Categories
Actual Play Table Top

Adventures of the Smartwood Kids – Ken’s 11th Birthday (adventure 3, part 2)

The kids and I get back into another story of the Smartwood kids (a ‘kids on bikes’ hack of Lasers and Feelings) – this time, it’s all about the weird runic symbols on Ken’s whiffleball bat, and how they got there in the first place.

Here’s the video (with slightly leveled audio, because my kids are noisy).

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Dark Designs in Verdigris – Session 2

Jamie and Kaylee get together and continue their misadventures in Oz Below.

Also, we’re doing kind of a hacked system, blending DDiV with Ironsworn; I liked the idea of two emerald dice opposing the characters in Moves. Also, it’s nice to bring in progress charts for goals and fights. We’re keeping Talents from DDiV and using them in place of Momentum, which works really nicely and also dials the game tone from ‘grim’ to ‘challenging and rough, since you can use them more often, but REALLY need a friend to take full advantage,’ which matches the tone/setting nicely.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Dark Designs in Verdigris – Session 1

Back in November, during a Masks dry spell, Jamie and Kaylee got together and started up something unsavory in Verdigris, the fallen city of Oz Below. Here’s the recording.

We’re playing again this weekend.

Categories
Actual Play Table Top

Adventures of the Smartwood Kids – Ken’s 11th Birthday (adventure 3, part 1)

The kids and I get back into another story of the Smartwood kids (a ‘kids on bikes’ hack of Lasers and Feelings) – this time, it’s all about the weird runic symbols on Ken’s whiffleball bat, and how they got there in the first place.

Here’s the video (with slightly leveled audio, because my kids are noisy).

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks PA: Session 18, Part 2 – 2019-12-23 – It’s Comfort AND Support!

The team finally frees Colin from the Invictus addiction, drives back Cephalos, and learns more about the terrible psychic squid’s history.

(And there was, as the title suggests, a LOT of comfort and supports.)

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks PA: Session 18, Part 1 – 2019-12-22 – It’s Comfort AND Support!

The team finally frees Colin from the Invictus addiction, drives back Cephalos, and learns more about the terrible psychic squid’s history.

(And there was, as the title suggests, a LOT of comfort and supports.)

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks PA, Session 17, “My Head Hurts from Screaming – 2019-12-01

The team has had several months to track down clues bout Invictus. Ember does science. Palacine works on Colin. Sil makes connections in school. Everyone fights some invictus-powered criminals.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

The Smartwood Kids: Session 5 (Halloween, pt 2)

We (myself, Kaylee, Sean, and Zoe) continue the adventures of Marzipan, Kenilworth, and Zoology Smartwood, as they defend the town from alien invasion on Halloween.

Categories
Actual Play MMO & Computers

Minecraft – Underwater Edition

The family and I spend a bit of time playing Minecraft. One way we spend that time is on Testertopia, a realm server we can access via Switch, Windows 10, iPad, Android… whatever.

Just lately, we found an ocean (finally), and after battling it out with some Guardians for control of an ancient ruin, we got the necessary stuff together for a new… thing.

A really pretty thing.

Basically, a new base in the middle of the ocean, underwater, in the middle of a coral reef, with a permanent breath water effect for about 60 or 70 blocks in all directions. It’s great. Here’s some pictures…

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks: Phoenix Academy – Session 16 – Invictus Sucks / Tater Tots in Space!

The group argues about what to do about Invictus, and finally settles on sunbathing, snacks… and blowing up a space ship.

The image for this session goes with events at around 2:15:00, give or take.

Also, check out 2:20:45 for a preview of Masks: Phoenix Academy – The Musical!

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks: Phoenix Academy – Session 15 – Regroup, Fail, Repeat

Intro Video!

It’s Kaylee’s birthday, and the end of the first week of REAL LIFE high school for our players, so between birthday cake, rehashing school, decompression, and half the team needing an early bedtime for marching band practice the next morning…

… and introducing some totally amazing character art I got commissioned for the girls (art by charcooll on Instagram) …

It was a pretty short session. Thank goodness we’ve had the good play-by-post action going on.

