Daydreaming on Mars

Aunt Candi used to notice whenever my eyes got that faraway look and she’d say, “Come back to earth, Judd.” Years later, her grand-daughter used to get the same look and they’d say to the little girl, when she went wherever it is that we go, “Say hello to Uncle Judd.”

I have been thinking about Mars lately after recently looking over the Dictionary of Mu in hopes of running a Sorcerer game in the near future.

I found a few links about Mars after looking over the past few months of reblogs on my tumblr:


And then Rose posted something really cool on G+ and posted some links to her upcoming game:

A while ago, Rose asked if she could have some mention of the Damsel Messiah in CoM and as long as I’m credited and keep the Damsel as my creative property, I was totally cool with that. I’m happy to see her religion spread to a new and different Mars.

So, anyway, daydreaming about Mars.

Feel free to post what you are daydreaming about this weekend or geek out about anything linked above in the comments.

Ah, AP threads from Marr’d, sweet like an oasis in the waste.

Ah, Oghma smiles upon your thread, Ry:

The PCs and their demons

Ardra: A Lemurian Hydragogue, slayer of a kinsman, searching for his stolen son… (John)
Ardra’s demon is Sherka: A Witch-Lord and kinsman of Ardra and kidnapper of Mahendra, Ardra’s son. Now a severed head, advising Ardra in his search, while hungering for human remains…

Hamaan: A gladiator, his family murdered so he would be the last of his kind, seizing Black Rock for himself… (Mike)
Hamaan’s demon is Tacitus: Skull and last remnant of a great king of Thunder Lizards, aching for violence, seeker of dominance…

Uzal: A freakish half-gray, braving the Wastes, hoping the Damsel Messiah might save its friend and teacher, the famed dictionarist… (Peter)
Uzal’s demon is Leviathan:The bones of a great whale, swimming through sands, rising and falling with crushing force, and creating terror, demanding sacrifices of water. Bound early by Uzal so that he might survive the wastes, a mighty Demon of the Ocean…

The DelRosso Principle

I was instant messaging with Jim, trying to figure out where this term originated.

Was it the Unknown Armies game. It could have been refering to when Ben switched the Unknown Armies game from a mission-based game set in the metropolitan New York/New Jersey area to more of a sandbox-style (yeah, we used that term before the OSR championed it, thinking more of Grand Theft Auto) where we were founding a new branch of The New Inquisition in Miami.

It might’ve been one of the Dictionary of Mu playtest games at the ole Get Your Geek On-a-thon’s, back when Ithaca had a game store. Those games tended to kick the setting in the teeth pretty hard, as happens when you have four Sorcerers playing in 4th or 5th gear, leaving nothing at the table because it is a one-shot.

Was it the Riddle of Steel game that began at the Dueling Bridges?

Doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that the DelRosso Principle states:

Kick this setting in the teeth.”

Nice and simple. It demands the players and the GM declare ownership over the setting and make it their own.

Jeff was kicking the Forgotten Realms in the teeth when he started his first session with the players finding Elminster crucified to a tower in Waterdeep. “Jeff, you need to let these players know that they are not gaming in the Forgotten Realms that are safe on their shelves. This is a different animal and those books will get them in the mood but will not save them.”

Kicking a setting in the teeth need not be that extreme. Pete subtly kicked the setting in the teeth when he circled up a Great Spider fence in our MoBu City game. “Oooh, the Weavers are involved in the crime world too? Neat.”

Invoking the DelRosso Principle is taking a published setting and making it your own. It is taking a collaboratively created setting and adding a nice flourish. It is changing the face of a fictional world through the act of pretending and the rolling of dice. It is taking a boxed set and making it a home, even if it is Dark Sun, a home that wants to see your characters dead. It is the act of making a fictional place a fun lens through which we can create and react.

This design and many others are in Judd’s Shop…

Just thinking about one-shots

Burning Wheel: I realize this is a no-duh kind of thing but man, playing that game short-term misses out on character growth, trait votes, seeing Beliefs evolve, the things that make this game sweet. I am still tinkering with an essay about playing this game for a few years in a solid campaign and will get around to posting it up somewhere soonish.

Dogs in the Vineyard: Ya know, this game isn’t about judgment. It is about how rendering judgment changes these poor kids who are told to make the world a better place with only a book and a gun to guide them. Those changes take anywhere from three to half a dozen games to really start to see and then suddenly that blond cherub you started out with is a different creature all together.

Primetime Adventures: Despite a one-shot of PTA being one of my favorite games ever, it really shines in entirely new ways with a season of play. I’d have to have at least a 5 game season to play that again and honestly, I’d want two.

Sorcerer: Man, but this means not playing Mu at cons and I am sure I will get a hankering for doing that before too long. Still, even with the very best con scenarios of Dictionary of Mu, it is always that next session, that next four hours of play that would have been really keen.

I am noticing something similar with the Mouse Guard games I have played. The first game is about getting comfy and learning the rules but that second mission grows organically from the first. Either Gwendolyn sends the guards-mice out on a mission to cover up some holes created from their first time out or the players don’t go back to Lockhaven in order to make the Territories a better place. The second session is where things start to really heat up, where the mission is suddenly quite personal.

Maybe I am just in the mood to state the obvious today.