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Archive for the ‘Annalise’ Category

Annalise Interim Edition Available NOW!

Posted by Nathan P. on March 23, 2009

Finally, a print edition of Annalise is available. Please navigate to my lulu.com storefront in order to purchase.

The Interim Edition of Annalise is a 66-page perfectbound 9×7 landscape book. It comes in 4 flavors: there are two covers (red or white), and your choice of grayscale interior for $20.00 or full-color interior for $25.00. This edition of the game contains none of the fiction or art that was in the Unbidden Guests Edition released at Gen Con, but the game text is exactly the same. All of the fiction and art that has been made public so far for the game is available for download from the website.

The Eternal Tears PDF edition is also available for purchase from lulu.

Many thanks to everyone who has bought and played the game so far, and my most humble apologies for the egregious delay in making a print edition available.

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Annalise New Cover Preview

Posted by Nathan P. on March 22, 2009

Annalise White Cover

Annalise White Cover

Books available soon.

Posted in Annalise, Playtesting, Promo | Leave a Comment »

Dreamation 09 Post Post

Posted by Nathan P. on February 23, 2009

Dreamation was very good for me this year! As per usual, I am amazed and humbled by all the of excellent people I got to see, meet, play with, talk to and drink and eat with over the course of the weekend.

The atmosphere was really positive and inclusive this year, I think. I think it was also more relaxed than some Dreamations past. People are a little less intent on cramming in maximum gaming, and happy to take chill time and socialize.

My games all went well. I played in a Houses of the Blooded scenario run by Tom on Friday, and it was pretty neat. I really like parts of the game, and other parts leave me a little cold, but I intend to pick up the PDF soonish. The actual scenario was really neat, though I think there’s a lot of room with that game for a more character-vs-character intrigue kind of thing.

Judd & my Agon Tournement got a little fubared by miscommunication with the scheduling staff, so we ended up with two isolated Agon slots. I ran the first one, for Judd and a new friend named Joel, and it went pretty well. Agon is a little creaky with two heroes, I think, but it was a fun game. I ran Beast of Kolkoris and I totally killed Judd’s character with a Minotaur. We called the game after that encounter, but I think I would have totally killed both of them if we had continued the quest. That’s a really hard quest! Judd ran the second one, a Quest he came up with that involved a Cyclops who forged lightning. I got to play! It was cool! Ralph won the game and I was so mad! Stupid Ralph winning. I suspect that Far-Reaching may be a little brokenzord, though. I need to take another look, but the suspicion is in my brain.

I played a game of Annalise with Kevin Allen Jr., J.R. Blackwell and John Enskot (who did NOT die in a car crash, and that was the best part of the con). It was very good. We established the beginning of a really long, slow-burning game, if we were able to keep playing. I also got a lot of good feedback and ideas about how to structure a 4-hour complete Annalise game scenario.

Speaking of, my new friend Connie ran two games of Annalise without my involvment, which apparently both went well; so did the games of carry ran by Rachel and Adam. You people are all my favorite, and I am just pleased as punch that my games are creating fun.

Overall, just excellent hanging out time and drinking time with my friends. I already miss you.

Also, Amy was the best driving buddy ever, in addition to being a great friend.

As per usual, Dreamation was a sorely needed reset button, and I’m super glad I went. Thanks everyone for doing your part!

Posted in Actual Play, Annalise, carry. a game about war., Conventions, Mission, Personal | 4 Comments »

Dreamation Aught Nine Plan

Posted by Nathan P. on February 19, 2009

  • Head down early.
  • See all my awesome friends.
  • Rachel is running one of my games! carry, 8 pm, Thursday.
  • Connie is running one of my games! Annalise, 9 am, Friday.
  • Judd & I are running Agon! Step up for the first round of the Kleos Cup, 8pm, Friday.
  • I’m running Annalise! 2pm, Saturday.
  • Adam is running one of my games! carry, 8pm, Saturday.
  • Judd & I are running Agon! Those you made it through the first round are invited to the final round of the Kleos cup, 8pm, Saturday.
  • I’m running Annalise! 9am, Sunday.
  • Connie is running one of my games! Annalise, 2pm, Sunday – a good parting gift for y’all.
  • As per usual, I don’t preregister for other games, but there is a metric fuckton of great games on the slate, and I’m sure I’ll be happy where ever I end up.
  • Indie Party Saturday nite.
  • Road trip for Pho.
  • Staying with Shreyas.
  • I will be Twittering updates from the show – follow at ndpaoletta, if you’re interested.
  • Yay Dreamation!

