Welcome to the first of our new podcast, the Twitching Curtain. Over the next few months we plan to tell you all you need to know about the exciting world of story games, roleplaying and freeform.
Length: 56 minutes.
Participants in this episode
- Anita Murray
- Hope Gilham
- James Graham (Twitter: @JamesGraham)
- Joanna Piancastelli
- Sean Buckley (Twitter: @aGameofSeans)
American Freeform: live action roleplaying games, influenced by both Nordic larp and US indie tabletop RPGs. See Lizzie Stark’s introduction to American freeforms.
Bleed: a common phenomenon in both tabletop roleplaying and larps where the thoughts and emotions of a character “bleed” into the real life of a player, or vice versa. There is a big debate about how best to mitigate this, support players who experience it and/or embrace it.
Indie RPGs: literally, a roleplaying game published by an individual or small company (although most roleplaying game companies are small!). It has come to refer to more experimental and avant garde roleplaying games with a focus on narrative.
Lines and Veils: a technique coined by game designer Ron Edwards to deal with problematic content and emotional bleed in roleplaying games. If players are uncomfortable with any content in a game, they are encouraged to either request that a “veil” is drawn over the content (i.e. it happens in the story but is not described in any detail and is brushed over), or draw a “line” in which that content is not introduced at all in the game (this is similar to another technique known as the “X card” where players use a card in the centre of the room to request that something not be introduced).
MC: Master of Ceremonies. A term used in the game Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts and other games based on the system to describe player whose role is to facilitate the game and set the challenges for the other players. Similar to the more common term Game Master (or Dungeon Master, Storyteller, Keeper, etc) used in traditional tabletop RPGs.
Nordic Larp: A type of live action roleplaying which has developed in Nordic countries, with a greater emphasis on immersion, collaboration and artistic vision.
Story game: typically used to describe a tabletop based roleplaying game with a greater emphasis on narrative and simplified mechanics compared to traditional roleplaying games. Often focus on a much wider range of genres and dispense with or significantly alter common techniques such as having a single player take on the role of Game Master. Of course, this is a big topic and precisely what our podcast is about exploring!
Trad: Traditional tabletop roleplaying games. Simply put, tabletop RPGs that are not story games. The most iconic “trad” game is Dungeons and Dragons. Such games tend to have detailed rules systems with a focus on combat and allow players apart from the Game Master very limited narrative control beyond deciding on their own character’s actions.
P Pay What You Want
- Always/Never/Now P by Will Hindmarsh – http://always-never-now.tumblr.com/
- Apocalypse World by D. Vincent Baker – http://apocalypse-world.com/
- Baccanalia by Paul Czege and Michele Gelli – http://www.bacchanaliagame.com/#!/
- The Climb by Jason Morningstar – http://www.bullypulpitgames.com/games/the-climb/
- Dog Eat Dog by Liam Burke – http://liwanagpress.com/dog-eat-dog/
- Dogs in the Vineyard by D. Vincent Baker – http://theunstore.com/index.php/unstore/game/1
- Dream Askew F by Avery Mcdaldno – http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/dream-askew/
- A Flower for Mara by Seth Ben-Ezra – http://www.darkomengames.com/mara.html
- Fiasco by Jason Morningstar – http://www.bullypulpitgames.com/games/fiasco/
- Playset: Back to the Old House F by Sean Buckley – http://www.bullypulpitgames.com/downloads/index.php?cat=7#111
- Golden Sky Stories by Ryo Kamiya and Ewen Cluney – http://starlinepublishing.com/our-games/golden-sky-stories/
- Heroine by Josh T Jordan – http://rpggeek.com/rpg/23292/heroine
- Hot Guys Making Out by Ben Lehman – http://www.tao-games.com/hot-guys-making-out/
- Kingdom by Ben Robbins – http://www.lamemage.com/kingdom/
- Larps from the Factory by various – http://larpfactorybookproject.blogspot.co.uk/p/welcome.html
- Marquis of Ferrara by Pompey Crew – http://ukrpdc.wordpress.com/pcd/marquis-of-ferrara/
- Monsterhearts by Avery Mcdaldno – http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/monsterhearts/
- Cavendish Academy (website curating the game mentioned by Joanna at Conception 2014) – http://cavendishacademy.t15.org/
- A Mother’s Heart by Christina Christensen & Eirik Fatland (from Larps from the Factory) – http://larpfactorybookproject.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/a-mothers-heart.html
- My Life With Master by Paul Czege – http://www.halfmeme.com/master.html
- The Outsiders by Mo Holkar and Cat Tobin – http://larpresume.boldlygoingnowhere.org/games/633/the-outsiders
- Penny For My Thoughts by Sean Nittner – http://www.evilhat.com/home/a-penny-for-my-thoughts/
- Prime Time Adventures by Matt Wilson – http://www.dog-eared-designs.com/pta.html
- The Prince’s Kingdom by D. Vincent Baker and Clinton R. Nixon http://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/43895/the-princes-kingdom
- Torchbearer by Luke Crane and Thor Olavsrud – http://www.torchbearerrpg.com/
- Under My Skin F by Emily Care Boss – http://www.blackgreengames.com/ums.html
- What You Wish For P by Ashley Griffiths – http://damwaingames.co.uk/games/wywf/
Many of these games can be purchased from the publishers themselves and/or the following places:
- Leisure Games (support your friendly local gaming store!) – http://www.leisuregames.com/acatalog/Indy_Press_Games_Selection.html
- Indie Press Revolution – http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/
- DriveThruRPG – http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/
Conventions and Events
(last known date included – these are all annual events unless otherwise stated)
- Dragonmeet: 7 December 2013, London UK – http://www.dragonmeet.co.uk/
- Conception: 29 January – 2 February, Dorset UK – http://www.conceptionuk.org/
- Knutpunkt: 3-6 April 2014, Sweden – http://knutpunkt.org/
- Nine Worlds Geekfest: 8-10 August 2014, London UK – https://nineworlds.co.uk/
- IndieCon: 6-9 November 2014 (tbc), Dorset UK – http://www.indiecon.net/
- Heroic Consequences: 20-23 November 2014, Dorset UK – http://www.ishtari.co.uk/consequences/
Groups and Businesses
- Leisure Games – http://www.leisuregames.com/
- London Indie RPG Meetup (aka “Indiemeet”) – http://www.meetup.com/London-Indie-RPG-Meetup-Group/
- Storygasm – https://www.facebook.com/groups/storygasm/
- Gender in Gaming Seminar (Dragonmeet/GMS Magazine): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE729j8jL9k
- Literally Hacking Games: http://imaginaryfunerals.com/literally-hacking-games/