Saturday, 31 January 2015

Art styles through the history of your setting

I was reminded of this by the trailer for a side-scrolling platform game set in ancient Greece - in the style of ancient Greek pottery decoration.

When helping set up a Dark Ages: Vampire game online one thing I did was illustrate all the major NPCs - but one thing I planned to do was attempt in-character illustrations showing them in suitable medieval (and in some cases earlier) art styles. This idea never got past a few preliminary sketches, but I think it would have been cool to build up depictions of specific characters across time in the styles of the era.

Maybe something I should do with the 1500-year-old elder in my current V20 game...

The 11th century mosaics in Torcello cathedral, Venice, include a very early monstrous version of Satan... a friend or enemy of the Giovanni?

Friday, 30 January 2015

Vampire Academy

Following Vamps I saw that Vampire Academy is also available on my subscription film rental service, so I gave that a go too. I knew going in that it was based on a YA book series, had not gone to UK cinemas, and had a CHVRCHES reinterpretation of Bela Lugosi’s Dead on the soundtrack.

Turns out it’s based on the idea of living Moroi and properly undead Strigoi, and Dhampirs as well. Our hero Rose is a Dhampir with a not-at-all-sexual-honest bond with a Moroi princess, the first clue (and the only one for about an hour) that this is not actually for kids. When the second arrived, I thought “whoa, this just went PG-13 all of a sudden” because prior to that it feels pretty much for kids.

The titular Academy feels a lot like a normal Wizard School, as the Moroi have magical power over elements which feel more Wizard than Vampire and only have slight vampire weaknesses - unlike the Strigoi who serve as lurking Orc hordes and a potential Big Bad for sequels.

I dropped into Buffyspeak there because hormonal teens and fanged supernatural action will do that. Our hero has some decent jokes but quite a few fall flat.

Worldbuilding-wise, the Dhampirs and Moroi are low-key enough to masquerade and the Strigoi being a degeneration is pretty interesting - like turning off your humanity in The Vampire Diaries but seemingly impossible to reverse. There’s a bit of background lore in there being multiple Moroi families with claims to the throne, and the school being named after St. Vladimir, a legendary vampire hero spoken of in an Orthodox-style church the students attend on Sunday nights, an intriguing choice that goes unexplored so it’s just a nice background detail here.

The Subgenre Blender

Chuck Wendig’s weekly Flash Fiction challenge - take a little from Column A and a little from Column B. 40 SF/F subgenres enter. 20 SF/F sub-subgenres leave.

I have 1 and 11: Haunted House Bumbling Detective. How to do this and not do Scooby-Doo?

In the meantime, the list can spur ideas for a game with a suitably high Weird Level. As might the previous challenge with tables for three random elements ranging from a library to the end of the world. (Which is, of course, a classic Twilight Zone story...)

Life Is Strange (the game)

I’ve joked before about wanting saves in tabletop games, and observed that the usual way to play gamebooks is to go back and change choice when you fall into a deathtrap. Essentially, you can control time by cheating. But what if it wasn’t cheating? What if it was the core of the story?

Life Is Strange makes this the supernatural power of the teen hero of a suburban fantasy mystery. When she reaches a decision point you can choose option A, see how it unfolds, and then rewind time if you want to try option B instead. More than once, even.

It looks like it would be a pretty interesting game even without this central selling point - a small-town mystery and a high-school drama with a lo-fi indie style type thing.

But who hasn’t wanted to rewind a minute or so of their life, at least once?

Thursday, 29 January 2015

World Of Darkness: Dark Eras

The World Of Darkness multiple historical setting book is now on Kickstarter, with stretch goals to add new settings.

Asteroid mining: It's a dirty job but...

