Tuesday Night Gaming Update

Posted: May 13, 2015 in Gaming

Usually I do these posts on Facebook, but we had two really fun sessions last night and I thought they deserved larger posts.

fnm2First. We played Forget-Me-Not, a game I made that is absolutely ground-breakingly awesome and that no one plays or has heard of. If there’s a more clever scene-framing game out there, I’ve not seen it. Honest. I hate tooting my own horn, but two years after the original design, I still get impressed with how this game plays out.

Essentially the game is about a small town, and the weirdness that goes on there. It’s my homage to Twin Peaks. A young girl has been murdered, but no one seems to keen to solve it. As a result, we follow the lives of these disparate people who don’t really care about anyone but their own problems. To reinforce this, no one controls a specific character and there are 8 to 10 characters in any given story (from a deck of 18).

On the back of each character is a list of five things that each must address over the course of the game. But the true beauty of this game is the relationship grid at the bottom of each card, that points to how this character knows another…

fnm2bOnce a grid of characters is placed, the story reveals a complex grid of relationships. The replay value is through the roof.

forgetmenot2widehttp://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/131081/Forget-Me-Not-GMZero-RPG-3

The second game we played is a Protocol that I’ve not yet released:

37 volcanoVolcano God is a story roleplaying game about the final days of a forgotten tribe. Unaware of their impending doom, the tribe continues to sacrifice its people to the Volcano God in an attempt to appease the spirit within… until the tribe is no more. Characters are important members of the tribe living under the shadow of the Volcano God, doing everything they can to abate the inevitable end rushing toward them.

Even though I wrote it, I was still surprised at how well this game worked. The conflict of a tribe dealing with superstitious fears during the end times was interesting. The charts need some minor tweaks, but a couple of the players brought really smart elements into play. I don’t think the child character works as well as I’d have liked. But. I look forward to releasing this within the week.

2015 is almost half-way over

Posted: May 9, 2015 in Gaming

Unlike 2014 where I produced 75 products, 2015 is feeling like a bust for me. As a one-man show, Post World Games only succeeds, if I succeed. And I’ve been feeling the burnout for a while now. Granted, I’ve finished 10 protocol games so far this year and made progress on some other games, I’m not finishing like I normally do.

And that has to stop.

Today is day 11 of a 12-day camping trip. I’m in Oregon, taking a break from the road and planning the return trip home. I needed this break.

A lot.

But it took five days just to clear my head and get into the trip. And it’s been an AMAZING trip.

But now that I’m nearly home, I’m feeling the pressure to perform. As soon as I get home, I have to finish some Toolcard decks, work on an RPG, finish 10 more protocols, and start the promotions process for 100 AD.

Whew.

I’m already tired thinking of it.

To add to that work pile, I’m tackling the issue of new products for late 2015 and early 2016. Those have to be worked on, while I’m still behind on the last two GMZero games.

Not to mention Carcass 2nd edition.

So.

This is a not so exciting or fun update, but a necessary one for people who are expecting games from me. And hopefully understand why and how I spread myself so thin.

This is all my fault, but is part of how I’ve always worked.

(Did I mention we are trying to buy a house, too?)

The laptop battery is dying, so I’m going to post this now and then update people on various sites.

Thanks for continuing to follow my work. And I promise great things this year,

1 homeIt’s been a strange first 3 1/2 months of 2015. My work ethic is there, but my pacing is not. I’m behind on about a dozen projects and ahead on half a dozen others. No excuses. Just updating everyone on what’s going on with me.

I have succeeded in finishing the first 10 protocols of series 2 (26 through 35 are done, and two more are in editing). I’ve also converted four of the original protocols to the new format, while working on a 5th (as I type this). Speaking of, the original Protocol (Home) has been updated. I think it’s awesome.

I’m still working on Mortuary, which needs a cover, a 2nd edition of carcass, a book called Quiver, which is a collection of free games I’ve created, all in one book.

This is really turning out to be a not so good update. But it’s late. I’m tired. And I haven’t written one of these in a while.

I promise the next one will be better.

The Carcass: An Abattoir of Flies

Posted: March 28, 2015 in Gaming

post_apoc_horseman_color

An Abattoir of Flies is an expansion to the critical-acclaimed ‘Carcass’ roleplaying game. An Abbatoir of Flies provides new roles, campaign rules, new tribes, powers, and a mutltude of advice on how to handle the game. The expansion also expands on the roles, providing insight on how to use them differently, and new world building questions.

The Carcass is a roleplaying story game where players take on the roles of the last members of a dying post-apocalyptic tribe. The tribal leader is dead, the community in tatters, and the future a mystery. What will become of you in this barren wasteland?

The Carcass is played over the course of three to eight hours (or more). Each player takes on the role of a character vital to the tribe. Devoid of a leader, however, each character believes himself or herself most capable of keeping the tribe alive.

Players create two characters. One is a key figure in the community and the player’s main character. The other is an NPC member of the tribe of some influence. Beyond that, the tribe is made up of dozens of people who are just trying to survive.

The game revolves around unique action charts for each character role, instead of a system of narrow ‘moves’ defining the character options. Often player expectations focus on ‘winning,’ especially with such important goals created through character design. But the interesting actions in The Carcass are not about winning, but about dramatic results.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/146623/Abattoir-of-Flies-an-expansion-for-the-Carcass-GMZero-RPG-4

Once again, thanks for supporting post world games.

We now you return you to your streaming of Mad Max 2.

Convention Weekend

Posted: March 19, 2015 in Gaming

11518597-funny-goat-sketch-symbol-of-2015-new-yearLook what followed me home from the con. Can I keep it?

I’ll be at gamestorm this weekend, in Vancouver, WA. Gamestorm is a pretty cool con. A little cliquish, but the best in Washington nonetheless. I’ll have a booth in the dealer’s room, where I’ll be demoing 100 AD, Dice Crawl, Torn Armor, some of my protocol games, maybe a few card games, and selling all of the above as well.

Jack Cull and Alyssa Faden promise to be on hand at some point, so if those are people you like expect them to be there Saturday at the very least.

The con starts on Thursday and I’m be playing games non-friggin-stop. Find me, and I’ll teach you any game that I’ve published.

And if you’re not in the area, the question remains “why not?”

New Game : Mortuary

Posted: March 16, 2015 in Gaming

mortI have no idea how soon I’m going to write this, but I can’t stop thinking about how cool it is. For starters, it’s a traditional roleplaying game, mixed with fantasy and post-apocalyptic elements. Secondly, it takes me back to my favorite era of gaming, that transition point when 2nd edition D&D and Vampire were vying for my attention and I didn’t know what gaming was going to become.

I don’t want to tease too much until I get to a point where something is really on the page, but imagine Carcass as a fantasy game. Instead of a mage, you’re a snakecharmer. Instead of a rogue, you’re a scrounger. You get the idea.

It’s more complicated than that, but I’m trying not to say too much.

(Then why do you keep typing?)

Ooo. Right. Good point.

My Apologies

Posted: March 4, 2015 in Gaming

Yesterday’s post turned out weirder than I expected. I was hoping to give a new perspective on Empire building for fantasy roleplaying games. Instead, my overtired brain rambled for 1000 words about nothing remotely useful.

I hope this picture of a fat ogre by Dave Allsop makes you feel better.Slaughter Ogre

Empires Made of Clay Targets

Posted: March 3, 2015 in Gaming

dna_910375I am surrounded by historical documents about the rise and falls of empires. I have books about why things fail. And collapse. My bookshelf is filled with historical reference of all kinds. I’ll throw away my dictionary before I give up my history of feudal warfare. I could bore you with a list of them, but I need to get to a point soon. All these historians and experts drone on and on and on about the political climate of the time in whatever Empire that caused everyone to slide off the barometer and into the Dark Ages.

All of them love little details about what a jerkface Emporer Bluto was or what a tyrant General Betrayus or how the nation wouldn’t last long after the death of Admiral Numnutz.

But. Not a single one of them addresses this basic fact: DNA is everything.

(what are you on about, pinto?)

Shut up. You know how this works. I open with a hammer of some obnoxious thesis statement and then I explain it in some entertaining way.

Can I get back to my point?

(fine)

Arabia. Egypt. England. Greece. Macedonia. Mongolia. Turkey. Rome. Viking… landia?

Today, they are all shells of their former selves. The largest empires the world has ever known are now pitiful freakshow mirrors that reflect their faded and tarnish glory.

Well. In fairness, some have bounced back. But that doesn’t help make my point now does it?

What happened? Are all things destined to fail? Surly, that’s a conveniently easy answer. But the real reason is straight-forward-y, without being reductionist-y.

DNA (in this writer’s humble opinion) is everything. It measures a lot more success than we ever give credit for nowadays. After all, technology bridges most genetic gaps. But for the first 200,000 years of human development, DNA was everything. Strong DNA lead to strong warriors who protected weak DNA from stronger warriors from a different tribe. Etc. Etc.

Look. If you don’t know how ancient warfare worked, this isn’t going to be a fun read.

To make a clearer point, let’s take Mongolia par example. That’s an easy one. Where did all the strong Mongolian DNA go? West? Was it used to create a generation of healthy kids back in Mongolia? Or was it used to make 1/4th of all people still living in Eastern Europe today? That’s right kids. Genghis Khan did so much pillaging that his progeny are alive today in 1 of every 4 people in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Where should his DNA be? Mongolia. Instead, all those strong warriors with all that great DNA, they went somewhere else. And lots of them fought and died before every passing on their mitochondria. That’s kind of stupid. Not only did he weaken Mongolia, but he made Russia stronger.

