I apologize for the infrequency of my posts lately. Craig Payne has offered some truly great work in the meantime, but I’m eager to return to a regular pace of my own posting. So where have I been?
Aside from many exciting explorations and growing appreciation on the family and employment horizons, seeking to maintain critical practical/imagination balance, I realized the other day that for the last couple months, I’m currently involved in more regular gaming than ever before: Various groups, new friends, new games, new systems, new venues, new experiences.
All in all, I’ve been fulfilling Fred Hicks’ New Years Mission from last January (play more, run more, share more), and it’s been awesome. So today, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been up to, aiming to explore each item in more detail in future posts.
A Catalog of Recent Explorations
I presently have five regular game groups going, all at least bi-weekly. Sometimes it’s rather crazy, but so far it’s been a good balance with the rest of my life:
- Continuing 4e D&D, but taking it in new directions
- Playing in a new group: Technoir and King Arthur Pendragon so far
- Running my own game of Pendragon for yet another group
- Starting a–hopefully–on-going game of Mouse Guard via Google+ Hangouts
- Joining a remarkably fun Smallville game via Play-by-Post
- A one-shot of Ryan Macklin’s Mythender at a local mini-con
- Various other exciting playtest opportunities
An Oldy but a Goody: 4e D&D
My core group continues our long-running 4e D&D campaign, modifying and shaping the game so it’s now nearly ideal to our liking.
Together with Craig Payne, I’m working up a fantasy iteration of Smallville with which to zoom in and explore the relationship drama side of this world we’ve developed. A key player is moving away in a couple months and I believe we are ready to try something a little different, maybe something more narratively intense, but we aren’t yet ready to leave behind this game world altogether. I’d say this is a perfect situation with this group and this story.
New Faces, New Games: Technoir and Pendragon
This fall, I’ve had the tremendous privilege of joining up with another fun group that plays various games on a reliable weekly rhythm. I heartily enjoy getting to know new friends and new games.
We played a month or so of Technoir, with the privilege of the game’s author Jeremy Keller as gamemaster.
Now we’re a couple months into a mighty-fun game of Pendragon run by Cam Banks. I enjoy that game so much, I expect I’ll write not a few posts about it in the near future.
My Own Pendragon Campaign
I guess I couldn’t get enough of Pendragon, because I decided to run a separate campaign myself for another group that had become my core playtesting group for Dragon Brigade this fall and winter.
We’re just three weeks into this Pendragon game, and I already know it’ll be unlike any other gaming experience I’ve had. Again, I expect to post my musings from this game in the future, from both player and gamemaster perspectives. These players are bang on with embracing the setting and caring about tiny unnecessary details that bring incredible depth to the play experience.
Live and Online: Mouse Guard via Google+ Hangouts
Just last week I ran a game of Mouse Guard via Google+ Hangout with extras.
My brother in El Paso has a crazy urge for gaming but no group down there to do so. He and a buddy and one of my D&D core players put together a patrol and set off to defend the Mouse Territories. It was initially a one-shot, but we’re running episode two tomorrow, so it just might become a regular thing. Mouse Guard has much that I love, similar to Pendragon, and I’ll share more about that in days and weeks to come.
Delicious Drama: Smallville via PbP
Finally, my last regular group entails a play-by-post game titled “What Goes On in the Dark” using Smallville rules via the Myth-weavers forum for some riveting storytelling with some tremendous folks.
This game is killer. If you haven’t played Smallville, I assure you, you’re missing out. I was sure I wasn’t into drama, and thus that Smallville wasn’t for me, but I stand corrected. Dang it’s amazingly fun.
I took over a character that a dropped player had abandoned shortly after starting, and at first she didn’t seem at all the type of character I’d ever think to create. As it turns out, she’s a total blast and a challenge that I’m really taking to. She’s the first female protagonist I’ve played (other than NPCs), and an Irish college exchange student, so I’m loving the challenge of making her dialogue and behavior believable and natural from various backgrounds about which I know next to nothing in my personal experience.
I’ll muse further on this topic in the future as well, but one of the other players, Rich Rogers (@Orklord) spoke a bit about our game on the latest episode of his podcast Canon Puncture (Ep 123, around 17 minutes in). I’m also glad to have a chance to play more with my old playtest buddy from last year about this time, Christopher Ruthenbeck (@EldritchFire), valued friend and Dragon Brigade collaborator Dain Lybarger (@DainXB), and Devon Kelley of Shark Bone Games and podcast (@Shark_Bone).
Deicide at a Mini-con: Mythender
I had a fortune to play Mythender, Ryan Macklin’s game in development, at JoshCon a couple weeks ago. JoshCon is a local mini-con hosted by Josh Rensch at his house. It was a blast of a game. If you haven’t played it or looked into it, or even if you have, give it another look. It’s definitely worth it. I had thought it wasn’t really for me, but I was very wrong. This game, like the PbP Smallville game, provoked one of the most intriguing characters I’ve played.
So far, this winter has offered me the good fortune to playtest countless other excellent upcoming games, such as Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Dragon Brigade, and some Don’t Rest Your Head hacks.
Marvel is hot, sleek, and nearly on shelves, (check out the 4-page gorgeous preview from the Basic Game posted just the other day). I’m excited to run a table for the launch party at the Twin Cities’ local FLGS, The Source, on February 11th. If you’re around, come on by. I’d love to meet you and throw a bunch of nefarious bad guys in the path of your preferred superpowers. Especially if you live nearby, I’m serious in my desire to connect with you.
Now From You
That’s what I’ve been up to. Sorry it’s kept me from regular posting on here, but it’s been a fun sort of crazy busy. What have you been exploring of late? In what ways have you risen to Fred Hicks’ challenge to Play More, Run More, and Share More? I’d love to hear your experiences.
If you have any questions or thoughts about any of the games, systems, formats, or venues I mentioned here, please ask away. I’d love to know what you’d like to hear more about in future posts as I process my experiences with each one. Meanwhile, expect a post in the near future about the many projects still churning away on my to-do list. The list only grows, but that means there’s plenty of exciting work to do.
What would you like to hear more about? Leave a comment and I’ll be more than happy to oblige.