Tuesday, May 24, 2011

THE FUTURE.....

Funny-pictures-your-child-watched-too-many-zombie-movies

And, just because all lolcatz I can Haz Cheezburger pics move in pairs...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Runequest II becomes Wayfarer; and some fun RQII stuff in honor of the greatest Fantasy RPG



In a totally unexpected but not too horrifying move, Matthew Sprange announced that they have parted ways with Issaries and the core RQII rules are being rebranded as Wayfarer. Holy cow.

This is honestly better news than I was expecting. When they more or less cancelled all the near-future RQII products previously announced for release, I was expecting them to proclaim that the line was dead and lack of interest/sales killed it. Instead, we're getting a rebranding of the rules I love so much, hopefully with a better marketing push behind them; finding copies of any of the leather RQII books locally is actually pretty difficult, and some of the problem with poor RQII boils down to the stigma it had to live down from the previous iteration of MRQ, which did indeed suffer badly from design by committee.

Anyway, here's to hoping that Wayfarer gets a proper treatment!

In the meantime, I'm going to take this as a sign from the interweb godz that in answer to my whole Pathfinder/D&D conondrum in my earlier post: the answer is, I should be playing more RQII/Wayfarer and Basic Role Playing. And Call of Cthulhu. It's the only thing that makes sense to me anymore!


Gratuitous Babe of the Day - Seriously, that armor is completely useless and has gotta chafe

And in honor of some Runequest news, here's some fun Runequest stuff for people, from the realms of Chirak:

Five Grimoires of Pelegar

The Book of Black Blood
Written by the Mad Necromancer Sophistigos of Eredor in Old Inadasir
Contains:
Body Jump
Deathbolt
Raise Undead
Macabre Dance
Project (Sight)


The Hunter’s Book: Survival in the Nightwood
By Gortanius the Witch Hunter, written in an archaic form of Pelaeic
Contains:
Supress Animation
Shadow Door
Lifesight
Detect Undeath
Damage Resistance


Solivarn’s Book of the Lost Enigmas: A Treatise on Elementalism
Allegedly written by Solivarn, but anonymously edited and expanded; translated in to Old Mythric with Pelaeic footnotes for translation
Contains:
Animate (stone)
Holdfast
Smother
Sense (crystals)
Form/Set (stone)

Yan Kar’s Grimoire
Written long ago by Yan Kar, the serpent lord; translation in to Sabradani by the gnome Macharido
Contains:
Animate (sand)
Banish
Abjure (food)
Abjure (water)
Dominate (dragons)
Neutralize Magic
Phantom (sight)
Tap (SIZ)

The Grimoire of Sanguine Sorcery
   This is an unknown tome written approximately 1,400 years ago by a sorcerer who identified himself only as “S. Tynamax.” The tome was written in Ithirian elvish, with some passages in the Inadasir language. It is inscribed on the cover with the Blood Rune. Several copies were known to have been made, though who owns them today is a mystery.

Chapter the First: On Eschewing the Ways of the Flesh
Abjure Food
Abjure Air
Sense (Blood)

Chapter the Second: On Embracing the Ways of the Sanguine Form
Form/Set (Flesh and Bone)
Animate Blood
Animate Dead Flesh
Animate Bones
Regenerate
Treat Wounds

Chapter the Third: On Grasping the Mind of the Enemy
Dominate (humans)
Dominate (elves)

Chapter the Fourth: On Feeding the Flesh
Diminish (Constitution)
Tap (Constitution)
Wrack


Animates in Runequest

Animates are the magically animated forms of golems brought to life through an imbuement with elemental energies. With very few exceptions, most animates are relics from the pre-apocalyptic age or derived from the remains of such, and it is believed that they were used as servants by the Old Mythrics, Inadasir, and other lost cultures both during peace and war.
Animates most people hear tell of in legends are the great monstrosities that guard the Black Dome of the north near the White Desert, killing and smashing all that approaches. The lesser known forms are sometimes referred to simply as collectors, humanoid entities of clay, metal and other odd patchwork parts sent out into the world to gather knowledge. They are sometimes self described as researchers and scholars, while at other times they seek out specific objects or items, and will often trade and barter for such items if they are held in high regard. Doppelgangers who have been utterly refused have been known to leave, only to come back later with deadly reinforcements.
Animates are unusually difficult characters to play, but can be an interesting challenge for someone who would like to try out a living construct. Animates usually serve some unusual ultimate purpose, which could be a long term campaign goal. On occasion animates achieve a sense of independence, perhaps having been inactivated due to damage, or on rare occasion shutting down due to some inhibition of their elemental power source. These animates may have a sense of free will and curiosity on their own, and an urge to explore.

