ORC: Looking forward, looking back

It is hard to believe that I’ve been maintaining the site at http://orcedinburgh.co.uk for over a year after taking stewardship from Dave @ KOA. I got my renewal reminder from the hosting company the other day. Hopefully I’ve managed to continue the same tradition of keeping the community open to all gamers in Edinburgh. The various bells and whistles I’ve added to the site seem to be working okay, especially the wiki.

For me, it’s been an interesting year: I’ve had some great times with the RPGS I’ve run and the games I’ve played.

  • Participating in the New World as Rafael has been a blast – I’m enjoying playing a totally manic PC with a truly jammy streak, even if I’m partially responsible for the real nastiness of the setting.
  • My Through the Looking Glass (Cthulhutech) game was enjoyable, and I may return to Edinburgh 2085 in the future – although it is a complicated system, it gets easier to run over time. Some day I may even get to play in a Cthulhutech game myself again.
  • Ashes of Freedom has been fun to run and people have said good things to me about it, and will continue next year, at least till the end of the current story arc. The Dwarrowdelve scroll incident was one of my best ideas ever, and the sounds of the player’s jaws dropping was music to my ears. Mix in a cursed dagger and time travel and you have good times!
  • Against the Odds has been building up slowly, more due to the dates involved and will continue next year: Elven terrorists, zombie workgangs and the bad guys are serious, organised, and in power. I’m planning to keep at least one spot open in the game for new/visiting players.
  • I intend to run Masks of Nyarlathotep for Call of Cthulhu next year, but will need players for this epic campaign, which will also include some side adventures, including one in Arunstoun, a setting near Edinburgh. There’s something of a pattern there – hopefully familiarity doesn’t breed contempt!
  • I’ve played a variety of characters in the 40K RPGs, mainly on Thursday nights – had a whale of a time there. Although the background can make things a little complicated when you don’t know much about 40k, the systems work well.
  • I’m hoping that the Star Wars Dawn of Defiance campaign is resurrected. The Squib Jedi will rise again! Given his past history this may result in him getting spaced by the other PCs…

ORC itself has changed a little over the last year or so, maybe due to the new location.  Although we have less regulars weekly, we certainly have more folk coming along. Many are first timers or returning to RPG after “many years in the wilderness”. Campaigns are now pretty much a regular occurrence at ORC Saturdays and many of our players turn up just for those games. In the main, everyone has at least been civil and friendly to each other and there haven’t been any critical hits – I’m always surprised at how well-behaved ORC members are!

My personal highlights a player this year and thanks to:

  • Any game in the New World where my PC Rafael has been amazingly lucky, whether it is riding a T Rex or hitching a lift on a Pteranodon (thanks, Chris).
  • Whorl, the Dark Heresy Assassin, using a combine harvester to liberate his colleagues from manor house (thanks Craig).
  • Valexos, my Rogue Trader Navigator: from being a pretty naff PC to something else when he started to mutate – thanks, Stephen.
  • Sammeal the Space Marine literally bringing the house down with a Krak grenade (full of Genestealer cultists, so it was justified). Thanks Grant.

As a GM:

  • Revealing the Dwarrowdelve scroll to be a fake in Ashes of Freedom.
  • The “Where/when the hell are we?” moments in Ashes of Freedom during the Storm of Ages.
  • When the Leviathan Mech and Deep Ones turned up in Cthulhutech: Through the Looking Glass to face off against the PC Tagers in Leith. Actually, creating the setting was a highlight too.
  • The first game I ran of Against the Odds, for the sheer what-the-hell-just-happened moments.

The release of Deathwatch (one the Warhammer 40,000 RPGs, along with Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader) has encouraged a lot of  wh40k gamers into the hobby too. I guess there’s something in Deathwatch that appeals to the power gamer in all of us, including me (I’m playing a Dark Angel Apothecary Marine called Sammeal on Thursday nights): maybe because you’re the ultimate bad-ass!

Unfortunately this can be a bit intimidating for many people (newbies and oldies alike 🙂 ) at first, but hopefully this will change over time – I encourage anyone to welcome new folk to ORC. GMs, you can keep one PC free for visiting players perhaps? In a similar vein: if you’re a GM and looking for players, it is worth posting in other forums at ENWorld or WoTC that you’re running a game at ORC. Plug the website at every opportunity :)!

What games do people want to run/play next year? More D&D? Shadowrun? Ecplise Phase? Cthulhutech? Call of Cthulhu? What’s been the rpg highlights of the year for you?

To all my players, GMs, and those on the ORC site: Merry Xmas!

Here’s to another year at ORC and RPGs!

Published by Bill Heron

Wannabe game designer and would-be author. I've been playing RPGs for over 25 years and have recently started creating my own RPG called Mandragora: Ashes of Freedom. I also run a number of RPGs: Cthulhutech, Call of Cthulhu, WFRP, and D&D. I'm active in the Edinburgh RPG community at http://orcedinburgh.co.uk and regularly play RPGs.

One reply on “ORC: Looking forward, looking back”

  1. I know it’s nothing to do with ORC but I’ll answer anyway :-p

    I’ve enjoyed playing my very camp, very naive wizard. He was put in charge of a small half-orc army, which was quite fun. Especially when we kill all the enemy with only a couple of deaths on our side 🙂 He does have bad habit of fainting in combat though and he did giving away his sisters clothes to the needy, which didn’t go down too well with said sis (who happens to be played by real sis). I’m guessing keeping a hellcat kitten as an experiment of nature vs nurture didn’t go down well with the townsfolk either.

    Next year we’ll be continuing with the Holy Winter campaign (Pathfinder) before going on to X season 2. There will probably be some Roman-era Pendragon thrown in as well and if they behave themselves, I’ll treat the players to another round of d6 Star Wars 🙂

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