Showing posts with label doctor who. Show all posts
Showing posts with label doctor who. Show all posts

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Doctor is In!

Yesterday the BBC announced who will be replacing Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor.

If you have not seen the "reveal" video, here it is below.



So the new Doctor is Jodie Whittaker. I have seen her in a couple of things, but she is most known for her role as the mother of murder victim Danny in Broadchurch.

When I saw her name pop up as a potential casting my first thought was that it was an inspired choice, but not one that could obviously happen.
Well, I am happy to say I was wrong.


I saw the video yesterday and was quite pleased.  Jodie Whittaker is fine actor and will bring something new and exciting to Doctor Who I feel.

The Doctor and I go WAY back.  I can remember being one of the only people in my Jr. High and High School that knew of Doctor Who, let alone watched it.  It was in Jr. High that I was introduced to the Timelord in his guise of Tom Baker back in 1982-83.  Of course, we were getting these on PBS back then.  I'd stay up on Sunday night at 10:00 pm CST to watch Tom Baker's exploits on KETC from St. Louis.  Later I learned that the Champaign-Urbana PBS station was showing a DIFFERENT Doctor.  VHS tapes of shows copied in nearby Springfield IL were making their way to us.  So in high school, I learned the most amazing thing.  The Doctor REGENERATES!

Later, much, much later, I introduced my wife to the then brand new Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston and she was hooked.  I knew he was going to regenerate at the end, but did not tell her.  She freaked out, but soon she became a fan of David Tennant and the rest is well history. And the future, because now I have a house full of Who fans.

The point I am making is we have all been on this path before.


We are getting the "normal" gripes of "why does the current guy have to go?"  Those are expected and really part and parcel of being a Who fan.  I don't want Capaldi to go. I didn't want Smith to go, or Tennant or Eccleston or any of the others.

But this time we are also getting other gripes, and sadly these are also expected.   I am not going to link out, but just hit Twitter, or the discussion board of any Who or BBC related website.
Though the choice and actress is getting some nice support from others in the Who family.  Colin Baker, who's Doctor 6 announcement was supposed to mean the "end of Doctor Who!" went on to Twitter with this:



Well said.
Like it or not Jodie Whittaker IS the new Doctor.

Frankly, I think it is great and I can't wait for her turn to start.
Yes. I am going to miss Capaldi just like I did with all the ones that came before.  But for now, I am looking forward to this new Doctor.


Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 A Look Ahead

I like to be optimistic. I like to look forward to things.  So here is my look forward to 2017 and what it might hold for me and the Other Side.

First things first I know my posting frequency is going to take a hit.  I have a lot of projects I need to wrap-up and the only time to do that is blogging time.

Strange Brew is hitting the shelves, both virtual and physical. There is a Pathfinder version, a Castles & Crusades version (that I am really pleased with) and there is talk of a D&D 5 version.  So expect to see more of that here.

Additionally, I am working on the Swords & Wizardry Witch.  There is already a "Lite" version now, I will release "White Box" and "Complete" versions too.  One thing I have not decided on yet is whether or not to include monsters.

Gaming I see Sci-fi games being big in the Brannan House.  We played some Star Trek over New Year's eve and that was a blast.   I got a bunch (all but the 11th Doctor) of the Doctor Who "Doctor" supplements for Christmas, so doing something with that would be great.


Starfinder in on the way and that looks like a lot of fun.  Depending on how it is I *might* update the Sisters of the Aquarian Order for it.  But that is not till later in the year.

I have my fingers in a couple of other projects that are not mine specifically, but I am helping out on.

Having fun with Star Trek.
I also have three books I'd love to get out this year for White Star.  One has been on my "to do" list for 7 years (many different systems).

I am also really looking forward to the new Blue Rose.

So far 2017 is shaping up to be BUSY.

What are YOU most looking forward too?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Special Edition - Paternoster Investigations

I imagine that one day in the not too distant past, like 2015 or some exotic time like that Andrew Peregrine (Victoriana 2nd ed) and Walt Ciechanowski (Victoriana 3rd ed) were sitting on tops of the mounds of money that Cubicle 7 makes and discussing how they could get in on some of the Doctor Who fun.  They spoke to Dave Chapman (who was sitting on top of an equally obscene pile of cash) and convinced him to let them do a Victorian era book for the Doctor Who game.
The result is Doctor Who - Paternoster Investigations.

This book is a source guide to the Doctor Who universe's Victorian England.  The Doctor has been here many times and he is seriously running the risk of running into himself more often here than in 21st Century England.

The book is 128 pages, full color and done in the new "12th Doctor" trade dress.  The main conceit of the book revolves around the Paternoster Gang which includes Silurian warrior, Madame Vastra, her maid turned lover turned wife Jenny Flint, and Sontaran Commander turned nurse turned man-servant Strax.  I have featured Vastra and Jenny many times on my blog and worked out my own stats for them for the Doctor Who RPG and for Ghosts of Albion.  I have not bothered to see if my stats and the official stats are similar though.

