Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 5: Scientific Reasoning

There may be a murderer among the Caravan goers and as our travelers approach Shallamas they encounter the home of Shallamas’ Boogey Man.  Follow us on Twitter @NWChronicles.

The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 5: Scientific Reasoning

Obidark's Lullaby

Come sweet child don't Fret or Fear

Listen to our song it will fill you with Cheer

Life is hard and times they are tough

We can take you now where it isn't so rough

Away from your parents away from the dark

It is time to go where you can make your mark


Obidark take me into your arms

Obidark protect me from harm

Obidark will take me away

To a place with Eternal play


Come sweet child your innocence we need

if we ever hope to continue our breed

no harm will befall you there is truth in what we say

the evils of this world is why we take you away

Don't say goodbye don't tell them what you hear

The last thing we want is to fill them with fear.


Obidark take me into your arms

Obidark protect me from harm

Obidark will take me away

To a place with Eternal play

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Episode 4: The First Discovery

Welcome to Episode 4: The First Discovery

The Murden were only the beginning. Now a new threat has joined the fray, as our Travelers try to investigate these translucent trees.  Will our players survive.  Can they roll something other than 1's or 20's.  You will have to Listen to find out.

Stream Above or Download here: The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 4: The First Discovery

Don't forget to Follow us on Twitter @ NWChronicles

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Episode 3 Retrospective

Well we’ve made it to session 2(episode 3), so we can fix the mistakes of the first 2 Episodes.  My players told me that the modulated voices were really hard to understand.  Over Skype I believe this is true, in my recording I thought they turned out pretty good however they were ditched for the next two sessions until I can gather more data on how to make them work better over skype since skype’s voice quality isn’t the best.  Also dice rolls are called out much better.  We still missed a few but we're working on it.

The Episode starts with the morning after the events of Episode 2.  Events that will have further ramifications in a later episode.  We get to meet a couple of caravan members and chat a bit.  Pacing is going to be a tough thing going forward.  Not sure I want every other episode to be Story > Story > Action.  I fear I am boring some of you. Though in the past listening to other play session podcast, some times the action is actually the boring part and the conversations the much more interesting listen.  So finding the mix will be fun.

Also note that through a complicated process of budding and fragmentation the caravan grew from a group of 25 people to 45 people over night.  Yup.   Continuity issue much?  I actually wasn’t aware that I gave a count to the caravan’s size back in Episode 2 until I was editing it.  By then it was too late we already recorded this episode.  So it’s been Ret conned J. Every time you spot a continuity issue I think you should take a drink.   Even if listening from work.
So the grove of Transparent trees mentioned in the book I thought could be an interesting back drop.  What are they? Why are they there?  Well I made up my own ideas and ran with it.  But a big baddy right off the bad isn’t too fun so I stuck in a Murden ambush.  I like the Murden visually they are a neat sinister like abhuman.  Much more calculating then random barbarians.   I only wished they talked.  Having Murden with sinister plans taunt PC would be cool.  I might just have to have a player acquire a device that allows them to hear Murden telepathy.

Speaking of devices.  Cyphers aren’t playing out as I expected.  I think I made the mistake of giving my players utility cyphers over every day functional cyphers.  This has limited their use so far this campaign.  I have recognized this though and am working to rectify the situation. 

GM intrusion: you are ambushed.  Used twice this session.  It worked, but I have to find a better way to use it.  Making something bad happen to my players without a roll just seems wrong to me.  I have to get out of that mind set and just add things that will complicate the story or make things fun.  In combat that is hard, and usually unnecessary.  With this crew there is enough 1’s rolled that I have to keep on my toes. Outside of combat I haven’t found a balance of what should be an intrusion and what should just be being a GM. 

