[It's 2014] What're you playing these days?

edited February 2012 in Make Stuff!
This thread takes place in the future. Write as if it's 2014 and things have changed by some amount.

So, 2013 came to a close, and the folks who did 2013 Gaming Goals had a little introspective on what they achieved and what surprised them about their year in gaming. And now we're a couple months into 2014, and I feel like it's an interesting time to ask:

What are you playing these days? Tell me a bit about the social space you play in, the way the games are shaping up, all those juicy details. As much as possible, leave the "insider jargon" out of this conversation. Write it so that someone who's been out of the story games loop for a couple years would still be able to follow along.

On my end, I've been introducing people to Between Dead Oaks, the new hard sitch game by Vincent Baker and Wendy Emerson. It's got some of the same tone as Murderous Ghosts (the first hard sitch game, though predating the phrase), but builds on the mechanical ideas of Untenable. These games are becoming one of my favourite gaming experiences, because I can rock a rewarding game session while sitting in a coffee shop with a cutie. Ideal.

On the more involved end, I've been playing Cloud Cycle, which has got to be the weirdest play experience I've encountered in a while. I'm constantly surprised that the asynchronous digital parts and the sit-down table sessions interact as well and as consistently as they do. I keep on expecting the game to collapse, and it keeps on delivering engrossing fiction. For anyone who spent last year under a rock, know: you play scientists who've discovered heaven, and who're engaged in an ongoing research mission to learn about angels and the afterlife. Luke Crane and Elizabeth Shoemaker really hit it out of the park, wrt both slick design and pioneering new platform frontiers. Before playing, I thought the global digital exploration part of the game was going to be a boring faux-social-media experiment, yet another Facebook or Nametag to have to keep up with. It's not. It's linked into the table sessions in really emergent and surprising ways.

Thoughts? I know there are a million interesting things going on right now for our community, and I want to hear which ones you've been playing around with!


  • Well, the Dungeoncore X kickstarter was a success! I'm largely going to have to thank Tony Dowler's amazing contributions for the "customized microdungeon" reward level at a scandalously low personal cut, although 3 people did spring for the overpriced "Your name and character in the example of play" level that I didn't think anyone would. So obviously I've been playing a bunch of that online via chat and pbp. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback about how the "hard choices"-based play is a lot like the tactical focus of old-school with a delicious indie twist, a turn of phrase I apologize for because I'm still in selling-the-game mode a little bit.
  • edited February 2012
    I'm still playing Pyjama Brains, the game Vincent released in 2012, but I just got the Burning Wheel version of CthulhuTech and I am fuckin' stoked!
  • We all still mourn the loss of Johnstone to the brain slugs.
  • edited February 2012
    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention I ditched my old group because they would only play Apocalypse World, and I am like, so over that! I mean, seriously, the last I heard, Adam was still playing one of the original 11 playbooks, and not one of the newer ones from the supplement. Can you believe that shit? Now I play indie games with the RBV crew and the people I went to school with.
  • I'm just stoked about the growth of story-games-seattle - when I started going in the beginning of 2011 there was a handful of us every other week, but it grew so much in 2011 I knew if it kept up that rate there'd be hundreds playing daily by 2014. And here we are.

    What I'm digging the most these days is how after game designers killed the GM role off they started killing themselves off, as the next obvious target with Too Much Authority. The one that gets the most play at story games night is probably Jason Morningstar's Steal This Game, the one where you have to constantly balance your narrative authority with your design authority. Yeah, I guess in a way we've been doing that kind of thing ever since Universalis, but now we're doing it so fluently.
  • I've lately been playing a lot of hyper-railroady and illusionist games. IMO re-examining the texts of the 1990s shows that we've really missed out on some cool stuff. Surrendering plot agency to the GM is pretty liberating.

    It actually pays to play 1st edition Vampire the way it's written.
  • edited February 2012
    I'm really looking forward to my PTA game tonight! We're playtesting third edition!

    (This is a sweet burn on Matt Wilson, BTW)

    (But seriously we'll be playing PTA)
  • edited February 2012
    I'm enjoying John Harper's ongoing consultations as he writes T&T Next.
  • I'm still playing my current campaign, a True20 cyberpunk-magic thriller!

    What, you guys don't plan on having 2-year long campaigns?
  • My buddies and I have been playing The World That Was around the campfire, a hack of Polaris that takes place just before the events of 12/21/2012. Players are put in the role of scientists desperately trying to prepare for the worst in the face of a society that doesn't believe them. The tragic irony is very poignant. The gameplay has something of the feel of a futile, apotropaic ritual against the darkness that is now so much a part of our lives, and the game's desperate invocation of humanity's potential for progress and good has a bittersweet taste now that we've seen how little that ultimately counts for.
  • edited February 2012
    Starting a new Marvel Heroes campaign, since it's been a while since the last one. I think this one is going to be inspired by "Avengers Forever," so it's going to be Marvel heroes from a bunch of different published event books, all thrown together in an attempt to stop the 2099 universe from coming to pass (i.e. the world being taken over by evil megacorps). Super psyched for that one. I'm running the game but we're gonna try some rotating stuff too, based on the principles in Jackson Tegu's On the Doorstep, and I think my active character is going to be Victor Von Doom.

    The recent cross-pollination between the indie and OSR scenes has produced so much cool stuff, most of it vaguely compatible, and I've also been running an old school Basic-inspired game for people from work, drawing on a mixture of recent old school adventures by Eero Tuovinen, Jason Morningstar, Luke Crane, and John Harper. It's fascinating how -- just as Dungeon World blew up, mostly outside the indie games community -- a lot of established indie designers seemed to shift away from Burning Wheel or Apocalypse World-inspired sandbox play and more towards old school down-in-a-hole, mapping and calling play. Even the new LLAMA FLAMES games, Do You Get Torn to Pieces by Killer Sharks and Oh My God the Volcano is Erupting have shifted AW principles in a more old-school direction, including mapping instructions and carefully tracking the gear that you have. While Storming the Wizard's Tower provided some clues on how this might work, it wasn't until I played Sharks -- fending off some hungry fish with a tattered umbrella and trying to figure out how quickly the waves were pushing me towards land -- that it clicked for me; it's changed the way I run both Tower and Apocalypse World now.

    Other than that, I've been mostly playing a bunch of small, experimental stuff. I kinda want to play Bliss Stage again, now that the final version is out, but there's so much other fun stuff that I'm not sure when I'll get around to it.
  • Burning Wheel Gold sits on my shelf gathering dust next to the Burning Wheel Gold Companion (a compilation of updated versions of the Monster Burner, Magic Burner and Adventure Burner). I weep bitter tears for still never having tried it.
  • High Quality Roleplaying. I'm trying out a new magic system.
  • After the recent spate of Dungeon World hacks published on Kickstarter, I've finally settled on a post-apocalyptic hack that I like.
  • The English version of Meikyuu Kingdom has been a huge hit, and the campaign I'm running for my friends is getting into high-level play. It's got this great mix of tactical play, kingdom building, and utter, cartoonish absurdity. Nechronica is taking a while to translate, but I'm looking forward to trying it out in another month or so.

    The other day I tried a one-shot of Jake Richmond's Black Opera game (the one that's kinda like Guilty Gear). I need to get around to writing him an e-mail with my thoughts on the game, but it looks really promising.

    The new D&D (which they just call "Dungeons & Dragons" without an edition number) isn't half bad, but our campaign is kinda petering out, and it's pretty clear that me and my friends prefer Meikyuu Kingdom.
  • Posted By: mease19After the recent spate of Dungeon World hacks published on Kickstarter, I've finally settled on a post-apocalyptic hack that I like.
    What you did there. I see it.
  • Yeah, I had the same problem, so I ended hacking a few things from there into the new ciberpunk game I'm working on. When it's done I'll post it for free along the gmfull game I made (ok, hacked from everywhere) the last year.
  • Posted By: nikodemusI've lately been playing a lot of hyper-railroady and illusionist games. IMO re-examining the texts of the 1990s shows that we've really missed out on some cool stuff. Surrendering plot agency to the GM is pretty liberating.

    It actually pays to play 1st edition Vampire the way it's written.
    Yeah, the whole Second Wave Revival thing is really interesting. The whole OSR thing that went on from 2009-2012 was cute and fun, but I don't feel like it actually introduced new blood or perspective into our hobby. But going back and playing Vampire and Shadowrun and Sorcerer really re-contextualizes what we do now, in interesting ways.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Neko Ewenwriting him an e-mail with my thoughts
    Things really have jumped on the technology front, haven't they? Who knew that telepathy helmets would get rolled out in '13 and change everything.
  • Currently running the Invasion of the Middle Kingdoms Campaign using the 2nd Edition of the Artesia Roleplaying game.
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