Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five or So Questions with Stras Acimovic on Playtesting

I got to interview Stras Acimovic, Ace Playtester, and get some great suggestions on playtesting as a designer and a player!

Tell me a little about your tabletop background. What got you into gaming?

I think it was the old Milton Bradley copy of Hero Quest. Hero Quest is an old 1980s board game, played on a board representing rooms divided up into a dungeon, with one player acting as the GM and the rest playing barbarians, elves, dwarves and wizards. We played through all the adventures, and since everyone was still psyched, I just kept making up more. I spent many evenings getting grumbled at by parents who had no idea why we were cooped up playing a board game instead of 'being outside'.

My first actual tabletop RPG was a 1st edition copy of Warhammer Fantasy RPG (in French of all things) that the brother of a friend of mine at the time had and ran for us. We were thrilled the 'big kids' would play with us.

As for my background, I've been gaming over two decades doing everything from crunchy traditional games, war games, more recent story games, and larps (boffer, rock-paper-scissors, parlor, nordic). I love trying out new things, and one of my favorite things is bringing back interesting, little-known games to share with my gaming groups at home.

What is the most important thing to remember when playtesting games?

Be generous and play to the spirit of the game! Knowing you're in a playtest means being willing to go with the flow and make up some mechanics to tide you over on-the-fly. Often I see people try to break a system to 'test it' or simply play straight, without looking for ways to engage with the direction of the game. Playtests often only have the skeleton of a system in place. It's not fully fleshed out, with all the bits polished. Seeing what the whole thing is supposed to look like is sometimes difficult, but do the best you can to try and get to where the game purports to take you, and then see which bits chafe, get in the way, or help you get there and make note of all three for feedback.

Also shorthanding notes during game can be an important playtesting skill to acquire. You'd be surprised how much you forget if you don't jot down a phrase or word to remember it by.

How can playtesters give the best feedback to designers? What sort of feedback is most useful?

How you feel about something is valid and important. If mechanics frustrate you, or confuse things, this is important to note and often useful to designers in my experience. Similarly important is noting what worked well. Many people forget this step (or don't notice it because it's 'working well').

Writing down context for rules you have to house-rule-on-the-fly can also be important - not just what you encountered, but what was available as tools, and what you decided to go with and why.

A lot of designers can't be present at your table so well organized and detailed AP reports are some of the only ways they can get feedback. I wish that there was a culture of 'replays' outside of japan. In japan many folks record the audio of their game, and transcribe it into a record called a ‘replay’ usually with some commentary. Sometimes what’s reported on in an AP report is summarized and specific details that a designer might catch watching a playtest are overlooked or edited out. Replays tend to be a bit more robust as a medium for communicating such things.

As a designer: remember to include questionnaires with your playtests.

What games have you enjoyed playtesting recently, and why?

I played a number of excellent ones recently, picking just a few is tough. There have been a number of thieving and scoundrel-themed games my groups have been enjoying.

I've really been digging Will Hindmarch's amazing Project: Dark. It's a Thief (as in The Dark Project) style game that makes characters using a deck-building mechanic with regular decks of playing cards. I've always loved playing thieves and scoundrels in RPGs and I'm a huge fan of first-person sneaker games like Dishonored, Thief, Mark of the Ninja and the like. This game really delivers on the tactical plays and stealth action. I got to try it as a player a couple times, and just ran a beta at CONLorado as a GM for the first time. Will's flair for adding little NPC dialogues (called ‘eavesdrops’) is absolutely awesome, and I’m really excited about the KS for it.

Another game my groups have been excited about is a project by John Harper called Blades in the Dark. Interestingly enough it’s also a thief/roguish game, but this one focuses on building Thieves Guilds and organizations and lifting your group of ne’er-do-wells up the shadowy ladder of criminal prestige in the city while negotiating the dangerous seedy underbelly. It’s been undergoing some heavy revisions lately, but promises to be pretty exciting.

What is the biggest difference between playtesting as a player and playtesting as a designer?

As a player you, of course, hope to have fun despite any Beta-bumps, and provide useful feedback. So you hope for a smooth, fun game that works.

As a designer, a playtest that goes 'well' and has no bumps is sometimes the least helpful. Recently I was in a game that had all sorts of problems, but was very helpful to the designer because each issue reinforced a mechanic that was removed or changed recently, and showed exactly what made the game sing when put in place, and crash when removed.

