Saturday, 31 March 2018

The GEAS Auction

Due to not having anywhere accessible to keep the GEAS library for years now, and the finished refurbishment of Pleasance not fixing that, a large chunk of it has been sold at auction.

I was good. I have at least one birthday present sorted months in advance, too.
Happy Trans Day Of Visibility.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Happy birthday Georgios

Happy birthday Georgios, alias Joe Dizzy. (Alias Ziggy from The Watch House.) He talks about board games on Twitter here.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Tomb Raider

The new Tomb Raider film, based on the reboot game series pitching it closer to Uncharted and Far Cry, works pretty well. There’s some solid action, one really good suspense scene, no attempt to hide the series roots as an Indiana Jones knockoff, some actual acting, and no robots or time travel.

It may also feel a bit familiar to viewers of Arrow with its mercenary army on a forgotten island, wrecked planes and ominous mysteries.

As the creator of a group in The Trinity Continuum with a tendency to raid tombs, I was somewhat amused to find villains called Trinity.

ROM: Spaceknight

Have I really not written about Rom here before? Huh. Okay. Anyway, Zak Penn is writing a screenplay based on the character and his adventures, which looks like it won’t be in a Marvel setting. Which is okay as he was always Marvel Universe adjacent... until he dragged pretty much the entire universe into his fight.

But anyway, Rom is awesome. The story is basically Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, except that instead of a regular person becoming suspicious of their neighbours acting a little twitchy, its hero is Space Cyborg Aragorn.

A big blank-faced space man whose glowing red laser eyes still manage to scowl and who turns up in a small town, apparently disintegrating locals at random while occasionally speaking in mildly grandiose fantasy hero talk, takes a while to earn the trust of the populace.

The IDW comics serve as a sequel of sorts while rebuilding a lot from the ground up and pulling Rom into their new universe, where he gets more trouble from G.I. Joe than the X-Men. The film was originally planned as part of the Hasbro toys universe, but may now be its own thing.

The original Marvel comics are currently unreprintable due to the rights issues of their spinning off from a toy line. But since the DC Atari Force saw a reprint recently, maybe the film will finally get them back on shelves.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The City And The City

The China Miéville adaptation comes to BBC Two on April 6th.

The X Files Season 11

Erm. Well. I liked the one about customer service A.I.

The standalone episodes pretty much always outshone the UFO conspiracy arc after the first couple seasons, but the revival arc episodes have been real clunkers.

And I liked the Darin Morgan one about false memory up until he threw in more jokes about the current mess of US politics. I’d rather not have all that immortalised in my entertainment. (Even the A.I. episode had a Bigly reference for no real reason.) At least the one about science vampires and religious hunters managed to avoid it.

Interactive Fantasy

IF, originally Inter*Action, the RPG journal of note in 1994-5, now has all four issues to download PWYW on DriveThruRPG.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Beautiful Anomalies

Beautiful Anomalies by Rose Bailey and an all-star team, now in PDF and Print On Demand! And I’m not just mentioning it because I’m in the Special Thanks. :)

This Sell Me On thread includes a pretty big look inside.

Monster Manual Neural Network

Neural network produces D&D monsters. Some of which are winners like the Cloud of Chaos and the Vampire Bear, some rather lovely like the Rain Golem and the Black Willow Unicorn, and some not, like the Barber and Kurt.

Thanks to K for the link.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Gaps in worldbuilding can provide familiarity

The War of the Ring ended on March 25th.

Considering how much subcreation J.R.R. Tolkien put into Middle-Earth, he gave it more than one calendar, but kept it close to ours - and used ours in The Lord Of The Rings to give it some grounding.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Do some good.

Today I joined the March For Our Lives group outside the US Consulate, then crossed town to March For Europe. This evening, it was Earth Hour.

Happy birthday Cat!

Happy birthday to, among her many accomplishments, Managing Director and co-owner of Pelgrane Press, and of course Milli in The Watch House.

Friday, 23 March 2018


Today in the timeline for Trinity Continuum: Aeon and Aberrant, the space station Galatea falls.

Today in our timeline, the Aberrant developer team is announced - Ian Watson, Eddy Webb and Steve Kenson.

Never knowing what I wanted

Possible No Man’s Land end credits song - the acoustic version of Get Out by CHVRCHES. Or maybe The Mother We Share?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Buffy Versus Impostor Syndrome

Briefly addressed in The Freshman and played with on Angel in Soul Purpose, but could have been more central, maybe around season two when Kendra appeared?

Ever had a character wrestle with impostor syndrome? Or is it more an issue for creators, (nervous) haha?

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Today is the spring equinox. Perhaps you can tell because most of the snow is gone.

DC heroes doing real good for Puerto Rico

Writers and artists team up with creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and DC characters meet Puerto Rico’s own superhero La Borinqueña for a benefit anthology for Puerto Rican reconstruction.

Monday, 19 March 2018

No Man's Land 3

Third session achieved, and something of a resolution for the introductory plot, without the setting being set on fire. Much.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Crossovers with other campaigns

Champions was once the most popular game at GEAS, with several GMs running it at once (possibly spinning off from one, like Strike Force) - and getting together for a mega-crossover between their campaigns.

