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Wednesday, April 24th, 2002
12:44a
(From my personal LJ page:)

Well, things are hopping here in the Wyvern's Lair tonight. I've been working on sample characters for Hearts, Swords, and Flowers, which has moved very, very quickly. Using the optional rules for running Big Eyes Small Mouth without a Skill system makes everything go faster. I'm deeply pleased.

Maya and I are doing up sample characters for the Mallrats sample setting, which centers around a group of psionically active teens and the mall they hang out at. Think a disturbing mix of cuteness and angst, mixed with the usual teen nightmares. Like early season Buffy:tVS, except with better hair.

James Tobisji is somewhere between being the notional leader of the group and just the most emotionally stable one. Which is somewhat ironic, since James' powers center around Empathic control and projection, and he personally would prefer to stay as far from center stage as possible. Unfortunately for him, he has the power to sway men's minds, to both distract and disorient, to feel the passions of others, and even create emotions in unshielded wills.

Anneki North, on the other hand, is the cute little darling of the crew. She's charming, not even a meter and a half high, talks to fuzzy animals, and seems to always be wearing the colour green. She also tends to lose her temper at really inconvenient times, and when that happens, look out, because her powers manifest as an emerald green Psi Sheath, like powered armour forged from pure psionic potential, which gives little Anneki the power to take a direct shot from an Abrams tank and keep right on coming, run at 100kph, fly at 75kph, and to focus her rage into a tight burst of telekinetic energy at up to 50 metres away. This is one cute little girl you don't want to piss off.

If the inspiration strikes, I'll be working on one of the Big Bad-Guys in the setting, Mordecai, the 18 year old gang leader who is much more than he seems, and the black suit wearing Strike Force Zero operative keeping a close eye on our young heroes.

It promises to be an intriguing night.


current mood: busy

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7:47a - In the 80's they would have crusified us for this
The Book of Vile Darkness -- according to the WotC catalog, this book "details slavery, human sacrifice, prostitution, and other sensitive issues in a mature fashion". The book is 192 pages, hardback, $32.95, due in October. Monte Cook had a little more to add:

If I wrote a book called The Book of Vile Darkness, I'd fill it with the most hideously evil spells, feats, prestige classes, magic items, artifacts, monsters and NPCs that you'd ever want to put in a D&D game. I'd include rules for the benefits evil cultists get from sacrifices, new poisons, diseases, and so on.
I'd also include plenty of DM advice on running evil villains, villainous plots, evil organizations, and so on. I'd include a little, but not a lot of, discussion on running evil PCs.

Oh, and did I mention that the "monsters" that I'd put in there would include all the major archdevils and demon princes? And their various minions, and those that revere them almost like gods?

That's what I would do. If I wrote a book called the Book of Vile Darkness.

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10:33a - Player Incompatibility
Hey, there -- I have a question about player incompatibility. When you encounter it, what do you do to solve it? Players and GMs alike, please respond.

Right now I'm in a game I really enjoy - or I could really be enjoying it, but one of the other players makes it difficult to deal with.

Every other tuesday night we go over to our friend Dan's place to play what is termed as "Dan's Game." Dan's game is a home brew system in a home brew world that is a conglomeration of basically every fantasy novel he's ever read and said, "Hey, that's kind of a neat idea..."

Dan is very good with color text, which is one of the things that makes his game so neat. He really has a way of describing a scene in a way that makes it come alive.

I've been playing Dan's game for about five months, Allen, my boy, has been playing it since it started seven or eight months ago. It's basically one of the best games I've been in in awhile... or at least it could be.

There are three other players in this game. In addition to my lesbian fighter who has a stream of women and one very persistent engineer following her, and Allen's barbarian dark paladin who is the chosen of Sturm (god of the grudge), we have Tanyc (Ty) a Bright Spark of Acare (God of goodness and light) and former Hero of the Realm, Dracandris a Luminant of the same god, and Bendric, who was formerly a meat pie seller, now the mighty wizard and the current Hero of the Realm.

