Sunday, June 19, 2022

Helvéczia: Journal de Campagne, 3

We resumed play this past week, joining the company still within the farmstead where those that remain of the seven knaves are restrained or incapacitated.  The noise of a coach signaled the arrival of an expected guest.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Helvéczia: Journal de Campagne, 2


Some sickness has delayed our resuming the campaign, but this week a fully healthy group reconvened to continue our gaming.

I ran the introductory adventure from the main book, The Seven Knaves, relocated to the the southwest region of Helvéczia.  Specifically, an encounter on the road through the Schwygdalp, on the way to Ammertal.  Aside from this change, I ran the adventure essentially as-is.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Helvéczia: Journal de Campagne, 1


Having wrapped up our Masks of Nyarlathotep game, we met this week to begin our Helvéczia game.  A month or so ago I pitched the game as one of three options for the group, and they were unanimous in choosing it.  None of my players were familiar with the game at all, but my short description was: "17th century fantasy Switzerland.  Rapier duels, early black powder weaponry, dark comedy religious strife.  Sort of a mix of Three Musketeers, Princess Bride, and Solomon Kane."  I've been digging more into the recommended reading M. Lux provides - Dumas, Grimm, Hoffman, and Grimmelshausen have been added to my library and greedily consumed, but I've also found good inspiration in Voltaire, Maupassant, and Mortimer's guide to Restoration Britain - I would love to see a similar book for the continent.  But I've found plenty of touchpoints to reference when explaining the rather niche setting and my players have been enthusiastic about it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Helvéczia First Impressions, pt. 3


Previously posted at the RPGPUB, collecting here to begin campaign notes.

Finished reading Helvéczia over the past couple evenings. The second half of the book is the Gamemaster's Almanac. This kicks off with a lot of GMing advice. A surprising amount, actually. I can't think of very many RPGs on my shelf that really give much attention to that. Topics include when and how to to use checks, describing the setting, offering the players interesting choices with meaningful consequences, dialogue techniques to improve the game flow, designing adventures in wilderness (including 3 methods of exploration), dungeons, and villages, creating adventure hooks and diabolical plans, and varying the style of play to focus on combat, exploration, intrigue, and so on. It's all good general GMing advice but also does a great deal to illuminate how the author envisages the game running. One thing that is very clear is that Helvéczia is a game that has been played a great deal, as almost every topic discussed seems to draw on his own gaming anecdotes.

Helvéczia First Impressions, pt. 2

Previously posted at the RPGPUB, collecting here to begin campaign notes.

I'm really enjoying reading this. Finished up the Players' Rules yesterday. Starts off with an introduction to role playing picaresque adventures and recommended reading - I've had to add a lot to my reading queue. Then moves into character creation.

Helvéczia First Impressions, pt. 1

 Previously posted at the RPGPUB, collecting here to begin campaign notes.

The box features great art from Peter Mullen. He's always a favorite, and this piece, with its undead monks and that stylish fellow with the handcannon, is peak Mullen. The box is very sturdy. Much better than the 5e starter/essential boxes, I'd say it's comparable (but deeper than) the recent Call of Cthulhu starter set box.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Masks of Nyarlathotep Retrospective

Third time's a charm.  Last night, after 11 months of play, my group completed our Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.  It was my third attempt at running it.

Lots of spoilery thoughts about the campaign in general ahead.