|Playtesting Crawljammer on Sunday afternoon.|
Most sensible folks had already packed up and gone home.
What did we learn?
1. My daughter learned that Michael Curtis is a pretty great writer-of-adventures and runner-of-games. After playing in one of his sessions in which she was transported and transformed (the Michael Curtis way), she later said to me, "no offense, but that was the best game I've ever played in." None taken! Michael Curtis is good and his DCC adventures are one of the things that has hooked me into the system!
2. My son learned that playing a Druid is terrible. Like almost every time. Which is why there will never be a Druid class in my Crawljammer games. Unless it's like a crazy Plutonian Druid who can harvest bones and decaying metal for use in his rituals. Okay, maybe then.
3. We all played a bunch of DCC (via Crawljammer and that previously-mentioned Michael Curtis concoction) and a bunch of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (via my "Blade of Karnus" game and a session run by the great Jeff Talanian). I think those are my two favorite RPG systems because while they certainly share many similarities -- strong roots in D&D and the OGL -- they complement each other nicely. DCC can be really bombastic and insane and dynamic while AS&SH is most often brooding and violent and terrifying. Laser swords are not out of place in either, but they have different tonalities. I love playing both, but I love playing BOTH, you know?
4. I learned that Tim Kask is lying when he says, "I will assume your character is better at his role than you are, so you don't have to tell me every little thing he does when he's in a room." Because later he will say, "you didn't look before walking in the room and so you get whacked for 2d10 damage by this thing that hit you because you didn't say you looked." So...look. He only had to hand-wave magical berries to cure me from my death twice. Before the inevitable total party kill.
5. My two Crawljammer playtest adventures -- Red Planet Rendezvous and the Space Pirates from Beyond the Grave -- both need a little tweaking, but they played well, and in both cases the party was able to complete the objective (ahem, sort of, ahem, that 8d20 Scorching Ray vaporizing the MacGuffin on Mars, ahem) and have a fun time doing so. I need to tighten up a few of the transitions between the episodic encounter locations in Space Pirates, and I need to add a bit more weirdness to the first half of Red Planet, but they are in pretty good shape after a good kicking of the tires this weekend. Look for those adventures in upcoming issues of Crawljammer!