Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kittenboard

Back in the day I spent a lot of time on Discussion Boards.  Lots and lots of time.  The board though arguably I spent the most time on was The Kitten Board.

The Kitten Board, also known as "The Kitten" is short for "The Kitten, The Two Witches, and  The Bad Wardrobe".  As can be gleaned from the name, it is a board dedicated to Willow and Tara.  Members are also known as Kittens.

The Kitten was my place to go back in the early part of the 2000s.  I had started my WitchCraft based Willow and Tara game back in 2001 and was told I really need to visit "the Kitten" since it was the place for Willow and  Tara fans.  I did and was hooked.  It was through the Kitten that I met all sorts of great people.  All of the authors and players in my Willow & Tara games "The Dragon and the Phoenix" and "Season of the Witch" as well as meeting Christopher Golden and Amber Benson.

Back in 2001 I lost my dot com job like so many others so I was at home for a while looking for a new job.  I was laid off on Sept. 10, 2001.  So I was at home on Sept 11, 2001 and watched the whole World Trade Center on TV.  I worked back and forth between the Kitten and the TV to see what was going on.  That was the start of my time there.

Of course we were the first to also learn that Tara was going to be killed.  It was my rather vocal opposition to this on the Kitten that got me the attention of several of the shows writers.  While some were pissed at us, I also had others that secretly agreed with me and were sending my copies of the scripts as soon as he could.

We ran a charity event and raised over $8,000.00 to support the Trevor Project.  That was at the time (and I think of all time) that any "Buffy" based board had ever raised for charity.  Recently Amber Benson herself donated to the Trevor Project with the help of the Kitten Board.

One thing the Kitten is most remembered for is of course the "Dead/Evil Lesbian Cliché FAQ".   IF you have not read it, then please do.  While Whedon/Mutant Enemy may not have set out to tell a clichéd, ultimately they did exactly that. Intentions are good for the Road to Hell.  Before you start quoting Season 7 or the godawful comic keep in mind when this was written and that all those later things happened after Whedon and co had to answer the question of why Tara had to die a 1000 times and are still be asked about today. they were wrong and now ten years later I see more people saying "the Kittens were right".

10 years later the Kitten is still going when many of the other boards that were around at the same time are distant memories.

I don't get into boards much anymore.  I hated the fighting between them that made the Edition Wars look like two first graders pushing each other on the play ground.  I hated some of the cliqueness of it all.   I still have close to 5000 posts there, which is not a lot given that it is 10 years old, but a lot if you consider I did most of those in the first 3 years.

I know one thing though, I'll always have a home at the Kitten.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Justice is Blind, Issue 4: Icons

Yesterday I talked about Icons.  Today I want to see how my paragon, Justice would fare.

I have detailed Justice in previous posts.  Her introduction and Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Ed stats, stats for the BASH! RPG and for Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Ed / DC Adventures.  This would be issue #4 of the Justice is Blind comic.  Each issue and each build had a "theme".  Issue 1 of course is her origin story and her current situation, Issue 2 is told in flashbacks with the current tale of her training with the Amazons and her early life.  Issue 3 was more flashbacks though now her training with Bruce.
Issue 4 will be more recent flashbacks, her work with DA Barbara Gordon and her getting into Law School.  I should suppose that here would be the best time to introduce some boy friend for her, but allude that ended really badly, possibly refrigerator badly.
Icons is really about action, so this would be the episode where she gets to conk some heads.

Since one of the things I like most about Icons is the presentation of their character sheets, here is Justice in an Icons style character sheet. Click for larger.

Over all the game reminds me a bit of Bash and M&M. Which should be no surprise.  The one thing we don't have yet is an arch villain for her.   I am going to have to think of something.  Something appropriate to her.  So the archvillain should be someone all about anarchy.  Maybe that is it.  Her nemisis is Anarchy (not Anarky).

Just a thought.

