Players

Contest Winners

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You didn’t think I forgot to announce the winners of our 2017 Writing Contest, did you?  No sir, just a bit delayed what with everything else that’s going on.

The Winners

Ian — Honorable Mention
Ian gave us the tale of a woman whose live has been shaped by loss and black magick.

Brodie — 3rd Place
Brodie gave us a scavenger hunt waiting to be discovered.

Julian — 2nd Place
Julian gave us a Parisian cafe with a secret.

Sophia — 1st Place
Sophia gave us the tale of a Prince under a dread curse.

 

Meet the Judges

Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams
Wiggy is the Creative Director of Triple Ace Games and one of the creative minds behind All for One: Regime Diabolique (his name is on the cover, kids!).  He’s been a published author since 1998 and has written for Atlas Games, Eden Studios, Britannia Games Design, Kenzer & Co., Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Cubicle 7, and Green Ronin. He’s married and lives in the wild north of the UK, in the land of little ponies and constant wind.

Ed Wetterman
Ed is a teacher at College Station High School as well as one of the devious minds behind the Pinebox, Texas and East Texas University setting for Pinnacle Entertainment’s Savage Worlds game.  In addition to his game design work for Pinnacle and Reality Blurs, Ed has written many articles and short stories including The Witch of Linda Lane for Buried Tales of Pinebox, and Hellfighter for Pinnacle.


The End of an Era

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First, a little musical accompaniment.

On Monday, May 15th, I ran my last game for the Lewisville Public Library.  It’s been a place I’ve visited almost every 1st and 3rd Monday for around 10 years.  I started out with a group of 4 running 50 Fathoms with Savage Worlds once a month.  At its height, probably about 5 years ago, we were averaging 12 players each session and running a game every Monday night.

Over the course of the last decade, scores of players have come and gone.  I’ve seen some kids start out in middle school, only to leave for college.  It’s been amazing.

During my tenure, those players have explored the worlds of 50 Fathoms, Castle Ravenloft, Athas (Dark Sun), 17th Century France (twice!), the Weird West of Deadlands, the Sword and Sandals world of Aros, the pirate-infested seas of Théah, a mysterious monster-filled island, an abandoned carnival haunted by evil clowns, Pinebox, Texas and East Texas University, the world of Warhammer 40k, the dungeons beneath Hogwarts, and the forelorn peaks of Moldavia and the Palace of the Vampire Queen.  I may be forgetting a few.  Most of these were played under Savage Worlds, but we also explored Ubiquity, Rogue Trader, Cthulhu Dark,  7th Sea, 4th edition and B/X Dungeons and Dragons for a time.

Since we are right on their doorstep, Reaper Miniatures came out three years in a row to run miniature painting workshops.  Each one was well attended by an enthusiastic bunch of teens who got a look into a different side of the hobby.

It’s not something I’ve done alone.  All along I’ve had the assistance of my close friend and co-GM, Joe, who was given the terrible task of being the unbiased, heartless tactical brains of many of the monstrosities the kids faced.  I’ve also had other GMs take part in the program, running games on my off nights.  Despite what you might think, none of those other GMs ever stuck around.  I don’t know if it was the stress of having to run a large group of relatively green (and sometimes rules-adverse) players or just the drudgery of having to show up.  For whatever reason, they didn’t get it.  If they understood the mission of the program, they never fell in love with it the way Joe and I did.

We outlasted THREE youth librarians who were wonderful ambassadors and understood what we were doing and gave us all the space we needed to do it.  They were always eager to print something up at the last minute, provide some prize support for some crazy contest, or invest in materials for the program.  See, we had a policy: come as you are; no materials or experience necessary.  You could play our games from the time you turned 11 til you graduated high school and never buy your own dice or rulebook.  We had everything covered.  And chances are, after the second year of the program, the Lewisville Public Library was footing the bill.

And they weren’t the only ones!  During our decade-long run, we’ve enjoyed support in the form of encouragement and materials from Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Triple Ace Games, Reaper Miniatures, and 12 to Midnight!  Even when I thought they’d be too busy, these people gave up their time and efforts to help us pull off some big project or contest.  These guys and gals are fantastic folks – if you aren’t supporting these companies, you should be!

