Here’s the news blog I’m using for the Masks campaign I’m starting in JanuaryRead More
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New Year, New Blog Posts…
I plan on updating my blog more frequently in the upcoming year. I thought it might be useful, to anyone who stops in and reads, to know what I do and how I do it. My intention is to offer a sketch of how I come into each game I run, and then a reflection about how the game actually plays out—a sort of “Before/After” snapshot. I thought my reflections might be useful, or at least distracting, for some of you who know me. This here will be the longest entry that I will make. (I promise!) But I feel like I need to provide some context before I move forward.
So I am a GM, first and foremost. I aspire to other things—mostly to do with game design—but at the moment, GMing is mostly where it’s at. By almost any standard, I GM in high volume, which is to say I average two games a week, but sometimes end up doing up to five games, and these games run the gamut from storytelling games like, say, Dialect, (which, I know, is GMless, but come on…) to traditional RPGs like everyone’s favorite (haha sort of) Mörk Borg. I have run Bluebeard’s Bride, Hypertellurians, Dread, Better Angels, the Everything of Cthulhu, and, of course, The World’s Most Cough Cough Speak Not Its Name…
I have run a lot personal games at my house, in which the players and I have gone all over the place, doing all sorts of things, and that overall experience has been amazing. I’ve also run a lot of public/gig-type games and learned to appreciate the shotgun wedding nature of a good, random one-shot. I like to think that the time I’ve put in has granted me a certain amount of patience and, maybe, insight—not so much because I’m the brightest bulb in the box. More to the point, if you practice as much as I have—eventually something useful takes hold.
I also like to think that all of this GMing hasn’t dulled my passion for the whole experience—even if, at times, it’s led me to become a little more pragmatic. TTRPGs are awesome, to my way of thinking. They can be a frontier of consciousness, where you are whatever you want to be and/or catch glimpses of who or what you could be. They are also a habit that can lead to aberrant and antisocial behavior—oh yeah, and they’re a bankable, if somewhat picayune, industry.
I’m a cog in this wheel, but who cares? I’m looking forward to the games I currently have lined up for 2023. If nothing else, my friends and I enjoy them, so I thought it might be worth telling you about them, from the GM’s perspective. So next time around, I’ll describe my upcoming mini-campaign of the super-hero game Masks, which will kick off the year for my public group. I’m really looking forward to it. I am mostly a guileless person, and I’ll tell you upfront that I’m amped about this game, because it is about being young and figuring things out. It seems like a great place to start a new year. I’ll let you know what my setup is sometime soon. Then, if you’re still reading, I’ll tell you how things go, somewhere down the line.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year!
A cool-looking Kickstarter for a Christmas RPG
I’ve sometimes seen posts in RPG forums or on Reddit from people asking holiday themed roleplaying games or adventures, and that has often gotten me wondering about the same thing. There seems to be a relative abundance of the latter (i.e. adventures for preexisting systems like D&D or Fate) but not of the former.
But while recently browsing on Kickstarter (I’m always looking for cool RPGs to back), I came across what looked like a fun little rules-lite Christmas RPG that I thought I’d share for those interested.
It’s called ‘TWAS: The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas. It’s created by Jonathan Green who’s the found and writer of Ace Gamebooks, a line of old school-style gamebooks based on classic works of literature like Alice in Wonderland (Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland), The Wizard of Oz (The Wicked Wizard of Oz), and Beowulf (Beowulf Beastslayer). ‘TWAS itself is based on Green’s own ‘TWAS: The Krampus Night Before Christmas which was also a gamebook and which had been successfully Kickstarted.
Ridiculously cheap Pathfinder Humble Bundle!
Humble Bundle is known for offering some great deals, and right now they’ve teamed up with Paizo to offer an insanely cheap Pathfinder bundle of books and even comics. I thought I should share this for any Pathfinder fans out there, or those who wish to start playing Pathfinder, who weren’t aware of it yet.
I should note that this everything in this bundle is for the first edition, so if you’re looking for the second edition book you’ll still have to pay retail price. Still, the amount of material that’s on offer, and the prices it’s being offered at, are practically ridiculous.Read More
‘Call of Cthulhu’ is second most played RPG game on Roll20
Roll20 just released their Orr Group Industry Report for Q3 2019 and it looks like Call of Cthulhu’s popularity continues to grow. According to the report, 13% of Roll20 users currently play the Call of Cthulhu (CoC) system. CoC supplanted the spot that Pathfinder previously used to have, becoming the second most popular role-playing game second only to D&D 5e. It remains to be seen how long it will hold onto that spot, but that’s still an impressive feat.Read More