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I am reliably informed that A Penny For My Thoughts will carry that ISBN number.

It's been a very good day. Now it's time to drive up to the Nerdly Beach Party.

Help Us Out With Our RPG Podcast Survey

The fine folks over at Spooky Outhouse Productions are coordinating a survey of RPG podcast listeners. If you listen to any RPG podcasts, please take two minutes and fill it out. The deadline is May 1, and the data will be shared with all of the RPG podcasters.


Celebration Time

This morning, at 8:34 AM Pacific Daylight Time, I sent the final draft of A Penny For My Thoughts to Fred Hicks for layout. It took a long time to get to this point, but I made it. I'm not done with this project yet, not by a long shot. But this is a milestone that deserves celebration.

So I'm going to Las Vegas.

Now, technically, I'm going to Vegas because I'm on the GAMA Board of Directors, and GTS is this week, but I like the other version better. I'll be there from tonight through Friday, so if you're at the show, give me a shout and we'll see if we can hook up. I'll be raising a glass to Penny.

William Shakespeare's Dracula, Session 2

We like to play slowly. Annalise is letting us do that.

We only made it through one round of scenes last night, but I feel like we're finding our footing. All of the scenes had real meat to them, both in terms of new information (Antonio might be Flavia's husband, Caius; Cato became Duke of Cyprus after Lucius was exiled) and in terms of thematic and motivic content. We had the density of allusion (to both antiquity and the Old Testament) and imagery that I associate with Shakespeare.

I realized this morning that we also enjoy using a convention that Shakespeare makes great use of: the audience knows more than the characters, and the players deliberately use that difference in knowledge to heighten the tension. The questioning scene between Antonio and Flavia had a wonderful energy about it precisely because we knew that both of them were trying to keep their intentions hidden from each other.

We did hit some trouble with storyguiding, though each of us in our own way. What I'm enjoying about this though is that we're each getting a chance to try out GMing in small chunks. I suspect we'll all learn a lot from this about how we enjoying creating and confronting opposition.

Games You're Good At

Tribune is unusual. It's a board game that I'm good at.

If I'm going to buy a board game, I have to enjoy losing it, because I will -- a lot. I play strategy board games with smart people, and I consistently get my hat handed to me. But this weekend reminded me that I'm rather good at Tribune.

I can't say precisely why. I just have an intuitive feel for the game. I don't win every time, but I'm always competitive. Perhaps more importantly, I always feel like I'm competitive. Every turn I can see what I can do to move towards victory, and it often works out.

My friend Ryan is this way with Amun-Re; he says he just knows what the right thing to do each turn is. He's so good at it that we're in the habit of finishing rules explanations for Amun-Re with, "...and at the end the game you count up victory points and Ryan wins." The first time we played a game without him, we didn't know what would happen at the end.

I don't think this is uncommon. I suspect that most people have a game like this, that they are good at but for reasons they can't explain.

What's yours?