Not-So-Crystal Ball: Ennies Predictions and Weirdness

Following last year, when I reviewed the announced Ennies nominees to predict winners and generally snark, I thought it would be fun to make things more challenging for me this year and try and predict the nominees for the year’s most prestigious roleplaying awards show. Seemed like a fun/dumb enough idea for a blog post.

Putting this together led to some kind of weird places. Continue reading

The Hype Strikes Back: (Possible) 2016 RPG Releases

About a year ago I wrote about RPG releases I was looking forward to in 2015, and examining the list now is pretty embarrassing. Of the ten games I mentioned, two already had PDF releases in 2014, two still haven’t come out yet, one has been officially abandoned for now, and one seems to have been unofficially abandoned (or least, the hint of an upcoming Cortex Plus “Heroic Roleplaying” game no longer appears on the Margaret Weis website).

I’m hesitant, then, to do something similar for 2016… Continue reading

How to Talk Good: New Taglines for The Gaean Reach

Whoops, totally neglected by blog again.  At least part of this was due to going on holiday (my first ever trip to Japan!).  The rest of it was just laziness.

I mentioned in my last post that I’d been writing some new taglines for use in my ongoing Gaean Reach campaign, and that I’d share them on the blog, in case other GMs found them useful.  But first I should detail some minor changes I’ve made to the tagline system, that are probably worth considering when using the taglines below: Continue reading

What’s My Line Again?: Difficulties with Taglines in The Gaean Reach

I pretty much knew what to expect when I picked up The Gaean Reach.  Unfamiliar as I was with Jack Vance’s work, I was extremely familiar with the Gumshoe system, having played in two Trail of Cthulhu campaigns and run games for Mutant City Blues and Night’s Black Agents.  I was looking forward to watching that rhythm of clue-finding and interpretation play out in a spacebound setting, and was neither surprised nor disappointed when The Gaean Reach’s contents were essentially the same-old Gumshoe with Vancian sci-fi thrown in for flavour.

But there is one feature of The Gaean Reach’s mechanics that distinguish it from all other Gumshoe products (except for The Dying Earth, which I haven’t played), and that is the tagline system. Continue reading

Diceless GMing in Gumshoe

A few weeks back I started running a short Gaean Reach campaign.  I’m still playing in a friend’s second Trail of Cthulhu game, and have previously run a Night’s Black Agents campaign and one-offs for Mutant City Blues.

From the above description, it’s no surprise that I am a fan of Robin D Laws’ Gumshoe system, the engine that powers all four of those games.  However, playing so much Gumshoe also means knowing it well enough to recognise its limitations. Continue reading