Thursday Review: Shadowrun: Dragonfall

Shadowrun: Dragonfall is an expansion for Shadowrun Returns that takes place in the Flux-State of Berlin. Being an anarchic, crazy, and generally awesome place, there’s a lot of good, in-depth, but really quintessentially “cyberpunk” characters to meet and work with, and while it does the same good job of putting you into contact with interesting characters as the original Dead Man’s Switch, it tends to do so with more depth and a lot more life to it.

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Game Design: Choice Paths Part 1: Linear, Option, Divergent, and “Dinner” Paths

Since the majority of games (or, perhaps it is better to say, pretty much every major game out there) relies almost entirely on pre-scripted advancement techniques to handle plots and narratives, I figured I’d write a little article on choice paths in games. Choice paths are something that I used a ton when I was working on Orchestra over on Story Nexus, and they’re a great way to see what you’re doing. Continue reading “Game Design: Choice Paths Part 1: Linear, Option, Divergent, and “Dinner” Paths”

Thursday Review: Tom Leveen’s Sick

Sick is a novel by Tom Leveen. It first came to my attention with a reference from a professor of mine over at Arizona State University in his class on young adult literature. It’s set in a high school at the outbreak of a zombie epidemic, and it makes for a remarkably good read.
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Project Update: Still Alive

I wasn’t able to do anything with this blog all last week because I was so busy; between school and a little bit of normal-ish-but-kinda-rare family events that I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here, I didn’t have as much free time to work on things as I would have desired. Fortunately, I still made a little progress.

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Project Update: It Lives!

XMICYOA now has a system in place to determine if an action has tokens, states, or stokens associated with it and can appropriately set those tokens and states. Right now there’s nothing in place to unset tokens, though this should be pretty simple to implement (literally copying and pasting the current code and changing the words where needed) and will be done pretty soon. Continue reading “Project Update: It Lives!”

Table Reflection: Player Responsive Tailoring

I see a lot of GM horror stories that essentially amount to “The game isn’t going the way I’d planned! Now I’m on fire, and my pet Chihuahua is wearing a fake mustache!”. Well, I actually hear a lot of the first frantic exclamation, and very little of the second, but it’s been a long week and I’m taking some liberties from reality. Frequently, the way to get what you want as a GM is to give what your players want, and use it to shape their interests toward what you will do. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Player Responsive Tailoring”

Thursday Review: Loadout

Loadout is perhaps the most over-the-top puerile game I’ve ever played. And it’s amazing. It’s not necessarily great, but I truly enjoyed it from the very get-go, and its crude charm wins a lot of points when combined with a surprisingly good community and solid objective-based gameplay. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Loadout”

Project Update: XMICYOA Progress

I actually find myself in an awkward position because I’ve forgotten some of the progress I made on XMICYOA last week, and rather than going back to dig through to find it I’ll just touch on the highlights. Most importantly, the first requirements for objects are in, which represents a key point in the XMI parser. We also now have token, state, and “stoken” (easily wiped tokens) databases to complement all the other features. Continue reading “Project Update: XMICYOA Progress”

Table Reflection: Better Game Mastering Through Questioning

One of the most useful items in the human intellectual toolkit is the ability to question; as a fundamental tool of analysis asking questions is a core function of being an effective Game Master. When running a game for others, it is important to ask questions about the rules, yourself, and the players at your table to craft the most meaningful experiences for you and your players. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Better Game Mastering Through Questioning”

Thursday Review: Shadowrun Digital Tools Box

Digital Tools Box contains what would be two physical boxes. Each contains a lot of interesting content, though Alphaware is far more fleshed out and approaches the size and complexity of the 5th Edition core rulebook, while the Beginner Box is a quick start guide with an attached setting guide and novel excerpt. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Shadowrun Digital Tools Box”