Decent into Dallas Station: Session 2

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trevor
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Decent into Dallas Station: Session 2

Post by trevor »

We continued our assault into Dallas Station. We had two players from last session, and two new players. The session was about 3.5 hours.

To see the previous session see http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?t=2514

We converted to using a totally gridless map, which I'm really growing fond of. It really felt flexible, and free.

Because we were still new to each other, we continued to use colored halos to help us remember who was controlling which tokens. I was the blue bordered tokens, and yes, I was controlling four toons by the end of the evening :) (Which was surprisingly easy by use of token macros and the /tmacro macro)

Getting right to the point, here's a video of the session compressed into about 10 minutes (in xvid format, ~22megs):

Movie: http://rptools.net/trevor/skirmish-082107.avi

I was totally prepared to continue south down the hallway, thinking the room we had just cleared was a closed room (i.e. no other exits), but thompkins decided to check things out, found a different exit, and a couple bugs.

Note the big red Xs that are marking the old dead bugs, and the new bugs coming up in the south east:

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Thompkins made quick work of the new bugs with a handy grenade (gotta love dem grenades !). Snikle had improved the "death" of the bugs by replacing the big red Xs with acidic green blood splats. This made for quite a bit of fun watching them explode. Note also the craters and the smoke that the grenade created (snikle just dropped a couple crater stamps, and tadah !)

Here you can also see the updated gridless pathing. You can see that crazybear (the name of the player moving the token) used waypoints to avoid stepping in the green goo (which would have caused damage).

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We decided to continue forward and open the door to the east. There was some debate who was actually going to open it. We finally just took a deep breath and opened the door.

We entered a science lab of some sort, we heard a hissing sound and located a bug hanging up in the rafters, which was quickly dispatched. We started to walk around the room, clearing out those patches of fog that our vision didn't clear out, and ran into a second bug hanging in the rafters.

Not wanting to be left out of the action PFC Farmer strategically jumped over the overturned table, and positioned himself so he could just baaarely get a shot at the bug. Note the white lines that are representing Farmer's line of sight. With a couple pulls of the trigger, the bug blew up in a mist of green acid.

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Once the room was cleared, Thompkins took a shot at hacking one of the terminals to find out more about what was going on at the facility. He did a Common Knowledge check and needed to roll a 4 on a d4. Which he did. And continued to ace several more rolls, ending up with like 16 or some crazy number. So he totally own'd that machine and we got three emails that indicated the Powers That Be were doing illegal experiments. The last email indicated a problem had occurred, a test subject had escaped and was picking off the scientific staff. It also indicated that the evidence against the facility was stashed behind a panel in the Dining hall. We had our new direction.

Looking at the spiffy layout map on the computer terminal (a separate map image that we could switch to), we found that we needed to head north.

We encountered an airlock which would take us directly to the dining hall. It occurred to me that one of my toons, Waychoff, had a lock picking tool and a decent skill at picking locks. So I gave roll. Notice in the picture what the result was:

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That's right. A 1. I used a benny to try again. Got a 0 (yup, a 0, I had a -2 modifier). You'd think that the developer would _always_ get Good Rolls *ahem*

The airlock pad blew up in a rainshower of sparks.

We decided to let Thompkins do all the hacking after that point.

You'll notice there are a few crates just north down the hallway. Farmer went over and opened them up and found ...

A BFG ! WOOOO !

In our excitement, Thompkins was sent to check the boxes just a little further up.

He walked up to the boxes, and out popped two bugs, point blank !

The beautiful thing is that Snikle had set up the vision blocking layer (VBL) on the boxes so he couldn't see the bugs until he was literally right on top of them. When snikle moved them out just slightly, it was quite exciting to see the bugs slowly emerge. Here you can see them popping out of the VBL into view:

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We then sent a hail of bullets his way (not sure how we missed him with the bugs so close) and he was showered in a spray of acid, which he miraculously rolled himself out of any real significant damage (amazing).

Here's a taste of the spray Thompkins took:

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The commotion started a chain of bug waves coming against us. First from the north, which we dispatched quickly with grenades

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But while we were watching the north, a second wave attacked us from the south, popping right out of the fog and into our vision area. You can also see the BFG on the crates.

