Diceless in Finnish and other unfinished projects

26 July, 2011 at 11:40 am (Amber, dungeon crawling, game design, Ropecon, Solar system) (, , )

I developed the ideas of previous post a bit, cleaned them up, and wrote them down in Finnish. It is not done yet. It is free of copyright, so do whatever you will with or to it. Here’s the link: diceless

WordPress does not allow uploading .tex or .txt files, so if you want the .tex source for the PDF, feel free to ask. You can then recreate the PDF with LaTeX and easily modify it, change the appearance, remove the aesthetically unpleasing hyperlinks, or whatever you want to.

I also have two other PDFs that may have content of interest. I have not really worked on them for a while, and if I do so, it will include rewriting and in case of the old school project redesign from scratch. The projects are scifi material for Solar System (in Finnish) and yet another attempt at old school system (in English). Links: huomisenvarjot and OSrpg. A fair warning: The writing and presentation are horrible. These are more first drafts than anything else.

As previously, the .tex and .bib (bibliography) files are available on request.

Now I’m off to meet relatives and then to Ropecon, where I’m running one throne war of Amber diceless and one town of Dogs. Back online after a bit more than a week.

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Some observations on Dogs in the Vineyard

14 February, 2010 at 10:02 pm (actual play, game mastering) (, , )

I have up to this point game mastered three, I think, sessions proper of Dogs (hereafter DitV) plus one character generation session. There is a pool of six players (plus me as the GM) and we handwave why the cast of characters changes between sessions.

If you, dear reader, are not familiar with Dogs, I’d recommend reading about it here or here. Now, some observations:

  • DitV is actually well-designed. Both the rules and the setting are. The writing is very conversational, which I occasionally find demanding to interpret, but most of the time the text is clear and entertaining enough.
  • Dogs is a game about religion. It is not a game that defends or attacks religion. This I find both rare and refreshing.
  • Dogs works well with three or four players. I think I actually prefer three. No testing with two or merely one player. (Plus the GM.)
  • The town creation rules work. Following them is recommended.
  • The game works best when one is trying to play it honestly – don’t create a tricky character to begin with (that will come with play), don’t create a caricature, but do try to honestly fix the towns and their problems. Playing inquisition is trivial.
  • DitV is difficult to game master. One should be able to play generally more than four actually different characters and make them somewhat compelling and sympathetic. This is beyond my skills, but one learns by doing.
  • Do call player characters by name. Always. All the time. It helps to establish the characters. Also, non-player characters. Don’t be ashamed of the names you or others come up with – just use them.

Here’s something I’m planning to do. There are six players total. After each session there is a moment for reflection. Here’s my plan: an entire session for reflection, socialisation between the players and free roleplay. Some possibilities within the fiction: A city where everything is okay. Return to Bridal Falls (where everything is okay). Number of players would be up to six. Probably no or very few dice used. Players sitting in a circle or semicircle rather than around a table other obstacle. Maybe even players freely roaming about.

My modest apartment is too small for this, I fear, but maybe sometimes, somewhere.

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