How to Train Your (Kid to Love Dungeons and) Dragon(s)

I’m probably (definitely) projecting, but the bit in How to Train Your Dragon where Hiccup and Astrid bring their kids to meet Toothless and Stormfly is a kind of “passing on this wonderful, magical secret in an otherwise mundane world” that really makes me think of introducing your kids to tabletop roleplaying.

When their daughter’s eyes open wide and light up?

Yeah, that’s what it’s like.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 49 – Are you going to Shoot Jeff Goldblum?, part 2

6 or less, uh, finds a way.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Apocalypse World, “Ironwall” Session 0.5, part 2

Kim, Kate, Amanda, and I work out the rest of Session 0 world/character building, and set up the opening scene for session 1.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 49 – Are you going to Shoot Jeff Goldblum?, part 1

6 or less, uh, finds a way.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 48 – Time Tumble, part 2

Harry has trouble with a date.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks – Phoenix Academy – Session 6 – Date Night in Cloud Cuckoo Land

The team faces off against Oversight’s disapproval, then (finally) gets their date night with the bois.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 48 – Time Tumble, part 1

Harry has trouble with a date.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 47 – #grounded4lyfe, part 2

Jordan got a doggo.

Concord returns from the future, and talks to his family. Radiance shows up at the house and is invited in to visit.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 47 – #grounded4lyfe, part 1

Jordan got a doggo.

Concord returns from the future, and talks to his family. Radiance shows up at the house and is invited in to visit.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 46 – Don’t Crush the Chips!

Members of the Menagerie, and some of their older analogues, exchange personal moments, confessions, and triumphs.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Looking Back at a Remarkably RPG-heavy Week

I’ve been lucky enough to have a regular gaming group for Some Time Now (thanks, #Roll20 !) – I don’t have the hard numbers, but I think we’re averaging ~48-50 game sessions a year in the main Monday night group.

The weekend just past was a bit of a jackpot.

On Friday night, I ran Session 0 chargen for a game of Apocalypse World, using the Baker’s new “Burned Over” playbooks, for a ‘fey revenge’ apocalypse that sees humanity clinging to survival in the ruins of rust-filled cities where the fey can’t easily reach. The notable bit with this game is it’s with three people I haven’t gotten to play RPGs with in ~five years. (That this group also includes my wife speaks volumes about how rough co-scheduling can be, sometimes.) Kate, Kim, and Amanda are playing a Vigilant, Brain-picker, and Medic, respectively, leaving me to come up with a real bastard of a settlement leader and (maybe) set up some patriarchy-smashing revenge fantasy. I have some more meandering thoughts on how excited I am to be playing with this group of strong women, but I’m still unpacking that. More to come.

Saturday night was the fifth actual play-session of the #Masks game with my daughter and her two friends from school – the only game being played face-to-face. This game fills me with joy, because the girls are so utterly into the game and, while they certainly have some level of self-awareness about the tropes involved, are totally invested and have exactly ZERO CHILL when it comes to the events of the sessions. We’re all learning a lot, and there are some real growth opportunities, though not always smiles and glitter (my daughter, for example, paused play for few minutes to talk about how her frustration with trying to play a fun-loving, joke-y character when her instincts is to “get super tense and judgmental of people when they don’t do what I expect, which… blame my mother, pretty much.”

Sil is judging you. Or jealous you've got a date.

On Saturday, the girls showed up to play WEARING THEIR CHARACTERS’ NON-COSTUME CLOTHING. They cosplayed as their guys, people. My cup runneth over.

And, of course, there’s my regular Monday Roll20 group, who (while still continuing to write fiction and comics NON-STOP about their Masks characters), are now four sessions into a game of the forged-in-the-dark game Scum and Villainy. The crew of the Fast Buck are trying to lay low while they figure out what to do with the insanely valuable/powerful Ur Artifact they’ve accidentally acquired, while the players (and GM) slowly feel our way through a new game system. A good system, to be sure, but ‘fiddly’ feeling to us, after well over a year of playing a game with which we’d become very very comfortable. (Kaylee, who listens in on the Monday group while doing homework, opines: “each session feels like about… half a comic issue.” And she’s not wrong – we’re going pretty slow right now, probably due to me trying to get the rules ‘right’, and asking lots of background questions.)

SO: for the first time probably since before my oldest daughter was born, that’s THREE gaming sessions in a week, all with a completely different group of players (save me). Really fantastic.

#actualplay #rpg #fitd #masks #pbta

Actual Play: Masks Phoenix Academy, Session 5 – Snaking My Way Downtown

The team is in Belize. Ember melts Belize. Palacine snakes one of her palace guards out of a crater. Silhouette bleeds to protect the team. Repeatedly. Also she’s really bad at comfort & support.

Apocalypse World, Ironwall – Session 00

Kim, Kate, Amanda, and I get together to build an Apocalypse

We’re using the new Burned Over playbooks that Vincent’s releasing for “PG13 Apocalypse World.

(I don’t care about the rating, I DO care that the moves and playbooks feel more elegant and match much better what I’m looking for out of our relationship with the Maelstrom.)

All the other players are new to pbta-games. I’m new to AW itself.

Three women, playing three women, and no one picked the Lawgiver/Hardholder, so Imma put a real asshole in charge of the settlement and see if we can’t get a little Patriarchy Smashing Revenge Fantasy going…

I’m excited.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 45 – Doctor Infinity is a Purple

The Sepia Squad’s final showdown with Dr. Infinity.

Doctor Infinity’s starfish-robot questions Charade about Charlotte Palmer by sending itself through her timeline. Charade deflects attention onto Hecate and the HHL. Mercury rescues her from the object’s subsequent attack. While Link escapes with an older Jason Quill, Concord faces off against an older Sablestar, and manages to gain the upper hand. He siphons away her special sword, sending her fleeing. Ghost Girl and Jaycee extract the older Charlotte from Pandemonium. Together with an assembled army of ghosts, they wield forces that draw Infinity’s attention, but close the wound.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 44 – No One Beats up Jason Like Jason, part 2

Charlotte faces the I of the Storm.

Charade is disarming traps around the Wound site. She confronts Doctor Infinity, whose tech is involved in the traps and who intends to send her back to her home time. Charade manages to spring some of the traps on the android. Ghost Girl, Mercury, and Jaysee confront Pandemonium. Charlotte conjures a talisman – a comb with an image of her mother – to attempt to gain control. Mercury attempts to save JC, but the pair have to go back to rescue Charlotte as well, and the storm strikes, leaving JC to parry it. Concord and Link quickly double-team Facet and Sablestar, leaving Jason Quill behind. Leo tears through Jason’s nano-armor, stunning and mentally dominating him with a backup of his teenage mind stored in the Heart Factory.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 44 – No One Beats up Jason Like Jason, part 1

Charlotte faces the I of the Storm.

Charade is disarming traps around the Wound site. She confronts Doctor Infinity, whose tech is involved in the traps and who intends to send her back to her home time. Charade manages to spring some of the traps on the android. Ghost Girl, Mercury, and Jaysee confront Pandemonium. Charlotte conjures a talisman – a comb with an image of her mother – to attempt to gain control. Mercury attempts to save JC, but the pair have to go back to rescue Charlotte as well, and the storm strikes, leaving JC to parry it. Concord and Link quickly double-team Facet and Sablestar, leaving Jason Quill behind. Leo tears through Jason’s nano-armor, stunning and mentally dominating him with a backup of his teenage mind stored in the Heart Factory.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 43 – Our Enemies Revealed, part 2

A shade more difficult than we expected.

Ghost Girl, Charade, Mercury, and Jaycee enter the future Sepiaverse. Charlotte confronts her future self, revealed to be Pandemonium. Concord and Link launch to confront Jason Quill, along with a future Facet and Sablestar.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks Phoenix Academy, Actual Play – Session 4 – Skip Day

Everyone deals with some aftermath from Alias’s attack on the P.E. class. Some handle it better than others.

Ember talks with her brother, gets frustrated, takes an unauthorized skip-day with her chem-lab partner, who has… real chemistry.

Silhouette and her mentor are not getting on. With anyone, or each other.

Palacine is making friends with AEGIS, who thinks she’s just swell, and has a request for her…

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 43 – Our Enemies Revealed, part 1

A shade more difficult than we expected.

Ghost Girl, Charade, Mercury, and Jaycee enter the future Sepiaverse. Charlotte confronts her future self, revealed to be Pandemonium. Concord and Link launch to confront Jason Quill, along with a future Facet and Sablestar.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 42 – I’m Just Wild About Harrys, part 2

Things get a bit two Harry.

Mercury frees his future self, “FTM” (Future Timeline Mercury) from a confinement trap at the Gale estate. FTM returns to the Bot’s home base. The team discuss a plan for closing the rift between worlds, centered on Ghost Girl and Jaycee. Aside from them, Mercury and Charade will go to the Sepiaverse, leaving Link and Concord on this side to confront the future Jason Quill. Charade builds a machine to effect the transference.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 42 – I’m Just Wild About Harrys, part 1

Things get a bit two Harry.

Mercury frees his future self, “FTM” (Future Timeline Mercury) from a confinement trap at the Gale estate. FTM returns to the Bot’s home base. The team discuss a plan for closing the rift between worlds, centered on Ghost Girl and Jaycee. Aside from them, Mercury and Charade will go to the Sepiaverse, leaving Link and Concord on this side to confront the future Jason Quill. Charade builds a machine to effect the transference.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 41 – We’re in the Future, Let’s Split the Party!

This session is missing player-audio throughout. You can still pretty much figure out what’s going on. In summary…

Ghost Girl and Concord make contact with Jaycee, now a Grail Knight. Charade assembles a dossier on future events: Rook and Jason Quill are in alliance, They are using a rift, centered on a Rook factory, to manipulate probability in their favor, Sablestar is active. The team discusses their options and next steps. Consensus is that the factory should be destroyed, the rift closed, and Jason confronted. Link confronts the Bot and persuades him to make contact with Pneuma again. Mercury returns to his family home and encounters a figure in stasis, guarded by sentries.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks Phoenix Academy, Session 3 – Why I Hate Gym Class (or: The Secret of Jack-toast)

The team deals with the most horrible of school challenges – a Tuesday morning after a bad Monday.

Ember’s mom hates all supers, Palacine is being asked to explain human behavior, and Silhouette may have just told Jack Monday she’s copying his breakfast preferences.

Oh, and Alias tries to kill them during gym class or something. Whatever.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session Session 40 – Days of Future CRAP, part 2

The team learns that the mysterious “Bot” is a future Leo Snow. This Leo lost Pneuma to Rosa Rook and was depowered by a future Jason Quill, who now allies with Rook. Other members of the Menagerie, such as Concord and Mercury, are now unaccounted for. Our Mercury goes to find his future self. Ghost Girl discovers that Rook has turned the “wound energy” from Sepiaverse portals into an ubiquitous energy source.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 40 – Days of Future CRAP, part 1

The team learns that the mysterious “Bot” is a future Leo Snow. This Leo lost Pneuma to Rosa Rook and was depowered by a future Jason Quill, who now allies with Rook. Other members of the Menagerie, such as Concord and Mercury, are now unaccounted for. Our Mercury goes to find his future self. Ghost Girl discovers that Rook has turned the “wound energy” from Sepiaverse portals into an ubiquitous energy source.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 39 – Halycyon Beyond, part 2

A few days pass after the hospital attack. The team persuades AEGIS to release Vector. The Menagerie (including Aria, Otto, and the Phoenix) escorts Vector through a time gate to the future, to interview The Bot.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 39 – Halycyon Beyond, part 1

A few days pass after the hospital attack. The team persuades AEGIS to release Vector. The Menagerie (including Aria, Otto, and the Phoenix) escorts Vector through a time gate to the future, to interview The Bot.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks Phoenix Academy, Session 2 – The Non-Frolick

The team deals with teacher-pressure, social pressure, and a team-building exercise that goes sideways.

Everyone – especially Sil – had a rough time this session (except for Ember’s dice which were… hot), but they soldiered through, we had a good talk frustrating stuff, doubled down on the good stuff, and got a really nice reveal at the end that had everyone feeling a LOT better about everything, and SUPER excited about next session.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 38 – In the House of Flying Accusations, part 2

The three Universal Concordance agents open a hole in the hospital wall. Concord leads the charge. Ghost Girl and Mercury protect the hospital and its inhabitants, while Charade and Link counter-attack. The agents beg off, and trade recrimination with the Menagerie. Charade has been injured and will get treatment.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.

Masks, Menagerie Actual Play, Session 38 – In the House of Flying Accusations, part 1

The three Universal Concordance agents open a hole in the hospital wall. Concord leads the charge. Ghost Girl and Mercury protect the hospital and its inhabitants, while Charade and Link counter-attack. The agents beg off, and trade recrimination with the Menagerie. Charade has been injured and will get treatment.

Intro music by Mikhael Bureau.