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Note the growing levels of acidic green sludge all around us. Carnage from the growing number of bugs dying at our hand.

Three bugs got right in our face, we had a hard time killing them before they bit us, Waychoff had to use his remaining two bennies just to kill one of them. Sheesh !

Note the one right next to Farmer on the crates. This inspired one of the coolest moments in the session. Farmer put his pistol right in the bug's mouth and fired ! His roll was absolutely horrid, so he used a benny, and hit, but his damage was insignificant, and the bullet, at point blank, IN THE BUG'S MOUTH, bounced off and chipped a tooth, exiting without injury and lodging safely in the wall beside it. AACK !

Before we had finished that wave, another one showed up from the north

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Couple lobbed grenades took care of them. But to our dismay, the grenades had the additional affect of creating an impassible pool of green acid, and did so much damage to the walls and floor that fire geysers errupted from the walls :(

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The really neat thing about the flame geyser is that snikle hadn't prepared that ahead of time. But he just grabbed an image from his hard drive, dropped it on the map, rotated it, copied, rotated, and within just a couple moments, flaming fury spraying from the walls !

This is where we ended up. An airlock with a blown keypad, an impassible hallway of acid and flame, and a Big Freaking Gun to wreak some revenge with.

Stay Tuned !

-----------

From a developer perspective, things went pretty smoothly. After 5 skirmishes and several builds, the notes that I take have dramatically reduced.

Here's the list from the other night, in it's raw form:

savage world cheat sheet
Token macros
"Done" macro
Rolling wild dice
One for GM one for player
Measuring
shaken, wounds
markers
copy-paste test of SW token properties

connect to server dialog
list of servers from rptools
dropdown of recently used servers (perhaps last 5)

put snik's markers in the default build
Need an effects layer ? (e.g. blood splatter, smoke, etc)
all labels need to be above fog
need a way to keep track of ammo
fix the momentary snap-back when moving a token/stamp
need sounds, grenade explosions would rule
sending entire campaign is slow when connecting, be more smart about that
pointer can get stuck, need to be smarter about clearing it up
it would be useful to have a "test" area on the token macro panel so that you can check it
Need a radial measure tool
need a /im ooc to support /im .... : blah
pointer gestures are a bit jittery
New Enforce View option: Follow token, keeps the selected token in the middle of the screen ... always
statsheets needs more tlc, still look cluttered

--------

A big thanks to Snikle for preparing and running the game, and to the other players, it was a lot of fun !
Last edited by trevor on Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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trevor
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Post by trevor »

If you have an account over at Four Ugly Monsters (which you _should_), you can get a couple more screen caps from the GM's perspective here:

http://www.fouruglymonsters.com/communi ... stcount=65

It shows the thompkins/bug full frontal face kiss where the bug is half in vision and half out, and the full extent of the damage we did with our grenades.
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Post by snikle »

Wow, awesome write up!
I have to say, I had a great time running this, truly the highlight of my crappy week. Big thanks to the guys who came out to play: Trevor, Beldryn, Greyloch, and Crazybear. You guys rocked, the interaction between the characters was outstanding. Mind you, these were pre-gens they just stepped into and not their characters.
One thing to note, I love how trevor has his macros set up, that is freaking smart as hell.....we need a "how to..." trevor! ;)
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trevor
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Post by trevor »

snikle wrote:we need a "how to..." trevor! ;)


It's on the list ! :)
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Re: Skirmish #5: Dallas Station session 2

Post by Full Bleed »

trevor wrote:We converted to using a totally gridless map, which I'm really growing fond of. It really felt flexible, and free.


Awesome. The more gridless support we can get the better! :)


You'd think that the developer would _always_ get Good Rolls *ahem*


Well, at least we know there aren't any cheats in the program. (Yet! :P)


fix the momentary snap-back when moving a token/stamp


Didn't you plan on putting in some kind of move animation/slide?


sending entire campaign is slow when connecting, be more smart about that


URL loading!! ;)


Need a radial measure tool


That would also help lay the groundwork for assigning threat areas, too.


It looks like you guys have a cool game going and it still looks to be bearing useful fruit for Trevor. Great job guys.

