You are small people who walked into a big war. The Doomslord’s forces were gathered in the Broken Land, and your fellowship unexpectedly played a key role in the Doomslord’s fall. Now, laden with stories to tell and burdens to bear, you set off on the journey home. But the Doomslord’s Hunters are still out there, and it’s a long way to walk. Let’s see if you can make it Back Again from the Broken Land with a storytelling game of small adventurers and a journey home from Cloven Pine Games!
Continue reading Back Again from the Broken Land Review – Small Heroes, Heavy Burdens, and Stories →
You might be knights or fencers with your blades crossed for sport or mortal combat. But what if you were hackers vying for control of a contested server? A murderer and the aggrieved loved one avenging their victim? What if you’re assassins and ex-girlfriends, or in a boxing match, or a bar fight, or even just a school talent show? So, who will you be? What will you do? There’s only one way to find out. Pick your weapons, push the limits, flourish your capes whenever justifiable, and play through a session of I Have The High Ground from Jess Levine!
Continue reading I Have The High Ground Review – Dueling Wits and Flourished Capes →
I’m the town’s new librarian, which also means I’m its only librarian. It’s a small town out in the middle of nowhere, known as little more than a good place to stop for a break when traveling back roads between the larger cities. Nice views, decent diner, ‘quaint’ town center. I moved here to get away and get some privacy for my own writing, and the fact that I’m an author is probably why I was offered the job in the first place. I accepted the offer because, well, a town without a library just isn’t right. I’m not sure what was in this space before I got it, but it should do. There are two sets of shelves built into the walls behind a small counter, and a small round table with two old wooden chairs between the counter and the windowfront. The town let me grab whatever space I needed, but support for actually filling the shelves doesn’t seem to be a thing. That’s alright. I will fill this library myself if I have to.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: I Will Fill This Library Myself If I Have To →
Welcome to the Crowdfunding Carnival for the month of June in this two thousand and twenty secondth year! Not to worry, Aaron is fine – just lost on a bike somewhere in the continental US, definitely not my fault. While he’s away I’ve snuck in and nicked his top hat and baton and gone looking for some tabletop roleplaying game crowdfunding attractions that are worth your time and possibly your money. There are chaotic cafes, regency scandals, vibrant seas, divine tales, monster-collecting kids, meta games, and exigent exalts along with a few observations from my unusual perspective up on this stage. So, without further ado, on with the show!
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: June, 2022 →
I am a huge fan of mechs and their amazing pilots. I love to watch their heroics on the news; I visit when pilots come to my town; I own multiple letterman jackets emblazoned with mech pilots’ insignias. I’m burdened with the dream of piloting and eclipsed by the fear that I will never be more than a spectator. I love that which is unfathomably above me, as they exchange Laser Beams Like So Many Stars.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Laser Beams Like So Many Stars →
“Unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.” That’s one of the legal definitions of force majeure, and I can think of a few examples. Getting discovered by a dark figure known as Tenth Brother might prevent you from fulfilling a work contract, or the ‘contract’ that is your prison sentence. An “irresistible compulsion or greater force” is another definition, and an offer you can’t refuse to retrieve an artifact from a strange wasteland certainly fits the bill. However, that second definition is also a pretty good description of the reasons Why You Should Listen to the podcast known as Force Majeure. You know how it goes: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Continue reading Cold Fires, Jedi Shadows, and Creativity: Why You Should Listen To Force Majeure →
Everyone who is part of the story touches Destiny in some way. Even if they are not the heroes. Even if they are not even named in the pages. I am a master bladesmith, the keeper of the Sacred Forge. My blades are renowned for their strength, sharpness, and harmony.
A holy sword does not come from nowhere. It does not materialize from starlight and a wish. It is built through effort, honed through attention, and consecrated by a powerful heart. They will not name me in the story. But my blade will never be forgotten.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Sacred Forge →
There was something in the air last week. We talk all the time about playing roleplaying games, and last week Aaron focused on Collecting them. When we went to gather up content for the Weekend Update, it turned out the hive mind was in agreement with us: playing, collecting, and reading are all different iterations of the roleplaying game hobby. So what, then, of reading? Collectable items grant satisfaction simply by possessing them, but play is the main event, right? Surely, if you only ever read a roleplaying game book but never get to play its game, it gets relegated to the Shelf of Shame? Well, if the hobby is a Playing/Collecting/Reading Venn Diagram, I’m going to zoom in on that Reading section and explore what I think is another Venn Diagram for the motives behind that reading: Learning, Research, and Enjoyment.
Continue reading On Being An RPG Reader →
A figure stands in an ancient ruin, bare feet on crumbling stone to make it easier to leap and climb. Her gown is far too fine, representing her dual heritage as the daughter of two kingdoms, bitter rivals only joined through her. Her sword, much too dark, hungers for legacy, fame, immortality via story and myth.
At the princess’ coming of age ceremony, an uninvited guest gifted her with a sword, then vanished, laughing, into smoke. She cannot put it down until she finds the place it came from.
So she has come.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Princess With A Cursed Sword →
I’ve spent years adventuring through the mysterious, whimsical, dangerous lands of HORIZON PROPHECY ONLINE, a science fantasy MMORPG that peaked at about 161,000 concurrent players. The game always had a scope and reach too ambitious for its budget, but now, with daily player counts in the hundreds, the studio has announced that they’re shutting down HPO for good. With four hours to go before the servers are switched off, I decided to create a new toon and go through the starting area one last time, as a final farewell to the world I’ve given so much of my time.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: A Requiem for Horizon Prophecy Online: The Final Four →