101 plot hooks for an asteroid mining installation on RPGnet is almost a third of the way there in less than twelve hours. Many can be used for a crappy frontier town in any era, but there are some that need the added isolation and the risk of explosive decompression that the raggedy edge of space offers.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The archetypes of a setting

Potential Ghostbusters for the reboot/remake have been announced. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy were widely guessed because co-writer and director Paul Feig has worked with them before. I haven’t seen Saturday Night Live regulars Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon in anything (although I have heard McKinnon was the voice of PEZ Cat in Toy Story Of Terror). So now I have to see things they’ve done, because I’m curious and optimistic.

They may not be called Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore (update: we may now have names and roles) (update six months later - mostly right, two surnames changed) but with a team of four again we might expect Wiig to be the wiseass leader and McCarthy to be the bumbling optimist. I would guess McKinnon, the youngest, would be the late addition, and Jones the third member of the startup team.

The Ghostbusters RPG encouraged the creation of new PC groups as local franchises, but their driving goals were reflected in the original cast and nudged them towards certain archetypes - Egon was all about Soulless Science, Ray cared more about Serving Humanity, Winston was happy with a steady paycheck and Peter was in it for the sex. So this encouraged a PC group that mixes nice helpful types, cynical opportunists, and weirdoes who like to build EKG readers out of colanders. It fits the tone of the source material, and make sense in-setting that the business of busting ghost would attract hustlers, altruists and pseudoscientific nutbars. To that you could easily add people with a stronger interest in the occult side of the paranormal - which the spinoffs did with Kylie in Extreme Ghostbusters.

West End Games followed it up with the first Star Wars RPG, where one way to start out was a template - and quite a few of those looked familiar as well, like the Brash Pilot, the Smuggler, the Young Senatorial, the Wookiee and assorted Jedi types. They brought in some other broadly-drawn characters like the vengeful Outlaw and the happy-go-lucky Kid that you could easily imagine in a Star Wars group, but a PC group might well end up with someone who could fly a piece of junk, someone who was good in a stand-up fight, someone good at talking around problems, and someone with some sort of connection to the Force. See Star Wars: Rebels for another group that looks a lot like a PC party. Including a Kid.

MWP’s Leverage takes this further still by having the five skillsets of the main characters, called out in the show’s titles, as the game stats, so everyone is rated in Grifter, Hacker, Hitter, Mastermind and Thief.

There hasn’t been a Star Trek game that went that far - they usually assume Starfleet PCs but make options for specialties pretty wide and varied even before factoring in alien species and the like. When I hacked Cinematic Unisystem for it I made the departments into about half the skill list. Engineering, Medicine and Science are already there, after all.

This all works to encourage characters with a resemblance to the skills and motivations of the canonical - which players in licensed games often gravitate towards anyway, and which lends to them getting into similar kinds of adventures. You can easily play against type, create something new to do and expand the pool of character styles, but you still have to be ready to get into the setting’s preferred kind of trouble.

In related news, Chris Pratt as a possible new Indiana Jones? Same character, not just an archetype? Hmm...

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Snow

“Snowmageddon” is the Twitter nickname for the snowstorm hitting the northeastern US and Canada at present - apparently New York is expecting the worst snows since 1888. Most firsthand reports suggest people shovelling a bit more than usual, quoting Game Of Thrones and carrying on.

Ice and snow can affect footing as well as visibility, and the cold saps endurance.

Also, snow goons. 
And of course the 1888 thing has me imagining something reappearing out of the storm from over a century in the past.

Vamps

Vamps popped up on TV recently, so I watched because vampires, and also because of the cast and writer/director Amy Heckerling. It’s sort of uneven but has some good laughs. It also contains some interesting spins on how vampires work, how they get by in society night to night and ways to hunt them in a surveillance society. There’s also some nice character work about Goody dealing with having been twentysomething for decades and not always dealing well.

An early joke about her reaction to a nosebleed as she avoids human blood suggest it could have been a lot darker - or quite a lot grosser - than the light tone it mostly maintains, give or take the occasional dismemberment.

Monday, 26 January 2015

German educational Battlestar LARP

... on a decommissioned destroyer.

