Saturday, 31 December 2016

Friday, 30 December 2016

In which I try to help a LARP

Well, you never know.

Specifically, a Vampire: The Masquerade LARP with about ten players, which to me suggested either a social game focusing on specific events (a meeting in Elysium for a show trial, not just a regular monthly meeting) or a more tabletop-style investigative game with a treasure hunt aspect and a focus on props and a small number of NPCs. I think either could work... I think...

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Arthur. King Arthur.

A random thought while watching a recent Bond film, about actors who might have been considered for the role. Clive Owen has played various action roles, including King Arthur.

James Bond reappears when the land needs him...

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Princess Leia

One of my first and most important heroes in fiction, the damsel in distress who saved herself, played by a genuine hero.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Carrie Fisher

“I’m very sane about how crazy I am.”
Carrie Fisher, 1956-2016

Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas haul 2016

Nothing directly game-related, but a fair amount of geekishness. Not as Star Wars as last year, naturally.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Good luck to travellers and travel staff, last minute shoppers and shop workers, emergency services, and all tonight.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Thursday, 22 December 2016

The almost legendary Holiday Special

Kudos to The Star Wars Show for calling their latest episode the Holiday Special, reminding viewers of the, er, most unusual spinoff in franchise history. I'm scared to watch...

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Come the dawn

Apparently it’s not just the winter solstice but also the darkest night in five hundred years.

Apart from 2010 anyway.

So that’s nice.

But the sun will come again.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Monday, 19 December 2016

Naming location history

“We shall build a new city here, and call it... Alexandria.”
“Again?”
“What?”
“Well, I mean you called the last three Alexandria.”
“So?”
“The royal mapmakers are asking if you could maybe differentiate a bit more.”
“Like what?”
“... West Alexandria maybe?”
“Are you implying I’ll never get further west than this?”
No! No, absolutely not!”
“So what do you suggest I do when we get to the coast then?”
“... Alexandria-On-Sea?”
“Get out.”

Dude. Seriously. Help a mapmaker out.

The Age Of Wonders

The Vatican Tapes sounds like it should be found footage but isn’t. It messes with The Exorcist template a little before going another way.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Star Wars Opening Crawl Adventures

As noted before, Star Wars has the best free adventure hook of all the opening crawls - Empire and Jedi are too specific really. There’s room for adventures around them, but no hooks waiting to go.

The Prequel crawls are less narrow, you could easily run with “there are heroes on both sides” from Revenge Of The Sith, for example, while The Force Awakens sets up the era rather than a mission.

Back in the day, a crawl was a classic intro, for RPG adventures, books, video games and comic miniseries. Instantly recognisable and iconic. But now we have a film that doesn’t have one....

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Rogue One

Rogue One (A Star Wars Story does not appear on the title card)   - mini-spoilers now, proper spoilers in a week or so.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Reverse Legacy Heroes

I’ve talked about legacy characters before, but the announcement of a 19th Century Ghost Rider joining the Marvel Universe in comics (as a newish Rider represents the legacy on TV in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) reminded me that when a character connects to an older power source or structure there’s a good hook for prequels. (See also a number of The Crow vomics, various Green Lanterns, and Tales Of The Slayers for the Buffyverse.)

Ever played something like this, maybe in a prequel to another campaign?

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Kingkiller Chronicle

The Kingkiller Chronicle series of books is on its way to TV and cinemas, with Lin-Manuel Miranda producing and John Rogers showrunning.

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Black List 2016

The Black List of the best unmade screenplays in Hollywood always contains some genre stories, and this year is no exception. Rather a lot of solitary apocalypse stories this time...

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Dark Matter

The TV series Dark Matter started as a comic, but if you said RPG I would have believed you. Space mercenaries with amnesia and a mildly snarky android. Playable with Firefly, maybe starting with a Leverage style Recruitment Job for the initial uncertainty about what the PCs can do...

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Spider-Man coming home

First slightly different trailers for Spider-Man Homecoming. The US trailer really underlines the high school setting. It looks like Peter is currently the only superhuman enrolled. Will it end up like Sunnydale? It usually does in series, less so in the films.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Art Of Battlefield 1

The Art of Battlefield 1 reflects its mix of grim grey WWI trench warfare, dogfights in the air above and video-game action and adventure, the latter making good sources for something pulpy. Yes, there is a crashing zeppelin.

Convention Of Thorns play analysis

Sarah Lynne Thorpe discusses her experience as one of the players at the Convention Of Thorns at NordicLarp, including the best summary I have seen so far of the Day Play sections away from the main game happening at night.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Jessica Jones

The second Marvel Netflix TV series, Jessica Jones season one is now out on offline-viewable discs. It is pretty closely based on the Mature Readers series Alias (renamed to avoid confusion with the J.J. Abrams superspy TV series) about a private eye with some deliberately ordinary superpowers, and in this case mostly drops the procedural element the original series had for a more focused seasonal arc about her arch enemy, the mind controller Kilgrave. Mind control is a tricky thing to involve in games (I’ve talked about this before) and especially to make a major feature and played as horrifically as this story does. It takes a lot of buy-in.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lucifer (the TV series)

Lucifer, based on the Vertigo comics series, is... well, it’s kind of an 80s throwback, a cop show that takes a genre premise and doesn’t run with it. In the first season there are only really two episodes that run with the weird investigator being The Devil Himself, which feels like the logical conclusion of the type.

(Compare fellow loose Vertigo adaptation iZombie, where the crime-fighting is generally one of three strands ceding floor space to the others more readily.)

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Dragonmeet

I was not at Dragonmeet this year. I hear the big hit for Pelgrane was the preview edition of Cthulhu Confidential, the two-player GUMSHOE RPG.

Friday, 2 December 2016

A New World Of Gods And Monsters

A fifteen-second teaser-trailer-teaser for The Mummy, the new version launching the Universal Monsters cinematic universe, uses the famous Bride Of Frankenstein quote as a tagline. How will this work, a cinematic universe with most or all of the superpowers in the hands of the villains? Will Tom Cruise lead the heroes fighting various creatures? Will one of the monsters (betting on the Frankenstein Monster) side with humanity?

Edit: We now have a full trailer, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and articles with the director explaining it. And it looks like Tom Cruise Vs. Universal Monsters could indeed be how it goes, with Russell Crowe as Henry Jekyll, head of the not-Watchers. (And Cruise may be a monster too.)

Sadly, Dracula Untold is now confirmed not to be part of the Universal Universe, so we may have seen the last of FIST OF BATS.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

An RPG bundle for the Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center RPGnow Bundle includes Trinity, BASH, Champions, Icons and more.

The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.