Thursday, December 30, 2010

Comments and Reviews - Geasa on Voice of the Revolution

Check it out! Not that it's got a review but we got lots of mention and love from Voice of the Revolution.

Remember, we've still got that contest going. If you want to review Geasa, and I want honest reviews I don't want people blowing smoke up my ass, and post it to either IPR or Drivethrurpg you can get a free copy of the book.

Only the first five reviews count towards this, and you have to tell me about it by emailing it to me or putting it in the comments.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Geasa The First Week - What I've learned

It's been a little over a week that Geasa has been on the market.

The sales have been surprising for me. Mainly because when we put out Mile High Dragon to say that it was met with very little fanfare, or anything remotely considered to be a single ticker tape made me uncertain as to what might happen.

Well, Geasa was a very pleasant surprise. For the first week, the sales at Drivethru have been pretty good. We've got 18 total sold of the full book and 23 total downloaded (from review copies, that means 5 people who are on the drivethru review list have it. We'll see where it goes from there).

What's doubly surprising is the amount of people who downloaded the free version of the game. The free version has gotten 337 total downloads. These are numbers that I certainly couldn't have dreamed to match with any product ever. That's a lot, and if I can convert even a 1% of these people, that's 3 sales I wouldn't have gotten without a free product. Hell, maybe someone will take the rules and make their own game with it. I'm already trying to think of how to do that with a game called Teenage Wasteland. I'll jot some ideas down, but that game is going to have to wait until I'm done with CyberGen 3.0.

This also tells me that .pdfs are doing fine and dandy thank you very much. I barely cracked the top 10 of the "sales of the month" category before I dropped quickly out of those rankings to be replaced by others. However, when that happens with only 16 sales, you know that there is a lot of people buying electronic formats to the games.

Also, it blows my mind that people would put any type of DRM on their electronic documents. Quick, I want people to be able to access the game as quickly as possible, let's put something that will slow them from enjoying the product. BRILLIANT IDEA!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Geasa - The Free One

Part of Geasa is that the rules are under BY-SA license. Which means that I created a document that was a pared down version of the main book to be used as a reference.

I had some advice from someone who has been spending a lot of time with free RPGs and they feel that it could be better. I agree, anything can always be better and since this is the free document I'd like people's advice on how to make the free version better?

Submitted examples from people playing the game for each section?
More detail on how to do things?
Cut out any extraneous text and just go to the heart of things?

Post here to tell me how I can make the free product better.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Geasa is now available!

It's up on Drivethrurpg! You can find the link here.

Once it's up on IPR we'll let you know. There you'll be able to pre-order the book!

EDIT: Just to let you know, for one dollar more than the book is going to cost when it's here you can get the book and the pdf on preorder! Check it out at IPR!

This does mean that the contest is on! ^_^

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Geasa FAQ

I got asked if there was a FAQ for Geasa. There isn't one, but I figure that I might as well have a place where people can go and ask questions. So, here is the post where I say, "Ask any question about Geasa that you want."
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Going Home - A Power Fantasy Playtest

For some reason I can't seem to get the Game Chef site to recognize that I am a person, and not a spam bot, which means that I'm going to post here saying that a group of us ended up playing Going Home, A Power Fantasy by Mikael Andersson.

Now, this was the first time the game had been played. Which is always nice because you know that you're gonna run into speed bumps, but that the person who designed the game is more than willing to sit down and try to tackle them.

First of all, I will say that I love this game. I love the fact that all you start out with is a name and the question, what did you just abandon. I think it's prefect and I loved how it just set you up for a lot of uncertainty.

I was playing a character who had just abandoned their phone. Amber was playing a character who had just abandoned an office job. Angela was playing someone who had just abandoned a suitcase and Mikael had abandoned ... I can't for the life of me remember but even just with that you can see the narrative possibilities that can show up.

I liked the fact that each player had different narrative roles that they got to play. The Enemy, the World and Karma (the Camera wasn't used since we were playing with only 4 players). The Enemy was straightforward, where you go to play the reactions of what was currently The Enemy of the scene. The World had the narrative responsibility to provide a detailed world in which the Enemy and the Traveler (the player in question) work in. Karma was a little more difficult, but basically it was what was supposed to keep you to your previous actions and also be the voice on your shoulder.

We managed to get once around, each player got to pick a question on the map, and the questions were great. My question was so integral to what happened that I almost screamed out the answer when I was done my moment, but it wasn't so much the same for the other players. We ended up talking about it, and I think the conclusion that we came to was that the other players needed to remember that the game is a Power Fantasy, which means that there needs to be far more Power and Fantasy in the moments that are provided. For instance, if someone searches a glove compartment, they will find something like a gun which will cause havoc (that's what happened to Mikael).

Power = weapon
Fantasy = Finding it easily

I want to play it again. I'd like to get further along the map and answer more than a single question.

Geasa - It's done and a contest

Radio silence is finally over. That means Geasa is done. The PDF should be going up on IPR, with preorders for the book, and the PDF will also be going up on Drivethru a little while afterwards.

I'm really happy with the book. Then again, it's my book. I should be really happy with it.

However, I want to know what you think about it. That means I'm going to hold a contest. To the first five people who review it when it goes up on either IPR or Drivethru will get a free copy of the book. There can be a dedication, or whatever (if people like that kind of thing) in it and stuff but you'll get the first five copies of the game.

How do you do this? We'll you'll have to buy the pdf from either one of those sites, look at it, play it a bit, and then write a review. Once that's done you should post a link to the review here on the blog. Your comment here should include a link to the review, and a way to get a hold of you so I can get a shipping address so I can send the book to you. Only the first five reviews combined between the two sites will be considered for this.

Are you excited? I'm excited.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Let's play a Blog Game - You know you've had a good game session when ...

Since I'm in the middle of getting a couple of projects finished I don't usually have much to say on this thing.

To keep the momentum going, let's play a Blog Game. I'll give you the first line and then you can fill in the rest. That is if anyone else wants to play.

So, "You know you've a good game session when ..."

You look outside and realize that the sun is starting to rise again

Monday, November 22, 2010

Something Cool - Handcrafted Dice

Someone just posted this over at the Self-Promotion page at the free rpg forums and I thought I'd share.

It's someone who does specialty dice. Holy crap they look cool.

Check them out. They even have an "open source" how to guide on how to do things yourself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Geasa - Da Layout

After many, many, many, many, many false starts Geasa is finally in the layout stage.

What does that mean?

It means I've got a cover to show you.

There have been some updates, like putting my name on the front cover and the URL of the website on the back, but ultimately this is what it's going to look like. I'm pretty stoked.

EDIT: Note, I've updated it so that it has all the stuff that people commented on that I agree with.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Playoffs!

It's that kind of atmosphere here folks. We're in the thick of things and it's going to go all the way!

Just kidding. The playoff format for Game Chef 2010 were just posted up on the site and we've got until December 5th to crown a winner. There is a complete list of games that made the finals, go check it out. However, to make things easier for me I've gone and posted the list of games I think people should play.

There will be one glaring omission here. I'm not really endorsing Over The Wall as a game to play. If people want to play it, sweet tell me how it doesn't work and how the setting inspires you to play it with system X, Y or Z. Hell, it might give me some ideas on what to do with it when I have a free moment ... in 2012.

Danger Mountain! by Jason Morningstar - Played it in October, which doesn't count for the contest. Have fun, cut out the cards and glue them on card stock, or foam board. Have a good time.

Long Shot by Nick Wedig - I just think that the theme, the rules and the character gen is rather amazing. It's already got a play, so that's awesome.

The Hand of Gulliver the Man-Mountain by Mike Pohjola - Two Words ... FINGER LARP!

Chronicles of Skin by Sebastian Hickey - Just make emblems for hours, that what I would do.

Cosmic Journey by Krista White - You must play the game, or else the Adversaries have already won.

Deserting Paradise by Joe Mcdaldno - I want to play the Man and the City, let me tell you. Seriously, awesome antagonist rules

Going Home: An Urban Power Fantasy by Mikael Andersson / lachek - You should because of the question map, the resolution system and because Mikael is freakin' awesome.

Man-of-Letters, Man-of-Wars by E. Tage Larsen / Double King - More Two Words. Sea Shanty!

Action City! by Mike Olson - Any Game that requires an explosion at the end of a major scene is worth playing in my book.

Bridge Across Eternity by Tamara Persikova - Again, the deserters and the feel and look of this book make me want to play it.

My completely made up prediction:

The Winner is everyone who gets a good game out of this. Is this a cop-out? Most certainly.

See you all December 5th.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Finalist?

Well my review is up over on the Game Chef but I'll reprint it here as well.

Over The Wall by Jonathan Lavallee

Concept: You play cloned human youth raised to be the hope and future of the denizens of a dystopian robot city in which flesh is currency and everyone wants some, because you have to be part human to make it over the wall to the paradise beyond. Very cool.

Execution: The designer made the really interesting choice, when writing up the rules for this
game, as including them in the setting description. It makes the text very difficult to skim, but is a cool approach overall as it really lets even the rule descriptions carry the feeling of the game. Still, it would have been nice to have a summary somewhere – preferably before or after each section – that stated the basics (for example: Run and Hide are the universal skills and characters get other skills for being a Roboticist, Trader, or Bully). As far as resolution is concerned, the ability to remove elements from other players’ narration strikes me as one that could lead to social problems in the group, so it should probably be handled with additional care than is shown in the current guidelines, where it seems more like a throw-away line, something easily ignored. Resolution is deterministic rather than random (“karma” rather than “fortune” for those familiar with Jonathan Tweet’s breakdown in Everway), with the player deciding whether the youth or opposing side has the advantage in a scene (similar to determining refresh scenes in Bliss Stage, perhaps), but then the youth has the opportunity to invoke skills if they are at a disadvantage. This use is capped by the level of the skill. Once you overuse a skill, you can still invoke it to succeed, but begin to suffer negative consequences, including damage. The rest of the game is full of cool setting information and scene generation guidelines, which include randomly drawing elements from a deck.

