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Introducing Deernicorn Limited Prints!

Heart of the Deernicorn has partnered with some of our favorite publishers in indie games to bring you a series of limited-edition screen printed designs on shirts, hoodies, and posters.

  • All garments are hand printed with water based inks on 100% cotton American Apparel
  • Posters are printed on Classic Crest 80# Cover with a linen finish
  • Each Limited Print will be on sale for 2 weeks
  • After the sale, any extras will be available in our store.
  • 1-2 new designs each month
  • Made in downtown Olympia

We hope that by partnering directly we can remove some of the financial and logistical barriers that indie publishers face getting shirts made.

DLP #001 The Burning Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

Luke Crane was the first person to reach out to me after the publication of Fall of Magic to help him with this gorgeous cloth edition of Inheritance, so it feels fitting that we kick off our Limited Print series with this bonkers 6 color design for Burning Wheel. This is the most technical shirt design we have attempted to date and I am thrilled how it turned out!

The first layer of printing is done using a discharge ink that removes the dye from the black shirts, allowing the other layers to soak into the fibers. The result is a vintage-looking print that will age gracefully over time and not crack like plastisol inks that are more commonly used.

Available now through August 15th!

Jason Morningstar – Artist Residency April 29-May 6th

Jason Morningstar, award-winning game designer of Fiasco, Night Witches, and Gray Ranks is coming to Olympia, April 30th-May 6th to do an artist in residency at Heart of the Deernicorn.

As a part of his residency Jason will be attending and facilitating a program of events open to the public.
This is an amazing an unique opportunity to learn from one of the sharpest minds in modern game design. Jason’s prolific body of work is a masterclass in tabletop and live action design techniques and the use of games to interrogate and reimagine history.
On top of all of this Jason is a generous contributor to the gaming community and has worked hard to mentor the next generation of indie designers, both through event organizing, through his publishing company, Bully Pulpit Games, and through his compassionate and thoughtful facilitation at conferences around the world.

Schedule of Events

Sunday April 29th Book Signing / Meet and Greet

Phoenix Comics and Games (Seattle, WA)

Monday April 30th
Open Game Jam 

@ HOTD Studio 6-9pm (209 4th Ave E Suite 204)

Come and bring a game to work on, or just show up and playtest other designer’s unfinished works. Everyone welcome.

Tuesday May 1st
Open Story Gaming feat: Bully Pulpit Games

@ HOTD Workshop 6-9pm (207 4th Ave E Suite)

Jason and Ross will be facilitating a selection of games from the Bully Pulpit catalog. Come try Star Crossed, Fiasco, and more…

Wednesday May 2nd
Winterhorn – Workshop and Play 

 

 

 

 

 

@ HOTD Workshop 6-9pm (207 4th Ave E Suite)
$10* Register at heartofthedeernicorn.com/events

A larp about federal intrusion into activist organizations where you play as the feds. Workshop to follow.

Thursday May 3th
The Fobolex Interstellar Corporate Retreat 

 

 

 

 

 

@ The Evergreen State College Library 6:30-8:30pm

A chaotic party game about finding your place, Q&A to follow.

Friday May 4th-6th
Future Play – Micro Conference 

 

 

 

@ HOTD Workshop (207 4th Ave E Suite)
$50* Register at heartofthedeernicorn.com/events

A weekend conference focusing on games that examine historical events through the lens of Sci Fi.

*diversity scholarships available

About Jason

Jason Morningstar is a game designer who lives and works in Durham, North Carolina, USA. In addition to tabletop and live action roleplaying games, he has also made games for clients like Google and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His collaborations include the #feminism collection, Fastaval nominee Old Friends with Ole Peder Giæver, and the popular Love in the TIme Of… games with Matthijs Holter.


Jason’s games have been featured at Indiecade and in the Gen Con 50th anniversary museum. He has been a guest at a variety of events, including Ropecon, Gen Con, Lucca Comics and Games, and Dragon Con. Jason was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Living Games conference.


Beyond roleplaying, Jason consults on the use of games for teaching and learning, most recently with the University of California, University of Michigan, Kaiser-Permanente Health Care, and the Innovation Learning Network.


In addition to design, Jason has written extensively on game-related topics. His articles have appeared in the anthologies Analog Game Studies, States of Play and Unframed.


About Bully Pulpit Games

Bully Pulpit Games is the creator of innovative games of outstanding quality. We specialize in making award-winning tabletop and live action games that challenge assumptions and blur boundaries.


Our game Fiasco was an instant hit, won us our unprecedented second Diana Jones Award for Gaming Excellence, and has influenced a generation of other designers. Our historical games, like Grey Ranks and Night Witches, shine spotlights onto little-known stories at the fringes of popular narratives, and allow players to experience the joy and terror of bold lives full of contemporary resonance.


