Reflecting on the sixth open house


Two players showed up today, one was new to the open houses and role-playing games in general. We played Circle of Hands and ate a gazpacho that I prepared.

The session was short due to time constraints but we had one of those "y'know you're playing Circle of Hands when..." moments. In our case, "y'know you're playing Circle of Hands when a mansnake bursts out of an NPC's skull and kills a player character in a single bite."

But death is not the end of that character. According to the rules, that player character will continue on until the end of the venture as a wraith, with some capacity to affect things even if they can't physically interact with the game world in the same way that the living character could.

Circle of Hands is probably my favorite fantasy role-playing game (until I discover a better one, if a better one exists).

I have a strong preference for fantasy role-playing games that are grounded in some historical realism. While this might suggest that I like low magic or low fantasy, the opposite is actually the case. I like gritty realism that is grounded in the day-to-day: survival, human concerns, community, social conflict, etc. Circle of Hands provides this. But on top of that, I also want powerful, horrifying supernatural influences that disrupt this grounded reality. Circle of Hands provides this too. It's a perfect mix of these two things, as we experienced in our short session.