DriveThru April Codes

It's a new month, and once again DriveThruRPG has provided codes for my loyal readers.

This month’s code is DTRPGAprilPodBlog2011 and you can use it to get 20% these PDFs
AND there is a special code to get all these products for FREE.  

To get that code here is what I need:

In the comments section please post an adventure idea that uses elements from all these games.
Please include your contact in the post (such as email if it is not on your profile) so I can email you the code.

Have fun!!

J is for Jabberwock

Jabberwocky for Ghosts of Albion.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jub Jub bird
And shun the frumious bandersnatch!

The Jabberwock might be a type of dragon, a creature of faerie or even a demon of some sort.  Two things are know for sure.  The seemingly non-sense poem, Jabberwocky by Lewis Caroll is a clever bit of occult poetry in disguise, designed to keep the Jaberwock away from Albion's shores.
The second thing that is known is that the Jabberwock elsewhere is a very real threat.

There are very, very few occult texts on the Jabberwock, and the ones that do mention it refer to it simplly as a type of dragon.  The Jabberwock though is no mere dragon but a force of pure chaos; a creature of insanity made whole.  There is debate on whether or not Caroll actually encountered the Jabberwock himself, but if he did it would have been before his 1872 poem "Jaberwocky", and even possibly before 1855.

The Jabberwock is a terrible foe.  Difficult to hit and even harder to kill. It can reattach limbs that have been severed by common weapons, and even magic is deflected away from it.  It is usually found only in the tulgey wood where it can be heard "burbling" by the Tumtum trees.

Name: Jabberwock
Motivation: To cause chaos
Creature Type: Unknown
Attributes: Str 14, Dex 6, Con 9, Int 3, Per 6, Will 3
Ability Scores: Muscle 34, Combat 24, Brains 12
Life Points: 220
Drama Points: 2
Special Abilities: Armour Value 8, Attractiveness –6, Breathe Fire, Flash, Flight, half damage from Bash attacks, Increased Life Points, Innate Magic, Resilience, Unique Kill (Decapitation, Vorpal Sword).

Name              Score   Damage           Notes
Bite                 22        47                    Slash/stab
Claw               24        34                    Slash/stab
Eyes of Flame 24         10+SLx3         Fire damage 
Deflect            15                           Magic defence action; deflects spells 45º

The Jabberwock can send fire from it's eyes..  All bu the greatest magics will bounce off the Jabberwock.

Reducing it to 0 or fewer Life Points only slows down the might Jabberwock as it will begin to regenerate itself.  The Jabberwock can not regenerate lost LP during combat, but once it is dead it will regnerate at the rate of 9 LP per hour.  The only way to kill a Jabberwock is to cut off it's head with a Vorpal Sword.

The Vorpal Sword
All is known about a vorpal sword is that it is the finest weapon of the land and that even in the hands of a novice it can lead them to victory over a great opponent.  What is most well know about the vorpal sword is that on a perfect strike, it will sever the head from an opponent in one swoop.
There are many theories about the vorpal sword including ascertaining if there is more than one or if it is an unique weapon.   Rumors also include that it is the Word of Law, forged into a weapon. It would make it oddly appropriate then that the only thing that can kill a chaotic creature like this, is the Word of Law forged into a sword.
The vorpal sword adds +2 to die rolls for sword combat and is deadly sharp.  Damage is Strx6 and must be wielded in both hands. Decapitation damage for it is x6 regular damage.

Though if the true Jabberwock is unkown, the other creatures are a complete mystery; The Frumious Bandersnatch, believed to be some large pack animal, and the Jub Jub Bird.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My First Award!

Back when the Other Side was just my website and not a blog I used to love getting awards.  Well I finally got one for this site as a blog!

Deirdra Eden-Coppel of "A Storybook World" sent me her award!

Go over to her site and check it out.  I had been to her site before, so I knew of her and her award.  Her site is cute and quirky and I like that.  I am going to have to check out her books sometimes as well.

