Monday, 31 October 2016

Sunday, 30 October 2016


Momo The Magical Kitten. Google game for Halloween. (Which totally Zerg rushed me at the end of level 3. Hmph.)

Tonight Has Two Midnights

Okay, actually we have two 1ams, but work with me here.

British Summer Time ends and the clocks go back on the night before Halloween, allowing extra Halloweekend partying... and the collapse of the space-time continuum.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Red Dwarf XI

There seem to have been a lot of old human spaceships and space stations this year...


The Convention Of Thorns LARP, in a castle in eastern Europe, is underway right now. Bit jealous.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Harry Potter Miniature Game

Harry Potter Miniature Game coming in 2017 from Knight Models... hopefully they have the more today Fantastic Beasts licence as well.

Knight make gorgeous 30mm+ miniatures, including a Star Wars line I never heard about until it was discontinued and a Batman line including Animated Series versions. I haven’t played any of their games though.

Harry Potter never got an RPG because, as I understand it, J.K. Rowling didn’t want other people writing sourcebooks and adventures in her setting for publication. (Apologies if that’s not the case.) Not a problem with a miniatures game, so it’s nice to see something along these lines.

What's This? What's This?

Halloween is nearly here!

Time to start prepping Christmas adventures.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Mongoose's 2000 A.D. licence

The 2000 A.D. licence at Mongoose, which produced two editions of Judge Dredd RPGs and also Slaine and Strontium Dog, and a wargame and miniatures too, is to end soon. Nicely they told us in advance and put the PDFs and (mostly sold out) figures on sale before they vanish.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Doctor Strange

I’ve already seen the Doctor Strange movie due to its weird early UK release.

Ask me for spoilers and I will happily lie.

In the meantime, it doesn’t make that much use of the 3D IMAX-ness but a couple of the Ditko trippy sequences will lose something on regular screens. There’s more of the weaponised Inception folded space action seen in the trailers, but this is mostly shown far enough back not to be especially 3Dish.

It’s very very origin story, the pre-mystic origin is a reminder of just how much like Iron Man it is really and it doesn’t really address the wizards-can-do-anything problem effectively. But seeing this stuff brought to life is a geeky thrill, the cast get enough to do with their characters and their motivations, the bit where [REDACTED] is really cool, and the [REDACTED] is great fun. Stay to the end of the credits, not just the middle.

DriveThruRPG Halloween sale and treasure hunt

Go to DriveThruRPG, find the pumpkin, ghost, witch’s hat, candy or moon-and-bat symbols for free seasonal PDFs! Vs. Ghosts, the ICONS adventure Devil’s Night, a short d20 adventure called Horror at Gravehollow Hill, Pixel Dungeon Zombies, Haunted Locales, the slightly out of place Swashbuckling Adventures... and maybe more.

Trick or treat!

And there’s more on DT Fiction, Comics and Cards. (My first find on Comics is an RPG adventure!)

And no, not telling you where to look. Although I recommend the Halloween sale... ;)

Monday, 24 October 2016


Crazyhead is the new genre series from Howard Overman, creator of Misfits, and... well, it features one of his signature moves, let’s just say that.

In basic setup, it reminds me of Hunter: The Reckoning. Being about young women fighting secret demons and making jokes, a certain Buffy echo is there too. Just with more bodily fluids jokes. It sets out its stall with a pre-credits scene, then flashed back from, and doesn’t really push it as far as it sounds like it might from there.

The core question is schozophrenic or seer - or both? It seems to come down on the side of option B or C.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

A small act of counter-stereotyping

Note to self: put a non-treacherous Quarren in this Star Wars game.

Star Wars is rich with archetypes that often move into stereotypes, but an entire species of Mind Flayers out to betray the Mon Calamari gets a bit... samey.

Trust me, delicious mammals.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

John Carpenter

Off to see John Carpenter in concert tonight, playing some of his film scores as well as new compositions.

Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York, They Live and Big Trouble In Little China - these are all the kinds of stories that gaming is built on.

I also expect to hear the likes of Night. The accompanying video... there has to be a workable plot hook in “using homemade VR to control an android to fight rival androids” I think.

(Addendum: If Virtual Survivor became the theme for a third Escape From movie, I would be down for that.)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Happy Pelgrane Day!

Happy Pelgrane Day! Today marks the tenth anniversary of the first Gumshoe system game.

Scion LARP

Funded by the Scion second edition Kickstarter, a LARP adaptation from Damocles Thread Development. New to me, they’ve already produced a Champions LARP system.

