Thursday, 23 February 2017

We found a new solar system to be new Earths

Trappist-1 is an important scientific discovery. (A big enough deal that it got a Google Doodle in less than 24 hours!)

And also a ready-made setting for new space opera.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Fantasy Heartbreaker is back

Rose Bailey on representation and marginalised characters becoming about their marginalisation.

2000 A.D. at 40 in 2017

Today sees the 40th anniversary special for 2000 A.D., The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. So many stories, worlds, occasional childhood trauma (thanks, Dark Judges!) and other fires for the imagination. Here’s to many more - we made it past 2000 A.D. already, so lets keep on going.

I do not currently have money for a concept artist...

If I did, I would consider Leesha Hannigan while she is between jobs.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

10 Vampire: The Requiem ideas from Nirvana single titles

As we just saw Kurt Cobain’s fiftieth birthday yesterday, a few ideas from the singles Nirvana brought out.

Love Buzz
A new drug on the market has an interesting side effect. Vampires that drink from users “catch” their emotional state for as long as they have that blood in their system. The vamp who discovered this while biting someone who enjoyed it barely came down in time to miss a sunrise. The one who discovered this while terrifying her victim was last seen fleeing the scene at superhuman speed. So where is this thing coming from? Did somebody create this on purpose?

You just slept through a whole night. And now you have a crystal clear memory of the first time you saw your sire before the Embrace. And there was another vampire there... one you thought your sire hated.

Smells Like Teen Spirit
A vampire Embraced in her teens decides to try the Twilight thing and use a high school as her herd. And she misjudges how much blood a teen can safely lose and drained her boyfriend dry, then turned him in a fit of remorse. So now there are two vampires in the school. How long until one of them makes another mistake?

Come As You Are
Why is the Prince hosting a gathering at that new nightclub? Does he want it to succeed? Or does he want it to get wrecked by too many vampires in a crowded room with a lot of drugs and alcohol readily available?

Dr. Land, an Ordo Dracul chemist, has come up with a treatment for the Hunger. You still need to hunt, but you will never frenzy from lack of blood. Assuming you don’t mind the treatment being extracted from the brain blood of people on antidepressants.

In Bloom
The city cemetery’s gardens have never looked more beautiful. Which is worrying to a group of elders who murdered a Circle witch who claimed to be able to speak with plants and dumped her body in an open grave there sixty years ago.

Heart-Shaped Box
The heart of an ancient vampire, cut out centuries ago, has been stolen from the collection of an old Mekhet hoarder who sought to use it to filter blood and gain the elder’s memories. Who took it, who has it, and who would kill to acquire it?

(Alternatively, Valentine’s Day, and one of your herd asks you to marry him...)

All Apologies
An elder claims that you have wronged her. Nobody at court can verify that you haven’t, and she’s old enough that it doesn’t matter what you can prove. She demands compensation or punishment. How can you get out of serving her for years to come?

Pennyroyal Tea
Dr. Land asks for a favour dealing a rival, a former member of the Circle who is now working as a New Age herbalist... with a sideline as a poisoner.

About A Girl
Jack has been a vampire for a few years now, and he had to leave Caitlyn when he died. So how does he cope when he sees her again? With a child who has his eyes?

Scaling your campaign

Elementary season one has popped up on Freeview. Comparisons to Sherlock are inevitable as it’s a modern version of Sherlock Holmes that started very soon after - and stars Johnny Lee Miller, who had recently traded parts from one night to the next with Benedict Cumberbatch in Danny Boyle’s National Theatre production of Frankenstein - but that’s not what I want to talk about.

The smaller cases and much longer run time lets it be more casual - it doesn’t have to have a season opener and finale within two weeks of each other. Sherlock is a series of one-shots and long “event” sessions, Elementary is a weekly campaign. Miss one session and you can catch up pretty easily.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain would have been fifty today. He was never comfortable with being the voice of a generation, but there we are.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead

Ash Vs. Evil Dead is quite an odd TV show. A sequel to The Evil Dead and mostly Evil Dead II, with Army Of Darkness not really referenced (due to its two wildly conflicting endings) it could prooooobably be watched by people unfamiliar with the originals, but what would they make of a spectacularly gory horror-comedy adventure in sitcom-length episodes? Especially if they came in after the pretty-damn-serious remake a couple years earlier...

For those in the know, it’s still quite odd. The worldbuilding is pretty casual, as it always has been. Some episodes and some subplots lean more or less on the comedy and the evisceration - one of the stars gets such a serious plot for the first half-season that she asked her agent if the audition sheet’s “comedy” description was a typo!

Still, as an Evil Dead II fan specifically, I had a lot of fun with it. When its on, its really on, and there’s a fair amount of grue and fun to be had, with Bruce Campbell charming as ever as the over-the-hill not-great-anyway monster hunter.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

New vague game plan

Vampire: The Masquerade due to familiarity, probably Camarilla clans, with me using a chunk of Requiem ideas like the second edition expanded Humanity system and some character and plot points.

Episodic and occasional, so aiming for a relatively small number of subplots and NPCs to track.

Probably using my last games as source material.

Planning to give the coterie a good reason to work together and not run off to play three personal games.

Already said “don’t betray the party, there are only three of you.”

And plots. Hm. That’s the real trick...

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Friday, 17 February 2017

Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures

A new Star Wars animated series set near the classic trilogy, a new band of heroes, a new Force-related mystery... but unlike Rebels, I’m pretty sure Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures ain’t canon.

Aimed more at kids and played more for laughs, particularly the Emperor, while the main villain of the piece is played pretty straight. Most of the laughs for me were the back references - there’s some nice repurposing of prequel trilogy stuff and a lot of plays on familiar lines.

“I have a bad feeling about this - ”
No you don’t!

There’s some more serious One To Grow On stuff in there too - the need to protect those you love when you put yourself in danger - but not much.

It uses its Lego stylings somewhat inconsistently. The Freemaker family are experts in building and customising technology so some of the DIY ship part of Lego play is always there, but The Lego Movie “master builder” level Lego customisation only happens with the Force. And sometimes when ships and vehicles explode bits of Lego come off, but sometimes they just explode in flames.

Gameable? As a rules-light and no-real-danger game, maybe with Lego on the table and options to rebuild vehicles, and a system for building with the Force.

The central group, a family of three siblings and their Battle Droid trying to make their way in a galaxy at war,, could definitely work. So could one of the early plot twists...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Loren Wiseman

Loren Wiseman, co-founder of Games Designers’ Workshop and one of the creators of Traveller, has died.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A poem

Roses are available in a variety of colours.
Violets are violet.
I’ll start again.