Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Heart Still Beats... Life Goes On...

So, it's been two and a half months since my last post... What's been up? Oh... just about everything...

There's a lot, so I'm going to sum up in as small a chunks as I can...

BUSINESS: We lost a competitor here in town, making us the oldest active (8+ years) game store now. Things have been interesting, as we absorb some extra customers and work out game schedules so "everybody gets to play". It's kept us hopping. We've also been offered a game store to buy that's just over an hour away, we've been offered space (when it's ready) for a second location about 25 minutes away, and have heard about yet a third prospect that may be ready for the buying as their ship is not currently stable. Opportunities abound, but I'm not certain what path (if any) to take at this point.

GAMING: The Champions game continues to get better, though it is not without its fits of drama. If the drama with fully within the game, it'd be no issue, but it's not. One player feels picked on by a few of the others, and while he's not entirely incorrect, given what he's established his character's history to be, the way the player is playing it, the player is drawing legit aggro. The player in question does not read, nor has he ever really read, superhero comic books. He's a fine player, but he's come with a character with an extesive written history that if it gets tampered with in any way, he loses his nut. The last time he had a semi-meltdown, I told him that if he wants to write a story that he has complete control over, then he should go write a book. Within an RPG, it's cooperative storytelling and improvisational theater, and he needs to be flexible as the story unfolds during play. We'll see how it goes...

The Feng Shui 2 game is actually going fairly well. Almost lost two characters last run as the group gets thrust further into the Secret War. I have the PDF of the upcoming book, and while there are a number of questionable bits in the way of typos and little mistakes, the overall feel of the updated system is solid. I, at some level, wish they had done away with the shot cost/initiative/turn system in favor of something a little more "fair", but it still works and doesn't really slow the game down.

LIFE: Still married to a wonderful woman... still have two great kids (one of whom is now engaged)... and have increased the number of dogs in the household from one to two... and that's been a struggle. The new dog is fine. The old dog is not... He's nine years old and is pretty much the pulling the whole canine version of "get off my lawn, you punk" with the new dog. They are both absolutely sweet dogs alone, and the new one stays sweet when they are together, but the old guy is a furball of aggression. It's slowly getting better, but we have a ways to go...

MUSIC: Been seeing a few shows lately and buying music here and there. The only concise things I can say is...

FAITH NO MORE: SOL INVICTUS: BUY IT!!!
ONE-EYED DOLL: WITCHES: BUY IT!!!
PSYCHOSTICK: If you have the chance to, see them in concert!!!

That's it for now, as my sleep-deprived brain kind of wanders off to another place...

peace... GopherDave

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Second Verse, Same As The First... Plus Bonus Material...

Ran the second session of Feng Shui this Thursday passed... Once again, it was a lot of fun... We enjoyed it a great deal.

It is going well enough that I am setting up a second campaign of it, but I am waiting to start it until the final PDF for the revision is ready before I do so. It has been indicated that the file should be ready by the end of the month, and I for one am almost giddy...

I really dig this game, and it is one of those little-known gems in the RPG section of our hobby that folks don't seem to pay much attention to.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the table...

The last run of my Chicago-based "Collapsed Timelines" Champions game went fairly well. We were down a couple of players, but those that were there did alright. They fought a group of hyper-powered assassins called the Hired Guns. In the end, the still as-yet-named group of heroes captured two of the four culprits, and lived to fight another day.

The run went well enough that I am working on bringing back another thing I used to do for my Champions games back in the late 80s/early 90s. I am hoping to find some space that will host PDF files that is fairly easy to us, as I would love to make a campaign site that my players could use and the rest of y'all could dig through.

Toodles for now... =)

peace... GopherDave

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Ol' Switcheroo...

Well... After weeks of agonizing, I have a great idea of what I want the sci-fi space opera setting to be. I just don't have a system for it. Looking at what I trying to bring into being, I can't seem to find a game system that will handle what it is I need entirely. Given that problem, I usually just write my own. However, I don't really have time for that currently.

That stated... I just broke out a new version of an old friend...

The old friend in question... Feng Shui 2.0 (Playtest Draft)... It's been a while since I have visited the Secret War, and like a familiar shoe, it fit beautifully. I have seven players for this game, and of those seven, five have never encountered the sheer, over-the-top glee that this game can be. As it goes, I need to run a second campaign of it to fill demand. =)

Now to find a day for that... =)

-- GopherDave

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Slow Corrosion...

The metaphorical creative wall is slowly being worked through, with a couple of hitches...

The setting is coming together nicely in my head and on paper in the form of trace notes. There's still a lot of details to work out, plus a timeline and some rudimentary maps, but I at least have *SOME* handle on it. Yeah, there's a lot of work to do for it, but getting enough done to start should not be that difficult... except...

I still have no idea what system I am using...

I have looked through and/or thought about all the systems I have that are generic... I have looked through specific systems... Hell, I have looked through "dubiously acquired" PDFs of games I do not currently own to see if something really fits what I am trying to do... and I am at a loss... I currently have nothing system-wise that I feel comfortable shoving this setting in.