Now. Apply that same logic to Rome. Legionnaires making babies everywhere but IN Rome. And show stays back and organizes the bureaucracy of Rome? Jerkfaces. Jerkfaces with bad DNA. Too weak to fight. Staying back in Rome where it’s safe and ruining the country. Caeser and his buddies are out making the Empire bigger and stronger, while back at home the Senate and the fatties who don’t want to fight are all turning Rome into a big soft gummy bear filled with gold.

Ripe for the pickings.

Vikings? Same thing. Macedonians? Same thing. Persia? Arabia? Greeks? Well. Sparta didn’t have a very good system for growing their population. But Thessaly? Troy? Athens? Those guys wasted all their good DNA on war.

And guess who is alive today?

The descendents of the people who let the empires die.

Think about that. Every living person in those great nations fading off into the sunset and leaving behind the detritus to run the show. What were they thinking? Vikings would go and explore and leave the weakest people to run the tribe? Who was having sex while the Vikings were off for months at a time? Not the Alpha Males, I’ll tell you that.

I’m not a microbiologist. And right about now, I wish I was. But this seems like a pretty simple puzzle to decode. Strong people who go off to fight and conquer, leaving behind weak people to govern.

Time and again, every great nation follows the same principles. Strong goes away to fight. Weak stays behind to… not fight.

So. The next time someone writes a book about what was going on in Byzantium in 1099 that caused a chain of events that lead up to the fall of Constantinople in 1204. Just remember… weak DNA, coupled with royal incestuous behavior = stupid people making policy.

Now. There are exceptions. Attila the Hun was the only leader of the Huns worth mentioning. Ever. But they really weren’t an empire. Without a strong leader, they went back to whatever it was they were doing BEFORE Attila. Alexander’s Empire fell apart because his generals were greedy. He still didn’t leave a strong heir behind to run the place. The paradigm is continuous. Strong leaders who don’t leave behind strong DNA leave their empire in tatters to be gobbled up by the likes of the Tutors or Emperor Zhaoxuan (who really did a number on the Tang Dynasty with his concubine fascination).

All these leaders and kings knew the importance of strong lineages, even if they’d never heard the word DNA. But none of them thought for a second that maybe one strong guy wasn’t enough to keep the empire running?

Think about that next time you’re building a new fantasy world about mighty empires.

Patreon Project

Posted: February 28, 2015 in Gaming

Going to try something new…

On March 15th, 2015, Jackson Trewes was found murdered (alongside two unidentified homeless men) in an abandoned house. Jackson’s death came as a shock to his family, but as of yet, the police have no reason to suspect foul play.

As of yet…

This project will explore the death of Jackson Trewes (a fictional character) and how his death impacts the city. It is an ongoing gaming story of Urban Horror. It will start innocently enough. Even if you don’t use it for gaming, you may find the way this story is told to be entertaining.

There are no game mechanics. No stats. Just story, motive, actions, reactions, and deeper mystery to explore. Ideal for Vampire or any modern supernatural game.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=592290&alert=1

I’m a huge fan of Top Gear. I’ve watched every episode. Numerous times. It plays in the background while I work almost constantly. The long trips are especially entertaining for me. Vietnam. Myanmar. Botswana. Bolivia. The North Pole. All amazing.

I just watched (again) the Africa episode about searching for the source of the Nile. It is really good. You can probably find it on youtube or hulu.

48245887_bbcbus[Spoiler] At the very end, there’s this quasi-magical moment where James May puts his finger into a spring that they claim is the source of the Nile. For an anthropologist, this is awe-inspiring. For one, they claim the source of the Nile is in Tanzania, not far from Kenya, which we know is the true cradle of humanity… where hominids first started.

So? What’s the point, mr. game designer?

Take a moment to imagine what you’re role is as a game master. You’re officially ‘a god’ of sorts. You know the truth behind the metaphysics, sorcery, languages, histories, and peoples of your game worlds. (Assuming you’re not running someone else’s game world) You were there when the game world took life. You know who the first people were to step onto your world. You were there for it.

Imagine what that was like.

That first hominid stepping down from the trees to sip from the aquifer that would feed the largest, most important river int he world.

Now imagine it as a game master. Writing the stories of the first beings to step foot onto the world, drinking in the experiences that would shape the myths and realities of that world.

Don’t just write that Thor smashed the ice giants with a hammer forged by a fat-fitted dwarf. Imagine it. Retell. Examine it through a new lens. What was Thor really fighting against? And for? Why did he pick up that ROCK and smash open the head of some ugly person? Were they fighting over a woman? Food? Land? A spot of water?

How did that myth grow to be a hammer? And an ice giant? How did the history of your world change to accommodate that myth? And why was it constantly rewritten?

Imagine you are that god who steps into the well-springs and brings life to these worlds through organic means. Not just dwarves hate smelly orcs, but through the histories of two people rooted in a past YOU created.

Then imagine that every myth we live with today was born the same way. Do that and maybe you’ll understand just a little why I find that moment so magical. A man walks until a trickling stream in Tanzania, puts his finger into a spring, and touches a past he cannot possibly understand.
That’s myth.