Completeness: There is a lot to like here. However, the premise of the game seems to demand that a major focus be on how well the youth (creche-kids) are about to save their own skin (literally) in a city full of robots looking to become more human. Unfortunately, I don’t see any mechanics or guidelines that really hammer on this theme, including guidelines for slowly adding more and more robotic “bits” in exchange for giving up your human flesh. So, while there’s the chassis of a relatively solid game here, it doesn’t fully deliver on the promise of its premise. Additionally, as with some of the other games that build on Polaris and have rotating protagonist, antagonist, and support roles, I feel like this responsibility-distribution framework is kinda half-heartedly slapped onto the game, rather than really fully worked into the game. I mean, Polaris is great, right? We all recognize that. But it’s been 5 years! There are other methods for making GMless play work and, even if Polaris is maybe still the first GMless or “rotating responsibly” game people think of, these techniques have been around long enough now that designers should be developing their own unique guidelines for shared “GM” responsibilities, based on what you want your game to do. Ultimately, you can’t assume that you can just tack on something as important as the way the players approach the game. That doesn’t work for GM guidelines and especially doesn’t work for GMless guidelines because even hippie players typically have their own house style of sharing control rather than doing what the designer wants.

Cookery: Perhaps the best use of skin so far (as a unit of currency), even if it’s underdeveloped.

Conclusion: This is another close call. The lack of emphasis on the theme of becoming more robotic is troubling, but there’s enough here that you could probably playtest it. I imagine that quite a few changes would need to happen immediately, though, which means it’s probably more ready for local playtesting than outside playtesting. However, since this is the last review I’m doing and I’m feeling magnanimous, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and call it a Finalist.

Now, I'm pretty surprised. I really did think that the tacked on system would cause it to sink, and had it not been last it would have. There is something to be said for being at the end.

Does this make me want to go back over it? Yes, it does. Do I have the time to do that? No, I don't. I've got a whole pile of projects that need to get done before I can get back to Over The Wall.

What does that mean? Well, if anyone wants to do anything with it right now, go for it. If not, this might not see any much change for a while. Of course, I may just freak out and change things for an afternoon.

My favourite part is that he's assumed I've read Polaris. ^_^

Friday, November 12, 2010

CyberGeneration - Combat Speed

There are a couple places that most RPGs tend to bog down and the speed goes from entertaining to boring for quite a lot of people. One of those places is combat. Combat, for all the fact that it happens quickly in real life becomes hours of agony as everyone plays everything so cautiously that they painstakingly map out every possible scenario before they commit to any action. It's one of the reasons why 30 seconds of game play can take 2-3 hours.

Saturday Night Skuffl (SNS) has this problem too but on through different means. There aren't a million special rules that you need to be aware of. There aren't all these Feats or Skills or Traits or Abilities that you have to consider when you're going to use. Instead what SNS has is a throw back from Friday Night Firefight (FNFF), a defense roll. When dealing with melee combat what slows down the game is the fact that the game has a defensive roll. It is a roll that does absolutely nothing other than to negate someone's attack roll.

This can make a battle go on forever, especially if two characters of equal skill are involved in the fight and they keep rolling high on their opponent's turn.


Time to follow one of the design philosophies and speed things up. We're going to change combat so that whenever you attack or defend against a roll, the winner will do damage in combat. That way combat will go twice as fast because now there is guaranteed damage to happen on every single roll. Well, not including armor, but at least it will be faster than it was before.

This isn't a unique concept, many other games have implemented this kind of combat style, I just think it's particularly fitting to CyberGen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hammercon II - Wrath of Con

On Saturday, when a lot of people were at Neoncon in Vegas, some of us people in the GTA and further went to an awesome spot called Hammercon in Hamilton which is about 45 minutes outside of Toronto going West on the QEW. Now, this is probably not the same party scene but there were a whole pile of people who make games there. You'd find me, Darcy, Corey and a host of other people there running our stuff and having a good time.

The game of Gaesa that I ran went off really well. We started out slow, working out of Louis XIV's France with a Musketeer, a Shepherd, a Server at the Palace, the English Diplomat and the Revolutionary Innkeeper gathered around a table to tell a story. By the end of it we had discovered where the King of England's illegitimate child was behind held and the Innkeeper was the first one there and he manage to squirrel away the child with the French army and our intrepid musketeer on his heels. The big winner was the shepherd who managed to play both sides against the middle and come out richer than he had ever imagined. It was a good time.

The other key thing I wanted to talk about was Speed Gaming. Wow, that sucker was hard. It was 32 people in a room with 9 designers. Each Designer gets 15 minutes to pitch their game and play it with the people involved. It was great for generating buzz, out of 9 tables at least 7 asked for more information and wanted to hear more about the game later. There was one table that didn't really get the concept until the 15 minutes were up, and the last table was just as beat as I was. I think this is something that more cons should do, because it was really a good way to get a lot of things done at once. The first is that you got to expose your game to 32 different people in the span of about 3 hours. The other one was that you got to refine you pitch to a point, there was no time for any extra talking. It was just go, go, go, go, go, which is a damned good thing to have under your belt.

Not only did I get to hang out with people I had met before, but I got to meet a couple designers that I hadn't yet. I got to meet Francois Valentyne from Face up Games which has a game being published by Zev at Z-Man Games. I also got to meet a couple that has a new CCG. Jey Legarie from Gifted Vision with their Dungeon Crawler CCG. Check it out and let them know what you think.

I love this con. I can't wait to go back next year and you should go too damn it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

CyberGeneration - Sponsors?

Someone over at the Firestorm Ink forums, a barren wasteland where very few people gather to talk about CyberGen and hopefully other stuff when I get that released, there was a discussion about maybe setting things up so that there is a Sponsor program. This Sponsor program would be something like Kickstarter, though I don't think that there would be a time limit other than when we get the book out, where you pre-order + extra and you get some cool stuff.

There are a couple of questions that come with this. What would you think would be a viable price point to get things. We're looking at making the book at the $20.00 point. What would be things people would be interested in seeing?

- Name in book as a Sponsor
- Special Cover
- Alt Cover Art
- Signed Copies (some people put stock in that)
- Personalized Copies
- Cool junk from my house prizes?

Suggestions? Ideas? Help me out here folks.

CyberGeneration - Design Philosophy

Well Blogger ate the other post so this one goes up first! Yay!

With the new release of CyberGeneration in the works I think it's a good idea to put out what my personal design philosophy is in regards to this book. That way I have something that I can refer to if I feel that I get stuck or that I'm playing with the fiddly bits too much.

I really think every project should have a Design Philosophy, and I regret the fact that I haven't really done one before now.

Anyway, here we go:

1. CyberGeneration's Rules need to be Fast:

The resolution mechanic is a straight forward one. It's Stat+Skill+d10 vs Target Number. However, it's the other things that really get me. Combat can take forever because it has a attack vs defense roll where nothing happens on the defensive end. It's got a lot of little bit rules in the evolved types that make you have to know tables and stuff that makes being Evolved kind of a chore.

The net. Oh goodness the net. It's still better than most nets out there, but that needs to be cleaned up something fierce.

2. CyberGeneration need to be immersive:

One of the things I love about the game the most is the setting. It's what really drives the game and is the inspiration point for some other games with dystopic teenage angst. Make sure that gets driven home every chance we get.

Also, I want to make sure that when people make yogangs they actually make yogangs. It's not, "I'm a Guardian" but "I'm a member of the Brickyard Boyz." Immediacy helps with immersion.

3. CyberGeneration needs to be darker:

Some people might say we're living in the world right now, just without the cybernetics and even that that's slowly becoming a reality. Hell with Kinects (nee NADAL) and Sixth Sense virtuality is clearly on the way. Make sure that this helps drive how much control there is around the players.

4. CyberGeneration needs to have more fight:

The big driving force behind 2.0 was the Cabal. The Cabal is not going away, but I want the game to help the players feel that there is a fight going on even if they aren't playing in the Cabal. Sometimes this shit is worth fighting for.

That's what I have so far. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Geasa - Speed Gaming

This Saturday we're going over to Hammercon which is a great time in Hamilton. Seriously, if you're in the GTA I can't recommend that you go there enough. Hell, it's worth a day trip from Buffalo.

I'm going to be running two events there, the first being a game of Geasa first thing in the morning. That might be a little hard for some people, but thankfully it doesn't require any prep on my part. That's going to be a full game which means that character creation is part of the game.

The problem I'm going to deal with is the fact that there is an event called Speed Gaming. This event basically gives me 15 minutes in which I can try to make people interested in the game. Give them a feel for how it works. My big problem is that the game has two big features, the part where you build your characters and the part where you tell the story. Both of these features are great by themselves and when they're combined they produce a great experience as you care about your characters and the relationships that they have. However, one round of each can take up at least 15 minutes.

The dilemma. What to do? I think my solution is going to be that I have to focus on the storytelling with just a little bit on the character creation side. Basically give them characters to play and let them choose their own goals but provide the rest of it.

The kicker becomes what stories do I want to tell. I might just get lazy and redo some of the really great games that I've played of Geasa.

1. The Circus - GenCon 2010
This was a great game where I could expend from the 4 characters that were played to 6 by filling out some of the memorable NPCs.

