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Andy Kitkowski
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Andy Kitkowski

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Okay, this sure as hell caught my attention. "Dune meets Dali". My wallet burns because of +Matthew Sanchez.

I'm normally way gunshy about board game KSes (unless it says "Jamey Stegmaier"/Stonemaier Games on the cover) that haven't been through a heavy play and public review cycle, but this one looks like it has enough reviews to carry it, at least as far as I can see.
A fever dream of deck-building, board control, and tactics: Dali meets Dune. 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes.
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"Dune meets Dali" translates to "MARC BUY THIS IMMEDIATELY" in my native tongue.
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Andy Kitkowski

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Hey +Matthew Sanchez it's not the same without you; could you like Photoshop yourself in here like a flying Zardoz head, or maybe like one of those graduation yearbook pics of "Photoshopped dead grandma watching down from heaven" sort of things?
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Yuki had thyroid surgery, and now she looks like she's a set of leather chaps away from being a Cat Cenobite.
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Could be Cenobyte, could be she wants to be the next Mad Max villain.
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Andy Kitkowski

Discussion  - 
Hey Team Headspace ! I wanted to confirm a few things after playing:

* Getting Experience: The only way to gain experience points in the game is from getting into a Sync state, correct? (not failures etc)

* Thoughts on this? A character dies, the player adds a skill to the Headspace... then they roll up a new character to take the role they were in before (Runner --> Runner etc); does anything happen to that last skill that was floating around? Does the force of spirit of the new character push out the previous ghost? (something like that)

...that's all I can think of for now. Thanks!
Angela Robertson's profile photoJason Pitre's profile photoMark Richardson's profile photoAndy Kitkowski's profile photo
Sorry, super late reply.

I see. Yeah, the XP system felt really at odds with the more "tight campaign" feel of the game, when considering how many XP were required for a simple stat rise or the like.

At the time, some thoughts in my head were:
* Allow a level/gain not from 9 XP, but from something like 3-4. 5 at highest.
* Or else, keep the XP system as-is (at 9) but change the Sync XP to 2-3 XP, and personal roll failures to 1 XP or something for the person failing.

That would put it more in a frame of limited campaign with moderate raises, without having to go 4 sessions in a row for the chance of a single stat gain. something like that maybe.

Thanks again!
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Andy Kitkowski

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There's a bunch of Powered by the Apocalypse games out there now. Current fave is Dungeon World with some hacks. But I love to see the little innovations that people are bringing to the system.

However, by far the most interesting/out there/cool from an innovation standpoint that I've come across is definitely HeadSpace . The stats, the additions, the ways that backgrounds play hard into creating the self and team, and the feedback organization/tracking; it all adds up to an experience which at its core is clearly "-World" driven, but far far out there at the same time. I'm loving what I'm reading.

Running it this Sunday for a mixed English-Japanese crowd. Drifting the setting a hair to make it a little more like GITS:SAC style multi-government interference issues rather than the basic "corporations". We'll see how it goes.

(note: I have not gotten through reading Undying yet, mind; that looks pretty creative too)

Any other super-drifty PbtA games out there I might have missed?
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+Andy Kitkowski ya in playtest 6 players was just a lot of work I found. I'm happy the game worked out with such a mix of players. That's quite challenging in the best of times. 
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Andy Kitkowski

For Science!  - 
Me --> Kickstarter: Two wildly successful product deliveries (late, but extremely well-regarded, award nominated/winning/etc), third one on schedule to deliver.

But I'm not flawless. Definitely had a lot of mistakes the first time around, with Tenra , especially with stretch goal products and the like. Things around my life stabilized a lot recently, so now I'm executing a plan to go back and ensure all are wrapped up and delivered. It's still a pressing goal of mine (read: It appears at the top of my life journals, in my "top three current life goals") to cross my name off the +Sarah Perry-Shipp 's Spreadsheet of Kickstarters In Stretch Goal Purgatory.

