Ropecon Videos for the Weekend

Ropecon 2019 kicks off a week from now at Messukeskus in Helsinki. There’s a lot of great programming on offer, and if you’re even remotely able to make it, it’s well worth the trip.

However, what with physical distance and the troubles of travel, remotely is indeed the only way a lot of you can enjoy the convention. Since the con’s video team has been working like mad to get the backlog cleared before this year puts another hundred videos in the queue, I thought I’d go through the archive and highlight some of my favourites from over the years. These are English only, but if you do grok Finnish, I also heartily recommend looking up everything by Esa Perkiö.

2012: Peter Adkison – “Gen Con Now and Then”

Guest of Honour Peter Adkison talks about the then-45-year-old Gen Con and its history. Though his first Gen Con wasn’t until 1992, he nowadays owns the damn thing, and is an engaging speaker.

2012: Peter Adkison – “Wizards of the Coast, 1990-2001”

really engaging speaker. WotC he founded, making him eminently qualified to talk about its first decade until the company was bought by Hasbro. Rounds out the picture provided by Shannon Appelcline’s Designers & Dragons nicely.

2012: Larson Kasper – “Larp as a Tool for Civic Education”

Guest of Honour Larson Kasper (with whom I larped last week) talks about how larp is used in Germany in adult civic education.

2013: Dagmar de Cassan – “History of Modern Board Games”

Board game expert Dagmar de Cassan, who had to bow out of her GoH gig for this year fortunately dropped by back in 2013, and gave us this talk. There’s also an interview from this year on the Ropecon website.

2013: D. Vincent Baker – “How to Design a Role-Playing Game That Doesn’t Suck”

Vincent Baker, the designer of Dogs in the VineyardApocalypse World, and a bunch of other games, talks about his design style and philosophy. It is very enlightening, especially to people like me who have trouble wrapping our brains around Apocalypse World.

2014: Jason Soles – “Mythology, Art, and Game Design”

Guest of Honour Jason Soles from Privateer Press discusses what he’s created and how he ended up there.

2014: Massi Hannula – “All the Mistake We’ve Made”

An annual favourite, where Massi gathers a bunch of her friends, everyone talks about how they’ve screwed up in larp organizing, conrunning, gamemastering, or the like. The 2014 edition features Ville-Eemeli Miettinen, Katri Lassila, and Mikko Pervilä. Very funny.

2014: Guy Windsor – “Realities of Steel”

Guy Windsor teaches European swordfighting, and for many, many years he did an annual talk about how things work when you’re wielding actual sharp metal bits instead of a duct-taped pool noodle or a d20.

2015: Niina Niskanen, Michelle Nephew, Jaakko Stenros & Jamie McDonald – “Gender in Games”

The panel discussed gender and LGBT experience and representation in gaming from professional and personal viewpoints. The panel was an important one back then and remains so.

2015: Jason Morningstar – “You Call That a Larp?”

Guest of Honour Jason Morningstar gives an overview of what’s new and cool in American larp. I think this one’s stood the test of time in that though time may have passed by the specifics, America remains weird.

2016: Jukka Särkijärvi – “Game Novels Then and Now”

Yeah, it’s mine. I talk for 90 minutes about role-playing game tie-in novels, with a bit of Warhammer thrown in. I had fun making it, I had fun doing it, and I’m very satisfied with how it turned out.

2016: Juhana Pettersson – “Blood, Sex, and Techno Music: The New Vampire Larp”

Juhana Pettersson, one of the designers of End of the Line, White Wolf’s first official larp under Paradox Interactive, discusses the larp’s design and what was planned further down the line. Though not all of those plans ever came to fruition, I feel items like this are an important reminder of what White Wolf was actually doing.

2017: Martin Ericsson – “50 Shades of Darkness”

Martin Ericsson, then the lead storyteller for White Wolf, discusses the different styles of playing Vampire: The Masquerade and the challenges of accommodating the gamut of popular playstyles in the new edition’s design. (He also had some thought on the challenge of redesigning clan symbols so nobody’s tattoo would become obsolete, but I don’t think he covered that here.)

2017: Monica Valentinelli – “How to Create Your Own RPG”

Guest of Honour Monica Valentinelli discusses game design, gives advice, and covers some of the realities of the industry. (Fun fact: the game she mentions in the beginning before actually starting the program item was a showcase game of Hunter: The Vigil that I played in. There was a clash of cultures. We learned a lot.)

2017: Anna Westerling – “Adaptation to Larp”

Guest of Honour Anna Westerling talked about the art of adapting works from other mediums into larp. This seems to be raw stream, so feel free to skip the first ten minutes or so of empty nothing. Her mike has a bit of a reverb at the start but it gets fixed soon.

2018: Alex Roberts – “Un-Designing Star Crossed

Guest of Honour Alex Roberts discusses game design and the design process of Star Crossed. The game is also up for a Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming this year!

2018: Eevi Korhonen, Alex Roberts, Karoliina Korppoo, Kristel Nyberg & Janina Kahela – “Women in Game Design”

A group of designers from the fields tabletop RPG, video games and larp discuss exactly what it says on the tin, a conversation that, as Eevi points out, is not one we’ve had a lot in Finland (by a quick count, I believe our grand total number of woman tabletop RPG designers stands at three, and I figure we could stand to do better).

2018: John Shockley – “Taking the Leap – International Larping and Why You Should Do It”

John talks about a thing that I do. Some of the material is a bit outdated in that Dziobak Larp Studios no longer exists and College of Wizardry is now run by The Company P, but most of what John covers is still applicable.

2018: Jamie MacDonald, Essi Santala, Joonas Iivonen, Tonja Goldblatt & Vili Nissinen – “Post-mortem: Just a Little Lovin’ 2018

The organizing team of the 2018 run of the larp Just a Little Lovin’, set in the midst of the AIDS crisis of early 1980s New York, discusses and dissects the production of the larp. I played it, hauled some coffins for it, and was blown away by it.

 

This is but a smattering of the videos on Ropecon’s channel and not even all of my favourites – for instance, I only listed one iteration of “All the Mistakes We’ve Made”. Neither is it all of the English-language ones. I encourage you to go into the archive, delve deep, post your favourites in the comments!

And see you at Ropecon!

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Spire: The City Must Fall, or, “Menzoberranzan Writes Back”

I am probably late to the party on this, but just this past week I discovered the game Spire: The City Must Fall. It looked absolutely fascinating, so I threw myself into it and read the entire book cover to cover, and now I have thoughts about it.

