Monday, January 25, 2021

Baduy Pride on the Expanse

 The Expanse has grown to be one of the shows we truly enjoy!  Even better, the show has both a tabletop rpg game system and a boardgame!  Check out our episode of Baduy Pride as we talk about why we love it so much!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

2021 is going well so far

Despite the bad days when certain trauma rear their ugly head, thankfully, 2021 has been a kind year so far. From news of one of my games being part of a different compilation, to getting more words down on some upcoming games, I'm happy to share that TAG Sessions continues to work on stuff which we hope others will enjoy.

One such example is MODELS. Currently at around 55k words, the supermodel superspy game is hoping to see a February release date. I'm trying to work on it every other day, typing down at least 1,000 words each time I get my hands on it. Some older projects such as Once Upon a Time in Jianghu and A Second Moment are currently going through major rewrites. As much as I actually already finished them some time back, seeing them right now again brings back harsh memories. And so, I find myself needing to at least rework them to some extent so they feel like fresh new projects again. It doesn't make much sense, I know. But for my mental health, it seems to be helping. My younger-audience game, Dreamscrapers, is moving again. I think it helps that both Dreamscrapers and MODELS have a very light mood to them. Both help me focus on the positive side of the gaming industry.
In other news, got started on this year's 12 New Games Per Year Challenge. For those who have been following my blog, I started the promise ever since I realized each game offers so many wonderful experiences that were written specifically to create those moments. And so, from a "World of Darkness games are the best and only system you need to learn" mindset, I grew up and saw the beauty of every game people design.

12 New Games for 2021
1) Night's Black Agent's The Dracula Dossier

So far, this 2021, we've started a new campaign.  We've decided to talk the plunge and play a full campaign of Night's Black Agent's The Dracula Dossier which in many ways offers so many awesome new ideas for play different from a standard Night's Black Agent's game.  I'm even amused how it has echoes of what I've been mapping out for both MODELS and Dreamscrapers from years ago. 

But there, January has one new game entry!  And here's hoping the rest of 2021 will be filled with more game experiences.  Some targets I hope to run and play include:
a) Tiny Cthulhu
b) Thousand Year Old Vampire
c) The Expanse RPG
d) Star Trek RPG
e) Werewolf the Savage Age
f) Vampire the Classical Age
g) Invisible Sun

I wonder where I can find players willing to try them.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Nine - A Court of Nil Story

Marie Diane Goillot chases after The Many Faced Man from Merteuil, Andre Paul Chanley. While intrigue and scandal have long been celebrated hobbies in Montaigne, it is said that it was not until the war against Castille that an organization would be formed to keep an eye on such as its raison d'etre. That lead to the formal creation of the Court of Nil.

This is one of their stories.

An excerpt:

EVERYTHING DEPENDED ON THE NEXT CARD.  I knew I was in trouble as I stared at the black seven in my hand. I slid my finger against the curved corner of the playing card and tried not to look anxious. My other hand cradled the two remaining cards. My opponent was smiling.  The bastard probably was going to win.

“You play a mean game of Dismiss, madame Marie Diane Goillot. I had half expected to have won in the first few rounds but clearly you have played me for a fool. This is not your first time to dabble with the affairs of the Les Neuf Preux!”

I smiled. It felt good to have caught the man off-guard. As one of the l’Ami du Roi, Maurice le Blanc was a Montaigne whose reputation preceded him quite a bit. The man had his romances with alcohol and his dalliances with crime.  Far from being a miserable specimen of a man, Maurice had thick barrel arms framing his ponderous chest.  But far from looking like a disheveled brute, his velvet-lined doublet was well-tailored to match his bulk despite being worn over his gold-threaded shirt.  Most Montaigne had begun to favor the more full and unfitted sleeves.  He kept his mustache wide and pointed and his beard slightly curved back towards his glistening lower lip. It almost looked like he was on the verge of drooling.  “Ah,” he suddenly leaned forward and shook his head so violently I thought he was going to shake free his wig, “I am lousy today. Just lousy. This game. This wine. Even this wine is lousy. Terrible, in fact. Are you sure this is Cabernet? It tastes old. And not the proper old of a wine. Bleagh,” he stared at the nearly empty bottle beside his glass with disdain, “Today is just going so lousy.”

“And not just because you are losing,” I teased.

“All the more so because I am losing!” he cried out in a trumpeting shriek.  The man hated it when things were not going his way. I saw a ball of spittle cling upon his lip, threatening to leap away for freedom. But before I could motion towards it, Maurice grabbed his glass and downed the remaining dregs of wine still inside of it. “How could you have all betrayed me…”  Maurice moaned aloud a few more times the same proclamation in varying octaves then raised his empty glass towards the waiting botellier. The wiry man in the unstarched ruff moved quickly and took the empty bottle away just as Maurice yelled out once more, “Betrayed!”

