Wednesday, January 28, 2015

GM SEMINAR a success!

So the Game Master Seminar held last January 25th was a success!  Although the day began with Rocky not feeling too well, he insisted he wanted to be there to support me (I love this guy so much!) and so we tried to catch up with the Game Master Seminar even if we were a bit late.

We arrived to see Justin already giving his talk about running games online (we missed Marc's talk on the basics of role-playing games) and it was nice to finally check out Makati B&B (Boardgames and Beer) given this was our first time to ever go here.

In as much as I have been doing a lot of public speaking in my life, it was surprising how nervous and intimidated I felt to be talking to the gathered gamers.  Even during my younger days, my parents would have be join elocution contests, storytelling contest and the like.  I would be all dressed up (or in costumes) as I faced the crowd and delivered the lines.  Then there were my theater days in college, as well as my love for performing whether as an on-camera talent or as some kind of street performer.  (Uh, don't ask about that latter part).

But yeah, I was nervous.  So nervous I opted to sit down while giving the talk to both give the audience a better view of the screen, and to keep myself from fidgeting and getting weak-kneed.

So I talked about the many techniques that I like to use in my games to build mood and atmosphere.  I made sure to cover certain key truths, such as how mood will only work if the players want it, if the location of the game will support it and if you prepare for it, as well as discussed the importance of trust, of having a safe word, and of how mood is not the same as simulationist games.

 I covered a LOT of ground.  Far more, I admit, than the allotted time would have allowed.  It was hard not to, given for some techniques I felt sharing a short anecdote of how I used them was necessary to convey how it worked.  It was nice seeing how some ideas and tips were excitedly received.  I can only hope to someday hear from others how they used a technique or two to enhance their own games.  It was heart-warming to see how some people were very eager to hear the talk and I still honestly get shy when others throw praise in my direction.  Rocky always reminds me to just accept it and say thank you.  And yes, thank you so much for being very appreciative and supportive.

Met a lot of new faces that day too.  Already inviting three of them to try a game under me this coming Friday night.  They've asked me to run End of the World for them, with the idea being to run it for them and their girlfriends.  I had to repeatedly warn them that playing oneself in a post-apocalyptic game might be far more revealing than they realize and that they should think very hard and carefully if they're really ready to do that.

To give them a glimpse of how I run games, though, I'll be running them Lacuna, Part I: The Birth of Mystery and the Girl from Blue City, using my meta-connected game called Recruitment #.  I hope they do enjoy the game.

I added the pdf version of my talk to the Garapata Repository.  Feel free to check it out!

If not, at least memory loss is common in the Blue City.
*Thank you to my partner, Rocky, who lovingly took photos.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Submitting to Indie Mixtape Vol. 3: New Hotness

My friend Josh posted about this and I realized I should try joining this year.  I've always been dying to join a Game Chef contest or something like that, and I thought this would be a good way to test the waters.

What is Indie Mixtape you say?

Here's the post from
Call for Games - Indie Mixtape Vol. 3: New Hotness
Building on the success of Indie Mixtape Vol. 1 and Indie Mixtape Vol. 2, I'm organizing a third charity anthology of short games based on songs you might put on a mixtape. Here's the deets!
The theme for this mixtape anthology will be "songs that turn you on." Pick a song that evokes such feelings for you (however you define them), and write a short analog game inspired by it, preferably one that fits on 2 pages (that's a recommendation, not a strict limit; if it's a bit longer or requires some extra materials to play, that's okay). Please try to playtest your game at least once, if you can, but don't let that stop you from submitting. It's fine to submit whatever PDF you can manage to pull together, but if you want some assistance with layout, we have volunteers standing by to help. If you end up designing something that needs a different file type, it's probably fine, just let me know.
Let's aim for Sunday, February 8 as the deadline for submissions, with the aim of getting the anthology out in time for Valentine's Day (the weekend after). The deadline isn't completely inflexible and the release might end up drifting to later in the month, but let's still try to aim to get things in on time. You can email submissions to me at "jaywalt" at the email service run by Google.
You retain all rights to your submitted game and are welcome to do anything you want with it, including releasing it yourself at any point in the future. I am just asking for the rights to include your game in this charity anthology. If something comes up later and you want me to pull your game from the Indie Mixtape, that's fine; just let me know.
EDIT: If you want to me to include your game under a pseudonym, for any reason (avoiding internet harassment, don't want co-workers to find it, etc.), that's totally fine.
The anthology will eventually be sold through RPGnow/DriveThru, with all proceeds going to help folks in the indie games community who are facing steep bills due to medical treatment and other situations. I will report these proceeds transparently and distribute them on at least a quarterly basis. If we ultimately end up selling the anthology in a different format, I will consult with contributors first.
I reserve the right to not include any game for any reason, but I am happy to explain my reasoning for doing so and don't expect this to necessarily be an issue, even for a topic as sexy as this one. If you have any questions or concerns, I'm happy to chat about your submission. 
Feel free to ask questions below or reshare this post to your game design circles!
(If this theme doesn't really work for you, no worries; I have plans to do other anthologies this year on radically different themes. The next one might be about religion.)?

Here's hoping my entry will be well received.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Inspiration: Predestination

I get excited watching trailers this promising.  This reminds me of Lacuna, of the time-travelling role-playing game Continuum and of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space.  Heck, this can even be a God Machine story using NWOD.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Slides are Ready

I think I am ready for the weekend.
Been working on the Power Point presentation for the talk I am participating in this coming Sunday at Makati B&B.  The Game Masters Seminars is an awesome idea and I do hope this does become a monthly thing.  Always good to share what we have learned and discovered with others who love the hobby as well.

My dear friend Marc was uber kind in his write up for my segment of the talk:

Mood Building Ideas and Approaches
Facilitator: Tobie Abad
Topic: A rare opportunity to learn from one of the best there is in building dramatic atmosphere in tabletop RPGs!

Anyway, I've prepped the slide show and decided as well on creating a PDF to give away to the attendees so they can easily review the talk afterwards.  Here I am pushing towards 40 and I'm still feeling a bit of stage fright at the thought of people listening to me speak.

Ah, but to take part in more gaming related activities.  Here's to the dream this does lead eventually to larger scale conventions devoted to role-playing games and other table top happiness.  I'll share a link to the slides and the PDF in the future.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Inspiration: Bad Motherfucker

Awesome action and loving the super science teleportation angle.  Definitely a great font for ideas.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Inspiration: Numbers

This brilliant short by Robert Hloz is just incredible.  I want to create an indie rpg based on this.  Wonderful work you should all check out.  I can see this as a reinterpretation of the Machine God or maybe even Geist.
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