Saturday, 30 June 2018

Reuniting Families charity bundle

A massive number of PDFs on RPGnow for a very good cause.

Glasgow Comic Con

Glasgow Comic Con was pretty busy, but I got to the panels I wanted to see and the autographs I was after, including buying a new copy of the Judge Dredd Dark Judges collection so I could get John Wagner to sign one that isn’t over thirty years old and sitting in a box somewhere in the house and getting a second copy of Annie Wu’s Morticia Addams print. I also had my Nosferatu T-shirt correctly identified as a Vampire: The Masquerade Nosferatu T-shirt in particular by the editor selling a small press horror-centric anthology series.

The Inpatient

Huh. Nobody told me about The Inpatient, a prequel to Until Dawn. Not that I can play it, as I still don’t have a PS4 handy and it apparently runs best with VR... and a VR game in a haunted mental hospital sounds... tense. But it would still have been nice to know.

Friday, 29 June 2018

And I heard, as it were...

This RPGnet ominous Southern US music request thread is making me want to run a game in that milieu as well. (Possibly found the referenced Spotify playlist on Youtube too.)

The Real Creature Compendium

Annual reminder: you can find great monster and character ability ideas at a good zoo.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

V5 Preview

The Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition preview is up, free for WorldOfDarkness dot com members. 27 pages out of... well, the last one in the preview is page 391.

Some introduction, including a section on how this is not a game about playing heroes. Spreads for the Brujah and Toreador - the Toreador weakness is flipped, ugliness now distracts them, losing them Discipline dice matching their current weakness buildup - likely to be a bigger deal for them. One of the Disciplines, Celerity, now with a power for every level. Beliefs - Convictions, Ambitions, Desires and Touchstones, which those familiar with Vampire: The Requiem Second Edition will see a family resemblance in. Loresheets, like Backgrounds but related to various bits of setting material, like a 1-5 connection to Theo Bell or Helena having different game effects. And a page on fashion, including the practicalities of wearing black.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

I feel pretty lucky

The Last Jedi (and The Art Of), Black Panther and Luke Cage on shiny disc, Marauder Map mug, cards, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, and Paramore got me a new video.

Today is My Birthday - I'd Like Bands

Seems like something creative folk can come up with a few of. Thank you!

Today Is My Birthday

So far, cards, The Last Jedi, The Art Of The Last Jedi, and a mug from an entirely different fantasy saga. A heat-sensitive Marauders’ Map from Harry Potter, to be specific. Hot and cold photos to follow.

Pondering whether to do a birthday request thread on

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Film Festival: Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin

Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin (with Cerise and Mark Larkin, the producers of Mr. Moyer’s film directing debut The Parting Glass, and its writer and star Denis O’Hare) were as charming as you’d hope. I didn’t ask any questions about True Blood as the host did that aplenty.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts

The 2011 Warren Ellis documentary Captured Ghosts is now free to watch on Youtube. As someone who started with Lazarus Churchyard in issue 1 of Blast it does make me feel rather old. (As does the sight of Taliesin Jaffe with an unshaved head.)

Not remotely safe for work. Goodness me no.

The Grant Morrison documentary by the same director, Talking With Gods, is soon to follow.

To Boldly Go

A Star Trek adventures hooks thread I missed.

Free RPG Day

I’ll get some PDFs.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Seasons versus weather versus climate versus change

Ah, the summer solstice, marked by the central heating only coming on for half an hour overnight.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Buffy: The Reckoning

Issue one of Buffy Season Twelve: The Reckoning is out now. It’s been a year in-universe since the previous comics season, and while it was apparently a quiet year, things have happened.

Delta Green

My Delta Green Kickstarter slipcase arrived about fifteen minutes ago. The PDFs are on Bundle of Holding.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

More Star Trek in development

Possibly a lot more Star Trek, with multiple ongoing and miniseries, including Starfleet Academy, an animated series, a miniseries about KHAAAAAN, and... the return of Picard?

Sitcom? Wraith chronicle? Why not both?

The BBC has a bunch of new comedy incoming, including Ghosts from writer Simon Farnaby about the spirits stuck in an old country house. (Due to a puffy shirt and waistcoat combo, the resemblance to What We Do In The Shadows may be stronger than intended.)