This is a GREAT book, not just for the Doctor Who game but for Victorian games in general.
You will not see the depth of talking about Victorian times here as you would with the author's Victoriana books, but there is still plenty here.

The book breaks down into expected sections.
First, we have a chapter on the Victorian world and how it works.  This includes a bit of history, culture and important happenings.  There is also a section on how this all exist in the Doctor Who universe.

The second chapter/section is devoted to the specifics of the Doctor Who version of this time. This features a "driving" geography of London (useful for anygame) and some personalities that can be interacted with.  A pause while I point out how pleased I am to see "Alice Shield" AKA Ashildr AKA "Me" from the ninth season of Doctor Who.  No,  we never saw her in Victorian times, but we know from her accounts that she was there.  We even get a first generation version of Torchwood.
A++ to both Gentlemen Authors for putting together such a fun chapter for the game.

Third, we get to Victorian Adventures which is exactly what is says on the tin.  So many great ideas here.  I could not help but feel a little Victoriana entering here.  The jewels in this chapter are of course the descriptions of the PPaternoster Investigations Gang, the "Further Adventures of Jackson Lake" (the Man Who Would Be Lord) and my absolute favorite, Jago and Litefoot Investigations.  Right there is worth the price of the book alone.

The fourth section moves into what they call the Paternoster Campaign.
Ok let's push pause for a sec.  One of the big issues of Doctor Who, any Doctor Who RPG, is playing without the Doctor or Other Timelords.  UNIT helps this a little, Torchwood does it a little better, but the Paternoster Gang does it the best.  With this structure you may never need, or even may never want, to use a Time Lord in your game again. This details setting up and running your investigative teams or using one of the ones from the book.

The final chapter, "A Study in Flax" is an adventure for your Victorian investigative team.

The final pages are various characters from different Victorian episodes of Doctor Who.  Included are Vastra, Jenny, Strax, Jackson Lake, Rosita "Rose" Farisi, Henry Gordon Jago (!), Prof. Litefoot (!), another version of Clara, and Victoria Waterfield.

Who should get this? Everyone!
Seriously though, if you enjoyed the Vastra/Jenny episodes of the 11th and 12th Doctors, the 4th Doctor classic "Talons of Weng-Chiang" or it's spin off "Jago and Litefoot", then this is for you.
If you love Victorian games, then this is for you.
If you love the Doctor Who game, then this is for you.

Just buy it. You'll love it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

RPG a Day 2015, Day 18

Day 18: Favorite SF RPG

This one is harder since I have yet to find that perfect Scifi RPG. Traveller came close, but in the end it has to be Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space and it's spiritual forefather FASA's Doctor Who RPG.








Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mary Poppins: Witch or Time Lord, Part 2

Mary as a Time Lord

So I explored how Mary could be a witch.  How can she be a Time Lord?



Well in addition to all that we know she speaks a lot of languages including Baby.  Her carpet bag could be a bag of holding or it could be Time Lord science.   She acts both young and wise, much like the Doctor and spends a lot of time with younger companions.  The 11th Doctor even made references to her in "A Christmas Carol" and in the book "Magic of the Angels".  In MotA the Doctor even has a carpet bag that he claims he got back from Mary.

Mary could have avoided the Time War much like the Doctor did.  She could have been The Nanny even.  Heck if that is case maybe she regenerated into Nanny McPhee.

She knows people from other planets such as the girl from the Pleiades.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is almost as bad as Raxacoricofallapatorius.


Mary Poppins
Time Lord
From  Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition
Story Points: 8

Attributes
Awareness 5
Coordination 4
Ingenuity 6
Presence 6
Resolve 5
Strength 3

Skills
Athletics 1
Convince 4
Craft 3
Fighting 1
Knowledge 5
Marksman 0
Medicine 4 (little drop of sugar and all)
Science 3
Subterfuge 1
Survival 2
Technology 3
Transport 1

Traits
Animal Friendship, Attractive, Brave, Feel the Turn of the Universe, Friends (major), Indomitable, Keen Senses, Lucky, Quick Reflexes, Resourceful Pockets, Voice of Authority, Time Lord
Argumentative, Distinctive, Eccentric, Owed a favor to (the family she serves), Selfish (to a degree)

Equipment
Umbrella, Carpet Bag

Home Tech Level: 10 (mostly conforms to 4)

Personal Goal
To protect the Children

The Time Lord known as Mary Poppins fled Gallifrey in the earliest days of the Time War with one goal in mind. To protect those who could protect or help themselves.   She has been known to have encountered the Tim Lord known as The Doctor at lease once.

She has a number of family members she will mention, but these are all adopted and are world wide.
It is also not too much of a stretch to see her working the Paternoster Row Gang at some point.


