Funny Things

Saturday, June 9, 2012

[Games Anatomy] - the Storytelling System

A'right. This week, Games Anatomy takes a scalpel to the tasty, nourishing brain-meats of the Storytelling System, proprietary rules set of White Wolf, who make all those gothy games with colons in the titles that I love so much.

The Storytelling System derives its name from the title it foists on the Games Master. Dubbing this figure a Storyteller nails the system's credentials to the mast; this is a game that's devised for extended narrative play, not for a series of 'encounters' or 'modules' or even for an overall 'campaign' or anything as, well, gamey as that. These days I tend to think Storyteller brings to mind a middle-aged woman in a cardie, or possibly a man in tights with a mandolin who's come into the local primary school to support a lesson on mythology - I also happen to think the refereeing and rules-arbitrating parts of the GM role are as important as shepherding the emergent narrative, and so I prefer to call myself a GM. But it can't be denied that there's something compelling about renaming the role. It suggests the game's priorities very neatly, and there's nothing I like more than clearly apparent design principles.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Signs and Portents

All right, ladies and gentlemen.  Here we are again at another Weekly Top X.  For those of you just now noticing this amazing service that the House of Paincakes provides FREE OF CHARGE, that's not Roman numeral X, but algebra X.

Luckily for you guys, you don't have to solve for X.  That's up to us.  Also, this:

The Weekly Top X

1) The family That Slays Together Stays Together - Axis & Allies? Maybe not yet
Doc Brian is a braver man than I for even thinking about playing Axis and Allies with his youngsters.  Let alone actually going through with it.  \

2) 3 for Intelligence - Holy crap, Archangel: legion of everblight gargantuan
Despite the self depreciating blog name, this blog is actually full of some dudes who are really on the ball. Dok here has posted up a quick review of the rumors from Privateer Press's recent Lock n' Load event.  He also manages to save you the trouble of going to Dakka.

3) Miscellaneous Miniatures - WAAAAGH! Attilus - Apocalypse Battle Report
I've always had a spot in my heart for Apocalypse battles.  I love the spectacle of the thing, really.  The size of the armies, the camaraderie and, most importantly, the beer drinking.  Reporting on something that big is a challenge and I think the guys over at Miscellaneous Miniatures have done a bang up job.

4) Gaming All Areas - 40K 6th Ed- Advance Thinking
It took a while, but I finally found some positive thinking on 6th edition.  Faith in humanity status:  bolstered.

5) Mind War FTW - Internet "Wisdom": Bolters Kill Vehicles!
Ahhhhh.  Good ol' TKE.  A highly technical post on why sounding smart on forums isn't the same as actually being smart.  Also with bonus Katy Perry sub-theme.  Leitmotif, maybe?  Am I even using that word right?  If not, then pretend I said schmetterling.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

HoP Idol II Entries Due Today

Well, the submissions have been pouring in over the last few days, that's for sure.  But, if you're one of those types who always waits until the last day to get anything done- well this is quite literally the last day! 

If you were planning on joining in this contest, make sure you get your teaser article in to us by the end of Thursday (in whatever time zone you happen to find yourself in).  Hell, if you're feeling the crunch, you could even make a mad dash across the Euro Zone, jockeying for the most favorable time zone you can find. 

Oh Vietnam, your Idols are Great!!

The directions for entering the contest can be found HERE.  There's really no need to reprint them for a 3rd time, now is there?

That's it for now.  Get to work on your entries, you have scant hours left. 

I'm off to undercoat some Tiger IEs for a super secret new column I'll be bringing you shortly.  Well that and a game I've got coming up on Sunday. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Talkin' GW, Talkin' 6th Edition, Part Two- Evolution

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

In Part One, we covered GW's history, and we know that they'll be releasing 6th Edition into a very crowded marketplace, so now it's time to think about the future.
What will 40k 6th Edition bring, and where is GW going?

*Lemme grab my crystal ball*

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Discussion Tuesday - Dungeons and Dragons and Pop Culture

All right, everyone!  It's another discussion for another Tuesday.  For those of you just tuning in, this means I will be making a claim of some sort that will undoubtedly lie somewhere between 'spurious' and 'shaky' on the continuum of validity.  Your job as is to respond to that as part of a much larger and civil discourse.  Opinions are shared, stories are told and we all learn how to love again.

