Last November we published Overview of the Articles on the New Christian Gamers Guild Website, in which I attempted to index everything that had been posted to the site in the previous eighteen months–the time from when our capable webmaster Bryan launched the new web log-driven format through the republication of the entire Faith and Gaming series. It was a lot of material, and a long index.
I decided not to let it run quite so long this time, but to try to index the entire year plus only one extra month, those articles posted in December 2017 after the Overview had been released. It really was the beginning of this year, because the first articles in the two major monthly series appeared then–that’s right, Faith in Play and RPG-ology have now both been running for thirteen months, a baker’s dozen of each. There have also been quite a few articles on other subjects and from other authors. So before we reach an overwhelming amount of material, here’s a look at everything we released in 2018, and a bit earlier.
Let’s start with the first article of December, and put all of that series together this time. Faith in Play was envisioned as a continuation, thirteen years later, of Faith and Gaming, tackling the same kinds of issues and perhaps expanding from the focus on role playing games to look more broadly at leisure activities of all kinds–without forgetting the role playing games. The series included:
- #1: Reintroduction December 5, 2017 introduces the new series as a second volume of Faith and Gaming, an exploration of how our Christianity impacts our leisure activities.
- #2: Portals January 2, 2018 looks at how the fantasy and science fiction connections between universes become a metaphor for the reality we experience as God is moving us to the new world.
- #3: Javan’s Feast February 6, 2018 recalls an event in a game in which a character had a positive impact on the players.
- #4: Bad Friends March 6, 2018 discusses the people in life who mistreat us, and how we respond.
- #5: Fear April 3, 2018 looks at the cause of in-game fearlessness and applies it to the rest of our lives.
- #6: True Religion May 1, 2018 begins the alignment miniseries with the focus on what we believe controlling what we do.
- #7: Coincidence June 5, 2018 discusses syncronicity and events which seem almost to have been manipulated.
- #8: Redemption Story July 3, 2018 considers stories which mirror the redeeming act of our salvation, and whether that can be done in a game.
- #9: Clowns August 7, 2018 returns to the archetypes subseries with a look at the importance of comic relief characters.
- #10: Goodness September 4, 2018 continues the alignment series with a consideration of what it means, in game terms, to be Good.
- #11: Halloween October 2, 2018 presents a defense of the celebration of what is essentially a secular holiday.
- #12: Fiction and Lies November 6, 2018 discusses whether telling fictional stories is a “sin of lying”.
- #13: The Evils of Monopoly® December 4, 2018 delves into the dangers the game poses to our theology.
Two weeks later, the RPG-ology series launched. Discussions about the Faith in Play series suggested that we should also cover subjects from the long-lost Game Ideas Unlimited series that had run at Gaming Outpost–articles about game theory, design, and play–but that this should be distinguished from the other series as its own set. This series so far has included:
- #1: Near Redundancy December 19, 2017 introduces the other new series as a return to some of the Game Ideas Unlimited topics, ideas for game theory, design, and play.
- #2: Socializing January 16, 2018 explores the fact that those of us who have trouble relating to people have created a game that teaches us how people relate to each other, through a relationship process.
- #3: History of Hit Points February 20, 2018 explains why hit points are still popularly used, and what they contribute to game play.
- #4: The Big Game March 20, 2018 gives instructions for running games with large numbers of players.
- #5: Country Roads April 17, 2018 discusses how to design the main roads connecting places in a fictional world.
- #6: Name Ideas Unlimited May 15, 2018 suggests ways to provide names for everything in the fictional world.
- #7: Playing Fair June 19, 2018 explains why a good referee can’t kill any character any time he wants.
- #8: The Illusion of Choice July 17, 2018 gives the basics of the “directorial” technique of organizing an adventure such that the encounters occur in sequence wherever the characters choose to go.
- #9: Three Doors August 21, 2018 uses the Savant logic problem to introduce the concept of understanding your referee’s motivation and adjusting your play accordingly.
- #10: Labyrinths September 18, 2018 explains the concepts of labyrinths and mazes with design ideas and examples.
- #11: Scared October 16, 2018 discusses what frightens people, and how to use that.
- #12: Aphorisms November 20, 2018 suggests one way to build cultural variety within game worlds.
- #13: Cities December 18, 2018 talks about where cities will appear in the world and why.
R. C. Brooks gave us more of his D20 game, Lands in the Clouds, with:
- House of Wren (Renewal) by R. C. Brooks, December 12, 2017 presenting a clerical order focusing on stress relief.
