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Tuesday Magic Item – Lightning Strike Bracelets

9 August, 2022

Wear lightningGollaon ducked as the crackling arc of lighting blasted the tree around them to flinders.  “We need help here!”

Voddic fired a crossbow bolt in the direction the lightning had originated from.  “Elprie is on here way.”

“Not a moment too soon,” said Gollaon as the warrior-woman rushed forward catching the lightning on her bracelets.

“Come on,” she said through gritted teeth, “let’s take the fight to them.”

Lightning Strike Bracelets

These bracelets can be plain on the outside but the interior is always inscribed with runes of protection and the elements.  When the exterior is decorated they often have gemstones associated with lightning and distinctive runes or markings.

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GenCon, 2022, Day -1 and Day 0

3 August, 2022

Under the mountain and across the borderDay -1 (Tuesday, 2nd August) was devoted to travel from Georgia to Indianapolis, not a short hop.  We were trying a new route up through Kentucky and Tennessee which, although it took a little longer (maybe) was really beautiful and included traveling through the Cumberland Gap Tunnel (one of only two tunnels in the United States that cross state lines).

But by far the most exciting part of the day was a little after one o’clock when we had been on the road for about four hours.  We pulled off to stop at a Cracker Barrel and Howard, who was driving, said, “Do you hear that?”

To which I replied, “No, but don’t be surprised.  I don’t hear a lot, I have a genetic defect that prevents me from hearing a range of sounds.”

“It sounds like a cat.”

“A cat?”

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Where to Find Me at GenCon 2022

3 August, 2022

You may wish to review my advice to those going, though the preparation section is of less use as the Con is upon us!

I will, again, be working in the exhibitor’s hall for Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) as usual, and we should have banners up, but you can find us at Booth 903.  Right now my schedule looks something like this:

Thursday, working in the booth 10am-6pm.

Friday, working in the booth 10am-6pm.  And from 6:30pm – latish, you will find me helping with AEG’s Big Game Night (BGN) which is down in the Lucas Oil Stadium.  No idea how it is going to be run this year so I am probably inaccessible until BGN is over.

Saturday, working in the booth 10m-6pm.

Sunday, last day, working in the booth 10am-4pm.

S0, yeah, does not look like I will have much free time except on Thursday and Saturday evenings, at least one of which I hope to be able to hit up Games on Demand for some sweet indie roleplaying.

GCmaskSpotting me in a crowd!  On duty, I will be wearing a black AEG “Dead Reckoning” shirt, and a red AEG t-shirt the other day, with a geek-adjacent mask.  My hair (pulled back in a ponytail) and beard are mostly white, and I am an average height slightly overweight white man, so, yeah, I will not be that easy to spot.  However, I intend to be wearing these lovely masks made for me by my wife when not of duty during the Con. Photo attached for reference.

Beyond that, who knows?  So drop me a note if you want to try and meet up, I am sure we can work something out.

In any case, to all those going and not going: Have fun and play more games.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Untearable Bag

2 August, 2022

How much will fit inside?

Gollaon shook his head.  “Why is he even trying?  That will never fit in that small bag . . . Well, I’ll be.”

Voddick laughed.  “Those are quite popular where I come from.  Sometimes they have competitions to see how much they could fit into a bag.”

“Really?  And how much could be fit into one?”

“The most I saw managed was a small cart.”

“My goodness.”

Untearable Bag

These bags start as normal-seeming pouches, but as things are placed into them, the bag expands to contain the items put inside.  There is an upper limit but it is a challenge to reach.

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End of July, towards August and GenCon

31 July, 2022

GenCon Gamer GamingAugust, which is named after the Roman Emperor (or First Citizen if you prefer) Augustus Caesar, the theme will be a month of personalities from the Sea of Stars (and possibly other places) if I can find some inspiration.  If there is someone -or something– in particular that you would like to see, write a comment or otherwise let me know.

I will be at GenCon which follows closely after the start of August.  Who else is planning to attend this year?  Maybe we can meet up and chat.

A slowish month was July, 2022, but not entirely without content in this journal: Read the rest of this entry »

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August Shadowrun Campaign News and a new Seattle Scream Prop (#77)

30 July, 2022

Come to M3 and expand your businessWe hit a big summer gap in our Shadowrun campaigns though did get a little bit of play and run a game that served as a swan song to my long-running character, PinkCat.  I sure miss that hacker.  The next game I will be CHing will be an unusual second Saturday game at Tyche’s Games, as I will be at GenCon for the first Saturday, so please drop by and join in if you in the Athens, Georgia, area.

