Thursday, May 30, 2013

#gamechef2013 Reviews 13-16 w/ 4th French Game Chef

Double digits time come on! Let's celebrate. I'll post at least one other long review later, but for right now it's time for more small reviews! Remember, this is me just reading them and not playing them. If I had to schedule time to play I would get these done in about 10 years.

Game Chef English 2013

13. Conclave by Christopher Weeks

Twitter Pitch: Real-life crafting; light costuming; ritualized trading; role-playing?

The Good: I love how there really isn't much in the way of communicating here. You're busy trying to communicate in other ways. While I think having the finger lights is kind of tacky, I love the idea of long con play, where you have this kind of trading going on.

The Bad: The set up is something that punches me in the gut. It's not a bad part of the game, just a barrier to play if you don't think you're too crafty. Also the fact that your crafts are being judged by the other players ... well ... I guess if you make for crap pins then you get to be the savvy one or something but still.

The Other: I would love to see how the ingredients inspired this game. It's just so kind of quirky and odd that it's seeing the thought process would be awesome.

Would I play it? Yes. Wait, do I have to make my own buttons? Um ... no ... yes ... no. Gyah, so on the fence with this one.

14. Open the Pod Bay Door by Bryan

Twitter Pitch: A high-pressure, sci-fi story game that asks, can the terraformers retake their colony ship from a malfunctioning, homicidal robot.

The Good: The turn tracker blew my mind away, it's like an initiative order or a timer clock on a lot of freemium games turned to use in a pen and paper RPG ... AND CONTRIBUTES TO THE GAME TENSION! I've already been thinking on how I could use this somewhere else, it's just so very good.

The Bad: I would have liked a little more direction in regards to what the characters can do, or what was available on the Pod for me to do. I don't think it needs it, but it certainly feels like there's just a little bit more that I'd want. The space is there.

The Other: It feels a little deadly? Maybe a little too deadly? I don't know without having played it but the "doing something you aren't trained for" seems awfully, awfully harsh.

Would I play it? Orders Commander? We need to act now!

15. The Diamond-Studded Suit (And Other Lies) by Jeff R.

Twitter Pitch: The survivors of a once-great nation must traverse deep ruins to survive, and face the truth behind the lies they believe about their past.

The Good: I appreciate the attempt at the whole collaborative story element here, where you've got this group of 13 characters that you're making and their relationships with each other. I like the kind of Oracles

The Bad: You should have dropped the "your characters" and embraced fully the group play. These 13 characters are everyone's and you get the ones you draw. Don't hold back, dive right in.

The Other: This is where I'd actually say having the cards all done up in a sheet where I could print and cut.

Would I play it? Let us find out what our salvation is.

16.  As Above, So Below by Ryan Perrin

Twitter Pitch: The players take on the role of teenage witches who gained power and have the will to punish those around them for real or perceived wrongs.

The Good: The effort to make this GMless is great, and I love how there's a push to randomize how people get invovled.

The Bad: Um, I've read it like 5 times now and I still don't get how all the random stuff inside the cauldron would influence what's going on? I get that they're having their loves/hates/stuff in there too, but it's still a little fuzzy on how you would make that work for someone else's curse.

The Other: Sooooo ... it's like playing Monsterhearts but everyone is the Witch as their Darker Self and you all commiserate around the table?

Would I play it? No, we three shall not meet again.

French Game Chef 2013

4. Bureau des Affaires Spirituelles par Vivien Feasson

Twitter Pitch: Bienvenue au Bureau des Affaires Spirituelles! En temps que chef de service du Bureau, votre mission sera de faire en sorte que des esprits venus de dimensions aussi loufoques que parallèles ne sèment pas le chaos et cohabitent dans la paix. La hiérarchie a hélas eu la bonne idée d'offrir une super promotion au meilleur d'entre vous, et vous risquez d'avoir fort à faire avec les coups bas de vos adversaires, sand parler des notes de service absurdes venues d'en haut. [Welcome to the Bureau of Spiritual Affairs. Your mission is to make sure that the spirits that come from other dimensions live in peace here. However, currently those in charge felt it was a good idea to throw a promotion out into the ranks for the best one out of all of you. Now you have to deal with the backstabbing of your co-workers and the foolish orders of your superiors.]

