Fables of Camelot – Beta

Fables of Camelot is a roleplaying game I wrote with Sami Koponen this last summer; Sami had been thinking of the problem of introducing roleplaying to new people in a convention environment, so when he came to visit me for a week we put our heads together and cooked up a game to fulfill his spec. I’m really happy with the result, although somewhat chargrined as well: I’ve been hitting my head against my own newbie-project Eleanor’s Dream for a while now, and it’s just not cohering, while this particular game was essentially made in five hours of planning with Sami. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing the Witcher

I haven’t been much of a video game player since my teenage years, all things considered; my partaking of the form has been occasional and not nearly as comprehensive as the way I keep up with roleplaying games, literature, comics or even boardgaming or cinema. The last time I played a PC game made this decade I was less than impressed, so that didn’t start any new era of computer gaming for me.

I recently got a new computer – a rare event for me, as despite my tech support duties I rarely get new equipment for myself. As a matter of curiousity I took another stab at a considerably recent game with the new machine, and have thus been playing Witcher now for about four days, all told. Let’s talk about where computer RPGs are going, here. Read the rest of this entry »

Olranthi Crunch Landscape for Solar System

As discussed earlier, I started a Gloranthan Solar System campaign recently, which obviously means that I needed to put together at least a preliminary crunch landscape for the thing. This is actually massively indimidating job – Glorantha is a deep setting, and better minds have spent a lot of time figuring out how to represent it in a roleplaying game. It’s not really very likely that I’ll be happy with whatever we cobble together initially, but luckily SS as a game system is very retcon-friendly; we’ll just put together enough at a time to play the game, and then expand and revise as necessary, thus hopefully approaching something good. Read the rest of this entry »

What My Father Taught Me #2

We played a second session of the new Gloranthan Solar System campaign last Saturday with Sipi, Tero and Esa. The place was “Living Room” in Iisalmi once more; a nice restaurant, although I’m detecting a hint of newness there – time will tell how their atmosphere starts developing as the mainstream crowd finds the place. The actual session was relatively laid back in terms of drama, but the style and atmosphere were fine, and I would expect the events to gain in speed later on. Read the rest of this entry »

My new Solar System campaign

Last weekend we started a new roleplaying game campaign with some friends from Iisalmi (a nearby town from where I live, that). The idea for me was pretty much to get out of the house and play something with low stakes and no immediate game design concerns; bonus points if the game would endure a bit, at least half a dozen sessions. My roleplaying gaming has been pretty shallow and sparse for the last six months or so due to people moving about and me being too harassed by other stuff to work for it; luckily we’ll get a chance now, the next session has already been scheduled for this weekend and the intent is to play weekly or at least regularly for as long as the campaign takes. Read the rest of this entry »

Recommending Manufactoria

Once more with feeling, a browser game review! My brother Jari recommended Manufactoria to me, and after completing the game I have to say that this one certainly deserves some recognition. I also have a bonus feature inside.

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Going to Spiel Essen 2010

As I just wrote at the Forge, I’ve decided to take a booth at Spiel Essen for Arkenstone and other interested indie rpg designers. The booth reservation deadline is next week, and I’ll likely go for the smallest booth size to keep the expenses down. Forge games (of which I’ll have a good selection available, I imagine) are a destination shopping thing for the core of the audience, after all, so the size of the booth shouldn’t have a big effect here. Read the rest of this entry »

About the pdf version of the World of Near

People have been asking about this, so I might as well inform everybody at once. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Doom with a source port

Doom is in retrospect probably my favourite video game insofar as real play hours can be used as a measure. For a couple of years in the mid-90s it was a solid baseline for my gaming; not a memorable experience of art like Ultima Underworld or some of the other games of the era, but a staple that defined the well-balanced action game for me. This includes Doom II, Heretic and Hexen, which are all basically variations on the theme.

I installed Doom last week out of a random impulse, as has been my wont through the last couple of years now and then. I’ve been gearing up to play the Inferno (the third episode of the original game) on Ultraviolence (the fourth difficulty level), mostly because I played through Knee-Deep in the Dead and Shores of Hell (the first two episodes) a couple of years ago, I seem to remember. Inferno is hard, though! I might have to gather some momentum by looking at Shores of Hell again; I’m not quite convinced that I actually finished it last time I had the game installed. Perhaps a run through that will hone my rusty skills enough to allow me to finish the Slough of Despair (the second level of Inferno) with some ammunition left. Read the rest of this entry »

Diplomacy: the Greek opening for Italy

I’m playing Italy once more in a postal game with hellishly long deadlines. It’s 1901 spring now, and it’ll be a week before the year is out. I’m going to time-delay this post until later in case my fellow players read it and get any ideas about my play. Not saying that I’ll use this, but I might.

The actual topic here is to describe a pretty nice Italian opening strategy that I’ve tried out a few times over time. The basic concept is to take Greece and then proceed flexibly to gnaw both Austria and Turkey as the situation warrants, including an especially sweet double-stab against Turkey. I don’t know if it has an actual name out there somewhere, so I’ll just call it the “Greek opening” for reasons that’ll become obvious. Read the rest of this entry »