[Friday Map] Regional Map of Lake Velth.

Love this blog. You’ll see hints of this sort of thing in my Knee Deep book.

IndieCon started a little later than planned, my man with a car was short on holidays, so we had to pick our gaming days carefully. Nevertheless the Kenners Fun Bus was down at the convention late Thursday night and we could have a natter with the lodge crowd before waking fresh and excitable for Slot 1 the following day. This meant missing the Ice Breakers and meeting up with people for a chat, but at least we’d got the main part of the con to look forward to.
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Furnace was great as always. Been every year, coined a catch phrase, nominated it for victory in the convention awards and well, yeah, I know, I’m nothing to do with organising it, but I’m going to steal whatever reflected glory I can get just for showing up…

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The Kraken is a fantastic Gaming Vacation in the east German countryside and is truly made of awesome sauce.  I was back for my (and the event’s) second year and it was another thing of beauty.  The idea is essentially that gamers from all over can get together, experience great games and events, and also have enough time to relax, socialise and otherwise take the intensity out of a gaming convention.  No need to run from slot to slot and have a packed timetable – you’ve got five days and plenty of time.  You’ve guests such as Sandy Petersen running Cthulhu games, and a good range of ancillary events like horror seminars, workshops and other things too.  With an all inclusive price tag, there’s no need to worry about paying for anything and you’re well fed and watered in the grounds of a historical German Schloss.  What’s not to like?

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I’ve been asked a few times about creating a Hot War scenario, or the characters, or both, so I’m going to write up a half-baked demo here (done in some spare time this afternoon fag-packet style), to give people an idea about the process. If someone (or several people) want to polish up this starting point to a finished scenario, then great! Please let me know how it goes. The following kind of assumes some basic understanding of Hot War, but not too much familiarity, so without any more preamble, lets get into it:

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So, how do we inject more pace into a session? In order to keep a game zipping along you need someone to push the pace. This can be a GM in more traditional games, but equally a very proactive player. In some of the newer style games there is responsibility or authority distributed among the people at the table and it can change from scene to scene, but all that is beyond the scope of this article, although the principles still apply. So, the following is in the style of what a GM can do to speed up their games, while hopefully providing the odd pointer for other styles of gamer also.
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Delta Green is a wonderfully written setting for modern day Cthulhu, in a not dissimilar style to X-Files, but with extra Lovecraft; the setting is truly a thing of beauty. One thing that had upset me, is that it uses the usual CoC BRP system (understandably), and has tried an iteration with d20 rules also, but neither of these rules engines support the particular type of play that the mood and theme of the books suggest. Sure, most people can play Cthulhu without the rules “getting in the way”, but that’s not the same as actively supporting the gaming experience you want is it?

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With my bags packed I settled down to watch a movie (given the usual AK Time Delay) and wouldn’t you know it, Kenners turns up on time shocker! So we were off and down at the Drunken Lodge within four hours. Cool beans, an all time record. It should of course be referred to as the Healthy Lodge, as we had a veritable banquet every night of only the finest cuisine and nary a bag of crisps was opened. We did have booze, but a man’s got to live… and I needed something to fight off the impending cold that loomed large (both outside the lodge and in my sinuses).
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Attended LemurCon last weekend and had a great time playing all kinds of one shots. there’s plenty of blog fodder in the weekend, but I wanted to start with something a little unusual for round these parts; a board game.

Smart Party Founder Member Simon has been getting his board gaming groove on for quite a while now. He has a weekly club night dedicated to the things, and a healthy collection to call on. Between him and Smart Party Quartermaster G2 I doubt there’s many games they don’t have. We’ve traditionally used board games as fillers between RPG sessions, or for when the party isn’t at full muster. This time round I got to sit in on a game I’d never encountered before, Kingsburg.
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So I’ve been playing a lot of small press games on and off and reflecting on how to “write” a scenario for some of these – especially when it differs in many ways from your more traditional method of gaming or writing. Games such as Hot War or Dead of Night require very little in the way of story for a good game, all they really need are some strong characters with motivations and a good starting point – maybe with a few more “bangs” to keep the story moving when a scene goes stale. This sort of tactic can work well for a traditional game too, but whatever style of game you’re running it relies on good players and there’s no accounting for that…
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