I got called on it here, it's a good read, because this is what project creators open themselves to when they promise and don't deliver:

Note that there was a lot of assumption going on in the thread before I spotted it and commented, but everyone's being really fair. People were honest and frustrated, no one being an asshole. A really good thread, and stung all the worse because they were in the right. Always was my plan to fulfill or refund... but yeah without a clear, open plan (or at least clear and open goalposts), saying "I'm still doing them" is little more than saying "I think about it sometimes, (shrug)".

Note my post; that's my attempt at recovery. The execution of a plan to cover "Risks and Challenges" that both risked and challenged.

Anyway, Church of Kicksnarker, I have sinned! There's only one recovery for sinning in crowdfunding, and that's the combo of Communication, Execution and Delivery. Friends, learn from my failure!
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Tenra Bansho Zero rules for making Ice Cream? Sign me up! :)
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Japan and Gaming:

Only a few days left, but I wanted to call this one out. +Jacob Ross has put together a Black Hack style OSR game set in a fictionalized fantasy warring states Japan, called Kaigaku . It's going through its Kickstarter now, over here:

I'm pretty critical when it comes to stuffing Japanese culture into fantasy RPG stuff, particularly when there's all sorts of lame stereotypes involved, or language bits that went unchecked, that sort of thing. Even little bits can be like fingernails on chalkboard.

One of my Japanese gamer friends (who helped with the translation of Fall of Magic) pointed this one out in support, as he's loving the Black Hack stuff that's coming out. I took a look into the core files (full disclosure; I made a few language suggestions that will likely make it into the final) and... it's pretty dang cool.

The important things for me (which is how I judged the newest L5R 4th Edition for example, to be kind of a gross language loogie that still has enough culture and coolness and good ideas to be fun): Does it respect the original culture, does it exemplify the original culture, is it creative in some way, and is it fun? Here's the breakdown IMO:

Respect (that is, gets feedback from natives from that culture, doesn't rely on cheap stereotype, doesn't mix cultures blindly): Yes. Realistic names and concepts are used, effort was pushed to get language and culture elements right. It's ultimately not very hard here; it's the 4-caste samurai system just with some magic and cinematic martial arts, but still, others have tried just that and failed miserably.

Also, the families/large persona in the game are realistic and believable, in a cultural and (fantasy) historical sense.

Exemplary (that is, given what the game's setting is supposed to be, does it bend and twist the culture in cool ways to fit that in ways that match? In other words, does it sensibly "awesome-o-fy" the culture in solid ways?): Yes. Four simple character classes, but given an unobtanium magical element and crazy martial arts powers, we have "extreme classic Japanese character types" with their own trains/ranks/levels of power, all interesting. It is properly "awesome-o-fied".

Creative/Unique (what does this do that a bunch of other games haven't done already?) Really pulls on the superlight Black Hack framework to give you an extremely simple buy-in to make characters and play. It basically drops in 20 pages of raw text far more possibilities for play (in rules, character types, and setting) than the first three editions of L5R had. Admittedly, most of the creativity in rules is pulled straight from the black hack, just given a solid deep reskin. But you pick your clan, which gives you, a class (ascetic/bushi/courtier/ninja; strange mix but OH MAN IT WORKS) and "ryu" or "power path", and you have a quickly made deep character to play with. The reskinning is creative and meticulous, it wasn't just thrown together, and provides some really exciting play options, basically like serialized Japanese revenge dramas on TV but with more magic.

Finally, is it fun? You'll have to pardon me because I have not had a chance to bring it to the table yet, but just the doc alone really has me excited to play. This is ABSOLUTELY not one of those "rich culture and solid rules... but I have no idea what to do with it" games. Again, based on an early 20 page document draft of the rules and setting together, I already started putting together a few cool characters and some fun adventure plots (and make no mistake, it's definitely high adventure: The four classes basically consist of a Feudal Era The A Team, with all the loaded context that that kind of metaphor implies). It hits the fun bell.

