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|Friday, December 9th, 2011|
|Saturday, February 5th, 2011|
|New Review Up!
I have a new review up, of The Genius Guide to Apprentice-Level Characters for the Pathfinder RPG, over at Robot Viking.
|Friday, January 21st, 2011|
|Sunday, January 16th, 2011|
|Tuesday, January 11th, 2011|
|Thursday, January 6th, 2011|
|Review: Witches Hexes
My second review on Robot Viking has gone up, for Super Genius Games' Advanced Options: Witches' Hexes. You can read it here!
|Monday, January 3rd, 2011|
|Wednesday, October 20th, 2010|
|Get Well Soon!
One of my favorite RPG writers, Owen Stephens, is apparently pretty seriously sick. As a "get well" card, I'd like everyone to buy at least ONE item from his company, Super Genius Games. They have things as cheap as 42, and if you like gaming you'll like something from SGG. If you play pathfinder or Call of Cthulhu, they have tons of stuff you *need*. Even if you don't, if you game at all buy their Giants - large and In Charge set of paper minutes. They are awesome! http://paizo.com/store/downloads/superGeniusGames
|Wednesday, March 31st, 2010|
This is what happens when I don't check my messages for a year. (A year?! I have been a busy, busy girl...)
My fun-for-friends chess variant, Endgame, got cleaned up and published with the help of the wonderful Mike Selinker. A long time ago.http://www.gamesmagazine-online.com/
A climactic chess variant.
Gwen Page and Mike Selinker
|It's Easy To...
So, I started a new Kor Kammor game in late January (the first since Long Winter of Kor Kammor), and it runs on d20 3.p (my term for Pathfinder RPG with tons of 3pp blended in and a little old 3.5 sprinkled on top). I decided I wanted some genre reinforcement for this game. While I use the One True Thing rule in a lot of my games, I've never done it in Kor Kammor, because I want more uncertainty among the players.
Silken Sails of Kor Kammor is supposed to be a game of swashbuckler erotic-horror adventure. That means I need some thing to be easier than other Kor Kammor games, and other things to be harder. I was trying to think of a way to make One True Thing do that, but I couldn't. But I did come up with something else.
*The Easy List*
At the first session of the campaign, I explained what I wanted from the campaign, and told my players we were going to make an Easy List. This is a list of specific actions that are easier in SSoKK than normal d20 3.p rules. If you do something on the Easy List, you gain a bonus to your d20 rolls equal to 5 + ½ campaign level (campaign level is basically the average PC level, thought that has its own set of rules). So art first level you'd get a +5 easy bonus, at 2nd a +6 easy bonus, by 10th a +10 easy bonus, and at 20th a +15 easy bonus. And this is always true, and we all know it, so characters can plan their actions accordingly.
I made the first entry on the Easy List, each of my players got to add one in turn (we rolled character initiative to determine the order – why not?), and we went three rounds to get 18 Easy Things. I could veto anything I felt was not genre appropriate, and I made sure players knew this applied to NPCs/monsters too (someone suggested "do damage" which scared me). The idea is the Easy List has 18 things we can say "It's easy to..."
1. Make Acrobatics checks for any reason other than avoid AoOs.
2. Climb on ships, taverns, rooftops, and chandeliers.
4. Make saving throws against effects that would kill you, by instead being incurably maimed.
5. Deal damage with firearms.*
6. Use CMB. (Yep, for everything.).
7. Make Knowledge checks in a royal or Adaean** archive.
8. Make Bluff checks if you are an evil Liège*** spellcaster.
9. Use sex and seduction to aid Bluff and Diplomacy checks (to get things other than sex).
10. Make Will saves if you've had good sex**** within the past 3 hours.
11. Use Escape Artist to get out of grapples/pins/webs/restraints by losing clothing.
12. Make UMD checks for things that look like firearms (resulting in wand-guns, ‘cause my players want them).
13. Make Stealth checks to sneak into (but not out of) ships and fortifications.
14. Use Bluff and Diplomacy to get sex, to a maximum of your levels of bard, rogue and fighter.
15. Survive going past your death hp total, if you are captured.*****
16. Use Diplomacy in combat.
17. Curse someone who currently has no curses (adds to save DC).
18. Research spells and new magic items if you've had good sex at least once a day during the process.****
*For those of you who know gunpowder stopped working in Six Schools of Kor Kammor, the end of Long Winter resulting in psionics and incarnum ceasing to exist, pact magic being radically weakened, and gunpowder working again. The extra energy from psionics, incarnum and the curse that ended gunpowder was used to end The Deadening, that was turning all Spring elves into Winter elves.
