Skip to main content


 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-07


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

How do you prefer to learn a new game?

Roleplaying games, I love to read. I realize that some nuances might not be understood in that fashion, so changes might be required, but I don't really like to have things explained as a whole- reading the RPG is one of the necessary things to me.

Boardgames, I don't mind as much. I've learned quite a few from being explained- but I like having that done during play to learn by experience. Rules without that experience of being during play don't really stick in my memory.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

I can't say that I have a preferred way, but I have found that with board games that most of the manuals out there are kind of terrible. Watching a review / actual play can sometimes help with that.

For Roleplaying games there's no better way than reading the rules a few times, preferably with a play in between.

I like to read the rules, but those need to include examples and walk-throughs, not just rules. Then I like to play some kind of introductory game that doesn't expect or assume I know the rules, preferably with at least one more experienced player.



 

Intubation Shield Instructable


A doctor and self-professed maker comes up with an alternate version of the intubation shields employed in Taiwan. Links to both of these devices are below.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Intubation-Shield/

https://sites.google.com/view/aerosolbox/design?authuser=0

Pretty cool- but wish it wasn't the lack of PPE causing such innovative approaches to intubation.

#Coronavirus #Maker
#Coronavirus #Maker Coronavirus Maker


 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-04


Tabletop QOTD Template

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Does the experience of playing a game online lose anything compared to getting together in real life to play?

To me, there's no replacement for the casual interactions that happen during the course of the game. When you're waiting for another group to be GM'd when they're split off and you get together to talk about what you're going to do when its your turn. Or when it's not your turn in a boardgame and you're talking with another player.

Sure those can get annoying at times- especially when they aren't contributing to a game. But you never realize how much it is a part of the game until it is gone.


#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

In person is much better in almost every possible way, but sometimes online is the only option.

Definitely. I'm no psychologist but I would guess that different parts of the brain are activated and used when in an actual face to face social situation. Playing online the game part is pretty much the game but the event itself is much luss fulfilling.

Where possible I play in person. To this end I've never played an RPG online, only board games and other tabletop games and well video games multiplayer.

I'm sure someone has done some kind of research on the different brain state during a physical conversation and one over the phone and one through text.



 

Thoughts for a Saturday


#CoronaVirus #politics

I have a habit of DVRing shows, and then binge watching them when I don't have anything to watch. I was doing that this morning, watching Zachari Levi extoll the benefits of shopping at TJ Maxx and hearing songs about the most wonderful time of the year when it struck me- several people won't get to see another Christmas that might otherwise have done so.

A lot of people support a particular person for President. I've always been one that votes for someone, rather than against someone. I like to believe in the person that I'm voting for. But I'm putting that aside this cycle. We have someone in office that can't even empathize enough with the people that have died under his watch because his performance was obviously not a 10. We also have voters that seem like if they were in Jim Jones' congregation, they would drink the Kool-Aid, because they are willing to die to increase his chances at Electability, and he encourages this behavior.

I've always thought that a President couldn't do enough damage in four years to be irreversible. That this was the reason that we had checks-and-balances on the office. But these deaths- they're an irreversible fact that he caused by his actions, and there are more coming. We have a real need to get him out of office this year. Hopefully, enough voters realize this that it will happen in November, and by the time these Christmas commercials come on our TVs and into our lives, this nightmare will be over.
#CoronaVirus #politics coronavirus politics


 

Don't Touch Your Face - A game to teach kids not to touch their face


From http://squirmish.net/archives/924

The other day I was feeling overwhelmed and helpless reading about coronavirus.

In one article I ran across (I can’t find it now, unfortunately) a mother mentioned that there were no good resources she knew of for teaching kids not to touch their faces to avoid getting sick. Well, that seemed like a problem I could take a crack at helping with.

Over the last week, I put together a free print-and-play game on the subject, appropriately named “DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!” It makes the surprisingly difficult task of not touching your face into a fun, competitive challenge. I hope it gives some families out there some help and some laughs in these difficult times of itchy noses that must stay itchy.


