AquaVertigo Publishing

Fight Me for It!

A lot of stories and games involve conflict.

Why is that? Does it matter?

Let me know what you think with this single post.


From SYFY.

Resident Alien – S3, E2: I have enjoyed watching all three seasons of Resident Alien. But my favorite fight scene from the show happens in this episode (starts around 34-mins). There may be a spoiler here, so I’ll leave it up to you if you want to skip this observation until you’ve watched the episode.

The fight was to learn something from the other and it was framed by boasting about fighting but really avoiding an actual fight. It reminds me of the chess scenario fight scenes used in the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes movies, notably in the second one, A Game of Shadows, with Holmes facing off against his nemesis Moriarty.

In Resident Alien, the protagonist Harry faces off against the antagonist Joseph in scenarios of how their one-on-one fight in Harry’s cabin would go.

However, the real joy of the scene for me was when Harry proposed the consequences that would result from the fight and this included the dreaded need to do more sweeping to clean up the damage and being forced to learn more about nature film photography from an overly talkative droning repairman. This consequence is enough for both combatants to skip actually fighting and move on to learning the truth about a conspiracy.

At the heart of the scene were two characters who wanted something from each other–info about the conspiracy–and neither had sufficient leverage to claim it outright. It was a no-fight about nothing.


Game Haul

  • A friend decided to clean out a number of tabletop games and gifted us with several. I’m sure I’ll post about them here over time.


From DolphinHat Games.

  • Bears! camper dice game: This is a mad game of rolling and pairing up dice combinations better than the other players. There are other themes out there, such as aliens. It’s fine for random laughs.
  • Chameleon deduction game: This was a game I hadn’t played before. I’m not sure how to elaborate on it except that there are categories and items used to try to hide or decide who the chameleon is. I wouldn’t mind playing it again.
  • Codenames Pictures guessing game: This continues to be a fun game to return to.
  • Flash Point fireperson co-op board game: We shared this game with friends and had an interesting random dynamic happen where one part of the burning home had most of the People of Interest we were supposed to save while other parts were mostly false alarms or fire death traps.
  • Fluxx: Anatomy card game: Fluxx is a game about the rules changing as you play and it has many different versions. This one was about anatomy which is not my thing. It felt like we were playing two games forced together: Fluxx and Trivial Pursuit but only about anatomy. It may be a big hit for medical students, but not so much for me.
  • Fly Widow Victorian Old Maid card game: This was the first time I’ve played the game. The best part was reading off the finished stories about how each fly person died in rhyming couplets as pairs were put into our cemeteries – a rule we invented.
  • Mariposas butterfly board game: This was the second time we’ve ever played and there were moments when my brain was struggling to make decisions because I felt there were too many early on. Thankfully this decreased as the options narrowed. We look forward to trying it with more than two people someday.
  • Pictionary drawing game: We finally played a new version of this game. Our prior more classic version of the game had a board that was too long and this could lead to the game going on forever or a team left behind and never able to catch up. This newer version is shorter and for our group took about the right amount of time to complete. We used the junior deck that’s made for younger players, even though all of us were stumped on how to draw the word “usher.” An unofficial rule we added was for the team that wasn’t drawing to yell things out to distract the guesser on the opposing team. All in all, it was a lot of silly fun.
  • Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza shouting game (with two different groups of people): We have finally played this game. If you enjoy silly slap-Jack card games then this one may be for you. It uses confusion between speaking and seeing as the primary challenge to getting rid of as many cards as possible. If you lose a round you take the cards. However, the real laughs come when certain animal cards show up and you must perform a gesture before continuing. This manifests in interesting ways for different people and we laughed a lot over the actions.


From Magpie Games.

  • Bump in the Dark: We just had our Session 0 and made characters, our Pact, and started to develop our version of the town, Lost Pine. More to come!
  • Dark Well: The 10-session series was incredible, and now I’m processing thoughts. Here are a few
    + Shared pool of Insight vs individual – this was a suggestion and I will need to test it to see how the tokens flow
    + Spending 1T to get ALL for each Token added to the Well – this is something I need to test and feel that it would be more in line with the Traits and simply some token spending confusion
    + Token(s) added for the Conspiracy to act directly on PCs – this is something I feel works best still from the Conditions and if the fictions pushes for it
  • Tomb Raider: This week I start playtesting as a player in an online series and I’m looking forward to it.
  • Urban Shadows 2e: While I did get to play Urban Shadows recently as part of a one-shot at Forge Midwest, it will be nice to get more of a taste of it in additional games. In the one-shot I played The Veteran playbook and we had a wonderful time in the Art Hub with hijinks. This week I get to play as a cameo player in an ongoing online series. As such, I’m working with the GM to see if my idea may work. Because I’m me, of course I can’t just pick a pre-established playbook, especially when I come across a suggestion in the game book about hacking playbooks. I’m now working to hack The Wolf to be The Gargoyle and so far it’s been fun. We’ll see how things go with the experiment.

Next Steps

Find time and energy to review and revise where needed.


Let me know what you think. Was this helpful or insightful?


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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