Summary for the month of May 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of May 2019.

In mid-May, I finally hit 500 hours of live streaming on Twitch since my first stream back on Sep 5, 2014. It’s been a long, uneven, and strange trip. There’s been periods where I haven’t been able to stream, and periods when I only uploaded videos to YouTube, but over the years, off and on, in fits and starts, I’ve managed to stream 500 hours. Yay me!

Rigaroga Twitch 500 hours May 2019

I’m also seriously amused that even with all my struggles, I’m in the top third of content creators on Keymailer, a service where developers can send keys so people can check out their games. There are other services, some have come and gone, others still exist, which I’ve tried, but Keymailer has been, for me, the most useful. Okay, enough of the hype; except you might consider checking them out if you’re a creator interested in playing new things often.

But … I mean: just how long is that tail anyway? And, the spike in the top third must be enormous! I do wonder, sometimes, how much more I would have to stream, and be watched, to move into the top quarter. I’m sure it’s way more, but just how much more? I don’t know, and will probably never find out.

Rigaroga Keymailer top third May 2019

The only tabletop I’ve been doing this last month has been Weave by Monocle Society. I really have been enjoying the simple elegance of how it plays out for me as a solo player, even though solitaire play wasn’t part of the design. I did run into a hiccup where the game, which I had in front of me on the table, ready to stream another session, was unplayable because the app couldn’t connect to the server-side service, though there were no errors displayed; but the app was empty. My season was gone, no character information, all my playsets were gone … just empty space in the UI. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but nothing worked; until it just randomly came back a little while later. Welp. I experimented by turning off WiFi, and, indeed, the app does not cache anything useful locally. If I’m not connected to live Internet, the game is unplayable. That’s not a happy state for a game that I have physically in front of me. But, in spite of that, I did go on to play another session once the app was back.

I posted about the story so far, my game journal, through the first 4 streams, unboxing through adventure 3. And have continued to play, and, you know, learn how to play whilst playing.

As I’ve sat down to think about and plan to play other tabletop roleplaying, like Invisible Sun, the current preview for backers of Seas of Voldari or Humblewood, I’ve just been unexcited by the complexity of game play for my purposes. Too much work for too little payoff at this point. That’s also how I’ve been feeling about Gloomhaven or trying to bastardize a new, DIY Illimat, so I could play without supporting the solo-averse game designer, for further solo play, using the cards from Weave, or D&D / Gale Force Nine’s Tarokka as Luminaries, or something else. Although, I did get and unbox whilst streaming the Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles expansion. There’s also plenty of new and old print-and-play things I have that I could play, full games and demos, but, again, just so much unfun work just to get to the point of playing hasn’t been exciting to me. So, the only thing I’ve played for tabletop this month has been Weave.

As an aside, I found myself idly wondering about and find it odd that video and tabletop games don’t have a “streamer kit” much like a press kit, but for streamers, with assets pre-cleared for use in stingers, interstitials, and thumbnails, and so on; static and motion graphics for streamers to use in videos and actual plays. I messaged a few people about the idea for some games I’m waiting for, and am thinking about streaming, and they hadn’t thought of the idea before. Seems like a good idea to me! But, I’m biased.

At some point, maybe, this next month, I’ll finally get my deluxe edition of Expedition RPG box, and be able to try that out … but, the status of that has been very murky, so I can only guess that it may arrive. I have high hopes that I’ll be able, and can sustain interest at the table, to play that on stream for a while.

I’ve had my eye on some other games, but my budget has been really very tight lately. I’m at the point where, unless I know 110% that I’m going to play something for tabletop streaming, I just cannot justify it at all; and even if I can justify it, I have such a limited budget that I’ve not been able to get anything new.

So, it is what it is. The month has passed, and I survived. I continued to stream games and tabletop. Also, I turned a half century old. Yeah. That happened. Wild, right?

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Omnium Gatherum: May 23, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 23, 2019

  • Jinn, an ominous, supernatural teen drama, the first Arabic-language “original” for Netflix, due June 13

    “A group of high schoolers’ lives are disrupted when a jinn arrives seeking their help. High school will never be the same. Coming June 13. Only on Netflix.”

  • Playdate is an upcoming handheld gaming system from venerable and laudable macOS developer Panic

    Panic Playdate  handheld game console

    “Hello. We made a brand new handheld gaming system.

    It’s yellow. It fits in your pocket. It’s got a beautiful black and white screen. It’s not super cheap, but not super expensive. It includes brand new games from some amazing creators. Plus it has a crank.

    So Playdate isn’t just the hardware.

    It’s twelve brand new video games, one each week.

    We weren’t kidding about the crank.

    It flips out from the side, a rotating analog controller that puts a whole new spin on games.”

  • World’s first living organism with fully redesigned DNA created. Researchers create altered synthetic genome, in move with potential medical benefits” — who, where; from the DEPT dept. [HT Michael Szul]

    “Scientists have created the world’s first living organism that has a fully synthetic and radically altered DNA code.

    The lab-made microbe, a strain of bacteria that is normally found in soil and the human gut, is similar to its natural cousins but survives on a smaller set of genetic instructions.

    The bug’s existence proves life can exist with a restricted genetic code and paves the way for organisms whose biological machinery is commandeered to make drugs and useful materials, or to add new features such as virus resistance.”

  • Lyft executive suggests drivers become mechanics after they’re replaced by self-driving robo-taxis” — Graham Rapier, Business Insider; from the New-Boss-Same-As-The-Old-Boss dept.

    “‘Something happened when software would allow long-distance calls and that was you could dial an 800 number, but you needed somebody on the other end of those calls,’ McNeill continued. ‘So overnight, hundreds of thousands of operator jobs were replaced literally with millions of call center jobs.’

