November 28, 2016
James

Inspiration Alley

Inspiration Alley

With the passing of Thanksgiving, black Friday and cyber Monday, we are in the full swing of the holiday season. Which means several things for most of us, extra shifts and overtime for extra money for holiday gifts, visits from family, and ultimately, less time for the games we love.

 

But don’t despair just yet. Why not use this time to recharge creative batteries and find new sources for inspiration? Not the usual ones like Stranger Things, Walking Dead, and all the other things that 90% of us know about. What about the odd things that each of us sees and finds inspiration in? Lots of these don’t get passed on. So that’s what my next few blog entries will be. Art, film, graphic novels, and stories that, with a little luck and game prep, will kick start the year with fresh and newly inspired story lines.

 

Lacey and I met Vincent Marcone in the artist section at GenCon 2016. His artwork immediately caught our eye. It has a whimsical and dark style that demands a second look. Long story short we left GenCon with several pieces.

Hung by the chimney with care.

20161128_131536

 

Art is one of those funny things where what one person loves another just sees junk. So find what you like and explore websites like beautiful bizarre for contemporary artists. If you prefer the impressionism of VanGogh, Google modern impressionism to see new artwork to draw ideas from. The same is true for Dali and surrealism.

 

I suppose the point of all of this is, if we continue to go to the same places for inspiration we are inevitably going to tell the same stories. So follow the white rabbit down the hole into the limitless land of Google and find something new. Something that sparks that exciting new story and if it’s truly amazing share it with the rest of us.

November 25, 2016
James

Review Conspiracy X 2ed



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James, Kurt and Lacey review Conspiracy X 2nd edition. Conspiracy X is a game about dark secrets and hidden agendas inspired by shows like X Files and Fringe. Conspiracy X is produced by Eden Studios.

I was unable to find a Con X character generator. My google fu may just be weak. If there is one out there please let me know and I will add it here.

 

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November 22, 2016
James

Episode 11 Running Games With an End in Mind



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James, Kurt and Lacey sit down and talk about ending RPG campaigns. All stories have an end and planning one at the onset can create epic finales or put end caps on big milestones.

Sharknado

Sharknado the mini

sharknado-mini

November 21, 2016
James

ThanksGaming

For us in the US, the arrival of Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the holiday season. Which, for a lot of us, means seeing family, big meals and time spent traveling. The unfortunate consequence of all the holiday activities is that our gaming time gets sidelined until January. Campaigns fade away and excitement about the new game fades. Once January arrives, the first few sessions are spent recapping and trying to recapture the excitement of the games we left behind.

 

So this is the part where I am supposed to make suggestions about how to keep the excitement for the games we have alive. Send emails and texts, think of new adventures and what your characters can do during the downtime. The reality for most of us is that finding time to do this is difficult because of all the extra things that are taking away from our normal game time. Now I have to make time to do something else that just reminds me of what I am missing out on.

 

How about some real solutions that might actually work.

 

On Wednesday you’re going to hear us talk about ending games. So why not put this to practical use and play an ending chapter for the games that you are running now. It may give you and your players a chance to come back in January refreshed and excited for chapter 2. Short notice I know, but then again there’s no time like the present.

 

If you know that your gaming is going to wind down for a while, why not try and introduce some of your non-gaming family to the board game and RPG world.

 

<Gasp> You mean game with granny?

 

Well why not? There are lots of zero prep party style games out there that are lots of fun. Fiasco, Juggernaut or if you’re feeling brave maybe Apocalypse World or one of its derivatives.

 

Maybe you’re not ready to take the plunge with the fam. Then the answer could be some of the board games that are out there: Catan, Flick ’em Up, or Cash and Guns. Nothing beats getting held up and shot for 20k by old Auntie Muriel.

 

The point is almost everyone likes having fun and people will surprise you. Instead of sitting around and talking about how school or work is going or the myriad of other conversations that we have over and over, why not introduce your family to the hobby that we all love and spend so much time enjoying?

 

Watch some videos of grandparents playing Cards Against Humanity, and you will realize that everyone enjoys having a good laugh and playing games. You just have to get them to relax and give it a try.

November 18, 2016
James

Review Monsterhearts



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In this review Lacey, Carrie and James take a look at Monsterhearts. Monsterhearts is a Powered by the Apocolypse game loosely based on shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood and other paranormal romance stories. Monsterhearts 2 is on kickstarter now.

 

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