Archive for category News
This Saturday we kicked off the 2014-2015 season of DGS’ Vampire Conclave. I ran the first session of Sunset Cove, which went really well. The first half of the game was mainly character generation and background, with a short role-playing session after, in which our characters all met up for the first time and explored a bit fo the city’s night life. 4 of my players are running characters that are new to the city, while one of them chose to start with trouble right out of the gate by playing the childer of the Seneshal. Lots of drama and player interaction ensued. I have a good feeling about our player mix.
Sunset Cove is my first attempt to run the new Blood & Smoke rules, which is basically the new edition of Vampire the Requiem. I am really enjoying the new rules so far. Many of the Disciplines have been rebalanced, and the character generation system is very similar to the points method we’ve been using out of the Mirrors book. There are also several other changes to the mechanics of the game that seem to be encouraging my players to think more about their characters life and unlife in a more dynamic way, with rewards for achieving goals, maintaining their masquerade, and the introduction of touchstones, which force a player to think about what actually keeps their character grounded in their humanity, rather than have it be another stat on their sheet. The book also had several exercises to use during character generation, to give the characters a richer background and explore how they all might be connected to one another. Most of them will be familiar to anyone who has done improv or taken a creative writing class, which makes sense given that the game is largely about telling a story and improving it out.
In other news, this is our first year of actually having TV shows we are trying to keep up with in real time, instead of just binge watching them after they’ve been cancelled. So far, Gotham has been off to a good start, Supernatural was kind of a snore fest, and Doctor Who makes me want to throw things at the television. We’ll see if Constantine or Hannibal prove to be a weekly treat or a disappointment. I have high hopes for Constantine, but am only cautiously optomistic about Hannibal given how uneven last season was.
You can check out David’s ode to 10 seasons of Supernatural over on Topless Robot here.
I have also been watching David play Shadow of Mordor. So far I think I made the right call of playing passenger, rather than picking up a second copy. The cut scenes and some of the NPCs have been entertaining, but the game play seems to be a mixed bag. My take away as an observer: The mechanics feel very Assassin’s Creed, which is kind of cool, but doesn’t feel very Lord of the Rings to me. A vast majority of the enemies are Orcs. Yes, I know it’s Lord of the Rings, but from an observer standpoint, it gets a little old after awhile. I would like to have seen more variety in bad guys. The main storyline seems really short, and the “open world” very tiny. As far as I can tell, there are only two main maps, with 4 “camps” of Orcs each. Fallout or Skyrim, this is not. So, I give it a “meh”, keeping in mind I’m just following along, not playing. David seems to be enjoying it alright.
Thing I am geeking out on this week:
A collection of loose pigments and nail wraps in the Borderlands color schemes and iconography. I am really loving this trend of geek-oriented brands headed by geek gals for geek gals. The orders ship on 10/14 (same day Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel drops) so you still have time to get your order in. I have plans for the Vault Hunter pigment already.
In all the excitment over 5th editon, we were introduced to a small press Fantasy RPG called 13th Age. Loosely based on 3.5, and borrowing more than a little from just about every other popular RPG at the moment, 13th Age captured our imagination with it’s creative blend of some of the best gaming elements introduced in the last 5 years. While not nearly as rules light as something, like, say, FATE, it is way stripped down from something like Pathfinder or even the new 5th Edition. Character generation goes fairly quickly and is actually highly entertaining in it’s own right. The books are written in a very conversational style – it really feels like a game made by players and GMs FOR players and GMs, with a ton of side notes, alternative rule suggestions, and some game mechanics with much humour potential. The magic items “quirks” mechanic alone is worth a read. The thing I like most so far, is I really come away from the books feeling like the writers want to help us tell the story we want to tell, rather than being overly focused on game balance or how to best thwart potential munchkins.
This past weekend was purely character gen and laughing at all the ridiculous possiblities presented in the books. Next session we will actually see how the rules play out on the game table. So far, I think it has a lot of potential.
In other news, I’ll be running the first session of my DGS Vampire Conclave game, Sunset Cove, this Saturday at Cal State Fullerton. I think there is still one spot left. I’m having way too much fun creating NPCs, locations, and potential plot threads for this one, so hopefully things will go well. I’ll report back on that one next week and hopefully have some pages up for it on this site by then.
I have also started a little Twitter project for Halloween. I’m posting a different Halloween themed song every day under the hashtag #SpookySongOfTheDay Feel free to follow me, or the tag, and maybe discover some new music just in time to put together the ultimate Halloween party playlist.
Songs posted so far:
Thing I am geeking out on this week:
As a general rule, the actual comics arm of DC has just been making one bad decision after another since the “New 52” launch. This week was no exception with both a heartbreaking Lobo reboot, and a hilarious snafu involving a ladies Batman shirt. As a long time DC fan who is trying to rebuild her collection of 90s era Vertigo trades, this breaks my heart. Especially that awful art in the current Constantine run. Just stop. Or get a better inker so that every panel doesn’t look like a sketch. Something!
Anyways. There is one shining ray of hope in the current DC line up – Harley Quinn has been delightfully silly, dark, and subversive. Although the book is technically part of the 52, the writers seem to be writing a Harley off in her own little corner of the DCU, free to do her own thing and get into her own misadventures with a terrific cast of supporting characters worthy of Gotham, but set in Jersey.
I highly recommend checking out the book if you are any fan of Harley or miss the old days was DC had a sense of humor. The latest issue is much fun, but I couldn’t possibly review it without spoilers, so suffice to say I was highly amused. This was a story that would have been right at home on the Batman Animated series.