**A powerful monotheist religion that views all other gods as souped-up angels or demons.
***SSoKK's decadent French-style monarchy
****Yep, I have rules for sex, and it lets me know if it was good. Even if you have to ask.
*****Instead of being a die roll, this is a buffer of hp in which you are not dead, IF you get captured in the encounter. It makes players much less nuts about recovering a friends' body, and has lead to lots of interesting swashbuckling rescues of friends "thought dead." All my players liked it, so I allowed it.
So, with this list some genre conventions are clearly spelled out. Firearms do lots of extra damage, making them unrealistically good, and we all know it. If an effect would kill you and you fail your regular save, but you make your save by the margin of your Easy bonus, you can instead be incurably maimed. Sex and seduction are powerful social and magical tools.
The game started in the Hexagon, an infamous prison within the Liège city of Fosses-La-Ville, and has been going strong every-other-week. I think we may look at adjusting the Easy List in the next few months, but I like the result so much I may add it to more of my new campaigns as I start them.
|Thursday, May 14th, 2009|
|Last One for Now
This is the last major, regular game I am in. There are others, to be sure. There are always others, are there not? But only three of the games I play in get run regularly and have enough sessions in the books for me to consider them ongoing. We played a Werewolf Survival Horror game twice (New Moon Shuffle), for example. We had a lot of fun, but I'm not convinced the GM is ever going to get a third session run, so for now it doesn't count.
In ancient times, when the primal elemental forces and the titans fought, one elemental force was greater than all others. The force of chaos, the maelstrom of change, was unbeatable and untameable. So powerful was it that all other elements turned against it, and with the titans they once fought shattered chaos. From chaos came order, in the form of the pantheon mothers who in turn mated with the primals and the titans, and formed gods. Thus did gods come into our world, both the old gods of the primal energies, and the young gods of titanic concepts.
But truly chaos could not be defeated, and thus though shattered it existed still. The heart of chaos, a mighty gem, was made into the eye of a stone idol, and buried beneath the planes of earth. The Heart of Chaos forced all the elemental planes and the outer planes of pure thought together, and from them came our world.
And at the center of that world is the swirling spiral of an endless catacomb, a labyrinth of tunnels, chambers and shrines drawn from every conceivable reality and all cultures of all times. At the center still sits the idol, the Heart of Chaos resting in one eye, and whomsoever finds it shall themselves becomes gods.
That was a long time ago. Now, s city sits atop the resting place of the first prisoner. This is Catacomb City, and here every race in the world comes together to delve the first, largest, most dangerous and most changing of all dungeons, the First Dungeon where the chaotic First Prisoner is entombed forever.
And you're stupid enough to join in.
Catacomb City is part urban adventure, part mindless dungeon delve. The players can be anything 3.5 compatible that the DM doesn't throw out as ruinously overpowered. At least one PC per group is required to have a member of the Delver's Guild, who have Delve Stones. Delve Stones allow you to teleport from whatever room you were last in the dungeon to the Guild HQ. This allows groups to resupply (and change players if not everyone is available for every session).
The Main Players:
Henrietta "Blackfalcon"Jouns: Elven explorer (Spycraft). Blackfalcon is from a long line of archeologists who believe the dungeon below Catacomb City is not supernatural, but a produce of the First culture, and if they can find the keystone of the first chamber they can prove it. However, exploring the dungeon is dangerous, and takes money, so they usually work with greed- or power- based explorers. Since Blackfalcon can often figure out what culture and religion a given section of the ever-changing dungeon si from, she's a big help to any group she adventures with even if she's not great shakes in combat.
Epyros the Ebon Flame: Human sorcerer (but with feats and spells from a dozen books). Epyros is a fire-themed sorcerer destined to become a god, or die in a fire. He's working to become a god. Somewhat grim, he is loyal to his friends and takes great pains to never catch allies in his spells. He is also bearer of Dyrene Faugh, a fire elemental bound into the form of a staff, an experienced elemental explorer of the dungeon that wants to be free again.
The Armeure: A warforged (Eberron) warmain (arcana evolved) with a French accent. The Armeure is the last of the Indestructible, a set of construct soldiers that were built to tear down the First Dungeon. Evolved to be smarter than the others of its kind, the Armeure is still seeking a way to ultimately destroy the dungeon, though it knows this will taks more than simple force.
Ennise: A river spirit folk (OA) courtier (Swashbuckling Adventures). Ennise is daughter of the King of the White River, which flows down the west side of the vast mountain Catacomb City sits atop, and the Dungeon sits under. She seeks her brother, heir to the White River, who followed his lover, an earth demon, into the dungeon. Though weak in combat, she has forged the PCs into a fighting force and adventuring guild gaining significant political power within Catacomb City.
