Review: The Bone Alchemist

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May 182021

The Bone Alchemist
by Gaz Bowerbank
$4.99 on Dungeon Master’s Guild

Undoubtedly, the game I return to year after year is Dungeons and Dragons, in whatever format it comes at the time. As I have got older I have started to really see the value in pre-written adventures, as time restrictions bite. When the lads at The Smart Party published a scenario for low-level play, I was intrigued and tapped them for a copy. So with the disclosure that I didn’t pay for this, and I am a patron of their podcast, do they have the scenario to back up their advice from the podcast?

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 Posted by at 8:55 pm

What if we were kids? A gaming year in review

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Dec 312020

I’m not the first person, and I will not be the last, to sit down and write about the utterly unexpected gaming outcome of 2020. In January, very few of us could have foreseen the changes that would happen, the importance of online gaming to our gaming lives, and the way that we might react to the wave of convention cancelations. We had no Mitchester Arms and very few people even knew what a Zoom was! 

It has – sort of – however, allowed some of us to answer a question that has been haunting our advancing years. What would be it be like if we all had the time to game like when we were kids? For me at least, the answer has been that I would game as I have never gamed before, to the point of near burnout!

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 Posted by at 3:54 pm

An Ode to the Throne

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Oct 052020

Summer 2017: I am seeing people having loads of fun with the new Swedish hotness. Yes folks, it’s not been that long since the Swedish invasion of quality gaming. I mull over the game, wondering whether I can be bothered with a game that leans so heavily on it’s lore and background. I ponder for a while and then, in a moment of spending madness plop down nearly £40 on a whim.

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 Posted by at 9:58 am

Running a Clean Game: What are your hygiene factors?

 Business Theory and Gaming, Game Play  Comments Off on Running a Clean Game: What are your hygiene factors?
Sep 272020

I really am a big fan of Herzberg’s Two Factor theory. There, I’ve said it. The idea that there are things (called Hygiene Factors (HFs)) that cause you dissatisfaction and stop you from being motivated, and others (Motivating Factors (MFs)) that cause you to be motivated seems obvious. Add in that simply eliminating the HFs doesn’t lead to motivation, and having lots of MFs doesn’t over-ride the HFs and well, it just makes a lot of workplace activity seem obvious. The colleague who cannot seem to go beyond the fact that someone gets paid more than him? The worker who is obsessed with how complicated changing a password is? Both are struggling with HFs that need to be dealt with.

But what does it have to do with gaming?

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 Posted by at 10:19 am

And now the work begins…

 Duty & Honour v2  Comments Off on And now the work begins…
Sep 232020

The first proper playtest of Duty & Honour v2 has come to an end and now I have a mountainous pile of notes and ideas to wrangle into an actual game text. Gaz, Martin, Andrew, and Guy did an amazing job of not just playing a great game, but also providing great feedback, ideas, and analysis. So much analysis!

But Neil, I hear you cry in my mind’s ear, why does a game that has been out for 12 years need such a rigourous going over? Surely just a lick of paint, some new art, sorting out that Measures issue nonsense, and a quick Kickstarter and you can fund your retirement?

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 Posted by at 6:48 pm