2. The Gunslinger - Dexcon 2010
Another fun game played at Dexcon with a couple people I know who hadn't played the game before. We ended up with one of the better endings to a game I had ever seen. Seriously awesome.

3. Pirates - GenCon 2010
This game devolved quickly but I figure throwing out a game where I have control of the characters this time might make it work. There was attempted mutiny, a drunk captain and a rowdy crew.

4. Steamvents - Origins 2010
This was a game played with the Slugfest crew at Origins. It wasn't an official game, it was a Jonathan is falling asleep on the couch game, but it was pretty sweet regardless.

5. Victorian Murder - Anime North 2010
Another con game that was basically a Doylian mystery wrapped up with a bunch of fistfights and faeries. I'll have to try to recreate it because again it was late and I was asleep on my feet ... or under the table.

Yay for crimping. I'm also going to be interested to see where these stories go with other people in them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gamma the World - Twitter Game

I played a little bit with Fred Hicks and many other people on Twitter today. He came up with a really fun game called Gamma The World, where you take real places and make them fit into Gammaworld-like settings.

Here are a few of the highlights, or the ones I particularly enjoyed.

Washington, DC scorched by fires, home to pyrokinetics and walking-dead mutants = Ashington Dead City

A little rising water and a lot of swamp gas. Albino fish men in flooded harbor tunnels. Baltimore becomes the Baldy Moor

NYC - Victim to a sudden nuclear accident, leaving only leveled buildings and ruined bridges, known as Nuke Your City. #gammatheworld

LA - Home to a rift in time & space, LA is now swarming with creatures not meant for the human mind. Welcome to Lost Angles. #gammatheworld

@fredhicks Toronto is a nuclear cesspool after the nuclear spill. Feet are lost if you aren't ready. Now called Toe-rent-oh. #gammatheworld

@fredhicks check that. Too much nuclear. Waste from the last garbage strike creates an ooze that does the same thing. #gammatheworld

A digital hell, with programs that can rip away the very essence of anything with just paper. It is called Hellafax. #gammatheworld

Don't yet own the game, but I'm willing to back the political Boss Town and the full-of-tech-relics Chem Bridge. #gammatheworld

In Montreal a large tower appeared. Now no one can understand each other and groups fight over the name of the city. #gammatheworld

A Florida mayor goes mad with power & turns every city building into statues of his lost wife. Welcome to MyAmy. #gammatheworld

A remnant of one worldline where bands hold absolute power, the town of ToleDevo harvests energy from its citizens using hats.#gammatheworld

The Leech-Men and their Roundwormite servants haunt the swamps of Kissing-Me. Only the Humalligators can stop them.#gammatheworld

Sentient wheat use storms to recharge their electrical powers. Known as "Shockers", they can be found in Witch-It-All. #gammatheworld

@fredhicks Massive earthquakes shook the Alleghanies, leaving the Steel City full of holes. Now the Burgh is really the Pitt. #gammatheworld

Ronald is a God, and "Two all beef patties, special sauce ..." is a Psalm in SoupCan, Washing. #gammatheworld

In Denver, a family line of plant people is enslaved for the narcotic properties of their blood. #gammatheworld in the Mild High City.

Do you have your own Gammatheworld idea? Let's also all thank Fred for starting the game and you can check out more if you look up the #gammatheworld tag on twitter.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Game Chef - Trying out some games

Last night we had a meetup for our local game meetup group, the Toronto Area Gamers, and had a lot of fun playing 44: A Game of Automatic Fear. It was my first time running it and as such it ended a bit early. Oh, I turned them all into alien pod people, but what happened is that we ended the game way too early. Now that I have some experience running the game, I know how I can make the game last a little longer, with allowing the action to happen rather than just jumping to the conflict point. Still, it was an awesome time.

That being said we ended about a third of our way through the alotted time. That wasn't particularly cool for those who came to play, so I took out the game chef games, which happen to be in the same binder with me, and we decided on a couple that we'd like to try.

1. Danger Mountain

I still love the idea behind this game. The whole concept of building up a town, and the relationships that make the crisis immediate and pressing is great.

What I think would help the game would be a moment where you could foreshadow your disaster without trying to do it in the scene. It felt a little artificial and since we had a couple of new players they were really pushing for their disaster and so the opening scene was really:

"Did you hear about my disaster?" "No, did you hear about my disaster?"

What might help that is having a brief moment where you could mention your disaster. Just that quick cut away to the lava bubbling in the volcano, or the grasshoppers coming down the road.

We also spent all our time on the questions on the cards rather than any of the other options.

We didn't finish the game because two of the people we were playing with didn't play a lot of co-operative storytelling games and so they were feeling confused. One of the players even excused himself at that point, which made me feel a little bad. I wasn't trying to be exclusive. I do think that anyone can play any game really.

Anyway, we decided to play another game ...

2. Chronicles of Skin.

I could make emblems for hours. Seriously, I had such a good time with that I almost asked to do it again instead of playing the game.

However, we did get down to playing at least one round of the game. What I think might be cool was what ron suggested. Instead of coming up with the conflict ad you go, draw it out first and then interpret it and finish it when its done.

That is what we did last night.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Indepth Request - Egregore

Hey Folks,

Baxil was kind enough to review Over The Wall on his website and asked for a review of his game Egregore.

I'd suggest checking it out, not just because I pretty much agreed with everything. What I love about Over The Wall is the setting. It really kinda called to me and about half way through I went, "Shit, I need to have mechanics or something, right?" and it shows that the mechanics are tacked on. If enough people like the setting I may take the time to actually find something that fits.

However, onto

The Bigger Review

In case what you forgot, here was the short review.

The Good: Plenty. The setting is phenomenal, the City one I don't know about the other one that's mentioned. It's got conflict -- internal, intra-mural and interparty -- it's got self revelation, it's working on the idea of redemption. I was drawn in and didn't easily leave.
The Bad: The game does suffer from a lot of "must know how the rules work to get it." The resolution mechanic is pretty easy, but it's all the fiddly bits that make up the game, which sadly are what drive what I find awesome, that requires you to know all the details. You can't really hand wave them away.
The other: More examples please! Not that they're needed, I just want to know what's going on with those two characters you have there.

Would I play it? Yes, but only if you help me blow up the city in the Shadowlands.

Concept: You are mages who have crossed a line. Magic itself is a cause of concern but there are rules that govern it and whatever you did crossed one of the thousands of lines that ends up with you being damned to the city in the Shadowlands, a very personal hell that will reflect back on your character the things that they did wrong.

I do love this concept because it allows everyone to be in the same spot and at the same time be incredibly selfish when it comes to their character.

Character Creation
I like the summation of the character creation right at the beginning. It helps you get in the right mindset and focus you towards what you're going to do. You start with your description, which includes people who were important to you and the reason why you were damned.

Drives sounds exactly like what they should be, fear, need, sin and guilt. Another interesting feature is that you will have to face your fear regardless of what it is, so if someone tries to be cute they're going to have to deal with it. I like that a lot, it helps stop those people who go, "I have an obscure fear of a small local bat that only happens to live on the edges of the deserts in New Mexico." I hate it when people do that.

The rest of it falls into the standard "You have points, buy some skills and you have some focuses that you get for those specific stats."

I do want to highlight one thing. Your goal isn't something you choose at the beginning of the game. You will decide your goal as you play the game and that's a lovely little element that I think should be implemented in other games. Not that having goals at the beginning isn't a good thing, it is, but it's an idea that makes me tilt my head and wonder what kind of implementation that it could have in other games.

Review Thought: I do really like the flavour text. It's one of the things that really engaged me when I was reading this game.

Mechanics: I think the most disappointing thing that I read is that in the end it boils down to an unmodified d20 roll to determine if you succeed at a goal or not. That kind of feels anti-climactic in a way.

Certain things aren't explained at all. In the Rolling For Success section, for instance, it talks about Manifestations with Power higher than your currently difficulty but it doesn't describe how or why Manifestations have power. Even in the Manifestation section further down in the City Section.

I don't really like the critical feature here too. If you roll a 20 you get what you want and nothing bad happens to you? It kind of goes against the feel of the game where you've got people who are slowly going insane in their own personal hell. I think something bad should happen to them pretty much every time, the only difference is that it should be something less bad the better number they get.

This is where the most work needs to happen, much like most Game Chef games. I'd go over this section and see what isn't fully explained or confusing. It's less confusing the second time through the game, but these are the things I think need some clarification in the rules section:

Looking for Trouble. I don't like the "Almost Non are Mandatory" line because it doesn't encourage interaction. Plus it makes it confusing when you say, "Well the ones that are mandatory are ..." I'd like a little more consistency in regards to what's happening.

Giving Into Sin. Another sidebar with the rundown of what you need to do if you do give into sin. In fact, sidebars for all the extra bits would be nice too.

Supporting Roles: I know what you were trying to do here, by giving people's character's a bonus when you play a supporting role, but unless I can come up with an Effect and a Benefit in the middle of the game, or before the game, then this is going to be a complete list.

To sum up, because this was the section I was asked to spend a lot of time on. Overall I think the mechanic is a really simple one with a bunch of fiddly bits that I think could be flattened out to be something interesting but right now there are just a few too many exceptions going on for me to play it without needing to refer to the book all the time.


It's layed out well. It's easy to read and important bits are highlighted. Just one note, MORE SIDEBARS! It was really helpful to figure out the base mechanic, but the fiddly bits need them too.

Over all Feel: I think this could be a really gritty dark game that delves deeply into people's fears underneath a thin ray light of redemption. I just think it needs to have another read through and a little more fleshing out and then it would be a really good game to play.

