Sunday, September 24, 2017

Doctor Who Hiatus

I meant to post this earlier but it got away from me. A couple of the players in my Doctor Who group have moved away, and so the game is on indefinite hiatus for the moment. We've discussed maybe trying to run it online over Skype or something. And to be honest, I've got legitimate doubts about my ability to handle running a game in real-time for people who aren't in the room. But circumstances might line up for me to give it a try as a player, and if that comes up, depending on how well I like it we'll see what happens. But wanted to keep people in the loop. If things change, you'll hear it here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A reminder about something I wrote

This post is one of many things that slipped my mind post-Gencon this year.

Basically, as a reminder, earlier this year I got published in this anthology of anthropomorphic literature. And at the time, I said that I'd put something up when it becomes available in ebook format for those of you who don't want to pay shipping, don't want to wait for shipping, or what have you.

Well, it's out in ebook format. You can find it here. My story in particular is called "Bite the Apple," in case you can't tell from the author list.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cave of Secrets: Aftermath

Whew, okay. So I've had a hell of a week, between finishing up the draft of a freelancing gig and running three Aeon playtests with not as much warning as I'd have liked. There's a part of me that wants to put this off a couple more days but the sooner I get it started the sooner I get it over with.

But this marked the last session of 'season one' of Cave of Secrets (I may or may not go back and add a tag to these posts labeling them season-wise). Honestly, I'm more than a little burned out on the old WoD system and I guarantee you there's going to be some house-ruling when we get around to revisiting this. (I dunno exactly when that'll be, because who knows long that might be and what will happen in the meantime.)

So what's on the schedule now? Well, we're taking a break from the homebrew stuff for a few weeks to give me some time to prep and so we can push through to the end of the fourth volume of Mummy's Mask[link], because the group's in the middle of an annoying dungeon.

Then after that, we're coming back with a game in my Woodburn Chronicles setting, following up on Derrick's very bad decision to consume a Strix. This time should be a little smoother, since we're starting as a tabletop game from the beginning rather than tweaking a LARP. It's looking like it's going to have quite the varied group of supernatural creatures, as well.

But we'll get into that when the time comes. For now, we've got the (admittedly short) epilogue of the story with the Skin Dancers and the Cave of Secrets 'season finale.'


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cave of Secrets: Bargaining

Alright, so post-Gencon, I had some stuff to get caught up on, then there was the Gencon stuff to do, some freelancing work, and some stuff kinda fell into my lap... anyhow, I'm finally getting to this. And it was a pretty busy session in any case. So let's get to it.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Gencon, Part 2: Monsters and Chill (Game write-ups)

And now we come to what people have really been waiting for, what happened at my Gencon games this year.

The previous post, covering most of the stuff from outside the games, can be found here.

So this year I ran two Monster of the Week games, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Both were in the setting I've started calling 'Supernatural Studios': The characters are various non-famous Hollywood professionals, often technicians and stunt people (or criminals who associate with such), who try to protect the movie studios and their talent from the horrible shit either attracted to or causing all of the weirdness in Hollywood. The Department of Special Maintenance (as they're called) is kind of an open secret to veterans in the industry, and they operate out of an old prop warehouse semi-officially labeled Warehouse X. I'll go more into the individual game setups (including which playbooks were in use), but wanted to spell out the basic premise here first.

(By the way, if you need to reference the playbooks listed below, the basic ones can be found here and the Hard Case, seen in 'Unfilmable,' can be found here.

I also played in a Chill game on Sunday, but I'll get into more detail about that when we get to it.


RPGaDay 2017, Week 4

Sorry, lost track of this because things got busy on me. But now, belatedly, is the final week and change of RPGaDay 2017.

(Part 2 of my Gencon posts should be up soon, I've got the game write-ups about finished as I do this.)


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Gencon, Part 1: Highlights and Cardhalla

Okay, so I've been a little behind on this. Between the drive up and back, and some sinus problems resulting from the convention, Gencon kind of kicked my ass in a few ways. Also, I had some freelance writing time to make up and this just got away from me.

But because I don't know how long it'll take me to do write-ups of games, I'll break this down into two posts: One of highlights and this year's Cardhalla, and then I'll do one with the game write-ups. (Two Monster of the Week games I ran, and a Chill game in which I played.)

