Sunday, July 19, 2009

Viva la Fasa or the Internet and All Its Friends

I got a bit excited this morning to find an e-mail from my dad with the headline "new mechwarrior game". I opened it to find the tinyurl link .

The trailer looked amazing and I wondered when this would exactly be out so I could mark my calander like the little fangirl I am. I checked the sites for Piranha Games and Smith & Tinker but found nothing. I did a quick google search and was dismayed to find articles about the project being cancelled. I noticed that the year was 2003 and looked up at this:

Once I clicked the correction, I finally found what my wild goose chase on the internet was looking for. A site came up mentioning a teaser trailer that looked like a new Mechwarrior game. It said that IGN was going to interview Jordan Weisman who formed both Fasa and Smith & Tinker. I checked IGN and found a couple of articles, all recent. The first one showed all 3 teaser trailers practically confirming the new game. Another told how the newly formed Smith & Tinker is planning on rebooting other Fasa games such as Shadowrun and Crimson Skies. I died inside when I read that.

Now, I've never actually sat down and played any of the RPGs (with the exception of that one MechWarrior simulator at Chuck E. Cheese), but I did grow up with my dad having all the rulebooks and miniatures. I used to watch him play Mechwarrior all the time. We even bought the Shadowrun Duels figures and played that. All of this has given me a healthy love of Fasa games. When I heard that Microsoft was making a Shadowrun game back in 2007, I was excited. When I finally played it, I realized it had a cool concept and fit in with the story, but it didn't exactly have that "feel". So now that the game's almost back in the hands of Fasa, I can't wait to see how it'll turn out. Mechwarrior 5 looks very promising from the official trailer and I can't wait till it comes out. I just wonder if once you eject from the cockpit, you can use a sidearm for protection. I realize that would be useless, but if I'm going into battle inside a giant robot, a gun on my back or a pistol on my hip would make me feel better.


"It's like the Medigun. Sure it does, like, .5 damage, but it makes you feel better to contribute."


Meta gaming at the table is actively discouraged in DM advice columns and literature from WOTC, yet they expect me to tell my players that the pipsqueak they are facing is a minion? I won’t do it! Let the players figure out for themselves that the creature they are fighting is a minion. I think labeling a monster as a minion when it is encountered encourages players to save their encounter and daily powers for “Real” threats and removes some of the creative problem solving required by past editions of Dungeons & Dragons. I want to see my players mow down minions with their dailies and encounter powers and then have to face the big daddy boss monster with nary a thing but their at-wills and a healthy dose of creative problem solving!

I’m in a unique situation, I currently DM a game for four teenagers who are relatively new to the game (with the exception of my daughter who was introduced to the corrupting influences of the D20 at a young age!). They are not familiar with the canon and lore of D&D from other editions. To them a kobold is as threatening as a troll is, I love it!
I have not explained to them the concept of minions and at this point I don’t intend to. They’ll figure it out….eventually.

The same goes for bloodied. It is not as bad as the minion mechanic with regards to meta gaming, but I still don’t like announcing “Your opponent is bloodied”. I would prefer to say something like: “The scent of so much blood on the creature you face drives you into frenzy” or “You feel your wounds are starting to slow you”. Instead of just announcing it to the player, explain the mechanic before the game and let them figure out the details. Soon they will just know that the mechanic is in effect without the announcement.