Stonehoof: A minotaur-blooded (UA) goliath (RaoSt) cleric, and member of the ruling Bloodhorn Clan of minotaurs who control a vast section of Catacomb City. Stonehoof does not believe the Heart of Chaos can tunr mortals into gods, which violates his religious worship of the Sky Bull Whose Horns and Lightning and Hooves are Thunder. (No shortening of this name is allowed, leading question to be asked about "your god") To prove this, he must find the Heart, and try to become a god, and (he thinks) fail.
MacKarni: Human fighter. Hired by Ennise to be her bodyguard, MacKarni just wants to earn enough money to buy a small tavern and retire. Though he considers himself massively outclassed by much of the party, he is almost always one of the last heroes standing, gamely fighting for victory despite impossible odds.
Bret-eta: Dwarven female dervish (I have no idea where the class comes from). A girl of wide hips and a big top, Bretta is a silk-and-sword dancer who seems to be a rogue/fighter multiclass with some kind of prestige class. An arabic dwarf girl who is also a part-time tavern wench, no one has a good handle on Bret-eta
|Wednesday, May 13th, 2009|
!!Mobile WarSquad Constellation
Essentially Gundam meets Battlestar Galactica, with a fair amount of Robotech and Star Trek thrown in. (And visuals from VOTOMS)
The Constellation is a Mobile WarSquad, an old, self-sufficient battle tug with six "pods" that can be swapped out to serve different functions. Originally the Constellation was a Mecha Tender, able to carry the mighty five-meter-tall WarMechs of the Terran Empire into battle at long range, as well as repair and (if needed) even build them. Other WarSquads had gun pods (to create battleships) or sensor pods or troop pods (for planetary landings), and so on.
But the Terran Empire has not been at war for decades, and few WarSquads are built anymore. The Constellation was assigned to the Perdix Rim, an edge of the Empire used to subjugate the Xoan, dark-skinned aliens who had lost a war to the Empire 40 years ago, and now pay tribute. The Xoan were a Preserver race, which is all the human-like species (including Terrans) that were spread about the galaxy by the Preservers between 40,000 and 80,000 years ago. The Terran Empire believed Terrans to be the "True" perserver stock race, and thus saw all other humanoids are inferior offshoots.
Unknown to the Empire, the Xoan have been working with the Qateri, a race of insectoids who had a treaty with the Terrans, but saw them as a threat. The Xoan, Qateri, and several other species formed a Great Armada to destroy the Empire.
The campaign began as a Xoan/Qateri fleet enters the Perdix Rim and smashes the fleet. The only surviving ship is the Constellation, out on a prisoner pickup run when the fleet comes through. A fight ensues between the Xoan picket ships and the Constellation, which the Constellation is losing, until the Xoan ships begin to blow up, as do the inhabited planets of the Perdix Rim.
It turns out the Qateri are betraying their humanoid allies, as they see all Preserver races as too dangerous to be allowed to live. This stalls their offensive, and causes a few Xoan to join forces with the Constitution. Two Xoan picket ships are bolted into the Constellations empty pod ports, and the ship grabs what survivors it can and flees.
Now the Constellation is on its own in the ass-end of space. Terra itself falls to the Qateri, but another outpost, the Wurm Nebula, survives and is withstanding the weakened Qateri siege. Unfortunately it is on the other end of the shattered and conquered Terran Empire, two years away by the best speed the Constellation can manage. Further, it turns out the Wurm Nebula includes an old WarSquad supply depot. They have dozens of WarPods but only one WarSquad of their own, the very new (though no longer shiny) Manticore.
The Constellation sets course for the Nebula, communicating with the surviving Imperial Heir with Superspace Communicators... which take a week for a message to go one way. The WarSquad has to move through both conquered lands and areas once hostile to the Terrans, keep itself in repair and in supply, while fighting off a Qateri Hive Fleet assigned to hunt it down and destroy it.
Each player got to declare one thing before we played the first game. These things are known to players, if not characters, and we all agreed in advance that those things are absolutely true, no matter what. (For example, it was declared the Qateri have no goal other than to destroy all Preserver races to the best of their ability, for the survival of their own species. No matter what the GM does, we know what the Qateri ultimate goal is.)
All players are WarMech pilots, though many have other roles as well since there are so few trained soldiers and technicians.
Captain Lord Winton: Young noble who earned his post due to noble patronage, rather than skill or time-in-grade. Captain of the ship, a poor military commander who is trying his best to step up to trying times. Due to his noble title, may be second-in-line to the throne of the Terran Empire. Not that it matters much right now.
Brevet Lt. Erring Adear: "Mother Bear" A WarMech engineer who was a non-com before half the Constellation's crew was killed. A bad pilot and mediocre soldier, but a great co-ordinator and someone the captain knows is loyal to him alone. Adear is valued by her troops for her ability to keep them equipped, fed and repaired, but they all know she's not the best soldier or tactician.
