Friday, January 27, 2012

Previously Generated - Shelter In Place - Character Sheets

Some of you might already have Shelter in Place by Galileo Games. It looks like a lot of fun and I'm running it for my partner's son for his birthday this weekend. I went through the book, figured I'd go and print out all the character sheets on nice solid stock so that they can take a beating from the bunch of teenagers that are going to mangle the things.

To help me out I went digital and went to their website to find the cool stuff that's going to be there. Except that ... well ... there isn't anything there. There are some nice links you can visit where you can hear the game is awesome. You can check the downloads page and find downloads for all the games ... except Shelter In Place.

So ... yeah. That kind of sucked. However, with some can do spirit and some layout software I managed to make up my own set of Character Sheets. These will fit on a regular 8.5 x 11 page, landscape, and it is set up so that if you print them double sided you will get a zombie on the back of every page. That mean you can hand them out, and then let people switch sides without having to deal with a whole new batch of character sheets.

You're welcome.

If you want to download the file, you can do so here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Games I'm Running - Bulldogs! Fuck Yeah

Because I'm a grown up, I will swear on occasion. We grant this privilege to grown ups because, ostensibly, we believe that they will only use swearing at appropriate times. One of those time is whenever I mention the game Bulldogs!, because it's really hard for me not to yell, "Fuck Yeah" after saying Bulldogs! or even typing Bulldogs!.

With that in mind, I'm currently running a game of Bulldogs! Fuck Yeah! with a bunch of great people. My wonderful editor and partner Amber, Joe from over at Monkey Den Productions
and Underwear on the Outside, Geoff Bottone who I wrote Critical!: Go Westerly with and who was a big part of Slugfest Games, and Mary who currently is one of the Con Organizers for Slugfest Games.

It's going to be an awesome game. As it stands we did char gen last night and we ended up with a prototype ship that accidentally ended up as a class D ship. What makes the ship great is that it has a rather brilliant AI, but the worst part is that no one really knows how to work it since it's a prototype ship. I'm thinking that they're going to have to use a lot of the rules for guessing what they aspects of the ship are before I give them to them.

Their captain is a failed artist who is on Plan D. Not only did they fail at being an artist, but they failed at two other back up plans before ending up as the captain of a class D ship. He plays favourites, but that chances with his ephemeral and moody nature. It's so hard to be an artist after all, the ship would look much better in a chartreuse.

Our Muscle (played by Geoff) is a Dolomé that used to work for a local crime lord and had kind of signed up to get away from all that. Despite his fearsome nature, he's kind of easily intimidated which also makes him rather loyal to the captain because he's used to following orders.

The ships mechanic is a Ryjyllian named Krrl (played by Joe), though everyone calls him Karl and he hates it. He's quite adept at fighting, but finds solace in his engineering. He's on the ship because he was expelled from his clan as part of the peace negotiations between his clan and a rival clan. Now he finds himself adrift on a class D ship hoping that this motley crew can become his new clan.

The pilot is an Urseminite name Moll (played by Amber) who does the things that Urseminites do well. She drinks, she smokes and she hasn't met a vice she wasn't willing to try. She doesn't understand why people don't like her, they should because she's a people person. My favourite part of Moll is that all the weapons she got all have an aspect with the words Scary in them.

The Robot on the ship, the one who knows all the nooks and crannies, is a newly awakened bot named Syris (played by Mary). Syris comes from a Pleasure Station owned by some Ken Reeg and signed on as soon as she woke up. Basically, she woke up and got the hell out and now those deed holding Ken Reeg are looking for what they consider to be their lost property. Syris is very much the most personable one of this crew, and the only one with any medical skill.

Anyway, we'll see how this goes. I'm looking forward to running this game for these people. Now I just need to come up with some cool stuff for them to do.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Other People Say Things - Geasa Review

Every now and then I check the internets to see if anyone has actually looked at Geasa enough to review it. We've had a couple of reviews from Ed over at Robot Viking who is always game for looking at things. I think I didn't mention this but we got two other reviews.

The first one was a review from Game Knight Reviews which had some rather lovely things to say about Geasa. The one complaint there was the the rules were a little on the obtuse side, which I can understand. The mechanic is simple but it's not always the easiest thing to describe to people, which is why I put in the summary at the back of the chapter, for reference.

