Sunday, 18 December 2016

This Week: Downtime, Dragons, and so many Games!

Welcome to This Week, a 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. If you want to see what I got up to last week, go here.

Before we begin, you may have noticed that I didn't post up a This Week for last week, or the week before. The week before, I was actually away from home, camping, hiking, and having fun at the beach. I was almost entirely without internet, so I decided to have a break from versamus entirely and just relax. Which was awesome, as it led to even more gaming!

Then last week, I was surprisingly sick... I was just at home with little to do except read, sleep, and play games. But I'm back now, so let's jump in with what I've done This and the last two Weeks...

What I've Played

As I say, I've played a lot of games... I'll just talk about the big ones, then:

I've been playing more Civilisation VI, and it's going really well! Except for some weird UI issues/designs (like how difficult it is to cycle through stacked pop-ups on the right of the screen, or how the news during turn shift covers THE ENTIRE PLAY SPACE SO YOU CAN'T SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING) the game is superior to Civilisation V (which I really liked). I wish there were more map types and leaders, but I'm assuming they'll come when they're ready.
(Image from pcpop.)

I've also gotten back into Darkest Dungeon and am finally making some ground in it. I'm hopeful I'll actually finish this play through and can finally tick that game off as complete. That's the hope at least. Every time I go back to it, though, I want to create my idea for a Darkest Dungeon inspired Blades in the Dark RPG... Who knows, maybe I will at that.
(Image from Steam.)

Whilst at Wilson's Prom, my friends and I decided to bring glorious battle to the serenity of the beach. We built sand walls and seaweed bombs, and fought tooth and nail for supremacy over our foes. My side quickly became a technocracy with the war cry We Iterate, whilst our neighbours were cuttlefish-worshipping heathens who only just advanced to the seaweed age... But, as I and my fellow world-leader had prophesied before we began, it ended in mutually assured destruction. The UN attempted to conduct peace talks, but our cultures were incompatible, and it ended in fire. Oh what fun we had. I might actually write up our improv rules as a quick little game you can play. It was a hell of a lot of fun!
(Image (of my hated opponents) from Sam Hyland.)

Earlier this evening I got to play my second ever game of Smash-Up, a rather endearing card game where you merge two different trope-y decks of cards together, and get to experiment heavily with different strategies to win. I chose Robots and Pirates, and only very narrowly lost (I initiated the end with a win, but then the Wizard Ninjas came out of nowhere and stole the show accidentally for the Dinosaur Aliens)! If that short report isn't enough to get you to play it, I honestly don't know what you want from a game, anymore... Kids these days... But seriously, Smash-Up is a great example of replayability and player competence, as it allows players to really get into the deep end with the strategy and try many different permutations over the life cycle of the game. If you're interested in game design, you should pick it up!
(Image from Alderac Entertainment Group.)

And finally, I managed to play That Dragon, Cancer after putting it off for so long. As some of you may know, I have a pretty personal connection to cancer, so it was difficult to get through... At least, the first half. The second half was a bit alienating for me, as it got bogged down into a lot of very American Christian-centric spiritualism, which did nothing but annoy me (if you want to know more, I might publish the essay I wrote after I played it). It's a worthwhile experience, and it is very moving, but if you're not an American Christian, you won't get as much out of it, and if you're not a theist, you'll likely get even less... Which is a shame...
(Image from Kotaku.)

What I've Made

In a curious twist (that I can't talk about much) I am getting the chance to leverage my Powered by the Apocalypse knowledge at work, meaning that for the first time I am being paid, in part, to make a roleplaying game. Woo! Sadly, I can't really talk about it much more than this, just because I don't own the product... This one won't have any follow up, it's just a cool milestone for me which I thought you might be interested in.
(Image from Story Games.)

But something I can talk about is Slugball, Sorcery & Secrets! which has gone back in to development! I've been tinkering with it post my playtests, and the new additions should be pretty solid. I'll be playtesting it again soon, and I'll probably upload it after that for anyone who wants it! I might charge for it on PWYW, just to see if my work does have any legs...
(Image from William McAusland, used with permission.)

What I've Run

I got the chance to play my Curse of Strahd campaign twice which is miraculous in these weeks of holidays, heavy workload, sickitude, and moving house... But they were a fun two sessions. Neither have been written up yet (due to the previously mentioned time blockers) but once they are dried up when I'm actually on holidays, I will write them for anyone who cares to read our ridiculous exploits.
(Image from Wizards.)

What I've Seen

For my birthday, one of my housemates picked me up a copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters which I have been reading through, and loving! Whilst I am filled with gripes about Dungeons & Dragons in general, I have to commend Wizards on this one - the presentation, detail and content is top notch, and they've put in a few good random tables (which I miss from my non-WFRP gaming). The running commentary is humorous (if a little beleaguered in the first section) and the information within interesting and thought provoking. I probably won't use anything as is, but it has me thinking about various species in different ways, which will help to inform Ameshirel: A World Reforged when it comes time to running it next year.
(Image from Wizards.)

Very lastly, I received (this time from my partner, and for no particular reason) a copy of Part-Time Gods of Fate! As many of you may know, I love Part-Time Gods having run it a lot before, and I love Fate Core, again having run it, and hacked it, to death. This tome brings the best of both worlds, and is going to be a treasure on my shelf. I'm looking forward to running it, and in the cracks between my busy schedule, have been jotting down ideas for it... Expect to hear more about a campaign I am currently naming Stockholm Syndrome in the new year.
(Image from Fate RPG.)
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.