Archive | September, 2012

Session 28: Ready, Set, Game PDX One Year Anniversary Extravaganza

16 Sep

5pm – 11pm
Tuesday, September 25
Guardian Games
303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

That’s right. There will be cake. Yeah, that’s a cake. No, that’s not our cake. Our cake exists in the future. How could I take a picture of a future cake?
So, uh, anyways come kick off a second year of story gaming with us! This special event will feature extended hours (a huge thank you to Guardian Games for this!), and a handful of games too large for the usual slot! Stay tuned for cake related details.
The games this week are Metrofinal Transantiago, FreeMarket, and a Dog Eat Dog/Bhaloidam Super Combo! That is to say, Bhalodam will follow Dog Eat Dog.
The Assassin has murdered the world of suffering, garroting it with the crimson thread called desire. As the world dies, the poarts worth saving depart along the Night Road, which pours from the fatal would toward the World to Come.

Since mortal minds cannot rightly conceive of the end times, we choose to imagine the hustle and bustle of those departing as a crowded day on the metro in Santiago, Chile.In these twilight hours eight chosen saints and bodisattvas – Those Who Tarry at the Door – scour Santiago’s subway stations, searching for those who will birth the next world and expose the mechanations of asuras and demons.Find enlightenment at: by Jared Sorensen and Luke Crane is a transhuman science fiction game set aboard a space settlement in the Saturnian system. Several generations are living on FreeMarket Station: the sons, daughters and grandchildren of the Originals; immigrant travelers from elsewhere in our solar system; and designed-to-order humans fabricated in 3d matter printers. It’s a world without death, without poverty, without sickness and without any need for laws.

What will you do with forever? You could spend your days in blissful torpor browsing a universe of entertainment via your neural interface, oblivious to pain and hardship. But you’re not one of those baseliners, are you? You have hopes, dreams, fears, needs and passions. What will you do with forever?

Start a cult? Create new technologies or living creatures? Express yourself through art or violence? Make friends or Make enemies? Be human or become something else? You have more than a lifetime to discover who you really are.

For infovores:

Dog Eat Dog by Liam Burke is a roleplaying game where you play out the colonization of a Pacific island, with the players taking on the roles of the Natives, while one embodies the Occupation forces. It’s designed to be fun and thought-provoking for experienced roleplayers, but easily accessible for people new to the hobby. A token economy tracks your decisions and determines whether you’ll go out fighting, assimilate, keep hold of the island, or lose it forever.


Bhaloidam by Corvus Elrod is a time, a person, a feeling. Bhaloidam is a language, an idea, a place, and a memory. Bhaloidam is a modern expression of three timeless cultural forces: bha to tell, loid to play, and dam the tribe. In other words, Bhaloidam is where Story, Play, and Community come together.

Bhaloidam is also an independently-published tabletop storytelling platform. With it you can spin character-driven stories and weave them together with the stories of your friends. Bhaloidam lets you exert your influence upon the storyworld you create together, shaping its future and controlling your characters’ destinies as you perform their successes and their failures.

Share the story here:


XP: Getting Caught Up

2 Sep

Wow – the last few months have been quite an exciting time.


I never really meant to quit posting XPs of the games we have been playing. Lately RSGpdx events have been blowing up, with 12-18 people each event and two or three games being played each time. It has been truly rewarding to share this experience with faces new and old. In addition to that, there has been word of re-structuring some of the greater community events in order to bring all of the cool activities closer together. There has been a lot to think about.


So real quickly, I’m going to share my thoughts of all of the games I have played in at RSGpdx that I neglected to write about in more detail.



Monsterhearts is another game powered by the still beating heart of Apocalypse World. This is the only one that has improved on the formula. It is a lighter, sleeker design which lends an ultra tight, ultra sharp focus to the game. The theming elements (strings, the darkest self and the maturity moves) are so beautiful I want to cry. Very powerful. But for some reason, this game burned me out very quickly. I have a tough time actually sitting down to MC a game of Monsterhearts. Maybe that is totally subjective, but it unfortunately taints the experience of the game for me. A pity, too, being that this is one outstanding piece of work. Find an MC who is hot for this game, drop whatever you are doing, and play it right now.


