Category Archives: Uncategorized

Conclave Ashcan is Now Available!

The ashcan version of Conclave is now available!  Just $10.  http://www.lulu.com/shop/willow-palecek/conclave/paperback/product-23025460.html

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City of Wolves

My novella, City of Wolves, is now available for purchase in Print and PDF!

You can check it out on tor.com.

Games I Played in 2015

Games I Played in 2015

Twenty eight different rpgs. Not too bad. Probably forgot one here or there.

Apocalypse World: I ran a few one-shots (including one at Chicago Games Day) using the preview 2E rules. They’re pretty cool!

Becoming Ourselves: I ran a session over a hangout.

Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish Granting Engine: Sabe ran a few sessions of this. One of the more unique games I played last year.

Dr. Xaos: At Forge Midwest, I played Ron’s playtest.

Dungeons & Dragons: I ran a 5e campaign, played in a few 5e games. Frank Mentzer ran D&D for Tim and me at Gameholecon. And we also played OSRIC at Gamehole.

Dungeon World: I got to play and GM for the players of Chain World. Also played a few sessions ran by Sabe using Class Warfare.

Exploding Kingdoms: Ran playtest games. Sabe ran a short campaign, so I even got to play!

FATE: Colin ran a few sessions of a cyberpunk Fate game.

How The West Was Lost (formerly Apocalypse West): I ran a couple of one-shot playtests of this, and am currently running a longer playtest.

In Nomine: We made characters for a game that Sabe was going to run but decided not to. But I’m going to count this anyway.

Itras By: I ran two sessions of this! One at the end of Forge Midwest, and one as an ad-hoc Gencon game.

Juggernaut: Ran this for my home group.

Kagematsu: I couldn’t find the actual title of the game, but I played a Jane Austen hack of Kagematsu at Gencon Games on Demand.

Marvel Heroic: I ran an Avengers vs. Guardians of the Galaxy one shot at Chicago Games Day.

Masks of the Mummy Kings: Nathan Paoletta ran this for me at Forge Midwest, and then I proceeded to run it for my home group and figure out how to break it. Playtesting!

Monster of the Week: Thanks to Jason Cordova of the Gauntlet for running a Hangout campaign.

Monsterhearts: I ran two oneshots of this at Gencon’s Games in Demand. Good times.

Prime Time Adventures: Most intense roleplay experience of the year. Ran by Larry Lade at Minneapolis Long Con.

Swords Without Master: Got to play this as a Chicago Games Day event.

Tenra Bansho Zero: I ran two one-shots of this, one at Chicago Games Day.

The Casino Game That I’m Writing: Put some more work into this, and did a few playtests.

The Mountain Witch: I played in a game ran by Arnold Cassell, but had to bow out when I got the worst food poisoning ever.

The One Ring: Tried this at Chicago Games Day. The game itself was a disappointment, but I was intrigued enough to pick up the rules.

Timelines: This was one of my #Threeforged games, and we got to play a session. It was pretty cool.

Tremulus: Ran a campaign of this for a few sessions. Sadly, it didn’t quite come together.

Urban Shadows: I ran a few sessions of this, but it was before we had the physical book (which really makes a difference), and the setting didn’t quite come together. Really excited to play more of this in the future.

Worlds in Peril: We got together to make characters for Jim’s game, so I’m counting this. Also, we might still play.

World Wide Wrestling: TWO sessions at Forge Midwest. Ron Edwards yelled at me because I was having too much fun.

THE IMPLAUSIBEAST

The Implausibeast does not have game statistics, technically, since it does not need them.

What does the Implausibeast look like? It is hard to say, since each incarnation of it seems to be different. You should go through your collection of miniatures and find the most ridiculous, strange, and unused mini you can find. Maybe it’s for a monster from a completely different game entirely. If you don’t use minis, browse the internet to find some very strange fantasy artwork.

That’s what the Implausibeast looks like. At least when your players encounter it.

When the Implausibeast is encountered by an adventuring party, and not a moment before, flip through your manual of monsters or other reference tome, and select a monster of more or less appropriate level range that you have never really gotten a chance to use. The Implausibeast copies the statistics, attacks, and abilities of that monster.

You may have to exercise some creativity in how those attacks are structured, especially if the mini or artwork you’ve chosen has dramatically different limbs than the monster profile you select. Perhaps the Implausibeast will sprout more limbs, or use its body in an unexpected manner.

