Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Papa Needs Some Gwar Tix!

So this is unprecedented, my third post today.  The cause is just, though.  See, I really want to meet Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus.  I've kicked Jim Raggi $75 so I can get 2 tickets to the Gwar show here in Dallas in October, the opportunity to meet Mr. Urungus, a tour t-shirt, a signed poster, oh, and some adventure or something.

Raggi has even said that if this one gets to $5000, he'll kick the last $1000 in to fund it!  Currently, it's a mere $620 away from $5000, but there is only six hours left!  So send me to Gwar!  Contribute to the Two Towers Indiegogo campaign!

Link Here

You Take the Good You Take the Bad

Today has been a rollercoaster of emotion for me and the Kickstarters I support.  Hydra Dice's Necron Dice are poised to be a smashing success, having collected, with six hours to go, $16,000, despite only looking for $1000.   I'm very much looking forward to seeing those puppies roll around my table, if you know what I mean.

On the other hand, it is with a heavy heart that I must report that, with only three hours remaining, Synnibarr has only collected $4500 of it's $55,000 goal.  I hope that Raven c.s. McCracken can find some other way to raise the funds for what would have surely been the game of the year.

The Lull

I've been on a bit of gaming withdrawal of late.  Ark took ill recently, and another friend has been going through some stuff, which has left my Wednesdays and Saturdays oddly free.  My better half and I have taken advantage of the free time to rearrange the house, and the result has been quite satisfying.  The living room has been transformed into a dining room/library/game room hybrid, with all four of my Borders (RIP) bookcases lined up in a row, and another, smaller bookcase rounding out things.  Lots of room now - we can even put a leaf in the table so nobody has to rub elbows anymore, and there is even enough room for people to walk from one side of the table to the other without folks having to climb over each other to do so.  Very exciting.

This has also allowed us to engage in other delayed endeavors.  Much to my chagrin, I had never seen the Buffy TV show that everyone always raves about.  Now I know why.  We're almost done, and considering making the jump to Angel immediately following, although I've been jonesing to watch Deep Space Nine again, or perhaps Space: 1999.

The important bit, though, is that I've actually started working on From the Ashes in earnest.  After several years of poking at it idly when the mood struck me, I have been able to devote actual time to working through some of the issues that have stumped me, and I think I can see something semi-coherent taking shape by year's end.  Of course, between now and then, I'm getting married so between getting ready for that, the honeymoon, etc. all kinds of things can happen.  So, yeah.  Not much of an update, but a positive one.

Friday, July 27, 2012

President Palin vs. the Space Nazis

That's right, Iron Sky - the ONLY movie this year that promises you Nazis from the Moon is coming to the USA, and if you can get enough people to buy tickets in advance, they can come to YOUR town!  Iron Sky has struck a deal with Tugg, a sort of Kickstarter-type crowd funding program for movies.  You set up a page, you advertise it, and if enough people buy tickets by a week before the show, the movie plays in the theater of your choice!  A pretty awesome idea, I think, and especially so since it's bringing the most anticipated movie of 2012 to my back yard!!!

So if you're in the Dallas area, and you want to see the pinnacle of modern cinema, then go to this page and preorder your tickets to see Iron Sky at the Texas Theater in Dallas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The show is set for August 22nd, and only 38 more tickets are needed to be purchased by August 15th, so go!  Buy!  Schnell schnell!

What's that you say?  You haven't heard of this cinematic work of genius?  Well then let me introduce you to it, via one of the greatest trailers ever put together by human hands.

If you're not in the Dallas area, follow this link to find a show in your area, or set one up on your own!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weird RPG Item Alert: Dice Gauntlet

From the Description: 

So much can be lost in the roll of a die. What better way to challenge and defy the iron grip of fate than with a defiant shake of your fist? Presenting the Dice Gauntlet, by Geekify Inc. Powered by an ATMega system, the Dice Gauntlet is a multi-purpose piece of gaming gear designed to turn your game sessions into an impressive display of dice-rolling prowess. Featuring two independent displays, the Gauntlet can roll two separate dice of any type at a time. Set the mode to whatever dice setting you need, shake your fist at destiny or defiantly pound the table, and watch as the bracer produces your digital dice roll.

Do away with your hoard of multi-sided dice - this bracer can do it all! Coin flips, d6, d8, d20, d100, and everything in between! Each display also features a counter mode to keep track of life and score, allowing you to track your character's status at any time, as well as an optional timer mode to keep track of time spent, or to count down in a race against time.

