CategoryMemes

Reverb Gamers #5: Gaming With Kids

Prompts courtesy of Atlas Games.

I have gamed with kids a little bit. I ran a mini-campaign which included a friend’s… 10 year old? I think? It was fine; I played to his needs a bit more than I usually do and his dad helped him on the rare occasions he needed help with dice or advice on what to do. It wasn’t his first experience with the game. I am probably not a great choice for teaching someone how to game; I’m not super-experienced with kids and appropriate educational techniques. But if the kid knows the game, I like making it fun for her or him. You get better

Reverb Gamers #4: Are You A Closet Gamer?

Dear Reverb Gamers: nope. I work in computer games, which makes it very easy to be out without consequence. It’s actually a career bonus to be a tabletop gamer, despite the fact that my day job is unrelated to game design. Even before I got into computer games, the Silicon Valley dot-com was a pretty friendly place for geeks of all stripes.

Even if I went into something more conservative, I’d still keep a D20 keychain ornament on my shoulder bag, though.

Reverb Gamers #3: What Kind of Gamer Are You?

See here for prompts.

I’m going to the old 1999 WotC survey for this one, because I kind of like it when types are developed via research than just out of a fevered gamer brain. (But I’m an Method Actor with a side of Tactician, as one may have guessed from the previous post in this series.) That said, on the WotC chart I live on the tactical side of the strategy/tactics line. I generate strategy by improvisation, which is no strategy at all, but sometimes I make it look good enough to pass. Between story and combat, I lean strongly towards story. That’s a less important division to me; I think tactics over strategy matters more.

Reverb Gamers #2: Why Game?

Prompt courtesy of Atlas Games again.

“What is it about gaming that you enjoy the most? Why do you game? Is it the adrenaline rush, the social aspect, or something else?”

I think it comes down to the fantasizing. When I’m actually gaming, I love roleplaying and immersing and speaking in my character’s voice. When I’m not sitting at the table, I’m still having fun thinking about what the world’s going to be like or how those NPCs are going to act or how my character might develop. I read sourcebooks because I like things that trigger my imagination.

There is also a hefty side order of strategy here. I like moving pieces around, which is why I like card games as well as roleplaying games. Although let’s be honest here: I like feeling smart, and strategizing feeds that desire. At the tender age of 41, I have more or less gotten away from the need to win, as long as I feel like I’ve done smart things. (Sometimes I slip up there. Sorry about those twin TPKs, guys.) Other people will also do smart things, and that’s okay; losing cause someone else is also smart is fine.

It’s mostly about fantasizing, anyhow. Shadowfist was my CCG of choice because it’s the one with the resonant world.

Reverb Gamers #1: First Roleplaying Experience

Prompts courtesy of Atlas Games.

I was, I’m not sure. 14? 15? Something like that. We were living up in New Hampshire. There were these family friends, who we met I don’t know how; probably one of those hippie connections we were rich with in those days. Teo was four years older than I was. Huge Rastafarian. If I remember right, his family’s lore said they were related to Haile Selassie? Seems unlikely, but who knows.

I was over at their place one day: a little apartment, filled with tapestries and rugs, and Teo dragged out this book. I was pretty weirded out, since he wasn’t much of a reader. It was Tunnels & Trolls, with a couple of solitaire adventures. He showed me how to play, sort of, and I was totally hooked. I extracted all available information about where you could get this stuff and went home with a head full of wonders.

Next Thursday — I know it was Thursday, because Thursdays were mall days — I hit the hobby store in the Mall of New Hampshire. It’s not still there, although the Mall is. They had the old line of Steve Jackson Microgames, and Traveler (whoa), and miniatures, and Dungeons & Dragons, but most important T&T. Fifth edition, great stuff. I do still have my copy. I also have a bunch of the old solos, and the Dungeon of the Bear, and Uncle Ugly’s Underground. The dungeons were three hole punched for inclusion in a binder.

I didn’t play in groups till I hit college. I was insufficiently social to get a group going, and my school was too small to have one already. I played a lot of solo adventures, though. I suspect I could still find my way through Naked Doom and City of Terrors from memory.

Lunchtime Poll #18: Worlds Enough

Li asks, “What alternate-historical setting would you most like to play in, and why?” She mentions S. M. Stirling’s Nantucket books, which are pretty good as alternate history gaming settings go, but I’m gonna go in a different Stirling direction: The Peshawar Lancers. The science and politics are horrendously unlikely but it’s a great pulp setting if you can ignore that.

Lunchtime Poll #7

Li asks, “I’ve often said that one of the best science-fiction authors whose work you probably aren’t reading is Connie Willis. Along the same lines, what’s the best game that I’m probably not playing?”

Well, I am reading Connie Willis, but I would recommend Primetime Adventures. It isn’t necessarily an easy game to figure out, but the screen presence and fan mail systems at the very least illuminate often under-considered aspects of roleplaying and at the best they produce some really fun play.

Monday Mashup #46: This Is Spinal Tap

We all know what Spinal Tap is, right? Good.

(I said the Monday Mashups would be sporadic. You thought they were gone for good, didn’t you? Hmph.)

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Monday Mashup: Um, Yeah…

So yeah, missed this week’s mashup too.

I was going to try and hit 52 and call it a series and take a break. I am, however, not going to get that done, at least not with weekly posts. I am burned out on doing clever things to original texts. I can come up with ideas for a mashup subject all day long, but I cannot so much come up with good things to do to the subjects. It makes my brain hurt.

Thus, my current plan is as follows: I will continue to do sporadic mashups on Mondays until I hit #52. Then I will take a nice long break till I feel like doing ‘em again.

Thanks for your patience. I apologize if anyone is disappointed or dejected, although I suspect it’s no big deal and I feel a pretty complete lack of angst about it.

Monday Mashup #45: Spider-Man

Well, duh. In the throes of overwrought fandom, what else would I want to mashup but Spider-Man? No superheroes, though, that’s too easy.

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