25 August 2018

Advice for a First-Time GM

Recently, one of the players in my Fate group asked me for advice on how to GM. She had some friends who wanted to play, but there wasn't room in my group for new members (I have a hard limit of six players plus the GM on any games I run). So instead, she decided to run a game for them herself.

I wrote her a fairly lengthy email full of advice, and it later occurred to me that it might be the sort of thing that could be useful to others. So I will adapt the information I wrote in that email into an entry, and share it with you.

I will point out that as we get further into the PinkFae archives, there will be a series of articles entitled 'Analysis of GMing,' which will have a lot of advice that will be useful to the first-time GMs. But that series isn't targeted specifically at new GMs, and it's still a couple months out (the first entry is going to be Archive #22, and we just had #17 last week, so it's going to be about four months from now).  So we'll start here, and as more information comes out, it will be additional advice to add onto what you're about to read!

18 August 2018

PinkFae Archive #17: Board Game Review: Tsuro

This week, we have another PinkFae Archive (remember, the articles in this series are repostings of entries that I wrote during my time with PinkFae, which are being published here so as not to be lost). This time around, we have the review of the wonderful game Tsuro.

This article was originally posted on 16 May 2016. Enjoy!

A game of Tsuro in progress. The photo shows the board, with several tiles laid out upon it, and the players' pieces on the tiles ready for the next player's turn.

Another week, another board game review. This week, I'm going to talk about a simple but enjoyable game called Tsuro. It's a fun little spatial-awareness game with a bit of a zen theme. I first saw it played on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, and got to play it myself a few months ago. I really enjoyed it, so I picked up a copy for myself. So let's take a look at this game now, shall we?

11 August 2018

Inclusive NPCS Volume 5: Pilar

We've come again to the time for an inclusive NPC. Here, I provide you with another NPC that you may use to ensure that your games are welcoming, by including non-stereotyped minority characters. As always, I describe these characters from the viewpoint of a basic modern setting, but you are free to adapt them to whatever setting you need for your games. Are you playing in a fantasy game where modern countries don't exist? Adapt the character's origin story to fit your world (just remember with ethnicity to maintain the minority status as much as possible; that is, after all, the point of these characters). Is your game set in a distant galaxy? Add some ultra-tech gear to the character. Are you playing pirates on the high seas? Adjust the skills accordingly.

I provide stats for the D20 system, GURPS, the original World of Darkness, and Fate Core. But you are always welcome to adjust these stats for whatever system you are using.

This time around, we will be meeting Pilar Montes Rodriguez. She is courteous and honest, but with a tendency to be outrageously playful. She has big dreams, but is really too timid to try to achieve them. She's generally shy, but loyal to those she calls friends. Although she's not looking for romance, she can be flirty as a way to play and have fun. She's sensitive to the suffering of others, but not really brave enough to get involved in politics or other ways of trying to help.

04 August 2018

The Six Characteristics of a Good Game

As I was writing last week's review of Rampage / Terror in Meeple City, I started thinking about how I had only just recently introduced into my board game reviews the Six Characteristics of a Good Game. More to the point, I was thinking about how those six characteristics don't always map exactly to how well I like a game.

So, I thought that today, I would take a quick look back at all of the games I've reviewed on this blog in the past. I want to do this for two reasons:
  1. I want to go back and add these characteristics to those games that don't yet have them, on account of I wrote their reviews before I started including the characteristics.
  2. I want to compare the characteristics to my personal ratings of those games.
Note that in that last one, I'm comparing the ratings to my personal tastes. I'm only doing this for demonstrative purposes. I want to show that just because a game has all six characteristics, it won't necessarily be a game that you like. Contrariwise, if a game lacks most (or all) of these characteristics, it may still be a game that you enjoy. So whatever ranking you give to these games, similar to mine or different, the point remains the same.

Let's go!