Stuff to Watch May 2012

edited May 2012 in Stuff to Watch
The standard opening:

What stuff should we watch, read, play?

1.Feel free to respond here in-thread to another link posted.

a. If you're looking to start a conversation, perhaps take your comment and create a new thread with it in the Stuff to Watch category.

b.Otherwise, to prevent too many comments in the thread, number your response (first response: [1]; second response [2]; third response [3]). If you see that you're the second person to post, "Wow, that looks cool!" to a post here, then put a "[2]" at the top of your post. Three posts ([3]) is the limit: The fourth person to post should just take their comment and create a new thread, to carry the discussion over there further.


Because these threads are great: We can link to little things being talked about on the web in general, on blogs, or other forums that might be noteworthy, without having to dedicate a new thread to each and every one (although that, too, is fine if you want to discuss the item further or "open up a discussion").

Responding to these posts with a comment or two is understandable (other times there might be no comments, just cause the link was self-explanatory: nothing to say, lots of heads nodding in agreement). But we don't want to create a huge discussion in the middle of the thread: Some folks get a lot out of these threads, and don't want to look back to see the "10 latest posts" just to see that it's a heated discussion of something from a previous page. Cool? Cool.


  • io9 has an article about (and an excerpt from) a new sword-and-planet novel called Jane Carver of Waar. They play it up as a gender-swapped John Carter novel, but it looks like it might be fun in its own right, even absent the Burroughsian connection.
  • Whoops. I forgot it was May. Here's this from the old thread in case you missed it:

    We do our first two-part video episode of Out of Character, talking about how to make a good character background:

    Part 1 and Part 2
  • edited May 2012
    Get'em fast, because it's over in less than 2 hours. POP!able dice for differently-abled gamers!
  • White people are kickstarting a game about Aztecs. But it's OK, because they've "done the research", right?
  • edited May 2012
    [New Fire 1]

    Well, yes. It's okay IMO if it is a respectful treatment, and that they've done research gives support to that.

    It's a question and process, not a game of tag.
  • [New Fire 2]

    This, at least, makes me not dismiss it right up front:

    To create this fantasy, I and my fellow collaborators have done a tremendous amount of historical research. We have consulted professors, researchers, and people of indigenous Mesoamerican descent, read mountains of books, attended museums and lectures, listened to traditional music, and watched movies and films (both historical and interpretive). We have even practiced some of the skills and trades of ancient Mesoamerica, such as atlatling, flintknapping, and pottery. We have learned as much as we could, and let the things we learned guide our imaginations.

    I want to state up front that there is nothing official or definitive about New Fire--Mesoamerica is a boundlessly complex and fascinating place, and it would take an entire lifetime of research to truly do justice to its nuances and depth. We have come to greatly admire Mesoamerica, and hope that our fantasy interpretations are entertaining and enlightening. But our interpretations are just that--our interpretations. We are not part of these cultures, and we do not speak from a perspective of authority. But we have worked very hard to try to at least speak from an informed, educated, and respectful perspective.
  • With Free Comic Book Day coming up this Saturday here in the U.S., I was reminded of this interesting event: Free RPG Day 2012. Might be a little premature to post as it's coming up next month (June) on the 16th, but I thought it would be good to jog everyone's memory.
  • edited May 2012
    Uh, this is pretty much how I feel about all KICKSTARTERS sides from that one Joe did that was basically just preorders. And even that one I feel weird about.

  • edited May 2012
    Monte Cook is reading story games! He's obviously looking for inspiration now that he's off the DnD5e team. I think this is a great development :)

    Check it out:
  • [New Fire 3 and out!]
    Posted By: WordmanBut it's OK, because they've "done the research", right?
    Yes, it is: They apparently did an incredible amount of research.
    Posted By: DevPIt's a question and process, not a game of tag.
    This is the definitive item here in these threads, the difference between someone actually concerned and a shrill SJ Sally just doing drive-by taggings.
    Posted By: Hans c-oThis, at least, makes me not dismiss it right up front:
    I'm not one for just dismissing outright. And that post you quoted (actually the whole "deeper discussion" on the page after the initial blurb) was what prompted me to buy in, despite reservations on the pass-the-baton narration system (that and the source material: What have we had to date on mesoamerica? Maztica, GURPS Aztecs, and Jason M's Shadow of Yesterday Aztec setting hack/adventure (not counting stuff like "Living Gods" for TORG etc)).

