Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dead By Dawn

One of the most important points in any undertaking can simply be summed up as having the right man for the job. Or woman, but let's not argue semantics. With this past weekend dead and gone, I continue forward with the memories of two really good games. Oddly enough, both occurred in the same night for once. We started out with a Pacific Rim themed Mekton game. Mostly just a thinly veiled brawl, we settled in for a whopping three mass combats of Jaegers versus Kaijus. Wall to wall cinematic action. Not yet settled for the evening, we carried on into my first exposure to All Flesh Must Be Eaten. Another momentous event happened as a direct result: my first character death! And a TPK! (that's a Total Party Kill for the uninitiated)

This probably had less of an effect on me than it should by pure luck: it was a one-shot character rather than something I had run for months on end. I had heard of AFMBE so I kind of expected it. The best part of it all was that all deaths occurring that evening happened in what could be stated to be the best mode possible. Follow along with me while I explain my point of view.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Sometimes in life we come across personal challenges or goals that may seem ludicrous in the eyes of others. We all have our own mountains to climb or our white whales to hunt, and after all who apart from ourselves can see any difference between our victories and our defeats? Stumbling blocks come in all forms, whether from outside foes or simple physiology. While standing on big rocks and learning to love the taste of cinnamon can be fine and dandy for most, I have something else in mind.

I have, this past weekend, enjoyed yet another movie penned by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. While I won't say that it's the best of their movies, I will say that 'The World's End' is an extremely enjoyable film. In it, a group of high school friends reunite in an effort to tackle one of the last great challenges of their youth, the Golden Mile. The goal of which is to drink a pint of beer in each of twelve pubs in their old hometown of Newton Haven. As with most incidents involving large quantities of alcohol, hilarity ensues. While I'll not go further into the film, I will say my inner GM was taking notes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One-Shot at History: Post-Mortem

This past Saturday, my one-shot went off and was, when it comes down to brass tacks, successful. The group had a good time. I introduced some players to one of my favorite systems. Dice were rolled. Mooks were mashed. All-in-all, yes. I'd call that a success. As I often do after a game session, I've spent plenty of time fretting and analyzing what went down and what worked in order to make the next one just that much better. There's a couple of points that kind of stick out in my mind, if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Critical Thinking

Problem-solving is a basic intellectual skill. When presented with a goal and a set of obstacles, creative methods of problem-solving are sometimes required where simple methodology fails. By reputation, gamers in general exhibit a certain degree of creative thought bordering on ludicrous in regards to hypothetical scenarios. At least this is what I've come to believe and expect. I've heard tales of players going to outrageous lengths to surmount various stumbling blocks to mixed degrees of success. Examples range from launching arrows at pavilion-like structures before ascertaining breed or disposition to conquering dungeons by simply digging around them to constructing Rube Goldburg inspired contraptions in ad hoc attempts to open unlocked doors without touching them. 

The critical thinking involved in these kinds of exploits (the successful ones at least) is one skill I feel I could and should develop further. Tabletop games often present opportunities to do so in a fun and creative environment, so what better way to practice than to pull a heist? That's right. I'm talking Shadowrun.