Via Matt M McElroy. (A restaging of a Nordic LARP run by someone I’ve met, it turns out.)

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Nessie!

I have to mention the Loch Ness Monster when talking about games set in Scotland, don’t I?

There have been a few examples in popular culture, ranging from passing mentions to full-on appearances.

Doctor Who explained it via Zygons.

Primeval mentioned it but did an episode about a different legendary lake monster. (I put it in an adventure pitch to Cubicle 7. As well as giving it a guest spot in Hollow Earth Expedition.)

Buffy and Star Trek don’t appear to have had a go at it. Can this be right?

Glasgow in gaming

Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow is plenty to offer as a setting, with its share of hauntings (not least around the Necropolis) as well as a popular museum with a heavy side of Weird, and a storied history of industry and creativity.

As an Edinburgh native I must admit bias about Glasgow - mostly about having to go there to see lots of bands.

A follow-up observation

I’ve never set a game in Scotland in the long term. I’ve based the odd adventure here, often for conventions as they might have players visiting from elsewhere, but no series. I would generally set a real-world game in the US, somewhere else for specific history or ambience, or at least as far away as London. Modern action games need taller buildings than we have so you can leap from roof to roof and throw other people off them, and distance also lets me mess with geography without the players pointing out that the museum is five minutes walk away.

It might also make the fantastical elements stick out too much, I suspect. I know how weird Edinburgh can be, but it doesn’t seem all that weird on a daily basis.

(And in the classic World Of Darkness we also have no cities capable of supporting more than four vampires by Camarilla rules. LARPs routinely divide this by ten or so for obvious reasons. And for that matter, the local werewolves are the Black Spiral Dancers.)

A lot of my fantasy game ideas look like Scotland, though. When they don’t look like New Zealand, of course.

Do you set real-world games where you come from, or actively avoid it?

Scotland as a setting

In honour of Burns Night (because it was this or eat haggis, ha ha) what does Scotland have to recommend it as a location for a game? Plenty of history, for one thing. Much of it pretty weird.

When asked about Edinburgh for Chill, I came up with this guide to the city for horror and urban fantasy:

Ghosts
We’re contenders with York for most haunted city in Europe, starting with Edinburgh Castle and including Mary King’s Close (a 17th century alley/tenement which wasn’t actually walled up with plague victims still alive inside but that's how the story goes) and the Vaults, with no particular legends attached but lots of reports. We also have a big cemetery at the edge of the Old Town, which is best known for the story of a dog but is apparently a hotspot for poltergeist activity nowadays.

There are a few local monsters, though none call Edinburgh home by default.

Magic
Major Weir recently made the cover of the Fortean Times, a puritanical Covenanter who suddenly and spontaneously confessed to sorcery, backed up by his sister.  His house has been identified in the last year if you need a cursed location.

Body Snatchers
With Edinburgh a major centre of anatomical study and the dissection of bodies almost totally illegal, some enterprising citizens took to feeding the demand by stealing fresh corpses. The most famous examples, Burke and Hare, rarely bothered with the trouble of digging bodies up so they just killed people themselves. Dr. Knox’s house could be a site of “pilgrimage” for a mad scientist.

SAVE and other hunters
My first thought here would be the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University.

General lurking
The Vaults would make a good hiding place for physical monsters as well as ghosts, being large, centrally located and handy for grabbing tourists. The little-used areas around Waverley Station would be a good bet too. Things preferring open spaces might like the Meadows, or the park around Arthur’s Seat, as these are still near the human population and especially all those students heading home after late nights. Also near the university and Greyfriar’s is the National Museum of Scotland, home to a variety of artefacts if you need something cursed. (One example: tiny coffins.) Further out there’s a port, low ominous hills, disused churches from various smallish religions some of which are now clubs and some of which are still empty, and plenty of narrow alleys...

... And that’s just Edinburgh, for a specific genre.

