I mostly blog in french. This post will be translated in a few days, but as the resources I’m talking about are all in english, I’ve decided to write this in english. I might start to blog more in english (and that links to posts in english). Kinda hard to juggle between the two audiences, but hell, that’s my blog, I do what I want !
I stumbled upon The Gauntlet a few years ago. Via Codex, the zine that was then available through their patreons, and featured great short games, ideas, lists and so on. It’s also by this way that I learned about Brindlewood Bay. And then The Between, and so on.
You can totally call me a « Gauntlet Fan Boy ». I’m authorizing you. Because that’s totally the case.
But it’s because the people behind the Gauntlet (Jason Cordova, as the head, and all the other people he got working with him) made things that entice me. The games, the philosophy, the game design, the discussions I’ve got through The Gauntlet all raised me and my TTRPG/Game-design skills. I’ve found a way to play that suits me. I’ve found a way to be creative that suits me. And that’s what I’m asking about games.
You don’t anything about the Gauntlet ? Well, you could start with their homepage : https://www.gauntlet-rpg.com/
There, you will find homepages for their games and podcasts. Speaking of podcasts, there’s mainly one I’ve been following with great interest : The Darkened Threshold. In this podcast, Jason Cordova et Alex Rybitski talk about the Carved from Brindlewood game system. If you want to learn more about the whys, the hows of those games, the reasoning behind some game design choices, this is the podcast to listen. It will also help you master some stuff like the Conditions, the Clues or the difference between Day/Night moves.
As a bonus, Jason and Alex always close each episode with media recommandations, and my list grew wilder because of them. I was already sold by the games, this podcast hooked me to the Gauntlet community.
This podcast couldn’t exist without the support of the Gauntlet Community through the Patreon. So let’s talk about that Patreon.
I was on the patreon originally for Codex. Hey, my title is Keeper of the Beehive that Produces the Black Honey of Old Naarth.
Then I got access to Brindlewood Bay, then to The Between. Then to Public Access. That’s right. Full games. Full freaking good games ! But that was then. The patreon changed as The Gauntlet was changing some months ago.
Codex is no more, but that was a good ride (check out the issues on Drivethrurpg). But now is really a good time to be a Gaunlet’s patreon member. Regularly (weekly, almost ?), stuff is being made available. And by stuff, I mean good stuff. New mysteries for Public Access (five so far, as well as new Odyssey Tapes), for Brindlewood Bay, new mechanics of play for The Between with the introduction of Checklist NPC as rewards ! And more stuff to come !
Also, the added mysteries are all really great, expanding the way to play those games. My Public Access campaign will definitely have some of those (Dog Told Me To, Pale Horse, The Void Angels…), and if you want to explore new things in Brindlewood Bay, why not go Giallo or Sasquatch? Yeah, that’s what is offered.
A hell of a deal.
But that doesn’t stop there.
The discord of the Gauntlet is a great community. To talk about games, to design games, to share, to question, to answer. I’m currently working on a Carved from Brindlewood game, and seeing the creativity there is helping me. Games are being held, we can discuss with other creators. The patreon members hold a cafe-talk each month to talk about what they wanted around those games.
Another piece of why I love those games. When Public Access went out, Jason held a workshop to get into details about the structures of a Public Access Mystery (and Odyssey Tapes). It was open to join to anyone willing to. And it was during the time of the writing contest, with great emulation through the discord.
There are workshops for Brindlewood Bay and The Between too, and if you want to write for these games, go watch them.
Helding those contests as well as the workshops is a great tool of communication, business and community building. It demands time, resources, energy. As a « designer », I can tell I’m fond of these. Thank you Jason for putting these into places.
Well, let’s stay on the Jason Cordova youtube’s channel for a bit. There, you’ll see there is a pretty good amount of videos about games and campaigns. Hell, I’m even in one of those !
I’m not a fan of Actual Play. I already spend too much of my time watching TV Shows and movies. But when Public Access, I got some difficulties to grasp how to play the Night/Day structure, and especially the Night with the Odyssey Tapes. So I started listening to the Signals for the Other Side campaign.
What is great with those Actual Plays is that I don’t have to watch it. I can just listen to it. While painting miniatures. While walking (a great motivator, thanks!). It’s just the Zoom reunion, no graphic display, no information on screen. Better yet : Jason takes the time to remind some rules information to the players as well as the audience. But, as I started this AP to better understand the game, I fell in love with the characters. The cast is top notch. The story is great. The twists (those Keys! Ashley!) are tearing. It’s like a TV-show.
As a french, I sometimes struggle to some references, or just with some english stuff, but it’s a great show, and that last episode, with a mega-twist not even published for Public Access, combined with a break of a few months, well, I’ll need another dose…
And I already found it with The Between Extraordinary.
A campaign for The Between, with another great casting (and a recurrent player). Four characters really endearing, and a dive into a pulp sci-fi version on Victorian London. It’s strange, it’s horny, it’s naive, it’s secret. It’s also a great show to listen, and I’m happy to still have a few episodes to catch on.
Well, that was a dithyrambic post, right? And I’m partial, having translated Brindlewood Bay into french (and keep your eyes open for more). But this post is a thank you for Jason and the Gauntlet Community. It’s refreshing, it’s motivating, it’s just good times and good games.
And I should soon spoke about my long (and ended) campaign of Brindlewood Bay. It will be a french post, but damn that was a good campaign. One of the best I ever ran.
See you around!