Le Bon [The Good]: Il y a beaucoup que j'aime dans ce jeux. J'aime comment les joueurs crée les missions avec les mot entre les joueurs. J'aime la methode de resolution pour les missions. C'est très élegant. [There's so much to love about this game. I love how you create missions sharing words between players. I love the mission resolution mechanic. It's all very elegant.]

Le Mauvais [The Bad]: Le seule problème que je peux voir avec les orders est que si chaque personne à la table donne seulement un order, et il y a la possibilité que un ou deux joueurs auront pas d'ordre. Peut-être changer le un ordre minimum, et un ordre par mission à un ordre pour chaque autre jouer et pas de maximum par ordre mais si il y a un mission qui n'a pas d'ordre tous les gens vont perdre les points pour  l'employé du mois. [The only problem I can see about your orders is that each person has a minimum of one order, and there is the possibility that one or two players might not get any orders. Maybe change it so that each player gets an order, but there's no limit on the amount of people you can assign to the various missions. If no one gets assigned to a mission, everyone loses points.]

L'Autre [The Other]: Les règles supplémentaire! Non! Mettez les dans le jeux! C'est deux règles sont interessant et donne plus d'options pour les joueurs. [Extra rules! No! Put them in the game! These two rules give far more options for the players.]

Jouons [Would I play it]? Hey, Employé du mois une autre fois! C'est comme si je triche. ^_^ [Hey, Employee of the month again! It's like I'm cheating.]

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

#gamechef2013 reviews: 9-12 w/ 3 French Game

Game Chef English 2013

9. Icon Theatre Proudly Presents... by Joe J

Twitter Pitch: "Icon Theatre Proudly Presents..." is a game for 3 or more players in which you create a radio drama with an eclectic set of characters.

The Good: It's a fun, quick little improvisation game that's a lot of fun. The characters are extreme and the situations are entertaining. I loved the breaks being the moments where you try to take control and change the situation.

The Bad: Except that I didn't care much for the characters really. I get why it was done, and what's going on but I was kind of ambivalent about the characters. Also, if you don't like improv games you will hate it, and that's just kind of the thing you accept on the design level but it's something I should mention.

The Other: RPS as a mechanic is fine, the fact that you have to win one-on-one battles with the others at the beginning could be the longest mini game game ever. Shouts of "Let me win already" are ringing through my head.

Would I play it? With a group of people who like improv games. Otherwise I'm just shouting at myself about a commercial break for things that don't exist.

10. The Spy by TheBoyd

Twitter Pitch: Story game intended to create short episodic stories about a Secret Agent. No dice or traditional GM/Player relations.

The Good: Short and to the point spy game. Love the fact that there is one main character and the other players are there more to act like the GM throwing out complications.

The Bad: I would have liked more direction in regards to things like how the General determines what lines are in a briefing, and what the lines at the briefing do? Is it one line per scene? Is it one idea and you can build on it. Little more description here would have helped.

The Other: Brevity is the soul of wit, but I'd like to have had a few more little details in regards to what's going on. Maybe even just a paragraph detailing a situation, just something to get us into spy mode.

Would I play it? Here's your briefing agent, good luck.

11. The Heavens and the Hells by Daniel Stull

Twitter Pitch: A post-apocalyptic RPG where the players have to choose a side -- Heaven, Hell, or Humanity.

The Good: Lots of choices here to drive the game. I love the idea that you have working for the side of angels, or demons or saying screw you both get the hell away.

The Bad: Meh? Not that every rule set needs to be ground breaking and original but it felt a little too much like the d6 system ... like actually the d6 system from WEG.

The Other: Back to the idea of choices, I just wish that the choice didn't feel so clear cut. Angels very good, Demons very bad ... I guess there's this weird sense of misplaced individuality that would tell them both to screw off? I just want a little more grey to muddy these waters.

Would I play it? Unfortunately No. Lots of other Heaven and Hell games, and lack of shades of grey make me think no.