Random Arbitrary Number for Quality: Five Mages desperately seeking to destroy the city against Five Mages who want to protect it.

General Agreement: Yes, a narrative game is a lot harder than people give it credit for.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I don't want your crap, even if it's for a good cause

If you haven't heard there is a bundle that you can pick up over at RPG Now that is 25$ and gives you over 700$ worth of games. I recommend it, mainly because you can download what you want and say to hell with the rest of the products that you don't want. This is good because there are some pretty sweet stuff to be found in this bundle.

However, I do want to highlight a couple of things I think are wrong with this. Not from One Book Shelf (The people who own RPG Now) because the money is going straight to help support a cause that has completely fallen off the radar. I think they're awesome. Not from the people who put in inexpensive products, because they're complete things that are inexpensive because they're small.

No, I want to talk about people who think that including a Quick Start version of their game and a preview edition of their book in this bundle. I know they may have just taken the top X games and put them in this bundle, but I'll say right now that if I had something like that in there I would upgrade it to the full version pretty freakin' quick.

As @wapcaplets replied when I first commented on it, "It's like tipping with Canadian Tire Money."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Game Chef - Cutting down the Binder

Okay, there have been comments that I have too many games in the Binder. I'm going to go through them all and give them slightly more comments, not too many comments because there are still a lot of them.

I'll try to cut it down to about 10 because the binder is actually going to explode soon. I'll start working on the first one tonight.

Repost - Deeper in the Game - Reward System

I just checked out this post over at Deeper in the Game and it got me thinking about stuff we might need to do for 3.0 because I know that there were many times where I was running it where I did get that feeling.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CyberGeneration - Design Thoughts 01

We've been thinking a lot lately on what we're going to do for CyberGeneration 3.0. We really want the game to do well and a new sourcebook is just step one in this process. The game was over 15 years old and desperately needed a new face and a little bit of clean up to make the game feel a little more immersive.

Here are some thoughts that we're exploring right now and I'm going to share them to see what people think, if there are any left over after the Game Chef thing. =p

1. Two Books instead of one.

No, I'm not going the Burning Wheel wrote which required you to buy the Character Burner and the Burner ... Burner to play the game. That I found frustrating, coupled with the fact that there were some skills that required the Monster Burner to use which just upped that level of WTFery, and annoying and is still one of the reasons why it sits on my shelf gathering dust. However, that is neither here nor there.

What we want to do is put forth a rule book with what you need to play, the rules, the setting in brief, some characters, some yogangs, some gear and go. The price point will hopefully be 15.00$ and you can buy that and get right into the game.

The second book would go more indepth. It would add more yogangs, it would add more detail to the setting but what it won't have are any rules on how to play the game. The reason for that is you would have already purchased the main book to buy the second one, or you already have a copy of second edition that you want to play it with. Hell, chances are you could probably play the game with a fair bit of tweaking in any system that you want.

2. Instead of Sourcebook we'd do a "Magazine Subscription"

Not that it would really be a subscription, but that is an idea, but instead of doing a sourcebook we'd do a magazine update where there are a pile of different options that you can get, information and flavour and gear and the run down of what's going on without having to have it be too centralized. It's kinda like the Eden Cabal itself, decentralized.

At the end of the year we could slap the pdfs together and make it into a book, organized by type of information. Say that if you bought all 4 pdfs, you'll get the book for free or something like that.

Good ideas? Bad ideas? Thoughts, comments, concerns?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Just when I thought I was done

I get pulled back in. Apparently I missed a couple, it's what happens when you don't do them in order.

Missed 1. Sojourn the City and the Desert

Missed Though 1: I feel a little bit of an ass so I'm going to do more of a full review. I'm going to talk about four areas. Design, Concept, Execution and Overall Feel as well as give the twitter-ific review.

The Good: It feels like it's been influenced by How We Came to Live Here with the two GMs going on. The one dealing with the city and the other dealing with the People. I like that, it splits responsibility and makes for doubly creative game play. I also like how those two GMs are constantly in conflict and flux.

Missed Thought 2: Seriously? Sorry ladies, I'm using he because I can't be bothered to switch genders each section or paragraph? It's not that hard, really not that hard to go "he" this section and "she" this section. Not doing that is just pure laziness.

Missed Thought 3: Ugh, back to the tribal stuff. The word is rather loaded and I wish people would recognize that more.

Missed Thought 4: Lexicon at the back please. I don't need definitions of terms I don't know yet.

Missed Thoughts 5: Note that 2d6 and 1d12 have different curves and are not really acceptable replacements for each other.

The Bad: It has the same problem that a lot of other games have, which is that it feels like a boardgame with roleplaying mixed into it. Having a maps does that but it's one of the games that does a good job of trying to mitigate that problem, but it's still there. Also, can we please, PLEASE fucking get away from appropriation stories?
The Other: MOAR MAPS! Seriously, I love all the maps and feel that I need to make a game that has a map involved in it somehow.

Would I play it?: Yes, but only with a reskin. Let's not play "poor 'natives' dealing with the onslaught of technology" any more? Kthnksbai!!

The Bigger Review

Concept: I actually really love the base idea of the concept. I love how Sojourn is the city that devours all that comes before it. I love how the players can choose to help or to fight Sojourn all while trying to achieve their secret dark desires which brings them closer to the city. I like how the city has its own goal that is secret to the rest of the players. It has the feel of watching that large boulder rolling down the hill towards you and you have to stand up and hope that you're strong enough to stop it even though you know you can't hope to even move it from its course.

That being said it hits on a giant problem, it's not alone in this problem as many other Game Chef games have fallen into this trap, but it's another "native" story. Quoting on page 39 there is a line that states:

The setting for Sojourn: The City and the Desert is somewhat Native American in style as a default in its description here, but it is easy enough to alter some of the minor characteristics to adapt the game for an entire different form of setting.

My question is, why didn't you do that? That would have made the game more unique and interesting. Instead what we get is the same old retreaded appropriated narrative that leaves me annoyed. The same thing with the Genedered Note at the beginning. Seriously, it's not that hard to switch genders in the text. You can go from paragraph to paragraph, or section to section and it's not that hard to replace the "hes" with the "shes." Those that aren't doing it are really just being lazy.

Character Creation: Character Creation falls into three categories. The creation of the world, or the map. The Creation of Sojourn and the Creation of the characters.

The map itself is filled with fun line drawing time. That's not me being sarcastic, that's actually awesome as the borders will shift and play depending on where you draw the lines. It's fun, but it kind of scales the wrong way as the more players you have the more "locations" you're going to have which means more stuff for Sojourn to eat and more events for more people. I don't know a way around that without making exceptions, which are horrible to the game's flow, so perhaps it's just something you have to deal with.

The second part of the map creation is well developed as well where you get to add resources to locations and keywords, or tags as they're called in the games. The more resources, the more tags which means more dice for those fighting against Sojourn.

This does being to lead to a problem that the game has which is that it does have a boardgame feel with some roleplaying attached to it. When you start having to worry about resources on a board, then you're going to naturally start veering in that direction.

With the creation of Sojourn's secret goal, this problem comes into full force. Sojourn's goal is basically a collection of resources. It wants to eat enough stuff to "win" the game and that's when you have a board game.


The Mechanics of the game are pretty straightforward. You have conflict where dice need to be bid and tags can be used to generate successes. What would have been interesting, since you can't bid the same number of dice that have already been bid is that there would be some sort of bonus for bidding less, like taking a risk.

The game mechanics also really pushing both GMs, there is a GM playing Sojourn and a GM playing the People, into initiating conflicts so that they can get the dice that they need to "win" at the end of the game.


The Layout is pretty straightforward. There are flavour bits, and the rules explained. I might like to have had it without the point form, they are paragraphs after all but that's not really a big deal. I mean you've got pagination and a table of contents, you win right there!

Over all Feel:

Over all I think that you accomplished what you were trying to do. It's got the opposing forces battle for control, it's got the players stuck in the middle trying to decide which side they're going to help. It's got the potential for some great storytelling stuff, I just think that it gets a little lost on the board game side of Sojourn needing X resources to win the game.

Also, the skin of the game would need to be changed for me in order to play it. It's something I could do myself, but if the game were to continue and be pushed towards a final product it would have to be a change made to the skin of the game itself in order for me to buy it.

Random Arbitrary Number for Quality: Five Desert Wastelands after Sojourn has gone through it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Across the Universe, or finish line

This should be the last batch of reviews. I'll put forth something else, because twitter reviews don't really cover it. While I'm not the game chef in question, since it's been a couple of weeks and the website hasn't been updated I'll do a longer review of any game requested. It's only fair to the effort that a lot of people have put into the games.

Also, this is me whining now, can someone look at my game and tell me what they think? I know it's a draft and a rushed one near the end, but I'd really like to get a sense of what works and what doesn't.

With that, I present the last few games.

52. Deserting Paradise by Mcdaldno & Team Fremen

The Good:Wow, that's a pretty little streamlined game there. Unfinished business, punks who have taken immortality and are trying to escape with it. It all very Greek Mythology in a modern setting. I love the adaptability of the "Bad Things."
The Bad: Can we move away from using the word fuck in things to make them sound fucking edgy? Also, I've never been a big fan of the whole "How to Host A Murder Mystery" style where you have someone read stuff. Another way to try to draw me in please!
The Other: It has the feel of Misspent Youth or CyberGen but with a very specific magical and malevolent feel. Even more so than either of those two above games and I like and/or love both of them.

Would I Play This? Fuck yeah! And I'm not being sarcastic this time. ^_^

53. The Book of Sands: A Story of Our People by by Nolan Callender / masqueradeball

A Though, one among many:Technical writer, eh?