Conquer those Dungeons, slay those Dragons, and Blessings of Dia upon you. Epic gear isn't just for games any more.

**Note: our circuitboards are currently back-ordered, so please allow 2-3 weeks for shipping!**

Have any questions? Contact the shop owner.

Found on Etsy

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FtA: Mutations

Crazy thought time.  I've been building a list of mutations for From the Ashes, basically because that's the way that Gamma World did it, and good for the orlen, good for the badder.

But as I'm thinking about it, the randomness doesn't seem to fit with the deliberate nature and theme of the game.  The idea that I"m trying to portray throughout the game is that everything matters.  So why make one of the core concepts random? 

So my thought is this - rather than a chart of random mutations and descriptions of those mutations, let the players pick their mutations, and work with the GM to determine the power levels associated with them.  Each mutation would have a score, like attributes, and the power of the effect generated by that mutation is based on that score.  So even if you say that you have the power to create nuclear explosions with your mind, if your score for that mutation is low, you can only create tiny nuclear explosions that do 1d8 points of damage.  If you have telepathy with the same score, it only operates within 1d8 feet.

Obviously, I need to work out some of the finer points of this to make it usable, but I think it allows some flexibility to the character creation, as well as investing the players in the creation of their characters.  I may still keep the list of mutations and charts, and use them for the levelling mutations - as the PCs increase in level, their cellular structure breaks down, creating new, random mutations as  they go.  I'll have to make sure there are a good number of worthless, negative mutations mixed in with the good ones for that chart.  Hmmm.

As I typing this, I'm realizing that I'm drifting farther and farther away from Gamma World.  Really, at this point the only core concept remaining is probably the post apocalyptic setting, and the mutations themselves, if not the manner in which they are initiallygenerated.  I dunno, though, the more I get into this, the less that seems to matter to me.  If this game turns out to be less a retroclone of Gamma World and more of a mutation, maybe that's in the spirit of things after all?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ever Hear the Sound of a Nuclear Bomb Going Off?


Posted by Alex Wellerstein at his awesome blog, Restricted Data, this is one of only a few recordings where the audio has not been resynched to match the explosion - this is raw and uncut.

And absolutely fucking terrifying.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FtA: The Cascade

"I can do this!", Abadall grunted, eyes closed, brow furrowed.
"Are you sure?" Sinwise looked doubtful.

Not answering, he reached out with his mind, grasped the boulder that blocked the passageway, and began to lift.  Sweat beaded his bald head, and the veins in his temples began to stand out.  The boulder began to move, slowly but surely.

"I... I think I've got it..."

Suddenly, Abadall's eyes flew open, and the boulder dropped with a thunderous crash.  His mouth opened and closed as he gasped for air, and his hands flew to his throat.  Sinwise stepped forward, saw the gills that had spontaneously formed on Abadall's throat, and stumbled backwards, yelling frantically at the rest of the group to back away.

"He's Cascading!" Sinwise screamed.

Abadall's hand suddenly burst into flame, and his shirt began to flutter and stir, as though something was moving beneath them.  The flesh of his left leg melted like wax, and folded beneath him.  Collapsing to the ground, he began to emit pulses of flame from his hands, growing steadily brighter and hotter.

Sinwise managed to scramble to cover just in time to avoid being roasted alive as Abadall exploded in an eruption of flame and flesh.

Peeking over the edge of a rock, he saw that the boulder had been incinderated in the blast.

"At least he did that right."

The genetic material of the PCs in From the Ashes is extremely volatile,  and generates their mutations.  This genetic instability is also the harbinger of their doom, as it can sometimes unravel with dramatic, and often disastrous, results.

Each level attained increases the instability, and thus the risk of Cascading.  Whenever the character fumbles while utilizing one of their powers, a Cascade check is made.  There is a percentage chance equal to the character's level x5 that they will spontaneously mutate, and slide one level closer towards total genetic breakdown.  Note that this check is performed again each time they fail, making it possible (although unlikely) for a character to slide from Level One all the way to Level Ten as a result of a single fumble.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Z World Detroit

It's a shame this will probably not fund, I would totally go there!  There's still 30 days left, I suppose, but with only 5% of their goal raised so far, I think it's probably unlikely.

Still, hope springs eternal - donate!

