Archive for the ‘Actual Play’ Category

Play Passionately

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Hello, 🙂

So, while reading a random (yet rather heavy) thread on Anyway, I came across a link to Play Passionately.

It’s sort of a mini-blog by Jesse Burneko in which he waxes poetically about how he likes to play RPGs.

Thing is, it’s a lot more than that. It is, in fact, a high-density wisdom container.

It’s short enough that you can read it from the top all the way through in about an hour or so. If you’re interested in role-playing at all, I strongly urge you to do so.

Recently, I played a mildly successful game of PTA. As play goes, it wasn’t un-fun, but it was far from the hallmark of awesome I know I can get from PTA. One of the players said she didn’t really like the game at all. Her character “did things she would never do”.

At the time, I didn’t really understand what she was talking about.

Now, I do.


XPs, Rewards and Pacing

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Hoy, 🙂

So, after a two-year absence over at the Forge, I started a new Actual Play discussion there:

[3.x/4e] Encounter XPs are not a reward, they are a pacing mechanism

I could have posted it here, but I’d rather tap into their collective wisdom, on this particular topic. 🙂


Back from Gaming

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Hello, all, 🙂

Lisbon is a very quiet place at 5AM on a Monday morning, which is the time we finally rolled the car into the garage after a gruelling, yet utterly satisfying, eleven-day RPG marathon retreat.

Yes, that’s right, eleven days. We left home just before midnight on Wednesday, the 6th, bound for the Algarve, a place called Chinicato (just outside the city of Lagos, and no, not Nigeria), which is about a two and a half hour drive. Then, for eleven straight days, we did nothing but eat, sleep and play RPGs.

We played Spirit of the Century, Dust Devils, Sorcerer and Mortail Coil, but mostly, we played Primetime Adventures. A whole five-episode-plus-pilot season, which, incidentally, marked my wife’s debut as head of the table, and she did a great job, so make sure to pat her on the back next time you see her!

As available time and energy permit, I’ll be posting Actual Play for all that stuff at the Forge (where else), and I’ll be editing this post for links, so stay tuned and be patient. 😉

Anyway, it was a good week-and-a-half, but there’s no place like home, and I can’t wait to get back to my regularly scheduled weekly gaming.

In other news, it looks like my new anti-spam thingie isn’t working either. Bah…

Go Play!


2007-06-23: PTA Actual Play
2007-07-21: Sorcerer I Actual Play

Anatomy of a D&D Campaign

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Hello, all, 🙂

Six months and a couple of posts ago, I injected a few paragraphs on a D&D campaign I’ve been running, and I was asked to expand on what changed, what didn’t, how I play, how I don’t, do I like the rain, what about the color green interests me, and a bunch of other assorted queries of varied relevance.

Today, on the eve of our next RPG retreat, I decided to get this task out of the way. So, without further ado, I present to you an Anatomy of a Campaign!


Where, Oh, Where Can He Be?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Hey, all, 🙂

Yeah, it’s been a while…

Basically, this last trimester has been hard on my time, what with all the work, but especially, all the gaming. Seriously, these past few months, I have taken Tuesday nights off to specifically not game.

Sunday night is board game night. Monday and Wednesday are ASL nights. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are RPG nights. Heavy! 🙂

And then, there’s work. The life of a freelancer is somewhat chaotic and unpredictable, but this is ridiculous. From October on, a number of different projects fell on my lap, every single one of which is “vital, and must be completed before the end of the year”. Of course, I could turn some down, only, I really shouldn’t… 😉

But mainly, the reason I haven’t written in a while is that, frankly, there’s nothing to write. True, I did fall out of sync with most blogs I’ve been tracking, not to mention Story Games, which means my ear isn’t exactly on the grapevine. Mostly, however, my own gaming has been on the money, so there’s really nothing new to say.

Still, just so I don’t get out of the habit too much, I thought I’d take this opportunity to recount my more recent RPG exploits.


The Man in the Black Velvet Mask

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Hello, all, 🙂

And welcome to my latest diatribe on game play and design techniques. This little essay is called:

A Study on Stances, Authorities, and Shared Narration Rights

GM: You are attacked by a man in a black velvet mask.
Player: I spin around and strike at his face, tearing his mask right off!
GM: Guess what, it’s Barnabas, the stable keeper!
Player: No kidding? Holy shit!
(Adapted from an example provided by Ron Edwards in this thread.)

Aside: Most, if not all, of what I say here can be gleaned directly from that thread, by the way, so really, you should go read it. This essay is really just my attempt at explaining these concepts in my own words, as a way of fostering my own understanding, as well as that of any hypothetical persons that might still be a tad lost about all this stuff. So, really, go read the thread before you read this. 🙂


A Hero Moves On

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Hey, all, 🙂

Duval, the elven Ammenite with a conscience, is no more.

In the brief days of his existence, he participated in a full moon feast, chased a manipulative rascal, made friends, saved lives, got fallen in love with, was imprisoned, rescued, ambushed, fought, and was called a traitor, and then a hero.

In his finest hour, he single-handedly fought and defeated over fifteen of his own countrymen, who, acting on the orders of the commander of a much more sizeable force, were poised to stage a large-scale invasion of his friends’ land.

Through his actions, he stopped the invasion on its tracks and went on to end the war itself. Of course, in the long run, the Ammenites can’t be trusted, but for the time being, at least, the Khaleans can sleep soundly.

And when it was all over, he walked off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

Actual Play at The Forge, as usual, with some substantive content regarding the game play, and yes, I’m being immodest about it. 😉


Shadow of Yesterday AP Report Up

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Hello, all, 🙂

After a looooong delay, I’ve finally managed to post an Actual Play report on our TSoY sessions during the most awesomest June Retreat.

The actual AP report lives here and is rather long.

Because it might be useful, I also posted the initial situation here.

Lastly, I posted all the keys we came up with here.

Also, this marks the end of my reporting regarding the retreat. I posted about My Life with Master here, about Torchbearer here, and about The 101 here and here.

Up next, I’ll be trying to collect some thoughts I’ve had about Dogs in the Vineyard, which have been gathering dust in the back of my mind.


A Galactic Galaxy

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Hello, all, 🙂

Last weekend, we playtested Galactic, the new game by Matt Wilson, of PtA fame. As is rapidly becoming a tradition of mine, I’m going to post the in-game stuff we generated here, while the actual playtest comments will be emailed to the game author.

The players were me as GM, my wife Ana, Ricardo, and Rogério, at whose house we were playing.

Because that’s where the book begins, I’m going to start with the Ship Captains:


My Life with Master AP Report Up

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Hey, 🙂

At the Forge, where else? Linky thingy.