Alien Menace Session 1 – Musings

I’m not going to try to cover the game session from last Saturday’s Alien Menace campaign – Doug and Peter did that pretty well already. And to be honest, I’m not going to recap those sessions because that’s too much work and the way I view it a GM’s task. Instead, I’m going to get myopic and blab away about my character (as all players are want to do) and my experience for being a player in a campaign for the first time in ten years.

My Character
I decided right off the bat that I didn’t want to play anything too complex or that required much thought. So, of course, I decided to design a character that was both – because hey, my brain won’t shut the hell up or do what I tell it too. I did know that I either wanted to play the Close-Quarters Battle/Defensive Tactics guy, the Tech, the Medic, or the Sniper. I like playing support rules when I do play because typically that’s all that’s left to choose from in most of the games. After discussing it with the other players, I decided to play the Medic who was also a bit of a CQB guy. I knew I was asking for trouble trying to split the different the way I did, but I decided to do it anyways. My guy was going to be a has-been operator, who was working his way toward a slow death with the bottle and taking shit-detail merc work doing dangerous stuff. I mean, you have to be a little bit crazy or a damn fool to bring the fight to alien invaders to begin with. I also decided that he was previously an Army Ranger and SARC operator. Slowly, the background began to form in my head and a little while later I had a highly workable character. That is until I played him. Some stuff I got to have:

  • I think I have the highest Basic Move in the party (Move 7), but I really need to get more. If I am going to be able to get to my teammates and patch them up (I have a modified First Aid skill of 16 including bonuses from equipment, base skill, and other traits).
  • I – and this is embarrassing – forgot to buy the CQB technique. I am shamed. I need to buy this higher, and I need to do it NOW.
  • I need to buy a higher Perception score or possibly IQ. With my chosen skills, I’m filling in the role of team biologist (which is awesome), but it makes me less of a combatant than some of the others.
  • I need better combat skills. Like Peter, I spent quite a few of my points on close in skills I doubt I’ll ever get to use…but they make sense for my character, thus he has them. I don’t want to steal the spotlight mind you. I just want to make sure I’m useful to my teammates and pulling my weight there.
  • I don’t have any points in Observation…that was a damn fool mistake. I got Forward Observer though! So that’s something. I kind of want to spend some points in both skills, so I can serve as a spotter for Nate’s character if the need should arise.
  • I need to be sneakier if I’m going to keep playing point man.
  • I hope that someone can function as the radioman (I think that’s Tim’s character), if not, I’m willing to put that hat on too.

On My Being a Player
One of the things that came up when we were playing was the fact that every one of Doug’s players were GMs themselves. This made the whole playing experience…smoother somehow. There was no bullshit, no infighting, it was getting straight to the plot/action/whatever. We all more or less knew what was what and while Doug did have to clarify a few rules (for all of us), that part went by pretty quick too. The thing about being a player is that you have to wholly give yourself over to the GM’s vision, in my experience anyways. Doing that is hard if you yourself are a GM. Especially if you GM all the time. You’re used to being in control. You’re used to calling the shots. You’re used to being in charge of a herd of cats…errr…players. When you’re not anymore – it’s just plain strange. That said, Doug is an amazing GM, the game got to a slow start, but man or man it picked up quickly from there. I can tell I’m going to have a fun time and have nothing but faith in his capabilities. I’ll keep you posted from here on out, maybe share my character’s back story, maybe do some kind of journal or dairy or something (I always find that fun).

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