These are fairly short answers, so I’m combining them since I’m ten days behind. Yes, I’m feeling much better, but a rush project came up that had to be addressed which further slowed things down.
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #21: What’s the best bribe you’ve ever given (or received as) a GM? What did you get (give) for it?
Never offered one to a GM, never had one offered to me as a GM. But let me modify that statement slightly. In our multitudinous Champions campaigns and characters, whenever we created new characters, we wrote moderately extensive character backgrounds and origin stories. These were by no means required, but the GMs always rewarded such with usually 5 XP. Is this a bribe? The player gives something with the expectation of getting something in return, in this case an origin for XP, the GM gets something that they can use to flesh-out the campaign or character introduction and gives XP. I don’t consider it a bribe, even though there is an element of unfair advantage over someone who doesn’t turn in a background and doesn’t get the XP reward.
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #22: Describe the worst game you’ve ever played in. What made it so bad? Did your fellow players help, or make it worse?
Two stories. Story the first: The game was a GURPs Supers at one of the L.A. Gateway conventions probably 15-20 years ago. The GM was local and provided pre-gen characters. I’ve always liked martial artist characters as they are fairly simple to run and quite flamboyant, and I wasn’t deeply familiar with GURPs, so I went with a martial artist. The GM then proceeded to throw powered armor against us. My martial artist character couldn’t do a thing to the goons in armor, and the goons couldn’t hit me. I was frustrated at my ineffectiveness until I decided to try Nerve Strike. At that point I became effective. I did not enjoy the game because I felt that the GM made a poor choice in the selection of pre-gens available to the player. It is possible that if I had been more familiar with the rules system that I could have been more effective and had a better time, but that’s as may be. It was not a good experience in my effort to learn more about a game system that I wasn’t very familiar with by playing a con game.
Story the second: Champions campaign run by a friend, I’m running a brand-new character. The mission is part of a series and I was not a player or attendee in the previous missions, and tonight is the island assault on the villain’s base. Island assault = boats streaking across the water just before dawn. Myself, along with other player characters, are in the hold of the boat and not really knowing what’s going on. The boat’s pilot, apparently having a little bit of chaos inside him, decided that he could get a tactical advantage by ramming the docks and thus surprising the guards. Unfortunately he did not alert anyone as to what he was doing. The others in the hold were able to get their defenses activated in time, I was not. Before the combat started I was knocked to GM unconscious. After the boat hit, everyone sprang out into the melee and no one checked on me for quite a while.
The worst part of this was that I did not drive that night, I’d ridden with others, so I was stuck. I sat in the corner and read a book for most of the evening until someone decided to revive me.
I partially fault the GM for this. In Champions, if you’re knocked to GM unconscious, the GM decides when you wake up. With this happening at the start of the combat due to a bad die roll and taking me out of combat, it would have improved things (for me, at least) if later in the round I’d slid in to the water and woke up or something like that and been able to get in to the fight and done something. As I recall, that character didn’t last long in that campaign before I retired him.
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #23: Have you ever experienced Total Party Kill (TPK), or been close to it? What effect did that have on you personally? On your group of players? Have you ever used retroactive continuity (retcon) to save yourself? Why or why not?
Champions? TPK? It is to laugh! A character death in Champions is a pretty rare event, I’ve never heard of a TPK outside of GM fiat. Now, ask me that about World of Warcraft, and I’d give you a slightly different answer!