Jackbite: "Jackbite" A murderer, rapist, and thief who was being taken by the Constellation for execution when the Shit went down. Also a class A Mech pilot, tactician, and killer. Best fighter the Constellation now has, though his Mech always has a bomb on it with a 72 hour timer, to ensure he doesn't flee the fight.
A player OTHER than Jackbite's made their one true declaration that the Constellation could never be captured or destroyed as long as Jackbite is allowed to fight for it. We may lose fights, but not in such a way as to lose the mothership. Jackbite is a monster, but we all know we need him. And he KNOWS we know that.
Nalli Veremos: "Buzzbox" A civilian rescued from by the Constellation who placed top of the military vocational aptitude test all survivors were forced to take. Becoming a good pilot, she is also a drug addict and ex-prostitute who uses her charms to get what she wants for recreation and food.
Hikel Formi: "Hammer" A grunt who flunked out of the high standards of Mech school, but is now among the best soldiers left. Fearless in a fight, and willing to face down Jackbite even if it kills him, Hammer is the emotional plaything of any teammate who wants to mess with him *other* than Jackbite. It's a True Thing that he won't live to reach the Wurm Nebula.
Aisling Daken: "Shiv" Another ex-prisoner, Aisling was accused of desertion because she left her post to investigate a sensor reading suggesting the Xoan were building an illegally large fleet. The captain has officially pardoned her. Shiv is still bitter about her time in prison (and her treatment at the hands of Jackbite in prison), and is looking for somewhere else to hide for the war.
Pactblood Xurick An'Fyr An'Thol: "Pagan" A Xoan warrior who hates Terrans, but happens to hate Qateri more. Trained on stolen Terran WarMechs, and second only to Jackbite in skill, his Mech has a 96-hour bomb timer. Trying to turn Adear into a "True Warrior," and frustrated by her lack of progress.
Wonnik Cycacyk: "Marathon": One of the few original Constellation Mech pilots alive. Not great, but a solid pilot and soldier with no known loyalty issues. Able to stay alert for more than a day when needed, and survive on very little food.
Rafe Sigson: "Rascal": A trained counterintelligence and espionage agent used to piloting the smaller and more subtle Scout class Mechs (which the ship no longer has any of), he is also a black-market master and frequent aid to both Adear (for legit needs) and Buzzbox (for illicit favors).
|Just One game...
See, this is why I get in trouble when I start writing to my blog. I get into long, loving details instead of short descriptions. Instead of all the games I am playing in, I managed to describe just one.
The trials and tantrums of the young megahumans learning at the Capatain Amazing High School. The smallest and most underfunded of the three megahuman high schools in the US, it is also the oldest, and the only one the US *must* maintain as part of the Olympus/Xen'Drata Peace Accords of 1957. It thus accepts all students, even the children of villains, as long as they follow the rules while enrolled. It is also the only of the three schools not located on a coast or by a major city, making it feel like punishment to many of its young, hip students. Run in M&M.
Herapatra: Senior. Daughter of Cleopatra's rape of Hercules during the Olympus/Heliopolis War. A jock, bully and misandrist, Herapatra is also captain of the football team and class president. Just short of seven feet tall, she is bronze skinned and blond haired, a great beauty who has muscle tone you can cut marble with. Herapatra goes through a boyfriend every 2-3 months, and almost always has a few ‘cales (her term, short for "beefcake males") on the side.
Herapatra is the strongest and most resilient student at Captain Amazing High, and probably the faculty as well. She is a natural leader, tactician, seducer, and brawler who would be unstoppable if she had more training and patience. Heraptra is pissed she's forced to be taught here as part of the Olympus/Xen'Drata peace treaty, feeling she'd get more star treatment at the Liberty School or Hero Brigade.
‘Patra (as only female friends may call her) has only failed to achieve one thing – she is NOT field leader of the Amazing Youth Hero Squad. When the field trials, written exams and peer votes were tallied, her total score was second to Crossguard. Herapatra has since begun her own team, the Amazeons, an all-female group. However, as the Liberty Guild and Preservers (the two biggest and best-funded hero teams) tend to recruit from the A.Y.H.S., she is still a member of the official school team.
Crossguard: Junior. For sophomore year was known as Basket-Hilt, but changed name after being made field leader of the Amazing Youth Hero Squad (and because he got a girlfriend during his first year, Medusa, who is teaching him to be less of a hopeless nerd, and instead shoot for cool-as-hell-geek). Crossguard strives to be the archetypical hero, kind to those less fortunate, brave, and careful about applying overwhelming force. Basically, a nice kid.