12. P O L A R I T Y -- A game with no middle ground  by Maurice Tousignant

Twitter Pitch: The world has gone dark. They came from Us. It's now Us vs Them. You are one of Us. a unique 2d6 system where one die goes up and one goes down.

The Good: The post-apocalytpic setting is always a good one, and the fact that there are humans who have survived and the humans who have been corrupted by whatever They are.

The Bad: Man, the way this is written is so rubbing me the wrong way. It's trying very much for the "THIS IS AN IMPORTANT" game kind of thing which is seriously off putting. Yes, it's a game about success and failure and no other option, but a lot of games have that.

The Other: You might want to consider a little more help for the conflict rolls, like what's the difficulty numbers that should get added. Otherwise your math is kind of skewed. If you both roll 2d6 and one is + for you and - for your opponent then it's a net 0, kind of like rolling 4df there. But your skills can give you +4 and +5

Would I play it? Not really. It may just be me, but reading the game was hard just because of the tone of the writing. This is an example of something that just grated on me and made me immediately not want to play.

French Game Chef 2013

3. Torii par John Grümph

Twitter Pitch: Tokyo, de nos jours. Les pj sont des freeters. Ils se connaissent depuis longtemps, parfois depuis l'enfance, et partagent bon plan et galères. L'un d'entre eux devient par hasard l'héritier de la charge de défenseur des neuf mondes. Il entraîne alors ses camarades dans des aventures guerrières, au coeur de contrées lointains accessibles par des portails magiques, afin de lutter contre les invasions de terribles ogres des glaces et retrouver la mythique lanterne de la premère aube. [Tokyo. People with risky work, and friends since infancy, find out that one of them becomes the defender of the nine worlds. This defender drags his friends into adventures through magical portals to defend the nine worlds against terrible ice ogres to find the latern of fist light.]

Le Bon [The Good]: Wow. Le Dessin de celui ci et excellent aussi! L'idée des cartes et comment ils fonctionne c'est vraiment le bijou de ce jeu ici. [Wow, the design here is amazing too! The cards and how they work is really the gem of this game.]

Le Mauvais [The Bad]: Un, et c'est encore un bête noire pour moi mais quand on utilize une autre culture pour le jeu montre vos sources et vos info. Je sais que vous voulez crée un jeu qui est informé par l'Animé du Japon mais c'est frustrant pour moi parce-que a l'Ouest on fétiche l'Est et ça cause des problems. Dans le jeu, j'aimerais voir les carte utilizer à travers tous le jeux au lieu d'avoir utilisé un dée. [Look, this is a pet peeve of mine, but when you use another culture you need to source your information and your research. I know this was intended to be an Anime game, but it's frustrating because the West tends to fetishize the East which is problematic. In the game itself I'd rather have seen the cards used throughout rather than including a die mechanic.]

L'Autre [The Other]: Peut-être vous pouvez utilizer les cartes et crée un jeu de carte seulement? Les mechanisms sont assez intéressant que j'aimerai joué just ce jeux la. [Maybe you could use the card mechanic to make a card game? The mechanics are interesting enough that I'd play just the card game.]

Jouons [Would I play it]? Le bête noire est assez pour moi que je dirai non. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#gamechef2013 - RPG Review Recess #1 Cultists!

Cultists! by Michael Raston

This was my +1 Review. Michael was kind enough to let me repost it here. 

Right off the bat I'm going to tell you that I'm in love with the way you've go the d100 mechanic going. It's just a great way to use it that I've never seen before, and it just seems to work really well. I see that you've used it through the game, and that's good. You should go back to this again, and again because this is the big gem from your game.

Part of the reason why I think you should try to tie it back to the d100 is that the game itself seems to really want to be a board game that's set up as an RPG. That's totally fine, there are quite a few that have that kind of feel and it can really work. What you've got here though is kind of disjointed and discombobulated at times. This clearly feels like a first draft and it really does need a good second or third pass to organize it into a more cohesive whole.

Little things make me think that, like how you could have done the Random Deity Rolling as a table, but you didn't for some reason. The fact that you have the various rooms available in the document as you rolled them showed me that the layout and the design were part of the thought process, it just strikes me a little odd that you don't have things laid out better.

A personal dislike of mine is the fact that you start the game with rolled stats. The variation is huge, and a spat of being unlucky could make the game really not fun for that person. Wouldn't it be faster to just say "One at 10, two at 30 and one at 50?" Less calculation, less rolling, more with the cultist action? Same thing with the derived statistics. I haven't done all the math, but it seems more that this could be picked and moved on with rather than doing the calculations. 

Going back to how awesome that range thing is, tying the monsters seems to me just another good example of reusing that mechanic that runs what's going on. I love that you want to make them tough because they give you XP when they knock out a cultist. I think that would make all the players want to give the toughest monsters possible because all the time because ... why not!?

A thematic thing that came up was right at the end, when you talked about the cultist winning and destroying the world? Why would a cultist for a good god want to do that? Just something that popped out at me. Same thing with the End Game, why wouldn't good and evil cultists fight all the way through the temple?

As for the temple? How big should it be? When can people start putting stairs to the lower levels down? This goes back to a second or third pass of the rules, but I couldn't find where those were at all. I think part of this problem is also that these rules don't seem to be written for someone who hasn't played your game before, they seem to be written as notes for you. 

I think that there's a lot here that you can work with, but ultimately it really needs a lot of polish and refining to be playable by someone who isn't you. If you want to take the time and go through it a few more times yourself to try to clean it up, and reorder it to make it a little more playable, and in my opinion a little more streamlined and this sounds like a good time.

#gamechef2013 reviews: 5-8 w/ 2 French Game

Continuing on our journey, we find ourself running into games 5 - 8.

If you want to continue reading, go to page 5.
If you want to skip through to where your game is, go to page 10.
If you want to leave a comment, they're at the bottom of the page.

Game Chef English 2013

5. Going Up by Marshall Miller

Twitter Pitch: Going Up? is a nano-game where you play strangers stuck together in an elevator. One or more of you may be a bad apple.

The Good: Great concept, trapped in a very limited space how do you deal with these people and what they're going to do.

The Bad: There really isn't a bad apple unless you just decide to do it. It's a nano-game, but there really isn't much conflict other than what you come up with. It could have used a bigger push mechanically to give the decisions more meaning, or a slightly better setup to go off in different directions. Like it's an elevator at a government building, or a super secret spy elevator or ... something.

The Other: I love the idea of nano-games like this. I think there should be more of them ... and I'm not saying it because there are 92 english games submitted. *sigh*

Would I play it? No. Not enough oomph, and too much just pushing the buttons to see what's happening.

6. The Orchard by Brie Sheldon

Twitter Pitch: The Orchard is a game about what is important, balance, and life where life shouldn't be. Sentient androids in a world after humans fight against their own creations to keep their humanity intact. 

The Good: The concept is amazing, I would love to see this fleshed out into a whole RPG setting rather than just a game chef game. There's so much here to play with, and you could play with the various times. The goal is there right at the beginning, and everything you do is geared towards it.

The Bad: Feels more like a boardgame than an RPG. There isn't much in the way of interaction, other than saying what you think needs to be done. Maybe even having a timing, or a resource bit like How We Came To Live Here, would have helped provide the little bit more structure that it needed.

The Other: It might be me, and the fact that I'm novelizing a lot of stuff lately, but I would love to just read what's going on here. I story or two would be just awesome to read.

Would I play it? Yes, but with the caveat that I'd have to modify it. I don't know if this means I would have to implement my "if I have to hack it, I'm going to say no" rule, but for now we'll say yes if there was more structure options for how the worms attack.

7. Soth by Steve Hickey

Twitter Pitch: It's Call of Cthulu after you've gone mad. A game about cultists in small-town USA trying to summon Soth.

The Good: I love this kind of concept, where you play the bad guys trying to do something. Reminds me a bit of Mike Olson's entry from last year. The character and situation generation at the beginning are quick and easy to get into. There's a lot of moving parts, and they seem to really be able to support the game ...