Also, as a designer, sometimes the most useful playtests are the ones where you can just hand your stuff to someone who hasn't played with you and casually kibitz and listen to how they interpret rules and read the game without inheriting all the shorthands and assumptions you teach when running the game that can get passed on.

Thanks for the questions!


Thanks to Stras for the interview! You can check out some of his actual play reports and game design musings at Platonic Solids

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Clash Playtests at Dreamation

(scheduled post - wrote this late last night. Sorry for the delay!)

I playtested Clash twice at Dreamation!

It was so scary, honestly. I am still learning, slowly, how to playtest and how to facilitate games. This was a huge step for me to run Clash in an environment like this and take feedback.

The first playtest was, I think, successful. I give you my confusing notes!

The story:
Two factions who fight each other lorded over by one occupying power called the Alliance. Players lived in a city that was once two cities, but is now one. There was a freedom fighter, an honest day laborer, a cheesemonger, a transport driver, a bodyguard, and a rogue cop. We had this awesome super mundane conversation between the cheesemonger (me) and the day laborer about how the laborer was working too much and not spending time with family. We also had an interrogation of the driver by the bodyguard. The freedom fighter blew up a bunch of outposts, one side hid a bomb in my cheese, and it was altogether pretty great.

Feedback included:
+ Unique stories.
+ World questions and character questions are effective.
+ Enough NPCs/components that it is clear but not overwhelming.
+ Visual presentation is great.
+ The mundane is possible.
+ Relationships on both sides.
+ Teams are great.
+ Signatures, stakes, and locations interacting is great.
+ Had scenes with this game that player didn't think would happen in other games.

- Starting scenes (team scenes) are a little weak.
- Scenes sometimes feel disconnected from the World/not enough World interaction.
- High cognitive load at start of session.
- This is a long term game so may need adjustment for cons.
- Compromise is penalizing.
- One player in particular didn't like the Avoidance mechanic.

A few notes:

Compromise is supposed to be penalizing. You can compromise, which gives you a narrative win, but there is a mechanical penalty because the World doesn't want peace.
I definitely intend to make adjustments for con vs. long play.
I need to rework the starting scenes or offer better guidelines.
I need to formalize the visual presentation.

The second playtest also went well! More confusing notes to follow.

The story:
The Technocrats party and the Libraritarians (yes, I spelled it right) were preparing for an election. We had a young upstart politician, an agendered honorable representative, two older and kind of crotchety politicians, and two young interns - the eager beaver and the reluctant resume-filler. We had the old politicians agree to run a clean campaign, but then both sides went behind their back and tried to do it dirty. One politician managed to dodge with Avoidance to keep another player from finding incriminating evidence against them, and another won over the media. The eager beaver got hit by a car after a date with the reluctant resume-filler, but the final scene was an adorkable awkward kiss between the two interns.

Feedback included:
+ Very different game from session to session. (One player observed session 1, but played session 2.)
+ Clear and simple, but not predictable.
+ Avoidance is really great. (Called "innovative" and "hot" - made my day.)
+ Compromise is really good.
+ Questions work well.
+ Script Change mechanic (Rewind, Fast Forward) is excellent.
+ Ritual of structure/physical layout is great.
+ World creation went smoothly with no GM or facilitator interference.

- Very quick movement through scenes (we had some really aggressive scene framers, which was both good and bad).
- Not sure what niche is filled with the game.
- Factions have no stats.
- NPCs are sometimes tangential - need more interaction.
- World is not pushing hard enough.

A few notes:

The factions do not have stats, and I don't think that will change. I do think that Stakes need to come into play more, which they didn't in this session at all.
In the text, NPCs are tied to players. In this session, I tried not having them tied to players. This was a mistake.
For con games, based on both playtests, I think the format should be two scenes, World table, one scene, epilogue/vignettes. I need to try this out.
I want to look at the World and see if there is something I can do to make it bite more - maybe have it rolled more often.
One problem that came up was how people were handling personal goals. I need to make it clear in the text that personal goals can be solved either player to player, or in narrative scenes where you pay the World, no other methods.
This session reminded me very sharply of why Avoidance is staying a mechanic and why I originally wrote it. It was used brilliantly and to great effect.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the sessions. I think I have some tweaking to do but I think the game is strong, and I got a lot of great feedback.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Five or So Questions with Paul Czege on The Clay That Woke

I got to interview Paul Czege about his new Kickstarter, The Clay That Woke!