Should an Implausibeast survive an encounter, its abilities reset. If it is encountered again, perhaps even by the same group of adventurers, it will mimic the abilities of a completely different monster.

The dread Numeravore is even stranger, but man was not meant to know about such things.  Only my Patreon Backers have access to such forbidden lore.

Go Watch Sense8

Finished Sense8 today.

This is the greatest TV show ever.

I have felt feels like I haven’t felt before.  I have been made genuinely invested in the fate of fictional characters like I haven’t been in a long time.  I haven’t just wanted them to succeed- I needed to succeed.

This show is so multiculturally and multisexually diverse that everyone should be able to find one (or more) protagonist(s) they can identify with.

There’s psychic stuff, guns, martial arts, car chases, and the most well-portrayed transgender character ever.

Go watch this show!

Three Ideas to Make Hearthstone Better For New Players

I love Hearthstone.  I really enjoy the F2P CCG model, and I’ve been mostly F2P for a year (I splurged for Naxx and BRM), and with diligent play I’ve got a pretty good collection of legendaries and can play most decks I want to.  However, a player entering the field now is going to quickly find themselves outclassed.  New players are key to the success of any game.  How can we help new players have fun, without making changes that alienate older players?  Here’s three ideas that might work.

One:  Casual Matchmaking

Any update to the Casual matchmaking algorithm that would take things like collection size and length of play (especially at smaller values) to make sure newbies get to play against each other more often would be a good thing.  Everyone needs to play against someone more experienced to get better at the game, but most of the time, you want to play a fair game against someone similarly skilled (and with a similar collection.)  The best place to do this is the Casual Matchmaking, to put a few tweaks to try to match up new players a little more often.

Two:  Purchasable Starter Set

What if you could buy a Starter Set (or two) to get you off on a better footing?  I’m thinking something like a copy of every Classic Common card (74), 20 Classic Rares, 4 Classic Epics, and a random neutral Classic Legendary.  I don’t know what a good price point for this would be- something affordable enough to encourage it as a launching point in a game, but at a point where experienced players would probably just prefer packs.  Something like this would be great for new players to establish the foundations of a collection, and getting a Legendary would whet their appetite for more.

Three:  Buff some Basic Cards

Let’s face it, except for some staples, most Basic cards are pretty bad.  Buffing Basic Cards would make things just a little more forgiving for new players, and might shake up the meta and make things interesting for seasoned players.  It looks like the new Tavern Brawl might be a bit of a testing ground for card buffs, so maybe we’ll see some of these implemented there, and then rolled out into the game at large.

Here’s some specific buffs I had in mind.  If I don’t regularly see the card in arena or even occasionally in Ranked mode, it’s on the list.

Ancestral Healing

I think the only time I’ve seen this card on a list is for a janky Heroic Naxx list.  Change to add an additional +1 Health.

Archmage

The Archmage seems like he should give a lot more bang.  Make him Spell Power +2 and he’d be a lot more impressive, and Spellpower decks would be more of a thing.  Right now the only minion with more than Spell Power +1 is Malygos, so this would make him a budget alternative.

Booty Bay Bodyguard

If he were a 5/5, he’d be an interesting alternative to Sludge Belcher.  (I think the Belcher would still be better in most situations where you want the taunt.  Right now he’s just a little to fragile; most of the time in Arena I’d rather have a Senjin Sheildmasta.

Dalaran Mage

Upgrade to 2/4- I think I’d still rather pack Ogre Magi most of the time, but the power differential wouldn’t be as large, and with BRM, 2/4s are more of a thing.  This along with the Archmage boost would probably make us see a lot more spellpower decks, which I think would be interesting.

Drain Life

With Darkbomb being a card, there’s not much reason to play this (and there wasn’t before that.)  Reduce the cost to 2, and it becomes a similar effect to Darkbomb, but not strictly worse or better.

Frostwolf Grunt

Make it a 2/3, so it trades down a little bit better.  Anodized Robo Cub is still usually better.

Heroic Strike

Would this be too good in Control Warrior at +5 attack?  I think this would be more viable in a budget warrior deck to replace Shield Slam and deal with pesky Sludge Belchers and other 5 Health Minions.

Lord of the Arena

Increase to a 6/6.  Still loses to Boulderfist Ogre, but a little bit more staying power.