Next time I'll cover why Ms. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus is not just a Time Lord but is in fact River Song.

So how about you?  Is Mary a Witch or a Time Lord?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PWWO: Doctor Who, Hitchhiker's Guide and Pokémon

With the publication of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition I have been wanting to do more with this game.  I have already run a classic AD&D module with it but the applications for this game seem endless.  So starting with Doctor Who here are the two mashups based on ideas from both of my kids.  So for this edition of Plays Well with Others I have two game ideas based around Doctor Who.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Doctor Who Universe
My oldest son has been reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and he had to do a school report on Douglas Adams.  Fans of Adams know of his long association with Doctor Who during the classic Tom Baker years. So for me this has been a great little trip to 1983 when I was doing something very similar in school.  Though unlike my kids I did not have Doctor Who on BluRay anytime I wanted it.

Well this morning I was thinking about Arthur Dent, or more specifically, Martin Freeman.  To date he has pretty much played every important English "everyman" I can think of after only one cup of coffee; Arthur Dent, Bilbo Baggins and John Watson.  The Watson connection got me thinking again about doing a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game using the Doctor Who rules.  I touched on this last year but I think I need to look into it more.

No need to worry about who plays the Time Lord since everyone, including the aliens, are just regular people.  Ok sometimes regular people with two heads and three arms, but that is the galaxy we live in.

Junior Timelord Academy
I was having a conversation with my youngest son back in the winter about how Pokéballs must be Timelord science. Afterall they are bigger on the inside.  Also Pokémon evolution looks more like Timelord regeneration.   Many others have pointed this out. Even the Pokémon character "Looker" is supposed to look like/be the 10th Doctor.  There are dozens of other examples (not to mention all the "Time" powered Pokémon) so I'll leave it as a given.

What can we do with this idea?  Simple, if in the HHGTG game there are no Timelords in an Pokémon one everyone is a Timelord, or at least they will be when they grow up.

Junior Timelord Academy then focuses on young Timelords in training, or even more generically, young Gallifreyians.  They have pets, like most kids do, except in stead of accidentally peeing on the floor these pets summon up elemental powers to do battle.  We know that in the Dark Times on Gallifrey gladiatorial fights were held in the Death Zone till Rassilon put a stop to them.  That legacy lives on in the children's games of fighting with their genetically engineered pets.

So a mix of Doctor Who, Pokémon, some ideas from WitchGirls Adventures, and a little bit of BESM: Cute and Fuzzy Seizure Monsters.  Big Eyes, Small Mouth 3rd Ed though might work better with Doctor Who in terms of system conversion.  This isn't High School drama like Smallville or Byron Falls, the target age here is pre-Teens.

So the characters move across Gallifrey battling their cute pet killing machines against each other knowing that soon they will enter the great Time Lord academies.

Also there is no reason I can't mix both.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition (PDF)

The PDF version of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition is now up at DriveThruRPG.



If you have either of the 11th or 10th Doctor version of this game then you have most of the rules and text, though some things look like the are a bit clearer (or I am rereading them for 10th time).  This is one full document as opposed to the multiple PDFs of the "boxed sets".  It also updates the text to reflect the last bits of the Matt Smith seasons and the Day of the Doctor 50th Anniversary special.  So stats for the War Doctor and updated Zygons.

It is an extremely attractive book (256 full color pages).  If you are new to this game then this is the place to start. If you are new to Doctor Who, well then I would say grab the Tenth or Eleventh Doctor version of the rules.  All the same rules, but less emphasis on the the show's own history.   Though there are the story/adventure seeds for all 12 doctors and that is very nice.

I plan on picking this one up in hardback as soon as I can to be honest.  That's how much I enjoy this game.

Friday, November 22, 2013

BAMF Girls Club Special Guest. You will never guess Who!

Sorry couldn't help it.  Either with the bad pun or posting this.

The next episode of the BAMF Girls Club is up.



Are you ready for the 50th?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Doctor Who: Night of the Doctor

In case you have been sleeping this came out today.


I think it is great that Paul McGann is getting his due screen-time.  And long time readers here know of my enjoyment of the Sisterhood of Karn.

Cubicle 7 also plans to release a hardcover of their Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space.
http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/doctor-who-aitas-limited-edition-anniversary-edition-cover/

I think I am going to celebrate a little and run some Doctor Who this weekend instead of the AD&D 1st ed game we planned.  Though I think I might run Ghost Tower of Inverness, IL.
Should be great.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #80

White Dwarf kicks of the 80s in this August, 1986 issue.
The cover seems to be a bit of a throw back to earlier issues, or at least earlier themes.
The new editor and staff waste no time and hit us up with a new reader survey.  More on that in a bit.

