Game systems

March 7, 2006: 10:15 pm: Game systems

The more I learn about game theory and game design, the more I think that the Amber DRPG is really a giant pile of suck as a system. Good Amber games are good in spite of it, not because of it, and bad Amber games don’t get any sort of support that can help them be less bad. I know a lot of people who enjoy playing Amber, but I can’t remember any of them ever saying that some aspect of the ADRPG rules made their game better. No wonder so many Amber DRPG games seem to basically go freeform at some point after character generation.

I don’t know why this feels like a revelation, considering how long I’ve had nothing but bad things to say about the ADRPG.

: 8:18 pm: Game systems

Finally, a game about both drowning and falling!

Drowning and Falling

And it’s for charity (seriously)!

February 20, 2006: 8:29 pm: Game systems

the dark narrativist game of gamist simulationism in ancient retro-future Babylon

Need I say more?

February 13, 2006: 10:18 pm: Game systems

Now this is cool. It’s Shab-al-Hiri Roach: The Motion Picture.

In case I needed another damn reason to want this game to come out soon.

January 16, 2006: 10:36 pm: Game systems, GMing

I asked this over on The Masters’ Council, but I’ll ask here too:

For some time now, I’ve been planning on running a Buffy campaign with just one player, who would be playing the Slayer.

The whole thing was put on hold for a while, and now that I’m thinking about it again, I’m wondering if there is some system other than the B:tVS RPG that might work out better. Maybe something that puts more authorial power in the hands of the player, possibly something that’s more of a Narrativist/Sim blend.

Any suggestions for what that system might be? Indie games would be preferred, but it’s not a requirement. Non-D20 is a requirement.

December 28, 2005: 9:18 pm: Game systems

Ben Lehman (designer of Polaris) does Amber (the setting) for Nine Worlds (the system).

It looks like a pretty interesting melding of Amber and the 9W system. Hmm….

[via Heads or Tales]

December 18, 2005: 8:27 pm: Game systems

Matt Snyder (designer of games like Dust Devils and Nine Worlds) has a couple of posts up on his blog about the possibility of using 9W as the system for an Amber game. Apparently my mention of this idea back in January was one of the inspirations for his posts. In turn, his posts are probably going to prompt me to take a second look at the idea of a Nine Worlds Amber game when I’m trying to decide what to run at this year’s TBR.

ETA: More on the topic from Ginger and Arref.

December 4, 2005: 10:21 pm: Cons, Game systems

Over on John Kim’s RPG journal, there was a discussion in comments about the sorts of games that get run at Ambercons, and Ginger
said this:

You might want to talk to [lj user]mcurry, who’s on the con committee for The Black Road (a Boston-based regional Ambercon), about the evolution of indie gaming at TBR. Last year at TBR, I played and/or GMed Amber-themed Everway (not so indie, but still) and Amber-themed Cats. There was also Amber-themed Nobilis (again, not so indie), Mountain Witch, and a scheduled game of DitV that had to be dropped when the GM had to go to Europe instead of coming to the convention.

Over the past few years, TBR appears to have developed a minor reputation for having a more eclectic selection of games than some of the other Ambercons. We didn’t go out of our way to encourage our GMs to run these sorts of games, but we were certainly receptive to having them, which apparently was enough.

For TBR 2006 we’re going to add an indie game track where the games are explicitly not Amber-themed. Why do this? Speaking as one member of the con committee, my own interest in indie games is certainly part of the reason, but I also believe that stagnation can be an all too real danger at a small con like ours. I personally wouldn’t have much interest in devoting my energies to a con where the same people showed up and played more or less the same games year after year, so I’m trying to keep that from happening. Indie games seem like a great way to go about it.

November 13, 2005: 9:52 pm: Game systems

I just read through the new annotated version of kill puppies for satan. Yes, this is the same game that Vincent publicly disavowed, and yes, I said annotated, not revised. Vincent just shoved some more text in there, put the main rulebook and cockroach souffle together in the same pdf, and added a few pieces of actual art. Included in the new text is a shiny new resolution system that he completely stole from Sorcerer (which he freely admits) and then dumbed down, and which may or may not be broken, since he didn’t actually playtest it or anything

If you already bought kpfs from Vincent you should have gotten an
email about the annotated version. If you didn’t buy it yet….well, buy Dogs in the Vineyard first, and then if you’ve got some cash left (and a black sense of humor), buy kpfs too. You can even get a package deal if you buy them at the same time.

: 5:38 pm: Game systems

I’ve realized that I never mentioned that my long awaited copies of The Mountain Witch and Burning Wheel (Revised) finally arrived from IPR a couple of weeks ago.

While the roughly two month delay in getting the games wasn’t IPR’s fault, I have to say that I wasn’t entirely happy with the way they handled things, as I had to rely on the updates Tim posted to the timfire publishing webpage and what I was able to find out by poking Brendan at IPR to know what had caused the delay and when my order might arrive. While I appreciate the fact that Brendan is doing all the work of processing and shipping the orders himself, the lack of communication was less than reassuring. Oh, and putting some bubble wrap or other packing material around the books before putting them into the priority mail envelope would have been nice too. Everything I’ve heard about Brendan makes him sound like a real standup sort of guy, and I’ll almost certainly be ordering from IPR again, but if this had been my first foray into buying indie games I might be hesitant about making another purchase in the future.

Enough about the buying experience part of things though. The two games both look great (especially The Mountain Witch), I’m really glad I bought them, and I’m hoping to find the time soon to give them each a close read.

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