Get the game for free at http://squirmish.net/archives/924
Tabletop


 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-02


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What do you look from in reviews or recommendations about games?

I try to find reviewers that have the same tastes and/or biases as myself in order to cut through the noise of the number of releases to allow me to focus in on those projects that might appeal to my sensibilities. In general, I only look to those when the description of the game isn't enough to immediately make me say, "I want to play that.". If I'm interested in the game from reading the box or the description, I will go with my own feelings.


#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

When I go looking for reviews of a product I usually look for a variety of sources, so as to round off an individual bias and to make sure there isn't a mismatch (like a reviewer that has only played, for example, D20 based games and has a bias against percentile dice or against dice pools; or who doesn't like games that focus on non-combat activity etc.)

For reviews, I usually just go to BGG and read user posted reviews. I often read a number of them to get different perspectives and experiences about any particular game. Also, with BGG user reviews, I have the opportunity to ask the reviewer some follow up questions and they sometimes answer or other members may answer.

I generally do not read or watch reviews from well known boardgame bloggers or video channels. I find those reviews tend to feel more like entertainment than information. I also prefer reading reviews than watching video reviews. I find videos are not an easy format if I want to skip over certain parts of a review. For instance, I am generally not interested in the aesthetics of a game. As long as I can tell pieces apart and see the game state of the board, I am generally satisfied. I don't care about how pretty the game looks. I usually just care about how it plays. It is hard to skip over this section in a video review compared to a written review.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-31


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

How do sales affect your buying habits (especially on digital offerings)? Do you value the writing less than having the physical books?

"$20 for a PDF" is a quote that I hear all the time, and I know that I know that I've been guilty of the same thoughts. After all, it's an electronic document, right? But when you look at the rate for artists, writers, layout designers, editing- the only thing different in delivering the PDF is the fact that it doesn't have to go through printing. So I've been trying to adjust my thinking in that regard. In terms of boardgames, I tend to stay away from PnP, so it's never been a consideration for me. The few PnP that I have, I haven't really played.

As far as sales, I'll buy a lot that I was on the fence about given a bundle of holding or humble bundle- and many things that I've never even considered. I don't necessarily wait for sales anymore- something that I did before on many more products.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

On the one hand, I'm more aware of the games that have higher sales. Well, that have more market penetration. Everyone knows D&D; it's one of the few RPGs that ever ascended to "household name" status. It's also the one most likely to be found in your average mall bookstore.

Of course, that's a feedback loop: get on bookstore shelves, get more sales. But that takes a heaver investment; you have to print more books that may not sell at all...

I'm more likely to be aware of specific company products. Monte Cook's products, for example, seem to hit my awareness more than most publishers.

But I don't follow the various blogs, podcasts, etc. that would keep me in the know of product releases or product reviews, so I'm not the best source to go to.

I used to buy RPGs because they looked interesting. Now, I wouldn't buy in unless I already had a group willing to at least try the game.

I like physical books but I also like sales. I tend to only buy physical games when they go on sale and only if they are at least 30% off. I prefer to read physical copies of books from cover to cover.

Where I like digital versions of RPGs is for reference sake, same with board game rulebooks. In that case though the PDF better be searchable. None of this we just scanned all the pages BS in 2020.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-29


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

How varied are the genres in your RPG/Boardgame collection? Are there any that you avoid or prefer?

I like to think that I have space for everything, but there are definitely those that I eschew, whether deliberately or subconsciously. I dislike party games- I don't know if I'm at the level of hate, but I guess I'm only not there because my family loves them. In the case of RPGs, I have representation across the board, but I definitely tend more towards darker themes- sometimes action oriented, sometimes not.


#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

@Joseph Teller I never tried to build Batman in Marvel Super Heroes. It allowed for the concept of gadgets as powers (see Iron Man, or Spider-Man's webs, etc.) and it had a power, "Hyper Invention" which lets you make things with relative ease. It doesn't explicitly say this can be used to duplicate powers, but it implies it. But that's not a perfect fit; Wayne doesn't make most of his weapons, he hires people to do that for him. Rules as Written would require Batman to inventory all his gadgets and list each as a power derived from that gadget.

