Carving runes on the inner sky of an empyeran, trying to make meaning and hoping that those from without understand as well.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Steam(punk)ed Kabbalah is delicious

Steampunk (and Kabbalah) are the two keywords that really get me going for a game, but to be honest I know little of each. I tend to like the fluffy parts of both of them. The tech in steampunk and the magic in kabbalah are what I really want. I intend to research them both more and make a neat proposition for a fusion game of them. So, we've got a kabbalah link from Joshua (thanks!), and I found this a while back on steampunk. So I wikipedia-ed steampunk, too, and am on a course. Again, as I've posted before, my biggest influences have always been Final Fantasy and Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver. Steampunk and soul magic and stuff like that.

I want:
  • Kingdoms: with wars, upset citizens, rebel movements, and weird lines/methods of royal ascension,
  • Magic: a cruel nature goddess and an oblivious time god (dualistic theology), crystals and runes/glyphs, souls as power and otherworld currency, time as a framework for all magic,
  • Tech: guns (I love big guns with funky stuff that you aren't sure if they work consistently), steamy mechs, metallic objects align to a person's soul or racial features, big honkin' airships, limited time travel,
  • Races: nothing named (elfs, dwarves, etc.), supernatural and mundane features, all starting with a base human, and acquirable in-game,
  • Classes: rich, poor, and a whole hierarchy of what roles are more important than others (mimicking the Japanese samurai, merchant, peasant style), and
  • Themes: age-old strife (is it worth fighting my father's war?), special times create special effects (night-time strengthens certain souls, anniversaries of major events hold special power - what about humanity marks time?), extreme emotions can create effects or summon creatures (what is this worth to you?), racism (why is it so pervasive? [everyone will be required to take a racism of some sort])


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Recently Filtered Good Gaming Ideas and Fuck Ups on My Part

Man my birthday this year has kicked ass. All the people that I didn't want to know about it didn't (I'll just leave that at that for now). I'm getting Monster Burner for Burning Wheel, Prime Time Adventures and Breaking the Ice to try with my wife, and maybe Nine Worlds if I can sneak it by. I got a Doctor Who scarf from my sister-in-law J-9, and we (my wife, Jeanine, and Adam [a good friend of us all]) went to see the kick-assest show of Enter the Haggis at Tir na Nog. Finally, I noticed that I got linked on a blog I have recently begun to read and respect. Wow! But to top it all off my birthday present that I didn't purchase for myself was to go and see (or will be to go and see) Ira Glass at UNC-CH next month (link impermanent)! He's the host of This American Life and if I had a spare $3,000 or so I'd own all of his shows. I love it love it love it to death, or, in this case, I love it to This American Life.

But the title of this post refers to the other birthday presents I got (whether those presents know it or not): NC Gameday 9 and Andy K.'s new site (I can't figure out if I can link to it or not, but there're enough clues on this site to get you there). NC Gameday got me together with my recent hookup friends at Chapel Hill Meetup. These people are awesome and kick the indie-gaming scene into new gear and most are already established authors! I got to play a good trio of games and will probably remember that weekend for some time to come. [Note to self, write up observations about Face of Angels playtest to give to its author].

So, let's get the fuck up out of the way and move on to the good gaming ideas. A friend of mine, Henry from EnWorld, has a gaming crew down in SC where he lives. He brought them with him to Gameday 9 and most were going to play Feng Shui. One very twitchy guy, Bob, came to play but found himself signing up for games quite unlike anything, and I mean anything, he'd ever played (Feng Shui being the most radical). Ignoring the concept of the fact that he signed up for them as a preregister, not an on the fly last second thing, he seemed to have a hard time getting going and muddled his way through the games.

One of my best newest most helpful friends, Jason Morningstar, author of the Shab-al-Hiri Roach, fretted over Bob. Bob seemed to be the exact audience he wanted to study the most. A willing neophyte that came to a different kind of gaming table to enjoy something radically new. I helped Jason (and still am) try and resolve some issues he'd been having with his poor ability to help out such a willing but misunderstanding .. customer.

But you know what? My fucking bad memory failed to recover something I'd heard for over two weeks: Bob had turned to Henry when he found no games open that he liked, and Henry suggested my game (which I'd heavily advertised on EnWorld) and thus, by proxy, the other game I was signed up for, Roach. He went with my game at Henry's suggestion AND because I was giving away a free book (which I'd developed as an incentive previously for taking up two slots, not necessarily to bring in people who wouldn't normally want to play the game). I didn't end up taking two slots, but the prize remained.

What I'm trying to say is that Jason agonized over this Bob dude and I could have told him just after the game that despite him preregistering for the game he was probably only doing it for swag and no other games were open. I apologized to Jason at Andy's site, I'll do it in person, but I'm doing it here because I really should have thought more and reflected more before I just jumped in and started trying to analyze and fix a problem that probably didn't exist.

