Thursday, 30 April 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade interactive novels

Three Vampire: The Masquerade interactive novels have been announced, text only, to go on Steam.

They show an interesting variety of chronicle ideas:

Night Road has a courier travelling between domains, with a delivery wanted by more than one interested party. (I wonder if Jason Carl suggested this plot hook, as he mentioned a courier adventure idea when talking about the Camarilla anti-technology stance at World Of Darkness Berlin.)

Out For Blood casts you as a hunter discovering a fight between an elder and a group of Thinbloods.

Parliament Of Knives is a political infighting story, with the classic opener of the Prince of the city going missing...

I presume actually publishing them as numbered gamebooks would be more editorial effort? (Edit: following some more discussion on World Of Darkness News, it sounds like it would be a lot of work.)

We only got one gamebook once, as an April Fool...

D&D for Comic Relief

Questing Time host Paul Foxcroft to DM a D&D game for Comic Relief with UK comedy folks, including Sue Perkins, Nish Kumar and Sara Pascoe. Friday the 8th of May.

Thanks to Paco of G*M*S for the news.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

RPGnet 2020 Membership Drive

RPGnet is looking for members and offering PDFs of The Fall of Delta Green, BLAZON, and more!

Mage 20: Technocracy Reloaded

Technocracy Reloaded, a new sourcebook for Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition, now Kickstarting and already funded.


A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.
Sir Terry Pratchett, born this day in 1948, in Guards! Guards!

Monday, 27 April 2020

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt chooses her own adventure

A trailer for the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt interactive special on Netflix, following the Black Mirror special Bandersnatch which was a more common genre for this kind of TV gamebook.

I particularly like that the trailer says that yes, you can jump back and change a choice. :)

Sunday, 26 April 2020


Happy Alien Day, American friends. Here we celebrate on the 42nd of June.

Fria Ligan celebrates by announcing a Starter Set and a new big adventure for their A L I E N RPG. The Starter Set will contain a condensed rulebook which is still over a hundred pages. That seems like it could be pretty easy to condense, as the normal rulebook is laid out like an artbook with a game system in the captions. Most of the art is great, some a bit too obviously photoreferenced for me.

Gehenna Gaming will be interviewing one of the designers tonight at 9.30 UK time.

Need more art? The unmade game Aliens Crucible provides some.

It still packs a fair amount into its four hundred pages. It notably contains two supported playstyles, the standard Campaign where space marines and truckers get into various kinds of trouble and the one-shot-based Cinematic where PC agendas are built to clash and Stress to ramp up harder so that not everybody should survive.

It also takes advantage of the breadth of the licence (excepting the Predator and other crossovers) including those prequels and teasers for Alien Resurrection as it’s set circa ALIEN³, but also features concepts from the other unmade Alien 3 scripts like the Union of Progressive Peoples from the William Gibson version and the wooden hermitage planet from Vincent Ward’s, and more like the Church of Immaculate Incubation from the first Dark Horse Aliens comics and even the Harvesters from the Leading Edge Aliens RPG. This means you have a lot to draw from, including ideas from several incompatible alternate continuities.

The system itself is pretty minimal and straightforward, with four stats rated to five, a small number of skills and talents, and more space given to suggested emotional connections and visual tics playbook-style for the careers. It all runs on D6, and includes 6D6 random tables (like TOON!) for things like critical hits. Stress runs similarly to Hunger Dice in Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition, replacing regular dice as it rises, while it has some advantages as well as the increasing risk of panic.

What could you do with the setting? Possibly a lot.

I’ve played Alien-related games before and often died - I once got to play Hudson in a runthrough of Aliens, and didn’t die because the session ran long - as well as borrowing from it rather heavily for The Stars On Fire, with the UPP being one of the things I swiped. Other “space sucks” settings like Traveller 2300 and The Expanse also focus on humanity going out into the stars and still keeping nation-states and fighting over resources while also prodding at dangerous first contact and the like.

I could certainly run a campaign like that again, and with the Stress and other systems this might be a good choice.

Oh, and one last ALIEN gaming connection for you... the Alien Anthology short film Harvest features a Xenomorph played by L.A. By Night’s Alex Ward.

20 Buffy hooks from Paramore by Paramore

Looking for a list of twenty to thirty evocative titles I went further back in the Paramore discography, as the extended release of their self-titled album has twenty tracks... Done on Twitter one at a time, minimal looking ahead.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Friday, 24 April 2020

Little Demon

Little Demon, the forthcoming animated comedy from Dan Harmon, has Danny DeVito as Satan and his daughter Lucy as his daughter, and Aubrey Plaza as her mother.

That would work as a straight horror, and similar things have in the past. And as we know from Reaper that would probably make a decent Buffy setup too.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Dead By Dawn Online

Dead By Dawn 2020 should be starting tonight. Instead, and before the November reschedule, a run of shorts online for the weekend, starting here.

World Book Night

World Book Night, the dark opposite of World Book Day, is tonight. (Although not nearly six months apart.)

Leverage is coming back!

Leverage is coming back!

I TOLD you I had cool news!!  ‘Leverage’ Reboot Starring Noah Wyle Ordered By IMDb TV
Dean Devlin
Ah, *that* was announced. Well, here we go here we go here we go now...
I would note the article should have covered that fact that while @ChrDowney and I are consulting, the actual day to day showrunner is the amazing @NobleRorick , who was on THE LIBRARIANS, and it could not be in better hands.
John Rogers

Age of the geek, baby!