Sword fight anatomy masterclass

Via sixty-fight supercut.

First, the bit where you walk around measuring each other up...

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Predictions and prophecies

To make that last alarming post more game-relevant, how do you use something like the Doomsday Clock in a game?

The threat of nuclear extinction and environmental collapse don’t inform every game, any more than every story made or set in the 80s had the Doomsday Clock on the news - while Watchmen did, because the countdown to a potential and seemingly inevitable apocalypse was a key part of the story and something the characters directly affected. It’s part of the ticking clock motif that runs through the story.

More generally, what about accurate predictions, or warnings meant to prevent some catastrophe? And this is before you get to magical predictions. One very useful trick here is to have more than one legitimate reading, in case the players smash one of them. (I stumbled on that by accident in The Watch House, when the same specifics could apply to Milli or Victoria.)

The Doomsday Clock

... has been moved forward. This is never good.

I try not to be preachy about real issues that concern me in games, but it can be hard to avoid at times.

While you’re here, do a little good.

Friday, 23 January 2015

A game set on a warship

Setting advice for a modern warship. Or a submarine, effectively... IN SPACE.

Another subgenre I’ve never tried (real-world military) and one I’ve just played a little (practical military SF) but which could be interesting. See also historical sailing, whether World War, Napoleonic or, this being RPGs, pirates.

Star Trek is mostly set on Starfleet ships, but those seem pretty casual and are definitely less cramped than modern subs. I’ve been in less roomy three-star hotels.

I included a bit of this (cramped minimal bunks, shift rotation, terrible food, playing cards as you wait to reach systems and fight) in my grimy military SF game The Stars On Fire, influenced by Battlestar Galactica 2004. Like the recent prison example, it let me build a smallish recurring cast... who might die at any time.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Other subgenres

Spurred on by the World Of Darkness prison thread, some other subgenres I’ve seen in the setting:

I was also involved in the New Bremen chat’s Central Hospital group, which is even more niche - World Of Darkness medical drama, with just a bit of medical horror now and then. Worrying injured PCs from other parts of the setting by shouting lots of ER style jargon while making rolls to perform CPR on them never got old. Neither did calling in security when a vampire tried to eat me.

Other locations that led to non-monster games included a police station, courts, a high school and City Hall. (One of the volunteer Storytellers had the first initials DA, and when I first saw him I assumed he was playing an NPC District Attorney.)

Adding monsters to just about any drama genre can create interesting results...

Prison in games

An RPGnet thread on setting a World Of Darkness game in prison.

Some games have small restrictive locations, but prison is a pretty extreme example. I’ve seen enough prison drama and genre stories to consider it.

There are prison adventures for a number of games where the PCs have to escape, which generally run like the captured-and-unarmed levels in action games or involve a lot of planning depending on the game in question. These prisons are usually hellholes with scary gangs, some mean or corrupt wardens, a good person somewhere in the chain of command, some dangerous passages one has to crawl through, a riot at a convenient or inconvenient moment, and so on. They tend to be more Prison Break than Porridge, if they’re not full-on Gladiator. Stealing a prosthetic leg as part of the plan is strictly optional.

Checklist and ideas from roleplayingtips.

Fantasy prison adventures including some specific examples. See also the first adventure for Cybergeneration, an Unknown Armies one-shot, a prison planet in the adventure in WEG’s Star Wars Rules Companion, how everyone starts in Fallen London...

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Loose the out-of-copyright heroes!

Ten public domain characters deserving of a reboot. Eleven if you count the original Fantomah. But there are not enough drugs in the world.

I particularly like Ann Radcliffe The Vampire Slayer.

Coppelius is better for Promethean than Adventure! though.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

One of those ideas you just have to run with.

Brewster Brujah
Gary Gangrel
Mandy Malkavian
Nora Nosferatu
Tommy Toreador
Trevor Tremere
Velma Ventrue
Ashley Assamite
Selma Setite
Giovanni Giovanni
Rab C. Ravnos
Larry Lasombra
Tz... Tzi... DAMN IT.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The train now arriving at Arkham...

