Monday, November 24, 2014

Game Stories: Shadowrun Crossfire

Magic! Metahumans! Cyber-hacking! Cyber-augments! Well, there's a reason there's a number of fans of the Shadowrun universe. Enough so that it spawned Shadowrun: Crossfire, a cooperative deckbuilding game with a campaign mode attached. You earn Karma points to give your character upgrades; it's really cool, but not the specific element of Crossfire that I'm talking about on this post. This week, I'm talking about the core system of the game, and how it gives a particular character to the obstacles you fight.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Girls Elsewhere (a Heroine RPG Supplement)

Upfront point: massive apologies to Josh, because I said I'd do this review a long time ago. But there's no time like the present to change that! Girls Elsewhere is a supplement to Josh Jordan's storytelling game Heroine, which I reviewed previously on this blog last year. It's a supplement that expands the types of stories that you might tell with Heroine, and it's a wonderful way to broaden your scope of storytelling for the game.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Game Stories: Carcassonne

So sometimes, you get story elements in games because there's distinctive characters, and sometimes it's because there's a particular mood around the table. Those aren't the only ways you can have a sort of story in the game, though. Sometimes, it isn't really about a flow of drama or pulling across specific themes. Sometimes, it's about nonsensically placing tiles on a map until they more or less make a weird world. Welcome to Carcassonne

Friday, November 14, 2014

At the Table: the Order of the Broken Flask

This one's a quick post, mostly to get you to check out an older blog post I just stumbled across. It's part of Quinn Murphy's ongoing New Rules of Fantasy series, which digs into bog-standard fantasy tropes and applies some creative thinking to them. The results are pretty fresh and cool! The post in particular is one about rethinking what it means to have "adventurer" as a profession, and figuring out cool ways to include adventurer professions that make sense. Check it out!

Thoughtcrime Games: On the Road

(And if you're curious, I'm reposting my sample writeup of the Order of the Broken Flask, from the comments section.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Game Stories: Countdowns of DOOM

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

The Doomsday Clock: an ever-popular tool of evil masterminds with nuclear launches impending. Also found alongside self-destruct buttons. It's a little silly, but the principle behind it is rather straightforward, and it's a principle that finds its way into a lot of game designs.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Game Stories: Hanabi

When I talk about games having story elements, I don't just mean having unique characters, like in my previous posts. I don't even necessarily mean an involved narrative. Sometimes, a story element in a game comes from the way it promotes a certain mood around the table. The classic parlor game Werewolf is one simple example of this, but it's not the only one. When it comes to games that use simple mechanics to create a particular mood, few do it as well as Hanabi, a hilariously bewildering game.