Magma Rager

Upgrade to 5/2.  Seriously, when’s the last time you’ve seen a Magma Rager played.  It’s still worse (under most circumstances) than Druid of the Flame, but I can see this being played in aggressive decks, especially in arena.

Nightblade

Upgrade to 5/4, so it can trade with Sludge Belcher or Loatheb.  I think the body would still be a little on the weak side, but it would be better to test a small change first.

Raid Leader

Raid Leader sometimes provides more attack than Dire Wolf Alpha, but most of the time he’s not worth the extra mana.  Boost this guy to a 3/2, and he trades just a little bit better, and would be a more likely pick in Arena.

Silverback Patriarch

Make this guy a 2/4.  Similar in stats to Ironfur Grizzly, a little bit more suited to trading with weenies.  BRM added a lot more 3 cost 2/4s, and this doesn’t seem out of line with them.

War Golem

Make this summon two wisps that explode when killed… just kidding.  But seriously make this like a 7/9 and give it the Mech keyword, and it’s not a terrible card for Arena or a budget finisher.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this.  Would some of these cards be OP?  Is there another card in dire need of a buff?  What else can we do to help new players experience this awesome game?

D&D Carousing Table

D&D 5 has a random Carousing Table, but if you’re like me you think it could have a lot more entries on it. Most of the entries involve simple financial loss or gain, but there are a couple of real interesting entries. This table adds more of that.

Most of these entries involve some question. This question is to be answered by the player.

If you want crazy things to happen when you Carouse, use this table!

When you spend your downtime action to Carouse, roll 1d20

1: You wake up in a strange place, with no memory of how you got there. You are missing 3d6 x Level GP.

2: You make a new enemy. Who? How?

3: You have misplaced or lost an item of the GM’s choice. Where do you think it might be?

4: You are wanted in connection of a crime. What did you do?

5: You drank a Potion of Love intended for someone else? Who are you smitten with?

6: An NPC helped you out of some trouble, and now you owe them a favor. What did you do, and who helped you?

7: You’re having some magical aftereffects. For the next week or so, you have disadvantage on all attacks and saves of a randomly determined stat. How did this come about?

8: Where did that weird animal come from? What is it?

9: You find yourself a member of a secret society or cult. How did you get involved with these guys?

10: You have a new tattoo that you don’t remember getting. What is it?

11: You are caught up in a whirlwind romance. With who? How did it end up?

12: You learn a new rumor.

13: You gain 3d6 x Level GP in gambling winnings.

14: You performed some legendary stunt that amazed the locals. You’ll have advantage on Charisma checks against them, until the novelty wears off. What did you do?

15: You have gained the lifelong loyalty of a hireling! (GM’s choice). How did the two of you come to be such boon companions?

16: You meet and party with someone important (GM’s choice), and now they think the world of you. Where did you meet and what did the two of you do together?

17: You have acquired a new Trinket. (Roll randomly.) Where did you get it from?

18: You have acquired a treasure map. Where did you get it from, and where does it lead to?

19: While gambling, you won a magic item of the GM’s choice. Who lost it to you?

20: Things have gotten really out of hand. Roll two more times and combine. (More results of 20 stack.)

This post was brought to you by my Patreon.

Fast Cast Episode 3

Episode 3 is up over on the Patreon page!  You should go check it out.  We talk about Apocalypse World, and how awesome it is.

https://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=2452318&rf=745418

Fastcast: Episode One

Hey, I have a podcast!  Check it out!

In our pilot episode, I talk with Colin Reagan about Curative and Transformative Fandom, Kerbal Space Program, the Best Pilot Episode Ever, and the Appeal of Apocalyptic Fiction.

Show Notes:

The Reddit Post about Creative and Transformative Fandom

The Concept of Religious Canon

Kerbal Space Program

Valentina Tereshkova

Willow’s Twitch Channel

PC Gamer Review of Kerbal Space Program

Rule 34

The Hedge Knight

Willow’s Game of Thrones Fan Fiction

I Am Legend alternate ending

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is a game I’ve designed for this year’s Golden Cobra design competition.  If you like party games with the word ‘werwolf’ in the title, you’ll get a kick out of The Boy Who Cried Werewolf.

You can download it for free!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p8ulys3jgtxdt2l/boywhocriedwerewolf.pdf?dl=0