Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The very first Buffy books

In preparation for Slayer coming out here tomorrow, I went right back to the beginning with the first four Buffy tie-in novels.

Spoilers for out-of-print twenty-year-old books to follow:

100 years of horror and fantasy magazines

The Garden Of Orchids, first published in Germany in 1919, may well be the first horror and fantasy magazine, featured in Open Culture. Thanks to bhu at for the link.

The Storyteller returns

The best place by the fire is still kept for... The Storyteller. Neil Gaiman seems like the sort of person who could do that.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Sounding Board NPCs

Something I often put in games, and see in some others as well (Alice in the V5 streaming game Blood On The Thames, for example) - NPCs who can join in conversations at the PCs’ base of operations, and will listen to plans and provide feedback in-character. Even if there aren’t many support NPCs around, this one can be very useful. They usually support from the back, offering advice rather than direct help. It could be a friend, a mentor, a superior officer for a group of irregulars, or something like that. As played by me, they’ll often add to in-character chat and jokes as well.

In The Watch House, the student Watchers’ tutor Escher and the witch Emma played this role as well as other functions, and the demonic contact Sullivan and even the future-Ethan-to-Milli’s-Giles Marty would sometimes as well.

In From The Dust, Monique is Bonnie’s fellow night-shift waitress at the diner, a job Bonnie has kept up despite becoming a vampire, and her and the coterie’s check on how badly they’re maintaining the Masquerade around humans. Her main contribution is her doubtful expression.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Emily Cheeseman

#VisibleWomen on Twitter is always a good place to find genre art. For example, this time, Emily Cheeseman. If I ever do a fantasy epic type of game, this will depict one of the legends of the realm.

Rose Bailey on Relics

on RPGnet.

Nationals prep begins properly

Fifteen or sixteen players for three GMs. So five PCs for Sounds Like Hell, maybe six one day of the two.

Hollis is designed to lift right out, so he gets NPCed. Livia is designed to lift out pretty easily too, in the event of a player dropout.

Now to figure out what they’re doing.

The Great Work begins once more

Nationals category confirmed. Urban Fantasy. Home.

Now to find out what the other three(!) GMs are planning for it.

Edit: now two, with a 5/5/6 split instead of 4/4/4/4 which feels a bit low. So we have Matthew with Monster Of The Week, and a GM I don’t know with Torg Eternity. and me with... oh, you know.

From The Dust 18

And we have title drop.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Wraith 20

I have Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition. Players, be ye warned.

I ran Wraith once, and it was the best game I ever played at the Nationals thanks to careful connecting of the pregen PCs.

Friday, 15 February 2019

In case I have to do another quiz

Which came first, Bobbie Draper in The Expanse (books or TV) or Bobby Draper in Mad Men?


Something got me thinking about Razorline, the short-lived 90s Marvel imprint created by Clive Barker.

Three of the four titles that came out were magic-based, but the lead team book was more SF-ish, though still in a Space Magic kind of way.

Hyperkind had a group empowered by alien contact and human consciousness, and feels kind of like a Fantastic Four for the 90s, with a diverse group, a female flying zapper as the Torch-like main action hero, a super-thinker, an illusion-psychic and a none-more-90s swords-for-hands Wolverine-type as the Thing equivalent. Their main hook is as a legacy team for a group of legendary heroes who have now been totally forgotten.

Ectokid features the son of a ghost and a human, able to interact with both living and ghost worlds. I swiped a few things from it when I briefly ran Wraith: The Oblivion. Which makes me wonder what the never-started Wraitheart was about in particular.

Hokum & Hex was the wizard book about basically the worst Sorcerer Supreme ever.

Saint Sinner was the most obviously Barker-y, a Vertigo-ish plain clothes and heavy inks series about a man possessed by both an angel and a demon. He reused the title for an unconnected TV movie a few years later, the most prominent cultural artefact if the run outside of the comics - plans for an Ectokid video game ended when the whole line got canned before any of the series reached double figures.