Tell me a little about The Clay That Woke. What's the game about at its core?

Player characters are minotaurs in a declining human civilization. It was once the cultural center of the world, but those days are gone. No one remembers the meaning of these big, carved faces in their architecture. No one remembers how to make steel. But also, stories of things from a thousand years ago still circulate as if they just happened recently. And there's this strange and unmapped jungle encroaching.

Minotaurs are a found species, and a new species; a few generations ago four infant minotaurs were pulled from the mud of the river; now they're an underclass that human civilization uses for menial and dangerous work. It's difficult for them. They have almost no control over their employment. But they've developed a philosophy of life-conduct to help them live well among men. It's called silence.

If you squint, you can see my influences in all that. I grew up playing AD&D. You might pretend you could pursue whatever you wanted in an AD&D game, but really, you pretty much had to take the job the dungeon master had prepped. The Clay That Woke makes not being able to control your employment a thematically productive part of the game world. And in AD&D you had alignment controlling your behavior. Silence is like alignment, but with mechanics that make it a complex and personal concern.

Of all creatures, why choose minotaurs?

Do you know Judd Karlman, formerly of the Sons of Kryos podcast? I learned something from seeing him enthuse about Githyanki online. He started posting about Githyanki and it created a lot of energy. It inspired the enthusiasm of others and then suddenly a bunch of people were planning Githyanki campaigns and to run Githyanki convention scenarios. The hobby has scores of big-setting RPGs intended for campaign play. What I learned from Judd was to really inspire play you have to create your game from a source of deep and personal, almost unconscious inspiration. Shared appreciation for some geek entertainment genre isn’t enough. You need something that exists under your skin.

Years ago I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way--which had a big impact on me--and started daily stream-of-consciousness journal writing as she recommends. So when I figured I needed to get in touch with my unconscious inspirations if I wanted to design a rich-setting RPG, I used my stream-of-consciousness writing for that brainstorming. After several weeks, and some dead-end inspirations, I found one that really didn’t let go. It was an image in my head of a minotaur guarding a wealthy estate as the sun rises above the jungle in the background. Everything in The Clay That Woke came from that image. There was something powerful in it; I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Who owned that wealthy estate? What was the minotaur’s life like?

What do you want people to take out of the game the most?

I designed My Life with Master from unconscious inspiration--just like I’ve designed The Clay That Woke. Only later, from playing it, did I realize it was because I had something to say about controlling relationships. The fun for others is going down that same path, experiencing the game and figuring it out. That’s what I want for The Clay That Woke too. Its themes are as non-obvious as My Life with Master’s. I understand it myself now from all the playtesting I’ve done; so now what I want most is what all artists want, I think, for people to experience their work, for people to play the game themselves, and discover its themes. It’s the fun.

What went into the process of developing your token mechanic? What do you think it provides for the story that no other mechanic could?

Almost ten years ago I designed a game called Bacchanal, in which players roll ever-changing handfuls of dice and interpret them to tell the story of a character’s efforts to reunite with a companion. Those mechanics taught me just how inspiring and creatively productive an oracle could be. The Krater of Lots in The Clay That Woke is very much a descendant of the dice mechanics in Bacchanal. A lot of roleplaying games these days rotate their spotlight from player to player and say in turn to each of them, in effect, “Do something interesting.” And it’s often not that easy. The Clay That Woke, like Bacchanal, gives you some input. It says, “Everyone, this minotaur just changed the mind of the opposition in some way, figure that out--but don’t workshop it--just roleplay forward, knowing that you’re all aiming for the same destination.” Or it says something like, “This minotaur acts with physical confidence for a dramatic outcome in his favor, but also makes a mistake or error. Figure that out. Roleplay forward.”

After the Kickstarter, what comes next for you?

Right on the heels of the Kickstarter I’m an invited guest to Gamestorm in Oregon. Then I’m heads-down finishing the art direction and writing on The Clay That Woke. The Kickstarter just crossed the stretch goal that commits Nate Marcel for ten more illustrations, so I need to give him art direction for those. My next game project after that is an RPG about supervillains on parole, trying to go straight. It had one unsuccessful local playtest that didn’t even go an hour and a half, and then one really successful and fun full playtest session at Forge Midwest last year. So I just need to figure out what makes it work when it works well. And it needs a title. Any suggestions?

