The Cudgel and the Contract

One of the most interesting play-aesthetic gaps in gaming to me is the chasm between how players want to resolve in-game social conflicts. You can prefer natural, normal talking, or you can prefer going to the dice. Maybe some folks don’t feel strongly about social conflict resolution, but I haven’t met them. It should come… Continue reading The Cudgel and the Contract

Guest Column: Playing With History

I’ve run an awful lot of history-themed RPGs and written a few. It’s an area I love gaming in, both taken straight, and mixed with a dose of fantastic elements. Yet I would be doing the topic an injustice if I did not admit there are difficulties, both in subject matter and attitudes. So what… Continue reading Guest Column: Playing With History

Conflict Resolution is Indie Gaming on Hard Mode

We started playing Nathan Paoletta’s Imp of the Perverse last week. It’s a funky, specific horror game that evokes Edgar Allan Poe vibes in 1830s-1850s Jacksonian America. Playing the first session reminded me about how hard I find conflict resolution games. Imp of the Perverse is squarely in that camp of design. Conflict resolution is… Continue reading Conflict Resolution is Indie Gaming on Hard Mode

In It For the Long Haul

One thing this pandemic year is teaching me is the pleasure and necessity of longer-term play. Because the quality of roleplaying has, in my experience, been diminished – playing via video is both lo-fi and exhausting – I try to make up for it with quantity. We’re several months into an Impulse Drive campaign with… Continue reading In It For the Long Haul