Friday, 31 January 2020

Tonight, Italian food and a German film. And more like this tomorrow.

World Of Darkness Twitch channel

The World Of Darkness Twitch launched tonight (PST) with the premiere of L.A. By Night season 4 and the start of another AP, Vein Pursuit.

In L.A. we have Thin-Bloods, Book of Nod talk, the Beckoning and more. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Gehenna.

Vein Pursuit, also on YT already, takes a new group from L.A. to Seattle, tying in to Bloodlines 2. The pages on the official Bloodlines 2 site includes character sheets and bios, should you need pregens...

A new SF universe from Wizards and KOTOR lead designer

A story-based CRPG in a new SF universe coming from WOTC, headed by the lead designer of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic.

Only nine months to Hallowe’en!

Are you ready?

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The non-superhero adventure of your superhero game

This thread on non-superhero RPG adventures to use for superhero RPGs got me thinking, and contributing, and I could go further with my observation that some specific heroes map to various genres. Thor obviously connects to epic fantasy, Cap and Black Widow likewise to superspies, and I could see Iron Man tackling high-flying cyberpunk adventures about rogue AI and megacorps and stuff like that.

The most obvious example would be sending Blade to crash a Vampire adventure, because that’s exactly what happened in the movie. Doctor Strange could tackle most Mage antagonists as well...

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Looking ahead

I may finish APing up the session logs. Already done one episode pretty much right away. Not sure what to do of a Sunday evening itself.


I am home again. i.e. not GMing.

It’s time to raise the curtain...

Games on Sunday begin today. Yes, it does feel a week late.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Burns Night

Tonight is also Burns Night, the two apparently coinciding about as often as Halley’s Comet visits.

Happy Year of the Rat!

Happy Year of the Rat!

The lunar New Year started a few hours ago, but it is now midnight here. Most years it sees the largest annual human migration with people in China going home to be with their families, as well as the world’s most watched TV broadcast in the CCTV New Year’s Gala, and Hong Kong hosts one of the biggest fireworks displays on New Year night.

Friday, 24 January 2020

October Faction

October Faction, a new comic-based urban fantasy series on Netflix, about monster hunters... and their kids. The eponymous group are a monster conspiracy, with the heroes being members of a super-secret government agency called Presidio.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade - New Blood

New Blood is a starter pack for Vampire: The Masquerade fifth edition, aimed at new players and Storytellers, but the pregenerated characters, city setup and cards for hunts and Second Inquisition are meant to be useful for any game.

Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard begins today, on CBS streaming in the US, on actual TV in Canada, and then on Prime here tomorrow.

It’s not Captain Picard Day or 17/01 and it’s a week after the anniversary of Seven Of Nine’s home show, so it’s time to set a new stardate.

I’m hoping it will be an adventure with a thoughtful quality, where his ideals are challenged but some of the victories he fought for still stand.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Terry Jones

One of my proudest moments is making Terry Jones laugh.

I met him at a book signing for Medieval Lives, one of his history series.

“Craig, a good Scottish name.”
“Yes, as you can tell by my almost total lack of accent.”
“(laughs) But you do have some...”


Simmer, the first video from Petals For Armor, the new album from Hayley Williams. (Sweary lyrics, near nudity in video)

Sunday, 19 January 2020


Surprise premiered twenty-two years ago tonight. Happy birthday Buffy! Or not...

(It’s one of three birthdays Buffy has on-screen, and she shares it with Edgar Allan Poe and Dolly Parton - Parton’s production company Sandollar helped make the show...)

Jeanne de Clisson

A legendary pirate with a motive of and ship called My Revenge, Jeanne de Clisson helped supply the English army at Crecy.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Trinity roundtable at Onyx Pathcast

Ian Watson and Danielle Lauzon join Eddy Webb to discuss Trinity Continuum, Aeon, Aberrant, Adventure!, Mario Kart...

How to launch a network?

Following the anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager I looked up what else started the launch lineup of the United Paramount Network. Two hours a night, two nights a week, and everything else was cancelled after thirteen episodes and I’d never heard of any of them before looking this up.

Marker, a Stephen J. Cannell case-of-the-week light adventure show putting Richard Grieco in Hawaii (with Gates McFadden as Higgins to his Magnum) as the estranged son of a billionaire who discovers his father gave markers to people he thought might need help.

The Watcher, an anthology crime show hosted by Sir Mix-A-Lot as a guy with surveillance cameras everywhere in Las Vegas. Nothing creepy there...

Platypus Man, a semi-autobiographical sitcom about a TV presenter.

Pig Sty, a sitcom about five single guys in a New York apartment and their superintendent.

Cannell was a safe pair of hands, and the geographical variety was a good call, but they were all untried ideas, and with a Star Trek show as your flagship maybe you needed to go a little more geeky...

By comparison, The WB launched five days earlier with a variety of sitcoms and youth-oriented programming that at least lasted a while before becoming the station Buffy was on...

My only personal experience of something like this was the launch of the then Channel 5 in 1997, which was most of a day every day, and offhand all I can remember was The Jack Docherty Show and I think Hercules: The Legendary Journeys started pretty soon.

