My boys and I sat down last Friday evening to play in my oldest son's Eberron campaign. My younger son had already leveled up his characters so I needed to bring my artificer and monk up to second level before play. The monk didn't have a lot of paperwork to deal with, but the artificer was another story. Now that Theo the Red had coin in pouch he wanted to create some scrolls and potions for the party. That took a while as we stepped through the rules to figure out what rolls he needed to make.
It took so long, in fact, that we ran out of time to play. We're planning on doing so this Friday when one of the boys' cousins is coming up for a visit. We're planning on inviting him to join us for the start of the next adventure.
But just because I haven't been playing doesn't mean I haven't been thinking or reading about games. I just finished reading for the first time Don't Rest Your Head by Fred Hicks of Evil Hat Productions. It has been on my stack of games to read for a while now and since my friend & podcaster Mick Bradley is adapting the DRYH mechanics as the engine for his Vegas After Midnight game I thought it was high time to check it out.
I've also been reading Polaris by Ben Lehman. This is a wonderful game about a playing the last days of a forgotten race of the far north as north can go. It is a GM-less game which is a favorite topic of mine and one that I seek to explore though games like Universalis and Shock:.
In addition to reading I've been getting back into listening to podcasts. I have not done so for a long time as I burned out on the medium. I'm rediscovering it and really enjoying what I'm listening to, so I thought I'd share.
What got me started was This Just In...From GenCon! by Ryan Macklin. We listened to this leading up to and while at the convention. This got me excited about podcasts again. So next I hopped over to Ryan's regular podcast Master Plan. This podcast is devoted to game theory and design. Ryan is a game designer and uses examples from his experience to talk about the various concepts. He also has great interviews from industry professionals.
Another design show I've been listening to is Clyde Rohr's Theory From the Closet. Clyde is the punk rocker of RPG podcasts. His show is not work safe and he makes no attempt to edit his recordings, but if you like game theory and game design it is really worth listening too. Clyde also does many interviews with industry luminaries. I really like Ryan and Clyde's podcasts because, like me, they are trying to come to terms with these ideas as they build their games.
Atomic Array and Open Design Podcast are two that I've also gotten into. The first is more focused on RPGs and settings and the second more game design and game tips. Both do interviews, are fun to listen to and offer contests so their listeners can win prizes. If you like these two check out War Pig Radio for more.
Last, but definitely not least, is the Canon Puncture podcast. They too do interviews, talk game theory and practical play tips as well as review geeky websites from around the interweb. Rich, Mick and Chris (and Chris) are long time gamers and have a lot of great insight to share on gaming in an indie-hippy-story-focused-kinda-way. I'm currently working through a back log of this past year's podcasts and enjoying every second of it (and wishing I'd had a chance to play in their Prime Time Adventure Star Wars: Sojourn 66 sessions at GenCon).
As I expand the number of shows I listen to I'll be sure to post here as well. I hope to have a 'meatier' post up soon.
Follow Your Bliss,