Craft Sequence Gaming at AnonyCon!

Hello, dear friends, and please take care not to fall into the enormous pit in the center of my website!  Also, be careful when sampling the cream-filled pastries, some of which may have been filled with Grimwald Variegated Industries Nanite Superweapon Lifelike Cream Substitute [tm, pat. pend.] due to a catering mishap.  All of which is to say: I’ll be updating the site over the course of the next week or so, and as Wordpress hackery goes, I’m one hell of a hack.  I’ll do my best to offer a seamless transition, but I’m not exactly the Lord King of UX Testing, so if something breaks for your edge-case browser, please do let me know.

I had a wonderful time at the World Fantasy Convention this year, though I think I’ll be the next week or two recovering from the sleep debt incurred those four days.  Cons, as I may have observed on this site before, are ritual spaces—for three days a dedicated corps of acolytes creates a space which is by definition tangent to all other ritual spaces of the same tradition.  (Though it occurs to me that this view of ritual space may be particularly Abrahamic, or maybe even post-Christian—the opposition of ritual space and holy place… Fruit for further research & / or blog entries.)  Cons transform otherwise unassuming Marriotts to lands of adventure—or at least to places where staying up until 4 AM talking about social dynamics in live action roleplaying makes sense.  I had a wonderful time with too many people to list—though I tried on Facebook as soon as I came back from the con, and of course left out a bunch of people and as a result now feel kinda like a heel.  Anyway!

My next con follows hot on the heels of World Fantasy: AnonyCon in Stamford, CT, from Dec. 5 – 7.  AnonyCon is a gaming convention I’ve attended with friends off and on since college.  For the last couple years we’ve been working on games in the Craft Sequence universe—an announcement I’m happy to make today!

Michael Seidman has been working on a Craft Sequence d20 system which we’ll be road-testing this con—and I’ll run a God Wars game using, naturally, Mythender, the only con-weight system I know with a power level high enough.  If you’ve ever wanted to game in the Craft world, this is your chance.  Here are the games!  The Mythender game’s on the schedule already, and the d20 games should be there soon:

God Wars – Mythender

2-6 PM Saturday, Dec 6

Max Gladstone

Welcome to the God Wars. You and your teammates are Craftsmen, once-human magic-users fighting for human freedom from the dark gods that rule the world. Create a lich king, a demon accountant, a bankruptcy necromancer—and go punch a God of Thunder in the face. But will the destruction you wreak loose your already-fragile hold on humanity? Characters created at session. Come with concepts. Some familiarity with the Craft Sequence preferred; general desire to murder gods a plus.

God Wars is a game using the Mythender system. If you prefer to use your own dice, bring d6s. Bring lots of d6s. You may not own enough d6s for this game. The rulebook suggests a four-player group can get by with 170 dice. The GM will bring dice cubes.

So Sue Me

(Not yet scheduled)

Mike Seidman

Your team has been hired to represent a local colony of intelligent worms in a lawsuit against one of the most powerful firms in the Iskari Empire. What could possibly go wrong?

The next two games may or may not be run, depending on schedule—

Are You Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

An office building in the city of Kol ‘ir, built by the Iskari architectural firm Koralli Consolidated, has suffered significant fire damage despite being warded against such events. Koralli has sent the team to investigate what happened, why the wards failed, and what needs to be done to repair the place and ensure it stays safe. Pre-generated characters provided.

The Iskari Treasure Fleet

The great nation of Iskar is bringing the riches home from its diverse colonial holdings. Despite the powerful magics, curses, and blessings designed to ensure a safe voyage, the trip is not without risk, especially for those newly drafted into service with the Iskari Merchant Marine.

There’s a chance Mike will run revised versions of two other Craft Sequence games, depending on demand and his own availability.  So, yeah—if you’re in the Connecticut area and want to game in the Craft world, hie thee hence!  Also I’ll be hanging around signing books and stuff, so there’s that.

I’ll be updating the con appearance section soon with confirmed dates for 2015.  Stay tuned!  And take a pastry on your way out

Wait, no, not that

-static follows-


12 Responses to “Craft Sequence Gaming at AnonyCon!”

  1. John "Speaks" Maurer

    D20 is an interesting choice. I would have expected FATE or the like these days.

