Mail Order Apocalypse is live!

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that I do a lot of crowdfunding as a backer. Kickstarter alone lists over 200 projects that I have backed in some way.

Well, now it is time for me to jump into the other end of the pool: I have just launched the Zine Quest 4 campaign for Mail Order Apocalypse! Follow this link to the campaign:

What is it about?

Mail Order Apocalypse (or MOA for short) is a dark future roleplaying game, where capitalism eventually shut all humans out. Paradise is within humanity’s reach, but our ancestors made sure we cannot afford it.

This may look to be a game about survival, figuring out how to eke out an existence when the machines have claimed everything worth anything. But that isn’t entirely true. This is a game about daring heists and robberies!

See, the machines don’t hate us. They don’t actually want to kill anyone, but the laws humanity put into their programming don’t allow them to give us anything for free. And we don’t have currency to pay with. So survival takes the form of trying to make a living in the wastelands, trying to farm algae, or to recycle the scraps we find.

But the more efficient and much more fun way is to trick or rob the machines:

We hijack their communication network, set up a pretend address and then have a drone deliver your order while the fake credit score is still good. Or you hold up one of those post trains that link the factories, overcome the guard machines, and live richly!

Some have learned how to infiltrate the automated farms. One can live well there, provided the machines don’t recognise you as the pest you are.

Of course, there are also those who live on the work of others, who raid settlements for their own gain. Maybe you are one of them?

Return to Hypogea

It has been a while. So long that I couldn’t even find my stack of characters and had to roll up a new one.

But yesterday, I returned to Hypogea, the karst under the valley of fire. Joining the Clockwise Observatory as Alpascal, a short, stocky first-year student of the School of Artificers with an everful crock of shit.

This was a very happy reunion, even though I didn’t know any of the other players yet. Still, Alpascal was quickly welcomed by his peers, and the backstory involving Alpascal, a frog, and the chimerists love spell ended up happily for me, as the chimerist now has to care for the five pollywog-creatures. (Who are adorable, but Alpascal isn’t ready to be a father yet, and Fred the frog needs the help,)

The group made its way to the sickle marsh, looking for the lone savant that imprisoned a few errant students into some gem. They swam, stomped, rafted and walked on the way, met water vipers, cephalopod patrols and other assorted creatures and during the whole time never stopped punning.

Really, the punning, it was bad. So bad. All the time. All the punning.

Can’t wait until next time!

RPGs in Beirut

And no, we’re not talking about war. We’re talking warGAMING and roleplaying games.

I was in town for Bread & Net, and when we were walking the city on sunday, we came across a game store: Multiverse. And frankly, this place is awesome:

It is mostly board games though

The staff is actually pretty knowledgeable and full of hustle. They know their games, have several painting stations for the table top gamers in the cellar, host regular wargaming and MtG tournaments, you can rent tables and play a wide variety of board games (sorted in terms of complexity, so you can easily grab something easy for the family from the shelf), and then they told me they also have a dedicated D&D room.

What?! I need to see this!“

Behind a door labelled „Emergency Exit“, I then first was greeted with this…

yeah, this thing is a bit cheap looking, but A for effort!

And then there was a foreboding doorway..

Let’s light this up…

oooh, this looks promising!

You can see the D&D library. Plus a bunch of self-printed PDFs, downloaded from online stores.

yeah, I was pretty amazed.
really, I like this.
I could get used to this.. All the space for the savvy GM.
looking at all the nifty stuff on the walls.
but wait, what is THIS?
need monsters for your campaign? We got you covered!
a bunch of custom lasercut 3D signage all over the place.

They even get you in touch with GMs that can run games for you, if you find yourself in Beirut without a group. Really, this place is magical and apparently thriving too!

So, when in Beirut, go to Multiverse!

Reisen im Rollenspiel

Dies ist ein Beitrag zum Thema dieses Monats im Karneval der Rollenspielblogs: Reisen.

Timberwere wirft im Eingangsbeitrag die Theorie auf, dass Reisen ja meist nur Mittel zum Zweck ist um den nächsten Schauplatz einzuleiten. Ich versuche hier mal, Methoden und Ansätze vorzustellen, die Reisen zum zentralen Ding machen.

Dazu ein paar Annahmen und Behauptungen vorweg:

  1. Das Spannende an einer Reise sind die neuen Eindrücke, die man sammelt. „Wenn einer eine Reise macht, dann kann er was erleben“.
  2. Gleichzeitig ist es langweilig, wenn diese Eindrücke nur nacheinander beschrieben werden — die Erlebnisse müssen also interaktiv sein.

Erlebnisse während einer Reise lassen sich grob in zwei Kategorien unterteilen:

  1. Begegnungen am Wegesrand — dies sind Dinge und Personen die den eigenen Weg kreuzen oder an denen man vorbei reist. Sie sind so interessant, oder wichtig, dass man sie sich anschaut und mit ihnen interagiert bevor man weiterreist. Das kann ein Überfall, ein Zwischenstopp um Proviant aufzufrischen, oder einfach nur eine Nacht im Gasthaus sein.
  2. Interaktionen innerhalb der Reisegruppe — wenn man z.B. auf einem Schiff unterwegs ist, bildet dieses während der Reise einen geschlossenen Raum voller Personen und Dinge.

Bei beiden Varianten können die Ereignisse im Grunde völlig losgelöst von der Reise stattfinden. Ob zum Beispiel ein Mord in einem Gasthaus, auf einem Schloß oder auf einem Schiff stattfindet ist doch im Grunde egal — es ist und bleibt ein Whodunnit-Murder-Mystery. Das ist auf gleichzeitig frustrierend und praktisch. 

Frustrierend, weil es dadurch so gut wie keine puren „Reise“-Abenteuer gibt, sie sind alle Derivate von anderen Formen. Praktisch insofern, das man sich hemmungslos an anderen Materialien und Ideen bedienen kann. Es gilt nur, den Rahmen so anzupassen, dass das Geschehen in die geplante Reise passt.

Also, plündert das Regal, die nächste Reise wird sicher nicht langweilig!