Monday, 29 October 2007

Our New Robotic Overlords

I didn't create it, so I'll link to where I found it.

Thanks for the pointer, Brian Iskikoff.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The Sky Pirates - SOTC play report

Had a great game of Spirit of the Century last night. We introduced another gamer to the world of story RPGs. Hi Vaughn. Welcome to the revolution.

In brief the story concerned Madam Bergerac, a French artefact collector who had invited members of the Century Club from London to Paris to witness the demonstration of her new artefact. By the time our heroes land in Paris, Sky Pirates had raided the zeppelin that Bergerac had sent for them and during the confusion, one of the crew - a Sky Pirate in disguise - made off with the artefact.

The mastermind was suspected to be Baron von Sturm, the mysterious German inventor. Had he stolen it? Perhaps. If so, why? Bergerac was a well respected collector of antiquities and artefacts! It is clearly an outrage that her property has been taken from her. Our heroes went in to investigate.

I won't spoil the story, but there were plenty of scenes for sneaking around castles, making quick escapes, and trying to cover tracks amidst plenty of deception. Suffice it to say that Spike Spiegel, Jack Venturer and Calo Maxwell lived to tell the tale.
Lessons that I learnt from this game were many, but here are the top three:
  1. During character creation, make sure that your aspects support your skills. It's hard to invoke them if they don't relate and that means you get to use them less. SOTC characters are very focused on a few key areas. It's the theme of the character, the schtick that makes it worth reading about.
  2. Start the flow of fate points and it won't stop. As soon as the flow dries up people hoard them, so give them plenty of opportunity to spend and earn them.
  3. Be careful of dead scenes or slow scenes. If the characters seems lost about what to do, start making the clues bigger. If the clues threaten to get too big, just send in the ninjas.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Fred Hicks' Cool Threads

That's right, I have Fred Hicks' wardrobe! The side effect is that Fred is now nude.

Alternatively, this is a pointer to an entry on Fred's blog. If you want to see the forums that Fred watches because they have Evil Hat threads on them, this is the link for you.

You can see Fred's comments because he usually goes by the nickname of iago.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Indie Games at Gen Con Oz

After swinging loads of comments around on the GenCon Oz site and the Forge it seems that there are at least 5 people (myself included) who are ready, willing and able to run some indie games at GenCon next year. I think I'm the only local in the crowd at the moment. Thanks to the rest of the tentative volunteers. If you want to find out more, leave a comment and I'll point you in the right direction.

I'm also waiting for a response from Brennan Taylor of Indie Press Revolution about how to manifest the Indie Press Gang there. The Indie Press Gang is a group of volunteers who help promote indie games at cons and other gaming events. Not only do we get the privilege of teaching folks some cool new games, but apparently we also apparently get a free t-shirt. Ooh! Anyway, if you're interested in helping out, let me know.

Indie gamers of the world, unite!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Campaign or One-shot

When I first cut my teeth on RPGs, it was all about the campaign. Well, more specifically it was about levelling up the characters we played. There was nothing quite like getting the extra points (just enough, more often than not) to go up a level. All the stats changed! Many a character sheet was covered with eraser marks and fresh pencil.

But this year I've become more interested in the one-shot game. The kind of game that lets me start and finish it in a single session, and also the kind of game that lets players come and go as their schedules permit. The joy of levelling up is largely gone, and this means that the players (including the GM) have to make the game amazing in other ways - by actually doing cool stuff rather than laying out the stats like some kind of measuring contest.

So my "levelling up" games are alone on the shelf, being ignored for young upstarts that leap and clamour for my attention. Now all I need to develop are the skills to pick up the rules of a new game quickly!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

GenCon Australia

Barring something unforeseen, I'm going to GenCon Australia next year. The plan at this stage is to run a few indie games during the four days, probably on the Saturday. There'll be at least one session of Spirit of the Century, one session of Don't Rest Your Head and hopefully a session of Burning Wheel. Well, it's a hope, at least.

There are a couple of other people I've bumped into on The Forge who seem just as keen to fly the indie flag, so we're going to team up somehow and make an underground effort to put these games out there.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Spirit of the Century - Game on!

My next game of Spirit of the Century is pencilled in. Do you want to play? Then drop me a comment and let me know.

Call for Roleplayers

This is a call for Brisbane roleplayers to join a Spirit of the Century campaign set in London of the 1860s rather than America in the 1920s.

Our heroes, mere Decarions in the Century Club, will be confronting threats from mad scientists, dark forgotten spirits and even Martians as they strive to keep the world a safe place for all humanity.
All kinds of science, pseudoscience and mysteries are available and real in this world. The worlds of Jules Verne and H.G. Welles are the every day for these characters. To express your interest, submit a comment to this blog entry and include your e-mail address. All comments on Divine Trauma are moderated so I will take your e-mail address from the comment and then delete the comment.

But I don't know how to play!
That's OK. The rules aren't tricky and there are a few other people there who can help you use the rules to do what your want your character to do.

How often will the games be?
About once a month. But if you can't make it to one session, that's OK. In Spirit of the Century, people don't get penalised for having a real world life.

Do I need my own Fudge dice?
No. I have the GMs pack of Fudge dice. But if you like your own dice, by all means bring them along. They make great tokens.

How many players are you looking for?
My ideal group size includes a GM and four players. However, somewhere from three to six players (inclusive) would be great.

Isn't Spirit of the Century supposed to be set after the Great War? What are the phases that you will use for character generation?
The same phases will be used, with the following changes.
Phase 1 is from birth (1st Jan 1841) to 1854.
Phase 2 is the Crimean War.
The rest is largely the same as per the rule book.

I want to know more about Spirit of the Century.
This is an entry on Fred Hicks' blog that lists almost all of the forums that Fred watches for SOTC threads. Fred usually goes by the nickname of iago.

Do it now! The world needs heroes.