The Bad: if they were better explained, or layed out. There's a lot of *World all through this game, and if you have never played a *World game then you'll be left scratching your head.

The Other: The props are awesome. I love the book, and that it has the rituals in it. I think putting that in the players hands and letting them run is a great way to get a lot of conflict and action going. Something to think about, and probably use at some point in time.

Would I play it? Yes, but I like playing the bad folks.

8. The Worlds Above and Below by Michael Sands

Twitter Pitch: You and your friends find yourself in strange, fantastic worlds, and the locals need you to be heroes.

The Good: So many, many things. The settings, with the above and below as two places where adventure happens. The mechanic is lovely, where you have a complication and a success die, and the higher wins with allies, abilities and artefacts helping without adding numbers. Just the very fairy tale quality of the whole work.

The Bad: The kind of *World talk the book seems to take. That's a personal pet peeve, it's not even done poorly, but I've read a couple of *World influenced books and that lofty tone sometimes gets on my nerves. It got on it here, but that's me picking at very small, personal, nits.

The Other: I love the extra icons that you used. The site was there to be used, and kudos for you on using it.  

Would I play it? Let's fall down this rabbit hole! Shall we end up above, or below?

French Game Chef 2013

1. Techniques d'interrogation à l'usage des agents de la fonction publique de la glorieuse république populaire de Strana par Gregory Pogorzelski [Interrogation Techniques used by Civil Servants of the glorious republic of Strana by Gregory Pogorzelski]

Twitter Pitch: Un jeu pour deux joueurs se déroulant dans une dictature imaginaire à une époque indéterminée. Le fonctionnaire doit s'assurer que le suspect ne représente aucun danger réel ou potentiel pour la Glorieuse République Populaire et au moindre doute, de le faire incarcérer.

Le suspect, quant à lui, a pour objectif de ne pas finir en taule.

Ca ne sera pas sans effort.

Le Bon [The Good]: Ca, c'est une idée excellent. Le jeu c'est vraiment comme une interrogation, et le mechanism pour decider ce qui est vrai, et ce qui est faux est parfait pour la situation. [This is an amazing idea. It really plays out like an interrogation, and the mechanic is perfect for this kind of game.]

Le Mauvais [The Bad]: Au lieu d'avoir les cartes que vous piochez qui decide si le suspect est coupable ou innocent, peut être la première carte décide. Aussi, donnez le fonctionaire une situation ou il veut incarcérer le sujet si il est innocent et le libérer si il est coupable avec la même carte. [Instead of having the cards you draw decide guilt or innocence, why not have the first hidden card do that? Also, why not give the Investigator a chance where he or she wants to incarcerate innocent people because they're evil the same way.]

L'Autre [The Other]: Le dessin du document c'est parfait. J'espère d'être capable de crée un document comme ça dans une semaine dans la future. Ce n'arrivera jamais, mais j'espère quand même.

Jouons [Would I play it]? Camarade-patroite! La hiérarchie juge utile de te poser quelques questions ...

Monday, May 27, 2013

#gamechef2013 - RPG Review Recess #2 The Rise and Fall of the Majestic Ones

The Rise and Fall of the Majestic Ones by Eric Duncan

Twitter Pitch: A lost ship creates a group of superbeings, but the "infection" is spreading. Will you stay majestic or fall and break the world when you do?

This is the longer review I did as part of my 4 games I've gotta say something about. Eric was nice enough to let me post it here in full.

First of all, congratulations on not doing something heaven or hell like because I've been going through a lot of the games and this is the first superhero one I've come across. It's nice to see someone take the ingredients and go in a very different direction than most people, and it still really sticks to a lot of the theme of Game Chef. I can see what you did without having to try to stretch an interpretation on it. Double Kudos there.

I don't have much to say in the "you might have wanted to do things differently category" because a lot of this is pretty solid. I see a lot of Cortexy like action on the player rolls section, but I love how the challenge is a bunch of d6s just more depending on the situation and that 1s give you the cards that have an impact on the results. The cards, I wish there were more of them as in you went to the site and grabbed more icons for them because I really like them but having really only 8 variants seems a little low, even if there are 3 elements to each card. That will make it feel a little bit more "What's going to happen when we draw this" because I can see a pile of 1s in a major conflict and then you can kind of be left with ... now what?