Today's topic is actually inspired by some of the tangents Frontline Gamer and I explored during our hitherto unfinished Tea and Biscuits series. The central idea of one of these side conversations is that table top wargaming just hasn't caught on in American to the same scale as it has in Europe (the UK in particular).  An american goes into a hobby store and we're lucky if they stock both kinds of game (PP and GW).  

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Member Monday - 18 Minutes of Fame

Welcome back to Monday, everybody!  It's not the happiest thing in the world to celebrate, but... at least your face didn't get eaten off by another human being.  Yet another reason to stay the hell away from what many have called 'America's Wang'.  Or Florida to those of you that live there (sorry).

Definitely could be used a marital aid.
So, yeah.  Things could be worse.  But they can also be better!  Which is why we're bringing you today's New Member Monday instead of more information on the horrible, drug fueled insanity that gives Miami something else to be famous for besides a massive chicken infestation.  Totally not kidding about the chicken thing, btw.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of strangeness and oddities, have you considered entering Hop Idol 2 yet?  You really should.

New Member Monday

The Dice Gods Are Hungry!
Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, Hobby in General, Blood Bowl, Mordheim, Necromunda, Sports,
Essay: Are you the type of person who likes to read rants about finecast? Do you like half-formed opinions typed out in a slapdash fashion from an ill-informed mind? Do you like peanut M&M's? If any of these appeal to you, and if you can put up with English dialect and slang terms, a read of my brand spanking new ego-fuelled blog might amuse you. Or give you an opportunity to troll a complete blogging noob. Whatever floats your boat really.

The Family That Slays
Keywords: 40k, kids, Bloodbowl, Mordheim, random games that catch my fancy, diapers, playing on a budget
Essay:  I’ve got five kids ranging from age 13 down to a couple of weeks, and I’ve still managed to stay sane and play nicely with my toys. Heck, I’m so special I’ve even got a blog!

The Miniatures Man
Keywords: SF, fantasy, pulp, WWII, terrain, painting, battle reports, book reviews, more
Essay:  A bit of this and that from the world of miniatures gaming.

Miscellaneous Miniatures
Keywords: miniatures, 40k, warmachine, scratchbuild, table-top rpgs
Essay: We're not god's gift to the internet. We're a bunch of guys that play 40k and what-not. This blog is where we're starting to post pics of our mini's, projects, games, and anything else we find helpful to our hobbycraft. We love the hobby and think it's about damn time we got involved in the community.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Clubs

So one of the posts from this week's Top X inspired my thoughts for today. I thought I'd talk a little bit about how things have changed over the years.

When I got introduced to gaming, it was through a club. Most of the clubs were run by the university, and everyone in them were affiliated with the university in some way, or knew someone who was. If you were a longtime local that liked games, it was a very long and tough thing to get introduced to strategic or tabletop games in anyway. At the time I started, there weren't really anything even close to "game stores". There was a comic book store that "sold" games, but it was halfhearted at best, and you had to special order, and you certainly couldn't PLAY there.

Even going to the comic shops was a whole lot different. While comics were definitely "geeky", being a gamer got you labeled "weird", "nerdy" or "a dweeb". There was a definite stigma to being "one of those guys" in those stores.

Ordering books was a whole different animal, too. Most of the time, you had to put an order in and wait for the guy to get together enough orders for free shipping. Sometimes, that was a few days and other times it was weeks.

Being in a club was an interesting affair. Dues and funds were used to put on shows, much like the ones we see across the pond these days. Members had specific talents, and shared them with each other to better the status of the hobby. Often, the shows were giant episodes of "show and tell", with members and friends enjoying each other's handiwork and growing the hobby together.

Today, things are different. FLGS are more and more common, with places like Titan Games as giant playgrounds for the geeky kind. D&D and Settlers of Cataan are featured prominently on popular TV shows like Big Bang Theory.  The nerds are no longer irrelevant, and are power players in the economy of past times.

That's what has happened in the US. I don't know enough about the UK to say if their situation will change or be different, but I'd love to learn.

I'd really like to do an interactive series, talking about the state of affairs in the UK and how clubs impact the hobby scene. I'd also like to see what might be possible for the development of FLGS and other nerdy places that way. Please chime in with thoughts, ideas, and questions, and I'll see what I can bring about in conversation.