Playing an Animate Character in Runequest II

   Animates build their humanoid collector models to emulate living creatures, and so the nature of the magical artificing imbues them with life-like qualities, although they are clearly made of artificial materials. An animate collector appears to look like a human or elf made of stylized and decorative pieces of metal, ceramics, cloth and a strange fiber.
Average Height: Variable, usually in precise measurements of 5, 6, or 7 feet in height
Average Weight: 300-500 lbs.
Ability Scores: STR 2D6+6, DEX 2D6+3, CON 12+1D6, SIZ 3D6+3, INT 2D6+6, POW 3D6, CHA 2D6
Speed: as a human (8 meters)
Vision: Normal, but an animate may choose better vision (see below)
Languages: Old Mythric, Espanean (or one other) and Tradespeak are starting native language skills.
Cultural Background: Animates are civilized beings and start with the Civilized cultural package. It is possible for an animate that has been damaged or reactivated after a prolonged period to operate or act differently, if it is exposed to a different set of stimuli during the growth of its mental abilities. Such animates could choose a different cultural package if the GM permits it.
Living Construct: Similar to standard constructs such as golems, living constructs are imbued with an elemental anima, or animating force that gives them life-like properties and separates them from golems and other unliving animated entities. As such, animates have the following traits unique to their kind:
·         Animates are not subject to standard biological disease, viruses, toxins or poisons that require a body of flesh to function. They can be affected by magical versions of the same.
·         Animates do not need to eat, breathe or sleep, but they still require eight hours of immobile activity to replenish their elemental power cores (and magical abilities or spells) or they gain a level of fatigue.
·         Animates must choose an elemental trait that reflects their animating force; they gain 3 armor points of protection against attacks with that elemental property (ice, fire, water, earth, air and so forth); pick one
·         Animates benefit from normal healing magic as living constructs, although the Heal skill has no use to them; a craft skill must be used instead as if it were a healing skill
·         Animates that fail a resilience check against a mortal blow are deactivated; parts of animates that reach the negative of their Con score are destroyed; if the animate’s torso is destroyed in such a manner they are permanently gone. They have no souls so cannot be resurrected or raised (except by animate priests of one of the machine gods)
Unique Traits: Choose two racial traits at character creation; additional traits for the animate may be purchased later as upgrades, but they require the expenditure of the indicated number of improvement rolls to gain. The initial choices are: Night Vision, Fire Spray, Change Self, Hardened Skin, or Machine Logic.
Advanced animate traits can be chosen later on (after beginning the adventuring career) and provide additional enhancements. These include advanced fire spray, photographic recall,advanced machine logic, quickened hardened skin and mimicry.

Basic Animate Racial Traits:

Night Vision
An animate with this ability can see at night as if it were daylight, although sudden bright lights can be momentarily blinding.
Benefit: This effect is a free action to activate, and remains on until deactivated. If the animate is surprised by sudden bright light equivalent to sunlight within 10 feet of his location, he is considered dazed until the beginning of his next turn, suffering a -15% penalty to all actions affected by vision.

Fire Spray
Small holes in the ends of the animate’s fingers release a stream of burning liquid in an arc spray.
Benefit: This 1 CA attack fires a conical sprawyin front of the animate for 5 meters; it is a ranged attack against all targets in the affected area, and does 1D6 points of fire damage to 1D3 locations on each affected target. The animate must spend 1 MP to activate this ability. It is progressive, like common magic, and each additional MP spent adds +1 to the base damage. The fire spray requires a suitable ranged combat style to operate (called, of course, Fire Spray Attack).

Change Self
With a thought, the animate’s exterior appearance changes like plastic to emulate another humanoid form.
Benefit: This ability gives the animate a different outward physical form, adding +50%  to their disguise skill.  It costs 1 MP to activate and lasts for 5 minutes (per MP spent). The size of the animate does not change.

Hardened Skin
This animate can tense up, as armored plates lock together in to a solid, impenetrable mass of hardened ceramic, metal and wood.
Benefit: The animate gains 1 AP per MP spent for 5 minutes, up to a maximum of 6 AP. This takes 1 CA to activate.

Machine Logic
Some animates are particularly mechanical in their way of thinking, and perceive reality through calculated, analytical eyes.
Benefit: The animate gains 25% bonus to persistence against all illusory and mind-affecting attacks.

Advanced Animate Racial Traits:
The following feats are unique to animates, who hone their precise abilities to recall and duplicate humanoid behavior. These feats cannot be chosen at character creation unless the character is being made using the seasoned adventurer rules.

Advanced Fire Spray
Benefit: You spray a lingering, burning fluid from your fingertips instead of normal fire. The fire spray’s base MP cost is doubled when you add this trait. The fire spray does 1D6 ongoing Fire damage to all targets on the following turn, lasting for a total of 1D6 rounds.

Advanced Machine Logic
The animate has honed its machine logic to a razor’s edge.
Benefit: The animate increases its persistence bonus against mind-affecting and illusory magic to +50%, and gains total immunity to all charm effects.

Photographic Recall
Benefit: Animates can be constructed and magically programmed to record what they see and hear with stunning precision. As time goes by, this ability is nurtured and becomes truly vivid.
   Photographic recall can be a time-consuming process as the animate shifts through its memory of old data. It will take one minutes for this process to happen (results as applied may take longer, however).
An animate should roll 1D20 and add its Intelligence score to recall any information previously experienced with startling precision. The length of time which can be applied, cost in MP to generate the result, and skill bonus gained from the recall is based on the following chart:

Int. Roll                  Bonus     Length of Time     MP Cost
1-8                          0              1 week                   0
9-15                        +10%      1 month                 1
16-21                     +20%      1 year                     1
22-26                     +30%      10 years                 2
27-30                     +40%      100 years              2             
31-34                     +50%      1,000 years           3
35-38                     +60%     2,000 years          3
Per +3                    +70%      +1,000 years         +1

   Using this chart, an animate would roll for the Intelligence result first (1D20 plus Int), then cross-reference. The bonus is applied to the next lore or appropriate skill that will be used to glean past knowledge. The length of time is the furthest back the animate’s memory can  reach regarding the issue at hand. The MP cost is the amount of MP the animate must expend to gain the benefit of the skill result.
   Ex: Collector 7 makes an intelligence check and tolls 10, plus an Int of 14, for a total of 24. He gains a +30% bonus to his next craft, art, lore or any other applicable skill check, and the data he recalls can be up to 10 years old.
Note that an animate might be fairly young, but its internal memory might contain archived data going back thousands of years. Any animate with an intelligence of less than 12 does not contain an archived data bank and can’t be upgraded with one until it’s intelligence is improved to 12 or better. Conversely, some animates are ancient, but they have suffered memory loss due to hardship, injury or inactivity over the centuries.
   Once the recall is complete, the animate may photographically reconstruct an image recalled in a physical media (such as potter or painter); the animate gains a bonus (based on the above chart) to the relevant skill (usually art) for such attempts. It will be almost lifelike, depending on the quality of painting materials. An animate with the Mimicry trait may precisely duplicate voices from any period of time (like a recording, but not as voice mimicry). Minutiae down to the signature on a clay pot or the runes on a banded ring may be recalled with this ability. Finally, an animate may apply the relevant bonus to any lore skill check attempted as a result of this ability.