The back-to-basics series of your setting

Tonight marks twenty-five years since Star Trek: Voyager launched the United Paramount Network, a big push with a back-to-basics Star Trek show.

What would the back-to-basics series setup of your own or preferred setting look like?

Vampire: The Masquerade about young anarchs in an American city? A Buffy series about, ooh, say, a Slayer in high school? The third edition not-quite setting was this for D&D, I think?

Thursday, 16 January 2020

GUMSHOE Community

The GUMSHOE Community program is live.

Star Trek: Voyager at 25

Star Trek: Voyager premiered at 8 p.m. on this day twenty-five years ago.

io9 looks back and Tor launches a rewatch.

It was the headline launch show for the United Paramount Network, taking up the entire two-hour opening night, a big demonstration of trust in the Star Trek name. It was the only show in the original lineup to last more than thirteen episodes! (Even then, the first season ran to fifteen including the opening two-hour pilot, with four more being held back to start season two early. The 37s would have been a much better season finale than Learning Curve, though it also worked as the season two opener.)

It was a back-to-basics planet-of-the-week show compared to Deep Space Nine and even the big luxury Enterprise of The Next Generation. As a result some of the built-in conflicts and issues never went as far as they might have (until Battlestar Galactica took some of it and ran) but it still provided some classics like Year Of Hell, The Void, and, of course, Bride Of Chaotica!

Christopher Tolkien

Christopher Tolkien has died, aged 95. Without his work, we would have so much less of Middle-earth and more.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Good Omens

The TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens reaches BBC 2 tonight, some months after Amazon and indeed DVD and Blu-Ray.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020


As a native of Edinburgh, of course the news that The Batman will return to Glasgow as a location for Gotham City is highly amusing. Sorry.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Star Trek Adventures: Clear Skies

A new Star Trek Adventures streaming game, from the creator/GM of Shield Of Tomorrow. Q&A.

Edit in time for the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager, first episode now on Youtube!

Further edit: an in-depth interview with GM Eric Campbell at Continuing Mission.


Coming soon, Explorer’s Guide To Wildemount, from Critical Role, for D&D.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

The Haunting

The Haunting Of Hill House (1959) takes the basic setup of an investigation into a supposedly haunted house as the start of a study of some very damaged people while still working as a ghost story.

The Haunting (1963) is a pretty close adaptation, and a bona fide classic.

The Haunting (1999) is a pretty but dumb ghost train ride which vaguely resembles the outline of the source material. The plot about covering the study of a haunt with a sleep study could have worked on its own, but... As is, some effects have aged well, though the metal gryphon moving its head creepily really should have come before it attacking the group. Some of it would work in a high weird urban fantasy setting.

The Haunting Of Hill House (2018) also only vaguely resembles the original. The family drama in the middle of a very haunted house is a whole different hook.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Stay Indoors

I’m currently at home and listening to the gale force winds outside. Compared to the other extreme weather around the world they may not be a big deal, but some gusts are fast enough to knock over high-sided vehicles.

I’ve mentioned the weather here before, mostly how it might affect adventures. What would it take to isolate the party for a night or so?

The Grey Book

Sir Ian McKellen on playing Gandalf, from when he started, twenty years ago today.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Trinity Continuum: Adventure! and Assassin

Trinity Continuum announcements: Adventure! will be set in the 30s, and Assassin is a dark alternative modern setting about deadly conspiracies.


Chosen is out now in the UK. More to follow! In the meantime, my Slayer RPG statistics.

Blood On The Plains, DJ Achilli mix

Assemblage 23, "Endure"
Empathy Test, "Holding On"
Stendeck, "Catch the Midnight Girl"
Le Castle Vania, "Zero Machine"
Nitzer Ebb, "Promises"
Zynic, "Dead End"
Wolfsheim, "Once in a Lifetime"
Venus Infers, "Goodbye Horses"

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Monday, 6 January 2020

Casting The Runes

Casting The Runes is a GUMSHOE game inspired by M. R. James, now on Kickstarter. In a previous century I wrote a one-page piece on James as gaming inspiration for The Last Province, so this is a subject of interest to me.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

You don't have to use force!

A Star Wars game without Jedi? A radical notion, following the recent video games. (And reminding me of Dark Forces II suddenly making Kyle Katarn, of all people, a Jedi Knight.)

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the Christmas celebration, time to take the decorations down. But also time to look forward to things over the new year.
Places to donate to help with the bushfires.

Charlize Theron is an immortal warrior

Charlize Theron is an immortal warrior... in her new film The Old Guard, adapted from the comics series by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez.

This follows Atomic Blonde, based on The Coldest City by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart, as a second comic adaptation in the Charlize Theron Being Awesome subgenre.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

One side effect of Dracula...

Now I kind of want a series about Jonathan, Mina, Lucy and her assorted boyfriends fighting various monsters and being snarky.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Dracula (2020)

Best approached in the spirit of the Hammer sequels, perhaps.

I knew that Dracula from the creators of Sherlock was going to be wacky in some way, but...

Happy New Year!

Yes, here we are.

I know at least one GM (hi Matthew!) planning to run Cyberpunk 2020 at cons this year.