    In the same fashion, McNeill said that while the rise of autonomous vehicles could create the need for other types of high-paying jobs, including mechanics.”

  • Kickstarter will not voluntarily recognize its employee union. ‘I know this position is disappointing to some of you who were hoping the company would voice support for this effort,’ CEO Aziz Hasan wrote.” — Bijan Stephen, The Verge; from the New-Boss-Same-As-The-Old-Boss dept. … again

    “In the email, Hasan notes that there is a rising current of worker activism in America, and that what’s happening at Kickstarter ‘isn’t taking place in a vacuum.’ The members of Kickstarter’s union recognize that too: in the memo they published when they announced their plans to unionize, they said they were interested in union protections for themselves as much as they were interested for them for other tech companies. ‘We can do better together — for ourselves and our industry.'”

  • Fabula by Sefirot Srl

    “Writing your story has never been easier

    Fabula is based on the Hero’s Journey and helps you analyze, organize and build your stories.

    Fabula is a tool consisting of 40 cards which you can utilize wherever you want, helping you to analyze, organize, and build your stories.

    You can place Fabula on walls, tables, floors or any other available surface, with the help of ADHESIVE PUTTY or TAPE. Each card is like a box to fill, so you can just arm yourself with post-its and a pen, and start inventing!”

  • Spire’s End by Favard

    Favard Spire's End

    “A Choose Your Own Adventure Card Game

    Spire’s End is a card game that harkens back to the Choose your own Adventures of the ’80s with enemy encounters, interactive story-driven scenarios, and high-end art & design. On Kickstarter late 2019.

    It’s a unique gaming experience without a lot of baggage. Simple set up, intuitive rules and minimal components. No DM, no bookkeeping. Just you, a deck of cards and some dice and cube markers. It’s the grisly tale of a strange tower that emerges in the heart of a bustling Viking city. The townsfolk have vanished. It’s up to you to mount a rescue and unravel the mystery at any cost.

    You move through the game like a book. But in this case, it’s a stack of ominous cards instead. Flip them over, make difficult choices and let the story unfold.”

  • Desolate [also] by Grey Gnome Games

    Grey Gnome Games Desolate

    “You are stranded on a distant space station on a moon… You are not alone…
    There had been no communication with station 04 on the distant moon X483. A rescue mission was mounted, and you were on that ship as it lost use of its controls and crashed but meters from the station’s entrance. After the smoke cleared, you realized you were the only survivor.

    You made your way into the station in hopes of finding help, only to be shocked by the horrors within. You are alone. You must escape. You must survive…

    What is Desolate?

    Desolate is a solo-play card and dice game. You have many choices that will ultimately equate to your survival or your demise. Do you explore the first room you reveal, or press-your-luck and skip it to move on to another, and be forced to resolve the second? When you encounter an alien you must decide how much ammo you want to spend (Each ammo equals 1 die roll) in order to defeat it. Do you over-spend for a certain victory, or take a chance a spend less? When you defeat a foe and open a crate, do you take the larger more valuable resource, or the lesser valued resource that may be more useful now? Do you use a powerful one-use item early on in the game, or wait?

    There are many choices per game, and when you die, and you will often, you will not be able to blame the roll of a die or the draw of card as much as you will have to blame yourself. You will be invested. You may yell at the dice before rolling. You may jump to your feet when you find that final power cell and fire up the escape shuttle for a sweet sweet victory.”

  • Dark Venture by Gilded Skull Games

    Gilded Skull Games Dark Venture

    “Welcome to Dark Venture! Explore a dark-fantasy future with your hero, playing competitively, cooperatively or solo in this retro 1-4 player adventure game. The Dark Venture core set includes over 145 cards, five rule and story guides, six giant ancient hex cards, thick player boards and tracks, cubes, one set of custom etched dice, over 30 character standees and many, many tokens!”

  • Pre-Orders for Free League’s Alien Rpg Begin on May 25 With a Surprise Debut of Their First Cinematic Module” — Free League / Fria Ligan

    Free League The Alien Roleplaying Game pre-order bundle

    “In celebration of the official 40th Anniversary this Saturday, Free League will offer a meaty 168-page Cinematic Starter Kit for their highly-anticipated Alien RPG – debuting their first Cinematic module Chariot of the Gods written by Alien RPG setting writer and sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska – as a complimentary bonus gift for anyone who pre-orders the Alien RPG Core Rulebook at alien-rpg.com. The Cinematic Starter Kit will be available for download as soon as the pre-order purchase is confirmed.

    The 40th Anniversary Edition of the Alien RPG Core Rulebook is exclusive to the Free League store and its 40th Anniversary Pre-Order Event, which begins 5/25/19 at 9am EST and ends 8/4/2019 at 11:59pm EST.”

  • His Dark Materials: Season 1, from BBC with two seasons funded, distributed by HBO, coming in 2020 [HT Michael M. Bind Trump Hughes]

    “Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the first season follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets Will, a determined and courageous boy. Together, they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands.”

  • Terminator: Dark Fate – Official Teaser Trailer produced by James Cameron, directed by Tim Miller, with Linda Hamilton, returning as Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger from Paramount Pictures

    “Welcome to the day after Judgment Day. Producer James Cameron returns with director Tim Miller for Terminator: Dark Fate. Watch the official trailer now. In theatres 11.1.19.”

Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback, Part 1

Here’s a summary of the story of Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback so far, my first playthrough in an ongoing persistent solo roleplaying campaign using the Weave RPG system. You can see all of my actual play sessions in the Weave playlist over on my YouTube, and consider following me over on Twitch so you can catch me playing live.

Back in April, I finally received my backordered copy of Weave by Monocle Society.

