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Yesterday, five people met in a tavern, and were recruited for an adventure by a tall man in black.

I started LARP a few years ago while I was living in Bedford. It’s been pretty good for me in general, as it saved my sanity while I was there and has provided many hours of fun and a few dozen new friends.

Also, in direct oposition to stereotype, I have a girlfriend as a direct result of RPGs, which is always nice.

But that’s Live Action RP. I haven’t actually done the Tabletop version since I was about 14, and that was D&D DragonQuest, which has roughly the same Roleplaying level as the average game of Monopoly. It’s something I’ve always meant to do, but have lacked people around who wish to do the same. Having unlocked the local Geek Nexus as location, this is no longer true, and this weekend the Estemed Mister Cooke ran a game of 4th Ed D&D at said geek nexus.

Well, we started there. The Pembury has a live music licence roughly twice a year, and we picked exactly the wrong weekend to do our adventure, so we decamped to our flat to continue…

… and the lift broke down somewhere around the 13th floor. We did not end up playing D&D in the lift as we waited for assistance, because that would have been far too sitcom-like. We were rescued, life went on.

The thing CC ran yesterday was a pure hack & slash, no plot game with pregenerated characters, purely to get us to speed on the system. As it happens, this turns the game pretty much into a modern version of DragonQuest.

The Warcraft-Style-MMO inspiration for the new system is clear. All character abilities have been turned into Powers that you can use Whenever, Once per fight, or Once Per While. Combined with stuff coming from the other direction (From Tolkien to D&D to Every Fantasy Game Setting Ever), and together with the charsheets that the GM put together (precalculating the maths for our skill checks, weaponry and defenses) the game flowed pretty smoothly after the first few combat rounds.

It’s fun, interesting, and will be done again soon. With plot, this time. For the pregens, we had six page character sheets with pretty much everything on them, but this is the page of my notebook I was using to keep track of stuff:

D&D character tracking

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Campaign Notes

But in-character justification for being off-brief is very much the "Bob doesn't have to do P.E today because he is ill. Signed Bob's Mum" of roleplaying design.