Sunday, 22 January 2017

This Week: Jam, Arrival, Axebane, and Jazz!

Welcome to This Week, a weekly series where I discuss all the gaming (both video and tabletop) content I've played, made, prepped, run and seen that's cool this week.

Let's jump in with what I've done This Week...

What I've Made

Global Game Jam has come and gone for another year, and it's been an interesting one. I tackled the prospect of Jamming alone, and whilst I don't regret doing it, I've answered that question: I won't be doing it again. Jamming alone doesn't allow you to riff off someone else like a normal Jam does. I had my reasons, beyond just answering that question, for going alone but that's a different story all together.
(Image from Victoria Museum.)

Anyway, I did manage to make something, called No More, Molok! which you can find here. I hope you like it.

What I've Seen

I got to see Arrival at Cinema Nova in Melbourne, and it was fantastic. It's rare that I see a film that is actually about hope, and one where I have as few criticisms as I did with Arrival, which was awesome. I don't want to say much about it, because I feel the less you know about the film going in, the better. For those who have seen it though: I wish the last 5 minutes weren't in it. They felt unnecessary and detracting. Otherwise, it's freakin' great. See it while you can! 
(Image from IndieWire.)

After watching the most recent episode of RollPlay: Blades, the cast Geoff passed on the recommendation of John that folks should watch Peaky Blinders. So I did. I'm one season in, and I can't recommend it enough (even if you don't like or know about Blades in the Dark). It's set in 1919 Birmingham, England, and is centred around a gang - the Peaky Blinders - who run a small section of the city. I won't get into why, but they get wrapped into crown-controlled espionage, communist plots, and all sorts of intrigue-filled infighting. It's been so inspiring for me as a GM, and I have so much left to watch! Two seasons are currently on Netflix, so get on it!
(Image from Netflix.)

I became a Patron of Axebane Games who is creating awesome top-down maps with encounter sheets built in. I love the simplicity of the maps - just print them out and jot down ideas, right into them. It's very freeing, only having a tiny amount of space per room, as it forces you to do away with boxed text or complex ideas. Instead, you write down the seeds of your inspiration, and then you improv at the table. I just had to support this enterprise, and I get some awesome coloured versions early to boot, so I'm very happy!
(Image from Axebane Games.)

I watched the first episode of RollPlay: Nebula Jazz this week, which is the newest campaign on the channel. It's bloody fantastic, and other than Blades, I haven't fallen so quickly for a new show since Swan Song. It's a quirky 80's inspire sci-fi game using Fate Accelerated Edition featuring Adam Koebel as the Spacemaster, Dodger playing Eugene - a wise-cracking Slimething, Jesse Cox playing Qin - an Ex-Guardian giant Komodo Dragon-like Lizardman, Strippin playing Rex - an outlaw Sharkanoid, and Pokket playing Aurora - a robot girl with her best friend Sparky. Seriously, the descriptions coming from all the players are amazing, and I can't encourage you to watch it more!
(Image from itmejp.)

That's all for This Week this week. I'll talk to you next week, and tell you of all my adventures again! In the mean time, fill your own week with as much awesome as possible.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Global Game Jam 2017 Theme: Waves!

Woo! Having held onto the theme for nearly 24 hours, I'm happy to report that the GGJ17 theme is Waves.
Which, as you can imagine, has made my job a little bit more difficult.

How do you make a roleplaying game about waves? Well, you don't, really. At least I didn't. As with anything, my product has strayed from its brief. It's now a card game. But, basically everything else is the same. I'm still following 3 of those 6 diversifiers, and I've been following the Accessibility guidelines.

You can watch the GGJ17 Keynote, here!

No More, Molok! is essentially ready. I can't share it yet, but when GGJ is over, I'll link through to the website so you can see the entries!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Free Game: Rough Road Ahead

Over New Years we (that is, me and many friends) travelled to one of my friend's childhood home - a farm in the middle of Victoria, Australia. It wasn't fantastically remote, but it did give us a solid 3.5 hours away from any board or roleplaying games (oh, the humanity!)