Crossguard is a genius inventor who has trained himself to be a hero since he was 7. He fights with gadget-swords (like a Silver-Age Green Arrow, but with swords) he designs and builds himself. His "Main Rake" can catch on fire, become a bladed tazer, super-chill, fire it's blade as a hook-and-line, and do a dozen other things. Specialy daggers are built for specific foes.
Crossguard won the post of A.Y.H.S. field leader by being second or third at every test, but striving even at areas he knew he couldn't win. That rounded approach made his total score higher than anyone else, but to the surprise of many other candidates.
Medusa: Junior. Instinctively and automatically reads deep thoughs (especially secrets) of anyone who looks into her eyes. Only student allowed to wear shades in secret ID during class. Just gained her powers two years ago and can't control them, still thinks of herself as a freak too often. Crossguard's girlfriend, because he *likes* looking into her eyes.
Pixel: Senior. Can turn herself into a kind of coherent sand. Always stays constant mass, and always reincorporates of blown apart. A weird cross between sandman and kitty pride. Loyal Herapatra flunky, equally willing to be a hero of villain.
Menander: Sophomore. Crossguard's right-hand-man in the field. A flying strongman who may reach Herapatra's power level when he's older. Also has elemental powers: can command air, earth, fire and water (but not generate them). Son of the Tyrant, the Blackverse (evil) version of the Paragon, team leader of the Liberty Guild. Menander expects to take up family business of conquering the world when he graduates, and doesn't understand why that worries Crossguard. ("But Cross, your name would be on the protected lists. Medusa's too, if you want. Or not, if you're tired of her.")
Rebound: Junior. Suffers instant reincarnation – when killed rebound comes back within minutes. However, how strong, fast and smart he is depends on how much karma he earned this lifetime. Thus the faster you kill him, the weaker he becomes. (During a recent fight Menander killed Rebound because RB had been doing lots of charity work lately, and was unconscious. Rebound came back stronger than ever, and turned the tide of the battle. Menander was suspended from school for two weeks).
Takedown: Sophomore. Female. Loyal Herapatra flunky. Feral animal powers, including tracking by scent.
Excubitor: Senior. Son of Glory (a female Captain America) and Vengeance (a Punisher type). Seeks to be the ultimate soldier, but has been kicked out of the two more prestigious schools.
The Gaskgeteer: Sophomore. Male. Intuitive equipment genius. Manic depressive, one lab accident away from being a supervillain. Unrequited crush on nearly every girl in school.
Miss Mars: Sophomore. Essentially a female red-skinned John Cart crossed with Adam Strange. Sword-and-raygun freedom fighter in a brass bikini, training her so she can free her homeworld from Overlord Othane. Menander's current girlfriend.
Human Firearm: Junior, male. Body can grow and propel bone-bullets from hands. Here as part of a plea bargain for killing his abusive parents.
Polymath: Senior. Male. Super-genius, winner of the exam portion of the field leader test. Sees most superheroics as a waste, is just here to learn super-science.
Legion: Sophomore. Male Duplicator, but each duplicate has its own personality, and new personalities may become dominant when recombined. Sometimes a great guy, sometimes a psychopath. All duplicates have telepathy among themselves, and can average-out damage, and draw upon the speed, strength and resilience of other duplicates.
Zipline: Senior, female. Whip expert who can trade places with anyone she is connected to by copper (and has copper wire built into her combat whip). Often places herself in danger, then switches with a target (managed to take out Dinolord by standing in front of a train, then swapping with him).
Paleo: Sophomore, male. Can become a Triceratops or Brontosauraus. Not, yet, a T-Rex.
|Sunday, May 10th, 2009|
|My Star Trek Thoughts With Spoilers
Yes, WITH SPOILERS. Don't read if you dont want to know.!!!!!
I have seen the new Star Trek. I liked it a lot. There was, however, one thing I did not like.
Seeing Uhura strip.
Don't get me wrong, I have stripped and I'm a big fan of allowing a woman to use that power to whatever effect she wants. It can be a thrill, and a big help in times of economic need, to get men to pay you just to see you take clothes off. Heck, it can also be a lot of fun in private with no money involved.
Uhura is not that woman. She is, empathically, not a stripper. She has no need to be, and no interest in allowing men to see her do it. But the sexiest thing you can put into a non-R film is a girl taking her clothes off. So we get to see Uhura strip, so as to get a cheep thrill and sexualize her. She deserves better.
The Orion slave girl? We see her partially unclad, but not removing her clothes. And I promise you, Uhura took her clothes off for no other purpose than to titilate the audience. It serves no other function. Indeed, it undermines her relationship with Spock, as we already know that A: Kirk wanted to see her unclad and B: It's Spock who is going to get to later, if that's the direction their relationship goes. For a Kirk/Uhura romance it might have helped the story along. If she'd been SO pissed at finding Kirk had peeped at her that she didn't back him up later, it would have been a plot point.