I have not yet played the game, though I’m already scheduling one-shots to kick the tyres a bit and see how this bad boy works in practice. The book itself clocks in at 220 pages and is gorgeously illustrated by Adrian Stone. I bought the PDF. It is published by the London-based Rowan, Rook, and Decard Ltd. and written and designed by Grant Howitt and Christopher Taylor.

Spire is a game about drow elves. The drow live in the city known as Spire, an impossible pile of buildings that reaches towards the stars. A proper hive city. It used to belong to the drow, but two hundred years ago an invader came, and their rule was overthrown, and they are now the underclass, the dregs of society. That invader was the aelfir, or the high elves. To earn the right to live in Spire, a drow must do a period of indentured servitude known as the durance. Perhaps they will serve in the army of the expansionist aelfir, perhaps in the city guard to oppress their fellow drow. Perhaps they will be servants to the high elves.

Whatever their profession or background, all player characters belong to the Ministry, a quasi-religious revolutionary conspiracy. Their goal: to overthrow the rule of the aelfir and restore Spire to the drow.

To start with, a word on the ruleset. The system looks like an cousin of Blades in the Dark. This is not a generic system. There’s character classes, which are woven deeply into the world of the game. There’s the Knight, which is a fighter class, but also the member of a drunken and disorderly chivalric order, who can glance at the room and instantly determine who to pick a fight with in order to create a distraction or impress people. There’s the Midwife, who’s the caretaker and defender of drow eggs (!) and gets weird spider abilities. The Firebrand is a revolutionary who eventually becomes to embody the anger of the people. Each class has a couple of abilities they get at the beginning, and advances that are grouped into Low, Medium, and High. There is no level or experience system as such, but the characters gain advances as they effect change in the Spire. In addition to the ultimately finite lists of advances from their class, the characters can also pick advances from the lists of specific organizations, or related to their durance. The system is lightweight but the characters seem very customizable.

The basic resolution system is elegant. You roll a small dice pool of d10s – possibly as few as one – and the highest one counts. There’s degrees of success. You can fail bad, just fail, succeed at cost, succeed, and succeed really well. Failures and success at cost inflict stress. The durability of your character in Spire is measured by stress and resistance, and there are five types of resistance. Blood measures your physical durability and is basically your hit points – you fuck up in combat, you usually get Blood stress. The other resistances measure your finances, mental stability and wellbeing, cover identities and secrecy, and local reputation. As stress accumulates, the GM rolls stress tests and failing one of these results in fallout, which comes in minor, medium, and severe. The fallouts are narrative. Severe fallouts may result in death. A minor Blood fallout might be “bleeding”, a medium one “broken arm”, and a severe one “dying”, which gives the character a choice of either doing one final action with bonus dice, or trying to desperately cling to life, losing something vital in the bargain. I like this system. Character death in Spire feels like a thing that happens and should happen, and the character creation seems light enough that creating a new one even at a higher level doesn’t feel like a drag.

The setting, then. I’d describe the world as “weird fantasy”. While the drow are definitely D&D, the city of the Spire is a closer relation to China Miéville’s New Crobuzon than Waterdeep or Menzoberranzan. The book itself acknowledges as much. It’s a fallen world, littered with the detritus of a bygone precursor civilization that the humans have reverse-engineered to bring about their own industrial revolution that hasn’t quite percolated all the way to the elven lands. Spire is a backwater metropolis beset by social issues and religious strife. There’s high weirdness in the city, such as the Vermissian, a subway system that was never finished, whose tunnels interact with strangely with the quaint notion of three-dimensional space, and where odd creatures roam, and whose maintenance ways lead to the Vermissian library.

Spire does not entirely make sense, and is famously unmappable (okay, there is a map, but it’s one of those that more suggests “here there be cool shit and also dragons” than telling you where place A is in relation to place B), which means the GM doesn’t need to worry about where whatever they want to put there would actually fit. There’s competing academies and universities, and “it is hard to find a school that isn’t a recruitment agency for a dark cult, insidious conspiracy or apocalypse cabal, so students in the know do their best to learn what they can and get out before they’re roped into murdering a city official or sacrificing a blind gutterkin on an altar of the hungry deep” (p. 81), and cults practising air burial, and the sky docks where megacorvidae soar and skywhales bring wares from distant lands. Hidden gnolls lurk in the slums, something dire lives in one of the algae vats, and down in Red Row, Brother Hellion’s Church of the Gun congregates and worships.

It’s a delight to read, has its own voice, and sets a unique tone that fires up the imagination to come up with more.

The relationship between Spire and New Crobuzon does not stop with the weird fantasy, but extends to the thematic level. The astute reader may have picked up by now that it’s what might be described as “explicitly political”. The entire setup is basically a postcolonial critical reading of D3 Vault of the Drow. The classic D&D drow is a sadistic, evil, hypersexualized monster of a person, who’s also by the way black, in contrast to the white, noble, cultured and good high elves. This is kinda, you know, racist (and the art in Spire leans into this – instead of white hair, the drow here are black-haired and sport dreadlocks, cornrows and undercuts). Spire is a reading of this against the grain, the classic D&D drow a creature of aelfir propaganda. Another inspiration that the game lists is Discworld, and this is the only place I’ve seen where the influence of Pratchett is the anger. (My own additions to its Appendix N would be Warren Ellis’s superlative comic book Transmetropolitan, which has become more and more relevant every damn election cycle ever since it was released in 1997, and Neil Jordan’s film Michael Collins, for its depiction of low-tech counter-intelligence in action.)

The setting and setup of the game are a juicy commentary on oppression and colonization. The institutions of higher learning are controlled by the high elves, but is anything they teach about the drow true? Are they even the same species? While even during their durance a drow is legally a person and not property, the injustice and economic implications of the system are complicated. Oh, and the drow Home Nations are embroiled in a brutal civil war and refugees are streaming into the city. The worship of some of the drow gods has been banned, driving their faithful underground and radicalizing them.

Spire is also harsh about the life of the resistance fighter. From the point of view of the high elves, or even the ordinary drow on the Blue Market omnibus, they are a terrorist organization. Though the top-level setup of colonizer vs. colonized is black and white enough, on the practical level it becomes a grey muddle of who you can trust, how far are you willing to go and what is the personal cost of the struggle. The characters are not murderhoboes but have relationships with NPCs, who may (will) end up hurt in the course of the revolution. The game states up front that your character will die, the Ministry itself and their own families will sell them out when they become liabilities, and the best they can hope is to become the bastards in charge.