Our live action games, like JUGGERNAUT and WINTERHORN, throw players into impossible situations and confront them with deliciously difficult choices, all while defying the “larp” stereotype with crisp, self-driven games that reach a satisfying conclusion in a couple of hours.


And, of course, we’re always working to explore the edges of analog gaming, whether by experimenting with new ideas about character and player agency or by mashing up well-established formats into something new and weird.


You can read more about Jason and Bully Pulpit Games at www.bullypulpitgames.com.

Your Team-Building Exercise Might Need A Little Mood Lighting

Have you ever sat awkwardly in a circle with a bunch of strangers, waiting for the dreaded ice breaker to be over? Summer camp, first day of class, new staff orientation, a conference. Maybe you’ve even been the one presenting the ‘get to know you game’ that no one wants to play.

It’s easy to recognize the need for icebreakers and team building exercises, but how do we actually design effective activities for a group or a specific event? What kind of experience do we want participants to have together and is that actually accomplished through the games we play?

Experiential educator and artist Mo Golden and tabletop game designer Ross Cowman want your next group experience to be authentic, transformative, and memorable. That’s why they designed Night Forest, a ritual game that gets groups connecting authentically, going from awkward silence to meaningful conversation within a few minutes.

Night Forest is designed to be played outside in the woods with lit candles but can be played in an office, parking lot, or anywhere else with space to walk around. It’s simple to pick up and play, making it easy to incorporate into other activities without having to learn rules or guidelines first.

Night Forest helps create space for people to open up, be a little vulnerable, share what’s underneath the chit chat, and begin to build trust.” says co-designer, Ross.

How to Play:
You get your group together and give each person a candle and a book of matches before going out to the woods at dusk or to an indoor space that can be darkened. Once you’re in the play space, each participant is given a card from the deck of beautifully illustrated black and metallic gold Night Forest cards.

Participants disperse, finding a place to be alone with their card. Once they are alone, they light their candle, flip their card over, and allow the image and word on the card to evoke or inspire memories. Participants move through the space, embodying and exploring their memories. When two participants meet, they exchange memories, trade cards, and continue the process with other memories and other people.

At some point, repeat cards will appear. If a participant receives a card they’ve had before, they blow out their candle and become a forgotten memory. The forgotten memories stay in the shadows but follow the other memories around as silent witnesses. The game ends once everyone is a forgotten memory.

Night Forest can be played around a certain theme, question, or issue the group wants to explore, or it can be completely open. Educators and facilitators appreciate how Night Forest provides enough of a structure that they don’t have to create something from scratch, yet enough openness and flexibility that it can be used again and again for a range of groups and learning objectives.

“One of the important aspects of Night Forest is that it promotes diversity on many levels,” co-designer, Mo explains. “It invites a non-linear way of thinking, something often not rewarded in many school and work settings, but that’s super important for emotional intelligence as well as for innovation. It also requires participants to really pay attention to the other participants: their timing, thought process, personal narratives.”

After playing Night Forest, one participant reflected; “Educators, group facilitators, and leadership teams, if you’re seeking experiential methods to incorporate into programming, this is for you. You’ll find Night Forest versatile, effective, and memorable for your group and you might find yourself handing out the cards and switching off the lights any opportunity you get.”


 

Fall of Magic stock

We are currently out of stock of all editions of Fall of Magic except French. We will have another 30-40 english available sometime this week. After that we will be out till we get a reprint done sometime early 2018.

Making Magic: Ritual and Self-Discovery in the Night Forest

Have you ever had an experience that felt inexplicably sacred, where space was being beautifully held, but you didn’t fully understand why? Recent articles like “Season of The Witch: Why Young Women are Flocking to the Ancient Craft, [1]” have been circulated, liked, and shared in high frequency, along with other internet and “IRL” spaces engaging in similar dialogues, and it’s all connected to a larger conversation surrounding access to ritual and self-care.

As huge shifts in the cultural dialogue of power and oppression are happening, the importance of solace and grounding deepens. People can look for this not only in connecting to their deeper selves and values, but also to personal and collective stories and experiences. The question is; how can the space be created that is necessary for these stories to be told?

The sensation is familiar, it’s the struggle to integrate an intuition or a ‘feeling’ with a practice. For many people, and particularly millennials, accessing these parts of ourselves can be confusing. It’s difficult to separate from that highly simulated, televised experience; a character casts a spell and you see something change before your eyes, to make room for a more nuanced perspective and understanding of what that looks like. Creating ritual and the actual practice of magic, while felt, can be unclear.

“I think many people have the experience of being in facilitated space, but may not know how to hold that space or how to facilitate ritual for themselves and others [3],” says Mo Golden, co-creator of the ritual game Night Forest. Night Forest was designed and produced by Mo Golden and Ross Cowman with a team of collaborators in Olympia, Washington, and it focuses on the practice of listening to and sharing memories.