But as it is Kirk can perfectly well overhear her without us seeing her take off her cadet suit. That we dont tells me this was an intentional sexification of a character who deserves better. She's not just in a bikini, she is exposed to our salacious view, specifically to make us drool over her, which makes us think less about who she is and what she can do.
I still liked the movie, but the weakening of the only female character who's job is to do more than bring a male hero into the world and talk nice about him, pains me. It's the only misstep in the whole movie, btu I wish like hell it wasnt in there. Also, I wasn't paying enough attention: is she the ONLY person who is never given the Conn? I know kirk, Spock, and freaking Chevkov all get it at some point...
For the record, I think Zoe Saldana is te hawt, so if she ever wanted to play a stripper I'd be all in favor. But Uhura isnt it.
|Friday, May 8th, 2009|
|As Long as I'm in front of a Keyboard Anyway... :D
Sometimes being the sexy nerd girl comes with responsibilities. While I really, truly will *not* be posting here very often, I *am* going to go ahead and jot down what other games I am in, sicne there has been a, ah, let's say upwards demand for more information from friends I dont get to see in person.
Games I am Running
!!Masque of All Trades
As already described.
!!Long Winter of Kor Kammor
The next game in my long-running Kor Kammor setting. Taking place 150 years after Black Days of Kor Kammor (still to be found in way too much detail at Paizo.com), and 50 years after Six Schools of Kor Kammor (the Kor Kammor Renaissance, which ended with the destruction of gunpowder -- a massive curse prevents it from working anywhere in the world and leqad to a new Dark Age) Long Winter is a location-based city game. The port of Freehaven has been a major center of trade for centuries under benevolent elven rule, and is the off-season home of a number of mercenary companies including the Whiteblades (the group started by Mhyssi in the previous game).
However, this winter the port has been frozen over for the first time in living memory. Trade has ground to a halt, and supplies are beginning to run low. In what is being called the Seige of Ice, hunger begins to grow, and with it cannibalism, which is beginning to create wendigo and ghouls within the city.
Worse, the elven rulers of the city are all slowly sliding from Spring Elves to Winter Elves (elves tired of life, who beocme totally amoral). Is the loss of most elves to the Soulwinter linked to the real winter? Is this the culmination of some prophecy? Can anyone find any food?
Run in pathfinder Beta with lots of other 3rd party books, the PCs consist of
*Hrathgar Flameforge: Dwarven smith and priest of Voronex, dwarven god of fire and knowledge.
*The Gremlin: Halfling feral sewer urchin who is coming up out of the sewers because of the things moving up from the old catacombs. A rogue/psion, the Gremlin speaks in third person and no one is sure of its gender yet.
*Lady Alise Travelt: Human paladin and sailor, the Lady's ship is locked in ice in the harbor, and she's coming to realize her god may have brought her to this town for a reason.
*Urjonelle: A goblin/elf crossbreed (only 1/4 hobogblin, and the grandchild of Daronelle from the Dark Days game -- she just looks like a green-haired elf with large canines), she is a grim battle sorceress working for the Whiteblade. She also seems immune to the slide into Soulwinter, unlike every other elf-blooded creature in the city.
*Morek: Shifter urban ranger/bounty hunter, Morek was hired by Hrathgar to be muscle in the first adventure, and is now tagging along because he lives here too, and he'd rather not be eaten by ghouls. A truly neutral character who has worked for slavers, pimps and bookies, he is currently driven by enlightened self-interest to aid the other PCs.
*Lyliatar: A hafl-elven sage and student at the Illuminum, the Great University of Freehaven. A quiet girl who just wants to study, but has begun to feel the Soulwinter come upon her. As her alignment slides slowly towards chaotic evil, Lyliatar must struggle to even stay interested in life long enough to fight the change of her nature, hitting her much younger than it ever should.
Currently the Long Winter game know they are dealing with an evil building that wants to kill everything within the city, which it sees as parasites; a cult of entrail-readers who are killing innocents to read the future; the quickly devolving elves who run the city, it's resources and it's guard who are turning more and more to perversions to amuse themselves; and newly imported white dragon who likes how things are going, but they dont know if any are the root cause of the city's problems.
(And, see, that's too much detail again. I have *GOT* to leanr to summarize more. Or less, or whatever).
!!Into the Macabre
A modern man-vs-magic game in the vein of Supernatural, with some Highlander and Prophecy movies material thrown in and a LOT of stolen John Carpenter material. Run in M&M. The main conceits are that most myths are based on something real, but not believing in those things gives you fairly good protection from them. Thus our crusaders dont *want* to publize the existence of the thigns they fight, because that would remove most people's only defense. Thigns that go bump in the night usually do so in smaller communities, and often have to use their limited powers to drive up fear and supersticion FIRST, and THEN they can haunt and feed on people.
