Jess Nickelsen: Discombobulated
July 5, 2019 - A (mostly gaming) update


I want to just preface this by saying it hasn’t all been gaming around here, but the weather has been so terrible that my days have stretched cold and long out ahead of me.

I wrote a bit earlier about Ironsworn, and the game there is progressing slowly, but rather interestingly! As a framework for storytelling RPGs, especially for solo gamers, it just seems to work, and I really like that. My main character, Elodie, just levelled up for the first time, after fulfilling several vows, and I’m super keen to see what’s going to happen to her next. I’m a bit behind on the write-up but I’ll keep slowly chipping away at typing up my notes. It’s a really fun process.

I’ve also been looking at/experimenting with doing a solo dungeon dive, after reading some of these awesome posts by the Tabletop Diversions blog. I’ve managed to cobble something together using Labyrinth Lord (the art-free versions are free, here), and the dungeon generator created by Tabletop Diversions, above. I sketched out the first level of a dungeon on graph paper, and managed to kill four or five heroes before I finally got a group together who could get through all the goblin and crab spider mobs. (And traps!) It’s super fun, and something I’ll probably pootle around with for a while, as the fancy strikes.

In the non-solo arena, we’ve had a couple of really fun games here at home, with Leila and Steve getting into the swing of things quite energetically with both Amazing Tales, and Whiskerclaws, which is a hack of the incredible Lasers & Feelings (for which there are many, many hacks)! With Amazing Tales, Leila surprised me by wanting to play a pirate game, and we spent a good while creating a ship, crew, figurehead, etc., and she immediately pulled down an atlas so we could decide where to base our adventure! So far we’ve had a sea witch, a hat-stealing seagull, and there’s been some crab tenpin bowling to boot.

On the PC, I finally got around to making the most of the Steam summer sale, and picked up a copy of Firewatch really cheaply. Yep, it’s a short game, but wow, it was an awesome experience and I really loved it. I didn’t mind the ending (that everyone was banging on about for a while there), and found the mechanic of being able to take photos on the disposable camera, and then to have those show during the end credits, surprisingly touching and moving.

I’m also playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and that’s, well, completely fabulous.

I’m also working a bit, writing every morning (I’m probably 2/3 of the way through what’s turning into a rather long short story about a girl who adopts an unusual cat), doing a #100dayproject with my Instax camera, and reading Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory. Leila’s also started catching the bus to school, which is surreal and actually really cool, and she’s buzzing with this new little window of independence. Love!