Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Day 267: Is anyone out there?

April 20, 2010

I’ll soon be posting a link to my new website, but more importantly I’m trying to engage more with Toronto gamers.

Does anyone still follow the blog?  Do you want to play?

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Day 100: The Bitter End.

November 4, 2009

Well, here we are, 100 days. This is a bitter pill for me; I had goals and hopes for a new project, and frankly, most of them didn’t work out, and while most of that wasn’t within my control, I know I made several crucial mistakes. Tag’s Folly was supposed to be a way for me to game more frequently and meet new people, provide gamers in Toronto with something they wanted, and prove that I could take on a big project on top of everything else that I do.

What follows is my postmortem.

What worked:

  1. The daily blogging schedule.
  2. Meeting new gamers.
  3. Getting more games in.

What didn’t work:

  1. I had the impression that there was a big pent-up demand for D&D 4e GMing; as it turned out there was … a little, and with a bunch of work you could get a group together.  But it wasn’t easy, as I’d hoped it would be, and that meant it took a long time for any of the organizers that did step up to schedule a session.
  2. I  didn’t get the rush of enthusiasm I was hoping for; everyone who organized sessions – and I appreciate their work – expressed that wasn’t really that much fun compared to how hard it was to get people together.  In some cases that meant straight drop-offs, leaving me with the task of “selling” the game to people to find organizers.
  3. The 4e ruleset, played by the book and prepped in advance is not conducive to a low-key campaign, and thus the 4e game would never be a self-sustaining organism.
  4. GTA transit kind of sucks; people just can’t get around, and when I run a game and have to spend 2 hours getting home, it hurts pretty bad.
  5. Real life threw me a few curveballs, particularly on the family and work side, and that derailed me pretty seriously.  Of course I set out on this trajectory when things were looking up, and when things got turbulent, and then outright sucktacular, I had to rein something in.  Unfortunately by the time that happened, the 4e campaign was the only thing in my life that I could really rein in.

What I learned:

  1. D&D is a game for people with basements, cars, and a lot more spare time than I have.
  2. When you get your name out there for running a game like this, all your old gamer friends remember you and start inviting you to their games.  You can quickly become a victim of your own success.
  3. A general appraisal of risks is a good idea even for personal projects.
  4. I hate prep that doesn’t get into a session right away.
  5. 4th edition is a better drill and a worse omnitool than previous editions.   It’s much harder to get it to do something different without hacking the rules, and the rules are much harder to hack.
  6. West Marches games are social monsters; there are a lot of uncharted social waters that you wade into and unless you’re a real extrovert, it will be stressful to run them.  This goes doubly for strangers.

Day 72: The Three Ways

October 7, 2009

I have three ways I play.

1) Follow my lead

In Follow my Lead play, one player – always the GM – is the author of the game’s story, and the players take roles within that story.

2) Story Now

Story Now is live fiction, like live music.  The point of Story Now is to create the fiction at the table, and puts all the players in the position of author, actor, and audience at the same time.  Story Now is an incredibly complex topic with a mind-boggling diversity of play experiences that can be had.

3) Step on up

Step on up games are about overcoming challenge and playing to win.  Many step-on-up games are competitive amongst the players, with the GM acting as a referee.  The other step-on-up model is where the GM sets up a world full of challenges – like an amusement park on steroids – and the players go about choosing challenges and using their skills to defeat those challenges.  In that context the GM crucially provides consistency, and danger is not an illusion.  4th edition Tag’s Folly is a Step on up game of the latter variety.

Day 58: Scheduling

September 23, 2009

Wow, I am gaming a LOT these days. Almost too much to keep up with. I have a Richmond Hill group, a downtown group, and two Tag’s Folly’s groups, not to mention the stuff I get invited to ad-hoc.

I’ve put up the days that are already busy on the sidebar. That stuff is either life or reserved by another game. I can’t just game every night (I am a dad and husband, after all), so when a night is booked for gaming, the days adjacent to it become booked for family (if they aren’t already).

Edit: I updated some Take 10s, see the link in the sidebar.

Day 48: Mourners

September 13, 2009

For inspiration, it’s hard to beat the Toronto Zoo.  Funny that with so many animals about, I got the biggest inspiration from a pile of bones.

Once, these creatures sang in the depths of the Lost Sea. Now, all that remains is their bones, gliding atop and beneath the sands… punishing those who come in their paths. Still, their strange harmonies haunt the desert, eternally intoning the song of an ancient sea.

mourners