Monday, December 19, 2016

Charisma of the Ancients - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Nine


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad



The party awakened within the lich’s lab;
An uncomfortable rest had just been had;
Now ready to leave areas most drab;
And face the cultists who had gone quite mad.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Holding Himiji Shrine - Session Thirteen

This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, a Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Acquaintances - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Eight

Sacred Stone Monks


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad


Rested from their most recent battle;
The young heroes return to the monastery;
Passing through with a bit of a rattle;
They came into the halls of old history.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sacred Stone Monastery - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Seven







With a new mission and a concert to hold;
The heroes return from Waterdeep;
To seek an envoy with trail not yet cold;
With need of rescue from evil that does not sleep.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Diplomacy Narrowly Averted - Session Twelve

This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Trip to Waterdeep - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Six


Waterdeep Nights by Deusuum.deviantart.com



With Red Larch freed from influence;
The party turns to other matters;
A statue to be mended like a fence;
And spoils to sell for coin that clatters.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Session Eleven - Hitting Above the Weight Class

 This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons. 


Wasps Among Butterflies Campaign Index

Monday, September 26, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Gaming Labels and their Limits



I do not particularly find the labels of “traditional”, “old school” or “story” as applied to various roleplaying games useful. My primary complaint with these terms is that they do not adequately describe any of the features of the game. They are vague terms mostly aligned with a perceived social situation more than any particular gameplay mechanics.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Session Ten - Nibbled by Kittens

 This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons. 
An Apocalypse of Big Bads
Wasps Among Butterflies Campaign Index

Character Statting - Yurei - 5 Games (Updated)

Yurei
This is a recently inspired character from a bit of transformation-based art that hit my deviantart notifications. The actual art is more than a little NSFW so it won't be linked here (though I did find a good yurei picture by Genzoman). The original idea wasn't all that deep and was mostly a sexy twist on the Japanese ghost lady story. I'm going to take a slightly different tack here.

Not many games statted here yet, all three Powered by the Apocalypse, I may come back to this later with some Hero System and Fate stattings, but it's late.

Update: Added Fate Core - Venture City Stories and D&D 5e Stats, intended based on a modern setting.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Tale of Two Holmes

Without going too long into it, I’m not going into anything new here given that the show in question was first aired in 2010 and has produced several seasons to date. However, it is a subject matter that has occurred to me recently and something I am interested in, hence my decision to write one of my occasional blog posts aside from the play reports (of which I now have to write two) and random gaming stuff that usually ends up here. I will warn that there are likely to be some mention of plot developments in both Sherlock and Doyle’s original stories though, for the most part, I will focus on personality issues.
 
I do very much love the original Holmes as written in Doyle’s singular style. I have been reading quite a few of the old stories recently now that my Kindle is operating again (my print collection being in the States). And this love for the original is probably why I didn’t watch much of the first season past A Study in Pink until well after the second season was completed and only really watched the third season in the last couple of weeks. Cumberbatch’s portrayal threw me off of my expectations and dropped some facets of Doyle’s Holmes while picking up others.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Round of Surprises - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Four


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad



A good morning’s sleep was had by the crew;
Following the previous night’s antics;
Upon waking they took no time to stew;
Not willing to wait too many clock ticks.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Saturday, September 3, 2016

M-Com Encounter Guide

A list of creatures encountered by the team over the course of their missions.


M-Com Campaign

M-Com Suspect List

A list of human villains that M-Com has encountered in their operations


M-Com Campaign

M-Com Public Officials Report

Officials

These are public officials that the team has encountered in their missions.

M-Com Campaign

M-Com Witness and Victim Reports

These are the men and women that witnessed or were attacked by the various monsters hunted by the M-Com team.

M-Com Campaign

M-Com Agents and Staff

Agents 


The player characters, their team and the staff they've interacted with.

