Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Origins: GoD, TftL & Anxiety

BRAVO PERFORMANCE
Games on Demand at Origins has always been great. This year it transformed to awesome. The cattle-call line-up system of previous years made things painful at times. It worked but required folks to get there an hour or more early. Games on Demand pushes people to try new games, but if you’ve been in line for 90 minutes, not getting a game you know & want created grumpy folks. This year they shifted to the Boarding Pass system used at Gen Con.

Attendees show up at most a half hour early to get a pass with a letter. When the session begins, the hosts draw random letters. When you letter’s drawn, you go up to make your pick.

It worked even better here than at GC. Some of that comes from how Origins sets things up: four hour slots with solid good breaks between. Gen Con doesn’t really have breaks. Combined that with overlapping two-hour slots and you have a logistical PITA. A two hour game’s going to lose about ten minutes at the start and you’ll want to wrap it ten minutes early to let people get to their next event. So you end up with more like 90 minutes

The Origins organizers did an amazing job this year. Despite the challenges of GAMA (not giving info on advance ticket sales, not providing LARP space quickly), it ran like clockwork. They’d gone with a shorter period for GM recruitment which had worried me. The initial list looked slim, but the end result worked. Every session I saw had just enough seats for those who showed up. They had few games not go off and I only heard of one or two people not being able to get in. They scheduled excellently, giving the GMs gaps between sessions. So awesome.

Once again I took the table-tents Rich and I designed. They’re postcards which can be folded to present your character’s name and record who you played. On the reverse side we have tasteful adverts for Age of Ravens and The Gauntlet network of podcasts. They went over well and the GoD crew nicely allowed us to put those out again.

I had only one problem, something I’ve seen before. Both Games on Demand Origins & Gen Con make an effort to be inclusive and provide tools to handle table problems. There’s a list of participation rules on the table as well as an X-Card. They do an all-hands meeting where they talk about these and the importance of explaining and using them at the table. That’s awesome. I always mention the X-Card in my opening spiel and stress its importance to Games on Demand. I check in to make sure everyone knows how it works and usually give an example.

Three times now I’ve played with game designers who ignore this. They don’t bother. Two of those three times I would most definitely have X-Card’ed shit at the table, especially the rapey crap present at a table with my wife and niece. It bugs me because there’s a social contract: you want to run at Games on Demand, we have minimal standards established. If you don’t want to use those, that’s cool, but maybe you should be running somewhere else? I don’t know. It bugs me. Anyway. A little thing.

GAMES WERE DEMANDED
As I posted before, I took Magic, Inc (my game) and Tales from the Loop as my two picks. For back-up I’d brought The Veil and Before the Storm. As Rich predicted, TftL got picked the first three times. It’s a sexy and new game, plus it didn’t seem to be run anywhere else at the con. In fact, Modiphus had no presence whatsoever so you couldn’t find copies or it or any of the other excellent Free League Games. That’s dumb. I’d expected they’d have at least made arrangements for an attending vendor to have them.

When it came time for my fourth session, I crossed out Tales from my menu. I still wanted to leave players a choice, so I offered The Veil…which of course got picked. On the one hand I dug it and it gave me a chance to try out the revised Veil playbooks I’d done. On the other, I’d have loved to show off Magic, Inc and Action Cards. I’d put a lot of work into that. I’ll have to remember that for next year: be bold.

I loved Tales from the Loop at the table. I learned more about how to frame and run it each session. Every table was awesome—my first session I ran for Christopher Sniezak (Misdirected Mark), Pete Petrusha (designer of Dreamchaser), Nikki Lewandowski, Tom Flanagan (Knights of the Night), and a fifth player (whose name I didn’t get because I’m a terrible person). Each of the three tables handled the scenario differently. I’m going to write up a larger post about Tales, so I’ll hold off on much detail. The Veil also went well. I need to make a couple of changes to the playbooks. In particular they shouldn’t be double-sided. Rich pointed that out to me. I may make the main sheet landscape on a legal-sized sheet and put the moves letter sheet with portrait orientation. That will help separate them.

