Thursday, 22 August 2013

Gen Con!

I went on holiday to Gen Con! It was Awesome! Here is an incomplete list of all the cool things I did when I was out there:
Getting out there - Due to a misunderstanding about how time worked I ended up running for the plane with 2 kg of chocolate. Meanwhile as I outdistanced the girls they got a lift on a cart.

We stayed in the awesome looking JW Marriott Hotel which had been built two years previously for the Superbowl.

Tuesday -
We went to Indianapolis Zoo, stopping on the way to look inside their museum. At the zoo there was shark petting, a dolphin show and lots of other animals.

Wednesday - spot the industry insider, K8 and Nats went on the stadium tour, We also picked up our badges and tickets from the reception and that went extremely smoothly.

Thursday - The show officially opened, the queues to get into the trade hall were massive and there was lots to see in the trade hall and the games hall.

We went to a seminar called Why Shadowrun is Awesome.

We went for dinner with Charles Ryan whom I used work with at Esdevium (and more importantly who ran one of the best campaigns I have ever played in Magica, a D20 Ars Magica hack that Charles wrote. There is a blog that had session summaries in somewhere on the internet.) He is now working as the COO of Monte Cook Games who have released an awesome looking Game called Numenera at the show. While we were arranging dinner we bought several copies of Numenera and met Monte and Shanna who were lovely and got invited to the Numenera launch event.

At about 16:00 We went to the Numenera Launch where we discovered that I had a “Trustworthy Accent”, and it was revealed that Bruce Cordell was joining the team at Monte Cook Games. We also got a special limited edition bonus Cypher Deck with a bunch of extra cards in it.

Later in the evening we went to see a Nerdlesque performance which was extremely funny and entertaining. It was hosted by The Glitter Guild.

Friday - I went to a work meeting with the guys from Cool Mini or Not, who were awesome and have some excellent games. Their new miniatures game is extremely pretty and is called Wrath of Kings. It is kick starting now. One of the faction commanders is a guy riding a Squid:  

That night I went to the Ennies with Charles, where we interview bombed the EN world livestream of the event, while the girls took part in a world record attempt and they made a new record for the number of people playing Settlers of Catan at once. The girls joined us in time to see the final few awards being given out. You can see a list of the Ennies winners here.

Saturday - Nats, K8 and I went to try the Foam Fighting Arena. It is a really interesting way of fighting, They don’t allow head hits but also don’t pull their blows. The weapons are made to stand up to hitting people at full force and are slightly softer than the UK equivalents as a result. We each went roughly even with our opponents which was pretty good considering they were much more familiar with the style. I also smashed one of the guys across the head because I had forgotten the no head hits rule and he was not guarding his head.

Nats stopped for a massage and K8 and I went on to have a quick look around the trade hall again, there we chatted to the guys that make US style foam weapons and then got interviewed by The Dungeon Bastard, our bit is about 1 min 30 sec in.

That afternoon we went to the 13th Age launch seminar. Which was very cool. Saw the Doubleclicks live, and they were hilarious. This song reduced K8 to speechless tears of laughter.  

We met and got books signed by Dave Gross,

Went to the Numenera Launch party, where Charles introduced us to the lovely Cindi Rice (who is the producer for Dungeon Bastard) and loads of other interesting industry people.

Sunday - The show closed at 16:00 on the Sunday so while Nats spent the day getting demos of various Mayfair Games and became a Knight of Catan I ran a 13th Age Demo on the Pelgrane Press stand. K8 and I looked at the Shadowrun 5th ed books and ended up getting one. We chatted to Dave Gross again and spent most of the last of our dollars.

Coming home was very smooth.

Next time - Phones that work in America, taking more people and playing more games.

Other places you can look for info on Gen Con:

Short list of the cool stuff i saw there that you should go look at:
13th Age
Shadowrun 5th ed
The Duke boardgame from Cryptozoic (they had a giant version Natalie bought the game off the back of the Demo)
Star Trek Attack Wing - DS9 promo
Cool mini or not Wrath of Kings kickstarter (dude riding a squid!)
New Star Wars X-Wing ships
Shadowrun Crossfire Deck building game (not out yet - due in september)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What I did at my LARP event.

Inspired by a comment by my mate Martin, I have decided to post about what I do in an LT mainline event. In an effort to show people what my game (how I play) is like.

The Lorien Trust is a massive sprawling system with ten factions and ten ish guilds all of which support very different styles of play.

For the last 10 years or so I have played in the Scouts Guild. For the last 5 years I have been writing plot for them and have been leading the Guild. This year I have a new role and am in the process of stepping away from that bit of the game which I have played for the last decade. I’m finding it quite tricky, so in addition to talking about my game I also want you to talk to me about yours.

