Bookwyrm 2016 – Games Played

581919_905231719592877_8708416804105237512_nI was very excited to participate in another Bookwyrm, a Fresno area Role Playing Game convention, hosted by the Fresno County Public Library. It’s a free weekend event put together by some hard-working souls like Josh McIllwain and James Tyner, with some support from our FLGS, The Crazy Squirrel. The last couple of years, I’ve had a great time, both as a player and as a Game Master.

Apocalypse World

I had been interested in giving this indie role playing game a try for some time. It was the basis of an RPG rule set, now referred to as the Powered by the Apocalypse Engine, which is the base of many of the Indie RPGs you will find on that shelf near the back of your game store. It’s a post-apocalyptic setting that relies heavily on the concept of character classes or archetypes, like the The Girl Who Beats People with a Mallet or Quiet Drifter with Lots of Guns.

The GM, Jennifer Miller, was really good about letting player input drive the shape of the world. Creating the setting is part of the rule set, and it’s not easy to do when you’ve only got four hours from character creation to clean up, but she kept things together for us so that we could tell our story. Our story was appropriately sad. Scott Martin played the role of a junkyard technologist just trying to maintain some sanity in a crazy world.


If you haven’t had a chance to play this starship bridge simulator, and you are in any way a Star Trek fan, then I suggest you seek this out. Artemis provides you and your friends the opportunity to work together as a team to complete a series of missions. One person acts as the captain, while the rest control the various stations that run the ship. My wife likes to man the weapons console, while I prefer the science station. No surprises there. My son, Ben, likes the engineering station. My geek dad pride surged while he efficiently dealt with our battle damage from enemy photon torpedoes.

Fresno local Jack Krause has put together an amazing set up for Artemis players to really become immersed in the action, and has made it easy for newcomers to just sit down and play. I wish I had some pictures to share that would do it justice. Needless to say, Ben and I had a great time.

Dungeons & Dragons

We also participated in one of the shorter Dungeon’s & Dragons Adventurers League games. Most of the RPG slots were a four hours, but these organized play adventures can be finished in half that time. The DM was pretty amusing as he did goofy voices for the goblins that were guarding the prisoner that we were trying to free. Apparently, all goblins have really bad British accents. Like Bert in Mary Poppins bad.

I’ve had a good experience with the D&D organized play. It’s a nice way to play in a sequential encounter based story-line without committing to a regular campaign group. If you are interested in the Dungeons & Dragons organized play system, you can ask at your local game store or check the Adventurers League website.

I know that’s only three games played over the weekend, but that accounts for about eight hours of fun and entertainment. I spent another eight hours as a game master, but I will save that for my next post.

2 thoughts on “Bookwyrm 2016 – Games Played”

  1. Very cool. You know that I’m not into roleplaying these days, but I’m glad you’re having fun with it. I also really like it when I hear about public libraries being the center of community events like this. I would’ve LOVED to see you all playing Artemis together, too. 🙂

    1. I am having a good time with roleplaying. It seems to scratch a creative itch that helps me cope with the added stress from work, in a way that other tabletop games don’t. We should set up an Artemis game some weekend. 🙂

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