Tired Friday

My sleeping schedule is all fuct, leading to long and groggy days. This has something to do with missing every day of yoga this week and only exercising one night.

I couldn’t sleep, so I burned up some NPC’s for tonight’s BW game. The Usurper Duke, the Usurper Duchess (who, turns out, was a neophyte sorcerer), the Young King and the Holy See. I like how BW’s chargen leads to discovery about the characters.

Reading: I am going back and forth between the Magic Burner, Houses of the Blooded and King’s Ransom.

Wearing: Gray Dickie’s pants and a blue polo shirt.

Planning: Burning Wheel with Aaron and Pete on Friday and then a trip to visit the lady-friend in order to celebrate our seventh anniversary this week.

Writing: I had a whole lotta trouble getting anything done this week.

And you?

Friday Night is Made for Gaming

I took a thirty minute or so after-work nap and had a vivid dream. I was in The Toaster and snow began to fall into the open windows. Some kind of snow-slide was pushing the car into a gorge. I jumped out of th ewindow and the snow took my under, pushing me down to the road. I was wearing just what I was wearing when I fell asleep and I assumed that my phone would be in my little side-pocket of my jeans, so that despite being under lots of snow, I could call people for help.

When I woke up my phone was not in my pocket and for some reason that really disturbed me. “My dream-self is going to die under all that snow.”

My roommates were eating dinner in the living room, talking in soft tones while late afternoon turned to twilight. We all got together and sat in the living room, leaving the lights out and talking shit. It was really nice. I like where I live, the people I am surrounded by.

Pete, Aaron and I played Darkpages and it was good fun. It was just so nice to see those guys again; I have really missed them both something terrible and this little three person group is perfect. We played an extremely satisfying first issue of Zeppelin City Team-Up: The Revenant and Sgt. Coopersmith. The final panels were hot-hot-hot.

Honestly, game or no, the three of us could have sat there and talked all night; we nearly did.

We also set the foundation for a Burning Wheel game, thinking that maybe we would alternate between that and Darkpages. Pete mentioned that he was hungry for a long-term BW game and it doesn’t take much to get me and Aaron to jump on the Wheel. Threads on that game’s set up and a further post in the Forge’s Playtest forum for our Darkpages game is-a-coming.

Darkpages is the Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics RPG.

On my way home I stopped by Louie’s Lunch and talked with Ron, leaving as he became more and more swamped by drunk college kids, looking for grease to mix with their liquor.

Tomorrow is work -> D&D -> UFC.

I’m booked to the gills and I’m not sure I would have it any other way. But just in case, I am keeping my phone in my pocket, so I can call for help from under the snow.

DarkPages: Zeppelin City Imprint

“A few friends of mine are moving back into town and I was excited to read that DarkPages prefers a GM and one or two players. I have been enjoying those smaller groups lately quite a bit.

So, I jotted down notes on an old idea, Zeppelin City and modernized it, taking the optimistic Spirit of the Century shine off of it.

Rather than Z.C. being a place of gleaming super-science and post WWI hope, it has become a floating slum where the various over-used comic book tropes rub up against one another.”

Link to Forge post here.

Rapid Fire Gen Con Thoughts and Links Part II

The seminar I did with John on Marketing and Play went well, I thought. I learned a ton just hearing John talk and his talk and outline got good stuff out of me. I read something where John was being hard on himself about it.

Being at the Playcollective booth was really rewarding and fun. I like those people.

Misery Bubblegum was the game that Bret and Ellen came home after Dexcon raving about. I was skeptical. When Tony was at a table with Anna and Julie, all people I’ve wanted to game with, I sat down because of the company, not to play a damned RPG about teen angst. I was wrong. It was fantastic and was without a doubt my finest gaming of the con. Oddly, it was about another punk band; Flaming Taft is joined by Microwave Poodle, the teen emo-punk band on the rise.

Luke Crane: “Face to face interaction is like flushing the toilet bowl on the shit of the internet.”

Jared Sorensen: “I saw these people who were talking about who could beat who and what was going to happen this season and what happened last season. And they were dressed up as their heroes. Football fans are weird.”

Luke and Julie and Vincent were having this interesting discussion about the rhythm of RPG play. Free play -> conflict -> dice -> character sheet -> free play, etc. There was interesting stuff going on in those conversations.

DarkPages is reading like Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: the RPG.

The Magic Burner is burning a blue hole in my gaming shelf.

Jeff and I had interesting conversations on the way back, thoughts about Ashcan seminars for Dreamation where people with not fully baked games could meet up and run a mini-session for a few hours and then talk about how it went…kind of a cross between the Indie Design Roundtable and a game slot.

Game Idea #1: There was this mention of health insurance in the original Cyberpunk RPG and you could get this full-on insurance wherein a hover-ambulance would come in and get you if you should get hurt. I always wanted to play those cyberpunk EMT’s.

Thought thought of getting to both make a statement about U.S. healthcare and play bad-ass EMT’s in a hover-ambulance feels too good to pass up. Also…cyberpunk city tiles.

Game Idea #2: Punching the World, the FATE fueled game of The Authority, the JLA and the Watchmen. Characters don’t change but the player who spends the most Fate points get’s to put an Aspect on the world.

Game Idea #3: Kings and Queens of October, a setting for 1st Quest or a DarkPAges imprint?

Also, I need to read Eero’s Solar System and pillage it for 1st Questy goodness. More on October later.