Monday, 18 June 2018

This weekend...

The Pride march was lovely, despite the rain.

The Film Festival open air cinema was rather more affected by the rain.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Take pride in your qualities.


Okay, I know I’m late on Donald Glover’s Atlanta, the BBC just started showing it, but nobody told me about the invisible car.

Describe, Decide, Roll: a workable explanation of RPGs

“The goal is to hang out with your friends and act like weirdos together.”

News site Vox explains D&D and the basic appeal of RPGs in ten efficient minutes.

Free RPG Day

Free RPG Day is upon us once more. May the odds be ever in your favour!

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Onyx Pathcast on Vampire: The Requiem

A particular focus for the Onyx Pathcast tonight (and one less self-serving for me to link to than the Ian Watson interview ;) ) - dissecting Vampire: The Requiem. The focus, the feel, the changes across editions and other games in the Vampire family.


Tom Breihan at the AV Club reaches Blade in Age Of Heroes. As he notes, he already talked about Blade in A History Of Violence. Blade is worth talking about this much.

"Based On A True Story. We're Not Kidding."

Tag has, aptly, a great tagline.

“... the film follows a group of fortysomething friends who have been playing the same schoolyard game for 30 years, spending most of every May tagging or avoiding being tagged by each other...” for a reason I’m sure most gamers can relate to: “It keeps us in each other’s lives!”

Thursday, 14 June 2018

A Plague Tale: Innocence

At last! A proper Warhammer video game!

Okay, not really. But A Plague Tale: Innocence certainly has the dirt, disease, and ALL THE RATS.

As a former rat owner, I should also note that this is not a fair depiction.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Diana Jones 2018 shortlist

The Diana Jones Award shortlist for 2018 is here, including the 200 Word RPG Challenge, the Actual Play podcast and stream movement and the academic essay site Analog Game Studies, as well as the RPG Harlem Unbound and the board game Charterstone.

The Incredibles 2

By all accounts The Incredibles 2 was worth waiting for... which is good, as it nearly happened several times.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit

The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit is a new game in the world of Life Is Strange, with a trailer in a very indie coming-of-age style a la Lady Bird introducing a boy daydreaming of being a superhero and some hints of why he might need such escapism.

Out for free on my birthday. (And I never even got them a card!)

Monday, 11 June 2018

Looney Tunes 2019?

The inspiration for my first real RPG success, Looney Tunes making a proper comeback? The plan for shorts of varying lengths by multiple creative teams sounds more fitting than Loonatics Unleashed, anyway.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Cyberpunk 2077

The trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was revealed by CD Projekt Red today at E3, five years after the mood teaser in R. Talsorian’s original Cyberpunk year 2013 following the original announcement of the game in 2012. (Yes, I still have the 2013 set, from when it was set 25 years in the future.)

The visuals are strong, the narration... I hope it’s not be the only playable character. The setting lends itself to modifying the character after starting, but a snarky criminal guy is only one place to start.

Update: While V is a defined and voiced character, the report indicates that you’ll be able to choose V’s gender, appearance, class, and historical background.

Votes for women is just the beginning

Today saw the centenary Suffragette March in cities and towns across the country, a reminder of how far we’ve come - and how far we need to go.

The Suffragette movement was forceful. Lives were lost. It saw tactics like hunger striking by prisoners and force feeding in response. Suffragettes learned martial arts. It looks much more peaceful than it was because of the slow cameras often needing posed photos, and the fashion of the time seeming quaint - it gave way to the Flapper look in a few years reflecting new freedoms.


Anthem is the new game and new setting from Mass Effect and Dragon Age creators Bioware, due in early 2019, a mecha versus aliens SF action ongoing saga with single-player story and (apparently optional) multiplayer combat missions. And no romance, apparently, which is certainly a change.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Persistent Conditions

Five years ago today, I broke my upper arm going to an exhibition. It still tends to move back to its strapped-up-sling position when I’m lying down.

And yeah, I avoid that particular entrance to the Art College.

And that evening I heard that Iain Banks had died. Not my favourite day.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Thornclaw Manor

A card set created by illustrator Steve Ellis (artist for assorted White Wolf games in the World Of Darkness and also Aberrant) about a family more Echidna and Addams.

