Ant Quest – A Conversation With…Scott Almes, Part1

In this episode I chat with Scott Almes, the designer of the Tiny Epic series, Best Treehouse Ever, and a lot of other games. We talk about Scott’s newest games – Problem Picnic, Tiny Epic Quest, and Starfall. As well as some thoughts on game design. It is a fun interview and I hope you enjoy it.



Tinkering Around – A Conversation With…Dan Letzring of Letiman Games


Dan joins me for a second interview. We talk a lot about his game, Gageteers. There’s some discussion of Dino Dude Ranch, publishing with WinGo, and bees. It’s a fun interview that I hope you will enjoy. You can download it from iTunes (Go Forth And Game Podcast) or right here below. Please shoot me a tweet (@tomgurg) or email ( and tell me what you liked most.

The Controlling Idea – A Conversation With … Austin Smokowicz of Dr. Wictz Games

My Photo

In this episode I’m talking to Austin Smokowicz from Dr. Wictz Games. This episode is chocked full of game design philosophy and updates about what Austin and Aaron have going on. We discuss Cattle Car, Hoboken, Unpub, and Origins 2016. It’s a fun show. I hope you enjoy it.

Feel free to leave comments here or on Twitter – @tomgurg.

Thanks for listening.

With A Cherry On Top…A Conversation With Josh Mills

Joshua Mills

This episode I’m talking to up-and-coming game designer Josh Mills. We talk about Josh’s game, Rocky Road A La Mode, coming soon from Green Couch Games. We also discuss being part of a game design group, Unpub, and some of Josh’s in-progress games. And we are joined by my son, Zachary. It’s a really fun show.

If you enjoyed the show, why not leave a comment or a tweet telling me so. You can contact me at and @goforthandgame or @tomgurg. Thanks!!

A Conversation With … Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games

It’s been a very long time coming but I finally sat down with my friend Chris Kirkman (@dicehateme) of Dice Hate Me and Greater Than Games. We talk about comics, Club Zen and Don’t Get Eated, and what Chris is working on these days. It’s a fun  so download it here or at iTunes. Oh, and leave me a good review if you don’t mind.

 Next up: Shoot Again Games

My Favorite RPG’s

I’m doing something a bit different. I want to get on a regular posting schedule. One way to do that is to re-post some popular articles from the past. Here is a post from two years ago.

6. Dogs In The Vineyard – I’ve played Dogs several times and it is pretty fun. You play a young Mormon lawman, one of God’s Watchdogs, in Deseret. You go from Dogs_in_the_Vineyard_cover_smalltown to town solving issues that range from domestic disputes to supernatural problems. It has an interesting conflict resolution system. It’s a poker / betting system using dice pools where those in the conflict set the stakes. It’s cool.

5. Psi-Run – I played an ashcan version of this and really liked it. I’ve since bought the published version. In Psi-Run players are amnesiacs who have powers. They have been held by some mysterious agency. They wake up after some sort of calamity that frees them. They are on the run from the agency but don’t know why or even who they are. Players fill out a player sheet that has questions that they will try to answer during the game. This hunt for answers to know who you are is what is cool about this game.

4. Cold City – This one is takes place in early post-WWII Berlin. The Allies have divided up the city. Players are members of a special unit that is hunting down the monsters and experiments left over from Nazi experiments. Each is a member of one of the Allied powers now controlling the city.

cold citydryh-220





3. Don’t Rest Your Head – DRYH is one of the most unique role playing games out there. And that’s saying a lot. I would do best to let the game’s website say it best – “Don’t Rest Your Head is a sleek, dangerous little game, where your players are all insomniac protagonists with superpowers, fighting — and using — exhaustion and madness to stay alive, and awake for just one more night, in a reality gone way wrong called the Mad City.” It has a very unique conflict / action system involving group dice pools and it is so very cool. This is one that I REALLY want to play more.

Fate Core Cover

2. FATE system – In second place is a system not a single game. FATE is a role playing engine involving dice d6’s with pluses, minuses, and blanks and Aspects. Characters don’t have attributes with certain strengths. They have Aspects. Aspects are descriptions of your character. Things like “Quick Draw” or “Dumb as a rock” or “Strong as an ox”. This Aspects give the character advantages in situations. But they can be used against them. FATE also has something called Fate Points. These are bonuses that players earn and can use to change the story. FATE games are very narrative driven and you always get good stories out of games. My three favorite settings for FATE are listed below.