And sure, you can play Spire without getting all political about it and just run it like it was released by Ubisoft. This, to be fair, is probably how it’ll mostly get played and how I would also run it in, say, a convention setting with a collection of random players. The deeper level is there, though, and it’s explicit about it.

I really have only a single, minor quibble. That quibble is languages. Though the Azurite class has two different advances that deal with language acquisition, Spire is remarkably coy about what languages there are actually spoken in the city. The information that aelfir speak their own language and have trouble communicating with ordinary citizens is squirrelled away in the glossary appendix, and all other mentions of language in the book are of occult, dead and some cases executed, forgotten and forbidden tongues, which are not really the purview of the merchant-priest Azurites. I feel this is also significant because when you’re running an insurrection and counter-intelligence operations, who can understand what language is very important – do they need an interpreter, can they be compromised, and so on. It’s possible the setting book Strata or the crypto sourcebook Secrets Kept from the Sun go into more detail on this, but really, a couple of paragraphs in the corebook would’ve gone a long way.

And that’s it. Spire is one of the strongest games I’ve picked up in recent years. The system is elegant and fast to pick up despite the amount of character options, the city of Spire is delightfully weird and offbeat, and the game has a clear, bold vision in critical dialogue with established tropes of the genre. It dares to get POLITICS IN MUH GAMES, and I respect that (of course it helps that I agree with those politics). Most importantly, it does this in an accessible way. Spire is an ambitious work but unlike many such role-playing games, especially from the storygame side of things, it doesn’t demand that from the players.

If my dance card wasn’t full for the year, I’d look into kicking off a campaign.

Oh, and about those spiders…

The comments, of course, are moderated.

My Ropecon Schedule

Ropecon’s program is up! The con’s coming again, July 25th through 27th, and this time I’m paying my way by talking. A lot of talking.

My program items are as follows:

Friday, 20:00 – 21:45: Are You There, Crom? It’s Me, Conan – Mythologies in Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games have always drawn from myth and legend. This is a deep dive into the ways mythology has been used in different role-playing games over the years, from American interpretations of Kalevala to the umpteenth Viking fantasy. Come discover who is the most popular god in all of role-playingdom!

Saturday, 13:00 – 13:45: Living Greyhawk – kahdeksan vuotta, eikä aivan suotta

Together with Sampo Haarlaa, we’ll talk about Living Greyhawk, the most massive (at least by some metrics) organized play campaign to date. What it was, how it was cool, and what we can learn from it.

Sunday, 10:00-11:45: Roleplaying Games and Comics

Together with Jaakko Stenros, we’ll talk about role-playing games and comics, ones based on the others and the other way around, and which are good, and which are not, and which ones are heartily recommended.

Apart from my own stuff, the program in general has the usual problem of being packed full of stuff I want to see but I can’t be in three places at once and need to eat now and then.

See you there!

Vampire for the Win, Press Release Loses

This past weekend, Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition picked up the Origins Award for Best Role-Playing Game, as well as Fan Favourite in the same category, at Origins Game Fair. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes for D&D got Best Supplement. Congratulations to both teams for excellent work and deserved wins!

Though as with any award, I could complain about the shortlist, but I really should’ve done that back when it was released and will desist for now. We’ll see again for next year. However, I do have an issue with how all of this is presented.

For one thing, the award was given to Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition by Modiphius Entertainment. While Modiphius is a fine company and I have a pile of their games that I love – indeed, I just got Mutant Chronicles yesterday – the fact remains that the core book as well as both of the sourcebooks currently out were designed and published by White Wolf before its dissolution. Modiphius didn’t get the license until late December 2018, and have no releases of their own out for the game. They were initially just the distribution partner. While the company played a significant part in getting the game out to the people, White Wolf should be at least acknowledged.

Also, someone’s botched with the press release from the Origins’ end, because multiple outlets, such as ACDnewsource and ICv2 are crediting the game as:

designed by Tomas Arfert, Mary Lee, Mark Kelly, Sarah Horrocks, Tomas Arfert, Anders Muammar, Mike Mignola, and the CCP Atlanta art team directed by Reynir Harðarson, consisting of Erling Ingi Sævarsson, John Van Fleet, Vince Locke, Michael Gaydos, Matthew Mitchell

Who are all in the book and all great at what they do, which at least in this case was not game design. These are the art credits. While it’s a gorgeous book and they do deserve recognition, that’s not what they were doing. The reason Tomas Arfert is there twice is because he’s also credited for the cover. Like, this is literally from the rulebook’s credits page:

Fortunately, the Game Fair’s website at least lists design & development people:

Kenneth Hite, Karim Muammar, Martin Ericsson, Mathew Dawkins, Karl Bergström, Juhana Pettersson

Though I’m pretty sure Mr Dawkins’s name is spelled with two T’s, this is much better. Funny, usually it’s the Nordics who get their names mangled, like “Juhanna Peterson” on the Modiphius webstore, or “Juhana Peterson” as in the Modiphius press release from last April.

In related news, Juhana of the Many Spellings has written up a blog post titled “The Annotated Anarch” where he goes over his inspirations and creative processes in his work on Anarch. It is well worth a read.

Free Stuff! Chapters from Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations

Among all the other interesting works that came out for Free RPG Day, the scholars who wrote Role-Playing Game Studies: A Transmedia Approach put a handful of chapters from the book up for free download.

The book came out from Routledge last year after having been in the works for a very long time. I have read it, and it is mostly good. It’s the first and thus far only book to present in one place all the different strains of RPG studies.

These links originate from a Facebook post by the editor Jose Zagal, and I’m reproducing them below for convenience, along with the rest of the table of contents. I will update the post as more chapters become available.