I only played one session this year, Atomic Robo with Mike Olson. Sherri played that with me as well. I run Fate very different from him. I’d only run it, never played it with someone else GMing. I love Fate, at least the way I handle things. The differences struck me: an emphasis on the economy, resource tracking, slowing down to check rules specifics. I had a good time and Olson had an amazing frame for the adventure. Overall it made me more confident about the way I run Fate. Sherri played Familiars of Terra (great game, weak table); Tales from the Loop; Atomic Robo; and The Veil. Her game of the show was a session of Velvet Glove with Brendan Conway (Masks) as the MC and Rich Rogers, Jason Cox & one other as her fellow gang members.

ANXIETY’S LAST WORD
For anyone who has anxiety about running online rpgs, I want to tell you something. I've talked a little on the blog about my anxiety issues. They’re serious enough that I medicate to keep from freaking out. Having Sherri around makes things easier. She keeps track of my level of panic. Despite that I've run at Games on Demand Origins and Gen Con the last several years. Before that I demo'd at cons for Eden Studios. I enjoyed that, but I had to force myself to. Inevitably the two hours leading up to a session were a nerve-wracking crack-up time. I'd pray my event wouldn't go off. Even at Origins 2016, with both Sherri and Rich in my corner, I still had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At GoD Gen Con last year, I ran back and hid in my room between sessions. I played only once and that was because I really wanted to see Anna Krieder run.

This year…nothing. I’d lost the terror. I fretted, as I always do, because I'm naturally a fretter. But no fear. No panic, No impostor syndrome. Just the hope I’d have a cool table and they'd dig it. I ran four games and hosted an additional slot. I had a great time.

I know why. It's because I've been running so many online games for The Gauntlet Hangouts. That exercise, that practice, has eased my worry and anxiety. I run online two-three times a week, rain or shine. It's made me a better GM and a calmer convention gamer.  Some of that comes from the act of doing it and some from having a consistently excellent, supportive, and enthusiastic pool of players. It won't work for everyone, but it has for me and it’s made me even more grateful for everyone here.

If you’re nervous about running online: do it. Find a solid community which shares your gaming interests and run games. It’s purely anecdotal, but it’s made my life better.

I talked with many amazing people and missed many others. It was the best con I’ve been to. If you went to Origins, how was it? 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pam Alexander, DFAE, and Gauntlet Hangouts Fate August

PAM ALEXANDER
This week I interviewed Pam Alexander for The Gauntlet. Pam served as Lead Author for Dresden Files Accelerated. She worked with an amazing team of designers and authors including Morgan Ellis, Ed Turner, Leonard Balsera, Richard Bellingham, Clark Valentine and Brian Engard. I’ve already posted about how much I dig this new version of Fate Accelerated, despite not being a Dresdenverse aficionado. Other the other hand, Pam is an expert in all things Dresden, as you can hear in the podcast.

You can listen to the podcast here (or find it on iTunes). We’ve also been putting out parallel shows on YouTube, for those who use that as their listening service of choice. These are audio only, but they work for folks like me who listen to episodes via their PS4 on their TV.

DFAE IN THE WILD
I ran three sessions of Dresden Files Accelerated online for The Gauntlet. I’m also just starting a separate mini-campaign for the summer (shifting from Detroit to San Francisco). We posted the videos and got a good reaction, so I’m putting up those links. It’s a good way to see how DFAE operates, how I run Fate, and my mystery-building process.
SESSION ONE VIDEO

A couple of people asked me about my mysteries. How did I go about planning and managing the story in the three sessions? I’ve scanned my notes and put them in a single pdf. You can check that out here. Some notes on those notes:

Pages 1 & 2: These are all about establishing the structure and threats. I quickly wrote these after the first session. I’d ended on a cliffhanger that came to me in mid-game, so now I needed to figure out what that meant. I took the factions we’d established in character creation and fleshed them out just a little. I also added names to anchor the actors. I spent, at most, an hour on this right after the session.

