gaming


The Kickstarter project that I am most proud of backing recently?

Tenra Bansho Zero!

When I first read the description of this it was like, this was made for me. with my love of all things Japan and gaming,  this was a perfect juxtaposition of my interests.

Almost a decade ago, Japanese artist and game designer Jun’ichi Inoue sat down to create a uniquely and unmistakably “Hyper Asian” (in his own words) Japanese world: A world of magic and technology, of samurai and Taoist sorcery, of powerful mecha and cultured geisha. The world was named Tenra, and the game was named Tenra Bansho, or “Everything in Heaven and Earth“. With a rulebook dripping cover-to-cover with high quality anime-style art, a setting rich in culture both real and fantastical, and a revised and simplified rules system that focused with precision on roleplaying and character drama, this game took the Japanese tabletop RPG market by storm and spearheaded both a renaissance and revolution in the Japanese gaming industry.

 

Now the project is fully funded, and I am eagerly awaiting this game.

Another Great game that I demoed at GenCon was the forth coming Wrath of Kings 35mm miniature wargame, I immediately loved the odd Teknes faction minis on display and the simple mechanics, this is slated for a full release this fall.

These seem inspired by the beautiful Rackham confrontation minis yet different enough to stand on their own.

The game will be set in the world of Arikania:

The Ancient Kingdom lies in ruins. For millennia, the continent of Arikania languished, isolated and enslaved by demonic elemental overlords, until the Ancient King sacrificed His name and destiny to Bind them, free humanity, and unite the land. Though He ruled for over a thousand years, even He could not live forever, and His own Scions have wrecked His legacy.

which does seem like a standard “war-torn world” setup, but like the old adage, “if it ain’t broke…”

more Teknes minis –

One of the best things I found while at Gencon was that that the newest Shadowrun video game would be a cross platform game running on android, ios, linux, windows, mac, and ouya, so this means a player will be able to pull out his/her tablet on the way home from work then fire up the PC to continue playing at home. Shadowrun Online will also be a multi player game with players forming groups and working together co-op.

I am a huge fan of the Shadowrun world, It does the blend of technology and magic well… Check out their website for more –

Shadowrun Online is set in the dystopian near-future of the 2070s, where you can go on runs with a group of players or dish it out against other runners in tactical PvP combat.

Choose from classic Shadowrun roles such as Rigger, Hacker, Shaman, Mage or Street Samurai and leave your mark on the 6th World in this next generation turn-based action game. Featuring a unique player driven plot development, tactical co-op gameplay and PvP based Turf wars, Shadowrun Online even allows users to determine the future path of the official pen and paper timeline by their collective actions.

Welcome to the dark side of the future, pal. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

Playing co-op missions with friends and an Android tablet app? sold! sign me up

I have been on Google Plus for a week now and I really like it. There is so much more customization especially with the brilliantly simple idea of Circles, being able to group your audience into different sections and edit the posts and updates so that only certain people see certain things is a game changer.

I have not yet gotten into the Hangout (video chat) yet but in conjunction with the circles it certainly makes for an intriguing way to run a Tabletop style of RPG,

Imagine wanting to run a game of  Dungeons and Dragons, the DM could create a circle for the players. He (or she) could then post updates for the game group that wouldn’t be seen by others. then on the designated game night simply start a video hangout just for that circle and the players could then join for the game. You could use public Google docs for the character sheets and maps, with the exception if dice rolls it would automate the entire game, if playing a Pathfinder or 3.5 edition game the rules are even available online as SRD.

Below is the inevitable Downfall video when Hitler is informed of the G+ rising popularity (some strong language):

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Friday Map] Give your players the shaft with… “The Circle of Doom”.

Dyson Logos’ really fun little map for dungeons centered around a central shaft with multiple levels,  This would work well in a temple for a Cthulhu Mythos game.

Tonight I am hosting the weekly #RPGchat on Twitter. Our usual hostess – @d20Blonde is away visiting family so I volunteered my services for the chat lead.  The topic is chosen and reminders have been tweeted, stop in if you can ..

The other project I have gotten into via Kickstarter is d20 Morningstar. This is a RPG using smartphones and GPS to play out a fantasy RPG. From the d20 Morningstar website:

d20 Morningstar is a mobile role playing game that mashes geo-location with d20 game mechanics. Players search their world for monsters, traps and other player characters; and then interact with those encounters to earn experience and loot.