This campaign journal entry covers my unboxing, which essentially included a session 0, through my first three adventures since, where things are today.

Unboxing

After unboxing everything, I went on to create my first season and first character. The playset I picked was Goblins R Jerks and I named the season “The Fate of Littleback”. I pulled The Stag / The Turtle / The Coin as the cards that determined the Theme / Location / Boss.

The theme is that a shard has separated from the moon and is hurtling toward the planet, promising doom and destruction when it hits. The location is the back of a Gladedon, a giant turtle, named Littleback, on which an entire city is built, towards which the shard of the moon is flying directly and dangerously. Apparently no one knows yet about the shard, and the turtle has been asleep for aeons, unmoving, an easy target. The boss is Rufus the Red. How will this all play out?

I created my first character, a goblin, named Kabo Aboom with the cards Flame Challenge Two / The Crown / The River / The Inferno. I wonder who this character is and what is their story?

I thought about the playset, theme, and my character for a while, then, even though I had no idea what I was doing, here’s what happened!

Adventure 1
The Stag / The Turtle / The Coin

Living in a private corner of the broad territory on the back of Littleback, a sleeping Gladedon in the Wilds, goblin Kabo Aboom is spending time futzing around in his junk yard and laboratory when Buck Buck, a friend from the swamp, arrives with the news that the sky is falling. The friends try to get in touch with Kabo’s old connections in the Golem Knights, but none remain and Kabo is persona non grata. In a last ditch effort, Buck Buck convinces a guard to trust Kabo, but Buck Buck is forced to give up treasure, and heads home. The guard agrees to help if Kabo will fix a broken golem, which Kabo does; and just in time! A squire of Brighthearth, who found what had seemed like a lone guard in the outskirts, attacks! But, what seemed a single goblin, turns out to be a Kabo, an experienced Golem Knight in now fully functioning living armor. After dispatching the squire, the guard and Kabo head to see Rufus the Red’s private secretary, a squid sorcerer, who is convinced enough to test Kabo with a puzzle. Kabo slices the Gordian Knot, and crumbles the test in some completely unexpected stroke of genius or folly. Kabo is given an audience with Rufus the Red. When Kabo tells Rufus about the shard, Rufus reveals that it was they who called down the shard, hoping to crush everyone living on Littleback to death, and then mine the valuables from the moon shard after everyone is dead. Kabo proceeds to create havoc and destruction in Rufus’ office, find and steals the device used to call the moon shard down; and escapes with that.

Then, for my second session, I still don’t know what I’m doing, but here’s what I did.

Adventure 2
The Gallows / The Watchtower / The Owl

Kabo heads back to his junkyard with the device stolen from Rufus, and gets in touch with his friend Emarius, a dragon with knowledge about cursed devices, to try and figure out what needs to be done to stop, reverse or otherwise repair the damage done; and the coming moon shard apocalypse. While Kabo and Emarius are talking, around the junkyard otherwise normal people start behaving strangely. Then, carts crash, screams are heard, and chaos ensues as people die and then continue to move. Emarius beats a retreat. Kabo head down to the street to find out what is going on. At the gate, Kabo runs into a Dwarven Buccaneer shouting “Prove you’re still alive or I’ll kill you!” They proceed to have a drinking contest to prove they are alive. Kabo succeeds in proving he is alive, but ends up with a killer hangover. Kabo makes his way outside but succumbs to the spins and collapses. When Kabo comes-to, he’s been pulled into a Plucker’s Yum Yum House where he’s fed a revivifying meal of scraps and mold soup; but discovers that he’s stuck, surrounded by living dead, among a group of survivors.

One survivor, Dazzle, is revealed as a sole survivor of a prior attack of living dead, called the Battle of the Death of the Bands. Dazzle survived by sacrificing everyone but herself. In an attempt to thwart Dazzle’s plan to repeat her dastardly survival plan, Kabo challenges Dazzle to an epic rock band battle. In the first set, Kabo uses his knowledge of explosives and bombs to set off an intense fireworks display to wow the crowd. In the second set, Kabo releases a storm from a bottle, acts as a lightning rod to attract strikes, and, unfortunately, though he, himself, is immune, fries several of the living audience along with some undead. In the third set, Kabo constructs a Rube Goldberg device of traps and plays a rousing clutch guitar solo that blows up the entire place, along with the living dead; and Dazzle’s plan is foiled! Kabo escapes alive, but the skin of his teeth! Ewe! Skin on teeth must be a Goblin thing. Nasty.

After bringing down the house and slaying ’em dead with the power of pure explosive rock n’ roll, Kabo heads back to his junkyard to gather some supplies and figure out what to do next.

Adventure 3
The Woods / The Architect / The Dawn

Kabo digs up a spare automaton heart and a candle of sticking from his supplies, and has a conversation with the dwarven pirate, just now waking up from their drinking contest. Kabo learns more about the dwarven pirate’s history on the crew of Captain Brasker.

Dwarven pirate managed to avoid the fate of the Captain and the rest of the crew on the Barrow Stern, who were all turned into undead, cursed to ride the waves, making amends for all the misfortune and havoc they caused whilst alive. Dwarven pirate recalled a legend about the World Soul, and had hoped to appeal to that powerful entity to restore his old crew mates to life, or at least free them from their fates as undead.

Kabo heard the claim that the World Soul might have the power to correct or cure the dire peril posed by the pending moon shard apocalypse, and latched onto the idea of heading to entreat that entity for help. Kabo gathered as much information about the journey ahead and set off.

Hijinks ensue, and a fiasco unfolds.

