Friday, February 27, 2009

Tales From God City

After a good six-seven month run I just ended my online Encounter Critical game, God City Sandbox. Play by post games are fueled by enthusiasm and attention, and the game seems to have run out of steam the last few weeks. With a couple players incommunicado my own enthusiasm sorta fizzled too, and I let the game drift off into the phasic sunset. So it goes.

Don't worry, I'm not gonna get all weepy. I had a damn good time while it lasted! Here are my favorite bits:
  • At the very start of things the players decide to grab a bite at Rollo's burger joint. Now, one of the players had actually heard a rumor that a bunch of people had gotten sick eating at Rollo's...but for some reason never mentioned this to his pals. Sure enough, they ate the mystery meat and fell victim to the Wandering Upchuck Table.
  • A bit later the party need some info from someone they knew only as "Darryl's HAWT Mom." So they get Darryl on the line, who turns out to be a lisping teenage lizard hybrid (picture a cross between Milhaus and a sleestak). One of the players decides to blow smoke up the poor kid's hinder, pretending to have news of his long lost father. That ended with Darryl in tears, which did not amuse Darryl's Mom even slightly. Darryl's HAWT Mom, who turned out to be a Huge Ancient Wyrmic Tyrannosaur. Much grovelling at the foot of a half-dragon T-Rex ensued.
  • They end up going to a giant battle royale. I asked the players for pre-fight training montages, and they came up with these. Awesome!
  • They were supposed to watch over Darryl at the Brawl. Darryl, of course, was the original pipsqueak, and got choked out in about 30 seconds flat. Some goblin medics try to load him onto a crane with the other wounded, and a couple players flip. out. The pioneer Buck Pulsar jumps on the dipper bucket as it lifts off, and despite the strict rules against using magic in the arena the warlock Quazarn fires off his spell Troublesome Toy, which turns the whole crane arm into silly putty.
  • When the cannibal goon squad sent to catch the warlock goes berserk, the party's frankenstein warrior Creature rips off one goon's arm and beats another one to death with it. Later in the Brawl, Creature's player and I had the following exchange:
    PC: Creature spews hot coffee in the face of the giant.
    Me: By spew d'you mean spitting coffee in his face? Cos if it's hot enough to scald his eyes it's hot enough to burn yo tongue...
    PC: Yes, I mean summon the coffee within me that I just drank, up my esophagus and out my mouth. My thinking is that while it may be scalding to a giant's eyeballs, it might just be a nice warm drink to the digestive system of a Frankenstein.
    Me: ....
  • The hobling criminal, Hobson, spent a good part of the Brawl trying to rob lockers and using his hologram cloak to masquerade as a police officer in order to bamboozle the head of arena security. Eventually Chief Tallbard had Hobson and Quazarn cornered, but the hobling shot the Chief in the leg with a crossbow -- the only time he rolled an attack the whole game too!
  • Despite beating up on klengons, wookies, and some elf wrestlers, the PCs seemed totally intimidated by a mystical hobling-vulkin crossbreed (a vobling, natch) who never even stood up the whole time they talked to him. Goons and greasers they could deal with, but a lounging hippy who talked in song lyrics and gibberish mantras had 'em spooked!
  • The opposition got tougher the longer the Brawl went on, but the party held together until they faced Aarn, Son of Aarn and Olley, Cousin of Aarn, Son of Aarn. Aarn went down pretty quickly, but Olley just hung on and on till the last standing PCs finally took the retreat chutes out of the Brawl...
In retrospect the I let the Brawl drag on too long. It could've been done in a single session face to face, but it was probably too much of a grind for online. I made it clear from the start that they could quit the Brawl at any time, but I could have reminded them here and there as things wore on. In any case, I loved running for all of the players who visited my version of Vanth. Hope they had as much fun as I did!

SEE ALSO: All of the play threads are archived at the God City Sandbox blog, for any as like to read game logs.


noisms said...

Hey it happens. I've managed to get a group together over the last three years or so who are really stable, and we keep plugging away at each other's games - but from what I can gather that's a bit of a rarity. Ho hum. Play-by-post: easy to set up, difficult to continue. For some reason.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Sounds like it was a fun game! The spew story is really damn funny!

And yes, it always is the least likely NPC that seems to throw the PCs the most.

Max said...

Noisms: I don't suppose it's any mystery when even face-to-face groups can fizzle out fairly quickly.

Three years is commendable. Have you ever looked over the site of The Frilond Campaign? They seem to have lasted ten years as a PbM/PbEM campaign! (Not to be missed is the great selection of Fiend Factory monsters here.)

Chgowiz: Thanks! That was one of several laugh out loud moments I had as GM.

Tavis said...

It was a pleasure to be part of the God City saga, even if it was the tail end! Thanks for some good times.

I've been to that Frilond site many a time, both for their White Dwarf adventure conversions and the excellent Evard's Black Tentacles placement generator. I had no idea it exists as part of a PbP game; that's pretty awesome.

Max said...

Thanks for the note, Tavis. Glad you enjoyed God City!