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 playingBuckets of Dice has been my main gaming intake recently, so I will talk about the three big games that I did not facilitate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 thingLast 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