That out if the way, let's move on to some new good gaming ideas:
  • Shreyas Sampat wants to make an anime gun-angel X style game with a beautiful astrological/glyph map as a character sheet. I love it so very very much. He's even letting me contribute, and I've been giving it my all. Oh, yeah, it's Nine Gun Choir [ナイン・ガン CHOIR].
  • Jeph is working on a fantasy RPG (which I will convert to Final Fantasy as soon as I can because I'm just that kind of dork) where you get an overland map with no towns or caves or whathaveyou on it and you add them in game to expore and add to the world. I think it would work great with timfire's In a Land Called ...
  • Joshua BishopRoby started a snowball (which I'd participated in once before on EnWorld and was delighted with) and a great little haiku giant robot game is in development. There are some items I'd throw out but I think it'd be great fun. I added to it, and I love the maturity of the site that allows people to accept these ideas and keep on rolling.
  • Joshua is also maybe working on revising WoD into a set of rules that realy evokes what most of us assumed would come out of WoD. We'll see.

That's it for now. Signing off.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A portion of Anima's character sheet, probably dealing with magic. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's my birthday!

I'm 28.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I am surrounded by crack

Andy K.'s got me going to his page like every ten minutes.
John Harper's giving me sexy dreams.
NC Gameday lured me into its dark alley.
Jason Morningstar roached me.
Matt Wilson and Emily Care Boss own me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Strangers and Strings

Joshua BishopRoby is making me rethink the auctioning of my WoD books.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I want to play this game, but ...

Could it possibly be fun? I want the detail involved, but it would have to be Gamist, right?

NOTE: This does not apply to magical guns.

Someone make me the Final Fantasy game I've always wanted to play, and make it pen and paper.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fantasy Finale: Resurrection of Zarcathika

The world was in chaos. Legendary warriors joined together to fulfill their destiny and end the rise of Zarcathika, and its desire to see the world in flames and all living beings slain. They saved the world,and came to rule it. Generations have passed, and their direct descendants are again sought to save the world. Zarcathika is rising again.

This is a fantasy version of Renaissance Europe: a steampunk-ish technology exists, ethnicities and borders will basically be as they are today. There is England, Mediterranean Europe, East Asia and Egypt. Everything else is considered hinterlands, and is ruled by beasts and monsters. As a direct descendant of one of the original vanquishers of Zarcathika, you will be the next in line for the throne of your respective nation

English Leoline Elf - As prince(ss) and heir to the British kingdom, you have a lot on your shoulders. Honor and bravery are key. You wield the legendary Dragonneblade.

Russian Ursine Dwarf - Russia needs a leader to bring together the scattered states, but you don't think you're him (her). Gruff, grim, and ice cold; you thinly disguise your lust for wealth. You wield the adamantine Hammer of All Souls.

Turkish Leporine Yeti - Leader of the Dervish Dragoons, you have always felt as ease in the leadership role you have assumed, and you have the respect of your people due to your quiet nature. Excitement and danger is one of the few motivations you have left. You wield tall and mighty Gugnir.

French Vulpine TaruTaru - You deadly dance is viewedworldwide as the penultimate expression of your people's agility andart. Only your ancestor can be spoken of in higher regard. You wield the ever-slithering Scorpion's Strike.

Transylvanian Vampyre - You seek to finally rid your people of their dread curse. Vampirism plagued your nation during the last uprising, and most if not all of the next generation had some taint left in their blood. Vampirism is rising again, and it is the first sign of the return of Zarcathika. You wield the epic Gripsoul.

German Lupine Machinathrope - Your people were here before any of the other races were, but went dormant for an unknown reason. You were revived before Zarcathika's arrival, and helped defend the world from its apocalyptic attacks. You recently received the imprint of your ancestor's soul, and have taken the role of leader since its death. You don the benevolent sentient shield, Mighty Guard, as a breastplate, and interpose between innoncents and danger.

Spanish Feline Mithra - Your lands saw an infusion of a tribal people from the hinterlands during the last battle with Zarcathika. They infused their martial arts with the monastic tradition and culture already there. You wield no weapon, for you ARE the weapon.

Atlantean Musteline Ghost - Your people died a long time ago, but found themselves unable to immediately pass on to the other life. Your sunken continent contains an artifact that controls the rate at which souls pass on, and until your time is up, you remain in this world. Your ancestor passed on after the fight against Zarcathika, and you lead your people, as much as they can be led. You wield the mind-piercing Dreamstriker.

Egyptian Serpentine Naga - Your people have a rich and ancient history of which you are fully aware. You could rule as a thearch, if you so choose. You possess the true spirit of the land and your gods in your person, and it guides you day in and day out. As for ruling, right now, you have a wandering spirit; that, and responsibility would restrict you from flying your airship and gambling. You wield a magnificent Deck of the Avatars.

Polar Ursine Moon Moogle - Your people fortell all prophecies, whether for weal or woe. They guide the sentient races, and watch out for the eventual return of beings far more powerful and malicious as Zarcathika. You enjoy living on the planet more than you do back home. Luckily for you, as an oracle, you must travel the planet to fulfill your destiny. You wield Destiny's Tear, a gun of unknown origins.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Risus, pronounced like 'ElectrophoRISUS'

And boy did it suck on my DNA through my fleshy grid. Anyone that got all that is my kinda geek. Anywho, I was El-Fire-Bow on a one shot my friend ran of the game Risus. Below was his sexy advert:

United Nations Superheroes - Taskforce: Topeka

Statue of Joseph Stalin Man - Crapped on by radioactive pigeons for years, this statue of Joseph Stalin came to life and can now switch between being a regular guy who looks just like (but has a personality very different from) Joseph Stalin and being a stone statue of Joseph Stalin who can't move at all.

Cornucopia - This rotund Greek woman carries with her the Horn of Plenty. She can instantly produce any food she wants from it, which is murder on her diet. But she stands ever ready to give evildoers a mouthful of yummy JUSTICE!

El-Fire-Bow - This young Cuban man was born with everburning elbows. He has real talent as a baseball pitcher ("He can bring the HEAT!") but was banned from the Major Leagues because his fiery elbows kept setting the uniforms on fire. He mainly sticks to sleeveless t-shirts now.

Fugu - This Japanese man was bitten by a radioactive pufferfish and now has amazing powers of puffing himself up to very large size. Fun at beach parties. Not so fun when trying to fight crime in an elevator or phone booth.

The Cobbler - Born of a wealthy German family, he is a frustrated inventor who can never seem to sell any of his inventions. He's venting his frustration by fighting crime using his "Incredishoes" that are clownishly large but should be taken (somewhat) seriously.

Rapunzel - Her hair grows really fast, at will. Whether she's whipping you with it or tying you up with it, well, it's all pretty kinky.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Slim FF12 PS2

What would you think about this years later? Is it like a tattoo that you've become embarassed about? Or will it still be the coolest damn thing ever?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Dusty Boot Saloon!

We ate this on our honeymoon. More info later. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 06, 2006

Runic Empyrean

What once was, is no more. Somehow, the constellations descended and the stars impacted.

We haven't been right since.

Runic Empyrean

The world of RE exists as a weird, phantasmagorial warped-mirror image of our world which left time and space and floats in an absolute aether some time ago. People still live, their creations warped, their homes crumbling. The night sky is a naked shawl, and daytime is but a dim illumination of that shawl. The last generation of mankind wonders if it is in Hell, and, if not, will things ever return to normal. This generation is split, the adults are adjusting, but worried about their Children; these that are born after the "Meta Morphosis" see things differently, and act weirdly, mimicking the world around them.

Characters would be one of the Fated, a possessor of a Runic Empyrean, and is tasked by it to seek out the rest of its constellation, and return it to the night sky. Should all Fated finish their task, it is whispered, the world would emerge again into time and space, completing the journey and fixing what once went wrong. Runic Empyreans, when not possessed by their Fated, urge others to use them in creations as weird as the world. Characters would be presented with challenges and decisions on when to destroy creations and free these mystical spheres or leave them alone and allow a town or family to prosper, for now. They would also face these problems with Fated who want to twist them for their own gain, or do not wish to return the constellations to the sky. Finally, the players could decide that finding an equilibrium between adding constellations and leaving well enough alone to be the best decision, and keep Mankind on this path forever.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Stranger Things

I don't have much to say about Stranger Things, other than I want it more than my right kidney. I oughta play Trollbabe first, but ST's setting nibbles on my soul. Harper, I command you, finalize it! Release the demon! And uhm, Thanks a Million!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Timeline Idea

bankuei mentioned an idea he'd had based off of a discussion of Situation, Scene, Conflict, and Resolution on Mighty Atom, which reminded me of an idea I'd had.

Basically, it was a visual indicator (a line) with marks representing significant story chunks placed on it. The GM would bring this with them to each game and show where the group was in reference to the storyline elements that the GM had planned on bringing up. The original idea was to keep players in line.

But now I think of it as a way of saying "Boom! Here's a roadblock you're gonna face if things go the way I'm thinking tonight. I'm placing it three marks in, so about three scenes or so. I'll go ahead and desrcibe it now ... everyone gets bonus points/fate chips/whateva for bringing in thematic elements related to it OR if everyone can work toward it and find a neat way of avoiding it/intercepting it/etc. then you'll all get bonus XP/something else rewardy. Also, if you like my idea and don't want to avoid it, and bring in elements you think will add to it, I'll either give full narration rights or triple XP or something like that.

The point being is that it would give everyone a sense of pacing without forcing a method of pacing in the rules and give rules to reward for meeting or circumventing that big scene the GM came up with.