The model Miskatonic railroad. From before the classic 1920s period, but presumably that slightly alarming station is still there...

Gamers Amongst Us

Following The Expanse, I hear that Genevieve Cogman, with credits for White Wolf and Evil Hat, is getting good buzz for her new fantasy novel The Invisible Library.

And Leverage creator and Dungeons & Dragons comic writer John Rogers admits the following after someone mentions the idea of using FATE for his new series:
One of my writers on THE LIBRARIANS has gamed with me. While we were breaking the characters for the series, he looked at the notecards on the wall and said "wait, are those phrased as ASPECTS?" Well, yeah.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The effect of what you run on what else you run

Off out in an hour to run Graveyard Shift and then Still Untitled Vampire: The Masquerade Chronicle. In the meantime, have to cut out some character and monster pictures. As one does.

Running them back-to-back has perhaps led to there being hardly any combat in the evening Vampire game due to there being rather a lot in the Buffy one.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

The Expanse

The Expanse is big galaxy-colonising SF setting, coming soon to TV, and based on books... that started as an RPG.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Need a place for this guy.


From here, one of a series of creepy cyberpunk plague doctors.

Star Wars Sith? Doctor Who time-clash? Demon: The Descent Destroyer?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Vampire: Prince's Gambit

Justin Achilli has revealed plans going ahead for a new social tabletop game in the Vampire: The Masquerade setting. Title reveal on Twitter, more details on Facebook.

Multiversal Collapse Imminent

Spider-Verse is a fairly typical multiverse team-up story - have a character in various universes meet their other selves because some terrible force is threatening them all - taken pretty darn far. It’s already given us a brand new hero in Spider-Gwen, murdered the Hostess advertising Spider-Man, and now... this.

How many weird side ideas for an existing character could you bring in if you did this? And who would play them if it happened to a PC?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Star Wars returns to Marvel. It's kind of a big deal for them.

Marvel’s original Star Wars issue 1 in 1977 started pretty quickly. Dark Horse’s first Star Wars comic had an intro crawl on its first interior page setting up the story. Marvel’s new Star Wars issue 1 wants to make it clear that being issue 1 of Star Wars is A Big Deal so its first page is “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...” and then there’s a two-page spread of the logo and then there’s an intro crawl. (It’s a bigger-than-normal issue.) This amused me greatly.

The comic itself is pretty cool as well.

Making intro crawls is one of the classic handout tricks used in Star Wars games - RPG scenarios often come with them, and I would DTP and print basic ones even before the online Crawl Creator came out to let you make animated ones. I’ve seen them done with PowerPoint and other systems too. The trick is not to drop too much OOC information. (Which the first one in Episode IV totally does.) And of course, to do it properly, you need a cool-sounding episode name.

Tweet Your Own Adventure

While we had Fighting Fantasy, the US had Choose Your Own Adventure, where the lack of a combat system meant even more arbitrary death. And now a game in this style has been loosed on Twitter. Hopefully you can go back and try again, as is essential in gamebooks...

Monday, 12 January 2015

Brian Clemens

The co-creator of The Avengers UK TV series and Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter has died, aged 83. He was still working, and his son Samuel reports, the last thing he did was watch an episode of his classic show. “His last words were: I did quite a good job.” Would that we could all be so accomplished, and so modest.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Who The - Is My D&D Character?

Well? Note: many swears.

CHECK THIS OUT, I'M GOING TO BE A
MOTIVATED HUMAN DRUID FROM A HAUNTED CASTLE WHO GREW UP IN A GRAVEYARD
I'VE ALREADY ROLEPLAYED THAT ONE

That one kind of works.

