Showing posts from 2017

Campaign: River the Fugitive of Stormguard

Character: River, fugitive of Stormguard
Game: Fall of Magic
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Eivør - Trøllabundin
Keywords: Cautious, fierce, cunning

Recently I started ANOTHER Fall of Magic game, and in this one, it's a one on one game. I've done this before, but this will be the first time I finish it. I love one on one games because you really get to explore each little area a lot more with your characters. I initially was going to make another Ellamura, but in the end, ended up with the name River once more. I don't know why. I like the name River because of the connotation to flowing and change and movement. When you have a Fall of Magic character, you have something in your hands that's about to dramatically change.

I wondered what a fugitive from Stormguard would be like. I knew Stormguard had a Stormqueen. And I will say, one of the neat things about playing the game over again is that you know there are certain prompts and that let's you have a character from a place …

One Shot: Maddi

Character: Madison aka Maddi
Game: The Forgotten
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: The Classics by Owl and Mouse
Keywords: Optimistic, emotional, hopeful

When I was at the cottage, we decided to use the freezing cold bunkie (One little one-room cottage that had a bunk bed in it and that's it) to play the Forgotten, a game about living in a war torn city. It was freezing. It was so cold. We all had blankets. And one light. Did I mention it was cold?

We pulled our characters and our relationships randomly. I was playing an art student who was in love with a lawyer (who was partner at his firm, dude wasn't young) and the daughter of a smuggler. She worked at a local art store to pay her way through art school and was mostly into sculpture. Maddi wanted to work with her hands, and to make beautiful things for the world.

That was, until the war broke out. It had been two years of living with her mom, her cousin, her potential brother in law, and her boyfriend. Two. Years. She had been nineteen wh…

Campaign: Ellamura the Scholar of Istallia

Character: Ellamura, Scholar of Istallia
Game: Fall of Magic
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Blood I Bled by The Staves
Keywords: Impatient, Skilled, Antisocial

Magic is dying. There are so many magical creatures in the world, and they too, are dying. They draw their last breaths and no one bears witness. They seek refuge in the few small magical places left in the world. They hide. They need protection and safety.

Ellamura is a scholar from the prestigious school in Istallia. She has no magic of her own, but is a kind of zoologist of magical creatures. Despite appearing as a proper scholar, she's the first to get her hands dirty, to know how to camp, and to seek out magic nearby. She travels with a swineherd, a giant, and a fox. None of them are especially talented or useful.

Of all of them, Ella seems to be the only one who understands what it means that magic will die. The others, lost in their own daydreams of life and death, scare her. She knows magic will die and there is nothing they c…

One Shot: Gwyneira

Character: Gwyneira, Regent of the Stormsworn
Game: Before the Storm
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Black Sea by Natasha Blume
Keywords: Charismatic, Coquette, Unyielding

A long time ago, some vain prophet declared that the Stormsworn would come across the land to conquer Iriya and Andar. So determined were the Iriyans that fate and destiny be true that they saw a conqueror in a potential friend, and war broke out. The Stormsworn, with their preternatural grace and ephemeral, cloud-like bodies, conquered Andar without a struggle. Then they came for Iriya. As it had been predicted, so it would be.

The ardent love of Destiny, and it's religious and cultural importance, was the focus of our game of Before the Storm. We had fate weavers, people who spun to tell the story of fate, and who could manipulate fate (secretly) with their weaving. All of the characters in our game were from Ardan or Iriya. Except my character. My character was a captured royal from the Stormsworn. She was beautiful, dan…

Campaign: Mother Asha

Character: Mother Asha
Game: Apocalypse World 2nd Ed
Episodes: 2
Theme Song: Forty One Ways by Azam Ali
Keywords: Protective, Peaceful, Clever

"My treasures do not chink or glitter. They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night."

"Truth may walk through the world unarmed."

So we began a new AW campaign, using the new version, and we choose a desert setting. We were in a toss up between unending snow and ice, and the unending sands and dust of the desert. I was fine with either, but as soon as I heard we were doing desert, I imagined a nomadic people who wandered from location to location, and were farmers or herders. I wanted a people who weren't guns and motorcycles. I wanted a simple people who were deadly and fierce, if you dared cross them.

