The Imposters Teaser

“Delve into a world rife with conspiracy and resistance and leave behind your illusions of safety.” —Jeremy Morgan, Editor

Our next book, The Imposters, is coming to Kickstarter tomorrow. Want to support seven game designers who struggle with Imposter Syndrome? Want to get your hands on seven new or revised larps and tabletop rpgs?

The Imposters is an anthology of seven tabletop and live-action roleplaying games from seven different designers. Some of these games are brand new; some are revised and updated versions of games that have won prestigious indie gaming awards like the ENnies, Golden Cobra, and the 200WordRPG contest. All seven games offer a play experience you’ve never had before.

 

For example, the anthology contains “They’re Onto Me” by Banana Chan, a game about paranoia and the possibility that your co-workers have been replaced by duplicates. You can watch two run throughs of “They’re Onto Me” on Youtube now.

Here is the short version of a “They’re Onto Me” run by my friend, Norwegian larp designer Ole Peder.

This second run of “They’re Onto Me” is by my friend, Filipino rpg designer Tobie Abad.

You can support get your hands on this game and six more like it by backing The Imposters on Kickstarter tomorrow. Information Day, 4/11. #RUready4theTruth?

 

Coming Soon: The Imposters

The Imposters is getting tantalizingly close to done. We plan to Kickstart it in early April. The Imposters is an anthology of seven conspiracy-themed games by seven different authors, including three #GoldenCobra winners, a Golden Cobra honorable mention, a #200WordRPG winner, and the former Global Coordinator of Game Chef. Despite our apparent successes, all seven designers admit that we struggle with Imposter Syndrome,* the self-perception that we aren’t “real” designers who deserve to hang with the “professionals.”


If you can sympathize with our struggles, or you struggle with Imposter Syndrome yourself, or you have been harrassed and othered by folks in the gaming community, we encourage you to join our conspiracy and check out the +Kickstarter next month. We’re proud of what we’ve made together. These games are awesome. They range from an X-Files inspired mystery set at a funeral to a spy vs. spy meetup to a full-on, cryptographic psychogeography larp. If you follow any of us on social media, there’s at least one game in here that you will love.

See you in April.

Josh T. Jordan and his fellow Imposters

  • Alex Carlson
  • Banana Chan
  • James Mullen
  • Jay Sylvano
  • Jeremy Morgan
  • Nick Wedig
  • timothy hutchings
  • Todd Crapper

*Also spelled Impostor Syndrome. They’re both correct. And I will fight you on that if you need me to.

Opportunity

I came across this poem today in a book of poetry my grandfather gave me. It’s worth sharing.

“Opportunity” by Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:–
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel–
That blue blade that the king’s son bears, — but this
Blunt thing–!” he snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

Episode 5 Josh T Jordan

Welcome back for our fifth episode of Versed.  On this episode, Josh reads one of his own poems for a change.

I understand that people can find poetry intimidating or strange, so during each episode, I read a poem and talk about why I like it for a minute or two. That’s it. No pressure. I’m making Versed to make you feel more comfortable reading poetry and to introduce you to passionate, talented poets that I didn’t discover until after college.

If you like the show, you can support Versed on Patreon.

When Leaders Fail

Let’s look behind the door when leaders fail.
What will we find once we have pierced the veil,
And we’ve divined their sins behind their tale?
That they have whined with privileges male,
They kept us blind and hollered “Her email!”
The tyrants grind and hope our hope grows stale.
They act unkind, expecting us to pale.

I have a mind that will not quickly quail
When fetters bind or freedoms fly and fail.
When they were fined and banned and put in jail,
My fathers signed and fought by pen and nail
Till freedom shined where once injustice hailed.
What will we find once we have pierced the veil?
Let’s look behind the door when leaders fail.

Photograph by Alyssa Kibilosky.

 

The Notebook of John Silence, PI Vol 1.5

Thomas Novosel and I put out an illustrated weird detective zine called The
Notebook of John Silence, PI
. I write. He does art and layout. It’s a fun creative project based on the Algernon Blackwood stories about Dr. John Silence, the psychic physician. Our John Silence is his great-grandson, a private investigator who specializes in crimes psychical and cosmic.

