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Transitions

27 Nov

Alright.

So here is what’s going on here. Play Out Loud, the organization to which the Ready, Set, Game event belongs will be getting a website of it’s own soon, and this blog will be making the transition to that page. It’s still going to be a few weeks, but I’m spread really thin right now, and I can only juggle so many web and social media things. So this page will be phasing out as the new site phases in. I guess that’s already begun. Things will pick up then with LOTS of new content.

Anyway, sorry to leave you out in the cold these last weeks. You can read my play reports on my blog, The Act Apart, which will include reports on everything I play at RSG, along with a bunch of other stuff. Speaking of which, here is my play report of Itras By.

For the meanwhile: RSG 12/3: Becoming (recently Kickstarted!), Kingdom (also recently Kickstarted!), Cosmic Patrol, and Ghost/Echo. RSG 12/17: It’s not pinned down yet, but I’m going to figure out how to do a successful one-shot of Polaris and end the year with my favorite story game.

By the time the new year rolls around I hope to have POL’s new online home up and running. I’ll post about that when it’s ready.

See you on 12/3!

A Note on Logistics

4 Mar

Hello everybody!

I’m going to be trying a few different things to smooth out the process at the beginning of these events. The big thing is having a signup sheet for each game being played.

I still want to do the big group-hug thing. It’s much nicer to talk about things, but I think that also having sheets will improve our ability to streamline this event and get to playing.

I’ll add a note once we settle on a specific process, but until then know that we may be mixing it up a bit in order to see what works best these days.

See you for our next event on 3/12! Details coming soon.

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

A Few Changes

23 Jul

I am very happy to say that lately our games have been very well attended. So well, in fact, and so consistently, that we are forced to change our format just a bit.

 

First of all, thanks to everyone of you who has made this group a success. Without you guys RSGpdx would not be what it is, and maybe it wouldn’t be at all. This goes double for anybody who has facilitated a game.

 

For now on there will be two or three games to choose from, and we may not get to each one every time. But those games that we do not get around to may appear in the near future. Hopefully with this change we will be able to have tighter and more focused games that fit the time slot more effectively.

 

If you expect to be late it is important to voice your anticipated arrival time on either the facebook or Portland Gamers Meetup event page. If you say when you plan to be there and which of the games you would like to play (if you have a preference) then we will try to wait for you. But if you don’t speak up then we will just plow ahead and get gaming.

 

So… let’s game!

 

 

XP: Dust Devils Revenged

8 Jan

I am quite the fan of Dust Devils Revenged.

Using poker hands for a western game is not only a perfect match, but getting away from dice is refreshing. The way the mechanisms work together are elegant, subtle, and effective. But this is not going to be a mechanical analysis of the system. This is a look at our gaming experience from January 3rd, and more specifically how we players interacted with the game to produce the fiction.

Make no mistake; I had my share of fun and laughs at the game this past Tuesday, but still I feel like the game was held back a bit.

We had a rather large turnout, totaling six players. Which is great! We were using the Dealer-less mode of play, so that is six protagonists. Ambitious and starry eyed as we were, DDR is not designed to handle that many protagonists, and this became rather obvious. Maybe, with a Dealer and five protagonists you could make it work, but you would need an ideal situation. Here are the problems we ran into.

DON’T TIP YOUR HAND

There were too many motives, ambitions and such for any one narrator to handle effectively. The result is that about half the table was involved at any one time, and split up so we only got a skin deep look at most of the protagonists, which started a downward spiral of not knowing the protagonists well, leading to confusion, resulting in stretching to make it work, leading to more confusion, and so on.

This also meant that the narration rights only got passed around so much. I narrated only once, and it drove to a conflict pretty quickly, so that was it. Cuttlefiend (I’m using fake names here; tell me where I got them from for bonus points) only had it once or twice, and Zebromega, an RSGpdx newcomer, didn’t get narration rights at all, if I remember correctly. The result is that we never got to explore her character, a thrill seeking card shark, in much depth. Which is unfortunate.

The sum of those two phenomenon meant that the narration passed only between a few players: those of whom we have the clearest understanding, and those whom were in the previous conflict. Which in turn supplied the conditions which allowed this pattern to continue.

PLAY IT CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST

The next major problem is that the chip play got weird. With so many participants in some conflict it really watered down the ability to make wagers, and added more risk to resisting your Devil and Traits. So nobody did much of either, and the result is that once you lose your chips, they are just gone, and you get hammered by cards in conflicts. Thus, this session became the Ballad of Beasly, Cuttlefiend’s character who got beaten, shamed, and driven half to madness pretty quickly, and so he remained. Without chips he couldn’t even fold, and my character, a fool-hardy child with a gun was soon to follow. Conversely, those who were able to hold to some chips seemed to do well in most conflicts, such as Awfulgutbag’s cannibal grave digger and Zebromega’s thrill seeking card shark (both of whom, despite frequent victories, were overshadowed by Shrewwolf and Cuttlefiend’s characters, and to a certain extent Chucksquee’s as well).

I think that the chip play is the most important part of this game, given that they not only have a powerful impact on The End, but on the quasi-metagame conversation that takes place as players decide to earn or spend chips though various actions, which also tend to be character defining moments. The sharp curve the additional players added to this value of chips was felt doubly hard.

THE DEAL, THE CALL

The net effect of these two details was that the fiction drove harder and harder toward a roughly two of the protagonists, made one a whipping boy, and made the rest more or less irrelevant. Far from ideal.

I do think the Dealer-less mode of play offers a more organic experience, but things would have been much improved if we had opted for a Dealer. A savvy Dealer could have spotted these trends and at least tried to do something about them.

Maybe this would be a viable strategy:
Three participants: three players, no Dealer.
Four participants: three or four players, Dealer optional.
Five participants: four players, one Dealer.
Six participants: two three player games, no Dealers (this also offers the possibilities of cross-play).

But don’t take this the wrong way: we still had a hoot. It’s a good thing that the system is so resilient otherwise. I think we would have an even better time with a few adjustments, however.

One thing did go over quite well: Devil escalation. In order to fit the one-shot play, we started all Devil ratings at one. The player with the highest card not played in a conflict would get to say whose Devil grew and how. The rising tension did play into the fiction nicely, though it may have contributed to Beasly’s rapid descent into savagery (though it was entertaining). I think we will definitely be revisiting this house-rule for future one shots.

Enough of my thoughts, those of you that also played, what did you think? What worked, what didn’t? What would you do differently? Was it redemption or damnation at the hands of the devil?

New Year, New Location, New Schedule

27 Dec

After much consideration, we’ve decided that a more consistent schedule may benefit our gaming group. From now on, Official sessions will be every other Tuesday at Guardian Games. The extra Sunday sessions can still be had, and as usual, any member is allowed to host/run games.

When it gets down to it, this means more games for you!

We’re very happy to announce that our next session, January 3rd, will be held at Guardian Games.

In case you don’t know, they rock. They have a huge store packed with games of all sorts, refreshments and a killer staff.

Happy gaming!

Support our Friends at Zakelro!

27 Oct

If you enjoyed playing Bhaloidam, are curious about it, or simply have money shooting out of your ears (a serious problem, mind you), there’s still a little time left to support the game on Kickstarter!

The project is a mere $4000 from its $27,900 goal, and at the rate people are pledging, we think it’s got a chance!