So what did a car filled with three game designers do? Well, we made a game.

Then we tested it.

And now I've written it up properly, and am sharing it all with you.

Like my last game, this is is entirely free. Download it, enjoy it, etc.
(Image from... Me.)
Rough Road Ahead is a game that can only be played on the road, which doesn't have a GM. It can be played with any setting, and doesn't require paper, pens/pencils, or dice of any kind. All it uses is the road, and your imagination.

Monday, 16 January 2017

SNIPPET! Ameshirel: A World Reforged - On the Nature of Religion: The Iron Penitents

Ameshirel: A World Reforged is an upcoming setting and campaign being developed as the flagship setting for the system Do or Dice which is currently in development. This setting and system will be teased and released in snippets, a few pages at most, such as this.

The eighth snippet for Ameshirel: A World Reforged concerns the nature of The Iron Penitents, a well meaning, if often exploited cult of Dwarves who just want peace. Following the teachings of Saint Edringoth the Endurer, they cast away their treasure for the hope of a better life...

You can download the one-page snippet as a PDF here!

(Image from William McAusland, used with permission.)
More snippets will be shared regularly, as the setting of Ameshirel: A World Reforged is uncovered from the ashes of the Age of Ascension!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

This Week: Hosts, Harm, Fate, and Gatekeeper

Welcome to This Week, a weekly series where I discuss all the gaming (both video and tabletop) content I've played, made, prepped, run and seen that's cool this week.

This last stretch should be the last time for a while (unless something else comes up) where I miss a week. Finally - FINALLY - the move is complete, and we're in a beautiful new home! We have internet, and I have a new study/games room. Once everything is up to shape, I'll take some photos and share them with you: it's where all our RPGs will be played from now on (except for at Gatekeeper, but I'll get to that in a sec) so it'll be pretty relevant!

Now, let's jump in with what I've done This Week...

What I've Played

I've been without the internet for much of this week, due to the move, so naturally I've been looking for other things to do in my downtime. Whilst packing and unpacking has been a big part of the last two weeks, I would go mad if I didn't play something. And then I remembered a while back I printed out the rulebook for How to Host a Dungeon, a curious little singleplayer game where you generate a dungeon step by step as the ages go through. If you're looking for some inspiration, and just something to take your mind off other things, it works fantastically!

Here's a good example of a map made using the system:
(Image from Planet Thirteen.)
And here's my work-in-progress map:
(Image from me... And Excel art... I'm so sorry.)
Mine's not so great, but I've had a lot of fun with it so far!

What I've Made

I've been working hard on Do or Dice, and I recently made a breakthrough with the rules for harm and damage, and I'm now ready for my first full in-house test. That means Ameshirel: A World Reforged will be beginning in two weeks (and I'll post all the details as they come out). I'm really looking forward to exposing all of the holes in the game, and then figuring out ways to fill them up and then smooth it all back into an awesome game. As this process goes on, I'll be opening up the playtest to more and more folks, so if you're interested, LET ME KNOW!
(Image from RueInk.)
In the interest of working on Ameshirel: A World Reforged, I've been planning my first adventure. I got one look at Randy M's newest map, and I fell in love. It's Patrons only, so I can't show it off, but you should pledge to see it and everything else he's made. If you're planning on playing in Ameshirel: A World Reforged (my players, beware), please don't check it out until we've played. Everyone else, go nuts!

I'll be polishing up this adventure as I playtest it, and I intend to release it alongside Do or Dice and Ameshirel: A World Reforged as the first official adventure - so stay tuned for that too!

