jeregenest: (Default)
The top thing I hope to never every see again in any game is a skill dedicated to flirting, this includes seduction . There are many reasons, from the simplistic to the fact its misogynistic.

Flirting is, usually, explained as a skill to manipulate people who find you sexually attractive.

So lets get one thing out of the way. Communication is pretty much communication, and if you are adept at manipulation you are adept at manipulation. The building blocks of flirting are the same as any type of communication. Also the idea of flirting, like most communication, is culturally dependent. Even two western countries, like the US and France, have very very different ideas of what is flirting.

So, flirting is a communication style, or a set of tools used for a specific purpose. By prejudicing it as its own skill, especially when other major modes or styles of communication are lumped into one skill (or don’t even get mentioned in a skill) your putting flirting on unequal status. And unless your playing a game where every specialty and subset gets its own skill you probably shouldn’t do that to flirting. If your skill system isn’t granular enough to separate radio astronomy from Infrared astronomy than it probably isn’t granular enough to separate flirting from manipulation (or whatever you call it).

I’ve often heard from people “But character X flirts all the time, how would you explain them.” Since I play a lot of spy rpgs that's usually “What about James bond.” The easiest answer, after I stop laughing, is that James Bond just as easily manipulates men around him as he does women. Its just that the tropes are he later shoots the guy and sleeps with the woman. Doubt me? Watch the first 15 minutes of Goldfinger and lets talk.

And then, quite frankly, flirting as its depicted in most rpgs is misogynistic and displays quite a bit of cynicism towards relationships that I just don’t want to be associated with. Flirting in itself can be fine, but in rpgs there is so much baggage that its a bad idea and just reinforces some already bad trends in this hobby.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
The Russian love of illegals is deep and strong, and the use of sleeper agents has long been established. The June 2010 round-up of a cell of 10 in the United States came as no surprise, especially to you, for you are a deep sleeper and a professional who has long been buried in the United States. Buried so deeply that you have had no contact with Russia since you were first inserted (which may, for some, go back before the collapse of the Soviet Union), following your orders and leading the life you were inserted into. At first there might have been a moment of fear, buried deep to betray nothing, followed by a few days of extra counter measures. As the weeks passed and nothing untoward happened your thoughts may have been tinged with a little contempt of the ease this “group” was detected and rounded up.

And then you were activated: An internet ad here, a blog posting there. Following your new orders and established protocols (some quite old) you’ve made your way to Montreal. Where who knows what awaits.

In this Gumshoes game you play Russian sleeper spies, inserted into a variety of odd roles (historian, forensic engineer, epidemiologist, as long as they make sense in Gumshoes) who have been activated to find the world is a very strange place indeed. In the interstices between spy novel and horror, this game will start from the assumption that there is something deeply rotten in the West and you were prepared for this day. Game play will start in North America and expand world wide as the campaign goes on.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
So there seems to be something minor getting in the way of gaming Tuesday night. Do folks want to wait till the next Tuesday?
jeregenest: (Default)
Investigative Abilities for Tuesday's game of Esoterrorists for those who want to start characters.

Read more... )
jeregenest: (Default)
Every summer thousands of people gather in the White Mountains at Three-Falls Junction, New Hampshire home of the famous Atleberry Artists colony and the Azeban Shakespeare festival, gem in the regional Shakespearian crown. This year, the artistic cognoscenti are especially excited as there will be a landmark production of Antony and Cleopatra by famed director Jeffrey Malsum, one that’s guaranteed to upset the status quo. Though those truly in the know are more interested in the production of Cymbeline by his protégé Pamela Harkins.

You were looking forward to a nice week away, and then madness descends.


This is an Esoterrorists adventure for 4-6 players projected to run 1-2 sessions.

Tuesday, October 28, 6:30 pm at our place in Roxbury.

With [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom, [livejournal.com profile] bryant, [livejournal.com profile] michele_blue, [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik and [livejournal.com profile] foxtown
jeregenest: (oberon)
"Where lies the boundary between meaning and sentiment? Between memory and nostalgia? America and Americana? What is and what was? Does it move?"
--Donovon Hohn, A Romance of Rust


Two siblings, working out their family obsessions while on a road trip through haunted America. Sounds familiar? Well here’s my take on it.

This is a two player game and it is designed to get very personal. The two characters are siblings who’ve drifted apart but are brought together by a family calamity. Did I mention that the kids were raised as monster hunters driving around with their parents in an RV and dealing with weird supernatural events. Well until dad died and then it was just the two of you and mom.

Then you grew up, and drifted apart, and maybe got a life away from fighting the supernatural. And then calamity, and well your now in a hot car speeding across the landscape trying to refind what you used to be to each other, rebuild a family and stop evil from happening.

The supernatural is all about story cycles and all about America, the hidden highways and byways. The game will examine all things American: guitars, cars, kids, motion, passion, enterprise, and change, in a fervent attempt to reconcile the American past with the American present, using only legend and highway maps as guides. Understanding that this is a country obsessed with roots but founded on uprooting, that has always been characterized by restless internal migration: people are always leaving home to find a better, truer home.

So yes, this is my UnknownUSA for those keeping track ([livejournal.com profile] robotnik did ask for it). But then this is a fairly old set of tropes and I'm finally itching to do something with it.