Thanks to Paul for the interview! If you have any comments or suggestions for the name of Paul's next project, comment here!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Five or So Questions with Matthijs Holter on The Devil's Cub

Today I have an interview with Matthijs Holter, creator of Archipelago, about his book "The Devil's Cub" and it's upcoming sequel.

Tell me a little bit about "The Devil's Cub." What's the story?

The main character is a 150-year-old noaide - a Sami shaman. When she encounters the devil on a lonely forest road, she decides to seduce him - and becomes pregnant with his child. So the question is, what will she do with it? Her plan is to use it to gain more power, but will she manage to do that, and how? How will it change her?

What made you choose this time period and these folklore elements?

It's set in the 1800s in Norway, which, at that time, was a place of contrasts and changes. A few families became extremely wealthy selling timber to warring countries, while most people were poor, often starving. The church tried to educate and civilize the population, but the population often didn't give a shit - or, rather, they stuck with their traditions and beliefs. In the book, of course, most of those beliefs are true, and I get to play with a lot of half-forgotten elements from our history and folklore. Some are pretty horrible! There was something called the utbord, for instance, which is the spirit of an unchristened child; the image of an undead baby, buried somewhere in the forest, screaming… It's pretty bad. And it says a lot of things about the culture at that time; about religion, about the expectations towards women, about how children were treated…

I wrote a game in this setting in 2004, "Draug", and did a lot of research. Back then, I tried to be very historically correct; now I'm having fun with it, using history and superstition to make a great story.

You used some methods from gaming to help write the book. What were they and how did they help with the process?

The most important one was what Ron Edwards calls "Driving with bangs". A bang is something that happens to a character that they have to do something about. Often you, as a player (or writer), don't know what they will do until it happens. The situation that starts this whole book is a bang: "You're pregnant with the devil. Now what?"

Another one was to use phrases from my own game, Archipelago. (It's available for free on the internet). I didn't do this very consciously, but at points I definitely thought to myself "More details!" or "That won't be so easy!"

And then there's what Vincent Baker calls "Play to find out what happens" - in this case, write to find out what happens. I didn't plan ahead a lot; I was just curious to see where the story would go, and was often surprised at what the characters chose to do. There was a lot of laughing, shaking my head, and cursing in frustration as I saw their stories unfold.

Tell me about the sequel. What can I look forward to? When is it coming out?

I can't tell you too much, of course, because that would spoil it! But we do see some major changes in the protagonist. She meets new dangers that are, in their way, much worse than the devil ("Better the devil you know" is an apt expression here). She also gets a new circle of friends - or, should I say, her first ever circle of friends, as she tends to be a loner. There are ghosts, unexpected sexual attractions, a huge fire and some pretty good parties. It's a little like "Pride and Prejudice" with lesbian witches.

It's coming out this spring - we're editing it now!

What was the biggest challenge writing "The Devil's Cub" and its sequel? Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with it for new writers?

The biggest challenge… Actually telling myself and the world that this was what I wanted to do, and then doing something about it. I took time off from work, dropped off the internet, didn't see a lot of people for a while, and just wrote, wrote, wrote. And once I got that momentum going, getting up every day and knowing "Today I'm writing", the book took on a life of its own.

My suggestions for new writers:

- Decide whether you want to make money or have fun. You'll probably never make money from this, so have fun instead.

- If you want to write, you have to write. Read some, too. But mostly just write, write, write. Open your document and start typing words. If it's crap, you can throw it away later, but while you're writing, you can't actually know if what you've written is great or terrible!

- Use a treadmill. Write while walking. It's great! You get flow, your brain gets oxygen and comes up with lots of ideas, you get a little exercise along the way. Amazing.

- Last, but not least: Get a good editor. I'm working with Lizzie Stark right now, and really enjoying that. Talk in person (or via Skype).

Thanks to Matthijs for a great interview!

Author's web page:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Five or So Questions with Marshall Miller on The Warren

I interviewed Marshall Miller about his work on The Warren, as well as his Dungeon World Starters.

Tell me about The Warren.

The Warren is a tabletop roleplaying game about survival and community where players take on the role of rabbits. In the game, rabbits are faced with an imperiled warren and a naturalistic world - it's up to them to figure out how to make the best of things. Longer term, the game leans toward generational play and focuses on the warren itself, gently pushing players to adopt new characters periodically. The game takes inspiration from Richard Adams' book Watership Down and builds various Apocalypse World Engine (AWE) games, primarily Apocalypse World and Dungeon World. The Warren started out as a little 6-page hack called Lapins & Lairs that I released into the wilds last summer. After some playtests, retooling, and fleshing out, I'm releasing the expanded rules text into the wild for further playtesting and feedback. You can find the playtest materials here.

What motivated you to make the game? What made you choose Apocalypse World as the base for the game?

I think this feeling is pretty common: everyone and their brother read a book during grade school and yet there you are, years later, reading it for the first time. That's what happened with me and Watership Down. When I got to the part where [spoiler] Fiver has his vision, it hit me - Fiver just opened his brain to the psychic maelstrom! [/spoiler]  As the story went on, I couldn't stop seeing it through the lens of Apocalypse World. I remember this all really vividly because it was also the weekend that the Dungeon World launched on Kickstarter and my brain space was already steeping in AWE. I saw how Dungeon World was taking the idea of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and powering it with the apocalypse and reckoned it could be done with Bunnies & Burrows as well. The idea has been tugging at me ever since.

What techniques did you use to hack it?

Apocalypse World Engine games get a lot of play at conventions, so one of my goals was to make a game that focused on that one-shot format. The Warren features a single rabbit playbook that all the players use; however, each character picks a unique move for their rabbit. That means cutting straight to talking about who is taking which move and what that says about their rabbit. Tracking experience and making fronts are often skipped over in con games so I cut away the experience mechanism and reconfigured the front mechanism to be more like aspects (Fate) and monsters (Dungeon World). Also gone are the direct conflict moves like ‘hack and slash’ or ‘seize by force.’ Instead, players have moves for running away and braving things that scare them. Consequently, this is not a game where you tackle opposition head on – instead rabbits must be fast and clever. "Sex moves" from Apocalypse World were a good fit because, you know, bunnies are known for their prodigious reproductive rate. It was important to get the mating/birthing moves right - I hope I succeeded. Lastly, because this is a game about survival and community, I wanted to make it easy for characters to regularly die or step back to become staples of the community. I always liked the ‘retire to safety’ move in Apocalypse World so I brought it to the forefront and made it a move everyone had access to all the time. Interestingly, doing so also allows players to use it to sacrifice control of their character in dramatic ways – much like dashing the Jenga tower in Dread. Between the birthing and retiring moves, the game lends itself to generational play if you’re going to play more than one session.

What kind of players would like The Warren?

Thus far, the people who have expressed an interest in The Warren: 1) already play other Apocalypse World Engine games and are excited to see the system go in a new direction, 2) like Watership Down, Bunnies & Burrows, or animal games in general and are curious to see what all the fuss over AWE games is about, or 3) are looking for a game that they can play with their kids and... oh! look! bunnies! A big reason for expanding on the original hack was to clarify the animal genre to players who weren't familiar with Watership Down and to better introduce the AWE to players who were new to the 'system.' I also included some alternatives to the sex moves to make it friendlier to younger audiences.

You've done some Dungeon World Adventure Starters. What's your process for creating them?

Dungeon Starters are one-sheet supplements for running the first session of a Dungeon World game that collect a bunch of thematically related imagery and mechanical tidbits for the GM to pull from. Around the time when the red book version of Dungeon World came out, I was wondering what a published adventure for Dungeon World might look like. It couldn't dictate a story or series of events, it couldn't fill in all the gaps, and it couldn't make many assumptions because players would be contributing details too. The solution was to build Dungeon Starters around loaded questions for the GM to ask. The loaded questions convey both setting and situation details and ties the characters to them. From there, you can create a cloud of setting elements that relate to those questions (e.g. custom moves, items, spells, monsters, etc.). My best advice is: mashup two or more settings or story ideas you like to create something with a unique feel, don't waste any chance to reinforce the theme or tone of the starter when creating elements, brainstorm more elements than you need and then pair them down so that only the most compelling and synergistic elements remain, and remember that you're making a reusable document - maximize the number of different directions you could spur the fiction depending on what subset of elements you introduce to the fiction. I've got some more commentary on Dungeon Starters and a handful of examples here.

