Archive | October, 2012

Session 31: Motobushido, Don’t Rest Your Head, Annalise

31 Oct

6pm – 10pm
Tuesday, November 6
Guardian Games
303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

Once more, while the kickstarter is still live! If you missed it the first time, here’s your chance!

Motobushido is a tabletop role-playing game about brotherhood, sacrifice, and death – all part of the Motorcycle Samurai lifestyle. In this game, you and a group of your friends play a pack of motorcycle-riding samurai in the years after a great war ravaged the land – a war that your side lost. As motobushi you travel a hostile world that rejects your ideals, and tell the stories of your trials

and adventures.

Nathanael Cole, designer of Motobushido will be running the session! Don’t miss it!

Learn more at, and support the kickstarter too!

Don’t Rest Your Head:
You can’t sleep. It started like that for all of us, back when we were garden variety insomniacs. Maybe you had nightmares (God knows we all do now), or maybe you just had problems that wouldn’t let you sleep. Hell, maybe you were just over-caffeinated. But then something clicked.

That was when you took a long walk down the streets of the Mad City, stopped being a Sleeper, and started being Awake. But that click you heard wasn’t from the secret world snapping into place. It was the sound of the Nightmares flicking off the safety and pointing a gun at your head.

They can smell you. The Paper Boys are closing in, and you’d better pray you don’t become a headline. You’re chum in the water, my friend, and it’s time you got ready for it… before the clock chimes thirteen again. Now that you’re one of us, there’s just one simple rule left that must dominate your life.

Stay Awake. Don’t Rest Your Head.

Don’t Rest Your Head is a sleek, dangerous little game, where your players are all insomniac protagonists with superpowers, fighting — and using — exhaustion and madness to stay alive, and awake for just one more night, in a reality gone way wrong called the Mad City. It features its own system, and is contained entirely within one book.

Dare to look?

Annalise is a game for making Gothic horror stories. You and your friends take on the roles of a shadowy creatures lovers, allies and enemies. What is watching you from the darkness? Why is is attracted to you? How will the story end? Answer these questions for yourself with this game of pain, hunger and redemption.

Annalise is a no-prep, GMless table-top roleplaying game for 2-4 players. Each player takes on the role of a protagonist in a Gothic horror story – a creature, whether a literal or metaphorical Vampire – is the central pivot around which your characters revolve, and the rules of the game guide you in discovering its’ nature and eventually confronting it. The game is designed for short-to-medium turn play (3-6 session), but one-shot and convention play is facilitated by the included Guided Play Scenarios.

At it’s most basic, Annalise is a game about making Vampire stories. The rules of the game guide you and your friends in telling a story revolving around sympathetic characters of your own creation. These characters are tied together by the malevolent creature, lurking in the shadows and biding it’s time. Why is it so attracted? What does it want? How will you stop it?

To compare it to a story you probably know, in this game you would take on the roles of Mina Harker, Van Helsing and Renfield as they struggle against Dracula. Each of these characters has a unique relationship with the Vampire – Mina is the object of it’s desire, Van Helsing is hunting it, and Renfield is it’s willing servant. But Dracula is the catalyst of the story, not the center of it; the book is about these protagonists, not about the creature.

Can’t resist?


RSGpdx presents Ladies’ Night!

30 Oct

6pm – 10pm
Wednesday, November 14
The Green Dragon Bistro & Brew Pub
928 SE 9th Ave

No boys allowed! Let’s share a pitcher of beer, enjoy each others’ company, and play quick, easy-to-learn, story-based role playing games (by female designers!) in a welcoming environment.

If you are a seasoned role-player and/or story-gamer, you are more than welcome, and please let me know if you might like to help facilitate, either at this first game night or sometime in the future.

If you are intrigued by RPGs and/or story games, but have had your doubts about jumping in to an established group (espe

cially one that — let’s face it — is sort of dominated by dudes), you are SUPER DUPER EXTRA welcome. These games take no more than a few minutes to learn, play within a couple of hours, and focus on story rather than rules.

This inaugural Ladies Night will feature PSI*RUN by Meguey Baker. Here’s how the author herself introduces the game:

“…. Moments ago, you broke free. Now you are struggling to remain free long enough to piece together your own past. You have amazing powers that can help you survive, but those same powers carry the risk of disaster. And the people chasing you? They’ll stop at nothing to get you back.” More about Psi*Run here:

Story games are a little bit like board games, and a lot like grown-up versions of the “let’s pretend” games you probably played as a child. Above all, They are about TELLING A STORY TOGETHER. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s not about making the best character or mastering the rules. It’s about CREATING something together and HAVING FUN. Come check it out!


16 Oct

What to say about GHOST/ECHO? The game is so minimalist that it is difficult to pinpoint specific details. This game plays to a certain kind of skill set. You have to be ready to dive in deep with no assistance at all, fictionally nor mechanically, and just start cramming pieces together to make it work. It’s feels rather like jury-rigging some strange contraption, with an even stranger tool that changes every time you look at it.

