Saturday, September 18, 2010

[40K] The Emperor Will Be Pleased

I just realized that a majority of the blogs I read. follow and enjoy are 40K related. I'm the assigned "40K Reporter" for our local FLGS and its website, and I cajoled/convinced a local Eldar player into doing the weekly blog on 40K for them as well. (PS-he's late!)

But I haven't owned an army since my teenager was a baby, and while I'm looking at getting back in (man, I have it BAD for those blunt force trauma guys in black), I don't actually have a single fig of my own.

So I either need to rob a bank, coopt someone elses' spare figs, or admit I just like the shiny toys.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Technical Blogging Help Requested

I'm working on some special projects I can't wait to show you and could use a little help.

I'm hoping some of you fabulous bloggers out there can help me with posting a PDF and/or putting up a slideshow. I'd like to use Blogger to do these things, but I do have other resources available. However, I'm just vastly unlearned in the wuji of computers.

Tips, tricks, information and other wisdom is well appreciated.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Want Your, Let's Talk About, --- Packets

Yes, I'm addressing sex.

I'm a Grown Woman (What fantastic song, btw) and I'm not afraid of the topic. I think it can be handled effectively, sensitively and with a strong sense of drama to benefit plot, character development and even overall themes in a game when done properly.

An essential element is maturity- both of the GM and the players involved in any endeavor. Trying a dramatic plotline around a pregnancy and subsequent child in a Rogue Trader game full of 17-19 year old boys will in most cases bomb.Another is tone- again, GM & players have to be considered, as well as the game in question. Developing a harrowing, gripping and emotive plot around a rape in a kill-orks-for-beer-money game is not a likely event.

Yet another required ingredient is interest- if the  GM or the players in the game don't address it, ignore it, or act as if it's irrelevant; you're probably not going to get any traction with a good love interest.

I think it's also important to be aware of how complex this topic can be - either in all male groups, or in cross gendered ones as well. With all male groups, accomplished and comfortable roleplayers can find it difficult to bring reality to amorous actions without discomfort. Cross gendered groups may find the same concerns, just with different dimensions. (I've known several cases of players running characters in love in game, and feelings crossing over into real life, with disastrous results.)

Even with all those concerns and caveats, I've seen some riveting, excellent and inventive play come across through sex oriented plots or development angles.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Character Maps

I'm trying to plan for my Saturday WOD game. I'm putting thoughts towards what I want Eile to do and why.

I decided to use an older mechanism that I like a lot. I call it a "map".

I take a piece of paper and put Eile's name in the middle of it. Then I put the names of the other characters in the game in a rough circle around Eile's name. Then I draw "relationship lines"- direct lines to/from people she's directly encountering on a regular basis, dotted lines for less firm ones, and so on according to my personal system. (I don't have a scanner nor do I posses any sort of electronic artistic abilities or I'd offer a nifty illustration of said mechanism.)

Then I draw lines from characters to OTHER characters to help me figure out where their influence lies, who they interact with (as known to Eile), and what obstacles and/or objectives they might present.

I make notes to myself  about each character in question, usually thinking in terms of :

what happens if I continue in a straight line with my plot ideas with this character?
What if I put or encounter obstacles between here and where I want to go in my plot lines with this character?
What if I go in a circle/around this plot line with this character?
What if I look at this from every OTHER angle and try something different?

(This thinking mechanism is totally not of my own imagination. I stole it whole cloth from Piers Anthony- and I believe it's some form of logic formula.)

Right now I have a bunch of papers (there are 12+ characters in this game) that look like a drunk kid Spiro-Graphed all over them.

But it's a neat visual way to help me think during game.

Killzone is a Hit!

Many thanks and congratulations to Papa JJ and Big Jim for the wonderful stuff in Special Operations:Killzone.

I've shared it with quite a few friends in my 40K scene and they've all loved it. It's a fun thing to see them excited about the game in a fresh new way, and ready to go slay each other in inventive and fantastic ways.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beauty Is Where You Find It

I have finally deconstructed the wall of boxes, re-arranged the items inside them, and assembled the contents into something slightly resembling a home.

My last project was the gaming shelves. My husband (The Dude) and I have a pretty sizable collection of RPGs, and when I originally unpacked them, I just threw them on the shelves in a desperate, mad effort to get them out of boxes.

In our former place, The Dude's stuff comprised a single 6' bookshelf. I had a smidgen of stuff, but I kept it separate from his (in a joking conversation, I told him his stuff had cooties). The gaming stuff must have had a lot of hot nights, because his stuff populated itself with MORE stuff. We now have two 6' shelves full of gaming stuff.

One of those shelves is my stuff. I filled it up with my books- old and new. Among the boxes of stuff I unpacked was my Earthdawn collection. I was taken back to when I first encountered Earthdawn.

It's not really a secret that I don't like fantasy games at all. For the most part, I find fantasy to be akin to camping-dusty, dirty, uncomfortable, full of bugs & other disgusting creatures; just plain ugly. But Earthdawn is a major exception. From the minute I opened the book, I was entranced. I loved the setting, the story, and the absolutely breathtaking detail that went into the "history" of the game. (I'll admit the mechanics stink.)

I love the game again for all the same reasons (and admit the mechanics stink just as easily). It's beautiful.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel

A friend of mine who loves fiddling with games told me recently that he is trying to come up with a D&D 3.5 rewrite that won't make me puke. He's selling it to me as a point buy, without classes and minus the THACO.

He's trying to hit on my "laundry list" of hated points of pretty much any D&D variant. I know he means well, and I enjoy his creativity. I'm willing to consider looking at it when he's done because I'm a good friend, but in all honesty, it will be very hard to convince me that it's not the same stuff I've come to find so distasteful.

I understand why he's doing it- he wants to try to give me the "shared experience" of the D&D culture. He wants me, of all people, to enjoy what he enjoyed so much and what he grew up on. He wants to give me the opportunity to see things through his viewfinder. I'm really touched that he likes me that much. He's not writing it just for me, but he wants to share the end result with me for a very specific purpose.

I appreciate it- it's an interesting concept. But part of me wonders, why go to all the trouble? There are a wide variety of clones and there's so many ways to play the game without fiddling with an existing ruleset. What point does having yet another adaptation of the 'predecessor' prove?

To me, it's like riffing on Night In Tunisia- it might sound good, but why mess with it in the first place? Love it or hate it, the structure, pacing, elements, mood and performance are the "gold standard" for a certain place and time for jazz. The same can and perhaps should be said for D&D- a standard that shouldn't be emulated.

Am I totally off?