M-Com Campaign

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Secret Game - Part One - Monster of the Week Campaign


Monday, August 29, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Session Nine - The Hudson Hawk Milkshake

 This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons. 
Following the Compact's fall

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Session Eight - Edobara Storyline Epilogue

 This session includes four characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons.
Faerie Court on the Move

The Bringers' Woe - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Three


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

Leaving the necromancer's cave;
To Red Larch the five return;
Seeking rest after facing the knave;
And information to learn.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Touch of Evil Hunt Report - Something Wicked Expansion

Game: Solo Rules - Lone Hero - Insanity

Hero: Valeria the Eternal

Villain: The Banshee

Note: I'm interpretting Valeria's use of the "Blood Transfusion" event to bring back a dead Elder in a rather predictable manner.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Zero Deva - Monster of the Week Campaign




The scene opens up with Thomas introducing Katkemat to the rest of the team resulting in Agent Sierzant commenting that he should be helping out rather than wandering off. Thomas protests that he found someone that could be useful. Katkemat notes that she was tracking a rogue shintoist, Kurata Hikozaemon, who was in league with Kublai Khan as she goes to look at the circle in the ground and begins to systematically take apart everything Mills had tried to put together. Kasper recognizes the name as one of the clients in the assassin's ledger from Operation Private Priest. 

Princes of the Apocaverse - 5e Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Index


This is the index for the campaign reports regarding the Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign


The Lord of Lance Rock - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Two


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

Two choices lay before the eclectic band,
Narrow passages north and south,
Splitting from boulder stained by bloody hand,
Leaving behind the cave's mouth.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Arrival in Red Larch - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session One


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

Of Dessarin Valley let us now be told,
In an age long past the Time of Troubles,
Of villains dire and heroes bold,
When black evil foams and bubbles.

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Killing Crown - Monster of the Week Campaign


M-Com Campaign

With the monster purified and returned to human, the team sets about with trying to clear the lake of the supernatural forces tainting it as well as dealing with the signs of motion that Squaddie Daley had seen on the way to their position. However, they are immediately interrupted when Thomas receives a brief vision of men in sharp suits speaking to government officials and images of mobilizing troops.

"Why did you call the army in?" Thomas asks immediately, "We didn't need their help." The distraction is such that his normal quick regeneration seems to be inhibited and his wounds fail to close.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Session Seven - Government Vampyr


This session involves four characters:

  • Arianrhod "Aria" Monica Trengrove, a Perfect Yandere of War, Psyche Raised Succubus who is currently suffering corruption approximating Third Degree Frostburn
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary, Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant and Virtual Apex Predator.
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter and is currently Feeling Hunted
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and Clumsy, Former Akira.
Okay "bleed in my clothes" sounds bad.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Unceasing Prophet Part Two - Monster of the Week Campaign



M-Com Campaign

Thomas's impromtu cry sends up a flurry of alarm and action from both the team and the monster as a burst of flame up the mountainside precedes the tumbling launch of a burning tree that had seemingly been uprooted from the ground itself. In and amongst the gutteral growls and snarls the creature appears to be attempting to speak words of some sort of language but the agents' translation charms can only get garbled, occult static.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Sixth Session - Wired Traffic


This session involves three characters:

  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary, Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant and Virtual Apex Predator.
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
  • Katherine "Katie" Lally, a Psyche Vampyr with a Sensitive Side who is a Former Police Officer exhibiting Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity and has troubles with Things with Buttons.

Caught in the Crossfire

Friday, June 10, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Fifth Session - Semi-Naked Infiltrators


This session involves three characters:

  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter

Only a part of the story

Friday, May 27, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Fourth Session - Sudden Robot Hail

This session involves two characters:

  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Lady of War who makes lets The Higher Ups Do the Talking and hates the Supernatural Enemies of the Supernatural.
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary, Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant and a Virtual Apex Predator on the Bleeding Edge.
Mysterious Shenaingans Continue


Sunday, May 22, 2016

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Unceasing Prophet Part One - Monster of the Week Campaign




This time the the operation was decided due to information coming from M-Com's official governmental connections. A tourist group heading into the mountains around Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan was attacked by some sort of unidentified monster.  Two individuals were currently in the hospital, one still unconscious and in critical condition while the other was in recovery. The other tourists were being housed in a hotel. They were all at the nearest Kazakhstani city Almaty, about eighty miles to the Northwest of the site. Prior to the briefing, Thomas the Chosen had a dream beforehand where he found himself underwater and viewing bubbles.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Divine Blood: Wasps Among Butterflies

While the basic rule structure of Divine Blood is pretty well set, we're still running playtests with regards to adapting to different environments in the setting and different playstyles. In this case most of the players opted for combat heavy characters so we're focusing more on a go in and get them style of story rather than the investigative story from the first playtest or the high school hijinks alongside espionage from the second playtest. We're all using this to fill in more information on the Psyche organization.

