Starting “The Season of the Witch”

As roleplaying games go our “Sins of our Fathers” campaign is the longest I have ever participated in. Last Tuesday we started “the sixth season” and this time the action takes place in colonial America right after the raid on Joseph Curwen’s farm in 1772. As with the previous seasons we will use the refined version of my Eldritch Sigils game system that relies heavily on the AWengine.

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Previously in…

We are having so much fun!

We are having so much fun!

We have all been there. The game is about to start and we just wait for that one player who is always late. Everybody is busy checking their Facebook or random videos from YouTube. Some leave for a smoke and maybe one player starts to go through the assorted papers for the game. Then that last player arrives and the game should start.

But it doesn’t.

Maybe it is because of collective tiredness or maybe someone wants to argue about a tv-series. Or maybe the GM has left the dice at home and no-one thought of bringing their own.  Continue reading

[Door of Shadows] Timey Wimey Off-Road

11011000_1017491551614136_8276613320657869187_nAs discussed earlier I have granted the players a lot of narrative power in our current the Door of Shadows-campaign. One of the more surprising twists that I certainly wasn’t prepared for was that the characters decided to take part on an expedition to Egypt.

Though this post will be mostly about describing the events of an actual gaming session(s) it includes a couple of (more) interesting points about GMing – even if you are not into reading about other peoples sessions. I must also add that this post is a bit lengthy.

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Permission to Change the World

One of the favorite things my gaming group brings up are the “Legacy Tokens” that allow the players to take part in the narrative “legacies” of the gaming world. I stole this idea from a (fan-made?) addition to old Deadlands but it still has evolved from those beginnings. In the following I will high-light how we have used those chips to give the players major power to reshape the narrative.

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[Door of Shadows] Creating the Campaign Setup

The Pull

Randomizing the characters

We started a new campaign at the beginning of the year (as discussed in my previous post).

This campaign is linked to the Wayward Sons-campaign I ran last year though it takes place 40 years earlier. And even though I jump started this “discussion” about the campaign with the experiments I have had with a Mythos Tome I decided that our first session also deserves to shared.

As first sessions go it wasn’t an actual playing session in a traditional sense but more like a conversation of what we were going to play. Vincent Baker‘s Apocalypse World advices you to do something similar but we took it a bit further.

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Experimenting on Mythos Tomes

We have been playing my AWengine hack for a few months now. There is a lot to talk about this game but I make my return to blogging by discussing the use of Mythos Tomes in roleplaying games.

A Mythos Tome is most likely found in horror games but should by no means to be limited to them. Mythos Tomes are ancient books filled with most eldritch secrets no man was ever to know. Or at least that is the main assumption. Continue reading

Wayward Sons: Love letters & Demonic possession


Disclaimer: This post includes bad language and attitudes that really aren’t a representation of what we actually think. It only goes to show out we have bad taste.

As we grow more and more accustomed to this hack and how it works we manage to extend the game and bring in more interesting elements to the game.

This week I send two of my players a love letter. Now I am not sure I actually used them the right way but since this is after all our game I think the point was that they were successful. Or at least one was.

Due the first letter and the roll that followed one of the PCs got a prison tattoo. That was not too interesting. That taught me to be more considering when making the letters. Dull outcomes bring a little to the game.

The second letter was much more interesting. It bring out demonic possession and end up nearly killing the whole group.

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Wayward Sons: Moving from tier 1 to tier 2

This post is a direct followup on Aki’s post from yesterday. It started out as a comment but quickly lengthened in a way to seemed like it should have its own post.

Advancement in this kind of a game is problematic. On the one hand many players want to see their characters gaining more skills and progressing towards something like a demigod status. You may advance your character according to the “spend experience” chart found in each playbook. It all changes when you advance to “tier 2”.

This is the threshold of problem. How to keep the character in the same mould but allow him to grow?

I think that something like the advancement of John McClane has always been my ideal of character development. They might get more and more things done but they loose a bit of themselves on the process.

One thing that occurred to me just while I read this post is adding a simple and elegant system for advancement.


In simplest for this might work out when you change your playbook. You develop from a dealer to the Avenger BUT. This might even be a Move. When “when you advance your character, choose 1” and then a list of shit that might hit the fan.

This idea is presented in some ways in various hacks and I just discussed about something similar with one of the players from the same group as Aki and myself. It should not be simple to do something or if it is there should be a cost for it. You could look it the way Aki said. McClane survives (ie. develops) BUT loses his wife.

The trick here is to build the conditionals in a way that would make sense for the narrative and for the character.

Wayward Sons: Writing of the Seasoned playbooks

Once I began the work on the “second tier” playbooks for my Apocalypse World hack I quickly realised this hack still has some major issues. Though in my mind the premises and the main idea behind this hack is clear it might not be for others.This was a point that I noticed while we get together to play it a couple of weeks ago.


Aki was wondering why would his character stick with the other characters. I realise that this is something that pops up every once in a while in any game. My current approach to this kind of a problem is to get rid of the character as soon as possible. Questioning the motives of a character is a quick way to kill the mood and diverse the story from what is actually happening. But this time was different. It got me think of the reasons any of the characters are involved in “the hunt”.

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Wayward Sons: Grinding the System


With three gaming sessions with this Apocalypse World hack I am beginning to see where I want this game to go. I started out with of what I was doing and what the game is about but have ended up realising there is a lot to change.

I want this game to resemble X-Files with working class characters. Sessions should be about mysteries the group is trying to solve (without getting killed). The deeper they get into the mystery the more entangled with unanswered questions they become. The action and the story flow should be fast enough to be easily narrated but still retain the elements of this being a game.

When writing this hack I started out with a lot of setting rules. Most of them were tested in my own gaming system and only transferred to this new engine. Some of them were stolen from other AWhack (namely tremulus). Little by little I have been removing them from the rules. The last one to go was the Sanity damage mechanic.  Continue reading