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Ben Lehman
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Ben Lehman

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I made a new game~!
 
Journeyman
a new role-playing game by Ben Lehman ft John Snead

You have worked for five long years — or more, and longer — as an apprentice to a master chef of the Kitchen Kingdom, sleeping beneath the stove, bearing up the tears of your master’s onions and scorn, waiting, always waiting for the day. For today. Because today, you are no longer an apprentice. Your master, grudgingly or proudly, has told you that you are ready, and that is all the word you need, because with that word, you are a Journeyman.

http://www.tao-games.com/journeyman/
You have worked for five long years — or more, and longer — as an apprentice to a master chef of the Kitchen Kingdom, sleeping beneath the stove, bearing up the tears of your master's onions and scorn, waiting, always waiting for the day. For today. Because today, you are no longer an apprentice ...
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+Blue Gargantua Not directly, no, but both of those things could happen.
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Emily and Senda at She's a Super Geek have posted the first part of their session of Witch House. What I've heard so far is great.

They make some modifications to the rules for playing with two players, which I found pretty interesting.

http://sasgeek.com/podcasts/witch-house-1/
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a metaphor

I think of role-playing games as actual, physical machines, with gears and levels and belts.

Designing a game is about fitting together parts in different ways, finding the holes or places where things aren't catching, scavenging or making pieces of the right shape. Often, I have a very conscious feeling of exactly the shape that is missing. Sometimes, though, nothing that does that exists.

When I'm trying to learn a game, I have a very strong physical sensation of what shape each rule is, and trying to figure out where it fits into the whole.
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I think it's a thing that people do: displace some parts of our thinking onto physical space perception or other parts of the brain we're not using.

Probably the same thing drives anthropomorphism as well.
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Lovely.
 
Ce site est la face visible de tout ce qui serait autrefois resté sur un bout de mon disque dur ou sur la nappe d'un restaurant : game design, création de jeu de rôle, etc. Alors forcément, c'est un peu le bazar, mais c'est là où je mets l'essentiel de mes divagations sur le jeu de rôle et les ...
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Fair enough. I just see a lot of his stuff on a particular tumblr I follow and over time my tolerance for that aspect has dwindled.
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Ben Lehman

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our role-playing game
whatever      the GM says
wisteria blooms
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(Reading that, I realized that I pronounce "role-playing" as a two-syllable word.  "Role-plain," or maybe "role-playeen.")
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Ben Lehman

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Journeyman
a new role-playing game by Ben Lehman ft John Snead

You have worked for five long years — or more, and longer — as an apprentice to a master chef of the Kitchen Kingdom, sleeping beneath the stove, bearing up the tears of your master’s onions and scorn, waiting, always waiting for the day. For today. Because today, you are no longer an apprentice. Your master, grudgingly or proudly, has told you that you are ready, and that is all the word you need, because with that word, you are a Journeyman.

http://www.tao-games.com/journeyman/
You have worked for five long years — or more, and longer — as an apprentice to a master chef of the Kitchen Kingdom, sleeping beneath the stove, bearing up the tears of your master's onions and scorn, waiting, always waiting for the day. For today. Because today, you are no longer an apprentice ...
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Firing up ye olde InDesign. hashtag announcement soon.
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Talking about role-playing games
A short game for one or more players
1) The object of the game is to get satisfaction from talking about role-playing games.
2) To win, don't talk about role-playing games.
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Aleksandra Sontowska's profile photoEric Nieudan's profile photoNathan Herring's profile photoBen Lehman's profile photo
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I'm not sure about that, +Eric Nieudan. I'm pretty sure +Aleksandra Sontowska has found another winning strategy.
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Some interesting stuff I forgot I wrote.
 
I have a critical game theory thing. It's in the early stages and it's not something I've totally thought through, so it doesn't need poking at weird little exception cases yet, but I thought I would share it in case it sparks some ideas and fires in someone else's mind.

I was thinking today about the term "game poem" and that I don't think it's particularly accurate. Or, rather, nearly every game is a poem. Games, when played, have complex rhythms, beats, structures, moods and rhymes. This is equally true of Polaris, D&D, Monopoly and Super Mario.

What I mean is this. In a poem, we see repeated structures with variable contents and, sometimes, alternations to the structure. This happens at a syllable level (iambs and dactyls, say), inside lines (internal rhyme) between lines (meter, end rhyme) in stanzas (stanza structure) and, in lengthier genres, at even greater extent. Good poetry will often play with our expectations and change up its contents, but doesn't have to (some of it is less or unstructured, some of it clings strongly to form.)

A game, in play, is similar. Some examples:

In Super Mario, you have your very basic beats (jumps, moves, hit from above, hit from below), you have the pattern of the level, you have five (?) different "moods" expressed by level type (brick, underground, underwater, mushroom, castle and maybe one I'm forgetting), you have variations on theme in terms of challenge, you have semi-structured interludes like Star and Fireflower, you have the constant, rhyming castle and fireworks at the end of the level.

In Dungeons and Dragons, you have your basic beats (what do you do? what do I see? check for traps), you have the pattern of map and explore, you have each dungeon as a book, the repeated but never identical process of leveling up, semi-structured interludes like combat, etc. Like with Mario, there's structure and repetition, even though very little is actually identical.

It seems to me like, in a lot of critical game thinking -- at least about RPGs -- we are focused on the rules and structures of the game at a meta-level. We care about the rules, we care about the text. But in talking about games like that, we miss most of the reality of the experience, in which the rules are the superstructure that our play fills, not the thing itself. When you read, D&D, you only read the combat rules once, and you may not understand that combat can form a repeated beat or interlude in play*, rather than just a singular thing-unto-itself.

(* I am thinking particular of a long-running 3e game I played where we had a big fight at the end of every session. If a session passed without a big fight, or if we had a big fight at the beginning of the session, it would throw everyone off, in the same way that you get thrown off when a rhyme structure breaks or when a song skips a beat.)

Of course, not everything in a game repeats. The endgame of My Life With Master only happens once (each time you play.) Character creation is often a one-time deal. And, in a more particular sense, very few things in games repeat absolutely. Rather, we see repeating structures, combining and interpreting and sometimes breaking in interesting (or not interesting) ways. Only a few RPGs (Polaris, say) have direct repetition. Board games have a lot more.

The connection to poetry is not, itself, important, it's just the gateway I had into this line of thought. Rather, I feel like there's a huge world of game structure that we haven't really thought about much or explored.

Anyway, that is what's running through my mind right now. Hopefully some of you find it inspiring. Thoughts?

+Vincent Baker +Epidiah Ravachol who I was babbling about this to earlier.
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(Mario had night levels above ground, as well.)

Otherwise, I'm just subbing because I like the ideas laid out here.
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Ben Lehman

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Really enjoying watching Sense8.
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Angyl
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I'm on ep 8 and SERIOUS LOVE.
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Ben Lehman

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The Korean version of Hot Guys Making Out (title: 장밋빛 입맞춤: 아름다운 남자들의격정멜로극 or "Rose-Colored Kiss: The Passionate Drama of Beautiful Men") is now fundraising.
https://tumblbug.com/rosekiss

I have seen the art for this and it looks gorgeous.
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두 연인의 아름다운 사랑 이야기를 만드는 스토리 게임
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+Patrick Scaffido It is localization but we think it is very true to the original title.
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