Open Box gives us Call of Cthulhu 3rd Edition. I do not recall any edition wars around this.
We have reviews for the FASA Doctor Who advnetures "The Hartlewick Horror" and "The Legions of Death".  I just picked up Legions of Death last Friday.  The Hartlewick Horror gets the edge, but I fear it was because of the inclusion of the 4th Doctor's stats.   Palladium is breaking into the gaming scene more and more with The Mechanoids.  Yes I know they were around before this, but two issues in a row of product reviews is still better than they had been doing.  And the AD&D module Destiny of Kings is reviewed.  I blame my braces at the time but I always called this one "Density of the Kings". Realms of Magic for MSH and OA1 Swords of the Daimyo are also reviewed.    Three TSR products with two of them AD&D. Not so bad really.

The Doctor Who RPG gets some love with a section on Combat.  Ok. So the irony here is that there actual little combat the characters should be doing in Doctor Who.  The FASA game though was a little more combat focused than the current C7 RPG is.  The biggest problem comes from the author's own point of view that he normally runs a D&D game. Ah well.

Critical Mass bemoans the recent injection of so many Lovecraftian elements in the recent batch of Sci-Fi books.

Some more Abilities for the Judge Dredd game.

"Clouding the Issue" by Chris Barlow covers detection powers in a game and how to make it more difficult or easy depending on your tastes.  This is one of those articles that were common at the time; adding more realism to your game or at giving the game another layer of complexity.

Graeme Davis has an article on crime in the 20th Century.  Focus is on the Pulp Era with such suggestions as Call of Cthulhu, Dardevils, and Indiana Jones.

The star of this issue though is "Ancient & Modern" a scenario for AD&D and Call of Cthluhu. Each player gets two characters, one for each system and they run through the linked scenarios.   I love crazy stuff like this. The adventure is long (10 pages and nicely done) and it is still continued next week month.  The interplay between the two is nice and build on each other.  Frankly I love it.  I might just have to run this one sometime.

'Eavy Metal covers painting various textures.

The Back to the Readers Poll is up.  33 questions. Notable are the inclusions of questions about computers and LARPing. Of course there are also more games.


Letter is next and now two pages long.

There is an article about leveling up in MERP.  Again, another example of adding a level of "realism" to the games.  Or if you would rather role-playing.  I get where this is coming from, you get your points from leveling up and they should be spent with some sort logic.  By the way to keep this topical the article could just as easily work for Superbabes or any other game where gaining a level gives you points for buying new skills, powers, magic and so on.

Fracas, the rumors and news column covers the new wargame coming out for the Trek Universe/Star Fleet Battles.  A plug for Dagon 13, a magazine for Mythos fiction is made.  The Immortals set from TSR is announced as well.

We end with ads.

Ok so there is something a little sterile about the recent couple of issues.  Sure the content of the last two has been better than the content of the dozen or so issues before it, but it is lacking some of that White Dwarf charm.  For a lack of a better word it feels a lot like Imagine.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Tale of Two Doctors

Digging through some boxes today and look what I found!


Ok. Technically it belongs to my brother.  But he never played it.


It's still in great condition, but I can't seem to find the dice that went with it or even if it had dice.

I remember mixing in bits of FASA's Star Trek into this to really create a weird ass game.


While the newer Adventures in Time and Space is a better system, FASA Who just has some appeal to me.  Maybe it was when I got it, er, my brother got it.

I am certain there are some conversion coming up in my future!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

White Dwarf Wednesday #72

This week I cover White Dwarf #72 from December 1985.  Not quite sure what I was doing at this time, I was a Junior in High School and generally speaking having a pretty good time of it.  Lee Gibbons provides the Cthulhu-esque cover for this edition.  I remember thinking it was cool when I first saw it.

Open Box has two staples of "why I thought the British were just better" when it came to games.  The FASA Doctor Who RPG was one of my favorite Sci-Fi games ever.  Despite the fact there was some wonkiness with with the timelines (wibbly wobbly) and the system was just the Star Trek one.  I loved it.  It got an 8/10 but looking back on the game now I can see we were all just starved for anything Doctor Who.
Up next is Chaosium's fantastic Pendragon. It got a 9/10 from Graham Staplehurst. It should have gotten a 10/10.  And just to really drive the point home, the only American company to have a game is one of my favorite companies, Pacesetter, delivering a game I had thankfully had forgot about, Wabbit Wampage.  It gets a generous 6/10.

An article on Talisman and the new expansion set is up next after some ads.  It is advertised on the cover as "Expansive Coverage" and it is, but it also feels a little like an advertisement.

Fear of Flying is a short Call of Cthulhu adventure taking place on a plane.
Heroes & Villains this issue covers mad and super science.  It is written generically enough to use in any supers game, or even any steampunk one.

The Necklace of Brisingamen is next. An AD&D adventure for 7-10th level characters.  Pretty high for a magazine adventure.  It is also pretty long too.  It is generic enough to use anywhere, but I like the Nordic feel to it.  My first thought was it could be used as a nice side adventure while doing the whole GDQ series.

Pete Tamlyn covers character generation in Origin of the PCs. While there are some interesting ideas here, in particular to designing a new game, it is my experience that people come to the game with an idea of what they want to do early on.

Sliegh Wars is a Christmas themed board game for 2-4 players. Frankly it just doesn't look that interesting to me.

Crawling Chaos has a bunch of books for characters to read, not players. Too bad really.  But these are still cool and can be used anywhere to provide some color to a Victorian or Modern horror game.

Big ad for the new game Dragon Warriors.

Treasure chest offers up some tables and events for characters.  Things like "Arrested" and "rumors".  Neat idea, but takes control away from the DM and players in my mind.

Tabletop Heroes covers dioramas. I knew this guy in high school that was fantastic at doing these dioramas of the Grenadier lead minis.  I think he rather enjoyed doing those more than the actual gaming to be honest.

The last 14 or so pages are ads, including one for the D&D Masters rules, Marvel Super Heroes and more MERP.

I am happy to still be getting regular CoC and AD&D material.  The adventures are still rather good. There are still some new games being featured.  I am looking forward to seeing some Doctor Who material, if there is any, I don't remember. don't spoil me. Dragon only ever had 2 articles on it if I recall.  More Pendragon is always nice.  I always put Pendragon into that category of "Way Serious RPGs".  I hope it gets covered more in the next 20 some odd issues.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Blogfest: Towel Day Blogfest

Towel Day Blogfest
http://lgkeltner.blogspot.com/2013/04/announcing-towel-day-blogfest.html


This one is easy.  I am going to talk about what is the best RPG to play a "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" game.

So what makes a good Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game?
Well it needs to have a lot of aliens, or at least the ability to make a lot of aliens.  The weirder the better.
Faster Than Light travel is a must.  Lots of different ways to get from A to B.
Things it doens't need. Details.  Remember Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent didn't know how spaceships worked. Especially Arthur.  They didn't care about the trillions of calculation Marvin could do. All Arthur knew was the ship's computer could not make a decent cup of tea.

So lets evaluate my choices.

Warhammer 40k
No.  The HHGTTG is about fun and lighthearted romps through the universe.  Warhammer is where fun  goes to die.  Not saying you couldn't do it, but it would break things too much.  Though HHGTTG does have a Galactic Emperor who is also thousands of years old. Though he is in a state of perpetual death.

Traveller
Ah now we are talking.  I like to ignore a lot of the tech in Traveller anyway.  The publishing firm of Megadodo Publications of Ursa Minor Beta has some similarity to the Traveller's Aid Society, in that they are an organization that gives plot reasons to go all over the Galaxy.  There are plenty of races in Traveller and I bet you there are online resources dating back to the Mainframe and FTP days of resources to play a Hitchhikers Guide-like game in the Traveller universe.

Star Frontiers
Another good choice really.  In fact one of my SF characters was named Zaphod.  SF though doesn't have enough aliens to fit the bill.  Afterall this is a universe where mattresses are grown and not manufactured.

Star Wars or Star Trek (any Version) 
In both cases there is too much emphasis on combat in these games.  Star Trek at least has the exploration bits down. But really too much emphasis on combat really.

No there really is only one game perfect for playing in a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game.

Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space
The new Doctor Who game is perfect for HHGTTG. With it's easy to use (and easy to get out of the way) rules fits the tone of what I want.  The rules also focus on the talkers and the runners not the fighters, so that helps us get past that issue.  Also let's not forget that there is a strong Doctor Who/Hitchhikers connection.  Douglas Adams was the script editor on Doctor Who around the same time he was working on Hitchhikers Guide.  I also always felt his episodes were very much the model of the of the Hitchhikers universe.  I always thought the Zygons and Vogons were the creatures or at least closely related.  There is also the overt connection, the 10th Doctor after his regeneration refers to himself as being "very Arthur Dent" and commenting "now there's a nice man".  Establishing that at least some version of Douglas Adams' worlds exist in Doctor Who canon.

All the characters can be created using the basic Doctor Who rules, Trillian for example is pretty much a Boffin archetype.  Ph.D. in Math and Astrophysics? She is like a 5th Doctor companion.  Ford and Arthur are easy and Zaphod...well Zaphod he is just this guy you know...

So I think my next Doctor Who game might end up being a little bit Hitchhikers as well.
I think I have a few characters I could even use.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

TBBYANR: Author Friends

The next two blogs belong to two people I consider friends. Both were huge help to me when I was working  on Ghosts of Albion.

Bobert the Hoosier expatriate

http://bbovenguy.livejournal.com/
Robert Black is someone I have known for more than 10 years.  We were both deeply involved involved in Willow & Tara fandom over at the Kitten Board. It was in my discussions with him that helped me formulate a lot of the ideas I had for the Dragon and the Phoenix and Season of the Witch.  Bob also came up with the original idea for the Sisters of Paradox.  Tara's father Robert in Season of the Witch is named after him. So I owe the guy a debt of gratitude for all the work we did back on the Kitten.
Bob is a YA author. Something he learned well as a writer on the classic "You Can't Do That on Television" back on Nick.  He is the only writer of that show to have dumped green slime on Alanis Morissette.