-Holy crap a couple of the big items for this year's convention sold out in a hurry. I'd initially planned to get copies of the Legend of the Five Rings LCG and Starfinder for myself and friends, and that... went off the rails quickly. My roommate Sean and I were at the opening of the Exhibit Hall on Thursday, planning to get into line as early as possible to get hopefully the first of multiple copies of L5R. The doors opened at 10, and between the crowd and just finding the end of the line it was almost 20 minutes before we found out the line was so long that it had been closed to keep the fire marshal off the company's back. So we wandered the room for a bit, and I think we got a quick bite to eat (I'm blanking now), and circled back about noon or so, where we each managed to get one of the last dozen or so copies. (What I didn't know at the time was that that was going to be the supply for the whole convention. I'd been under the impression that FFG was going to ration out the copies a little better after what happened with Netrunner, but I was apparently wrong.)

Part of the scenery from the line


-BTW, speaking of which, over the course of the convention, I found myself spotting a few familiar faces around the Fantasy Flight Games booth from the old days of L5R. Rusty Priske from the Story Team, for instance, and some acquaintances from the Mantis boards. Sean and I also went to a Mantis/Scorpion dinner that evening, reconnecting with a couple of people and just enjoying the company of fellow players.

-Starfinder also sold out a lot quicker than expected. I held off on that because I didn't feel like waiting in multiple massive lines in one day, and next thing I know it's about 4pm -- six hours after the exhibit hall opened -- and Paizo had sold out of their whole weekend's supply as well (aside from copies set aside for subscribers like myself). When I got my subscription copy, they joked about being careful not to flaunt that given how quickly it sold out, and mentioned that they'd brought more copies of Starfinder to the con than they'd ever brought of any book and still had no clue they'd go so fast. (I remember when the Pathfinder core rulebook came out some years back, and despite that being the 'hot item' of the con, there were still copies left on the last day because that's when I got mine.) But unlike L5R, which is going to have a street date of either the end of September or first week of October, Starfinder is also appearing in stores simultaneously so that's not too bad.

-Sean and I kept running into my old friend John Kennedy (aka Mythdude, the Incarna of Silly Things) over the course of the weekend, either just out and about or by the Onyx Path/White Wolf booth or at one point swinging by the Modiphius booth to take a look at the Star Trek game (where he proceeded to show us the Borg Cube). Sadly, however, I was just too worn out/congested to hang out the last day of the con, but it was still good seeing him!

-Also, one day, I managed to run into the tail end of what I later found out was a City of Heroes fans meetup out by the food trucks (sadly, I was running a game through most of the time slot, and I'd either missed or forgotten that it was happening). There wasn't anyone there I knew, but I did get this picture:



-Because there's always someone who asks about what I got at the convention, I'll give a quick list here. Aside from a copy of L5R and all of the Starfinder stuff Paizo had (obtained via subscription pick-up, which makes it work sort of like a pre-order in this case), I also got the Cities in Ruin expansion for Eldritch Horror, packs 4-6 of the Red Sands Cycle for Netrunner, a couple of pleather dice trays for the gaming table, and -- oh, shit. I just now, as I typed this, realized I meant to fill in some of the gaps in my Doctor Who RPG books and forgot to go back to the Cubicle 7 booth. Shit. Ah well. Anyhow, I also picked up my Kickstarter copy of Monsters for Chill from Growling Door Games, picked up my subscription copies of a couple of Pathfinder books (Elemental Master's Handbook and the first volume of the Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path, The Lost Outpost) and the Magus class deck for the Pathfinder card game, Crystal Caste's special Gencon set for this year (pictured below), and I think that basically covers it, aside from one or two things I got for other people.



-Also, for the curious, the drive up and back was actually pretty smooth. Sean and I had a supply of Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays to listen to for much of the way up and back. We listened to, in no particular order: The Last Adventure; Classic Doctors, New Monsters Vol. 2; The Haunting (featuring Jago & Litefoot & Strax); and a bit of Doom Coalition Vol. 1(we're still working our way through that last one). The weather was amenable and traffic wasn't too bad outside of some road work on the way back.

And now, the Cardhalla stuff, behind a cut because it's image-heavy. My next post, with my game write-ups, will go up as soon as I can manage.