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Simmering, But Almost Ready to Serve

The RPG situation has cooled to a simmer for the moment. Everyone’s pretty much got busy lately; us with renovations, Rhys’ mate Kev with work and Simon and Cristel juggling keeping the bills paid and four youngsters busy. So there’s been no more InSpectres since that last time. It looks as though Kev is heading off South; he’s keen on the idea of being able to manage an office of the sales business he’s working for, and that might take him south of the border.

Still, things are looking up again. I’m revisiting the idea of playing some Primetime Adventures online. Vickie’s interested, as are a couple of friends down South, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to tell you how that goes – and, frankly, I reckon it’ll go better than last time. I have a more concrete idea of how the Pitch session should go; put simply, everyone has to be keen on the show idea we come up with or else the game will crash and burn (as the last one did). I’ve been listening to the audio recordings of the “Life on Mars” sessions, which are pretty awesome examples of how PtA actually works, as well as the Sons of Kryos’ eighteenth podcast which features some hints and tips.

By the way, I recommend the Sons of Kryos podcasts to any reader interested in the RPG hobby. Jeff and Judd have a good sense of humour and a fair bit of play experience under their belts, especially in these crazy indie-RPGs I keep harping on about. I'd also like to make a long-overdue recommendation of Paul Tevis' Have Games, Will Travel podcasts, in which Paul reviews board, card, and roleplaying games and discusses gaming and the industry with insiders such as Ron Edwards and Kenneth Hite.

While on the general topic of podcasts, I’m hoping – if none of my players object – to use the PowerGramo plug-in for Skype and a freeware audio editor called Audacity to make audio records of our sessions, possibly even posting them online!

I also decided that a phone call to Simon and Cristel just to catch up was long overdue. The last time either Vickie or I spoke with them was a Skype convo over a month ago, which is a bit weak. Still, as I mentioned, Simon’s work schedule has been pretty much all over the place; he’s had to take shifts as they’ve come just to make sure he (a) keeps his job and (b) keeps his family fed.

The good news is that he’s recently been made a full-time employee, which means he’s got a fixed 40-hours-per-week schedule, working only one weekend in four. Which means they can do some gaming! I pitched them – well, underarmed them, really, I just sorta said, “hey, this is what I wanna run next, whaddya reckon?” – The Shadow of Yesterday. I guessed, and Simon confirmed, that Cristel, being a big rat lover, would likely be keen on playing a ratkin. He said she also likes elves – anything with pointy ears, really – and we’ll see what she makes of The Shadow of Yesterday’s very interesting, existentialist take on elvenkind. As soon as I mentioned that one of the other two playable races was “goblins”, though, Simon was immediately keen!

In case you're wondering: Yes, the final race in The Shadow of Yesterday is us humans.

Thus, I've been brushing up on The Shadow of Yesterday as well. A little while ago, I did up a two-page Player Summary of the important rules - well, technically, it's a one-and-a-half-page summary plus the complete Player's Tips section from the rulebook. Today, I realised I'd managed to stuff up the procedure for determining harm in Bringing Down the Pain (the game's procedure for extended, dramatic conflicts) and revised the sheet quite a bit. I still need to post the revised file in the Showcase - that can wait until tomorrow, though. In the meantime, you can see the cheat sheet here.

But the upshot is that, with any luck, Vickie and I will most probably play a game in the next week or two!

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