Ronin Round Table: Tabletop Adventures by Jon Leitheusser

The Ronin Roundtables have concentrated on the business side of things a lot since we launched, but now that we’re a couple of months in, let’s have some fun! Steve Kenson talked about how he was introduced to gaming last week and that got me to thinking about the games I’m currently running or playing, so I’m going to tackle that important subject this week!

I’m 42 years old, married to someone who doesn’t mind me ditching her a couple of nights a week, we have no children (yet?), and a lot of friends in the area who have free time. Add that all up and it equals lots of good gaming on a weekly basis!

My Wednesday night game has been going strong for, wow, about 8 years! We tend to jump from system to system depending on who’s free to GM. Games typically run for months or years depending on interest. The group initially got together to play a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition campaign I ran for a year and then another GM ran for at least another year. A number of the other players are deeply interested and involved with the "indie" games community, so we see a lot of cool things make their way to the tabletop. We’ve played In A Wicked Age, Lady Blackbird, The Burning Wheel, The Mouse Guard RPG, REIGN, Mutant City Blues, Mutants & Masterminds, and a lot more I’m not remembering at the moment. Currently we’re playing in a long-running D&D 4th Edition game in which we’re making our way through a thoroughly re-imagined version of the classic Expedition to the Barrier Peaks adventure. Alternating with that is a playtest of a D&D-like game by some industry veterans, about which I can’t say much due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

My character in the D&D 4th Edition game is Rufus Gravenstone. He started the campaign as a Cleric, but at 5th level I moved to California for about two years, so Rufus disappeared from the story. When I moved back to Seattle, Rufus returned, but as an Avenger since the party had plenty of healers and I wanted to see how the Avenger worked anyway. No one could accuse me of powergaming, a Dwarven Avenger? Shyaeh, right. Anyway, that game is fun because every fight is a huge set-piece battle with special rules that really challenge us to think about ways to deal with the special rules.

Thursday night is my other game night. I host the game at my place and it’s only been going for a few months now. This group is made up of a bunch of game designers including Green Ronin’s own Chris Pramas, HeroClix game designer Seth Johnson, Shadowrun master Mike Mulvihill, and a couple of other friends from my time at WizKids. Initially I ran Mutants & Masterminds (using characters generated by rolling on the Quickstart Character Generator included in the M&M GM’s Kit) and Seth ran Old School Hack for a bit. Since then, we’ve switched gears to playing an A Song of Ice and Fire series in which we’re members of House Greenscayle with the house motto, "Cold Seas. Cold Blood." We’re sworn to House Greyjoy and have already encountered (and taken prisoner) one of the Sand Snakes, learned we’re somehow involved with the machinations of Littlefinger, and some other fishy goings-on we can’t quite believe.

Starting just a week or two ago, I started running a Deadlands: Reloaded game using the Savage Worlds rules. I love the Deadlands setting and the Savage Worlds rules, so it didn’t take much prodding to get me to run it. I’m re-using an adventure I ran when the first edition of Deadlands came out in the mid-90s that works really well to get a bunch of unrelated PCs together right off the bat. I call it "Welcome to Ghost Town," but I don’t think I’ve ever actually told anyone the title before. I may write up a longer description for the Pinnacle site at some point, but the high points are that the heroes arrive in the same town on the same day at roughly the same time for one reason or another only to find the entire town deserted. Since the PCs are the only people wandering around, they get together and try to figure out exactly what happened. Where it goes from there… well, I haven’t run the next part for my players, so I probably shouldn’t say more! The Deadlands game may go on for a while, but I’m hoping to jump back into an M&M game, too! Fantasy and super-hero games are definitely my favorite genres to play and GM.

Those are my game nights, but that doesn’t include the board and card games I play. I work a day job with one of the guys from the Thursday game and we play Magic: The Gathering, Dominion, Summoner Wars, or, lately, Lords of Waterdeep every day at lunch. One could say I like me some games.