Archive for August, 2007|Monthly archive page

Enter the PbP

Somehow I’ve managed to stay away from Play-by-Post games all these years, vaguely associating them with some amorphous blob of fanfic and freeform roleplaying that I’m just not interested in. But in reality there are all kinds of gaming going on via PbP. I see this as going back to my Play-by-Mail roots from childhood, where I would sign up for games I found advertised on the back of Savage Sword of Conan magazine.

Here are some of the sites I’ve found for PbP — you’ll notice an emphasis on story games:

RPG.net (big)

Snail’s Pace (story games, new)

RPG Crossroads (long-running and cozy)

RPOL.net (big, not so many story games, but a wide variety nonetheless)

PbP House (fancy)

New games

There are always new games, right? Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t something of a problem. I’m always getting sucked into playing new games, leaving less and less time for the games that I left in my wake. Nevertheless I find it difficult to focus on just one game to the exclusion of others. Like a friend said in a conversation the other day, I’m something of a generalist.

There are a couple of new mush games that look interesting;

Road to Amber

An Amber themed game, with lots of story gamish mechanics. This looks cool enough that I’m reading the first two Amber novels for the first time.

Outremer (outremermux.org port 4321)

Using the FATE system for mechanics.

basic bookcase: Downbelow Station

After the first two books off the Basic Bookcase it was looking a little grim for me and the world of classic SF, but thankfully things have picked up with Downbelow Station. Unfortunately it’s only picked up sort of, like a mime caught halfway between falling down and getting back up in null gravity, or something.

I only skipped a few of the later chapters in Downbelow so that’s saying something. While in the first couple of chapters I thought that Cherryh had anticipated the ‘New Space Opera’ by about twenty years, it soon becomes clear that really Cherryh is doing some kind of 70s soap opera simultaneously with HARD SF and a little Rousseain alien culture to mix it up a little. Nevertheless the novel does have its moments.

Bookcase worthy? yea.

There’s a nice bookstore that’s been around for a couple of years in my neighborhood, but I just started going more frequently: Jackson St. Books. Nice SF section, check it out.