After setting up my little consulting table at the Palace Hotel during Lucca, I found myself tired of discourse and yearning for play. When a friend I hadn't seen for a while passed by, with a copy of Trollbabe (in Italian, published by Narrattiva) in hand, that seemed like the perfect plan.
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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 always the toughest time for playtesters, because it's no longer about "cool, an idea," but about "oh crap, saying/teaching it this way is pure miscommunication." The poor players are like my hands which are trying to read Braille but are unfortunately picking up the waffle iron instead.
This post is a bit complicated: Daniele and Giulia brought Emanuele Galletto's Blood Red Blossoms to me to look at, and I roped them into playing a little. The next day, I asked Emanuele to talk with me about it. So it's not really a consult but more like Actual Play in one video with me in a semi-consult role in the next (the main one at the end).
I'd provide the two character-sheet diagrams I examined while preparing for play, but they are both the same: about 80% of the items on each one was now slammed into the center, including new ones that had been acquired from each other's sheet.
In other words, both sorcerers (Ahmet and Ingmar), their demons (Solomon and Odd John), the crucial designs of the tattoos and runes from the ruins, the murder victims (Mehmet and Julia)
Rod mentions at one point that it's the most self-indulgent role-playing he's done, either lately or maybe ever. That's why this time the lead image for this post is a link.
I call attention to a couple of things.
You play a game set in L.A., I tell you what, you’re going to be driving hither & yon a hell of a lot. This session brought us downtown, then to Corona, Venice Beach, the northeast burbs, and eventually to Antelope Valley, in the wilds of Palmdale. There was even a mention of La Fontana over the county border. Almost worthy of a local to sneer, “You ain’t from around here.”
My other Gauntlet game! Unlike the Cosmic Zap session, running Champions of any stripe in a convention setting is no picnic for prep. But the hardest part is not the character construction ... it's the fact that the players will not have the necessary buy-in and sense of "let's do this" per interesting item or opportunity that's inherent to each character. The net effect is that the GM/preparer must be constantly pointing out to them what they can do.
Here's the first of three games I led at Gauntlet Con 2018! A Cosmic Zap playtest. When I initially signed on for playing it months ago, I was unsure about how well-developed the game would be, or even how playable/failed at all. But it turned out to be a decisive validator of the project.
I guess it won’t surprise anyone that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been tapped again for a Hunted. This time there’s no supervillain component, it’s just (“just”) the agency, so in looking for villains to create, and seeing the Crusader on the Curator’s sheet, I focused on the “trapped between two worlds” feature that both heroes share.