Story Games asks, “What are you itching to play?”

The thread:


I have this zany idea for a Lacuna play-by-post game that I might have to try at some point.

I’d like to play Technoir, fall in love enough to write up 9 transmissions for the cyberpunk solar system, vaguely inspired by the Takeshi Kovacs books.

I’d like to play the new Marvel Super Heroes RPG, because FASERIP was my first RPG jam and it’d be neat to play a game if they came out with a Mutant Massacre supplement. The first issue of the Mutant Massacre was my first X-Men comic right about at the time that Rob introduced me to role-playing games via Marvel’s RPG at the time.

I’d like to play Dogs in the Vineyard through 12 towns linked to holidays in the 12 months.

I know a few ladies who I think would really dig In a Wicked Age.

I continue to have the urge to play a nice long arc of Shock: Social Science Fiction and gather those scraps of paper minutae and turn them into a full on World Bible.

I’d like to write and play an Apocalypse World hack.

And you?

Burning Apocalypse Con

The games that have been hitting my table most in the past few years are Apocalypse World and Burning Wheel.  So when there is a con set up by the two designers of those games, both of whom are friends, I felt a strong pull to go.

Thing is, none of their games interest me as one-shots.  Burning Wheel, Burning Empires, Freemarket, Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World and In a Wicked Age are all games I’m eager to play but they all go from good to really great after a few sessions.  It was a con with almost all of my favorite games but I’m noticing that my favorite games need a few sessions to go from good to great.

FreeMarket: Our con scenario ran a little goofy for my tastes but I’m fascinated by the game.  I bought it soon after and I’m reading it now.  I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts in a bit.

Spending the Dragon’s Hoard:  I set up a campaign and not a one-shot.  There was just too much to do given the beliefs I put on the character sheet.  I’ll post up a thread on the Burning Wheel forum along with characters, beliefs and post-game thoughts.

In a Wicked Age: Another game that needed 4 more sessions to gain its full glory.  It was nice to game with Bret and Michael again.  This made me want to move to New York City right this moment and start a game of IaWA with Bret, Janaki and Janira.

Dogs in the Vineyard: John really runs the shit out of this game (check out the link for his amazing hand-outs).  Also, it was nice to finally game with Matt, who I’ve known for six and a half years and hadn’t gamed with yet.

I slept in for the Sunday morning slot.  It was nice to meander in at around noon, chat with Matt and Jared, chill and eat my salad.

Burning Apocalypse Con was a fun weekend with a conspicuous Alexander-shaped hole in it.

The Wheel Turns and Burns

Every once in a while I get all misty-eyed and I-love-you-man about the folks I game with.  This is such a time.

Look posted this up on the BW forum:

Five years ago today we released Burning Wheel Revised.
In five years we’ve sold over 7000 copies of BWR alone.
We’ve traveled the US and Europe promoting the game.
We’ve introduced thousands of gamers to the Burning games.
We’ve played incredibly games (that just keep getting better).
We’ve made amazing friends who will be with us for many years to come.

Thanks all for making this dream come true.
We hope to see you all at 10/10/10 so we can celebrate!

-Luke and BWHQ

And it got me thinking back on the past five years or so of gaming, looking back on AP threads.

Here is my first BW thread, I believe, 3 BW Games in 5 Days, in which I struggle with the rules, fuck up pre-game preparation, still manage to have a decent time here and there but I’m banging my head against the system. Some of my friends liked what they saw in the system and some hated the damned thing.

So, why and how did I continue playing the game and wrestling with it?

It is because, in Ithaca, I am blessed. I don’t have one group in this town. I am lucky to have a network of players and people interested in gaming, up for something new, game to try something. There are a few dozen games in this town whom I consider friends, people I’d be eager and happy to share a beverage with.

If I was gaming group monogamous, I’d never be able to play the game again as soon as one or two people hated it. I get to play games that I dig with people who are willing and eager to try them because when it comes to gaming groups, I lean polyamorous.

I don’t play PTA with Jim or Aaron because they tend to like more mechanics to sink their teeth into. I play Shock: with Pete and Janaki because we love making up worlds together and see how they turn out when we bang on them with anthropological hammers. The BW character sheets make Janaki dizzy but make Aaron sing with glee. And I full realize that I can do this because I have spent the last 10+ years gaming in this medium-smallish college town and rather than sinking one night a week into creating the perfect group of uber-gamers, I have flitted around, weaving webs and making networks of buddies.

