Just Need to Write

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 25 August 2011

Writing. I know I haven't done a ton of that on here for a bit. I had a super flurry of creativity freelancing and in my day job. It really cut into my desire and, in some ways, ability to write. Add on top of that my natural inclination to put ever more pressure on myself and this little text area became something to avoid. So I've spent some time thinking about that. Then I spent time thinking about anything but that. I saw some movies, lived a little, and just tried to be.

One of the things that has gotten to me lately has to do with issues of gender in gaming. Believe it or not, while the issue is very important to me, I don't define myself by it. I don't seek to be the gender in gaming person. But because I'm so passionate about the issue, it becomes hard to stay out of it. I will write about it here from time to time.

So why even write this? Because I just need to write. I need a space to be, well me. That's what I always tried to do with this site. And I hope you all are ok with that. If you've wondered why I've been quiet, it's a mixture of all these things. I'm putting those things behind me now and I'm just going to write. It won't all be wonderful. I guarantee it will suck at times. But it will be me.

So what has me excited? I'm so glad you asked:


I saw Tilt Factor at Gen Con. The person running it is a professor at my alma mater, Dartmouth College, which is freaking awesome. A few of the undergrads running the booth even knew people I know from the school which was an unexpected surprise. Tilt Factor's tagline is "game design for social change." Their game Pox is an excellent example of this. It's a board game where you attempt to isolate an infectious disease from the population while minimizing deaths. Most people die if they are surrounded by infected people, but there are some people on the board with compromised immune systems. If the infection spreads to them, they instantly die. Your tools are to cure 1 person or vaccinate 3. A deck of cards controls the other events in the game including which directions the disease spreads in and other events. I had a ton of fun playing the game and it definitely reinforced the lessons of cures versus vaccinations.


I know, I've decried canon before. I still look at it pretty warily, but I love the move in recent D&D books to include a more detailed world. This is especially true with the Neverwinter Campaign Setting. The accompanying Facebook game is pretty fun too and serves as a good introduction to me for the setting. I often have a hard time reading setting books because they try to pack so much information into too few pages. But slowly exploring the word and circling outward helps tremendously.

The Gunslinger

We picked up a number of Pathfinder books at GenCon. My husband started playing about 6 years before 4e came out so he has a certain nostalgia for 3/3.5 and Pathfinder brings that back for him. One of the books we got was Ultimate Combat which contains guns! I love the mechanics for the gunslinger class and I can't wait to run a Western themed game with him. He's a big fan of Westerns. I grew up reading lots of books set in the American West. I often daydreamed of being a cowboy or a Native American in a tribe. So I think this wil be so much fun.

Adventure Burner

Another Gen Con purchase, I'm enjoying this book so far. One thing I particularly like is the presentation of demo or sample scenarios and the accompanying, why this is important. The why is so important. Sure, I won't be world-class GM just from reading the book, I need to practice and refine my skills, but seeing the wide array of ideas and then put them to the test myself is awesome. I'm still think there's a lot of Burning Wheel that will interfere with my enjoyment of it, but the ideas in the Adventure Burner and the BW system are well worth the cost.

Well that's what I have so far. Don't worry, I have even more stuff from Gen Con to write about along with other stuff here and there.


I affirm your decision to pick up the Adventure Burner. That book is perhaps the single best book in my entire game collection. Luke Crane masterfully breaks down the different components of Burning Wheel highlighting the importance and use case of each subsystem.

Of course I'm a sucker for the meta-component of games, none the less, congrats on picking up such a great book.

Welcome back, and have at it!

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