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Third Session - Aria's Milkshake

Warning: This post has not yet been edited and was written late at night. Grammar goofs and typos probably abound.

This session involves three characters:

  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Lady of War who makes use of Surprise Death Cuddles.
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary and the Human Heimdall suffering from a bit of Establishment Blues.
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who tends to feel that if she's Annoyed, then Your Feelings are Irrelevant.
Aria's Milkshake Brought Ninjas to the Street

Thursday, April 21, 2016

White as a Ghost

Let me start by saying that the problem with the Major being portrayed by Scarlet Johansson is not that the Major is Japanese character and can thus only be played by a Japanese actor. The Major's body is pretty much entirely artificial with the exception of her brain and she occasionally switches up bodies so that she looks different (which is a built in escape for changing leading ladies, really). There is plenty of reason for why you could explain away why she looks Caucasian at the moment.

That may make it sound like I am in favor of a white Motoko Kusanagi. I am not. While it is easily possible to explain why it makes sense that she could appear Caucasian if she wanted to, there is also no reason to force making that explanation. If the studio had several actresses of a large variety of ethnic groups, mostly Asian, trying for the role and out of the entire group found that the person best suited to capture the personality of the Major (something I doubt Johansson will pull off) was a non-Asian, then I could see defending the choice. Especially if it was an exception to a normal rule, which this is not. There is a persistence of Hollywood casting white actors regardless of whether the original character is white or not.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Second Session - The Full John Wick

Warning: This post has not yet been edited and was written late at night. Grammar goofs and typos probably abound.

This session involves three characters:

  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), Psyche Raised Succubus who grew up adapting to the ideal of Perfect Lady of War with an Anti-Van Helsing Assault Kit.
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary, an Virtual Apex Predator and Dark Net Denizen with Establishment Blues.
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who tends to feel that if she's Annoyed, then Your Feelings are Irrelevant.
The day after headlines.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fantastic Four Movie Errors

Hardly new, but some basic mistakes that seem to occur in the recent attempts at the Fantastic Four.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Arkham Games - Something I'd Like to See

Edit: I mixed RockStar Games with RockSteady and somehow thought Borderlands was the same developer. Relevant incidents were limited to a couple of sentences which have been removed.

When we play a game in an established setting there's generally two things we want regarding the characters of that setting. On the one hand, we want to play those characters and get the feel of being the signature and famous characters of the setting. On the other hand, we want to meet those characters. There is almost never a circumstance where we don't want them to appear at all because why bother playing in the setting in that case. The Arkham series of video games gives us a great shot at being Batman and playing through his storyline from Origins through to Knight (which I admit that I haven't actually played yet). So they have so far provided the a lot of the first desire and a little bit of the second in the manner of encountering all the other named characters of Gotham though mostly via the eyes of Batman. However, there is something to be said for games where you create your own character and can explore the setting of a fictional world through those eyes.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - First Session - A "Simple" Rescue

This session involved three characters:

  • Arianrhod Monica Trengrove (aka Aria), Psyche Raised Succubus whose demon-form is referred to as Form of Scorpubus and who was Orphaned by a Van Helsing (slang term for hate crimes targeting the supernatural)
  • Sophia Ecks, Voyeuristic Visionary, an Unethical Hacktivist and Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who tends to feel that if she's Annoyed, then Your Feelings are Irrelevant.
Highlander cultists


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hana Jin/Jean Hannah - Benevolent Flower

As you can tell by the City of Heroes character avatars, this is a character concept I've had for quite a long while.

Background


The Hana clan have been heroes for generations. Various members of their bloodline had been touted as valiant warriors or workers of magic at one time or another. In truth, they have a considerable legacy of psychic ability which they have honed in various ways. It is a well-established Legacy which Jin walked away from or at least tried to.

Hana Jin was never expected to be the one upon whom would fall the majority of the responsibility for taking up the mantle of the family legacy. She was second born and she knew it. Preferentially, the bulk of training was given to the first son in any case, most of whom were expected to go the way of the warrior. Daughters of the clan were expected to hone the more cerebral abilities of the family and seek out worthy matches in order to insure the continuance of the line or even the establishment of supporting branches.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

M-Com - Monster of the Week Campaign




Relating to the information for my Monster-of-the-Week RPG sessions.

