It was a pretty geeky weekend. Friday night saw some of The Forsaken Ones getting together for a training session. Karlos had found some neat cubbyholes in the geometries of the Halo 3 maps Guardian and Construct, so we spent a little time getting to know them before launching into a game of Team Oddball using the AussieXbox.net Team Rumble variant. I go into some more detail here, but suffice to say I found out a few things about how my fellow clan members play, especially those who reckon they despise the objective-based gametypes. I’m hoping we can get some more training in this coming Friday evening, and I want to try and give the session some more structure.
Saturday was busy. My former mentee got back in touch a couple of months ago, and Vickie and I have been hanging out with him and his family lately. Mid-last week he called and asked whether I’d like to go and play some laser tag at Crystal Cascades with him and his stepdad; unfortunately, when we got there for the early morning session no one else showed up, so I wound up driving back home a half an hour later. Kid and his stepdad are pretty cool, though, so I had a good chat with them in the meantime!
I was scheduled to go out again in the afternoon for the fortnightly Feng Shui session with Tracey, Patrick, Adam and Leon, so in the meantime I made sure to help Vickie with some housework; we wound up stripping the couch cushions for cleaning.
It’s good to be in a game that I’m not GMing; I’m having quite a bit of fun just kicking back and playing Ryu Shinzo, Ex-Killer for the Yakuza turned vampire hunter. I’m finding I’m pretty good with witty quips. Leon is an affable GM, and Tracey and Patrick are enjoying things, as is Adam, a player we recently met through the Meetup group. We’ve all bought into the Feng Shui ethos of wild stunt-laden fights and are improvising pretty well.
One problem I’m having, though, is that the pace is pretty slow-moving. I don’t have the book to hand, given I sold it last year, but I’m pretty sure a given Feng Shui session is meant to include three fights; after four sessions we’ve only had one fight in each. If we’re doing one story every three sessions, that means a month and a half with one PC in the spotlight, and as we pretty much did our characters up kind of separately, I can’t dig on (or feed) the other players’ melodramatic hooks because I don’t know what they are. From the selfish angle, I have no idea when I’ll have a chance to jam on Ryu’s guilt over his girlfriend who got turned into a vampire by his old oyabun (mob boss/"uncle") and whether there might be a cure. The possibility that it might be another two or three months is, well, pretty chafing. So I’d like to see the sessions crack on with a little more verve.
I brought my pacing concerns up after Saturday’s session. Although Leon reckoned that it was more “three fights per story” rather than three fights per session, I think his main stumbling-block is Feng Shui’s rules. They’re simple in theory, but there are a lot of twists and exceptions when it comes to shticks and powers. Leon seems to direct a lot of “help me out here” glances to me over rules questions, to which I could only reply, “I don’t know!” - like I wrote, I've not had the Feng Shui rules for over a year. He also has some trouble with number-crunching (I’m a little bit trepidated by his interest in running Cthulhutech, which doesn't seem particularly rules light) and he’s already outsourced management of the initiative system to me; when he brought up the rules complexity issue I suggested that he photocopy the sections on, say, sorcery and creature powers, hand them over to the players who use them (Tracey and Patrick, I think) and ask them to tell him what they’re doing and what he needs to do about it, trusting them to manage chi and shot costs. So hopefully things will start moving along more quickly!
On Sunday morning we were busy with shopping and young Seth’s second birthday party. I got in a few hours of Halo 3 in the afternoon, meeting up with some American players who were not only uninterested in smack talk but also very much into actual team communication during games. We parted company in the evening (early morning their time) but not without exchanging Friend requests; folks like that are diamonds on Xbox Live.
On that subject, you’re probably why I'm still talking about The Forsaken Ones after last week’s big blow-up at gamers, where I said I was going to switch clans. Well, I got in a few sessions with the clan I was looking at joining and discovered that some of the members and at least one of the leaders not only dropped the F-bomb like it was mass-produced and slagged off “the Lebs” in in-game lobbies but also talked mostly about teabagging during matches (perhaps not coincidentally, they were males in their late teens). Sorry, fellows, but I’m not interested in that shit. Karlos might swear like a trooper and occasionally air his own prejudices but he at least knows when he's pushing it. I’m willing to grant that you might be personally experiencing trouble with ethnic groups where you are, but please don’t demonstrate that you’re as pathetically small-minded as the people you’re afraid of. I’ve got more interesting people whom I’d much prefer to spend my time hanging around online with.
And besides, I prefer to not make myself an easy target by teabagging.
So I’m back with The Forsaken Ones.