Dave Chapman's Autocratik
http://autocratik.blogspot.com/
Dave Chapman was working on Conspiracy X 2.0 the same time I was working on Ghosts of Albion.  I used to comment that only Eden hires a guy from Chicago to write a game about Victorian England and an Brit to write an American Conspiracy game.  We helped each other out a lot and then he had come in and do some playtests on Doctor Who.
Dave talks about a number of topics, but mostly related to games he likes.

I say pop on over and check them both out. If you like what you read there pick up one of their books and tell them I sent you.


This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Challenge: Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (2008)

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (2008)

I might be stretching the definition of "movie" here, but at just about 2 hours I challenge you to find something more frightening than the Vashta Nerada aka "The Shadows that Melt Flesh".

We have mysterious deaths, a monster that hides in the shadows that can strip your flesh bare in seconds AND then use your bones and space suit as a means to walk around.  This is the scariest monster in the Doctor Who universe.  Daleks, aim for the eyestalk. Sontaran, back of the neck.  Cybermen, gold in their chest plate.  Vashta Nerada, just run.

Doctor: "Almost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark, but they’re wrong, because it’s not irrational. It’s Vashta Nerada."

All against the man that monsters have nightmares about;
The Doctor.  When they come after him this is the exchange.

Doctor: Don't play games with me! You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand! I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the Universe. Look me up.
The monsters move  back.

This is a pitch perfect horror episode and no one comes out of it scarred.  I think this quote near the end sums it up.

Donna: How about you, are you alright?
The Doctor: Oh, I'm always all right.
Donna: Is "All right" special time-lord code for... not really all right at all?
The Doctor: Why?
Donna Noble: Because I'm alright too.

Plus not only did this give us one of the scariest monsters for a show known to send kids hiding behind the sofa. It also gave us River Song who might be one of the most interesting characters in the history of Doctor Who.

"When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it'll never end. But however hard you try you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call everybody lives."
- River Song.

Tally: Watched 4, New 3

What are you watching?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Challenge: Ginger Snaps (2000)

Ginger Snaps (2000)

The best thing about cable during Halloween is all of the horror movies you can find.  I remember hearing about this one when it was out and then promptly forgot about it.  No fault of the movie, just me.

The relationship between emergent female sexual  urges and horror/monsters is old ground here at the Other Side.  This though is the first time I have tackled the link between it and the werewolf myths.  We will see later how this plays out in "Jack and Diane", but tonight we have Ginger.

Ginger and her sister Brigette are the weird girls in school. Obsessed with death, dying and all that fun stuff and ignoring the in crowd when they can.  That is till something not-quite a dog bites Ginger.

There is serious Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe about this flick.  Came out right around the same time to be honest, so that is no surprise.

The movie was not was I was suspecting and the ending was a surprise.
I enjoyed it to be honest, I am not a big fan of werewolf movies in general.  The leads were great and I am going to look for them in other movies to see if they are as good as this in all flicks.

Tally: Watched 3, New 3

What are you watching?


Baker Street Justice Society 1899

A very, very cool piece from Paul Hanley.


The Baker Street Justice Society by *PaulHanley on deviantART

Featuring some of my favorite characters from Doctor Who in Victorian times.
This upcoming Christmas we will get another Victorian tale and a new companion, and much to my delight, Vastra and Jenny are back.

Of course I have stated Madame Vastra and Jenny for both Ghosts of Albion and Doctor Who. I really should do some more.  Sherlock Holmes is certain on my to do list.  Jago and Litefoot might also be a lot of fun to do as well.

Maybe a Doctor Who Victorian Age Source book is in order!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Primeval RPG

Primeval is the latest game from the fine folks at Cubicle 7, the same that gave us the excellent Doctor Who RPG.


There is an absolute ton to like about this game.  First, things first, yes. It is the same system as C7's fantastic Doctor Who game.  That end and of itself is enough to merit it a good review.  The system is simple and gets out of the way to allow you to just play the game they way you like.  Secondly let's talk about the art and layout.  Plenty of stills from the series, but the layout is still top notch and the text is easy to read.

So what is Primeval? Well if you have not watched the series in England (or on BBC America here State-side) then you are missing out on some fun.  Basic premise: Anomalies in Time are opening up allowing all sorts of creatures from the past and the future to walk through, whether it is a Dodo or gigangantic Giga-Rex. The team at the Anomaly Research Center have to deal with it.  Which means of course now YOU have to deal with it.  Of course maybe your cast is not with the ARC, instead you could be independent.  Frankly I can't wait to run a game with an investigate news team seeking out anomalies to get them on the news or net.

