Here’s a tale from Finland’s past. It’s probably not wholly true, but who cares. (There’s probably some truth to it, but due to Christian propaganda and lack of historical documents, it’s all kind of on a shaky ground. I mean, in my childhood, this all was said to have happened in 1155, but now we are not even sure about that.) There’s probably also several versions of this, but this is how I’ve heard it.
In my current campaign (or chronicle, or whatever), the players are part of a cult and that’s the thing that binds them together. The thing is, they don’t actually know much about their god.
There’s a MtG-related Discord server, which happens to also have a channel for tabletop RPGs. It isn’t very active, but someone noted that Blades in the Dark was available in a bundle of some sort, so that sparked a little bit of discussion, as I claimed that because of how the game approaches the role of players, it’s actually easier to run than D&D, because there is not a lot of planning needed. Someone disagreed, so, as Ryan Hollinger would say, let’s talk about it. (Have I already used this somewhere? Not sure.)
Ever notice how players don’t trust anyone and just kill everyone over anything and with any excuse? Well, it might be your fault.
Now, I would like to note that this might not be only you. If players have learned from through previous games and GMs that violence is often the answer, perhaps the only answer (I’ve played under GMs, who have actually forced combat encounters, when players were actively trying to find other solutions), these players will have learned certain modes of operation, and unlearning them might be difficult. Continue reading
For many people it may come as a surprise that Star Wars is listed as “action, adventure, fantasy” on IMDb. That’s actually correct. It just doesn’t have the characteristics of sci-fi.
It had been some time since I’d last got to be a GM. After resolving a few challenging IRL random encounters, I was ready to step into the ring again and return to gamemastering withThe Black Hack, that made such a great impression on me upon reading it. My guild brother Harri had kindly printed out and bound a copy for me.
I felt the game would lend itself well to a First Session in the vein of Apocalypse World and its ilk. All the four character classes have a small table for some colorful items, and the players create a single, one-or-so sentence Background for their character which lets them participate in the worldbuilding, as well. My idea was to let the players make their characters and ask some more or less provocative questions from them, and use those as my main springboard for the world.Continue reading
In our current season of Eldritch Sigils the investigators finally made a premeditated choice to breach the Veil and step to another dimension. We have been playing this campaign since 2011 (or 2010?) and this was the first time the players weren’t forced to do it. And that got me thinking about different dimensions and how to present them.
I have discussed travelling through time in an earlier post from 2015 and while time is a dimension itself and many of those same ideas could have been used I wanted something different.Continue reading
According to Jane McGonigal, who has plenty of research to back her claims, games are excellent learning tools, but the learning is enchanced, when you have an idea what you want to learn. What can we learn from games? Planning, problem-solving, resource management, most importantly self-efficacy and so-forth. Games can also train our memory, reaction times and many other skills.
This is something that’s being actively studied, but the problem is that these studies tend to focus on video games. This is understandable, because you don’t need to organize a game group to study these things and obviously, the market for them is much, much larger than other kinds of games (as evidenced recently by the success of Red Dead Redemption 2).
Old School Renaissance is a wonderful trend. I don’t know it too well myself, but every time I take a peek or venture a little deeper into the jungle, I find endless adventures, ideas, hacks, additions, and other stuff that all seems very cool. That, of course, means that it can be really difficult to spot the stuff that’s the best for you.
I’ve looked into a lot of games. Many of them promise room for imagination and a return to a rules-light approach, but to me, they don’t live up to the promise. Still, I have kept looking. To find a treasure. A real treasure: a game that would encapsulate OSR ideas and energy but whose design felt modern enough.
With David Black‘s The Black Hack, I may have found what I was looking for.