It was Australian gamer Steve Darlington’s describing Jared A. Sorensen as the “foetus horribilis” of the tabletop roleplaying game design set that got my attention. From there on it was all downhill as I followed Jared from the web forum RPGnet to The Forge and bought myself a copy of his game InSpectres, still the most fun tabletop roleplaying game I’ve ever played or game mastered (and would love to play or GM again regularly).
I managed to catch Jared on Facebook one Saturday and asked him about interviewing – it turned out he was available right there and then! I connected my recording kit and got a good half hour chat about his design process, his full-time job in game design and how empanadas are key to his upcoming martial takeover of New York City.
While 2009 wasn’t a gaming-free year by any stretch of the imagination, I’m really looking forward to what 2010 will bring gaming-wise.
Let’s start with computer and video gaming. Vickie mentioned re-installing Neverwinter Nights on our PCs a couple of days ago, which I did last night. We intend to play through the two retail expansions, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark. I also installed the now-free MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online on both our PCs on a whim; I don’t know whether we’ll do anything with it, but Vickie was impressed by the graphics and it might be a bit of fun after we polish Neverwinter Nights off.
(Sure, sure, Golden Rule and all that, but if a set of rules doesn’t cater for what you and your friends are actually doing around the table to have fun, why are you wasting your money on it?)
So what does FreeMarket do in this regard? Well, it removes the possibility of a user’s profile being removed from play,* but it still keeps user death firmly on the table. The twist in the tale is that, as previously mentioned, death isn’t an end; it’s more a pause.
Freemer Fever seems to have taken hold in my brain.
After my first pass of the FreeMarket beta rulebook I’m giving it a more sedate reading, spotting bugs (i.e. typos and grammatical errors) and submitting them to the bug report page as I go (Firefox’s Find utility makes seeing whether anyone else has spotted a bug already easy).
I’m also thinking about how I’m going to run it for whomever decides to give it a whirl with me.
Well, I know I don’t do much tabletop RPGing at the moment; in fact, the recent game of D&D with Simon and his kids broke an eighteen-month drought. But I still dip my toe in the waters every now and again, mainly by browsing various RPG-related sites and fora.
Just recently I signed up on the website Project Donut. A rather odd name to be certain, mainly because it supports a rather odd game: the soon-to-be-released collaboration between game designers Jared Sorensen (whose games InSpectres and octaNe I’ve game mastered and loved and whose game Lacuna I own and would love to try sometime) and Luke Crane (whose game Burning Empires I own and would love to try sometime), called FreeMarket.