Obviously the rules will have to cover major superhuman powers clashing.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The X-Men and the retcon attack

With a new Wolverine movie, Logan, on the way, someone asked if they were a continuous story to catch up on:

They’re really not. 1 and 2 mostly are. 3 (The Last Stand) was but was then retconned to mostly not happen (along with the end of 2). Origins: Wolverine was a highly involved origin story involving at least three characters since retconned. First Class was an origin for the team set in the 60s. The Wolverine was a modern story for him after 3. Days Of Future Past was a sequel to First Class set in the 70s and a sequel to the others due to time travel and results in the retconning of 2 and 3. Apocalypse was a sequel to that set in the 80s (which also retcons some more of 2). Deadpool pretended that his appearance in Origins: Wolverine didn’t happen even though he’s played by the same actor.

I think that’s everything...

Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 Teaser


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

We saved the world. I want a parade!

Have you ever had a parade for the PCs? It’s a classic way to end an adventure, but in the session?

This question came from watching the Olympic and Paralympic parade, with mini-interviews with some of the athletes.

Press conferences too - I’ve mostly seen these in superhero games, naturally. And of course they’re awkward, even when not interrupted by villains.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hallowe’en one-shots?

Hallowe’en one-shots? Maybe.

Though the Saturday is a leaving do for two society regulars, the Sunday is the last of the first five-week block for games...

There are some classics here. Since this thread a couple years back, a recent example for this perennial topic, the Call Of Cthulhu 7th edition quickstart is on shelves, and yes, it contains The Haunting.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Betrayal At House On The Hill

I first played Betrayal At House On The Hill six years ago chez Steve D, and I thought for six years that there was another “The” in the title...

Anyway, it’s a tile-laying boardgame of exploring a supposedly haunted house where some way through the selection of things the PCs uncover trigger one of the PCs to Betrayal! It leans heavily on theme rather than mechanics for its fun, and it’s good to make time to play it a couple times just in case the twist results in the endgame being one-sided either way - you can end up with the Traitor having all the items they need to win and standing in just the right room to do it, or completely unable to reach what they need, although more balanced endgames are more common.

Physical components are nice - a few miniatures, shiny tiles, solid chits, sturdy box.

Might have to properly figure out and play sometime round Hallowe’en...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

One result of that Star Wars game...

Discussion of medical Droids in Star Wars and why the Rebel has the nondescript 2-1B while the Emperor’s choice for surgery on Vader is a pitch-black room full of shiny black monster droids and smoke. In a thunderstorm.

It was obviously meant to evoke Frankenstein, but the revival there needed a storm to work. Here it just seems to be mood lighting.

In this case, the storm could be the result of the Emperor’s mood. (Only he and R2-D2 shoot lightning in the original trilogy, proving that both are embodiments of their sides of the Force. Ahem.)

But it got me thinking, a planet like Coruscant probably has weather control...

“Weather Control, this is the Emperor. Yes, Emperor. Haven’t you been watching the news? It’s been almost a day! Anyway, I want a storm over my palace. Yes, thunder, lightning, the whole deal. Sets the mood. No? Well then, I’ll have to do it by hand.”


Monday, 10 October 2016

The naming of things

I did basically one bit of prep for Star Wars this week - I wrote down a bunch of weird names in advance. It helped immensely, especially when the PCs returned to the site of a space battle and got a really good look for survivors roll.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

How to feel high-powered

A question on for the poster’s birthday got me thinking about high-powered games and how to make them feel different from more down-to-earth ones. The answer I came up with:

Being able to ignore damage can really have this effect for me. I played the brick in a Marvel SAGA game and could routinely shrug off non-superpowered attacks and a lot of super-attacks as well - taking no damage while everyone else dodged never got old. I’ve played other superhero games where I’ve had highly capable characters in other fields, but in a game of frequent brawling this really did feel different.

Automatic successes are another way, especially in games with critical failure. Rolling a ton of dice can be fun, but no longer needing to roll can be too.

Both of these remove some uncertainty from the game, and knowing the PC can do something can be a real boost to confidence.

Maybe this comes from all the times I’ve had the dice mess up a character’s defining abilities at just the wrong moment...

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Midnight, Texas

The new series from Charlaine Harris, creator of True Blood, is starting on TV soon, and looks like... True Blood, just without HBO there to let it go hog-wild on the sex and violence.

A hidden little town serving as a haven for all kinds of supernaturals beings is a nice reason for the whole mess of urban fantasy PC types to be all together, and to work together.

An idea rises from the grave

I just started games for the academic year and now I have a crazy idea. Typical. Maybe next block...

For the record, the crazy idea was inspired by an article about terrible comics cover gimmicks featuring a Rob Liefeld spinoff comic about a special ops team of people who are totally deniable because they’ve been brought back from the dead.

Friday, 7 October 2016

What if they made more Star Wars spinoff movies in the 70s and 80s?

