Been A While Since I Rolled Them Bones

Roll Me

In tonight’s episode of Community, I am reliably informed (by their commercials — and my prophetic dreams) that the gang will be playing a little D&D.

That’s fun. But it makes me a little itchy.

It makes me itchy because I haven’t rolled the bones — meaning, I have not gamed — in quite a long time. Too long. In fact, it’s been at least eight or nine months.

By and large, it’s difficult for adult life to accommodate any kind of regular gaming. This isn’t unusual, mind — I can’t tell you how many dudes in their mid-30s who say, with a faint ember still in their eye (and the clatter of a 20-sider echoing in their brain chamber), “Oh, man! I used to game.”

And I know it’s not going to get a damn sight easier once the Tiny Monkey comes into our life, heaving everything upside-down. Frankly, I’m probably going to have to hide my dice just because they’re a choking hazard.

Kids, man. Kids. They try to eat everything. I almost choked to death on a penny when I was a tot. I can only imagine how many d10s my nascent heir will be able to jam down his windpipe.

On the one hand, I miss it. On the other hand, part of me thinks: man, I’ve got things to do. Like, I want to play video games more often, but when I do, I tend to find myself wanting to do other stuff. Sometimes, I even have these absurd moments where I think, “I’d rather be doing the dishes because the dishes need doing.” Is this adulthood? It feels like a brain parasite. Get me a coat hanger and some anti-fungal paste.

Stat!

Anyway.

This brings me to you, trusty game-heads.

First, I ask you: what are you playing these days? Anything really. I’m mostly asking about pen-and-paper stuff, but hey, unload your game-flavored goodness upon my head. Board games, video games, whatever.

Second, I beseech you: anybody found a way to play without actually sitting across the table from folks? Anybody game over Skype? Is there an iPad solution of which I’m not yet aware? Help a brother out.

Two more tiny things:

I think I might do a free PDF writing up some of my “irregular creatures” as statted-up World of Darkness monsters. Because, hey, why the fuck not? Could be fun. Shits and giggles. You know. For the kids.

Also, why the hell aren’t you watching Community again? Sheesh.

56 comments

  • Sadly, my Unknown Armies group dissolved when half the gang moved to Canberra. We had some stuff in it, though. Including:

    o. A dead woman hiring the PCs to help her find her missing husband;
    o. An old 1930s pulp novel that seemed to be slowly mutating to tell their own story, changing no plot details but replacing characters with their names;
    o. An elderly woman’s skinned face stretched over a porcelain mask, which contained a major charge free to the first person to wear it (and, of course, a pair of warring factions who wanted it).

    My fiancée ran the next storyline, which featured a soap-opera obsessed divorcée who was doing her best to create a perfect TV family by stealing people she felt fit the parts, and a woman who appeared to be channeling the spirit of Audrey Hepburn circa Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

  • Middle school meant “Gamma World” and while in college I occasionally played “Call of Cthulhu”

    Since then? Not a thing as far as RPGs go. I’ve tried to get into various video games but “meh”.

    I grew up addicted to the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Ti99/4A and the Commodore64. In college my roommates and I routinely skipped out of lectures to go play TMNT or Golden Axe, or NARC.

    The Half-Life series was great, but nothing’s really grabbed my attention gaming wise besides that in a few years. Bejeweled doesn’t count I’m guessing. My kids are 11, 9, 7, 4 and under 6 months….How’d THAT happen BTW?!?!? The four with motor skills are so addicted to video games that I find myself hiding the consoles and banning them from the PC that Santa brought them last year. Damn you, Internet!!!!!

  • These days I feel kinda spoiled actually 🙂 I’ve been playing in a regular Exalted game, and running a pretty regular WoD(changeling/mortal) game thats evolving into a MIB for supernaturals game 🙂
    . Also been getting some “Apocalypse World” action and loving it!!! Tonight I’m playing a session of “Saga of the Icelanders” which is basically an apocalypse world mod.

    To be honest though I’m getting more into board and card games that can be played and finished in a single sitting. Getting a bunch of people to commit to months of regular sessions is next to bloody impossible. Getting a bunch of mates together for a drinks and game night is much much easier.
    Cargasonne, Settlers of Catan, Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Munchkin!! Forbidden Island, Hex Hex, Citadels. All awesome games.

