Friday, December 18, 2009

What's Happened to December?

I realized that it's been ten days since my last column, and it's been a busy week and a half. The odd thing about working academic IT is that there really is no down time. When students and faculty are around, you're spending all your time supporting them and their classes. When students and faculty leave, you spend all your time doing the things you couldn't do because the students and faculty were in the way. Suffice to say, I've been busier this past week and a half than I have (work-wise) the previous month, so I'm not getting a lot of gaming work done.

I have pecked away at Grapeshot & Grognards some, however. I've written sections on a number of appropriate character archetype definitions, and the sorts of adventures they might find suitable. I've also been contemplating rules for, if not resolving mass combat, at least how to handle probably the most problematic of Napoleonic-era combat mechanics; dealing with PCs in a massed combat with regards to resolving musketry and cannon casualties. When I posted my first G&G column back in the day, a pointed comment was to the effect that, in such huge, impersonal battles, how do you handle PCs and their heroics when a blast of grapeshot or a volley of musket-fire can wipe out whole files of men? PCs can hardly be expected to lead Aragorn-esque heroic charges against a line of cannons when the most likely outcome will be getting cut in half by an eight-pound cannonball. And yet, these sorts of heroic acts are the basis of countless tales of heroism in the gunpowder age, right up through into modern times, with soldiers weathering machinegun and mortar fire to win the day when others all around them are being cut down.

I'll have more to post about this as the time comes. In other news, I've got several other good ideas for campaign settings to develop for the T&B RPG, and another "in the works" post will have to come some time down the road. I'm also taking a hard look at revitalizing my Castles & Crusades campaign, which has been dormant since the summer. My spring course work doesn't start up until almost the end of January, so I've got plenty of time to focus on getting some good gaming work accomplished before grad school rears it's ugly head again (although with my third class under my belt right now, I'm sporting a 4.0 GPA in my graduate coursework).

Anyhow, not a lot in the last few paragraphs, but I hope to get some more work (and more columns) up as soon as possible.

No comments: