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Showing posts from December, 2016

Top 10 RPGs For 2017: What I'll Be Playing

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2017 is almost literally around the corner. It's been one hell of a year of gaming. It's been one hell of a year for my involvement in the community and 2017 promises a potential reprieve from celebrity death, ushers in the reign of Trump, and my Kickstarter account promises a tonne of new games. It's probably the second time in my life I've been afraid of the year to come because of politics, but the first time in my life I can feel the breath of much needed air on the other side of the door.

This year, I played 50 different board, card, and RPGs with the majority being RPGs. I playtested a bunch of games, I ran the fuck out of Urban Shadows, got my heart broken as Robin, and experimented playing men. The Breakout team created Breakout. Rob, Rach, and I rocked it at Fan Expo. We journeyed South of the border to Jiffycon and Metatopia. I met amazing people and got amazing hugs. I've been encouraged and supported by so many amazing people.

For the holidays, I've…

Using Your Voice: How To Be A Good Playtester

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In November, Rob, Rach, and I wandered down to Metatopia and took part in a playtesting extravaganza. If you've never heard of Metatopia, and you like playtesting or want to get your game tried out, then you need to get to Metatopia. It's the only convention for RPGs I know that focuses on playtesting and getting designers connected to one another.

Avonelle and Vinny work hard to ensure that new arrivals to Metatopia feel welcome and have an understanding of what playtesting and being a playtester are like. And yet, not all of us can have the magical experience that is Metatopia. Many of us are relying on our own instincts and thoughts on playtesting to provide feedback to designers. We play their games, take some notes, and provide random feedback hoping some of it is useful.

Even more of us are trying to be supportive without providing useful feedback. We say things like "That was really great. I really enjoyed this game!" We think that's helpful or useful. We…

Wily Problem Players: A Reality Check

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Any community organizer worth their salt knows that there are some players in the community that suck. And I don't mean just suck. They're disruptive. They're annoying. People don't wanna play with them. People complain about them. People groan when they show up in their game. Those players. There are podcasts about them, panels about them, GM panels that just turn into "fix my problem player" questions. This epidemic is ages old and getting stronger.

But who are these mysterious and profoundly horrible problem players? Why is it we don't just ban hammer them all out of our lives? Where is the line between acceptable and problematic? I've listened to enough podcasts, panels, and random rants to know that problem players are still around and people struggle in dealing with them.

Let's be clear though. I'm not going to publish this article and bam your problems will be gone. I'm not promising the sun and the moon and all the world. What I&#…

Cruel to be Kind: Abuse in Game

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I can't find my boyfriend. He was supposed to be here but I've been busy trying to deal with the angel and the werewolf and all their shit. I saw my boyfriend last night. Things had gotten awful. Really awful. And he said he loved me. And then we had sex. But he's gone and I can't find him. My mom calls and I find out Vincent's at my house. But the call's cut short. You have to understand, my boyfriend... he's not like other guys. He has... this like, demon, that looks after him. Kind of. Samael is dangerous. 

I can feel the panic rise inside of me as I run to the car and drive home as fast as I can. When I run inside the house, Vincent's there, a strange look in his eyes and a bloody knife in one hand. My mother's bleeding out on the floor from multiple stab wounds.  He smiles at me, spreads his arms and says in his but not his voice: "Hello, lover." 

If you're not aware, the above bit of thought-text is from Monsterhearts, a game inhe…