2 Aug 2016

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"Best game session since August 2015?"

Oh boy, this is actually a really difficult question for me to answer, because August 2015 is when I got into the Gamers & GMs event organizing team, and basically also the time when I started expanding my social circle into the local tabletop community as well. I literally went from having two regular games to more than twelve and a smattering of oneshots. And it's hard for me to choose, because beyond having a lot to choose from, many of my games are really very different from each other and provide me with different experiences that I enjoy.

I'll cheat by mentioning a few campaigns that I got into since August 2015. I won't mention the pre-August stuff, because that'll make the list even longer!

Yoon Suin is an OSR game run by Nosfecatu for my group. It's set in the Yellow City, where our side of the game, the Westside, are all members of the Ipixangga, the biggest cockroach clan in the city. I play Dian, a dour, cleaver-wielding butcher who likes to write recipes for cockroach dishes, and is secretly a total softie towards her sister and clanmates. We spend our days looking for treasure even as we go about trying to further the goals and security of the clan. We have a mirror gaming group in the form of the Eastside players, and some of their members have cameo'd in our game in the past -- it's an interesting dynamic, and one that I enjoy a lot.

Bad Solars, an Exalted 3rd Ed game run by Philgamer for me, Erich, and his regular group. In it we play the first Solars of our Age, and try to solve the mysteries of Chiaroscuro even as we try not to divulge ourselves as anathema to the realm. I play Elise, a mallet-wielding shipwright much too passionate about her craft. She's of the Twilight Caste, and tends to get into a lot of trouble due to her reckless amounts of energy. The title is not actually Bad Solars, but that's the running gag in the game because in as much as we try to be good Solars, we really sometimes just don't think far ahead.

Fallen Boughs of Cormanthor is a D&D 5E game run by Mahar, set in the forests of Cormanthor. Here, our adventurers try to battle both plague and politics as we fend off multiple threats to the kingdom. Our party composition amuses me to no end -- three elves of different types, a manly half-elf, and an ornery old human. I play Noase, a wood elf survivor of the plague and a monk of the four elements. He's very young and somewhat inexperienced due to his more cloistered upbringing, but is no stranger to the ever-present evil lurking in the forest. It's one of the table compositions I enjoy the most right now, both in players/GM and characters.

Songs of the Underdark is a D&D 5E game run by Erich for me, Mahar, and Raymz. It runs off the Out of the Abyss hardcover edition, and is set in the dangerous and difficult Underdark. Here we are all prisoners who escape from the drow and are just trying to make our way back to the surface. I play Mikel, a gnome from Lantan Island. She is a bard who's a self-professed fan of adventurers, and follows them to record their heroics in the miniature toy productions she composes with her small, clockwork doll-actors. Mikel doesn't yet understand that she's an adventurer herself, but that's not important.

Precinct 8 is a Shadowrun 5E game run by Raymz, set in the Manila of the future in the world of Shadowrun. It's something of an infrequent game because of difficulties in scheduling, which is a pity because it's a really good setting and the game has been fun so far. We're all characters who are somehow connected to the district police precinct, either as regular employees or as "consultants". Here I play Pekto, a morose troll who's a member of the local police force and likes to bake sweet goods to make extra cash on the side.

Legends of the Five Rings as run by Mahar. It's a multi-clan game involving a Unicorn courtier, a Phoenix yojimbo, a Scorpion shugenja, and a Scorpion actress. We're all very distant relatives by way of having a common ancestor in a Fortune, Bayushi Tanaka, and began our dealing with each other as a by-product of our individual assignments. The characters have since convened as a group to investigate dark matters involving taint. In this game, I play Kyouya, a dangerously beautiful and ambitious Scorpion actress whose first persona is as a bland Lion ikoma. She has a terrible habit of forgetting her family, prioritizing instead the empire and her clan's directive above all else. It's a table full of wit and shenanigans, and very fun all around.

Numenera is a Cypher/Numenera game run by Jay Mata for us. In it we have some of the craziest characters we've come up with so far, including a water mogul who exists in two places at once, a sentient puppet in search of her master, a soldier out in search of his platoon of clones, and a sentient cloud of nanites that just wants to eat nanomachines for sustenance. It's something of an odd game, which I think is fitting for Numenera and its settings. Here I play Ghost, a Swift Jack Who Exists Partially Out of Phase. He is the sentient cloud of nanites whose "humanoid" form is as a vaguely child-sized blob with a mouth and no eyes, always blurry around the edges and sometimes eerily see-through. His main character issue is that his memory "resets" every few years, so his existence as a lost, wandering soul redefines itself with every shift.

Accounts of Strange Incidents as run by Adrian. This is something of an odd game in that it started off running on a hack of the the Blood & Honor system, which was discarded unceremoniously when it didn't suit our narrative style. It ran on no particular system for a while before Erich cribbed together a Fate Accelerated hack of it that has since enhanced our experience in the game. The setting is Heian period Japan, and our characters are all officers of a province trying to fix and deal with threats to our daimyou and our constituents. Here I play Akari, the spymaster of the clan. The clan knows her as a man, Akiteru, and she often joins them as one of "his" agents in various disguises, pulling strings where they can be pulled and throwing her fellow officers in as scapegoats without them knowing.

Greater Shadows Over Manila is a Fate game run by our friend Marc, set in the world of his long-time project, Angel's Song. The setting is modern Manila, but one of many hidden truths and a singularity out to destroy our reality as we know it. The characters are members of an organization trying to fight this in the background with a wellspring of powers and technology. Out of all the games I have under Marc, this is perhaps the one I enjoy the most by virtue of table size, but also because I play a mischievous, defiant teenager, Cecilia -- a fire cantor from a prestigious family that typically only produces earth cantors.

I actually still have other games I haven't mentioned, but these are the ones I wanted to highlight for various reasons. I have a number of other continuing campaigns, maybe-continuing oneshots, and a couple of ongoing short campaigns under the same GMs that I enjoy just as much.

As an aside: Surprisingly, if I count my characters while taking the unmentioned games into consideration, I actually have an equal number of males and females.


Edit: It has been brought up to my notice that the topic was actually best game session since August 2015, but since I took the trouble of collating all my favorite games, this is what you're getting!