Thursday, 12 May 2011

Creating religion

As it happens, one of my Burning Wheel players has brought religion into the game. It's quite a pleasant surprise. As GM, now I should fill it out with some details.

And I have. Especially in light of the Religion in Gaming posts I wrote this year, creating it has been a pleasure. I might even post my notes on it, if you're interested.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Unlit Match

For want of a better name, tonight is the first play session for Unlit Match, my new Burning Wheel game. I've only played BW once, and am looking forward to running it.

To keep it simple, we're only running with the Hub and the Spokes for now. I'm not fond of labouring my game with the plentiful subsystems, and as it turns out my players are coming to that party. Neither character seems largely interested in fighting, so the Fight! rules won't really be required.

I'm currently sketching up my campaign plans, finding ways to tie these two characters into the setting and each other. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do all of that.

Monday, 2 May 2011

My Auscon Experience

The day after RPG Sunday is worth a little time and reflection on my experience of it.

I had the best start to the day because the shirt I'd ordered for the day arrived just in time. Wow. It grabbed attention, and was only a matter of minutes before someone said, "That's an awesome shirt. Where can I get one?"

To get your own, go see Daniel Solis' Cafepress site. Kudos to Daniel for making a version with correct Commonwealth spelling.

I was only at Auscon for the Sunday, but it was a very full day. Starting the RPGs at 9am on a Sunday was something of a challenge. Who's awake and keen to play story games at 9am on Sunday?!? Apparently, about fifteen people. And even though that meant I didn't get to run FU, it did mean that I could be part of a play test for Behind The Screens. Peter's got a great little game idea going there, and I'm keen to see it develop and evolve into a polished game. Seriously, people, watch for that game.

Between that and the 2pm session, I had a chance to wander the floor and see the vendors, the miniatures tables, and get a chai. The venue was exactly the right size for the con, and laid out so very well. Gaming tables in the middle completely dominated the space, but didn't overpower the trade stalls that lined the walls. Most of the product was miniatures-based, but that's not surprising, since Auscon was originally going to only cater for minis games. Ace Comics came through with the goods for RPGs (even including some Dresden Files), and I think that was in proportion to the attendees. And kudos for the staff too. There seemed to be the right number of them for the activities, spread around in the right amount.

After lunch I had the great chance to run Agon. Yes! Finally! I've offered this game at cons before and never had takers. Maybe my elevator pitch was poor, or perhaps I should also stop offering it on the same game menu as Spirit of the Century. Regardless, I had five heroes complete a quest for Hera. As far as my GM effort went, they all seemed pleased with it. I managed to test every ability, except for Music. Maybe next time for that one. I'm sure I also fudged a couple of rules, but everything seemed to flow OK and the story didn't get bogged down or lopsided because of it. Best of all, I have the feeling that even playing the game is something of an Agon, an effort. I say that, not because it's hard going, but because the characters are always getting beaten down by something in order to succeed at something else. The frustration of the characters showed on the players' faces, and that seemed like a good thing.

And in the last session, I ran the best game of Poison'd I've ever run. I was going to say that I'd redeemed Poison'd, but that just seems antithetical. The story flowed smoothly. The characters lunged for their ambitions and were frustrated by the Cruel Fortunes. There were a few things I did in this game that I'll gladly repeat next time, to help make the story work. Special thanks go to the players, for embracing the depravity of being pirates.

My only regret was not remembering that I wanted to try Sagefight. Looking back, we would have had to go outside for it. There certainly wasn't enough space inside for those kinds of shenanigans.

Overall, my experience of one-third of Auscon was positive. Allan and Mark did a marvellous job. Watch out for their next project, whatever it is. I do know, though, that the first weekend in October is going to be another gaming convention. Mark your diaries now.