Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Favorite Hangouts Games of 2017

It turns out that I ran a lot of D&D games online in 2017 via Google Hangouts. It is ridiculously flattering that on any given week I can put out the call to adventure and get a cast of interested and interesting players to traipse through my games. I don't think I had to cancel a single session in 2017 from lack of interest, and in many cases I had more people eager to play than I could actually accommodate. Without interested players, none of these games would have been fun or successful, so thanks for playing everybody.

Every session was fun in its own way, but some sessions stick in my mind more than others:

The House Locked in Enmity
I love a good ghost story, so it was great fun getting to try out some ideas I had for a haunted house adventure that I've had kicking around for a few years. Possibly one of the best compliments I've gotten: one of the players in this session reported having a nightmare afterward.

The Curse of the Moroi
This session had a good blend of the stuff I like in my games: investigation, moral dilemma, and exploration that culminated in a showdown with the supernatural in a horrible, challenging location. The Eastern European fairy tale elements I used here really pulled their weight.

The Horror of Art
The NPCs worked really well in this one; it became apparent that Alice and Nikolai had a more than professional relationship, and it was interesting to see how the player characters treated that. The mosquito monsters were fun, there was some nice social exploration, and Pietra Donna Sangino has the right stuff to be either a recurring villain or strange ally.

One Night at Fayaz's
I had the idea of an adventure that was D&D + Five Nights at Freddy's a while back, and finally got to run it. My favorite bit was the murderous cherub automatons--having them on a "track" added a random element to where and when they would appear and have to be dealt with by the players.

Post-Traumatic Adventure Syndrome
Adventuring inside the consequences of the adventuring life is edges felt like a novel premise, and possibly worked as a cautionary tale. This one became a bit allegorical even though that wasn't the intended effect, but that was a nice surprise.

The Incursion at the Heigelman Clinic
A messed-up medical facility is always already an A+ location for adventuring, but this one played out liked a really good action-horror flick. More than anything, I love that the party had the opportunity to explore more of the basement, but noped out of going further. Probably a wise move--it was pretty horrible in there.

As a player, I didn't get in on many games this year, but it's worthwhile to mention that I did get to play in three playtest sessions of Paul V's GRIDSHOCK (in which I got to play my favorite new character of the year, whose adventures I wrote up here and here and then flaked on writing up the last adventure) and one session in Erik Jensen's Wampus Country which was written up here.