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Neil Smith
Story gamer, juggler, academic
Story gamer, juggler, academic

Neil's posts

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Playtest call for version of Over The Edge. 
Over the Edge Pre-Playtest Information

Atlas Games is partnering with designer +Jonathan Tweet for a brand new edition of Over the Edge, the roleplaying game of trouble, tension, and twists set on the conpiracy-quickened island of Al Amarja. This is an all-new edition with new rules and some surprising changes to the setting so many fans have loved for a quarter century.

We want:
* Up to twenty committed, enthusiastic game groups
* A balance of total newcomers and old veterans
* Actual play feedback and engagement with rules
* Tasty beverages

We can handle the last one on our own, but the rest are up to you. Please consider if you can devote a little over a month (July 14 to Aug 21) to playtesting this game. If so, please drop me a line: playtest AT atlas-games DOT com.

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First ever floor press, so 50kg is a PB. 2 rounds + 35 reps in the WoD. #CrossFit 
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Creating Assets with skill rolls

The Cortex games in print, and the Cortext Prime SRD, only allow creation of an Asset by spending a Plot Point. But Fate has the "create advantage" action which allows a character to create an Aspect (similar to a Cortex Asset) with a skill roll.

Would anything break if we allowed something similar in Cortex Prime?

Why not allow characters to create d6 Assets with a skill roll (and perhaps higher ratings with an extraordinary success)? The cost may not be in Plot Points, but would be a cost in time taken.

Any thoughts?

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More demo games at #ukgamesexpo #ukgamesexpo2017 
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Manchester Memorial WoD. 4 rounds. #CrossFit 

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About twelve hours to go now. A good project to back, for the reasons Rob says. 
We're in the last 24 hours to get your pledge in for the Cortex Prime kickstarter, and you probably should. It's a great game, being run very professionally, and it's absolutely going to be one of those Kickstarters that will delight backers with the value that it brings.

Obviously, I'm a big fan of Cortex and all it's little children. Leverage is and will always be my favorite for a host of obvious reasons, but I still laugh a little bit at some of the stuff I wrote for Supernatural. It was still fairly early in the show's tenure (like, s3 or so) so I had to make some guesses about cosmology which turned out to be oh-my-goodness-so-very-wrong.

Now, I could point to all of the fantastic games that have been made with versions of Cortex under the hood, or I could passive aggressively remark on how much more fun a super hero game gets once you add character generation rules, but I want to call something else out - a reason that I like cortex so much.

See, I am intrigued by the connection between a thing in the game, and the corresponding thing that the player can interact with. Every game has these things, and the things the game writes good rules for are a clear pointer to what the game is about. Some games (Fate or Risus) for example, offer a generalized language to allow those fictional things to be expressed, and it it in this space that things get interesting.

To illustrate, consider Bob the security guard. We could come up with a backstory for Bob, but really, he is just something that is making our hero's lives a little bit harder with his inconvenient patrols. He's not someone they're going to fight, so starting him up is overkill, but we also don't want to ignore him, so how do we account for him.

Now, if we have a simple means to stating him up, maybe he's "Security Guard, 2D" and we leave it at that. Maybe the game has mook or brute rules, and we just add one more to the scene. Maybe we incorporated him into the scene and now he's the aspect "Security Guard" on the scene.

Cortex's solution is perhaps the most elegant I've seen - Bob is a die.

I mean, he might be a piece of paper that read "Bob the security guard, d6) or whatever, but in practice, Bob is that d6 over there. The green one with the yellow spots.

And that folds Bob gracefully into the rest of the rules. Yes, there might be more complicated things out there that roll more dice, but that grows organically with more interest equating to more dice. But at it's heart, the thing in the game is a very concrete thing on the table, and that's a really powerful tool for any GM looking to paint a picture with rules.

All of which is to say: please check out this kickstarter while you still can!

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Too damn hot. #CrossFit @CrossfitNpton

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67.5kg front squat (only 3 reps of 70kg). Riggers in 16:45. #CrossFit @CrossfitNpton

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6 rounds plus 14 reps in the 35 minute time cap. Those runs really took it out of you! #CrossFit 
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