Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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Shadowrun Campaign News for the start of 2021/2078 and a new Seattle Scream Prop (#69)

17 January, 2021

All kinds of Go-GangsWe are continuing to play Shadowrun via the wonders of the proto-Matrix  (supported by Tyche’s Games our local game store) but not as often or as long as our in-person sessions.  I deeply miss in person play and it looks like the odd of getting back to that are improving, day by day.

Here are the current state of the House Rules we are using for the 6th World Edition, they likely to be modified as we continue to play.

Our NorCal set campaign in still using 5th Ed rules, we have played another game which I hope to have written up shortly

Time for the first screamsheet of ’21/’78: Seattle Scream 69, the insect nest and go-gangs running rampant are after effects of various adventures.  Turns out the Spikes get violent when they feel they have been disrespected.

Notes: Photo from piqsels.com and is listed as being in the Pubic Domain.

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Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1967 – Issue 5 – Gorilla Guerilla

14 January, 2021

Shortly following Issue 4:

Central Park in better daysCover: A group of heavily armed gorillas storming forward with our heroes giving ground.  “Can our heroes stop the onslaught of the savage simians?!”

Opening page:  “Deep in the heart of . . . Central Park?!”  It shows a very Kirby-esque glowing gate with ape silhouettes passing through.

808 and Shadowfist have been following up on the mystery of Miss Ood who definitely seems to operating out of China.  While Roboto has been, with the help of Diamond Industries, deflecting offers from the US Army to become an active service member but the Army is persistent.  Vulpix continues her training and avoiding her cousin.  Horizon starts to rebuild ties with his friends, cautiously as he is still afraid of his own powers.

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Review – The Sixth Shotgun

5 January, 2021

The Sixth Shotgun by Louis L’Amour is a short story of the same title and a novella The Sixth ShotgunThe Rider of the Ruby Hills” in one volume.  I am not much of a reader of Westerns but L’Amour is so well regarded I thought I would give this collection a try.  It is easy to see why his stories are so popular, he has an easy and readable style and a knack for describing characters in a short space that gives you a good sense of them.

If you like Westerns, you should like these stories.  However, they are a product of their time and genre and the women, while competent and more active than I had expected, are defined by their relationships to the men in the stories.

But I am going to put a roleplaying spin on my discussions about them:

The Sixth Shotgun has a light mystery mixed with its Western and is a good example of how to blend genres.  There are no real surprises but it is a fun story and could be adapted for a roleplaying adventure pretty easily.

The Rider of the Ruby Hills is virtually a masterclass on how to run a campaign based around a single character.  The main character is exceedingly competent and goes into the situation prepared and with a plan, unfortunately for him, the situation in the valley in not entirely what he expected . . .

I think this is a good model for single character campaigns, the primary character has to be competent because there is just them at the core of it, I think this should be leaned into.  Almost everyone like playing someone of heroic statue now and then and this sort of campaign structure is perfect for it.  In the story the main character finds allies which could be GMCs or even guest players depending on how you wanted to structure the campaign (and if you had people interested in “guest staring” in your game) but they are very much secondary and support to the drive of our hero.  One of the main role of GMCs will be to provide information and context for the player.

In The Rider of the Ruby Hills, our main character wants to claim land and cattle to build a house and settle down after a life of roaming and working for other people and he has a plan to do such.  Naturally, things do not work out as he had planned.   In this kind of campaign a character’s drive could be anything, restoring their family’s good name, overthrowing the evil duke, whatever but it should be clearly defined at the beginning and they should have the capability to achieve such, if things break their way.  Ultimately everything that happens in the game should be building toward that goal and its final achievement (or tragic failure).

Notes: The links are affiliate links and I will get a small sum of your purchase through them.

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December ends and with it MMXX

31 December, 2020

Foreward and backThis year has both been agonizingly long and passed so quickly, I am still trying to reconcile that it is the end of the year.  But now it is almost January, 2021, and with it the New Year!  Good fortune to all in MMXXI!

January is, naturally, named after the Roman god of doorways, Janus (Ianuarius), who is usually pictured as looking both forward and back.   So in January, we will return to the themes of doorways, transport and travel to open new possibilities for the New Year.  As usual, if there is something on this theme you would like to see, let me know.

