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Phil Vecchione
Author, Game Designer, Podcaster, Blogger
Author, Game Designer, Podcaster, Blogger

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I accidentally saw an episode of the Real Housewives some somewhere...

Truthfully, it gets watched a lot in my house so my exposure is higher than I would like to admit.

I want to make a hack of this genre in PbtA. Right now I am considering alternative playbooks for Monsterhearts...

Why, brain? Why?

RPGs as Art

Oh yes...we are doing that.

Next week's episode is Chris' birthday episode, and I asked him what topic he would like to do so that I could get a show prepped.

So our birthday boy grabbed his soapbox and wants to do RPGs as Art. Who am I do deny him, so I am going to prep some notes about this topic.

While I do, let me turn to you, our most awesome of communities, and ask you, what are your feelings about this topic? Are RPG's art?

I have some very specific ideas about this, but my thoughts are all going into the show notes.

Share yours...

Devil's Bargain

When we started playing Blades, we had some trouble with this mechanic. Chris, for one, did not like it at all. For our group, it fell away for a while. Especially as we were getting a handle on the rest of the mechanics.

As part of my prep for every Blades session, I review some part of the rules for the game, and this time I came back to Devil's Bargain. Getting extra dice in the game is really important, and doing it without getting Stress is even better.

I don't have an official ruling on this, nor did I dig around in the Blades community. Rather I re-read the rules and looked at the examples, and I think I get the crux of this rule. Or at least here is my interpretation of it.

The Devil's Bargain should complicate things tangentially to the ongoing plot. In Blades there is nearly always a cost on a roll (unless you get a 6) and mitigating them costs Stress. So to potentially complicate the immediate situation for a single die, does not always make sense. But introducing a complication downstream is less of a risk.

For instance. Glen's character was trying to sneak through his neighbor's apartment because he was sure something weird was happening in his. I offered him a Devil's Bargain that the lady who lives here has a big, imposing nephew and that he will have some things to say about Glenn sneaking through the apartment, the next time he visits.

Now this did not complicate the immediate scene, and it provides me with some interesting narrative bits to use in a future scene.

This is a bit of a contrast (at times) with a Fate compel, which is often done to complicate things in the moment. This is ok, because Fate has a less harsh failure mitigation (more Fate points) as well as softer fail forward. So complicating the immediate situation is not always a problem.

For instance. Bob may be trying to sweet talk a guard into letting him pass, when I hold up a Fate point and remind him of his Trouble Aspect, Do you know who I am? . He smiles and takes the point, and then brags to the guard about who he is while trying to convince him to let him pass, complicating the scene because now his identity will be known.

Now, I am not sure if I am using Devil's Bargain right, but it seems more right, to me, for Blades. Blades is a darker and grittier game. It does not suit making things worse in the moment, especially during a score. But as a tool for getting future narrative beats and situations, in exchange for an extra die. I am down with that.

Lost That Loving Feeling

Next week's show is going to be about when you discover that you are no longer loving the game you are playing, and what you can do about it.

My request to you, the most awesome of communities, is to tell me some of the reasons about why you have fallen out of love with game system or a campaign.

I am waiting for the drop...

I had an amazing time at the QCC, played great games, and hung with great people. For those days, I was able to forget the rest of my messy life and grueling job.

Yesterday, I jumped right back into my normal life, head first. It was not easy, nor was it fun. Reminders from all sides, that I am not really where I want to be, but I am where I have to be. So I am gritting my teeth and moving forward one step at a time.

In the meantime, I will keep working on H2O, as it gets closer and closer to whatever done is.

I am failing at most self-care beyond, eating something, caffeine, and medicine. I have managed to watch some Narcos and do some bag shopping.

For now, I will keep doing this, knowing that the next con is just 7 weeks away and that I can get another few days away from my life, and get a little peace.

Oh...and I should get some show notes together...the show must go on.

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Chatroom4life member +Craig Strasser​ (csstrat) playing the pipes are my Dad's Birthday party.

QCC Off-Books Gaming

I am planning to bring a few things with me for some off-books gaming. I have two 3-hr blocks during the Con, where I could run something:
-- Saturday 11am - 2pm
-- Sunday 2pm - 5pm (close out the con)

I am going to pack materials for the following:
-- Rockerboys & Vending Machines
-- Action Movie World
-- DCC - Frozen in Time Funnel

If you are free during those times and want to play, just let me know.

Games Mastery

Blades in the Dark is the first game in a long time that I have had to work hard at to gain any kind of Mastery. I am 7 sessions in and starting to get a good handle on all the parts.

All games have learning curves, and before Blades, Fate Core may have been the last game I had to work hard at mastering. Blades, though, is more work though.

The game that I have feared the most because of the difficulty to master is Burning Wheel. That is a game that I have left on my shelf, because of the challenge.

What games have you had trouble mastering, and what games have you not picked up because you were not sure you wanted to put the time in to master?

Best Failures
This coming week, we will be talking about Failure as a Mechansim in games. I thought it might be fun for us to share some your most heart-breaking in-game failures. Those moments when it was time to deliver the critical strike and defeat the enemy, and then roll a 1. Or when you needed to make that Jump check to clear the river, and fell short and nearly drowned.

So tell me about some failures...

Good One Shot Funnels

Hello. I have read through a few posts about Great Funnels, and there seem to be a lot of good suggestions about those, but I would like to ask something a bit different. I am sorry if this has been discussed, but there are a lot of posts in this group and search only goes so far.

I am going to be a convention in two weeks, and I would like to pack a Funnel to bring to run. So here is my question:

What are your favorite funnels for a one-shot game?
By that i mean the following:
-- It plays through in 3-4 hours.
-- Stands alone (so not part of something like the start of a campaign)
-- Has a nice mix of DCC elements, monster or two, traps, some weird stuff

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