Actual Play! Fiasco: Bookhounds of London

Jul 3, 2013 by

GM: Sarah

System: Fiasco

Bookhounds of London is set in the titular city in the 1930s. You are one of a rare breed, specializing in tracking down books of unspeakable dark magics and depravity. You’re desperate enough not to look to closely at who is paying you to find a particular tome reportedly wrapped in human skin or to wonder why they want it. You suspect if you knew, you might never sleep again.

Fiasco is a GM-less storytelling game that is played using a dice pool and lists that come with the playset. Characters, desires, settings, and details are picked according to the value of the dice, and are the foundation used to build scenes. Sarah will be facilitating and answering questions, but the game is steered by everyone. Your character’s plans will likely go horribly wrong, and if they’re really lucky, they might make it out alive and sort of intact. This playset uses The Ninth GateCronos, and From Hell as examples for the feel of the game, and you should expect adult language, references to various cults, and possibly your brain leaking out of your ears.

This playset is a crossover between the Trail of Cthulhu setting, Bookhounds of London, and Fiasco. It was written by Kenneth Hite and Will Hindmarch.

You can watch Wil Wheaton play Fiasco on Tabletop, and the playset we’re using is here. We’ll be using Google Hangouts and Roll20 to play. Feel free to look over stuff if you have time, but no experience is necessary.

Video Panel: Kids & Gaming! Making and Playing RPGs with The Childrens

Jul 3, 2013 by

Moderator: Shoe Skogen

For many of us, gaming is a big part of our lives. It’s an outlet for creativity, a way to blow off steam after a hard work-day, a prism through which to see things another way. It’s a way to pretend, just for a little while, to be someone else, or to inhabit a bigger, crazier universe. With all the enriching things that RPGs bring to our lives, why wouldn’t we want to share them with the next generation?

This panel will be about making games for – and playing games with – the little’uns in our lives. Not only can kids challenge our preconceptions and keep us on our toes, they can give us a whole new perspective on our games and how we run/play them. We’ll tell some fun stories about games we’ve run with kids, and offer strategies and helpful hints for making games for the younger set. Tune in to get some helpful advice, ask questions, and hear some fun stories.

Actual Play! World of Darkness: Jumanji

Jul 3, 2013 by

GM: Shoe Skogen

System: World of Darkness (nWoD)

It was supposed to be fun. A hike through the forest. A picnic on the beach, with a bonfire to follow. Music, food, friends – booze, of course – all in all, the perfect end to a sweltering summer day. A birthday party.

Then everything got a bit…weird.


You remember Jumanji, right? That silly film about a board game that sucks people in? Or maybe you’ve played the board game yourself. It’s a bit of silly good fun. Well, you haven’t seen it like this. The World of Darkness is like our own but grimmer, darker, and much stranger. There are horrors there, and not all of them can be understood. Not all of them can be defeated. Some of them can’t even be escaped. There are things in the jungle, and they won’t fit into any taxonomy ever made. There are places unwalked by human feet…but far from empty.

This game will have pre-generated human characters (Mortals, in wod terms), with a diverse set of skills. There will also be a set of supernatural powers (Second Sight, that is) that players can choose. The game is one part survival horror, one part action movie, one part black comedy. Whatever it is, it exists very, very off the beaten path.

Are you ready to play?

Panel Video: The ‘I Hit It With My Axe’ Reunion Panel

Jul 3, 2013 by

Mod: Stacy Dellorfano

Join us as we talk to the members of Zak Smith’s gaming group, featured in the 2011 reality web show ‘I Hit It With My Axe‘. I’ll be talking to the ladies about their introductions to gaming, what makes gaming great for them, their favorite games and experiences, and we’ll be taking audience questions.

Our guests will be (allowing for sudden schedule changes, some may not be ale to attend):

+Mandy Morbid
+Kimberly Kane
+Satine Phoenix
+Connie Parts
+Zak Smith

Audience questions can either be made in comments during the on air panel once it’s going, or early via comments here!

Panel Video: WTF is the OSR?

Jul 3, 2013 by

Mod: Stacy Dellorfano

Old School Revolution, Renaissance, Resurgence, Revival… OSR is a term deeply embedded in Tabletop Gamer culture these days. We’ll explore where it came from, where it’s going, what awesome things the OSR has to offer, and we’ll take audience questions to boot.

Our guests are (maybe more to come, too):

+Kyrinn S. Eis is the creator of the Urutsk: World of Mystery setting, and has recently published Porphyry: World of The Burn for Tunnels & Trolls with artist Jez Gordon. Her uncredited work includes Paradigm Concepts, Inc. on their Arcanis setting, and was the original lead designer on T&T 7th edition.

+Natalie Bennett plays Magic, D&D, and a whole mess of other board, card, and roleplaying games. She occasionally blogs at “How to Start a Revolution in 21 Days or Less.”

+kirin robinson loves waffles, and, oh yeah, made a really neat game called Old School Hack.

Feel free to ask any questions of myself or our guests in the comments here on the blog, on the event in the ConTessa community, or during the actual panel.

