Friday, 28 November 2014

Star Wars: Episode VII

The Force Awakens.

In twelve and a half months.

Looks like we have new Stormtroopers, battered speeder bikes, slightly improved X-Wings, unreliable lightsabres, rolling R2s and, oh yes, a new radar dish for the Millennium Falcon.

And a story we don’t already know the end of. We’re going into uncharted territory for the first time since Return Of The Jedi. Even if nothing else works, that’s genuinely thrilling.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Constantine

Showing on Amazon Prime Video On Deman in the UK, Constantine is Hellblazer, the series. Pretty close, although John himself isn’t quite enough of a git in the average episode.

So far, a mix of basic MOTW and Hellblazer stories.

Keeps the exorcist angle and sharply dressed angels from the film. Protective tattoos as well, although not as big and blatant as Keanu had. Indeed, that sums it up all round.

The pilot brings in a potential partner who is written out in the broadcast version - and replaced by someone kind of similar.

It runs at a slightly higher starting Weird Level than Supernatural, the show which has borrowed its clothes (literally in the case of Castiel) but lower than Gotham or the actual DC Superhero shows (which cross over with each other but not with this or Gotham).

Also, having a go at Gypsies? Really?

Still, nice use of Hellblazer art in the automatic drawing scenes.

Monday, 24 November 2014

D&D's influence on culture

Gaming is everywhere.

As a small personal example, my local garage is currently selling an energy drink which is offering double XP in the new Call Of Duty console game as a promotion. Experience Points are that normal.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Dance off. You and me.

Well, of course this happened. How could it not?

The actual version in the film has Ronan perfectly mirror the confusion of a GM when a player tries something like this.

Winter Is Coming

Currently running two games, both of them roughly set around real time.

The Buffy The Vampire Slayer game is set somewhere warm. It’s more likely to deal with summer storms than heavy snows.

The Vampire: The Masquerade game, though... There are less people on the streets, but more time to hunt, so that balances out. And it gets so cold that breath steams... who will notice if a vampire’s doesn’t?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

I knew it was close, so I looked it up, and yes, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines came out on November 16th, 2004. This was several months after the release of the Gehenna book, so its plot concerning talk of the imminent Gehenna was rather amusing in retrospect.

It was pretty buggy on first release (there’s one level you can’t finish without the first patch) but still earned a lot of critical admiration. Even now, people are still tinkering with patches and mods, and in the case of one group reverse-engineering a system upgrade and multiplayer version.

To mark the anniversary in tonight’s Vampire: The Masquerade session, I made a smallish number of jokes... and had a major NPC show up, introducing a new plot thread... after running a Hallowe’en session heavily inspired by its most acclaimed level (as well as plans for the MMO).

One of my players got into the World Of Darkness through Bloodlines, and her first time GMing was a Vampire one-shot about someone trying to steal a sarcophagus... Has anyone else borrowed from it?

Also, the stealth and conversation options fall away badly in the last sections, but you still have to kill less vampires in the entire game than Christof Romuald does in the average building.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Hallowe'en Specials

I managed, a week late, to run the second of these yesterday. Buffy last week featured a killer scarecrow with a pumpkin head and a scythe, and Vampire: The Masquerade last night featured the ghost of a murder victim. The two approaches are pretty telling, I think.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Dracula Dossier

The Dracula Dossier by Kenneth Hite and Gar Hanrahan, from Pelgrane Press, for Night’s Black Agents. Just how much of Dracula is redacted? Already well Kickstarted as I write this and clawing its way up the stretch goal list.

(Disclosure - I have provided vampires for at least one of the production team to destroy.)