AquaVertigo Publishing

After the Forge, 2024

Here is the day-late post due with my thoughts on Forge Midwest 2024.

Due to drama with my day job, I left late. The drive was fine with windy weather all the way.

Jason and I stopped at the I’m Board (Madison location) game store before getting some groceries from a Trader Joe’s across the street and then walked down to a nice local pizza place.

I enjoyed my pesto with pineapple and smoked bacon pizza.

The new hotel option seems fine so far and the convention officially begins tomorrow morning at 10am. Lots of gaming for all!

My pizza! by David MK.

SLOTS 1 & 2

Friday morning I got into an Urban Shadows 2e game that would span the shorter 10am-12pm slot 1 (for setting and character creation) AND the afternoon slot 2 where we’d actually play (1-5pm).

We used the Art District Hub. The playbooks picked: The Fey, The Wolf, The Oracle, The Wizard, and The Veteran (my choice).

It was an interesting play through of the game with the other players and I’m looking forward to getting the physical book at some point.

My character sheet / playbook for The Veteran.

Friday dinner was at a nearby restaurant and the food was good. Mine was a salad with added protein.

Photo of salad with lots of added protein, David MK.


Friday evening I pitched and ran Dark Well. It was interesting and I have several things to consider as a result of the experience.


Saturday morning I played Desperation. We used The Isabel deck and shared a tragic story.

The Isabel is set aboard a three-masted cod schooner fishing in the Gulf of Alaska in 1888. Her passengers and crew have unpalatable secrets, and they are sailing into a storm the Isabel cannot weather. A doomed ship, raging seas, and a handful of leaking dories await them—and then the hard times begin.

We got too attached to some poor souls who perished.

Photo from our play of Desperation by Bully Pulpit Games, taken by David MK.


Saturday afternoon I played in Jason’s playtest of a game about werewolves using the Forged in the Dark system.

I played the Nose playbook. We rescued a couple kids from a monster while experiencing life as a monster.

Photo of character sheet / playbook for the Nose, taken by David MK.

We ate dinner at the same pizza place. This time I ordered a vegetarian option along with a beet salad and they were both good.


Saturday evening I ran a playtest of Legends of the Realm with two new to the game players and one returning player from last year.

The new things I remembered to test worked great.

Unfortunately, I forgot a portion of the rules involving the shifting of the reputations and none of the Tales lists were used since the players were great at coming up with ideas on the fly. We didn’t use any Tales of Glory which would have rooted the characters more in the the Hold and its community, but it was fine as the players ran with what we created.

Photo of sample of things for the Legends of the Realm playtest, David MK.


Sunday, plans changed due to a situation for Jason so we left the convention after breakfast and no further games were had.


DMK, the founder of AquaVertigo, is a creatively curious artist, author, designer, educator, entrepreneur, and organizer based in the Midwest, USA.

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