Press "Enter" to skip to content

Month: January 2022

Czech New Wave as Gaming Inspiration

I watched The Firemen’s Ball recently and enjoyed it quite a bit. The way Forman extracts humor from the banality really struck me. It also reminded me of the Electric Bastionland mini-campaign I’ve been chewing on.

I mean, tell me this isn’t a Bastion Council at work.

The leadership of the local firemen, gathered around a table, looking at something off-camera.

You could just run the whole movie as a background thread while other things are going on. “Ah, no, Monsieur Bagatelle can’t speak right now, he’s at the Firemen’s Ball.” “Well, I’m willing to do you that favor, but you need to make sure my daughter wins the beauty pageant.” “Huh, when did that building burn down?”

But it also intersects nicely with the Piertown Borough ideas I’ve been toying with. Don’t read after the cut if you’re playing in my mini-campaign. By which I mean if you want to play in this, drop me a comment, I have two slots I need to fill.

Lady Blackbird: End Game

This post was prompted by a recent Rob Donoghue tweet. To save you a click, he’s arguing that most RPGs have bad endgames: there’s no set process for what happens at the end of a game.

I recently finished up a Lady Blackbird game, and yep, there’s nothing explaining how to finish up the game. I mean, sure, the PCs achieve their goals probably, and perhaps those goals have changed over time, but. Look at it this way: Lady Blackbird explains exactly how to start a game, with situational advice and a solid reason to act. Nothing much on endings.

Thus, Lady Blackbird Montage. This isn’t exactly how I ended my game but it’s how I might have done it if I’d taken a bit longer to think about it.

“OK, build one final roll! You’re going to be narrating the bit in the credits where the voice over explains what your character does next in their life, so pick a trait and tags that reflect what you’d like to narrate. No dice from the dice pool, sorry. You can get an assist die from other characters if you both expect them to be spending a long time in each other’s presence, for whatever reason.

“For each success, you can narrate one cool thing that happens to your character. For every two failures, rounded down, you have to narrate one problem. You can remove a problem if you also drop a cool thing. So if you had three successes and two failures, you’d narrate three cool things and one problem, or you could do the trade and narrate two cool things and no problems.”

This is basically lifted from Fiasco but that’s a good game.

Lady Blackbird & Miro

Finished up that Lady Blackbird campaign I mentioned earlier, which was a blast. I might actually be about done with feeling like I’m a mediocre GM — still had the same tension I always have right before a session, but we got through this one with zero delays on account of my stress levels, which is pretty good for me and I feel great about where our improvisation led us.

More to the point, I’m completely sold on Miro. I’d been thinking I needed to do a ton of work to make a Miro board useful, and that I’d need to be messing around with it a lot during play. This is in fact untrue. I just set up an image board for NPCs and dropped a couple of reference images in it (one map, one picture of The Owl), and that was immediately helpful. Later on, I added a couple of rules references. Again, useful immediately without any serious work needed on my part.

Also great: using it for links to our dice roller, Google Sheets character sheets, and so on.