Stuff to Watch - July 2014

edited July 2014 in Stuff to Watch
What stuff should we watch, read, play, etc?

1. Feel free to respond here in-thread to another link posted.

a. If you're looking to start a conversation, perhaps take your comment and create a new thread with it in the Stuff to Watch category.

b. Otherwise, to prevent too many comments in the thread, number your response (first response: [1]; second response [2]; third response [3]). If you see that you're the second person to post, "Wow, that looks cool!" to a post here, then put a "[2]" at the top of your post. Three posts ([3]) is the limit: The fourth person to post should just take their comment and create a new thread, to carry the discussion over there further.

Why?

Because these threads are great: We can link to little things being talked about on the web in general, on blogs, or other forums that might be noteworthy, without having to dedicate a new thread to each and every one (although that, too, is fine if you want to discuss the item further or "open up a discussion").

Responding to these posts with a comment or two is understandable (other times there might be no comments, just because the link was self-explanatory: nothing to say, lots of heads nodding in agreement). But we don't want to create a huge discussion in the middle of the thread: Some folks get a lot out of these threads, and don't want to look back to see the "10 latest posts" just to see that it's a heated discussion of something from a previous page.

Go!

Comments

  • edited July 2014
    EAI Education ( touted by Ralph here ) is having a sale on cubes and dice all through July: http://www.eaieducation.com/Category/331_0/Jumbo_July_Cubes_Die_Sale.aspx .
  • I've written a two-player game exploring what happens when an employee's new boss turns out to be a bully. It's a game about trying to fight an every-day monster.

    Workplace Bully (11 page .pdf, 526kb)

    Genre: documentary/real-world
    Set-up: under 5 minutes
    Duration: I estimate a full game will take between 25-60 minutes, but it's playable in self-contained 5-10 minute segments.
    System: a diceless Apocalypse World hack. I think of it as a sibling of Avery McDaldno's Dream Askew


    This is a playtest draft of Workplace Bully. It's been through lots of solo playtesting (with more to come) and a few external playtests.

    If you're interested in taking a look or playing it, this release is about looking for problems. I'm particularly interested in:

    a) places where the rules fall down and don't make it clear how to continue playing, and
    b) parts of the game that are too complicated (my main weakness as a designer)
  • I don't know if it's anything to watch, but my zombie apocalypse RPG Fear The Living just went live on Kickstarter around 5 days ago and is still going strong with a little over $1,732.00 out of a $3,600.00 funding goal.

    The game is rules medium to light, and focuses on emulating the melodrama, brutal choices, and codependent badasses that make the Zombie genre really sing. It also includes a system called Entropy that regulates how often the GM can introduce complications and zombies which bakes that classic zombie story structure right into the game. You all know the one I'm talking about:

    Step 1. "HOLY CRAP!!! ZOMBIES!!!"

    Step 2. "Whew, that was close. I guess we're alri-"

    Step 3. "OH NO SURVIVOR DRAMA!!!"

    Step 4. "Wow that escalated quickly. But I think we're cool now."

    Step 5. "HOLY CRAP!!! MORE ZOMBIES!!!! Ah! No god! Ah dear god in heaven!"

    If you're interested in Zombie fiction, or just enjoy narratively focused RPGs with a strong emphasis on relationships and tough decision making, then check it out and consider backing it. Whatever you think, please share it with any friends, neighbors, or strangers that you think might enjoy it. It's my baby, and I really want to see it succeed.

    The link to the Kickstarter Page

    A link to the Playtest Document

    A placeholder Character Sheet


  • Not sure if this will interest folks here or not, but we released our spell caster RPG, Sertorius in PDF last week. Should be out in print in the fall if everything goes to plan (Sertorius Web Page).
  • The game referenced in this reddit thread seems interesting. It's about using a CV as a character sheet, and competency-based interviewing as a skill system.
  • [Sertorius] Is there an actual play recording of this that we can check out?
  • edited July 2014
    [Sertorius] Is there an actual play recording of this that we can check out?
    Hi Zircher. I haven't ever done an actual play recording, but I do have a pretty extensive log of playtests on our blog page (here is one entry for example: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013_06_01_archive.html). Some of these are from the early stages of development, so things do change as the dates get closer to 2014. Some if the logs are from the point of view of me GMing and others are from my perspective as a player. When I get to my couter I will try to find the playtest pages and link to more than just that one.

    Edit: added in the playtest reports I could find below. I will also add my interviews as well since that may answer more specific questions about the system.

    PLAYTEST REPORTS AND INFORMATION
    Playtest and Campaign Report: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/sertorius-campaign-orcs-of-north.html

    Playtest Post: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/sertorius-playtest-and-update.html

    Magic Post: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/magic-in-sertorius.html

    Playtest Post: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/sertorius-playtest-november-10.html

    Playtest Post: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/sertorius-playtest-november-16.html

    Playtest Post: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/playtest-report-friday-december-28.html

    Playtest Post: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/playtest-report-friday-january-4-2013.html

    About Elves in the Setting: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/sertorius-preview-elves-of-mandaru.html

    Playtest Post (already posted this one in my initial response): http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/sertorius-playtest-june-23-2013.html

    About halflings: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/sertorius-preview-part-two-halflings.html

    About Hasri and Sarilla: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/sertorius-preview-sarilla-and-hasri.html

    About the races: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/sertorius-preview-races.html

    Playtest Report: http://thebedrockblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/sertorius-playtest-report.html

    INTERVIEWS
    GMS MAGAZINE PODCAST: http://www.gmsmagazine.com/podcasts/podcast-episode-the-rpg-interview-room-brendan-davis-and-sertorius

    GAME KNIGHT REVIEWS:

  • Shadows Of Arkham is a "2-4 player co-op maxi-micro ameritrash board game" with, of course, a Lovecraftian theme. Not really a story game, but I know there's a lot of love here for squamous sanity-flaying elder gods, and probably a number of you have enjoyed the classic Arkham Horror board game and its spin-offs. What I like about Shadows Of Arkham is that it offers a similar sort of feel to Arkham Horror, in a vastly smaller game (it comes in a postcard-sized box!) that plays in under an hour and costs only $25.

    The game is being funded on Kickstarter and the campaign has just nine hours left to go as I write (ends at 6PM PDT). It's turning into a nail-biter, with still some uncertainty whether it'll make its $25,000 goal. If you'd like to join in, reserve your copy right now and help make it a success.
  • I don't know snej, but Shadows of Arkham is my game, so I'd definitely appreciate you taking a look at it! : D
  • edited July 2014
    image
    My new kickstarter. it's a Story game about a small coastal community being terrorized as giant gods use their coast line for competitive sports. You play as the gods.

    actually i just made that up, it's not a story game at all. Sorry

    https://kickstarter.com/projects/595678607/island-surf

    you mostly do this in the game
    image
  • [1] Island Surf

    Ha! That's ridiculous amazing. Kudos to them for a really original design. I wonder what other components are out there, waiting to be combined in weird inventive ways...
  • [2] Island Surf

    The animated GIF really sells the game ... I just realized I've been staring at it in a trance state for over a minute. I can practically feel those marbles beneath my fingers.

    Add a cool dice mechanic and I'm in. Can it use those weird round d100s? Is there some way to involve a Defy Danger move?
  • [3] island surf

    It has an initiative mechanic and actually includes a d6. The die is rolled for first player and used as a stable base to start surfing from.

    You defy danger by building a path of marbles that takes a wide path around any obstacles.
  • Pseudo Game Jam: A Fake Jam Where You Make Pretend Games
    "We’re looking for written descriptions of the processes and procedures that make up a game. We call them procedural poems."
    Participants have one month to submit a game written as a procedural poem that addresses the theme. Games (max. 300 words each) consist of an overview of the game, the goal, the setup or starting conditions, and a brief summary of a play-through. Once the ‘jam’ concludes (July 31st), submissions will be moderated and then posted online. The top submissions, as selected by the First Person Scholar editorial staff, will be revealed over several weeks, with a prize being awarded to the best overall ‘game.’ Judging criteria include: clarity of the procedural poem, its effectiveness as an argument addressing the theme, and its ingenuity in the use of processes in making that argument. See firstpersonscholar.com for more details. http://www.firstpersonscholar.com/pseudo-game-jam/
  • edited July 2014
    Not for everyone, but may be of interest to some. Just nominated for the Man Booker prize, Paul Kingsworth's The Wake.

    From a review:
    There’s one thing any review of poet and environmental writer Paul Kingsnorth’s first novel must mention first, and it’s the language. To tell his story of a band of rebel fighters trying to resist the Normans in the years immediately following 1066 (and all that), Kingsnorth has invented a ‘shadow tongue’, an approximation of Old English rebuilt to work for modern readers, but still surpassing strange on the page. For the most part, it means using only words that existed in the years before the Norman Conquest, and only the letters used to make them; there are no capital letters and very little punctuation, either. It’s an extraordinary feat of glossopoeia, echoed by crowd-funded publisher Unbound’s quasi-medieval, spineless binding – but demanding as it is for the reader (and author), the question is: why?

    ‘The language that we speak is so utterly specific to our time and place,’ says Kingsnorth. ‘Our assumptions, our politics, our worldview, our attitudes – all are implicit in our words, and what we do with them. In order to have any chance of this novel working, I realised I needed to imagine myself into the sheer strangeness of the past. I couldn’t do that by putting 21st century language into the mouths of eleventh-century people.’

    He’s right – and while scholars may find the odd fault in his ‘shadow-tongue’, and some readers may simply feel it too estranging, as a bargain entered into with an open mind and a little imagination it pays absolute dividends. Casting you adrift from all your usual signifiers, it leaves you with nothing but the actual words of Buccmaster, a ‘socman with three oxgangs’ in the Fen country, whose voice – grief-stricken, paranoid, violent and visionary – tells the bitter story of England’s subjection, a story that we seem now, strangely, to have largely forgotten:

    ‘i seen that the names of the focs of angland was part of anglisc ground lic the treow and rocc the fenn and hyll and i seen that when… their place was tacan by names what has not growan from that ground is not of it… then sum thing deop and eald had been made wrong. And though folcs wolde forget cwic the eald gods and the eald places the eald trees and the eald hills these things wolde not forget what had been broc.’

    As you struggle, at first, to decode the language, you’re forced to imagine each thing it describes, taking nothing for granted: a fiat of defamiliarisation that also leaves Buccmaster with an enormous amount of power to tell the story of his doomed band of fighters his way – because in this unknown territory, stripped of so many of the other ways we’re used to finding meaning, his words are all you have.
  • (Camp) Nerdly Midwest!

    Some folks are borrowing some of the core ideas behind Camp Nerdly and putting an event together in Minnesota. You should come!

    (See the events announcement thread for the details.)
  • [Nerdly Midwest 1]
    These are folks who ran Camp Nerdly for the past couple years, in fact. Great people, great organizers.
  • [The Wake 1] this is an amazing, amazing book.
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