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A couple of my friends and I joined the Titanfall Initiative megagame that a friend, Dave, started last month. It runs on the system Scion, which sets the characters up as the half-mortal sons and daughters of pantheon gods, and has over a dozen characters appearing for various missions all run by the same GM. I must confessed that I joined it for a variety of reasons: curiosity over the system/setting, a desire to play with the players who joined, and also to witness how a solo-GM megagame manages logistics.

Now, if you know me personally, you'll know that I love logistics. It's not exactly my line of work (I work in Process with a P), but it's something that I've always liked to observe, admire, and sometimes improve. Maybe it's the Chinese in me, or perhaps it's the manifestation of the fussy persona hiding beneath my veneer of laziness.

My close friend Pam had the same idea long ago, which she runs with her friends up north of the city, also with her as the sole GM. But I had been unable to join this because of location (traveling 10km up north in the same city is often equivalent to passing a kidney stone in suffering; it's a heftier physical barrier than you'd believe), and incompatible scheduling. But now, lo!

So far, I feel that Dave manages logistics considerately and effectively to try and give all of his players a fair shot at doing something in the game. RP happens either in person or over at Discord, and there are documentations available to the players so everyone can keep up with what's going on in the world (documentation! glee!). What I find most interesting is how Dave divides missions according to "field" or "HQ", which is a great solution to accommodate different play styles. I attended my first face to face session last Saturday, which consisted of nine players segregated to 5 field and 4 HQ. I was told that this was the first mission where the field aspect of it was primarily social, and HQ was bunked nearby where the field agents were operating. Many of the field agents for that mission were also typically staffed in HQ, apparently.

I joined field, which is more your traditional adventuring party out to get things done (albeit in a modern setting), while HQ is uniquely conducted via a secret chat with the GM. HQ does the traditional operations intelligence part of missions, and call out information to us field agents that our characters receive via "comms". Dave sat with the field agents in the dining room, while the HQ agents were in the adjoining living room, just close enough to talk to while using indoor voice, but still clearly ensconced in their own space. Sometimes, one HQ agent or another would approach one of the field agents for private information as well.

I had up until that point been slightly skeptical of how the set up would work, but as the day progressed I found the groove with HQ to be quite natural and engaging. It helped that all nine of our characters were briefed together and were able to banter as we, in-game, chose our roles. In this way, camaraderie was easily established early on and continued as the night wore on. I'm still amazed at Dave for herding us energetic players efficiently, and multi-tasking between responding to field and HQ without noticeable lag. HQ seemed really fun and busy with their research and running point, and while I don't think my character is suited for it at all, the moment there's an appropriate mission that can use her very-on-the-field skills, I might just try it.

There are a couple of official Discord RPs that I've signed up for in the coming month, and I find that I'm really looking forward to them. It's a format that I used to do a lot in my youth, especially with friends from other countries, so it's an RP method that I'm happy to come back to. Surprisingly, while I had thought that perhaps I would have trouble keeping up with the enthusiasm and different playing style of the group (for example, their characters are more thirsty than I've ever played with in the past decade), I'm finding it easy to adjust and that I'm enjoying this fun, new experience.
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Jay recently invited me to post a system review of one of the systems we've played to his blog. I selected Exalted 3rd Edition, because it's the one we've played more than OVA, and I wanted to talk about the ridiculous but fun crafting minigame.

Player Review - Exalted Third Edition