Ok, so much as I enjoyed the WE ROCK (formerly KWORC) posts, those were a heck of a lot of work. I mean, I’m totally pleased with them, and I may at some point go back for another swim but after all that thinking I’m really all for spending some time thinking about how to smash monsters or cool dice tricks. So for the moment, let’s just focus on some cool stuff.
Will Hindmarch has done a fantastic playset for Fiasco which reminds me of The Man Who Folded Himself pushed through the lens of the Coen Brothers and Quantum Leap. This is not a bad combination at all.
Fiasco playsets are, by the way, one of the most fantastic pieces of gaming technology of the past few years. The game rules themselves are quite simple, but each game uses a playset to create the relationships, locations, objects and needs that drive the particular game. Playsets are modular tools that can be swapped out to totally change the nature of the game, yet they’re simple enough that anyone can make one with a little time and effort. Simply brilliant. Brennan Taylor has been working on something similar with Campaign Frames for Mortal Coil, though his approach is a little different (and he’s selling them, so slightly different distro too).
On one hand, some part of me wonders if it’s possible to do a game for free but supplements like this for charge and try that as a model. Another part of me says that’s not workable because you really want to encourage players to make their own because doing so improves the game as a whole. There’s a lot of merit to either approach, and it’s totally something to watch.
Rob Schwalb, the man I like to think of as “The guy who wrote half the cool RPG material published in the past year or two” has started blogging and its well worth checking out.
I occasionally bump up against things I need words for. In this case i was thinking of things which are eye-opening and useful when you first discover them, but eventually get set aside as old hat or foundational, so that when – some time later – someone else finds it for the first time and is full of bright eyed enthusiasm about how this is the most amazing thing ever and you can either nod and smile knowingly or roll your eyes and wonder what kind of idiot they are. As I explain it, it is perhaps weird that it comes up often enough o demand a word, but it really does. But unlike my usual quests, someone actually found one. My friend Shai suggested Liminary, which means something introductory or preparatory, but implies a gateway of sorts (from limen). Its wordplay also suggests liminal and luminary, and that seems just about right. So, thank you Shai.
New theory to explain the Bermuda Triangle. Methane Gas. Not sure I buy it, but it is a great set up for MASTER BLASTER RUNS BERMUDA TRIANGLE!
On a different note, Daniel Perez has written a pretty serious post about balancing love of gaming with life. Lots of stuff that will sound familiar to anyone who has realized their passion is not a practical choice as a way to make a living.
Lastly, I think I’m going to dip my toe in trying to run some tabletop games online, so I’m looking for recommendations for tools. I’ve put out the call on twitter and already have some great answers, but I always welcome more. I have no idea what we’ll actually end up playing, and we’ll likely have a mix of computer types, but since this is a experiment, I’m willing to try most anything.