Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Shaving with explosives

Its a beautiful thing. There's nothing quite like a plan that comes together and then rapidly takes itself apart again. The Chill Envoys are approaching the conclusion of their current case and seem to be engaged in a good old session of ethnic cleansing. To be fair to them it seems that either some Native Americans have come back from the dead or that a twisted and long forgotten military project is still quietly ticking over and keeping their bodies alive. Either way, its now a shootout. And when I say shootout I mean with grenades and dynamite.

Having just been through a lock and load montage our Envoys are investigating a small silver mine in which they have  uncovered a long forgotten military bunker housing an Unknown incursion. After some careful scouting of an old operations room and pawing thorough some disturbing  files from the late 1950s our intrepid band wandered into a large misty containment area where upon they have been engaged by an Indian chief wielding an incandescent torch of some kind - the sort of ethereal bright light that inclines you to drop everything and shuffle towards it. Moreover there are a couple of other Indians charging them down. Whilst they did get a couple of shots off at the Chief, our Archeologist/Arnie Schwarzenegger also threw a grenade at the oncoming charge.

So that would be a D100 roll against a basic dex stat, with a bit of a bonus as throwing things is not really that hard - low is good in this game - result 99! :-) Now Lukas is one of our newer members and I have to say has been coping admirably with both the challenges role playing provides as well as the piss taking but a fumble is a fumble and there is a first and last time for everything.

OK, so, let be generous - another D100 roll please to see how far the grenade flies off randomly in feet - high being good in this case of course - result 06! :-) I am now out of opportunities to be forgiving and given that the entire party are now standing together within lethal range of a grenade its now down to initiative - Lukas makes 2 rolls the next round - one for himself, one for the grenade - as the initiative counts down, party members go one by one - three of the party scattering, one holding his ground firing at the Indians and finally, by a whisker of 2 initiative points, Bill goes just before the grenade and lobs it. Remarkably, the grenade got the lowest initiative of all - the closest of shaves.

Still, if that doesn't put them off, there are plenty more grenades and when those run out there is always the dynamite...

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


As avidly reported in the last post, this last Monday saw an Entmoot of the Brighton Roleplaying Meetups group at the Craft Beer Co, North St. Last time I went along in late November, I turned up on time and the room was absolutely packed- all I could do is stick my head around the door like a disembodied character from a Dickensian ghost story. Duly noted for this time I turned up early and typically was the only one there. Still it was nice to hold court with my pint for a few minutes and meditate upon the burger and chips smell wafting through the building.

Nevertheless I was joined by Simon Appleton and thereafter a couple of the other regulars and it was nice to catch  up with what was going on and of course roleplaying anecdotes started rolling over each other which reminded me that we are in fact all one big community. Props have to go to Mark and Garry who also came along promoting interest in the Shadowrun and Farie Wood and also Jo popped in later as she was GMing a D&D. Simon takes on a lot at this pub as his primary club meet is the Board Gaming society on a different day but role playing interest has spilled over into another meetup but he also GMs so his interests are invested. The moot is designed a bit like a country fair where GMs set up shop and they may or may not get interest, though of course this is supported by online rsvping; it seems to work after a fashion as the club is clearly maintained, though I did hear on the grapevine that one GM had mysteriously disappeared since the last moot so I am unsure of what became of his adventurers.

Logistics are always a challenge for small interest groups in big cities and whilst Simon will get rooms that are available, they will be turfed out for special paid for events, which, to be fair, is core income for any bar - we are no different at the Railway Club. What is interesting is that of course being in central Brighton they can just pop down to the next pub along the road, in this case the Windmill, and with another couple of hundred dotted around town there are options. After the moot - about 20 people this time round, regular games due on the night started up and whilst the tables are deceptively small upstairs, two GMs set up in the shared space upstairs and Simon took his game downstairs which sort of works quite well on a quiet Monday evening.

All in all it was nice to catch up with everyone and I am sorely tempted to sit down in a game - only issue is, as this is technically speaking an internet group, it could be anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Shadowrun and the Sixth World

We have a few games on going at the moment - given the intermittent nature of the current D&D and elongated Paramount dominated administrative labyrinth that is Starfleet command we have been running a Chill alongside the advertised games and a nod must go to GM Mark as he generously stepped in to run an emergency Shadowrun a couple of weeks ago and this will be the primary backup game as we move forward. So whilst we have many games to offer its a bit a drive through roulette experience at the moment. Having said that, it does mean that there is an opportunity to get involved in lots of stuff.

Whilst I neglected to asked the players about the plot of the Shadowrun I did get an overall positive response. For myself, it is a system that falls into the category of having loads of mates that have played it over the years but not actually one I have played myself. So I have sort of got to know it like a cousin once removed who one always hears about.