Another highlight was presenting with Youth Librarian Elizabeth Hanisian at the 2011 Texas Library Association meeting in San Antonio as part of a panel on gaming in the library, then running a Savage Worlds demo for those who attended.  While the attendees were supposed to sample a little bit of everything being demoed, we became a lot of people’s last stop as their valiant musketeers carefully made their way through an old tenement crawling with monstrosities.

But things began to wind down in 2010 with the birth of my daughter.  Then, in 2012, just days before the birth of my son, we moved from Lewisville to Dallas proper, turning my 5 minute commute to a 40+ minute grind through rush out traffic.  In 2014, my co-GM was married and moved west of Fort Worth, making his commute (already an hour and change) all but impossible.  Then my parents’ health took a turn that required more attention.  So when the previous Youth Librarian Liaison told me she was leaving to pursue a teaching career, I knew it was time to call it a night.   After all, if you couldn’t tell from the activity around here, the kindergarten school schedule is brutal!

So Monday was our last game session.  We had a full group: 10 kids and 1 adult (a dad who used to game), and of those we had two whole families playing.  They put an end to an Unseelie unicorn, captured the head of an anarchist cell in Paris, and learned the identity of perhaps the most dangerous sorcerer in France!  And thanks to a convenient Christmas Sale at Triple Ace Games, I was able to put a hardcover copy of All For One: Regime Diabolique into the hands of a very excited 12 year old girl (she won 1st place in our adventure writing contest – and no, I wasn’t one of the judges) and told her the rest of the adventure was in her hands.

I’m not sure how many of these kids will still be rolling dice at the table in six years, but that really isn’t the point.  The point has always been to give a group of teens the kind of gaming experience I wish I had been able to have at their age.  Back when I was futzing around with world building for D&D but had no real idea how to run a game or manage a campaign.  Joe felt the same way, and we led by example.  We always encouraged, always looked for ways for the kids to contribute, and always tried to introduce them to different aspects of the hobby.  We showed them miniature painting, skirmish level wargaming, adventure design and world building.  We rewarded ever step.

Do I think some of these kids will become life long gamers?  I know at least one will.  That at least one person will fall in love with the hobby and build on it because of something we built.  And that makes all the hard work, all the late Monday commutes, all the collaborative sessions, all the investment worth it.

To all of you who helped, contributed, or managed a game for our program, THANK YOU!  To those of you who sat at the table, rolled dice and helped us tell some amazing stories, BRAVO! We hope you enjoyed every minute as much as we did.  To all of you who I’ve spoken with on this subject over the past decade, who was inspired to take a turn at running games for kids at the public library, ROCK ON!  To anyone who is reading this and thinking, damn that sounds like something I should do, DO IT!  It’s a labor of love that pays off if you have patience and drive to nurture it and grow it.

It has been a fantastic and fun 10 years.  But that era must now give way to something new.

This site is going to stick around for awhile.  But if you’d like to follow any of my future endeavors, please head on over to my …and a Brace of Pistols blog.


Slight Itinerary Change

Slight change in the starting time tonight, everyone. Due to family obligations, we will be starting at 6:30 pm tonight. Sorry for the confusion. Please pass this along to any of the other players who aren’t subscribed here or on the Facebook group. Thank you!


All for One Special Event

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Welcome to a France that never was.

Join us Monday, January 30 at 6 pm for a special inaugural event for the new All For One: Regime Diabolique game.  Take a tour of 17th Century Paris. Learn the duties of a Musketeer. Create your hero for the story to come: Who are you? What drives you to be the hero you hope to become.

Teens ages 11-17 are welcome.  All materials provided. No experience necessary.  This is the perfect introduction for new players and anyone new to tabletop roleplaying.


Happy Halloween

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Did you have fun at our annual Halloween event? I hope so. Now you can download the Halloween Dark game, along with all the cards. This version is updated from the one we played, as your madcap efforts revealed some holes and flaws in the original design. This version fixes those. So get your friends together, grab some dice, and watch as them try to do each other in! Have fun! And thank you for coming out for the event.