Reordering the Blog

It may surprise some of you who have only recently begun reading this blog to know that this was originally conceived to house rules for a game that I've been toying with.  As it says on the banner, I reserved the rights to talk about other things, but since then, this blog has meandered, wandered and gotten just plain lost in my fascination with 2e and other shiny objects that capture my attention periodically.

The game been on my mind of late, however, so I figured I'd (re)introduce some of you to What Has Come Before with regards to the game.  I've gone back and added "FtA" to blog post titles that are relevant to the game and mechanics, and will continue to do so going forward. 

The reasons for this are twofold.  First, it makes it easier for me to find them when I need them.  The From the Ashes tag is used for things that are related to the From the Ashes RPG, as well as actual From the Ashes RPG posts, so FtA in the title helps to distinguish the actual content of the post.

Secondly, for those of you who could care less about my Heartbreaker, it allows you to skip right by it without wasting time.

See?  I'm a giver.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Other People's Stuff

I've mentioned before that I have a predilection for buying other peoples' RPG collections.  Since then, I've acquired one or two more collections, and lost a whole lot of space en mi casa.  As I've gone through these collections, I've found that my favorite part of these endeavors is not so much the box sets and the books, as it is the ephemera that accumulates over a lifetime of gaming.

First off, maybe it's just the subset of people I got these from, but every single one of them had at least one bootlegged copy of a book, printed out on several hundred pages of loose paper, holes punched and inserted into binders.  Someone in our group does that, but I always figured it was just him.  Apparently, pirating was a well established form of gaming before the internet made it popular. Hipster pirates, if you will.

Secondly, I now am the proud owner of enough pregenerated NPCs to last a lifetime of gaming.  Going through them was like getting a glimpse of their previous owners' gamer souls, if you please.  One person was obviously a huge fan of Wild Mages, as 95% of the characters were either Wild Mages, or dual/multi classed, with one of the classes being a Wild Mage.  I remember reading about that class in the 2e Tome of Magic and thinking, "Who would be crazy enough to play that?" 

Now I know.

Another collection had two copies of the Starship Troopers Bookshelf game, which had been owned by the person's uncle (who apparently got him started in gaming).  This uncle was, according to the label stuck on the inside of each cover, retired from the United States Marine Corps, and he took his gaming VERY seriously.  There was a handwritten note that he had (I imagine) meant to send out, but never gotten around to, where he offered criticisms of some of the finer points of the game, and offered suggestions on how it could be better.  Also in the book was his own modification for the game, taking the whole "Science Fiction" thing out of the game, and turning it into a way for him to reenact the battles he himself had fought.

The real fun, though, is the campaign material.  One of the collections netted me an entire megadungeon, painstakingly drawn out on graph paper, and slipped inside clear plastic pockets.  This person had connected a grease pencil to a string, and tied it to the binder, and was using it to mark the party's progress through the dungeon.  The seven levels and the exterior were detailed on approximately 30 or 40 pages, initially typed on a typewriter, and then annotated in pen.  There were even random encounter tables in the back, with the stats of the monsters included!

All kinds of stuff is out there, I hit Craigslist every couple of days, looking for my next big score.  I should call the History Channel and see if they have room in their lineup for a guy who looks for D&D products on Craigslist!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Synnibarr Lives!!!!!

I had a whole blog post written up and ready to go, and I'll probably put that up tomorrow, but then I saw this.

My first reaction was to laugh - seriously?  Synnibarr??????  Well slap my ass and call me Shirley, Kickstarter has officially jumped the shark!

Then I read that author Raven c.s. McCracken (still don't really quite get that name) apparently suffered a house fire, which caused him (?) to lose his home, his pets and the artwork for the original book, and I felt bad for having laughed.  Then I started looking through the Kickstarter page, and hell - he's got an introduction from Dr. Richard Garfield, inventory of Magic: The Gathering!  And there's all kinds of other stuff being offered too!

And he's askign for $55,000 - I'm not sure how long it's been up and running, the first update was put up 4 days ago, so my guess is that it hasn't been too long, but there has only been just under $2,000 donated thus far.  To be honest, I'll be shocked if it makes it, but who knows?  Kickstarter is a magical place, where anything can happens, and people become rich beyond the dreams of avarice!  So what the hell, I threw some money at it.

So kick in, and help out!  According to Raven c.s. McCracken (LOVE that name!) there has been a "complete redesign and update", so what's the worst that can happen!

Only $53,000 left to go, so get to donating!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012