Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 Update: 12 New Games

For this year, I've played the following:
Twelve New Games for 2017
1) Pugmire
2) Monster of the Week

Given it is currently March, this is definitely a much slower development than previous years. But hey, at least we're still moving forward in many ways despite the current political and gaming climate in the Philippines. 

At the international level, things are picking up. I've received a few offers for a variety of projects which is quite exciting for someone who just really started writing in a professional capacity last year.  I'm also mapping out a trip to Los Angeles this year to meet some of my really supportive friends in the game industry and who knows maybe even show up at some event as a guest if the geek gods are kind.  

At the local level, Rocky and I have been reaching out to people and helping them get into gaming. We've probably introduced around five people to board games and two people to role-playing games within the last month, which seems small, but given we aren't a big organization or anything, I'd like to think it helps.  Was able to run Pugmire for some officemates, and it was nice being able to introduce the game to people who had never heard of it.  A few officemates (who don't play rpgs) were even excited to find a copy of the book since it had dogs.  We've hit two sessions so far and might have the finale soon.  I've thrown the pugs into the ruins of an amusement park which seems to have been taken over by the Cult of La Bor Tor and some massive reptilian monstrosity.  Hopefully, the three dogs and their companion can find a way to get out and safely return home.  For the interested souls who wanted to play more, I told them to keep their eyes and ears open for upcoming gaming events as I can't run games for them all being just a single person.  They're always free to try the other events happening in the city if they want to.  Monster of the Week became the go-to-game for two new gamers, one of which had tried Dungeons and Dragons from way back while the other only had board games in his history.  It turned into a Dresden Files inspired romp which was pretty cool. Both were fascinated how quick it was to learn the system and were already anxious to try more games.
Sickening Queens should be released very soon.  So far, going through a third batch of proofreading and editing and even sent a proofing copy to Steve Segedy of Billy Pulpit Games to check it out.  I'm anxious to know if he likes what I've created. Who knows, maybe he'll like it enough to include it or Bad Timing in a compilation someday.  One can hope.  But as a love letter to drag queens, most especially to our dear friends at O Bar and to RuPaul and the queens of her drag race show, I only hope the game helps introduce people to the magic and wonder of drag.

Dreamscrapers continues to move slowly forward.  The game is still going through system debates in my head, as I find myself uncertain on whether I want to use an Apocalypse World inspired engine, or whether I want something different.  A part of my brain is thinking of even cycling A Single Moment's Hatred system into something new.  Something that allows people to just say they succeed or not, and build on the story without going overboard.  Overworking the game is my problem now as I keep having all these ideas on what direction I want the experience to be.  I've already been having artwork made for the game, which is insane as that costs money, but I really want this game to happen.

TAG Sessions, Volume 1 is going through a rewrite.  Originally I wrote it as a guide on approaching role-playing playing games in a "dramatic" manner.  But now I realize I wanted to avoid sounding preachy and all-knowing as there are people out there who will be quick to tear you down if you try to sound in any way knowledgeable in a subject.  Locally, we call it anti-intellectualism.  But unsurprisingly those who engage it do so to impose the idea that they are the smarter ones.  So yeah, to avoid that, I'm rewriting the portions of the book as more autobiographical sharing of my twenty plus years of experiences playing, and running games.  I'm even partly tempted to invite some people to write an essay about their experiences in relation to TAG Sessions - maybe talk about how different games can feel, or why certain approaches I've done struck a chord for them - but in the end I'll have to see how much I'm willing to risk opening myself again to people.

Ongoing game-wise, the big winner so far is our 7th Sea Twin Chronicle which we call, The Guissola.  Composed of two gaming groups, the two heroic parties scour the world of Terra and have uncovered a massive plot by the Novus Ordo Mundi to use the artifacts and research of the late Nisab Guissola to accomplish a devilish scheme.  The game has reached epic narrative proportions as the Planetary and Fringe influences have been uncovered in the game.  The groups are nearing the point of having crossover sessions with characters from one group joining members of the other.  We're even anticipating a major crossover with both groups present in one session sometime around April or May.  The big enemy has been revealed to be the delectable Adeliadis Petronilla Fassequelle whose ambitions to become the most prominent woman in Terra has lead to her Corrupting the Queen Elaine enough to lose the favor of the Grail and seduce the leaders of various Nations and Organizations. But her ambitions seem to not be limited to just Terra as the heroes unearth the possible roots of the Syrne Artifacts all over the lands and discover there maybe be more than just the world they know held in this Grand Strategema.

There's the V20 Vampire game, Sleeper, which has been facing delays and hiccups due to schedule issues and bleak bouts of health complications from certain players. I love the story we have crafted, as we explore Kindred unlife in the shadows of Washington, D.C.  The players have been playing a meticulous game of prestation and performance, with each one attempting to gain more influence in the city, avoid responsibilities, and escape the intrigue. I worry though this game might have to make major adjustments soon to be fair to all who have been making time to keep the game going.

The Wield game, S.O.M.A., has not been played in quite some time.   With its last session, which was the second session, having been played September of 2016, I have doubts this game will be continuing anytime soon, which is a sad  reality to face given the generational story we had crafted for it. But in the end, real world responsibilities snare players away when least expected.  

And despite the terrible cancellation of the young heroes game, Rocky and Urim have asked me to consider finding a way to bring back a chance to play their characters.  And so, inspired by the reimagined successful approaches of Battlestar Galactica and Thunderbirds, I'm looking at starting a whole new teenage superhero chronicle using the DC Heroes system (or maybe even using the Masks RPG) with El Teniente and Buzz coming back for a whole new set of stories.  I'm hoping this time, the game will feel more teen hero than... not.  And to round the group up, I've decided to invite Flip to join the two and come up with his own superhero.  I'm definitely ditching the prison-sounding title and giving this game a fresh new coat of creativity.   More on this when we finally meet to flesh it out.

Beyond the personal gaming and goals, there have been a host of new projects and a bunch of older ones finally being completed.   And there's the offer.  Man, that offer is amazing. I'm so ready to dive in, but I'm still trying to be a responsible adult and looking at it with legalese eyes rather than go all fanboy and just say yes! But if there's any affirmation I've been doing something right, I do believe this is it.

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