Panel Video: So You Wanna’ Be a GM

Jul 2, 2013 by

Mod: Jill Pullara

Maybe you’re an experienced gamer but want to move onto the “next level” – maybe you’re a n00b but really like the idea of shaping an interactive story. Maybe you’ve seen Chris Perkins DM a variety of live D&D games on youtube and think “Maybe I can do that…”

Well, you can totally do that.

I want to help you with some tricks and tips to get your GMing off the ground and make entering the world of Game Mastering a little less intimidating!

Joining me will be my friend, and GM, +Adrienne Bardes!

Actual Play! What a Giant Mess!

Jul 2, 2013 by

GM: Stephanie Bryant 

System: Dungeon World

Heroes wanted! Also, you other guys!

Join your fellow adventurers as you wake, drowning, beneath a stone castle of horrors. Meet the butler, his stiff grin a mere rictus of jocularity. Join the elegant princess as she paints, endlessly, in her solar.

What evil spell has trapped these poor souls here? Can you free them? Can you even free yourselves? For even now, you feel a creeping paralysis take over your limbs as you trundle from the living room into the kitchen.

Close and rumbling like thunder, you hear a sound that turns your guts to water and makes even the hardiest of warriors gulp in fear.

“Ho Ho Hoooo!”

Panel Video: I’m a 30 year old D&D noob.

Jul 2, 2013 by

Mod: Laura Tomaja

Panelists:
+Jill Pullara
+Annah Madriñan
+Shoe Skogen
+solange simondsen

When did you start playing table-top RPG’s? In middle school or high school? Did a friend ask you to join their group? You’re hooked now, right? Or not? Are you also new to RPG’s and wondering if anyone else feels as lost as you do? Welcome to “I’m a 30 year old D&D noob.”

As a seasoned player, you might not understand how daunting it can seem for someone in their 30s to start playing, with no prior experience. How do you find a game, when none of your friends play. What’s it like to start with a complex rule system. How badly did we screw up the first few times. What GM in their right mind would want to watch college-educated adults fail this badly? Part story, part humor, part education.

Panel Video: Game Design Roundtable

Jul 2, 2013 by

Mod: Meguey Baker

A workshop on RPG design and self-publishing, moderated by Meguey Baker of Night Sky Games. Come ask questions about and share info on design ideas and inspiration, finding time to write, when to cannibalize your darlings, care and tending of playtesters, and self-publishing,

Actual Play! Precious Dark Playtest – The Crystal Hunt Session 2

Jul 2, 2013 by

GM: Stacy Dellorfano

Precious Dark is a game about a dark future that isn’t quite so dark, or perhaps they just like it that way. You play a denizen of the Dark, living in one of the many hamlets that make up the underground cities and towns of your world. Above ground, humanity ravaged the earth many hundreds of years ago, but no one’s really come back to live there except for the corporate-housed people who live in arcologies primarily on the coasts of the world’s great countries.

The Downworlders, as the denizens are known, don’t really like the Upworlders, as the rest of humanity is known. Many hundreds of years ago, when humanity was etching back to life in underground bunkers while the world above was uninhabitable, the Downworlders broke out of the safety of pre-built systems and began exploring the vast cave systems in the earth’s crust. Since then, the world over, there are many towns, cities, and whole thriving nations underground.

The denizens are a strong, hearty people who early on learned how to harness the power of a mysterious and confounding energy source referred to as ‘The Strange’, for, quite simply put, it’s strange. Plants that glow under lights powered by the gaseous substance grow twice as large, or look like raspberries but taste like blueberries, or become something else all together different. Livestock that grazes on Strange-fed grass change and mutate as well (many denizens dine on giant mole rat regularly). Over time, the denizens learned to use The Strange even though they are clearly unable to predict what it will do or control it’s behavior … and I say behavior because many believe The Strange is sentient.

Exposure to the Strange even causes humans to mutate. Right around puberty, all denizens begin to get these mutations. The mutations always seem to correlate to the denizen’s deepest talents, even if the denizen is in denial about what those talents might actually be, and it is never fatal. Mutations span a range of possibilities from animal-like appendages and countenances to altered skin color to a complete altered substance. By and large, denizens look forward to this change as a sort of rite of passage and coming of age moment. By and large.

Denizens are a fun and exploratory lot who accept that there are many risks in the Dark, but still take on adventures throughout the tunnel and cave systems frequently. There’s so much out there to explore and so many amazing things to be found that many denizens strive to live a life full of adventure and often go exploring for any of a variety of reasons.

Precious Dark is meant to be played as a fun and adventurous game, not a dark and gritty one. It should more evoke the feelings of cartoons and Tim Burton films rather than something like Shadowrun. The Strange is almost magical in nature, but not really. Kind of … Doctor Who-ish in that aspect.

Gameplay uses pools of d6s, so have some on hand or a custom roller. We’ll create characters together at the beginning of the game, and I will provide some pre-generated characters as an option as well. You can join our community on Google+ and glance through the rules as they come up for character ideas as well as get the playtest packet as soon as I’m done writing it up. :)

You’ll be playing a group of denizens out in search of a rumored stash of really cool crystals. :)