It would work. But it would be clunky and awkward.

Yes, and Super Skills aren't really a MSH thing either, which I also see as very much a Batman thing even more than the gadgets. Bats is also not necessarily the Best at everything he does, just better than most (he can't out Medical Doctor a professional surgeon, but he can remove a bullet and dress the wound for example).

So having a pool of +1 to +8 or +10 added to a base skill (say 11 or 12) when needed gives him flexibility in what he can do at the moment, and allows him to pull off the near impossible when he uses one of his constant skills (Acrobatics, HTH Combat, Climbing, Detection, Tactics, etc) to compensate for penalties from conditions (ex: Picking a Lock while hanging upside down from a batline anchored on a hovering heliocopter while in the dark of night and someone is shooting at him with a sniper rifle, and having a 16 or less chance roll on 3d6 after modifiers and pushing overall skill levels into the skill and Defense to avoid getting shot while attempting it. Batman, in Champions, always has a chance to fail and even fail badly, but also has his chance to shine around the characters with physical powers).

Can a system Build Batman is often a good scale of whether a system can do supers effectively. The other measure some people do is 'can I build superman' but I tend to prefer that a system can't build the modern versions of superman... as that means the system is too easy to abuse thru Min/maxing.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-28


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What criteria do you utilize when inviting new players to your gaming group?

I really struggle with this, so usually leave it to others to bring in players. I usually look for someone that's agreeable and laid back more than anything else- I hate drama when playing any sorts of games. Also, a commitment to showing up, playing, and timeliness. Beyond that, I think anything is surmountable.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

I run a lot of public play events. Over time I get to know the regulars. Many I enjoy gaming with. Over time if I find I get along with someone and enjoy playing games with them then I may invite them to my house for a game night or two. That usually starts with big party like events with lots of people. From that subset there will be people I invite to smaller events.

I haven't formed a gaming group in too long. Availability, interests, and personality matter, but beyond that it's harder to define.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-27


I'm up late working, so figured I'd go ahead and post it.

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

There are a few games funding right now on crowdfunding platforms about the current crisis. This is not the only time that has happened. In all honesty, World War I and II, Vietnam, etc are the same sorts of products. Is it just good business, or tacky? Is there a difference between types of events that make it OK or not? Or maybe time? When is it OK to release games about events?

I think it depends on the event, the timing of the product, and the delicacy in which it is handled. There was an event that White Wolf used (before Paradox decided to just farm everything out) where the terrors that were currently happening were based on supernatural forces rather than the evil that exists in the hearts of certain men. That was definitely tasteless. To base events on certain other atrocities even if you didn't do that would still be tasteless. But wars themselves- after a time when the populace is not going through them is fair game IMO. During Desert Storm/Desert Eagle I worked in a game shop and GMT (and others) released war games about the ongoing conflict. I thought that a bit too soon.


#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

I think current events sometimes do require the critical eye of art to provide perspective, and that includes game design. I'm particularly reminded of the game War On Terror, released in the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq War: a Risk-like world conquest game where you can fund terrorists to fight your opponents, but if everybody does it, the terrorists win. Clearly a jab at how Al Qaeda was originally trained by the US to fight the USSR in Afghanistan.

Maybe the issue is: does the game have a relevant point to make about the issue it's about, or is it merely turning other people's misery into entertainment. Then again, to get back at my previous comment, Mila 18 probably is the only ASL scenario that has such a point to make, and yet that's the one that horrifies everybody.

@Patrick That's good news. I don't object to playing the disease, but I think it's generally better to play a game where you stop a disease.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-26


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

What game do you think is underrated and why?

For RPGs, I think Godlike by Arc Dream publishing. The way that it integrates super powered individuals with our own timeline to create a cohesive alternate reality reminds me of the best works of Turtledove, and I've never played a game that wasn't intense- largely because for all of the powers that the characters have, they're just as much at risk as the normal line soldiers. The system really supports that feeling, and makes the action fast and frantic.