  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: Andy(not counting stuff like "Living Gods" for TORG etc)).
    Do you want to count Empire of the Petal Throne? It seems like omitting it is almost sinful, even if it is wildly fantastic.
  • BlamBot Comic Fonts has a new free font called "Saucer", one of those roughly-sketched looking ones with guidelines. Nate writes:
    About a year ago, I was messing with the idea of doing some design work on a sci-fi RPG and I penciled some ideas for space ships with hand lettering that would eventually turn into this font. I had originally intended to clean it up, but the sketchiness was so much more interesting, that I went with the rough look, guidelines included.
  • [Blambot 2]

    Wow, some really awesome fonts - free and cheap for pay - that would be awesome for indie designers. Thanks for the link.
  • We now have a How to Host a Dungeon wiki! This is the place to post those half-baked civilizations you jotted down on a napkin last year! Thanks to Duncan Timiney for setting it up.
  • Car Wars!!!!

    Through the Ogre Kickstarter at the $700,000 goal.
    SJ Games did a neat thing if you are a CW fan but not an Ogre fan.
  • Sooooooooo, for Cinco de Mayo weekend I decided I would create five complete Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaigns, all within the Marvel Universe (since I am bad about sticking to continuity in established settings, because I don't value it, this was a challenge for me.)

    The first four can be seen on my blog: here. They are: an anti-superspy deconstruction, a post-Montesi formula perestroika occult game, a LA Noir crimefighting game, and a game about refugees from various dark futures banding together. Pretty cool...

    But the real highlight was the fifth, which I did with Datafiles, a villain or two, a politically conservative superhero that isn't a parody and some awesome music:

    Welcome to the Arizona Initiative.
  • Valve's employee manual got leaked and then officially released, showing insights into their view of the creative process.
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: J. WaltonValve's employee manual got leaked and thenofficially released, showing insights into their view of the creative process.
    My favorite are the org charts:
    o__o__everyone else ___o_____o___|_____o____o

    Or is it:

    o__o__everyone else ___o_____o________o____o
  • Barrowmaze II is almost funded. It is the sequel to Barrowmaze, an old school D&D dungeon by Greg Gillespie that a lot of people said a lot of good things about. I'm pretty sure you don't need to play the first one to enjoy the second, it's just another part of the dungeon for more advanced characters. You could run it with Dungeon World easily enough--especially since he is going to have pictures for every monster in BMII, so they wouldn't just be useless stat blocks.

    Greg's pretty cool, he runs Red Box Niagara, a sister site to the original New York Red Box and my Red Box Vancouver. He teaches at the university out there, and last summer he taught a first-year university course on D&D. He had me and Chris, the founder of Red Box Vancouver, speak to his students (via the magic of the internet) about playing old school D&D in public, and we answered a bunch of questions. It was pretty early on, so they were just getting into it, but apparently none of them had played ttrpgs before.
  • edited May 2012
    Ryuutama translation will be published...

    Well, in French anyway !
  • [Ryuutama en francais 1]

    Indeed! I had a long talk via skype with Jerome yesterday, he's really putting his all into it, including prepping a lot of potential future material into the game!

    I'm really excited for the French release!

    ...and the eventual English release!*


  • [Ryuutama 2]

    So by eventually you mean before I start running our UNM summer campaign? :) Which is like next week or something.
  • My new podcast has begun.
    Check it here:
    Roll For News
  • edited May 2012
    [Roll For News 1]

    I'm on it! But seriously, despite my participation it's a great debut. Looking forward to further installments.
  • I listened to a long podcast yesterday (in French) about a game called Sens ("meaning") which was inspired by Wittgenstein's Tractatus. When I say inspired by, the game's aim is to take the players on a metaphysical journey which will lead them to understand and challenge W's theories. It's an SF game.

