ImageI’m listening to Rush and prepping for an online D&D game I’m going to run for my daughter’s boyfriend.

1982 just called to say thanks for the friendly visit, and we should do it more often.

Of course, back then it was my 8 track copy of “All the World’s a Stage” – the only Rush album I owned for a little while – and my battered, dog-eared AD&D hardcovers, some graph paper, and a pack of looseleaf. Today, 30 years later, it’s a flash drive with a jillion songs on it, playing MP3s while I read over the D&DNext PDFs and carefully arrange tiles and tokens on a virtual gaming table.

I’m not sure which one I like better. But I may get the chance to compare them directly – we’re supposed to play some face-to-face games soon.

Does anyone have a working 8 track player? Mine broke in 1985…


New Year, New GameOkay, here it is – my belated (but better than be-nevered!)  New Year, New Game post.

For those of you just joining us,  New Year New Game is a challenge to roleplaying enthusiasts to try a new roleplaying game every new year, to help inspire us, broaden our horizons, and keep our hobby from getting stale.

A few new RPGs have really caught my attention, and I thought I would make a list of five that will try my best to play in the coming year. I figure making a list of five will increase my odds of getting at least one of them in. So, here goes:

1) Macabre Tales (link) – I reviewed this one a little while ago – It’s a one-on-one RPG (one narrator, one player) that is the most faithful tribute to the stories of H.P. Lovecraft that I’ve ever seen, and it uses dominoes instead of dice. Very intriguing.

2) Toypocalypse (link) – This is another that I reviewed recently. One could call it a mash-up of Toy Story, Small Soldiers, 9, and Lord of the Flies, if one were so inclined – sentient toys living in a human-free post-apocalyptic world. Oh yeah, I’m so there.

3) Cosmic Patrol (link) – This one is in my to-be-reviewed pile. Two-fisted Golden Age science fiction GMless roleplaying that looks like it would be a blast to play. And speaking of GMless games…

4) Fiasco (link)  – Nope, I haven’t played it yet. Yeah, I know it’s awesome. I kn… I KNOW, ALL RIGHT? I KNOW! I’M GONNA! JUST STOP, ALREADY!

5) Lost Days of Memories and Madness (link) – Their teaser text has me very interested – “A storytelling game of intrigue and insanity at the end of the world. The immortal elves of the Eternal Court are masters of the world, enslaving the lesser races so that their most precious possessions – their memories – can be harvested for the pleasure of the decadent elven lords. The greatest fear amongst the immortal elves is madness; the greatest taboo is the mention that the stolen memories of others is the path to insanity.” And I just noticed that it’s GMless, too. Honestly, I don’t have anything against GMed games… it just seems to be working out like this…

So there’s my list. If I get to play and/or run one of them, I will consider it a success. Two will be a critical success, three will be an outright miracle. I’ll check back in when January 2013 rolls around and file my report.

Now, about those new gamers…

I’m happy – and very lucky – to say that I have a lot of opportunities to play with new people right now, and by “new,” I mostly mean folks who have never tried the RPG hobby before, along with one experienced gamer who wants to try a game he’s never played before. And unlike the above list, I’m going to do my very best to check ALL of the items off of this one in the coming year:

Mr. Hudson is a long-time friend of my partner Paula and mine. I used to call him “Dave” (that’s his first name) until the day I bumped into him while visiting a grade school and learned that he was a teacher there.  Now I call him Mr. Hudson. Anyway, Mr. Hudson and I got into a conversation late last year in which he mentioned that his son expressed an interest in playing Dungeons & Dragons – so I told him that if he would like, I would be happy to run a game for him and his son someday. He said he would like. So I’m going to. I’ll probably run a retroclone like OSRIC, which while technically counts as D&D, I’ve never run before. So it’ll count as a new game!

Allie is a theatre friend. She and I have been in many different stage shows together in the children’s theatre group that we are both a part of. In our first (The Frog Princess), I played the storyteller and narrator, and she was a barbarian princess. Currently, we are working together on a new show (The Golden Goose) in which she is playing the storyteller/narrator, and I’m playing the king. She has heard us talk about gaming during our backstage discussions and late-night after-rehearsal dinners at Applebee’s, and mentioned that she’d like to give it a go. For this, I may use Blue Rose – simple rules, and since I’ve never run it before – cha-ching! New game! (Does Blue Rose have barbarians in it?)

Jeremy is my oldest daughter’s boyfriend. He already enjoys console RPGs, so trying out a tabletop version won’t be all that new to him. During one of their phone conversations, I overheard my daughter say to him “You’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons? You can’t truly call yourself a geek until you’ve played D&D! My dad can run a game for us someday!” He has agreed to do so – but it’s likely that his real agenda is to have that much more face-to-face time with my daughter. Regardless, I’m making him chuck some dice, probably in the same Blue Rose game with Allie.

Jenn is another theatre friend who has three energetic and highly imaginative boys. I’ve thought about asking her if I could run a simple RPG for them someday, but she actually popped the question before I could. I’m not sure what I would run, but I did just get a review copy of RAWR!

My friend Chris is someone I’ve gamed with for years, who recently told me that one of his other friends (whose name I cannot remember right now) inquired about giving the Call of Cthulhu RPG a try for the first time. “There’s only one guy I know who can do Cthulhu justice,” says my friend Chris. (Aw, shucks.) Now this doesn’t really count as a new game on my end, but it would on his! Ca-ching!

And there we have it – my big RPG plans for the year. Check back with me in 2013 to see how they went!


New Year, New GameGnome Stew has announced New Year, New Game a project that they (and I) hope will encourage gamers to seek new vistas and run a new roleplaying game every year.

Their mission is (and I quote):

“To inspire game masters to run at least one new game each year, because trying new games broadens your horizons, challenges your skills as a GM, and can deepen your enjoyment of gaming as a hobby.”

NYNG will be promoted with a blog carnival (in which I will be participating) and a pitch-your-game contest, in which GMs are encouraged to send a short “elevator pitch” of the RPGs they’d like to run, for a chance to win a prize bundle from Engine Publishing, DriveThruRPG, Obsidian Portal, and more.

You can find out more at Gnome Stew, and at the official site for New Year, New Game.