INSENSITIVE HALF-ORC BARD FROM A TINY VILLAGE WHO CAN'T SILENCE THE VOICES

RESTLESS DRAGONBORN ROGUE FROM A LOCAL BREWERY WHO WANTS TO SMASH THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM

This has led to (a) RPGnet responding, (b) Chuck Wendig making a flash fiction challenge and (c) a Shadowrun version which is more immediately useful. (Poison, she's a pessimistic Dwarf Rigger from Russia who is constantly humming off-key pop songs.)

HeroQuest could probably run on this. And it might well already, but the boardgame stops me finding out via Google.

Idly thinking of a Vampire one...

Rise Of The Robo Rats

Researchers have developed a thin, electrode-embedded ribbon which, when implanted along the spinal cord, lets paralyzed rats move again. Researchers are hoping to advance to clinical trials in humans soon.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Background ambience

Tabletop Audio, ten-minute ambient (and sometimes musical) tracks for various settings, playable on the site or downloadable as MP3s. Medieval towns, future cities, spaceships, haunted houses, empty warehouses, epic battles, superhero themes, plenty of options.

Need a new Sith design with a crazy lightsaber?

Of course you do!

This one is crazier than average, but I can also see it working.

Concept artist Steve Wang also does space fighters, Battlemechs, mediaeval villages, things to worry Indiana Jones, and pandas on speeder bikes.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Person Of Interest, S3 and on

Since my initial observations two and a half years ago, some of my suspicions about Person Of Interest have proven accurate. The number-of-the-week format still works, but there is a lot more going on, and it’s now modern-dress cyberpunk as well as plain-clothes Batman.

The Machine, the system which initially just seemed to be the McGuffin to spit out those numbers of the week, is an A.I.

Beyond that, thoughts on playing something like it still apply. Some other PC types have joined in. Finch would be playable rather than just an NPC boss because he gets pulled into doing field work himself and often has to hack systems live - the hacking connecting to where Reese (or other PC type) is means it doesn’t become a closed-off subgame like hacking often was in Cyberpunk or Shadowrun. And the scale and SF-ish Weird Level have gone up a bit, while still having room for Reese to demolish wannabe gangsters with a slight smile.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Trailers

Even when not actually making trailers with video editing, I will often think up what I’d put in a trailer for a new game, or a new run of a returning game. I generally keep it short, vague and simple. Images that I can drop into a game easily enough. Just enough to get players hopefully curious without giving too much away, or including anything they would stop for their own characters.

Like so, for Graveyard Shift season two...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A setting built to change

The 100 is back on TV. YA books turned into YA TV almost as soon as possible, post The Hunger Games dystopian future grit, it is also an interesting example of a series with a premise designed to be unstable, to reveal more and change as it goes on.

Set a few centuries in the future, humanity abandoned the dangerously radioactive Earth to live in a space station called the Ark, but supplies are running low and a policy of birth restrictions has not really worked, so a hundred troublesome young adults are shoved into a shuttle and dropped to Earth to see if they can survive. Which they largely can, apart from internal fighting, the odd mutant animal, strange weather, and...

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

More genre movies than there are weeks in the year

Which is nice.

Starts about now, goes to Star Wars Episode VII and a week later with another Mission: Impossible, and includes some already released here, two new Pixar movies, Guillermo Del Toro doing Victorian Gothic romance, and I heard not previously heard of a Vonda McIntyre adaptation about a first contact situation in the late 17th century.

So I may be at the cinema a few times this year...

Monday, 5 January 2015

The road goes ever on

Finally saw the end of The Hobbit. (Little bit too much side business.) Got me to thinking back to when the films started with Fellowship Of The Ring, seeing the first trilogy with mum (who I took) and dad (now moved away and remarried) and my brother (now married with kids and on the other side of the planet) and that it doesn’t seem so long... but it is. Nearly a third of my life. And being read the books as a child, among my earliest memories. (And MERP. Let us never speak of it.) It’s one of my founding myths, long down my life.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year, New Game

PDF-y sale. The bundles are especially good value - The One Ring and two supplements for a quarter of their regular price, in particular, Scion or Ashen Stars at just over a third, or Firefly at less than half.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A New Year, A New World

Do I get in on this RPG Carnival? Maybe.

