Thursday, April 28, 2005

MET getting even more bloated

The new Minds Eye Theatre rules, the larp system from White Wolf, is nearing it's compleation. Completion in all it's 800 pages! That's right, 400 pages of basic WoD rules and 400 more for Vampire. With the new and better tabletop storytelling system I had actualy hoped for a more streamlined system than the old one, maybe even to the point of being totally acceptable in the Nordic larp scene. How wrong I was. Amazing!

Read all about it at the White Wolf LiveJournal.

Från Atlantis till Blekinge

It's time to talk about another important rpg book not available in English, Från Atlantis till Blekinge (From Atlantis to Blekinge) by ASF. ASF is by now quite famous for it's free form scenarios played at Swedish conventions, mainly BSK. In many ways they have defined this quite specific genre of roleplaying (sometimes called Finnish free form) with character driven stories, well defined and predetermined scenes, and of course no rules at all.

Från Atlantis to Blekinge contains four of their scenarios and a quite meaty introduction on how to play free form. I have played in two of these stories, both led by Sven, and so far it has been a very pleasant experience. I'm quite sure Sven will write about our game yesterday in detail so I direct you to his blog for the details.

I recommend this book to everyone with interest in roleplaying, and especially those who have never played, or do not like, traditional "rules and dice" roleplaying. The chances for it ever being translated to English is almost non-existant, so you foreigners can only dream about this gem.

Dan Brown = Bad Researcher

I've recently read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, or to be honest I listened to it on my mp3-player. While it was decent as pure fiction I'm now certain that you should never take anyting in Brown's books as a fact. The earlier parts of the book is so packed with ridiculus pseudo-science that I got a bit nauseous and almost gave up on it. My bet is that most of the so called "facts" in The Da Vinci Code is as badly reseached, and I can understand why many christians are upset.

Why are you telling us this at all? Is there really something about gaming in this rant?

Ok, I admit that it's not much but Angels and Demons actually mentions Steve Jackson's Illuminati: New World Order. The only problem is that it is described as a very popular computer game played over the Internet. How hard could it have been to get that one right?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A tide of Darkness

During the last year I have written a couple of articles on White Wolf games for the Swedish rpg magazine Fenix. Right now it seems like there'll be many more to come. Until now Fenix tried to have a policy of not making reviews. The reason for this was their close cooperation with Swedish rpg companies and the problems of reviewing when not totally independant. In reality there was already lots of "review like" articles in the magazine.

I am not yet sure exactly why, but this policy is about to change. What I do know is that I got sent three WW products to review: Werewolf the Forsaken, Lancea Sanctum and Bloodlines the Hidden, and it looks like I will rewiew most of the upcoming World of Darkness books. Lots of time will be spent writing reviews, thats for sure. Sven is a bit worried this will divert to much energy from the artsy experimental freeform we usually discuss. Will I be able to combine mainstream rpgs with the art? Only time will tell...

I got plans to post my old articles on the web, adding the new reviews a month or two after apperaring in the printed magazine. If you do not read Swedish this will be pretty useless to you as the only thing I got in English is an interview with Vampire developer Justin Achille. Of course I got lots of other plans too and as usual not enough time to realise them all.

Next time I will complain about Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. And yes, I got a gaming angle on it!

Sven on In i evigheten

I you want to know read more about In i eveigheten, read Sven's account of the weekend over at his blog.

Monday, April 18, 2005

In i evigheten - afterwards

I will not reveal the plot of In i evigheten, as the organizers asked us not to. They plan to play this larp one more time, with new participants, and thus wants to reduce the number of spoilers floating around the net. You will have to do with some general comments.

The game was very well organised, probably the best I have ever attanded in this regard. The most suprising bit was the general theme. I had expected a traditional who-dun-it story but this was something completely different. The focus was on psychological experiments and locked rooms. Unexpected but good. There was some smaller problems but in general I liked it. I will keep my eyes open on the future games arrenged by Fabel.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Future Art Here Today

Juhana Pettersson has written a new column over at rpg.net about his upcoming book. It should be of interest to all roleplayers and especially those from the Nordic scene.

Monday, April 11, 2005

In i evigheten

This weekend I will attend the larp In i evigheten. It is something as unusual as a live roleplaying game arrenged by a company. They make productions both for individuals and for other companies, mostly aimed at conferences and kick-offs.

The story is simple. A murder has been comitted and all suspects and withnesses have been gathered as an experimental way of solving the crime. Both the police and a group of university psychologists are attending.

It will be interesting to see how this larp differs from productions made by non-profit organisations. I can't say much about my character right now as I have been asked to keep all details secret to not risk revealing some plot critical information in advance.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Buying games in Sweden

In the latest years it have become increasingly difficult to buy board and roleplaying games in Sweden. The pattern is probably similar in most parts of the world. Game retaliers shut down and stores who previously had a good selection now focus almost exclusivly on computer games. Online shops are probably a big part of this and it seems like it has become an evil circle for face to face retailing. As the range of products is decreased more people buy online resulting in lower sales, further reduced assortment which in turn drives more people to the internet. I guess this is the way of the future and even if it is a bit sad I don't think it heralds the end of the market for these games.

As going downtown for you fix is no loger an option unless you live in a big city the online stores is your only hope. Depending on how soon you need your stuff there are many options. The first is the "normal" mail order service. You order what you need, pay it in some manner and the product is delivered in short notice as they got a well stocked store room. The main problem is that when adding postage and packing you usually end up paying as much as in your now defunct local shop.

An alternative to this is Hobbygames. They were originally a classic mail order store but are shifting towards only taking orders for a set date about once each month. If you order at this time you get a discount as they do not need to keep the products in stock. They place their order to the distributor based directly on the orders they got. I have used this service several times.

The newly opened Azimogames has further developed this concept. They keep very low prices but there is a slight catch. When you place your order the products are placed on a public list along with their weight. The games are not ordered from the distributor until the total weight adds upp to 120kg (~260lbs), as a large order is a requiremt for their low prices. It will be very interesting to see if this model is sucessful and I will probably try them out in the near future.