Are you working on any other projects? 

Doesn't everyone have a half dozen game designs percolating in the back of their mind? Right now I'm really excited about the plethora of small games being published and the blossoming of various regional LARP scenes. I'm having fun dipping my toes into those waters. I also really enjoy helping other people to brainstorm, playtest, and develop their games – collaboration is the best!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Five or So Questions with Jason Morningstar

I interviewed Jason Morningstar of Bully Pulpit Games! Thanks to Jason for his time. 

You've been way successful with Fiasco. What's been the best part of that success?

I'm really proud of the game and love to hear people's dumb Fiasco stories, particularly when it serves as a gateway drug for people new to roleplaying. I love to see the places people take it, and how they make it their own. That's very satisfying.

Tell me about Night Witches. Who would enjoy it? What do you want people to get out of the game?
Night Witches is a game about Soviet women who served as bomber pilots during the Great Patriotic War. It's a crazy focused setting and provides a really interesting feminist window. While as players you experience the terror of conducting actual combat missions in shitty, 20-year-old biplanes, the real heart of the game happens between missions. The Red Army is massively sexist and wants these women to fail, and in many ways that is the greater enemy. There's a constant tension between retaining your female identity and functioning within this massive masculine war machine. Since it's an Apocalypse World engine game, that tension plays out directly and mechanically as the fiction unfolds for your group. I have no idea who will enjoy it. I'm always surprised. I take great, great care to make sure you don't need to be a history nerd to get into it, though. I've been working on Night Witches on and off since 2007!

What other projects do you have in progress?
I always have a few things cooking. Beyond Night Witches I am poring over my back catalog of projects that really needed economical short run card production to be viable. Expect to see some of that come out. Medical Hospital, the medical game of medical melodrama, is back on track and in semi-active development. We've commissioned a guy you might know, Mr. John Sheldon, to do some art for us. More Fiasco material is coming out in 2014 for sure. I'm also helping with a few Kickstarters and supporting my friends.

The Climb has gotten a lot of great feedback. Do you have plans for more LARPs?
I'm really gratified that people are playing and enjoying The Climb. I remain super excited about the potential of live action play and continue to push at the form, using what I know about tabletop generally and GMless play specifically to inform it. I'm working on three different live action games right now. One, Villa Air-Bel, will get its first playtest at Dreamation. It's about a bunch of weird American expats who smuggled Jewish intellectuals out of Vichy France in 1940, a true story. Another is a sort of thematic companion piece to The Climb that takes place on a commercial fishing boat in the Gulf of Alaska. A third (man, I need to focus!) is about Mexican villagers coming to grips with the looting of their ancestral tomb.

What is your biggest goal as a game designer right now?
My #1 goal right now is to really understand what live action roleplaying has to offer and cross-pollinate lessons learned between larp and tabletop. This is a tremendously exciting area with many, many opportunities for cool new stuff. Thanks for your questions!

What a great interview! I'm looking forward to seeing what Jason brings out with Night Witches, Medical Hospital, and more LARPs!

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Three Things

John Adamus wrote about depression, and it really hit me. Content warning for talk about self-harm, suicide, and depression/mental illness.

My three things? They change sometimes. But here's the now. They're a little similar to John's, so my bad! But still.

Gaming. I really enjoy the community and the experience that surrounds and is gaming. I don't think I could give up gaming even if I wanted to, it's become such a huge part of me. I like making games, I like playing them, I like talking about them and reading about them. Games are a whole world for me.

Food. I love eating food. I don't make it a lot (lack of energy, etc.) but when I do it's normally fantastic. I really dig getting something new and interesting and trying it out, going out to expensive restaurants for the whole experience - food is life. It's happiness. It's sustenance. It never leaves me feeling lonely or judged or hungry.

Sex. This is kind of inappropriate or TMI or whatever, but I love sex. I love learning about it. I love reading Oh Joy, Sex Toy! I think toys and kink are awesome even if I don't use them or participate in it. I love having sex, and talking about sex, and hearing stories about sex. I even like saying "sex!" It's an expression of love, it's fun, it's a way to share intimacy, and it's just emotion translated into physical action, and that's awesome.