Thursday, 29 November 2007

Initial thoughts on Burning Wheel

So I'm on the road at the moment (the joys of multinational employers) and I have Burning Wheel (Revised) with me. It's been a good read. The rules are a clever combination of simple and expansive. On the one hand, the core mechanic is simple and easy to remember. On the other hand, there are rules for everything. Stacks and stacks of options for how to do things. I like it. Still, it makes for a complex series of page flips to get it right, but the indexing is good enough to let it happen quickly.

The mechanic that earns the game its big reputation is the Duel of Wits. There are two kinds of things to say about it. The first is that there is even a mechanic for this at all. The second is whether or not it works.

So, should we even have mechanics for this? Do we need mechanics for social interaction? Damnit, yes. Yes we do. It helps the people who have weak roleplaying skills. It forces players to actually go with the strength of the character rather than the force of personality of the player. That's right, there are roleplayers who have forceful personalities - and they can't play well at all. They just shout their way through the scenario and merely force themselves into a series of powers or abilities. At least with a social mechanic this kind of play is locked out.


The second one is about whether it works. To be honest, I don't know. I need to play it sometime. That just hasn't happened yet. But it will. So if you're into Burning Wheel and you live in Brisbane, drop me a comment and we'll hook up for it.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

IPR Delivery

My employer makes use of an internal instant messaging system. This is today's Conversation of the Day.

Reception: Hi Andrew, i have a Parcel at reception for you.
Andrew: From whom?
Reception: i think from the United States
Andrew: Does it have the company name on it?
Reception: Indie press Revolutions
Andrew: Totally
Andrew: Frickin
Andrew: Awesome
Reception: :)

My IPR games arrived, double wrapped to prevent rain damage (like my copy of SOTC). I'm stoked.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Storn Cook's Gaming Artwork

I wanted to point you in the direction of a great gaming artist, Storn Cook. From what I've seen, his passion and interest in gaming art is largely focused around character sketches. I've browsed through his collections just to get inspiration for NPCs. There are a few times when he has written up stats for them as well, so it makes it easy for me to lift it into my games.

Official Website

A Sons of Kryos thread with plenty of pics

Recent works on photobucket.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Indie Press Gang

So Fred Hicks has put out the call for volunteers in the Indie Press Gang and I'm considering it. There's a bit of a thread about it, mostly between Fred and I, on the IPR forums. I have some doubts about how popular it will be in Brisbane, but the plan I want to follow will begin with GenConOz. If the Indie Games On Demand (IGOD?) event is a success, then it will be easy to run some indie games events in the second half of the year, perhaps one every quarter. Prior to that, the network of contacts is still a little slender.

So I'm going to trawl through a few Australian RPG forums to fish for the indie gamers in the Brisbane area. I might see you there. If you have any suggestions for forums, drop me a line and I'll head on over there.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

More goodness from IPR

Well, in case you don't already subscribe to the IPR podcast or e-mail, you should know that there is a new episode of The Voice of the Revolution. Go download it and listen to the goodness therein.

In other news, now that my semester has finished I've put my order in for some more games. In no particular order, this is what is currently en route to me.

The game of competition and high mythos in fictional ancient Greece. The author claims that its his competitive take on D&D but I have the feeling that it could be run very nicely in the Xena world, or even in an epic sense as 300.

Burning Wheel: Revised
I've heard many good reports about this award-winning game. Who could resist? Too many people are drooling over Luke Crane at the moment for me to ignore this.

Brick Battles
I have a moderate-sized chunk of Lego at home. If this means I get to actually use it as a wargame, then I'm sold straightaway. I hope the rules are simple enough for me to introduce my nephew to another great wargame. So far it's just been Star Wars Miniatures, but there's still time. You can download this one if you don't want to pay for the print version.

Mechaton: Giant Fighty Robots
This game is a mystery. I have no idea what it's about. Must be some kind of political intrigue... I'm especially amused by Vincent's other game: Kill Puppies for Satan. I heard him talking about it once and was sold from the moment I heard the title. Anyone who's been through the Jack Chick years knows why this is funny.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Not My Oscilloscope

I like a good dose of steampunk. It just makes everything seem more obvious. I found a post about a home-made oscilloscope on the Brass Goggles blog. It's a great blog about anything and everything to do with steampunk. If you're running a steampunk game and are looking for inspiration then take the time to look through Brass Goggles.

The other reason I wanted to put this post up is that the "Mr A Smith" who built it is not me.

Or is it...?

Friday, 2 November 2007

Peril Planet

Whilst browsing around the other day I found Peril Planet, the website of Nathan Russell. He's got a handful of his games available for download on his site. I plan to put my thoughts about them on this blog in about a week or so. But in the meantime, go see the site!