Pages 3 & 4: The meat of the ideas. I did this prep just before session #2, and again tried to spend no more than an hour. I think about these things all week, but when I sit down to prep I keep myself to a maximum time. Usually it takes less.

I knew we had a Hell missing. I started by figuring out Hardesty Cho, the manager, and why there was a Hell there. I wracked my brain to remember every goofy detail about these things from readings of the Inspector Chen Series, The Girl with the Ghost Eyes, and the Dark Kingdom of Jade supplements from Wraith the Oblivion. I recalled the Hell Money I’d gotten as a kid from Archie McPhee. I connected that with the real world fact that a major casino sat where Detroit's old Chinatown had been.

I fleshed that out with incidents and actors. I don’t give much detail, but I do make possible connections. I figure the players look into these people/places, leading them to the end point (which I figured would likely be the Casino, but could be Hell or somewhere else). You can see some of the specific leads on those pages and even some stuff we never got to (like who counterfeited the Hell Money).

Pages 5: I wrote this between sessions 2&3. I had the luxury of knowing exactly where they’d start, with the questioning of Koemi August. So I fleshed out her story and connections. Then I drew lines and added details to what I’d already built. Again, despite the sparsity, you can see concepts I never used.

Anyway, that’s usually how I build mysteries. Sometimes I stat things out as well, but usually I do that on the fly at the table (unless we’re playing a crunchier game like 13th Age or Mutants & Masterminds).

AUGUST IS THE MOST FATE-FUL MONTH
I’m running three different online Fate games in August for The Gauntlet. They’re up. Two are filled right now, but I have a seat in the third. We have Waitlists if you’re interested, so consider trying it. The sign-up system emails people when their status changes, so that’s cool.

GAUNTLET TGIT: HELLBOY BPRD
Two sessions of Hellboy using Atomic Robo

It’s a rebuilding year for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Accrued vacation time, maternity leave, and a brush with the apocalypse have left the team understaffed. That where you come in, a new team dedicated to stopping supernatural threats, beating some sense into the otherworldly, and generally keeping people from knowing too much. We’ll build characters based on submitted concepts. This game will use Atomic Robo, with the supernatural and tech as equally valid options.

S2 (8/10): http://bit.ly/2rovfIs

GAUNTLET TGIT: BASE RAIDERS: SUPERPOWERED DUNGEON-CRAWLING
Two sessions of Base Raiders using Fate Core/FAE on the calendar for August

The world’s rich, multi-decade history of superheroics has ended. All of the potent and powerful vanished in the mysterious Ragnarok Incident. When those heroes, villains, and other weird beings vanished, they left behind bases- in some cases dozens of them. These marvels contain secrets, materials to scavenge, hi-tech toys, and the possibility of new powers. You play leftover supers- forgotten sidekicks, thrill seekers with .jury-rigged equipment, and minor-league mutants.

You’ve joined together to raid these bases for many reasons- finding lost loved ones, shutting down a dangers, discovering cures, locating new magics, or even finding vast quantities of filthy loot. You’ll have to fight past traps, failed experiments, and sentient guardians of all shapes and sizes. But you’ll have to act quietly or risk the attention of authorities or competitors.


GAUNTLET SUNDAY: REIGN OF CROWS
Four sessions of a throne-war game using Fate Core/FAE

The Queen has passed, the throne lies vacant and the circling has begun. Your family is not the largest, the strongest, the most battle-hardened, nor the wealthiest, but you will seize this day using every weapon, resource, and stratagem at your disposal.

Players will collaboratively create a family hell-bent on taking control—for justice, honor, power, or something in-between. You will craft a member of that family, select a role and choose your skills and assets. We will do world building (places, faction, etc) and let you loose on the land. Between sets of scenes, we’ll resolve seasonal actions and see the fallout of events. Can you fight off noble houses, guilds, and secret orders all wishing for control? Or can you forge an alliance to serve your interests? And can you do this in the face of darker threats to the kingdom itself?

