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Envoy Role Play & Story Gateway: Grand Opening

Screenshot 2015-10-21 at 3.22.33 PM

Getting together roleplaying games can be deceptively difficult. It involves coordinating so many moving parts: people, places, times, and games. Not to mention getting a ‘game master’ to run the game. You might have a bunch of friends who are gamers, but your schedules or locations are impossible to align. You might have a bunch of friends who are gamers, a good place to play, a good time to play, but nobody wants to play the same game. You might not have any friends who are gamers. You might not have any good place to game. Or you might have accessibility issues, like living far away from other gamers.

Now you have a solution: The Envoy Role Play & Story Gateway.

Announced on October 12th, 2015, the Gateway is “a 24-hour, 365-days a year online game-matching system for all Double Eposure Envoy role playing games and story games. It allows Gamemasters and Players from anywhere in the world to schedule online sessions around the clock, utilizing already existing online gaming tools such as Google Hangouts and Roll20 – all for FREE.”

Including some of the industry’s most exciting games by contemporary designers, this initiative is a massive creative effort involving games like Champions Complete, Urban Shadows, Dragon Age RPG, the Dystopia Rising tabletop RPG, Trollbabe, Monsters & Other Childish Things, games by Evil Hat like the Fate Core system and Spirit of the Century. This is just a sampling; there are over a dozen other titles, with more being added regularly. (For a complete list of the games involved in the Gateway as of this moment, see here.)

Now you’ll probably notice that most of the games offered currently are from independent or small publishers. That’s completely intentional – the Gateway is an expansion of an existing program called Envoy, which focuses on bringing newer, smaller games to conventions around the United States. Thus, one of the great things about this new gateway is that it permits people to play games they ordinarily wouldn’t see.

For example, check out this event that took place on October 14th: “The Harker Intrusion,” a game of Night’s Black Agents with the following scenario description:

Once, you were a spy. From Moscow to Melbourne, London to Lagos, you worked behind the scenes. Black operations. Deniable missions. Surgical strikes. Now, you know there’s a secret behind all the secrets. You know who’s really pulling the strings. Vampires. The actual, no-kidding bloodsucking undead. When you found out, they destroyed you. Wiped out your old networks, blackened your name, left you broken and burned. But you’re still alive. You’ve found allies, others like you. And you’re going to kill the dead. In The Harker Intrusion, a mysterious tipoff sends you to Morocco. There’s a journalist there. She knows too much, and won’t see the dawn unless you save her.

The game seated a maximum of 6 players, and was run by Mark Knapik, from NY State.

Another great strength of this initiative is the fact that you don’t have to do anything – just sign up on the forums, show up to a game (online, via webcam and microphone), and play! Certified “Envoy Heralds” will run the game for you. Many of them have training direct from the designers of the games, and also have a lot of practice running games already, which means they’re really on the ball. Their goal is to make sure you have a fun time.

The organization responsible, Double Exposure Inc., is also responsible for my favorite gaming conventions: Metatopia, Dreamation, and Dexcon. Double Exposure is in a golden period of productivity, and it seems like every month they have some new and exciting development to share with the community of people who support them.

Overall, there’s never been anything like this before in the history of roleplaying games. As with any pioneering effort, there’s likely to be some bumps along the way. But how cool is it to be part of something this industry-shaking from the very beginning? I’m eager to watch as this initiative blossoms into a truly valuable staple of the international roleplaying community.

……………

K.N. Granger is a queer white cis able-bodied person with a radical, social-justice perspective towards games. When not writing, organizing, or playing games, K.N. engages in fanfiction, social justice, playing viola and piano, and other activities in New York City. Her games are available on DriveThruRPG and Amazon.com under the auspices of Goldfinch Games.

If you would like me to consider writing a review of your game, Kickstarter, or gaming event, please email goldfinchgames1@gmail.com. Also, if you like this article, please support my game own design efforts on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/kngranger That would be cool of you.

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