Archive for February, 2018

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Review – The Girl with Ghost Eyes (novel)

22 February, 2018

The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a fantasy set in the San Francisco Chinatown in the late 19th Century. It follows the troublesome situation Li-lin, daughter of a Daoist exorcist and practitioner of the Maoshan tradition quickly finds herself in.

The author handles the situation of the Chinese in the 19th century US with a light touch, weaving the cultural threads of Chinese tradition and the problems faced by the immigrants deftly, so they inform but never overwhelm the story. The magic and the spirit world play a major role in the story are fascinating and well drawn from Chinese myth and legend.

My only problem was that it was difficult for me to track what was happening in some of the action scenes, which are notoriously difficult to write, so it may be more me than the writing. But overall an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading more of the adventures of Li-lin and how she adapts to America and America to her.

The book is an excellent resource for anyone playing game set in a fantastic China (such as Feng Shui) or even a mythic version of Japan (such as Legend of the Five Rings), the description of the spirits and the magic of the Maoshan is quite evocative.

Note: The link in an affiliate link and this site would receive a small amount if you purchase using it.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Fog of War Cloak

20 February, 2018

“Good of the Wizard-Militant to provide us with new cloaks,” said Voddick trudging down the fog-shouded trail.

“Agreed,” nodded Gollaon.  “Now, are you sure we are heading the right way?”

“I . . . I am not sure,” replied Voddick looking around.  “You know I am not very good with trees.”

“Oh, there is a picket.”

“Wonderful, a fire and some tea would be welcome.”

The guard waved them by and the pair headed further into the camp.  As one they both stopped.  “This is the enemy camp,” whispered Voddick.”

“Yes, now how do we leave without attracting attention?”

Over the top!

Fog of War Cloak

These cloaks are of thick and durable cloth, usually gray or dust colored.  Sometime the lining is more colorful or sewn with a unit insignia or symbol.  They are very tough and long lasting.

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More Shadowrun campaign updates and a new Seattle Scream (#55) prop

20 February, 2018

ManaWave HQ, maybeThe Shadowrunning continues with more games, including monthly the introductory games at Tyche’s Games (every first Sat, feel free to join us), and the occasional game as part of our Thursday night rotation.  So hot on the heels of the last issue, there is a new issue of the Seattle Scream (#55, March 2074).  The main news story, about ManaWave Technologies, is the endgame of three years or more of in-game encounters with Dr Shipson’s machinations.  So happy to have her motives finally unveiled.

The NorCal, that I am a player in, is back in session and remains great fun and moving forward (latest report from that here) though we have just lost one of our players due to medical reason.

Now, be careful out there in the shadows my friends.  The world is cruel and dangerous place.

Photo “IMG_0422” by Margo Maier-Moul is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Trapped” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

17 February, 2018

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Thirty-Four: Trapped

Amazed?Guest Starring: Clawz, DoubleUp and Tora.

The group is meeting at a new restaurant, TechnoTaco, when the floor drops out and they find themselves in a maze.  A crackly electronic voice says, “Now you must escape the Maze of Danger [tm]!  Even with your skills you cannot escape the technomatic perfection of Maze of Danger [tm]!”  Cue chases through corridors, crazy traps, wacky robot soldiers, references to various science fiction shows and movies until they finally break in and confront the technomancer behind it all.  Once confronted, he apologizes and offers candy and soda and shows how all of the traps were really harmless (nerf spikes, colored mist and so on).  He just wanted to test his haunted maze and wanted people to take it seriously.

What really happened:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Lucky Helm

13 February, 2018

Keeps YOU safe“Hey, that Geoff!” said Voddick turning in his saddle to get a better look as the soldiers passing by.

“Geoff?! We have not seen him since that skirmish in Volak,” said Gollaon giving a wave to the trouping warriors.

“He was with a Red Banner then,” said Voddick.  “Wonder how he ended up with the Gold Snakes?”

“I heard the Red Banner was near wiped out in a campaign against some pirates.”

“Hmm.  Well Geoff’s luck has held and he still has that stupid helm.”

Lucky Helm

These helms are usually a little battered but well loved by their owners who often decorate them as best they can, while dented and scarred, they have no breaks or flaws to endanger their wearer.

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Dark Future Ahead 25 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

11 February, 2018

Is the future dystopian or just dark?  Join me in reviewing some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my expeditions into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A look at how climate change is opening the arctic to exploration, and exploitation, and the machines that will allow such to happen.

AfroPunk Rocks!There are many kinds of punk, take a look at the AfroPunk scene, now taking place in Africa!  Lots of interesting energy and exciting visual styles there.

Interested in options for housing?  What about living units made from concrete water pipers?  Not portable (at 22 tons each) but sturdy and easily to stack into a structure.

To circumvent restrictive software locks on their ability to repair their own tractors and agricultural equipment, American farmers are hacking their John Deere equipment!  Sticking it to the man, go farmers.

A mutant crawfish that effectively clones itself is overrunning European waterways, sure seem future dystopian to me.

This is how China expands into a country, would a megacorporation be much different?

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?

Image “AFROPUNK (commissioned work) 2006” by CHRISTOPHER DOMBRES is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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Tuesday Magic Item – Traitor’s Tongue

6 February, 2018

Can it speak?“Questioning the dead always makes me uncomfortable,” said Voddick quietly.

“Why?” queried Gollaon is equally soft tones.

“It just seems . . . disrespectful.”

Gollaon nodded.  “I can understand that.  I just worry about any magic that taps into the shadowed lands.  Many things that prowl there have no love for the living.”

“Now I am even more uncomfortable with this.”

Traitor’s Tongue

Some of these are preserved human tongues, others are carved stone, and rarely they are made of the tongue of a devil.  In any case, they are inscribed with runes and sigils to forge a link between our world and the one beyond.

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