Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Isn't everyone a roleplayer ?

Curiously enough we have had some new interest in our comings and goings of late, a hearty welcome to Harry last week who got thrown into the D&D I believe and there is some facebook chatter also. In fact there is always facebook chatter. In my so far brief but esteemed tenure at the club I have a finely crafted new player experience involving some of my very best musings adorned with both colorful and lively anecdotes but whilst this is clearly enthralling to the newcomer it does get somewhat of a less than avid response from the regulars for some reason. In fact they have recently taken to their own script akin to to shouting out "Slut" during a Rocky horror Picture Show, which alarmingly enough also seems part of the new player experience now. I shall have to consider a full blown powerpoint presentation with laser pointer in future, and I know where i will be pointing it.

Rampant rebellion in the ranks aside, its good to know that interest in dramatic geekery continues to gain traction - there are a huge number of youtube channels showing the world we are not in fact devil worshipers and twitchy initiatives on live streams as well as a lot of special interest kickstarters hitting their goals. More locally there is the meetup group at the Craft Beer Co, The Dice Saloon and this honorable tome preserves our premier slot in Google for Roleplaying in Brighton. Honestly, its all going on, so pop along and get your piece of dragon pie.

Last week saw a Star Trek crew going bodly, a D&D Ravenloff party who I get the impression are all going to be eaten soon and Chill Envoys who were tangling with corporate lawyers - the most terrifying of high level monsters.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Case Closed

SAVE Archive Return 10.07.1995

Entity: Spectral Indian Chief, sub category Abductor

Behaviors: Often found in remote locations it will target living beings, including animals, either individuals or larger groups, with the aim of physically drawing them into the Unknown realm. There are reports of Abductors being airborne though this is unconfirmed. Survivors often report bright lights and subsequently bodily transport, sometimes across large distances, and often invasive procedures however detailed recollections are often confused and inconsistent possibly due to the hypnotic or anesthetic effect of the Abductor itself. It will often remain at distance from its intended targets and will use a beacon, flare, torch, lantern or other such illuminated item to emit a glow rendering a victim hypnotized with a compulsion to approach. It seems that the beacon also bridges between realities whist it is burning. Envoys can utilize a beacon to cross over but are cautioned that, as with all portals, the effect does not last long.

Cautions: Slow but difficult to combat due to the proximity of beacon - either use smoke barriers or grenades to combat the general effect or a scope to snipe the entity itself whilst keeping the beacon out of view. Reflective, nightvision or infrared technologies have no effect. Do not walk into the light.

Entity: Indian Spirit Warrior, sub category Tortured Spectre

Behaviors: Always a result of experimentation on Humans by Humans. Individuals who have Unknown capabilities, or in other words are either practitioners of the Art or Evil Way have often been removed from society for experimentation by their own governments or by oppressive regimes. Manifesting in staging areas such as death camps, prisons, specialized hospitals etc it can be the case that when a subject dies of his or her procedures the life force can be co opted by the Unknown. Whilst it is possible this is in fact the birth process of an Unknown itself, it is more likely that the Unknown corrupts the life force of the victim.

Cautions: Behavior can be erratic as the Unknown do not always seem to have control of the subject. When the Spirit is free, manifestation can be non violent and interaction often informative to Envoys - contact can be bridged with seances or other ceremonial rituals. When the Unknown are dominant a Spectre will emerge as malevolent, aggressive and dangerous. It will often attack, sometimes in coordinated numbers.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dungeons and Diesel

So, I have been watching a bit of Vin Diesel recently. This is as obscure to me as it sounds to you I very much suspect but some moons ago I did a bloglet regarding Harmonquest, whilst a minor celebrity himself, Dan Harmon  is in fact one of the many creative engines in Hollywood responsible for such critically acclaimed series as Community and Rick and Morty. Harmonquest is as much a parody of itself as well as the hapless characters portrayed by the B list adventuring cast but provides an amusing gateway into the roleplaying genre for the novice.

Whilst I amaware of a few other roumers regarding celebrity interest in the sport, I was surprised to see that Vin Diesel actually getting involved hands on. It comes as less of a surprise though as I connect the internet dots that Mr Deisel was also promoting his latest film, "The Last Witch Hunter" alongside the Geek and Sundry D&D5E character release of the same name though I have to say it seems lovingly done - linky here

The star here is really Matthew Mercer who GMs the sessions with his passion drawn from the original Witcher books. More to the point he is a Titan in the audio acting world having dubbed several major films and anime series as well as a slew of video games across he last decade. Interestingly he is also the co-creator of  'The Escapist' website; a weekly sardonic and yet hilariously fast paced video game critique - definitely worth a watch if you have not come across it.

Levering his talents into a GMs seat he does combine a dramatic, almost theatrical, performance whilst dutifully steering game mechanics. Whether one finds the style engaging or overly passionate, there is little doubt as to the creative and atmospheric force that can be injected into a game. Roleplaying is part of the Arts as far as I am concerned combining acting, creativity, spontaneity and improvisation. In fact its long past time for a Bafta or dare I say Oscar award for the category. 

So as an aspiring nominee all I have to do is get several X wives, acquire a random addiction and subsequently beat it, get hacked naked pictures of myself into a seedy local gazette, write a speech and finally prep for the inevitable Parkinson interview. Sorted.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Chaotic Neutral Zones

Last week saw GM Jon's ongoing voyage of the Modiphius Star Trek playtest and in this particularly suspenseful episode, the crew had lost power to their ship whilst drifting slowly towards the Klingon Neutral zone. If I remember the after drinking conversation, and I don't particularly, the power outage was caused by an encounter with or proximity to a spacial anomaly - wormhole possibly. 

Now Starfleet ships are not cheap bits of kit I would imagine but I would hope that there is a manual or possibly pdf available to the occupants and I would hope that there are some guidelines regarding power loss. If it were me of course I'd try the obvious, like turn it off and back on again or raise a call to the Starfleet help line, though I would suspect it would all be outsourced to native Ferenghi call centers - I don't recall any tense moments in the original series where Scotty was drifting towards oblivion whilst being on the communicator listening to the Coldplay on hold music - not a nice way to go. I'd imagine with a lot of intrepid vessels in various situations at any given moment in time that it would mean enough staffing in the galactic customer service centers and hopefully the call will indeed be important to them when the time comes.

As I understand it the crew did in fact manage to get the power back up in time and as it happens the drifting did buy them enough time to probe the structure of a Klingon ship lying in wait for them and expose enough tactical weaknesses to have the upper hand in combat. Though I am sure there are political ramifications, the nature of Neutral zones make no mans land a bit of a free for all if any Captains need to blow off steam.

I do like the heavily compromised vision of the Star Trek future beneath the veneer and it does remind me of the numerous neutral areas still in play on our own planet, principally the North/South Korean divide comes to mind but interestingly  DMZs also include Antarctica, Sinai, Svalbard and the Aegean Islands so I would recommend taking something resilient on a typical 18-30 caliber holiday if you fancy a Spring break in Greece.