We’ve made the most of the characters, and I’m finishing to read the rules and preparing the starting situation. In parallel, I’m reading as companion the Glorantha Sourcebook to have more inspiration as referee.
That’s great! I like the switch in design aesthetic from modern PbtA to 1979. What a trip!
My own current gaming activities are:
Playing in a game of Misspent Youth.
We recently played a game called Canon, in which we invented a whole mythology for a far-future society of oppressed terraformers. The mythology was colourful and very fantastical, and the game focused on that, with only some hints of the people who were telling the myths and their culture.
We then decided to play a sequel game to learn more about these people. For that, we turned to Misspent Youth, by Rob Bohl. So far the rebellion is going well, my character had to sell out a comrade for the best of the Resistance, and we learned that the myths we all know and love were actually crafted by our oppressors to control us.
Running a homebrew classic (old-school) D&D campaign, similar to B/X D&D.
This has been ongoing for a while. Real sandbox, players drop in and out. Most recently, playing through some great modules by GUS L. and Simon Carryer. (Both of whom may join here sooner or later.)
Starting up a game of the Pool featuring a doomed, besieged medieval city and the tensions within its walls.
I always try to play as many different games from different design schools and styles as possible. In this way, I think to improve as role-player 360° and I don’t get accustomed to play only one thing. I recommend to do this or it’s easy to lose the ability to enjoy all forms that our hobby/ folk-art could assume. This is crucial.
At Gencon, I played Dialect, For the Queen, Rusałka (twice), Zoetrope and a disappointing dungeon crawl game. Except for the last one, all the games were really fun and good examples of the games in question.
Every Friday I run a different indie RPG of some sort. I still don’t know what this week will be, though. (I probably need to figure that out sometime soon.) Sometimes, we’ll run a short campaign, but nothing that lasts more than couple months, typically less than 6-10 sessions total. At the beginning of the year, we ran a Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine game that I had a lot of fun with, but never completely clicked into working on all cylinders.
In the Dialect game, all the PCs were all YouTubers and reality TV stars sent to Mars. After several years, we realized that Earth wasn’t going to contact us.
Probably the best word we came up with was using “season one” to refer to the past, particularly a time in the past when we were all more optimistic and naive. “Listen, skipper, all this hope that the networks are looking out for us? You gotta leave that in season one. You don’t want to be a winner [ie, a foolish person].”
I thought this was going to be about literal physical accoutrements that you bring to a literal physical table! I miss getting to do physical things for some games (pandemic and international move have led to all my play being online now).
But in terms of what’s on my docket, as it were… well, let’s go!
I’m running D&D 5e with a group of old friends, online because we stretch from Vancouver to Nairobi. We had a great talk about what we each want out of it (and are due for a check-in on that) and that included: more dark fantasy than heroic fantasy, boats, tactical maps-and-minis play, character-focused stories. So we’ve gradually upped our VTT game to handle the maps-and-minis to the point where we now are using FoundryVTT. I really like it!
I’m playing in one more session of a playtest of the forthcoming As the Sun Forever Sets. This is a Forged in the Dark game about ordinary people in England in 1899 during the days after the Martian invasion of War of the Worlds. I’m playing an iteration of a character I’ve been working on through a few different games (she was first in Monsterhearts, then a Fate game, now this) and I think I’m getting closer to seeing the heart of who she is. (There’s definitely some evocation of Kalonymus ben Kalonymus’s Even Boḥan in this character, with complexities around gender and Judaism.)
I’m hoping to play any of:
Coven, a Powered by the Apocalypse game about a coven of witches that I’ve been making.
Under Hollow Hills, the Bakers’ game about a fairy circus. I kinda want to do it as a West Marches style game, with a huge cast of circus performers, because it’s perfectly made to have every session be self-contained and consist of just whoever can make it.
The Wolf King’s Son, another game from the Bakers in the same sort of fairyland as the game above, but much more focused. The tricky thing is that it’s for an MC, the Wolf King’s Son, and optionally up to three companions, and any number of audience members. And I really wanna play some of those companions, not MC or Wolf King’s Son! So, a dilemma.
Some Cortex Prime game. Particularly the spooky small town or Star Trek-like settings. I also kinda want to make a BPRD-style Cortex game at some point, but I think I need to get a handle on Cortex Prime at all first.
I always always want to play or run Masks: a New Generation because it is under my skin entirely. But I especially wanna play it, because that’s a rarer experience for me.