The Good: I like the use of the hidden cards to help define what's going on. There's also a logical order to what's going on.
The Bad: My problem is that I couldn't follow it, despite the technical writing. Examples would go a long way to solving this problem.
The Other: The number headings made my head swim and made me feel like I was at work, probably not the best mindset for reading a RPG.

Would I play this? I don't know. I liked some of the structure but I'd need someone to hand hold me through it and I think if that happens it's more than likely going to be a no this late in the game for me.

54. Pilgrim by Leo M. Lalande

The Good:I like the idea being the structure of the game. I like how the burdens are what drive you and help you determine your victory
The Bad:Finish it. Fiiiiiinniiiish it. Six kind of half assed thrown together pages does not an entry make. It feels like this was kinda of thrown together and it's a little insulting to those who got something together.
The Other:I like the logo, it's freakin' awesome.

Would I play it? Is there something you can actually play in these pages of text?

55. Edge City by Tomas HV Morkrid (Sorry for lack of accents)

The Good:Hey, look! Another Map! Actually this is awesome because you get to write on it as part of the character creation. It also has a wonderful logic for having someone play the GM. You stay behind in the pod.
The Bad: The whole seven deadly sins thing as the drive for the ghosts in the undercity. I was in the game, and a little spooked until there. "Impregnate the characters?" Really? Really?
The Other: I think this feel does spooky better than I hoped I could with Over the Wall. Well, maybe Over the Wall is supposed to be creepier or something, but until I hit the "seven deadly sins" part I was looking over my shoulder, making sure nothing was behind me.

Would I play it? Yes, but only once I ignored what they thought I should do for the ghosts in the undercity.

56. The City: on the Edge of Humanity

The Good:First few lines and I'm in. Alternate future for the win. It's also another coming of age/teenage rebellion game. Should have expected this with the theme this year.
The Bad:It reads more like a story for the most part than a game. This is cool, but it's doesn't really go into the rules on how to play much other than how the dice work, kinda.
The Other:I like the fact that the City is a hierarchical one both figuratively and literally. I've also loved exploring the idea of height as being an indication of class in fiction.

Would I play it Probably with another system? This one isn't finished cooking yet.

57. Walkabout by Michael Wenman

Though among Many: I am going to say right now that I'm going to be kind of twitchy on this one because of the description on the page and with some of the words already used in the book. Intersectionality is important when dealing with oppression politics, but we all have our axes to grind in particular and Indigenous Rights are a big one for me.

Another Thought: Ha! See, another map! This should be Game Chef: Map World or something like that.

The Good: Excellent use of maps and decision dice. You're constantly having to decide what you're going to have to sacrifice in order to move the story. The characters sheets are gorgeous and the maps wonderfully detailed.
The Bad: Yeah, I can't get over the appropriation. It's really jarring for me because while I don't know a lot about Indigenous Australian issues, this is still something that was taken "because it was cool" rather than actually taking it within the context of Indigenous Australian culture.
The Other: Background is nice in pdf, but if it were to see print it wouldn't look so good in B&W unless you have the bajillion dollars to print it in colour.

Would I play it? It's there mechanically, but again the cultural stuff totally gets in the way for me.

58. Maddenhaten by Renee Knipe

Thought near the end: Goodness this was a lot of work. Last one, it's only one of THE LONGEST! AAREAGSDGLKASJRDAW!!!~!!!11~!elventy!

Thought still closer to the end:Note to self for next year. Self, don't write as much on your own game.

The Good: I think this game just hit on something awesome that I haven't read before. If you fail, the GM gets a token that they can call in later rather than you fail at something. I know it's pretty much the same thing (I didn't see the assassin so they're following us now) but this feels more tactile. There are some nifty mechanics for spellcasting.
The Bad: The game suffers a bit of FASAitis. It feels like it's got three different game mechanics in one, and you need to know them if you want to do regular stuff, magick and faith magic.
The Other: Thankfully a lot of the pages are filled with the character classes. The other good stuff is that I like the idea of you all being soldiers at a seige and learning to respect your enemy. What I think would be awesome would be if there was the opportunity to go in either direction on the map (Hee, another map!). As if there was a story that shows how evil the people really are.

Would I Play this? Yes, I play a lot of old FASA games anyway and so the rules stuff is just something to get used to. The concept is intriguing enough that I'd totally play it.

Currently in the Binder Note, these aren't those I think should be finalists, but more like those I think I'd like to keep around personally

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Man-of-Letters, Man-of-War etc.
4. Deserting Paradise
5. Skin Men
6. Danger Mountain
7. Egregore
8. Last Chance USA
9. Longshot
10. Action City!
11. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
12. Chronicles of Skin
13. Edge City
14. Maddenhaten
15. The Hand of Gulliver the Man Mountain
16. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
17. In Between
18. In Skin City You Need an Edge
19. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
20. A Sojourn in Alexandria
21. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
22. Sparks from the Fire
23. The Fall of Granada
24. Broken Dream
25. Under the Sun
26. Red Land Black Land
27. Memoir
28. My God's Bigger Than Your God
29. A Trick of the Light
30. Paths of the Resolute
31. nowhere ROAD
32. A Journey

Current Finalists

1. Danger Mountain
2. Pub Crawl: Take the Edge Off
3. Never to Die
4. Longshot

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Big Update! CyberGeneration the 3rd Revolution!

Well, now that the contract has been signed I can let this bit of information out.

We now have the rights to publish a third edition to CyberGeneration. That's right, we're going to be able to put out a new main sourcebook that people can get their hands on.

That's what we've got right now but stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Okay, now it's time for the next batch of Game Chef game twitter reviews.

Please note that if you disagree with what I'm saying, that's totally fine. Just please reference what game you're talking about. There are several on a page and if you're the designer and you don't use the name attached to the game I can't have a clue what you're talking about. Also, not that you need my permission, but that's cool. The whole disagreeing thing. It's not like I can talk a lot about all of them.

45. Finders by Davide Losito

The Good:The idea that you build a map and then you roll dice on it and have those be the randomizers that tell you how harsh things are. Kind of reminiscent of Hell 4 Leather, except in an affecting the map kind of way.
The Bad:Except that it doesn't seem to actually mean anything. It's a nifty mechanic which tells you how hard stuff is, but at the end if you can narrate around it then you're fine.
The Other:I also like the fact that you can 'finish' the game and then get back into it. There should be some sort of world domination kind of thing where if your coloured pencil has traveled everywhere on the map you win!

Would I play it? No, it is really rough and needs the polish.

46. Omphalos by David Pidgeon

The Good:Great little storytelling game where you tell stories about your characters, and flesh out their backgrounds by telling a series of stories about them. It's pretty awesome, in its index card glory.
The Bad: But it was also fun when the game was called The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. The first part plays pretty much like that, then you've got the desert which almost feels a little tacked on.
The Other:The list of conditions is nice and fits well with the desert setting. I just wish it had been put in a table rather than a list.

Would I play it? Maybe, but not when pitted against the list that's already in the binder. Sadly it's going to be put aside.

47. Edge of Annihilation: The Last City by Shinobicow

The Good: It's a really well thought out game where you have to be cautious of your resources as you play your characters trying to build a city to survive the harsh wilderness.
The Bad:Except that I can't shake the feeling that this would make a way better board game than it does an RPG. When you have to worry more about resources in an abstract numbers kind of way I think you've crossed that line into Boardgaming.
The Other:I like the tables that give you random "Oh Noes!" but I'd almost like them to be cards, or actual events rather than just penalties. Also, mixing it up is nice, that way you don't know what you get until you roll rather than having it escalate.

Would I play it?As a boardgame totally. I mean I'd still roleplay it, because that's how I play everything, but not as an RPG. It's too Boardgame like.

48. Silver and White by Jackson Tegu

The Good:Wow. I wish I could spend more time going over games, because I would go over this game. It's a poem in the guise of an RPG book. It's dreamlike and ephemeral, rather pretty.
The Bad:Which is never a good way to try to explain how a game works. All the games referenced tell you how to play their game. This one puts out metaphors and hopes you get it.
The Other:I really want to try it. I like the idea of how you react to something being the determination of what you take. If it was just explained to me better ...

Would I play it? I would devote at least an hour with good friends trying to decipher it's beautiful but incomprehensible language. If we figured it out, we'd finish the game, if not we'd hold it up as an artifact and wait for the next version.

49. Egregore by Baxil

The Good: Plenty. The setting is phenomenal, the City one I don't know about the other one that's mentioned. It's got conflict -- internal, intra-mural and interparty -- it's got self revelation, it's working on the idea of redemption. I was drawn in and didn't easily leave.
The Bad: The game does suffer from a lot of "must know how the rules work to get it." The resolution mechanic is pretty easy, but it's all the fiddly bits that make up the game, which sadly are what drive what I find awesome, that requires you to know all the details. You can't really hand wave them away.
The other: More examples please! Not that they're needed, I just want to know what's going on with those two characters you have there.

Would I play it? Yes, but only if you help me blow up the city in the Shadowlands.

50. Action City! by Mike Olson

The Good:Hee! Dice at the beginning telling you what you're going to do. I like it, gets you in the right frame of mind and gives the possibility of a Buddy Movie. I'm still amused at that idea. Same with the fact that the Hero can't die, the Bad Guy will die and Allies might die.
The Bad: I get the idea of using Cliche's with a mechanic, but it almost feels like a bump in the flow of the narration. It probably helps the game, but reading it this section jarred me out of the flow I had. I also don't know why the Opposition gets extra dice at the end, I think it's to make the success less fulfilling?
The Other:Every end of an act MUST HAVE EXPLOSIONS! YES! VERY YES!

