Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A BLUE ROSE By Any Other Name...

I don't usually do this, but today I'm writing to tell you about a new roleplaying game I'd really like to see more support for. It's currently Kickstarting, although if you've been in the hobby long enough you may remember the first edition. 

The game is BLUE ROSE, from Steve Kenson and the good folks at Green Ronin Publishing. And it's an important game, folks, in an industry that is often clannish and slow to change.

Cover image by Stephanie Law from the original Blue Rose paperback.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Game Chef 2015 - The Long Sleep

Check out this gorgeous cover illustration by my buddy John Matthias!
So I decided that this year I would dive right into the deep end of the game design pool and put something together for Game Chef. It was intimidating putting something together so quickly, over just ten days, but I had a good time doing it and was satisfied with the results.

If you've never heard of Game Chef, it's a yearly contest with pretty wide-open parameters. You have ten days to design a game using the theme provided (this year it was "A Different Audience") and at least two of the ingredients (this year's were abandon, dragonfly, stillness, and dream). What kind of game and what format it ends up in are completely up to you. My entry, "The Long Sleep", is somewhere between storygame and American Freeform LARP. It's about people who are struck down by a disease that puts them in a comatose state. Their minds are not quiescent, however - the Sleepers find themselves in a vivid dream world, and somehow their minds are connected. Together, they embark on a journey Within...

Reflections. Ten days doesn't seem like a lot of time, but this is actually a do-able thing. I was happy with the game I got at the end of it, although there was stuff I wish I'd had the space for. 4000 words is not a lot, and you have to keep things simple and compact. I could have easily written another 4000 words if I'd had the space. I was very lucky to get an idea that had legs early on, so I didn't spend any time spinning my wheels. I thought about it for a couple of days, then wrote it down, caught my breath, and finally revised.

You can get the finished game here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Review: TIANXIA - Blood, Silk & Jade

A couple of years ago, through the magic of social media, me and a handful of my players had the opportunity to playtest what was then a new game from Vigilance Press, TIANXIA. I was so flattered by the offer that I accepted, although I should have known that we were probably the last people who should have thrown their hat into the ring to playtest a game. It took us way longer to play through the game than would have been useful for our feedback to help the creator with edits, if we had engaged with the mechanics of the system for our game (and we really didn't). But our experience with this game was a very good one, and although I've already talked about it at some length on the podcast, it's worth a mention here - if only to say a belated thanks to Jack Norris, James Dawsey, and Vigilance Press by giving their excellent game a bit of signal boost.