Mechanics wise? All in the drama. Gumshoes without non-investigational abilities. Where the only knowledge of the supernatural the characters have comes from that of the players and clues discovered in the game.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus

The top of your game, height of your profession. Everything in life seemed good. Okay not unworldly so, but things went well, you had your little set backs, don’t we all, but still you were well loved and respected and the sky was the limit.
Read more... )
jeregenest: (oberon)
'Tis to create, and in creating live
A being more intense, that we endow
With form our fancy, gaining as we give
The life we image
Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgramage, third canto

The summer of 1808, Revolution and Romanticism are sweeping the world. The poet, the musician, the artist, and the revolutionary are in the vanguard of forging a new world out of the old. Drawing from both the Gothic novels of the era, with their dark aristocrats and decaying castles; and from the Romantic politics which saw the era as indicative of an age of crisis with the ancien regime collapsed and a chaos dominating European political and cultural life.
Read more... )
jeregenest: (Default)
I saw an ad for Urban Interactive on the T tonight, and I must admit I'm intrigued. Oh, its nothing new but I like how their pitching it as both a meet other people sort of thing and as a corporate team building sort of thing. I'm always fascinated when aspects of my hobby interlap with mainstream concerns.

It is not that expensive, anyone interested in doing a team even in an upcoming weekend? The boy has expressed interest, no surprise there.
jeregenest: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom and I have been playing, for a while, long road to when, our Nobilis game. A bunch of things have happened --go and look at her write-ups if you are interested.

One of the many things that happened during the game was her character gaining a secondary estate so here's the write-up.

The estate of the Purple Thought covers a deep reverie of decadence that leads to renewed energy, vigor and life. This estate covers a senescence so deep that from it comes a deep and true creativity so powerful that it can penetrate the secrets of reality. This estate covers aspects of sexuality, inspiration and the arts.

The Imperator of this estate, Itari hails from the world of the Ten Thousand Orchids. This world is inhabited by a graceful race of intelligent, humanoid, flowers. As such this is an understanding of life that can be very difficulty for outsiders to grasp, most can only understands two of its aspects: the decadence and the naked sexuality; and the inspiration that forms community. But to truly understand the Purple Thought one much capture the inter-textuality between the two.

Miracle chart )
jeregenest: (Default)
What system would you run Mission Impossible + Robin Hood + Secret Six set in a modern day occult conspiracy setting?

And why?
jeregenest: (Default)
Because it had my favorite Sarah Jane Smith in it I decided to watch the last two Dr Who episodes. Okay we've watched the first one, and due to its ending we'll probably watch the second.

But its fan fiction at best, and not even very good fan fiction.

I can do better. Maybe.

At least I wouldn't have such a stupid Davros (doesn't he know that if he can divide cells enough to make millions of Daleks than he doesn't need more than a few stem cells tops? Stupid super genius).

Oh, and Daleks are way too overdone.
jeregenest: (Default)
Using the gilt tag prompted me to go back and look at them.

I'd still like to do sexy Rome. Actually that deserves its own post.

Drink and the Devil had done for the rest strikes me as the best of the ideas from that time. Not that they all weren't good, I think I was just in a horrible place for gaming.

Damn too many of these were good ideas. I hate this utter lack of free time.
jeregenest: (Default)
Last night we played Esoterrorists for the first time. [livejournal.com profile] bluegargantua, [livejournal.com profile] bryant, [livejournal.com profile] foxtown, [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik and [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom were there. Bryant, Jess and Jeff have already written about this on their livejournals so I won't go into the player's side.

For me it went pretty easily. There wasn't the stress of what should be exposed when and I never felt like I was drowning in exposition or pulling teeth. Which was nice.

Prep wise I'm worried this game would be hard to run long-term, I'm also worried that it lends itself more to serial play than I like and there would b some difficulty in having long-term NPCs an big plots, both of which are favorites of mine.

I think I very much underestimated the amount of stuff necessary for a story or a night. We ended just before the end of the first arch (I planned three thinking I'd need it). I actually think the one arch would have been fine and I should have paced things better. That said what we did do was very fun.

Still curious how the action mechanics will work, and especially stability. Next session will see more stability checks (I could have required a few for the research going on but didn't think of it until after I wrote the thing).

I think with practice I could get writing adventures down to 1:1 with gaming time. Which may be more prep work than I've done in a decade for a game.

And I'm with Bryant, next time I run this I'm bringing a tack board (I have a nice foldable one at work) and letting the players arrange clues all Wire style.

Speaking of next time, is there interest in continuing? Wednesdays work very nicely for me.
jeregenest: (Default)
Looks like I have 4 players for Esoterrorists on May 7th which means one to three more open slots.


Should be fun, I like any game which demands I use flowcharts.
jeregenest: (oberon)
I’ve threatened to do this before, and maybe this time it will happen.

I plan on running Esoterrorists. Anyone available Wednesday the 7th? I imagine 4-6 players would work quite well, but I can handle a few more if there is that much interest.

Gumshoes is a game focusing on investigation. Basically it has a version of drama points broken down into flavors (investigation abilities) that drive one’s investigation. Usually having investigation abilities, like Forensic Anthropology, allow you to find the important clue – Quincy always finds the important bit of medical evidence – that allows you to progress along the mystery. You can spend from your pool to basically establish cooler facts, usually to drive character development, which is why I liken the rule to mechanics. The rest of the game (basically fighting, escaping and other stuff) is a pretty standard test system. I appreciate the fact that social skills are mostly bundled in the investigative. You just succeed when it’s appropriate and roleplay away.

Esoterrorists is, as you can tell from the name, an occult investigation game. X-Files and Conspiracy X and the like. I won’t commit to actually using their background for this game, but I doubt that will matter to most folks as it’s a rather generic background of “we all work for a secret society out to keep the insane occultists from making the world more insane” system. Little more than a framework to explain the supernatural and get the characters to where they need to be.
jeregenest: (oberon)
First draft of a game )

It has been a long time since I've run for people, and perhaps 6 years since I've last run Ars Magica, but this seems to be the game that has been sticking with me the longest, so its time to see if there is interest.

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