Sunday, 26 February 2017

This Week: Leaders, Scenes, Hags, and Silence

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.

Normally these come out late on Sundays, but I moved this one earlier for two reasons: a) I missed last week, as I was unwell, and b) I won't be able to get everything in order night, because I'll be at Port Robinson & Madeon's Shelter Live Tour in Melbourne! Woo!

(Image from Shelter Live Tour.)
So, without further ado, let's jump in with what I've done This Week...

What I've Played

I started playing Terraria again, as it's been many years since last time, and I really enjoyed it then. The game has been updated significantly, and there's now a lot more to do. I don't know if it will keep my attention for very long, but I am enjoying it. I don't have much to say on this topic beyond that it's worth checking out again, if you used to play it!
(Image from Steam.)
I've been diving back into Civilisation VI, trying out the new Poland DLC, and getting ready to try the even-newer Australia DLC. Whilst I'm finding them game is holding me generally less than V did, I am enjoying the faster pace of DLC. I can't remember how I originally bought it, but whatever I did, I've been getting each DLC without paying additionally for it... Maybe I got the deluxe edition, or something? I don't know - I'm pretty confused, to be honest.
(Image from Rock Paper Shotgun.)
Anyway, Poland has been a lot of fun - even if I have every single other world leader angry at me all the time. Which is interesting. I've also been through a nearly 1000 year war with Sumeria, during which time they've sent a total of 2 Bombards and 3 Bazooka troops to my shores. I haven't bothered to retaliate. Yet.
(Image from PC Games N.)
Australia looks interesting, though it's a little distressing to see that there is no mention of our history before European settlement. Which is super weird, given that the civilisation only covers 1-to-2 of the Eras in the game, and just ignores the 50,000+ years of Aboriginal Australian history (and there's some insanely interesting stuff in there). I'm hopeful that we get an additional leader - like Greece - to account for this. But, I doubt it...

What I've Made

I've been working pretty hard on Do or Dice recently, attempting to get the changes brought up during playtesting into the game. I'm having to restrain myself from too quickly and too radically, changing things though - I've been toying around with a new central mechanic, but it would be unwise to jump ship without properly testing out the existing one. I'll be posting up a discussion on which one I settle with, once I have settled!
(Image from William McAusland, used with permission.)
Speaking of discussions, I posted up the first piece of Do or Dice rules on Friday, and it's already worked out well. There has been a reasonable amount of conversation surrounding it, and that conversation has already helped me work through it. It's great to start interacting more with the design community, like this. As +Steve Dee said "scenes are good".

What I've Run

I ran the first actual play session of Ameshirel: A World Reforged, using the Do or Dice ruleset, and it's done exactly what I hoped - poked holes in the game. I've always been a firm believer of test fast and early, but it's always been difficult to execute that belief. Do or Dice is now getting fortnightly playtests, and I am hopeful to increase that rate. If any folks out there are keen to get a playtest copy, please let me know!
(Image from Wizards.)
My Curse of Strahd campaign got another session (which brings the total up to 7, with 5 of them still unposted in the diary, for that I apologise, but unfortunately cannot see changing in any significant way, any time soon...) It was a great session, and I finally got to use Old Bonegrinder. Needless to say, the PCs shouldn't have let the Night Hags escape. They'll never sleep easy again!

What I've Seen

For some strange reason, I started watching the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series on Netflix a few weeks ago, and I'm making a lot of progress through it. I find it's interesting enough to have going on in the background whilst I work, but not cerebral enough to demand my attention always. I'm definitely enjoying it, though I do find some of the themes problematic. The first two seasons glorify war a little too much, but the later seasons seem to deal with the bad sides a lot more (which is awesome). I'm enjoying seeing pieces of the EU fall into place with the new canon (like seeing Saw, etc). Worth checking out, I think.
(Image from Screen Rant.)
On Friday night I went and saw Martin Scorsese's newest film, Silence. It's about two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries who travel to Japan during a period of religious inquisition, to find their mentor. It's pretty fucked up, to be honest. It's brutal, and it's basically all about torture and resilience. It's also very very long. I'm still unsure if I liked it. It's definitely not a film you can enjoy, but at some point you need to recognise that it was worth seeing or not - and I am yet unsure of that. I think it was worth seeing, but I still need to unpack it a little bit...
(Image from Esquire.)
The visuals and the score were fantastic, though, and if you're a fan of Adam Driver or Andrew Garfield, their performances were amazing, so that may encourage you to see it. I do, however, believe the film will have less impact on you if you haven't gone through some kind of crisis of faith (whether that made you more devout, or as in my case, led you to apostasy). If you do see it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the film!
(Image from BBC America.)
Lastly, I started watching Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency last night, and half an episode in, I was hooked. I've now watched the first two, and I am keen to watch the third! It's a really weird, really curious mix of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. It's also unlike any of those things, and much weirder. I can't really explain it, except by saying that I desperately want to play it as a roleplaying game.

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.