Edinburgh Fringe: Hamlet 2, Macbeth Nil!

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe listings book is out.

(And both the Hamlets are solo shows.)

(There is a “Macbeth Without The Shakespeare Bollocks Tour” but I guess I shouldn’t count that.)

Among other game-related things:

The Extraordinary Time-Travelling Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (thanking James wallis on the poster)
John Robertson returns with a new show and The Dark Room!
Adventurers Wanted (the attempt to run a record-breaking ongoing D&D game)
Questing Time (a different comedy D&D game)
Werewolves (Of Millers’ Hollow) and other-brand Werewolf interactive shows, by different people at different venues
“Agent November” escape room plays
Romeo And/Or Juliet sounds like it’s based on the gamebook

Vertigo at 25

DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint is coming back big time. It’s been purring along quietly with series like Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt’s Clean Room, but its getting a big lineup push.

Being old enough to remember when Vertigo launched, and to still have a badge, jeepers.

As well as the Sandman spinoffs already announced, we have urban fantasy, realistic crime, cyberpunk (from Zoƫ Quinn and Robbi Rodriguez) and superhero religious satire. So quite a spread.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Slayer preview

A cover and nearly 5000 words of introductory chapters for Slayer, the new series by Kiersten White.

It’s about Nina, a newly called slayer... and the last slayer ever. And a Watcher’s daughter.

“Watchers excel at research, record keeping, and not talking about things.”

We live in palimpsests

I’m starting a potential Storytellers Vault project, drop-in locations with floorplans, NPCs and adventure hooks ready to use in modern city-based Vampire: The Masquerade and other games... and naturally I got hung up on random details. In this case, what the buildings in question were before. Some might be new constructions, but more are, fittingly, renovations of older structures.

City centre nightclubs, taking the first booklets as examples. They used to be theatres or cinemas, factories, schools, stores or churches - the club I know best used to be half of a church basement.

It’s the kind of thing that gets me thinking about worldbuilding, what was in a given place before and what traces that left, like houses built with chunks of abbeys and monasteries after Henry VIII got through with them.

This is also, I hope, beneficial because I can include a note about other uses for the map, other places this place once was or could be now.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Firefly at 15

More years now than episodes. Ow.

A greeting from Zoic Studios, the effects house that started with it, including a chunk of Serenity, which I guess makes fifteen episodes. So slightly less ow. Slightly.


The early teaser showing off the animation style for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was nice. The full trailer, with comic panels and dialogue boxes and shaky camera dropping and that dad joke, looks great.

Orun quickstart

A playable preview adventure for Orun, the flagship RPG for New Agenda Publishing.


Jacob Burgess, a member of the Wraith 20 writing team, is playing Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines for the first time, and has been streaming on Twitch. His enthusiasm for the writing, voice acting and design is infectious. NSFW due to some highly inventive swearing.

I wish I could save you from Ocean House too, old friend.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Addams Family

The new Addams Family animated film takes its design cues straight from Charles Addams. Which makes sense...


Vampyr, the new console and PC game from Dontnod, drops the player into a secret world of monsters hiding in 1918 London, as a doctor infected while trying to help with the Spanish Flu epidemic. There are other vampires out there (of various types) as well as hunters, and plenty of mortals, who are individualised.

For those who care about games about vampires, the most interesting point raised by this AV Club review is the feeding mechanic - drinking blood from and killing the named NPCs brings major XP and power boosts. And the more you know them, and the healthier they are - which as a doctor you can affect - the bigger the benefit. In Darkness terms, it’s nudging you to eat contacts and allies. You can go without but the game will be more difficult, though apparently not impossible.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Rain stops play?

Well, we had lovely weather here for the weekend of both the Edinburgh Meadows Festival and Gardening Scotland. Seriously, it’s been bloody horrible.

It’s been the kind of weather that, if you put it into a game as perfectly timed to hit a big outdoor event like that, the players would have their PCs run off to look for the evil wizard responsible.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

I kinda want this cartoon.

D&D Beyond animated trailer rhymes “Critical Roll” with “minsehaft full of Gnolls” which is some kind of insane genius.

Thanks to Steve Dee for the link.


I am not at UK Games Expo. Try to have fun without me.