ars ludi

if you asked Ben's brain about gaming, this is what it would say

Playing Games at PAX

If you’re going to PAX and you want to play some Microscope or Kingdom, you are a lucky, lucky duck.

Unless the Games on Demand schedule is lying to me, there is Kingdom on the menu for about half the slots. Not only that, but there are talented volunteers offering to facilitate some flavor of Microscope during every single slot on the schedule.

Every. Single. One.

Are there other games too? Yes! All the games! We have all the games.

First come, first served. Seating is limited. Do not stand up until the ride comes to a complete halt.

Rooms 305-306. That’s where I’ll be. Gaming.

Love for LUG Con

Not everybody can find folks to game with. Gamers can be rare and precious, like nuggets of sideros, the star-metal. Luckily for all of us, scientists have been working on this problem day and night and have finally invented a solution. They call it: THE INTERNET.

Enter LUG Con, the Let Us Game convention.

Free Online Gaming Con! Let’s Game all day and night for a week!

It’s always been tricky to schedule gamers with busy lives. Especially when we get older, have kids, cats, dogs, lizards, even husbands and wives. Maybe you don’t have any problems getting into gaming groups with lots of your gaming friends. Maybe you already have a daily/weekly/monthly gaming group. Maybe your local group is not willing to try something new, or different. Dang it! You want to kill some zombies or play a supers game for a session.

It’s September 1-7. Check it.

Terraforming VikingCon

May 3rd I’m heading up to Bellingham to attend VikingCon. I’ve never been. Will there be actual Vikings? Horned helmets, longships and kenning skalds? I’m kind of hoping.

In between hunting down authentic recitations of the Prose Edda, I’ll also be doing a panel:

Terraforming the Tabletop: World-Building in Tabletop RPGs (Sat 3-4 pm)
Tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons rely heavily upon their rich worlds and interesting lore to generate interest among players. However, the process for building a world for a pen-and-paper game is not the same as building one for a novel or television series. This panel will explore those differences with the help of some of the industry’s world-building greats. Panelists: Bruce R. Cordell, Ben Robbins, jim pinto, Jennifer Brozek, Jason Andrew

I happen to know that a few other cool cats from the Seattle area are going to be there as well. I’m looking at you, Abducted by Sharks.

My Emerald City Comic Con Schedule

Emerald City Comic Con approaches. I happen to know there is a whirlwind of behind-the-scenes activity as enthusiastic gamers get ready to man the battle stations of the Indie Games on Demand area in the Sheraton Hotel. Morgan and his team of ninjas are going to be using the same model they used at PAX (facilitator game menus, sign up sheets). I liked that system a lot, so I give it a big thumbs up. We’ve had alarmingly good gaming the last two years at ECCC and all signs are pointing towards a trifecta.

I’ll also be taking a break from the gaming to do a panel:

Designing Tabletop Games (Sat 4-5 pm, Sheraton Issaquah Room)
Five creators of board games, card games, and RPGs discuss designing games and answer your questions. Drew Nolosco (Design Manager at Wizards of the Coast), Chris Pramas (Green Ronin Games), Joshua Balvin (Salem, Oktoberfest), Ben Robbins (Microscope, Kingdom), Jeremy Holcomb (Rorschach, the ink-blot game, Mad Scientist: Lab Rats), David Fooden (Continuum, Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination).

There are rumors I may also be on a “crowdfunding your game” panel at 2 pm on Saturday, but that might just be misinformation to confuse any cyborgs returning from the future to assassinate me before I lead the rebellion that crushes SkyNet.

Emerald City Comic Con 2014: The Time Is Now

Emerald City Comic Con is coming. Real soon, in fact.

In case you missed it, the last two years have included some epic gaming. We showed up with a flag and a dream and carved a glittering city of gaming out of the untamed wilderness:

2012: Dance the Victory Dance

2013: Snatched from the jaws of defeat

But now it is time to game again and we need brave souls to volunteer to spread the love of the crazy indie story games we adore.

Want to help out? Morgan is heading up the indie gaming area this year. Hit him up.

Aaron Allston

A long, long time ago, Aaron Allston sent me my very first rejection letter. He did me a huge favor.

Rest In Peace.