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John W. Sheldon
Heavy Art-tillery
Heavy Art-tillery

John W.'s posts

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Hello new people (or people new to Google+),

When I post here it tends to be on one of the following two topics, which I occasionally curate into appropriate circles:

Analog games, meaning roleplaying games and board games

Art, meaning pictures that I've created (photography, illustrations, and various creative projects), and a fair amount of the process that goes into them.

I do post a fair amount of my content publicly, but if you'd like to be in one of the circles above, let me know.
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Blake's Landing
The first play-generated town for Turn (+Brie Sheldon's game of Shapeshifters living in small towns, torn between human lives and animal selves).

Blake's Landing is a small town in West Virginia, located on the Eastern banks of the Ohio River. A somewhat typical rust belt town, Blake's Landing supported a coal mine and coke plant, both of which have been in decline for decades (accelerated by a collapse at the mine a little under a decade ago, which killed 19 mine workers and left +John LeBoeuf-Little's character unemployed and irrevocably changed).

With less than 4,500 residents remaining, the town's population is shrinking along with its economy. One of the few remaining events of note, and one of the few sparks of economic activity, is the town's Autumn Festival: a long-running tradition that brings in people from surrounding communities for a week of mild festivities and autumn leaf tourism.

Brie took good photos of the town's concept map for a post she'll be writing later, but I wanted to post about how real and living Blake's Landing seemed, and it only took the five of us about thirty minutes to create - and creating the town gave us a jump start on character creation since players must belong to the influential families or bloodlines created during the town creation.

+Stras Acimovic played the Showoff (and Raccoon), the dubious heir of the town's namesake family: the teenaged son of a drug-addicted single mother living on the largess of her uncle the mayor. John played the Late Bloomer, a man with no obvious connection to the shifter bloodlines who survived the mine collapse by undergoing his first transformation into a Snake. +Kit La Touche played the Beastborn Crow, who lived her first years as a bird in the wild before being welcomed into her human family and the town's most influential church. And finally, Brie played the Lover, a Bison shifter and the clueless youngest son of the family who own controlling interest in the mine and the coke plant.

There's enough meat in the town that I feel this group could keep coming back to it for stories for as long as we would want. The town positively stinks of desperation and industrial decay, of clashes between workers and owners, rich and poor, upright and corrupt. Something about it makes me think of +Jason Morningstar. If half the towns built for Turn are this interesting to those that make them, I'll be thrilled and impressed (but not surprised - I think Brie has really nailed this).

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Orion over Boulder, CO on Saturday evening.

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#CONlorado just happened, and I was there!

+Stras Acimovic and +John LeBoeuf-Little were wonderful hosts and organizers, and they've assembled a really world-class group of gamers and game designers for their little event.

I'll probably miss people and games if I try to list them all, so I'll hit some of the highlights.

The evening of our arrival, we played +John LeBoeuf-Little's Chocolatier, a wonderful memory sharing game in which we all ate delightful chocolates made by +Kristin Firth. The chocolates and the memories were bittersweet, which is really all I could ask for.

Saturday afternoon I played the current version of Atlas Reckoning, and it is even more fun and intense than the version I played last time. I love the asymmetry between Atlases and Behemoths, and the way character options consistently produces trope-y and fun interactions.

I ran two games this weekend also, testing designs for myself and +Brie Sheldon. On Friday morning I ran Armored Reckoning, my WW2 tanks hack of the aforementioned Atlas Reckoning. Great players made for a fun experience, and confirmation that most of what I've done is working. Now I need to play some full campaigns to nail down the enemy progression and check for a good difficulty curve.

I ran Brie's Turn on Thursday evening, and what an Alpha test. Simply the easiest and most complete-feeling alpha test I've ever run or participated in. There's still some important stuff to nail down and clarify, but the 1st session stuff ran really well. Some order of operations stuff got sorted out by this session, but for the most part town creation and character generation was both easy and fun. Really looking forward to bringing that to the table a little more often.

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Angora rabbit, courtesy of +Stras Acimovic's roommate. Very cute. Very fluffy.

CONlorado prep:

Armored Reckoning
News cards printed
Location cards printed
Vehicle sheets not printed
Crew position sheets not printed
Character sheets not printed

Game stuff, not yet
Clothes, nope
Camera gear, not even

Tomorrow will be busy!

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Macro shot of a plant casing of some sort, behind a sheet of ice.

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A tiny down feather on the steps of my deck this afternoon.

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Check out +Brie Sheldon's awesome work!

(By me with my Pentax K01, Takumar 35mm f2 lens and macro extension.)
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