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 As the name hints, TimeWatch is a game about time travel, as yet unpublished, but due soon following a very successful Kickstarter last year.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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Wipeable PVC Cards

It seemed like a novel idea. Many gamers use whiteboards all the time, large and small, to keep track of people, places or the steady progress of combat. I have always been on the look out for something ideally suited to the tabletop. I have a whiteboard around A4 in size, and another around A3. I also have one of the fabulous Noteboards. Now, the Noteboard is made up of individual index card-sized sections, each laminated to allow you to write,

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Forged in Shower Water

I don’t have any issue with the time consumed (or saved) by the business of taking a shower. I know that when I step in there, I’m going to take too long. It’s just a fact. However, it seems to take even longer these days since I realised the creative influence of a hot shower in getting my game and adventure development sorted. Not only has a shower served to resolve my issues with teamwork and associated mechanics for 214

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Complex 214 – The Dee Sanction

I have a few upcoming conventions to prepare for, where I hope to get the chance to run a couple of Complex 214 games. One will be based around the dystopian future colony background I have already referenced in my game pitch post and elsewhere. The other will take me back to my History degree and the interest in Elizabethan England that drew me to write for the Arion Games reprint of the classic Maelstrom game a few years back,

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Complex 214 – Unethical Ends

Complex 214 character generation include three card-driven facets – Mutation, Secret Affiliation and Unethical Ends. I have been looking with some interest at the lattermost. Essentially, all characters have a purpose in their daily existence. Characters in Complex 214 could not describe themselves as competent in much at all. They don’t need to be. The protocols that drive the balance and integrity of the contained society demands no one individual become too good at anything. With great power comes great

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Selfish and Selfless Successes

When I discussed running Stealth Train at the weekend, I also mentioned Selfless and Selfish Successes. I just wanted to cover that topic in a little more detail. Essentially, I didn’t want success to be anything but. When you get the 7 needed for success, I didn’t want anyone to run away with it. If you roll a natural 7, you succeed. Period. If you play a card before you roll, then roll 6, 7 or 8 – you also

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Complex 214 – Pitch to My Group

My gaming group – after 2.5 years of thoroughly non-organised play – has taken to pitching potential new games and adventures. This has come as something of a shock to the system, but its makes sense as we only get together once a week and we don’t want to waste any valuable time in that session not knowing what to play. With an eye to running sessions of Complex 214, to help me develop the rules, setting and adventures, I have

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