Mimicry
Prerequisites: Photographic Recall feat, Charisma 14+, Disguise skill at 50% or better
Benefit: Animates are able to study and precisely imitate the motions and voice of those they encounter. Some perfect it to an art.
   The animate can study one target for a period of time and attempt to mimic that target with a Disguise skill check Modifiers include: +10% if the target is studied for at least one minute, an additional +10% if studied for 10 minutes or more. Penalties include: -10% per day since observing the subject, an additional -20% if the subject is being mimicked through second-hand (but accurate) information.
   The animate will either precisely imitate the mannerisms or the voice of a target (or both, with two separate checks). The mimicry will be so precise that the animate could be instantly assumed to be its mimicked target. The animate that does this is actually doing a form of pantomime, and is not creating movements that are able to duplicate combat or skill-based actions of the target. Nonetheless, the result is uncanny compared to conventional thespians, a mechanically precise duplication of life.
   Photographic recall used with mimicry may allow for the disguise skill to gain an enhancement bonus (see Photographic Recall details above).

Quickened Hardened Skin
The animate can activate his hardened skin much faster than normal.
Prerequisite: Animate, hardened skin
Benefit: This animate can activate his hardened skin as a free action, and may do so in reaction to an attack, as if it were an automatic reflex.

Mardieur Mardieux in the Flesh

And last but not least, a RQII adaptation of the Big Guy himself....
Mardieur Mardieux
Huron Minotaur, Age 47; Rune Lord of Akquinarios 
Barbarian Explorer (Hero)                              1D20    Hit Location   AP/HP
STR      31        CA       3                                       1-3       Right leg          3+2/8
CON    17        DMG    +1D12                            4-6       Left leg            3+2/8
SIZ       20        MPs     7 (+20 stone)                7-10     Abdomen       3+2/9
INT      13        Move  8m                                   11-12   Chest               3+2/10
POW   17        SR        13 (10)                           13-15   Right Arm       3+2/7
DEX     12        Dedicated Pow: 10                 16-18   Left Arm          3+2/7
CHA     10                                                             19-20   Head                 5/8
Hero Points: 22          Rune Mastery: Communication, Mastery
Natural Armour: Tough Hide (3 AP, no armor penalty) plus horns on head (AP 5 total)
Armor Worn: Hard Leather jerkin (2 AP chest, Abdomen) and Hard Leather greaves and vambraces (2 AP legs and arms) (-3 SR)
Common Skills: Athletics 83%, Brawn 109%, Culture (Huron) 56%, Dance 22%, Drive 29%,  Evade 74%,  Evaluate 36%, First Aid 25%, Infl uence 40%, Insight 50%, Lore (Regional-Sea of Chirak) 76%, Perception 50%, Persistence 84%, Resilience 109%, Ride 34%, Sing 48%, Sleight 22%, Stealth 30%, Swim 88%, Unarmed 108%
Advanced Skills: Language (minotaur) 73%, Language (Espanean) 26%, Language (Mercurian) 26%, Language (Sabiri) 25%, Language (Pelegar) 26%, Culture (Espanean) 26%, Healing 30%, Lore (Ancient History) 46%, Shiphandling 50%, Survival 64%, Teaching 23%, Track 80%
Rune Lord of Akquinarios: Lore (Akquinarios) 80%, Pact (Akquinarios) 78
Divine Spells: Berserk, Consecrate, Breathe Water, Cure Disease/Poison, Elemental Summoning, Fog, Heal Body, Resurrect, Soul Sight, True (Great Axe)
Combat Styles: 2H Axe 113%, 1H Sword 83%, 1H Axe 65%, Great Bow 64%
Common Magic 78%: Bearing Witness 1, Beast Call 2, Bestial Enhancement 4, Bladesharp 6, Cauterize 3, Clear Path 1, Endurance 6, Fate 5, Heal 6, Light 3, Mobility 4, Protection 4, Thunder’s Voice 5, Vigor 4, Water Breath 2
Heroic Abilities: Awesome Smash, Battle Fury, Mighty Blow, Tireless
Weapons:
Great Axe of the Avatar (imbued with Akquinarios Stone) (Attack 133%; 1D12+6+1D12 damage-includes permanent bladesharp+4 enchantment; Size H; Bleed, Sunder; 8 AP, 20 HP; enchantment doubles AP/HP and adds Bladesharp 4; Stone in the blade provides +5 MP/day)
Long Bow (Attack 64%; 1D8+1D12 damage; Range 175 meters; Size H; Impale; 4 AP 7 HP)
Head Butt (Attack 80%; 1D6+1D12 dmg; AP/Hp as for head)

Akquinarios Stone (Bound); +15 MP (+20 if merged with shard in axe) per day; acts as a shrine and temple to Akquinarios for purposes of divine spell recall and acquisition.