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Post by Emryys »

very cool! 8)

I would like a "how to" on your guys macros... they seem very useful and thought out...
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Post by snikle »

Oh one thing I wanted to mention for all you Savage Worlds people. I came up with the idea of having one of the players (trevor in this case) type in the initiative cards into the chat as I drew them. If you watch the film you can see it in action and how it doesn't slow game play at all.

While it is not perfect, but this worked amazingly well and was very quick. Until we get something more concrete working, I highly suggest using something like this in your games.
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Post by RPMiller »

:cry: I am still upset that I missed it... :cry:

I was thinking as I was watching that shouldn't the acid be making holes in the floors and then draining through? Maybe a generic hole in floor stamp would be useful as well. Maybe the acid stays there for a turn and then the hole appears.
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Re: Skirmish #5: Dallas Station session 2

Post by Hawke »

Looks like a lot of fun! Great way to show some of the cool MapTool effects, it's already given me ideas. I'm going to try out blood splatters in my next session if there's a chance for it. I might try and take the creature outline if it's top down and fill it with a red blood sort of texture and then use individual creature splatters. Maybe it'll look like chalk outline blood splatters? Who knows... I hope I have time, not sure if I will with a busy week coming up.

Full Bleed wrote:
trevor wrote:We converted to using a totally gridless map, which I'm really growing fond of. It really felt flexible, and free.


Awesome. The more gridless support we can get the better! :)


I think movement limiting will help my group embrace this more... be nice to have the token limited to a particular move value so it's quick to move the max value without having to be precise about it.

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Re: Skirmish #5: Dallas Station session 2

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Hawke wrote:I think movement limiting will help my group embrace this more... be nice to have the token limited to a particular move value so it's quick to move the max value without having to be precise about it.


So don't worry about it being exact. I even told my guys 'get it close' but jeez, does it really have to be perfectly precise? Doesn't fit F!F!F! and it doesn't match my gaming style, so I say just be close. IF it is a point in the story where exact measurements would matter, then I might make them be exact, but 99% of the time it doesn't really matter to me that much.
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Re: Skirmish #5: Dallas Station session 2

Post by Hawke »

snikle wrote:
Hawke wrote:I think movement limiting will help my group embrace this more... be nice to have the token limited to a particular move value so it's quick to move the max value without having to be precise about it.


So don't worry about it being exact. I even told my guys 'get it close' but jeez, does it really have to be perfectly precise? Doesn't fit F!F!F! and it doesn't match my gaming style, so I say just be close. IF it is a point in the story where exact measurements would matter, then I might make them be exact, but 99% of the time it doesn't really matter to me that much.


That works for rpgs, I'm totally cool with that as GM. Gets a little more sticky when playing war games though. If my maps weren't already setup in for the next week or two in dark sun I'd start it immediately, but there should be a cool city chase scene coming up that'll be perfect for gridless - perfect!

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Re: Skirmish #5: Dallas Station session 2

Post by Full Bleed »

Hawke wrote:I think movement limiting will help my group embrace this more... be nice to have the token limited to a particular move value so it's quick to move the max value without having to be precise about it.


I agree with you Hawke. I suppose it will be best applied after the token format has been set up... then, perhaps, we'll see approved-move soon after

While it's all well and good to say "who cares about precision" I think the real argument for going gridless isn't to fudge and ignore a game's rule system. The real argument is that with accurate measuring tools on a VTT, the need for a grid becomes less necessary (and less desirable.)

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Post by snikle »

I was just commenting on my games, that a 0.1 (ie one tenth of an inch) doesn't matter, but as always, to each his own. And actually I think most people who play SW would argue that being nit-picky about 0.1 of an inch was completely against the rules, but then, that is why I like SW. :wink:

For the record, when "approved move" is implemented, Trevor please make that optional, I don't want to spend half my evening approving moves that characters make. Most seem to be adult enough to be trusted to move the appropriate amount.
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Post by trevor »

snikle wrote:please make that optional


of course :)
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Post by torstan »

Trevor - any chance of getting our hands on that rather lovely snapshot tool you've been using. I'll happily make a load of screenshots of my upcoming game, but a little video would be even better!

Just a thought...

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