Ola Jansson has been working on his Compact Stories for a while, with plenty of playtesting and revision along the way. But it's hit that point I've identified as critical, when the design questions and the presentation questions are bleeding into one another. With any luck I can put some of the work of the past couple of years at this site to good use.
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Here's where I post about my current role-playing game design consulting, with the permission of the clients. Sometimes it's a text piece, sometimes it's video or audio. Sometimes it's a discussion, and sometimes it's a playtesting session. Check out the Testimony and What I Do items below to see what it's about.
- If you want to become a client, please click on the "Come into the Lab" link to contact me for initial discussion.
- If we agree it's a good fit, then the fee is 1000 SEK + VAT for three sessions.
I love this quote from The Mountain Witch: "All conflict is a form of combat." For Justin Nichols' Kinfolk, the issue is that he's got a big whole-game arc of whether the invading industrials can be successfully repelled or otherwise stopped by the fey folk ... and sure, you can make a chapter structure, and sure, you can think of points that accumulate through lower-scale actions and fights ...
Sean Hillman and I met to talk about his game, or proto-game, just notes really, Empire of the Dragon Lotus. For me it's a callback to about ... fifteen years ago, into the hothouse of the Forge and Sean's participation there. I think his original notes on the game from back then are in one of my stacked piles of papers.
Dan and I go way back although we hadn't met or interacted directly before; he was in at some of the earlier Forge days and has good memories. It's nice to talk with someone with those.
Prompted by our discussions in the comments across posts here, Lorenzo Colucci brought the relevant mechanics of his game in design, Crescent (working title), for some high-focus work with me.
Given the ambitious purpose of Tales of Round Table, it's useless merely to read and opine about it - one has to do it. But then again, given that the purpose concerns first-time and, preferably, entirely naive users, perhaps any of us "trying it out" is compromised past the point of utility. I'm not that far down the road, but clearly, as distinctly not the target audience as I am, it's risky to present a personal conclusion as genuinely informed.
I've moved into playtesting for Levied Souls, with the help of friends at Spelens Hus. It's a long-term project with plans for multiple sessions, and so this first session was for character creation. By player request, it's also audio only, athough I have set it up as a video for helpful captioning and occasional textual comments.
Patrons will recognize Zac Porcu as the instigator and interlocutor in the huge discourse on role-playing that made available to them a few years ago, and viewers here may recall the Sorcerer Musik game that he and Jann played in. He and Jann are now working on a role-plyaing game composed of easily-used cards transported in a small, nice-looking box.
Here's one of my favorite things: consulting with someone I didn't know about a project I didn't know about. Jeff McNeil has been working on his game Levied Souls for some time, and it's beaten into pretty much manuscript phase, just shy of actual layout. I've learned that this is not my favorite phase to consult.
Psychopomp is another of the many initial/proto game designs that Justin is musing over and playtesting, and he wanted to make sure it got into the scorching too. I had to think pretty hard about how to go into it, because it fits so strongly into a particular aesthetic and an existing set of variables, that I couldn't see any way to address it "on its own." So I took a risk, setting the whole conversation as a series of comparisons with existing games.