The main drive is to find Martin Quartermass, an ex-crusader turned horror writer. His books are so vivid and descriptive, they weaken the protection of the people who read them, which is making the supernatural evils of the world more powerful. But Quartermass has gone missing, and clues to his whereabouts "on research trips" always leads to things terrorizing the populace, forcing the crusaders to have an adventure, and then it turns out Quartermass had left just before they arrived.
*Lauren Mitchel: A porn star who was selected by a horrid thing to bare its offspring, Mitchel barely escaped, but now knew what horrors really existed. She is a self-taught crusader, who used her pornstar status to get geeks of all stripes to educate and equip her. Sometimes she uses a claim she is trying to make a switch to being a scream queen as cover for creeping around abandoned houses with a machete.
*Jesse Washington: Imbued the power of John the Conqueror, Jesse is a spirit-warrior who was taught about the Things by his great-aunt. He didnt think they were real until he fought one in an old tunnel he was researching as a slave escape route from the civil war. Now, he hunts them as research, but research he can never show anyone but other crusaders. John the Conqueror, however, has some issues with the white, land-owning crusaders...
*Helen Pickman: Cheerleader, debutante... psychic. Helen doesnt want to save the world, she just wants to go to college. Unfortunately as a seer, she doesn't just believe, she KNOWS about the things. And they know about her!
*Cody Youngblood: Cody ignored his Native American roots except when it would let him score peyote. But he preferred weed and hash, since the mellow lasted longer. But when he got high enough, Cody saw both the Things, and the spirits he could theoretically command to fight them. But Cody is pretty sure that's all just a hallucination. But as long as his new *friends* keep scoring him stuff regularly, he doesnt mind that they have bad trips so often.
*Max Summer: The last of the Rosicrucians, 15-year-old Max was trained to be a crusader from birth. But he wasnt supposed to go into the world until he was 25. Sadly, Legion possessed every other child in Max's home town and killed nearly everyone. Max stopped Legion, and saved Lauren Mitchel who was investigating, but now he has to somehow carry on his order's work with a porn star, a cheerleader, a drug addict disbeleiver, and a warrior imbued with a spirit who was once enslaved by Max's forefathers and would like to see Max dead. And Max cant even legally drive!
*West Grayhawk Delving Society and Book Club
Run in 4e, because I lost a bet, this is a pick-up game run when we dont have one of our regualr
groups. It essentially has repalced boardgames or card games or movie night, but only sometimes.
This is the story of the West Grayhawk Delving Society and Book Club, who alternate between reading good cursed tomes, and dungeon delves (on alternate Wednesdays). They are rivals with the Waterdeep Amateur Archaeological Society and Recycling Board, and Absalom Orc Youth Improvement Council.
They do dungeons. There is no attempted at serious role-play. We role-play anyway, within the framework. We do not take it seriously. We do drink beer, eat pretzels, and have fun.
Characters vary wildly, but highlights include:
Conan the Librarian: A human wizard, multiclass barbarian.
Sir Blocksalot: Eladrin paladin defender and collector of novelty boots.
McStabby of Clan McStabby: Dwarf scotts rogue, plaid fetishist.
Lady Leather: Tiefling warlock looking for new recruits for her Pain Haus.
Narrator: A bard.
Setten Kneel: Halfling cleric of Airobycs, god of regular exercise.
Fighter: A shapeshiting mess, as the characters race and gender keep changing, but not its class.
Valkyrie: A swordmage who thinks she's in a videogame, and keeps shooting the food.
Men, here!: Goliath warlord, the rock of command
Ripsnort: Minotaur warden. Most serious character in the game, which isnt saying much.
Okay, thats it for now. I'll see if I can find time to write about games I'm *in*, later.
|Thursday, May 7th, 2009|
|A fun One-Off
Again, I will very rarely post here. But I had to type this up for my own game notes anyway, so I thought I'd post it. This is the newest game I am running (in M&M, natch) to pass my 10-game sustainability test.
Masque of All Trades
Set in 1779, Masque of All Trades is High Seas Superheroes. People with amazing powers and outlandish costumes fight for glory and political power around the Pearl Islands, a string of wild jungle-covered islands that supposedly hold the last fountain of Youth, and is thus hotly contested by the great nations of the era, but only in secret (as they do not wish to admit they are seeking a "magic watering hole").
Comte de Mazan
An obese sadist (though that term isnt in use) obsessed with rape, torture, and cannibalism, he is also the agent of an Aztec god and captain of the Linetine, one of the most powerful warships in the world. A French noble he wears a mask to create a legal fiction that he is extra-national, and managed to talk his way out of a death sentence in a English court by claiming his lack of identity prevented him from being a pirate (but only because of his amazing, supernatural powers of persuasion and mesmerism). This began the entire masqued adventurer movement.
