Burning Wheel World Notes

Behind the LJ Cut is the newest bit e-mailed to the players of the soon-to-come Burning Wheel game. My elves and dwarves are entirely Tolkien-inspired and the gods are from Ben’s fantasy world, kindly on loan to me.


Cats, Dogs and Blood

Janaki, Lily, Pete and I played Cat by WDBP and it was a bunch of fun. Janaki’s playing a strong but silent type who saw his family killed by a monster and his hunting the beast down. Its based on a cat named Dingbat who used to live in her neighborhood and lounged in the middle of the road without fear. We brainstormed over e-mail why Dingbat, a heroic cat universe, might have chosen the busy road for his lounging.

Lily was playing the aloof and composed witch’s cat. She decided the witch was getting on in years and was becoming forgetful and a bit senile. Good stuff.

Pete was playing this cat who lived in a boxing gym who had this whole hispanic Mohammad Ali vibe going. It was out of control.

The game was fantastic, allowing me to use flocks of crows, dogs I’ve known and a cocky raccoon as N.P.C.’s. Good fun all around.

At the Get Your Geek On-a-thon 2 I ran Dogs in the Vineyard. I am certainly going to make up a town or two for convention play and run the hell out of this game at cons. It is so damned good. I ran my town of Jericho Flats and the group really responded to it. I think I could get a town down so that I’m running it from character creation to finish in under 4 hours. Good fun.

And tonight I ran Riddle of Blood, was right in the middle of a dramatic combat when it was brought to my attention that I had to be at work early tonight, having offered to take Glenna’s shift at Uris. DAMMIT! We are going to try to meet this week to make up for the lost session. Sorry, guys.

In other news, Janaki and I went out to dinner for the first time in a while and I think we both realized how long its been since we went out just the two of us. It was nice to just hang out with her again. This afternoon we ran some errands together and took Zorro for a walk on the quad. Good stuff.

When my only complaint about a weekend is that there was too much gaming, y’know its been a fairly damned fine weekend.

Gaming at the After-School Program: Cats & Githyanki

In the end the kids who got together and played their own version of D&D never came and gamed with me when I announced that my project was a role-playing game or a story game as I also called them. I played Monkey Wrench and John Wick’s Cats.

The kids who did play my games loved them, had lots of fun. They would very often draw pictures of the characters or ask over and over if we could play that game again when we had a spare minute. Due to the structure of the after-school program, it was really difficult to get enough time together to run a game.

My groups were composed to outsiders, the kids who sat on the fringe of the D&D kids, not quite cool enough to sit at their table. Others were the creative girls who liked my writing projects and so they trusted that my projects would be fun. They were all so sick of making shit out of fucking popsicle sticks that when I asked them to write a haiku or make a relay story, they really answered.

We sat around and made board games one day, fun stuff.

The kids who played D&D would sit, with their group leader in front of his Monster Manual, announcing what monters they saw. “There are 357 Githyanki in front of you. What do you do?”

I bought the D&D adventure board game, thinking I’d court those kids but I never had the gumption to bring it in and play it. Why sit in front of a map and mini’s when they can fight 357 Githyanki with their Pokemon beasts? I just didn’t have the heart to do it. If they want to take it to the next step, they’ll find it.

Listening to them reminded me of Ron’s D&D article about the cargo cult culture that D&D was in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It sounded like half of them had seen their older brothers play before getting kicked out of the room and the other half had played video games that had identified themselves as RPG’s.

Cats was interesting because it was our first shot at character creation. The kids really took to it and liked it. I had two mischevious boys who wanted to just destroy the entire damned world with their cats. I had a little girl who played the cute kitten and a few girls who played more magically oriented cats.

Its a great game with a fantastic cosmology. I’d love to run this game with my friends. Its swell.

So, in the end I failed to court the boys in the corner with their Monster Manual but I succeeded in showing some kids these games who might have otherwise never gamed.

It was a fun three months but the woman who I was filling in for came back from her materinity leave. I left copies of Monkey Wrench in several of the kids’ mailboxes and seeds here and there, letting them know that they can make this shit up on their own if they really want ot.

10 years from now we might hear about a game combatting 357 Githyanki with Japanese pocket monsters. I can hardly wait.

The Best Game Cancellation Ever

We had just begun the game’s kickers when Jeff’s phone rang. Our friend and gaming buddies, Barry and Brandy, had a little girl tonight. Game cancelled as we drove through the beautiful Ithaca snow to meet Morgan Elizabeth and welcome her to the world.

Mazel tov to Barry and Brandy.

I thought this game was cursed but maybe its just blessed.

Next time we meet, we’ll play something else, saving this game for another day.

Cursed Game

Jeff, J.J. and I have been trying to sit down together and play this one game of Sorcerer that we have prepped and ready for months now. First my schedule went to nights, then JJ stood us up (with an acceptable reason) and tonight we showed up ready to game but JJ was running on empty. His family’s shed, situated right near the house burned down this past weekend and he’s been running ragged doing this, doing that and doing his part to raise Jack Jr.

He could barely think tonight. We chatted for a while, discussed Gen Con and Origins plans, set some goals and called it a night.

Next week we’ll play this game, hell or high water.

Swimming& Return of the Blood

Tonight Janaki and I will go to our first swimming lesson at the Y. We’re both hoping to learn proper techniques. I’m hoping to pick up the back and breast stroke. Should be fun.

After that I’m off to game. We haven’t played The Riddle of Blood in over a month and tonight we should be using the Flower of Battle’s nifty, new mass combat rules. The newly crowned Duke of the North is planning on laying seige to the Jewel of the North. Should be an exciting session.

Here’s the handy-dandy NPC list:

7 Undead Thanes of the Northern Duchy

Magda the Blood-Drenched Crone: old witch in the hills who is brought her meals by fearful villagers

Dyak Dragon-Scarred: burned reaver who attempted to take treasure from the dragon’s hoard.

Orban the Reaver: leader of the sailors who often traverses the sea to go viking.

Elek the Elder: father of the former Duke

Elek the Younger: brother of the former Duke

Ambrus the Fire-Clawed: skald, warrior and sorcerer whose lands are closest to the Jewel of the North

Eva the Iron Oracle: former apprentice of Magda, now a powerful sorceress in her own right


Sir Mathias Nortenvay: Grand Master of the Holy Light of the North

Ursola Faketchya: Matron of the Bleeding Sun Nunnery Mother

Lord Barabas Guildenhall: Jewel of the North’s Steward-Elect