Best of 2015 – Videogames

Well that time of year again, I’m typing this up in the first week of January. When I actually finish and post it is anyone’s guess. 2015 was a pretty solid year in terms of gaming as a whole. Lots of great games were released, several of which will easily become “classics”. Most major publishers and platform holders started making serious moves towards promoting VR. Sony had perhaps the greatest E3 ever. Several white whales were spotted and beached (Shenmue 3, FFVII Remake, Last Guardian alive and well). Overall a solid year. But it was also the year of the delay, so many titles got pushed back 2016. Which, when you add in the titles planned for 2016, makes the upcoming year look like a monster. Continue reading…

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GIWTR 02 – Eight Devils of the Demon’s Gate – Part 02.5 – Delays

I was really hoping to keep up bi-weekly posts on this little project but sadly it was clearly not meant to be. While there are some minor extenuating circumstances the main reason for the delay is the process of getting to grips with GURPS that I mentioned in my previous post. I love the idea of a modular endlessly customisable and adaptable system. I also love the basic idea for this campaign. But as it turns out I don’t love reading (literally) hundreds of pages of generic advantages and disadvantages. My first few attempts to slog through it met with failure. Clearly my tolerance for reading pure RPG mechanics has faded as it woudlnt have phased me in the least in the past. While I can appreciate the depth reading through it just to read through it feels like a waste of time. Not that all the effort is wasted as I’ve mentally made provisional lists of which advantages and disadvantages are suitable for the campaign. The customisation options are also impressive, but I think I’ll need to mock up some sample characters just to stop myself falling asleep. I did switch to skimming the text but that only brought me up to the skills chapter. Which is equally unexciting. How an RPG reads has little to do with how it is in play. But this is a spectacularly dull book to read. I shall soldier on, but with no chance to run this in the near future my interest and drive has drifted a bit (to running “pure” Lovecraftian Call of Cthulhu or first edition Earthdawn). I shall try to solider on, if for no other reason than the hopes of making some use of this blog again. I have thought more about the setting (because its easier and I’m lazy). I’ll try and fire up a post outlining that this week (preferably when it isnt five in the morning).

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GIWTR 02 – Eight Devils of the Demon’s Gate – Part 02 – GURPS and Iterative Conversions

Came up with a snappy title, and by came up with I mean just took the literal translation of the antagonists from Ninja Scroll. But I won’t tell if you don’t. So when we last looked at EDotDG (behold my mighty acronym powers) I was considering how best to create a system for the Tracking/”Discovery” phase of the game. I do have some thoughts on that, which I’ll get to later, but while thinking around it other elements sprung up. Perhaps the most pressing of which was how to make the combats against the “Devils” feel both different and fun. Considering the menagerie of huge monsters that show up in most fantasy RPG’s (and a number of other genres) there is surprisingly little written about how to run such combats, in terms of either GM advice or actual mechanics. Continue reading…

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PDF’s, Print on Demand and the allure of custom rulebooks

If you’ve been reading my recent gaming posts you’ll know I’m on something of a GURPS kick as the moment. While reading about it online I came across people discussing custom rulebooks. At first I thought they were simply talking about a PDF with some stuff Frankensteined together. But then I realised they were talking about actual physical books (made from PDF’s Frankensteined together). I’m not going to lie, this idea intrigued me greatly. Continue reading…

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GIWTR 02 – Part 01 – (Ninja) Hunters of the Shadows of Monster Colossi (Scrolls)?

If you have forgotten what the amazingly unwieldy acronym “GIWTR” stands for it is “Games I want to Run”. Spawned in the heady days of 2013, when the world seemed a much brighter place (I mean I had a job and a working chair which are two things I lack now), it (like this blog honestly) hasn’t seen as much use as I thought it would. But as running and playing RPG’s is now a vaguely regular thing I’ve started to have those hot movements in my brain pan that the village elder assures me are what the gentry call “thoughts”. Thoughts for campaigns of such magnificence that playing in them would alter lives, cure illnesses and doubtless increase sexual potency (no refunds). I suppose at this point I should stop amusing myself and get to the subject at hand, what is this campaign idea about? Continue reading…

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[Let’s play] Darkest Dungeon – The Fall of the House of McDonnell – Week 01 – 25

Wherein we shall detail the grim and sobering fate of the House of McDonnell as they seek to suppress their tainted inheritance (with names drawn recklessly from Facebook)

Father is gone. I hadn’t seen him in decades, since he sent me to the seminary and I began my ministry in the city. But I must return, that house, that place, must be cleansed, expunged from creation itself. I can hear it calling me. Calling me home.

I will not be able to do it alone, I have sent out missives to friend and family, asking them to join me in this endeavour. I fear it is an act of utmost selfishness, one wich they will in time damn me for. But I have no more time to waste on idle recrimination. I must return and the stage is ready. Continue reading…

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Games I want to run – My Goldilock’s problems

It’s been a few years since I ran a game, well the odd one off here and there, but nothing particularly long. The last campaign-ish thing I ran was a terrible Vampire campaign that fell apart, largely because I made every NPC an unbelievable cunt. Earlier this year I ran a short Traveller campaign, which started off rocky as I was fairly rusty but I was getting back into the swing of it by the time it ended. Last week I picked up the most recent mega-campaign for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, Curse of Strahd. Continue reading…

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Upcoming Games of 2016

As I mention over here 2016 is looking like a monster year for computer gaming. Apart from the original titles slated for release it seems like half the major titles for 2015 got pushed back to 2016. There is a tidal wave of great looking gaming bearing down on us. So how do you navigate through this confusing maelstrom of choice? Simple, just lock onto the glorious light of my opinion and let it guide you through the darkness. Continue reading…

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