Monthly Archives: August 2015

#rpgaday2015 day 31 – favourite non-RPG thing to come out of roleplaying

Cheat answer: LARPing, but a LARP is just another form of RPG.

Cheesy answer: the relationships I’ve made, people I’ve met. My entire network of friends over the last decade has come about because of gaming. Between the people who I met directly by gaming with them to the people who I met by partying with those people, I’ve made a vast network of friends across the world through roleplaying.

When I was in the Imperial Order (way way way back in the day), I could honestly say I was talking to people on five continents on a regular basis – the only ones I didn’t have covered were South America and Antarctica. Nowadays I’m getting name-checked with seemingly every second introduction at events (“oh, you’re the No Rest for the Wicked guy, right?”). It’s an odd feeling but it promotes the community feeling of the LARP crowd (as does small-world LARP syndrome where it seems that everyone knows everyone after a few years and you get the constant “how do you know X?” questions on Facebook).

#rpgaday2015 day 28 – favourite game you no longer play

A few candidates for this one, but I think I’m going to go with Created.

Promethean: the Created was a strange game that took some effort to understand. A game of monsters trying to be human by emulating them. In the Isles of Darkness, I played Rocker, a Frankenstein on the Path of Tin struggling to communicate with other people and lashing out with violent lightning when he couldn’t find any other way to let things out. Unfortunately, being one of the smaller games in the IoD, it suffered for want of storytellers and eventually all of the games closed, leaving Rocker’s story unfinished. Still, he got some good music and lightning in before he died.

#rpgaday2015 day 26 – favourite inspiration for your game

Pretty simple, this one: song titles. When I was running my mortals game for the Camarilla UK/Isles of Darkness, I’d often use Lordi song titles to inspire plot.

Probably one of my best plots came from using “Forsaken Fashion Dolls” as the core premise and seeing where it went from there. I started with the idea that maybe abandoned shop mannequins came to life somehow and ended up with a mad scientist who had lost their daughter creating a doll replica of their child, bringing it to life, and then becoming distraught at what they’d created and running off. The doll, left to herself powered by a spirit bound into her “heart” and given the mind of an eight-year old, had reached out in her abandonment and brought friends to her in the form of mannequins she animated unconsciously. That was a rather emotional plot when players got involved.

#rpgaday2015 day 25 – favourite revolutionary game mechanic

This one I have a little issue with, as I may have said before, as every new game mechanic has a tendency to be proclaimed as revolutionary but there hasn’t been any real revolutions in gaming caused by any of them.

That said, I’m quite interested in the Mayhem deck from Planet Mercenary. They’re cards that add something interesting to the game, bits of story that can make your game better or worse either on a temporary or permanent basis. The game uses a 3d6 mechanic with one die being a different colour – if the odd die is highest, you get a Mayhem card.

Example cards can be found on the Planet Mercenary site, and I really like the ideas behind this game. Playtesting of the Mayhem deck indicates that it works well and encourages story coming from rolls as well as results, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it, and trying the mechanic out.

I’ve seen similar mechanics before – the most memorable of which was a storyteller who would draw a tarot card for some rolls and situations and the card drawn would influence how things went.

Android apps

As some of you likely know, I occasionally write Android apps outside of my day job. Most of the time, I write utilities of various types which I find useful, and I publish them to the Play Store as Moltis. I currently have five apps on the Play Store at the moment, and if anyone’s using them and finds them useful any feedback on them would be valued.

If anyone has any ideas for other utilities that might be useful to them, let me know – I’m interested in new challenges, and open to filling gaps.

No Rest for the Wicked apps

I’ve written three apps for use at No Rest for the Wicked, one for storytellers and two for players.

Warp Bag is an app that handles the contents of your warp bag and drawing beads. It needs some updating in line with the new Psyker rules, but seems pretty solid from feedback I’ve had. [1]

NRftW Event Admin is a utility I designed for use by the storytellers to keep track of people going on endeavours so we could determine what the balance was. How useful it was varied. It relies on having an internet connection, and every player having an account on the downtime system – if you’re not on the downtime system, it can’t track you. There are myriad improvements that can be made, but it wasn’t terrible to use. [2]

NRftW Deck Timer is a utility I’ve recently designed to help people track how long they have to roleplay when using decks. Currently it’s only set up with a hacking interface, but it does function as a timer for any type of deck. My main thoughts on it are that you probably want to start timing as soon as you start laying out cards and totalling up the time once you’ve played all your cards, which means that it needs a mechanism to (a) start timing before a total time is added, and (b) add further time in as you sort out your cards. It’s not a perfect system, and without significant effort I’m not sure I could make a “perfect” system, and the system I can envision would require everyone with a deck to have an Android device to solve it.[3]

Other apps

There was some commentary that we didn’t have an IoD specific dice roller, and I made a comment that I could write one if someone was willing to pay me to do so. I’ve still not been paid to do so, but I have created Dice Roller, a beta app that handles nWoD dice mechanics as well as being usable for rolling any other kind of die as well. [4]

The last app is actually one of the first ones I wrote, and the most subtle. You’re Awesome is a utility that at random intervals sends a message to the phone’s user reminding them that they’re awesome. I wrote the initial alpha on my laptop on a train down to London, and I created it to as a confidence booster for anxious people. It can either use generic messages, or messages that it combines with a given name, and you can alter the frequency of the messages.[5]

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Currently I have 20 users using the Warp Bag app according to the Play Store
2. Currently I have 4 users using the Event Admin app according to the Play Store
3. Currently I have 1 user using the Deck Timer app according to the Play Store
4. Currently I have 6 users using the Dice Roller app according to the Play Store
5. Currently I have 4 users using the You’re Awesome app according to the Play Store

Board gaming

I don’t do enough board gaming, or rather I want to do more. I have a collection of board games that haven’t been played yet and I haven’t done any board gaming in a very long time.

So, games that are sitting on my shelf unplayed that I’d like to play at some point:

  •  Viticulture (and Tuscany)
  • Kingdom Builder
  • Alhambra (and the six expansions and the special versions)
  • Stuff and Nonsense
  • Machine of Death
  • Chaos Marauders
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Zombicide (Season 3 and various expansions)

Other games I want to play again:

  • Euphoria
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill
  • Unexploded Cow
  • Horus Heresy

If any of those interest you, then perhaps there should be gaming in our future.

#rpgaday2015 day 24 – favourite house rule

I don’t really have a roleplaying one, unless you’re going to count “don’t be a dick” which should be a staple of all roleplaying systems.[1]

My favourite house rules pretty much all come from my days playing board games at Watt Gamers, where you got rules like “always gang up on Andy” where they weren’t “rules”, but were the teasing results of games where if you didn’t gang up on Andy, he had a tendency to create massive fleets and take everyone else out.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Be a bastard, don’t be a dick. Be evil, be selfish, take advantage of situations, and do it all IC – don’t be a dick about it OOC.

#rpgaday2015 day 23 – perfect game for you

Honestly, depends what I’m doing and what type of game we’re playing, but I want a game I can get involved in, that I can engage in as I want to, where I can work to my own agenda, and/or to a shared one, and where I have OOC support in doing so.

I find all of that at Empire. I usually find it all in most tabletops I play in as well. Genre, system, and setting tend to matter less to the above criteria because I can usually find a hook into genre and setting I wouldn’t normally play in, and systems just take adapting to.