Thursday, August 12, 2010

less a party and more like a circus

I run an open table.  If you can make it to a session, that's super-keen.  If you miss four runs in a row that's unfortunate but you're not treated any differently than any of the regulars.  Last night we saw an unforeseen conseuquence of this laid back policy: the least human party I've ever seen.  I don't mean only the people play dwarves, elves and halfling showed up.  Rather, I mean that more than half the party were animals.  As you might recall Carl and Nick died last run and inexplicably ended up with a pet white ape and grizzly bear respectively.  The only other player to show up last night currently plays a dire wolf.  The marching order scribbled on my notes reads something like this:


This smellier-than-usual band of adventurers continued plundering the Dungeon of the Unknown, which they finally discovered is actually the Rat On A Stick Dungeon.  Or at least my version of it.  Not only did they sell some dead rats to the local franchisee, they were able to make some extra money on the side.  The rats in question were a nuisance to the Chaos Party-affiliated halflings, so they bartered free printing services (using the machine the Party prints leaflets and manifestos on) for ridding them of the vermin.  In turn they resold the printing services to the Rat On A Stick stand, who used it to print up advertising.  As Carl put it "arbitrage is less dangerous than fighting monsters".

The party also ambushed a completely harmless Oaf (a neutral demi-giant race with silly cartoon-style stupidity) who was trying to find his lost bag of gold.  They killed him and found the gold.  Poor stupid bastard.


  1. Anonymous4:15 PM

    I'm considering changing my semi-weekly game that people really make an effort to attend to a fully-weekly one where you can come or not come as time & interest permits. So I ask, with your open table, how do you handle player absence?

  2. Not to steal Jeff's thunder, but I usually have the present players each play a character for the absent players. I'll also occasionally run one as a quasi-NPC, especially if it is the theif being used as a scout or something like that. Its pretty enar impossible to get 8 adults together consistently in the real world! Of course, as one player (my brother, who never misses a session) always tells the players who don't show up: "very go first!"

    There is no whining allowed for KIA characters, player present or not!

  3. I want to play an Ape!

  4. Anonymous8:07 PM

    Reminds me of this joke:

    A magic-user, an ape, a bear, amd a wolf walk into a bar.

    Bartender asks, "Polymorph Other?"

    "No," The ape replys, pointing to the magic-user. "Not yet, he's buyin'"


  5. Awesome game, it sounds like. It sounds a little like my open table T&T game I used to run. Some weird characters at that game...

  6. Nick (the vetran of a session)9:56 AM

    "So I ask, with your open table, how do you handle player absence?"

    I can't speak for Jeff, but I can tell you how it seems to work from my very limited experience with the group.

    The sessions seem to begin and end at a tavern/town/civilization. The various characters seem to me like friendly coworkers. We work together to explore dungeons, gain riches, and occasionally help an NPC. If a player doesn't show up, then their character likewise just doesn't show up at the agreed meeting place the next day. Most likely, this place serves drinks.

    Maybe that character is practicing combat skills, or maybe they just decided to take the day off, whatever. We might leave word and a coin with the barkeep, he can tell them where we went off to so they can catch up later.

    The characters who do show up discuss their options, and choose a destination to travel toward. If the characters decide that they need some extra help they might ask around and try to persuade/pay an NPC to join them.

    Is it dangerous to explore new areas without a trap-finder, or a meat-shield, or a wound-binder, or all three?... yep. But, if Orlek the spell-slinger (brother of Orlen, R.I.P.) wanted a safe job he'd be selling "Rat on a Stick"tm.