A brain fritz caused by seeing an article about The Warriors the same day I bought a Rogue One Jyn Erso figure, and imagining the young late 70s antiheroes of the former as dashing space adventurers. I may have to cut together a fake trailer running with this idea. Maybe based on one of the classic West End Games early adventures, like Strike Force Shantipole...

RPG Blog Carnival: Potions

The RPG Blog Carnival, which I should really check more often, hits October, with a theme of Potions. Which is a bit less Hallowe’en-y than expected, but hey, witches.

Potions suggest fantasy, so naturally I immediately think of uses in other genres...

Urban fantasy can have magical brews played fairly straight... Maybe the magic spells advertised on eBay really work - or maybe just the ones on Etsy.

The classic potion in horror is Dr. Jekyll’s formula, a kind of science-ish lycanthropy that reveals the worst in human nature.

Superheroes, especially in the Golden Age, have a lot of science-ish serums and herbs granting amazing powers.

Putting those three sort of together...

Scientists develop a Hyde-style monster serum and a lab accident exposes them to it. Instead of just one, a modern lab full of half a dozen.

And let’s say it varies its effectiveness with the target. Some of them are mean drunks for one night, some of them have relapses... and one was already kind of a psycho, and feels that humanity would benefit from the formula and freedom from inhibitions. Can the PCs stop him before the entire city goes Hyde?

Or of course, there’s the classic of all classics, the Love Potion...

The Player on TV

The Player is coming to British TV, on Spike starting on the 21st. As far as I know only the nine episodes exist so it will end rather abruptly, but it’s still nice to have a chance to see it on TV.

In the meantime, this John Rogers interview was new to me. Spoilers!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Carmilla: The Movie

So this is happening. More here.

Modern Robin Hoods?

This series pilot sounds like it’s about a figurative modern Robin Hood setup, not a literal one like the Camelot urban fantasy cop show. Being modern Robin Hoods is a pretty common idea for thief protagonists - it’s mentioned in the original pitch for Leverage for example - taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

But not generally taking it as far as dressing like Green Arrow, living in the woods and fighting with quarterstaffs.

So now I want to do that, of course.

The ousted heir of a family company which always looked after its home town until a ruthless corporate raider usurped it, fighting back with theft and trickery, on the run from the corrupt local sheriff... It would be tricky to get the PCs to go for the silver arrow trap though... and trickier still to end with a swordfight with Guy of Gisbourne... hmm...

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Diversity and inclusion

Rose Bailey discusses diversity and inclusion in RPGs and OP in particular, with Cronistas das Trevas.

After the shine comes off the future

“Since I was a boy, I’ve dreamed about being a cop and living on the moon. But now I’m here, it seems like the party’s over and everybody’s going home.”

This is the premise of Mooncop by Tom Gauld, best known for short cartoons in places like The Guardian looking askance at genre norms (some of which I’ve linked to before).

Post-apocalypse SF and post-Golden-Age fantasy are both pretty common, but an okay future that’s a bit past the exciting frontier era not so much. Settings tend to be about the exciting bit, after all. It would be a good start for a more slice-of-life approach though.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Daredevil Season One

Daredevil Season One. Yes, I know, Season Two, and Jessica Jones, and as of this weekend Luke Cage, but it came out on shiny discs today so I can watch it on my TV rather than my computer, so it’s time to talk about it again. So there.

A human or very-slightly-superhuman vigilante hero operating at night is a sensible place for a sub-universe to start (see also Arrow) because everybody knows the archetype (hint: Ben Affleck also played Daredevil and now...) and fighting crime is a sound basis for TV.

We get stunts (including one stunt sequence everybody talked about) more than effects. Human gang bosses, anonymous thugs with guns and the occasional ninja are enough of a threat so we don’t have to worry about adapting villains. Avoiding publicity means the world can look a lot like ours even though it has heroes and gods fighting aliens somewhere else.

There are entire RPGs for street-level supers, as well as sourcebooks for wider-ranging supers RPGs. Focusing on the crime, it would be possible to do with something like Gumshoe, or Angel for the action.

Eye Of The Beholder

A documentary on the art of D&D.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

New academic year, new games

Playing: D&D 5th Edition, Spelljammer setting, in the style of Eclipse Phase. My goodness, so many ways to get Advantage and therefore roll the d20 dice and pick the best one. Crazy indie game!

GMing: Star Wars d6 1E. Rebels. Only three of the seven are Force sensitive!

Saturday, 1 October 2016


And you know what that means...

Well, tomorrow it means new campaign pitches at the games soc, but generally...

Happy Hallowe’en month!

Thanks to T at WOD Happens for the pic


Excuse the truncated Links list, Blogger appears to have wiped my old one out with no warning. More to follow.