- House of Arocon (Knowledge) by R. C. Brooks, January 9, 2018 presenting a clerical order that deals in knowledge and books.
- House of Beyan (Earth) by R. C. Brooks, February 13, 2018 presenting a clerical order that deals with all things related to matter, from vegetables to stone.
- House of Keen (Air), by R. C. Brooks, April 10, 2018, presents the clerical order related to air and gases.
- House of Sukan (Fire), by R. C. Brooks, June 12, 2018, presents the clerical order related to fire and burns.
- House of Coursan (War), by R. C. Brooks, July 10, 2018, presents the clerical order related to military defense.
- House of Curren (Travel), by R. C. Brooks, August 14, 2018, presents a clerical order related to vehicles and mounts and all aspects of travel.
- House of Foura (Luck), by R. C. Brooks, September 11, 2018, presents a clerical order involved in the manipulation of fortune.
- House of Wold (Prophecy), by R. C. Brooks, October 9, 2018, presents a clerical order whose task is to warn of impending ill.
- Multiple Gifts, by R. C. Brooks, November 13, 2018, discusses the possibility of a character having more than one spiritual/magical ability.
And Michael Garcia continued to enthrall us with recountings of adventures in his games, including:
- Screams in Store by Michael Garcia, December 26, 2017 in which the now familiar Winchester team walks into a trap and discovers that goblins are not easy opponents;
- Ants in the Darkness by Michael Garcia, February 27, 2018, in which the Beckett group of adventurers on a dungeon crawl encounter serious trouble.
- Battle on the Beach by Michael Garcia, March 27, 2018, in which the Winchester team pursues a group of robber knights with a hostage, catching them on a beach.
- Treasure Identification by Michael Garcia, April 24, 2018, in which the Beckett team argues about magical treasure.
- Bandits Rock by Michael Garcia, May 22, 2018, in which a contingent from the Winchester team gets into serious trouble while spelunking on a scouting mission.
- Terror in the Tower, part 1, by Michael Garcia, July 24, 2018, in which the Beckett group approaches and enters what they believe is a ruined temple.
- Terror in the Tower, part 2, by Michael Garcia, September 25, 2018, in which the Beckett group encounters trouble at the entrance to the temple.
- Terror in the Tower, part 3, by Michael Garcia, November 27, 2018, in which the Beckett group sends an advance team into the tower, and out again.
…and also notes on his world and his special rules, such as:
- Cultures of Northumbria: Zeelanders by Michael Garcia, January 23, 2018, describes a culture of seafaring traders and their trading settlements;
- Cultures of Northumbria: The Frangians by Michael Garcia, March 13, 2018, describes a culture of colonizing kingdom builders;
- Cultures of Northumbria: Varangians by Michael Garcia, May 8, 2018, telling of a people with an ancient proud heritage who are now mostly wanderers among the other peoples.
- Cultures of Northumbria: Elves by Michael Garcia, June 26, 2018, describing the culture of the eldest of races.
- The Moons of Northumbria by Michael Garcia, August 28, 2018, identifying the effects of the two moons on magic and the lengths of days during each month of the year.
- Compendium of the Lands Surrounding Blackwater Lake by Michael Garcia, October 23, 2018, part one of a gazetteer of Northumbria, with valuable detail of the staffing of the castle.
- Village of Lakesend, by Michael Garcia, December 25, 2018, part three of the Northumbria gazetteer covering the village supporting the Blackwater Keep (part two is expected early next year).
We had a few insights from Bryan Ray, including:
- What Does God Think About Hacking?, by Bryan Ray, January 30, 2018, which explored several different meanings of the word and which of those might be sinful.
- Monkey Business, a Circuit Breakers adventure, by Bryan Ray, May 29, 2018, with a sequel to last year’s Prime Time Adventures play report giving the extended story of a game session.
- Tales From the Loop, by Bryan Ray, October 30, 2018, a review of a role playing game of that name.
- Controlled by Fear, by Bryan Ray, December 11, 2018, recalling the benefits that came from running a horror role playing game for a church group.
We also had a few articles giving information about upcoming conventions where chapel services or other Christian opportunities were scheduled:
- Con Chapel: Beginnings by Eric Van Denhende, January 28, 2018, covering information on February and March as available in late January.
- CGG Events at Gen Con 2018, by Bryan Ray, July 31, 2018, giving information about the Sunday morning worship service and the Friday afternoon Christianity & Gaming panel.
—M. J. Young
Chaplain, Christian Gamers Guild