    Of course I’m spoiled by working at a company where pretty much everyone is a gamer of some description 🙂

  • Currently working on getting a time to game but working the night shift seems to mess with that. In general though I have been perusing/ designing characters for the Dresden Files RPG (which is amazing but hard to get a group for), and a small independent thing called Star Thugs. Meanwhile the D&D 3.5 vs 4e fight rages on (personally I prefer 3.5). For card games: you can never go wrong with Munchkin (in particular I am told the forthcoming Zombie version is quite good).
    I have never done it but I have seen entire games played over skype. The Spoony One hosts a weekly game that is broadcast over the net. Chat is via skype but they actually have a map on the screen. Not sure how they do that but it seems to work. I used to game regularly where one person joined via webcam/skype. As long as the connection held out it was enjoyable.

    Video Games: For an RPG experience hit steam and gog to get Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines and Arcanum respectively. Both need fan patches to run but equally both are amazingly fun and immersive games.

    Then my eternal guilty pleasure is the old solo RPG books: The Lone Wolf series.. Out of print and hard to find but well worth it. Also available online at http://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Home

  • I’m connected to a strong group of gamers in NYC, but we play sporadically. When we play RPGs, it’s either 4e or one of the Burning Wheel games (Mouse Guard would be our most likely candidate for a pick-up game). We also play a shit-ton of board games, usually some funky, obscure stuff. We also playtest new games designed by the group’s members on rare occasion.

    I tend to scratch the itch in meatspace, so I’ve not explored the virtual gaming options. I gather that Skype plus a virtual game table is the preferred method. WotC continues to gestate their virtual 4e table, so hopefully that’ll turn out OK.

    You should definitely try to get some folks together for a pick-up RPG session. Initiate new folks into the hobby. Pick an easy starter game, like “Inspectres” or “Cat”. You could even use the new WotC boardgame, “Castle Ravenloft”, as a gateway drug to 4e. “Ravenloft” is exceptionally well made. 🙂

  • RPG-wise it’s been a bit thin on the ground but we’ve organised a gaming weekend every couple of months or so and try to fit in a convention once ot twice a year. The missus and I have gotten more into boardgames and tend to prefer the cooperative ones like Forbidden Island and Arkham Horror. Arkham’s a bitch to set up and play though, takes ages.

    RPG-wise the last few things I’ve played have been Cthulhutech, Dresden Files, Star Wars Saga Edition, Dark Heresy and its compatriots and games of my own devising.

    Littler Indie games are often easier to fit into a busy schedule I find. If you want to sling me an e-mail I’ll bung you some free goodness.

  • Unfortunately, the kind of time to run a satisfying RPG is hard to come by for me at the moment, which is probably why I don’t feel up to the challenge on my blog lately.

    Been playing 4th Edition D&D when I can, I keep the World of Darkness books handy for when I ever FIND a good group for that. My often I’m playing board games now: Dominion, Small World, and Pandemic being some of my current favorites.

    I also play The Spoils, which is awesome fun and scratches that TCG itch just right that I’m not spending my food money on packs in the hope of getting a Jace.

    • Dang, sporadic RPG play looks to be the norm. I mean, maybe it has been for a long time? I dunno.

      @Patrick — The Spoils. Yes, you mentioned this before, I think? Need to look into that.

      @James — of the RPGs your playing, what are you digging most? (And thanks for the offer. Look for an email.)

      @Dave — I’m not even sure where to begin on getting new people in the hobby. I’m not even sure I have the *time* to get new people in, y’know?

      — c.

  • I play consistently once a week for about two hours with my friends Becky, Rob, Big Dave and Small Chloe. I am DMing 3rd edition DnD at the moment. Rob likes to run Call of Cthulhu when it’s his turn. Becky likes Deliria.

    In the past, I have run Vampire, Promethean, Dogs in the Vineyard, MSGtm (duh), Heroquest; the next thing I run will almost certainly be Gamma World.

  • I play semi-regularly with some old pals. We leap around a bit, but often come back to SLA Industries, now with Cubicle 7 (and the old RB is free on DriveThruPRG). Trail of Cthulhu is another reliable win, from @simonjrogers at Pelgrane Press. I wish we played Unknown Armies more; it’s still incredible.

    In the electronic world… Hm. Bethesda For The Win: Oblivion was good. Morrowind was better, but it’s graphically well past it; hopefully Skyrim, on 11/11 will combine better elems of both. Also Fallout 3 has had good comments, but I gather it’s fairly unappealing visually.

    Dragon Age was OK, but it seemed pretty kiddyish to me. Aside from those, the only other things that impressed me off-hand were The Witcher and V:TM Bloodlines. Oh, and of course Grand Theft Auto 🙂

    I did a survey of net-mediated gaming things six weeks ago. They all looked broadly horrible, and most seemed structured to be a rip-off. I think the way would be an app that everyone could run as a virtual table, rather than using one of the websites. Then, as Dave says above, Skype.

  • Right now – playing in a Supernatural-powered Wild West game, and running Rogue Trader. I’ve a D&D game on Sundays that needs to get moving again, and I was in a weekly board-gaming group. Add in gaming weekends away and 4-5 cons a year.

    I do think the big challenge for tabletop gaming is going to be minimising the amount of time needed. Games for busy people, asynchronous gaming, rpgs as board games…

  • The only tabletop gaming I do is with my wife. Our regular group that we played with for years have all scattered to different parts of the country. It’s been difficult to find new people who’s schedules all mesh with ours and look for the same things out of a gaming experience as we do.

    I do miss it.

  • I have actually JUST started a Geist game. As in, we had character creation last Sunday. We had to stop playing Hunter: The Vigil because we didn’t have enough people who could reliably show up. That is, they would come, but we could never be sure if we’d have all people there. As a result, we couldn’t really use Tactics.

    So I shelved that chronicle and we picked up something that requires a little less TEAM MUST BE THERE: Geist. We also added another player, which is where your second question comes in: Our other player (who’s playing the Krewe’s leader) is an old friend of mine from when I GMed back Texas way. He’s joining us through Skype, as might another old friend from that area. In fact, during character creation, everyone was Skyping in as there were enough sick people that we didn’t want to spread the disease.

    While it’s not the same as sitting around a table, sharing a pizza, Skype goes a long way to making gaming more possible for people with busy schedule, or even people who have moved. I’m crazy excited to play with my old Texas friends, and the fact that all it takes is this program still boggles my mind. We live in the bloody FUTURE.

    (Note: Please don’t take this as a criticism of Hunter, btw. We love Hunter, it’s just that it’s system isn’t the best for what our schedules are like right now.)

  • The hubby’s running a Pathfinder RPG in a few weeks while we take a break from Heroclix – have to say that the Monk Class is SO much better than the old D&D… and this is coming from a woman with a first edition Player’s Handbook on her shelf!

    XD

    On our weekly game nights we’ve been playing Memoir ’44 – if you’re looking for a good WW2 board game, can’t recommend it highly enough. Fast play, good dice rolling and maps that change with every game and a ton of expansions.

    Quickies – Zombie Dice FTW!

    Get a giant plastic bottle to put your dice in. It looks great, fine conversation-starter and you’ll always have room for more.

    We’re on our second.

    😉

  • Mostly running, soon to be playing – the latest edition of Gamma World. Been a blast.

    Playing almost weekly in Rob Donoghue’s homebrew Fate hack about a psychic cold war in the 1980’s. My character is getting in deep and can’t see the way out.

    Done some skype oneshots — Fiasco and a Inception-inspired hack that I’m tinkering with. Skype works pretty well for this.

  • I played some D&D growing up, but was never that into it. I am not a big fan of RPG’s I like FPS games, like the Call of Duty games. My 16 year old loves the RPG’s, me I don’t want to get that involved in a game & don’t have enough time, I just like playing for fun.

  • The missus and I have dabbled with a suite of software called RP Tools. If we can get it working right, rolling ‘dice’ for 4E D&D over Skype or Vent looks to be a distinct possibility.

    I also play every week with her, a couple co-workers and a very good friend. One of those co-workers and I are also playing Magic: the Gathering. We’re bringing our decks to Doylestown’s First Friday tomorrow night. Should be a good time.

    Working with the Machine Age group and the guys over at Flagons & Dragons on developing products.

    That’s what I’m up to tabletop-wise. On the PC it’s a mix of WoW and Minecraft right now.

  • Doing testing runs for Amaranthine. It’s turning out to be a blast. Lots of fun, new ideas going on. I keep wanting to play Leverage. I’m in love with it. I haven’t actually gamed since Gen Con, when we played Freemarket with Ryan Macklin, Peter Atkinson and Lenny Balsera. That was one of the single best game sessions I’ve ever played in.

    Skype works pretty well.