For Boardgames, I think In the Shadow of the Emperor.

I don't see many talk about this in the aegis of well respected games and it's not one that I see people wanting to play often. It has so many well done aspects, from aging of the nobles to the marriage and inheritance process to the way that the game encourages change with concrete rewards. I'll play it any time (as my time on mabiweb shows), but in person, it's rarely a game that people want to play.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

I've got to agree with Fudge. It's still got the best and simplest damage system I've ever seen in an RPG. (Marvel Super Heroes is a good one too.)

For boardgames, there are tons of excellent little games out there that never got any attention. Two favourites of my family are Rifugio, a tile laying game about hiking through the Dolomites while discovering the beautiful landscape; and Mini Miners, about 18 dwarfs with different, interacting skills, mining for gold and diamonds.

Has to be Tyrants of the Underdark. I think it's the best deck builder I've played. The area control adds a level of direct player interaction not seen in many deck builders. I think its lack of popularity is due to the D&D theme. It also has the worse choice of player colours I have ever seen in a boardgame. The colour choices of the game overall is also pretty poor. Makes it hard to look at and tell pieces apart.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-25


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Have you seen any games that go out of their way to be accessible? Have you considered accessibility in your designs?

I took a workshop recently, and there was a particular lesson about designing for accessibility. To my lament, I'd never even considered a lot of the points in that lesson. Colors, contrasts, textual clues for screen readers, layout- all these things and more go into making the hobby more accessible to everyone.

Jacob Wood is one designer that I know that's visibly at the forefront of making this a more known subject with two kickstarter projects on the issue:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/accessiblegames/accessible-gaming-quarterly-an-rpg-zine

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/accessiblegames/survival-of-the-able

It's a subject that I've seen little about.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

This comes up a lot on our podcast talking about games. This is something that I personally have become more and more aware of over time. Part of that is driven due to the fact that these issues are talked about a lot more openly and another big part for me is that we have a big fan who is legally blind and often will open my eyes to problems in games I would have never realized being fully abled.

One of the most obvious ones are companies changing the default player colours. For years almost every game came with yellow, red, blue and green as player colours. Those are not colourblind friendly. Many modern games have swapped up those colours to be more accessible.

A step further is changing the physical shame of different things. Instead of having 5 different cubes in different colours, games have each colour also be a different shape. A good example of this is Gold West from TMG.

Personally I think it's great that this is something that more and more companies are considering.

I think perhaps it comes up most obviously with board games, as @Moe Tousignant describes.

I don't go really far regarding accessibility in my books, but...

Part of the reason I started the Echelon Reference Series, beyond just trying to gather and organize the damn content, was to make it more usable. This starts with no backgrounds on the pages (partly to save ink, mostly to make it easier to read) and presenting headers (section and game object, like spells and feats) so they really stand out. Aggressively so, even.

To my amusement, a well-known reviewer commented in his early reviews that these layout conventions we a bit weird but harmless... and later he found that he loved them because they increased the readability and utility of the books. He was even more excited about a couple other improvements I made.

So... 'accessibility', I hope my changes help, but absolutely I put a lot of emphasis on readability and utility.



 

Greg James on Twitter: "THIS THIS THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THIS. Please watch and share. Brilliantly and simply put. https://t.co/LAlAvq0jg7" / Twitter

Greg James @gregjames on Twitter

THIS THIS THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THIS. Please watch and share. Brilliantly and simply put.

From Channel 4 Dispatches
4:27 PM · Mar 22, 2020


 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-24


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.


I know that designers are becoming more aware of diversity and inclusion, but it can be an area that is fraught with unknown landmines, especially during this time of transition to being more aware of marginalized groups.

Have you ever played a game that patronized you, or otherwise insulted you? And did you keep playing?


I've seen this a lot, and I think that I've just become inured to it. But I also think that this is an important area, and the hobby suffers when people are excluded either intentionally or unintentionally, so am interested in thoughts on the subject.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller
@Charles M

I felt patronized reading through the Mouse Guard Rulebook, 1st edition. The way Luke writes implies he knows more about roleplaying that you do and that he does it the right way and you have been doing it all wrong your whole life and he knows what he's doing so don't house rule anything because you don't actually know what your are doing.

