27 September 2015

What Lawsian Gamer Type Are You?

As I prepare the Changeling campaign I'm running for a couple of friends, I turn my thoughts (as I often do) to the player types I have in my group.

Those who've been following this blog for a long time now may remember that I posted, several years ago, a description of the different player types. I always like to get an idea of the types of players for whom I'm GMing, so I can try to tailor the story to their needs and desires.

As this particular group is still so new to gaming, I imagine it will be a month or two before I start asking these questions. But to that end, I've created a survey on Google Forms that they can take when I feel the time is right to ask them to think about these things.

And then it occurs to me that it might be interesting to know what gamer types I have reading this blog.

So, to that end, I present to you the Lawsian Gamer Types survey!

19 September 2015

External Resources

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about player aids. I've recently been able to start a Changeling game for a couple of friends, and I reworked an idea I'd used in the past. I think that will make an interesting topic for this week's entry.

Those of you who are experienced gamers may be familiar with a concept called "bluebooking." If this is a new idea to you, let me explain: some gaming groups began using blue books (small booklets of blank ruled paper, normally used in american universities for essay exams) to continue action of a game outside of a normal gaming session. If there were scenes that players wanted to play out in private, away from others in their gaming group, those scenes could be written out in blue books, which were cheap and easily available. GMs would then review those scenes and respond to them, if necessary, and could incorporate events of such private scenes into their game setting without other players being immediately aware of what was going on. Other types of scenes that could be acted out through bluebooking included scenes that occurred in a long lull in main action (i.e., if a couple of years of in-game time passed between gaming sessions, players could describe what their character was doing during that time), or if there was a scene that a player didn't feel comfortable roleplaying in front of other gamers, and so on.

This is just one example of an External Resource. External Resources are tools used outside of a normal gaming session to enhance stories being told.

13 September 2015

Board Game Review: Colosseum

It's time for another board game review, and I've got a good one for you this week. We're going to look at the game Colosseum by Wolfgang Kramer and Markus L├╝bke, published by Days of Wonder and Edge Entertainment [editor's note: this article was written before the Tasty Minstrel Games version was released. The new edition has some minor additions to the rules, and different artwork, but is otherwise the same]. Players own colosseums in ancient Rome, and are competing to put on the greatest show.

Let's start in the usual place, with the numbers:
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, andmakes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take.
Strategy: 3
Randomness: 2
Complexity: 3
Humour: None
Attractiveness: Nice
Average Length of Game Play: 2 Hours

05 September 2015

A brief overview of Changeling history (part 3)

In the last installment, we had just arrived at the point in which the sidhe had returned from Arcadia. At first, most of the kithain were overjoyed, as this seemed to signal a new Spring, a symbolic end of the hardships of the previous six hundred years, as Glamour began to return to Earth.

Their hopes were soon dashed, however, as the sidhe looked around themselves and said, 'Your rulers have returned. Bow down and serve us once more.'

Obviously, the commoner kith were none too pleased at this development. The sidhe had, after all, abandoned them to potential Undoing at the hands of Banality, only to return and demand fealty once more without even so much as a 'Good job in our absence.' Tensions mounted, until in most areas of Europe, the Americas, and Oceania, war broke out between the commoners and the sidhe. In some ways, this conflict was most severe in the Americas, where hostilities began with the Night of Iron Knives, otherwise known as the Beltaine Massacre. The sidhe had agreed to meet with the commoner leaders and forge a peace treaty. The leaders were instead betrayed, as the sidhe slew every one of them with Cold Iron, obliterating their faerie souls for all eternity.