Blaugust #15: zombies and trade routes

A quick #blaugust post today, because it is Saturday and I’m going to a barbecue this evening, and by the time I get back it will likely be too late and I will be too full of beer and meat to formulate a post…

I have a zombie fetish

There’s still a whole week to go until Diablo III‘s fourth season starts (can you tell I’m excited about that yet?) so I rolled up a new hardcore character last night, a Witch Doctor. I got her up to level 35, just running bounties on Expert. She actually turned out to be a lot more fun than I was expecting. Here’s the build I’m using so far. I run around with a pack of zombie dogs and a Gargantuan zombie, who hulks out when I come across a Champion pack. I throw bouncing orbs of flame, spew acid from a laughing skull, and swarm enemies with vampire bats. Plus, I have a very nifty line of feathered head dresses and wooden masks. It’s a nice, evil change of pace from the (literally) holier-than-thou Crusader. If I get any lucky item drops that seem to support it, I’m thinking of leaning towards lots of +poison damage; the acid green of Acid Cloud and Plague Bats looks really cool.

Travelling traders

My other goal for this weekend — for Sunday — is to roll up some worlds in Traveller and read through the rules for trade. I’m going to be introducing my friend Matt to the game one evening next week, and he wants to have a go at a kind of Elite Frontier inspired setting. That means having some planets to trade between, a ship suitable for hauling trade goods, and enough NPC crew members to keep things ticking over. I’d be happy to DM (or referee, in Traveller terms) a game purely about trading between worlds, but I have a few ideas to keep things interesting and to inject a little action once in a while.

Matt’s never played a tabletop RPG before (way to start at the deep end, right?) and I’ve never played Traveller before, so this will be a bit of a baptism-by-fire. We can figure it out together. I think we both want something Eighties-inspired, hard sci-fi; the kind of future Alien or 2001: A Space Odyssey envisioned, rather than Star Wars. I’m really hoping this might turn into a long-running campaign; it’d be really cool to have something going in a sci-fi setting; so much of my gaming diet is fantasy-based.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the travelling and trading in Traveller is measured in days or weeks, so if we only get to play every couple of weeks, we could even look to have it acted out in real-time: short sessions of planet-side action, ending with setting up a journey to the next world that happens while we’re not playing. Just a thought…

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