This is a copy of all the posts and comments from the old blog. New content now appears on the main blog.


Delta Green, Session Six

Back in early June, Ted, Christina, Roy, and I sat down to figure out what we wanted to play next. The concept that grabbed us was the idea of a Delta Green cell, inactive since late 2001, that realized they needed to "get the band back together." The game is set in Houston in 2006, and while the original idea was to play it with the Unknown Armies mechanics, we quickly realized that there wasn't a published system that quite did what we wanted. So, after two sessions of what we termed "hippie freeform play," I sat down to design something that would work for us.

Last night I handed out what I consider the first "real" version of The Game With No Name. We'd played three sessions with a prior incarnation, but all that had was a character sheet and something theoretically connected components. (Due to the last few months being summer, we'd only gotten in five sessions of play in June, July, and August. ) The current version actually hooks things together with feedback loops, which for my money is what makes a real game. We didn't have much of a chance to use it, as our session was short due to Roy's recent return from Greek and subsequent jet-lag, but I think it will work out.

In brief, it's a mashup of Otherkind dice with Burning Wheel-style Beliefs and Unknown Armies' Madness Meters. Last night Ted pointed out that it should have some type of cell resource system, a la Conspiracy X, so I guess I have another source to pillage before next week.

Back From GenCon

I almost didn't make it back from GenCon on Monday night, but thanks to the foresight of an American Airlines gate agent and my willingness to run through LAX, I did.

Now that I'm back and caught up on sleep, two things stand out from the Best Four Days in Gaming:

  • My GenCon is only tangentially about gaming. I played more games in the two days I spent at Ken and Sheila's place than I did during all of GenCon. For me, it's all about the people. I reconnected with old friends, met new ones, and missed people who weren't there. A sense of impending loss haunted me every morning in Indianapolis, as I couldn't stop thinking  there were only a few days left until I lost the opportunity to see these great people for another year. But as soon as I ran into someone on my way to the show floor, I was caught up in the excitement. If you're someone I talked to at GenCon, thank you for making it an amazing show for me.

  • Having people tell you that your game is fun is tremendously fulfilling. Yes, I sold through the all of the copies of A Penny For My Thoughts that I had with me (which exhausts the first print run, by the way). And yes, that felt good, in both wallet- and ego-related ways. But the experience of having multiple people come up to me and say, "We played Penny last night, and it was awesome, and we had fun!" blew my mind. If nothing else comes of Penny, it's been a success for me.

So that was the essence of GenCon for me. And now it's forward into the New Gamer Year.

Ryan Macklin On A Penny For My Thoughts

My friend and editor Ryan Macklin has posted about his experience developing A Penny For My Thoughts. I've been incredible thankful for everything Ryan has said about the book so far, and this post is no exception.

A Penny For My Thoughts Now Available

A Penny For My Thoughts, my story-telling game of improvisation and identity, is in the warehouse and shipping now. Order by the end of June to get the print + PDF bundle for only one penny more than the book's cover price.

A Penny For My Thoughts Now Available For Preorder

Two women and a man, all dressed in white jumpsuits, sit around a table with a bowl of pennies in its center. Each of them has a small stack of pennies and a printed form. In front of the older woman sits a scrap of paper with the words "a taffy stretching machine" written on it.

"... and my father looked down at me and said, 'If you don't want to ride the roller coaster, you don't have to. You can wait here in the candy shop while your brother and I go,'" says the older woman. "I was scared." As she speaks, the remembered terror creeps into her voice.

Her expression suddenly goes blank. She turns to the man. "What did I do or say then?" she asks, offering him the single penny in front of her.

The man considers for a moment, his brow furrowed. Staring at her, he replies, "You said, 'No, I want to come with you.'"

She turns to the younger woman. "Or was it..." she begins, offering the same penny.

"You stayed there in the candy shop, chewing your taffy," the other woman says.

She pauses before speaking again. "Yes, I remember now. I said, 'No, I want to come with you.'" She hands her penny to the man. "And I had a fantastic time. It was so thrilling, so wonderful. That's when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. And that is what I remember."

She smiles as she writes on her sheet of paper, "When I think of taffy stretching machines, I remember how I discovered what I wanted to do with my life. I'd never felt such a sense of purpose before." After she finishes, she takes a penny from the bowl.

"A penny for my thoughts," she says.

penny cover
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