So here is my very first blog award and I display proudly.

Besides, I can't say no to a woman in cute faerie wings no matter how hard I try.  It's a personal failing I know.

I is for Icons


I enjoy Supers games. I don't get to play them as often as I would like, but I enjoy them all the same.  I had been playing M&M 2ed and just picked up BASH! so I was hesitant to also get Icons.  But Icons comes with a pretty good pedigree.  First it is written by Steven Kenson, who gave us Mutants and Masterminds and also worked on Silver Age Sentinels.  Steve obviously knows his supers.  It has Gareth-Michael Skarka of Adamant Entertainment and one of the minds behind "Hong Kong Action Theater". Walt Ciechanowski has a ton of game systems under his belt too including M&M, True20 and Victoriana (1st ed). And Morgan Davie, whom I'll admit I am not as familiar with.  But he is one of the guys that wrote Icons, so that makes him good in my book.

Comics are a visual medium.  Full of art and color and eye catching action.  Icons is the same.  It is a really good looking book, especially one that has such a "retro" or even "indie" feel to it.  It lives somewhere between the free flowing cartoon fun of Cartoon Action Hour and the slick, high production values of Mutants and Masterminds.  All three of these games are fantastic and their style really tells us a lot about what they are about.  Icons is a comic book game that is close to a Saturday Morning Super Heroes cartoon.  The art, which some people have disliked, I think sets the perfect mood for this book.  It is simple art, but it is good art and has a earnestness about that I like.  That is also true for the rules.

Icons, as you may or may not have heard, is powered by FATE. Though the typical FATE/Fudge trappings of naming the power levels is gone in favor of numbers (sort of a step backwards from the FATE perspective, but fine for me). There is the option for named levels too, and I think it would fit the style of comic book action, but I myself prefer numbers. The scale is pretty simple, 1 to 10, with 3 an average.  So very similar already to a lot of games I play.

The rules themselves are really simple.  It is a modification of the dF system.  Use 2d6 with one as positive and one as negative, roll and add, apply mods.  Easy.  You can be up and running in less time than it takes to say "Meanwhile back at the Hall of Justice..."

Hero creation is unique for a modern game, it is random.  Not that you couldn't do it as a "point buy" system, but the randomness is what I think sets it away from BASH which can fill similar needs.

I feel I must at this point call out the Character Sheet.  Long ago I was a reader of Marvel and I  loved their "Whos Who" of the Marvel universe where they would have bar charts to rank their heroes on various attributes.  It was almost very game-like and I loved them.  Icons does something similar and it really gives their characters a different feel.

I would be lying if I didn't see bits of pieces of Silver Age Sentinels or Mutants and Masterminds peeking out every so often.  That is fine with me.  That familiarity is a good thing in my mind.

Icons is not really the game I would use if I were going to run a multi-year, multi-arc long game; that's what Mutants and Masterminds is for.  But if I needed to run a supers game on a rainy afternoon or a convention or just something to have some fun with, then Icons is a great choice.

I also picked up The Mastermind Affair and it is a great little adventure that gives you the feel on how to run an Icons game.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lantern Corp: Confidence

So my boys have been getting into Green Lantern a lot lately and have enjoyed all the new Lantern Corps in the whole emotional spectrum deal from "Blackest Night".

So I got them some rings, a green for my youngest and a blue for my oldest, their favorite colors.  Today my oldest decided that he needed a new one; Aquamarine.   Here is his logic:

"Aquamarine rings are for Green Lanterns that are exceptional. They are the best so they get a Blue Ring, but it becomes like Turquoise or Aquamarine.  Their power comes from Confidence."

So he drew a picture (then we later did it up in Photoshop) and he wrote their oath.

Here is the oath according to Liam:

In wounded day, in Bleeding night
Confidence shall rise
To the sight of Aquamarine Light!

If we come up with an Aquamarine Lantern character we will stat him up in M&M3/DCA for you all to see.