Friday, September 24, 2010

[WOD] Generating Heat [M for Mature]

There's a song for every occasion. I often have music running in my head, making commentary on the aspects, mood and actions of the game I'm playing at the moment.

Eile's soundtrack has been pretty easy so far. Temptation Waits by Garbage, Don't You Want Me by Human League, Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood,  Tell Me Lies by Fleetwood Mac, and Girls, Girls, Girls by Motley Crue have all made a momentary appearance on my mental playlist.

It recently occurred to me that much of my "angst" (man I hate that crap, especially for WOD which has a bad rep anyway) was due to thinking about the problem from the wrong perspective.

Instead of trying to get Eile into a position where she can be trusted, why not take advantage of the fact that she isn't, instead?

I'm really looking at creating a 'heat' campaign, like old school wrestlers used to do. I can easily find ways to make Eile appear to be untrustworthy, shifty and otherwise bad news. I can use that appearance and perception in a multitude of ways just as easily as I can use the raw and virulent emotions that come with true distate.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the song Eile's using for one of her sets at the strip club. It's not traditional in any sense, but it's rythmic, sensual and truly suggestive.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

[WOD] Supernatural- Revisited

[Trying out a new labeling system someone suggested might be helpful. Like I need another reason to be anally organized.=p]

As I started watching Supernatural oh those many years ago, it was pretty easy to imagine it as a WOD Hunter game. I mean, they said it out loud: "We hunt monsters. And then we kill them."

I followed Sam & Dean along their adventures and immediately drew the network of cells in my head. I enjoyed the various and imaginative ways they dispatched the bad stuff. It was pretty cut & dried; this was the best example of Hunter available.

Then  things began to change. Those deals with demons, the Trickster, Chameleon Ruby, intoxicating blood proffering surreal abilities and various other strangeness started becoming regular events, and not just one-offs.

I happened across a rerun of a pivotal episode today; where Dean reveals to Sam exactly what he did in Hell while Crowly encouraged him and showed pride in his talent.

It suddenly struck me that Supernatural was no longer a Hunted game; it seemed quite obvious to me that it had passed into Changeling: the Lost.

Dean- "Time's different there. It might have been four months, but there it was more like 40 years."

[Sounds like Arcadia to me]

Followed by

Dean- [they tortured me] "Until there was nothing left- and then suddenly, I was whole again so they could start all over. It was almost like Magic"

[Durance, anyone?]

Combined with them running from the very worst things they could imagine [Keepers/True Fae], but trying to kill the Overlord in order to break a destiny cycle and save the world.(It  IS a hopeful game, after all)

I kept wondering why there were no ways out of their predicament- the amount of Glamour and Wyrd invested in the Pledges that bound them to begin with would have cracked the world if either end didn't keep their promises- made willingly or not.

The end result of their adventure was pretty rewarding, but not necessarily a "happy ending".  Sam wound up getting his whole Willpower pool back by sacrificing himself for Hope, and Dean's Gluttony seemed finally sated.

I wonder what season 7 will be?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[40K] Living Librariums

Monday was 40K night at the FLGS and I decided to head on down to hang out rather than do dishes or laundry. [I'm convinced that I'm going to Mom Hell, so I can be lazy now and then.]

I spent some time admiring folks' paint jobs, army composition and generally chit chatting. I then sat down to check out the Eldar Codex because it's one of 2 armies I am considering. It's also slightly more accessible than BT, as one of my real life friends who comments here is contemplating selling his Eldar army. His army is 1: already put together, 2: almost entirely complete, and 3: already painted.

A pre-painted army of ANY kind is a bonus for me if I'm looking at Eldar with any seriousness (and I am) simply due to all the detail work that Eldar requires [and I've established that I suck at details]. I haven't even seen the army in question, and I'm pretty interested, just based on the talent of the painter. He's one of the 3 best painters I know. I love his color choices, and he has a sense of lightness and life with a brush I'd hurt kittens to get.

While checking out the Eldar Codex, I was encouraged VERY strongly to continue considering Black Templar by T, a guy that everyone in our 40K community truly admires. He's one of those walking founts of rules knowledge, endless in understanding and application. He knows every Codex as well as all the FAQ's, and as far as I can tell, UNDERSTANDS what all the variations, combinations and esoterica means when it comes down to how an army plays. What's best about T is that he's an incredibly nice guy. He's absolutely approachable, willing to share information and knowledge, fun to talk to, pretty easy going, and he has a fantastic sense of humor.

