An armored warrior with a gun appears on the cover of the CY_BORG rulebook. The book is on a Christmas tree skirt; a red/yellow present appears to the left; a green present appears to the right.

S3E7 Keeping Your Gaming Group Going through the Holidays

Winter is coming. The holidays are almost here. How do you keep your gaming group going through the long, dark winter (or at least, the holiday break)?

In addition to delving into holiday game survival strategies, we talk about David’s recent trip and the gaming insights he gained from it, Ken gets lost in TaleSpire for a while, then gets distracted by all the new games he got (Mothership work-in-progress PDFs, CY_BORG in print).

Someplace Else

  • David took a trip
    • Natural disasters as part of your game
    • Never seen hurricanes and their aftermaths as part of a game

Virtual Gameroom

  • Ken took a crack at TaleSpire.
  • Myriad yak shaving side-quests as Ken re-learned how to use Windows, downloaded GIMP, figured out how to get TaleSpire to load on the right window.
  • And created a very tiny, but true-to-the-map, rendering.
  • Double the size of the underlying map to account for increased thickness of walls in TaleSpire?

The Hall of Distractions

  • Ken got his work-in-progress Mothership PDFs.
    • Player’s Survival Guide
    • Warden’s Operation Manual
    • Gradient Descent (module)
    • Mothership Companion (iOS / Android app)
  • Ken also got his print copy of CY_BORG.
    • It’s layout and design are every bit as bonkers as MORK BORG
    • Ken is trying very hard not to justify reading these some sort of research for Cyberpunk RED.
  • Cyberpunk story in Omni.

Main Topic: Keeping Your Gaming Group Going through the Holidays

  • Plan ahead
    • In July, talk about December.
      • Are people available Black Friday?
      • Are people available Christmas week?
      • Are people available on New Year’s Eve?
        • David used to run one shot games on every New Year’s
      • If so … defend that time! Create a plan for including significant others or agree for significant others to do something else.
  • Go asynchronous
    • Instead of gaming, post online.
    • Post Fests to build out the world & campaign setting
  • Plan alternative games
    • Missing a regular or two? Pause the campaign and focus on other games.
    • Invite back old friends who don’t have time for a campaign, but do have time for a one-shot or board game.
    • ‘Break out board games, either old favorites (Arkham Horror, Risk 2210) or new games that just showed up under the geek tree.
    • Run a one shot of that game you’ve been dying to play (cough Alien cough)
  • Make it about the group, not the game
    • Have a holiday party. Invite significant others! Breakout the party games!
    • Go to a movie as a group.
    • Have an online game day (video games, board games, whatever).
  • Make the holidays a logical breakpoint
    • For example:
      • New year, new campaign, new dice?
      • New chapter in an existing campaign?
      • New game?
    • You know winter is coming, so prepare for it.
      • Talk about the pace of the campaign throughout the year.
      • Decide what you’re going to do before you get to the holidays.
  • How to restart things if the game did break up
    • Get the group together to hang out, as many of them as you can
    • Have a talk about what people would like to do
      • It’s possible that people want to try something different for a while
    • Do something fun and remind yourself and everyone it’s not about the game itself, it’s about hanging out with your friends
    • Be prepared to have a different group composition, because life does happen


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The CY_BORG rulebook under Ken’s Christmas tree. Credit: Ken Newquist

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