlooked) by the game-masters I have sat across from. I realize that GMs are people too, and are far from perfect- they have many tasks to manage during the game, and awarding inspiration points is probably not something they give much consideration to.

This doesn't change the fact not receiving inspiration points when one feels that they have contributed to the game session really sucks. I feel that there needs to be a more codified system for the awarding of inspiration points, but just what that would look like is still something that needs work.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Burning Sands

I know I said that I didn't want to play in anyone else's game after the adventure I'm currently participating in ends, but I've been invited to play in a Dark Sun campaign... and I absolutely love that game world!  Gamemastering/playing in a Dark Sun game was one of my most cherished memories growing up in the hobby. Now that I've been asked to play in an ongoing campaign set in the burning sands of Athas, I am thrilled to have a chance to travel back to that grim place and do battle with the unspeakable horrors that inhabit the dusty wastes, and fight against the tyranny of the despotic sorcerer kings. However, the one question that currently vexes me is, "what kind of character shall I play?"

Monday, October 6, 2014

Game Mastering vs. Playing


I've recently come to realize that I enjoy running games much more than being a player in someone else's game. I was playing in a friend's game and found myself starting to lapse into fits of sleepiness as I waited for my fellow players to conduct their turns. I realize that it's hard for me to keep my attention on the game unless I'm fully engaged at all times -that's why I like being a Game Master. I really do enjoy my friend's game but I frequently find myself asking how I would run a specific encounter, adjudicate a specific rule, or handle some situation that comes up during play, as opposed to paying attention to what my character should be doing during his turn.

I love crafting my own worlds, weaving stories for players to experience, and controlling all aspects of the game instead of controlling a lone character. I find the experience and dynamics of GM-ing much more rewarding (sometimes frustrating), than being a player. I've decided that once my tenure in my friend's game is at an end (character dies), I have no further plans to play in anyone else's game (after a short hiatus wherein I focus on being a better game-master), and concentrate solely on being a game-master.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Game Run... Pretty Good

So, I managed to run a couple of short sessions of Lost Mine of Phandelver for our band of adventurers, and I like to think that (hope), everyone involved had a good time. The party managed to survive a goblin ambush (although two characters almost died), and were able to track the vermin back to their hideout. Once there, the PCs fought more gobbos and their bugbear leader. In the end, the heroes managed to win the day and even rescued a fellow adventurer. There were a few more encounters in and around the area known as the town of Phandelver.

I won't bore the reader with a detailed accounting of what transpired for the remainder of our gaming sessions (in total, 3 sessions), other than fun was had by all and no characters died. D&D 5e is fun to gamemaster, has the feel of old school gaming, and I definitely plan on running a campaign of my own when I feel the time is right.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

D&D 5e

As per the usual, it's been a really long time since I've posted anything here, but then again I haven't really felt the need to. The Pathfinder game I ran briefly, The Dragon's Demand imploded when we ran into time commitments and personality conflicts. Oh well, sometimes things don't work out quite as you envision them to, and games come to a screeching halt!   -it's the nature of the gaming beast. I'll try to get another Pathfinder game going sometime in the future.

For the time being though, I've been playing in my friend David's D&D next game and it has been pretty fun. Now that David's game is coming to an end, I've been tasked with running the D&D 5e Starter Set adventure, Lost Mine of Phandelver and I must say that I'm really excited to be back behind the DM's screen for the first time in quite a while.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A New Game Group

It's been quite a long time since I've updated this thing, but I finally have a reason to-  I have a new game group to ring in the new year!  I've been looking for quality players for a new Pathfinder game I've been wanting to run, The Dragon's Demand, and I've finally found them!

It's been a while since I've done any gaming and I'm starting to go through withdrawal if I don't get back to the gaming table!  I'm hoping that this new campaign will be a fun, action-packed, and productive one.

Since my last post here, I've had mostly positive gaming experiences, but there have been a few notable exceptions that have not gone as well as I would have liked, and it's my hope that I can avoid some of the problems of the past.

It is said that there is no substitute for the wisdom that experience brings, and I do feel a bit wiser and confident to deal with the challenges that starting a new game will entails, and I'm ready to deal with the Dragon's Demand!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blog... Long Time No See

I haven't been here in some time, but I've been meaning to change that. I think that I know what this blog will finally be about (details forthcoming!).