  • My gaming, unsurprisingly, overlaps with Fred’s.

    Currently I’m running the Cold War Psychics/spies with a handful of supers-in-boxes as nuke-equivalents game that Fred mentioned. It’s roughly weekly, and it’s been an interesting challenge since espionage is not a genre I grok as instinctively as many others, but I think it’s hit its stride pretty well.

    We’ve got an occasional Gamma World game going that’s been wacky fun to play. GW is proving much better suited to light pickup play than 4e tended to be.

    Time tends to be the killer, especially since I get up pretty early these days, so with the kid going down around 7:30, I have maybe a 2-3 hour window on a weekday evening if I want to game, and that means committing the Whole evening to gaming. Any writing, cleaning errands or other stuff need to already be done or shunted to the next morning, and that can be rough. Given that window, card or board games are often a batter choice. However, Leverage has been demonstrating itself to be a fantastic engine for running a soup to nuts game in that window, so there have been the occasional pickup games, and I hope to see more of them in the future.

    I have yet to successfully engineer a Skype game, but sooner or later I’m going to manage it, by god.

    -Rob D.

    • @Rob:

      Well, for the sake of all the gods, if you manage to get a Skype game up and running, I pray you’ll ping me. 🙂

      I have never played in a Rob Donoghue game, which I’m pretty sure makes me a lesser human.

      I have, at least, played in a Fred Hicks game, which stops me from being a mere gaming trilobyte!

      — c.

  • Yes, gaming gets much harder when you have kids, but it also becomes much more important. You will _need_ a little time away from the wife and kid every once and awhile to let off steam and keep your sanity. TTRPGs are perfect for that because they are a social event and can manage a once-a-month schedule.

    I have a regular game group. Of our eight, five are married and four of us have young kids. We play 4e around once a month. It is a blast.

  • I’ve been spoiled since coming back to college town. I’m currently in a Dark Heresy game, and am running a Legend of Five Rings (4th edition), and Deathwatch game. they’re all going fairly well.

    As far as playing online. Before I’d have told you it was a bad idea, but in a recent session one of our players couldn’t make it so we hooked up a webcam, loaded up skype, and had the person call in. There was a few hiccups with net connection, but ultimately the game ran smoothly. The only complaint came from the person skyping in, who said that due to the mic they were actually MORE aware of the sounds of the other people in the store than they normally would be. So, yeah, technology has come a long way for that.

    Also, if you don’t mind chat room slumming, there are several sites (such as wanton-wicked.net, fiveringsonline.com ) where you can play in larger communities of the games online. it’s more “Day to Day Life” LARPing meets MMO weirdness than say a weekly table top, but if you’re desperate it can scratch the itch until you can find time for a regular/semi-regular game.

  • Dude, when the little beast arrives – gaming is out. You’ll be struggling to just keep your sanity (what little exists as such) together enough to put a few words together.

    That said, in a couple of years things should calm down.

    I’m 40 and my gaming group is long and strong for the last 8 years with a few breaks in between never lasting more than a couple of months. Every Saturday it’s time to toss the bones. Like anything else, you have to make it worth your while. /shrug.

    This being your first kid… you’ll have your work cut out for you on many levels you haven’t even discovered.

    We got your back either way! Roll on!

  • First off, Community is mandatory in our household. We like us some Community, yessiree.

    Second, I am firmly among the “I used to game” crowd. I remember fondly the days when “tapping” didn’t refer to ass so much as lands. I fed my Magic addiction (sometimes at the expense of my art supplies), and used to rolled me some dice on a weekly basis. My crew stuck to DnD 2nd Edition. I knew a lot of Vampire and Werewolf folks, too, but that was a whole difference scene and more books to buy.

    Now, I paint all day, and sometimes all night. I paint for the very games I used to play. Problem is that I live such a solitary life as an illustrator that I don’t have a lot of folks that I can game with, and those that I could could with are not really folks I want to spend all that much time with. Most of my friends are fellow artists who have the same problem. But, those who do find time to game, do it only because they make it part of their weekly schedule, and vehemently stick to it. I know a couple of guys who play DnD via Skype. I know a couple of guys who do the same with Magic. The rest game the old fashioned way, and I honestly don’t know how they do it.

    Like you, I got into video games. I’m not a big online gamer, though. I stick to single player stuff with good stories whenever I can. Right now I’m playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Mass Effect 2. The ability to turn these games on and off, and walk away is what allows any of it to fit into my schedule (which is constantly changing). The group dynamic makes that hard, and it gets even harder with each additional person.