The first stage was to stowaway on a boat, run by a Sentinel Automaton that secretly ferries supplies, whatever awful stuff undead pirates need supplied, and let’s just agree not get into the gory details of that bloody gothic nightmare! The ferry sails from the shores of civilization to a remote rendezvous with Captain Brasker’s Barrow Stern somewhere at sea. Kabo manages to climb onto a netted crate being loaded into the boat’s hold.

But, hijinks ensue. Kabo is discovered at some point on the journey, and tries to convince the automaton that Kabo can work for passage, fixing things on the boat. But, the automaton is unpersuaded. Kabo flees and tries to hide in the dangerous fiery engine room, where his resistance to fire saves his skin. Sneaky little goblin sneaks, and ends up in a convoluted game of cat and mouse trying to stay hidden from the crew that remains on high alert for a little stowaway.

But, a fiasco unfolds as Kabo’s luck and skill fail. Kabo accidentally stumbles upon the roost of a Messenger Phoenix, that beings to squawk, revealing Kabo’s position. Kabo makes a hail mary direct assault trying to deactivate the automaton, but fails. A struggle begins, and Kabo tries, instead, to just blow the automaton up; but fails, and is knocked unconscious.

Kabo is captured, and wakes in a cage. Taken to Captain Brasker, Kabo attempts to make an appeal, using what he learned from the dwarven pirate about the captain, for mercy and help, but fails. Kabo-in-a-cage is stowed below decks, and ignored. But, he’s near the Messenger Phoenix, and Kabo discovers that the phoenix and the dwarven pirate were close friends, and is able to convince the phoenix that the dwarven pirate and Kabo are also friends; and wins over the phoenix as an ally. The phoenix agrees to take a message to the dwarven pirate and to let Kabo out of the cage.

Once freed by the Messenger Phoenix, Kabo tries to construct a fully functioning golem automaton out of his living armor and automaton heart, but can’t get tab a into slot b, and ends up with a paper cut in an awfully sensitive place.

Kabo’s failure comes at a further cost as he is once again discovered, this time by a large, deadly, frightening Poorly Transmuted Rabbit, one of the many lost and broken things that crew this boat, and in spite of a spirited and inventive attempt to lead that creature into a lightning trap desperately constructed from the bits of living armor and automaton heart, but gets absolutely stomped.

Captured again, Kabo is about to be tossed to the sharks, when the Messenger Phoenix returns. A message from the dwarven pirate calls in a final favour from Captain Brasker to spare Kabo’s life.

Kabo’s quest to find a way to reach the World Soul and appeal for aid with the moon shard fails, at least for now. Losing important and treasured equipment, having a dirty secret about dragon-killing in his past revealed and rumours about it spread far and wide, including to the ears of Emarius, not having made any progress toward solving the greater issues at play, Kabo is dumped back on shore, much the worse for wear.

To Be Continued

But, the moonshard is still hurtling toward Littleback! What happens next? Find out in my next adventures!

Read the more at Kabo Aboom & The Fate of Littleback, Part 2

Omnium Gatherum: May 15, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 15, 2019

  • Fate of Cthulhu. The stars are right for Great Cthulhu’s return—and it’s your job to make them wrong again in this Fate-powered roleplaying game! A crowdfunding presale by Evil Hat.

    “The stars are right for Great Cthulhu’s return. It’s up to you to make them wrong again!
    The Great Old Ones reach out from the future and into their past—our present—corrupting the timeline such that events and individuals turn towards the apocalyptic and lead to their inevitable rise. A small and battered resistance effort mounted by time-travelers and present-day heroes stands in their way.

    You are those one-way travelers from a dark future and their crucial allies from the present day, working together to save the human race from looming apocalypse. Armed with foreknowledge of Judgment Day, you must succeed at a series of vital missions aimed at restoring hope to the future.

    But the clock is ticking. The corrupting influence of the Great Old Ones is sure to affect you before the end, twisting you slowly and inexorably into something alien and unrecognizable.

    Can you defeat the vast unknowable evils of the Great Old Ones before you become a monster yourself? Find out in Fate of Cthulhu, a new stand-alone tabletop roleplaying game from Evil Hat Productions!”

  • A New Harry and the Potters Album. “Lumos” is Harry and the Potters’ first full-length album in 13 years. A crowdfunding effort by Harry and the Potters.

    “We spent the last year working on our first full-length album since 2006. The album is called “Lumos” and it’s our first time writing substantively about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There are 16 songs on the album.

    This album means a lot to us. It’s political. It’s funny and weird. It’s dramatic and emotional. We tried to build on all the things we put into our live show and, for maybe the first time, it feels like we really nailed it on these recordings. We are so proud of this album and cannot wait to share it with you.

    One of our good friends listened to it and said to us: For years and years I’ve struggled with how to introduce your band to new people. I saw you live before hearing any of your recordings and while they do hold a place in my heart now, they do not do your live shows justice. This album changes all of that.

    If we’re being honest, we weren’t sure if we’d ever make another full-length album. For the past 12 years, we’ve been living in different states and really only saw each other when we were on tour or doing family stuff. That schedule didn’t leave a lot of time or energy for this type of focused creative work. But then the systems started to break down, authoritarians came to power, and it seemed like it might be a nice time to reconnect with a world where good can triumph over evil through collective action. Maybe there’s a few things left for us to learn. “

  • Dice Charger by Q WORKSHOP. The device that will charge your glow in the dark dice! A crowdfunding presale from Q-workshop.

    Q-workshop dice charger

    “This futuristic dice cup is packed with electronics engineered by our partner design studio, specializing in innovative projects and concepts. The UV light placed in the lid of the dice cup charges your dice in seconds and makes them glow longer than anytime before!

    With the premiere of the Dice Charger we present new dice design inspired by numbers from oldschool clocks and retrofuturistic illustrations. Say hello to Digital Dice Set! For the first time we will introduce same design in multiple new manufacturing methods.”