It’s gym class, and S.U.R.G.E. has everyone fighting annoying opponents in 1v1s. It doesn’t go well, but hey: everyone gets potential?

Also: Palacine thinks everything going wrong is her fault.

Categories
Actual Play Table Top

Hogwarts RPG

Spent the afternoon playing Hogwarts with the kids. Elici Davies (fifth year Hufflepuff), Emma Quinn (1st year Gryffindor), and Will Finnegan (third year Ravenclaw) are ‘siblings’ fostered by the same magic-friendly muggle family.

I asked them for something weird that happens on the train ride (while will studied “A New History of Hogwarts” and ate chocolate frogs and Elici made corrections in her Potions book), and Emma/Zoe told us about the turtle drawing on the cabin wallpaper that animated and started turtling around!

In seconds, dozens of animals were rising up out of the wallpaper all through the train car, causing chaos. Elici went and got the prefects, Emma gathered up animals, and Will took some guesses about what might have caused it; his best guess – a much BIGGER version of a transmutation/animation spell that had rippled out and affected the train.

We have… a mystery!

Categories
Actual Play Online Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy play-by-posts, Sessions 14.1, 14.2, and 14.3

We’ve had a looooooong stretch where we’ve been unable to play Masks with my daughter’s group. To deal with the withdrawal, I ran solo play-by-post things with each player, both to move some plotlines and, at their request, get some time with their boyfriends. It went really well! (Some players take to PbP better than others, and I’ve never been great at keeping such things up in the long term, but for this, it was pretty awesome.)

Anyway, for the sake of completeness, here’s are links to the three “between” arcs that happened.

Session 15 tonight! I am excited.

Categories
Actual Play Table Top

More on the Adventures of the Smartwoods

The kids and I played the aforementioned Bikes and Books game a couple times over the weekend and Monday night, getting the Smartwood kids ever closer to figuring out how and why the Assistant Principle is trying to change the town’s history to make an entirely different list of people the heroes of Fayville’s illustrious past.

Mar, the eldest, took particular umbrage at the last history-changing ritual, which seems to have replaced recognition of the towns many great women with “Men of Industry”, during the middle of a town parade. She even thought she’d managed to stop the man from affecting his diabolical plan, but although she immobilized him with some magic of her own, the magic still went off, albeit with lessened effect.

Something is going on that the kids just don’t understand. Someone else was in the Assistant Principle’s house the night Ken snuck in and found the room behind the giant clock in the house’s cupola tower – someone with a limp and cane… neither of which the AP has.

They need answers, and the only way to get them is sneaking back into that house.

This time, together.

Categories
Links & Resources Online Table Top Scheduling Table Top

Calling on the Hivemind

Anyone have good suggestions for phone / app friendly play by post platforms or tools?

The Masks game I play with my daughter and two of her friends hit a real high note with the most recent session, but it looks like we won’t be able to get back to the table until almost mid-August. Need something for asynchronous one-on-one play with a generation that associates “email” with “homework.”

Also, they’re going to be on the road a lot, so something that requires a PC for best experience is not recommended.

Categories
Actual Play Game Design Links & Resources Table Top

The Smartwood Children (a Lasers and Feelings hack for my kids)

This weekend has been chock-a-block with face to face gaming goodness with cool kids.

Friday was the 14th session of Masks: Phoenix Academy game with Kaylee and the Jamies and, I think, possibly one of the best sessions so far. (Which is good, because we’re not going to be able to play again until something like mid-August. :sadface: )

Sunday morning had a return to the The Hollow-inspired game for Sean and Zoe and Kaylee (Ryu and Grace and Angel). Things are starting to come apart, and Mr. Weirdo came to them to ask for help(?!?)

And Sunday evening, we tried something new: a Hilda-inspired weird-little-town, with Sean and Zoe and Kaylee playing siblings who are all part of the family who traditionally deal with ‘weird stuff’ in the world. Mom and Dad handle the BIG weird stuff out in the world, because “the town kind of takes care of itself” – without realizing that it’s actually their KIDS who take care of the town.