Like many games, you have basic Attributes.  In this case six of them that are ranked 1 to 6.  These are all point buys, so choose wisely. You also have skills, whit general skills and areas of expertise.  You could be great with Technology, but your specialty is Computer Hacking or Surveillance Systems.  These are also ranked 1 to 6.

The basic rule is Attribute + Skill + 2d6 vs. some Target number.   Simple as it can get really.

You also have various Good and Bad traits that can be bought.  Sometimes these add to your roll, but could subtract from others. These help define who you are.

You character is then topped off with Story Points, which can be used in play.

After all the character creation rules we get a nice bit on Group Creation where you can also buy some Group Traits.

This is followed by the official cast stats including the human adversaries.  We also get some tips on playing ARC-related games.  This is followed by something completely different and we given tips on how to play a "Dinosaur Hunter" style game.  So two campaign models for the price of one.

We get into the basic rules section, including combat and chases.   You spend a lot of time running away from things in Primeval.  There is a nice overview of gadgets and equipment.

Next up descriptions of the various epochs of time.
And the Monsters.  The Monsters of course are the real treat of this book.  Plenty of examples are given and advice on how to create your own beastie from the past, or future.

A Gamemastering section is included on how to run the games. Followed by chapters on Adventures and Conspiracies.

A look into the Future is up next.  Primeval tends to focus mostly on Dinos, I think because Dinosaurs are cool.  But the creatures from the future are also very interesting.

Primeval is a fantastic game that should give a creative GM many, many sessions of adventure.  While there is certain emphasis on dinos coming in from the anomalies, there is no reason to limit it to that.  What about Neanderthals? or worse a victim of the Black Plague wanders into modern London?  The possibilities are endless really.

Now of course I have to mention that the game is compatible with Doctor Who.  It opens up an exponentially growing amount of stories when the two games are combined.  The game becomes worth it for the dinos alone for Doctor Who, or the creatures in Who for Primeval.  Honestly there is no way to go wrong here.

Interestingly enough my original playtest for Doctor Who was called "The Ghost Tower of Inverness, Illinois".  The premise was that there was a Time Beacon in Inverness, IL (which is next door to my town) that malfunctioned and pulled in characters from all over time.  They had to get into the Tower (which looked like a Light House) and fix it.
That playtest would have worked just as well for Primeval.  In fact I might even run it again one day.

If you are a fan of the Doctor Who then get this.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

White Dwarf Wednesday #21

Miss me?  Sorry for the delay last week.  This has been a busy time at work and I have been taking it home with me at night to do instead of this.
Let's get down to business. 


Issue #21 is from Oct/Nov 1980 and it is off to a good start with some cool late 70s/early 80s wizard art.  A lone star focused through gems reveals a fighter in battle.  If it were redone today the gem would be d20 shaped.

We have an ad for Ariel games which in a bit of neat synchronicity features a game reviewed earlier today by James at Grognardia, The Mystic Wood.  This and four other pages of ads follow.

The editorial is another "Ripped from todays blog roll" on whether or not the Vancian magic system is outdated.  Interesting really.  This is 1980, not 2012 and the D&DNext playtest discussion.  Though maybe they should read this editorial.  Not that the offered solution, the power point system in RuneQuest, is much more modern today, but it bears thinking about.
There is also a note about their production artist, Robert Owens, who was killed in a crash.  

Andrew Finch gives us a new D&D class based on The Chronicle of Thomas Covenant.  "Lore of the Land" features the Lore Lords.  They are an uber spell casting class that can combine their spell casting levels to cast more powerful spells and increasing the fighting ability of others.  Something like a hyper-bard. Also detailed are Rhadmaerl, or a new type of magic user based on the Lore of Stone and the Hirebrand or Lillianrill, magic uses based on the Lore of Wood. And finally the Bloodgurd, a type of fighter.  If you are a fan of the novels then these might be fine, but as character classes they look a little over powered, with the exception of the Bloodguard.

Roger E. Moore gives us a bit on Merchants.  Including what they do and an NPC class for them. Very much an example of the early days when every profession had to be detailed as a class.

Open Box review Azhanti High Lightning, one of the classic classics of Travleler. Andy Slack gives it 8/10, James gives it a little bit more detail.  Roger Sandell reviews Intruder from Task Force Games, giving it a 6/10. He states it is a "good idea, but needs improvement".   John Lambshed reviews another Task Force Games entry, Valkenburg Castle.  This one fares better at 8/10.

Letters deals with important issues like alignment and why does a lantern burn for 24 hours but the same flask of oil thrown lasts only a round.

Up nest is another complete mini-game Survival by Bob McWilliams. Seems simple and quick to play.

Treasure chest is upping their game this issue with a bunch (15) new spells.

