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Kevin Klemme
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Mycelia Board Game Review

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River Wild Board Game Review

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Outback Crossing Review

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17 Mar 2023 00:53 - 17 Mar 2023 00:54 #338690 by Cranberries
I just bought apocalypse world and the burned over revision on sale.

cannibalhalflinggaming.com/2022/11/23/sy...urned-over-hackbook/

I also was given a free pdf of the expansion to The Roach 0f Al-Sha-Hib by the publisher.

I may buy a physical copy as the game is almost sold out.

bullypulpitgames.com/products/roach
Last edit: 17 Mar 2023 00:54 by Cranberries.

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17 Mar 2023 08:55 #338691 by dysjunct
You’d probably find the game’s satire of petty academia to be pretty great.
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18 Mar 2023 16:40 #338703 by Cranberries
"petty academia" feels redundant.
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03 Apr 2023 10:28 #338874 by Shellhead
I finally started running the deluxe Masks of Nyarlathotep for my new Call of Cthulhu group. The good news is that the players had fun. The prologue in Peru is not the most interesting adventure that I've run, but it is solidly designed to handle a wide range of potential actions by the characters, and the opening hooks worked better than I had guessed. I managed the pacing so that we ended on an ominous cliffhanger that left each player looking forward to the next time.

The bad stuff could be chalked up to my lack of DMing anything in the last four years. One of my friends recently told me that I was the best DM he had ever known, but my DM skills and probably my overall social skills have declined since the start of the pandemic. I overexplained stuff to the newbie player, who took 90 minutes to make a character. Call of Cthulhu is a game where an experienced player can often make a character in under 15 minutes if they are anxious to get back in the game after losing a character. I gestured excessively with my hands, eventually knocking over a beverage on two separate occasions, though I continued DMing while mopping up the spills. I forgot to bookmark a couple of key pages and tried both bad improvisation and halting play to search for a key passage. I struggled to make the NPCs sound different from each other (not fake accents, just manner of speaking). Worst of all, my recent re-read of this adventure was more of a light skim than a thorough read. At least I was fully prepped with some stat summaries in case there would be combat.

I was disappointed by the turnout. Both of my maybes were no-shows, and one of the people who said that he was definitely coming was also a no-show. Overall, I was expecting up to seven players, and got three. One missing player was a misunderstanding. Pre-pandemic, I met a goth couple that was very interested in trying both Call of Cthulhu and Arkham Horror, and the woman was a big fan of Lovecraft's writing. I didn't get her contact info because I assumed if I invited the boyfriend that he would bring her along. But his only prior rpg experience was D&D, and he knew that she wouldn't be interested in playing a murder hobo in a game with lots of rules and combat. But after this first session, he realized that Call of Cthulhu is very different from D&D, more focused on role-playing and analyzing clues. So there is a strong possibility that she will at least give the game a try. After this rough start, I hope I will be back in form by the time she shows up.
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17 Apr 2023 10:26 #339024 by Shellhead
Second session of the Call of Cthulhu campaign went better. We recruited two more players, though one of them won't be able to start until next time. The other new player is completely new to role-playing. Her boyfriend has a limited amount of experience with D&D, but was able to help her make her first character, which took an hour. Experience CofC players learn to throw a new character together in 15 minutes, so as to not miss too much of a session after their character dies or goes insane.

This time, I was extremely sleep-deprived and stressed out about a variety of recent life challenges, but somehow completely on the ball for running this session. I easily slipped into character to play several different NPCs, kept the action moving at a good pace, and gave all the players an equal amount of attention, even though they kept splitting up. The previous session ended on a cliffhanger, so this one started fast and a bit exciting. There was murder, thrills, running around, confusion, suspicion, and eventually the police showed up. Because I was exhausted, I didn't want this session to run late, so I successfully orchestrated events such that the players got a couple of very interesting clues in the last fifteen minutes of the session. They had a lot to talk about, but raised more questions than answers, so it's better that they have a couple of weeks to ponder their options before next session.
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17 Apr 2023 10:44 #339025 by Nodens
Like riding a bike! Glad for you, that sounds like a foundation.

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29 Apr 2023 06:22 #339131 by Whoshim
I was wondering if I could get some help finding an RPG. I was looking into an RPG that I had run across, but I do not remember the name. It had a simple cover, mostly just one solid color with the lettering. I feel like it was silver/grey with red lettering. I tried a number of Google searches, and I even tried asking Bing AI, but to no avail. Thanks!

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29 Apr 2023 10:51 #339133 by dysjunct
Do you remember anything about the setting or system? Publisher? Approximate year it came out?

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29 Apr 2023 11:14 #339134 by Whoshim
Unfortunately, I do not remember much. I believe it came out last year. I can picture it in my head (I have a bit of a photographic memory), but I cannot remember other details well. I felt like I saw it in some Top RPGs of 2022 type of video, but I checked my YouTube history and scanned the few videos that seemed related. I know it is not much to go on, but I was struck by the clean, minimalistic style of it.