It is a cooperative game, but of course only one person can really sit upon the throne at the end...


S4 (8/27) http://bit.ly/2qFqQDG

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cybernetics and The Veil

I have hardware on my mind after spending a weekend deep in Cyberpunk 2020's "Chromebooks." Both The Veil and The Sprawl use tags to define cybernetic systems, though in different ways. I've been playing with The Veil since I've started a small campaign of it. While working on revised playbooks, I scribbled ideas for other tags. But my list only really kicked into overdrive when I crowdsourced responses on The Gauntlet Slack channel. 

For the list below, I've combined examples given in The Veil and the Cascade Quickstart with new ones. I haven't fully defined these. Half the fun for me is seeing how these concepts get executed at the table. 

I've also worked on some modified The Veil playbooks. They're an attempt to find middle-ground between the detailed choices of the base game and the set material of the pre-gens. I don't know if they do that quite yet. I think they're a little closer to the level of an Urban Shadows sheet. Essentially I want something a table of four can answer, resolve, and integrate in the first hour of a four-hour con session. I will have to test. 


CYBERNETICS TAGS
(Examples from The Veil combined with some new ones. I’ve assigned these to segments, but I can imagine some of them going elsewhere.)
Universal: detachable, disguised, durable, integrated, remote, responsive, storage
Arm (1 tag) extending, grapple launcher, heavy lifter, kung-fu grip, magnetic, multitool, weapon holdout
Chest (1 tag) autocleaning, bioanalyzer, biometric jammer, brainbox, camouflage, charger, communication (ex. tattoos), efficient processor, expressive, iron stomach, shielded compartment, subdermal cosmetics, vapor filter
Ear (3 tags) analyzing, audio isolating, dampening, derma-linked, encrypted, encrypted, multitasker, parabolic, recording, white noise, wide-frequency
Eye (3 tags) broadcaster, disconcerting, derma-linked, flashproof, hardened, lazcutter, low-light, microscopic, modable, multi-spectrum, multitasker, recording, telescopic, thermo-graphic, weapon-linked
Interface (2 tags) communication (ex. narrow beam), concealed, dampening, encrypted, hardened, helper, HUD, implanted, intercepting, jamming, multi-task, recording, satellite relay
Leg (1 tag) dancer, double-jump, magnetized, padfoot, runner, shock-absorber, skates, weapon holdout

NEGATIVE TAGS
Basics from Book: Damaging, Unreliable, Susceptible, Twitchy, Scarred, Addicting
Adware infested
Analog
Antagonistic
Archaic
Banned
Battery-Hog
Beta-Test
Bleeding-edge
Bulky
Cheap
Complex
Compromised
Draining
Experimental
Flashy
Flimsy
Foreign
Heavy
High Maintenance
Hybrid
Illegal
Incompatible
Infamous
Infected
Infinite Updates
Knock-Off
Leaky
Legacy Instructions
Malware
Malware Infested
Noisy
Non-Ergonomic
Non-Standard interface
Non-Waterproof
Obsolete
Off-Sized
Overheating
Patchwork
Power-Hungry
Proprietary
Region-locked
Rusted
Sparking
Specialist
Sponsored
Spoofed
Spyware infested
Stolen
Temperamental
Temp-Sensitive
Traceable
Ugly
Uncool
Unsecured
Unstable
Unsupported
PRESETS (w/o Negative Tags)
  • Eye (3 tags) multi-spectrum, lazcutter, multitasker
  • Ear (3 tags) parabolic, wide frequency, recording
  • Arm (1 tag) weapon holdout
  • Leg (1 tag) runner
  • Interface (2 tags) recording, satellite relay
  • Chest (1 tag) vapor filter

