Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Thing

There are now tabletop games based on The Thing (From Another World) and its source novella as well as others showing its influence rather clearly.

It’s a natural fit for “traitor” style mostly-cooperative games with its smallish isolated cast and clear stakes - and the option to infect more people as it goes along.

For the same reasons it could make a good basis for a one-shot RPG session. Handing over notes, and maybe texts and so on to keep them even more hidden, tends to encourage suspicion and paranoia even when there isn’t a murderous doppelganger in the area.

(Also, what is up with Copper’s nose ring?)

If you wanted more than a one-shot, look at the prequel which both sets up the Norwegian base and basically functions as a different playthrough of the same adventure, or the comics, or the sequel the then SciFi Channel tried to make in 2005, which is... interesting. (The scene where they use electric shocks to make a captured Thing revert to previous forms, all the way back to a “dark whirlpool of seething flesh and blood”, does kinda work. And... wow, the theme from Aliens is way more, ah, referential than I knew.) Or to series like Helix where the danger spreads more slowly and the moral question of whether victims can be helped arises.

But ultimately I think sustaining the fear and distrust would be a tall order, and it makes a better one-shot.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. In Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace

Looks like fun. I would say the overall Weird Level has definitely gone up a little, even after the Ghost Rider and Killer Androids and VR Hydra World season four. The big grumpy Kree aren’t the only bit giving it a Guardians Of The Galaxy vibe.

(Also, one of the guest stars in the episode of The Inhumans it plays over the credits for is called Wolf Lee Counsel. I just thought I’d mention that because that’s fantastic.)

Friday, 10 November 2017

Hope. Sacrifice. Unity.

Today is the 20th anniversary of the original Trinity Universe. Nearly ready to Kickstart the Continuum. In the meantime, that preview.

Some time soon in a galaxy far, far away...

And while I was out, Disney announced SO MUCH STAR WARS. Rian Johnson spearheading a new trilogy unconnected from anything filmed before, and a live-action TV series on their streaming service launching in 2019. (As well as one from Marvel, among other things like a Monsters Inc. series.)

Thursday, 9 November 2017


Just back from a 30th anniversary screening of Predator, and the only things that really date it some wobbly animation and some very 80s civilian clothes, but mostly some coarse language and tree-smashing explosions they probably wouldn’t get away with today.

And the plot is timeless as well - The Most Dangerous Game with an unknown opponent.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Dark Universe Goes Dark

In not a huge surprise, the Universal monster Dark Universe is on pause with its executive producers off doing other things like Star Trek: Discovery and The Fast And The Furious. A shame, as the slate includes (included?) a new version of The Bride Of Frankenstein to be directed by Bill Condon. I also found the swimming Templar zombies in The Mummy great fun. Maybe we’ll see the sketched out plans for less blockbuster-necessary films from Blumhouse move forward anyway?

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The "Kids On Bikes" genre

An RPG just called Kids On Bikes is on its way, so yes, it’s definitely a genre now. It was around in the actual 1980s, but Stranger Things really codified it as a specific subgenre, with the new film of IT being proof of concept.

If I were to run an 80s game, quite possibly for players born after 1989, it might reflect my experiences as a middle-class geeky horror/fantasy kid in Britain, as well as my year (1982-3) in small town USA so getting to see some of this stuff up close.

I’d also have to come up with a more realistic monster than Mrs. Thatcher.

Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, novelist

Congratulations to Gar on his book deal!

The Black Ops Gig Economoy

An thread on Shadowrun and other mercenary-centric RPGs having other teams out there, featuring posts by SR writer Wakshaani on how this affects the patron economy among other things.

Monday, 6 November 2017

15 monsters without movies

Via Cracked podcast.

Except one (the Monkey Man of Delhi) apparently has, a Bollywood romcom.

Mostly ghosts, including the Washington D.C. prophetic ghost cat and hauntings in the White House, and the Japanese ghost that haunts the end stall of toilets.

But also the Bonnacon, the killer poop cow.

And the Winchester Mystery House. Which as they note is being done, with Dame Helen Mirren.

Also, one possible film suggested is “like The Hangover meets Dracula.”

Something about this route map...

Roman roads of Britain in the style of a subway map. The perfect thing to sneak into a parallel universe game to see who notices.

GMing update

I will probably switch to a different game on Sunday evening after Christmas.

So I may have just set Elysium on fire and started an anarch revolt in V20.

Well, it was the fifth of November.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

The Great Pyramid Void

So, news from the Great Pyramid reveals a secret chamber... which Assassin’s Creed Origins already had.

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Art Of Assassin's Creed Origins

Probably spoilers:

Personal Shopper

Personal Shopper is a film of two halves. One is about a personal shopper who envies her employer and feels her life is in a rut until she starts receiving mysterious texts. The other is about a medium trying to contact the ghost of her twin brother. They’re both the same character. However, the two stories really only brush past each other. The first part, which gets the title, is actually the second strand to come in and the first to resolve, feeling a bit underdeveloped, a mystery with one suspect. The second feels more involving, a low-key ghost story about loss and what it can make you do.

It works as a character study of someone waiting for something more, though.

And, since you’re here on my blog where I tend to talk about horror and modern fantasy...

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Street Fighter RPG

A look back at one of White Wolf’s odder moments. The move-based combat at its heart was a good idea, and the undeveloped setting let them run with it. I also recall the article in White Wolf Magazine that addressed questions of the What The Hell? variety.

It’s a shame that, like so many licensed games, it may never be seen again after the licence ends.