AquaVertigo Publishing

Roll Plus Feels

Much of the media and gaming mentioned this week has been filled with emotion and meaning, and it’s taking time to process these things.

Additionally, I have much to consider about my games. The progress has been insightful and I need creative time and space to revisit ideas.

From Marvel, Disney.




Dice Exploder – Season 3, Episode 9, April 4: Fan Mail (Primetime Adventures) with Meguey Baker

  • Primetime Adventures is a role-playing game by Matt Wilson, independently published by Dog Eared Designs. The players create a television show together, establishing setting elements and potential main characters.
  • Sam and Meguey talk about their experience with the game Primetime Adventures, focusing on the mechanic Fan Mail, which allows players to reward other players for moments during sessions.
  • When I played this game years ago with Corridor Games on Demand, we focused our game on a behind-the-scenes crew like 30 Rock but on a science show like Cosmos. It was crazy fun, but we only played 2-3 sessions, I believe, so we never got to see the system play out fully. At the time, several games were already using a metacurrency like Fan Mail, so it didn’t seem novel.

From Indie Press Revolution.


Design Doc – Episode 69, Adapting a Text

  • Hannah and Evan talk about their project of adapting a 1779 book of cosmetic chemistry, The Toilet of Flora, into something.
  • The push-pull talk about how much to interpret original content always fascinates me. At the end of the day, what are your goals, and who is your audience? This episode raises a number of questions that do not have fixed answers about Art and communicating your vision of something meaningful to others.


The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episodes 11–12

  • E11 – Point of No Return: This was an interesting episode to see Omega continue to develop into a compassionate, thoughtful character who’s caught up in a galactic plot.
  • E12 – Juggernaut: Finally, a reveal, but with a twist! I won’t say more because it caught me off guard as well.

Resident Alien – Season 3, Episodes 1–2

  • E1 – Lone Wolf: It’s a good season opener that establishes where characters have been since the end of season 2 and moves things forward, especially with the threat of the Greys.
  • E2 – The Upper Hand: My takeaway from this episode is about how easily people can feel alone and scared when others expect otherwise. How difficult it can be to share your fears and needs with others who are similar to you.

X-Men ’97 – Season 1, Episodes 4–5

  • E4 – Motendo; Lifedeath Part 1: Motendo was in keeping with what I recall of stories featuring Jubilee Sunspot vs. Mojo. I love Jubilee’s mocking of Magneto. This was a fun side story that included callbacks to the earlier series and video games. Lifedeath Part 1 was a touching series of vulnerable scenes before heroic action returns.
  • E5 – Remember It: All I can say about this is that you should watch this season from episodes 1 to 5 to understand the progression and why this episode is so meaningful. It’s a story that connects to me and my love of the X-Men years ago. Days later, I’m still feeling this episode.


Dark Well Playtesting – Series 2, Episode 10

  • This was both season 2 and the series finale for this playtest.
  • The session ended where it needed to. It could be a good setup for a shift in focus with the conspiracy—less aliens and more humanity’s role with a definitive shift of power for the PCs, which would make them obvious targets as well.
  • Overall, I’m pleased with the story and most of the mechanics. I was fortunate to have had a great group of players who were generous and willing to test the game longer than anything prior. I learned a great deal and have much to consider for revisions to the text.


Magpie Games.

Pasión de las Pasiones

  • This was our group’s finale for the series. It was one where, due to my schedule, I had to leave the game not long after we started. Puckett, the facilitator from the Open Hearth Gaming Community, was kind enough to bring us all back together for a conclusion, including my PC, Carmen, La Empleada (The Employee).
  • Set a few years into the future… Hector “Bambino” Veira (El Jefe) was still running his cartel with his thugs. Pau Oscuroárbol (El Caballero) had established himself as a successful gunrunner. Denis Lago (La Belleza) had faked his death to get out of the cartel business. Carmen Mendoza (La Empleada) had disappeared to Cuba and then returned with confidence, a show of money, a loaded gun, and a plan for revenge on Bambino.
  • One of Bambino’s thugs captured Carmen while in church and brought her to face Bambino, who realized it wasn’t Carmen after all, but Amelia, Carmen’s identical sister working for the CIA. Bambino decides to find and confront the real Carmen once and for all with the truth.
  • Meanwhile, Denis has opened and operates a beachside bar under the new identity of Raul, and Pau finds his way there. They both commiserate over the trauma of loss.
  • Jade, a surfer Denis has been pining for, shows up to the bar, and through a series of denials and admissions, including Denis professing his love for Jade, forces this woman to reveal that she’s not his Jade, but in fact Carmen, who’s returned to take down Bambino and needs Denis’ and Pau’s help to do so with the Mexican police.
  • It is then that Bambino and thugs show up at the beach as police sirens scream on the way. Bambino pleads with Carmen and, while sharing evidence, tells her that he, Hector Veira, is her true father. The session ends.
  • Takeaway: Great game system that I would like to use with the released playset, La Casa del Átomo to run an X-Men ‘97-inspired series.


From Evil Hat Productions.

Tomb Raider

  • In case you haven’t heard, Evil Hat Productions is developing a ttrpg for the Tomb Raider IP. It’s being written by Rae Nedjadi, and there is an open playtest of it I’m participating in:
  • Initial Thoughts: I was concerned about the colonialism inherent in the property and the game, and its designer worked to address that. It, along with loving the design work the designer has shared elsewhere, notably with Apocalypse Keys, is what convinced me to take a closer look and sign up as a playtester.
  • Reading: I’m slowly making my way through the playtest PDF, and it’s interesting to see how the various mechanics from Forged in the Dark play with tech from Powered by the Apocalypse and other inspirations meld into this ruleset.
  • Playing: I’m scheduled to play in a series starting this coming week and can’t wait!
  • Running: Once I finish my reading of the game, I’m going to recruit people to run the game for the playtest.

Bump in the Dark


Keep letting my brain and heart percolate.


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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