Wednesday, 27 June 2018

I'm Melting


You cant put a price on art they say. From a Faberge egg to a urinal installation , if something is thought provoking then someone somewhere is going to pay a lot of money for it. Personally I wouldn't buy a Urinal for my lounge in the same way I wouldn't piss on a Faberge, but I digress. On the part of GMs, well, they have stories to tell and whether its folklore or fantasy lore they all have a beginning, a middle and most importantly an ending.

I am a big fan of endings myself which is why I don't particularly gel to the newer Marvel type movies that always seem to leave room for a sequel or reboot somehow but when a legendary character is killed off there is a really satisfying feeling of completion. Everything just gets more authentic when it finishes and a life story is only validated when it ends as there is no more room for doubt at that point; one can only then begin to reflect.

So it is with our games and whilst our artists will string things out as for as much quality as they can get, the games are beginning to decay and GMs must let go as their wayward children come of age. More accurately The Strange is a filler game anyway as the Warhammer finished some time ago. Part Time Gods is due for its last session next week, and whilst we finally have our culprit, we may well stretch the GM out a little further if we decide to be awkward. I have heard on the subspace vine that the Star Trek has but a month left to run which may mean that The Exalted can be brought to a comfortable pause as I get the impression GM Andras has more to tell, but the Universe has entropy to collect and we cant wait until the last photon evaporates.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Culture is an odd thing. People grasp onto it as among other things it offers a sense of identity and people fight to protect it along national boarders that define who is who.  However, paradoxically no matter how tightly a civilization holds onto its characteristics they will inevitably change. There is a natural law at work I suspect and the same can be said for communities, role players being no exception.

People have their 'ways' of course but I have been wondering if Roleplaying is a cultural phenomena that comes and goes with a civilization or whether it is something deeper akin to the performing arts. Ancient Greece has waxed and waned but their tragedies remain and something similar will be the case for our club. Not to say we are tragic of course but we do have quite a diverse membership. It was Glen who told me that there was a fairly recent BBC article on the resurgence of Roleplaying ( "The revival of a Geeky Pastime") and we are indeed getting a constant trickle of people at the club it seems. What is interesting is that the summer months are usually a quiet time as players book holidays and crawl out of their cracks in the earth to see the light.

The BBC affords quite an archive of its articles and a cursory search exposes pieces going back to 2004 at which time "In the age of iPods whatever happened to D&D?". Wizards of the Coast paint their picture of course and despite a few wobbly releases they firmly assert that it never really went away and they may have had a point. Either way if civilization collapses you can rest assured that your investment in plastic dice will remain quite secure.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Inquisition

Everyone has a breaking point. This is a principal that has driven both sides of the intelligence war for thousands of years from spies to their inquisitors. Latter day politicians continue to sell waterboarding as an interview technique and purgatory on Earth comes in the form of eternal detention where guests somehow never quite qualify for the full and fair trial of civilised society. Don't get me wrong though, this isn't a political tirade nor is it moral ambiguity. Torture works. Indeed it is considered an art by those who you never want to meet and whilst I have a soft spot for psychopaths, we do not sadly have one to hand in the Part Time Gods.

We have been trying to crack a murder case and for better or worse we have captured a suspect along with a sympathiser. When I say suspect I refer to someone manifesting divine powers he shouldn't have whilst trying to kill me in person. This has naturally led to little room for doubt. Sadly my character is not the brightest blue collar worker to grace the sewers of New York so after a couple of weeks of punching people in the face, it's beginning to look like a case of faked identity as our guests really don't seem to know what is going on. Things will not go well but when a killer can appear to be anyone who then can you trust and how can you trust what you see ?

But to be fair, it all comes back to the principals of spycraft; never tell people more than they need to know and if possible, recruit agents without them knowing. Deception is also an art.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Stream of many Eyes

A significant shift in tectonics has occurred this week with respect to this years Wizard's of the Coast live twitch "Stream of many eyes" broadcast over the last weekend. Its an important annual event for WotC in terms of engagement and being spread over three days it was also a chance for the designers to sit down in roleplay sessions with some of the internet's more ubiquitous GMs and players from Critical Role.

There is also a sort of implicit keynote during the intimate fireside chats with the brand director Nathan Stewart, as well as some more formal round tables with the D&D architects from the company as a whole but also a healthy dose of cheese as WotC actually built a complete studio in the Waterdeep theme to showcase some of their community initiatives.

The big news though is that "Next month we're going to talk about a couple of different settings that people can start playing as early as this year,". The implication for new world settings is profound in that it could be finally the time we see re-released and updated source books for some of the most loved D&D titles. It may be that only some of the old worlds will be brought back but we are waiting with baited breath for any of the following 5E content: Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Darksun, Dragonlance, Planescape

So keep your many eyes peeled.