I created Mother Asha, a hardholder. Her hold? The Tent:
"The Tent arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The Tent expands the horizon with colourful tents, th…

One Shot: Nikola Banas

Character: Nikola Banas
Game: Les Petites Choses Oubliees
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: All The Things Lost by MS MR
Keywords: Hard Working, Resilient, Sincere

Continuing the field trip through sad RPG land, Rach and I also played a game about a young couple who fell in love, broke up, and then got their memories of each other removed, a la The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This young couple we knew were two women, who had an economic difference, and had met at St Lawrence Market in Toronto as my character worked at her family's butcher stand despite going to school for business.

Nikki was a first generation Polish Canadian who came to Canada when she was seven. Her father came first, and she followed, and went to school for business in Toronto because her parents expected her to do big things. She had several siblings but was the eldest, by a number of years, and she called her grandmother in Poland every week. I wanted to make a character who was entrenched in family history but …

One Shot: Lavender

Character: Lavender
Game: Lost in the Rain
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Dolphin by Poe
Keywords: Quiet, delinquent, forgotten

Recently I decided to facilitate a game of Lost in the Rain, which is a game about lost children getting eaten by monsters in the rain. And not just any type of monster, but the kind that calls your name, pretends to be loving adults, or manifests in your fellow children by hunger or meanness or fear. They're monsters designed to find and kill and eat children.

The doesn't have one GM, but rather, it has one active player while everyone else is GMing. So everyone makes a character. I made Lavender, a poor girl whose family was a lot of people, from her parents to her many siblings to aunts and uncles and cousins... and they all lived in the same house. It was easy for her to disappear because there were just so many people no one noticed when one of them went missing.

Her fear? Wolves. I chose this because it was my fear when I was little. Too many werewolf movi…

Campaign: Keres

Character: Alexa Atreus "Keres"
Game: The Sprawl
Episodes: 2
Theme Song: Waiting to be Born by Rotersand
Keywords: Dedicated, careful, plotting

Our final episode of the Sprawl happened awhile ago, where we finished an arc for Meno and Keres and decided that what we're trying to do with the Sprawl isn't what the Sprawl was made for. Which is too bad. The Sprawl touches on some serious big cyberpunk themes, but the heist layout isn't quite what we were going for. We may pick them up later, when we have more time, but for now this'll be the last bit about Keres for awhile.

I'm sad I didn't get to play her more. Compared to Robin, she's a pretty stable, reliable, and focused on her goal. Given she's one of the carnations of Robin-Dragon, it was my goal to imagine what she would be like without the trauma of Robin's life. A woman who lived in a dark world but found her place within it. Who loved a good time, was a bit of a junkie, died, and came ba…

One Shot: Sam

Character: Sam
Game: 183 Days
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Afraid of the Dark by Phildel
Keywords: Afraid, Resigned, Enamoured

Wanna be depressed? Play 183 Days. There are two characters, Sam and Dylan. I decided I would play Sam. There are three cards that fully define Sam. Sam was born a psychic. She could see the future. She could see her parents die in a plane crash when she was nine. She did everything to stop them from going. They still went. And they died.

Sam knows she's going to meet Dylan. They're going to fall in love and they're going to break up. But those will be the happiest days of her life. So it's worth it. Because it's been a long time since she's felt loved.

In the game, both Sam and Dylan are whatever gender you want them to be. I chose to be a Sam who wasn't really sure about her gender, but was kind of cis-by-default because she hadn't really explored the spectrum of gender. She lived a lot inside her head, except with her friend who knew …

Campaign: River the Heir of Stormguard

Character: River, Heir of Stormguard
Game: Fall of Magic
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Eivør - Í Tokuni
Keywords: Indomitable, commanding, straightforward

A friend and I decided to play two player Fall of Magic and amped the metal aspect of it to eleven. I made a character type I hadn't played yet in Fall of Magic, which was the warrior, the straight forward sword-bearing fighter who sought to follow and not lead, and yet was a leader of her people.

So I made River, a storm of a woman who had fled her own country because she did not want to usurp her mother even though her mother had gone quite mad, and only women can rule in Stormguard. So River abandoned her twin brother to mind their mother and went on a quest instead to help the Magus go to Umbra.

Her purpose feels unfulfilled. She's avoiding the noose of royalty and would rather journey and see the world than take on the mantle of Queen. In FoM, you're discovering the character as you go. I had no idea what River would be like …

Campaign: Poe

Character: Poe Stackhouse
Game: Monsterhearts 2
Episodes: 3
Theme Song: Mad World by Jasmine Thompson
Keywords: Out of Control, Spiralling, Lost

We finally had an episode with all of the characters together and it exploded magnificently. Just as I had predicted though, Poe ended up being the most human of all the characters, despite there being a mortal present. She spent most of the episode just doing her normal things and then getting caught up in the horrible truths of everyone else.