Eye (3 tags) flashproof, telescopic, modable
Ear (3 tags) dampening, analyzing, audio isolating
Arm (1 tag) grapple launcher
Leg (1 tag) weapon holdout
Interface (2 tags) hardened, concealed
Chest (1 tag) efficient processor
  • Eye (3 tags) microscopic, low light, remote
  • Ear (3 tags) dampening, wide frequency, white noise
  • Arm (1 tag) kung fu grip
  • Leg (1 tag) double-jump
  • Interface (2 tags) encrypted, jamming
  • Chest (1 tag) iron stomach

Eye (3 tags) broadcaster, hardened, disconcerting
Ear (3 tags) encrypted, multitasker, white noise
Arm (1 tag) remote
Leg (1 tag) magnetized
Interface (2 tags) intercepting, helper
Chest (1 tag) bioanalyzer
  • Eye (3 tags) flashproof, broadcaster, modable
  • Ear (3 tags) dampening, parabolic, white noise
  • Arm (1 tag) durable
  • Leg (1 tag) dancer
  • Interface (2 tags) hardened, recording
  • Chest (1 tag) shielded compartment

Eye (3 tags) multi-spectrum, multitasker, disconcerting
Ear (3 tags) analyzing, parabolic, encrypted
Arm (1 tag) heavy lifting
Leg (1 tag) durable
Interface (2 tags) concealed, satellite relay
Chest (1 tag) subdermal cosmetics
  • Eye (3 tags) low light, lazcutter, hardened
  • Ear (3 tags) audio isolating, recording, white noise
  • Arm (1 tag) multitool
  • Leg (1 tag) skates
  • Interface (2 tags) encrypted, intercepting
  • Chest (1 tag) camouflage

Eye (3 tags) microscopic, remote, hardened
Ear (3 tags) audio isolating, encrypted, white noise
Arm (1 tag) magnetic
Leg (1 tag) padfoot
Interface (2 tags) jamming, helper
Chest (1 tag) biometric jammer 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

World Pitches: New Campaign Picks

As I posted last week, several of my campaigns are at transition points. I discussed my love for these moments on The Gauntlet recently. With our 13th Age game on summer hiatus, we’re switched over to a short Dresden Files Accelerated campaign. I’ve also started a mini-campaign of The Veil for Sherri, Kali, and my nephew David while he’s home for the summer. We started that Sunday, getting through character creation and several scenes. I didn’t go much further since I’d run Mutant Year Zero in the morning and played Apocalypse World in the afternoon.

In the good (?) old days, I’d say “hey, I’m running X now.” Usually the group would go along; maybe we’d have some players switch out. But times have changed and our f2f player pool has tightened. What I run needs to appeal to everyone. I want collaboration and buy-in from those players. Once I figured that out, I tried putting together massive lists of pitches. Way too massive. I diluted the pool and common interests. The few times I did that we got a final result with shared light enthusiasm over something everyone dug. The Paradox of Plenty.

Now I limit myself to 3-4 pitches at most. That gives me a pool I can invest energy in, time to explain each one, the ability to hand around materials, and few enough games that they’ll recall each when they vote. I present the games with a caveat. If any of them are a “Hard No,” I’ll pull them from consideration and add something else. I don’t want a game on offer that someone would quit rather than play (or play under duress). I also tell them we’ll check in every six or so sessions to see where we are and if we need to wrap. After explanations and questions everyone votes secretly, even me. I break any ties. Last time Mutant: Year Zero won, but all three other contenders tied. I bring passed-over, but well-voted games for later consideration.

SUNDAY GAME
Our bi-weekly Middle Earth campaign wrapped after 27 sessions. It’s a good, four-person group. Generally we’ve aimed for more traditional games and action oriented campaigns. Both the player group and the time slot lend themselves to straight line plots. Deep mystery and angst aren’t on the table. A simple system’s preferred. I put forward four games to them:

That’s a diverse set. Originally I wanted Blades in the Dark in there, but since I didn’t have the hard copy yet, I subbed in Tianxia at the last minute. Godbound won by just two points. Then Coriolis & The Veil came in with a near tie, and finally Tianxia. That group generally prefers fantasy, so the final pick wasn’t a total surprise.