Interestingly it must been made evident to him as the 2nd edition is much more reader friendly.

Huh. I have 2e, but never tried to read it after how much of a slog the 1e book was for exactly the reasons you outline, there, @Moe.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-23


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

Have you ever played in any way other than Face-to-Face? Why or why not? And if you have, what are some tools that you've used/advice that you'd give in doing so?

I play almost exclusively non-face-to-face these days. Even before the COVID-19 epidemic, I'd found that it was easier to get together with friends, negotiate schedules, and meet new gamers online rather than trying to get anything together.

For #RPG I use the mediums of play by email or what I've come to term play by google doc (even though we don't always use google- the non-google alternatives I've used are https://cryptpad.fr/ and https://hackmd.io/). Though I have tried roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, I find that the asynchronous types of games seem to be easier to schedule and last the longest.

For #boardgame I've tried Tabletop Simulator and roll20, but again, the most successful have been more asyncrhonous types of games. We've used Google docs for those also and play by e-mail, but even more I've found myself using websites built for the games.

Some examples include
http://www.amarriner.com/#/ (the games are down right now, but played a lot of roads and boats there)
http://brass.orderofthehammer.com/
http://www.spielbyweb.com/
http://www.boardgaming-online.com/
https://www.yucata.de/en/
http://www.mabiweb.com/index.php (my love for In the Shadow of the Emperor came from too many games there)

There's also https://www.michaelschacht.net/pbm/modules.php?name=Game_Info, but I haven't played games there.

As far as advice, it seems to me that social contract becomes even more important when playing games online. It's too easy for interactions that are not conducted in person to go wrong, and having a baseline for what is expected help to smooth these along.


#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller

None of the folks I have gamed with in recent years have liked E-Gaming via discord, hangouts etc. and my wife equates online video-conferencing is something she does only when forced to for work so my experience is real limited.

Back in the 80's, I tried to play Chinese chess with a friend over email. At some point during the game, we realised one of our boards was wrong and could not back track our moves. We didn't save emails back then.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-22


Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

In the old days, large companies were the only ones who could afford to publish games. We've discussed Kickstarter and other crowdfunding, and Patreon and other ways to support individual artists to release the flow of content to the masses. That's, however, a small part of the overall industry, and there are horror stories of different crowdfunding projects that have gone awry. How can we best continue this trend in removing gatekeepers while protecting the consumer from those who would prey on them and by these bad experiences, start to reverse this trend?

I remember my first Kickstarter. It was Greg Stolze for a new idea that he had called Reign. Greg Stolze was not unknown in the industry, and Arc Dream, though still small, had published a few items and had made a name for itself with some Delta Green content. But this was a way to directly fund a project that would not otherwise have been made, with a new system that would go on to power Godlike, Wild Talents, and several more unique products in the industry. Back then, I had no real rhyme or reason why I backed anything, and with a notable few exceptions (Far West), when I look at the projects on my spreadsheet, they are all fulfilled. There was even one that had problems- and they gave me my entire pledge back.

As time went on, and more money began to flow through the platform, it began to change. More people were concerned with the products and the bottom line than the idea- creators and backers included. That idea of removing the gatekeepers became less and less the idea. I know that I look to projects with a more critical eye- and this is from someone that's engaged because I like seeing people's dreams come to life, and hope to one day run my own project and have it greeted with a similar enthusiasm.

I've always wanted to be a writer- and Kickstarter was the manner by which I found my pseudonym on a couple of publications. With the traditional way that things were done, I don't think that would have happened. But the concerns about the platforms and the projects are really important. If we apply a more critical eye to the projects that are being funded, then we just move the gatekeepers to another location. However, there have to be certain safeguards in place- I just can't figure out what they'd look like in the end.

