Sunday, June 6, 2010

First Night at the Adventurers' Guild

Friday night, I went to the Wright State Adventurers' Guild, having found out that the tabletop gaming club I'd gamed with as an undergrad had been reconstituted and that alumni were still allowed to play. I was looking forward to my first live gaming since a one-shot in somebody's Gen-Con hotel room a few years back. That didn't quite work out for this week, but I've still got my fingers crossed for next week.

I set foot in Oelman Hall for the first time since about 1989, the last time I took one of those huge, 200-person gen-ed classes in 109 Oelman. Oelman is one of two WSU quad buildings that hasn't been extensively remodeled. In fact, the floor tiles look like they're probably the exact same ones originally laid down in the 1960s. (Yes, every time I go into one of the old buildings for the first time this go-round, it always generates a nostalgia trip or comparison of how much things have changed in 15-20 years).

So I took the elevator to the third floor, and with some help from lounging Guild members waiting for the rest of their group to show up, I found the room the officers were in. Then I spent the next hour and a  half waiting and discussing things with the low-level officers who were actually present. Apparently, even though the start time is officially 6:30, few of the groups actually get rolling until about 8 (that, too, brings back memories).

I found out that only two out of the several groups at the Guild are playing 4e, much to my relief. Apparently, most of the gamers at WSU have had the bad (or at best indifferent) reaction to 4e that I've notice among sane people. Though my greatest fear was abated, I ran into the problem of the transition between quarters. A lot of the groups had wound down their campaigns for the academic year, and many didn't even show up, having decided not to try to start summer campaigns until next week. It was probably a good thing. I was in such a hurry when I packed my little RPG book bag that I just shoved in whatever happened to be lying around. Basically, I had a D&D 3.5 PHB plus the following random selections:
  • Two Mongoose Runequest books, which were already in the bag for some reason
  • The GURPS 4e Characters Book
  • The Star Wars Saga Edition core rulebook
  • The Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplay core book I bought at Half-Price Books a while back.
Unfortunately, the Guild seems to be heavy on d20 games, but not on Star Wars, so my selection wasn't a good match. The fact that I also forgot my dice would have also been an inconvenience, albeit a mild one since most gamers have a gazillion dice to lend if necessary.

Anyway, I spent most of the evening reading the Guild president's rough draft of a science-fiction novel. It wasn't bad for a beginner. There are some ways in which the guy could sharpen his writing, but he's avoided a lot of beginner mistakes (e.g., writing about ideas instead of characters, writing information dumps instead of scenes).

Odds are that I'll end up joining a d20 Modern group next week and actually get to play.

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