Fiasco, Act 1

Tonight was my first time playing Fiasco, which is one of the games I wanted to play this year. My wife and I sat down with our son and two youngest daughters (ages 13 to 17) and made it through Act 1 before it was time for some of the players to get ready for bed.

It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get to Act 2 (I think it took a bit longer because we were learning the game). We played the Antarctic playset. The setting is a russian icebreaker being used for tourist runs to the South Pole. We have an alcoholic captain, his sworn enemy the first mate, an eco-terrorist transexual dancer, and two members of a quasi-christian religious sect who believe the second coming will be at the South Pole. After only one act we already have a dead body, an internet feud turned cricket bat assault, and a trained bear running loose on the ship. Good times. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Session Summaries — Bane or Boon?

I was thinking tonight about one of my least favorite parts of DM’ing — session summaries. I try to post detailed session summaries online as soon as possible after a session, but most of the time I end up writing them up the day before the next session. And by then, of course, I’ve forgotten a lot. 

I’m wondering if I’m erring on the side of writing a detailed, narrative summary. Do other DM’s take that approach, or more of a key things to remember list?

Dusting off old blogs and old campaigns

So, I’m back after a three  month life hiatus. Still running three campaigns when schedules align and we are able to play. But my World of Darkness campaign is entering the home stretch and it’s time to think seriously about what’s next for this (my oldest) game group. 

A few months back we had a productive online discussion about what people preferred to play and what we might do after WoD. Most of us agreed that we preferred long-form campaigns that allow for character and plot development, perhaps with occasional breaks to do shorter (2-ish session) games. One logical choice would be returning to the D&D 3.5 Eberron campaign that we left off a couple of years ago.

This is/was a largely homebrewed campaign, though I used published modules for the early levels. I’m both excited and daunted by the prospect of resuming it — which will mean figuring out the details of the next chapter of the story, fleshing out NPCs, etc. The part that makes it especially daunting is that I can’t locate electronic copies of my old notes, session summaries, etc. I have a couple other places I can look, but I think migration to newer computers, websites for managing my gaming stuff, etc. has resulted in their loss. 

If I’m right I’m going to try to look at this as an opportunity to not be too constrained by the past. It’s a game after all, not a novel; breaches of continuity are not the end of the world, particularly when this much time has passed in real life. Wish me luck.

Have you had the experience of resurrecting an old campaign with limited documentation? How did you handle it?