In Fiasco, there’s not really dice rolling, except for the start and middle bits, and trust me, those don’t count. It’s all decisions, decisions and storytelling, decisions and storytelling and improvisational roleplaying. Uh oh, there’s that word. Roleplaying. I’m going to have to sit at a table with other people and write a story out loud in the voice of a character that I just met, all while those other people are staring at me and judging me and hating me. This kind of thrown-in-the-deep-end roleplaying is a little daunting. No, wait, that’s not the right term. It’s gonad-shrinkingly terrifying.
So here is a game that I really do enjoy, and yet, there is this scar on my beloved which prevents me from embracing it completely: the character sheets are 8000 pages long.
And so the Dungeon Master, the creator of all things, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, oh yes, this Dungeon Master will make you fear death.
Because the population of a typical game world runs more than four to six, there will be a vast and diverse representation of nonplayer characters in every game, and not just the ones that want to strangle the characters with their own intestines.
Once again, it’s time to create a new 4E character, and once again, I’m paralyzed by indecision. Believe it or not, this isn’t because I’m overwhelmed with options. I’m okay with having bunches and piles and oodles of options. Pathetically, I’m currently frozen by the crushing terror that I’m going to make the wrong choice and wind up with a lousy, useless, despised character, which reflects badly on me as a player, a man, and an American. And possibly a human being.
With Wil Wheaton’s post, the clouds finally parted and the sun didst shine down and lo, it didst alight on my brow. Previously, I got it, but I didn’t really GET it. I understood it, but I didn’t really understand it.
I wasn’t supposed to go to SynDCon this year, as I had already attended my annual gaming convention, TempleCon, had a great pile of fun, and didn’t want to push my luck or spend piles of money I didn’t technically have. However, two weeks before it started, a DM I know from Meetup.com sent out a global alert/invite/threat saying he’d be going and would love to see everyone in his address book there. I thought about it for approximately 11 seconds and then fired off a text message to my best friend Dave in Rhode Island and said, “Gaming? Convention? Rockville? Maryland? Yes?” He was supposed to say, “Don’t be an idiot,” and then list hundreds of reasons why it’s a terrible idea. Instead, he agreed to be an idiot with me, and even bring along his son Mason, and suddenly the three of us were signed up for SynDCon.
When it comes to depression, real, actual, honest, sky-is-falling-and-life-is-ending depression, it’s a matter of bits of your brain actually missing. It’s a physical, medical, miserable condition, where life around you stays exactly the same way, but you have lost your ability to perceive it correctly.
The critic has analyzed the particular medium for an extended period of time, understanding elements of its architecture, such as pacing, characterization, construction, and depth. I say all of that to say this: actual play podcasts suck.
I had a really good time, and became convinced that I needed to buy this Gamma World game immediately and inflict it on all my family and friends, assuming I have any family or friends. There is a kind of brash funness about it, an in-your-face good time, sort of like a game of Strip Twister, only with dice and hit points and without the awkward apologies afterwards. The loopy joy is built right into the rules of the game, which I can describe it with one simple word I just made up: randomosity.