Thursday, August 23, 2012

Games I Ran At GenCon Three: Clockwork and Chivalry

Clockwork and Chivalry is a relatively young game that's already gone through an edition change. A very good one in this case as the new edition actually brings all the rules together in one spot as opposed to relying on say, Mongoose Runequest which you know, is now Legend and blah blah blah.

I was pretty familiar with the BRP system (Basic Role Playing) that is the core of C and C so didn't have too worry too much about messing around with the character sheets. I even copied out all the spells that the characters in the setting can use ahead of time so that they weren't flipping back and forth a lot.

The adventure for the con was the Dragon of Naseby which ties directly into the setting. The pregenerated characters had a lot of versatility to them not necessarily in their abilities, but in their motivations and goals. It was a little bit of a cheat in that one of the characters was 'very experienced' and the rest were above the starting goal. Still, the point is to have a good time right?

The characters come from both of the main factions in the game. The overall theme of hunt the dragon that's burning the towns to ash made for a good super hero moment where the two teams must put aside their mutual hatred in order to overcome the greater foe.

My first game went pretty smooth save for one thing. The party avoided almost every fight until they got to the dragon. When they did get to the dragon, they managed to use a familiar and some spells to spot out a weak point in the dragon's armor. They also noticed the dragon's egg. Threatening the dragon's egg is one of the few ways that the dragon will 'stay' and not take off. Well, the party rolled fantastic in terms of damage on their 'critial shot' and the most experienced character used his elemental to drop freezing potions on the dragon with assistance from his loyal ally. Suffice it to say that the dragon was quickly knocked out and about.

The group in this instance was a little pacified in not going that extra mile to try and achieve the goals of the characters.

In the second game, it ran all the way till the end as the players role played out the conflicts of the characters more. This group included Ed, Hanse, Gary, and Mikhal, three of which made it to another game of mine. Unlike group one, I won't say they reviled in getting into the conflicts, but they didn't shy away from them. The dragon also got punked in this encounter, but that happened by ramming, some excellent damage dice, and some great rolls to control their tank in order to get some more cannonfire against the dragon.

In this session, the characters DID follow their backgrounds and it was almost a civil war not only as the two factions broke down to try and claim glory after the ending, but also as each member of that faction tried to fulfill their specific goals. It was fun to see from my side although as it ended in a stalemate, mostly due to time than anything else, I'm not quite sure what the players were thinking at the end of it all.

I was glad to have run Clockwork and Chivalry. It's a pretty tried and tested game system and I'm sure if the players had a better feel for how powerful their characters were in terms of the game and in terms of each other things might have been even MORE interesting.

For someone looking to run BRP in an alternative history setting where the English are in a civil war, I'd recommend this game. The add ons aren't obtrusive enough to make you not recognize the game system and they can be fun when pitting the characters against different factions and cults that seek to steal their 'zeal' and convert them to the cause.