#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell
@Joseph Teller

In the actual old days lots of people published games. The early RPG writers were part of a culture with lots of history of amateur publishing. Individual zines, and group APA zines. Lee Gold's Alarums and Excursions went all over the world.
To me the blog advice about minimum publishing standards is puzzling and almost gate keeping. Don't ever publish unless you are a professional. The hobby would never have gotten started if those had been the entry requirements.

I've never actually backed anything thru kickstarter or used it to publish anything. It always looked to me like an unnecessary middleman, and I always found myself cringing when reading kickstarters when it came to how they used tier investment strategies and stretch goals... disasters waiting to happen and in some cases looking like pyramid schemes.

Considering how close Chaosium came to going extinct because of kickstarters I would think long and hard and have rock solid contracts on printing and other costs before ever using one to publish.

@Stephen Gunnell is right about the old school/second wave folks, we started in our zines and APAs and threw caution to the wind in order to get ideas out before they were super polished and in many ways it made things happen rather than fight with gate keepers.

If not for the semi-pros and amateurs there would be no gaming, no gaming market or support to keep the companies alive. No publisher can produce enough content for their own game alone to fit the desire of the players and GMs out there.



 

Tabletop QOTD 2020-03-20


#Tabletop #QOTD

@Eric Franklin
@frasersimons
@Board Games Forum
@Curt Thompson
@Douglas Bailey
@Jesse Butler
@Keith Davies
@Martin Ralya
@Martijn Vos
@Nathan V
@Marsha B
@Stuntman
@Nathan Weaver
@Moe Tousignant
@PresGas (OSR) Aspect
@Craig Maloney
@Patrick Marchiodi
@Nathan Norway
@silverwizard
@Stephen Gunnell

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

If you were going to teach a class on game design, what topics would you emphasize to your students?

I think that playtesting is a section of game design that is in many cases and after thought (or not thought of) that has ruined more than one game. How to playtest and how to use the results of those playtests is a soft skill that can be hard to master.

Always set down a series of goals/vision as to what you want the system to do at the start, and work your design based on that. Audience is a concern only if you are on the marketing side of gaming, design to fit your ideals not what will in some way grab elements of what is already out there and draw them to what you are doing.

If all you are doing is making the 4000th variant of D&D but with element X added or elements Z & Q removed then you're wasting your time. Same with board games... no one really wants/needs UNO with different cards or Monopoly but with star systems instead of real estate locations of the 1920s.

@Chuck Dee I'm not a designer myself but I'd say the things that I would stress are:

- Keep your game focussed: think what kind of experience/story you want the game to give the players, and choose mechanics that support that goal
- keep it simple: I'm a fan of games with few mechanics that work well together, not much of games with hundreds of subsystems and interactions. But that could just be me
- playtest, check what works, tune numbers and chance
- "Perfect is the Enemy of Finished": you'll reach a point where playtest and tuning will have a diminishing return. That's the point where you should call your game finished, and put it out. If there are still things you want to test and add, you could keep those for a second edition of the game
- play a lot of other games, and ask yourself what you liked and what not, what worked and what you would change to better fit those games to their goals. Experience is extremely valuable!

I also think that like others said, being aware of who you are making the game for is important: is it for you and your group? do you plan on selling/distributing it? A few concepts of marketing and self-promotion could be very useful to a designer that wants his game to be known.



 

Free PDFs from Exalted Funeral


#Tabletop #RPG

Exalted Funeral has a suite of free PDFs on their landing page (scroll down a bit) in support of passing the time during the general distancing at present.

https://www.exaltedfuneral.com/

Freebies include:

- Lorn Song of the Bachelor
- Troika! Numinous Edition
- Disciples of Bone & Shadow
- A Pound of Flesh

... and several more. All free. No strings attached.
#Tabletop #RPG RPG Tabletop


 

Twitter: Mikel Jollett on Twitter (Mikel Jollett)

Wow! Irresponsible of the US President to say the least!



 

US senator under fire for early coronavirus warning to donors


GOP senator also sold as much as $1.5m in stock after receiving classified briefings in the early days of the outbreak.
US senator under fire for early coronavirus warning to donors
#Coronaviruspandemic #UnitedStates #US&Canada