Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rory's Story Cubes: The RPG

You all remember what a fan I am of Rory's Story Cubes, right?


That made me happy. Because I'm always looking for more ways to use the Cubes. Because they really are a fantastic tool.

Well, the project is a Kickstarter, and it has launched!

I'm watching the videos right now - which is unusual for me. I don't often watch Kickstarter videos. 

The game as-written is a GM-less episodic storygame. Honestly, it looks like playing the rules included with the Story Cubes themselves, only with a bit more guidance to steer play.

It won't be to everyone's taste, but it looks fascinating to me.

Watching the videos, I suspect that my author friends (and there are a ton of them) will appreciate this, too. It can be used for scenario design for any RPG, or as a writing aid for novels (or short stories).

I may have mentioned it before, but here's how I'm using the Story Cubes in my Legend of the Five Rings game, by the way:

At the start of each session, every player draws one cube randomly from a bag and then rolls it.  At any point during the game, they can spend that die for a story-based benefit or for a Free Raise on a roll.

A similar tweak can be applied to just about any RPG. Spend the cube for a bonus on a roll or for a story-related benefit in a situation where dice aren't necessarily going to be rolled.


For example: Here is a random mix of nine dice (screencapped from the StoryCubes app). To the left, in green, there is a Trap symbol.  In a D&D game, I'd let a player spend that for a bonus (+1 or +2) when setting an ambush. Or, if the party is ambushed, maybe that player could spend the bonus to avoid being caught flat-footed due to surprise.  The party Thief could use that die to boost their role to search for traps - or another PC could spend it for a one-time chance to search for traps. In games with in-depth debate/social combat systems, you could spend the same die to set a verbal trap for someone ...

And that's just one face of one die. And is just fantasy-flavored. Imagine these dice for a super-hero game.

Seriously: These things are awesome and you should totally be using them for everything.  And this Kickstarter is a pretty inexpensive way to get in.  For £20, you get a set of cubes and the RPG. That's about $25 US. Since the cubes themselves are around $15, that's $10 for the RPG. I call that a "screaming deal."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Origins!

After not attending any gaming conventions last year, I found myself itching to mingle with my people in large numbers. Realistically, I should have gone to GameStorm (which is only a few hours away from us).

This year, however, Steph and I decided we wanted to go to Origins. The last time I was there was about a decade ago, and I was working for Asmodee. The booth crew was just Chris Boelinger and myself, and we had a great time. We sold a ton of stuff and ran a bunch of demos. And Chris did karaoke at every bar in town he could find that had it.

That was the Origins when Alex Figuere introduced me to Mr. Jack (albeit in its earlier incarnation as Une Ombre sur Whitechapel), and I have very fond memories of the trip.

I also have friends in Ohio that I didn't have at that point. Most notably The Badger. The man I have been Ponybombing for several years, now.

So if you're going to Origins this year, we may bump into one another.

I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Tabletop Day

I realize I didn't get a post up in advance of International Tabletop Day this year, but I did head to my FLGS to participate.  And I had a great time.

I got to play Deus (which has reportedly gone out of print, which is a shame), with the Egypt expansion (which I really like).  I won by one point. It was a very close game, and my opponents seemed to enjoy it. It's a light tableau-builder with minimal direct player interaction. The expansion adds more interaction, but doesn't make it overly-complicated like so many expansions do.

We followed that with a game of Splendor.  I don't know if I've discussed it much here before, but Splendor is one of those games that is simple enough to serve as a gateway game but that has enough meat to it that experienced gamers won't be completely bored off of their rockers.  I never do well at this game.

Well, usually.  On Saturday, I won pretty big. I scored eight points in one turn to trigger the endgame, and I was ten points ahead of second place.

And I wrapped that up with a game of Tokaido.  I know I haven't mentioned that one here before, but it's another of those painfully simple games that has just enough strategy to keep it entertaining. I lost this one. Badly.

Many thanks to Fantasium for hosting the event. I was afraid that no game store after Phoenix would feel like home, and they have really stepped up. And they did it without doing anything specifically for me - I just needed to warm up to them.  This is extra-weird for me to say, because they're not a "focused" game store. They're a comic book store with a (growing and good) game section. Honestly, it's the first time I've seen a combo store like that that has handled the game part of the equation well.

The day after ITTD, I was able to talk Steph into playing Guild Ball with me. We didn't get through a full game, but that game is really growing on me. To the point where I had to tell Steph that she is in charge of the Guild Ball expenditures in the house, because I will spend all the moneys on it.  It's fun. I'll be writing more about it at another time, I think.