  • Spirit of the Century – Spirit is a pulp lover’s heaven. Players are Centurions, people with special abilities or resources who are fighting for truth and justice. ‘Part of the setting is created in character generation; all characters have ten free-form aspects that have an effect on the game and on the world. Each sotc-220character gains two aspects from their background, two from what they did in the Great War, and a further two from the stories that would make up an imaginary novel about their life before the game started. They then get a further four aspects by guest starring in two of the other PCs’ novels for two aspects apiece.’ It is seeped in pulp atmosphere and is so very good.
  • Icons – This is the best superhero rpg I’ve played. It is very fun and really feels like you are playing a comic book.
  • The Day After Ragnorok – more pulpy goodness. This time it’s post-apocalyptic with a twist.”Mighty-thewed barbarians and grim mercenaries roam the desolate plains of Ohio. Giant snakes, and those who worship them, DAR_FATECore_Shopify_1_1024x1024prowl the ruins of St. Louis. Pirates battle the Japanese invaders in the South China Sea. Bold British agents, equipped with experimental bio-technology, thwart the insidious infiltration of Stalin’s humanzees. Sky-raiders strike from hidden bases in the Sahara, deros skulk in South American caverns, and the Texas Rangers fight electrical death worms to save Los Alamos.Kenneth Hite (Adventures into DarknessTrail of Cthulhu) presents a world of savage swords and rocket men, of were-serpents and war-apes, from Australia’s battered Empire to the proud city-state of Chicago.And across it all lies the trillion-ton corpse of the Midgard Serpent, killed by Truman’s atomic fire but still poisoning the Earth with every night that passes. Welcome to the world at the end of the world. Welcome to… THE DAY AFTER RAGNAROK.”
     My rpg group is currently in the midst of a campaign in this setting. It’s really, really good.

1. It’s a tie. Fiasco & Dread.

I can’t decide between these two. Each is SO VERY GOOD. And so different from each other. First is Fiasco.web_fiasco

Fiasco is a GM-less game by Jason Morningstar. Jason is a super fantastic designer who thinks outside the box. In Fiasco, players build relationships between each other using dice and playsets. Playsets are scenario suggestions and helps for building game. Fiasco is very open. Players can go where ever they and the game take them. This leads to some VERY interesting and often hilarious games. Fiasco is described as ‘making your own Cohen Brothers movie’.

Now Dread. The one with the Jenga tower. Yeah. It uses a Jenga tower for conflict resolution. Awesome. Dread is a horror role playing game. The GM gives the players questionnaires, set in scenarios, to answer about their characters. The answers inform the GM about those characters so that he can tailor the story to them. Scenarios range from Alien-like space horror to The Walking Dead types. Dread coverAnd anything a GM can think of. The game teaches the GM how to build scenarios and run them to great effect. Back to the Jenga tower and conflict resolution. When ever a character has a decision or a choice, he and the GM set the stakes and the player pulls a block. If the tower does not fall, the character succeeds. If it falls, the character is ‘written’ out of the game. Dread is the perfect horror rpg. Horror games should be filled with tension and, well, dread. The Jenga tower does this perfectly. This game is dripping with tension created by that tower. Dread games are nerve-wracking. It is so good.

That’s it – my top rpgs. I hope you will look into each of them. And tell me about your favorites below in the comments section.

Hocus Focus… A Conversation With Grant Rodiek

hyperbole games logo

Hi everyone. I’m back. It has been a while. I apologize for that. It has been graduation time in my household – one daughter from UNC-CH and one from high school. So it has been very busy here. And no time to record. But that’s over now and I should be back on schedule in the next week or so.

This time out I have Grant Rodiek. Grant is the fantastic game designer of Hocus, Farmageddon, and Cry Havoc coming very soon from Portal Games. We talk about each of these games as well as Grant’s super website, Hyperbole Games. You can find out more about Hyperbole Games here. This is a fun and informative interview. I hope you like it. If so please leave a comment.

cry havoc

Pack O’ Fun – A Review of Pack O’ Games 2

I’ve discussed these games during my interview with Chris Handy recently but I wanted to give my brief inpressions of each game. I’m not going to get into how to play each game. You can find the rules for each here.

