The problem with many white-collar jobs is that you never really let go of your work. Your brain is always working on something. I have realized in my dreams that there’s a bug in my code, woken up, went to read the code and seen that I was right. I have solved mathematical problems in while sleeping. Yesterday, I came up with a very interesting card design in a dream.
I’ve been silent here for a while (okay, about two weeks, but that’s quite a bit for me). The reason is that I decided to use my summer holiday (as a teacher, an extended one) to write a book on Commander.
Possibly the most often heard words in all roleplaying tables around the globe. One of the most houseruled and diverse rule between different roleplaying games. From roll d6 each side to different narrative rules, the rules and rulings are never enough to satisfy every roleplayer, or even the majority of roleplayers.
Let us start from the beginning, OD&D. Roll d6 for each side, high roll goes first. Then the tweaking begun. Bonus from dexterity, bonus from being whatever and the seemingly endless exceptions to the rule. Someone claimed that when all the rules and exceptions for AD&D were put together, the text would take at least one full page, if not two. Some, if not most roleplayers take this taking turns thing for granted and have succumbed to it, going through the motions without even thinking about it.
Last Sunday I published the beta version of rules for Eldritch Sigils. This is a game I have been working on for about five years. I have actually published earlier drafts over the years but this was the first time it actually has consistency and it is actually playable.
This has been a long process and one that is still in the works. But now that the rules are “out there” I thought it would be a good chance to talk about them. Since game design is quite an interesting topic I hope that sharing my process might produce new ideas or at least be curious.
New season for Eldritch Sigils is on. This time we will play in the end of the 22nd century where the PCs are member of the organisation trying to keep the reality from shattering. It’s less than hundred years from “now” but Cyberpunk (as a time and style) is still a thing in the past and that means some changes in the way things work. And during the first session we had an interesting conversation about transhumanism.
Again, there was a short-form scenario contest at Ropecon. I managed to play in six of them, including all three that received a prize. I gave some feedback to the designers on individual games, but now that I can see the bigger picture, I’d like to point on some commonalities and offer critique that I hope will lead to more fun for everyone in the future. Continue reading
Games are fun. They are challenging (or can be), they are social (or can be) and they are good escape from the realities of life (or can be). Its not about a small (cultish) group of hobbyists any more. With the advent of mobile phones, even my mother is playing games actively.
It sure didn’t use to be like that. There’s some truth to the old stereotypes of people in capes talking about summoning demons in a basement. Well, we didn’t use to wear capes, but anyhow.
I’m cheating with the topic but at least you are reading still, right? These games are not “new” per se but hacks and adventures. There is our newest collaborative Fiasco playset, an agnostic fantasy adventure (though it does have Dungeon World threat sheet) and a game that is built on Matthijs Holter‘s Archipelago.
Though it seems we have more than enough of timing issues with this campaign we are managed to have an awesome fourth session yesterday. And even though we have been using Eldritch Sigils for a few years for the campaign it seems we can still find minor details that need correcting.
It seems like ages ago when I was GMing ANKH to my friends after school and just had to tweak the rules of the game to suit my taste. It might have been twenty years ago but I’m still doing it. And for the life of me I cannot see the reason why?
Why cannot I be satisfied with the rules as written?
For a few years now I have had a custom of gathering my oldest friends for sauna and roleplaying games in January. This year it almost didn’t happen since we had a chance of location. We ended up not having a sauna but we did have great time with my newest game Cliques & Powers.
It all started out as a joke. I just randomly asked that wether we should have a fantasy or teenage type of game. My players immediately got excited about playing teenagers and I got stuck with creating such a game. As usual I went with Archipelago. Continue reading