Sunday, April 28, 2024

Welcome to the Deathtrap: Year 4 in Review

I have been writing Welcome to the Deathtrap for four years! I can hardly believe it has been so long!

In the last year I've put out a couple of light games, like Drakken and Dragonette, I've nearly completed my complete edition of Deathtrap Lite, and have a couple of other rules light games in the works in my spare time. I haven't spent nearly as much time as I would have liked on reviews. I have a backlog of books I've read, or have almost finished readings, but haven't had much of an opportunity to review.

The ebb and flow of the 'blog has definitely reflected the good and bad times in my life. In the past year and a bit, I have partially lost use of my hands, feet, and lips, and developed chronic fatigue due to a brain injury, I've been forced to move once, and nearly had to do so a second time. I've lost 28 lbs. I've tried to go back to work, and found myself too ill to do so effectively. I've learned a new skillset, and I'm starting a business.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Podcasting Your Campaign Notes

I am, generally speaking, awful about keeping notes as a DM. When I run  a game, I am so deep in the flow moat times that writing things down doesn't occur to me. Three days later, I can usually tell you exactly what happened without referring to my scant in-game notes. But by the time a week has gone by, I am stuck in the position of sometimes having to ask, "What was that NPC's name again?"

It really isn't the best way to do things and has been the source of a few jarring moments in otherwise great game flow. I've started making quick audio notes after sessions so that I can have a quick refresher before the session begins.

For the sake of building some enthusiasm,  honing my craft, and having a little fun with my friends, it occurred to me that I could turn these into a podcast with a tiny and very specific audience. Although, once it is in full swing it might be interesting to other players who want to see how those older 1970s style rules and 1:1 time play out in an actual game.

Once the 5-10 minutes of audio notes are recorded, I also realized that I could also record some of the lore about the campaign setting in a fun delivery package that helps me avoid lore dumps in the game. "Here's 5 minutes of stuff you might want to know and might be interesting, but isn't game critical - and you can skip!" seems like a winning formula. Especially as it is as much about me as them.

If you are curious, here are my first to proper session versions of the micro-podcast:

Silver Gull - Episode 2

Silver Gull - Episode 3

Silver Gull - Episode 4

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Day Tripper, Analysis and Thoughts

This is part two of my discussion of my experience with the AI game master and role-playing game Day Tripper. See my previous article for a transcript of the actual play 

When I played Day Tripper, one of the first things I noticed was a slightly wonky pacing. While the game doesn't have a limited number of interactions, the AI game master is designed to really hurry things along: up to and including taking agency away from the player to desc

Monday, April 8, 2024

My A.I. Gm Experience: "Day Tripper" pt.1

 It is no secret that I love playing around with machine-learning models to create images, songs, and the like. "Generative A.I." is entertaining, even if its products are usually dull and uninspired. And you can get some damned good results with ethically sourced tools.But the moment you try to create anything too complex with it you end up witnessing otherworldly horrors beyond human comprehension.

(Believe me, if my hand's weren't fucked up, I would be doing my own illustrating! It would be less traumatic.)

I seriously doubt that an A.I., especially one trained by a large corporation, could do a great job running a game. But could one carefully trained by an indie developer do a halfway decent job? Recently I tried out the Scifi LLM "A.I." role-playing experience "Day Tripper" by Tod Foley, designer of Core Micro and Uniquicity, (and generally fun interlocutor.)

I am still processing my experience with "Day Tripper" and I am going to present a transcript of my first adventure here. And then I will pick Tod's brain to clarify my thoughts, and share my analysis of the experience with you in my next post.

Monday, April 1, 2024

The Trans-Real News


I just realized that I wasn't sharing my podcast here with the people who might appreciate it the most!

Trans-Real News is my weird fiction audio-drama podcast framed as a newscast from the Astral Plane as time, space, and reality is collapsing.

Over the course of the 40 episodes I have planned (10 are already recorded and edited.) The newscasters will slowly go from unscrupulous hacks and shills to heroes in a war against supernatural authoritarians.

It isn't TTRPG material (yet), but I hope it will inspire people looking for gonzo setting ideas to steal from it.

Here are my first three episodes: