So I had the opportunity to play another game of Finding Haven with three excellent role players. I’m doing this write-up here not so much for purposes of game design feedback, but more to focus on my decisions as a GM (in Finding Haven, that stands for General Manager), including the details of prepping situation, and how one scene flows into the next.
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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.
The game called The Sword, The Crown and The Unspeakable Power interests me with a hook, that it is supposed to be “like Apocalypse World, but closer to Game of Thrones. I'd refer to that game as simply "The SCUP" or "SCUP." The book itself strongly encourages play in non-Western fantasy, literally calling it “Western fantasy is safe”.
Over at the OS/R Discord, we have been playing Lamentations of the Flame Princess through a few iterations. And if you look through any of the games at the protagonist characters, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with any redeeming characteristics. Most have been brave in the face of monstrosity, but there are not characters you'd invite over for gaming night. At least not if you expected their behavior to be within social norms.
Back in 2011 I submitted a game to the Ronnies based off the keywords: murder and whisper. I’ve played and revised the game quite a bit since then. I mention this in the spirit of full disclosure that the game I’m about to discuss is a game of my own making. However, I want to make it clear that this is not a design discussion. What I’m going to talk about isn’t a problem and it doesn’t need to be fixed.
Having played Forge: Out of Chaos for over a year, Jon, Sean, and I decided to put the game temporarily on the shelf and take up another fantasy heartbreaker. I’m now running Robert Bartels’ Fifth Cycle, and we had our first session this week.
We're playing The Pool, with me, Hans, and Christoffer. The setting I've offered comes from my presentation materials at Kulturnatten a couple of months ago, using Dust Devils at the time. I was born in San Diego, and although our family soon moved to the Monterey Peninsula, I've sought to understand the history of that border and the SoCal/Baja region.
Back to the Vault! In this case, as GM'd by Adriano, who is going all-out in terms of locations for our Stalkers' hunting. I'm not sure what to tell you here except that our characters are also hitting hard right out of the gate - Lilith o'Bedlam (Noah), the Grey Witch (Alessio), and Hazard (me) - which I've generally found to be the case for this game. I've attached my information here and will add the others' if they wish.
Into another game of The Pool, this time with Jerry, Renee, and Helma. I've been prepared for this one for a long time, with a lot of accumulated images. You'll spot the particular sort of pop science fiction right away: tons of implausible aliens as stand-ins for human concerns or outlooks, a completely transparent political moment, and an attempt to be one step beyond what current TV/film tech can currently do, visually.
At Odin's request, we're playing Vampire: the Requiem, 2nd edition, which I have agreed to learn enough to GM and for which he is the go-to for rules details during play. We've been at it for three sessions of varying length; the embedded video playlist is current through session 2 and I'm just exporting the set for session 3 as I type this. (edit: done!)