Godbound has both a premise and a setting. The former has the PCs gaining/ channeling/ receiving divine powers from dead gods. There’s been a centuries long conflict, leading to human sorcerers storming the gates of heaven with artificially constructed gods. That all blew up, leaving behind remnants and threats like The Night Roads. Godbound has an Exalted vibe. Players start with powers and can deal serious damage right out of the gate. They’re not gods per se, just potent.

Godbound’s setting takes up a good chunk of the book. Crawford’s built a striking world, echoing some of his earlier fantasy work. It has distinct nations, lightly defined with problems and relations. Many have a strong Earth-culture parallel. They’ve released a couple of sourcebooks for the setting. While they’re solid, I’d rather build some things ourselves.

Luckily Godbound supports that too. It has the designer’s trademark tables for generating plots and content. I expect I will combine that with a Microscope-like approach. I haven’t yet decided what level to begin at. I put together a blank fantasy map in Hexographer. I might have everyone add nations and name places. Alternately I might focus on building just a city. Then we could discover the rest of the world as we play, hex-crawl style.

WEDNESDAY
Our Wednesday group plays online. These five originally came together in the City of Heroes MMO. Several players I grew up with before they moved away. So far I’ve finished a 13th Age and a three part M&M 2e campaign with them, both fairly long. Our current Mutant & Masterminds 3rd edition campaign will probably wrap tonight with session 27. It’s a group that leans trad. Also there’s a lot of real world distractions during play. As a result I have to carefully consider multi-thread plots and mysteries. I’ve been running on this night for years, but I still haven’t developed the perfect style for them.

I choose three games, all of them PbtA. I wanted to try something new, with different approach. A couple of the players have tried these games, so it isn’t entirely alien. I offered three games, two with a highly built in structure which I think the group will dig.

The Sprawl won, but Blades in the Dark came a close second. Urban Shadows followed slightly behind. Each game had at least one first place pick and one last place pick in the voting. I’d regretted leaving out BitD after Sunday’s offer, despite not having the hardcover. I decided to offer it anyway, since I figured I’d have it soon (spoiler: still don’t have it as of this writing). Cyberpunk will be an interesting switch after fantasy and superhero.

All three have excellent Roll20 sheets, an added bonus The Sprawl has an especially nice one. Some users have figured out how to build striking interactive Countdown clocks. I need to work those out. The Sprawl also a tight mission structure, more episodic than other games. That may lend itself to our game, with weird schedules in the summertime. The group also loves doing world-building so that’s a plus.

The only downside I can see will be figuring out the netrunning rules. It’s the section I’m least comfortable with right now. We didn’t have a Hacker in the two Sprawl sessions I played. We’ll see. It may just take a little prep work.

FRIDAY
Our Friday f2f group just finished our Mutant: Year Zero campaign after 16 sessions. I loved it and the players clearly would have hung on for more sessions. But we’d gotten to a great point in the Ark’s arc. I wanted to stop while ahead. The awesome player epilogues made me certain about my choice and sad to see it end. Despite the session going a good hour later than usual, I made sure we picked the next game before we left.
  • Base Raiders (Using 13th Age)
  • Blades in the Dark
  • Coriolis
  • Urban Shadows

I’d had Urban Shadows when they last picked, so I brought that back. I’d also planned to present a collaborative world-building fantasy idea with anthropomorphic animals. But I couldn’t find the materials I’d assembled for that. Instead I subbed in Coriolis. The group had also discussed doing Mutant: GenLab Alpha, but I didn’t offer that. I’ll offer that next time; I didn’t want to do it right away after MYZ.

The group chose Blades in the Dark (25 points) despite not having a copy of the book to look at. I printed the character and crew playbooks to hand around instead. Then it was Coriolis (17 points), Urban Shadows (16 points), and finally Base Raiders (12 points). Opinion and votes went across the board. While Base Raiders came in last, it got a couple of #2 picks.