I think you could have gone a little further on what "Out" means on the Damage Level. Talking about Dying when you're Out is good, but I think there could have been a little more clarity on what "Out" does to the character. You had a lot of word space left, you could have used some of it on that. 

Just an added nice touch I wanted to mention was the "Hey, careful about playing Corruption as a Mental or Physical disability because you don't need to be an asshole" in the Corruption section. I read it and went, "Awesome and good job!" there may have been some fist pumping,
This is a great little supers game that really deals with the darker side of super powers in that Aberrant kind of way. It seems quick to get into, and quick to figure out how to play and with just a little more in depth explanation of the outcomes and a few extra bits of variety in the cards (but really, that can pretty much be said of all game chef games "clearer explanations! more variety!").

#gamechef2013 reviews: 1-4 w/ 1 French Game Chef

Hey folks, starting from the top and working my way down I'm bringing you a bunch of twitter like reviews of the Game Chef 2013 games. I do this because while they've improved their feedback system, it's still fun to hear something back about the games you write.  If someone wants a longer review of their game, please feel to drop me a line in the comments, or if you want to review something I've done let me know and I'll see about getting you a copy of said product to review!

That said, in the words of Tommy Toe Hold ... Let's do this shit.

Game Chef English 2013

1. The Elevator of Regretful Memories by Jesse Burneko

Twitter Pitch: An RPG about how the regrets of the past can infect the concerns of today. When bad memories turn to monsters we must do battle.

The Good: There's a lot of great little two player RPG interaction going on here. Kind of Wraith with a super focus of an individual with their Jungian shadow. Can really play up the tension.

The Bad: Die rolls seem incredibly stacked against the character. The game could be quick with a couple of bad rolls really early. It's fine if you're looking for a bleak outlook on being able to overcome your demons.

The Other: I like how the elements can become monsters. Part of me wishes that they would have become literal monsters and then they would need to be fought off in a kaiju-film fashion.

Would I play it? I think it would need to be a little clearer, and a little more rules streamlined for me to want to play it.

2. Afterlife, Incorporated by Nick Wedig

Twitter Pitch: You died. Then you got a boring job at Afterlife, Incorporated. You don't have to be a soul devouring demon to work here, but it helps!

The Good: I've jokingly said that I'm a bureaucratic humourist, so this kind of stuff is right up my alley. It's the Office and the IT crowd and every sort of show like that in a game format mixed in with some afterlife humour.

The Bad: It's got a lot of pre-setup. Printing cards, cutting them out, setting up decks. Maybe providing a "roll a d10" option. Not that people won't think of that on their own, but options are good.

The Other: The Suggestion of LARPing out a fight in one of the sections is gold. Makes me want to run this as a LARP because of the humour in the game. Also, it kind of does that Penny For My Thoughts mechanic going

Would I play it? Yes, and may I suggest the lower level of hell rather than purgatory. It's only slightly painful, and things actually happen. Limbo gets boring very quickly.

3. Gaze of the Golem by Aryel

As a heads up, people might want to read this piece by Lillian Cohen-Moore on Golems. I know that after I read it, I felt annoyed that I wasn't able to change the use of the term Golem in Critical!: Go Westerly into something else, but it's allowed me to modify it in other fiction that I write.

I know that we've gotten lazy with the use of them in fantasy because of D&D but ... sometimes all it takes is a moment to realize that you've been affected by D&D in your fiction to realize that you should change it. That said, carry on.

Twitter Pitch: A board game about a deeply philosophical issue: Why didn't you turn off the Golem's siwtch atop the tower before venturing down, you idiot?

The Good: More comedy, which is always a good thing and it's nice to see things other than RPGs in a Game Chef competition.

The Bad: "Rescue the Princess" as part of the theme? It seems a little complicated, and having the cards already setup would have helped.

The Other: I like the fact that there's this giant monster outside the tower that's freezing and eating characters. It's like Rampage the boardgame.