Rapid Fire Gen Con Thoughts and Links Part I

I introduced Princess Solo in our Episode LV Star Wars Primetime Adventures game after mentioning to the guys that our cast needed a strong female character. After she tore through her scenes and connected to every character and his issues, I threatened her. I have never seen so many people reach for their Fan Mail so fast. You’d have thought they were reaching for bottles to break on a table in a bar-fight.

We got through two episodes and were hungry for more. It was amazing to see us all get better over the past year at the techniques (scene framing and PTA’s stakes setting) that make PTA hum. We got better at gaming.

Eero’s dry as the Sahara sense of humor: “I designed Zombie Cinema to replace all other games. They are now not necessary. This is the next evolution of RPG’s.”

Zombie Cinema might be my favorite buy of the con. It plays in 10-30 minutes and its just damned fun. Also, it is packaged in a VHS case.

The Spanish game designers who stopped by the Playcollective Booth. They made a post-apocalyptic Lovecraftian setting in which the Dreamlands have crashed into the Middle East (among other catastrophes).

I have this urge to take another week off and just GAME. I want to play these games I brought home and I want to play them something fierce.

I need a nice, light and fast game for Sunday Gen Con gaming. Every year I kind of drool my way through a Sunday game that we are all just too tired to play. See Zombie Cinema above.

There are not enough hours in the damned day.

I spent way-way too much money on food. Holy shit it was good eating. Holy shit, where did my money go?

JRS aka Julie gave me a great library school pep talk that might have very well been the most important thing to happen to me all weekend.

I must wrestle Luke Crane.

Storn, I have your comp copies of Messiah and Houses of the Blooded.

Yes, I bought dice. No, I didn’t need new dice, not at all.

Being back in the real world is strange. You notice little things at first, like how every tenth person isn’t dressed like Boba Fett but mostly just that people aren’t having as much fun.

A sleepy Friday

I cannot seem to catch up on sleep.

Reading: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner is solid YA fantasy fiction. The power of folk-lore and myth with a touch of thievery is a fun combination.

Wearing: Button down green shirt and black jeans, the last pair of jeans I own since my other pair got a split under the crotch. I’m thinking that I should only buy Levi’s, as they tend to last a good long while and don’t get those crotch splits that my pants have been getting lately.

Planning: Janaki’s back in town tomorrow, so I can hand over grumpy mutt resonsibility to her. I need to buy a futon and do some food shopping.


Writing: Fiction in my Write a Little Every Day file and story hour stuff based on the intermitten Saturday D&D game, Daggers & Deviltry.

And you?

$ons of Kryo$

We received an e-mail a few months ago on our Sons of Kryos mail from a listener. He was best man in a good friend and gaming buddy’s wedding. Steve, the groom, also a Sons of Kryos listener (and game designer), wanted to get together with his buddies and game for his bachelor party. His best man, John, contacted us and offered to pay us for the Sons of Kryos to head down to Staten Island and run games for them all day on Saturday.

Storn couldn’t make it due to a ton of deadlines for his work but Jeff and I tossed some books and dice in a bag and headed down.

The other interesting wrinkle was that Steve’s brother, Joe would be there. Joe hadn’t gamed before but it was important to Steve that his brother have a good time.

We started off with PTA and Joe was quiet but contributed great stuff when he piped up. He was sitting at a table of guys who had been gaming together for decades; I could understand why he’d be a little intimidated. Hell, I certainly was.

After playing two episodes of PTA, we had some lunch, as Joe had the shindig catered before playing Dogs in the Vineyard.

John’s house should be mentioned; if our paid gaming day was a movie, the house would be an important character. The gaming group calls Joe’s house the man-cave. It is filled with dark wood and leather, big plush seats, comic books near every toilet and flat screen TV’s in the video game room along with a screen in the movie room. It is a geek’s paradise. I asked if I could move in when I saw that he had Conan comics in the bathroom. For some reason, that was the detail that pushed me over the edge.

The Dogs town was really solid; they all got really into it. Joe sat to the side a bit and elected not to play very much in the second or third games but he’s intrigued and will likely try it later with his brother and their friends.

After Dogs, Jeff picked up the late night third slot with some Cold City and despite ending really late, everyone was exhausted but still engaged and into it.

It was a good day. We recorded a segment with them after the gaming was over and it went really well.

They reminded me a whole lot of my gaming buddies in Jersey where I grew up. It seemed to be similiar dick jokes and goofing and making fun of one another as an activity. I knew I was at home when I playfully called them all a “buncha assholes,” and they applauded and welcomed me to the group.

On our way out, I asked them if I could run a day of 1st Quest by them at some point. They have really interesting points of view on gaming that I really liked.

In the end, we were a bit lucky. They tend to like the same things in gaming that Jeff and I like. The games went well, everyone was game and they didn’t take a money transaction to mean that they should sit back and wait for us to entertain them. They were proactive and aggressive gamers in the best way.

On Sunday, Jeff and I went into the City, to Jeff’s favorite camera and video equipment store and then to my favorite gluten free restaurant. We had our meal and some lemonade and toasted, “To the first meal paid for by Kryos.”

“I didn’t think this would ever happen.”

“Me neither.”

Let me tell you about my character…

Bret posted setting notes for our soon-to-come house game of D&D.

Paladins of the Raven Queen exist in order to facilitate the end of the world in a graceful manner.

There is one consort to the queen per generation and my character is driven to be the one. Once he has been sworn in as a demi-god lover to the Goddess of the Apocolypse, he will petition her for one more glorious golden age, one more chance for humanity, for the children of the gods.

I think his name is Elias Corvus and he has black feathers on his armor.