jeregenest: (Default)
The BBC wrote a nice story exploring the relationship from “rebel-held Congo to beer can.” The story takes a look at one of the primary culprits of this largely illegitimate minerals trade: the FDLR, the rebel group whose leadership was involved in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Last night during the Pantellos sessions [ profile] jeffwik kept on commenting on how messed up the Congo seemed. And I ahd to admit that I'm pretty sure I wasn't exaggerating much based on my understanding of the region.

To drive this home, I see this in on my google reader this morning

Whole villages are being abandoned as civilians flee attacks by Rwandan Hutu militia and Ugandan rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, just weeks after joint army operations to oust the militias ended.

[ profile] peaseblossom has a wrap up of last night's session and her very cool playlist.

I'm hoping to get the chance to clean up my session flow-chart and scenes and post them with commentary later today (after the meetings end, okay the meetings never truly end but there are lulls)
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Gumshoes basically breaks down its skills into Investigative and General Abilities. Investigative Abilities are the sweet part of the system and give an elegant way of handling core clues automatically.

General Abilities are designed to cover physical actions and contests with a strong element of the uncertain. They use a pretty basic system of testing the ability by a 1d6 roll against a difficulty of 2 to 8. Point spends from the general ability pool add to the roll, but deplete your pool and are lost no matter the outcome.

We haven’t been too happy with the way general abilities work in play and have gone back and forth on the best ways to handle them. For Pantellos this is especially important because the game really divides into two spheres: Investigative and Danger. Investigative follows Gumshoes to a T (which is why we choose the system) but the more Danger side we had to decide on a better system.

And for some reason Tarot cards always show up in this group.

So, we basically will have two types of scenes. Investigation and Danger. A scene will be one or the other, player/gm choice. We plan on using something to denote this. Investigative scenes unfold like Gumshoes (though we talked a lot about negative clues). But in a danger scene you narrate based on abilities and then turn over the lesser arcane of the Tarot to determine narrative outcome. Major Arcana can be played to up-the ante. It’s all about asserting reality.

This should work for us, we’ll have to see. Since the characters just touched down in the Congo it won’t be long.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
A spy is above all a man of politics . . . He must have the breadth of thought of a strategist, and meticulous powers of observation. Espionage is a continuous and demanding labor which never ceases. – John Le Carré, “To Russia, with Greetings” (1966)

Who are the characters? )
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Working on my skill list for upcoming gumshoes game. Mostly esoterrorists with some changes.

trying to capture both the bureaucratic theivery and the abilities for special ops craziness. So comments are definitely appreciated.

Skill list for Gumshoes )
jeregenest: (Default)

System: Gumshoes

When: Day and time to be decided based on players. I would like this to be weekly but recognize it may be more realistic to do every-other-week. I'd like to start in the next two weeks if interest exists.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Call for gaming )
jeregenest: (Default)
News about the Congo coming in fast and furious (around all the news about Somalian pirates and Mexican drug gangs) and this makes me think about Pantellos. Pantellos was my Declare-style game about corporate spies in an occult world spinning out of control.

[ profile] peaseblossom and I we're just talking about this, and we both agree Esoterrorists could work, but we'd need more crunchy combat. Luckily, [ profile] robin_d_laws is coming out with the The Esoterror Fact Book, which is supposed to add some more crunch to combat to allow paramilitary games. Which might be perfect for this.

So, [ profile] seborn, [ profile] truthspeaker, what do you say? Interested in reuniting the band and doing a 7 years later? Many of the craziness in the world is still there. We have the Congo spiraling out of control; Craziness in Venezuela. Black prisons in the Balkans. Spice it with some Somalian pirates and Mexican drug gangs and we easily have the places. And the weirdness usually just writes itself.

A few nights back we had [ profile] jeffwik, [ profile] emilytheslayer, and Stefan over. And Jeff suggested we do a mission, which is from my more realistic spy game, Age of Paranoia. And it was a lot of fun. It got the old juices burning overtime. I'm also re-reading The Eight which may be the book that started it all 20 years ago for me. Couple all that with my lovecraftian-spy LARP that never happened and I have this burning desire to run a spy game. Again. But I'll be honest its something I do do well.

I still want to return, by the way, to my Supernatural done right game with [ profile] jeffwik and [ profile] peaseblossom as soon as they are ready.
jeregenest: (Default)
There may be something wrong with my brain when I read a post about:

A new census conducted in the Republic of the Congo suggests that there are about twice as many western lowland gorillas in the world than previously thought.

And I think about an old game.

More here
jeregenest: (Default)
Deep in the Congolese jungle is a band of apes that, according to local legend, kill lions, catch fish and even howl at the moon. Local hunters speak of massive creatures that seem to be some sort of hybrid between a chimp and a gorilla.

Full article here

Wow, I had always assumed these were cryptozoological, not real. So this article is cool.
jeregenest: (Default)
A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it. -- John Le Carre

Not running a game may be dangerous for me, I've been thinking of spy games again. Though not necessarily exclusively Age of Paranoia or any of the other games I've run (like Pantellos) though maybe a bit of both. Aybe a one-shot of some sort is called for. Or maybe I should rewatch some Sandbaggers, but that would probably get me more interested.

I wonder if I should have suggested a spy game.

Or maybe I should just buckle down and choose a game already. Last night we played some with Active Exploits and I must admit I really liked it. Needs some polishing to be setting specific but it works very nicely, and its diceless which is a big draw after playing HeroQuest.

Speaking of one-shots I really should try to get a regular group together again, there’s a lot of systems I want to experiment with and we don’t seem to have as much of that going on these days.
jeregenest: (Default)
I once ran a very successful game called Pantellos. It is article like this that made that game so easy to run on several levels..

Oh, and the reason why this invasion was so profitable? Global demand for coltan was soaring throughout the war because of the massive popularity of coltan-filled Sony Play stations. As Oona King, one of the few British politicians to notice Congo, explains as we travel together for a few days, "Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms."

I wish we had kept more of a website presence of that game.

I know that game was a political eye-awakener for me. Ever since I've been more keyed into issues in Africa amongst other things.

Games as political allegory is one of those things I really should write more about.


jeregenest: (Default)

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