Kia Ora friends

Today's Topic: Games online!

I currently have friends who are not only all over New Zealand, but spread out across the world. If I was more of a video gamer, then MMORPGs or other multiplayer video games would be a good way to connect with them, but I really do prefer traditionally analogue games. That being said, I am by no means opposed to bringing technology into play. I harbour dreams of screens built into tables or hidden speakers playing soundscapes to liven up a game session.
I still haven't fully experimented with Play by Post or attempted to run a traditional RPG via webcam, but I am certainly interested in the possibilities there.
In a number of the RPGs I've played, the games have continued their lives online between sessions. In a Primetime Adventures game I ran, the players and I cast every character in the game as a real actor, posting a picture of them to our facebook group in a growing album. My game club's Living Dungeon World projects featured players posting in character to the facebook group with reports of adventures and requests for aid. While this occasionally could become a little overwhelming, I think that it really added to the collective worldbuilding that made those games great.
While there are a few tools out there for helping you run tabletop RPGs online, I can't help but feel that the big step that will really make it easy and rewarding is still to come.

What I'm playing

Yesterday I finally got around to organising a game of Viewscream, which is a kind of larp system that is designed to be played through a group video chat, using Google Hangouts or Skype. I was fortunate enough to play with three of the most experienced and competent LARPers I know, which really contributed to the game being a success. The system gives you characters who are the last surviving members of a starship crew, separated and dealing with emergencies before they can make their escape. The system is also set up so that it is impossible for everyone to make it out alive.
I am looking forward to trying the game again with a different scenario to make the most of the webcam format. Other players were prepared with props such as lights and cables to be messing with and code that they would throw up onto the screen as damage reports. I struggled a bit myself with coming up with suitable technobabble, but the other players carried it well. I'm also excited at how easy it seems to write a scenario yourself.
Viewscream's design necessitates the use of technology, and I think this is a good direction for making online play better. When the technology is inherent to the design, it feels less like a barrier and more like a tool.

Here's a thing

This isn't exactly new, but it does relate well to the topic I ended up writing about today. A while ago, I got quite excited about the idea of creating hypertext fiction. Essentially, that's digital choose your own adventure books. This is one I made based on a Ryuutama scenario I ran. The tool I used was Twine and I highly recommend it if you are interested in creating these playable stories. I found it fairly easy to use and intend to use it as a teaching tool when I have my own English classes as a different approach to creative writing.

Westhazel



Ciarán


Viewscream cover

Kia ora to anyone who is looking!


Today's Topic: What this is blog is for


This is a new blog I am starting at the request of a few friends. Lately I have been creating a few resources related to games, which means I need a place to make them accessible and to write about them. I have a few to put out over the next couple of weeks but thought that I ought to make a first post that explained a bit about why I've made a blog in the first place.

I'm an avid gamer living in Christchurch. I enjoy board games, tabletop RPGs and LARP.
My RPG tastes are more the indie/storygame style so I enjoy playing in games that have a narrative, improvisational feel and opportunities for the traditional GM role to be played with or gotten rid of altogether.

What I'm playing


Lately I have been running a lot of one off games for my game group's Theme Days initiative. The latest of these was Female Creators Day at which I ran "Deserting Paradise", a small game by Avery Alder about immortal punks sticking it to The Man. This game was a lot of fun, though the tone we created was rather gonzo, with a savage, blood-thirsty army of pomeranians becoming rather involved in the plot. I certainly had a lot of fun, and I believe that the other players round the table did too, though next time I would run it with less of a view to ramping up the action as quickly as possible to resolve everything in a single session.

Here's a thing


Not long ago, I ran a session of Ryuutama. I loved the system but wished there was a more defined way to use status effects in the game. There are six different kinds of status effect, which can be given at different levels. I wanted to have a guide in front of me to the levels and meaning of the status effects, so I had a think and put this together:

Ryuutama Status Effect Guide

Hope you find it useful!

CiarĂ¡n

Ryuutama dragon

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