T took the time to talk to me about why I like the BTs, and what advantages (as well as disadvantages) they offer.He's letting me check out his BT Codex next week so I can read it over a couple times.  He additionally talked to me about Eldar and gave me some insight I just really didn't grasp about them. He offered some pointers on how to address my playstyle with ANY army as well.

I'm aware that my community is pretty rich in talent. It's hidden by the fact that the guys at the store are generally there to have a good time. They enjoy a silly game just as much as a serious, in-the-trenches campaign, but don't let too much get to them. A good number of guys seem to have the "Gentleman's Ones" curse, and there's a lot of good natured bitching about dice results. But the guys playing are smart, critical thinking, and creative. They're not pushovers; they're guys that get the difference between wanting to win and being an ass.

All these guys defer to T when it comes to a rules question. It sometimes happens that a question will come up and it will get posed to the League Organizer that he simply doesn't know the answer to. He's not afraid to say, "I don't know, ask T". Even when a rule kicks you straight in the balls, guys take it in stride if T confirms that's the way it goes. I'm glad he's around our store.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

[WOD] Austin by Night: Session 7 as Eile

The session started off with TK following Eile home from work at the Hedge Row. However, Eile isn't GOING home. She heads over to a local strip club. She pays TK's way in (very unusual for her), finds him a seat, and excuses herself for a moment. TK has no idea what's going on- he fails just about every roll he can for a clue.

Music starts, and Eile comes out onto the stage in practically nothing aside from knee-high leather boots. Quite a lot of money makes its way into the boots, all the while TK watches, mouth agape. He and his Geist, Frank, have a very animated conversation; with Frank encouraging TK to watch the proceedings. Frank comforts TK and even goads him on into further voyeurism as Eile performs several private shows and lap dances. Frank seems to be 'saving up for later', as his directions are aimed at finding the fellows ogling Eile and disposing of them at a later date. Eile gathers quite a bit of Glamour as well as gains Resources during the show.

After Eile's shift is over, TK walks her home. Eile determines that TK enjoyed the show very much, and wants a private viewing. The couple heads to Eile's apartment, only to discover Bruce awake and around. Eile quickly makes a run to her room to change clothes, and TK and Eile head to TK's apartment over the Hedge Row.

The couple are alone and finally consumate the relationship. TK suggests that Bruce needs a girlfriend (or simply to get laid) and Eile's mind buzzes with possibilities. She privately considers ways to manuver a girl from the strip joint into Bruce's life while TK continues talking.

Later, Eile heads downstairs and winds up working. She sees TK talking with someone she mentally calls "Cowboy" and casually asks what the conversation entails. TK totally lies to Eile about the conversation, but something in the wording gets Eile thinking about another topic and she doesn't mind or notice. [She and TK are fairly evenly matched vs each other on Subterfuge and Persuasion, so they often cancel each other out and lies/falsehoods are pretty easy to miss against each other.]

Eile has now come up with an idea for gaining even more money and Glamour, as well as possibly disposing of a problem element in her world. All she needs to do is hire some bodyguards. [That's for next session.]

Monday, September 20, 2010

[HS6E] A Different Kind of Look Book- Diamond's Backstory in Pictures

I'm having a really hard time coming up with a written backstory for Diamond. In my spare time in my real life, I scrapbook. I thought a "scrapbook" style backstory might be an unusual change of pace. I wrote all the pages and captions from her POV.


PG 1- 

Santa Barbara, CA

PG 2- Home. Easy, clear, perfect. My parents taught me to surf here as soon as I could walk.

PG 3-

Malibu, CA

PG4- College at Pepperdine- Malibu was bright, fresh, fast, full of promise. Member Malibu Surf Club. I discovered girls (thanks, Migz), tore up the beaches and the babes.


Long Beach, CA

PG 6- Long Beach. Long hours, long lines for waves. Mastered the waves, a degree, and a lot of ladies' bedrooms.

PG 7-

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
PG 8- Gold Coast- I found a lot of treasure Down Under, that's for sure. 6 month internship and endless hookups only made the waves that much better.

PG 9-

Chiba, Japan

PG 10-Chiba, Japan. I quit girls for a couple years pursuing my career, got sick and got heavy. The surf, much like Japan,  was brutally bad- Choppy, rocky, rough, shitty, blown out and cold. And worth every minute of torturous hell I had to endure for the best ride I ever had (halfway across the world, to boot)- I met Nani.

PG 11-

Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii

PG 12- Hawaii. Paradise on earth. Bright, fast, fresh, pumping and minutes from my home. Can't catch a single wave-I'm simply too heavy. My heart is light and my mind is clear, though. Nani's here with me, doing her lawyer thing. I've found something I'm good at, and life is like a glass top before a break.

