Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Uncle Happy's Trailer Bonanza 3: Encounter Critical Edition!

Submitted for you today a selection of trailers from movies I think drip with the amazing zany RPGness that is Encounter Critical!

The next one is a trailer for the infamous "Turkish Star Wars"!

That's what I'm talking about!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cause I'm Busy: Five Links!

Winneconne, Wisconsin: Nothing to do with gaming or movies, just my secong home town.

Brian Blessed does snooker commentary: It starts out quiet, then...

Super Crusaders: A free rpg that has the feel of classic Villains & Vigilantes.

The Cosmology Compendium: A fine selection of comic book timelines. Not updated since '06 but still worth the look.

Needs by ArjaiH: A BtVS/NCIS/Ghost Rider/Dracula crossover on Twisting the Hellmouth. Fan fiction crossovers may not be your game, but read this one. On a parallel 1954, Buffy, Xander, and Willow must team up with redeemed monsters to fight more monsters. I'm not doing this justice. I would so roleplay in this world.

And my Wu-Tang name today is Drunken Ninja. Just saying.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fourth World Mythos or Jack Kirby in Deities & Demigods

I’m in the middle of getting a “new” computer (my aunt’s Windows XP) and assorted family business. Because of this, I haven’t been doing any extensive posting or writing this past week. But I had this brainstorm, sparked from a comment by max from malevolent & benign here.

Imagine if, somehow, someway, TSR was able to get the rights from DC Comics to use some properties created by Jack Kirby in one of their books. The book is Deities and Demigods. The characters are the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips. Welcome to the Fourth World Mythos.

The introduction would give the origins of New Genesis and Apokolips, and the struggle between them. The Plane of these New Gods would be classified as an Alternate Prime Material Plane, like the Aztec Gods in the Central American Mythos. Like the Norse Mythos, members of the Fourth World Mythos adventure sometimes with their worshipers. And, one can suppose that Earth is not the only planet (plane) they can visit.

There are plenty of gods, heroes and monsters to choose from in the Fourth World Saga that could be adapted towards an AD&D setting to interesting effect. Kirby often worked with mythological archetypes in his comic book work, and these is evident throughout. (This is also used to excellent effect in The Eternals for Marvel Comics). Also, many of the science type gadgets wielded in the Fourth World Saga can easily be “bent” to a fantasy style setting.

An AD&D campaign using elements of Kirby’s Fourth World would be kind of awesome. Your 15th level fighter could battle Parademons in the service of Glorious Godfrey, god of treachery and persuasion, who is trying to take over the countryside. I’m thinking Mother Boxes as artifacts and prizes to quest for, and monks who live outside of time meditating on the writings of Metron. I see clerics who tap into the Source to cast their spells and assassins who use the dark knowledge of Kanto the Assassin and Desaad to slay their victims. High-level anti-paladins of Darkseid search the Outer Planes for the Anti-Life Equation, as the Hounds of Orion stalk the servants of their god’s father.

Can your party of 20th level characters venture into the dark Orphanage of Granny Goodness to rescue their mentor, Mister Miracle, God of Escapes and his Consort, Barda the Protector? Wouldn’t it be neat to try?

Sources for the Fourth World Saga by Jack “The King” Kirby:

Jack Kirby's Fourth World on Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random City: Three Characters for Risus

I loves me some Risus, written by the diabolical S. John Ross. I believe that it is one of the best free RPGs of all time. Risus is a deceptively simple 6 pages of solid RPG power that can run anything imaginable. I also like to use Risus as roleplaying shorthand to describe characters. You can find more about Risus and download a copy of the rules on this handy dandy Risus home page here.

The characters below are from one of those projects I never really got off the ground. It was to be a collection of characters for Modern Dark Science Fantasy type settings using Risus as the game crunch. Think Disney's Gargoyles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Army of Darkness, etc. I didn’t have a definitive setting in mind, so in the initial notes I used the name Random City as a setting reference. The name stuck in my mind, so I’m using it here.

