Mathey's forum posts

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#1 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

I'm a tabletop gamer from way back, and I heartily approve of this thread!

I started playing online via, but I've moved most of my games to The setup for the Roll20 virtual table can be a bit daunting, especially if macros get involved, but the Wiki pages are helpful in getting you up to speed. The built in audio/video chat is spotty at best on most of those sites, so I agree with the OP on getting a voice over IP program. I'm using Skype, mainly because I couldn't persuade my players to try Discord. It is...temperamental, but we make do.

I also agree with the OP about trying out a rules lite game when starting out - I'm not the biggest fan of Apocalypse World, but it and the games that spun off from it are real good introductory games for people who want to get to playing quickly without having to learn 300+ pages of rules.

Monsterhearts is real popular in my online community; its about horny teenagers who happen to also be supernatural creatures who fall in love and accidentally kill the gym coach and so forth.

Monster of the Week is another Apocalypse-hack that's sort of the inverse of Monsterhearts, where you play heroic monster hunters similar to everything from Buffy to Ash from the Evil Dead.

I adore Feng Shui, and am old enough to have played the 1st edition back in the 90's. Its possibly my favorite game ever, and the 2nd edition is real solid and relatively easy to pick up if you want to play badass action heroes and kung fu fighters.

Another favorite game of mine from the 90's is getting Kickstarted with a new edition soon - Unknown Armies. Its a postmodern urban fantasy game about screwups messing around with magick based on contemporary culture. Its a little hard to explain why its so great, but it produced my best campaign, a game about a bunch of losers working at a mystical taxi cab company.

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#2 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

Never tried Fire Emblem before (getting a 3DS as a present) so, based on the reviews saying Birthright is more n00b friendly, I'm going with that one.

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#3 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

Let's Truck!

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#4 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

Fantastic stuff as always!

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#5 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

I just finished the game. Really enjoyed it, including the ambivalence of the ending. I don't know if its because I'm over 40 or because I'm fond of bittersweet kinds of resolutions, but it felt right to me. A last-minute revelation of aliens, serial killers, or Hollywood-style mental illness wouldn't have improved things, and a romantic ending where they ride off together would have just felt phony.

There's something interesting going on here in regards to the notion of roleplaying as well - the player inhabits the character of Henry and makes up their own mind as to whether or not he comes to terms with Julia's illness and his life with her. The arc's the same for each person, but the reactions both to the dialogue and the events are determined by the player. Brian obviously was into roleplaying, what with his heroic alter-ego and fantasy map of the park. His imagined self fell short of his real self, unfortunately, in a sadly literal fashion. Delilah is evidently playing a role as well, flirting with Henry while keeping secrets about her personal life we only find out via Ned's notes. Once her time in the tower was up, she's moving on and trying to do so without any attachments, something that's a pattern in her life. And Ned - I think Ned wanted to be a good father, but when it turned out he'd pushed his son too far in order to fit his own ideal, he retreated from life and tried to deny his guilt.

All of these characters want to be something other than themselves, and they all fail to live up to that role. Despite this, the game is quite empathetic and compassionate towards them. There was a particularly moving moment (to me) when my Henry started to doubt his own sanity and Delilah leaped to his defense, comforting this relative stranger as best she could over the walkie talkie. It's the sort of thing you don't usually have video game protagonists do, and I appreciated the human failings and vulnerability they depicted in every character.

The way I think of the Scooby Doo mystery is as a smaller narrative that helps drive and reflect the larger, less obvious one. For Henry to go out into the wilderness and react to things, sharing his thoughts with Delilah, he needed a thing, an event, to fixate on. I'm cool with it turning out to be mundane, even dissatisfying to the protagonist.

Life is often dissatisfying and what we imagine is inevitably more grandiose than reality.

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#6 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

Ditto on this issue.

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#7 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -
No Caption Provided

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#8 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -
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#9 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

I am haunted by the idea that I've seen the photo Warren's picture is based on somewhere before. Like in reference to a strongman contest or something.

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#10 Posted by Mathey (1043 posts) -

@csl316 said:

@mathey: I think you should add that to our wiki page.

Tried, but I forgot that copying text from another site is a no no. May be able to get something in there if its entirely reworded.