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Ken Hite, LJ's own [livejournal.com profile] princeofcairo and one of the best RPG writers out there today, is going to be at Dragonmeet in Kensington on Saturday, along with Robin D. Laws.
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Mind the Gap Banner

I think a couple of you ([livejournal.com profile] invisible_al and [livejournal.com profile] wulfboy in particular) might like to see the banner for a new RPG campaign I'll be running in about a month or so .... :-)

ETA: It's going to be Neverwhere meets Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels using the Unknown Armies system.

No player spaces left, I'm afraid.

Yes, I am an awful tease.
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So Gary Gygax died earlier in the week; one of the creators of Dungeons and Dragons and therefore directly responsible for me knowing about half of my really good friends.

I don't really want to write a eulogy; my head isn't in the right place for that. But I am amused (and hope he would be too) by the way that he has permeated geek culture to such an extent that tributes to him are popping up in so many places.

Take webcomics, for example. Order of the Stick, unsurprisingly, devotes a full comic to Gary. It's a strip about D+D, so that's to be expected. John Kovolic is more direct, but no less loving. Even Penny Arcade turned out something "bordering on the semi-tasteful".

The surprises are in the comics that aren't about gaming, though. Take Questionable Content for example. It's a soap opera webcomic set in some town in the US, based around the lives of several young people in their teens and early 20's. One of them, Dora, is old (25!) and owns a coffee shop called Coffee 'O' Doom, where the abuse is as fresh as the coffee. QC has never really mentioned gaming in any way; it's always been far more about music.

Check out the blackboard.

The best one though? That has to be handed to XKCD.com. As always, the joke is in three places; the title of the comic, the comic itself, and the alt text of the image. For that reason, I'm not going to post the comic here. Visit the site. Lets be honest, if you like geek humo[u]r, you'll thank me anyway.
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I'm skimming some images, gathering resources for a game I'm writing at present. 5 minutes spare in Google Images, just getting inspiration.

And suddenly I find that everything is connected.

I'm not going to put anything else, because at least two of the players in the game could read this, but I wanted to mark just how amused I was.

And with that cryptic statement, adios.

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An illustrated list, with citations, of Japanese monsters. It includes my favourite, the Kappa, as well as many others, including the Te-naga and Ashi-naga - that's a pair of demons; one with infeasibly long legs, the other with infeasibly long arms.

Well worth a browse.
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More a bookmark for myself again, but http://bankuei.blogspot.com/2006/02/flag-framing_03.html is an interesting idea on how to prepare for improvisation within a game.
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In a lovely example of Web2.0 being used for games first and foremost, here's a Flash flight sim which uses GoogleMaps to generate the landscape you're flying over.
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Warning - geek post ahead.

http://www.rpg.net has a new feature - a gaming index, created by the readers. You can add in a gaming supplement that you have, rate it, and discuss it. Or if someone else has already added it, you can flag that you own it, or that you want a copy.

That's not so bad.

What's bad is that you can go through the list of products for a gaming line, all on one screen, and tick the box that says "I own this" and you get a little green bar around the box.

People who have seen my bookshelves may see where this is going.

So I went to the Ars Magica page, and started idly ticking boxes. And by the time I'd reached the bottom of the page, with its 60 items, I found that I had perhaps 15 unticked.

And that's when the collector-boy-gene kicked in and said "you know, it probably wouldn't take a lot of effort to complete that list."

The collector-boy-gene lies, of course. One of the items on the list is so rare that the last time it was for sale on ebay, it went for $500+. And a lot of the supplements I'm missing are adventures, and I don't like buying adventures for games - they're based of such a different approach to the way I want to tell stories that I either stripmine them for ideas or read through them, harumph and then put them back on the shelf.

But those poor lines without the green bars are calling to me.

I must be strong.
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Taken from this thread on RPG.net about representing Gotham City in UA.

So instead of just Batman as sad serial killer rapist, imagine a rich kid raised by his obsessive family butler, brought up on a diet of fear and obsession and violence and revenge. Imagine him being let loose on the streets at night, to wreak havoc on the criminal underworld,possibly by the authorities, slowly ascending as the Bogeyman, returning each morning to his family manor and the cave he sleeps in, in the dark. Imagine if another person walking the path of the Bogeyman, this time obsessed with clowns, comes onto the scene...they go to war, each one trying to ratchet up the fear they cause. The PCs, occult investigators, trying to figure out the truth, get caught in the middle of this war between these two vying for Ascension. That's more like UA, to my mind, although your mileage may vary.

Credit and kudos to Eric Brennan for the above.
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Heroes are defined by their Virtues.

Villains are defined by their Flaws.

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So I am going to profitably spend the next couple of hours destroying all humans.

I haven't done it for a while, and you know what humans are like - if you don't keep them under control, they get everywhere.
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There's a cool article on character creation over at http://www.rpg.net/columns/building/building1.phtml - it's seven rules for building a better character.

It fits a lot of what I try to do with game contracts, and is not a bad framework at all to look at when starting a campaign. I don't agree with it 100%, but it's worth a look.
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Last night at our Legend of the Five Rings game, we were discussing gaming tables, and how it would be so cool to project a map onto a table so that you didn't keep needing to redraw them with dry-wipe markers. The talk turned to how it would be better to project from underneath, through the table surface rather than from above, where people's hands would cause shadows to appear. I realised that I could do this quite happily in my living room if I was willing to cut a hole through into the basement so that the projector could be sufficiently far away from the table surface to project a good sized map.

Anyway, Philips have beaten us to it. To quote from their press release,

“Entertaible allows the players to engage in a new class of electronic games which combines the features of computer gaming, such as dynamic playing fields and gaming levels, with the social interaction and tangible playing pieces, such as pawns and dies, of traditional board games.

Its capabilities could breathe new interactive life into conventional multi-player board and electronic games. This may include, for example, using a portion of the touch screen to allow private tactical information to be shown to specific players only. Other enhancements to the gaming experience could include ‘play-based’ rule explanation and feedback tips; the ability to electronically store large numbers of games, which could include rekindling those of the past without requiring large amounts of physical storage space for conventional boxes; instant retrieval of part-played games; on-line access to new or trial games; and a fast, simple set-up.”

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