Monday, September 10, 2012

The Actual Games on the Shelf

I thought for today's post I would take a look at my game shelf, absorb its glory, and then mope about at I think about all of the awesome games sitting there that I may never actually play. Ever. It's not for a lack of wanting either. When it comes to RPGs in particular, I am an absolute indiscriminate game-whore. If it doesn't involve misunderstood vampires (I have an intense burning hatred of things Vampire: the Masquerade, True Blood, and the lot -- its not rational, and is unfounded, but I have it all the same) then I am down to play it. More than once too if its even remotely good. I do try to bust out a new one every now and again, but the lift required to get the group on board is just exhausting sometimes.

I'll start with the board games, and work my way through, adding notes on how often I've played, what I liked or didn't like about the game, and other thoughts. If you see one you want to know more about, leave a comment, and I'll dig deeper.

So now...the Games on the Shelf

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On the Psychology of RPG Groups and Table Space

During one of the seminars I gave at GenCon this year, one of the attendees mentioned the response that the players in her group have to the sound of shaking dice. Namely that all side conversations would stop and everyone immediately queued in on what was about to happen, whether they knew what was going on or not. This led to a larger discussion on small group interactions and psychology in a tabletop roleplaying game group. There have been some requests that I discuss the topic again, from friends online who were not able to attended, so here is my attempt.

A disclaimer – I am not a psychologist. What follows is my own interpretation of behavior and group interaction based solely on my own experiences in gaming, the military, and professional work environments. (Post some comments if you disagree; I’d love to hear your own ideas.

This article is an adaptation of a lengthy post I made on G+ a few days ago. The Games on the Shelf is a better place to share and explore this topic.

Monday, September 3, 2012

GenCon 2008 - The Memories are Fading

Continuing my series of GenCon reviews, I reach back into the deep cobweb filled archives of my hippocampus and cortex to bring you the memories of GenCon 2008. A whole four years ago, and with the impressions of the conventions between then and now, my recollection of the events that took place at that convention are hazy at best. The good news is, there were some things that happened there which are indelibly marked into my memory forever, so I can at least faithfully retell those stories, even if the bits in between are clouded and sparse.

GenCon 2007 - You never forget your first time

In 2007, a friend and I decided to go to GenCon. "Why not"?, we thought. We're grown men. Now seems like a great time to finally make good on all of those adolescent dreams of going to the great nerd fest in Wisconsin (Although it was now in Indianapolis). No one can stop us now - except maybe spouses - but they were sympathetic to our cause, and permitted the trip. There was only one problem with this plan. We decided to go in June.

Friday, August 31, 2012

GenCon 2009 -- What I Can Remember

So in light of the GenCon report cards I have been posting, I thought it might be fun to try and remember what happened the years that I went and didn't do a report afterwards. First up is 2009.

In 2009, we decided to go just a little bit on the late side. As in, all the hotel rooms are already booked kind of late. We also made plans with a friend of mine from my army days and her boyfriend to meet us there. We would share the cost of a room which made the burden easier. I had also stayed outside of the city in previous years and decided that we definitely wanted to stay in the Con hotel blocks, so looking at the VIG package was very tempting. In the end, we decided to do it, and upgrade the other 3 in the group to VIG companions, and share the overall cost among the group. With that done, we got a room in the Hyatt, which was quite nice, if a little cramped with 2 couples sharing it. We must have beaten the hot water heaters to death with the volume of showering done. (I shudder to think about rooms with more than 4 people in them)

So on to the events that I can remember

GenCon 2011 Report Card

Hi all. What follows is my very candid and honest review of my experiences at GenCon. There may be things said that aren’t entirely flattering, and for that I am not sorry. I apologize if anyone is greatly bothered, but I will go ahead and speak my peace anyways. It is all said out of love for gaming, in the hopes that anyone who receives a harsh critique will take it to heart and be able to improve for next time. I welcome and encourage anyone playing in my games to please do the same. If you think I did a bad job, please tell me so I can do better next time. I will not however mention any names unless I have good things to say. I don’t want to embarrass anyone publicly by name.

GenCon 2010 Report Card

In starting up this Blog, which if I am realistic, I'll probably not post to very frequently, I thought I would dig through my old GenCon reviews. So heres the report card from 2010.

Event: Eclipse Phase - EP1
Grade: A
Comments: Had a great time. Good bunch of RP'ers at the table, especially the guy playing the uplifted Octopus. He had a great take on "what would a sentient octopus think about humans". The scenario was fun, and I think we were the only ones in the room, so nice and quiet for us. Yay for 8am games on Thursday. We also lucked out and ended up with a big fat whiteboard mounted on the wall in the conf room we played in. Somebody made a good luck
roll for that one. All in all had a great time. I cant recommend enough that you all check out this game. They have really put their money where there mouth is, and licened all of their product under CC: NC, SA, Attrib. You can have a look at the pdf's completely legally at the lead developer's website: If you like it, send em some cash. Its so refreshing to see something like this happening in our industry.

Friday, August 24, 2012

GenCon 2012 Report Card

I have to say that for the most part, this was the best GenCon I have ever attended. I attribute that to my own level of involvement with things, and gamers just being awesome this year. As usual, I like to do a blow by blow review of each event in which I participated. So without further delay, here goes...