Some I don’t game with at all, because their games don’t interest me and mine don’t interest them but we have fun IMing or having the occasional lunch to talk shop and geek out. Some are up for long campaigns, some aren’t. Some are down with the occasional one-shot once the kids are asleep, some want to game on Friday night have rocking a porch party. Some were strangers who PMed me on a forum (and some of those became great friends and others faded), some got dragged into a game I was playing with through a stagnant university gaming club and others have been friends we met under the mantle of Kryos over a decade ago.

My gaming privilege makes me wince when people post on forums how “their group would never play X game that they lust after.”

So, thank you, my friends who despite their busy lives, careers and families spend time playing games with me.

Thank you to my friends who played

the pirates,


revolutionary fast food workers rebelling against The Man,

the R&D exec and the Rogue Scientist,

the interstellar corporate agents,

the Patrol-men and Patrol-women,

the barber’s son from the Sangre,

the knight and the bastard,

the uncommon orcs,

the princess and the bodyguard,

the freebooter turned mercenary captain turned champion of humanity, the Herald of the Dawn, the Spider of the Book and the Chosen of Hell’s Honorable Brother,

the Horselord Prince, the Sheriff of Baal, the God-killers

the Elven Sword-singer and his loyal princeling apprentice,

the nobles and the jihadim,

the teen  samurai hostages to the sleeping emperor who dressed as ninja and went dancing at night,

the kids with magic out on the corner,

the Dragonborn Cleric, the Human Fighter, the Drow Ranger and the Elven Paladin,

the wolf pack traversing the World Tree in search of a new alpha,

the Barons whose lands surrounded the Hub of all Revenge,

the doomed samurai ascending a cold mountain for bloody reasons,

the cast and crew of Hare and Hound,

the Man in the Mountain,

the concubine and the dead god’s bride,

the Centurions,

Sharn’s Finest,

the cast and crew of Episode LV,

the Grey Legionnaires,

and many more.

Thank you, my friends for joining me in trying odd games, playtesting others and all in all making up cool shit.

The Last Watchdog

I’ve been looking over this idea and thinking it is a solo campaign concept that is in dire need of some play.

A solo campaign in a wild west that never was and has moved on, starting off in a ghost-town called Bridal Falls, winding through what is left of the Desert Territory and ending Back East.

Taught by the Ghosts elders, prophets and former dogs in the empty streets of Bridal Falls.

Walking through the wastelands of the Desert Territory dispensing justice.

Ending your journey Back East, among cabals of warlock rail barons and high society witches.

If your charater dies along the way, you choose a relationship you have as your next character to pick up your jacket, pistols, horse and sanctified earth and continue the journey.

I don’t really have any spots to time to spare and 2+ games a week is my upper-upper limit, without a doubt.  If something opens up, though, I’ll give it a go.

Just thinking about one-shots

Burning Wheel: I realize this is a no-duh kind of thing but man, playing that game short-term misses out on character growth, trait votes, seeing Beliefs evolve, the things that make this game sweet. I am still tinkering with an essay about playing this game for a few years in a solid campaign and will get around to posting it up somewhere soonish.

Dogs in the Vineyard: Ya know, this game isn’t about judgment. It is about how rendering judgment changes these poor kids who are told to make the world a better place with only a book and a gun to guide them. Those changes take anywhere from three to half a dozen games to really start to see and then suddenly that blond cherub you started out with is a different creature all together.

Primetime Adventures: Despite a one-shot of PTA being one of my favorite games ever, it really shines in entirely new ways with a season of play. I’d have to have at least a 5 game season to play that again and honestly, I’d want two.

Sorcerer: Man, but this means not playing Mu at cons and I am sure I will get a hankering for doing that before too long. Still, even with the very best con scenarios of Dictionary of Mu, it is always that next session, that next four hours of play that would have been really keen.

I am noticing something similar with the Mouse Guard games I have played. The first game is about getting comfy and learning the rules but that second mission grows organically from the first. Either Gwendolyn sends the guards-mice out on a mission to cover up some holes created from their first time out or the players don’t go back to Lockhaven in order to make the Territories a better place. The second session is where things start to really heat up, where the mission is suddenly quite personal.

Maybe I am just in the mood to state the obvious today.