So to start off:

RUM – RUM is a set collection game at its heart with some interesting additional mechanics.  This is an easy to learn game. It has some thinkiness in trying to figure out what colors of bottles to collect vs. your opponents. This leads to a bit of strategy of playing off other players. It has decent player interaction in stealing of scoring cards. This mechanic is fun and leads to some “Oh MAN!” moments. The pirate theme is nice. I like the ‘trio’ rule because it is helpful as a catch-up mechanic or a ‘surprise’ point makers The game plays fast, has some decisions, and is my family’s third favorite of the set.

GYM – GYM has the best theme of the set in my opinion. It’s an area control game with more. The game mimics the theme very well. It has some actually good decisions with the event actions.  The coaches are an under-used/underappreciated mechanic that can make a big difference in the game. The bully mechanic is neat and a key to understand. GYM’s scoring is interesting in that you score the difference between your’s and your opponent’s score on each spot. The movement / advancement of the events is a nice mechanic for helping your own cause that is essential to get a handle on to do well. GYM has nice art. This game probably the most gamer-y of the set. This was second favorite of the 4 for my family and my personal favorite.

ORC– ORC is another nice area control / battle game. It is quick to play but deceptively strategic. In fact I believe it will take several plays to grasp all this game is. The main ‘issue’, if you want to call it that, is that you have to remember to save one or two types of orc for end game scoring. This can be hard to remember.  Decisions on where to place each turn can be difficult as you want to optimize placement. It is the second most gamer-y of the set but was my family’s least favorite of the set.

Lastly is SOW.
SOW – SOW’s mancala mechanic is very good and well developed. The game is easy to learn once you get the idea of the mancala. It has lots of think. There is some take that in moving flowers / seeds around or changing the mancala direction. SOW is fairly quick. There can be some strategy in moving the needed flowers around to your wheel barrow and away from your opponents’. The Action cards add a nice twist.  The ‘last card placed’ mechanic can really throw you for a loop as you have to plan well to avoid giving your opponents points. I liked this a lot. The art is nice as is the theme. This was my family’s favorite and my second favorite.

That’s my take on Pack O’ Games set 2. I enjoyed all the games and am impressed with how much game and fun is crammed into each. Thanks Chris for making these fun, pocket sized games.

The Kickstarter ends in a couple of days. You really should back these games. Do it here! AND ACTUALLY you will get 5 additional stretch goal games – DIG, BOO, SPY, BOX, and NUT! Nine games for $24. That’s a HUGE bargain.


Full disclosure: Perplext Games supplied advanced copies of these games for review. This did not impact my impressions.

Smokin’ – A Conversation With… Darrell Louder, the designer of Compounded & co-designer of Bottom of the 9th. Oh, and Chris Kirkman too.

This time I’m talking with game designer Darrell Louder, creator of Compounded and co-designer of Bottom of the Ninth. Darrell and I chat about those games, bbq, and a new game he is co-designing with only Richard Lanius. Yeah, Darrell’s pretty jazzed about that. Oh, and Chris Kirkman joins us too.

So head on over to ITunes and grab the episode and subscribe to the podcast while you are at it. Leave some review stars too if you don’t mind. Or listen right here.

A Pack O Fun – A Conversation With … Chris Handy of Perplext Games About Pack O Game 2

Pack O Game™ Logo

Wee Strategy Games For On The Go Gamers!

In this episode Chris Handy of Perplext Games is my guest. Chris has been designing games for quite a few years and is known for Longshot, Plext, and Cinque Terre. He is also known for Pack O Game, a unique, innovative game format that he blasted onto the world last year. Pack O Game is games are 30 cards in a 1 x 3 inch size. That’s the same size as a pack of gum. Very portable and a lot of fun. Pack O Game Set 1 has a variety of game levels, from very casual to gamer targeted. They were well designed and accessible games.

Well Chris is back with Pack O Game 2! Same format but this set is more gamer level focused. GYM, SOW, ORC, and RUM are four very good games that fit in your shirt pocket. Chris sent me all to preview and their size is deceptive. They have meat. There are tough decisions in each. Each is interesting in different ways. I liked each of them. Not only did satisfy the game in me, my children liked them a lot too. You are going to want these.

They launched on Kickstarter today and are already +85% funded aleady. For only $20 ($24 after Friday) you get FOUR games + all stretch goals. And guess what the stretch goals are – more games! Yes, there is a potential to get up to 8 games for $20! You need to head over to Kickstarter and back these games so I can get all eight. The link is right here.

These are elepant sized games in a mouse sized package.

Oh, by the way. I did a podcast with Chris. We talk about all the Pack O Games. You can get it over on iTunes (leave a star or four) or check it out below.