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Actual Play

This is where we do what we do! We celebrate our experiences with table-top role-playing games. Here are the ones I'm playing right now:

What are you playing? What do you see when you read the posts here? Comment at any post you like, or use the big green Start a Topic button at the top right of this page. People often include video or audio recordings of play, but text-only is fine too. Please feel free to attach documents, like maps or character sheets or brief sections of the rules you're using.

I trust you to work out how you want to talk about your games: just for fun, sharing & comparison, critique, or whatever. Please check out my best-practices manual for suggestions, but it's really flexible.

If you already do a podcast or other actual-play series, live or not, please consider yourself invited to embed a link as a topic.

For games in design, i.e., playtesting - yes, go right ahead, that's welcome too. For consulting sessions with me, which is different, see the Consulting page.


This is my most recent experiment in playing a system in pure referee-style, six three-hour sessions of Knave in the famous B/X module Keep of the Borderlands by Gary Gygax. Previously, I attempted forty hours of a 5e West Marches Campaign which was a mixed experience. My sense of “referee style” is to stick adamantly to the module’s direction for game elements and its implicit notions of what is and isn’t possible.

Posted by: badspeler
17 Mar 2022
Games: D&D Basic

We concluded our campaign in The Sword, The Crown and The Unspeakable Power. It lasted up to 14th session, which ended in magical storm, about sealing off the Wanton Death (deva Kali) and bringing two deaths to player characters.

For a referrence, I do recommend reading my first two submissions about this campaign:

Posted by: Mansfeld
13 Mar 2022

Two days ago I had the chance to start a Circle of Hands campaign with some people interested in expanding their knowledge about roleplaying games, whose background is mainly focused on the 3.5 and 5 editions of D&D.  In the first session we arrived at what I would call a turning point of the first venture, of which I attach the preparation.

Posted by: Karaburan
11 Mar 2022

Jon made the mistake of musing online about playing The Pool with a Sin City, To Live and Die in L.A., Haven: City of Violence way, and like two predators spotting the straggler, Sam and I struck. Jon's introductory sheet is attached, and so are our starting characters, created after reading it.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
09 Mar 2022
Games: The Pool

In last night's CORE session, three reality-sliders tumbled through four scenarios:
- Resurrect Frankenstein's Monster & teach him love
- Camel race to save the baby Jesus
- National dance competition vs Evil
- Car chase thru 1972 farmers market to deliver Pulsing Tesseract to The Spindle

Posted by: Tod
07 Mar 2022
Games: CORE

I will describe two different dungeoneering doctrines and then have a few comments after them. Doctrine, here, means a set of tactics one has available as tools. (The maps are player maps by diog.)

The slow crawl

Posted by: Tommi
05 Mar 2022

This post continues from Our first Hunt, which despite its name includes two Hunts, featuring my character Hazard, Noah's Lilith o'Bedlam, and Alessio's Grey Witch. We really wanted more Stalkers, that is, more players, so our latest session, and new Hunt, adds the Mask, played by Pedro.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
03 Mar 2022

Now we've entered the "adventure" for our Bushido game. I think you'll see a definite influence of Circle of Hands on all the players' concept of what a fantasy adventure even is, and how characters relate to the society and to local communities. I think this perspective is very well-suited to this game in terms of the core book's presentation. How well it's suited to the hobby expectations of a fantasy adventure is another question.

Posted by: Ron Edwards
01 Mar 2022
Games: Bushido

Over the last couple of days I played the solo game Thousand Year Old Vampire. Attached to this post you will find two documents. The first document represents what the character looked like after setup. The second document contains what the character looked like by the time the game was over. The second document is highly annotated so you can see what happened when.

Posted by: Jesse Burneko
28 Feb 2022

So you can consider this a follow-up to my earlier post describing nuances in and action gaming with the Pool. I had the chance to try out my ideas with a couple of excellent players. The backdrop to the game was a “Demon Hunter” idea, set in contemporary times in my home city of Seattle. I was going for a kind of Dresden Files/Monster of the Week feel, so urban fantasy.

Posted by: Dreamofpeace
27 Feb 2022