Now keep in mind, Poe was the one who gave out free acid at a party so she could steal something without letting people see her do it. I had thought this would explode by causing a meat grinder effect at the old mall, but all it did was cause one hell of a party. Poe had promised she would also find out some information about the future Queen of the high school, but totally forgot about it and failed her demon that way.

He did want her to steal a wallet out of the glove compartment of an old car. Before al…

Campaign: Miranda Leigh Daily

Character: Miranda Leigh Daily
Game: Monsterhearts 2
Episodes: 2
Theme Song: Porcelain by Rachel Taylor
Keywords: Hopeless, needy, abandoned

Burnt out as I am and have been, I decided to still go to Monsterhearts with a new group in TAG. Miranda is a mortal, and easy for me to play because it's easy to play mortals. But I did discover some new things about her as I played her. While Miranda defines herself mostly by what she does for other people, she conflates this very easily to mean love. Even if she doesn't actually love someone.

Her infatuation with Flinch, the werewolf (she doesn't know he's a werewolf and neither does he), mostly comes from a need to keep him safe and to help him escape his shitty situation. To her, that need to help him, to do all she can to help him, must mean love. Just like when she was tutoring Tucker and getting him to pass his courses, she genuinely wanted him to do good, and so she thought that was love.

And then it wasn't. Because they …

Breakout: Gabriela Silva

Character: Gabriela Silva
Game: Chill 3rd Edition
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Lucifernandis by Boogarins
Keywords: Stubborn, reactive, commanding

I got to play one game at Breakout, and I had decided it would be Chill. Chill is a game I continue to support but have never played. I wanted to see this horror baby in action, and see how Matt ran it, but mostly I choose Chill because I wanted play a game with him. I have all the bits to Chill. Dice, tokens, books, etc. I love games that have societies, and Chill has SAVE.

In this game, we got to play members of SAVE. I chose Gabriela Silva, partly because I was at a table full of men, and partly because she was a cop, and I didn't want to play an emotionally laboured woman. In her little write up, Gabriela is described as a second generation SAVE member, whose mother was a member and has since gone missing, so Gabriela and her girlfriend joined SAVE to try to find her mum.

Before then, she was a cop in her hometown in Brazil. She went down th…

Campaign: Miranda Leigh Daily

Character: Miranda Leigh Daily
Game: Monsterhearts 2
Episode: 1
Theme Song: Fickle Game by Amber Run
Keywords: Outgoing, optimistic, haunted

When I sat down to play Monsterhearts, my initial goal was to play a young Jason Momoa as the Queen and function as a hot queen instead of a cold one. Of course, when I sat down, I sat down with a lot of powerhouses. The werewolf, the ghoul, the vampire, and the witch. I didn't know the group playing, but I knew based on the law of averages, if I played a manipulative dude queen, I'd be dead before episode 2.

So I defaulted to my comfy space and made a mortal named Miranda. I wanted her to be different than my other mortal, who was a really broken individual coming in. That being said, I knew my high functioning, popular, nice girl needed to have a reason she was vulnerable and why the darkness would make her feel beautiful.

We started with the established relationship of Miranda being in love with the werewolf, Flinch. That was really my onl…

Campaign: The Keres

Character: Alexa Atreus the Keres
Game: The Sprawl
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Still Life by Covenant
Keywords: Ideological, tender, contemplative

I honestly never thought I'd be playing a heist focused game. Cyberpunk is a genre I love and hate. But I adore Hamish and I like his design ideas, so when Rach was like "let's play the Sprawl!" I was in. I had heard interesting things about it. Now, that being said, we are playing in a cyberpunk future of Toronto, not the USA. Thus, the culture around technology and such was going to be different, and we all wanted to bring some Canadiana to the genre in how we made our characters.