Betrayal is quite a funny thing. If there is one truth I’ve learned about betrayal is that it never comes from strangers or from one’s enemies. And the wounds from such can last a lifetime. Betrayal was the reason the Court of Nil was founded.  Founded by Gérard d’Crieux upon the instructions of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, the l’Empereur’s second wife, the Court of Nil exists to hunt down and deal with domestic and foreign threats to the monarchy. The organization started with humble beginnings, from what I’ve been told. All of the cases handled by the Court could fit in a simple apple box which Gérard stored among his clothes in the cabinet. But it was only after the Court of Nil unearthed and halted the Rilasciare agents that had infiltrated l’Empereur’s staff did we get more funding and support from the crown. But not the l’Empereur. The Sun King never knew of the Court. The Court functions by existing in the Sun King’s shadow.

Some would call that a betrayal.

I would disagree.


Includes a writeup for a new Secret Society, the Court of Nil. 

An excerpt:

Marie Diane Goillot
Marie successfully infiltrated both the Rilasciare and the Die Kreuzriter within her first three years in the Court of Nil. She was an expert at support operations, which both secret societies benefited from to a great degree. Neither realized she was using her role to steal information from each group and transmit them back to the Box. Known also as la dame qui boite, or the lady with a limp, it was said she accidentally shot herself in the left foot while on a hunting trip. After having it amputated, she replaced it with a wooden leg that had a hollow compartment that proved to be extremely useful in her activities.
This book tells the story of one of Marie’s missions.
Favor with The Court of Nil

The Court of Nil runs a complicated game in the circles of secret societies. Unlike others, which readily trade in favors, the Court tends to do so through intermediaries and indirect messengers. Unless the Hero is one of the targeted replacements for an existing member, they probably are trading in Favors without realizing it.

Grab the book today. 
40 pages.
Digital only.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Phone Larp Book

You can now grab THE LARP PHONE BOOK, an Italian translation of various LARP games that can be played on the phone.  Grab a copy today!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Goodbye 2020. Here's hoping 2021 will be better.

It was not an easy year last year.  But thankfully, in the end,  we generally survived it. 2019 was tough, and I was hoping that 2020 would be a year to bounce back. But sadly, that was not quite the case. Lost a lot of opportunities, and even money, and nearly more.  The pandemic only served to make it worse. But after talking to my partner, Rocky, about things, he helped me remember the main reason I started TAG Sessions in the first place: To make games that people would be bale to enjoy using to tell new stories.

And so I will just continue to do that.

Of my annual 12 New Games Per Year Challenge, I was thankfully able to complete it this year despite the pandemic. For those new to the blog, I made a personal promise to try and play or run 12 new games every year.

This year's game sessions (which I usually run as TAG Bites sessions) are the following:
1) Praxis: Black Sun - Sunrise End
2) Protocol: Dinner Guests
3) Protocol: Chebyshev Function
4) Maze Rats
5) Dreams of the Aquarium
6) Trinity Continuum
7) Eldritch High
8) Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Adventure Game
9) Takipsilim playtest
10) Night's Black Agents
11) Parsley: Pumpkin Town
12) Root the RPG
13) Legend of the Elements

There were a few notable events which TAG Sessions was sort of able to be part of this 2020.
These include my game being featured or mentioned in one way or another, games being noticed by the community for awards or the like, a few online talks, and attended a few events. There wasn't much else I could do, unfortunately, so I just tried to keep a lower profile. And just tried to stay productive.

One key place I was happy to have been able to participate was in sharing more of my games to a community of solo boardgamers. It was quite touching, to be honest, and it made me happy when I heard back from some of them given their interest in exploring more table top rpgs.  With the pandemic making connecting with people and having games even harder to do, my partner and I decided to start a new thing as a means to stay social while celebrating our passion for geeky things and more.  We created: BADUY PRIDE.

Here are some sample episodes:

We try to shoot an episode a few times a week, usually around 9pm, and we've covered a wide range of topics, from tabletop games, to boardgames, to LGBTQIA+ concerns, and a lot of personal sharing. We don't have a huge following yet, but of those who have been regular viewers, we've been very happy to have connected and have also made new friends.

On the creation side, I wanted to extend my thanks to the TAG TEAM SUPPORTERS:  Rocky, Tania, and Hello, Mirai.  Thanks to their undying support, these are the games and fiction I've released last 2020.  

It is quite a smaller turnout than I hoped for 2020. So I guess I just have to resolve to be more productive this 2021, no matter what happens this year.  Having survived 2019 and 2020, I think I can draw strength from that knowledge and remind myself not to lose sight of the main reason I first started writing my own games.

Thank you for your time.

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