tabletop rpgs

/Tag: tabletop rpgs

Narrative will.

The reason that letting the audience choose its own story keeps failing when the entertainment industry tries it is that it’s a bad idea. It’s the author’s job to write the story. They can then choose a way to convey that story that gives the reader freedom in how they experience it. But if the story itself is merely a loose collection of different options, each in a different genre and with a completely different tone, then what they’ve created isn’t a coherent work, but a self-indulgent mess.

Abigail Nussbaum on story.

This is from a really, really good comparative look between Black Mirror‘s “Bandersnatch” and the “walking simulator” video game genre which, among other things, really nails why I can’t fucking stand Black Mirror‘s smug, lukewarm, late-to-the-fucking-party takes on things. Also Firewatch was a fantastic game, so was Gone Home, and while I didn’t love Night in the Woods I can see why people do.

Also related thought: the tension in tabletop RPGs between “the GM designs the game and the players experience it” versus “the players make-up the game and the GM facilitates” it. I’ve mentioned before I am… not particularly a fan of the latter approach and, again, I think this article well-articulates why.

2019-02-04T10:01:28+10:005th July, 2019|Tags: gaming, pop culture, tabletop rpgs, video games, writing|

Elliot.

Version two of this guy, a.k.a. Elliot, redrawn now I’m a bit more used to Clip Studio. Also without using Cheap Hair Trixx™ to hide the fact that, a) drawing ram horns is hard, and b) drawing ram horns coming out of the side of a “human’s”1 head is even harder.

Elliot is our game sept’s resident misanthrope and hacker.2 His hobbies are: telling the player characters’ they’re dumbasses; being extremely loyal to Lex, the son and heir-apparent to the sept’s current leader; secretly writing dirty fanfic; and keeping hundreds of cockroaches as pets in his trailer. If he has to go out in human public, he paints his horns in candycorn stripes and pretends he’s a Homestuck cosplayer.

Not pictured in this version’s laziness: Elliot’s tattoos of Cockroach and the Prophecy of the Phoenix.

  1. Technically a metis Garou in homid form. Also Yes I Know, but… welcome to 1990s-era WoD game rules, I guess.
  2. Hence the name; pretty much all the NPCs are named after TV show characters.
2019-07-01T08:04:49+10:0030th June, 2019|Tags: my art, rpgs, tabletop rpgs, werewolf the apocalypse|

New books for June 2019!

New books! Mostly my haul from Continuum, plus one Kickstarter reward, and one book from Japan. Titles include:

  • Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish
  • Alison Evans, Highway Bodies
  • Marlee Jane Ward, Welcome to Orphancorp
  • J.S. Breukelaar, Aletheia
  • Amanda Bridgeman, The Subjugate
  • the remaining B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth collected volumes
  • the Over the Edge core rulebook
  • a touristy artbook of demon and ghost ukiyo-e works I bought from a museum in Harajuku.

Also, if you squint, in the top left of the image you can see the box of Werewolf: the Apocalypse character sheets from the game we haven’t played for like a year because half the players decided to have a baby. Pfft.

2019-06-18T10:19:49+10:0018th June, 2019|Tags: books, comics, tabletop rpgs|

Monstrous paints.

One day, I will finish a painting. TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!

This is, of course, the slightly more progressed version of this WiP, done while at Continuum 15. It’s mostly me trying to learn to use Clip Studio on my iPad, and… ki-ii-inda getting into a groove for it? I am actually pretty happy how the overpaint is turning out, I just… wish it didn’t take me like five hundred hours to get to that point which… ugh. Go figure.

Also, I need to fix those drips. Yeah. Those ones. Also, lol what even are light sources?

Jeeze. This is why I never finish anything. Cannot. Unsee…

2019-06-14T15:34:38+10:0014th June, 2019|Tags: continuum, continuum 15, my art, tabletop rpgs|

Tl;dr about TTRPGs.

Reading up on Monster of the Week before our game and…

My big Issue with PbtA games is they tend to be both, like… too prescriptive and too vague, all at the same time? Like stats and abilities are all super-simplified, which is fine, but then… moves are super prescriptive at the same time? Like, try and play for e.g. Monsterhearts as an investigative game—which, spoiler alert, we did—and see what I mean. Because of the way Moves are structured in that game, there’s basically no way to convey in-character information independently of player deduction, unless you resort to, like, some kind of precognition/supernatural intervention mechanic, which often ends up feels really GM-ex-machina-y.

(more…)

2019-06-13T10:26:24+10:006th June, 2019|Tags: gaming, rpgs, tabletop rpgs|

The Monstrous.

Tentacle dad, tentacle dad
Oil-powered, goop-covered tentacle dad
Hunting stuff
Most cringe-worthy puns
Tentacle dad.

So some of you may recall we have a Tradition of always playing a TTRPG game at cons. This Continuum, Alex is running us Monster of the Week. Obviously, I had to immediately grab The Monstrous’s playbook… and totally cannibalized Davey1 because yeah lol originality what’s that? For this version, Davey is a fifty-something ex-Gulf War vet whose “Gulf War Syndrome” involved being possessed/corrupted by some kind of oil-and-lightning-based void horror. Now, he can discorporate into oily smoke to pass through solid objects, as well as use weird mind control powers to make sure his fellow team members are staying hydrated, remembering to pack their jumpers, and other assorted Team Dad duties.

Relatedly: I still totally need to replace my scanner! (The linework for the original is purple and the paper is white, believe it or not, which really says… something about the iPhone’s camera.)

  1. Technically Davey, as Lee, already showed up in the DnD game I ran last year, as the demon “Lord Chaudhry,” and ended the game possessing one of the player characters because lol.
2019-06-04T10:35:16+10:004th June, 2019|Tags: continuum, continuum 15, my art, tabletop rpgs|