Thursday, 16 February 2017

Zero to One

"The distance from zero to one hundred is nothing compared to the distance from zero to one." That's a mangled paraphrasing of the great science fiction writer Spider Robinson, who clearly knows a little something about starting up a new roleplaying game.

We've been in a roleplaying hiatus here in Merrie Olde London Towne since October, with occasional bursts of one shots and social gatherings since then. My friend Rob is about to start a TIMEWATCH game, using a hack of the Cortex Plus rules, and I'm super eager to start that game -- especially since Rob has set it in the Weird 70s a la In Search Of.

But I'm a GM at heart, and I'm never happier than when I've got a game of my own to put my creative energies into. So I've been thinking a lot about getting my own game running, and lately my tastes have been running towards running an old-school fantasy game via CASTLES & CRUSADES. I wrote a while back about wanting to go back to the roots of the hobby and see what I can do by bringing 21st century HTHD ideas and indie gaming technology to the party, and that idea still appeals to me. It's everything else that's been driving me crazy.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Past Is Prologue

A lot of blogs are in a reflective mode, this time of year, and I thought New Years Eve was as good a time at any to share this particular look back on ten years of gaming.

A few weeks ago, a friend at our gaming table mentioned in an online post that he was having difficulty remembering all of the games we'd played over the past few years, and nudged me toward the idea of making a comprehensive list. I did, and it was both a humbling and invigorating experience looking back at all the games we'd played at our table over the past decade in London, Ontario. I sometimes say that as an adult gamer, I've played the best games of my life in the last few years, and here was actual proof.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

How Gamers Can Help Save the World from Donald Trump

Last weekend, my wife and I travelled to Kingston to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We were able to surprise my mother by having my brother and his family show up at the restaurant where we took them for dinner, and it was lovely having everyone together for that special occasion. We also got to visit and play games with some of our old friends, who we miss dearly and wish we could see more often. We also were in a bit of a celebratory mood because my wife had just secured an ongoing job (with benefits) that will make us financially secure for the next few years. For once, everything in our lives seemed stable, happy, and good.

And then we drove home, Tuesday night, to the Trumpocalypse. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Son of Clickbait! Or, Ten Games I Think Are Great (And Maybe You Will, Too)

I was recently lucky enough to travel back to my hometown, Kingston, Ontario, to spend a lovely evening with friends around the game table. My wife ran a game of Urban Shadows, which I think went pretty well, though we had a larger than usual group of players. I miss playing with those people, and the chances to do so just seem to get rarer every year. Anyway, one of my best friends, Dave, suggested that I do a blog on my top ten games. Since ideas are scarce enough in these parts that I would never cast one aside, I'll give it a go. 

I wrestled a bit with this, wondering whether I should do several lists that gave a top ten based on different criteria (Personal Favourites, Most Innovative, Most Applicable to HTHD Play etc.), but I think I'm just going to talk a bit about ten games I think are straight-up great for various reasons and people can make of it what they wish. In no particular order, then...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Hello Greyhawk, My Old Friend...

My 2016 reincarnation drama NOT FADE AWAY is wrapped up, at last, and that means I'm thinking about the next campaign I want to run. I generally have a lot of games in my back pocket as possibilities for "the next thing", but at the moment there's one idea that's taking up a lot of mental real estate. I've been wanting to run an old-school fantasy game for a while, using CASTLES & CRUSADES as my rules engine. It's modern, but with enough of the flavour of ADVANCED D&D, the formative game of my generation, that it captures something special in my imagination.

I want to use it to run Greyhawk.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Into The Great Beyond: NOT FADE AWAY

This past Saturday night, we wrapped up NOT FADE AWAY, a game I'd been running at my table since February of last year. As with all games that have any longevity at all, I have complicated feelings about it, but I'll try to talk about our experience here with as much objectivity as I can.

Friday, 16 September 2016


It's not that uncommon that I'm not here on a regular, three-time-a-week basis, which sometimes is down to schedule and sometimes is down to sloth. I am pleased to report that this month, the reason I haven't blogged in a while is actually productivity. I have been writing a new project, and so far I've written over 20,000 words on it. I am very, very happy about this, and more happy that I've been able to make writing a part of my daily routine - I sit down and write in the afternoons every day, six days a week. (Saturday is game day, and usually involves too many jobs around the house, errands, and prep issues to allow a regular writing time. But six days a week is good.) I set very modest goals for myself, and so far I have achieved them. For someone like myself who sometimes struggles with applying his creative instincts, this is terrific.