Would I play it? Um ... not really. Partially because there isn't much there that makes me want to play it, and there's a little too much extra work for me to do to play it.

4. Signal Lost by Martin Ralya

Twitter Pitch: Signal Lost is a story game about exploring the Distant Star, a deep-space survey vessel that has gone dark, and facing an alien terror.

The Good: This looks like a solid horror game heavily influenced by things like Fiasco and Durance, and Lady Blackbird in mechanic without actually being any of those games which is great. Takes decisions from the beginning and uses them to impact the end.

The Bad: I wish it was a little bit more like Lady Blackbird which would give you more structured characters. You play that character and get some variations in them rather than the round robin.

The Other: That said, I love the Durance like action for the ship and the alien. Keep that, it works great.

Would I play it? We're moving in captain, time to see what's left of the I.S.S Distant Star.

French Game Chef 2013

1. L'Ascension par Yragaël Malbos [The Ascension by Yragaël Malbos]

Twitter Pitch: Une poignée d'élus est en compétition pour atteindre l'Ascension. Seul l'un d'entre eux pourra y accéder. [A handful of chosen are competing for the Ascension. Only one may succeed.]

La pomme et le ver = la vermine qui ronge de l'intérieur. [The vermin that eats you up inside]
Le chemise = l'uniforme omniprésent [Omnipresent uniformity]
La tête avec un flocon de neige = la démence d'un dirigeant [The insanity of the managers]
La lanterne = une lueur dans la pénombre [A light in the darkness]

Le Bon [The Good]: Bravo! Une page seulement, et un jeux assez interessant aussi! J'aime l'animosity entre les élus et les difficultés que ça va créer pour les aspirant pendant leur tour. [Bravo! An interesting game in onep age! I love the animosity that the game creates between the characters during their turn.]

Le Mauvais [The Bad]: Je ne voix pas beaucoup d'action avec la nature et le decor de l'Ascension. Ca donne de la colour pour les joueurs, mais ça va arriver quand même sans ces descriptions. Aussi, la difficulté ou le jouer perdre un object ... il n'y a pas beaucoup d'action avec ce menace, non? [I don't see a lot of reason for the nature and the items of the Ascention. It gives colour to the players, but that will come out in the game. Also, when you lose an object as a difficulty, it doesn't really mean all that much.]

L'Autre [The Other]: J'aime vraiment l'interaction entre les jouers avec des bonnes choix entre aider ou nuire le jouer en prime. [I love the interaction between the player. It's a good choice between helping and hurting the main player.]

Jouons [Would I play it]? Je suis l'élu qui va m'élever! [I will be the one to rise!]

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gamechef 2013: Firment

Finished my game, and for some reason the game chef site never lets me post it to their submissions site. I had this same problem in 2011, which is kind of amusing for some reason. At any rate, here's a link to the game.

I'll be updating it because there are some weird things that are going on with the accessibility part. It doesn't read the first line of any paragraph and I really want to figure out why that is.

Also, let me know what you think! The rules are kind of short, if I were turning this into a larger RPG I'd probably describe Firment more and give rules for building your own city. However, thoughts are awesome and appreciated.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Call to Adventure - Critical!: Go Westerly Adventures

Okay, I've been neglecting putting out some stuff for Critical!: Go Westerly because part of me is always looking to do something new, and the other part of me is working on writing books for the stuff.

That said, I'm looking for 3 adventures that are going to be going out in the next year or so but I need other people to write them for me. This is a paying gig (it's 30$ per adventure), and if you want an idea on how the format is being done you can check out You All Meet in a Tavern for the format. They really should be no more than 10-12 "Chapters" long which puts them between 4 - 6k in their word count.

If you'd like to pitch, I'm looking for a twitter length pitch for your adventure and a little paragraph as to why your idea is funny.

EDIT: Where to send them?

Send all submissions to jonathan at firestorm-ink dot com.

EDIT the Second: Where are the rules?