    You can download a starter pack from the website here:
  • edited May 2012
    [Sens 1]
    Posted By: GB SteveWhen I say inspired by, the game's aim is to take the players on a metaphysical journey which will lead them to understand and challenge W's theories. It's an SF game.
    This is a little bizarre, because unlike even philosophies which people believed in at the time (like Plato, Aristotle, 17th 18th century stuff, etc) where it would be fun to believe in them like they did, even Wittgenstein--not many years later--totally tossed the Tractatus in the shitter when he came to the revelations that would later become his Philosophical Investigations. So it would be like challenging something that the guy who himself wrote pretty much went "oh, hey I was wrong; flush that turd, never mind it; Here's what's Really Going On").

    It kinda smells of a Philosophy 101 teacher sneakily asking his student about "The Mind/Body Problem" to generate debate, which most human beings agree hasn't been a real problem for over a hundred years ("Uh, the 'mind' is actually a PART of the body, The End. Can we move on to James/Dewey/Rorty now?").

    In other words, why the Tractatus, and not Philosophical Investigations? Is that discussed?

    EDIT: I looked at the starter kit, which I can read about 5% of :-) , but I noticed the character sheet actually has language more seeped in contemporary French sociology (Baudrillard: Re Simulacra) than Witt (Tractatus era or PI era). Or maybe Simulacra is just a more popularly used word in French these days?

    EDIT2: But damn, it's very pretty. Great, gorgeous concept art!
  • edited May 2012
    I wrote a few more situation generators recently. They are here, and are free.

    Transgression is for situations about social movements, and got a fair bit of loving so far.

    Predator Souls is for monster hunts.

    Nine Rooms is for dungeon-building, and is new as of today. It's also longer than the others, at 11 pages.

    The example situations for each are set in Tenocha, the setting I'm working on.
  • Those situations generators are really neat! They're similar to the town creation rules in Dogs, and the episode creation rules in Smallville, in that they give you some support for coming up with messy situations. Good stuff!
  • [situation generators 2]

    Love these! Great job with the examples too, Levi.
  • DC Superhero Draft! If you're on Google+, head over here and throw us some plusses - voting ends tomorrow and so far the turnout has been fairly light. As it stands, I'm in a three-way tie for lead with Jared Sorensen and Michael Miller...other participants include Judd Karlman, Rich Rogers, Paul Czege, and Michael McDowell.

    DC Superhero Draft Pitches
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: NeilThose situations generators are really neat! They're similar to the town creation rules in Dogs, and the episode creation rules in Smallville, in that they give you some support for coming up with messy situations. Good stuff!

    There's a strong reason for the first "feels like":

    Broken Places is directly a hack-up of Dogs, originally for a game where I wanted the villain to be clear.

    And Transgression started from me musing on "How would you play the townsfolk in a Dogs game?"
  • edited May 2012
    Hope it's OK to mention that my book, Leaving Mundania, a narrative nonfiction exploration of larp, came out May 1. It covers the larp scene in the US and my trip to Knudepunkt last year. I think some folks here may be interested.

    I've had some nice mainstream press coverage, including this BBC video spot, and there's plenty more planned.
  • [1] Leaving Mundania
    It's a really interesting book - Lizzie relates larp to the roots of the hobby in a way that's very approachable for non-gamers, and her expeditions into everything from monthly boffer larps to military training exercises are simultaneously funny and fascinating. Well worth reading!
  • edited May 2012
    [Leaving Mundania 2]

    I wrote a review of Leaving Mundania.

    Short version - it's arguably the best "mainstream media" presentation of larp to date. Well researched on several fronts, including lots of different types of larp and larp-like activities, most of which she participated in herself as well as reading up on (the chapter where she actually ran her own larp event - and a pretty big one at that - is one of my favorites).

    And it's a fun read for both gamer and non-gamer alike.
  • The official playing cards of Go Play Northwest??

  • [1] Flusterstuck
    How euphemistic.
  • edited May 2012
    Don't miss World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements when it broadcasts on public television in your area.

    Check the Public Television Broadcast Schedule linked from that page.


    [edited to fix the link]
  • edited May 2012
    [World Peace 1]

    Thanks, Paul! I'd seen this in my RSS feed and totally forgotten to post it...and forgetten to check what time it would be on, I know! :)

    EDIT@Hans: Another thing I forgot to mention. lol
  • [World Peace 2]

    The link has an extra " at the end of it, which makes it unusable. If you click it, go into your broswer and delete the quote mark at the end, then reload, and you'll get it.
  • edited May 2012
    If anyone doesn't already know about it, Puzzle Strike 3rd Edition and (especially) the Shadows Expansion (of which the Kickstarter has a week left) have me all kinds of excited!

    Also damn you, Andy, for first introducing me to the print-and-play version of Yomi. One super-bundle-deal later, I'm the proud owner of every tabletop game Sirlin makes. And will own this when it comes out, too. Folks, let me just say this: Puzzle Strike is HOT. Own it.
  • edited May 2012
    [Puzzle Strike 1] So, I own and like Puzzle Strike(1st)...But isn't it kind of a bit much to have a new edition every year? Or is the anual versioning just poking inspirational fun at the Street Fighter II Turho Hyper Fighting Championship Edition Ad Infinitum?
  • [Puzzle Strike 2]

    You know, I didn't know about that until you'd brought it up. Sirlin talks about using just the rules PDF with the 2nd edition chips, as not THAT much has changed (insofar as the two player game; the multiplayer is wildly different), but the box itself is going to fit everything from the word go, I'd like to not have to refer to the rules during play insofar as possible, and I definitely want the Shadows game. So yeah, kind of a mixed bag of feelings at this point. Thanks for the info, Matthew! And at least check out the rules PDF for the newer multiplayer modes. And the FAQ, for those couple of differences. I'm thinking they'd have a significant impact on the game. For example, Combines cost you now.
  • Story Gamers! We've had some fun playing Terraria, Minecraft and other stuff together. How about Deepworld? I'd love for this game to become a thing but I only just bumped into it and there are only seven days of Kickstarter left. Wanna help out?
  • [Deepworld 1]
    Seems cool... But I'm not sold on the 2D.

    And Minecraft for Android now has creepers, animals, and crafting, so I'm sort of all-good anyway! :D
  • [Flusterstuck 2]

    That Simian Playing Cards set looks awesome. I love unique playing cards especially ones with heavy use of illustrations. I usually don't buy just to collect though, so the mention on the site of the cards being plastic-coated worries me a bit - those kind of cards usually don't last too long.
  • Josh Roby's new project "Vicious Crucible" is very cool. There's a first scenario available to download. It's a pre-packaged scenario/light system (like Lady Blackbird) and looks like it will be a lot of fun to play.

    He's got a Kickstarter for part two going, ransoming part two and allowing funders to vote for which scenario they want.
  • You've all seen Avengers and you're all 5 Second Films addicts like myself, so you've already seen 5sf Assemble, right?

    The Worst Extra in Hollywood should get his own movie.
  • 150 RPG Crowdfunding Projects - Results & Analysis...

    The most amazingly detailed report I've seen on what works and doesn't work in crowdfunding RPGs.

    - What are the best goals to set? Less or more?
    - What's the average contribution?
    - What's the average number of backers?
    - How important are videos? Images?
    - Do FAQs, Updates, Industry Experience matter?
    - Who produces more successful projects, Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
    - Which Book Formats are more successful, PDF, Softcover, or Hardcover?
    - What are the most common kinds of rewards?
    - Do soft rewards matter? (credits, signed copies, naming rights)
    - What are the top 20 successful RPG projects in terms number of backers, money raised, money per backer, and more?
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