Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Hacking Changeling To Play In Labyrinth

August 22, 2012 6 comments

For years I’ve wanted to run a game set in the world of Labyrinth, because it is awesome and the essence of faerie for this child of the 80s. At first I thought of using Changeling: The Dreaming (CtD) because of the obvious connection with faeries, but I never quite grasped what angle to approach this from.

When Changeling: The Lost (CtL) came out, I got the sense that this would be the right game to handle adventuring in the Labyrinth. The plot of the movie is, in essence, a classic changeling scenario, except that someone goes into faerie for the baby,[ref]We’ll leave the Labyrinth-as-sexual-coming-of-age discussion for another day[/ref] so we could use characters that had been taken to the Labyrinth, escaped and had to go back for whatever reason, or even use a regular human like Sarah.

I’ve never done either of those. CtD simply had a different vibe that was directly tied to the faeries in the mortal world, and CtL, though it was certainly dark enough, had a bit too much going on for my tastes.

CtL, however, has one bit that REALLY got me excited, the idea of Contracts as the source of changeling magic. Now we’re talking. I would strip that game of all the other simulationist stats and get down to a few essential pieces of game mechanics that truly speak to what a changeling is, highlighting the Contracts.

So this is what I would do for my Labyrinth game:

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Announcing CONcurrent, the online gaming con parallel to Gen Con

July 3, 2012 1 comment

I won’t be able to go to Gen Con this year, which makes me sad. I love the energy of the con, seeing friends I only get to see during the gathering of the tribe in Indy, and gaming. Shows like This Just In… From Gen Con do a great job of bringing me a bit of the con, I wanted to find a way to share in the inherent gaming energy of the best four days in gaming. So I created this:

CONcurrent is an online gaming convention held parallel to Gen Con, from August 15-19, 2012. It is being organized via Google+ and you can reach the page by visiting

The idea is simple: while thousands of gamers are gaming the days and nights away in Indy, we who can’t attend can partake of the best four days in gaming via events held online. Events can be games of any kind, or even seminars or hangouts. What’s more, if you wanna hold an event in a real-world location, it can be part of CONcurrent as well.

Adding events is simple and it’s designed to be self-maintained. Drop by to read the rules.

Be sure to add CONcurrent to your G+ Circles and follow on Twitter at @CONcurrent_con. See you online at CONcurrent!

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My Problem With Dungeons & Dragons (Only?)

I was pinning pics on my Pinterest boards and came across this image above, from a D&D 4th Edition sourcebook. It looks awesome but it made me think of what my problem with D&D is.

I see that image on the cover of a book–I see similar images on many D&D book covers–and I think to myself, I wanna be that guy in the game. I wanna be the warrior wielding a flaming sword, attacking a displacer beast, as we both free-fall, in a no-holds-barred fight! Yeah!

The problem is, when we play, this doesn’t happen.
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Support This Just In… From Gen Con 2012

This year I won’t be able to go to Gen Con. Though I will be off from nursing school during August, it will be my one break of the year and my wife and I are going on vacation to upstate New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto. I am super excited about that trip as I’ve never been up there. That said, a part of me is still sad I won’t be at Gen Con for the yearly gathering of the tribe. Fortunately for me, there’s This Just In… From Gen Con (TJI).

TJI is a podcast recorded and released daily during the four days of Gen Con which aims to bring the excitement of the con to its listeners. I was a host for the 2011 season and loved every second of it, but this year I go back to being a regular listener while my co-host Rich Rogers teams up with a new set of awesome folks committed to making sure those of us not attending still get to be a part of Gen Con.

Like last year, TJI is being crowdfunded via IndieGoGo. The hosts are committed to doing the show, but the financial support of the community is essential to make it even better. Last year I wrote about why TJI needs to be a financially-funded project and those reasons still stand.

Please drop by the TJI IndieGoGo page and consider backing the show’s 2012 season at any level. I can tell you without a doubt that every little bit helps, and to make it even sweeter, Rich and company have rounded up a great package of rewards to offer as incentives.

Thanks and let’s make it happen for This Just In… From Gen Con!

The Randy Merc: A Twitter Story

I love using Twitter. Things like this happen more often than anyone cares to track. I found this one amusing enough to Storify.

[View the story “The Randy Merc” on Storify]

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Random Kindness Encounter Charity Bundle

December 1, 2011 1 comment

If there’s one illness in this world I take personal it’s cancer. That shit took my mother and it owes me big for that. Unfortunately, it is a devastating disease that continues to threaten thousands, and it needs to be fought against with tooth and nail.

This here to the right, that’s Kelly Cline. She has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and she has decided to fight that shit with a positive attitude. I used to wonder how anyone could remain upbeat when confronted with a diagnose of cancer, but I saw that firsthand with my mother. She also put on a smile and said, Let’s do this.