  • Monster Prom 2: Holiday Season. The long-awaited sequel of the popular multiplayer dating sim “Monster Prom”. A crowdfunding effort by Beautiful Glitch.

    “Monster Prom 2: Holiday Season brings you more of the world’s best (and maybe only?) multiplayer dating sim; but in a way you’ve never expected!

    The original Monster Prom is a multiplayer dating sim that shines for its beautiful art and unapologetic humor.

    The sequel is… something different. It’s 3-games-in-1. Because we weren’t sure which kind of vacations to take, we chose 3: Summer Camp, Winter Retreat and Roadtrip. So each game is smaller than the original one, but they’re the same size when put together. And each time you play, you can choose which game suits you better that time. “

  • Scouts of the Wyrdwood Forest. A family-friendly, storytelling adventure game about modern kids exploring the enchanted forest, helping Fae Folk, and earning badges! A crowdfunding effort by Robert Turk.

    “Scouts of the Wyrdwood Forest is a family friendly, rules-lite, storytelling adventure game about modern kids exploring an enchanted wood.

    This is a game about emracing myths and faerie tales, testing your limits, earning badges, becoming heroes, meeting strange new people, and finding non-violent solutions to the challenges you face as you travel through this magical Faerie realm.”

Omnium Gatherum: May 9, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 9, 2019

  • TTRPG Achievement Badges. Patches to help mark your achievements as a PC or DM in D&D 5e. A crowdfunding effort by Samantha Darcy, with 28 days to go.


    Darcy TTRPG Achievement Badges

    “Are you prepared?

    Roleplaying games and Scouting both tremendously impact many lives. Unfortunately, RPGs lack patch-covered fashion-statements showing everyone exactly how awesome you are…

    Until now!

    Introducing Tabletop Roleplaying Game (TTRPG) Achievement Badges! From the crazed minds of Samantha Darcy and Stephen Rowe, these patches allow you to forever memorialize pivotal moments from your games!

    TTRPG Achievement Patches

    Produced by Pin Game Strong, each badge is a 2-inch, sew-on, 100% embroidered patch, with unique art, and an accompanying PDF. Included for each are requirements to earn the badge, and optional reward mechanics compatible with 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons!

    With your help, we plan to initially release EIGHT (8) Common and EIGHT (8) Rare achievement patches, plus TWO (2) extremely exclusive and super secret Legendary patches! And that’s only the beginning. We can all work together to make this project a success, and there’s a LOT more we can’t wait to share!”

  • Lancer. Lancer is a mud-and-lasers RPG about mechs and the pilots who crew them. Narrative play, gritty tactical combat and deep customization. A crowdfunding effort by Massif Press, with 42 hours to go.

    Massif Press Lancer

    “Lancer is a mud-and-lasers tabletop roleplaying game centered on modular mechs and the pilots who crew them.
    Ten thousand years after the climate crash that ended the Anthropocene, a survivor humanity rebuilt itself and spread to the stars. Numbering now in the trillions, they are a polyglot, cosmopolitan people, organized under a central hegemon: Union. The galaxy is vast before them, and humanity is its mirror. For some, it is a golden age of post-scarcity utopia. For the rest, that golden age remains a dream to be attained.

    Into this roiling galaxy you take your role as a mech pilot — from cold-blooded mercenaries to honor-bound Baronic cuirassiers, hardscrabble Union regulars to professional Constellar Midnights, Far Field teams at the uncanny edge of known space to the ever-wandering Albatross. Operating with a wealth of licenses from one of the galaxy’s Big Five fabricators, you and your friends play a tight-knit squad of pilots on campaign — comrades together in a galaxy of danger and hope. Will you fight for Union, working to rectify the crimes of previous administrations? Will you run contracts for a corpro-state, working to advance private interests while lining your pockets? Will you fight to liberate your people from all masters, human or otherwise? Or will you fight only for yourself?

    Lancer features a mix of military science fiction and mythic science fantasy. In the setting, conscript pilots mix ranks with flying aces, mercenary guns-for-hire brawl with secretive corpostate agents, and relativistic paladins cross thermal lances with causality-breaking entities.

    In Lancer, there is promise in the potential, but the hard-won gains of humanity are under serious threat. From the internal: ruthless corpro-states, bitter anthrochauvinist reactionaries, and ponderous oligarchs, to the external: MONIST 1, or RA, an anoriginary being with unfathomable power and unknowable goals; the Aunic Ascendancy, the unbroken heirs of Old Humanity; and more.

    Having only begun the project of recovering from its own internal political revolutions, Union now scrambles to reassert its control over a galaxy that would fall to chaos otherwise.

    Who will you fight for, pilot? “

  • Sundown. A rules-light tabletop roleplaying game set in a pre-industrial transhumanist frontier. Think Cyberpunk goes Wild West. A crowdfunding effort from Grasswatch Games, with 39 hours to go.

    “We’re Grasswatch Games, a partnership of two queer disabled folk.

    We’re making our debut with Sundown, a low tech science-fantasy set in a transhumanist frontier. Think cyberpunk goes wild west. It’s an episodic game that focuses on otherism, class, and colonialism.

    Sundown is a dyslexia-friendly, campaign-length rules-light tabletop roleplaying game for 2-6 players, one of whom is the lorekeeper, with a suggested session length of 3-4 hours.

    Sundown tells political stories of a small and intimate scope. You play multiple campaigns and characters in the same world, your next one inheriting the world from your last. Your actions, though small, will ripple across history.

    You play a drifter: a queer, punk outcast taking work wherever you can from folk that hate you.

    Fiends, the monsters of this world, linger at the edges of civilization. There’s always someone who wants some fiend dead.

