Archive for June, 2018


To July, leaving June

30 June, 2018

Juius CaesarHope all of my readers in the Northern hemisphere are enjoying Summer and those in the Southern are having a safe winter.

As my long time reader will know, July was named after that ambitious Julius Caesar in the re-formalization of the Roman Calendar creating the Julian Calendar (which, unsurprisingly, is named for him too).  So, in honor of Caesar, we shall be looking at governments, organization and people of ambition in the Sea of Stars and elsewhere.  As usual, if there is a particular subject you would like to know more about or see more of, please let me know.

Looking back over June, 2018, it was a fairly light month for posting but did see the following:

Read the rest of this entry ?


June RPG Blog Carnival – “Why do I love RPGs? Why do I love GMing?”

30 June, 2018

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is on a the wonderful theme of “Why do you love RPGs? Why do you love GMing?” hosted by Campaign Mastery.

I have been a gamer for most of my life, it is my primary and favorite hobby, starting way back in 1977 at the age of ten when my mother pointed out that the library in Eugene, Oregon, where I lived at the time, had a wargaming club on Saturdays.  It was there I first encountered D&D and I was immediately hooked.  Over the years I have watched the hobby grow from a closet obsession of people on the fringe, survive a “Satanic Panic” where good-meaning but mean-spirited people tried to stamp out the hobby, to watching the lexicon of our hobby (and our title “gamers”) snatched from us by the video game industry and now the rise of RPGs as a spectator sport over various internet platforms.  What a long strange trip it has been, but oh, so much fun.

What do I like and love about RPGs?  The freedom to do and be what you can imagine and do it all in the company of friends.  You get to have adventures, many of which will become fun stories of heroism and chaos in retrospect, from the safety of your (or your friend’s) home or other friendly meeting place.  I enjoy the chance to see other worlds through the eyes of imaginary people, and sometime playing around with rules systems too, but mostly it is the joint adventuring and story-telling that I find fun.

What do I like and love about GMing?  Much the same as for being a player.  But this time instead of being an actor or co-author, I get to be the primary author or director.  I set the stage for the game to play out on, with the input of the other players, and we have a great adventure together.  When it all works right, it is quite magical, and when it just works, it is still fun.

There is more I could write, but that is the essence and I want to get it in before the deadline.


Tuesday Magic Item – Void Light

26 June, 2018

Void CrystalsVoddick held up the lantern, its odd light making the trees of the forest appear unhealthy and forboding.  “I do not like what our employers providing us with such a light implies.”

“Truth,” agreed Gollaon, an arrow nocked on his bow’s string.  “It is my hope that they other equipment provided will allow us to fight or escape as needed to report back.”

“Such is my hope as well,” nodded Voddick.  “Still, at least the pay is good and we get to keep what we do not use of what was provided.”

“Indeed, so let us keep going and get this scouting done.  The sooner we are back in camp the better.”

Void Light

These glowing crystals radiate a faint violet light that many find unsettling but has several uses for those interesting in seeking beings that exist in multiple levels of reality or are from other worlds entirely.  Often kept in specially built lanterns both to keep the crystal safe and to be able to cut off the disturbing radiance when needed.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Tuesday Magic Item – Emancipation Key

19 June, 2018

For opening locksVoddick wedged his stout blade and twisted it to shatter the lock holding the gate chained.  “So much for that.  You have the key?” he asked quietly.

“Of course,” said Gollaon, keeping watch as Voddick slipped into the compound.  After a moment he followed.

“It seems they are not expecting people to break into the slave pens,” muttered Voddick.

“An error that will cost them . . . if we succeed.”

Emancipation Key

These keys are unremarkable, usually made of iron or brass, whichever is in common use in the area they were made.  They are faintly inscribed with magic sigils which cannot be easily seen but can be felt.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Dark Future Ahead 27 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

14 June, 2018

Which new technology will go horribly wrong?  Join me in reviewing some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my many trips into the worldnet.  Enjoy the news:

Go see the full sized oneHurricane Electric Internet Services has a lovely visualization of the global internet backbone.  Very visually pleasing and interesting.

The Australian Defense Force used a DroneGun (really an anti-drone gun) to disable drones around the ASEAN summit.  Here is more information on DroneShield the company that makes the DroneGun.

Just in time?  As the US Army is starting to assign microscout drones to its units.  It will be interesting to see how tactics evolve using tools like this.  More information on the Black Hornet drone direct from it manufacturer.

We can now watch the evolution of language in real time.  Be on fleek for the future.

A company is retrofitting cargo containers into mobile hydroponic farms.  What would you do if you stole one of these instead of your intended target?  More information on the company, Local Roots, behind them.

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

Notes: Image from Hurricane Electric Internet Services but do go look at the full sized one.










Tuesday Magic Item – First Principle Ring

12 June, 2018

Does it have a ring of truth to it?“Philosophers,” Voddick almost spat.  “Prattling about the nature of reality and how we know what we know.”

“Well, at least it keeps them out of trouble and usually out of our way,” said Gollaon, refilling his friend’s mug.

“Still, reality it straightforward, it is this floor,” he stomped on the ground, “or this ale.”  He took a drink.

“”For us, yes, but we are practical people.  Now drink up.”

First Principle Ring

These rings are always plain and unadorned, lacking even marker’s marks.  But they are immensely durable and difficult to damage.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Shadowrun campaign updates, Podcasting thoughts and a new Seattle Scream (#56) prop

7 June, 2018

Shadowrun continues to be played, not least monthly with 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 both the NorCal game and occasional one-shot adventure in Seattle.  The NorCal campaign, that I am a player in, has seen some more play and remains great fun and moving forward (latest report from that here).

I am plotting a short Shadowrun podcast that would be split half in-game/in-character advice to shadowrunners and half “how you do that in the game”.  Would that be of interest to people?  And if so, what would you like advice on?

The latest news from my campaign here in Seattle Scream #56, the troll town murders are from the last Saturday session, where the player found out how scary spirits are when you only have limited magic support.

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

Photo “dark city?” by twak is licensed under CC BY 2.0.



Tuesday Magic Item – Peacock of Fidelity

5 June, 2018

PeacockGollaon was chatting away to the beautiful spouse of the governor and them seemed to be hitting it off quite well.

Voddick caught his friends attention as he move to get more wine.  “You are wasting your time if you are after more than pleasant conversation with that one,” he said.

“Yes?  I thought we were getting along quite well,” replied Gollaon picking up two fresh wine cups.

“Among the many pendants, note the peacock,” said Voddick with a nod towards the person in question.

“Oh bother.”

Peacock of Fidelity

This pieces of jewellery can come in many forms but broaches and necklaces are the most common in any case they portray a watchful peacock and sometime have actual peacock feathers worked into the piece.  This item can only be used by one who is pledged to another (or anothers, depending on the culture) and  it is sometimes used out of fear and sometime out of caution but usually some mixture of both.

Read the rest of this entry ?

%d bloggers like this: