#10RPGs — 10/10 Hilarity — Call of Cthulhu

Back in high school, I ran CoC once — once. My friends were way less interested in the game than I was, but they gave it a shot. After making characters and bumbling for a while through the scenario I’d bought, there came the SAN roll that ended the game.

See, when you fail a SAN roll, sometimes you don’t go insane but you do get some sort of insight. In the course of investigating the disappearance of a number of young girls — why is it always young girls? — our intrepid academics stumble upon a pile of rotting corpses in a cave. SAN roll! They fail but only lose a few points.

The insight I gave them: “You realize that these are bodies of the missing girls.”

My players start laughing maniacally and start jumping around the game table, saying, “THE SKY IS BLUE! THE SKY IS BLUE! NOOOOO!”

And that was the last time I ran CoC for probably another decade or so.

Ref: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandRobins/posts/QQexibUjjMV

#10RPGs — 10/10 Hilarity — Call of Cthulhu Back in high school, I ran CoC once — once. My friends were way less interested in the game than I was, but they gave it a shot. After making characters and bumbling for a while through the scenario I’d bought, there came the SAN roll that ended the game. See, when you fail a SAN roll, sometimes you don’t go insane but you do get some sort of insight. In the course of investigating the disappearance of a number of young girls — why is it always young girls? — our intrepid academics stumble upon a pile of rotting corpses in a cave. SAN roll! They fail but only lose a few points. The insight I gave them: “You realize that these are bodies of the missing girls.” My players start laughing maniacally and start jumping around the game table, saying, “THE SKY IS BLUE! THE SKY IS BLUE! NOOOOO!” And that was the last time I ran CoC for probably another decade or so. Ref: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandRobins/posts/QQexibUjjMV]]>

Chicago Gameday 50 was this past Saturday. Here’s a quick recap.

I played two games ta Gameday: The Clay That Woke and Action Movie World. It was my second time playing the former, first time the latter.

Tim Koppang ran TCTW for me, Dave Michalak, Nathan Paoletta, and Josh Brining. I’d previously played TCTW with Tim at another Gameday, so while I still have not read my copy, I was coming into the game with some basic aptitude. The web of stories that emerged centered around all of our minotaurs being sent on errands by our Decadent human masters that intersected around a number of women who were being betrayed or disposed of in various repugnant manners.

My love for this game continues to grow. Having used the Krater of Lots before, I was able to “game” the Inflections a little better, which definitely put me more at ease. Also, Tim really hammered on the “oppressed minority” aspect of minotaurs in the setting, which was wonderfully tragic and frustrating in a good way. It also finally dawned on me how deeply Paul Czege has embedded the contradictory nature of Silence, like how characters refresh their tokens — e.g., “Never talk about your emotions” vs. “Refresh [x] whenever you talk about your emotions to a leader minotaur.” I love it! Some aspects of the setting are a little phantasmagoric for my taste, but that won’t stop me from running this.

Oh, and, yes, I did play “Welcome to the Jungle” when Nathan’s minotaur broke Silence and ran off into the trees, thankyouveyrmuch.

Megan Pedersen ran Action Movie World for me, Joe Beason, and three other non-G+ peeps. I was really looking forward to this one as the concept is brilliant and Ian Williams is the best. We ended up playing out a Trek-like B-movie about defeating a horde of invading aliens; our ship was the U.S.S. Offensive. 😁

Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite connect with this one. It may have been my waning energy levels, or it may have been that the three other folks playing seemed… well, not turtling, but sort of low-energy and not really fully playing into the meta-framework of the game. They didn’t really react to the content the way I expected them to, and the ideas I was coming up with either jarred with theirs or felt too little, too late. This is no fault of Megan’s; she is a great GM and her love for bad cinema made her perfect for the role in AMW. And Joe did a wonderful job, as he always does.

It may just be that PbtA and I don’t get along, or that I just don’t grok it yet. They’ve been very hit-or-miss for me. I don’t know if I’m just supposed to talk until someone tells me I trigger a move (the “conversation”) or if I should be gunning for specific moves (which is what it felt like Joe was doing). I dunno, maybe I’ll figure it out someday. I’m definitely still interested in trying AMW again.

Oh, and pictured below are both the ever-lovely Tim K. in one of the official Gameday 50 t-shirts, and the lovely dice cake that Joe baked for us. In the background, you can see half of the cupcakes that Laurie and Kelly Johnson brought. Not pictured are the, like, 30 chocolate eclairs that Dave M. contributed. So many baked goods!

Chicago Gameday 50 was this past Saturday. Here’s a quick recap. I played two games ta Gameday: The Clay That Woke and Action Movie World. It was my second time playing the former, first time the latter. Tim Koppang ran TCTW for me, Dave Michalak, Nathan Paoletta, and Josh Brining. I’d previously played TCTW with Tim at another Gameday, so while I still have not read my copy, I was coming into the game with some basic aptitude. The web of stories that emerged centered around all of our minotaurs being sent on errands by our Decadent human masters that intersected around a number of women who were being betrayed or disposed of in various repugnant manners. My love for this game continues to grow. Having used the Krater of Lots before, I was able to “game” the Inflections a little better, which definitely put me more at ease. Also, Tim really hammered on the “oppressed minority” aspect of minotaurs in the setting, which was wonderfully tragic and frustrating in a good way. It also finally dawned on me how deeply Paul Czege has embedded the contradictory nature of Silence, like how characters refresh their tokens — e.g., “Never talk about your emotions” vs. “Refresh [x] whenever you talk about your emotions to a leader minotaur.” I love it! Some aspects of the setting are a little phantasmagoric for my taste, but that won’t stop me from running this. Oh, and, yes, I did play “Welcome to the Jungle” when Nathan’s minotaur broke Silence and ran off into the trees, thankyouveyrmuch. Megan Pedersen ran Action Movie World for me, Joe Beason, and three other non-G+ peeps. I was really looking forward to this one as the concept is brilliant and Ian Williams is the best. We ended up playing out a Trek-like B-movie about defeating a horde of invading aliens; our ship was the U.S.S. Offensive. 😁 Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite connect with this one. It may have been my waning energy levels, or it may have been that the three other folks playing seemed… well, not turtling, but sort of low-energy and not really fully playing into the meta-framework of the game. They didn’t really react to the content the way I expected them to, and the ideas I was coming up with either jarred with theirs or felt too little, too late. This is no fault of Megan’s; she is a great GM and her love for bad cinema made her perfect for the role in AMW. And Joe did a wonderful job, as he always does. It may just be that PbtA and I don’t get along, or that I just don’t grok it yet. They’ve been very hit-or-miss for me. I don’t know if I’m just supposed to talk until someone tells me I trigger a move (the “conversation”) or if I should be gunning for specific moves (which is what it felt like Joe was doing). I dunno, maybe I’ll figure it out someday. I’m definitely still interested in trying AMW again. Oh, and pictured below are both the ever-lovely Tim K. in one of the official Gameday 50 t-shirts, and the lovely dice cake that Joe baked for us. In the background, you can see half of the cupcakes that Laurie and Kelly Johnson brought. Not pictured are the, like, 30 chocolate eclairs that Dave M. contributed. So many baked goods! ]]>

#10RPGs — 9/10 Change — Runequest

It’s weird how often I will post about a game that I have honestly never managed to play (I tried once or twice in my youth and failed), but RQ stuck its tendrils into my brain around age 12 and has refused to let go. A classless RPG about a Bronze Age world with weird mythic, shamanistic color and no elves or dwarves and “orcs” (i.e., trolls) that were an important race that was as much ally as an enemy? Sign. Me. Up. There is something wonderfully organic about Glorantha, and RQ felt like a D&D where all of that cultural stuff outside the dungeon was honestly way more important.

Someday, I will get this to the table.

Ref: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandRobins/posts/QQexibUjjMV

#10RPGs — 8/10 Empathy — Velvet Glove

I played this at Forge Midwest back in April and wrote about it here:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarkDelsing/posts/26k81pwym66

This was the first game to leap to mind at the prompt of “empathy,” as it really made me uncomfortable in a good way. I was really feeling for our PCs while simultaneously having my mind expanded. I really look forward to the full release of this one.

Ref: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandRobins/posts/QQexibUjjMV

#10RPGs — 7/10 Hubris — Gamma World d20, i.e., the White Wolf (Sword & Sorcery Studios) version

This feels “hubris” for me for two reasons.

First, the lead designer talked this up on RPGdotNet prior to release and had everyone — me included — frothing because it just sounded like the most awesome take on GW ever, but the end product was one of the shittiest d20 games ever produced, and line of endless splatbooks written by an army of freelancers who didn’t know the rules or talk to each other, and editors who didn’t seem to care that anything made sense.

Second, because I then eviscerated the game in a review…

https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9821.phtml

…and proceeded to campaign across various gaming fora telling everyone what a shitty game it was. This despite never having actually played it — though I don’t think that mattered, because the game was so overtly shitty — which feels pretty asinine in hindsight. I am hopefully wiser and calmer now.

Ref: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandRobins/posts/QQexibUjjMV

#10RPGs — 7/10 Hubris — Gamma World d20, i.e., the White Wolf (Sword & Sorcery Studios) version This feels “hubris” for me for two reasons. First, the lead designer talked this up on RPGdotNet prior to release and had everyone — me included — frothing because it just sounded like the most awesome take on GW ever, but the end product was one of the shittiest d20 games ever produced, and line of endless splatbooks written by an army of freelancers who didn’t know the rules or talk to each other, and editors who didn’t seem to care that anything made sense. Second, because I then eviscerated the game in a review… https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9821.phtml …and proceeded to campaign across various gaming fora telling everyone what a shitty game it was. This despite never having actually played it — though I don’t think that mattered, because the game was so overtly shitty — which feels pretty asinine in hindsight. I am hopefully wiser and calmer now. Ref: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandRobins/posts/QQexibUjjMV]]>