Cleaning up the apartment late Thursday, technically Friday

Reading: I am still reading the same damned book. It will be finished before winter vacation begins.

Planning: I am planning a clean apartment. We are getting there, slowly but surely.

Wearing: Sweat pants and a comfy maroon sweat-shirt.

Writing: Game-inspired Mouse Guard fanfic. That was about it this week, though a story is screaming at me.

And you?

Sorcerer on the Brain

Aaron, Pete and I got together and made characters for the colonized sci-fi solar system setting I have been tinkering with. I am pleased with how it turned out.

Link to AP thread here.

Now to gaze at their character sheets like a fortune teller stares at bird guts and cook up some bangs.

Also, James Nostack PMed me about this setting that I had entirely forgotten about. I stuck it into my google doc files for later tinkering.

Looking back at it, I am interested in making this setting with pre-made demons, a set list to draw on and summon with relationships between them including Desires and Needs that play off one another.

White Friday

Reading: Still reading Accelerando, about halfway through. This weekend, though, while visiting Janaki, I picked up and read Burning Chrome, making me want to go back and read through the godfathers of cyberpunk. That book was neat with several stories that fed right into the science fiction Sorcerer setting.

Planning: Wrasslin’ and we make characters for Sorcerer tonight, and Sunday is dedicated to laundry and house-work, maybe some yoga.

Wearing: Grey sweater and black jeans.

Writing: I ditched the NaNoWriMo project and went back to 1st Quest (thanks to Michael Miller’s most recent edit – thanks, Michael) and Sci-fi Sorcerer Solar System dingus.

And you?

Chapter III The Empire of the Scar

From this thread on

in the end, Grbek Pukk sat on the throne of Orcwatch, where Lord and Lady Protectors had sat for over a thousand years, watching the Broken Mountains for signs of his own people, spilling into the Anvil Plains, filled with hatred, jagged orc-made weapons in hand. Over a decade ago, someone had sat here and watched him and his horde march forth but only himself and his Slayer had survived.

Moreso than killing the dragon, moreso than regaining a horde of his own, moreso than crippling the Spider Goddess, this was an accomplishment that soothed his hate-filled black heart. Squatting over Orcwatch, the keep the Elves had built to keep his people from leaving the Broken Mountains, felt right.

The rare moment of peace was broken when a goblin scurried to his makeshift throne.

“Dark Elves request an audience, King.”

Warder Gurth formerly known as He Who Slays for the Named (often Slayer for short) left the throne room, hatred gone from his heart but spite seething. His king had at least recognized him despite his latest transformations and he had been able to introduce his new wife.

But the King had not taken his blooded hand, had not sworn an oath with him. His King, possibly his only friend did not trust him. He had seen his Slayer lay the foundations for too many killings, for too much slaughter with cunning words and would not be the latest victim.

“I vow this, King. We will die together, in each other’s arms. I only know that you will die first.” The words had shaken the throne room, from the dwarves, to the human mercenaries, to the trolls, to the orc in between. Right now they were words in the king’s court but they had been said with force. Soon they would spill out into the world, become rumor, finally the stuff of legend.


In the Broken Mountains, Barghesta Pukk hears of her husband’s transformation and rallies the spiders to her call.

As the Spiders ride out, Kurga, a dragon-worshipper, takes the last of the dragons, a sickly creature, from the Troll Bridge-Keep to the south.

The Elven King hears of the loss of Orcwatch and begins his people to head south, en masse, an exoduce from this continent, from the world of man, or world of orc, or whatever it is. The Empire of the Scar has come to this continent and the king wants no more grief from this world.

The High King of the Dwarves is blinded, his eyes taken out by the Orc King’s uncle, Kargesh Pukk. The Slayerson, prophesied to be the leader of the greatest nation of the orc, would ride with Kargesh’s pack like a proper orc. He would come to his hatred through marauding, sitting atop a great wolf, covered in blood and glory. Kargesh had had enough of letters, court, empire-building, and honeyed words.

The King of the Orc would rule with hatred.

And so the Third Chapter of The King and the Slayer ends. Chapter I The Dragon. Chapter II The Spider Goddess, and Chapter III The Empire of the Scar have taken over a year of real time to play and over a decade of game time to see to the end.

Rich believes the King’s story is over. Jim wants more time with his Slayer some day down the road. Maybe they should have fought in that throne room and been done with it.

Jim and Rich are going to make human characters, a privateer and a noble veteran of war. We are going to continue in this world, with its Empire of the Scar, and see what else there is to see.

Feudalism and the Solar System’s Demons

I am loving the games I am playing lately. The D&D game, though intermittent, is good, solid fun. The Burning Wheel orc game is gearing up towards an epic conclusion in the next few months. The Burning Wheel game with Aaron and Pete is a great way to welcome them both back to Ithaca, not to mention, the game play is fucking keen. Aaron knows BW really solidly and it is a joy to be able to game with Pete again after so many years apart. And the Houses of the Blooded game is going well, with a few new system hiccups (mental note: write about last week’s game) but still solid stuff.

But man, am I growing sick of nobles, lords and swords. I am excited about each game in turn but lawdy, medieval feudalism is driving me nuts a little bit. I think my frustration with it will drive me to write a setting about the transition from a king to a republic, something like Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark trilogy (mental note: finish reading the Westmark trilogy).

To everyone in any of those games, I am not sick of any of those games. I want to keep playing them. I am not punking out or looking for something new and shiny, just venting.

This frustration got together with listening to Richard K. Morgan’s Thirteen on audiobook, reading Christopher Kubasik’s Traveller ala Sorcerer hack and coming up with a science fiction Sorcerer hack of me own, The Solar System’s Demons.

I love the idea of the Solar System as a setting; it tickles me. Between planets and moons and just asteroids or planetoids and so on, it is a rich place.

Blood and Situation

Situation in Burning Wheel: “Situation is the foundation of any Burning Wheel game. It is on the situation that you build the player characters, their Beliefs and from there, the game play itself.

Our first session of the house-game of Houses of the Blooded: “We started the game and I assured my friends that I wasn’t going to use ven society to bludgeon them. “You aren’t giving the Earl a gift! You are SCREWED! I can’t believe you did that!” I want us to use ven society as a tool, not a weapon.

Blooded Houseruling Thoughts: “I’m on my second campaign and both Maneuvers and Blessings have been nearly overlooked in both games. Maneuvers, it seems to me, have no place in a system like Blooded, where narration is so up in the air.

BW: The Knight and the Bastard

Aaron, Pete and I played the first session of our BW campaign. It feels like it has legs. That is always a neat feeling, to play a first session and come away thinking, “Oh yeah, this is going to go for a while.”

I am really digging the small games. The two player + GM orc game and even in Houses of the Blooded, some of our finer moments were when only two players showed up. It is a dynamic I am really comfortable with for some reason.