Would I play this? It's getting a special place in the binder, oh yes it is. That way when it blows up the other games the damage is minimal.

51. Man-of-Letters, Man-of-War by E. Tage Larsen

The Good: This concept was made for me to love. Letter writing and high sea adventure? Layout set up so that it looks like a Victorian novel? I squealed with delight when I read the first bit.
The Bad: The game does feel like it is split in two. I'd like the sea battles to have even more influence and the correspondence to affect the dice more directly.
The Other: The fact that you get to sing a sea shanty about your character is awesome. I know more than enough people who would spend hours just doing that.

Would I Play It? The mug is full o' grog me hearties. Let's go feel the salty sea air on our faces!

Currently in the Binder Note, these aren't those I think should be finalists, but more like those I think I'd like to keep around personally

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Man-of-Letters, Man-of-War etc.
4. Skin Men
5. Danger Mountain
6. Egregore
7. Last Chance USA
8. Longshot
9. Action City!
10. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
11. Chronicles of Skin
12. The Hand of Gulliver the Man Mountain
13. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
14. In Between
15. In Skin City You Need an Edge
16. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
17. A Sojourn in Alexandria
18. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
19. Sparks from the Fire
20. The Fall of Granada
21. Broken Dream
22. Under the Sun
23. Red Land Black Land
24. Memoir
25. My God's Bigger Than Your God
26. A Trick of the Light
27. Paths of the Resolute
28. nowhere ROAD
29. A Journey

Current Finalists

1. Danger Mountain
2. Pub Crawl: Take the Edge Off
3. Never to Die
4. Longshot

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.1

Monday, October 4, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Around the last bend ...

I think I was being smart by avoiding the really long ones. I think this is going to haunt me now.

38. After the Fall by Pat Gamblin

Though something or other, I think 17: TOC, Pagination ... not that hard folks.

The Good:Making up Ports of Call in a ship game is awesome. It's making your map again, just in a more abstract way.
The Bad: Roles? With preset piles of stuff. I mean, I guess that's cool and ... Oh! Ranger! I wanna be the Fighter! Wait, wrong game?
The Other: I like the ideas behind it, but then you get to the rules and it goes "and if this exception says that you add six instead of rolling a die" and my eyes glazed over.

Would I play it? You know, if it wasn't for the fact that there are a bunch of awesome games I'd say yes. But with 20 in the binder and a limited amount of time I'm not going to. Nothing really strikes me about it.

39. The Fall of Granada by Travis Lindquist

The Good: Okay, folks. If you're going to do something where you are using a group of people other than your own, this is how you do it. Protagonists, the Christian Hoards are the Barbarians. No otherly mysticism, no super magicks and the like. It gets a level 1 pass (meaning that since I don't belong to said group being used I can't actually give people passes on stuff).
The Bad: Again, with the dice pools. Large quantities of dice needed. Also, I don't think the game pushes the inter PC conflict as much as the writer would wish. I mean it could happen but it doesn't really seem like it would.
The other Very well skinned, the ingredients don't seem forced and it's the names of the pool are great. Hate, Hope and Revenge.

Would I play it? Totally, it looks like it's got a good game or two out of it. Don't know how it replays though.

40. A City by Tad Kelson

A thought 18: Can we do away with the "My Game is much more complex, so much that a new player won't get it" crap? If someone can't pick up your game and play it then you fail, end of sentence.
A though 19: Seriously. I'm still fuming about that. Quick, show how elitist and awesome you are by saying someone just won't get it. It's like you're channeling Jared or something. ^_^

The Good:I like how the game tries to allow you to make up the sections of the city and allow you to define it with a map (ha, see totally the sub-theme this year)
The Bad:If you need to include rules for what happens if you get a weird roll, which can happen, why don't you just say 11, 7 and 3 rather than have people roll dice. I don't like the character creation rules at all, at all.
The Other:I just also doesn't do the map thing well either. It feel too regimented and too, I don't know. Inorganic a process.

Would I play it?No, and I really wouldn't recommend even spending the time reading it. Super amounts of work needed on this game before it's palatable. Oh, and I've been playing games for 15 years "advanced roleplayers needed" game.

41. A Sojourn in Alexandria by Jason Pitre

Thought 20:I know I'm not the only one who read that the Ingredients are there to help, but if they get in the way to ditch them. Why then do so many people try to force them in there?
Thought 21: Suggested time frames are okay, but telling me you're going to end 25 minutes before your suggested time frame makes me wonder if you should have just calculated that in the game time frame.

The Good:I like that you have to pick your virtues and that there is a chance that they're going to move on you depending on the situation to the ends of their spectrum. I saw it and went, "Oooh."
The Bad:The dice seem to be a little weird to me. They probably work well in practice but I didn't really get why one wins on numbers and then why you roll them afterwards.
The Other:I like how it's a journey, but it isn't defined. The section at the back really help with the whole what you can do with it.

Would I play it? Totally. You can pick a different journey every single time too. I like it.

42. City in Darkness by Dave Michael

The Good:It's got a good system in place to create and manage rivals. Nothing makes a GM happier than a good list of enemies to draw on.
The Bad:The whole resolution mechanic makes me go, "What?" It uses Dominoes, which is cool but then doesn't really do anything else but make you hope that you get good ones.
The Other: Very, very clearly a draft. I think it gets self referential at one point in time, like talking about itself in the third person. The game does. Also, the whole schools being called city, desert and edge almost made me drop the pages and flush them down the toilet.

Would I play it? No, the mechanic needs to not be there, or at least refined a lot better before I'd look at it again.

43. Broken Dream by Jason Petrasko

The Good:The game has a great feel and was constantly dragging me into it's space. The map is pretty and makes me want to play the game.
The Bad:And hope that it will allow me to understand how the map works. It's kind of confusing on the first read and the second read didn't help much. I think it will be awesome once it can be explained for someone who isn't the creator.
The Other:I like the super SF theme that doesn't feel like a super SF theme. Extra points there!

Would I play it? Yes, this far down the game you'd think I'd be inured to these wily maps, but this one was awesome.

44. A Journey by Alex Fradera

The Good:I was interested three lines in. Hear me out. Read the description and see if you want to read it. Go on, I'll wait. Surprising, eh? Maybe it's just because I'm a bit of a political hound that I was interested but still.
The Bad:I still don't really know how things are resolved when you can't resolve something narratively. There's a mechanic between the Leader and the Party, but not really with the Opposition.
The Other:I like it, I like it a lot still. It makes me want to see if I can make prominent politicians and play them out. I mean, I'd talk like Jean Chretien for like a couple of hours at least.

Would I play it? Yes, but after a round or two of polish. Then I'd be there like a Parliament Hill reporter at the beginning of Question Period.

Currently in the Binder Note, these aren't those I think should be finalists, but more like those I think I'd like to keep around personally

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Skin Men
4. Danger Mountain
5. Last Chance USA
6. Longshot
7. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
8. Chronicles of Skin
9. The Hand of Gulliver the Man Mountain
10. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
11. In Between
12. In Skin City You Need an Edge
13. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
14. A Sojourn in Alexandria
15. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
16. Sparks from the Fire
17. The Fall of Granada
18. Broken Dream
19. Under the Sun
20. Red Land Black Land
21. Memoir
22. My God's Bigger Than Your God
23. A Trick of the Light
24. Paths of the Resolute
25. nowhere ROAD
26. A Journey

Current Finalists

1. Danger Mountain
2. Pub Crawl: Take the Edge Off
3. Never to Die
4. Longshot

Sunday, October 3, 2010

eBooks and the like

I don't know if you know Adam Jury but I would recommend that you check him out either on his blog or on twitter. I mention him because he's talking a lot about ebooks. Not PDFs, but ebooks. The things that can be read in electronic readers.

Now, I don't doubt that it's totally possible that they will set it up so that .pdfs can be read in e-readers, but there's also this possibility that it won't. Technology is a fickle entity and sometimes it goes in directions that you don't expect it to because of the technology that's already there.

With that in mind, I'm going to start trying to convert all the books that I am going to be printing into .epub format. I'll have to do the research to figure out how much to charge for these formats, but I figure that making a book easier to be purchased can't be a bad thing.

I'm going to start testing it out with Mile High Dragon, but Geasa will be the first released book that's in .epub format as well.

See Adam, all your tweeting has gotten to someone.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - The Reviews Keep on Coming

And now for the next swath of Game Chef Games, in quick soundbite form!

30. Burial at Crossroads by Bryan Hansel

Thought Unlucky 13: Again, with the "Native" bit. Can we avoid this in the future? Do people not really get that this is an actual problem? *sigh*
Teenaged Thought 14:Ooooh! More maps. Seriously, I now need to make a game with a map.

The Good:I love the feel of the setting. It's got a real grit and the mechanic where you do stuff you want to get stuff you need is very clean.
The Bad: There is also this thing where the classes really are super defined. I might like a little bit of freedom in this setting because I think there are a lot of cool stories that can be told here.
The Other:Oh! Natives, really? Was that necessary? Oh, they have mysticalness! Really? I mean, if you have Natives you've gotta have mysticism! /soapbox

Would I play it?Can we just not have the Nat... no? I guess this is a no then. Or I can just hack it and play with the setting ... hmm ... setting.

31. Symbolon by Kamion

Thought 15: Pagination. Can we have a bit more on the pagination folks. It's not that hard and it makes people's lives easier.
The Good:I love the idea of the Pledge. Something that you don't even know you can lose in the course of the game. I like that kind of tragic idea.
The Bad:The this with a that gives a this bonus to the thing with the other thing against that baddie. Powers are always hard because they're exceptions and this set of powers are -- well -- no exception to that rule.
The Other:I actually am intrigued by the dice mechanic. I mean, It's really just my number beats your number except in the case where you roll a 7 combined. It might be nothing when I really look at it, but for right now the way it was described gave me pause.