Trouble is...  I know that every time I write a "new" game system, I am just re-inventing the wheel, and there's not always a need to do so. I mean, if you want to play high fantasy, there's really no reason to reach for something other than D&D/Pathfinder. If you want to play superheroes, grab Mutans & Masterminds or Champions/HERO. Horror? Call of Cthulhu or Chill will serve you well. Science-Fiction... it's not that simple as there as has never been a truly definitive system for it other than Traveller, which does hard sci-fi REALLY well, but mucks space opera all up. There are games that can do space opera, but most of the them are tied to a licensed setting and have added "features" I want nowhere near my game.

What I have in mind is space-opera with hard sci-fi leanings. The closest analogue to the setting I can think of is Firefly/Serenity, but the system published for that is horri-bad. Plus, it has a couple of elements that don't jibe with my setting. One is small, but the other makes a huge difference. Religion... F/S has it, though in a minor capacity. The setting I have in mind doesn't... at least not in large enough doses to make a difference. Second, F/S has no non-humans, and for once in my miserable gaming life, I want some alien weird shit available to my players. No non-humans will kind of kill the history I have in mind for the whole thing...

It's enough to make a crazy man crazier, but not quite enough to make him sane...

I understand this is a prison of my own making, but I'm typically crafty enough to escape... This one, though... This one's tough...

Knowing me, I'll kluge together a "new" homebrew and make it fly... 'cause when you don't have an actual key to the cage, you gotta fashion one out of gum wrappers, toenail clippings, and nacho chips because that may be all you have available... and you gotta try to escape... It probably won't work, but who the hell knows...

It just might...

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Changing For The Sake Of Change...

Okay... After about 18 months of running, I am putting aside my Tai'eres game. Love the setting... Love the system... but I can only handle so much fantasy before my eyes itch.

So that leaves a slight hole that I do want to fill... and I want to fill it with something space opera-like... Therein lie some problems, as I have some very specific things that I do not want in my game. Should be easy, right? It's my game. Just rip 'em out of there. That is the plan, but I have some things to work through in my head and compiling a small list of things I would like to have (and not have) within the setting...

  • Nothing that resembles "the Force". Religion is fine... Faith that grants one extraordinary abilities and makes a limited range melee weapon more useful in a battle than anything with a range greater than a thrown rock needs to stay the hell away from my game.
  • FTL ships, but just barely. Maybe ships that go up to 3x-5x the speed of light at most. Enough that travelling within a system doesn't take weeks, but not so fast that travelling *BETWEEN* systems is as easy as hopping to the corner store for some milk. That being said, even that sort of limited speed makes actual starship combat nigh impossible as it becomes easy to outrace anything that is fired upon another ship. Hmmmm...
  • Need about seven to ten other races put together to hang out with the humies. Not all of them need to be player races, but something to add some variety is nice. Speaking of humans... Not sure if I want them almost extinct, or plentiful enough to be some sort of galactic power. That's something else to think about
  • Going back to weapons, I would really like to avoid light-based weapons. The reality of them is that they fire a continuous beam until power is cut. There are no "bolts" or "blasts" associated with them as light cannot exist without a source. Gyrojet are cool... Missles are okay... hell, even regular bullets work, be they projected via chemical propellent or magnetism. Plasma weapons that use some form of limited containment work as well, as they, while powerful, will eventually disperse.

Just looking at this limited list, it looks like I have a lot to think about. Shame I'm trying to put something together for two evenings from now...

I hate the way I think sometimes...

-- GD

Thursday, March 05, 2015

PING...

Just a signal to let folks know that I still exist...

Let's just say that things have been... interesting... in the intervening time, and leave it at that.

As far as this blog goes, I'm not certain how often I will post here, even if I get back up to semi-regular writing. The original purpose of the place has sort of come and gone, and I am at an impasse on what to write about anymore.

Most of my gaming projects are at a lag, and while I have been steadily acquiring music, writing about it just seems to take some of the fun away. Ehhh... who knows...

I will leave with this comic-related tidbit, though... If you are not reading the current iteration of the Inhumans (titled "INHUMAN"), you are cheating yourself out of a damn fine read...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Alive, Kicking, and Mending...


Okay... I'm not dead... Though I may have been closer to it than I thought...

Once I "recovered" from the whole sinus nastiness a few weeks back, I never really felt 100%. There was lingering fatigue that I just couldn't shake, and a barely there cough that showed up maybe six times a day, if that.

Then a couple weeks ago, I ended up in the ER with what I thought was just abdominal cramping and food poisoning. I did indeed have that, but what I didn't know was that I also had pneumonia. Whoops!

So, while I have been working, I've also been resting quite a bit more, and trying to take better care of myself. I'm not really wanting to go back to the gym, but I am eating a bit better, and I have kicked my 2-3 energy drinks per day habit I had built up.

Barring any other issues, health or otherwise, I am hoping to get back to finishing the Asylum in the next week or so. Beyond that, I promise nothing, as I have no idea how life is going to treat me...

So, if nothing else, this is an update post... Take it for what it is...

peace... GopherDave