   Mardieur Mardieux is the avatar of the Aquarius Stone, a powerful divine artifact. He is a known hero of Chirak, liberator of Espanea, slayer of the resurrected god Minhauros and a composer of fine minotaur dirges.

RC Superheroes, Post-Rapture Report, and Griping about Gaming in General



Well, I think the Rapture was very successful. I didn't have anyone knocking on my door Saturday or Sunday morning with pamphlets for LDS, 7th Day Adventists or any other group, so godspeed to them all on their epic journey! Unfortunately it looks like the vast majority of us were all appropriately sinful, so looting Fry's or Best Buy would have been in bad form, I suppose. And not one zombie in sight, alas!

Stumbled across this cool video. The RC Superhero looks much, much cooler than conventional RC planes or even kites. I need to find one of these....



Warning: Grumpy Old Gamer Griping Ahead (continue reading at your own risk!)

Although I don't often address it in the blog...well, never so far, actually....I do periodically go through the awful side effect of being a gamer with a mid-life crisis, what I refer to as "doubting the hobby, doubting the system, doubting the medium." I spent a fair amount of time this weekend perturbed that I enjoy Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, being discontent with the fact that I also enjoy Pathfinder, and wondering if my life would be easier if I simply got rid of both of them and focused exclusively on game systems that have "merit" by whatever obtuse standard my subconscious decides such things. That would pretty much leave me with Basic Role Playing, GURPS, Runequest II and a handful of others....but then, I know I'd inevitably find myself desperate to scratch that itch that only D&D and its kin can help with. Ah, well.....in the end, I must run what people will play, I suppose. I know I'm going to experience an enforced break from gaming in just a few short months; I can't imagine logistically how to do pretty much ANYTHING I consider normal now as being feasible in six months when the baby arrives!

Anyway, I think I figured out that there are three parts to my "mid-life gamer crisis," that boil down to the following three features:
1. Other gamers bring me down (specifically power gamers, rules lawyers and min-maxers)
2. I've burned out on traditional epic heroic fantasy with Tolkienesque trappings
3. The creative energy I use in RPGs is something I really need to refocus on writing fiction and (hopefully) getting published

I've long thought #3 was an issue for me, but I do the best I can. RPGs have always been a useful and important creative outlet, so this is not a problem that's going away....I just need to find a mutual harmony between creative effort in writing and gaming for myself.

The second part is easy enough to address: I just need to break out of the mold, and do something innovative. I worked out a great humanocentric setting based on non-western fantasy tropes a while back that I would really like to explore called Enzada. I am working on a setting set in ancient Mycenaean Greece. I have several ideas for SF settings I've been working on. I'd love to do Call of Cthulhu on a regular basis again, someday. I have seriously toyed with the idea of using BRP or RQII as the core rules for a Hyborian Adventures campaign, or something very much akin to it (probably using Enzada). All of this, of course, requires a willing audience of players, which is another matter entirely.

The first part is a tough one, because this hobby requires participation. I'm not complaining about my regular crowd of gamers but rather the broader demographic as a whole. Power gamers, for example, are completely at odds with the very concept of what I enjoy in RPGs. I've run in to more than a few lately as I've enjoyed other gaming groups (or tried to) and nothing kills a game for me like a forty-five minute argument about whether or not a cleric's Channel Energy that deals damage to undead counts as an attack for the Sanctuary spell, or whether or not the Create Water cantrip can validly constitute a way to clear out a dungeon by flooding it (all Pathfinder examples from actual recent conversations I have been subjected to).

