Monday, January 11, 2016

You, and What Army? - Alexia Ciannor & co., plus mini-review

So, the Witchfire Trilogy for D&D 3.5 was actually the first RPG I ever GM'd.

I know it's around a decade late, but for those of you who're interested, my thoughts on the series--

The world was a ton of fun. Great. The reason I got into Warmachine in the first place (well, other than burning out on 40k).

It's got a big old map, and a ton of resources, details, and (side)plot hooks. Being an in-depth and character-oriented GM, the city and surrounding area had a ton of fodder to work with, including lots of social stuff.

There were some detail issues: occasionally instructions would reference details that just weren't there. My group still jokes about a room's disappearing spell circle (supposed to be described to the players when entering, but zero info for anyone who has magical inclinations).

The big problem with the series was the same problem with the Warmachine/Hordes setting, which is to say, the plot.

In Warmachine's case, I feel like the big problems were unrealistic scales and goals, and the massive disparity between the setting (plot armor a meter thick) and the game (kill the character). In the Witchfire's case, it was that the game assumed you were within a narrow spectrum Good and probably Lawful.

There were a lot of times where there were no meaningful incentives, or disproportionately poor ones, or where players just needed to assume that the nice guy who was an authority figure had the right idea, without real introduction or motive.

That said, again, the world was enough to be a saving grace. I had a ton of fun with weird stuff- my players all eventually got jobs; one joined a union; another started a relationship, and there were the structures in the town to actually allow stuff like that, even before taking other materials from other books in their old 3.5 supplements.

We eventually unfortunately ended the campaign with a TPK when the newest player decided that, during a stealth mission, it was a good idea to throw an illegal grenade at the occupying army, which of course drew their attention... "So it goes...", as the saying goes.

Anyways, to end this very casual review, I'd recommend the old campaign if your players are willing to assume a lot/roll with it being a kind of pulpy RPG, or you're experienced enough to think on your toes since there are a lot of holes.

Oh, and on the models- Alexia and her Risen were fun to have around for the RPG, and I used an ancient model of Krell as my Thrall Warrior, since I thought he had a nice Orgoth feel.

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