Been a while

I originally started this thing / blog as a way to record my various thoughts around my exploration of the gaming hobby, and that goal hasn't change. Occasionally I can look back and enjoy seeing my thoughts on a topic. Or occasionally I run into someone who has an opinion or question on a matter, and instead of writing it all out again, I can point and say: "See there? Those are my thoughts!"

So, I'm happy with this little corner I have; it's doing what I want. And although I've been good about getting consistent with updating this place, the last month+ has been a little bit of a break. Was it the US election and post-election malaise? The fact that I haven't gotten much gaming going on? Don't know, but I'm still here, and still very much loving this junk.

So, this is posted a bit after the fact, but here's what's been happening for November...

Fiasco at Story Games Glendale (Nov 2)

Despite the fact that Fiasco is touted as a pretty seminal game in indie RPG and story game circles, I'd only played half a game once, over 3 years ago. It was great to finally get a chance to play a full game. 

We had 5 people total, so Dave helped facilitate. I came with my friend Lucas, and we got to play with Tim, a fellow gamer I had met at another meetup and who is starting to look more into story gaming.

It was a fun playthrough. We did a small-town thing reminiscent of Coen brothers style movies. It's not my favorite genre to play, and I always feel a bit of pressure working with real-world scenarios versus the fantasy/sci-fi genres. That said, we had a decent amount of role-playing type scenes, and a story emerged that ended on some very sad notes. 

2-player board games prior to Story Games Glendale (Nov 16)

This event was a bit of a wash, as no one showed (some with warning), but fortunately I planned to meet my bro-in-law Nigel there. 

So, first off, Game Haus Cafe has some killer sandwiches and food. They also appropriately name them all after various games. For example, this was the amazingly delicious Gyro Quest sandwich I ordered (get it... Gyro / Hero?)

We ended up trying a few 2-player games that I've been meaning to try, including Patchwork.

We tried Rise as well, which is a cute, abstract area-control type game. Not sure the longevity of the game (much like Hive) but it's definitely interesting enough and good as a 2-player filler.

Board games and The Final Girl at Story Games Glendale (Nov 30)

Met Nigel at Game Haus Cafe a bit early, and we did some more 2-player game explorations. We tried Odin's Ravens, which was a little simple, but again, could be a good enough filler as a two-player game. Probably not much replayability, but as someone who enjoys showing people new games, I'd probably get a bit of play from it. Very simple mechanics.

I've also learned to play 7 Wonders' 2-player game called 7 Wonders: Duel with my friend Kevin, and got to actually set it up and teach someone else how it works. I was getting worked points-wise, but eked out a victory with pure muscle, marching my soldiers into Nigel's civilization. If you like the concept of the Civilization video game franchise, this is like a miniature, super simplified 2-player board game version. In other words: fun.  We played a quick game of Patchwork, and that's when the folks showed up for Story Games. Nigel isn't as excited about the GM-less RPG stuff, so took off.

The Final Girl at Story Games Glendale (Nov 16)

We had some new folks show up! Nick was new to the meetup, and Mark, who showed up before and is a friend of Dave's, brought 2 newbies. With 6 people we weighed our options, and went with one large group for The Final Girl, a horror movie RPG meant to emulate slashers or horror movies. We had a good time with strange, supernatural, remote mountain town trying to murder us out-of-towners, along with everyone else. It was a great little intro game for new story gamers. We did fall into a little trap of allowing the Killer (the person who takes turn playing the murderer in the narrative) being a sort of GM, which isn't really in the spirit of the game so much, but even that is a learning experience for the players and a way to transition from one style of play to another.

Thanksgivings and such

So, other than those little events, I've been reading a bunch of RPG stuff in anticipation for running some games at Strategicon, and testing some games before then.

Specifically, I'm very excited about Stras Acimovic's Atlas Reckoning, a mech vs kaiju narrative card-based PbtA-style game (still in beta). I've read through the game, and plan to do some play-test battles with friend Howie, and daughter Nova. I've even put together some cut-down one-shot versions of the archetype playsheets which I'm hoping work a little easier in those situations (and also hoping it's up to Stras' muster).

Golden Sky Stories is another one I'd very much like to run, advertised as "a heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game that’s great fun for all ages". That and Fantasy Friends, the fantasy style version where you can play Aberrations and Slimes and such!

Otherwise, got to spend Thanksgiving up at the folks place, and even found out that a game cafe is opening up in their neighborhood! 

 The youngest of the nephews. Get them early!

 The youngest of the nephews. Get them early!

Holidays ahead!

Just came back from decorating the X-mas tree over at the in-laws house, which was fun, even with my Jewish background, and distaste for Christmas music in general. Nova always has a blast decorating the tree, and the family gathering in general is always great.

I will give you this RPG pro-tip... got extra dice? Glue them to a paperclip (glue gun) and you have excellent ornaments!

My little section of the X-mas tree at the in-law's place.

My little section of the X-mas tree at the in-law's place.