Fiend Factory gets a huge makeover this issue.  For starters the layout is better and the monsters are all grouped by a theme. In this case wilderness monsters for characters of 5th to 7th level.
The font used to write the monsters' names is now a plain one, not the stylized art font unique to every monster.  Monstermarks are still included.  The monsters themselves also seem to have been taking up a notch in terms of design.  The jokey monsters are gone, replaced with real threats. This issue gives us The Brothers of the Pine (undead full of magical pine sap), Chthon (a living rock), Enslaver (a small pool of mercury that controls others), Micemen (the results of Brownie/Orc crossbreeding), Dragon Warriors (created from the teeth of dragons), Grey Sqaargs (a race of evil automata) and a Cyclops.

Starbase, the Traveller feature, continues with a mini "situation" for Traveller.  We would call these an Encounter today.

S. Hartley presents the Tomb of the Maharaja, an AD&D mini-module for 6-10 3rd and 4th level characters.  It is a nice little dungeon crawl that could be completed in one night.

Up next are some ads, including this one from Games Workshop that really got my attention.



Remember when I said at the start of this that anything British was automatically cool in my teenaged mind.
Here is a better scan of the Doctor Who board game that I mentioned last time.



With issues 20 and 21 we see a shift in WD to a more mature gaming magazine.  The jokey monsters and classes are going away and focus on other games, like Traveller, is keeping the focus more of serious gaming material.

Let's see if this trend continues.

Links
Some links to other White Dwarf retrospective reviews

An older RPG Net thread that goes issue by issue
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?405199-In-which-I-read-White-Dwarf-from-issue-1

A newer EN World one that reviews 10 issues at a time to get a better perspective on the overall trends.
http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/325009-white-dwarf-first-100-issues-read-through-review.html

And other Magazine retrospectives:

Grognardia takes us back to the future every Tuesday with his Ares retrospectives.

Land of Nod does Dragon by Dragon every Sunday.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Willow and Tara: Doctor Who Adventures in Time & Space

I think it is an obvious conclusion, but if Willow and Tara had been characters during Russel T. Davies run of Doctor Who, they would have fared far, far better than they did on some other show.  Heck even under Steven  "Tipping the Scales" Moffat they would have been better off.

But that is the fantastic thing about RPGs.  They let us go places and do things we otherwise never could.

So what you have Willow and Tara been like as companions to the Doctor?

Willow, the Doctor, Tara and the Dodecahedron (my clock-face d12)
Well let's take them back a bit to when they were younger, maybe when Tara first showed up on the show.  Given that it is tempting then to use my WitchCraft RPG stats as a point of origin.  But there is an issue with that.  There is no magic really in the Doctor Who universe.  There are plenty of things that look like it and there are psychic abilities, but nothing like the magic I typically have the girls doing.  So for completeness sake I am going to look at stats I did about the same time the 10th Doctor was doing his thing. Something like my FudgeChill or Mutants and Masterminds stats. So maybe instead I'll go with their ages then.

So here is an idea.  Play up Willow's tech back ground a lot more.  She becomes, what is known in the game is a Boffin. Some one that can argue with the Doctor on tech and science. Sort of like what River Song can do now or how Romana was.   Tara is still shy and quiet, but she has a very good reason, she is psychic.  Like scary psychic. Makes for some great plots and gives me something weird and alien to work with, maybe even giving her some Carrionite ancestry.

I like it.

Willow Rosenberg (circa 2006)
Story Points: 12

Attributes
Awareness 2
Coordination 2
Ingenuity 6
Presence 3
Resolve 4
Strength 2

Skills
Athletics 1
Convince 1
Craft 2
Fighting 1
Knowledge 4
Marksman 0
Medicine 2
Science 4
Subterfuge 0
Survival 1
Technology 4
Transport 1

Traits
Ambidextrous (not in the book, but in my reality), Attractive, Boffin, Photographic Memory, Technically Adept, Insatiable Curiosity

Equipment
Laptop, Smart Phone (PDA Phone)

Home Tech Level: 5

Nationality: American
Profession: Software Engineer
Education: B.S. in Computer Science, 2003 University of California, Magna Cum Laude


Tara Maclay (circa 2006)
Story Points: 10 (2 points used)

Attributes
Awareness 4
Coordination 2
Ingenuity 4
Presence 2
Resolve 3
Strength 3

Skills
Athletics 1
Convince 0
Craft 1
Fighting 1
Knowledge 3
Marksman 0
Medicine 1
Science 2
Subterfuge 1
Survival 1
Technology 2
Transport 1

Traits
Attractive, Animal Friendship, Empathic, Psychic, Telekinesis, Telepathy, Code of Conduct, Eccentric

Equipment
Cellphone

Home Tech Level: 5

Nationality: American
Profession: Part time QMHP.
Education: B.A. in Art History, 2003 University of Southern California, Cum Laude,
M.A. in Psychology, Counseling emphasis, 2005 University of Southern California.

Looks good to me.  Now to see if they will ever run into Vastra and Jenny.
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