Back in the old country, their family were the Swartwoods. Grandpa changed his name when he came here, though, so say hello the Smartwoods: Mar (Marzipan), Ken (Kennelworth), and Zo (Zoology) Smartwood.

It’s basically a little bit Hilda (netflix), a little bit Courtney Crumrin, a little bit Goonies, set in the sort of town where this sort of thing happens and everyone sort of knows it, played with a Lasers and Feelings hack I made up called Bikes and Books.

The characters and game came together well and, after supper, we got ready for bed and played some more in lieu of bedtime stories. The Smartwood kids ran into a little trouble with the town deputies when Ken broke into the new Assistant Principle’s house to poke around, and they haven’t figured out why the town history seems to be … changing … but things are moving RIGHT along.

Good, good stuff.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 14 – “Personally, I Vote for Monotone Screaming”

Intro Video!

brahmaThe team has a LOT of stuff going on. A LOT. So much happens, you guys.

It’s one of those sessions where the most common roll is Take a Powerful Blow.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 13 – Fifty-five Minutes

The team plays super-powered musical chairs. Amazingly, no one dies.

Many chairs were harmed in the filming of this episode.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 12 – Meet the Parents

The team members each have a sort-of date… to meet their boyfriends’ parents.

Oh, and it seem like Vanquish is sneaking secret soldiers onto the planet or something. Whatever.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 11 – Whoop Whoop, Whoopity Whoop

The team gets ready for homecoming, deals with adults being adults, faces off against Ember’s mom and, FINALLY, make it to the dance.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 10 – Midterms Meltdown

The team deals with midterm drama.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 9 – Stop Trying to Cauterize My Wounds!

The team faces off against Alias and his crew, INSIDE their base.

Also, Palancine pretends to be Ember. It’s goes SUPER.

Categories
Actual Play Online Table Top Random Podcast

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 8 – Jiggety Jig

The team figures out Alias’s diversion and block his access to the computer servers at their (previously, his) base.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

Psi*Run – Oneshot Actual play

Palacine’s Jamie is out of town, so we can’t play Masks. Instead Kaylee, Ember-Jamie, and I blast through a one-shot session of Psi-Run, by Meguey Baker. It delivers.

Categories
Actual Play Online Table Top Random Podcast

Masks, Phoenix Academy, Session 7 – Nice and Broken

Sil catches up with Maria, and gets told.

Ember gets lectured by AEGIS a bit.

Palacine gets some advice from Collin and… kisses him? Unexpectedly? What?

The team meets up in the base and give Patrol a call.

After talking with Patrol, the team splits up.

Ember has a date with Riptide.

Sil has a date with Jack?

Palacine is figuring out an tracker that will help them locate Alias.

Palacine USES the tracker and realizes Alias is waiting for Sil where Jack was supposed to be.

We end on a cliffhanger. There are protests.

Categories
Musing Online Table Top Table Top

A Potentially Gaming Heavy Weekend

Back to the fun stuff.
Tonight, the first proper session of Apocalypse World: Ironwall with Kate and Kim and Amanda.

Sunday, Masks: Phoenix Academy with Kaylee and Jaime and Jaime.

Monday, Scum & Villainy: The Fast Buck, with the regular crew.

(Also possibly boardgame night with coworkers on Saturday.)

I’ve got a leeeettle bit of stress about all this, since

  1. The Ironwall game hasn’t quite clicked yet, and I’ve gotten a bit of dead silence from the players when asking some questions. Things are starting off with a pretty high-tension scene, so one way or the other things are going to be MOVING straight away… (just hope it’s not “off a cliff”).
  2. Scum & Villainy is… not a great match for the regular crew. We’ve talked about it, and there’s enough interest in both the story we’re doing and in NOT changing systems mid-game that we’ve collectively agreed to keep on keepin’ on, but it’s still A Thing. (We haven’t even gotten into Resistance Rolls, which are probably my least favorite mechanic in a pile of unloved toys.)

SO: lots of gaming to look forward too, but a few landmines to look out for at the same time.

Categories
Musing

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.

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

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.

Categories
Actual Play Links & Resources Musing Online Table Top Table Top

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

Categories
Actual Play Random Podcast Table Top

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.