The system is quite a mish mash that reminds me of aspects of Warhammer - although it is set in the future as a SciFi game with a strong cyberpunk presence it also overlaps into mutations or 'goblinizations' of newborns into trolls and orks. This merges traditional fantasy races into a technological age known as the Sixth World. This also includes Elves, Dwarves and other creatures. Magic is also prevalent as in Native American spirit control ceremonies and rituals that can influence geopolitics and the entire world is an alternative future of our current world, so the backdrop is of the USA and the rest of the world as we sort of know it with the influence of mega corporations and a virtually enhanced internet.. 

I get the impression that if you take every roleplaying system you have, put them in a bucket, add water, mash them up and leave them to dry for 24 hours, you get something like Shadowrun,. Nevertheless respect where respect is due and the game deos have a lineage through 6 editions going back to 1989 with the latest in its fifth in 2013. We'll see how it goes at the club.

On another note, it is the Entmoot of the Roleplaying Meetup group this coming Monday at the Craft Beer Co in North St and I shall pop along as I did last time to say hello to a few people and as I am a little more familiar with how they work mechanically now, I will let everyone know that there is our installation openly available at the Railway club, including a Jukebox.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017



This last Saturday saw the reprise of GM Warren's Earthdawn adventure at the Dice Saloon. Although I have dropped into the venue on a few occasions, it was the first time I had been there at peak time and by Jupiter it was busy. Whilst our party had rented their own table there were card game players of various systems dotted around, a very forgiving purveyor of coffee who was quite patient as I changed my order several times and a large contingent of people at war. These would be the Generals and Commanders of the Warhammer armies out manoeuvring each other on wide tabletop battlegrounds.

Whilst Warhammer doesn't appeal to me directly as I prefer the more creative aspects of narrative, I was struck by the heavy atmosphere of such confrontation. Whilst a civilised and orderly progression of battle was mediated by opposing players there was definitely the air of one side wanting to utterly crush the other. Even from a distance the two rows of opposing players gave an impression of no quarter as rules were passed back and forth for scrutiny and ranges were checked and double checked across the field using personal measuring tapes before orders were executed; it was a definitive war room. I  must have been there an hour or so gingerly listening to the Earthdawn but often the presence of the Warhammer would catch my eye as battlefield resolve and determination swayed its own tug of war above the gaming table. Basically, now I can understand the appeal, though I am ultimately much more at home with a cup of tea, biscuits and a familiar.

Neverthless the Earthdawn was a delight to listen into which, ironically, despite its name, is set underground. I joined at the point where a Troll, Elf, Dwarf, Obsidiman and Windling all walked into a bar. More specifically the bar was on fire and hidden in magical darkness. As amusing as it was to watch the obsidiman debate himself whether to turn right or left as traditionally they are a little slower than Ents when making decisions, I got the impression that they were after a bowl of some sort whilst trying to make sure that people were as safe as possible.. its a bit like turning up to a party when everyone else is drunk so I only got the general idea of a plan in motion but it seemed that no one died on this occasion. As to the fate of the bowl, well, I will find out this Thursday.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Case Closed

SAVE archive return 10.03.1995

Entity:High Priest of Tiamat, sub category Poltergeist

Behaviours: Erratic, usually highly aggressive and violently interactive. Invisible, telekinetic sometimes demonstrating extreme strength. Often loud but incoherent. Predominantly bound to a building or area against it's will, either related to ward or unresolved motivations expressed physically. Separate entity; does not possess but can manifest through objects. Case relates to early Babylonian temple accessible by ignition of transfer powder, possibly containing Unknown components. Whilst creation myths vary across religions it is thought the Unknown itself borrows from and/or influences these contexts in human history rather that any particular mythology being accurate.

Cautions: Violent, fast and unpredictable and will always attack though it may take several hours or even days to become aware of human presence. Can be temporarily appeased via human sacrifice or occasionally exposed in a mist, fog or by using smoke.

Entity: Tears of Tiamat, sub category Ectoplasm

Behaviours: Appearing as fluidic, it immolates when exposed. Often contained within an Unknown artefact, in this case sealed Babylonian pottery; breakable but will reform after contents are released. In other cases liquid can manifest of itself or extrude from human extremities - can be airborne. When in contact with living tissue it will burn continuously destroying flesh but imbuing great strength and longevity. When extinguished, properties revert immediately leaving victim dead or severely injured.

Cautions: Should be kept contained at all times. Avoid contact with skin.

Entity: Titan, sub category Guardian

Behaviours: Servitor entity, Golem like, tasked with simple instructions. Not always able to fully manifest, in this case charged with returning the Tears in the event of their removal. One of the beast warriors of the Babylonian gods.

Cautions: Slow and vulnerable to physical attack although it's size and lack of dexterity can make interaction unpredictable. Manifestation can vary depending on age and location - may only partially interact.

Entity: Concretion of Faces. Possible Watcher Entity.

Behaviours: Manifesting as a large mass of conjoined faces encased in organic translucent gel. The faces are fixed in expression but the eyes are animated. No previous contact known  more data is required for assertions.

Cautions: Unknown