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Private Priest - Monster of the Week Campaign


The diviners of the Mystic Division of M-Com found evidence of some sort of supernatural activity in south Italy dispatching several teams to investigate incidences that may or may not be connected to the divinations. Thomas Riley and Kasper Sierzant were sent to Messina along with six other M-Com operatives to investigate ten high-profile missing person cases.

Starting with a list of ten names including two employees for the Medici Tech company, three individuals with ties to the Oberti crime family and five other individuals. Searching the official police files, the most that Agent Sierzant could discover was that all of the missing persons had disappeared from their homes at night.

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Subtle Mason - Monster of the Week campaign


 M-Com Mission Report - Operation Subtle Mason

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Living Spells



This is a preliminary first draft on a setting and system idea in response to someone on the Fate Core community suggesting that they'd like to hear more about this particular setting. There is a short story which features the example character (though he's not named anywhere) and his spirits and spells, but I'm still thinking of selling or publishing that somewhere. This is the work of about five hours and is thus very raw and has had little to no editing. I am mostly putting it up for ease of linkage and reference for people interested.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Divine Blood in GUMSHOE, Preliminary Thoughts

As stated above, this preliminary thoughts on how to do a GUMSHOE version of the setting.

To make things simple, I'm just going to link to the Divine Blood page (which really you could get to by linking to the page menu bar above so I guess I'm making more work for myself) rather than repeat extensive explanation of the setting.

Divine Blood Page

Monday, March 14, 2016

Vampires are not genre exclusive



Vampires are classic and popular monster type which have figured in works of fiction for at least two hundred years and in myths and legends world-wide for thousands of years. The vampire has come in a number of flavors. Even within the limits of the four Gothic vampire classics you have the reluctant vampire who hates his condition and seeks to save himself (Varney the Vampire, 1845), the vampire that uses an innocent seeming appearance to lure victims into vulnerability rather than being terribly powerful themselves (Carmilla, 1872), the seductive and mysterious nobleman of great power (The Vampyre, 1816), and the sadistic and monstrous arrogance of a war-lord who abandoned God in favor of power (Dracula, 1897). It makes it hard to determine what precisely is a true vampire.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What's a "Real" Rolepaying Game?



It’s not as common as it used to be, but from time to time you still see a particular phenomenon pop up as a point of contention within the hobby of roleplaying. The phenomenon in question is a tendency by one group or another of roleplayers to decide that some other style of the hobby is inferior or else not even roleplaying at all. I have seen fans of the older style games hurl invective filled tirades at newer games, dismissing the players as sycophants, fad-followers and other such terms. I have also seen fans of newer style games dismiss even classics of the hobby such as Dungeons and Dragons as being wargames or even simply a board game. I have heard stories related to the Forge in which some individuals who had had some clout in the industry tried to paint certain styles of gameplay as being inferior, or even damaging, as compared to others.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Character Statting - Shard - 11 Games

Shard is a character I made for a 4e game around seven years ago and have never gotten a chance to play. I'll be playing her coming up in a 5e game sometime this year or next run by a friend of mine after an MotW game of mine runs through. Originally, she was a fighter with a bit of Warlord in order to simulate that tough NCO type character. She's a very taciturn individual that doesn't say much unless she has to. 

Oddly enough, when my brother and I were each making our two characters for this game, we both got one really awesome set of rolls and one rather mediocre set. Shard is my character that rolled just about as well as I could have expected. The character who rolled a bit more poorly is another character that will be statted, though even in her case, she doesn't have any stats that are abyssmal.

Shard went into the military of her nation in order to provide money for the caretaking of her siblings. She is the daughter of a priestess of a love goddess and has several brothers and sisters. Mostly human, but a couple of others with non-human ancestry as well. Her mother vanished while on temple business years ago. Shard herself is more faithful to the goddess of civilization but respects her mother's faith.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Idun Fantasy AGE - Preliminary

Okay, so I can't make Fantasy AGE's system match the metaphysics of my setting without a lot of work.  However, I can revert to some basic concepts and use the metaphysics of that system for now.

When I have time later and the inclination to look into licensing issues, I can see about translating Idun into a setting. I also have to check to see about my ownership of the setting with the person who bought the short stories even though their website never launched.

Gorgon Smuggler (Gorgon Gunslinger)

I have played a bit with the gorgon sorcerous heritage I came up but I haven't really played around with the race I made and put on to...

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