Category Archives: Uncategorized

Apocalypse World AP3

I’m happy to report that our third session of Apocalypse World is the best one yet. At least in terms of rules cohesion and smooth flow of play. I am internalizing the MC moves much better at this point—to the point that I can usually identify what move I make when I make it, but I don’t have to look at the MC trifold to prompt it. As such, snowballing went much better this session as well.

Here’s what went down:
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My Mythender

I have had the privilege of playing Mythender twice. Once at my friend Josh‘s epic birthday party known as JoshCon. And once at GenCon. They were both crazy legendary experiences. The problem is that the game is all sitting inside Ryan Macklin‘s head. If I want to learn more, there’s no book to open up…one has to open Ryan himself. And there’s only so many times he’ll let you do that before he returns to his little cabin on The Internet.

Until now.

Last week, Ryan posted the character creation rules for Mythender. You can download them and at least take this portion of the game for a spin. Oh, and you can give Ryan your feedback. So let’s do just that. Read more »

I’m Listening

Beta playtesting phase means I’m getting feedback on my game. While it’s a really cool process, I have this tendency to respond to the critical feedback. To defend my vision of the game. So I have to remind myself every now and then that I asked for this. Remind myself to just shut up and listen.

Awkward segue into the greater hobby community. There have been some really awesome discussions going on about feminism, inclusiveness, and safety both in regards to the gaming table and published materials. The Walking Eye podcast recently ran a roundtable on the topic. Nora Last’s blog and Filamena Hill’s tumblr are amazing, well-written resources. And Lyndsay (of Gamer Chow Dice Bags) recently posted an article that’s been getting the latest bout of attention on the subject.
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Apocalypse World AP2

Last night, the second session of our Apocalypse World campaign. Things got incrementally more interesting—which is, I think, what I was going for. I came to the session armed with two fronts, each with plenty of threats. Maybe not enough custom moves, but I wasn’t really sure how the player characters were going to interact with them yet. I’ll probably be tweaking the custom moves I have and writing new ones as I get more comfortable with that process.
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Apocalypse World AP

A little late to the party, I know. But I just finally ran Apocalypse World for the first time. It’s an amazing game. I recommend it.

I realized last night that this is the first game I GM’d that wasn’t my own in way too long of time. I’ve brought games like Fiasco, A Penny for My Thoughts, and How We Came to Live Here to tables, and been the guy who taught the rules, but none of them require a GM really. And of course I’ve been running play tests of Technoir and Noblesse Oblige, but it really felt like I was working muscles I hadn’t for a while. 

I printed out all the standard trifold playbooks and had them sitting on the table for players to look through. They chose a savvyhead, a skinner, an angel, and a driver. We’re talking three veteran players and one new player, so you know. All of us new to AW.
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Starting Out

My first ideas when starting a new game design have the biggest impact on the whole process. It’s something to be careful of and respectful of.

Let’s say I get this cool idea for a dice mechanic. Say, step dice attributes + dice pool skills. There’s a lot of assumptions in that little formula. The first is that there are dice at all. The second is that we’re going to have attributes and skills. That means that, if this is our core mechanic, we’re testing competency more than anything else. That probably  means this is an adventure game rather than a story game.[1] So we’re already on the road towards legacy GM/player roles.
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  1. [1] Going by Ryan Macklin’s definitions found here

Kickstart My Heart

It’s payday for me today, and I’m going to head over to to support a couple of projects I’m interested in. Kickstarter seems to be a pretty solid model for funding independent or small-press creators. I’ve never actually backed anything before, so I figure today is a good day to start.

Unless you read my blog through some vector that miraculously doesn’t intersect with any of the Evil Hat crew, you already know about Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. I’ve been watching this game’s development for over a year through Daniel Solis’s blog. It looks like it’s going to be nothing short of gorgeous. Daniel used Kickstarter previously to great success with Happy Birthday, Robot! and Do is already well over its goal. For the various milestones it has passed, Daniel and Evil Hat have been adding to the goodies you get at different backing levels. What’s also super cool about this particular kickstarter is that Evil Hat has found a way to allow retailers to get in on the action as well.

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Double Extraction–Inception via Don’t Rest Your Head

On Wednesday nights right now we’re running a short campaign play-testing the rules for Noblesse Oblige, the lordship supplement for Chronica Feudalis. However, last night we were one lord short and a little crunched for time so we quickly threw together a one-shot of something else.

You should know that I have always been very fond of the Don’t Rest Your Head rules system ever since Dan Bayn (you know, of Wushu fame) ran it for us last year. You should also know that I’ve had a huge itch to play some role-playing implementation of Inception since I saw it a couple of months ago. I figured these two thing would go together like bread and butter. You should know that they do.

They go so well together that Fred Hicks made his own Inception game based on a hack of his DRYH rules and ran it on Skype not long ago. Dan actually participated in that game. He could have probably regurgitated Fred’s rules for us, but we decided on a more straight-forward re-skinning of the DRYH dice pools.

So I wanted to share what we came up with. Before you read any further, you might want to make sure that you’re familiar with DRYH as well as the film Inception. Spoilers and all that. Read more »