Well, year 2011 was pretty much made of ass, both on a personal level and from what’s been going on in the world. Pretty much the only thing that was excellent was gaming. And we got a new Neal Stephenson novel, but this isn’t the blog for that.
My Serpent’s Skull campaign kicked off in mid-January and got played for 17 sessions, bringing the group about a third of the way into Vaults of Madness, the fourth book of the campaign. It is my goal to have the campaign over and done with before the summer holidays begin, so that we can start up Jade Regent when we resume studies in autumn. The first adventure, Souls for Smuggler’s Shiv, is one of the finest I have run. Deserted island, fellow castaways you must take care of, supplies low. Fear of the unknown.
The party, currently, consists of Niero Brandt, of Rise of the Runelords fame, a mad alchemist with a multiple personality disorder; Kailn, a halfling sorcerer with an affinity for snakes and sex, which is a terrible combination; Malje, a Chelaxian aristocrat whose (likely true) conviction that Zon-Kuthon is talking to her has become stronger and more vocal as time has gone by; Mogashi, whose family tree has either apes or demons or both in far too close a proximity for present day; and Kuros, a cleric of Milani. The team’s half-elf archer who was in love with his bow, Sujiu, was torn apart by a chemosit (some sort of ape bear creature that’s about three levels under-CR’d) and reincarnated into a gnome, at which point he decided to leave the party to search for himself. We may yet see him return in a future game…
Apart from that, we got Pathfinder Society resurrected in Finland, just in time for Ropecon. Since we resumed operations in June, there have been at least 65 sessions of PFS in Tampere and the Helsinki region, and more scheduled. I even got my second GM star. Of course, my role has mostly been that of the game master, with the result that I have three “active” characters, precisely one of whom has actually seen play at their current level. My ranger, now level five, was last played at level two, and I have a second-level summoner who’s never been played. Such is the magic of the GM reward experience. I am scheduled to play Feast of the Ravenmoor as part of the campaign next week, though.
And then there was Ropecon! It was pretty much the best ever, and I remain skeptical of the idea it can be improved upon. This is not to say that we are not willing and determined to give it our very best shot, or that this year’s con would not be a thing of beauty. It’s just that… ah, here’s my con report, read it yourself. Part I, Part II.
For my birthday, I got the whole of Planescape. Like, all of it. I’ve been reading through the pile at a very slow clip, and writing about the material here. Though it may appear the project is dead, this is merely an illusion, and I will be posting about Tales of the Infinite Staircase soon. Ish. There’s also a pile of other stuff I’ve accumulated from gracious friends and discount bins that I need to get through, such as the beautiful and strange game that is Everway and the Viking game Rune, which codifies the antagonistic relationship between GM and players in the rules.
Also, WordPress created me this annual report thingy. I’m making it public so you can get a glimpse at the (rather unimpressive) numbers behind the blog.
There will be Ropecon. Again. It will be awesome. There will also be Tracon, which I figure will also be awesome.
There will be an English-language Stalker. Hopefully. At this point, I have no hand in the project and can only sit and wait for Ville Vuorela to do his thing. The man just keeps having other important things to do, such as graduating, or working. Once we actually have a product to market, I will advertise the crap out of it. It may happen next week, or next month, or just in time for Christmas. We’ll see.
There will be gaming. Pathfinder Society in Finland has reached the critical mass of players where the campaign keeps running on its own without needing the presence or activity of any single person, which is excellent. Unfortunately, this only applies to the Helsinki region, and Tampere is still more or less reliant on me. I, in turn, have a home campaign to run. I’m aiming to have 20 sessions of those during the year. It’s a nice, round number, and doesn’t require all that much more from me.
There will probably be all sorts of new releases, but except for the Vapauden miekat project, none interest me all that much at this point. I am slightly curious about the rumour mill around a hypothetical Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, but the rumour mill is always abuzz about something and WotC’s doings are of small interest to me. Paizo is releasing the Advanced Race Guide in a few months, which looks interesting but not spectacularly so. They’re also coming out with Distant Worlds for Pathfinder, a sourcebook on the solar system of Golarion, with information on what’s going on in the other planets. I expect green men on a red planet and fun guys from Yuggoth. Also, late in the year, there will be Shattered Star, an adventure path that returns to Varisia and explores the legacy of Thassilon. On the Finnish side of things, Burger Games is working on the first supplement to Praedor, which will finally include the rules for playable sorcerers.
That’s all for today.