Some of the things I did at the Moot (this is a brain dump so bear with me):
I arrived IC at the event ‘live’ from a plotted fight and dropped a load of plot on the scouts. I was then sent to a mind healer.
I watched a Ritual that Rath did for the Harts. As the ritual finished the mythical White Hart of Albion showed up, not so mythic it seems!
I bought some scrolls which I put in a pouch in order to forget about them for a year, its not like I think they age well like wine or anything its just that its become a tradition!
I binned 4 expired scrolls because I had put them in a pouch a year ago and forgot about them.
I went to all the NPC meetings (normally I miss a couple).
I chatted to NPC’s and players from the various Martial Guilds to see how they were doing, I listened to a great conversation about Elemental Forges at the Armourers.
I chatted to Sparkey about how hard (tough) he was.
I got in a good scrap with some Caligar worshippers and tried to Save Wellspoken’s Character with 12 other brave/foolish heroes.
I hid from the Archon of Good under a tree (he is unreasonably peeved with me).
I made the Scouts Guild Linear more complicated by sending an hysterical, unarmed woman in love with the bad guy along.
I had awesome roleplay with the family of said hysterical unarmed woman as well as the liability in person after the linear.
I listened to players open a complicated, heavily trapped puzzle box before watching them pour over clues.
I watched the result of the ritual warning bells tolling and Satuun (MAJOR, HUGE baddy) doing a ritual. Then nodded to Dark Reaver who is less unreasonably peeved with the Scouts and I.
I watched Sai and Promethean Dave have a fight while I provided commentary about it to the guild.
I nearly died laughing thanks to K8, Nick and Becca
I got involved in the big final fight, I borrowed a pole off Donk and had some really good scraps.
Thanks to Dave for a great pole/knife fight, Brian for keeping up with me for the first half of the fight, the five factions that charged to my rescue when I got dropped by Becca and Slieve for turning up to help me when I was fighting near the Harts camp towards the end.

What do you do for the 3-4 days you spend at an LT mainline? Pick five things you do at most events and let me know here.

I wrote a post after the Gathering last year about levels of live roleplayers it’s here: in it I awarded levels for trying lots of different parts of the game. People also suggested other things that could award levels.

As of Right now I am level X so at the Gathering I am going to level up!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Roleplaying Games!

I really like Roleplaying Games. A lot of people continue to talk about how Roleplaying is dying and becoming a smaller part of the hobby business but I think that in part that is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Talking about roleplaying and more importantly playing it with people is what is going to get it to continue. I don’t think it is dying, I think the rest of the hobby is getting stronger and Roleplaying isn’t increasing at the same rate. To that end here are some cool roleplaying games that are out recently or coming soon:

Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG has been selling strongly since its release.  It uses custom dice like the third edition of Warhammer Fantasy, which gives its system a depth that isn’t as easy to get with more traditional dice systems. We are expecting a restock of the Dice and GM’s Kit and Beginners Box in the next couple of weeks.

FATE Core and FATE Accelerated. These are some of the nicest presented Roleplaying books we have at present and both are an excellent introduction to roleplaying. Both are available on Bits and Mortar so that you can get a free copy of the PDF’s if you buy it in store. They are also available online for pay what you want. FATE is one of the best systems I have come across for modeling fiction and has a Character Generation system that is entertaining enough to be played on its own.

Only War is the most recent Roleplaying release for the Warhammer 40k universe. It features a lot of the rules updates that we are expecting to see in the Beta of 2nd Edition of Dark Heresy.

The two most interesting Roleplaying releases coming soon are:

13th Age is a Love letter to Dnd, Written by Rob Heinsoo and Jonathon Tweet, designers of 4th Ed and 3rd respectively this game is the best iteration of D20 I have played to date. The book is already available on Bits and Mortar so if you pre order it form a shop they can give you the PDF. Shops should have the physical books in the next couple of weeks. Pelgrane press and Fire Opal media are also working on an Organised play program that will be launching soon. I like this game a lot and it is what I am currently running. If you want more information check out my Blog or the Resources page on the Pelgrane website.

Numenera is the new game and setting from Monte Cook. It had a massive Kickstarter campaign and is being used as the basis of the new Torment Video Game. You can get a free copy of the PDF by emailing a picture of a pre order receipt from you to:

I also really like Shadowrun and there is a new PC game and 5th edition of the roleplaying game out in PDF with the Physical book out by the end of August. They also have an excellent OP system and the new season of Shadowrun Missions is set in Chicago.

I originally wrote this for a restock list at work and edited it slightly to put it up here.

What is your favorite roleplaying book or system?