The second one was a surprise review from Paper & Plastic which had a lot of similar things to say as the Game Knight Review did. They like how the Fae worked in the game, they liked the price, they liked the setting blocks and the fluff. However, they had a problem with the rules and the fact that they didn't feel that the game inspired them to play it.

Those last two are pretty fair criticism. I mean, when you have a lot of people commenting on the obtuseness of your rules you may just have created a "Designer in a Box" game, which I was hoping to avoid. Thankfully, they do offer a handy suggestion that should help deal with this problem. I should get an actual play document set up. Now I didn't include one because I felt that they're kind of this odd little thing that people put into books to pad their page count and justify a higher price point. I still do think that. However, getting one done, writing it up and releasing it online for free is probably a very very good idea.

Secondly the inspiration to play a game comes from a lot of different places. You're inspired by the setting, you love the stories that you've told with this game already, you like the type of stories that the game helps you tell. Geasa doesn't do any of that. It's really a giant sandbox game, you don't know what you're going to get until you're already half way through the game. It's hard to inspire someone from the book to play the game when it does that.

I'm not too worried about this since the people I know who have gotten into the game really are inspired to play it. It's the game they pick up when they don't know what else to do, and don't feel like spending a huge chunk of time on a campaign. It's a pretty good pick up game, kind of like Suitors is which is weird, that you don't have to invest a huge amount in. If that doesn't inspire people then it's not going to do that, and I'm okay with it.

I mean, that's why I didn't print too many copies of the book. Plus I think there are a lot of cool things you can do with the mechanic. We're going to take some time eventually and start playing with it. You'll see.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Signal Boost!: Curse the Darkness - Playtest Stuff!

Okay, I don't know if you've been following Matthew MacFarland's Curse the Darkness? It looks like a lot of fun, and it touches on post-apoc stuff which is very firmly in the category of games I enjoy playing.

What I'm doing is letting everyone know that he's got a playtest booklet out that you can download from his website. It looks great and I'll let people know what it's like after I've read it more and played it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Suggestion Box - Free Games

Dr. Rob Lang who run the wonderful site (at the behest of OUR GLORIOUS BENEFACTOR!) and has The Free RPG Blog put forth a request over at Story Games asking for feedback on his How to Write a Free RPG stuff. Personally I like it, I think it's fun and informative and with any How To Guide you pick what you want and discard the rest. Rob gives good advice that you can use to write large scrawling RPGs, or as Jonathan Walton mentioned you could even use this advise to write campaigns and large story arc games.

However, the good old fashioned "STOP MAKING FREE GAMES" nugget rose up again. Which I'm disappointed to have heard considering that Story Games does a lot of work with Game Chef, see Jonathan Walton championing free games.

I disagree with the STOP MAKING FREE GAMES! argument. To me it's pretty similar to the whole "STOP MAKING GAMES" gem that dropped in December. To that I say keep making games, make all the games that you want and put them out there however you want.

Because it's worth repeating, I figured I would relink all the games that are Free that I think are awesome. Feel free to download them and play them with your friends, family, allies, and enemies. Recommend them to anyone and everyone you know.

1. Warrior Rogue Mage
2. Lady Blackbird
3. Metropole Luxury Coffin
4. Action City
5. The Droog Family Songbook
6. Geasa
7. Three Black Crows, Three Dead Men

What Free Games do you suggest? There are already some good ones in the comments of a previous post on the subject.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shout Outs - The Awesome Dice Blog

Hey Folks,

I got an email from Brian Wood over at The Awesome Dice asking to give him a shout out, so I checked out the blog and the website. They're a Dice Retailer with their own dice and gaming related blog.

I recommend you do it too. The dice seem reasonably priced, though I haven't checked with shipping, and it's nicely organized. I ended up going from link to link in the recommended section, which is a nice thing when it works well.

As for the blog he seems to be on a big Cthulu kick, which is fun. They also have their own WordPress Diceroller, which I might pick up when I finally get the firestorm ink website up and running better.

Thanks for the heads up Brian!

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