Saturday, 20 April 2013

A new game, a new GM, and a fresh set of eyes

Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black EditionThe Greyhawk Basic D&D campaign is having a break at the moment as the excellent GM recharges his batteries, so for the next few weeks the game is being run by regular player Rich. He's decided to do a Hulks and Horrors game.

It's an adventurous dungeon crawl game, substituting ruins for starwrecks, tombs for asteroids, long lost lands for unexplored worlds. It's a great little system and as Rich knows Basic D&D the perfect choice for him.

Now, Rich hasn't run many games - in fact, as far as I'm aware, you can count the games he's run on one hand - and I've never played in one of his games and he's never run one for us. To be honest, you wouldn't have noticed. If ever I've seen someone slip into the GMs role naturally it was Rich. He kept the story going, allowed us free choice, didn't get flustered and rode the 'players are taking the piss' waves well. He'd obviously made sure that he'd covered the rules so that he didn't have worry about them and just got on with the actual game.

I've gamed with many first-time GMs and had a horrendous time. You can forgive any of them initially because it's their first time, or they've not done it much, and they're understandably nervous and inexperienced - running a game can be quite daunting at times, even for seasoned gamers. Some you can see will only get better while others... well, there are others that simply aren't cut out for it. Even the best players make lousy GMs.

Rich, I think, has started out really well and looks to only get better. The next few weeks will really tell but right now I'm enjoying his game.

Hulks and Horrors is a really good game based on Basic D&D and was a great choice for us as we've been wanting to get into a science fiction game for a while. My attempts fizzled out after two or three games but I now realise the problem; as we've been playing D&D for years I should have just used that system and kept everyone happy instead of trying to learn a new system

Here's the H&H blurb below:


'We are not alone in the Universe, but we have few friends. As we emerged on the galactic stage, we found a universe stripped bare of sentient life by a great Plague, leaving only the wild beasts and twisted plague horrors wandering the ruined hulks of lost civilizations.

We are the Surveyors. We explore the uncharted sectors of space and hunt these ruins for the treasures they contain and the riches they might bring to what sentient life remains. We are not brave, merely foolhardy and desperate. Those who survive become rich beyond dreams. Very few survive. Hulks & Horrors is a science-fiction roleplaying game of galactic exploration and adventure for 2 or more players ages 13 and up. Inside you will find:

• Complete rules for characters up to Level 6 and beyond
• 7 character classes: Pilot, Scientist, Soldier, Psyker, Hovering Squid, Omega Reticulan, and Bearman.
• Easy to learn old-school inspired game rules and combat system
• Weapons, armor, and equipment inspired by classic science-fiction
• Spaceship construction and combat rules
• Random tables for creating whole sectors of space
• Loot generation rules
• Dozens of alien monsters as well as guides for designing your own
• Dungeon-mastering advice for sandbox space exploration
• Optional rules for customizing Hulks & Horrors

Hulks and Horrors is available in 6"x9" format in both PDF and Print on Demand.'