Attacking The Darkness

Every week, I inform my friends and family that I am the master of their futures and their very lives are in my hands. Whether they live or die is solely my discretion, and my faintest whim will determine the course of their future.

And then we roll some dice and hit things.

Wednesday nights are Gaming Nights around here. Back in 2003 I started a Final Fantasy d20 gaming campaign, custom-built (read that: shamelessly stolen) from various d20 rulebooks and my own fevered imagination. We started with two players, grew to four (and two games!), then went down to three when one of my players decided he had better things to do, like go be a lawyer or something. We miss you, Taylor! Though we understand you have about no time left in the world anymore.

My players are my best friend from high school who moved out here to Kansas City with me in 2003, another really good friend who moved out here to Kansas City with me in 2004, and the girl I moved here to Kansas City FOR, and who I married in 2008. The player who ended up leaving the game was another one of my best friends from high school who moved out here to Kansas City with me in 2003. Aside from gaming, we have maybe two things all in common, one of which is a susceptibility to mind control.

There is a list, somewhere, of things that no one wants to read about, and stories about your gaming sessions are no lower than #4 on that list. So I’m not going to just recap sessions each week here, because no one wants to read that who isn’t already playing in the game. So instead I’m going to try and find interesting things to talk about as far as game design, how I run things, special extras either I or my players have done, stuff like that. We’ll start with music, because this will frame a lot of the later posts.

Final Fantasy games are big on music. Most every character in a game has a leitmotif, there are special battle themes and city themes and mood themes, so forth, so on. When I started planning Final Fantasy Omega, I decided I was going to make music a big part of the game, so I told everyone to pick their character’s theme song, because it would be used for their Limit Break (big super signature attack). I would also have themes for the villains and cities and everything.

We’ve since moved the game online, where we log into IRC every week and type out our dice rolls and character chatter, since the youngest of us is 29 (me!) and everyone’s getting old and lazy, and the player who left still played for a few years after moving to Nashville from KC. I can still do music, though, by setting up a sounds directory in IRC and then using commands in-session to play music.

The sounds directory has, at the time of this writing, 489 items in it. Many of these are tracks that I have played only once. It’s not enough to say I have themes going for certain characters — I’m limiting composers to specific character arcs so I can have a consistent unifying theme for that character and anyone related to him or her.

Most of the music comes from video game soundtracks, so expect this space to talk a lot about music.

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