Even though I wasn't playing with them, just sitting at the table next to this group of 4E gamers made me question whether I'm actually engaging in badwrongfun, or if I should be trying to analyze why 4E seems to have so many players who don't, apparently, have a clue how to role play or interact in a manner consistent with what I've considered the "basic process" of the hobby for the last thirty years. Every single 4E game (other than the ones I run) at the FLGS (friendly local game store) are card-board bland combat encounters with no descriptive detail or effort at evocative prose, role play or storytelling. Every single one. They are so painful to watch and listen to that they are actually demoralizing to me, as it makes me think that I've somehow made a terrible, wrong choice in choosing 4E as my primary game system...that the other guys I game with who love Pathfinder and eschew D&D are not just being elitist gamers with severe cases of "3.5 nostalgia" but that they might, in some way, be right. I don't think they really are right, in one sense....but I do think that 4E suffers from two factors that pull it down.

First, 4E is designed to be played in a very mechanical, deterministic sort of way. This isn't so much different from prior editions (which could and often were played the same way) as it is polished beyond belief: you could, technically, run the game mechanically without ever being forced to role-play or describe any of the actions being taken in the game, because the game has a programmed set of default instructions for almost every action, and it excludes potentially confusing or "thinking outside the box" actions by error of omission. You can do stuff the rules don't explicitly cover, sure....but the game is written in a manner that allows those uncomfortable with seditious thought, action and deed to exclude such features if they so desire on the grounds that there are no rules for such behavior. And no, 4E does not say this, indeed even encourages the opposite in its actual text in books like the DMGs, but the core mechanics don't integrate role playing advice, and provide no enforcement or reward for such unprescribed actions outside of DM fiat.

This is ultimately really a feature and not a bug, in the sense that it allows many gamers who might not want to role-play in a traditional sense to enjoy the game without having to "emote," effectively. This feature is what links 4E to its comparison to MMOs and other CPRGs out there: sure you can role-play, but the game does not presuppose that you must. This kind of thing happens all the time on MMO servers that cater to online RP, where the RPers want to have fun acting in character and telling tales, and then the hardcore non-RPer who fails to see the irony of playing an MMORPG and mocking those actually engaging in the RP part comes along and does the online equivalent of stacking.
Second, 4E built pretty much everything around specific actions. There's a huge amount of fluff in the game, yes, but very little of the fluff exists in a mechanical sense. Most powers in the game deal various specific effects that are ultimately defined by an amount of damage, a damage type, a movement effect, a bonus or penalty effect and on very rare occasion something outside of the box. It's incredibly codified. This is a feature for many (including myself) because the game leaves very little to equivocate about; it either works or it doesn't, and ridiculous arguments about Create Water cantrips and whether Channel Energy cancels out Sanctuary are simply not issues in 4E.

However, 4E completely lacks context for most of its described actions and powers outside of the mechanical effect. Yes, they have great descriptive elements (fluff) to help visualize what is happening, but the fact is, when you activate a given power its effectively triggering a feature in precisely the same way that you would do so in a computer game: you trigger, a cool graphic happens (optional in 4E, as I have determined from watching all these other groups in play, where all descriptions were purely mechanical) and the mechanical resolution occurs. The broader question of things like, "if I can summon a cloud of daggers, why can't I summon one dagger and use it to, say, cut a rope?" are not specifically addressed. Yes, I would more than happily allow such a use in my games...but the rules simply don't address the "outside of combat" elements or implications of these powers, for the most part. It really should.

If each power or effect in 4E had a "in combat" description as well as an "out of combat" description, that would be a great start. Many of my cohorts who dislike 4E do so precisely for this reason, I suspect; they see their character sheet full of combat options, but very few non-combat choices. I think prior criticisms of 4E have unfortunately confused "role playing options" with "non-combat options" in the past. 4E actually provides plenty of role-playing options, every single power description is effectively a way of showing the player or DM how to contribute to the narrative process (albeit conveniently packaged separately from the main text, and therefore fully optional for groups that prefer to play D&D as a regular game rather than an RPG, apparently). What each power is missing, that prior editions generally had (but in a clumsy manner) was a description that included non-combat uses. 4E really, really needs this. It needs exposition on both how and why one would use eldritch blast or cloud of daggers to cut ropes, as an example. It doesn't even need to provide much in the way of rules....the mechanics for such actions are already there, after all, but it needs to demonstrate to the players that these are options, and it needs to show that the game has more features than one might see from just scratching the surface. And I think it can do this without returning to the 3.5/PF problem of nit-picky rules lawyers arguing about how an infinite supply of Create Water spells means that logically they can get a group of level one wizards together to make a continuous rain of water in the dungeon to flood it out, then pick through the remains when the water dispels later on.