    On the rare occasion I play multi-player video games, they’re usually shooters or puzzle games. One of my all-time favorite puzzle games is Super Puzzle Fighter, which my wife is insanely good at and is pretty much the only game she’ll play.

    Which brings me to another point… I didn’t marry a gamer. Aside from watching the stories unfold, she’s monumentally disinterested. I suppose that’s a factor in some of the games I play.

    Were I ever to get back into it, I’d likely only be able to do short stints. And I’d rather go the rpg route than anything. It allows for the most socializing and dicking around of any type of game out there.

  • I had about an seven year absence from gaming. A few months ago, the Red Box grabbed me by the balls and stroked my nostalgia so I got together some friends (our group numbers three now) and started up a DnD Essentials campaign. We’ve played seven sessions so far, but haven’t played since early January. We’re almost weekly, so it’s more than I could have hoped for.

    Actual roleplaying is a bit light as one player is brand new to the hobby and another, a veteran from the heyday of our games, is sort of tight lipped too. So, I enjoy really hamming it up with my descriptions and NPC encounters and they love the tactical aspect of combat and skill challenges and the like.

    I’ve been running adventures out of the boxes and books so far, but I’m tailoring the default setting of the Nentir Vale a bit more with focus on dead gods, dead religions, dissolved civilizations, and the resurgence of “upstart” cultists who are being approached through various means by all these dead things.

    It’s been a bunch of fun. Of course, it’s reawakened some urges to play other games which may or may not happen.

  • I heart Community.

    I’ve got two gaming groups on the go right now. Weekly on Thursday I have a “revolving game”, with a soft six-session cap. One guy runs what he likes for 6 weeks, then passes the nation. This ensures we all get to do what we like, and if someone has an unpredictable schedule, they don’t miss much. It also forces some efficient storytelling. Right now we’re playing new Hunter. Next up, I’m running Dust Devils.

    Then, on the second and last Tuesday of each month, I’m running the FATE-based Dresden Files RPG for a different group. The players are mostly new to gaming, so to ease them in, I’m setting the game in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the characters are mostly the Buffy cast (with customization, of course). And since I’m running it and not bound by the limits of 90s prime time in budget or ratings, it’s gotten a little Clive Barker.

    In each game I have one player who comes in by Skype. It works decently well, but unless the remote player works extra-hard, then that person tends to get overlooked. If possible, it really helps to have a multi-camera setup, too, so that the remote player is visually engaged with the group and three GM. Otherwise you risk a loss of focus.

    Video game-wise, I’m currently rocking Mass Effect 2, which I bought via Steam during their excellent holiday sale.

    As for finding the time? Well, I don’t have kids, but I do have a day job and twice-weekly night classes, so I don’t know how I find the time either.

  • A friend I met through blogging is hosting a anti-superbowl board game day at her house @neonjade and I are going to join in on. I’ll be bringing Carcasonne and Settlers of Catan. As far as RPG’s it comes down to a logistics thing sadly. The last semi regular group I had was for doing final testing on Untold (a self published card based RPG) Since they published I did a couple of small cons with them and that has been it. Prior to that is was DnD at a friends game store. That was real regular and quite fun. That group broke up when the friend closed the store.

    I pick up a book here and there. Swirl it around in my head for ideas, but it eventually turns stagnant. Just can’t seem to get the time to get together so fall back on some console game or MMORPG. I do not recommend dipping your toe in an MMORPG btw, if you turn out liking it, it will drain your soul.

  • I know where you’re coming from but, honestly, you just need to reach out to your regular friends with the right game. That’s why I suggested “Inspectres” or “Cat”. Each of them have simple rules and an immensely strong hook. If they’ve seen and like “Ghostbusters”, then “Inspectres” has a chance. If they own or like cats, “Cat” is the ticket. The bonus is that both of those games have very light GM loads, so you don’t need a lot of prep time.

    If you want a gateway drug with a bit more bite (but not much), I always recommend “Mouse Guard”. It’s easy to understand (you play medieval, anthropomorphic mice in a big scary forest), the mechanics promote roleplaying and teamwork, and the GM prep load is (again) light.

  • It’s been a long, long, looooooooong time since I sat around a table rolling dice. More than ten years.

