April Roundup!

Published on 2018-04-17

Hey Friends,

Here's what's going on in and around BPG HQ so far this month:

The Star Crossed Kickstarter is going like gangbusters! Running a Kickstarter is a huge amount of work and it is keeping us all busy. The game is in close alignment with my design sensibilities and I'm really, really happy we get to publish it! 

What's your best Star Crossed pairing? I remain ludicrously excited about a crow and an owl.

I'm working on a bunch of stuff. Our April release here is still being tuned up - it's called Fobolex Enterprises, and is a silly large-scale game Alex Roberts and I built. The clever thing it does, if it does anything clever, is to quietly reinforce a set of group behaviors we wanted to encourage without getting all didactic about it. It's hectic and fun and I hope to see it make the rounds at nerd gatherings. 

My friend Randy Lubin and I are putting the finishing touches on another game that will likely be released simultaneously here and to his Patreon patrons. It is called Field of Honor, and it is a six-player game about toxic masculinity, using the lens of honor culture as a way into the topic. So far the playtests have been very successful and it leads to a really interesting conversation among players who identify as men and those who don't. 

Here's a question - answer it as though you lived in an honor culture: An infamous duelist has recently moved to town. He has already goaded several gentlemen into challenges, which ended in his foe's deaths. You are organizing a gala and all good society are invited – do you invite the duelist? (My answer at bottom of post)

I co-run a local larp meet-up called Larp Shack here in Durham, North Carolina, and we enjoy access to a really cool space downtown with three separate rooms to play games in, connected by corridors. I started thinking about ways to utilize all that space for a single game, and the result is an experimental hybrid called Severnyy Polyus 41

This game is a techno-thriller for up to ten players and 30 minutes that combines elements of Kat Jones and Evan Torner's "parlor sandbox" style of larp with, basically, a Choose Your Own Adventure. It's self-directed and I have no idea if it is going to work or not! I sort of love that, although I've put enough hours into Severnyy Polyus 41 that I really hope it works. If not I'll strip it for parts; in any case you will see it in some form eventually. 

How excited are you to transform your entire house into a Russian arctic base and die horribly exploring it with your friends under intense time pressure?

I've been experimenting with using fiction to build setting, in the form of transcript snippets, all in support of an idea I bounced around with Steve and my brother Scott a while ago on the car ride home from Origins. If you'd like to read some, they are here. Hope you like it! Could it end up being a tabletop game? Yes, yes it could. 

Do you want to read fiction I write? Sharing fiction feels a little unwholesome to me, like asking you to wash my dishes.

Still ruminating on feedback from A Green & Narrow Bed. Thank you to everyone here who offered thoughts and comments, it was very useful! I want to have more dialogue with you all. 

See you soon,


(Header image: Russian Barneo camp,  89°31.5′N 30°27′W )

(Honor culture answer: Professional duelists are detested but tolerated. It would be a grave insult to bar the man from your event. Then he'd probably call you out and kill you - so invite him.)