Only thing I didn't find really inspired is that it has an "honor/dishonor" mechanic ala alignment; you choose one, and the more you aim your actions towards your alignment you get Advantage; its opposite grants Disadvantage. It seems a bit like verisimilitude but it means a really black or white kind of play in a setting that - based on millions of hours of TV and movie dramas - is gray all over. In short, I like exploring the concept of honor in Japanese historical-ish games, but when rules give it mechanical weight - and strong weight - it becomes like a wooden paladin convention. In my sessions, I'd still work with the Honor/Dishonor rules but likely would give advantage if the character acted strongly one way or another (with maybe a "3 per session" limit on Honor-Advantage), without needing to particularly pick out which one you are tied to at the start.

But yeah, that's just me picking at pink lightsabers to show some contrast with my open-mouth raves above. Kaigaku looks awesome. Check it out if this seems like it might be your kind of thing. It's built on the The Black Hack (, which itself is pretty brilliant, fast and fun.
A high-drama samurai RPG where noble courtiers, devious ninja, heroic ascetics and mighty bushi all clash for the glory of their clan.
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Always accurate. Interesting ideas. 
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Teresa believed pain was an integral part of the all-important suffering.
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Re Invisible Sun Kickstarter.

Shit, seriously? If I had the time and connections to make an RPG with gorgeous, unique components that came in an awesome-looking Hellraiser Configuration Cube-Box and had like this weird gropey hand-thing to hold cards, I'd sure as shit charge $200 for it as well.

Hell, +James Brown did this awesome version of his Blood and Bronze ( ), I remember he hand-sculpted beaten copper (bronze? No I think it was copper, right?) bowls and meticulously painted tokens for something like 10 copies that ran for over $100 each. That shit was awesome.

Shit, I spent $200 of holiday bonus cash on this awesome garish hand-stitched stadium jumper with Buddhist shit all over it. It's mad unique, a wearable work of art, and I love it.

People are going to push the tabletop gaming hobby in all sorts of weird ways. Not all the ways are appealing to me personally, but they will make others happy, people who have been waiting for That Very Thing, their very own Garish Buddha Gangster Jacket. So I say best of luck to everyone pushing, in whichever directions they care to push.

I may Snark, but sure as shit I will also Recognize.
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Andy Kitkowski

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A Single Moment (Tobie Abad's latest masterpiece) gets some live play from +Whitney Beltrán and +Ajit George  , check it out!
Weekly Affirmations played A Single Moment
Beautiful artwork by Javier Beltran inspired by the game. I was contacted by The Strix one 3 a.m. morning, letting me know that they were planning to play A Single Moment on for the weekly show, #WeeklyAffirmations.  This was an unexpecte...
Beautiful artwork by Javier Beltran inspired by the game. I was contacted by The Strix one 3 a.m. morning, letting me know that they were planning to play A Single Moment on for the weekly show, #WeeklyAff...
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Dude, you're super supportive of my stuff. I feel very honored. Thank you so much.
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Translation swing and miss.
(see caption)
(Answer, if no one gets it by then, will be posted in a day in the comments below)

Japan's netflix has about half the content of the US version (with Japanese subtitles and stuff), and about 30%+ Japanese or other content not available in the US. Still, I like to watch stuff with Japanese subtitles, for practice: Basically every movie, every show I watch, is an opportunity to learn "How do I say this in Japanese?" "Is there a better grammar expression here on the screen than one I'm used to using?" "What's that kanji? I'll write it down for later..." and the like.

Japanese-speakers; see if you can extrapolate the American expression that's translated poorly here. :-)

(from the Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal satire)
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Do that shit!
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Psst. +Brian Peters ! Look what dropped yesterday!

Not only timely, but applicable.
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After those series of events, I think it'd be a good time for a beer. :D
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