Looking back over December, 2020, we find a month but not without interest:

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History Resources for your Game [4]

20 December, 2020

A piece of historyA variety of interesting articles about history that have found recently and wished to share:

The story of the HOUGHTEAM, a secret unit sent into the ruin of Germany (while the fighting was still ongoing) to acquire the Nazi’s vast collection of maps and geophysical data for the US (and the keep it from the Soviets).  What a great plot for an adventure!

Some of the high valleys of Switzerland used to store cheese to be served at the owner’s funeral.  Funeral customs, apart from tombs to plunder, are often neglected in RPGs, so good food for thought here.

A very good discussion on oaths, how they are made and why can be found here.   Very useful for designing oaths for characters to take.  In fact the entirety of A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry is well worth mining for information on history.

Games have been with us forever, recently a Roman game piece has been found.   Many partial games have been found but is most case we do not have a firm idea of how the game was played.   Do your game worlds have any games unique to them?

Languages live and die with their speakers, and there are only about 2,000 people left who speak Tsakonika, a language descended from Laconian, the language of ancient Sparta.  It is one of the oldest surviving languages.  Have you used lost languages in one of your adventures?

Have you found any intriguing or fascinating history you would like to share?  If so, please do!

Notes: Photo edited from the one at the Chester Standard and used without permission.

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December? Where has the year gone?

30 November, 2020

Winter's cold arrivesWhere did the month go, scratch that, where did the year go?  Wasn’t it just May?

With the first of December comes the meteorological start of Winter and it certainly seems that way here.  December was, as you might expect, the tenth month of the Roman calendar and it is a month filled with holidays for us modern folk.

So, the themes for this month on the Sea of Stars design journal will be Winter, festivals and gift: cursed gifts, divine gifts, magical gifts or whatever else we can think up.

If there is a particular idea that any of those themes inspire, let me know and I will try to realize it.

Looking back over November, 2020, we saw the following posts here: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Shadowrun Campaign News and a new Seattle Scream Prop (#68)

9 November, 2020

Toxis waste, cleanup in progressShadowrun continues to be played via the wonders of the proto-Matrix  (supported by Tyche’s Games our local game store).  It makes an adequate replacement for play around the table but I look forward to being able to play live and in person again, someday.

Still working on house rules for the SR6WE but not quite ready to share what I have yet publicly, but soon.

Have managed a few games in our NorCal set campaign, still using 5th Ed rules, you can read about that here.

To support the ongoing campaign, we have a new scream sheet: Seattle Scream 68, the one regarding Aztechnology and illegal dumping is the aftermath of one of the games.  Hopefully it will prove of some use or inspiration for your games.

Notes: Photo Major toxic waste dump by HM Revenue & Customs used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

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

8 November, 2020

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 Forty Six: Haul Sixteen Tons

Guest Starring: Clawz, DoubleUp, Gimmick, and Tora.

Among the treesPink and the crew are hired to help landscape one of their classmate’s places.  Only to find out that they are expected to plant trees, oh so many trees.  And that there is a group of angry golfers who do not want them planted.  A classic escalating cartoon conflict ensures, starting from comedic sabotage and ranging to all out war.  Finally ending with trees everywhere and both sides having a party together.

What really happened:

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All Hallows to All Saints, October to November

31 October, 2020

Some black cats bring good luckHappy All Hallows Day and Eve all!  Enjoy costumes, food and whatever else you and yours does on this lovely holiday!  At least as much as you can when such terrible disease stalks the land.  Avoid Masque of the Red Death reenactments.

November begins with All Saints Day and, in the traditional Irish calendar, the start of Winter.   Tomorrow is also the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which I will be participating in, as usual, to spur me to write.

In light of that, and seeing no obvious theme to November I will just write about whatever inspires me.   I will keep up with the Tuesday magic items and whatever else I can fit.  However, if you have any requests, anything you would like to see or any theme you would like me to expand upon, please let me know and I will try to fit it in.

October, 2020, saw the following posts here:

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Into October and Autumn, leaving September

30 September, 2020

Happy AutumnTomorrow begins October, the eighth month (naturally) of the Roman Calendar.  It seems the Romans had no special association for October beyond Autumn, but we have Halloween!  So the theme on the Sea of Stars Design Journal for this month will be Monsters and Monstrous Things!

If you have ideas for a Monster you wish to see, let me know and I will try to make it happen.

Have a safe Autumn all.

September, 2020, saw the following posts here:

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