Posted in Annalise, carry. a game about war., Conventions, Promo | 3 Comments »

Annalise Actual Play

Posted by Nathan P. on December 30, 2008

There’s a great Annalise actual play over here. Many thanks to Rachel for going to the effort to post it!

Something that makes me pretty happy is that the account of play really does hang together pretty well as a piece of written ficton. I don’t know how much of that is Rachel’s self-editing! But the game is meant to produce fiction, and it sure seems to be making that happen. Which is great.

I’m excited to see how things end up.

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OgreCave Plug

Posted by Nathan P. on December 23, 2008

OgreCave (which is great, and you should follow it if you don’t) very kindly placed Annalise on their digital holiday gift guide. How cool, thanks guys!

Posted in Annalise, Promo | Leave a Comment »

Fall Gaming Wrapup

Posted by Nathan P. on December 20, 2008

So here’s what I’ve been up to all fall.


Most of September and October were taken up with playing the ashcan of Darkpages with my Tuesday group. As has been documented here (check out the darkpages Category) we made a stable of characters and played two issues in our custom imprint, Pocket City.

I think the main feedback for Jared (which I’ll get around to sending you sometime, duder) is that the GM is still on a non-level field with the players in terms of having tools to impact the fiction. Over time, the characters outstrip the imprint in terms of having applicable advances to various conflicts (b/c the characters pretty much always have access to all of their stats, and unless every conflict is framed towards imprint things with advances on them, the characters have a creeping advantage over time that renders the GMs efforts to smack them around rather difficult).

The rest of the game is pure sexy, by the by.


I made a new character for the FBI/occult investigation game that occurs every so often on Thursday nights. My last character voluntarily sacrificed himself to greebly aliens which absorbed him into their gestalt conciousness, so I had a new guy hit the ground for this story arc. Caleb, a good ol’ boy from downhome Texas, suffering just a mite of PTSD from his two tours in Iraq – oh yeh, also with clairsentiance powers. He got his hand maimed by an undead horse possessed by an alien grub. And isn’t really on track to get any better with his issues stemming from his war experience. He’s actually been one of my least-like-me characters, and I’ve been enjoying playing him a lot, though he didn’t have a lot of screen time (he’s more of a scout/support kind of guy on the team).


As a palette-cleanser for all these hippy emo story games we play on Tuesday, we got our greek on throughout November. I don’t know if you know this, but Agon is a great game! I ran the Temple of Hera scenario for three intrepid heros, and it was a really fun time. We were all really blown away with the elegance of the system – there are really no wasteful bits to anything in the game. Anyway, the heroes ended up mopping up the Satyrs at the end of the quest, as I blew my wad of Strife on the witch character in the middle (who, to my credit, did almost take out one of the characters and seriously threatened all three of them – if I had remembered to use her Fear power, it would have gone differently!)

I’m looking forwards to running some Agon at conventions and such in the near future, and we’re keeping these characters to go on another quest sometime in the spring.

Vampire: The Requiem

Next up on the plate for Tuesdays: a game of the nWoD Vampire. My buddy Jesse has been champing at the bit to make this happen for a while, and all of us have, uh, fond memories of how poorly our early experiences with Vampire went to cleanse out of our gamer karma. The game is set in Baltimore, and at the end of the first session (which will be last until after the holidays) our characters were already in solid “the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend” territory.

Oh! Also, I think the rules are good! So, almost the first thing my character did in the game was fail a Morality roll while feeding, go into a frenzy, and rip some poor dude apart in an alley because he couldn’t control his hunger. And I had made a point of saying that he was fairly young, still in denial about a lot of this Vampire stuff, and all that bullshit….and then the system of the game kicked in, basically shoving all of that into my guys face and making him face the nature of what he is. He’s already changing in really interesting ways, due both to that and his interactions with the other two characters, and it’s shaping up to be a rockin’ game.

Hunter: The Vigil

One of the triggers for the Vampire game is that I’ve been dying to run some of the nWoD Hunter since I got it. I always really dug the original Hunter, and the new one basically throws out all the crud I wasn’t really down with and focuses right on the gritty struggle-against-impossible-odds kind of themes that I’m into. So, I’m going to be running that for the Thursday group, which will be a challenge, but I think a good one. There’s six players, and it’s a group that isn’t used to changing systems between games (not that they can’t or are unwilling, it’s just going to be a longer learning curve than I’m used to, I think).