I’ve read through the Blades in the Dark pdf a couple of times now. It has a lot of moving pieces and some dense playbooks sheets. I hope playing it f2f will be easier than online. Five of the six players play Pathfinder, so I’m not too worried about complexity. I’m excited run this. I love the concept and can’t wait to see it at the table. I briefly considered using a Planescape skin I read about on G+. But given the number of players and our unfamiliarity with the game, I’m sticking with the default set up.

OTHER GAMES
I had other games I seriously considered for these offerings. I only skipped 7th Sea because I’m still not sure how to solve the duelist imbalance problem. Maybe I will in the future. I strongly considered Cryptomancer, but I’d need a small, mystery-focused group for that. I looked using Dungeon World for a version of the Iron Kingdoms setting. Finally Dragon Age and 13th Age rounded out my shortlist.


What do you have coming up? What are you considering for new campaigns? 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Origins and Gauntlet Gaming

ORIGINS
Next week I’ll be running at Games on Demand: Origins. I’ve done that the last couple of years and loved it. Sherri will be with me again. Last time she played a bunch of games that made me jealous. I’ll be hosting first thing on Thursday morning, and then running Fri night, Sat morning and evening, as well as Sunday morning. If you see me, please say hi!!! I have two games on my menu: Magic, Inc and Tales from the Loop.

Magic, Inc
In the sorcerous corporation, Magic, Inc, your department lies at the bottom of the labyrinthine Org Chart. You like it that way. Your team has just managed to hang on- avoiding responsibility and blame. But doing so is hard work; you desperate transmute budgets, curse rival divisions, and make your faked resumes vanish. Can you avoid The Annual Review while getting your time-card signed? This game uses Action Cards, a card-based Fate hybrid.

Tales from the Loop
Welcome to Wayward, Ohio. You play teenagers in the late Eighties, solving Mysteries connected to the under-construction “Loop Project.” Everyday Life is full of nagging parents, never-ending homework and classmates bullying and being bullied. You will encounter the strange machines and weird creatures that have come to haunt the countryside as the Loop is being built. You can escape your everyday problems and be part of something meaningful and magical—but also dangerous.

Rich taught me to always bring a backup game or two, in case you get burnt out on one. I’ve been working on some convention-style character sheets for The Veil, a mid-point between the complexity of the playbooks and the pre-gens of the Cascade QS. I’ll probably bring that. Mutant Year Zero also might be a fun back-up since no one seems to be running it. However that takes up a lot of carrying space between core books, dice, and cards. I’m also considering Cryptomancer or Kuro.

GAUNTLET OUTLOOK
In June for the Gauntlet Hangouts I’m running Grimm (2 sessions), Robert E. Howard’s Conan (2), and Mutant: Year Zero (4 sessions). July’s all hacks and reskins. I’m running Godbound with a Scion skin (2), Masks with elements from Rotted Capes (2), and Changeling the Lost PbtA (4). Last week I figured out my August schedule, which will be an all-Fate month. For that I’m doing Base Raiders shifted to Fate Core/FAE (2), a Hellboy game using Atomic Robo, and a Game of Thrones-inspired thronewar game using Fate and borrowing from things like Wrath of the Autarch. I’m also thinking that in October I’ll do another season of World Wide Wrestling since it has five Sundays. I like scheduling things this far out because it give me some deadlines for developing the material.

I record most of the games I run and post those on my YouTube channel. I've done many interesting and niche games Legacy, Cryptomancer, Kuro, The Veil, 7th Sea 2e, Feng Shui 2, and more. If you're curious about how they play, watch the videos.

This games are all part of the Gauntlet Hangouts. If you’re interested in online rpgs, check out The Gauntlet Patreon. We schedule 40-50+ online games per month, a couple months ahead of time. Patreon backers at the $7+ level get early sign up access to those; we open them up generally a week after posting. Our Patreon supports all of our podcasts: The Gauntlet Podcast, Discern Realities, +1 Forward, Pocket-Sized Play, and Comic Strip AP. Patreon supports also get Codex, a monthly themed zine with all kinds of cool stuff.