Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My new game: 'Soth'. It's Call of Cthulhu, after you've gone mad

If you ever wanted to know what the world looked like from the villains' point of view, Soth is the game for you.

Soth (26 page .pdf)

It's a roleplaying game where you play cultists in small town America trying to summon the dark god Soth. 

I call it ‘the horrible game’: it starts with your cult having just completed your first ritual sacrifice, and continues with you having to juggle four things:
  • covering up your crimes
  • continuing with your cult’s rituals
  • fulfilling your mundane responsibilities so your family, friends and workmates don’t get suspicious
  • warding off the growing number of investigators looking to bring you down.

The tone of the game is noir. In my playtests, it's felt very much like a ‘cat-and-mouse’ thriller. Sometimes the cultists are on top and their evil plans seem unstoppable; sometimes they're very much on the back-foot, scrambling to save themselves. It's got a very competitive ‘players vs. GM’ dynamic.

This was my entry in this year's Game Chef entry this year: a scorched-earth rewrite of an earlier version that's now a mostly diceless hack of Apocalypse World.

If it sounds like your sort of thing, feel free to download, share, play and comment here.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

How to run a forum: Have a clear purpose and expected behaviour. Publicly call out offenders

Notes from a 2007 interview. On his Theory from the Closet podcast, Clyde L Roher interviewed Ron Edwards and Vincent Baker on their moderation policies at the Forge. They had three conclusions:

  1. The site's purpose needs to be explicit.
  2. The behaviour you expect from members of the community needs to be clearly stated.
  3. When a person is behaving problematically, the moderator needs to call them out publicly.

(A fourth principle: you never need to apologise to the moderator.)

It's a good listen, with some other conversation about running Spione and Dogs in the Vineyard. The interview is here: http://www.geekyandgenki.com/show025-interview-with-ron-edwards-and-vincent-baker/