27 July 2019

PinkFae Archive #42: How to GM Part 4: Running the Game Session

Today, we have another installment of the PinkFae Archives. This article is the next in the 'How to GM' series. It was originally published on 19 November 2016.

Four people sitting at a table playing a roleplaying game, one person is GMing, and the others are playing.

Finally, the time has come to play! You've assembled a gaming group and you've chosen a game. You designed the campaign, and you're ready with the story for the first session. Now you're sitting at a table with your friends, dice nearby, and the players all look at you. What do you do now?

20 July 2019

PinkFae Archive #41: Board Game Review: Tides of Madness

We come once again to a PinkFae archive. This article is another board game review. It was originally published on 12 November 2016.

A game of Tides of Madness in progress. Two face up cards are clearly visible in the foreground, with a number of face-down cards and a couple more face up cards visible beyond them. In the centre of the table are some madness tokens.

Earlier this year, Portal Games released a Cthulhu-based card game called Tides of Madness. It was a rework of their game Tides of Time, which was released last year. It's a surprisingly enjoyable game, given that it consists entirely of eighteen cards and a handful of tokens. I got to play it a couple of weeks ago, so I will review it for you today.

13 July 2019

PinkFae Archive #40: Descriptive vs Statistic: An Evolution in RPGs

Today's article is another entry from the PinkFae archives. It was originally published on 5 November 2016.

The current cover art for three descriptive roleplaying games: Bluebeard's Bride, Fiasco, and Fate Accelerated

 Last week, when I posted the interview with Whitney Beltr├ín, I had to cut out a lot of material. The transcript of our conversation was over 5,000 words long. I usually try to post articles of around one thousand words. Generally, I keep a thousand five hundred as an upper limit. Even cutting out entire sections of the conversation, it was hard to get the article down to two thousand words. This is especially disappointing to me, as there were some really interesting topics that I had to remove entirely. The interview I posted absolutely stands on its own. It does a great job of communicating the important aspects of the game. But one of the topics I had to eliminate was a discussion of the evolution of roleplaying games. In particular, we discussed how roleplaying games are becoming less statistics-based, and more descriptive.

06 July 2019

Board Game Review: Architects of the West Kingdom

The cover art for Architects of the West Kingdom. The top half is a painting of a king, a battle-scarred knight, and a noblewoman, all looking at the viewer. The bottom half is a Gothic cathedral midway through construction, covered with scaffolding and surrounded by wooden cranes. The painting is done in a moderately cartoon-y style that has more of an avant-garde feel than a childish feel.

I've posted before about the reasons why I don't like worker placement games. I find that I don't like feeling like I have no good options available to me; most worker placement games limit the actions I can take, either by restricting how many tokens can occupy a single space or by providing me with a very small number of tokens to place. Often both. So when I see that a game is a worker placement game, I tend to be reluctant to try it.

I am pleased to report that Architects of the West Kingdom does not suffer from these annoying factors. I was pleasantly surprised by this game, and I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. So for today's entry, I will review this game. Starting, as we always do, with the numbers: