Gamex 2016 (Strategicon): What we played!

This weekend, I went to Strategicon, as I do two or three times a year. Memorial Day weekend is Gamex, and it’s usually well-attended and of course a lot of fun.

brehahaFriday night, I’d pre-registered for a game called Brew Ha Ha from UNCORKED Games! It has 24 left in its Kickstarter right now, and I highly recommend it!

The premise of the game is like Apples to Apples, Funemployed, or Cards Against Humanity, with a judge and each player submitting cards to tickle the judge’s funny bone. In Brew Ha Ha, however, each round starts with a 1-ounce beer tasting, and you pick cards that describe the beer. The judge awards a point to the “most accurate” description, and one point to their personal favorite, which may or may not be accurate, or maybe just funny.

In the course of a few rounds, we drank about the equivalent of a single beer, but had a lot of fun doing so! Really fun game, and one of the few “drinking games” where the point isn’t to do irreparable liver damage!

Saturday was a good day for kicking around, going to the vendor hall, and catching up with friends. I ran Threadbare at 2 and 8 PM, so I didn’t want to get too overtaxed beforehand. My 2 PM game was in the “family hall,” which was poorly marked, but consisted of a set of tables in the hallway. When only adults showed up to play, we moved over to an empty table in one of the gaming rooms. I ran the first run-through of “Flight of the Bumblebee,” a new adventure where you’re a scouting group for your community. For the 8 PM game, I had 7 players, and was reminded that 7 is just a bit too many for PbtA games (I never learn!)

Sunday morning was beach time, which was lovely! I took my kite out and we had a  great time flying it at Venice Beach. Lots of fun, lots of people working out (I guess this was the area known for lots of gyms and such!)

Sunday afternoon I played in Dave K’s new game, Bedlam Hall. It’s a (PbtA) cross between Downton Abbey and Edward Gorey. Wonderfully dreadful, and I can’t wait to see how he continues to develop it. I think it’ll be a very fun game once he’s ready to release it.

In the evening, I played in Toby’s game Jinkies! Also PbtA, Jinkies is a Scooby-Doo inspired adventure where you play the Scooby gang, solving a mystery and having adventures on the way. I playtested a new playbook that didn’t really fit in with the other archetypes. He’ll be revisiting that playbook as he continues to develop it.

Monday morning, we busted out Yellowstone, an Avalon Hill game about the national park. It’s basically Chinese Checkers with predators, and although we had fun, this was definitely our “bad game for the con” experience. It didn’t help that this was the game I personally brought to the con, and which I now own. Ah, well. It was fun anyway, and I got to play a herd of elk!

While I was out of town, Threadbare hit $9K in funding, and continues to go well. The Kickstarter has 8 days left, and I’m excited and hope it hits its next two stretch goals before it finishes up!

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Threadbare is LIVE! (And some behind-the-scenes marketing talk)

As of last Wednesday, Threadbare is LIVE on Kickstarter!

If you don’t know, Threadbare is my role-playing game about broken toys in a broken world. It has a stitchpunk/maker aesthetic, but focuses on creating and building, rather than tearing things apart.

I’ve written about it quite a bit here in the blog, and I’m very excited that the game is finally live and funding.

But let me chat a little bit about one of the things I’ve done to promote my Kickstarter. Aside from telling everyone I know, and being a little shameless about podcasts and interviews, of course.

As you might or might not know, many years ago, I wrote a fantasy world-building guide, and then later I wrote a 30-day guide for world-building. For several years, I’ve had an “ad box” on those pages, quietly drawing revenue from Project Wonderful, which is an ad-share service largely focused on the webcomic and geek markets. It doesn’t do popups, and  I used it to promote Handknit Heroes a bit, but found that it was just a nice trickle of revenue that I left in my Project Wonderful account. Over the years, that has accumulated to a small sum in my account, money which I didn’t have to actually put into the account.

On Sunday, I posted an ad for Threadbare on the site and started spending what’s in my account. I’ve already had one sale due to the ads, which have been shown over 130,000 times (click through rate isn’t great, though). I was able to target them somewhat towards games/gaming, crafting, and writing sites. Most importantly, though, this didn’t cost me anything right now, when I’m trying to promote this Kickstarter without breaking the bank.

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RPG Blog Carnival: Weather Roundup!

April Showers was the theme for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, and I was very honored to host it!

Tables and Game Aids

Articles and Theorycraft

For my part, April ended up getting away from me thanks to a lot of unexpected travel. However, I had a marvelous moment this week running a one-shot for my niece and her friends in Missouri. We were playing my game Threadbare (coming soon on Kickstarter!), and her friends kept throwing around some great ideas for adventures and adversaries and obstacles. At one point, her friend Y suggested that we could have a big scary weather event, “like a toynado.” She might have meant tornado, but with Threadbare being all about toys… well, just look for a storm-chaser adventure starter in the next few months!

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The Edom Files are Out!

The Edom Files, the adventure supplement for Night’s Black Agents Dracula Dossier, is finally out! It’s been sent out to Kickstarter backers and should be hitting Pelgrane’s online store very soon.

Why is this exciting to me? In addition to being a really cool product, it also has my adventure, “Day of the Wehrwolf” in it.

Which makes it the very first game/supplement that I’ve written and had published by a publisher. It’s not the first I have written, but it’s the first to make it all the way through to release.

Other upcoming releases that I can talk about:

  • Contribution to TimeWatch’s Book of Changing Years
  • Contribution to Epyllion’s Encylopedia Draconica
  • Contribution to The Name of God nano-game
  • Adventure for Mythic Mortals

There’s more, but those are the ones I can talk about in public so far.

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200 Word RPG Contest for 2016!

giphyI have a lot of cool gaming stuff to talk about this week, so I’m scheduling posts out a bit.

The big one for today is that David Schirduan’s 200-Word RPG Contest is back and better than ever!

I’m a judge this year, so starting April 15th I’ll be reading anonymized entries, along with my fellow judges, to determine which ones are best in each category.

I’m really looking forward to participating in a different role this year, and hope anyone reading this blog will decide to try it out! There are a ton of new game designers giving it a shot.

It’s a fun, quick exercise that can really help you focus in one the core mechanics of your game. In addition to just being a great contest with some great prizes.

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