Game Day: Who Watches the Watchmen?

Back in November, when I was working on my novel for NaNoWriMo, I wrote a scene in which the main characters got together for a graphic novel book club. When I mentioned this to my gaming group, they thought it was a great idea … and that we should give it a try in the real world.

After much discussion and a few delays, we’re finally doing it. Our first-ever Graphic Novel Book Club will take place tonight at WhichBrew, where we’ll be eating good food, drinking local beers, and discussing Alan Moore’s classic (if highly depressing) graphic novel Watchmen (Amazon).

It’s a tough novel to start with because it truly feels like a novel. It’s dense and literary, with some chapters that spin the narrative wildly out of control, and an ending so depressing it could drive you to drink. It’s dystopian alternate history 1980s has almost no sympathetic heroes; there are plenty of reasons to hate them, and almost none you can admire.

And yet … it’s a cornerstone of the modern era of comic books. With Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (Amazon), it inspired a new wave of more realistic, grittier comic books. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on your point of view, but that the book is highly influential is undeniable.

We haven’t figured out what our next book will be after the Watchmen, or what our exact mechanic will be for deciding new books, though I think we’re leaning toward rotating amongst the group and having everyone pick a book for us to read. Among the possibilities mentioned have been first Hellboy collection, Seed of Destruction (Amazon) and DC’s mega-event 52 (Amazon).

Raising the City Guard

Meanwhile, our efforts at migrating all of our campaign material from our old GriffCrier web site to the new GriffWiki have accelerated to a breakneck pace as Cory took it upon himself to start moving all of the “Site” articles. That’s inspired me to start fleshing out some of the newly moved entries, particularly those relating to the City Guard of Obsidian Bay. I started with the Mudsitters Barracks of the City Guard, detailing its warden, street patrol commander, and investigator, complete with statblocks (well, for everyone but the investigator — that’s still a work in progress since I need to whip up a few cursed magic items.

It never ceases to amaze me how much content we’ve managed to accrue for our campaign. At this point, the wiki tells me we have 577 articles on the wiki. That’s a heck of a lot of articles, and my gut tells me we’re probably only about half-done importing content into it (including stuff still left in the wiki, and my own notes. This shouldn’t be surprising, given that the campaign is over 10 years old, and yet somehow, it still is.

The campaign continues tonight, as the new Dark City heroes finish up a quest in the wilderness and return home to Obsidian Bay. This will wrap up Erilar’s initial run on the campaign; next up will be Cory’s mid-level Dark City run that will try something we’ve never done before: an adventure that starts off with a “flash forward” fight, then flashes back to the start of the adventure. It’s something you see a lot of in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel, but we’ve never tried it in game. Will it work as well at the table as it did on TV? Time will tell.

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