What I've Run

I got a chance to run Fate Accelerated Edition at Gatekeeper Games (again, I'll mention more in a sec), which was a blast! I love FAE, but I don't get much of a chance to run it. Also, due to the holidays, I haven't gotten a chance to run much of anything, so when I got the idea to do it, I jumped on it.
(Image from Evil Hat.)
I ran the game for four players at this month's Inclusive Board Game Meet in Melbourne, hosted at Gatekeeper Games in Fitzroy. Two of the four players were entirely new to roleplaying games, so it was even more amazing. Everyone really jumped in, and, in true Fate style, I barely did any work: the players came up with such ridiculous drama that I didn't need to! We ended up flying out of a wormhole inside an organic alligator ship with a crew of two space Elves, a space Skinkwoman, and a space Russian, all while everything was flying off the walls and far too many pipes burst. If it doesn't make sense to you, then I guess we're on the same page.
There was a decidedly camp/Farscapey vibe to the game. (Image from IMDB.)
I loved every second of it.

What I've Seen

And finally, the long awaited (and much mentioned) Gatekeeper Games! Because I've moved, I actually now have a proper Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS), which I haven't had for many many years... And what's more, I have Gatekeeper which, despite the name, is one of the best and most welcoming gaming spaces I've ever seen. This amazing space not only has some of the nicest people running it, and the most diverse clientele I've ever seen in a gaming store, it also has ridiculously low prices for games (seriously, we just bought Dominion: Alchemy for less than $40 AUD)!
(Image from Gatekeeper Games.)
So, I'll be playing more and more games here as well as in the new games room at home. I'll even be running a few games here, if everything goes according to plan. I'll even even be running some Do or Dice here as a trial ground, so again, if that excites you, you better find your way there!

That's all for This Week this week. I'll talk to you next week, and tell you of all my adventures again! In the mean time, fill your own week with as much awesome as possible.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Global Game Jam 2017 Approaches!

Last year I went to Global Game Jam in Melbourne, and had an amazing experience. I created two games as a part of a team of four, and we had ridiculous amounts of fun doing it.
(Image from Global Game Jam.)
This year, between Friday the 20th and Sunday the 22nd, I want to do something different. I want to do something really difficult.

I don't know the theme (yet, obviously, and I won't be posting about it until Hawaii Jams too), and I don't have a team (yet: if the following sounds good to you, and you're in Melbourne, HIT ME UP!)

What I do have, is ambition. I want to create a roleplaying game that takes no more than 15 minutes to play (including character creation, if any) that covers at least half of the following diversifiers (sort of like mini achievements that make the games more intriguing): 
  • Don’t say a word (ESA Sponsored)
    • A multiplayer game that requires communication between players, without relying on text or voice.
  • Local Lore
    • Incorporate a local urban legend, myth, lore, or history into your game.
  • Game Legacy 
    • Each playthrough of the game affects the next.
  • Crowd Control
    • Your game must be played by 8 or more players.
  • Time Lord
    • Your game offers variations based on the time of day it is played.
  • To me, to you
    • The game must have a single playable character that is controlled by two players.
I also want to follow this Accessibility guide, and tick every single box (except for those which are not applicable because it's not going to be digital, but will be supplied in a PDF, so maybe I can do some of them?).
(Image from accessibility.blog.gov.uk.)

If I smash through the above guide, I then want to start moving through this Accessibility guide, again, going from Basic to Advanced as time allows, and where applicable.

Can it be done? I guess I have 48 hours to find out...

Once the game is done, I'll share it for free here for anyone to use and play!

Monday, 9 January 2017

SNIPPET! Ameshirel: A World Reforged - On the Nature of Religion: The Wandering Reprieve

Ameshirel: A World Reforged is an upcoming setting and campaign being developed as the flagship setting for the system Do or Dice which is currently in development. This setting and system will be teased and released in snippets, a few pages at most, such as this.

The seventh snippet for Ameshirel: A World Reforged concerns the nature of The Wandering Reprieve, a cult to the Gods The Music in Your Mind, and The Path Revealed. The Reprieve follow a philosophy of revelry and beauty, but sadly this is a very subjective term...

You can download the one-page snippet as a PDF here!

(Image from William McAusland, used with permission.)
More snippets will be shared regularly, as the setting of Ameshirel: A World Reforged is uncovered from the ashes of the Age of Ascension!