Friday, January 1, 2016

Actual Play Year in Review: 2015

So how was 2015 for Peter for gaming, you're probably asking yourself.


I GMed GURPS this year, like I always do.

My Felltower Dungeon Fantasy campaign branched out into a multi-area game, after a near TPK made it temporarily impossible to keep delving in the depths of the megadungeon. So we played in a new game area designed as a hard, dangerous, but rewarding place for new 250-point DF characters to roll around in. A second near TPK forced me to make yet another starting area - the Lost City.

We played 17 sessions of DF this year, starting on 1/11 and finishing up for the year with a rare mid-week session on 12/30. We play four in Felltower, nine in the Cold Fens, and four in the Lost City (with one-two more to go.) Overall we've played 70 sessions of our DF game, which is pretty good considering it wasn't conceived of as anything but a variation of "play until we get bored."

We added a couple of new players this year - Vic, and a cousin of mine who used to play in our previous GURPS game. We also had a tryout by the son of one of our players (video games mostly won, though.) We also hoped to have a guy I'd played AD&D with in high school come play with us, but we pretty much play on the day he can't play. Maybe it'll work out in the future.


I played GURPS, D&D, S&W, Far Away Land, and Star Wars this year. Erik Tenkar ran two games of S&W in the Castle of the Mad Archmage and one game of Far Away Land. My cousin ran Star Wars once so far, and andi jones restarted Gamma Terra and ran it four times. Ken Harrison let me join his Monteport megadungeon game for a session, too.

Considering how much GMing I did, this was nice - nine sessions of play.

We actually had to have a discussion in my group about round-robin scheduling because we'll have three games going. I expect less DF in 2016 because of this, but hey, Star Wars is fun and andi runs a great post-apocalypse game.

Non-Playing Stuff

I co-wrote an article with Doug Cole for Pyramid magazine called "Dire and Terrible Monsters." It's silly and lethal, which is perhaps a testament to how much influence Gary Gygax's Dungeonland had on me. And Monty Python, since there is a rabbit in that article.

We also co-wrote Grappling Old School for Tim Shorts' zine, The Manor.

Finally I had a book come out, the first of the Denizens sub-line for GURPS.

I painted a bunch of minis, too - but I'm not near my painting desk so I have no idea how many. Dozens, for sure. Not as many as the year before, but in my defense, I added an extra contract job for the year which occupied the best time of day for painting. I need to step up my pace, since ideally I'd like to paint minis at least as fast as I buy them. Y'all can stop laughing now.

Good year for gaming, for sure. Last year I hoped to play some D&D (which I did), play more (also done), and game more (also done.) I'll settle for a similar amount of gaming this year - plenty of game, but I didn't have to make any tradeoffs to do so.


  1. I'm not sure that anyone who likes minis actually paints them as fast as he or she buys them. That's some Jedi-level discipline that I certainly don't possess.

    1. Jedi-level beyond even Yoda, for sure. It's an impossible standard. But when I buy individual minis or small packs, I:

      - only buy individuals if I intend to paint them immediately - arrive home, and immediately start on prep and painting.

      - paint or prep at least one out of any pack that I buy.

      - paint the "easy" minis out of large batches (like the Bones Kickstarters)

      That way I cut down on "I this guy!" minis that sit in boxes for years, or packs of the same. And then when a big batch arrives I know that storing most and painting some isn't a big problem.

      Eventually I sell the never-use ones, but this approach keeps me from buying minis only to sell them like-new years later. When I get back to my painting desk I'm going to get started right away on some guys who showed up in the mail yesterday!

    2. It was even worse for me when I played 40k. The combination of too many minis + not enough time to paint + a principled refusal to play with unpainted minis = not playing as much as I cared to. Luckily, GW made it easier for me to stop by steadily increasing the prices of everything, so I stopped feeling bad about it.


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