    Autocrats and Lords point their fingers at each other while Syndicates and Revolutions rot their thrones beneath them. Drifters who don’t slay fiends oft find themselves slaying folk instead.

    But maybe you prefer to keep your hands clean. You’re a spy, stealing secrets from one corporatist for another, or you’re a thief, liberating the hoarded wealth of lords and bankers.

    Maybe you’re lucky. One of the few of ‘legitimate’ employ. You work for the Merchant Protections Guild, a diplomat and ambassador to the townships of Sundown, struggling to keep the highroad from crumbling… and Sundown’s delicate peace with it.”

  • Astrologaster. [also] A Comedy Written in the Stars. A game by Nyamyam. [HT The Guardian]

    “London, 1592. A great plague sweeps through the capital. When doctors flee the city in fear, a hero rises. His name is Simon Forman, “Doctor” of Astrology, Astronomy and Physick. Not only does he have the power to cure the sick, he can find their lost pets and predict their futures! All by reading the movements of the stars.

    But when the plague ends, Forman’s problems begin. The real doctors return to London and they will stop at nothing to bring him down…

    Astrologaster is a story-driven astrological comedy game set in Shakespeare’s London. Based on a true – and truly ridiculous – story.

    • Solve Hilarious Problems: Consult on problems ranging from Elizabethan terror plots and foul diseases, to romantic entanglements and stolen pies!
    • Change Lives: Win your patients’ favour or ruin their lives. Advise 14 characters who return 5-7 times. Patients have their own ongoing stories which often overlap with each other.
    • Win A Medical Licence: Convince patients to write letters of recommendations. Collect enough letters to exchange them for a medical licence.
    • Fully Voiced Character Dialogue: Sitcom-style comedy brought to life by a cast of over a dozen actors.
    • Sing Along – Enjoy Renaissance-era music and sing along to each character’s theme song.
    • Casebooks Come Alive: Simon Forman’s cases are presented as a beautiful pop-up book. Turn pages to delve deeper into your patients’ stories.

    Simon Forman was considered a sage by some and a charlatan by others. What will your legacy be? Will you put your faith in the stars?”

Omnium Gatherum: May 5, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 5, 2019

  • Paths: World of Adia tabletop RPG. Paths: World of Adia is a tabletop RPG that supports both classic Game Master group play and Solo Gameplay. A crowdfunding effort by Smunchy Games with only 17 days left to reach their modest funding goal; with in development print-n-play available that you can check out right now

    “Join us in Adia, a young living world whose political landscape shifts as drastically as its physical growth. This planet of extremes is in constant flux as its three moons influence the magical Spirit that flows between Adia and all of her living creatures. In Paths: World of Adia, players adopt the role of a denizen in a rich, multicultural world, a denizen who has decided to embrace and pursue their goals to become more than just another face in the crowd. Our lush, developed environments and evolving story are designed with immersion and interactivity in mind as players move and grow with a unique blend of both new and familiar game systems.”

  • Vorpal Board. The platform for playing your favorite tabletop games with friends online using the actual pieces. A crowdfunding effort by Vorpal Enterprises with 29 days left to meet their funding goal; and check out their demo site for an idea of how it works to provide a kind of “augmented reality” for board games.

    “Vorpal Board is the platform that enables you to play your favorite tabletop games with friends online using the actual pieces. Whether you live halfway around the world or two doors over, we know how hard it can be to get your gaming group together. With Vorpal Board never let life or distance get in the way of playing the games you love.”

  • The Ghosts Betwixt. Dungeon Crawling in the Haunted Heartland. A tabletop funny horror drawl board game in development by Dustin Freund at Innocent Traveler Games. Available in Print-n-Play now and coming to crowdfunding this year.

    Freund Innocent Traveller The Ghosts Betwixt

    “Dungeon Crawling in the Haunted Heartland

    Young Richie has been kidnapped! He was last seen taken into the Bennert family’s farmhouse, which transforms into the Worlds of Terror haunted house during the Halloween season.

    The Bennerts’ haunted attraction has fallen on hard times, as thrill-seeking audiences begin opting for more impressive haunted houses found in the city. However, the Bennerts own the ultimate wild card – and they will play it tonight to resurrect the family business.

    Join Richie’s family Bill, Joan, Avelynn and Maddox as they battle the Bennert family in this campaign-driven dungeon crawler!

    KICKSTARTER UPDATE SOON – SIGN UP TO OUR EMAIL LIST TO BE THE FIRST TO KNOW!”

  • Xeno Dead Zone by Runehammer Games; though as I write this there’s two broken images and a typo in the description, so the inside probably still not well edited either. But, might still be fun as both a stand-alone Aliens / Space Hulk pastiche and an expansion of the rules and extra components for Index Card RPG. Or, as a play aid for a sci-fi bug hunt crawl scenario in your own game using whatever system you prefer.

    Runhammer Xeno Dead Zone

    “XENO DEAD ZONE is a one-stop solution to scratch your itch for a night of great gaming in the world of deadly space predators and the badasses who fight them.

    This package is power packed with rules and resources for ICRPG players and GM’s.

    -Play in XDZ mode: a GM-less board game ruleset

    -Play in classic ICRPG mode: 9 new classes, Xeno and vehicle stats

    -Dynamic Mission Objectives and Ecalations[sic] in any mode

    -A huge collection of print-and-cut standees

    -Tokens for use in your favorite VTT

    -32 map building cards and door standees to assemble your game map with flair

    Expand your ICRPG multiverse to include the deadliest creatures in the spaceways! “

Nazi propaganda with elf ears

You may be playing the wrong game, at the wrong table, with the wrong group if …

That one player, who you’ve already had a side conversation about with the DM due to fear they seem to hint they’re close to going full real-world racist any time Vistani are mentioned and misogynist about half the planet any time women are mentioned at the table, thinks it is funny to post to the group’s chat an image of actual racist Nazi propaganda with elf ears drawn on and they think that’s “fine because it’s about D&D”.

