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Adam Piskel

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Played some rad #GhostLines  today. It's a four page Apocalypse World hack that I've mentioned a while back as looking really interesting, mainly because the setting info is really sparse, yet all the moves, descriptions, and game elements all serve to explain to the players what the game is supposed to be about. The setting, the style, everything. It's a neat little package.

In actual play, however-- it works wonderfully as well! There's a lot of room for player imagination and just info to really serve as a spark and a launching board for all sorts of fun observations. My bro +Bernabe Costales ran an amazing one-shot that was basically all the best parts of an action movie climax rolled into one. 
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After 3 days, I've finally finished reading A Dance with Dragons.

I was one of those people who had held off on reading the book because I jumped on A Feast for Crows when it came out and was left disappointed. So when the newest book came out, I drug my heels and didn't end up picking it up. But a friend lent me the book and I've hardly been able to put it down.

I'll admit the first couple of chapters were a little rough to get through. Relearning characters and situations and trying to remember what I read years ago. But once I got back into the swing of things, the reading went fast and concentrated.

I've heard that there is a suggested reading order for going through both books at once to get a better idea of how things fit together chronologically, and I feel like I would have a much better handle on the timing of events better if I had done so. Also, it probably would've done me good to revisit what exactly happened during FfC.

In any case, one thing that did bug me about DwD was the chapter titles. I don't know if Jar Jar Martin started using titles / descriptions instead of character names in order to obscure the fate of certain characters to those browsing through the chapter listing, or if it made it easier to refer to/find specific chapters, like chapter titles are supposed to do, but I felt like it always took a couple of paragraphs to decipher who and where exactly each chapter was about. Especially if the title referenced a Queen's Guard or King's Man or something like that because of the wealth of Kings and Queens in ASoIaF.

There was also some chapters that felt superfluous, and that I was rushing through them to get to something more interesting. That's part of why I suspect I would have enjoyed it a little more if I read it concurrently with FfC. It felt like I was just getting a taste of where specific people/groups were travelling so as someone who followed the armies' marches better than I would know where troops were at or were going.

Despite the negative feelings I'm expressing, I came away overall with a very positive reaction. If I were to recommend the books to someone whole-cloth, I'd probably suggest they seek out the alternate reading order for FfC and DwD, or at least read the two really close together because otherwise it is really the low point of the series.
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A writeup of my first TBZ game, with pictures and drawings!

There was some question as to how ranged weapon damages work. If you have a rate of fire of 4, do you add +4 to the damage or do you do the damage four times? There was a clear ruling about only needing to roll to hit once for all four shots, but the manner of damage itself wasn't as easily found.

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Finally got to play #tenrabanshozero  yesterday! +Nathan Varella was so enamored of the books, he decided to run for us! Though, none of had played before and Nate and I had only a very basic understand of the rules, Nate himself having only had read the books a day or two before!

For characters, +Michael Vaganov made Hakase Dokumaru, a Oni-blooded Onmyoji who specialized in building Yoroi. Nate's brother Niko wrote up Kiyohara Koyashi, a young noble-born gunlancer. And for myself Himawari Tama, a travelling performer who was in actuality a mercenary Armor hunter.

I really can't say enough about how much fun we had. Often I'll make doodles of my own characters for TRPG games, but very rarely will I draw other characters, and even rarer is any time I draw the whole party. It was a little slow to start, but Nate did an amazing job of slowly moving everyone together via the First Act, and all three of us had very different stories that meshed well together and by the time we were working together, it felt very natural and not forced at all by the nature of the game or plot.

As for the system itself, TBZ is an interesting thing, the flow of Aiki chips and being able to spend them (and earned Kiai) gave us players a good grasp of the narrative when we wanted to take control, and everyone was being rewarded for keeping the game running in a smooth, interesting fashion. The Emotion Matrix helped inform on new meetings between PCs and NPCs, which I think forced some of us to make connections between characters we would have not otherwise made.

I think, since we had a good variety of new and old TRPG players, and varying levels of interest in roleplaying vs combat in such games, using the Emotion Matrix helped all around the table. Whether a player wouldn't normally try and form story bonds immediately, it helped force a decision and make sure that all the major characters had some form of connection to each other. For others, it was a good way to have something in the rules to blame for certain interactions. >.>

Unfortunately, we didn't make it to Act 3, so that'll have to be saved for another night. But all of us are quite invested in not only our own characters, but each others characters and in the story itself. Enough so that we're left wondering what we'll do next.
Tenra Bansho Zero 7/16/2013
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I should have posted this the other day, but I'm bad and so here it is a couple of days late. #SkullDorado  scored a respectable 2.06, making it the second highest scoring (out of 4!) Android 7DRL. Of course I scored way higher than my entry for last year as well.

The biggest surprise for me was the complaints of crashing, since I hadn't gotten any feedback from people who had played about it. Nor from whoever the judges were. I'm interested in knowing what devices they were playing on (or using BlueStacks or whatever) to see if I can narrow down what went wrong there.

The smallest surprise, but the biggest complaint, was the controls. While I took the advice I was given last year a little too much to heart, the swipe controls to move around such a large space gets boring and tedious. Hoplite, the top-scoring Android 7DRL this year, got things right. Every move is important, and if there are no more important moves to be made, the player just warps to wherever the user taps.

All in all, this makes me excited for next year's 7DRL. I want to improve my skills and make an even better showing next year, since apparently I knocked it out of the park on theme and that I actually got a fully working product this year. Onward and upward!
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Free is a pretty great show and a breath of fresh air in a sea of imoutocon LN adapations and moeblob 4koma adaptations. (Not to mention original animation that exist to sell figurines of half-or-more-naked girls.)

But, an unexpected side benefit is that legions of privileged males feel threatened and choose to express their feelings in the most hilarious ways to assure the internet that they are 'not gay.'

(For more hilarity, check out as well! )
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+Brandon Schmelz Does Inverse World have a date it goes on sale to us poor idiots who didn't back the kickstarter?
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A sale on Last Stand! If you haven't bought it yet why not?

(HINT: It's good!)
Originally shared by ****
Good morning. Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind, that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences any more. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist, and should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, 'We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on, we're going to survive.' Today we purchase Last Stand for 25% off!
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Well, here's a good lesson for me to learn from the +2013 7DRL Challenge.

Hoplite pretty much smashes my own entry, #Skulldorado  on Android because it's simple and focuses on the main gameplay, which is the combat. The concept is kept simple, every choice is meaningful, and when there's no more choices to be made on the level, you can warp around freely because there's no need move square by square if there's not going to be any resistance.

Right from the beginning, as I looked through the other finished entries, I saw that I spent too much time working on getting things running correctly, a problem I had with #2419RL  back in 2012. By the time I was building the level generation and enemy AI, I was way too fatigued to worry about the core gameplay having too many sections where the player is doing nothing but moving slowly, turn after turn. And then when I hit a huge bug with the inventory system it took all of my effort and I had to dumb it way back down because it was taking too much time trying to fix the issue.

So, congratulations to Hoplite for succeeding where I stumbled, this is the sort of product that anyone participating in the #7DRL  can be proud of. And I look forward to the challenge next year in 2014, where I expect to see many more Android projects being developed.
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It looks like +Meguey Baker 's stealth advertisement for Psi*Run via The Sundered Land has worked on me. I know getting people to watch a game as it's being played is great for building interest, (It's how I got into Sentinels of the Multiverse) but I'm still surprised to see that concept taken to the online social scene. 
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