Saturday, 10 December 2016

Spider-Man coming home

First slightly different trailers for Spider-Man Homecoming. The US trailer really underlines the high school setting. It looks like Peter is currently the only superhuman enrolled. Will it end up like Sunnydale? It usually does in series, less so in the films.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Art Of Battlefield 1

The Art of Battlefield 1 reflects its mix of grim grey WWI trench warfare, dogfights in the air above and video-game action and adventure, the latter making good sources for something pulpy. Yes, there is a crashing zeppelin.

Convention Of Thorns play analysis

Sarah Lynne Thorpe discusses her experience as one of the players at the Convention Of Thorns at NordicLarp, including the best summary I have seen so far of the Day Play sections away from the main game happening at night.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Jessica Jones

The second Marvel Netflix TV series, Jessica Jones season one is now out on offline-viewable discs. It is pretty closely based on the Mature Readers series Alias (renamed to avoid confusion with the J.J. Abrams superspy TV series) about a private eye with some deliberately ordinary superpowers, and in this case mostly drops the procedural element the original series had for a more focused seasonal arc about her arch enemy, the mind controller Kilgrave. Mind control is a tricky thing to involve in games (I’ve talked about this before) and especially to make a major feature and played as horrifically as this story does. It takes a lot of buy-in.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lucifer (the TV series)

Lucifer, based on the Vertigo comics series, is... well, it’s kind of an 80s throwback, a cop show that takes a genre premise and doesn’t run with it. In the first season there are only really two episodes that run with the weird investigator being The Devil Himself, which feels like the logical conclusion of the type.

(Compare fellow loose Vertigo adaptation iZombie, where the crime-fighting is generally one of three strands ceding floor space to the others more readily.)

Saturday, 3 December 2016


I was not at Dragonmeet this year. I hear the big hit for Pelgrane was the preview edition of Cthulhu Confidential, the two-player GUMSHOE RPG.

Friday, 2 December 2016

A New World Of Gods And Monsters

A fifteen-second teaser-trailer-teaser for The Mummy, the new version launching the Universal Monsters cinematic universe, uses the famous Bride Of Frankenstein quote as a tagline. How will this work, a cinematic universe with most or all of the superpowers in the hands of the villains? Will Tom Cruise lead the heroes fighting various creatures? Will one of the monsters (betting on the Frankenstein Monster) side with humanity?

Edit: We now have a full trailer, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and articles with the director explaining it. And it looks like Tom Cruise Vs. Universal Monsters could indeed be how it goes, with Russell Crowe as Henry Jekyll, head of the not-Watchers. (And Cruise may be a monster too.)

Sadly, Dracula Untold is now confirmed not to be part of the Universal Universe, so we may have seen the last of FIST OF BATS.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

An RPG bundle for the Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center RPGnow Bundle includes Trinity, BASH, Champions, Icons and more.

The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Joe Dever

Joe Dever has died, aged 60. He’s best known for the Lone Wolf gamebooks and their world Magnamund, an early influence on me and many others as the leading example of an ongoing gamebook series.

I was lucky enough to met him at Dragonmeet 2013, and he was a real gentleman, gracious and generous with his time, including offering technical and staging advice when posing for a photo.

To see oursels as ithers see us?

Happy St. Andrew’s Day. Have some haggis, or a dram, or complain about the weather or something.

Ever had a game visit Scotland? Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nessie Country, a visit for globe-trotting superheroes maybe? It doesn’t seem exotic to me (the end of Skyfall felt quite odd) but there’s plenty of weird to be found.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

RPG Blog Carnival: Ordinary Life

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival: Ordinary Life In RPGs.

One option here is to talk about how life can impact gaming, and there’s good advice there already.

The other big suggestion here is ordinary life for the PCs outside of adventures.

This only tends to happen with my games when they run long - otherwise the PCs are in near constant trouble, with little downtime. The PCs lives’ are... eventful.

A lot of players are less interested in the mundane side of their PCs’ lives. When I get a decent number that are interested, I’m happy to run with it. It’ll still tend to be melodramatic, or comedic, as appropriate.

If the players are hanging out in character, sharing jokes or romantic woes, I’ll sit back and let them relax. Going to the pub will still probably be interrupted by monsters if it goes beyond a brief scene, but the brief scene can at least exist without it.

There are also games where the PCs’ ordinary lives aren’t all that ordinary. Vampires need to drink blood to exist, and their work meetings can involve beheadings. Superheroes often have to hide who they really are, and those who don’t are often celebrities. Not many of them get to go home and watch a box set, or indeed play RPGs...

The Peregrine, a minis-scale light freighter

Coming soonish from Miniatures Scenery... I only heard about this today, which makes the wait a year less than it has been for some.