Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

So, Tagsessions is a year old, and the year 2012 is ending. It has been an eventful year for me in the world of gaming.  I ran a host of games, for new gamers and for old-timers, as well as got a dive into a lot of old favorites and new games too.  I got to virtually chat with John Wick, a guy I look up to so much in the industry, and I got started on my own role-playing game book and my own system.    Admittedly, I feel really happy too that the blog is starting to get a wider audience.  The rise of activity in Google Plus, with the introduction of Communities, has really allowed me to reach out much further to the gaming community.

And I even got to play once this year!  HEhhehe, it has been a long while since I was a player.

Here's a peek of the stuff I've been active with for the year 2012. I'm pretty proud at how long the list is, to be honest.  Given how important gaming is in my life, I am happy to know I'm giving it the attention and focus it desires.  Plus, I have a loving and wonderful partner who also shares my passion.  Life can't get any better than this!

My 2012 Gaming List (as of Dec 24, 2012):

Games I RAN this year:
Final Fantasy RPG
Aeon Trinity
In Nomine
The Shotgun Diaries
Houses of the Blooded
DC Heroes
Vampire the Masquerade
Vampire the Dark Ages
Mage The Sorceror's Crusade
Fomori Freak Legion
Changeling the Dreaming
Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP system)

Games I PLAYED IN this year:
Changeling the Dreaming

So yeah, I'm looking forward to 2013 with much excitement.  I hope to release both of my rpg stuff within the year, and if I'm lucky start making a bigger mark in the gaming community.  My meta-rpg, Muses, has undergone a radical shift in the system - taking a larger departure from the FATE/Houses of the Blooded approach it originally embraced - and my upcoming rpg book, Tagsessions Volume One: Ideas for the Dramatic Gamer should be seeing release for proofreading soon.   Here's hoping there will be people out there willing to shell out a few bucks for them.

Here's a teaser of what the book is about:

Everyone hates drama.
Let me clarify what I mean.  Life is already filled with drama.  You got bills to pay, work to finish, family commitments to keep and problems to juggle all more or less at the same time.  Most of the time, people who enjoy role-playing games play them to escape the drama of real life.  People enjoy the dungeon spelunking adventures of their favored fantasy table top role-playing game to forget about their recent break-up or to vent out frustrations they could not unleash in the real world.  Others dive into interplanetary wars and post apocalyptic worlds to feel they can make a difference and save the universe, rather than worry over the latest political fiasco that has made the headlines.  Role-playing games are an escape from the drudge and boredom of everyday life. 
But drama can help add to the emotional weight of practically any role-playing game system, if you know how to do it without over-doing it.   And with just the right dash of drama, a simple combat scene can transform into an epic battle for survival.  A conversation can become a chance at exploring new facets of a character’s past.  A seduction roll can have unforeseen consequences that can haunt a player for games to come.  And these things can make your games suddenly much more memorable and compelling than you originally were accustomed to.The trick is finding just the right amount of drama to make the players care, without over-doing it. Too much drama and your players might feel the story is grinding into a slow glacial narrative.  Too little and none of the stakes you raise may seem important.  And while the best amount of drama varies from group to group, it can help to have a handy list of possible scenarios you can draw from to find inspiration.
That, my friends, is what this book is about.
In these pages, you will find ideas, options, story fragments, key lines, and even items that can be introduced into practically any game you play.   With each are suggestions on how the little addition can be tweaked to bring a fresh new dimension to your games.  While admittedly some suggestions might be more effective than others with particular groups, you might be  surprised to discover how games of any genre can benefit from the injection of a little bit more drama than you are used to.
So if your players end up having to call for a brief time-out because they can’t help but shed a tear for a fallen non-playing character, or because the tension has gotten so high they need to rush to the couch and embrace their own legs to calm down, you know you’re doing the right thing.
This book is organized in the following manner:
Ideas Options Story Fragments Key Lines Items
Feel free to use what you see here in your games.  Tweak them if you must.  Change the names if you have to.  Remember that you know your players far better than I ever will.  So add that irreplaceable knowledge to these suggestions like a secret ingredient to a dish, and watch how after serving this to your players, you might have to pull out the tissues, or get used to them needing a time out to calm down.
Remember, when it comes to adding drama to a game, tears are gold.
No, not gold.
Tears are something not even money can buy.

So yeah, 2013, I am ready for you! My recent acquisitions of Dr. Who Adventures in Time and Space, Kuro (Thanks Alex), Leverage, Fiasco, Itras By, Epoch, Wilderness for Houses of the Blooded, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, Cthulhutech, Hillfolk, Scorn, Spite, The Farm, and Heroine are definitely games I plan to run in the coming year.

I'm hoping our next trip to Singapore to visit Paradigm Infinitum will net a few cool books (they've been, like many other stores, shifting to focus more on a miniatures and gameboard market). I'm also hoping that by some miracle, my partner Rocky and I will get to visit a gaming convention.

Keep the dice rolling!

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