[personal profile] gamesandrants

Kia Ora exhausted people

Today's Topic: On Demand


Being in Christchurch as I am, this last weekend was our largest annual convention, Buckets of Dice! This was the 23rd year of the convention, and just as strong as ever. For those of you not in the know, Buckets includes board games, RPGs and LARP.
I oversaw the "Games on Demand" room, ours modelled after what I have seen at Kapcon in Wellington. Rather than submitting particular RPGs, this meant that I was taking an unknown number of players and GMs, pitching games and seeing what stuck. The room was never especially busy, but I did get to facilitate something in each of the four rounds I ran Games on Demand, with each of them being relatively successful.
As a GM who loves to improvise, I enjoy the unstructured feel of the GoD room and the ability to play what I feel like in the moment. However, this doesn't mean that a bit of prep can't go a long way. I got my first game of Monsterhearts 2 going, and really valued the new "Small Towns" pdf that came with it. Each town is a one page description that gives you everything you need to run a rich and interesting game.
I also love games that I would describe as "prepless". Games like Fiasco, A Taste for Murder and Enter the Avenger (the three other games I ran are, by necessity, games you cannot prepare for. I would say that most GMless games fit this category and few that aren't don't, however, I did GM or at least facilitate the game of Taste for Murder we played so it is not always the case.

What I'm playing

Buckets of Dice has been my main gaming intake recently, so I will talk about the three big games that I did not facilitate.
  1. The Storm- a LARP by Inveighed. I can't say too much about this one while avoiding spoilers, but I truly appreciated the human and emotional quality of many of the characters written, despite the wild mix of settings. I also got the feeling that the number of combinations of how things might end and who could work with who was staggering.
  2. The Lark Rises- a LARP by Jan-Yves Ruzicka. I've been excited about this one for quite some time and I am pleased to say that the hype did not fail. This was a lot more gamey than most LARPs I have been involved in, but rather than removing from the characters or emotional content, it struck home that all actions had consequences. A tense and thrilling game, which was surprisingly smooth given its complexity.
  3. The Colour of Credits- a grand strategy board game by Matthew Smith. I almost didn't play this as I was only roped in at the last minute, but I'm certainly glad I was. After assuring everyone I would have to leave partway through, I ended up staying through to the end. The production values were high and despite not even having seen the rulebook before the game, I managed to get a reasonable grasp on what I needed to do through play. I was astounded at just how asymmetrical the factions were and yet how smooth and balanced it all seemed. This was clearly a labour of love.

Here's a thing

Last week, I made a wee Dread hack that I hoped to maybe run at Buckets. It turns out I didn't have chance, so fair warning; this is entirely un-playtested. Let me know if it works!

Tower of Temptation

Enjoy,

Ciarán


Dread logo

Date: 2017-06-07 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jyr
> The Lark Rises

Oh man, hitting all the stops. I'm so glad this worked: and more importantly, that the design intent showed through. One of the (about five-thousand) things that motivated me to write TLR was watching in other Larps as what should have been momentous choices, basically resulted in not much of anything. OK, I give up this narrative thing for this other narrative thing, but that has very few ramifications outside of my internal state. Or, I guess, to put it another way: exchanging one imaginary thing for another imaginary thing doesn't feel that fulfilling to me. Putting numbers on choices - making them concrete and quantifiable - that felt like it was more real for me.

Next game, I will have to bump the difficulty a bit more though. And I'll hopefully make the conflict between factions just a bit more present.

[ETA: I do know that Mike Sands, who runs GoD at KapCon, specifically solicits for GMs for GoD. I think he tries to make sure that 2-3 GMs are confirmed running each session: of course, because it's GoD it's very easy for people to swap in or out as required. As far as I know, the majority of his soliciting is done privately - i.e. emailing people specially and saying "Hey, wanna run a game in BoD? What session do you think you'll be there?"]
Edited ((Added section about GoD)) Date: 2017-06-07 09:54 am (UTC)

RE: GoD at Kapcon

Date: 2017-06-07 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] catnipmouse
Mike also does some GM wrangling on the NZRaG website (http://www.nzrag.com/nzrbb/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=900). However, this site no longer gets the traffic it used to, so there might be more done by email now

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