    I gave it up. Not because it wasn’t fun, but because it wasn’t fun with the people I was gaming with and life went kind of pear shaped.

    Let’s see. I played Traveller, Twilight 2000, GURPS, Champions, Castle Falkenstein, Call of Cthulhu, Chill, TMNT, a bunch of other Palladium games I can’t recall. D&D and most of the other TSR games; Boot Hill, Top Secret, Gamma World.

    Jesus. Now I feel old.

    So these days it’s WoW and lots of PC games. I am Steam’s bitch apparently.

    Has anyone made remote gaming work? I know they tried to get a setup to do that with Neverwinter Nights for D&D but I have a hard time seeing that working.

    You could probably use Vent and some conferencing tools like Webex or one of the freeware solutions out there. But I can see it being difficult to really hold the group’s attention for very long.

  • Actually, gaming with a baby is easy, if you can handle a bit of pacing once and awhile. My hubby (mishaado) used to run with our eldest in his arms and she loved the constant rumble of his voice. When he needed both hands? Off to me or a friend. All the way up to toddler stage isn’t so bad.

    Of course, now she’s old enough that we’ve starting buying game stuff for her and the boy-child will be next. We still game once a week and I think I’d quite literally go crazy without it. It’s social, it’s a chance to tell the kids to just get downstairs and watch TV or something, and the creative part is a necessity. Of course, we both game, so that’s the easiest part! Currently doing some Rogue Trader, with mishaado wanting either Gamma World or Orpheus next.

  • @Dave Turner

    I don’t know if it’s that simple, but I have discovered that at least for my group, selection of game is very important. Some games (and game set-ups) can be run if not everyone’s at the table, or allow for someone dropping in. Others have a strong teamwork mechanic or a very fast advancement table. If someone can’t make it for two weeks, they come back and the rest of the characters are light-years ahead of him.

    With my current situation, I tend to go with straightforward games and the caveat of “Give me a reason your character can, at any time, not be there.”

  • I agree that selection of the right game is crucial whether it’s a bunch of non-gamers or your decades-old gaming group. I tried to indicate that in my response (Cat lovers? Play “Cat”!). I would categorize some of your concerns as second-order. They emerge once the ball gets rolling. But if you’re trying to get your friends to put their hands on the ball(s), then you can worry about consistent player attendance a little later. 🙂

    Am I addressing your point?

  • Yeah, most of my actual RPG gaming these days is with the kids — usually some rules-light stuff, currently (occasionally) running them through a Hunger Games prequel using the Risus rules. (They’re 10 and 13, with their five-year-old playing occasional supporting characters and rolling some of my dice.) I like some Fudge, too.

    I did do some gaming by email a few years back that was really fun but in some ways more like writing a collaborative story than actual gaming gaming. Mostly board games these days, nothing particularly amazing (Dominion, Catan, some Munchkin).

  • Right now, I’m playing in a regular NOBILIS game and an irregular game of my in-development project, RAZED, along with side jaunts into playtests for my projects like DATABANK and ODYSSEY. On a good week, I get to play twice a week—playing once and running once. It’s a good mix.

  • I should also say that I have gamed exactly zero times over Skype, and that I keep meaning to solve that problem. There are great people that I’d love to game with, throughout the lands, that I could presumably be playing with over Skype… and yet I do not. I have no excuse.

  • I run a game about three times a year. Five if it’s a slow year.

    We usually use a Chaosium system like Call of Cthulhu or Stormbringer. I use old-school Boot Hill’s system for modern crime stories, since it’s just the right balance of bloody and heroic.

    I can hook you up with some long-range gaming solutions. I’ll hit you up on Facebook.

  • After a couple of slow years, I’m getting a fair bit of gaming at the moment.

    I’m running a 4E Eberron campaign, which is going really well, and I’m slowly assembling plans to run some form of WoD game this year. Not sure what gameline I’ll use, but a core concern is making territory and place a major part of things.

    I also plan to run a variety of short indie games through the year; I’ve been slowly putting together a collection of such things, and they make a good palate cleanser from all the swordplay and brooding.

    (On that note, Chuck, you really need to check out FIASCO if you haven’t already.)

    As far as playing goes, well, I still do bugger all of that. But one of my 4E players just picked up the new Gamma World, so I imagine I’ll get to swap sides for a few sessions of that at some point.


    Patrick

  • @MCFunk

    Hey, Matt.