Scan.  Well I started playing scan wrong giving more info than scan says it should give in the book.  I have started paring that down a bit, but it is Aura Tao’s only move.  Since he/she is a pacifist.  (Tory did say the character was androgynous so I can’t speculate on its sex)  Ohh and I know now days Tao is pronounced ‘Dow’, But since it’s a monk with the last name Tao I refuse to play into the game.  Since it is a billion years in the future I figure the nuance has been lost by then.
One action.  One.  That is something I have to get through my thick skull.  Too many years of playing games where you can move and then act.  If you move more than immediate you cannot act.  I know I’ve made lots of mistakes here so far, but my players haven’t complained.  I’m trying to keep things moving a bit. 

Cannon fodder NPCs.  Having other NPCS on the player’s side in this game is tough since as the GM I don’t really roll dice.  Just narrating the battle seemed to work well I hope.  Though I think the Murden concentrated on the two guards a bit much.  The guard number also I think changed a bit throughout the episode.  The scout ran back to get help but I wasn’t sure if there were two guards or one.

The big reveal.  I hope I explained it well.  I give another description in Episode 4.  I like the one in 3 better I think.  It’s a frightening beast, and you will see it in action soon.  The Cliffhanger ending.  I hope serves me well.  The fall off of people who listened to Episode 1 vs 2 is quite drastic and 2 I think was quite weak actually.  One was the primer and was more exposition then role-play I guess I should have opened with action rather than a funeral.  That does make better sense.  So Episode 3 might have problems finding an audience I fear.  I hope everyone is enjoying it.  I’m trying to make an entertaining Numenera experience.  Though I am nowhere near an expert in the setting I hope I am getting some if it right.

 We have Episodes 4, 5, and 6 recorded and awaiting editing. So more is coming.  However on a Somber note I regret to inform everyone that Episode 4 will not be coming out this Thursday.  I have had a death in the family and have to head out of town for a funeral.  This has caused delays in editing.  I should get it out Next Thursday if all goes well.

Until then everyone safe travels.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 3: Translucent Trees

A grove of Translucent Trees stands in the path of the Caravan.  Our group of travelers decide to investigate this strange occurrence and see what they can discover. 

The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 3: Translucent Trees is now available for streaming.

Or download it here: The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 3

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chronicles News

Well Good News.  You can Now find the Ninth World Chronicles on ITunes for your listening convenience.

Also if you want you can subscribe to the RSS Feed from the links to the right.  Thanks for your interest. 

Episode 2 Retrospective

Well two episodes are in the books.  Ok really part 2 of Episode 1 to be honest.  You see how I decided to set this thing up from the get go is as follows:  Record 3 hours a session, however split each session into 2 podcasts.  That way the sessions aren’t overly long, and I can pump them out at a regular clip.  Record every other week, but post a podcast every week.   That was the initial idea.  However it does have drawbacks.

For one.  The mistakes I made while recording Episode 1 also carry over to Episode 2.  Like for instance not calling out dice Rolls.  I noticed this early on while editing Episode 1.  I’ve got it fixed for Episode 3, but you still had to suffer without it for another Episode sorry about that.

Two. Problems that occur, occur over 2 episode.  Tory’s Mic broke just before recording.  His laptop mic worked pretty well in tests but as the day wore on I had soo much trouble understanding him.  Fret not though he gets a new one for Episode 3.

The Third drawback is editing.  There is a lot to be done when you split it up.  You’ve got to record the intro, outro, clean up the audio, and mix in the music.  I’ll always have to clean up the audio but it does mean more intros to record and intro music to make sure is mixed.  The software I am using to mix isn’t the greatest, but the price was right (Audacity –free, if you were wondering)

I’m not sure what everyone things of the music.  More of it? Less of it? Only in the intro?  The artist is now recording mood/set pieces for me to use that should start to work better with each episode.  I would like to have more of it in there myself but it does extend editing time, and I have no clue if it enhances a listen or not.  Since I know everything that is being said it is easy for me to hear it but I am not sure if it makes it hard to understand on first listen.  I guess some feedback would be appreciated.

Well enough of the podcast mechanics side of thing let’s talk about the episode.