I don’t know Kelly, but my friend Ryan Macklin does, and my friend wants to help his friend in her hour of need. To that end him and some other game designers have put together a collection of roleplaying games to help raise funds that will go towards paying Kelly’s medical bills. They are calling it the Random Kindness Encounter Bundle and it includes 8 roleplaying games and some fiction, along with a chance to unlock a ninth game if the $4000 goal is met by the end of 2011.

Do a mitzvah and get great games in return? You cannot pass that up. I’m not. I know my mom would approve.

Follow the link, help out, get games. That simple. What are you waiting for?

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rpgKids Adventure Pack I and Game Bundle Released

October 19, 2011 Comments off

rpgKids, the kid-friendly role-playing game by Enrique “NewbieDM” Bertran, has been a solid hit and today we are pleased to announce the release of the rpgKids Adventure Pack I!

Included in this pack are four adventures that will take the young heroes to far off places and pit them against fearsome adversaries.

  • The Curse of the Sleepy Mist – The evil wizard Geleron has released a magical mist that has put the entire town of Springwell to sleep. Can the heroes of Springwell defeat him yet again and make everything right in Springwell?
  • Trixie the Unicorn’s Rescue – The fairies of the Evergreen Forest need help, as their unicorn, Trixie, has been taken prisoner by the evil goblins of the Dark Swamp. Can the heroes of Springwell find her and bring her home to her fairy friends?
  • Rescue from Dinosaur Island – A group of explorers left on a boat to the mysterious Dinosaur Island but never returned. Can the heroes find them and bring them back home to Springwell?
  • The Pirates of Seaweed Cove – It seems pirates have been attacking ships off the coast of Springwell’s beach, teaming up with Shark?Men from under the sea. Can the heroes stop the pirates and the Shark?Men before everyone becomes too scared to go out on boats?

The pack includes all the maps and tokens you will need for your brave adventures.

In addition, we have also released the rpgKids Game Bundle, which includes both the Core Game and the Adventure Pack I for a discounted price, making it the perfect way for newcomers to join in the rpgKids fun!

Both the rpgKids Adventure Pack and the rpgKids Game Bundle are now available at

Gather the kids, bring out the dice and get ready to be the heroes of Springwell!



Categories: Gaming

Princess, Jock & Nerd: Claire Standish

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is the next The Breakfast Club character converted into Lady Blackbird-style stats for my hack. As with Bender, if you are familiar with Lady Blackbird (and if you’re not, go get it now), you will see pieces work with each other. I’m hoping you can also start to see how the characters interact with each other a bit. It should be fairly obvious by looking at Bender and Claire that inter-player conflict is a big deal in this hack. Not all conflicts need to be problematic, but certainly it is the way in which the five kids challenge each other. Let me know if you have any feedback about Claire; she was fairly hard to figure out, game-stats wise, but I think I captured her essence.

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[Burning Realms] The Ballad of Hal Whitewyrm

September 21, 2011 2 comments

A funny thing happened after my last post on The One That Got Away, where I talked about my wanted-to-but-never-got-to-play character Hal Whitewyrm: Judd left one comment on my blog post that said, simply, “Let’s do it.” Before I knew it, I’d ordered Burning Wheel Gold, had it arrive at my house, read about 300 pages of it over a weekend and had my character made and ready to play.

For the past week and a few days, we have been playing via forum posts over at Obsidian Portal and we wrapped up Chapter 1 of our game. It has been a fantastic experience for me, and I am also glad to see that for Judd as well. Seriously, we went a whole chapter of play, about 10 pages of posts back and forth, in one week! I’ve known PbP games that take months to cover similar ground and here we did it in about 7 days. This can only be attributed to the fact that we’re both giddy about the game. As I told Judd, I feel 13 again: checking the game so I can post my reply, thinking about the story and characters, pulling out books and having them within easy reach for reference. It’s a wonderful experience.

Playing Burning Wheel in the Forgotten Realms has taught me a few things that I want to cover individually later on, about character creation, about how system defines setting and vice versa, about forum play. In general, I can state that my experience so far with Burning Wheel has been fantastic and I look forward to exploring this game more and more. That it is happening while I play my favorite character in my favorite setting with a dear friend at the GM helm just makes the experience all the better.

You can find our campaign at Obsidian Portal: The Ballad of Hal Whitewyrm. We play in the Forums, and you can read the Adventure Log for Chapter 1 and read through it in its entirety.

Princess, Jock & Nerd: John Bender

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Here you go, the draft character sheet for Bender. If you know how to play Lady Blackbird, you’ll understand how the pieces work. Of note, you’ll see there’s references to conflict between players; this will be a main feature of this hack, unlike in Lady Blackbird where there are no explicit rules for it. The conditions are also different to fit the theme and setting, and at least one of them can be suffered multiple times (in Bender’s case, 8 times – you figure which one out). I will keep working on the others; they are a bit harder to figure out than Bender.

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