June 6, 2012

HackMaster PC Kills at Origins Game Fair 2012

Geeking out over RPGs
I got back from my annual pilgrimage to Columbus Ohio for the Origins Game Fair.  Attendance was way down, so much so that I didn't even see the people I knew who actually lived in Columbus.

We had four HackMaster games scheduled, but ended up only running three.  The games were a tournament in name only and the "prize" was that a member of the KenzerCo D-Team was going to run a game on Saturday for the "winners" of the previous games (determined by player vote).  The "Final" had to be cancelled due to real-life issues for the D-Team, but since we only had two players show up for the Thursday night game, I pushed back the games one session and ran the last "regular" game on Saturday and invited everyone who had played in previous games that I could get a hold of.

I think everyone had a good time and while it was a bit disheartening to be running one not-quite-full table for most of the time slots, we didn't have any problems.  There was one thing that came up though that I felt needed to be addressed.

There were no PC deaths during the first game, and I did manage a monster kill in the final encounter of the second game and another in the next-to-last encounter in the third game.

"Death" shield for player characters that "bravely ran away"
My "issue" was that I was totally robbed of a PC death from a trap because the player decided to burn honor to avoid some significant damage.  I'm not a killer GM, but I do like to celebrate those kills when I manage to get them.  In the past I made up a new token to portray PCs who "bravely ran away" and I think it is time to come up with another token to portray those PCs who burned honor to save their hide.

Denied Kill because the PC burned honor to save his (or her) sorry butt.
I played around with some flame graphics for a while and came up with something between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  This simple graphic can be placed on the appropriate colored background to show how the PC would have died if not for the Honor Burn.  Works for now.

This is my current GM Kill Stickers.  I'm thinking of getting them sewn up as badges to place on my GM bag.
Assorted HackMaster Kills and almost kills




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