Ty is played by John, who has earned the name "The Great Passive Observer of Life". Dracandris is played by Dan Bigelow, who shall be referred to as Bigelow so as to avoid confusion with Dan. Bendric is played by Chris.

John, the Great Passive Observer, is a great passive observer of life and gaming. He's very quiet, although when he decides he's going to act, damn. Amazing holy shit happens around him.

Bigelow, I'm told, is minding his manners for the most part, and not trampling all over the other players.

Chris is a stupendous ass. I'm told he is very bright, however I have yet to see evidence of this. He has no imagination, no personality, and has never learned any manners. At the last gaming session I was reading a paper and he grabbed it out of my hands. No asking, he just grabs. Keep in mind that Chris is 28, and seems to be permanently stuck at 15, and not a very polite 15, either.

At our last session (last night), Allen and Chris spent the first portion arguing with each other over the best way to shoot the channel, or whether or not we should even try shooting the channel, and not just go around the south side of the island. (We're currently on a sea voyage through (1) Krakin infested waters, (2) Pirate infested waters, and (3) evil government infested waters.) Fortunately we were attacked by a lone schooner before the argument could possibly go any further. Soon after that, we were attacked by another schooner, a sloop, and a war galley, which we are now in the process of disposing. The sloop is in pieces, the schooner has really big rocks in it, and will be sinking soon (unfortunately with the two fighters on it), and the war galley is looking a little worse for wear.

This is all incidental, though. Through this entire evening, it took every ounce of self control I had not to jump the table and strangle Chris after he made bad decision after bad decision. The final straw was after chris ordered the catapult to fling a rock at the schooner, crushing Allen's character and nearly crushing mine. Needless to say, we were somewhat upset.

And it's not just the bad IC decisions that chris makes. He's rude, intolerable, grabby (which is one of my pet peeves), assumes that he's right and everyone else is wrong, then when we show him that he was, in fact, incorrect in his assumptions, he takes credit for ideas that were not his own. He talks over other players, barges into individual scenes that Dan is running with other players, and just generally aggravating.

Allen and I stumbled across the cul-de-sac after game (it's nice living in the same court as Dan) and collapsed, but not before discussing the game. Allen mentioned that if Janos gets whacked (as is likely to happen at this point), he's not going to bother making another character for the game. He's fed up with Chris, and I don't blame him. The amusement factor of making fun of chris can only be taken for so long before his personality starts to grate. If Allen leaves the game, though, it'll be me against Bigelow and Chris, and I'm one of the dying breed of "polite gamers", who believe that everyone should have a fair chance to play, and that it is impolite to trample over other people's scenes. The thought of having to deal with the two of them without some kind of backup is almost unbearable by itself.

I was tempted to walk out of the game last night and tell Dan that while I like him and his game a lot, I can't stand Chris. Now with Allen thinking about walking, it's starting to sound like a better and better idea. It's just that it's such a great game, and I hate to leave it because I'm incompatible with one other player. Now that two of us are looking at walking, it's starting to seem less fair to Dan and his game, as well as us.


current mood: aggravated

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10:53a
Ethical Systems

Many RPGs and LARPs have systems for ethics. Many do not. The ones that do not allow players to avoid the IC moral implications of actions, especially murder, and I feel that that cheapens the role-playing experience, whether you're playing D&D or the most refined LARP.

Ethical systems in games are often clumsy and awkward, and hard to use properly.
Collapse )


current mood: calm

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11:34a - i believe the anti-d20 backlash has officially started
read http://www.peginc.com/OldNews/WildCardAnnouncement.htm

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4:17p - Sorry if this is a X-Post...
I just wanted to let everyone know that I decided to start the Play By Email game I have been thinking about. It's White Wolf (don't throw tomatoes?), Vampire/Ghoul/Mortal. I've uploaded a lot of files on the site about how to play and stuff. We're just now accepting applications for characters, so if you're interested, please go and have a look. We'd love to have you :)

<a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nolapbem/>It's Here</a> Thank you.


current mood: Shy

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