This sound intriguing especially from the standpoint of being a Dungeon Master and setting up quests for other players. Think of setting up a quest in a park where the players smartphones/GPS are leading them through to the goal and fighting the monsters along the way, intriguing blend of reality and fantasy…

 

I was turned on to Jeremy Keller’s role playing project on Kickstarter called Technoir by one of our Twitter chats. Technoir is a hardboiled cyberpunk role-playing game set in a bleak and desperate future. I am certainly a sucker for Cyberpunk games and settings, I love that blend of tech with the bleak despair of a cyberpunk near future …

Technoir is a roleplaying game. You play protagonists like cyber-tweaked couriers, hard-nosed investigators, and drugged-out hackers making opportunities for themselves in a despairing world. Using a rules-light system with enough intricacies to spark new fires of hardboiled crime novels and cyberpunk science fiction, Technoir lets you coax, hack, fight, prowl, and shoot your way through a dark future. It features Transmissions—city guides brimming with plot nodes to inspire your high-tech adventures—that the GM uses to create tangled and compelling plot webs that expand and evolve as the players’ characters engage it.

This game funded at way over the goal and looks very interesting .

I sat in on a session of  Technoir in order to get a feel for the resolution and mechanics, I liked what I saw of this. The system is built for a narrative style of gameplay the RPGs have trended to lately. I like the simple dice pool mechanic the game uses for action resolution. It seems to be one of those systems which is complex at first but then rolls very quickly once you get the hang of it. In the below video Jeremy explains the basics or action resolution.

I really want to see more games going to the narrative style where the dice roll resolves the action, but the player comes up with the explanation of what actually happened. This makes the GM’s role that of filling in the blanks and moves the gaming experience much closer to the collaborative storytelling that tabletop RPGs have as their potential.

I picked up a copy of Matt Alt’s Yokai Attack! book recently, Folklore in general always interests me and since I picked up a copy of Reality Blur’s Iron Dynasty campaign setting to use for fantasy games set in old Japan with dark magic. Yokai Attack is an encyclopedia of monsters from Japanese superstition and tradition.

My favorite so far would be the neko-mata which are cats grown very old and which have gained paranormal powers. After a cat grows to a certain age its tail is said to split into two and the powers manifest. It is easy to imagine an random encounter for a group of adventurer’s in Iron Dynasty as meeting with a ferocious twin tailed cat who has the ability to raise and control the dead and has a taste for human flesh.

from the Wiki entry for bakeneko:

bakeneko (化け猫?, “monstercat“) is, in Japanese folklore, a cat with supernatural abilities akin to those of the fox or raccoon dog. A cat may become a bakeneko in a number of ways: it may reach a certain age, be kept for a certain number of years, grow to a certain size, or be allowed to keep a long tail. In the last case, the tail forks in two and the bakeneko is then called a nekomata (猫又?, or 猫股 “forked-cat”). This superstition may have some connection to the breeding of the Japanese Bobtail.

The connection between the folklore of the twin tailed monster cat and the Japanese bobtailed cats is one of those interesting crosses of superstition and reality.

Thursday nights 9-10 on Twitter is the #RPGchat discussion.

In case you are not familiar; a Twitter hashtag discussion is where any number of people across Twitter converse on a topic.You simply add whatever the hashtag being used to your post and set up a search for that hashtag to view all the relevant posts by the people joining in.

On Thursdays from 9-10 EST there is an ongoing chat for role playing games (pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons style).

I am going to start archiving the discussions for posterity, with Tweetdoc generating a .pdf every Friday or as soon after as I can.

On 3-31-2011 the discussion topic was player buy-in, or getting players to feel really part of an on going campaign world. The archive at tweetdoc is here (go to the bottom of the page and scroll up to see the convo as it happened.

KaskalaI have been working the daily quests in Northrend as my main builds his dwarfish way to level 80 (yeah, I am #latetotheparty as usual).

One of my favorite things is doing the three daily quests with the Tuskar faction and get a Mastercraft Kalu’ak Fishing Pole at Exalted. I really enjoy playing the fishing minigame in Wow and it pays to fish, back in the BC expansion I used to sell all the fish I caught and cooked for a hefty profit on the AH (thats the in-game auction house to you). I remember virtually paying for my very fast flying mounts with various buff foods cooked from fish. I can’t listen to the Gorillaz anymore without imagining the hours spent in front my favorite place waiting for the fish-on sound.

The exploration of the world is one of the things I love the most about Azeroth and WoW in general. The rep grinds are just silly repetition quests to disguise the experience/leveling grind but in this case the locations of the Tuskar (Un’pe/Kaskala, Moa’ki, and Kamagua) are very well designed, gorgeously rendered areas. Warcraft sometimes gets bashed for its cartoony and somewhat dated look, but the graphics fit so well and are themed well. Catching a sunset off Chillmere coast while questing has to be one of my all time favorite moments in WoW.

Chillmere

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