Summary for the month of April 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for the month of April 2019.

I don’t feel like I have a lot to say in a summary of this last month, after I said a lot about the previous summary. Ironically, I streamed more this last month than I did in the previous month, even after, essentially, saying that I’d given up on being a streamer. Like I said, I no longer think of myself as a streamer, but I’ll probably still stream. I’ve just given up on the idea it’s going anywhere or that I’m trying to build something bigger. But, for example, it’s been two months since my last Gloomhaven stream, and that’s a long damn time. After my Invisible Sun unboxing, one of the books, only read through once, fell apart, and it took over a month for the replacement to even be sent, so I cooled on my excitement about that whilst waiting. I don’t know. I’ll just keep doing things as I do them, and not trying to do it is the way I end up doing them, apparently. Whatever. It is what it is. I hadn’t planned on posting summaries any more either, mostly because I didn’t think I’d have anything to summarize, but here it is anyway.

I also ended up supporting several crowdfunding campaigns, though I really can’t justify supporting any more unless I am going to absolutely, positively do something actively with them when, if, they deliver.

I have three tabletop games that are supposedly on their way, but are in limbo, without an actual ETA, and really surprising lack of updates on them from their creators. Though I did finally get Weave, which I unboxed and played this month. And, I picked up a few video games in bundles, a few of which I played this month on stream. So, there are new games, actual and digital and roleplaying, that I might get to over this coming month, but who knows?

I’ve also found myself thinking about my ICRPG games, which went on hiatus after I kind of soured on ICRPG. But, I kinda miss the characters and their stories. I feel like Take is in a good place, and doesn’t necessarily need more; though there’s plenty that could be told. But what about the Mecha crew? They’re in transit to alternate Gamma World, and had many adventures ahead. There’s also the posse headed toward the Weird West. Or the companions in alternate Erehwon. But, I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to those stories. If I do, I probably won’t be using ICRPG anymore, per se. There were other things, like the additional scenario for SWRPG TFA or AoR (which I only ever unboxed) and even the unfinished Iris: Adventure Game, which has actually been redesigned since I last played, that I’ve thought about as well. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to those either.

I guess I had some stuff to say about this last month after all. There was probably other stuff to talk about that I didn’t remember. We’ll see what the next month brings. Maybe something, maybe nothing. IDEK.

Posts on the blog this last month

Here’s videos and archived streams

Omnium Gatherum: April 4, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 4, 2019

  • Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself: Second Edition by J. Theophrastus Bartholomew, Sam Gorski, D. F. Lovett; from the I-Feel-Attacked dept.

    Gorski Lovett Top Ten Games You Can Play In Your Head By Yourself

    “YOUR MIND IS NOW THE ULTIMATE GAMING ENGINE. Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself, is a collection of visionary author J. Theophrastus Bartholomew’s most cherished mind-games, edited and updated by filmmaker and storyteller Sam Gorski and author D.F. Lovett. No peripherals needed. No controllers. No pens. No dice or boards. Everything you need to experience the forefront of game design is right here between these pages. What will happen in your game? It’s up to you to find out!”

  • Wrestlenomicon! A card game of the Great Old Ones fighting over the end of the world. Cthulhu! Hastur! Only ONE can rule the apocalypse! A crowdfunding effort by Arc Dream Publishing.

    “Wrestlenomicon!

    A card game of the Great Old Ones fighting over the end of the world. Cthulhu! Hastur! Only ONE can rule the apocalypse!

    Fire Opal Games and Arc Dream Publishing bring you the grudge match to end them all!

    Become a Great Old One and slam, smash, and obliterate your opponent. Wrestlenomicon is a throw-down to the doom. This furious card game of squicky battles sets up in seconds and plays in minutes—or longer, if tactics are your thing. This is the definition of brainy beer-and-pretzels fun, with plenty of tentacles.

    The Brawl of Cthulhu!

    Each deck of cards represents a unique Great Old One. The core game includes a deck for CTHULHU—the Ageless Abomination! the South Seas Smasher!—and another for HASTUR, the insane and unspeakable force behind the King in Yellow. More Great Old Ones are coming.”

  • Witch+Craft, a 5e Supplemental. A tabletop supplemental of crafting and magic for Fifth Edition games. A crowdfunding effort by Astrolago Press.

    “Witch+Craft, a beautifully-illustrated supplemental for 5e games, brings a new crafting system to your table. Designed to be fun to use and simple to implement, the domestic magic crafting system can be easily inserted into ongoing games without the need for rerolling characters or reinventing entire campaigns—perfect for the ragtag crew who want to repair an enemy’s shipwrecked boat, the cunning ensemble looking to build themselves an impromptu grappling hook, or the friendly bard wanting to spend their downtime baking a pie for their party. Whether you’re a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, Witch+Craft has you covered.

    But that’s not all: this new system also includes trade classes, a new character customization option that goes hand-in-hand with your characters’ pre-existing combat class and background. Trade classes allow you to define what makes your skills unique as you level up and make your mark in the world.

    We call this system domestic magic because it emphasizes the miracle of making. Even non-spellcasters can tap into the power of creation, forging beautiful and useful items with their hands and their heart.

    This content, and the crafting system we’ve designed, took inspiration from Studio Ghibli films like Kiki’s Delivery Service, where the acts of painting, baking, and inventing have a power as beautiful and unique as Kiki’s witchcraft. While many crafting systems are based around concepts like “stress” or “endurance”, we wanted a crafting system that encouraged rest, self care, inspiration, motivation, and collaboration.