Would I play it? Not really no.

32. The Doldrums by Zac Dettwyler

Thought 16: Gutters are your friends. Please make sure you use them so that your words don't run into one another causing headaches in the reader.

The Good:Whoa! Using Mancala as the mechanic? That's pretty sweet! I also like how you have people from the different areas, and how that kind of mixing it up is mandatory.
The Bad: Whoa! Using Mancala as the mechanic? That's pretty confusing. I've played Mancala and I'm a little on the confused side. Also, it might take a fair few boards to get the game going.
The Other: I love how there is an idea of hands, dealing with how many times you can call on a friendship and that the character sheet actually has hands!

Would I Play It? Yes, but only with the creator. It's really the Mancala mechanic that makes me feel I need that.

33. Last Chance USA by Tim Rodriguez

The Good:I think this is going to be one of my favourites. I love the theme, and the mechanics and how it all meshes together. I enjoyed reading it.
The Bad:The Mechanic takes a little bit of getting used to. I had to reread it three times to get it.
The Other:But when I did get it, I giggled. It's got strategy, and tactics and it's pretty simple.

Would I Play It? Well, I guess we're all here in Last Chance because we're the only hope we have to survive. (See, I'm playing with you now!)

34. What Happened Here by Rustin Simons

The Good:I like the idea of trying to make a two person RPG. It's usually hard on the GM, but if you make a game that depends on the two people asking questions, then it just might work.
The Bad:It doesn't really have much more than asking questions and trying to guess what the other person picked. I think there are party games that do that, possibly better.
The Other:It was a short read, with everything coming together quickly. I just didn't really think that it carries itself as a story game. It's like 20 questions, except you get 5.

Would I play it? No, though I do like the suggestion of going to the pub.

35. In Between by Dan Mckenna

The Good:Stuck between worlds trying to atone for sins? I love the concept and I like how the bidding system works with the dice and your power pools. It gets harder the more you accomplish because you lose power.
The Bad:Dice, lots and lots of dice. You need at least 15d6 per person. If one theme this year is maps, the other one would be dice.
The Other:I love how striking the title page is. It's simple black and white, but it really made me interested in the game.

Would I play it? Yes, several times because apparently like a cat I have nine lives.

36. Red Land Black Land by Jason Godesky

The Good:I really like the fact that you're constantly struggling between your skin and your law. The two dice competing really is something I think makes a good mechanic.
The Bad:This is nit picky, and probably not doable because of time, but having more options would be better for Visions and Burdens.
The Other:I totally thought of The Rock Dwayne Johnson as soon as I read the Scorpion King was in the game.

Would I play it? Yes, not as much as some other games, but I would totally play it.

37. Under the Sun by Anna Kreider

The Good: There is a real interconnection in the game, where how your actions are perceived will determine how the rest of the group reacts to you and if you can make it to your destination.
The Bad:Native tribe again? Can we just mark the ones that decided to go with the "tribal motif" with a big read R and move on?
The Other:I think the card game within the game will either be really good, or really get in the way. I'd need to play it to figure out which one would be which.

Would I play it? After I got through some of the others, I'd give it a try. I don't know how long it would stay in the binder though.

Currently in the Binder

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Skin Men
4. Danger Mountain
5. Last Chance USA
6. Longshot
7. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
8. Chronicles of Skin
9. The Hand of Gulliver the Man Mountain
10. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
11. In Between
12. In Skin City You Need an Edge
13. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
14. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
15. Sparks from the Fire
16. Under the Sun
17. Red Land Black Land
18. Memoir
19. My God's Bigger Than Your God
20. A Trick of the Light
21. Paths of the Resolute
22. nowhere ROAD

Current Finalists

1. Danger Mountain
2. Pub Crawl: Take the Edge Off
3. Never to Die
4. Longshot

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - My There are a lot of you

Okay, continuing on our journey and not while on my phone, which is a bonus.

25. Walkers in the Witchery Way by Alla Hoffman

The Good:I love the writing at the beginning, you think you're going one way and then you go the other way. Also love that you're playing Skinwalkers which might be called Dopplegangers in another setting, with more gruesomeness.
The Bad:The exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions of the time when you do this, and when you want to do that makes me feel like I am playing D&D.
The Other:I just love the name Corpsedust.

Would I play it? If I say yes, you can assume that a Skinwalker has taken my over and it should be stopped!

26. Chronicles of Skin by Sebastian Hickey

The Good:Good use of the word skin, as the place where you record the history of your people during a civil war. Also, drawing emblems for the win.
The Bad:Sometimes, despite assertions to the other, it feels like you do need a bit of an art practice to get things right. I might just be a perfectionist like that.
The Other:It's way better than I thought it was going to be when I got hit with the emblems. I recommend it, reading the whole thing is worth it.

Would I play itYes, yes you should. It's got a lot of replay value and you get to draw! Come on!

27. Memoir by Declan Feeney

Thought 10! Double digits! I think we need to include some elements of design in the concept. Full pages of colour do not friends with printers make.
Thought 11: Names don't evoke a type of person. My favourite part of The Thief series is when the two Queens comment on how inappropriate they feel that their names are.
On the 12th thought of this project: Can we avoid the Euro Games, cute method, of determining who goes first? The first time you read it, it's fun ... the tenth time not so much.

The Good:I love how much of the game is set up so that you can follow it without any problems. I didn't have to reread it to follow the flow.
The Bad:That doesn't mean I agreed with the direction. I'd like a little bit more control, not a lot more, but a little bit more control over what happens to the character. I mean Fiasco I get to choose the beginning or the end and reading this it felt like I had a choice to do the scene or let someone else do it.
The Other:Seriously? More colour coded dice. Can we not find places to put them and just leave it as that? Chesex must secretly sponsor these contests, or at least laugh maniacally whenever they get done.

Would I play it?Yes. I'd want to give it a try, because the idea of doing a whole life is interesting.

On the 12th Thought of Game Chef: Best way to make anyone feel bad about saying anything could be made better on their game, dedicate it to your unborn child. =p

28. World Riddle by Stuart Chaplin

The Good: I love the fact that the oracle cards get forked depending on if you have more cards towards your good ending or towards your bad ending. It's a nice addition to the Oracle Idea.
The Bad:Feels almost too nebulous, where the writing is too much like the koan that the game wants you to try to answer.
The Other:I really don't see how it used City, Desert and/or Edge, but meh, that's not my call.

Would I play this I don't know, it is a question better left to the journey of understanding than to an actual answer.

29. The Hand of Gulliver the Man-Mountain by Mike Pohjola

The Good: OMG! FINGER LARP! Who can totally see someone going all out and picking up finger puppets and making costumes for their fingers to play this game? I can see it happening.
The Bad: OMG! FINGER LARP! I can see this going badly if there are a lot of players and not a lot of hand.
The Other:I really love when someone takes an idea and runs with it, and here the skin ingredient is really played out incredibly well.


What's in the Binder

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Skin Men
4. Danger Mountain
5. Longshot
6. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
7. Chronicles of Skin
8. The Hand of Gulliver the Man Mountain
9. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
10. In Skin City You Need an Edge
11. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
12. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
13. Sparks from the Fire
14. Memoir
15. My God's Bigger Than Your God
16. A Trick of the Light
17. Paths of the Resolute
18. nowhere ROAD

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - First Impressions Three

Okay, here is the next round of twiteriffic reviews.

18. Longshot by Nick Wedig

Thought five: This is one week? Either people are using stuff they've been saving or I'm nowhere near as good as I thought I was at this.

The Good: How the characters are created are a kind of poetry. Limited resources, murderer on the loose. Space western!
The Bad: Bag of dice needed and the bidding pretends you understand what is a stronger bid.
The Other The town prostitute? Really?

Would I Play It? Many, many times. Though I'd harbor resentment that it look too polished. :P

19. Over The Wall by Jonathan Lavallee

The Bad: Maybe he should have finished a character sheet or something like that.
The Bad: It would have been nice if this Jackass didn't assume everyone knew what Parts could be sold off.
The Bad: Does he really think this studded would creep anyone out?

Would I Play It? Sadly, yes. It is my game after all.

20. Burning Your Skin by Sean Nittner

Thought six: Can we all agree to ban first person singular when writing #rpgs? I don't care what the author wants out of a Journey, I want them to care what I want out of a Journey.
Thought Seven: Do we have to have another lecture on appropriation folks? I'm glad we've avoided it so far with desert as an ingredient so far ...

The Good: This is probably the best teen becoming an adult game that I've read. Nice strong mechanic too.
The Bad: See above about appropriation and first person voice. From the text, "I've flavored the game with desert culture names; Egyptian, Arabic and Native American." Hmmm..... appropriation.
The Other: Excellent use of self done pictures to illustrate dice.

Would I Play This Game? I'm on the fence. It has lots of cool bits wrapped in a lot of pet peeves.

22. My God's Bigger Than Your God by Joe Prince

The Good: Hahahahahahahaha! This is so funny that I laughed several times. I think it helps that I don't care about religion.
The Bad: A great board game that came out in two hours ... wait, it was an RPG contest?
The Other: To make it more real the winner should keep all the coins used.

Would I Play It? Yes, with a bunch of people who aren't too religious. Otherwise there may be fights.

23. Brachininae by Alex Isabelle

The thought eight: As requested, I'm not going to pay attention to language since its written in a second language.