    • max

      That’s Mike’s direction—really we’re aiming for a systems-agnostic approach. d20 has a huge pick-up-and-play advantage, but that’s becomes less of an issue as FATE grows. That said, in my experience FATE has a hard time with Weird Powers of the sort that are central to the Sequence. I’ve been noodling back and forth with add-ons for a while, but everything I’ve tried so far feels too kludgy—the soulstuff economy is almost but not quite the Fate Point economy, for example.

      I’m really interested in the new FATE World, the Aether Sea, which might give me a better idea of how to model weird high fantasy in FATE. The Numenara / Strange system might also work, with the various pools serving as the overall soulstuff pool—it also has the flexibility Craftwork would need.

      • max

        Clarifying: the big thing I still need to figure out with FATE is how to model characters with wildly different ability sets and vulnerabilities. Every FATE game I’ve played where all characters are basically the same kind of thing (vampires, supernatural investigators, superheroes) seems to work; modeling differences in kind is a challenge. Though, admittedly, this might just be a psychological / philosophical issue of mine.

        GUMSHOE is another contender—the point spend and stress system are good fits, and the investigative focus might work wonders.

        Basically: I want to game in this world.

      • Geron

        Maybe FATE World “Gods and Monsters” might be good for that, too. A setting where you actually are playing a god, or something on the same power level, sounds like it was made for modelling the Sequence. 🙂

  2. Becky S

    Curses! The God Wars game is running directly opposite the game I’m GMing. But I’m very happy that others are going to get the chance to play it, and even happier that you’ll be coming to Anonycon!

    • max

      Drat! Especially since I wanted to play that game. Another God Wars table is, however, a possibility… I didn’t want to put two on the schedule because I worried it might not fill up.

  3. Trey

    If you ever make it to a Houston area con, I will be there to play in this.

  4. Marie Brennan

    Dammit, you had a conversation about social dynamics in LARPing? Why did I miss that one?!

    (Especially since you’re also talking about ritual space, and one of the things I was working on while studying RPGs in grad school was the ways in which LARPs match almost perfectly to Victor Turner’s definition of “ritual” . . . .)

    Anyway, it was excellent to meet you, and I hope to run into you again at a future con!

    • max

      You *may* have missed that conversation due to its taking place between the hours of three thirty and five in the morning. I apparently decided to use World Fantasy Con as an excuse to revisit my old bad undergraduate habits.

      Also wait you studied RPGs in grad school?! You can’t just drop a bomb like that in passing! How did that happen? I’ve often thought there was a lot of rich material for research and analysis in the RPG world, but I wasn’t aware of anyone doing the work! Is there anything out there I could / should read?

      It was excellent to meet you as well! Here’s to future cons and more wonky geography panels.

      • Marie Brennan

        The very short form of how it happened is that I majored in anthropology and folklore, told them I wanted to study SF/F fan communities, and they gave me a fellowship. 😛 I ended up gravitating toward RPGs specifically because they were a really good way to combine my fields, with a social group (anthropology) organized around a form of storytelling (folklore) — and I had gotten involved in a huge and phenomenal LARP as well as a number of tabletop games, so my hobby and academic interests overlapped pretty strongly.

        At the time there was pretty much just one book out there on tabletop games, by Gary Fine, which was pretty out of date; I think there’s more now, though I left grad school nearly seven years ago and haven’t kept up with it. I was one of a scattering of people working on inventing the necessary wheels to be able to talk about these things academically, which on my end involved pillaging existing theory for useful tools — see above re: Turner. (There were also people trying to invent new theories, but this was stuff like Ron Edwards’ GNS stuff on the Forge, which got very elaborate but also extremely prescriptive, in ways that weren’t useful for analysis.)

        Now I’m sad that I kept going to bed at a reasonable hour like the adult I pretend to be. 😛

  5. semiomant

    This article is wonderful news.
    I think the craft sequence has really interesting ideas that could make an interesting magic system to rival Ars Magica or Mage. I would really like to see it done in Gumshoe or FATE, but d20 is also ok. The really important thing are the ground rules, game system agnostic, which one can then translate into specific system expressions.
    Have you looked at the Apocalypse World Engine by Vincent Baker? Or Dungeon World? The idea of a single coherent mechanism to resolve things combined with designing very specific moves for specific concepts might be a natural fit.

    Would it be possible to see some playtest documents? Even the way you hacked Mythender would give informative pointers to others interested in running craft sequence adventures and the unique themes they offer. I am aware that such an enquiry might be asking too much, but since being in Europe I will probably have no other opportunity to look at the designs. And asking with a humble spirit, i feel I could be forgiven for such a request.


Leave a Reply