Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Back at it

Tonight, the local gaming society returns...

Sundays are more my day, but I was there as Emergency Backup GM... so am now running a Buffy game about a college band again. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Frightening Futures

We just came third out of twelve teams (38 out of 43) in the Cameo film quiz on this topic. Somewhat better than tenth (of ten) for the Christmas special last month...

The only picture question none of us got was a still from a 1998 Canadian end-of-the-world film called Last Night. So now obviously I have to watch it.

Looks fun...
On this topic gaming-wise I’ve run a fair number of pessimistic SF games, cyberpunk dystopia and post-apocalypse wasteland. Never for very long, though. My longest is probably The Stars On Fire, one academic year of military SF with warring human nations more or less coming together against an alien threat, and that still had humanity surviving the 21st century and colonising space in the 22nd.

I’ve dropped PCs into their own potential futures (not counting games where time travel is standard) in The Watch House, with a psychic PC getting a vision that went full-contact Days Of Future Past style. One hero was dead (best absent player excuse ever!), another was mad, another had a character-building scar, and the receiver of the vision found her future self was a leading vampire. It’s a spin on The One Where Everyone Acts Out Of Character, not playing for laughs for a change.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Blue Monday

Today is supposedly Blue Monday, the spuriously theorised “most depressing day of the year”. It’s already the target of groups organising upbeat fun activities in some areas, aiming to take it back from the advertisers who created it to sell holidays. I approve of this development.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Going sane with the power

From frequent poster Entropic Angel:

Fellow gaming types (most of my friends list, I guess) I have a question. If your players play characters with quite a high amount of power and influence do their characters act with more restraint, morality and thought than they would do otherwise?

My answer would be “sometimes”. It would discourage the lashing out that players sometimes entertain with “nobody” PCs, and it gives them a connection to the setting and something to lose. Of course, sometimes players given power will want to simply use it...

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Print The Legend

A new Tarzan movie seemed like an odd choice last summer, and it kind of is. One which contains the origin in a few flashbacks and then sends him on a new adventure mixed up with late 19th century European imperialism in the Congo definitely is.

Samuel L. Jackson plays George Washington Williams as a somewhat badass comedy sidekick, and Léon Rom dies a lot younger in the Tarzan universe than in ours. Its history is as revisionist as Inglourious Basterds, it’s just that the history it’s revising isn’t as well known. I guess the title being The Legend Of Tarzan evokes the quote I named this post for...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Harlem Unbound

Last day of the Kickstarter for Harlem Unbound, a Call Of Cthulhu and GUMSHOE sourcebook about the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Weta Workshop's Wargame

Giant Killer Robots, figures by Weta Workshop (the design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, District 9, Planet Of The Apes, and more) and game design by Cryptozoic. Unsurprisingly, the figures look great. On the D9 side of things - industrial, clunky, with sample paint schemes favouring heavy plant and graffiti.

Who you gonna call? Airstrikes!

Originally to be released in cinemas last summer, Spectral premiered on Netflix a month ago. Described as Black Hawk Down Vs. Ghostbusters, and yeah... with a smidge of Doctor Who in there too as equipment is jury-rigged at great speed and at one point the Hero Scientist actually explains one of his tricks as reversing the polarity of a camera. The ghosts and the gear are clearly the stars here, in what could make a pretty good one-shot... maybe for Orpheus.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Sunday, 8 January 2017

King Mordred Of Camelot

Rose Bailey proposes a setting riff with Mordred taking and keeping the throne, sending the land into a dark age as he clings to power.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Taboo

Taboo, a new series on BBC One, from the creator of Peaky Blinders and its star Tom Hardy, about a man returning from a decade supposed dead to claim a politically problematic inheritance in 1814 London, setting him on a collision course with the East India Trading Company.

He may also have come back from the dead, or he may just be traumatised and seeing things. From the atmosphere so far, could go either way.

He’s bad news for all concerned either way, not just the villainous Company, having abandoned his own son and having some ominous secret with his sister, and stalking around the city in a Bill The Butcher hat and Nosferatu coat...

Friday, 6 January 2017

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night marks the traditional end of the Christmas period, but by now most things are back to whatever constitutes normal so it is mostly time to take the decorations down. I feel it should be more... another excuse for a big meal at least.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

iZombie

Also all caught up in iZombie. (Expect a few “all caught up” posts in the next month because of the free Netflix.)

Verrrrry loosely adapted from a Vertigo comic, it keeps the main character’s look and the hook but that’s about it. The comic is a pop culture monster rally, while the show has two grades of zombie and that’s basically it. Functioning zombies are more like vampires with brains instead of blood, and zombies who starve and rot are your basic Romero style.

Most of the episodes are a mix of funny-horrible procedural, interpersonal drama and ongoing plot with recurring threats. Our hero receives memories and (usually funny) personality quirks from the brains she eats, getting them by working as a medical examiner for the police and using them to solve their previous owner’s murders. All pretty doable in Bubblegumshoe probably, like series showrunner Rob Thomas’s non-fantastical previous series Veronica Mars. The interpersonal stuff is perhaps more Cortex +-y, and the ongoing Big Bads and Liv’s occasional use of zombie strength and rage swing more to Buffy.