Saturday, 29 April 2017

How to get hundreds of people to pay to be stranded

So the big internet trainwreck news of the day was Fyre Festival, an extravagantly expensive music and art festival in the Bahamas ($450 for a day pass that would mean leaving before dark and missing the day’s headline act, up to $3,995 for a full pass with “curated tented accommodation”) which delivered on none of its wild or even reasonable promises, was clearly doomed ahead of time, and now has people sheltering in the FEMA emergency tents supplied instead of those luxury tent-cabins, all flights cancelled, one of the organisers apparently under arrest and governments stepping in to retrieve those stranded.

Twitter, of all things, is describing it as “the luxury party that turned into the Hunger Games.” This is something of an exaggeration, as nobody has been killed with a bow and arrow. As far as I know.

A disaster like this sounds like the perfect end to a con caper, or the perfect start to a horror story about mass human sacrifice. I can’t decide which I prefer.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Enlightenment In Blood character creation

I just made my character for the big LARP at World Of Darkness Berlin, picking a group that let me (a) explore solo and (b) not have a smartphone. Being an outsider who was staked in the heart and left for a couple years excuses a lot...

The process was quite interesting - take a faction, then an archetype, then a character type, then an agenda, then answer some questions about what you want to see.

In my case it wasn’t helped by leaving it a couple weeks, so a number of the twenty available factions were already full. (And it seemed there was one faction with unlimited slots, but all the character archetypes in it were taken.) This left me with a dramatic intro, though it limited some of my options like an agenda I probably won’t play too much. I’ll share some more details after the event.

Light a flamethrower

Today is Sir Terry Pratchett’s 69th birthday. A toast!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

But whichever Demon game happens...

Either the sessions or the supernatural characters the PCs meet will be named after VNV Nation songs.

“To the darkened skies once more - and ever onward!”

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Demon: The Something

Currently debating with myself and talking with potential players about a summer game of either Demon: The Fallen or Demon: The Descent.

Fallen is more straightforward in both setting and rules, and I’ve never had a chance to do anything with it in almost fifteen years. But Descent is more complicated in interesting ways, and lets me do spies...

The Venn diagram of material likely to feature in both is really pretty small despite both being games about demons passing for human in the present, and I could swipe a few ideas from one for the other. They both favour differing approaches above all. Fallen PCs have much less reason to be subtle than Descent ones, for one obvious example. For instance, both Unchained and Fallen have an option to drop the mask and Hulk out, but it’s much more of a last resort for the Unchained, because it (a) sets off every demon-detector the Angels have and (b) destroys that cover. Various other decisions encourages sneakiness rather than might.

I’m probably dwelling on the differences. The Fallen can be subtle, as future Descent creator and co-developer Rose Bailey’s Fallen game Strange As Angels demonstrates, and there’s a Translation Guide for switching or merging the two. A version of Descent without the biotech wouldn’t even need it, for instance - call the God-Machine the Demiurge and you’re halfway there.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Monday, 24 April 2017

Scheduling issues

I was not at the Nationals this weekend, I was at Dead By Dawn instead. I hope to find out a bit about the games played in the former and write about the films shown in the latter, so more on both later.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


For Earth Day, a March For Science. Resisting the temptation to go with a Proton Pack.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Footage Assemble!

Finally saw some Avengers filming. Not that I actually saw anything more than a lighting rig, but hey...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Dark Signal

Dark Signal, out this summer, looks at what happens when a haunting goes public...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Cloak And Dagger trailer

Since the series is about a year out, a trailer for Marvel’s Cloak And Dagger this early is surprising. As a potential flagship show for a teen drama network, it looks like it’s going to balance angst and romance with issues in a grounded way, especially considering the duo’s pretty weird powers.

“I’m afraid that if you do everything right, I’ll still lose you!”

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Uncertain Times

Another election? What is this, a Vampire LARP?

When I run games where political situations change, the PCs are in the middle of it and have a significant effect on the outcome. I’ve never had a new Prince take over without warning, for example. Might be interesting, but likely frustrating. I’m happy to be unrealistic here.

Space Opera Comics

As James Gunn announces Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 before 2 has even come out, I remain amazed that the holders of the X-Men movie licence haven’t tried to make Starjammers yet.

And that nobody’s tried to make Star Slammers either, which is not the same thing. Or Six From Sirius.

Alien Legion, Dreadstar and Strikeforce: Morituri have all been optioned at various times.

And that’s just Marvel.

DC integrated space opera a bit deeper with Krypton and Green Lantern, but still has non-super-universe outliers like Atari Force.

French comic Valerian is getting a movie decades after Star Wars took, er, some influence from it.

What I’m saying is there are a lot of spaceships in trouble in comics. (Especially from 1977 to the early 80s for some reason. Ahem.) Superhero universes pull in space opera pretty casually, as well as there being dedicated SF comics.

After all, Star Wars started with George Lucas not getting the rights to Flash Gordon...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Knights And Castles

For Easter, my mum got me a Chocolate Orange egg. My first taste of Chocolate Orange was also an Easter egg, which had a box design showing a castle with cut-out knights and other characters. The kind of thing that sticks with you. And which I may still have somewhere in mum’s attic.

Knights and castles are among the archetypal images in the UK, and in fantasy. I’ve often avoided the classic fantasy style because of its familiarity, but sometimes I want to run with it...