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29 Apr 2023 11:48 - 29 Apr 2023 11:48 #339135 by ChristopherMD
rpggeek.com/geeksearch.php?objecttype=rp...5B%5D=2083&B1=Search

Every core rulebook cover released 2021-2022. Only 17 pages to scroll through. I looked at the first page but nothing stood out. You may want to expand the years.
Last edit: 29 Apr 2023 11:48 by ChristopherMD.
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29 Apr 2023 12:40 #339136 by Whoshim
Thank you! I scrolled through the list, and Whitehack's cover is somewhat different than I remembered, but the name rang a bell, and I checked my search history and found that I had looked at 3rd edition a couple of months ago. I really appreciate your help.
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29 Apr 2023 15:55 - 29 Apr 2023 15:56 #339138 by ChristopherMD
Anyone have thoughts on CY_BORG? The sci-fi sequel to MORK BORG.
Last edit: 29 Apr 2023 15:56 by ChristopherMD.
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01 May 2023 16:46 #339170 by Shellhead
My Call of Cthulhu campaign continues to improve. I was very skeptical of the Sunday night time slot, but we have had perfect attendance so far because nobody else schedules anything fun for Sunday nights. The group is a 50/50 split of inexperienced and highly experienced players, but the experienced players have been patient with the new players and not bossing them around. I do occasionally nudge the players to keep things moving along, with questions like "Okay, does anybody else want to do anything at the campsite before the first watch starts?"

Everybody at the table, including myself, is guilty of not speaking in character most of the time. Bad: "My character asks the professor where he got the book." Good: "Professor, where did you find that book?" I know that my experienced players know better, so I need to lead by example with the NPCs and hope that reminds them how to role-play. Once they start doing it regularly, I hope that the newer players will catch on.

One aspect of my gamemastering style where I hope to excel is background music. The current adventure is in Peru, circa 1921. While the party was still in Lima, I played various jazz mixes that I put together for Arkham Horror. Once they started traveling to a destination in the Andean highlands, I played a disc of Peruvian "folktronica." Then I switched to the Tangerine Dream soundtrack to the movie Sorcerer, a 1977 suspense movie about mercenaries transporting nitroglycerine by truck on rough roads in South America. Once they arrived at their sinister destination, I put on a mix of dark electronic music with a strong Mayan influence. I realize that Mayan and Incan culture are unrelated, but I also knew that my players were unlikely to worry about it.
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15 May 2023 09:50 #339332 by Shellhead
Before my current campaign started, it had been a few years since I last ran Call of Cthulhu. So I had some doubts about the game system, specifically the simple combat system. But I had forgotten that combat is not crucial to the game the way it is in most other rpgs. Last night's session featured two short combats that were primarily interesting because most of the combatants were inept or unlucky. But the highlight of the session was the agonizing discussion between players as they decided the fate of an NPC. They strongly suspected that he was an evil mastermind, but didn't have any evidence. Finally, they decided to confront him and he outed himself with a desperate ploy. It was great to see the tension build as each player wrestled with indecision, and then the tension finally broke as the dice started rolling.
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15 May 2023 17:58 #339334 by dysjunct
Played a 3p game of DESPERATION a storygame from Jason Morningstar and Bully Pulpit Games (Fiasco, Shab-Al-Hiri Roach).

It's a card-based game of, I guess, gothic horror. There's two scenarios in the box, DEAD HOUSE and THE ISABEL. Each scenario is a box of 65 cards plus a little rulebook.

We went with DEAD HOUSE, which is about a blizzard coming into a rural Kansas town in 1888.

The cards are divided into different decks: Locations, Characters, Autumn, Winter, and Hell. There's also three special cards: First Snow, Last Day of Winter, and Spring Comes. You shuffle each deck, and from the last three, remove some random cards unseen. Then you stack them in the order listed. First Snow goes after Autumn; Last Day of Winter goes after Winter; Spring Comes is randomly shuffled into the bottom half of Hell.

Then you take turns. On your turn, you draw the top card of the deck, read it, then follow the instructions.

For locations, the cards instruct you to create the physical layout of the town on the table. "Put this card far away from the Hetzel farm," "Put this in the center of town," etc. Then you take turns laying out the characters, reading their description of themselves, then putting them near a set location per their instructions. They have B&W illustrations on the front that are heavy ink, a bit like Mike "Hellboy" Mignola's art.

Once the town is laid out, the story begins, going through Autumn, Winter, and Hell. As you might tell from the names, things get progressively worse. Keeping in turn order, you draw the from the deck. You read the back silently, then decide which character does or says the thing, then read it out loud to the group in that characters voice or mannerisms, as established with the group.

The last thing on the card is an instruction: "SPEAK YOUR TRUTH" and sometimes something else, like "MOVE TO THE DEAD HOUSE" (i.e. the character is dead -- the "dead house" is a morguelike building where bodies would be stacked during the winter until the ground thawed enough for graves to be dug).

The "Speak Your Truth" instruction is a prompt to narrate something else. Maybe the character says something else, or maybe you want to add a bit of narrative color to the scene. It's optional. Then you put the card under the character who did it, and it's the next player's turn.

In my one play so far, this really seems like the core of the game. You can introduce all the gothic, horrific things you want, going far beyond the cards if you like. The more the players are attentive, and call back to the previously-introduced truths, the more the horror will build as the beats of the story are magnified.

You can move characters around to represent changing relationships. Maybe someone moves to a different house, or wanders out alone on the Hill, or something else.

Good game. It ends when either everyone is dead, or when you draw the card "Spring Comes" (buried in the second half of the Hell cards). At Spring, you take one more turn narrating the truths of the survivors, and the game ends.

The other scenario, THE ISABEL, is about a doomed fishing ship, also in 1888, and the fates of the crew and passengers.

Good game, recommended.
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