Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Siege gets a mini-review

I've only just noticed the traffic coming in to my blog from The Free RPG Blog. It's a nice consistent amount each month. Thanks for the link, Rob! Rob's link has a mini-review to go along with it.
Siege is a free roleplaying game where you play out a hostage situation. Its rules have a Storygame feel to them and it is high quality throughout.

And that's the game in two punchy sentences. Brilliant!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How To Have Fantastically Advanced Fights

Last post I said I was going to play Advanced Fighting Fantasy with a new group (hi guys!). I hadn't played it before but I've played a handful of the Fighting Fantasy books over the years. I think the additions in AFF were just enough to transition the game from solo game to group game. I can imagine a version of it without quite so many extras added, and still with loads of fun in the game. Perhaps not quite so bare as 3:16, but moving in that direction. I'd like to retain something of the character class concept that helps to make these fantasy adventure games what they are.

All in all, my brief experience with AFF shows that it's good fun for adventuring and dungeon crawling. If you ever like playing that kind of game, I hope you check it out.

Friday, 23 March 2012


So I moved to Perth. All my gaming died for a little while so I could find a place to live and unpack boxes (especially boxes with gaming things in them). The PDFs on my iPad were cute for a while but it's nothing like a good tabletop. Tomorrow night, though, I'll be at a game of Advanced Fighting Fantasy with a few story gamers.

We're all playing pregenerated characters from the Arion Games website, but there's always customisation with a good pregen. I've gone with the barbarian and named her Lamara. I liked the Burning Wheel beliefs system when I was the GM for that game and have written up some beliefs for the character. Nathan Russell over at Here Be Gamers did the same for a D&D fighter and had a great result. It made his play experience more rounded and guided some decisions along the way. And unlike the cop-out of "but that's my alignment, of course I'm going to stab you in the back" the Burning Wheel beliefs are up for change regularly as a response to the events of the previous session.

It's been a while since I played a barbarian character and I don't want to fall back on the usual tropes of Conan. In some parts of the world a barbarian is simply someone who lives outside cities and/or civilisation. I heard a story somewhere that the name comes from the derogatory words used by ancient Greeks for the speech of non-Greeks: bar bar bar bar bar. Just noises, not "proper" language.

So, Lamara is going to be derived from images of the ancient world, as a mash-up of Amazonian, Trojan and possibly Hunnish influences, depending on the climate of the setting. Maybe she'll need to carry furs, or maybe it'll be too warm for that. Regardless, she's going to look fierce and practical. I imagine tattoos and paint on her skin, bare arms and legs for ease of movement, maybe some torso armour, a weapon and a shield, long hair tied in braids or perhaps very short hair except for a top knot.

Definitely not Red Sonja.

And since I went to the trouble of thinking what she looks like, here are the more important things: the beliefs.

  • Rich city folk don't deserve their wealth. I'll gladly separate them from it, through hard work, and make sure it goes to someone deserving.
  • Nature seeks harmony in body and spirit. I will strive to move with nature, not against it.
  • I will defeat my enemies with same measure of honour they show in the fight.

As always, religion is everywhere in my games. She's an animist, but nothing yet to include as powerful as a belief. I could re-write the second one to explicitly include it. Let's see how the first session goes.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Auscon 2012

If you've looked at the Auscon site recently you'll see that it's been postponed from May to October. There was a discussion about it on the facebook page so you can see the story there.

As sorry as I am to see the delay, I'm happy that Mark's wife is on the road to recovery and that he's keen to ensure that the convention happens with the preparation necessary for such an event. The two from last year were great and I think there's a good chance for it to continue to improve.

Watch the facebook page for more information as it comes along.