Guns, Babies, and Gamestorm 17

Introduction

Once again, Gamestorm came to the Portland area on the third weekend of March. This year was a bit different for me as it marked the first year I participated as an industry guest. I spoke on a few panels, ran a few games, and played… unfortunately not very much. But the time I spent at Gamestorm this year was fun, and it was nice to see some old familiar faces and to meet a few new ones.

Friday, March 20th

Gamestorm is a four-day event running from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon. I had to work the day job on Thursday so I didn’t get to arrive until Friday morning, but that’s when most of the real fun starts so I don’t think I missed much.

I kicked off Friday morning with a 10 a.m. panel about Accessibility in Gaming. This is the first year I’ve been a … Continue reading

Gamestorm 16: Day Three

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the seriesGamestorm 16

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Gamestorm 16

Day three of Gamestorm 16 was a lot slower and more laid back than previous years. I had no real plans other than to hang out with some friends and play a few board games, and that’s exactly what I did.

My friend’s wife joined us for the entire day, and my own wife had plans to show up in the afternoon. The day was short (most areas of the con closed around 4:00 p.m.) but it was still a lot of fun.

Late Start, Lifeboats

Since we had no plans, we didn’t even leave the house until around 9:30 a.m. The three of us reached the convention hotel around 10:00, and we went and grabbed a bite to eat before getting started.

We started out looking for a game to play, … Continue reading

Gamestorm 16: Day Two

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the seriesGamestorm 16

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Gamestorm 16

Introduction

Day two of Gamestorm 16 started bright and early. Though I didn’t get to sleep until after 1 a.m. the night before, I was up at 7 and ready to go. I had a game of Monster Kart Mayhem to run at 9:00, and I was eager to get started.

Registration Fail

If you read my previous post, you’ll remember that there were some registration issues with Gamestorm this year. Unfortunately, the lack of pre-registered games meant that only people who wandered by the table where sign-up sheets were placed would have any chance of even seeing the game. To top that off, there could be dozens of these sign-up sheets on any given table, and that meant there wren’t a lot of tables with ready-to-go players.

Continue reading

The Day My Girlfriend Made Me Look Like a Complete Failure with a Puzzle

In today’s post, special guest Matthew Yeoman discuss the day he made a revelation about The Great Equalizer: puzzle games. Thanks for the great insight, Matthew!

On to His Post!

Hello to the Accessible Games readers. My name is Matthew and I’m the writer and researcher for Puzumi.com. We sell laser cut acrylic glass puzzles that have a strategy game twist to them. These puzzles relate to the subject of how my girlfriend made me look like a complete #fail…read on for my tale of woe and oh…

 The Day my Girlfriend Made me Look Like a Complete Fail with a Puzzle

Here’s the backstory: I’m a professional writer and a bit of a wordy know it all. Hey, I’m aware of my strengths and flaws! My girlfriend, Vanda, is from Mozambique and is a native Portuguese speaker who has been speaking English for around 2 years … Continue reading

Off the Cuff #5: Setting Expectations

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the seriesOff the Cuff

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Off the Cuff

Introduction

What do players expect from their Game Masters? The answer to this question is more complicated than it may seem at first glance.

The short answer is, like so many answers are, “it depends.” Let’s set the ambiguity aside and take a closer look at this question. If we can figure out what players want, we can understand what we as GMs can do to deliver.

Players Just Want to Have Fun

I feel it’s safe to assume that all role-players want to show up to a game, sit down at the table (or other seating place of choice) and just have fun. They want to socialize with friends, participate in a shared storytelling experience, and walk away happier than when they came in.

For many people nowadays, stress is a large … Continue reading

Off the Cuff #4: Filling Plot Holes

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the seriesOff the Cuff

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Off the Cuff

Introduction

There has been a lot of great feedback on this series so far, but one of the many things I keep reading is the concern that Off the Cuff GMing may lead to plot holes. It’s true that if you’re not careful you can improve yourself into a situation where the world ceases to make sense and verisimilitude is shot, but with a bit of practice and some forethought you can avoid this pitfall.

As a side note, I just got to use verisimilitude in a sentence.

Going Places

One of the easiest ways to maintain some amount of cohesion in your stories is to define—however clearly or loosely you choose—your goals for the game session or campaign. Set goals, but don’t be afraid to alter them as necessary.

For example, … Continue reading

Off The Cuff #3: Prep for Improv

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the seriesOff the Cuff

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Off the Cuff

This week’s Off the Cuff was written by special guest Phil Vechione. Learn more about Phil in his bio at the end of this article.

Introduction

As the author of Never Unprepared, people often think that I support doing lots of prep for a game. That is only partly true. I am all for doing prep, but only as much as you need in order to feel comfortable enough at the table to run your game. For some people, that means having pages of notes, stat blocks, and maps. Those that like to game Off The Cuff, however, will have little to no physical materials prepared. Is the Off The Cuff GM unprepared? Not at all, it’s just that … Continue reading

Off the Cuff #2: Lazy GMing

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the seriesOff the Cuff

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Off the Cuff

Introduction

Game Masters for RPGs tend to belong to one of two camps: those who spend a lot of time preparing for each session, and those who don’t. I’m a member of the latter camp.

I’ve always been one to fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to doing anything that involves work. In high school and college, I rarely did my take-home assignments and never turned in a rough draft of an essay unless the teacher absolutely required it. Instead, I’d sit through class, absorb what I could, ace my tests, and churn out essays the night before they were due. Somehow, I’d still get good grades on the assignments I bothered to turn in.

I didn’t really know it at the time, but I was preparing myself for … Continue reading

Off the Cuff #1: GMing Without Borders

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the seriesOff the Cuff

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Off the Cuff

Introduction

I love being a Game Master. I get to create adventures, facilitate fun gaming sessions, and generally be responsible for entire role-playing campaigns. It’s a challenge, but a successful gaming session is a badge of pride for any GM.

Game Masters come in several varieties: some like to run pre-written scenarios, some like to spend hours crafting their own amazing stories, and others like to run games completely off the cuff with next to no session prep. I’m the latter type. Lately, I’ve come to think of my free-form style as “GMing Without Borders.”

What is GMing Without Borders?

GMing Without Borders has several meanings, all of which are equally applicable. It means not running pre-written adventures and being forced to play within the confines of another person’s box text. It means … Continue reading

Gamestorm 15: Day Three

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the seriesGamestorm 15

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Gamestorm 15

Introduction

Day 3 of Gamestorm was a little less eventful than Saturday, day 2, but I still had a lot of fun. I showed up around 7:45 and was ready to go for whatever 8 a.m. game of Pathfinder I could get involved with. It didn’t take long before I was assigned to a table that wasn’t full of players, and I sat down and got ready to play.

Rise of the Goblin Guild

My first PFS game on Sunday was Rise of the Goblin Guild. I was the only person at the table with a character high enough level to play above 2nd level, so instead of bringing my 4th-level Sheriff along I pulled out my 2nd-level Flowing Monk instead. If you’re not familiar with Pathfinder, Flowing Monks are sort of Continue reading