Need some aliens?

Various ways to flesh them out including some from me.

A new version of your classic

Watching The Musketeers has me wondering... have you ever gone back and done a new version of a campaign from the start, with new players?

I never have, because I always have more campaign ideas than groups as it is, but I have brought some unused ideas back, and borrowed hooks from other GMs.

If I did, what would I do? Modernise some things, of course, maybe change to a system that has come out since the original game... throw in some in-jokes for any returning players...

Friday, 2 January 2015

Forging Your Own Destiny

As mentioned at reveal and launchDestiny is a vast sweeping space opera setting where the story is made a big thing of at the start and then given little play, almost everyone and everything important has a Significant Title rather than a name, I might buy the art book before the game itself as I have only actually played on borrowed consoles, and the grand heroic music makes me want to do Star Trek when it isn’t playing Led Zeppelin.

I still kind of want to play the game it looks like more than the game it is.

Which is where RPGs come in...

A vast sweeping space opera, colonised planets isolated for centuries and now accessible again, a mix of alien empires and alliances to fight against or possibly negotiate with, the option to play AI or aliens or posthumans or modern humans or 21st century people resurrected to bring back lost knowledge, cool gear, mind powers, flying bikes, killer robots, ancient lore, deeper mysteries... sounds like it could be fun.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year, renewal

Silence fall over the mountain at the stroke of midnight. The thunder of the battle echoed and faded to nothing.

“The old year is slain! The winter will end!”

The queen pulled her white cloak tighter around her, remembering what it felt to be warm. Knowing that it would come again. And knowing that it would leave. The cycle would continue, and the people would need to be hardy, determined, and most of all inventive.

New Year, last chance

The clock ticked down to midnight. She knew at that moment the Black Calendar would activate the bomb. She only had minutes to get to Central Square and defuse it!

New Year, new world

Governor Linh hadn’t planned to make New Year’s a big deal. After all, the colony had only been running a hundred and twenty-two days. She was saving the last bottle of old Earth champagne for the first anniversary. But enough of the travellers wanted to celebrate it, and they were prepared to trust Murray’s still to provide something slightly alcoholic that wouldn’t strike them blind.

“Midnight” was kind of academic on a planet with two stars close enough you could read by them at any time of the twenty-seven-and-change hourly cycle, so they went with midnight at launch point.

Someone started up Auld Lang Syne, even getting the words right. Near enough, anyway.

They shared transmissions from home, sent before Christmas to make it all the way out.

The governor looked at the staging platforms. By the end of year one the first ship would be on its way to the next step. Who would still be here come another New Year?

So much could happen in a year...

New Year, same old monsters

Eric looked out at the party wearily, spun the glass in his hand and took another sip. They had managed to keep the world spinning for another year, and it had only cost three of them their lives. He raised the glass to Mike, Douglas and Kelly, and was about to finish it...

... when he saw the vampires strutting through the crowd. A couple, all smiles. Acting like they owned the place, like they usually do.

He set the glass down unfinished and went to look through his bag. This wouldn’t be an easy kill - none of them were - but the noise from the band and all the people around would keep them from using their senses to their full extent.

Phones were down, so no way to call the others. He’d have to do this himself. Wait for them to find someone, hope they didn’t separate in hopes of getting an easy meal each.

Looked like they were. Damn it. Okay, make sure to pick one so the other would see and come running. If they had any loyalty.

He heard the countdown start as he followed the male into the alley.

Perfect. Just in time for screams and fireworks.

Happy New Year!

To begin with, productivity. Some quick scenes set around midnight.

Urban fantasy, SF, superheroes, highish fantasy.

To continue - something here (just about) every day.