Detective Jack Chaykin, Random City Police Department

Description: While many of Random City’s police force try to avoid the strangeness of the city, Detective Jack Chaykin relishes it. His unfasability has made him the Random City Police Department’s unofficial liaison with the Supernormal community. It is a role Jack has come to love. Yet he is troubled by recent events that may make him chose between his friends and the force.

Clichés: Unfazable Police Detective (4), Cheerful Weirdness Magnet (3), A Friend to All (3), Gourmet Cook (2)

Hook: Torn Between Duty and Friends. Jack takes a penalty in situations where he must chose between friends and duty.

Sofia Eastman, Robot Huntress

Description: A refugee from an alternate earth controlled by a benevolent robotic empire. Sofia Eastman is a hunter of rogue robots who threaten both humans and robot. In her world she was charged to eliminate mechanoids who had gone “crazy”. An Interdimensional Crisis that ravaged the multiverse 2 years before brought Sofia to this world. In Random City, Sofia has found a niche as a police consultant dealing with rogue robots and psychotic AIs.

: Obsessively Focused Robot Huntress (4), Urban Survivalist From Another Earth (3), Borderline Psychotic Driver (2), Police Consultant Because She Has Nothing Better to Do (2)

Hook: No Social Skills Whatever: Sofia takes a penalty in most social situations due to her lifetime dedication to being a robot hunter.

Dr. Daniel Straub, Genetic Scientist

Description: The upswing in the appearance of Supernormals of all stripes had led many scientists to try to crack the secrets of their powers and abilities. Dr. Daniel Straub, a former government employee, has set up shop in Random City to study such powers. His intentions are to discover and codify the sources of these abilities, and explore the strange one he has developed. Dr. Straub has found himself drawn into the conflicts in Random City; he is no longer merely an observer anymore.

Clichés: Ex-Government Genetic Scientist (4), Surprisingly Efficient Street Brawler (3). Collector of Strange Fortean Facts (3), Remote Viewing Novice (2)

Hooks: His Past. Dr. Straub’s past has a habit of bursting back into his life at the most inopportune times.

I got the pictures above through Google Images. They are Neal McDonough, Lisa Ann Russell, and Andrew Divoff, respectively. I'm also thinking of doing stats for these character in other rules. Maybe, maybe not. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Gary Gygax Story

This blog entry is a response to a suggested one-day Blog Memorial in remembrance of Gary Gygax, who died a year ago today. Unclebear had the idea. Now here is my humble response.

How Gary Gygax Signed My Gen Con Program

The first time I met Gary Gygax was Gen Con/Origins 88 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Mecca Convention Center was only 6-7 miles away from my house so I went on Saturday. My father gave me $20 ($5 to get in on a visitors pass, $15 for spending money) to set me lose. I was walking around the convention hall and saw Gary at a booth. There was no one else around. He may have been resting after a demo or seminar or eating lunch, I don’t know. All I knew was that one of the Fathers of Gaming was sitting there, and I had to meet him.

I walked over and introduced myself. He smiled and offered his hand to me. I shook it, then preceded to ramble on for three to four minutes about my love of roleplaying and D&D. Gary just nodded and listened, probably hearing me say things that he had heard for a thousand times before. I saw some people coming towards him, so I said thank you to Gary for letting a 15-year-old fanboy talk to him. He said your welcome and shook my hand again.

Suddenly, I had the urge to get his signature. But I realized that I had not bought anything at Gen Con that was authored, designed, or inspired by Gary Gygax. Then inspiration struck. I turned around to Gary, with my Gen Con/Origins 1988 program book in my hand.

“Can you sign my program, Mr. Gygax?” I asked. “You’re one of the reasons that all these games are here.”

Gary looked at me funny for a moment, and then he smiled and chuckled. On the first page of the program book he signed Gary Gygax. He handed the program book back to me.

I thanked Gary again, and he thanked me in return. Placing the program in my official Gen Con bag, I began to wander around the Exhibit Hall once again.

So in the vast Mike David Jr. archives is my collection of every Gen Con program from 1988 to 2008. The one with the cover long since fallen off has the signature of Gary Gygax written on the first page. I keep that one on the top of the pile.

And that’s my Gary Gygax story. Rest in peace, Gary.