Well to be honest I didn’t have much more prepared that night After Episode 1.  For some reason I expected Episode 1 to last the full 3 hours of recording.  I expected more banter from my players and them to be talking more.  Instead it was up to me to do all the talking and we sped through.  It’s my fault really.  I had been playing with the same RPG groups for some time now and we all know each other really well so there is a lot of jokes and stuff in my normal sessions.  So I assumed that would happen here.  However like I said in my last retrospective these guys are all new to each other.  Not new to gaming mind you, but new to the game and to playing together.   Which actually is good for all of you in a way.  You won’t have to listen to inside jokes, or old stories that really are better if you were there and not just listening to them after the fact.  With this group you the listener are in at the ground floor.  Any inside jokes that develop you will know where they came from.  Any memories retold you will be reminiscing as well.  At least that is the hope.    

So the group meets a couple people in the caravan.  All off the top of my head.  Can’t you tell?  Not exactly exciting stuff, but some of it plays out later.  The large man’s (who does have a name you will find out soon) argument with the caravan leader makes no sense.  I know.  I knew at the time that I was making it, but I tried my best to salvage it.   Let’s ignore it happened and move on.   

The Fire extinguisher. Well for all intents and purposes that is what it is.  But think about it.  If you found a red cylinder with a nozzle on it that sprayed white liquidy powder and had no notion of a fire extinguisher, would you know what it does.  Would spraying it on a fire even be something you would think about trying? Especially since other canisters with nozzles when sprayed on fires catches on fire.  Keeping bugs away seemed reasonable.

The screaming lady.  Note how I describe how she was injured in the attack.  Note the conclusions my players jumped to.  Hmmm. 

Obviously the scene was influenced by some horror movie of the other.  Not sure which but the visuals of someone vomiting out insects is well in my head from somewhere.   I don’t think of these things.  Seriously my head is all unicorns and rainbows until you sickos infect it with your gruesome images and then I can’t get them out.  They taunt me at night force me to use them.  Yeah that’s it, it’s not my fault at all officer….

Ohh where was I.  I really really should have used a GM intrusion here, and said that the bugs got on Theron. I was hitting myself after words for not thinking of it.  Add some tension to the scene.  Force Asura to work under some pressure.  But alas it didn’t happen.  Still it was an interesting scene.  Will have to learn my player’s powers a bit more and their limitation so that I am better describe things.  Especially scan.  I does a lot less that I have been giving it credit for. 

I did not expect my players to try to save the guy whose arm was consumed.  Here is an instance where YES is the right answer from a GM.   Now I have a player who is invested in an NPC.  Now I have an NPC who can pay dividends later on.  Having NPC’s die as a plot mechanic or to add stakes can be used really well.  In this instance his death served nothing.  If they failed their efforts to save him then ohh well.  It wasn’t their fault he died.  However if he lives he becomes something I can use later.  Forcing NPC’s to die can be a big mistake for GMs.  Just like the old ‘the villain gets away’ trope that RPGS rely on.  If the Players think of a way to save the guy (or thought of something really cool that defeated your plans and should kill the villain) you kind of have to let it happen.  Or else it feels Deus ex Machina and pulls your players out of the game like nothing else.  It’s a common mistake I’ve seen a lot.  Not that I don’t still make mistake or anything. I’m still learning after all these years.

So what to expect from Episode 3?  Well there are couple characters on the Caravan still to meet, as well as some interesting foliage to explore, and some real combat to get involved with.  Also GM Intrusions finally make their appearance, and not just the ones that occur on the roll of a 1.  Granted there is some of that as well.   It’s going to be a good episode I think.  It should be out Thursday. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 2: Welcome to the Caravan

Episode 2 is now Live for Streaming.

Or Download it here: The Ninth World Chronicles Episode 2: Welcome to the Caravan

In this Episode of the Numenera Play Podcast, the Travelers get to know their new travelling companions in the Caravan, but the day is not uneventful.