The title of this article is intended to be a tongue-in-cheek reference, based around the name of the band Pop Will Eat Itself, I am not seriously suggesting that recent scandals are going to destroy roleplaying or anything needlessly dramatic like that. However, it has been pointed out to me that the humour may not have translated well in text so I thought I’d state it here explicitly. Thanks to Adam Ness for pointing this out.
I’ve just been reading a post on Tenkar’s Tavern (great site, as I’m sure you all know), and it seems that the RP community (and the old school community in particular) continues in it’s almost frantic attempts to tear itself apart in flurries of accusations, recriminations and censorship. I don’t normally comment on such things–since I prefer to put my efforts into producing stuff and running games–but there has been so much of this sort of stuff flying around recently that I felt compelled to write this post. This is most likely going to be my one and only comment on this.
Given my recent love affair with James M Spahn’s White Star–you can see my video review of it here–I’m thinking of running some OSR style sci-fi when when Dungeon World campaign wraps up in a few weeks or so; I’ve been looking at the concept of hex crawls and have even taken a few ideas from them to use in my ongoing FFG Star Wars campaign and the methodology seems to work well in a sci-fi genre. Given that so many sci-fi franchises have effectively been reskinning fantasy races to use as aliens for a long time, I thought it might be interesting to do the reverse and run a science-fiction setting where the fantasy analogues were embraced openly.
I’m not talking about a Spelljammer-esque fantasy in space style game but a science-fantasy game (ala Star Wars) that takes direct inspiration from fantasy races and ideas to use in the setting.
I’ve waxed lyrical about the virtues of Tiddlywikis before, small programs that you can use to host and reference the information for your campaign, well I’ve recently started them to for two campaigns that I’m running and they’re now hosted on my website:
I’ve often bemoaned the fact that real-life has an increasing tendency to interfere with roleplaying; gone are the times when I could RP more than a couple of times a week, my gaming activities now have to be fit around other important activities with Tetris-like precision and, as is often the case with Tetris, all it takes is a single piece out of shape to mess up your entire game.
Nowhere is this more obvious than having to bow out of games, especially if it is last minute, this has happened a fair few times when I’ve been in the GM-ing seat as people’s work rotas change last minute or people are working on zero hour contracts, but recently I’ve also had to pull out of a couple of games with less notice that I would like. Most recently was a game run by Ian F. White, part of his Lady Yoko’s wedding saga, a loose grouping of games involving a shifting cast of protagonists, I’d played in one of these games before and greatly enjoyed it, however, I’ve had to pull out of the last session since I was asked to work late to cover the Christmas rush.
This is one of the annoying things about real-life priorities, with Christmas just round the corner and with the spectre of redundancy looming early next year (although I’m trying to stay positive about that, seeing as a chance to re-train and focus on doing something I actually enjoy), I can’t really afford to turn down extra money at the moment so I’ve had to pull out of the game, much as it galls me to do so since I don’t like letting people down, especially at the last minute.
Contrast this with my student days where I was playing in at least one game a night (often more at weekends) whereas now free time to just relax and game is a precious commodity. In an attempt to minimise the amount of pulling out of games I have to do, I’m going to start limiting myself to only signing up for games that run on weekends or when I know I’ve got time off work, it might mean that I get to play a bit less but hopefully it’ll minimise the amount of people I have to let down in this manner due to real-life priorities.
In an attempt to stick to a more regular schedule of blogging and video delivery (as per my previous post) I’ve added a calendar to the blog in the right hand menu area, at the moment this has a series of regular, general entries in designed to help remind me what I should be focusing on particular days.
As blog posts and videos are made and released I will replace the general entries with specific ones containing links to the post and any relevant material.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I find certain new systems a little difficult to get into, it takes me a while to pick them up, whilst some older systems (like the OWOD system) are very firmly lodged in my mind; now this might not seem like much of a problem but it can be frustrating, since you tend to hit that point of fully understanding and mastering a new system fairly near the end of a campaign (or at least I do). As someone who hasn’t really tended to run a lot of consecutive games using the same system, by the time I swing around to running the same system again I normally have to brush up on the rules again, whereas with OWOD I went through a period in my student days where I was running and playing in many different games all using that system, so I really had a chance to get into it and learn how it worked.
So why am I rambling about this? Well I’m currently running a Star Wars campaign (you can see the videos of that by clicking here), I’m loving the system but, like most games it takes a little bit of mastering; myself and my players are starting to use the intricacies of the system a little more (we are running session 8 of the game in a couple of weeks), but again I fear we’re only going to hit that sweet spot where we’re all up to speed and really comfortable with the system a little further down the line. This seems a shame, and so I’ve decided that, rather than my normal behaviour, running a single game using the system and then moving on to something else, that when my current Edge of the Empire campaign game finishes (although that won’t be for some time yet) I’m going to follow it by running another Star Wars game. I may decide to run Age of Rebellion or Force and Destiny instead of Edge of Empire since these games use the same rules system, but I definitely want to master the system more.
As part of my commitment to really focus on my blog/writing and Youtube channel in the New Year I’ve already started making some alterations to the blog and content produced, tweaking our logo and the layout of the blog to make it quicker to load on people’s computers was the start of this and I’m going to continue that positive energy into the New Year and beyond.
Part of that is having a more regular schedule of releasing videos and blog writing, currently I’m planning on the following weekly schedule:
o Monday - Vlog style video (minimal editing) looking at my previous weeks RP based activities, also playing in and promoting TheRogueDM's excellent WFRP campaign that I am playing in.
o Tuesday - Blog post.
o Wednesday - This is going to be my evening for running any one-shot games that I may have going.
o Thursday - Blog post.
o Friday - Video release.
o Saturday - Day off.
o Sunday - Actual play of campaign game running that evening.
Now I realise this is quite a full schedule and there will no doubt be times that I cannot stick to it or RL gets in the way (as it tends to do with such things) but from next week I’m going to start trying to stick to this schedule as much as possible.
With BrigadeCon 2015 I started to watch a few more videos live on Youtube as they were being recorded, unfortunately I don’t get as much time to do so as I’d like but I enjoyed using the live-chat feature on the videos I was watching.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the live-chat feature it allows you to chat with other people who are watching the same video whilst it is playing.
Now I’ve never been able to actually get this to work on my own live actual-plays, however TheRogueDM waskind enough to show me how to do it, apparently I needed to set up my live events in Youtube directly rather than through Google+ as I had been doing previously; this seemed a little weird to me but I’ve got used to the various quirks of the Google+/Youtube relationship so I gave it a try in a test hangout with TheRogueDMand it worked absolutely fine.
I’ve reset my next Jadepunk event to make use of this feature, you can find a link to that down below:
I also enjoyed being part of the live-chat during TheRogueDM‘s WFRP campaign which I played in last night, you can see the actual play video of the session below:
At the start of the game there was a scene that my character was not involved in, it was great to be able to chat to the audience about what was going on in the game and see what people were thinking of our characters; having the live-chat in a seperate pop-up box made it really easy to reference during quiet moments.
I’m a massive fan of getting feedback on my games from people, so this is something I definitely plan to use in my own games going forward.
For anyone who has read my previous post and is interested in helping young people get into RPGs or has young people amongst their players, there was an excellent panel hosted by Nate of WasD20 for BrigadeCon2015, check it out 🙂