Dread is really cool. The Jenga tower adds a pace to the story and tension to every moment of play. But there are two blemishes. First of all, there is simply no place for player elimination in a game these days. I get that characters die in horror games, but a player should never be left out. Take a page from Zombie Cinema and have the player move from the protagonist side to the threat side. Do anything but remove the player from play. Second, when it got down to tough conflicts, we were just playing Jenga. The use of that tower is almost to grabby and distracting. Lastly, the horror medium has had a difficult time translating to table-top gaming. This might be the best example of a horror game out there, but it still relies upon a very traditional GM role and information control. I would be very excited to see a horror game without either. Totally play it once, but be sure you have the right atmosphere for a tense horror/survival game.


What an excellent commentary on the practice of role-playing. The details here are so finely coordinated – the sensory attributes, the shared meal/snacks, the playing a character who is playing a character – it all speaks to great inspiration. I kid you not; A Thousand and One Nights is a sublime experience. I have only one complaint, and it does not compromise the play in any fashion. The game wants you to pursue your character’s ambitions and play out their envies and admirations. But it doesn’t provide any incentive to do so – the game is totally neutral on that count. Super excited for the new edition. Keep this game in your regular rotation of one shots. A great reminder of what it’s all about. Mandatory!


Where Monsterhearts did everything right, Monster of the Week missed the mark. The general design is bulky where it is different from Apocalypse World at all (yup, another AW hack). The playbooks were very poorly laid out, the damage and luck mechanics seemed broken and un-playtested, the moves in general, while clever, lacked the interconnectivity that made things in Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts pop and pop. I think this game could shine with about a year of more development, but as it is, I just can’t recommend it. Play Monsterhearts instead.


The Mountain Witch is a delicious story game classic. The trust, dark fate and resolution mechanics work so well that this functions as a treatise of thematic design. You really don’t need to do a damn thing but sit back and watch, occasionally pushing if the action lulls. This game has a long-standing reputation and it has earned it. This possibly ranks as one of my top five favorite games ever. Download the pdf and schedule a game.


Lots of stupid crazy fun. Never have so many Pembertonians met their demise by whale song and tuba bludgeoning. I will play this game again soon, but you have to be aware of two things. First, the texts is not the finest example of a streamlined coherent text. The Roach sounds like a Fiasco, but it’s not. Second, playing all six events makes for a looooong game. Consider cutting two of them out (we cut our event two and five, and that’s probably what I’d do again). I had way more fun than I expected. If you get a chance to try the Roach, do it.


I will try to be more on top of this in the future. As RSGpdx moves into its second year expect to see many exciting developments! Stay tuned!

Session 27: GHOST/ECHO, Ninja Burger

2 Sep

5pm – 9pm
Tuesday, September 11
Guardian Games
303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

While hunting for loot in the ghost world, your crew was sold out. You’ve walked right into an ambush, with hungry wraiths on your heels.

Questions you will answer as you go…
Why does your crew need loot?

What ghost powers does your particular crew member possess?
What is the ghost world?
What are Echoes?
What are Wraiths?

GHOST/ECHO by John Harper is presented as an ‘oracle game’. It provides only a starting point and a resolution mechanic. You and your friends fill in the rest of the details as you play.

Curiosity got the best of you?

Ninja Burger:
Ninja Burger was founded in 1954, and soon became the world’s predominant undergound ninja-run fast food delivery service. We would be happy to tell you more about the company, but since we’re ninja, we would then have to kill you.

However, we can tell you about the Web site.

The Ninja Burger Web site was developed in 1999 by the honorable Kenshiro Aette-san and Miyoko Aenomi-san in the traditions of their honorable ancestors. Their solemn mission: to defend the downtrodden, fight for the honor of Ninja Burger, and to deliver hot and fresh food to Ninja Burger’s customers. Somewhere along the line it all went horribly wrong.

Ninja Burger’s customer list is quite impressive, although since we respect the privacy of our clientele we cannot release any names. However, we can say that our customers include many powerful, respected, influential and important people. No questions asked.

Currently, Ninja Burger is looking forward to doing business with its One-hundred-millionth customer in the very near future (of course, Ninja Burger cannot prove this number, but are you going to argue with them?)

Maybe it could be you! Whether you are a customer or a future employee, we welcome you to the world of Ninja Burger, and hope you enjoy your visit!

Visit the Ninja Burger website and place your order today!