That was a helluva year. In my old livejournal account, I felt more free to write about personal stuff but this blog feels more narrow of purpose, a blog about my gaming and geekery. But I can’t look back on the gaming without putting it into context, so here it is…
Reading: I just finished The Last Unicorn and enjoyed it quite a bit. Now I’m on to The Death of the Necromancer, a book I began a long time ago and never finished but enjoyed enough so that whenever I did a purging of my book-shelves, I always kept it around.
Planning: I have some papers to finish this weekend and some papers to start. The next ten days should be rough.
Wearing: Sweat pants and my long-sleeved blue t-shirt from youth advocacy.
Writing: I started a 1st Questy mini-game, thinking that I’d like to write a start to finish game using 1st Quest’s rules, rather than starting with the behemoth and working from there. I’ll post it up once I am done. It is about restless ghosts.
I haven’t slept in a while; this isn’t something I do at cons. I’m at my mom’s, where I’ll eat and then collapse.
I think me and Jeff hashed out in a neat thing to do with some Sons of Kryos content, inspired by a breakfast with Rob Donoghue. Interactions with Rob Donoghue cause good shit, the last time we talked at length, 1st Quest happened.
Speaking of which, 1st Quest had some solid sessions. I need to entirely toss out the text I have and re-write it this summer. That doesn’t mean I will. But I need to.
Agon is a hoot. Is long-limbed broken?
It was a weekend of walking too briskly past amazing people in order to meet up with other amazing people with whom I had an appointment/game/something.
My first Dreamation happened half a decade ago. This is nuts. Time is nuts.
When disagreeing in real-life, it is much easier to bring levity with penis jokes than it is on the internets.
I need to stop repeating stories; it is obnoxious. I am not sure I can stop.
Vinny talked to us at the Indie Round Table and the long and the short of it is, we need to think creatively about our small table groups and his logistics. He has bent over backwards for the indie crew and I’m going to enjoy finding ways to solve this problem that have nothing to do with letting in overblown groups but still solves the problem.
Talking too late with Luke and Thor. Talking too late with Matt and Joshua. Up too early for Warlock Corner. Diner foods.
The first lines of 1st Quest’s new manuscript:
This is 1st Quest.
I have been tinkering with the urban magic in Warlock Corner, thinking of bringing an Ars Magica verb + noun vibe but with a Solar System spin.
So, the verbs and nouns are bought like Secrets, 5 XP a shot.
The verbs are Destroy, Create, Heal, Talk, Change, Travel, Summon
And the Nouns are: Dead, Living, Art, Buildings, Crime, The Man, Subway, Utilities, Streets, River
There will be a touch of Mortal Coil with a price for each spell and failure will likely mean the GM get’s to choose between a heavier price, a success but with a serious wrinkle or a total arcane mess.
There’s something else in my head about being able to cast spells through City Saints, thus giving the failure some color to it. The City Saints being The Performer, The Cop, The Politician, The Hellion, Old Scratch, The Hobo as kind of Unknown Armies archetypes who see over the city’s magical going’s on.
It’ll all be congealed by Dreamation.
I am figuring out my blurbs, figuring out what to play.
This is where I will break my 1st Quest block and run two settings that I don’t yet have fleshed out.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
1st Quest: Honored Guests of the Sleeping Emperor
You are an Honored Guest of the Sleeping Emperor, kept hostage to make sure that your family remains true to the throne. Young, talented and on your own for the first time in your life with the amazing capital city of the Empire all around you. At night the noble kids put on masks fashioned like oni, traversing the rooftops, having adventures in Edo’s shadows. During the day, you take lessons with your tutors and text your friends.
The emperor’s nightmares are threatening to rip the empire apart. What is a young Samurai to do…
Inspirations: One part Legends of the Five Rings, one part Avatar the Last Airbender and one part High School Drama.
1st Quest: Warlock Corner
Your best friend was shot last week and no one on the street is sure if it was a cop, a warlock or something summoned from hell. Next week is the school’s first formal dance and you don’t yet have a date. There is a bad-ass troll under the bridge leading to your borough, zombies lurk in abandoned buildings and the streets are rife with magic.
It is just another winter on Warlock Corner.
Inspirations: One part Harry Potter, one part The Wire season four, one part Brick and a touch of Ars Magica
I thought I would write a little bit tonight and look over what I already had and when the night was over, the 1st Quest Ashcan would be in my hands but it just is not so. The text has come a long way in these past weeks but it isn’t there yet.
If you were interested in 1st Quest, drop me a comment in this post and I will add your name to an e-mail list and let you know the moment I have a text I can share and ask for playtesting and feedback on.
That said, there’s yoga in the morning and next week there’s that convention to attend. I’m going to put this text down for this week and get my con gear together.
There is one setting, what was to be the vanilla fantasy setting of the bunch that has really blossomed this week in the re-writes. Dragon Knight has changed from a kind of boring fantasy setting to this pitch:
We play the fantastic dreamworld of a little girl who just watched her DVD’s of The Wizard of Oz, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and then all three Lord of the Rings movies before eating a bowl of sugary cereal and falling asleep.