So back to my issue. Ultimately, I think my sanity depends on avoiding the type of gamer that doesn't mesh well with everything I understand D&D 4E to be....neither they nor I am having badwrongfun, but our two brands of fun certainly aren't compatible. And if I do find myself in a group with this sort of gamer, maybe I can stir it up a bit and teach them how to play it my way...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrating Rapture Day


I've had a tradition for a few years now of celebrating Easter Sunday with a rousing game of Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil (to name a few) or a good zombie movie marathon. This year is doubly-fun, as it turns out that according to Harold Camping the Rapture is about to hit tomorrow. This means DOUBLE the zombie madness this year, and I am already planning to make the new kick-off heroic-tier level one 4E campaign that starts tomorrow face a zombie epidemic, but shall then follow up that evening with a mix of L4D2 and an all-night zombie movie marathon.

...unless the dead DO start rising from the grave, at which time I will have to break out the modified weed-wackers and jury-rigged lawnmowers....because while we all know that the conventional Christian view of the Rapture probably looks like this--


The reality is going to be a whole lot more gruesome...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Call of Cthulhu Mobile Game?

I really hope they go cross-platform and maybe offer up a working edition on Steam, XBLA or, heck, just about anything I actually own. I'd hate to have to justify buying an iphone or something similar just to play...



In unrelated news I now have Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond. I'll be absorbing this quickly over the next couple of days, as it's scheduled to be a focal point for  a new bi-weekly afternoon Saturday game I'm starting this weekend. Surface impressions are good, though! The campaign book is meaty, the encounters book is full of interesting things to throw at the players (and not just fights) and the post maps look good. The Despair Deck is a very cool concept, eager to see it in action. The only disappointment so far is the flimsy box. More later!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kaiju Biology and Vampire Anniversaries

I found this site with a very cool description of how maybe, just maybe it might be possible in a fantastical but "sounds cool enough to work" kind of way that Gojira and his buddies might roam the earth. Makes great fodder for a GURPS Atomic Horror campaign...or maybe surprise your BRP Rubble & Ruin, Atomic Highway or Gamma World characters with some twenty thousand ton monsters....

Grand Masquerade Special
General Release 

It's going to be print to order only, so those of you who want one should order it now I'm guessing.
$99...well, I know my wife is going to want one. She can read it while she's in the birthing ward, since this book and the baby will arrive around the same time =)

I'm still preparing myself for about five-seven years from now when the kid asks me why mom has the picture of a Tzimisce fleshcrafting vampire Sascha Vykos on her left arm..."Mommy's strange. You should know that by now. And Dad doesn't have one because he's got a low pain tolerance for tattoo needles. And no you can't have one. Yes it is do as we say not as we do, welcome to Reality 101, kid."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Twelve Week Mark

The theory is that in many years this will be but one of a countless number of internet archival bits that can embarass the hell out of my kid. Anyway, the week twelve pics almost look like a tiny little kid now, less like something more closely related to a Precambrian ancestor:


Much better than the week nine pics, which looked closer to a juggling octopus!!!

Anyway, the little guy/gal is moving now, not just a little heartbeat, and seemed a might bit peturbed at being scanned by the nurse. We'll know the gender by June 21st so I can stop being ambiguous about the his/her bit.

Kind of unrelated, but if you want a nice, healthy experience learning about the development cycle of a child in the womb then the perinatal center we're going to (Pinon Perinatal) is pretty decent. If, on the other hand, you want to experience a horror show of the most terrifying kind, a quick google image search for "fetus" will lead to depths of madness unparalleled in even the Cthlhu Mythos. Don't click on that link of you are squeamish or (like me) found Eraserhead to be the most disturbing film in the history of cinema. Ah, the internet, so busy being terrifying, gross, informative, speading lies and gossipy all at the same time.