Based on Graham Walmsley’s excellent Cthulhu Dark, Halloween Dark is a light hearted horror game where the players deal cards to steer themselves or their compatriots to safety or deeper into harm’s way, often with hilarious results.

You can also download Joyland, the horror story we played.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


Distant Early Warning

First of all, I want to thank everyone who came out for both or 7th Sea and Halloween events!  Judging by the enthusiasm, mayhem, and volume, both were rousing successes.  I also want to thank everyone who has been part of this program since the beginning.  We wouldn’t be where we are without all of you.

The reason I feel I need to do this is because…

It’s Our Anniversary

Believe it or not, this year marks our tenth anniversary of the Lewisville Library Teen Roleplay Program.  For 10 straight years, we’ve been firing up the imaginations of young men and women with a variety of magical, horrifying, and inspiring worlds of wonder.

What’s Next

Next year, we are going to do something we’ve never done before.  We are going to go back into our back catalog and revisit a game world.  Its a world with plenty of potential for heroic action, swashbuckling derring do, dramatic tragedy, and soul stirring horror.  Just the kind of stuff we love around here. What is it, you ask?  Mark your calendars!  Sharpen your swords!

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The year is 1636 and France is a troubled nation.

A great and terrible evil gnaws at its core.

Darkness stalks the land.

All that stands between chaos and order…

…are the King’s Musketeers.

This is the world of All For One: Régime Diabolique, a world of epic swashbuckling adventure and white knuckle horror.  You are members of King Louis XIII’s elite guard, the Musketeers.  In addition to the wild intrigues of the royal court and the machinations of the scheming Cardinal Richelieu, your duty is to protect the throne from dread horrors only whispered about.  Werewolves, vampires, witches, and other fiends stalk the land, preying on the weak, the innocent, and the naive.

Everyone says there is no such thing as monsters.  You know better, monsieur!

Explore a France of swashbuckling action, powerful magic, daring deeds, courtly intrigue, witty repartee, and vile monsters! The characters are France’s bravest and proudest defenders, the King’s Musketeers. Pitted against them is a plethora of corrupt nobles, black magicians, fell demons, and twisted secret societies.

Set at the height of power of Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII, All for One: Régime Diabolique mixes the action of literary works such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers with horror and intrigue to create a unique, vibrant setting.

Strap on your sword, salute the King, and prepare to cross swords with the creatures of darkness!

All for One: Regime Diabolique is a fantastic game by our friends at Triple Ace Games.  We last visited the Kingdom of France back in 2011.  This was actually the basis for the sample scenario we hosted at TLA in 2012.  Now we’re going back.  This time, we will be using the world’s intended game system: Ubiquity from Exile Game Studios.  This is the same system that powers such fantastic worlds as:

  • Hollow Earth Expedition (Exile Game Studios): Fighting Dinosaurs and Nazis in a race to the center of the Earth!
  • Leagues of Adventure (Triple Ace Games): Exploration and Steampunk science in the Age of Queen Victoria.
  • Desolation (Greymalkin Designs): Post Apocalyptic Fantasy

Get ready for a new world to explore in the new year!  
The adventure begins on Monday, January 16.


It’s That Time Again…

Summer is over.  The leaves are changing color.  School is back in session.  This can only mean one thing.

Halloween is coming.

And that means it’s almost time for our annual Halloween event for Teen Roleplay!  (Would you look at that, two events almost back to back!)

Familial obligations prevent me from running a Halloween game ON Halloween night.  Instead, the event will be held Monday, October 17th!  Yes, there will be treats!  Yes, you can wear a costume!  Yes, there will be scares!  No, I can’t tell you what the game will be about.  But I’ll give you a hint: read the news.  No, not all the terrible election coverage.  Neither Trump nor Hillary will be making a cameo.  Look closer.  Strange things are afoot in our country.  Reports have come in from Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, even Texas in our own backyards!  Have you figured it out yet?

So be there next Monday night prepared for the worst!