“I think many people have the experience of being in facilitated space, but may not know how to hold that space or how to facilitate ritual for themselves and others.”

In Night Forest, described by the designers as “a ritual game of memory, embodiment and self-discovery [3],” people play a group of “memories.” At the start of the game, each player gets a candle, a book of matches and a card. At a chosen location; like the forest, a field, or an abandoned building, the group disperses. When you’re alone, you light your candle and look at your card. Each card is accompanied by an illustration and a word, which you use to recall or inspire a memory. “You let it appear, change and shape-shift a bit [3]” as you’re moving through space, until you come into contact with another player. At this point, each person stops and takes turns exchanging memories. After each player is finished, they trade cards and continue the journey. It’s a practice of deep listening, witness and communion.

In “Season of The Witch: Why Young Women are Flocking to the Ancient Craft,”  author Sady Doyle states; “There’s something deeply appealing in the notion of being put in touch with an inner source of power that can’t be taken away. Not that this power needs to be something nebulous and mystical.” She then quotes Tarot reader Suzy X from Rookie Magazine who argues, “it can be pretty damn pragmatic [1].”

Maenna Welti, a self-described “witch, astrologer, tarot reader, musician, writer and feminist [2],” speaks to this idea of pragmatism further. In her Healing Wheel Workbook, she suggests “magic is energy plus intention [4].” When we deconstruct it as such, magic and ritual become much more tangible and accessible. It’s a shift in the understanding of magic as something that exists outside of us to viewing it as a power that we already contain. The practice is how we harness it.

“While we have many tools such as Astrology or Tarot to connect us to ritual or divination, these practices are often solitary or focused on one individual. I think the challenge and necessity is how to create and hold that space with other people. Night Forest is very balanced, fluid, opening up the channels so we all have space to be seen… it’s a tool to cut through the social veil and cultivate intimacy [3].” Mo states. This type of engagement with one another becomes particularly important as we face a resurgence of cultural, political and personal tensions. Much of the work we are being called to do requires connection and community, and the dissolution of physical and metaphorical ‘walls’ is a necessary component of getting there.

” When we deconstruct it as such, magic and ritual become much more tangible and accessible. It’s a shift in the understanding of magic as something that exists outside of us to viewing it as a power that we already contain. The practice is how we harness it.”

“A question I keep asking myself is what has to happen in order for conversations surrounding justice to be productive? “ Mo states. Ross chimes in, reflecting; “I think culturally we have an empathy problem…  One thing I love about Night Forest is how it gives us permission to just be silent, witness each other, and be witnessed by one another. To know that you can say what’s on your mind, and nobody is going to be waiting to interrupt you… just knowing that I’m here for you, you’re here for me, and we’re going to share these stories with each other [3].”

The reality is, ritual and intention aren’t necessarily things that are natural facets of how our society operates. Creating human contact and bridging gaps isn’t a ‘given’ when it comes to moving through the world with others, and neither is taking care of ourselves. People have to create and facilitate these practices for them to flourish. Ultimately, each person is already powerful just as they are. The ability to access ritual and act with intention already exists within, from the materiality of who we are and what we intrinsically know and have to offer. Night Forest simply acts as a tool to facilitate that exchange and create the container for the collective experience.  

  1. Doyle, Sady. “Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft.” The Guardian . N.p., 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
  2. Maeanna Welti: Tarot, Astrology, Magical Life Coaching. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.
  3. “Night Forest with Ross and Mo.” Personal interview. 6 Apr. 2017.

Welti, Maeanna . Healing Wheel: A Samhain to Samhain Workbook. Olympia: n.p., WA. Print.

Fall of Magic – Designer Presentation


This is a series of videos recorded at the Fall of Magic prerelease event last winter. Two of the videos are from the designer presentation and Q&A featuring myself, Doug Keith, Taylor Dow, and Jackson Tegu.

The other video is footage from the play sessions that followed the presentation. I hope you enjoy this taste of the prerelease event!

For Roll20 Backers

Hello backers! So glad you’ve gotten to play Fall of Magic on Roll20.net, hope you’re enjoying it.

I’ve really enjoyed the stories, quotes, and screenshots some of you have shared so far. It’s so cool to see how different each game is and all the amazing possibilities people have come up with.

If you’re playing online, it would be awesome if you shared bits of your game with all of us. You can use the hashtag #fallofmagic on twitter, facebook, and instagram. And there’s a Google+ community you can join, if you haven’t already: Fall of Magic on G+ 

Feel free to share quotes from your game or a recap of what happened in your campaign!

Thanks for your continued support
~Ross