That must have been a heck of a day.

The Avengers Infinity War trailer reminded me of this, as you may have guessed.

I’ve mentioned crossover games before - here, here and here, for example - with a suggestion of a crossover between different campaigns here almost five years ago. That was some way before the idea of the Guardians of the Galaxy showing up in same shot as Thor and Spider-Man seemed liable to happen - they come from the same universe but don’t really feel like it in terms of genre or Weird Level.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Dungeons And Dragons And Records

Numbers from Wizards indicate that D&D just had its most successful sales year ever. Critical Role, Stranger Things and the first-hit-free basic rules are all noted factors.

World Defenders: The Summit

A new RPG supers team from Christopher McGlothlin, creator of Time Of Crisis, illustrated by Storn Cook, and the more money the Kickstarter makes the bigger and more illustrated it gets!

Nationals update

Okay, I now know that the other Chronicles Of Darkness ST at the Nationals is planning to go with mortals. So I guess I’m going with vampires.

And prepping Buffy for Urban Fantasy as well anyway, because try and stop me.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking has died, aged 76.

Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.

The Carbonite Job

Chuck Wendig explains the plan to rescue Han Solo in Return Of The Jedi.

Among other things, he points out a vital Star Wars theme: a small group of characters eschewing the larger strategy to save their friends. The audacity of a new hope.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Vampire: The Requiem second edition design

The thread about how Vampire games play lead to this insight from Rose Bailey about the design process for Chronicles Of Darkness and particularly Vampire: The Requiem second edition.

The Studio Ghibli Adaptation Of Your Setting

After seeing this Ghibli-style Travel Oregon advert, with specific locations explained at their site, I inevitably (a) want to go to there and (b) wonder what a Chuubo-esque pastoral game would actually run like.

Monday, 12 March 2018

How is Vampire typically played?

A thread that attracted the usual observations and jokes, but Propagandor offered a concise explanation of pretty much all of my Vampire games in the first reply:
The archetypal vampire game is probably about a group of vampires who are low on the local hierarchy. The local vampire community is a tangled web of politics. Something happens to disrupt the status quo and the PCs investigate. Sometimes they investigate because it interests them, sometimes because it affects the territory they've claimed for themselves and sometimes they investigate because they are compelled by older more powerful vampires.
Investigating, some politics, probably at least one supernatural fight scene.
I aim to bust out of it, at least in part, with No Man’s Land... though I have disrupted the status quo and they are investigating, but at least for their own territory rather than at the behest of elders...

Edit: This post by Pheidias expertly explains the how and why of status quos breaking down.

Sir Terry Pratchett

Speak his name.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Four weeks to Nationals...

And I still don’t know what the other Chronicles Of Darkness Storyteller is planning.

Continuing to prep adventures for mortals, vampires and demons just in case. Mortals and demons using basically the same adventure with very different approaches and final threats. Vampires, well, I have a setting of sorts.

And Buffy for my home category Urban Fantasy, because I’m not going to not do that just because I’m not supposed to be doing that. That at least I can prep in my sleep, it’s just a question of reprinting character sheets and descriptions and picking some pictures of monsters and NPCs.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Buffy at 21

It’s Happy Birthday Buffy!

And just in time for Hush on my current rewatch.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Please Stand By

Ever want to obstruct progress in a modern setting? Have the wifi fail.

(Sent from my tablet in a cafe in town.)

IWD 2018

Lovely Google Doodle of comics for International Women’s Day.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Pathfinder Second Edition

Pathfinder Second Edition is on its way, beginning with a big public playtest.

Expect to see jokes about using D&D Fourth Edition as playtest material for the next six months or so.

The deluxe embossed-cover-and-ribbon-bookmark hardback of the playtest rules is an interesting choice.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Tricksy and false

A spambot just referenced an Actual Play blog report of Keep On The Borderlands: “wounded and sad they returned to the Keep.”

And it wasn’t even in a post about D&D.

Heroes of legend return...

It is said that in our hour of greatest need, a hero will return...

... Ever had the PCs be those heroes?

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Five

And now S.H.I.E.L.D.’s back, in outer space...

Yes, we’re three months behind in the UK, so I’ve seen some spoilers but tried to dodge some at least.

Hence, for UK readers as there’s a repeat showing tonight, a spoiler cut.

The Klingon Tourist Centre

Visit Qo’noS, now open in Stockholm.
Happy GMs’ Day.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

TV Gamebooks?

Netflix are trailing a special episode of their new Stretch Armstrong cartoon - which is a multi-path game. There have been DVD and Youtube interactive stories before, and Netflix have played with the idea previously, but here it is as part of an ongoing series.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Behold The Beast From The East!

Everyone's talking about 'The Beast from the East', and I can't help thinking that it's some kind of creature bringing snow and cold weather. So here is a rough WIP of an ice dragon!
Danielle English

Thanks to Alasdair Stuart for the retweet.