    Curious as to how you’re managing long distance gaming. Not that I have any actual time for it, but I’m wondering how you’re handling that.

    Ping me when you get a chance.

  • I’m currently Storytelling a Hunter: the Vigil game. We meet about twice a month. I’m also involved in a D&D 4e game but will most likely be dropping that as my schedule is full and I would prefer to invest my free time in Hunter.

    One cool thing about the group is they have agreed to go into other worlds in game. In these other worlds we’ll be using different rule systems, first up is Adventure! and I can’t wait.

    To those parents out there, at what age did you, or do you plan to introduce the wee ones to RPGs? Parenthood is a few years out for me, but this is a pretty important issue in that regard. 😀

  • playing regularly, d&d 4e, running/playing one shots of a variety of ennies nominations, waiting on a shadowrun game to get back up and running due to scheduling conflicts, and getting ready to start a new Mage game… yeah, I realize I game more than I should, but as hobbies go it’s cheap, and I”m broke:p

    also it helps that most of our friends are gamers, so games just seem to break out, and we always have an influx of noobs who hear about it and become intrigued.

    oh yeah, and I have to start getting games ready for our local mini con/gameday… think a kids slot of happy birthday robot for the 2nd generation gamers, but still figuring out what I’m running for the “of age” game
    james

  • Online, Real-Time: MapTools for virtual tabletop, dice, and text with Ventrilo for voice.

    Online, Play-by-Post: The Tangled Web or Critical Failures @ Penny Arcade with Invisible Castle for dice-rolling.

    Can be combined with IRC chat, and of course both online methods can work in tandem to fit any schedule (i.e. Politics in Play-by-Post, Combat in Virtual Table-Top).

    Depending on schedule, location and degree of DM flakiness, some combination of these methods has allowed me to maintain a regular degree of RPG goodness in several quite long-running games. A good group is important, of course.

  • Chuck, we could try to get one more person together and try out Fiasco, if you like. I love that game and imagine it’d play just fine over Skype. It plays a nice, complete tale in just a couple of hours.

  • Chuckwagon,

    Fiasco has two things that I think would suit you the most:

    1 – It’s about things fucking up. Usually crime things, but sometimes just people doing people things that go bad and lead to bad consequences. I know how you think. You like that shit. You like to laugh at the misery of others, albeit fictional others, and you’re prepared to encourage shit to go wrong to make a better story.

    2 – It’s a GMless, single-session, zero-prep game than you can play on a couple of hours notice. That makes it a fuckload easier to organise and cater (especially, I would guess, once The Kid comes along) than the usual four-vs-one-I-have-a-series-bible-let’s-check-the-campaign-wiki kind of thing. Not that I’m saying you play games like that. But I do, and Fiasco comes as a great change of pace and style from those games.


    Patrick

  • The weekly Dark Sun 4e game I’ve been running has just gone on hold in favor of a wahoo, post-cyberpunk, far-future Werewolf game. We’re using the Forsaken system, but the setting is extrapolated from Apocalypse.

    I’m also running a semi-weekly Big Eyes Small Mouth game set in the Avatar (kung fu, not thundersmurfs) world. We’re having our first full session tomorrow and I’m excited as hell to get all 7(!) characters wrapped up on in the plot and hopping the globe.

    Finally, I can offer some experience on the Skype approach, drawn from my weekly Rogue Trader game. My college roommates and I all get together to tearass across the fringes of the Imperium for about three hours every week. We manage to connect six people across three time zones without much difficulty. Sessions tend to be short, but it works out really well. I think so long as a game isn’t too dependent upon a board or game pieces, Skype is a great play facilitator.

    @will I would consider killing a man if it would allow me to play Fiasco (or any game, really) with you. Let me know if you need folk for a Skype game.

  • Nearly forgot: Not only is Skype a reasonable substitute for the table, I think it actually adds to games that include high levels of technology. I played in a Shadowrun game with the same college friends and we used the format to great effect. Skype text chat was used to simulate our A.R. text messages and Google searches were essentially required to plan runs and solve some mysteries. Stupid YouTube links were shared in-character.

  • I’ve been playing D&D Encounters, mostly.

    Every Wednesday evening, 4th Edition D&D, just turn up to the store and they have all the maps, scenarios, etc ready to go. Maybe a 15 minute read of the material if you’re DMing, play for a couple of hours with a pickup group, then go home.

    Or, more likely, down the pub.

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