The Good: I really like the whole flashback idea, as well as having control over what questions you answer.
The Bad: The ending seems a little, meh. Selling out doesn't really seem to do much.
The Other: Quick, Skynet has released the Terminators. Seriously, it works well with the WWII theme.

Would I Play This? No, I think that there are other memory games with endings that I'd want to play.

24. Never to Die

Thought Nine: Like if I say fuck a lot and talk about my boys kickin' shit over it's cool and edgy, right?

The Good: Really nice mechanic for a surprise ending. Reach into the bag and find out!
The Bad:Rampant mysogyny. Because we all know that only guys play RPGs. Not like 51% of the population are women. Naaaaw.
The Other: So ... How many dice do I need? 90? Oh, 90-ish. Do you secretly work for Chesex?

Would I Play This? Fuck no. See, edgy right?

What's in the Binder

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Skin Men
4. Danger Mountain
5. Longshot
6. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
7. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
8. In Skin City You Need an Edge
9. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
10. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
11. Sparks from the Fire
12. My God's Bigger Than Your God
13. A Trick of the Light
14. Paths of the Resolute
15. nowhere ROAD

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Game Chef 2010 - First Impressions part deux

Okay, I finished more of the games. Time for more twitterific type reviews.

10. A Trick of the Light by Jeff R

The Good:Love the concept where you don't know who is real and who isn't. You play your character in other people's realities. It's fun.
The End:Okay, calculate your points and you win! Love the beginning, middle, not the end so much.
The Other:It's got a map of stuff. It was confusing, but this is the year of maps in games too.

Will I play it? Probably not, the ending mechanic makes me cringe too much, but I'll keep it for the other great ideas.

11. The Perfect Tool by Shreyas Sempat

The Good: The way you pick your operatives and how you have a persona agenda that the players don't know.
The Bad:I don't think a similar mechanic to Don't Rest Your Head is used well here. Instead of one good and three bad dominates, you've got three good and one bad.
The Other:Not that I wouldn't do this but "a terrorism" doesn't work, though keeping in parallel was a good try.

Will I play it? No, it's not finished and not in the "not finished but playable" way but not really finished.

12. If Wishes Were Horses by Raquel Mutton

The Good: Um .... um .... um ... um ...
The Bad: Um .... um .... um ... um ...
The Other:Um .... um .... um ... um ...

Will I play it? No.

13. In Your Own Skin by David Berg

The Good: Teenagers are always good for angst. Also, I like how you have to have everyone come out with a Skin, or else everyone fails.
The Bad: It got confusing very quickly. Almost as if someone was using a refreshing herbal tea while writing it.
The Other:Any tag line that has 'lethal peer pressure' has got to be good, right?

Will I play it? It almost requires some refreshing herbal tea to play, so I'm going to have to say no.

14. Skin Men by Marc Majcher

Thoughts the fourth: Oh look! Another map. I guess when your theme is Journey you get maps, and @kristawhite awesome reunion to save the galaxy.

The Good: Love the concept, love the theme. Love the fact that the opening scene is the "Oh shit!" moment and then you go back to the beginning.
The Bad: The map needs cleaning, as in if printing please use 300 dpi cleaning.
The Other: I think I'll need to include more maps when I do things.

Will I play it? Yes, very yes, very very yes.

15. Sparks from the Fire

The Good: Totally delivered on his promise to be the Canterbury Tales, except in RPG, with desert and awesome.
The Bad: So, how do you every get a result other than "You're totally fucked?" I'm looking at it going ...
The Other: This is like an essay on Chaucer and now I'd love to sit down and chat with Brennan about his views on the book.

Will I play it? Maybe? Probably once.

16. Bridge Across Eternity by Tamara Persikova

The Good: Wait, this is a "thrown together in a week game?" Seriously? Ambiguous choices that leave you wondering if you did the right thing. Certainly.
The Bad: Don't apologize for stuff that the people playing the game don't know about. It's all intentional, right? Right?
The Other: Fighting down large swaths of jealousy. I wish I had 1/2 the ability to make anything look as good as this.

Will I play it? Yes and I think it might challenge Cosmic Journey as the "Watch out to win" game.

17. Skin City Romance

The Good: It seems to be a rather together game. Lots of inter-relations.
The Bad: Distinctly lacking in both Skin and Romance.
The Other: I really thought this was going to be something totally different from the title. I think I'd like that other game more.

Will I play it? Not really. Needs more Skin and Romance.

Games currently in my "Free RPG playing" Binder, in order:

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Skin Men
4. Danger Mountain
5. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
6. In Skin City You Need an Edge
7. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
8. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
9. Sparks from the Fire
10. A Trick of the Light
11. Paths of the Resolute
12. nowhere ROAD

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - First Impressions

So I'm going through all the games that were submitted, before the final cut and I'm going to give some quick, twitter thoughts in regards to the ones that I've managed to read. There are over 50 of them so anything more than 140 characters is going to give me a headache. Some of them have even been up on Twitter, imagine that.

Note, they aren't in the same order as they were on the Game Chef page.

1. Pub Crawl by Samuel Briggson

The Good: Pub Crawl looked like a lot of fun. Totally something i'd want to play which I didn't think when I first looked at it.
The Bad: Fudge dice? What's with all the Fudge Dice everywhere? Did Grey Ghost bribe everyone and I didn't get the memo?
The Other: A little like Penny for My Thoughts, with booze and many more stories being told about what happened.

Would I play this? Most certainly.

2. nowhere ROAD by Jamie Firstrom and Mark Nau (black/white stone mechanic)

The Good: Yay open design? Actually the map bit is really nifty and I like the idea of the road movie.
The Bad: Dear nowhere ROAD. Can we drop the self congratulated tone in the writing, please? It doesn't add to the game and looks wankerish. Kthksbai!
The Other: Totally use the other people choose your real need, what you actually want to learn from the road trip. Really nice idea.

Would I play this? i'd like to like it, but the writing kept throwing me off. I know its a draft, but it kept pulling me out.

3. The Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death by David Best

The Good: Epic Death Scenes? Robotic Abraham Lincolns? High powered ridiculousness? Yes please!
The Bad: A d30? Really? Roll percentile and reroll 70% of the time if you don't have a d30? Um ... maybe not
The Other: Keeping the Epic Death Scene. Death will not make it past us!
The Other 2: Excellent use of Keeton. folks will be proud! ^_^

Would I play this? Yeeeeees? I'd just take a d6 and go 1=0, 2-3=1, 4-5=2, 6=3 and avoid the many, many rerolls but I so want to play Metal Jack Black taking on Death.

4. Cosmic Journey by Krista White

The Good: It is full of awesome. From concept, to execution to the charitable donation request on the front. One Great Rock Show to Save the Universe.
The Bad: Lots of little fiddly bits, like printing lots of cards. On the plus side there are instructions on use.
The Other: I think that @kristaewhite had a darned good chance at winning #gamechef and I'm only five pages in.

Would I play this? Yes. Very Yes. You should to. Any way you want it. That's the way you need it. Any way you want it.

5. Going Home: an Urban Power Fantasy by Mikael Andersson

The Good: You weren't kidding when you said it's Falling Down the RPG. Totally got flashbacks of being a kid watching this.
The Actual Good: I like that the scenes are driven by asking questions, and that your antagonist's goal is to push you towards answering it.
The Bad: A little on the confusing side. I think I'll need to read it again ... again. That way I can make sure I got it.
The Other: It always heartens me when people try to address moments of privilege in RPG books, we need more of it, and kudos for throwing possible problematic stuff in there.

Would I play it? Yes, but right now only with Mikael. Since he doesn't live too far that's not that hard for me.
Would I play it 2?I think it would be rather epic.

6. In Skin City You Need An Edge by David Wendt / Doc Blue

The Good: Really? Crosswords? That's gotta by one of the niftier mechanics out there. Who is going to make the Sudoku RPG?
The Bad: Seems that with high rolls you could get less bad things, maybe I'm just an asshole when it come to resources.
The Other:I will be amazed at the map mechanic for the rest of the month.

Would I play it?Totally, it seems like something you can get done in a couple of hours if you're good at dealing with words.

7. Danger Mountain by Jason Morningstar

First thought: Unrelated to the game, self-discovery seems to be the sub-theme this year.
Second thought: It seems that secret stuff is also coming up again. It's an interesting idea.

The good: Looks like an amazing good time. Easy to pick up, easy to play, great stories told.
The bad: I also like it when it was called Fiasco. Very, very similar play feel except that it's got more fixed characters and questions
The other: This is still awesome and is going to certainly be in the running for best game to play.

Would I play it? Yes please. Several times in fact.

8. Paths of the Resolute by Jonathan Janssen

First Thought: I almost did the same thing, where I had different bonuses be used for different parts, but reading this makes me glad I didn't.
The Good: I love the tatoo idea, where you put stuff on the character sheet that says what you believe in. It's got a great feel to it.
The Bad: It's really a game about setting rather than people. The cool part is the traps and how you get past them.
The Other: Note to self and others. Don't do funky background colours, it makes it a pain to print out.

Would I play it? Probably at least once. I'd have to see afterwards what it was like.

9. The 7 Symbols of San Rio by Joe Jeskiewicz / Artexercise

The Good: Two pages. Good job at condensing it down!
The Bad: Maybe a little too good. It's kind of dense and a little confusing.
The Other: The text box that says, "This game is incomplete. I needs you to fill in the blanks." Makes me say, "certainly it feels like it."

Would I play it? No. It looks like it takes a lot of work that I don't particularly want to do at this point in time. Maybe if I was really in the mood to design a game around a game while in the midst of playing the game.

There are the first nine, only lots more to go.

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