When I looked at Canadian culture, specifically Toronto culture, I wanted to explore the idea of consensual death and assisted suicide. What did death look like in the future, and with the collapsing of industries into one-stop shops, how did that impact death? So I made an agency that specializes in death and dying. They handle the legal side, the eut…

Campaign: Poe

Character: Poe
Game: Monsterhearts 2
Episodes: 2
Theme Song: Dead End Friends by Them Crooked Vultures
Keywords: Flustered, apathetic, high

Oh Poe. Why you gotta be so simple? In our most recent episode of Monsterhearts, Poe got a bit more entangled with people. The ghoul made her appearance, and Poe wanted nothing to do with her, not really. But they got high together and talked about Poe's demon, because fuck man, no one believes her anyways and this girl wasn't going to either. Probably some freak who talks big.

The episode was intense. The vampire reached out to Poe via text, and when they met up for lunch, rather than be sympathetic (my original plan), I chose to have Poe call the vampire out on being kinda rapey towards the hunter, Cage, and not biting people consensually. Poe doesn't... care... that much, but mostly wants to keep the vampire away from her. He's a fucking serial killer and she's not convinced that he won't do it again. So the more she can foc…

Dreamation: Justice

Character: Justice the Raven of Ravenhall
Game: Fall of Magic
Episodes: 3
Theme Song: Dust in the Wind by Digital Daggers
Keywords: Watcher, knowledgable, angry

Everyone knows I love Fall of Magic. On the way to Dreamation, for the game I was facilitating, I had decided if no one chose it I was going to play a Raven of Ravenhall. And she would be a spymaster. That's all I knew. Somehow I associated ravens with spies, probably because of Leliana in Dragon Age Inquisition. It's important in Fall of Magic not to go in really knowing anything about your character because you find all that out in game. It's a difficult challenge. But the more I find you stay present and don't get into your head about the characters or your next scene, the better your play experience will be.

I didn't describe Justice until someone asked me to. I described her as nondescript. Darker skin, eyes, and hair, with a brown cloak and brown clothes and fairly forgettable in an almost magical way. Sh…

Dreamation: Emir

Character: Emir
Game: Mars 244
Episodes: 1
Theme song: One Last Time by Jaymes Young
Keywords: Tender, astute, loving

There was a mine. Prisoners were sent to the mine to work. At first, this was acceptable. The colony on Mars didn't want to deal with prisoners. But then any crime seemed punishable by ostracism to the mine, even that of a child who simply knocked over some equipment. Any guardian of that child couldn't abandon them, could they? So of course they pick up their life and move to the prison, get a job there, and carry on. Always carry on. Follow the water. Learn to flow.

I played Mars 244 despite being dead in the water mostly because I wanted check out a game by Rachel E S Walton and this was, by far, the best game I played at the convention. I played two characters, but I'm going to focus on my primary character, Emir. Emir was a care giver and sex worker who lived and worked at the prison where his adopted nephew was serving time. The prison being the mine. It …

Dreamation: James "Bull" Toren

Character: James "Bull" Toren
Game: Carry: A Game About War
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Doin' All Right by the Fugs
Keywords: Stupid, stubborn, angry

Oooh boy. So this is going to be a little loaded. I want to preface this with I am not American. If you didn't know, I'm Canadian. So when I signed up for an emotionally loaded game about the Vietnam War, I wasn't think about this factor. I was thinking "I've read and watched a lot about this war and I'd love to play something that explores how fucked up this was." Carry is fucked up. It's amazing, go buy it and play it. But it is fucked up.

Now all that being said, you don't get to make your characters. You get to pick up a character who already exists as part of the squad and play them. I'm cool with that. I looked at the characters and knew I wanted someone who would push back, who would be all American, and who didn't wanna fuckin' be there.

James "Bull" Toren was a fa…

Dreamation: Joanne Oakley

Character: Officer Joanne Oakley
Game: Noir World
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Beauty and the Beast by David Bowie
Keywords: Scheming, impatient, hungry

Saturday AM rolled around and I was in a game of Noir World. I had been wanting to try Noir World, mostly because I love the genre when it's not pulpy and I have a lot of feelings around the sexism and racism inherent in the genre. But I was fucking tired and I had zero spoons left when I sat down to this game. People were on the ball, all the other players and the facilitator, but I was so far down the rabbit hole of exhaustion I'm afraid I didn't have much to offer for story.

I even grabbed a decaf coffee by accident. Ugh.

I digress though. The list of options that came up as playable classes was impressive and expansive. I knew I wanted to play someone in power, I wanted to play a woman, and I wasn't interested in that woman being inferior to another playbook in terms of social clout. I wanted someone who people were somewha…