Sunday, 4 September 2016

This Week: Prisons, Endings, NPCs, and Two Strings

Welcome to This Week, a new weekly series where I discuss all the gaming (both video and tabletop) content I've played, made, prepped, run and seen that's cool this week.

Let's just get on with what I've done This Week...

What I've Played

I've been diving back into Prison Architect (which is currently 75% off on Steam, by the way!) It just received its final update, so it's now "done". I've also started watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, so it's a nice companion to the gaming. The strategy elements, and the way the game (and show) make you think about an otherwise out of sight, out of mind topic really breeds good RPG fodder to me.

It's especially made me want to run a prison-related game, and I've been looking at Behind the Walls for Fate Core. You should check it out too, as it's PWYW!
(Image: PCGamer)

What I've Made

Sadly I haven't had a chance to run anything this week, as I've been focusing on planning. That is, planning the final session of Ameshirel: A World Undone - a 2-year long campaign homebrew campaign using Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. This marks the 75th and final session, and will see our heroes make the final decisions between life and death for a universe, and their ascension to Godhood... If all goes well, that is.

This final session has had me reviewing all my old notes, and tying up loose ends. It's made me think about where this campaign started, and where I thought it would end (spoiler: no where near where it's ended up!)

It's also made me start thinking (really thinking) where I'm going next. I've got a few irons in the fire, with the intention to run Curse of Strahd some time soon, and continuing my Blades in the Dark campaign. Maybe I'll revive my dead-in-the-water Dark Heresy game, Verum Arbitus... But mostly I've been thinking about what's going to happen next for Ameshirel, and I've started writing serious notes for the next instalment: A World Reforged. I'll probably be seeding more info about this game in the following weeks, after I run the final session next Friday-to-Saturday. As a little teaser, it's going to be the flagship testing campaign for a system I've been developing called Do or Dice, which mixes a bit of Fate, a bit of Blades and a bit of Apocalypse World into my dream for a fantasy RPG.

What I've Seen

Over on Google+, I was shown an awesome article about "Marm" Mandelbaum, "The Queen of Fences" - one of the first crime bosses of New York. She's pretty much, straight out-of-the-box perfect content for any non-modern urban campaign, but specifically for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, or Blades in the Dark.

Everything from the name, to her deeds, just screams perfect NPC. Check out the article, to see what I mean. I'm going to be putting her into my Blades in the Dark campaign - perhaps mixing her into an NPC that already exists, or making a whole new one, and I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to use her in your own.
(Image: Library of Congress)
Finally, the greatest thing I've done this week is see Kubo and the Two Strings in the cinema! If you haven't seen it yet, stop reading this and book a ticket. It is well worth it. I may write an entire article on what it can teach you about storytelling, but if I don't, know this: it can teach you heaps... So go see it.

More specifically, it can teach you better ways to introduce new characters to a party, better ways to think about what makes a character, and interesting ideas for non-combat related conflict resolution. It also has a very interesting magic system woven into it. Frankly, I'll likely end up running a game set in that world using Fate Accelerated, if I get the chance.
(Image: Geeks of Doom)
That's all for This Week, this week. I'll talk to you next week, and tell you of all my adventures again! In the mean time, fill your own week with as much awesome as possible!