I really like the idea of using a setting-creation game like Canon, then turning to a game tightly focused in on a specific premise but open on setting, like Misspent Youth. Two very different perspectives on the same setting, that act complementary to each other.
I’m currently co-running and co-playing in an Urban Shadows 2 game with my wife. We do a thing with PbtA games when we can’t make scheduling work for larger group games where we both make 3ish PCs and then take turns playing and GMing in a joint setting.
This time we’re doing Chicago, based around Armor Square and delving into the old bloody history of the city and it’s architecture. All the PCs are connected to the same core groups of a faction of Fae taking over the mob, a group of Specters who were murdered by the mob and want revenge, and the musical wizards of the old Chicago blues sound who are fighting to take the city back. It’ll inevitably end in blood opera
Playtesting a Discord play-by post board/RPG hybrid about gang warfare in 1895 New York City.
Playtesting a space pirate themed TTRPG with an underlying structure that, if it works, will be wonderfully versatile.
Playtesting The Experiencers, a black box larp about a family that encounters a UFO, Roshomon style. Soth with a new group, face to face.
Playtesting an air traffic control slow larp.
These days I have been playing two role-playing mini-games that I am writing in Italian with my girlfriend:
Death in the Saloon (Morte nel saloon), a game about escaping Death entering a saloon, while playing the story of its potential victims, the saloon regulars;
An as-yet-untitled game about writing reviews full of entitlement and contempt for bad restaurants. It is a game based on funny combinations and finding out what will happen to those restaurants.
Last night I also happened to play Remember Tomorrow, Gregor Huttton’s cyberpunk game that pays homage to William Gibson’s choral novels. We did four rounds of scenes in six (the game recommends playing with a maximum of five players, but I didn’t remember and there were six of us).
I am also reading Urban Shadows (first edition) to start a campaign with my friends in August or September. I’m at the chapter explaining the first session.
This week I started playing in a Conan 2d20 game that plans to last about 4-5 sessions. We play via Zoom, but roll our own physical dice.
I ignored 2d20 for a long time but then recently gave it a shot at local con and have become enamored with it. I’m hoping to run some Star Trek Adventures eventually.
Beyond the Conan game, I have nothing scheduled — my gaming has been very ad-hoc lately. I am going to BurningCon in September, so I have been diligently rereading Burning Wheel. I am thinking about running a “Burning 101” series where we use pregens and play The Sword and the Hochen demo scenarios. This would be both to help introduce the game to others and to get my BW game-mastering skills in shape.
Delving into the history of a real place is really a winning move for Urban Shadows, huh. I once played as a PC in a campaign set in Rome, with a group of washed-up outcasts dealing with Ancient Roman heritage and completely modern problems. Good times were had.
As for what I’m playing right now: a very slow-paced game of Stonetop because two-quarters of my regular group have a 1-year-old and the length of our session depends on the whims of baby/their exhaustion level.
The game itself has been nice so far. I’m playing as the Seeker (scholarly/wizardly type playbook), and am trying to flavor him as the village blacksmith since the game’s magic is mostly based around artifacts (Arcana) and I’ve read too many essays about the bond between metalworking and shamanic practices in Norse mythology Overall I like how we shaped the village relationships because they gave us pretty solid bonds/excuses to adventure/stuff to talk about.
On other fronts, on Free RPG Day I played oneshots of Orbital (where I was facilitating as player, since it’s GM-less) and ARC (GMing). Both were quite interesting; I tend to go zero prep for events where I run demos because I want it to be clear that the fun demo is not me being an amazing creative GM, but the result of game mechanics that help you pull together a good story without excessive fretting. I have pregen characters for ARC (and could share them here if anyone is interested) to speed up character creation for convention play, but they’re all rolled from the book’s random tables.
Future plans: I mean to playtest Momatoes’ Children of Inang-Uri when I get the chance and there’s an upcoming chamber larp convention in September where I’ll be playing some new as-yet-unpublished stuff.
We paused the Brinderwood Bay campaign because one of the players had a baby
Before the summer break, we started a Cy_Borg campaign, but we played only 2 sessions (1 job)
I’m running a 2.5-year-long campaign at Blades in the Dark - we are near the end, but no one seems to want to finish it, and every session, we add something more to the fiction we are curious to explore. I started calling the Never-Ending Campaign.