I’m really pumped about it, though. We finished characters before taking this holiday hiatus, and the cell is really, really interesting! If you know anything about the nWoD, you’ll be familier with the Virtue and Vice system (basically, every character has a Virtue and Vice, with the Virtue being difficult to uphold but rewarded handsomely when you do, and the Vice easy to give in to in order for a small benny). Of the 6 characters, they are evenly split on Vice – three have Wrath and three have Pride. But! All six of them, independently from each other, chose a different Virtue! We have every Virture except (of course) Prudence represented. I think it’s going to go terribly, terribly well.

And the other cool thing is that Jesse and I are doing a shared world thing for the two games. They’re both set in Baltimore at the same time, and while they won’t be directly interacting with one another, we plan to bring in background details, news, locations and so on from one game to the other. So that should be neat.


Well, I finally got the PDF of Annalise out. Response has been good! I’m finally in a place where I can get started on the actual print run, so I hope to have that going fairly soon. Also, there’s another really exciting development with Annalise, but it’s still on the DL for now. Stay tuned.


Secret project is going well. Non-secret-but-not-enough-there-to-talk-about project is on hold for now. Some notes have been scribbled for other things. I hope to be more design-y in the spring. Priorities, y’know?

So I feel like I’m ending the year strong. Who knows what the future will hold!

Posted in Actual Play, Annalise, darkpages, Non-RPG Gaming, Playtesting | Leave a Comment »

Some Truth About Audience

Posted by Nathan P. on December 6, 2008

There’s a really great thread at the Forge that’s currently active: Have we already reached everyone? People are talking some good stuff about the “audience” (you’ll see why there’s quotes there in a sec) for independently-published games, whether the market is saturated (answer: no), &tc. And then Malcolm Sheppard comes along and drops some serious truth.

Now, Malcolms a really smart guy who is really good at taking an, uh, adversarial tone with, well, everything. But this post is respectfully written and really one of the best breakdowns of one of the biggest issues I think self-publishers face. You should really read the whole thread, but you should really really read what Malcolm has to say if you’re interested in putting your game into the marketplace. But, this being the internets, here’s what I think is the most meaningful part:

Your challenge, as I see it, is to create avenues where customers can create places apart from you, develop their own ideas about your materials and run with them, turning the game into a medium for expression, instead of an affiliation with an entrenched scene. One way to do this is to get serious about building communities game by game, instead of by school of thought. Another is to provide extended support, even if informal, for existing games, and use email and other tools to get the word out about updates. I’ve already mentioned some more “hands-free” forms of social networking, but there are others, and they can be defined outside of your internal categories to jibe with a game’s content.

This intersects neatly with a lot of my personal evaluation of myself as a publisher and my goals for Annalise. Basically, the system of advertising and selling to the communities represented by boards I frequent and the online social groups I inhabit isn’t something I’m interested in. I’m starting there, because it’s safe and comfortable and, frankly, doesn’t involve that much effort on my part. But it’s not only a small community in terms of bodies and sales numbers, it’s also constantly taxing on me, personally, to deal with the expectations and assumptions made by individuals in it.

This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate all of the positive responses and the material gain that I’ve had from these communities. I have nothing but love in my heart for that. But it’s time to go elsewhere, I think for everyone, in one way or another. For so long we’ve celebrated the close links between creator and audience (sorry Paul, but I do think there are differences, at least these days). But there’s something to be said about having distance between them.

I’m not beholden to you because I wrote something that you’re playing, just as you’re not beholden to me by playing something that I wrote.

Posted in Annalise, Mission, Publishing | 1 Comment »

Some Annalise-Related Content

Posted by Nathan P. on November 23, 2008

So I’m finally getting around to my backlog of stuff for findannalise.com. More examples of Claims and Secrets are up, and I’ll hopefully be sneaking in more images for the fiction-contest-that-will-be-happening-eventually. I like the Claims archives for illustrating different tones of games. I like the Secrets archives for giving me ideas to steal next time I play.

Also, if you bought Annalise at some point over the summer and have not received an email from me, let me know.

Also also, if you are a game reviewer-type, I would like to talk to you.

Contact for both of these things: findannalise-at-gmail-dot-com.

Thanks, everyone. The response for the game over the last two weeks has been gratifying, both in terms of sales and comments on the interwebs. I hope some of you get to play soon!

Posted in Annalise, Promo, Publishing | Leave a Comment »

Annalise Eternal Tears PDF Now Available

Posted by Nathan P. on November 9, 2008

As the title says. The 70-page PDF is $12.00, and currently available direct from the website; from Indie Press Revolution; and from the indie rpgs un-store. As it gets up on various retailers, I’ll update that information.

Thanks for the patience from everyone. I’m happy to have it finally available.

Posted in Annalise, Promo, Publishing | 2 Comments »