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Showing posts from October, 2013

[IF Comp 2013] "Sam and Leo go to the Bodega" by Richard Goodness

By now you probably know that the Interactive Fiction Competition 2013 is happening. Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Our boys in uniform" by Megan Stevens

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[Breaking the Ice] The teeth of Mugabe

Another week, another Breaking the Ice session using Google Hangouts. This time I played with Sam Kabo Ashwell, prolific author of interactive fiction and reviews of works in that medium. We once played a game of Gloom together, which is almost a role playing game; but that's the limit of our shared gaming experience. However, we are both veteran RPG players, and years of contact in the online interactive fiction community have given us a good idea of each other's tastes in fiction.

Character creation

We therefore jumped into the game without much ado. Sam had read the rules once, but long ago. That wasn't a problem. Breaking the Ice works well as long as one of the participants know the rules.

As a switch we chose "being an immigrant" (Sam being an Englishman living in the U.S., and I being a Dutch guy living in the Netherlands). I would play an immigrant man, he would play a non-immigrant woman.

Sam's web of words contained: orange, [hothouses, false safety,…

[Trollbabe] System analysis, Lida and the spirits AP, and questions

Remko van der Pluijm and I got back online on Google Hangouts this week. We decided to play Trollbabe, a 2002 role playing game by Ron Edwards. I played one or two sessions with Jasper Polane once, way back in 2004 or 2005. Remko had never played it before.

Introduction to Trollbabe

Trollbabe is set in a fantasy version of medieval Scandinavia. There are islands, wooden ships, forests, mountains, villages that raise sheep, men bearing axes, women bearing children, ghosts, magicians and, of course, trolls. Trolls sometimes eat humans, and humans sometimes hunt trolls, but they mostly live together in uneasy peace.

It is a setting full of conflicts. Humans versus trolls, humans versus humans, trolls versus trolls, humans versus humans with trolls caught in the middle -- you name it, and it's there.

That's where trollbabes come in. They are big women with horns, not quite humans and not quite trolls, but half-feared and half-trusted by both species. As a player, you play a trollba…

[IF Comp 2013] Second thoughts on "Captain Verdeterre's Plunder"

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.


[3:16] First session -- Picasso and Titiaan

Saturday, I played my first-ever session of Gregor Hutton's space marines RPG 3:16 -- Carnage among the Stars. It was a blast. The game delivered everything I had hoped for.

The players

There were four of us. I was the only one with extensive experience of different RPGs, including indie narrativist RPGs. Partly for that reason, I chose to GM the game. There were three other players: Michiel, Erik and Annet. All of them had role played before, but only Dungeons & Dragons. (With the exception of Michiel, who once played a single session game of My Life with Master with me, and took to that quite naturally.)

The fact that most of them had only played D&D was exactly why 3:16 seemed a good choice to me. Just like D&D, it is built around combat scenes in which trying to be effective -- either for the good of the party or for that of yourself, which in this case is not always the same thing -- is the expected behaviour. Death is always a possibility, and the reward of fighti…

[Breaking the Ice] Sjoerd and Doortje come together

This is the second part of an actual play report that began here. Remko and I got together on Google Hangouts to play the second and third date of Sjoerd and Doortje, using Emily Boss Care's game Breaking the Ice.

At the end of last session, Sjoerd and Doortje had had a great date that lasted far into the night. (They ended up with 2 points of attraction, and the compatibilities "they like hanging out in nice bars" and "they understand about each other's unhappy childhood".) Doortje's conflict ("feels guilty when she claims time for herself") and the fact that she had a small child didn't feature in that first session, and I was determined to change that.

Second date

We started the second date by narrating how Doortje, unwilling to leave her baby alone for another night, had asked Sjoerd to meet her some afternoon in the Vondelpark, where she would come with the baby in a pram. Sjoerd didn't object, although he was less than happy when i…

[Breaking the Ice] The first date of Sjoerd and Doortje

I'm finally getting back into role playing. I've been doing far too little of this for far too long, and it feels great to be back in business.

Back in 2005, I played my first online RPG sessions ever, using IRC, with Remko van der Pluijm. We played Breaking the Ice, and I wrote up an actual play report here. So what better way to get back into role playing than by meeting up with Remko again -- who is by now a very good friend of mine -- and play Breaking the Ice again, this time using web cams and Google hangouts?

Breaking the Ice is an RPG for two people written by Emily Care Boss and published by Black and Green Games. Two characters, one controlled by each player, have a series of three dates; by the end of the game, they either stay together or stop dating. I concluded my original actual play report as follows:
This game is brilliant. There are no two ways about it.

It is an ode on human vulnerability. [...] In this game, you do not overcome obstacles by strength. Instea…

[IF Comp 2013] Second thoughts on "Dad vs. Unicorn"

I've been thinking more about the competition game Dad vs. Unicorn, and I want to write another blog post about it. Here is the earlier post. Spoilers, as usual, after the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Reels" by Tyler Zahnke

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Dad vs. Unicorn" by PaperBlurt

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Their Angelic Understanding" by porpentine

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "The Wizard's Apprentice" by Alex Freeman

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "The Challenge" by Emilian Kowalewski

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Saving John" by Josephine Tsay

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "The Paper Bag Princess" by Adri

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Mrs. Wobbles & The Tangerine House" by Mark Marino

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Captain Verdeterre's Plunder" by Ryan Veeder

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "Machine of Death" by Hulk Handsome

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.

[IF Comp 2013] "100,000 years" by Pierre Chevalier

The Interactive Fiction Competition is back! Spoilers behind the break.