1 The Many Faces of Role-Playing Game Studies
Sebastian Deterding and José P. Zagal

PART I: DEFINITIONS

2 Definitions of “Role-Playing Games”
José P. Zagal and Sebastian Deterding

PART II: FORMS

3 Precursors
Jon Peterson

4 Tabletop Role-Playing Games
William J. White, Jonne Arjoranta, Michael Hitchens, Jon Peterson, Evan Torner, and Jonathan Walton

5 Live-Action Role-Playing Games
J. Tuomas Harviainen, Rafael Bienia, Simon Brind, Michael Hitchens, Yaraslau I. Kot, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, David W. Simkins, Jaakko Stenros, and Ian Sturrock

6 Single-Player Computer Role-Playing Games
Douglas Schules, Jon Peterson, and Martin Picard

7 Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games
Mark Chen, Riley Leary, Jon Peterson, and David W. Simkins

8 Online Freeform Role-Playing Games
Jessica Hammer

9 The Impact of Role-playing Games on Culture
Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Jaakko Stenros, and Staffan Björk

PART III: DISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES

10 RPG Theorizing by Designers and Players
Evan Torner

11 Performance Studies and Role-Playing Games
Sarah Hoover, David W. Simkins, Sebastian Deterding, David Meldman, and Amanda Brown

12 Sociology and Role-Playing Games
J. Patrick Williams, David Kirschner, Nicolas Mizer, and Sebastian Deterding

13 Psychology and Role-Playing Games
Sarah Lynne Bowman and Andreas Lieberoth

14 Literary Studies and Role-Playing Games
David Jara and Evan Torner

15 Learning and Role-Playing Games
Jessica Hammer, Alexandra To, Karen Schrier, Sarah Lynne Bowman, and Geoff Kaufman

16 Economics and Role-Playing Games
Isaac Knowles and Edward Castronova

17 Science and Technology Studies and Role-Playing Games
Rafael Bienia

18 Game Design and Role-Playing Games
Staffan Björk and José P. Zagal

19 Communication Research and Role-Playing Games
William J. White

PART IV: INTERDISCIPLINARY ISSUES

20 Worldbuilding in Role-Playing Games
Karen Schrier, Evan Torner, and Jessica Hammer

21 Role-Playing Games as Subculture and Fandom
Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Aaron Trammell

22 Immersion and Shared Imagination in Role-Playing Games
Sarah Lynne Bowman

23 Players and Their Characters in Role-Playing Games
Sarah Lynne Bowman and Karen Schrier

24 Transgressive Role-play
Jaakko Stenros and Sarah Lynne Bowman

25 Sexuality and the Erotic in Role-Play
Ashley ML Brown and Jaakko Stenros

26 Representation and Discrimination in Role-Playing Games
Aaron Trammell

27 Power and Control in Role-Playing Games
Jessica Hammer, Whitney Beltran, Jonathan Walton, and Moyra Turkington

Ropecon’s Academic Track Open for Registration!

Last year, Ropecon inaugurated an academic seminar alongside its regular programming. It went great, so they’re doing it again. I’m not personally involved though I will be there. The pre-registration is now open, the tentative program is out, and it looks really great.

This year they’re kicking it up a notch with a keynote speaker flown in from the States. Jon Peterson is known for the groundbreaking brick of a book that is Playing at the World: A History of Simulating Wars, People, and Fantastic Adventure from Chess to Role-Playing Games, which delves into the influences that coalesced into Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. The level of detail is staggering. They’re also collaborating with the journal Simulation & Gaming, and the best papers may end up in a special symposium issue.

Get your tickets here. Tea, coffee, and lunch are included.

Changes in the Anarch and Camarilla Books

As yet another pair of revised PDFs for the Vampire: The Masquerade, 5th Edition sourcebooks Anarch and Camarilla dropped the other day, I found myself wondering what was the list of actual changes. So I googled for it, and found many people wondering the same but no actual list.

So, I pulled up the first-released PDFs and the newest versions alongside them and compared to get the following. This is just a list of additions, removals, and changes in the content. Some of the edits are pretty simple and inconsequential, but others can be read politically. I did not make mention of corrected typos, changes in the artwork, or shifts in layout. Some of the changes I agree with, such as the removal of the Abrek Blight, and some I do not, such as the rewriting of The Gehenna War. On the balance, I’m pretty happy with my uncensored hardcovers. I do appreciate, though, that of the additional cities in the revamped Camarilla, all but one are outside the United States.

It should be noted that in addition to the two that I compared, the original and them most recent one, there exists a third version, which is the quick edits right before going to print. I haven’t looked at them in detail but I think the only major change in those is that Camarilla has had Abrek Blight excised and a bunch of new city entries added to make up the page count. The first print edition does have the original Gehenna War chapter.

I worked by comparing the profile of the the text on two adjacent PDFs, not by close reading. I will have missed stuff, especially in sections of Camarilla where they jiggered the layout and made my technique harder. In such cases I did have to do close reading, but I am but a fallible mortal.

In entries where the pages differ between the two versions, the first page number is the original.

Anarch

pg 1: Additional writing by Steffie De Vaan.

pg 27: Section titled The End of the Dream substantially rewritten to remove references to Central Asia and ambiguity as to whether Oksana refers to lording over humans or Communism itself.

pg 32: Chapter “Damsel wants YOU to join the Anarch Free States” inserted.

pg 40/42: Section “Overpopulation and Suicide” rewritten as “Overpopulation and Wights”. In the original version, it talked about how many newly Embraced Anarchs kill themselves in their first few months of unlife. In the new one, they succumb to the Beast.

pg 66/68: Chapter “Is It OK To Feed Vitae To a Baby?”, a cutting satire on internet’s baby and self-help forums cut away. “Damsel wants YOU to join the Anarch Free States” exists to make up the page count.

pg 104: In the Chapter “The Blood of the Patriots”, paragraph “Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t combine pretending to be human by eating food and drinking from girls who pass out at parties. Being so fucked you puke on your shoes is possible even as one of us, if the conditions are right.” changed to “Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t combine pretending to be human by eating food and drinking from people who’ve been chugging beer all night long.”

pg 114: A third eye removed from the picture of a young woman. Guess no Salubri here, then.

pg 120: In the chapter “A vér hanaja”, title corrected as “A vér hangja”. Two paragraphs in section “The Fate of Humanity” reading:

This is a simple truth: When a mortal breeds true, their blood tastes divine. If it doesn’t, something has gone wrong. Modern medicine has allowed the weak to survive, polluting the gene pool with their hereditary trash, spoiling our hunt in the process.

We must break apart human civilization, separating, radicalizing and regimenting them until only the best and purest blood rises to the surface. The human waste matter with no culinary value will starve out.

to

This is a simple truth: When a mortal feeds on too much processed food and refined sugars, their blood tastes different, wrong. Modern society has weakened most humans, spoiling our hunt in the process.

We must break apart human civilization, separating, radicalizing and regimenting them until they are forced back into an age of hunting and gathering.

pg 127: In the chapter “Electric Vitae Acid Test”, the text “(For extra credits, use the recipe with horse sperm. It’s online, look it up.)” from advice on harassing elders with custard pies.

pg 152: In the section “Caitiff in Vampire Society”, the sentence “All Thinblood are Caitiff, their weak 14-16th generation so diluted (or just different if you want to be politically correct among the unbound) […]” edited to remove the text in parentheses.

pg 157: A sidebar advertising the mobile game Vampire: Prelude has been removed, as the game is no longer being sold.

pg 177: A glyph, presumably of the Ministry, has been added on the photo illustration.

pg 196: Moloch’s Will removed from the Ruins of Carthage loresheet.

Camarilla

pg 1: Additional writing: Khaldoun Khelil.

pg 2: “How to Use This Book” added.

pg 21/23: In the section “The State and humanity, sentence “Tinfoil hats and anti-semitic hate-mongers looking for the fingerprints of “the Illuminati” in early US history will find only traces of night-wars and alliances between creatures unimaginable to their limited faculties.” edited to remove the words “and anti-semitic hate-mongers”.

pg 29/31: In the section “The Ur-Shulgi Cult”, the last paragraph

It is worth noting that the awakening of the Skinless One parallels the growth of extremist interpretations of the Qur’an on both sides of the Sunni-Shia divide. His thirst for destruction is shared by many mortals, and in his wake violence rises, tainting the image of Islam (and the Banu Haqim to those who know) in the minds of the West.

was rewritten as

It is worth noting that the awakening of the Skinless One and the schism it sparked within the clan has exposed the fact that we’ve misunderstood them all along, bringing us closer, first to those in the fringes, then to major factions within the clan.

pg 34/36: Chapter: “The Reformed Congregation of the Veneration of the Methuselah”. A couple of lines of context added to the beginning, apparently text that was accidentally omitted from the original.

pg 45/47: Sentence “A subfaction of the Camarilla call themselves the Kindred-Kine Collective, but anyone not of the group refers to them as parasites, or cleavers if we want to be polite” rewritten to “A small but repellent subfaction of the Camarilla has made itself known among the larger body of the sect. Anyone not of the group refers to them as parasites, or cleavers if we want to be polite.”

pg 53-62/55-64: Chapter “The Gehenna War”. Extensively rewritten. In the epigraph, “Elysium is empty of elders, as if a plague had swept over the city, and we ancillae now rule Lisbon as Prince pretenders.” rewritten as “Elysium is almost completely empty of elders, as if a plague had swept over the city, and we ancillae now rule Lisbon as Prince pretenders.”

Victoria Ash’s introduction to the material extensively rewritten. Example: sentence “We all feel the call” replaced with “Many in the Camarilla claim to hear the call, the soi-disant Beckoning.”

The entire timeline has been bumped back by a year, from 2018 to 2017.

A lot of the author’s characterization of the Ashirra has been cut.

Entry for 27.7.2018 set in Ramallah rewritten and relocated to Tunis. I must admit that the removal of the Palestinian connection rankles me. Juhana Pettersson, the author of the chapter, blogged about his own design decisions. Khaldoun Khelil, who did the rewriting, has posted both a general overview of his decisions for The Gehenna War chapter as well as a post on Palestine and Ramallah in public posts on his Patreon.

Entry for 1.8.2018 set in Jerusalem removed.

Entry for 19.9.2017 set in Kabul rewritten to be set in Dubrovnik.

Entry for 3.10.2017 set in Baghdad rewritten to be set in Heraklion.

Entry for 5.10.2017 set in Baghdad rewritten to be set in Khartoum.

A finale set on 31.10.2017 in Venice added.

pg 63-71: Chapter: “The Abrek Blight” removed due to international incident. The editor Freja Gyldenstrøm has written a blog post discussing the reasoning behind the chapter. The best and most comprehensive account of the events leading to the chapter being removed is unfortunately only available in Finnish, by Jussi Ahlroth.

Hey Ramzan Kadyrov, is this your cat?

pg 74-68: Credit added to Manfred Vaughn, Steward of Arms. This takes up an entire column and affects the layout of the entire Second Inquisition chapter.

pg 88/84: Flavor text about forcing a Blood Bond on a neonate slightly rewritten.

pg 107/103: Mention of Kowalski majoring in political science removed.

pg 117/113: Entries for the cities of Budapest and Cairo added.

pg 118/115: Entry for Jerusalem added.

pg 119/116: Entry for Miami added.

pg 121/119: Entry for St. Petersburg added.

pg 163-164/161-162: In the section “The Banu Haqim in Mortal Society”, the sentence “It is not racist to admit our clan is predominantly one of many hues.” changed to “Our clan is predominantly one of many hues.”

pg 179: Chapter: The Thin-Blooded. In the sentence “Some pass medical inspections with ease, while others change their gender through strange alchemies using their blood.” changed to “Some pass medical inspections with ease. Others appear to have the ability to change their physiognomy over time.” (Yeah, this was a good change.)

And there we go. I may return later to edit in new material as it turns up.

I Believe Mandy Morbid

Yesterday, Mandy Morbid, former partner of the RPG writer Zak Smith, a.k.a. Zak Sabbath or Zak S. posted the following on Facebook. It is a testimony of domestic abuse from three different people and a harrowing read. Content warnings apply. I see no reason not to believe this post. While the conversation around Zak has in the past been muddled by misinformation, misdirection and his opponents’ methods including death and rape threats to Mandy, this rings clear and true.

Zak is the author of the award-winning OSR works Maze of the Blue Medusa and A Red and Pleasant Land, the writer of the blog Playing D&D With Porn Star which I removed from my list of blog links prior to writing this post, credited as a consultant on Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, and a co-writer of the White Wolf mobile game We Eat Blood and All Our Friends Are Dead. He’s also an abuser who needs to be cut out of the industry and the community for the safety of everyone.

I am quoting Mandy’s post in full.

Please feel free to share this widely, on
any platform you have.

Dear Zak Smith, aka Zak Sabbath

I know posting anything about you or this publicly will get me labeled “angry”, “crazy” or a “liar”. Despite that, I still need to speak. As a warning, there will be potentially triggering descriptions of abuse, violence and sexual assault to follow.

What I want to convey is my grief. And my shame. There is so much of it. I think when women come forward to talk about their abusers people strip them of their grief. And I am not okay. And I should be angry but I can’t be because the shame is too great. Because the abuse had me taking responsibility for everything and it’s very difficult to stop that after all these years. Everything was always my fault, the problem was me–but it wasn’t.

Eleven years is a long time. I was twenty one when we met in person the first time, and a month later, 22 when I moved in with you. It’s difficult to organize my thoughts about everything that happened, everything that went wrong over a decade.The abuse came in cycles where there were times you seemed to idolize me (in hindsight there was a twisted, sexist, infantilizing angle to the “idolizing” because it was always about my body and not me as a person). There were other times when you tore me down, made lectures that went in circles of manipulation, or fits of rage where you’d scream that I was useless and worthless and slam doors or throw things at the walls. You tore me down to manipulate me, and to get your way.

As time went on you learned you could threaten me in various ways. Killing me if I ever got pregnant and didn’t have an abortion started as a joke but you repeated it so frequently it was clearly a warning. Kick me out if I didn’t want to have as much sex, or lesser reasons.

When we would go out, you would rate the women you were watching, making sure I could hear it. You would see a woman and comment that she was attractive, until you saw she had “small” breasts. Then you would say to me “why do they even make them like that? What’s the point?” As though I automatically would agree with you about a woman’s worth being dictated by the size of her breasts. And how was that supposed to make me feel about myself? You would know that I would not want to start an argument on a nice evening out–finally I was feeling well enough to be out with you and I would ruin it? No. Even in the face of rude or disgusting comments about other women I would stay silent.

I am ashamed. I was often silent because I wanted to keep the peace. To keep you happy. You see, I did know how to make you happy. I am ashamed I did it because I rationalized that was love. You pressured me to find and groom other women sexually. As I grew sicker, and my physical limitations grew, you were more concerned with your own needs than my illness. Eventually, even, you took my doing this for you, and me, for granted.

I saw you mistreat women we were with together, and again I was silent. I choose you over them and I am deeply ashamed. And when it was me who was being mistreated I often didn’t even register it as such because the first time it happened was so traumatic. You told me I wasn’t allowed to stop or say no to sex or fooling around if we’d already initiated it.

I was young and this was during the first few weeks we lived together and no one had ever taught me about consent. You were extraordinarily angry I had stopped, your hands were clenched into fists and they were shaking. I was programmed to accept it, and you always just kept telling me you loved me even if your behaviour never really proved it.

Then you started with the online gaming arguments nonsense, and that put a real crack in our bond. In the beginning I felt genuinely protective of you, my provider, and of course that was my very strong trauma bond. I didn’t know better, and I just thought I was caring for the person I loved. Callously, you exposed me to death and rape threats and you then never took the distress this caused me seriously, you were in no way sympathetic to the very real stress these disagreements caused. You enjoyed it. And you gloated over the harm you caused other people. (It was extremely unattractive.) You just used those threats we received as an excuse, used me and my marginalized identities as shields in your continuing misbehaviour online.

That Tumblr post defending you was posted in my name, but you were the one who wrote it. The long one you always referred people to. I feel more shame that I let you use my name, my identity in that way. I feel shame that when people noticed it probably wasn’t written by me, we called them sexist. After that Tumblr post I told you I was done being involved in any of your arguments online. You really didn’t like that. You forever afterwards accused me of “never saying anything” when you were dealing with the shit you’d stirred up.

I am so ashamed you let me get dragged into your awful trolling behaviour. One time you had a screaming/throwing fit at me (“useless,” “worthless,” “no one cares about me”) because I didn’t want to retweet something to a big gaming company you were mad at. This was all abuse. That you continue to behave so badly online disgusts me, and I am ashamed that I helped you to hurt or damage others online. I am sorry that I have contributed to the abuse, and I am ashamed that your abuse pushed me to think that it was okay to do.

This behavior is what created the cracks in the narcissistic façade that you built up for me. Seeing the behavior that you normally directed towards me being directed towards others started to open my eyes towards what you were doing to me.

It was then that I slowly began to reassess how you treated me. This process started very slowly as I was extremely ill. And needed to focus on my health and I couldn’t shake my life up too dramatically.

Over the next two or three years my faith and trust in you completely failed. You let me down over and over. And I came to terms with the fact that I had been a trophy wife all along, an object that was owned, not a respected or loved partner. Towards the end you weren’t even trying to keep that mask you wore in the beginning on you were just straight up cruel and cold and abusive and there were no reprieves of loving or sweet acts, it was all gaslighting and narcissism gone unchecked. And there was a lot of my grief and shame at that time. Because I tried so hard to make it work anyway.

I thought if I loved harder, if I loved more I could save us but it was futile because you were already done with someone who wasn’t spending all their energy on living to please you as I’d formerly done.
I’ve grown up. I want to live my life for me. My values and morales don’t align with yours–I’m ashamed I was complicit in your misogyny and supportive of your online abuse (whatever my reasons).

I only began to register the pain and damage done to me by this relationship in the last year we were together and in the year and half since I’ve left. I have PTSD. I am doing my best to focus on healing, and since leaving both my mental and physical health have improved. I’m not okay yet, but I am improved. People can see the difference in photos. Rebuilding a life after a decade of trauma takes time but I will get there.

After this I am including statements about Zak from Jennifer, a long time friend and lover of Zak’s and mine and Hannah who was also involved with us and lived with us briefly. Jennifer was spending time with Zak before Zak and I met, and Hannah was assaulted by Zak.

CW description of sexual assualt

Jennifer’s post was originally posted to her facebook and she’s given me permission to reshare it here:

Hey guys, this is a heads up for anyone who is friends with Zak Smith or likes his page. This is somewhat out of the blue but he’s been posting more in the past year or so and I keep seeing some of you interact with him or just liking his posts, and thinking: You wouldn’t be doing that if you knew him better.

To get to the point: While he comes across as a fun person who is super cool with everything and leads such a compelling and interesting life, and I considered him a good friend for a significant amount of time, he’s also someone who has habitually abused and assaulted women. He talks negatively about them when they’re not around, and also says really degrading things to their faces. He will aggressively pursue sex and rely on the fact that most women are hesitant to reject a man in a quasi-sexual situation due to safety concerns and social conditioning. Especially when he has presented himself as caring and trustworthy. But I’ve also seen him physically take women and start fucking them, ignoring their lack of enthusiasm or freeze of shock. He will navigate kink spaces and take someone’s presence there, of general involvement in bdsm as implied consent to assualt them. And he is fully aware of what he does, he has described a sexual encounter to me as, I quote, “raping a 12-year-old”. The person in question was not underage, but so massively uncomfortable that this was his most apt description. It didn’t make him stop.

He’s really good at being so blasé about everthing that you doubt what happened or compartmentalize it, then move on. He’s also good at talking the talk and walking the walk of being the progressive liberal artist and author who is just so open about having done porn and living his sexuality uninhibited by social norms or whatever. He can be pretty manipulative and resorts to gaslighting.

This post might seem unnecessary at best, and like slander at worst. Especially considering I haven’t even personally seen him since god knows when. It’s based on my own experiences with him, some dating as far back as 2005, and the fact that almost every mutual female friend has similar experiences, up to this day. Ultimately I’ve seen him do so much fucked up shit that when I hear anything by another woman I immediately believe them without a shadow of a doubt. And yes, I’m ashamed I didn’t speak up sooner. Often things only start falling into place after time passes and you see things for what they are, and when they are confirmed by others who have had similar experiences. By the time I really fully grasped the magnitude, being vocal would have meant intruding on and hurting people who didn’t deserve it, with little discernable good to come out of it.

Basically if you know me and trust me, believe me and maybe reconsider your support of him and his art. Besides that I’m not asking you to do anything. And I don’t benefit from any sort of outcome in any way.

I’m posting this to a curated audience; if you see this I trust you to at least not create drama. If you don’t believe me, I guess just ignore this post? Although I’d prefer if you removed yourself from my list then too. I don’t want this to reach him because I don’t want to deal with the fallout. I want people to know this to make a better informed decision about who they associate with. The last I heard of him was a few months ago, after he saw that a friend had confided in me about him, and he slid into my inbox with some disingenious bullshit about how sad he was about that situation, trying to influence my opinion. I ignored it. If something like that happens again I will obviously know that someone on this list blabbed and will pretty much delete and block anyone it could have been. Please don’t make me deal with all that trouble. Thank you.

And here is Hannah’s account:

Back when I first knew them, I lauded Manda and Zak as a perfect couple. I would see them only once every few years, and when I was with them, they seemed happy. It wasn’t until I was with them for an extended period of time that I thought things seemed off. I used to take Zak’s general demeanor towards women as joking. Eg, “if I talk to my girlfriend and her friend about their feelings, will I get a threesome out of it?” But now I think that’s how Zak actually feels. At first when I kept hearing him say the phrase “chin up” to Manda, I thought he was just telling her to stay positive, but in actuality he didn’t like it when she had a tiny double chin when looking down. (Like all humans at that angle.) He also told her things like “You don’t need glasses, its more important for you to be pretty than it is to see” and “If you can’t even have sex, what good are you?” It was not a joke. For a long time I tried to see the good in him, and hoped that he would change his behaviours once Manda confronted him about them, but he didn’t seem to understand that he had done anything wrong. She told him she felt more like a doll than a human, outlined what things had upset her, and wanted to work towards a better relationship. He acted ignorant about things he had said or done, and then threatened people when anyone talked about him. (Which is why I was afraid to write this for a long time. I still am.) There was also a strange incident when we were first hanging out together during which he asked if I was into kinky stuff, to which I replied yes. He proceeded to slap me and choke me against a wall, in public. Now, in a bedroom setting, with clear boundaries and consent, it would have been fine, but out of the blue and in public, it was not okay at all. Years later, I mentioned this to a mutual friend as something that made my uncomfortable, and when Zak found out he made a half-hearted apology attempt. I don’t think he actually felt bad, I think he just didn’t want me to tell anyone else. I tried to stay friends with both of them for a little while, but after hearing more about what he said/did to Manda, I couldn’t keep him in my life anymore. She is one of my best friends and one of the sweetest people I know. I don’t understand people who say they “can’t take sides” on something like this.

Comments are closed.

It’s a Trap! A Deep Dive into RPGs at a Museum

As I mentioned before, the Finnish Museum of Games recently hosted a large exhibition on role-playing games. Titled “It’s a Trap! – Role-Playing Games in Finland”, it ran from October 2018 to early January 2019. I went there a lot over those three months, and on the last day, I had my trusty potato in hand and photographed the whole thing for documentation purposes.

Since I’m a crap photographer and my mobile phone’s camera isn’t all that hot either, not all of the photos were salvageable, but here are the ones where you can tell what you’re looking at.

The welcome sign. Note the unfolded icosahedron.

The floor was laid out as a classic dungeon map.

Explanations of the floor were provided to minimise casualties.

The information plaques organized, on the lines of BECMI, into Basic, Companion, and Expert levels. Note also the wardrobe with wizard robes, elven cloaks and witches’ hats.

A closer look.

A look through the door of the main exhibition space.

The original D&D booklets donated to Ropecon by Frank Mentzer back in 2011.

A bit on history. The chest was used for an escape room game played at the museum after business hours.

It’s a hefty chest.

In the summer of 2018, a Tampere gaming group wrapped up their D&D campaign. Then they stood up, took a step back, and photographed the table as it lay. It was then recreated in the museum. It’s hanging on the wall, by the way. Also, those pizza slices kept falling off.

A map on the wall, from the pen of Miska Fredman.

The paraphernalia showcase. There’s a Cthulhu statuette from someone’s home campaign, Alter Ego’s songbook with the nerdiest lyrics, and a hardcover print edition of a World’s Largest Dungeon campaign log, among other things.

On role-playing games as a creative inspiration.

As is only right, the space was dominated by a large gaming table. There were blank character sheets for a number of games, dice, and pencils available. I did witness a couple of games played at it.

A small library cart with a selection of games to peruse and play.

Design notes and campaign notes for the games Rapier and Tähti, and from the archives of Myrrysmiehet.

A showcase of D-oom Products and Aulos, a card-based storygame by Karoliina Korppoo.

History begins here. On top left, Nousius is an obscure fantasy game, ANKH features early Petri Hiltunen artwork and was available everywhere, and on bottom left, we have Dada Publishing’s adventures that are nowadays available as free PDFs.

On the right, we have the character-naming sourcebook Mikä hahmolle nimeksi?, the RPG about nonmilitary service Syvä uni (vaiko painajainen?), Malnoth, the system-agnostic fantasy setting Sateenkaarten kaupunki, the Biblical fantasy RPGs Kuninkaiden aika and Anno Domini 50, as well as the youth-education game Steissin yö.