You don't have the game? Well, it's 5$ for the pdf version which comes with the world setting, or if you just want to check out the rules then they are under CC and available for free here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Previously Generated - NHL RPG - Kiss of the Ice Duck

There was a conversation on Twitter between RPG Writer, Editor and Generally all around Awesome Guy Clark Valentine, and amazing, talented, author Jocelyn Koehler about hockey. Well, it was kind of tangentially related to hockey. He had mentioned Leaf-Bruins and she said it sounded like a D&D creature.

Of course, knowing of my love of thing geeky and hockey colliding so I'm going to bring you some things you'll find in the NHL RPG: Kiss of the Ice Duck (title suggested by Jocelyn Koehler). I'm going to use Dungeon World for stats, mainly because that's the latest Fantasy Game I've played, and one that more people do play. If someone wants to do it for another fantasy game, please feel free and we'll post and or link it here.

Leaf Bruin

Group, Large, Animal, Aggressive
Armor 2 (Front)
Armor 3 (Rear)
D8 Damage
12 HP

The Leaf Bruin is a large bear creature with blue and black fur that is prone to violent outbursts when provoked, usually by poking at it with sharp objects. It tends to be overly aggressive at times, which has caused it to charge over things necessarily, but thankfully it has even greater armor on it's back end which prevents all kinds of damage.  They tend to fight in groups, but do better when they're outnumbered or when there is an equal number on both sides. As soon as there is any sort of advantage, the Leaf Bruin starts to get too fancy and is easily defeated.

They are found in the Eastern Lands, and are a rarer combination. The Leaf Bruin hasn't been seen by most people for almost a decade. Not enough to have people forget them, but long enough that people were used to not seeing them around.


  • To control their territory
  • To run over enemies


  • I will run you down

Blues Kings

Solitary, Medium, Intelligent, Magical
Armor 5
D6 Damage
10 HP

The Blues Kings are a ruling class of musicians that run the city of Missornia in the West, a place filled with intrigue, magic and mystery. Each Blues King has their own style, and their own plots in the city though they are frequently not seen without their massive armor that they wear to prevent them from the many assassination plots that occur. Despite their individual agendas, they do have a leader named The Backes who has a particular vendetta against the Frigid North. He frequently leads his forces against them, and is willing to take on anyone who has any ties to them including other Blues Kings.

Instinct (Which Blues King has that Instinct):
  • To be the one true Blues King (All)
  • To punch all the foes of the north (The Backes)
  • To destroy The Dry Island (Richards Carter)
  • To reclaim the clone Doty (Doughty)

  • There is magic in the music
  • The one true authority

Red Wing Duck

Horde, Small, Magical
D6 Damage
6 HP

The Blues Kings have their own flying force, made up of a magical mash of a wide variety of creatures until the Red Wing Duck was born. They fly in large numbers, and dive to attack their foes using their super heated wings to sear people, and burn down structures. They have pin point accuracy, and when a group of them attack it can be over in a wingbeat before they go off to their next target as demanded by the Blues King.

They're a big reason why Missournia hasn't been attached in recent memory. The Red Wing Ducks destroy any siege engines that get remotely close to the city. Any that manage to get past the Red Wing Ducks end up crushed against the Kron Wall.

  • To burn the target
  • To obey the Blues King

  • Searing wing beats

Penguin Islanders

Horde, Medium, Intelligent
D6 Damage
6 HP

To the east, there is a small group of islands that are home to a group of enterprising penguins. While sometimes they've been dropped by their neighbouring flyers, these free flying animals have been known to come off the island and defend the East from any threats from the West. The Penguin Islanders are larger, flightless birds who have grown opposable thumbs, and stand around six feet in height. They are excellent swimmers, and are recognized as premier divers among the Eastern Lands. They are incredible fisher folk who have rising to prominence because of the shrewd manoeuvring of their leader The Shero.

The Shero has been successful because he's been able to get people, and transform them into effective and efficient Penguins. Every year he manages to take outsiders and integrate them successfully into his forces. Recently he took an Oil Flame and integrated him into one of the best teams he has. If there is one flaw of the Penguin Islanders is that they have a weakness for flowers. If there are too many flowers, then the Penguin Islanders get distracted they tend to miss a lot of events.

  • To dive in the water
  • Well co-ordinated attack

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