Monday, 22 September 2014

I may do the same plot twice to see what happens

I have players for Buffy in the afternoon and V20 in the evening at GEAS. Not the same players, so they won’t get to see how much of a contrast this is. (Or how little...)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The big moments are gonna come...

The next twenty-four hours are hugely important to me and mine.

It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day tomorrow.

Okay, seriously, voters in Scotland are about to vote over independence. The future is uncertain.

(Go and vote. This is a once in a generation chance. People have fought and died for less.)

But to talk about it game-wise, have you ever had a major political change in a campaign, which was beyond the scope of what the PCs could affect? Were they swept up in events, caught in villainous machinations, sent to war, suddenly in or out of favour due to their allegiances?

In political games, the PCs are often movers and shakers.

Ousting the Prince in Vampire might not be easy but it’s certainly possible. Even an unaligned and unrecognised vampire is on the inside track - getting to see him on a pressing matter is a lot easier than meeting your MP in real life. The Man has a face and a name.

Characters in Legend Of The Five Rings are as likely to hear about a succession war from one of the would-be successors as a passing newsteller in the country. There are character types built around courtly life.

One thing that bothered me about Rebellion era Star Wars games is that the PCs were generally pitched at a lower level of galactic significance than the heroes of the movies. Only Luke could talk Vader around. Another reason to play in a different era.

Characters from other genres might get pulled into power politics for an adventure or two, and when they do it’s usually at the top tier. The assassination of a king or a megacorporate CEO is a more enticing adventure hook than that of the assistant head of the local cobblers’ guild or the manager of a Kwik-E-Mart. (Although it can work, and not just in Warhammer - White Dwarf 90 had a great little AD&D adventure about rival silk merchants, although it did feel decidedly WFRP-y.)

Superheroes save the President. The Doctor saves the Queen (apart from Liz 10, who saves herself). They also save shop assistants and wait staff. Each is given equal importance.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

This Orc has all the dump stats.

Why it sucks to be the smallest Orc in the warband.

Possibly NSFW due to massive amounts of (black) blood.

Ties in to Shadows Of Mordor, about a Ranger turned good Wraith... thing. Dunno about that. Orc makeups based on Scream Team prosthetics as seen in photo references in my Buffy games. (If I ever did a Buffy LARP I would have to order some.)

Vampire: The Requiem - Actual Play chapter 14


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Vampire: The Requiem - Actual Play chapter 11


Both Vampire: The Masquerade computer games share...

Some things in common between Redemption and Bloodlines, some of which are natural resemblances caused by both drawing from Vampire: The Masquerade but some of which are just odd...

To the Abyss with thee!

By the power of a sale on GOG meaning it cost me 6p more than today’s Guardian, I have replayed Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption.

Unlike the much-loved Bloodlines, it’s a straightforward fighting dungeon bash with a rather melodramatic plot, but I do still like that the core story has Christof slaughtering his way through Kindred society for love.

And slaughter he does - I kept a running tally of how many vampires he and his followers kill, and while I may have missed one or two, the numbers are pretty impressive. Vampires aren’t quite as rare as they really should be in the setting... yet.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Destiny Calling

Destiny is nearly out, and now has a semi-live-action trailer. Very nice visually. And... the PCs in the video don’t seem to be taking this interplanetary battle against alien invasion terribly seriously.

It makes a change from the artsy quiet thoughtful tone of earlier publicity. Compare the opening cinematic with Bill Nighy providing wistful voiceover and the one whole joke Peter Dinklage gets in the final trailer to snarking their way across the solar system.

It might well better reflect how the game plays as it’ll be full of gamers chatting and showing off, but it makes me think that adapting it to tabletop would need more powerful PCs than I had previously imagined, and maybe death is off the table? (I don’t know how respawning works, but obviously it does.)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Second World War

75 years ago today the UK declared war on Germany, 25 years and a month after the First World War. The Second World War is mythologised in popular culture like no other:

“I sometimes think the second world war has changed our entire western civilisation’s view of war, because, of all the wars in history, the second world war is closest to fantasy war, in which there is a dark lord, whose guys are actually evil and dress in black and wear skulls on their uniforms. The first world war was a much more typical war: what were all those people really fighting for?”
George R.R. Martin

“Nazis. I hate these guys.”
Indiana Jones

There are RPGs about the horror of the front lines, the suffering of resistance fighters, alternate histories, an entire GURPS line for thorough historical analysis, and lots of opportunities to punch out Hitler.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Something Something Vampire Something

New games at the games soc. Picked to be straightforward, new-player-friendly, out of a book or two.

I have a more unusual drama-heavy rather than action idea, but will keep that for another time.

Vampire. I had some success with Requiem 2nd Edition (although it wasn’t even called that yet!) and I would still like to put V20 Masquerade to good use as well.

Or Buffy. It’s been five years, I could give it another go. Series idea: Graveyard Shift, about the PCs’ first job being a hellish nightmare of apocalyptic proportions.


In other news, away and soak your head on behalf of Motor Neurone Disease research and treatment.

Vampire: The Requiem - Actual Play chapter 6