Today, Volume 1.5 is now available. This is a free mini-issue, a foldable pocket zine featuring a trancelarp illustrated by Thomas and designed by me. We even playtested it! You probably won’t poke your eye out playing the game. It is a solo game designed to mimic one of the rituals that John Silence uses to solve his weird cases.

You can buy Volume 1: Daydreams on Thomas’ website. This full issue contains fiction, art, and poetry that will prepare you for the forthcoming Volume 2, tentatively subtitled “Whereabouts,” which features a one-act play.

Episode 4 Kamala Das

Welcome back for our fourth episode of Versed. 

I understand that people can find poetry intimidating or strange, so during each episode, I read a poem and talk about why I like it for a minute or two. That’s it. No pressure. I’m making Versed to make you feel more comfortable reading poetry and to introduce you to passionate, talented poets that I didn’t discover until after college.

If you like the show, you can support Versed on Patreon.

{{Blanks}} & [[Spaces]]

{{Blanks}} & [[Spaces]]

(A hack of John Harper’s Lasers & Feelings)

I am a big fan of John’s little two-page game Lasers & Feelings. I think it is especially good for hacking to fit with different adventure game styles and settings. So I’ve created this fill-in-the-blank version to encourage other people to create their own versions. This game, {{Blanks}} & [[Spaces]], like the original Lasers & Feelings is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

You are _________. Your mission is to explore _________, deal with _________, and defend _________ against _________. Your boss _________ has been overcome by _________, leaving you to fend for yourselves while your boss _________.

 

Players: Create Characters

  1. Choose a style for your character: _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, or _________.
  2. Choose a role for your character: _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, or _________.
  3. Choose your number, from 2 to 5. A high number means you are better at {{_________}} (described here _________.) A low number means you’re better at [[_________]] (described here _________.)
  4. Give your character a cool _________ adventure name. Like _________ or something.

Clothing and Equipment: _________, _________, _________, or _________.

Player goal: Get your character involved in crazy _________  genre adventures and try to make the best of them.

Character goal: Choose one or create your own: _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, or _________.

 

Players: Create the _________ Location

As a group, pick Two Strengths for _________ Location: _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, _________, or _________.

Also, pick One Problem: _________ (described here _________,) _________ (described here _________,) _________ (described here _________,) or _________ (described here _________.)

 

Rolling the Dice

When you do something risky, roll 1d6 to find out how it goes. Roll +1d if you’re prepared and +1d if you’re an expert. (The GM tells you how many dice to rol, based on your character and the situation.) Roll your dice and compare each die result to your number.

If you’re using {{_________}}  (described here __________,) you want to roll under your number

If you’re using [[_________]]  (described here __________,) you want to roll over your number.

0 If none of your dice succeed, it goes wrong. The GM says how things get worse somehow.

1 If one die succeeds, it you barely manage it. The GM inflicts a complication, harm, or cost.

2 If two dice succeed, you do it well. Good job!

3 If three dice succeed, you get a critical success! The GM tells you some extra effect you get.

! If you roll your number exactly, you have {{Blank}} [[Spaces]]! You get a special insight into what’s going on. Ask the GM a question and they’ll answer you honestly. Some good questions:

What are they really feeling? Who’s behind this? How could I get them to do what I want? What should I be on the lookout for? What’s the best way to do this thing? What’s really going on here?

You can change your action if you want to, then roll again.

Helping: If you want to help someone else who’s rolling, say how you try to help and make a roll. If you succeed, give them +1d.

 

GM: Create a _________ Adventure

Roll or choose on the tables below.

A Threat

1. 4.
2. 5.
3. 6.

Wants to

1. 4.
2. 5.
3. 6.

The

1. 4.
2. 5.
3. 6.

Which will

1. 4.
2. 5.
3. 6.

 

GM: Run the Game

Play to find out how they defeat the threat. Introduce the threat by showing evidence of its recent badness. Before a threat does something to the characters, show signs that it’s about to happen, then ask what they do.

Call for a roll when the situation is uncertain. Don’t pre-plan outcomes. Let the chips fall where they may. Use failures to push the action forward. The situation always changes after a roll, for good or ill.

Ask questions and build on the answers.