PG 13-

My birthday gift to Nani
PG 14-

I couldn't find a ring I thought she'd appreciate, so I got her a 2010 Porsche 911 GT3, in grey & black. I hope she likes it.

more pages to come ----

Sunday, September 19, 2010

[WOD] A Million Pieces

My Brain After Last Night

Almost entirely OOC WOD related thoughts- in no particular order-

On my WOD resume- "Hot Chick, Summoner of Dudes"

The Werewolves are getting the player they have needed for well over 6 months now. I personally asked this player to consider Werewolf previously and he declined at the time- but he's got the perfect personality for the Auspice he'll be playing as well as for the group of players in the pack at the moment.  I'm excited to see how it actually plays out- but again; I feel that conflict of "I wish I was there" and "Man, I am glad I am NOT".

The imminent entrance of this new Werewolf means this player's current character will be diminished in influence and appearance, and I had some thoughts on possible future interactions with him. Easy come, easy go, I guess.

TK's player, Erick, gave me one of the single best ieas for use in game I've heard in years. I'm very excited about its possible implications, but it does have some serious detractions and issues that I need to work through with the ST before I actually persue it.

I'm convinced that one of my long-time gaming friends would be great in and enjoy this wacky, intense, fun and unusual game. However he's known for being a pretty traditional table-top roleplaying type guy. The question and problem becomes whether a campaign to get him to join is a futile effort or if it's the type of thing I'm known for and good at.

Playing with your teenage kids presents some really unusual challenges. It does not help that my oldest is one of the world's biggest prudes/most straightlaced people ever, and I keep encountering his character while Eile is making amorous advances towards TK, or evidence of sexuality is in play at the time. As I mentioned previously, you have to pay attention to maturity, tone and interest when progressing with the more sensual plots.

It appears as if there will be a new Changeling soon. It also appears that she'll be tied to Avere, which is a confounding and interesting situation for me. Pretty much every character in game interacts with Avere (some to a nearly obsessive amount) and Avere's doing everything she can to NOT interact with Eile. This makes for some truly challenging obstacles towards doing what I'm aiming to do. (See below for more.)

Over on Greg's blog, he asked what kind of emotional responses I wanted out of gaming. Here's a snippet of what I said.

Sometimes what I get is related to the GM and/or the players, and when that's the case, I just have to think differently about whatever is happening to find a new direction. 

Last night I spoke to the ST of the WOD game because I was having concerns about what emotional responses I am getting from the game. We've both agreed that my character and her concept is wonderful, and we both want to find ways to keep her in the game and get her active.

One of the single most important aspects of making Eile work effectively for plot and results (resonance and personal satisfaction) is direct, player-to-player interaction. I haven't been able to accomplish this with more than a couple players- and while the results there are fantastic (just wait for the write-up);  it's not enough to make Eile a fully participating part of the group.

[This lack of direct interaction is due to two or three factors- one; Eile has been pursuing NPC oriented activities; two, Avere has been in many ways the "gate keeper" to other PCs with whom Eile could interact and Eile is actively avoiding Avere just as much as Avere is avoiding Eile; and three-the KIND of character Eile is- she's simply not direct in any way.]

At the moment, I really feel as if I'm playing a particularly active NPC. I did approach this with the ST; that perhaps Eile is better suited as an NPC.

Many of the downtime related activities Eile has been persuing have been highly NPC oriented (activity in the Spring Court, trying to encounter a Werewolf pack [not the one being played by the PCs], getting a job at a strip club, etc) and these activities- while they make perfect sense for her mindset and objectives- do not further her being an active participant in the game.

What I told my ST last night was that I either needed to come up with some new ideas/directions that would allow for character interaction, or consider a new idea entirely- because I'm just not generating the traction I want and expect through Eile and her endeavors.

if I consider something else, the problem becomes WHAT. I'm still convinced Werewolf is out. I'm not super sold on Geist but I am not as against it as I was previously. Mage is right out. Vampire is possible, but I'd have to be VERY careful with what character I generate- I can easily see another Eile type and the same frustrations coming about without caution. A Changeling doesn't really solve my problem; and then there's the issue of how to offer anything NEW to the group- Avere's pretty powerful and has shared a GREAT deal of information on the Lost and her abilities. And trying not to metagame this info into any new concept gets tricky, too.

So time to come up with some new directions and possibilities so I can keep this wonderful girl I love so much, I think.