Dozens and Dragons

All the games I played in 2021

2021 in review



  1. Introduction
  2. The List
  3. Highlights
  4. Stats
  5. Reflection
  6. Colophon


This year I jotted down a few notes for every game I played or hosted.

I’m going to share the raw data, a few statistics, and a few highlights.

Other entries in this series: 2022

The List

Here is the list!

  1. Dungeons & Dragons, Storm King’s Thunder (DM)

  2. Troika!, So You’ve Been Thrown Down A Well (DM)

  3. Troika!, Acid Death Fantasy (Player)

  4. Troika!, 13 Story Bizarre (DM)

  5. Troika!, Dome Riders (Homebrew) (DM)

  6. Wicked Ones (Forged in the Dark), Homebrew (Player)

  7. Pathfinder, Agents of Edgewatch (Player)

  8. Troika, Cocaine and Alligators: Florida Man Sphere (Player)

  9. Mothership, Picket Line Tango (Player)

  10. Mausritter, Honey Rafters (Player)

  11. Smithy of Sacrilege, Anvil (Homebrew) (Player)

  12. Troika, Acid Death Fantasy (Player)

  13. Risus, To Kill A God (Player)

  14. Marvelous Mutations and Merry Musicians, Rockaway Beach (Player)

  15. Cthulhu Dark, Garrets Ranch (Player)

  16. Troika, Moon’s Shot (DM)

  17. Troika, Moon’s Shot (DM)

  18. 2-bit, Numenera (Player)

  19. troika, crapland 2 (Player)

  20. D&D 5e, Zigs and Dragons (Player)

  21. Giraffe Wants Best Leaves, Giraffe Wants Best Leaves (DM)

  22. Into the Odd, yule homebrew (Player)

  23. D&D, Quiet Midwinter (DM)

  24. 2400 Exiles, Ultraviolet Grasslands (Player)


System Of The Year: Troika!

I played a lot of Troika this year. It is a wildly evocative, rules-light system with a simple 2d6 mechanic and fast character creation, and I love it to pieces.

I think it’s the game that initially transitioned me from the D&D hegemony into other systems.

Game Of The Year: Crapland 2 (Galgoricon)

This was a Troika game, and wins game of the year for setup and execution.

Galgorian decided to host a “fake con” over a long weekend. There were multiple games going on the whole time, and this is the only one I was able to join.

He and Spooky Rusty co-hosted the game. There were two tables with 5 - 6 players at each. In-game shenanigans caused characters to portal to other locations which caused players to bounce to the other table.

The games were synced and tied up, and at the end everybody arrived together at the final encounter.

It memorably eschewed any kind of virtual tabletop and instead was played on a single Google Jamboard shared by and graffitied on by everybody.

The game itself was absurd urban decay parody surrealism at its finest.

Game Of The Year (Honorable Mention): Quiet Winter

This is probably elevated in my mind because I just finished running it as the traditional annual holiday one-shot for my regular group, and it was so much fun.

The author describes this as a cheesy Hallmark holiday movie for OSE.

And it is. The game is 90% messy, tangled relationships and tension, and 10% mystery/exploration/sandbox.

The players are left to their own to decide what their goal is, who’s “good” and who’s “bad”, which relationship they’re going to help fix (if any), etc, etc.

In the end, my players managed to convince nearly everybody to show up at an arranged time down by the docks for a final confrontation to get everything out in the open. It was a beautifully chaotic mess, and almost everybody ended up getting what they wanted.

Brightest Star That Burned Itself Out Too Soon: Wicked Ones

I joined a play-by-post game of Wicked Ones this year that ended up being a true highlight.

The game system itself is somewhat complex and I never quite grokked it.

But the players were so creative and talented, the characters so layered and interesting. And the DM did such an amazing job leading us through encounters and worldbuilding. It was all so vivid I can still almost see, hear, and taste it.

We played feverishly for a couple weeks and then Real Life Happened (tm) and the game tragically fizzled out.

Best Joke Game That Ended Up Being Really Fun: Giraffe Wants Best Leaves

Okay so this started out as sort of a meme.

Some friends and I wanted to learn a little Godot this year, so we brainstormed a bunch of game ideas and the one that stuck was “There is a giraffe who wants to get the best leaves but his neck is too short”.

We started working on a platformer, but didn’t really have much of a plan, and we stopped working on it.

But it lived on for a while as a meme on mastodon.

And then some time later, I made it into basically a Lasers and Feelings clone, and shared it as a joke, and some of my internet pals immediately were like, “Yes I want to roleplay a giraffe!”

So I ran a quick no-prep game for them and it was mad fun.

And now I have plans to expand the silly thing with a setting and a few encounter tables, because why not!



It was a good year! Roleplaying really saved my sanity in 2020 and 2021. It’s a creative outlet that I really enjoy and rely on. I tried my hand at creating games for the first time this year and had fun with that.

I made a lot of progress away from the D&D family of games towards more indie/smol/freeform styles of playing, and probably became pretty close to becoming a bit of a zealot about rules-light gaming. But then realized that I still now and then enjoy the process of creating a D&D character and playing a tactical combat game. I just don’t want it all the time.

Anyway, happy new year! Hope you have a great 2022!


I kept my notes in a structured plain text format that is queryable by an obscure GNU package called recutils.

I created a little bit of tooling around it, but it is ultimately just a plain old text file that I append records to.

In practice, I can query this simple plain text database for whatever reason, e.g. the questions I answered in this post, by using the included recsel query tool.

To create this post, I piped the data through a few transformers. Recutils includes a rec2csv utility which, you guessed it, outputs csv. I already have csvkit installed, so then I piped it through csvjson to get some JSON.

Finally, I used a few mustache templates in this document to render that JSON on the page. (Before finally running the whole thing through my own custom m4 + pandoc filters to create the site.)

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