    Make something, because the act of making brings you joy.”

  • Humblewood Campaign Setting for 5e DND. Humblewood is a campaign setting for 5e DND that includes new birdfolk player races, new monsters, compelling adventure and more! A crowdfunding effort by Hit Point Press / Deck of Many

    “Humblewood is an exciting new Campaign Setting for 5e DND that includes original birdfolk player races, new monsters, magic items, and a compelling adventure for 1st to 5th level characters.”

  • Welcome to Tikor | The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book. An Afropunk Sci-Fantasy world brimming with ancient magic and future tech. A crowdfunding effort by Brandon Dixon.

    “Swordsfall isn’t just a story, it’s a world. It’s a dive into pre-colonial Africa for all the rich lore you’ve never heard of. It’s an exploration into a world where the majority of the faces are dark, yet isn’t constrained to one corner. It’s a world where women hold power equal to men and the merit of ones soul is what propels them through life. It’s a world where spirits aren’t to be feared, they are to be embraced. In a time where we know that representation matters, this project is an effort to add to that spirit in the way I know best. Narrative fiction in the nerdiest of flavors.

    Swordsfall is made up of three key parts; World Anvil, Tabletop RPG and Stories/Novels. Each of them telling a different part in the lore that is the world of Tikor. This Setting and Artbook is part of that synergy and the first step toward realizing the Tabletop RPG.”

  • Hidden Oddities: A Witch’s Primer. A Witch Class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition with worldbuilding, 50+ spells, 2 backgrounds, and 7 Archetypes for the class. A crowdfunding effort by Eva Brown.

    “Hidden Oddities: A Witch’s Primer contains 100+ pages of new game material and world-building content for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. In this book you’ll find the brand new Witch Class, 11 new Archetypes called Sacred Secrets, 2 new backgrounds, 100+ new spells, new items that any spellcaster could benefit from, and advice how to place witches into your world. This supplement is designed to work inside the system and to expand the options for Dungeon Masters and Players.

    The Witch is a full caster without spell slots and instead uses Curios as minor magical items that can be filled with either spell slots or wondrous effects. These Curios can be kept all to the Witch or be handed out to party members to help increase their effectiveness. Improved Ritual Casting lets you cast any spell inside your spellbook as long as you have enough time and people to perform a Greater Ritual. Instead of preparing spells after every long rest you get to choose which Curios to recharge after any rest,

    The content itself is built around the concepts of making a Grim and Strange world. The spells that are currently in the book help expand spell selection options for Arcane and Divine spellcasters alike.”

  • Arcana of the Ancients, a 5E science-fantasy sourcebook. A sourcebook that brings the science-fantasy stylings of Numenera to 5E, written by designers very experienced with both games. A crowdfunding effort by Monte Cook Games.

    “Arcana of the Ancients is a sourcebook for 5th edition players and GMs to bring the wonders of mysterious technology and weird science-fantasy elements to their traditional fantasy campaigns. Designed by Monte Cook, Bruce R. Cordell, and Sean K. Reynolds, all of whom have years of professional design experience working on the world’s most popular roleplaying game, this gorgeously illustrated hardcover sourcebook gives you everything you need to add a whole new element to your 5E game.”

  • The Seas of Vodari – 5th Edition Swashbuckling & Sorcery. Everything you need to run exciting seafaring campaigns full of swashbuckling action and magical adventure for Fifth Edition. A crowdfunding effort by Tribality Publishing.

    “The Seas of Vodari is a full-color book that we are offering in hardcover and PDF. This book provides 200+ pages of material for gamemasters to run exciting seafaring campaigns for 5th Edition. Your players will get tons of options for creating characters and you’ll get support to run a world full of swashbuckling action and magical adventure. “

  • Calico: Magical Girls Running Cat Cafés~. Calico is a calm and cozy cat cafe simulator where you pet cats, decorate your cafe, and hang out with witches and magical girls! A crowdfunding effort by Kells.

    “Calico is a day-in-the-life community sim game where you are given an important and adorable task: rebuild the town’s cat café and fill it with cute and cuddly creatures! You will journey to a small village filled with magical girls and other fantastical friends, where you are placed in charge of a run down cat café. Build up your café by filling it with cute furniture, fun decorations, yummy pastries, and get it bustling with animals again!

    In Calico, you play as a sweet magical cutie. There are two playable characters to choose from: Heartgirl and Flowergirl!”

  • The Ultraviolet Grasslands. The Ultraviolet Grasslands (UVG) trpg is a rules-light psychedelic metal trip to the Black City on the edge of space and time. A crowdfunding effort by Exalted Funeral.

    “The Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City is a tabletop role-playing game book, half setting, half adventure, and half epic trip; inspired by psychedelic heavy metal, the Dying Earth genre, and classic Oregon Trail games. It leads a group of ‘heroes’ into the depths of a vast and mythic steppe filled with the detritus of time and space and fuzzy riffs.”

  • Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina Animated Special. Critical Role’s The Legend of Vox Machina reunites your favorite heroes for a professional-quality animated special! A crowdfunding effort by Critical Role.

    “Vox Machina is back, baby — but this time they’re cartoons! Here’s the amazing creative team that’s gonna take our tale from imagination to animation… “

ICRPG Magic

ICRPG Magic is a new supplement for Index Card RPG has just been released by Runehammer Games.

Runehammer Games ICRPG Magic

The third book in the INDEX CARD RPG series, MAGIC gives you an entire multiverse of SPELLS, MONSTERS, character creation options, full adventures and LOOT! This book is a must have for any true ICRPG fan, and includes a print-cut-play set of assets that will be updated free for life.