I’ll try to have that one ready for some after-hours gaming.
I’m listening to the Canon Puncture episodes of our Star Wars Episode LV PTA, reviewing for the second episode to come at this coming Gen Con. Neat stuff I picked up Star Wars themed playing cards for the game this year..
Reading: I’m finally reading Spaceman Blues: a love song by Brian Francis Slattery. Rob gave me this book for my birthday last year and I’m finally getting around to it. I’m a quarter of the way through it and its nifty.
Wearing: Flannel pajama pants.
Planning: I plan to clean the living room up tomorrow evening before heading out to visit my lady-friend for the weekend. I’d also like to write up an AP thread for our Misspent Youth game we played last weekend.
Writing: 1st Quest Ashcan…time is a ticking.
I got some decent work done on 1st Quest tonight, putting red ink all of what I’ve currently got and outline what I want done in the coming week. It felt good to sit down and do some work. Cracking the 3-ring binder open, with the 1st Quest manuscript printed out within was the hardest part. After that I was all, “Hey, I like this game.”
I had forgotten.
But now I can’t quite sleep, so I thought I’d review the latest comics I’ve read.
Once a month, Mayhem Comics sends me my pull list, a list that is constantly being fiddled with online.
This is my first month since culling a bunch of comics off of the list. Keeping track of comics here has helped remind me which comics are on probation and which have been routinely just lame.
Northlanders: Sven the Returned 5 and 6: This series continues to read like a Burning Wheel solo campaign GMed by Thor Olavsrud. I’m not sure I have any higher praise than that for a medieval fantasy/historical fiction comic.
Thor 7-9: I’m still digging the Asgard dropped into midwestern U.S. as a way to have both real world drama and Kirby-Asgard fun. We’ll see if Loki’s shenanigans are enough to keep me in this book. I consider this book on probation.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 13 and 14: It is just a damned enjoyable good time. I like the decisions they’re making and the dialogue is spot on. The comic is capturing what I liked about the third through seventh seasons of the show.
Criminal #2: This series of one-shots is rocking, both illuminating back-story for previous arcs and creating fresh, new material. Brubaker and Phillips are engaging in some amazing crime/noir world-building that is consistently my favorite comic of the week.
Action Comics 863-865: With Geoff Johns on this comic and James Robinson on Superman, I am in an odd place where I’m buying and enjoying both Superman monthlies. Odd, because I’ve always considered myself more of a Batman fan. The Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes arc ended in a satisfying way and the next arc with Brainiac looks like fun.
Ultimate Spider-man 120: It feels like this series is getting back on point. In particular, this issue felt right in the past pages, where Peter and Mary Jane have a talk about their evening with the X-Men and Magneto while sounding like fun teenagers.
Thunderbolts 120: The only enjoyable thing about this series is Warren Ellis writing Normon Osborn, who takes up the mantle of the Green Goblin once again. In Ellis’ hands, Norman Osborn is one part George W. Bush, two parts Two-Face, played by Tommy Lee Jones. I’m not making that shit up, the artist is clearly drawing Tommy Lee Jones with the ole Osborn hair.
But even that isn’t enough for me to hold on to this comic. I’m dropping it.
Daredevil 106 and 107: It sure feels like I have been threatening to drop this comic for a while. The Mr. Fear arc was just a dud but this most recent arc is looking promising. I’m interested to see Matt get back to some court work. It sure still feels like this comic is on my pull list based on the greatness of Bendis’ run and Brubaker’s fantastic arc with Matt in jail with Kingpin, Bullseye and the Punisher.
A new writing team is coming on and I’ll give it till then but if this arc has a slow issue, I’ll likely ditch it.
For the second time, I was wrapped up in some awful posture, with my head on my knee, trying to pull on something or other and there it was, this little beetle on the floor, crawling around my yoga mat and the sweat drenched towel on top of it.
I was tempted to look up some Beverly Hills mythology to find out the deep spiritual meaning of seeing a beetle while doing Bikram Yoga.
This week is all about getting the 1st Quest ashcan ready to roll and talking to Chad about my setting notes on Seven Skies before its too late.
1) Yes, I am one of those guys who writes little dorky short stories about their gaming.
2) Both Anderson Silva’s first UFC fight at 205 and Batman: Dark Knight are pulling on my eyes this weekend.
3) I missed making it to yoga by a few minutes. At six o’clock they lock the door to the studio. It was a shitty, really shitty way to start the morning.
4) A high school buddy/acquaintance contacted me via Facebook and reminded me how much of a daydreamer I was in school. He mentioned how my day dreams, playing with pencils as if they were swords and erasers as if they were space-ships really angered teachers. I had forgotten about that stuff. Funny.
5) 1st Quest is printed out and put into a nice 3-ring binder along with a red pen and my playtest notes. This shit is on now.
6) Lucha LIBRE!
Check out the move at around 2:25 in: