Monday, 17 November 2014

Dance off. You and me.

Well, of course this happened. How could it not?

The actual version in the film has Ronan perfectly mirror the confusion of a GM when a player tries something like this.

Winter Is Coming

Currently running two games, both of them roughly set around real time.

The Buffy The Vampire Slayer game is set somewhere warm. It’s more likely to deal with summer storms than heavy snows.

The Vampire: The Masquerade game, though... There are less people on the streets, but more time to hunt, so that balances out. And it gets so cold that breath steams... who will notice if a vampire’s doesn’t?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

I knew it was close, so I looked it up, and yes, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines came out on November 16th, 2004. This was several months after the release of the Gehenna book, so its plot concerning talk of the imminent Gehenna was rather amusing in retrospect.

It was pretty buggy on first release (there’s one level you can’t finish without the first patch) but still earned a lot of critical admiration. Even now, people are still tinkering with patches and mods, and in the case of one group reverse-engineering a system upgrade and multiplayer version.

To mark the anniversary in tonight’s Vampire: The Masquerade session, I made a smallish number of jokes... and had a major NPC show up, introducing a new plot thread... after running a Hallowe’en session heavily inspired by its most acclaimed level (as well as plans for the MMO).

One of my players got into the World Of Darkness through Bloodlines, and her first time GMing was a Vampire one-shot about someone trying to steal a sarcophagus... Has anyone else borrowed from it?

Also, the stealth and conversation options fall away badly in the last sections, but you still have to kill less vampires in the entire game than Christof Romuald does in the average building.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Hallowe'en Specials

I managed, a week late, to run the second of these yesterday. Buffy last week featured a killer scarecrow with a pumpkin head and a scythe, and Vampire: The Masquerade last night featured the ghost of a murder victim. The two approaches are pretty telling, I think.

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Dracula Dossier

The Dracula Dossier by Kenneth Hite and Gar Hanrahan, from Pelgrane Press, for Night’s Black Agents. Just how much of Dracula is redacted? Already well Kickstarted as I write this and clawing its way up the stretch goal list.

(Disclosure - I have provided vampires for at least one of the production team to destroy.)

Friday, 31 October 2014

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Another week, another genre show, here showing in double bills despite being only eight episodes long. Intruders (adapted by Glen Morgan from The X Files from a novel by Michael Marshall Smith) is probably helped by the double bill, pairing the deeply unrevealing first episode with a second episode that appears to explain the main plot in tell-not-show format. Hrm.

Monday, 27 October 2014


Gotham leads the way in DC Comics big push into live-action TV, following the solid success of Arrow leading to a spinoff for The Flash and to Hellblazer Constantine getting a show as well. Unlike the other three its on primetime on a free channel. And... it’s a mess.

It’s mostly a police procedural about crimes slightly too weird even for CSI Miami. And partially a somewhat OTT gangster saga. And a bit of a “hey look, a thing from Batman!” show.

Sometimes the former works reasonably well. The child-snatchers in episode two were pretty creepy. And the sometimes it does Balloonman. Not sure it was a good call to have the first major vigilante to emerge after the Wayne murders, in the third episode of the show, be so... hilarious.

The overall effect is a bit like a splicing of Batman Begins with Batman Returns, where the grim down-to-earth stuff is suddenly interrupted by ninjas and circuses. It reasonably reflects what Gotham is like in the comics, but the shifts seem less jarring there.

The design work to make it look like 70s-80s hellhole New York never cleaned up is great (and could provide fodder for loads of World Of Darkness visuals).

And it’s making its own continuity, separate from (a) the other DC shows and (b) the DC movies. So the built-in possibilities for crossovers have been deliberately cut. (And apparently Arrow and The Flash will be separate to the movies as well, with a movie version of The Flash announced several years in advance complete with casting a week after the first episode came on TV, which is... not the direction I would have gone.)

Ultimately, Gotham is a backdrop for Batman. Does the city need him or not?

Hallowe'en Treats from DTRPG

All on one page this time... it seems.

So far includes the totally-not-Firefly Cinematic Unisystem issue of Eden Studios Presents, a zombie apocalypse for Ravenloft... and the first edition of Wraith: The Oblivion.

Edit: Add a Kaiju Kardgame, a Dungeon Crawl Classic and a Penny Dreadful for Victoriana.