See, writing a bullshit sentence like that is almost what playing this game is like. You just have to be willing to roll with it and capitalize on the tropes of your unconscious as you rush past them.


The story we made was pretty cool, and equally confusing at times. Sometimes things go so phenomenally bad for the players that a simple situation spirals into a deep crisis in a matter of minutes. This is part because this game is simply brutal, and part because it resolves so quickly and so smoothly that a whole chapters worth of narrative can speed by in just a few minutes.

Our game managed to hit existential issues in the first hour. By the end of the third hour the crew had confronted an infoweapon that targets the nature of intelligence itself, and one character had effectively become an oversoul god of sorts. It took only three hours to get as epic as it comes. That is, effectively, a whole campaign.


The rules themselves are super open. They begin with a series of questions to which just about any answer is suitable. The setting consists of nothing more than evocative images, a list of words, and a dare to take them wherever.

The conflict resolution seems to be a proto-Apocalypse World application of the Otherkind system. This allows players to choose how they succeed or fail, which is a vastly more engaging means of handling conflict.

The rules themselves work flawlessly. But you’ve gotta have guts to delve into the unknown with no hand rail to hold onto. If you can do that, then this game is everything you could want it to be. But if you cannot get over the initial feeling of free fall, then you may not feel comfortable enough to really get to the juicy bits of this game. This is true for the players and doubly true for the GM.

One player put it aptly: “This is what I would use to play Shadowrun instead of Shadowrun.”

A Few Announcements

14 Oct

There have been some changes to this blog. Would you look at that!

Got rid of some useless crap, added a few things I’ve wanted to add for a while. Namely, the Tools section in the navigation bar above. Check it out!

I also recently changed up the facebook side of things. If you want to be involved there (it’s where all the action is right now, I must say) then you want to hit up the page and/or the group. I’m phasing out the profile. Kinda got stuck with that a while back, and I’m glad to finally leave it. So ignore the profile. It’s not long for this world.

There are a few XP’s coming soon. Swear! I was absent for the 10/9 Remember Tomorrow and World of Dungeons session though, so we’ll just have to skip that one. Sorry

Session 30: Psi*Run, MAID

13 Oct

6pm – 10pm
Tuesday, October 23
Guardian Games
303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

Whoever’s after you, you know one thing: they will stop at nothing to capture you and you’ll stop at nothing to stay free. The holes in your memory vie for attention with your startling abilities – stay one step ahead of the Chasers long enough to answer your questions, and hope your psychic powers don’t go wild.

They took your life.
You got away.

They want you back.

The truth is out there:

You are a maid, having worked dutifully for the Saionji family for several years. You are also a shy albino princess who does odd jobs for the yakuza, and train with the three-section staff. Your peer Maya is an outgoing young maid with freckles, a streak of being greedy for sweets, and who also happens to be a military cyborg.

Your master is a kind teenager who lives in the mansion alone, but is a bit of a train otaku. He is also a cursed werewolf. With amnesia.

Somewhere between doing the laundry and preparing lunch, the master is kidnapped by evil ninjas. They escape through the basement of the mansion, which contains a portal to the Netherworld. It’s up to you to get him back before dinnertime.

All in a day’s work for a maid!

Maid is an light comedy anime-themed tabletop role-playing game for three or more players. The very easy to learn rules-light system, complete with random events which drive the story forward, will have you playing the game with friends only fifteen minutes after opening the book. Maid is also the first ever Japanese role-playing game to be translated and released in English.

Stop by for a visit:

Session 29: Remember Tomorrow, World of Dungeons

3 Oct

6pm – 10pm
Tuesday, October 9
Guardian Games
303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

Remember Tomorrow:
Remember Tomorrow by Gregor Hutton is a role-playing game set in the near future. Look at the world today, now flash it forward twenty minutes into the future. Sky Cars: Check. Memory Couriers: Check. Everything Else: Slightly Changed, huh, how about that?

Remember Tomorrow is set in a place called Somewhere. Maybe it was once Glasgow, Milan, Reno, Auckland or Hong Kong. Everywhere in the world is Somewhere. Are you Ready, Willing and Able?

It’s a quick and dirty near-future “cyberpunk” game that features: easy character generation; an ensemble cast of PCs and Factions; goal-oriented stories built in play; GMless, scene-based resolution.

Find the truth at:

World of Dungeons:
World of Dungeons, by John Harper, is a complete short roleplaying game that answers the question “If Dungeon World was the latest version of a classic roleplaying game, what would the original look like?”

Looking for that classic high-fantasy adventure role playing experience but with a streamlined, fast paced modern design? This is it.

Adventure awaits at:

Ready, Set, Game PDX moves to a new time!

3 Oct

Thanks to the good folks at Guardian Games, RSGpdx events will now begin at 6 pm and end at 10 pm. I know some of you have been waiting for this.

See you all around the game table soon!