The Comte is the strongest masque in the region, has the most support back home, and actually controls multiple ships. He is the main villain, though not the only local threat to masqued heroes.
Captain Franklin Dogood
American swashbuckler, bastard son of an American founding father and a French sorceress, he has come to the Pearl Islands to find the elixir needed to keep some of the older generation's great minds from being lost to old age. Captain of the paddlewheel armored ship Leonardos Revenge, having taken it from Comte de Mazan on his first day sailing the ‘Pearls.
Captain Dogood has no superpowers of his own, though he does possess heroic dexterity, stamina and cunning. He also possesses a "lightning sword," which electrifies it's blade and delivers painful jolts in melee. He does not talk about the blade, other than to confess it is a gift from his father.
Captain Dogood wears a masque because should he fail to do so, the comte might manage to have france remove aid from the rebelling Colonists, as the Revolutionary War is in full swing.
The Bronze Horseman
A Russian agent of Catharine the Great, he is the only Russian anywhere near the Pearl Islands, and seeks its legendary treasure for his empress. He is also the only masque who insists on riding a horse even in naval battles, and his great skill with a greatsword and bronze shin, coupled with great endurance and strength, continue to hold Russian interests high despite his total lack of support. Currently a privateer on the Leonardos Revenge.
Fiery-haired Irish woman and true old-style berserker, Mary Red becomes a whirlwind of melee death when she sees blood (even just a little), and keeps fighting until she exhausts herself. She is loyal to England in theory, and Captain Dogood in fact, but hides herself away from "civilization" from shame of her berserker "affliction."
An aged, bent Anglican priest who is pushing 200 years of age, Father Melmoth seeks a divine answer within the ‘Pearls, though he will not say to what question. He can often cut through the powers of others by distracting them with scripture, or exorcising the effects of their abilities. He is also extremely perceptive, and has a small pet viper. Captain Dogood has nambed him priest of the Leonardos Revenge.
A French noble lacking the support of the Comte, Lord Estrange is an alchemist of great skill, and a surprisingly intuitive detective. He wont oppose the Comte directly, but otherwise aids the crew of the Leonardios Revenge.
Female captain of the small submersible brassclad Mobilis Mobili, a scientific genius and great beauty, but also a short-tempered terrorist who knows where the Fountain of Youth is, but will neither tell anyone, nor allow them to find it. When the crew of the Leonardos revenge face off against pirates, the Comte or supernatural evils Lady Dakkar aids them – when they find a lead to the fountain she hinders them. There is strong sexual tension between the lady and Captain Dogood, as yet unresolved.
Lady Dakkar seems to be of mixed Indian and Polish ancestry.
An immortal, and immoral, agent of King George, the Doomsman is the head torturer of the Crown, and has been for centuries. When the Doomsman tortures or hurts someone, he himself becomes younger and stronger. The Doomsman has sent word to the king regarding what to do about the fact the American Revolutionary war is in full swing, and Captain Dogood is clearly an anti-monarchist, but for now the Doomsman sees Dogood as an English citizen, and thus aids him as long as it does not interfere with his secret work for the King, seeking a cure for a curse that the King suffers, causing periodic madness.
|Wednesday, April 8th, 2009|
|May angels carry thee on their backs...
Dave Arneson is, I am told, no longer with us.
I never met him, but he impacted my life in a big way. He is not alone in that, but someone I always saw him as the patron game designer of my life.
I am sad now, but still rejoice he got to do all the things he did in this life.
|Tuesday, April 7th, 2009|
This is NOT a return to regular updates.
Dave Arneson, founding father of our hobby, is in very poor health. Despite rumor of his loss Dave is still with us as of the last report an insider got me earlier today, though by the time I post this that may no longer be true.
If you have religious rituals of luck, blessings, or psychic chants to impart health energy afar, now is the time for them.
|Wednesday, March 18th, 2009|
|Okay, but Silent
It is unbeleiveably sweet how many of you have been so concerned, and I am very sorry to have worried you. That was never my intention, and had Mike S. not sent me an email that got through the most stringent of my personal filters, I might not have ever realized it. So, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry to have dropped off the face of the internet.
I am likely not going to have much of a presence here from now on, due to changes in my personal life. I am fine, and happy, but lack the free time or will to tackle discussions online atop of those I have in meatspace. It's not that I don't love you all, it's that I have had to prioritize and this is one of the things I love that was below the cutoff. Again, please accept my most humble apologies.
Have fun, love each other, and do something sexy and unexpected at least once a day.