Melted and damaged mannequins after a fire at Madame Tussauds. London. 1925.
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Google Watership Down, and you get reviews of both the book by Richard Adams, and the film and animated series based upon it. A story of rabbits. It's slightly more than that, it is a story about anthropomorphised rabbits, and their mythic journey to a new home. A story of liberation and self-determination that strikes a chord with many diverse readers.Watership Down Trauma, and you'll get another story. My story. Children who were taken to the cinema to watch a cartoon about bunnies (rated U for universal), who were subjected to a tale of death and horror. Rabbits are choked by snares, get into bloody battles, and are snatched by predators. This film was released in cinemas when I was 3, so that was the age I watched it. It is one of my earliest memories. It scarred me. That it was partly based on the author's experience with Operation Market Garden gives us an idea of what we're working with here.
Why am I talking about this on a gaming blog? Well, due to my recent purchase of The Warren, by Marshall Miller, released by Bully Pulpit games. This is a Powered by the Apocalypse game where you play a troop of rabbits in the style of Watership Down, or Peter Rabbit. For those paying attention, those are NOT the same genre, but the game can accommodate both styles.
The Warren is not the first game to be based on Watership Down of course, there is the classic 1972 (the same year the book was released) game Bunnies and Burrows, and the GURPS supplement based on the same.
On reading through the The Warren, I thought it might help my childhood trauma to play through the game, and maybe even watch Watership down again. This time knowing what I'm getting myself into, with an eye to working through some residual issues I may have.
Games can be therapeutic that way, or so I hear.
Sunday, November 5, 2023
Another Tales from the Loop blog post? In such quick succession after the last?
What is going on here?
The short answer might be that GMing in Face to face sessions leaves me with time in from of a computer with energy to share things. When GMing online, screen time is prep on Roll20 and in Discord.
Another answer might be that in preparing offline handouts, I have artefacts I wish to share, whereas online games are just images snagged from the pdfs.
Whatever the answer is, I came here to share this pdf.
This is a trifold pamphlet style handout I game my players at the start of out Tales from the Loop campaign, "They Grow up so Fast". I doubles as a quick introduction to what the Loop is, MAFF, and also gives them access to the map that is in the book, as an in game artefact.
Of course, strip out the MAFF logo, and change the map, and you can use it for any of the three cannon settings for Tales from the Loop. Or indeed your very own setting.
Enjoy, and let me know if you use it!
Monday, October 30, 2023
Monday, October 23, 2023
I am inspired to write this post, due to this recent post, recalling the 20 year anniversary of The Watch House.
This was more than just a game to many of us who were playing in it, but I can only say what it meant to me, and so, through the haze of time and aging memory, I will try to do so.
I first went to university in Glasgow (Strathclyde Uni), but in all my time there, I didn't look up any University role playing clubs. The are likely many reasons for this, but they're not really that interesting.
When I moved to Edinburgh, however, I did look up the local University Gaming club The Great Edinburgh Adventurers Society, GEAS. Still going strong. When I joined, I was, what I would consider now to be essentially a very trad gamer. I had played with the same group since Secondary school, and though we had played many different games, we mostly fell into the same routines with each game.
Geas was a real eye opener for me, and in my time there, I played in a number of games, and with a number of people, that really stretched me, and showed me different ways to play and run games. Not all games were great, some definitely showed me how not to do it. A couple I still remember, the Xena game with Shevaun, Izzy's long running L5R game (that game could have a similar post to this in many ways). I played many new games from the Forge, and games of that ilk, by the GMs and game designers that frequented the club (again, another post on it's own).
Even in this crowded list of genius, there was one stand out game. The Watch House.
|The Buffy Archives from the Great RPG library|
So I end with this. Thank you Craig, and all the other players, for creating a memorable gaming experience. One that we are still talking about 20 years later.
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Hey look, it's that blog that posts once a year! Whoo, must be 2023!
This year was another bumper year for games. With a total of 17 session ran, and 76 sessions played. The trend of me getting to play more that I run, is continuing. As we seem to be coming out of the pandemic, more of the games I ran were actually face to face games. A trend I foresee continuing into the new year, however, the online gaming aspect, even for the local gaming group will remain something we fall back on, especially to allow everyone to play/run games.
In terms of what games I ran? Well, there were a total of 7 different games/systems (8 if you count Pulp Cthulhu as different from Call of Cthulhu, but let's just say it's the same thing).
All but one of these were one-shot games. Filling in space in the calendar, or allowing others to take a break in their schedules, with the exception of the One Ring (2e). This I ran as the mini-campaign in the boxed set, then a few sessions at the end of the year that constitute the beginning of a Lost Realms campaign that I plan to run into the next year.
New games that I ran this year, well not as many as I would have liked, but The One ring counts, as this was my first time with the 2e of the game. The only other being Agon. This is one that bears coming back to, but works very well as a one-shot, interspersing it with other games.
On to games played. This was another great year for games played, with a total of 77 sessions (thereabouts, there may be an accounting error in the number of sessions for Numenera), and 12 different games. Of that 12, exactly half of them were games I played for the first time!.
Highlights for me included playing a game (Kids on Bikes) at a new FLGS, although I have yet to wander over there for a second session, hopefully this year that will happen again. Another highlight was getting to game in a session of 3, 2, 1 Action!, ran by the writer of the game, through the Vintage RPG Podcast discord.
Lastly, I'm very happy to be getting to continue The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign. We're 3 years and 59 sessions deep in this campaign, and I'm not really sure we're even half way through! What a monster!
Saturday, January 1, 2022
As with 2020, 2021, for all it's problems, was a bumper year for gaming. Even more so as the local gaming group I like to think I have fostered includes others willing to run games, meaning even more so than last year, I played more sessions than I ran (34 sessions ran, 63 session played). I like to think there is an increase in diversity too, as I moved away from regular Call of Cthulhu games that dominated last years tally.
The year started with a few final sessions of the Mothership campaign, 'A Pound of Flesh', which I fully intend to return to with the new edition of the rules. Most sessions of the other games ran were one-shots, and space fillers (Mork Borg and SLA Industries, Call of Cthulhu: The Necropolis), which were player favourites. There was one longer Call of Cthulhu scenario, 'The Darkened Hermitage' which we ran as a play test. A solid scenario, based in Quebec. Most of this year's GMing was linked to the Bounty Hunters Campaign, using West End Game's Star Wars. A great fun campaign, that was in no small way influenced by the Mandalorian. Maybe The Book of Boba Fett will bring me back to this setting in the New Year.