Friday, 28 June 2013

Klingons: The Next Generation

Several possibly overlapping futures for the Klingons bringing in influences from a number of different martial, warlike, isolationist, expansionist, imperialist and post-imperial cultures, from Janissaries to Pussy Riot. This could be a game in and of itself at this point, and is starting to build adventure hooks.

The call is coming from inside the house!

Mobile phones and constant connection versus isolation in horror.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Interdimensional Crossover

The LEGO Movie is a real thing that is happening. Mostly generic Lego people lead by Morgan Freeman as Clearly Not LOTR Lego Gandalf, but also DC Heroes and Ninja Turtles - as well as the Renaissance painters they’re named after. See also Doctor Who now having Star Wars scale toys, so this can happen.

How would you approach something like this in gaming, a crossover between disconnected settings? Your urban fantasy monster hunters teaming up with another table’s dungeoneers and another day’s superheroes?

Obviously you need to get a few compatible groups together, or at least bits of them. If a player is in a couple of the games involved, they choose who to play.

The highest native Weird Level probably becomes the minimum, which may stretch credibility for lower-weird settings. James Bond would have a hard time accepting Thor as real, but not vice versa. The Transformers meeting the GI Joe team would be a big deal for the latter, not the former, so it happened outside regular continuity for either. The Seventh Doctor fought Death’s Head after the Transformers did and before he entered the mainstream of the Marvel Universe, but neither of them likes to talk about it. So consider what, if anything, is to be counted as canon in future sessions.

And a big enough threat is required. A reality storm that could destroy multiple universes, say?

And you need room for at least one “the heroes fight over a misunderstanding” scene. Because if, for example, you wanted to set up an urban fantasy crossover Avengers, Buffy and Hellboy just have to fight before allying to fight Voldemort.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How to modernise some Star Trek classics

Including, yes, An Evil Computer, and a few other variations on arguing with fake gods.


Tell me about Aeon / Trinity! lets me indulge one of my favourite rambling topics, and then Greg Stolze says “Yeah, Craig pretty much has the right of it...” next. :)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Demon: The Descent

... is the title of the new World Of Darkness game about former servants of the God-Machine.

A bit more on themes of Descent vs Fallen, with a guest appearance by The Adjustment Bureau.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Knight And Dragon

SFX's Alasdair Stuart previews Knight And Dragon, a lighthearted fantasy comic gamebook.

As the proud owner of all five issues of the 2000AD gamecomic Dice Man, I feel rather nostalgic.

Happy Free RPG Day, folks!

Hopefully got a copy of Reap The Whirlwind reserved. Might have missed the Star Wars giveaway though.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Always something to consider when planning a hoax...

Via Mike Franchina: Chinese farmer jailed for making a rubber alien and pretending it was real.

The kind of Fortean weirdness that makes the international press... and gets me thinking what different national authorities would do about a real alien body.

Can you imagine the leaders of Iran going along with the classic US MIB cover-up, for example? Or Putin resisting the temptation to be photographed with it? Or none of our Cabinet blabbing accidentally or leaving the alien baby in a jar on the Tube?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Motion Picture


As I noted, it can easily be done (and has been done) with DVD chapters.

M.R. James

Mark Gatiss revives A Ghost Story For Christmas at the BBC, using his powers for good again, with a new M.R. James adaptation, The Tractate Middoth.

I’ve written a bit about James here before, as well as my first non-review RPG magazine article about using his work as horror game inspiration, and make him a Watcher in the backstory of The Watch House, about training them at his Cambridge college.

With his heavily researched hauntings and handout-friendly quotations, he could easily inspire something for Cthulhu, as he inspired Lovecraft. He didn’t create a recurring “mythos”, but mostly unique horrors, with some recurring motifs and lessons to learn about not raising up what you can’t put down...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Making an impression in a small role

Underused Whedony characters includes wanting to see more of how Quentin Travers lead the Watchers. A subject dear to my own heart.

And also Clem. :)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Raging Heroes

Kickstarter for badass female SF miniatures funded in thirty seconds and currently funded thirty times over, raising a third of a million from 1500 backers, in less than a week.

Some are kitsch, some are awesome, some are high Weird Level... and I kinda want the Iron Empire’s Sky Captain of the Jetpack Girls myself. 

Meanwhile, Sandy Petersen presents Cthulhu Wars minis for kickstarting too.

OOC and IC knowledge

This thread on hidden adventure background and how to get it across has me thinking again about how much players know as opposed to characters, and how that affects play. I often include cut scenes, such as showing what the villains are doing (briefly and not in too much detail) while our pulp Adventure! heroes are away, but like all tools in the box there’s a time and a place, and a lot depends on how players respond. They may be keen, or less keen, and some will start metagaming like crazy - for good or ill.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Iain Banks

Iain Banks has died. We knew it was coming, but not so soon. I’d met him a few times - a friend of mine is now his widow. He was great.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Need a primogen?

Random Primogen Generator by cartoonist Anna Fabian (haffri on deviantArt). Not a random generator table, some visual ideas for Vampire characters.

And what would you want in a random generator table for vampire elders? Skew towards “fairly normal for the clan” and “scheming bastard” for personalities but include possibilities for very different characters as well.

As demonstrated here, include a list of distinctive features (like the random regeneration system in The Time Traveller’s Companion for C7’s Doctor Who) to provide strong visual or acting hooks for characters brought in an short notice. (Which is good for quick NPC creation in general of course.) Because with nothing but a picture and some clan suggestions I already have one pretty developed elder in mind...

Add a randomiser for connections and rivalries with other Kindred, and areas of mortal influence...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Blood Kiss

Vampire noir from Michael Reaves, starring Amber Benson and, yes, Neil Gaiman. The Kickstarter just passed a thousand backers, and $62,000 with a week to go. The $100,000 stretch goal for RED camera filming and the like would be nice to hit, for starters.

Pay what you want for Æternal Legends

Stew Wilson's urban fantasy RPG goes pay-what-you-want for download on DriveThru, among others. Which is cool.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Off The Grid

So there's a final frontier to explore... and the Federation didn't build ships and left it to any fool willing to go out there...

The start of a setting by Bailywolf. Previous settings that started this humbly include LONG STAIR.


100 years ago today, Emily Wilding Davison was struck down by the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby while making a stand for the Suffragette movement. Ultimately, it was the First World War that really won women the vote, but how much more was done, and how much more is there still to do?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Once Upon A Time (the TV show, not the card game, or the general phrase)

Once Upon A Time is now a very strange show. Full marks for going much stranger in its second season, after smashing the already fairly strange initial setup of “pretty mundane soap interspersed with LOST-style flashbacks to a fairytale world” in favour of “urban fantasy which is somewhat soapy interspersed with fairytale adventures” and a massive upswing in Weird Level overall, while adding depth to heroes and villains not afraid to go full panto at times.

It owes an enormous debt to Fables, even more so now that the heroes know who they are, but its wonky reworkings have a lot of charm, badass archer Snow White and werewolf Red Riding Hood in particular.