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Leslye Headland developing a Star Wars series

Leslye Headland, co-creator of Russian Doll, heading to Disney+ developing “a female-centric series that takes place in a different part of the Star Wars timeline than other projects.”

Force Friday! What a concept!

Expedition Volcano

Repeated on TV here last night and on BBC iPlayer, the two-part documentary Expedition Volcano features an international team of scientists and a safety adviser (who was once a Royal Marine sniper and also works on stunts for Marvel movies and hunts tiger traffickers) rappelling down inside a not-entirely-dormant volcano to find better ways to measure its activity. It’s the best documentary Neptune Foundation adventure hook I’ve ever seen.

Distant Worlds Here

Distant Worlds for Trinity Continuum: Aeon and Heinau’s Guide To Wasteland Beasties for Dystopia Rising: Evolution are now out to print.

Earth Day

Happy fiftieth Earth Day. Save the world.

Monday, 20 April 2020

New Bremen 20

Another World Of Darkness 20th Anniversary: New Bremen, the official moderated chat. I talked to Ian Watson about it and plans to revive it a ways back.

My favourite thing about New Bremen was the size meant it could support niche games you’d be unlikely to get players for elsewhere. I was an ER doctor in Central Hospital, which became like a medical drama with more vampires stealing from the blood bank.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Friday, 17 April 2020

The Clone Wars End

Like the end of season five with the non-standard but very Star Wars closing credits moment, the last multi-parter for The Clone Wars begins with the original Lucasfilm logo and then the John Williams theme. Altering the credits is serious business.

Scarred Lands PWYW sale

This weekend (until Monday morning) the new Scarred Lands PDFs for D&D 5e and Pathfinder 1, the Player’s Guide and The Wise And The Wicked are Pay What You Want.

JJ Abrams heading back to TV

The third JJ Abrams show coming to HBO Max is Duster, about a 70s gang getaway driver. I thought I’d headline it because people keep mentioning Justice League Dark and Overlook, it doesn’t come weighted with adaptation expectations, and it might not have so many mystery box concepts either.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Buffy jigsaws and the 2016 board game

On Kickstarter, shiny Buffy jigsaws and a reprint of the recent board game and its add-on Friends And Frenemies.

I’ve never seen this game myself, but the Big Bad based campaign play seem like a nice fit.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Endymion’s Gate

Endymion’s Gate, a new streaming miniseries, with various Geek & Sundry players and GMed by L.A. By Night regular Ash Minnick, using the DramaSystem setting Dreamspace from Hillfolk.

“Lost in the universal unconscious, the crew of the dreamship Endymion searches for reality.”

Monday, 13 April 2020

Toss a coin to your Witcher

Henry Cavill painting Warhammer figures is one thing, referring to them as plastic crack shows true understanding.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

The Goodies

Tim Brooke-Taylor has died. The Goodies was one of the formative series of my childhood, a live-action cartoon where Tim, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden were called in to deal with the likes of Bigfoot, moon creatures, ham radio, and a marauding giant kitten.

Easter Sunday

Have a good one.

Maybe an Easter-centric adventure? Or an Easter Egg in an adventure?

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Geordi and Worf are fine...

They’re fine. Part of a series, via io9.

Pre-WWII poster macabre

Film posters, adverts, and safety announcements from pre-WWII Europe which are SUPER Goth. Thanks to Chaosium for the link! (Content note: roaches advancing on a crying baby...)


I have played by teleconference a few times now. I feel like I should GM something, but since my teleconferencing setup involves shouting at my tablet and it can cope with sending either audio or video but not both, I should probably leave it for the time being.

Although the isolation and unreliable headset comms could make for a great A L I E N game setup. But not the time...

I have seen LARP from home happening as well, with the teleconferencing being either talked around or more often incorporated, with games about spaceship crews, cyberpunk hackers and the like.

Nordic LARP 2020

Solmukohta, the Finnish edition of the Nordic LARP conference Knutepunkt, was held online this year, as covered in this Nordic LARP feature. Talks include interactive theatre and immersive experiences looking at the wiggly line of what counts as LARP and indeed gaming, the emotional effects of games and more.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Sounds Like Hell, looks like this

The Spin, Marsden's campus-adjacent indie club:

Franc and Ben, managers of the Spin:

Good Friday

Take care. Maybe eat buns. Maybe watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark on TV tonight.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020


A celebration of showing belonging.

Twin Peaks

Television got quite a bit stranger thirty years ago tonight when Twin Peaks first aired.

Over The Edge would be a good place to start RPG-wise, and Chronicles Of Darkness supplies some useful tools for a wonky-reality mystery game.

I once helped the charity fire sale at Conpulsion by putting in some totally-not-Toblerone bars of the same name.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse 5th edition writing team

A video introduction to the writing team for Werewolf 5. Some names I know, some new to me.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

ScaledCon pub quiz

As played by two teams last night. See how well you can do!

(Answers to follow on, maybe Tuesday?)

The Forty Elephants

I’d read about the Forty Elephants, the very-long-running London shoplifting and black marketeering gang, before, but always nice to see a boost. Now where’s their TV show?

Friday, 3 April 2020

An episode of The Mandalorian with no armour being hammered!

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

We have now completed this Mage 20, Vampire 20, Changeling 20 chronicle. Rules incompatibilities aside I think it went over really well.

April Fools

Maybe do something harmlessly goofy and obvious. Or not.