So I've been on a sort of radio silence lately here on the blog for a few reasons -
1. My regular gaming group broke up. I won't go into details, but "I'm an asshole, that's just how I am" doesn't make it OK that you're an asshole.
2. My regular gaming group got back together - minus the asshole. And we're moving forward with the American Auror campaign.
3. Because American Auror is actually going to get played this century, I needed to finish the AARG magic rules ...
And I did!
The AARG Pre-Flight Edition is here
What's the difference between Pre-Flight and the "real" edition? Functionally, nothing. My plan is to have everything AARG be free. However, free doesn't pay hosting fees, so AARG will be split into Pre-Flight and Universal editions. The rules content will be the same in both versions, but the Universal Edition will have skill indexes to quickly find skills based on name, cost, and related stat, will include an expanded Narrator's guide with advice on running AARG games written with new GM's in mind, and will be designed with an eye for printing the books instead of the digital-only expectation for the Pre-Flight edition.
Anyway, you can now download the Pre-Flight edition which is a completely playable version of the rules.
Read any of the critical reviews of the new Robocop movie, and the complains will mostly boil down to one of three angles -
1. This is not how I would have done it.
2. It's not how I wanted them to do it.
3. All sequels suck.
All three are valid reasons for not liking a film. However, none of them is a reflection on the quality of the film, just as the hatred for the new Robocop stems more from our inherent distaste for "reboots" than any actual critique of the film itself.
The new Robocop film is not an attempt to tell a new version of the same story, it's actually a pretty different story from the original. But it does understand its cinematic DNA, and, unlike other remakes, actually makes an attempt to honor that ancestry while still trying to be something different.
In short, the new Robocop is just as much a popcorn action flick as the original and equally worth your time.
A few light spoilers ahead, but nothing you couldn't get from the trailers.
One of the hardest things I've had to deal with so far in plotting out American Auror
is in keeping the individual adventures intriguing. I've got plenty of story ideas at the campaign level, but I realized quickly that my normal adventure style of starting a bad event in motion and then letting the party investigate and deal with the event as they see fit wouldn't work here. I have to keep the pace moving, keep things tense, and most importantly make the party feel like they were constantly behind the bad guys. I have to provide a constant stream of villains and plots operating outside of the "normal" world's view - to quote Tommy Lee Jones in MIB - "There's always an Aquillian battle cruiser. Or a Corillian death ray. Or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet. And the only way these people can got on with their happy lives is that they. do not. know about it." In short, if I want to keep the party from charging in guns blazing and confronting problems in public, head on the way they normally do, then I need to ramp up the intrigue and make each adventure a guessing game.
I've been distracted lately in working on Dynamo, which is the system I developed for NaGaDeMon. Like GENERALA before it, it's kind of taken on a life of it's own once people started playing it. Originally, the Dynamo rules document was a two-page slapdash thing that introduced character creation and the basics of game play. Unfortunately, while that was fun to put together, unless your game consists almost entirely of players telling each other stories that short of a document doesn't cover enough. There were a few topics that people who played with the brief rules wanted clarification on.
What were my thoughts on just punching someone without using a power? How many points should GM's spend on villains and minions? When do defeated characters get to rejoin the game?
Unfortunately, these are important questions for the kind of game I've written.
So I've gone back to the drawing board and, returning to the golden age inspirations I called on before, I redesigned and expanded the rules document. I've padded out the text to get away from the vague hand-waving and include some actual rulings on different behaviors. It's still a pretty lite system, but I think it's more solid and playable now.
I'll move the document over to my games page when I find the time to do the artwork up proper.
In the meantime, you can download the post-Beta Dynamo PDF here.
Be sure to drop me a note here or on G+ if you dig the system.
Being dead twice in as many hours can have an affect on a person. As I said before, nephew, the first experience had a profound impact on me, one which I wish to process further before commenting on.
My second experience, which I had as I was pulled down under the mountain, bouncing along the caves with the rushing waters, was far more prosaic. I dreamt, as a floated through the darkness, that I was being carried along by many hands. Then, for a moment, I was flying, to be caught by a beautiful mermaid. She kissed me deeply, and I could feel the fire of her kiss spreading down into my chest.
Again, one need not stretch one’s imagination too far to discern the imagery my mind placed on the events my body was undoubtedly going through. Still, it was a beautiful dream.
It’s a shame then that the first face I saw upon my return to the land of the living was that of Baleban.
The characters are local civil servants of various types who work in an office building on the edge of town. It's ancient, few people work there, and there's constant wonder that it hasn't been closed down to save money. Then, one day, they're in a garage area that nobody goes to and suddenly a door opens that they didn't see there before.
The players are asked to restat one of their favorite previous characters and email the GM with a small bio and a bit about where the character was when last they left them. At the start of game play, all players hand their character sheet and bio to the person to their left.
The gods are back, and they're wrecking shit.
As a man of science, I find myself, more often than not, on the side of rational behavior and not following the footsteps of men more prone to foolhardy actions. In short, nephew, left to my own devices I would choose cowardice over heroism every time.
However, despite my enlarged sense of self preservation, even I could not deny that I owed a debt to Ferguson. To abandon him at this point without at least making the effort to help would be tantamount to an outright rejection of our friendship.
Geo-political conflict causes Earth to lose contact with its moon colonies.