The other half of that wall. You can almost see on the far left panel the mid-90s, Hiljaisuuden vangit, an alt-historical RPG about resistance fighters in a totalitarian Finland after Germany won WW2, and THOGS.

On the middle panel we have the late 00’s and early 10’s, and the system-agnostic Somalia sourcebook Punaiset hiekat, Chernobyl mon amour, the penguin game Valley of Eternity, Vihan lapset, Hood, and Strike Force Viper.

On the nearmost panel we come to the present day, with games like Pyöreän pöydän ritarit, various OSR publications, the Slavic fantasy Noitahovi, and a couple of Pathfinder adventures from the pen of Mikko Kallio.

There were also various character sheets on display from across the ages.

The Risto J. Hieta showcase. He designed the first Finnish RPGs and is still active, nowadays almost averaging one game per year.

More games!

Going through this shelf by shelf, on top here we have Zombie Cinema in its VHS box and the pirate card game Hounds of the Sea. On the lower shelf there’s Bengalia, an educational RPG about developing countries.

A selection of books from Lamentations of the Flame Princess, such as the first printing of Death Frost Doom.

The Praedor shelf. Praedor is one of the few role-playing games in Finnish that actually has product support.

The other games from Ville Vuorela. There’s Stalker, the musketeer game Miekkamies, the postapocalyptic Taiga, and Mobsters. In the back you can see other editions of Stalker, Praedor, and Taiga.

On the left, Miska Fredman’s work, such as Astraterra, Sotakarjut, Generian legendat, and Heimot. On the right, Mike Pohjola’s stuff such as Tähti, Star Wreck, and Myrskyn sankarit. It’s annoyingly not really visible here, but there are two English editions of Myrskyn sankarit present, the abortive Heroes of the Storm that ran into a trademark issue with Activision-Blizzard, and The Age of the Tempest that you can actually buy.

RPG translations were big in the late 80s and early 90s. Here we have Paranoia, Cyberpunk 2020, and Twilight: 2000. There were also some Finnish originals published for T2K.

Mechwarrior, Shadowrun, Traveller 2300 AD, and Macho Women with Guns in the immensely grotty-looking Finnish edition.

RuneQuest was big in Finland. Like, D&D big. Even bigger.

RuneQuest still has a devout fanbase over here that puts out the occasional fanzine, translation, or sourcebook.

On the left, MERP and Rolemaster. On the right, Stormbringer, Primetime Adventures, Call of Cthulhu, City of Itra, and Unelma Keltaisesta kuninkaasta, a collection of Danish scenarios.

BECMI. Well, we never got Immortals. Apart from RuneQuest, that red box was one of the big gateway drugs. The translation is infamous.

A word on moral panics and corrupting the youth.

Early gaming magazines and role-playing articles and columns from other magazines, such as Risto J. Hieta’s column “Peliluola” from the PC mag MikroBitti.

The Conan magazine was an early source of information for role-players in the 80s. Also here are a few of the print catalogues of the Fantasiapelit game store chain.

Some more gaming magazines. Magus ran for 50 issues and is the longest-lived Finnish role-playing magazine.

Roolipelaaja is the latest attempt, folding after a few beautiful years. If I still have readers from that long ago, I was a contributor for the latter half of the magazine’s run.

When the writer makes a reference to a classic Finnish rock song, the translator has no recourse but to make an obtuse nod toward Philip Roth and beat a hasty retreat. This is about character sheets.

There’s a lot of gamers out there. We don’t know how many, but it’s, like, a lot.

A map from Jim Raggi’s home campaign that he drew back in the mid-1990s. Wonder that he still had it after all those moves.

The wall of faces. Game designers, con runners, publishers, store managers, translators, and just gamers.

The rest of the wall. Because of reasons, the bottom right-hand corner picture is at the time of writing in a large (these are A2 portraits) IKEA bag in my living room.

There was also an explanatory booklet for the portrait wall. Juhana is top middle in the first picture, if you’re curious. The other page visible is not Juhana’s, but the second page of Jori-Minna Hiltula’s entry. They’re to the left of Juhana.

There was also interactive multimedia. The other monitor had a selection of 90s TV clips about RPGs, while the other one had a display of character sheets collected at Ropecon in 2017.

And that’s all, folks. We’ll see when we can get an exhibition done on larp.

A Game Challenge

I do a lot of reading challenges. I usually go through about 150 titles a year – though a lot of that is graphic novels – and they’re a tool I use to pick the next one when it isn’t dictated by work, the university, or the impending Hugo voting deadline. We also have a role-playing game reading circle on Facebook where we read rulebooks from cover to cover and then commiserate how they’re really not designed with that approach in mind. I even have a Goodreads profile.

One of the challenges I do has traditionally been the Helmet reading challenge, so named because it’s run by the Helsinki metropolitan area library system. This year they’re also kicking off a Game Challenge, and obviously I’m all over that thing. While the rules are kinda loose and allow for filling in more than one category with the same game if you feel like it, I could fill all except no. 7 with just the three larps I’m going to this year. So I’ll try to play one game per challenge category. Preferably tabletop role-playing games, preferably new stuff. If I do fill in something with a videogame, it should be a role-playing game. I will also try to stick with games that I expect I would like. Then I’ll tell you all about it. Sound cool? I know, but I’m doing it anyway. Feel free to join in!

I’m not filling this out beforehand because I expect quite a few will be targets of opportunity. The problem with role-playing games is, as ever, that the stars must be right. Also the schedules of a bunch of adults with lives and jobs.

  1. Game by a Finnish developer
  2. Game where no one dies
  3. Game that is based on a book, graphic novel or comic
  4. Game that is based on actual historical events
  5. Game where you play in cooperation with other players
  6. Game that can be downloaded for free
  7. Game that you remember from your childhood
  8. Game where you create your own character
  9. Game where the story is created by your choice
  10. Game where you can go fishing
  11. Game with romance
  12. Game that takes place somewhere you have always wanted to visit
  13. Game that makes you slightly scared
  14. Game from where you think you will learn something new
  15. Game that takes place in your favorite place to live in
  16. Game where you build something
  17. Game that lets you play a game within a game
  18. Game that starts a series
  19. Game that is played in turns
  20. Game that has a protagonist who has a skill that you would like to learn
  21. Game that has only one word in its title
  22. Game that lets you go to space
  23. Game that you can teach to someone else
  24. Game where you can drive any kind of vehicle