The Secret Indie Underbelly of RinCon

My alternate clickbait-y title was The Sordid Secret Small Press Scene at RinCon. I kind of wish it actually was any of those things, but it's not: we just wrapped up RinCon, a very mainstream, lovely, family-friendly gaming convention in Tucson, Arizona. And I played a bunch of small-press stuff while I was there. RinCon… Continue reading The Secret Indie Underbelly of RinCon

Certain Values of Fun

My current Godbound game has gotten me thinking about games that have taken measures to ensure they’re fun to facilitate. I mean…running games is its own reward, of course. I could speculate as to why: my frustrated creative impulses as a failed novelist are high on my own list, as is the pleasure of hosting… Continue reading Certain Values of Fun

Urban Shadows: Unkept Promises and Promises Never Made

I’ve been running Urban Shadows for a while now, seven sessions to be exact, and our session last night was so aggravating that I’m having trouble writing about it. I’ve run a campaign of it in the past, I’ve run several one-shots of it at various conventions, but I’m left wondering if maybe I’m just… Continue reading Urban Shadows: Unkept Promises and Promises Never Made

Pattern Completion and Intermittent Rewards

The greatest gaming lab ever created is the Las Vegas casino industry. That lab's most significant finding is that humans crave two things in games: pattern completion and intermittent rewards. I've been thinking lately about how my favorite games leverage both of those monkey-level impulses. In particular, I've been thinking about how the very best… Continue reading Pattern Completion and Intermittent Rewards

The Perils of Running One-Shots

Several years ago, I wrote an essay about introducing the intensity of one-shot play to your ongoing home campaign/season/whatever. It's a good essay, I still stand behind it, but my good intentions are coming back to bite me in the ass in our new Urban Shadows campaign.A couple bits, for context: First, I'm still coming off… Continue reading The Perils of Running One-Shots