Lone Wolf: Simplicity & Nostalgia

I haven’t finished reading the Lone Wolf Adventure Game yet, but I’m more than halfway through. The game boils down into three books at heart, with various other components like pre-generated characters, tokens, combat tables and a randomiser. I have read the Book of Kai Legends, which contains two adventures. I’m most of the way through the Book of Kai Wisdom, which handles the mechanics of the game and some background material. The last volume – the Book of Kai

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PARANOIA Architecture

The Esther Koplowitz Foundation for children with Cerebral Palsy occupies a 1950s building in south-west Madrid. The architects of Hans Abaton met the challenge of extending the existing building in a particularly colourful way. For the mind tuned to dystopian role-playing, it looks like a thoroughly modern approach to multi-clearance working in a Service Group near you – a little slice of Alpha Complex.

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Character In Three Acts

I’m not generally one to engage in all-out acts of improvisation and storytelling; however it occurred to me at the weekend that a little bit of freeform play might assist with rounding out characters for our current Call of Cthulhu 7th edition campaign. I had an interesting session in my run of Beyond the Mountains of Madness yesterday, going a little off piste with a character development session. Two players couldn’t make it for various reasons and had told me

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PARANOIA Legacy

PARANOIA as a skin for Legacy, which is a version of the Apocalypse Engine. Discuss. Or not. Probably not. Legacy is a game of post-apocalypse storytelling with shared and playbook-based mechanics for actions – like Apocalypse World. However, Legacy extends the vision to turn the game into a generational story. You not only have a Character Playbook, you also have a Family Playbook. You have certain abilities from Family and Character alike, as well as standard and specific gear to

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Stress and Endurance

OK. I can see why someone might baulk at the idea of running a big adventure like Beyond the Mountains of Madness. A big book with a lot of stuff going on. I have been juggling a PDF and physical copy for research, running from the electronic version. Yes, the book provides a relatively linear path at the outset, but characters – and more specifically players – rarely following the linear path of least resistance. Indeed, they deserve more than

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Embrace the Ignorance

The most interesting (and frustrating) thing I have found about designing adventures for conventions comes down to lack of foresight about your players. You can’t account for the extent of the knowledge. In some games, this might mean that you run a game with which someone has considerable experience. In the hands of the wrong player this could be a real headache for the GM. However, my own experience had nothing to do with the game system. My opportunities for

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Historical versus Time Travel

I have been preparing for gaming events later this year, which has included effort on both historical games for my own 214 system and consideration of adventures for TimeWatch, a GUMSHOE game. As the name hints, TimeWatch is a game about time travel, as yet unpublished, but due soon following a very successful Kickstarter last year. It might seem quite obvious, but a historical game and one about time travel have a degree of crossover. If you take a historical

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Canon Age

I ran a session of Dragon Age last night, the fourth in a series. We had a ‘filler episode’ last week (as my players termed it) due to only half attendance, so this fourth session took up the main story again, after a diversion in the Fade. To be clear, the ‘filler’ was always planned as a fallback. I don’t tread water if I can help it. In this instance, I had something specific in mind and we played it

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Diminishing Returns

I enjoyed spending three days at Conception this past weekend. I spent most of it on the stall for All Rolled Up, but also had the opportunity to play a couple of roleplaying sessions and a couple of new boardgames. One thing you get from playing rather than GMing is a little insight into how you run games. The first thing that occurs to me when I play is, “I wouldn’t have done that…” – and this can be both

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