The next Shadowrun sourcebook, Hack and Slash, for hackers and other computer specialists, will release at GenCon.  I will try and get a review of it done soon after I get a copy.

Now what you really came here for, the latest Seattle Scream (#77), the M3 story and the one about Horizon’s expansion are obliquely tied to PinkCat‘s swan song.  The rest are just the usual scattering of news, ideas, and potential plot hooks.

Notes: Image found on pxhere and is in the Public Domain.

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Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1968 – Issue 14 – Part 2: Miami Fright

30 July, 2022

Scenic MiamiThis is the second half of Issue 14 with our young heroes on the way to Miami . . . by dirigible.

Cover: A Question Mark divides the cover, on one side is Leonard, the airship, being attacked by sky-squids, the other side is a man in a black trenchcoat and broadbrimmed hat with Kirby dots spilling out from under the brim, a blue-skinned woman with gills in her neck wearing a white bikini and a disreputable thuggish man in a monks habit.  Across the bottom is “New Challenges for our Young Heroes!”

Opening page of Part Two:  Leonard high over the Atlantic coast, Vulpix talking on her belt radio, “But Uncle, we are on a case.  I don’t want to go to a stuffy gala.”  The rest of the team stands by. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuesday Magic Item – Heart’s Secret Pen

26 July, 2022

Writing with careGollaon took the letter and slipped it into a sheepskin pouch.  “We will see it safe to your . . . friend.  Fear not.”

Voddick nodded and followed behind.  “I spared a glance at the letter while they were writing it, I could not make heads of tails out of it.”

“The pen they were using, it makes the writing secret so that only the intended person can truly read the letter.”

“That is quite useful, come with some terrible curse though, yes?”

“Well, it does require some of your heart’s blood to function . . . or so I have been told,” admitted Gollaon.

Heart’s Secret Pen

These pens are well made and elegantly crafted, hidden somewhere upon them is a symbol of love, but one must search to find it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Styles of Game Mastering, this is mine.

24 July, 2022

Always in progressOver at RPGGeek, there is a discussion about GMing styles (which you can find here) where I replied but I thought that I would share it here as well.

So, my thoughts on how I run a game.

My World, I have the final say about how things are, how they work and how it all fits together. That being said, I love for players to add, adapt and build off of things in the setting. Just because I have the right to veto something does not mean that I want to use it, I want the game to be fun for the player and something they are willing to buy into and make their own as well.

Let the players lead, there are things going on in the world that will happen in certain ways if not interfered with but it is up to the players to decide what their characters do and if they want to get involved in plots larger than “let us earn so money to buy drinks”. I do not use end-of-the-world plots (except in my superheroes campaign where the characters stopping such things is an underlying assumption of the genre) and while the world may get “worse” if the characters do not stop certain things, they will always have a chance to correct course and make things better laters, if that is their wish.

Light Preparation, I rarely have more than a page of notes going into a game, sometimes I highlight people, places or things I want to make sure show up (or at least get referenced) but usually I just have an opening scene and a handful of threads and off we go. I have been trying to be better at taking notes and these days I almost always have a google doc open as I am playing to add notes to as things happen and get mentioned.

There are Consequences, which is why note-taking is important! If the shadowrunners piss off Manawave Technologies and leave clues as to who they are, if the venturers insult a Draconic representative, if our teen heroes foil a plan by the Puzzle Master, these will lead to consequences . . . The games and the adventures do not take place in a vacuum, what the player characters do effect the world, usually in small ways but sometimes in major one and, in turn, the world will affect them.

Naturally, all these interlock, because I know my world(s), I am able to work out how to fit in player ideas and suggestions and to extrapolate the effects of their actions will have on and in the world.  I can start with minimal notes and work outward because I have a strong idea of how things fit together and what the general currents are in the campaign.

Notes: photo [Construction Site] Louis Lafon, found on the Met and is in the Public Domain

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Tuesday Magic Item – Animal Pal Amulet and Collar

19 July, 2022

Watching youGollaon took a sip of tea, leaned back and said, “That master of hounds is a clever one.”

“What brings that on?” asked Voddick as he speared a sausage.

“Well, beyond his natural talent with the dogs, he uses some subtle magic to communicate with them.”

Voddick nodded.  “So, we should be careful what we do when the dogs are watching?”

“Good point.”

Animal Pal Amulet and Collar

These amulets are very idiosyncratic to their owners, often having ties to the animals they love, such as a locket with miniatures of beloved pets inside, amulets in the shape of cats or dogs, or other such designs.  While some of them may seem a bit tacky to others, they have strong associations to the original owner. Read the rest of this entry »

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