Category Archives: Gaming

I’m Not Gonna Write You a Love Song

I’d be lying if I said general ennui and frustration with roleplaying games is some new thing. I’ve been dissatisfied with a lot of roleplaying games for probably the last decade, but occasionally it spikes up and I want to rant and foam a bit. I almost had a new post written when I bought the newest edition of Fading Suns. It had changed a few things, but left in a lot of the bits I thought were ill conceived. Now Shadowrun 5th Edition is coming out and I feel similarly frustrated. I want to grab someone and yell, “You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones!!

On the flip side, a lot of Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts have made gaming a whole different level of fun. And it’s gotten me to dust off a lot of game ideas that I’d otherwise given up on.

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Why Do They Gotta Front?

We played our second session of our Apocalypse World game recently. This is probably the first time I’ve run a second session for any of the AW hacks. This session got me involved in the use of the Fronts and threats for the game. This is the mechanical tracking of plot threads that impact the characters. Normally I run generally off the cuff, with only a vague notion of where things are going and leaving myself open to letting the magic happen. But I figured I wanted to get the full AW experience, so I pulled out the little booklets that I’d printed out with all the other playsheets and started filling them in with guidance from the book.

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Gaming Connectivity

One of the interesting things about our Monsterhearts game that I failed to mention were the ground rules that were set up for our gaming etiquette. I’ve never really managed to get anything like that established for my gaming groups. In the past I’ve tried to ask people for hard limits and gotten little to no response. And since it’s sometimes hard to just get players to read setting information (“I don’t do homework for fun”), I had just given up on the topic. In general, our rules tend to be an unspoken “Don’t be a dick.”

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Monstrous Hearts and Other Apocalyptica

After Go Play Northwest this year, I found myself wanting to dive into Apocalypse World and its assorted hacks. In part because I have a couple hacks I want to make and don’t want to repeat my past mistakes of taking elements from a game I barely understand and then fumbling it up when I try to apply it elsewhere. In part because it’s just stupid fun. Bizarrely, I still don’t feel jazzed over “the post apocalypse” as a genre. But I’ve had stupid amounts of fun both times I’ve played it so I was willing to give it a whirl.

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Over the last month I’ve attended no less that two conventions. Typically I’ve done an after action report of some sort, but for each of the conventions I didn’t feel like I had a whole lot to report. For both conventions I only showed up Saturday, bagged earlier than planned, and then didn’t return Sunday. (Each time for different reasons.) So I figured I could at least talk a bit about the two conventions combined.

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AmberCon Northwest 2012: The Recappening!

Once again, we ventured south for four days of spa, drinking and roleplaying games. For those unfamiliar with the convention, it is one of a few conventions that had started out dedicated to playing Amber Diceless roleplaying. That’s still the core of it, though there have been more indy games making their way into the weekend.

There’s no dealer room, usually no panels. Just gaming from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon with breaks for sleep. It’s less of a convention and more a sprawling family of people that have been gaming together for years. This year was a peak year of over 130 people. We almost entirely overran the McMenamin’s Edgefield, which has been the home of the convention for all of its 15 years.

There are seven slots of games, here’s how mine went.

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