Friday, 28 February 2014

Honouring our inspirations

Aaron Allston, author and RPG creator, has died. I never had a chance to meet him, but I know people who speak fondly of him. Strike Force has stood the test of time as a guide to GMing.

This comes just a few days after the death of Harold Ramis, director of Groundhog Day and co-writer and Egon in Ghostbusters. I was already thinking of running a Ghostbusters game at Conpulsion as my own small way of commemorating him, as well as celebrating the film’s 30th anniversary this summer.

1000 Posts

This blog here hits quadruple figures. (The Whoblog trails nine behind it.)

Looking at my tag sidebar, let us see what its concerns have been over the past three and a half years.

The admittedly unhelpful RPGs tag is the clear winner at 245 - almost a quarter of the available posts. For those wondering, I generally use it when making reference to rulebooks rather than any aspect of the subject, as that would be closer to four quarters of the posts here...

Vampire comes second, not least because I only brought in The World Of Darkness tag later (which is why it has capital letters) and helped by the Challenge series, which I also note seems pretty popular. Fair enough, it covers two of my favourite RPGs going back decades.

Onto the genres, Urban Fantasy narrowly beating Horror, then SF, then Fantasy, which is behind Plots and Ideas and History, and just ahead of Buffy, also helped by its season of posts.

Adventure beats the rest of the Trinity Continuum tags, helped by posts using it to refer to, um, adventures. Expect this to change soon... I also predict more Vampire and WOD as I am currently running Blood And Smoke, more Conpulsion posts as it approaches, and beyond that we shall see.

I feel rather sorry for the Build A Setting tag, dead last, beaten even by a game I never actually ran. Maybe I should do some more of those.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Concept artists making their own concepts

... will lead to some great visuals hinting at stories to be told. I mentioned the kids playing with a giant stompy robot before on the Who blog, which is just the start. Check out the Wild West dinosaurs, the mecha-rhinos, the 40K-ish future knights, the Cheshire Cat merchant and the chameleon-bright lizard men.

The modern knight's armour

I have previously wondered what modernised melee armour would look like. (Inspired by, among others, the time William the inventor went to slay a dragon in TWH although he did not make himself armour to do it, and what the recent protests in Kiev look like...)

Apparently the answer is Night Thrasher.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Epic space battles with added comm snark

Knowing a Goonswarm EVE player, I am rather amused to see their deeds retold in-character in this new comic, not verbatim but still with plenty of not-typically-grand space opera dialogue. For the record, he is rather amused too.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Monday, 17 February 2014

Watching the Time

Timrwatch interview on io9. Nice to see tabletop getting general geek site coverage, let alone this specific one.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Conpulsion GM signup



A line of Buffy action figures I don't want.

First pictures of the Buffy set from the ReAction line of deliberately horrible 70s-style action figures. Not even the worst of the lot, somehow.

(To be fair, some non-humanoid characters like the minor Halloween Town residents of The Nightmare Before Christmas are fine.)

Naturally now tempted to try and customise modern decent-likeness Star Wars scaled Buffy figures. Gah.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Save the princess from the dragon!

Have you actually done that in an RPG? Most of the answers have been in the negative.

For my part, I actually play straight-ish fantasy pretty rarely, so dragonslaying and princess-rescuing has been rather thin on the ground.

I did deconstruct the dragon (and dungeon) in TWH season six, and the fairytale princess thing in season five, but I don’t think I’ve ever run it un-deconstructed...

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far

Channel 4’s decision to wait until March now makes sense, as the show came back in the US six weeks ago and has only run three episodes and now goes off again for three weeks. (Which seems bonkers, especially showing just one last night with three weeks on either side.) One advantage is that it sets up a second mid-season cliffhanger. Disadvantage is that it follows a very fun episode with another gap.

Spoilers for three whole episodes below. And for earlier in the season too.

Marvel NOW! and in the UK

As noted here, Marvel recently brought out a spotlight for some of their new and upcoming comics, emphasising some connections to the movies (Loki get his own book to be a loveable rogue, Black Widow gets a slick superspy series, Bruce Banner makes a guest appearance as the smart guy of the Avengers and we see Agent Coulson in his boxers) as well as some more unusual stories (the high-profile launch of an Islamic Pakistani-American Ms. Marvel, the Silver Surfer travelling the universe showing the sights to his human companion like the Doctor with an even less practical vehicle). I’ll certainly pick some of these up.

Also at the moment, a crossover for a bunch of books that aren’t currently on shelves. Revolutionary War brings back the Marvel UK mini-imprint of the 1990s - Death’s Head (2), Knights Of Pendragon, Dark Angel, Motormouth and the like. Dark Angel gets repositioned for potential ongoing action as a mystic here with issues to sort out. The KOP oneshot is a lot of fun, if very light-hearted compared to the classic original (stomps all over the Overkill-era relaunch, though). As a fan of Death’s Head 1, I wait to see what they’ll do with him.

(And of course it has me imagining a movie version of Marvel UK. Karen Gillan would make a great Dark Angel but is already in Guardians Of The Galaxy. And who to get for Captain Britain? ... Sir Chris Hoy?)

Cancer Research Computer Game

Via Ian Watson: Genes In Space, a game app where flying around in space analyses data for Cancer Research.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Nationals Need You! (if you're free and can GM)

With just over two months to go, the Nationals at Leicester, April 11-13, has a shortfall of GMs:

1 DnD 3.5 or DnD 4th ed
1 Action and Adventure
1 Dark Future
1 Horror
1 Humour
1 Open Fantasy
1 Sci-Fi
1 Paranoia
2 Urban Fantasy
1 Weird and Wibbly

Apparently the category which was my idea now needs 4 GMs. (smug)

Propulsion results

£166 raised over 24 hours for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, delivered to them now.

Five entrants for the quiz, the winner getting it two-thirds right. (So I may skip doing that next time.)

Ran my Conpulsion 2013 Doctor Who game again, as noted below.

Nobody ran a game for the full 24 hours - the last guy to try last year was off sick.

Bang the drum a bit more next time, I reckon.


... is an awesome-looking RPG magazine - in Swedish.

But the Best Of chock full of Kenneth Hite and other stuff will be in English, which may be of more use to those of you reading this in that language.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

What can contain the power of the Ark of the Covenant?

... Bubble wrap?

From this lengthy series of photos from the Lucasfilm prop archive. And yes, the Cross of Coronado is there, even though it belongs in a museum!

Captain America missed...

Via Bleeding Cool: Vote on which TV show from these isles goes on the list of things Cap missed during his time asleep.

The preferred geek choice is rather obvious, but Downton would be a running gag and Fawlty Towers or Father Ted would show Steve’s good taste.

Same gag for celebrities at Empire. Site choice affecting voting, clearly.

Also an Australia and New Zealand version where one of the possible options is Hugh Jackman. Does that mean the X-Men movies exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What about the background crossovers? ... I’ve gone crosseyed.

Year Of The Titanosaur

From a (very) partial skeleton, looks like we have a new species of enormous dinosaur in China just in time for the New Year, Yongjinglong datangi. This specimen is reckoned to have been sixty feet long, and not even fully grown.