Monday, June 30, 2014

Time to put my thinking cap on...

+Robin English-Bircher and I have been playing a weird little InuYasha-ish Japanese gods duet for a bit, but it seems to be coming to the end of its natural lifespan.  Duet games tend to burn out really quickly -- at least, they do when I run them -- because the condensed nature of character growth and frequency of play just fast-forwards through the plot development.  Now I need a new duet setting.  We've played multiple The King is Dead duets and Robin (rightfully) wants something more romantic than giant monster fights, so I need to come up with some pitches:

Elminster's Ecologists
Genre: Fantasy
The Forgotten Realms' answer to Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin is a ragged team of druids and rangers who try to study animal-intelligence monsters and relocate them away from populated areas without resorting to using deadly force. (It wouldn't actually have anything to do with Elminster; the title's a pun off some supplements Greenwood wrote.)

Fab Flannel Five
Genre: Modern
What if Jem and the Holograms and Singles had a baby?  A story about the glamorous side of rock stardom, full of improbable band battles and over-the-top melodrama, set to the soundtrack of our twenties. Between fighting their heroin addictions and saving whales, our Doc Martens-clad protagonists are winning surfing contests and solving crimes.

Pride and Kicking Ass
Genre: Wuxia
Pride and Prejudice set amidst the anachronistic, fantastical jianghu underworld of  martial artists and vagabonds.  “Elizabeth Bennett” is the daughter of a small-time -- but well-respected -- kung fu master.  Her life is turned upside-down when "Mr. Bingley" arrives to take over his post as the Imperial governor, accompanied by the frustratingly accomplished martial artist "Mr. Darcy" and the dashing but ambitious military officer "George Wickham."  (There might be hopping vampires and nine-tailed foxes, but I'm not sure.)

Princess Errant
Genre: Swashbuckling/Fantasy
In a vaguely 17th century fairy tale realm of elected royalty and anthropomorphic animal-people, the adopted daughter of Queen Freddie is about to embark on her Grand Tour.  Duels will be fought, loves will be won and lost, and a princess will find her prince.

Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Beyond the mundane realms lies a world of magic, liberal arts, and substance abuse.  Borrowing the college-centric Setting Rules of East Texas University, this would eschew the Buffy-style grounding in realism for a college populated by vampires, werewolves, witches, and other monsters.  Think Rosario + Vampire Goes to College.

Travis University
Genre: Modern Horror
Or we could take the ETU Player's Guide and use it to make up a "haunted UT" equivalent to ETU's "haunted A&M."  It would have a better arts scene...


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!: Don Figueroa

Finding figure flat-ready art for super robots has turned out to be tougher than finding it for kaiju.  Here's some pretty pictures by Transformers artist Don Figueroa that fit the bill:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pacific Rim 2 on the way!

And of course, the whole Internet wants it to also be Godzilla 2

So... This happened yesterday:

Guillermo del Toro announced that Pacific Rim 2 is in serious development, with an animated series to accompany it and more comics on the way too.  I wasn't actually all that impressed by the movie when I first saw it, but it has certainly grown on me.  (Basically, I expected something more original than what it was, and now I've settled in to enjoying it for what it does achieve.  Also, I love the score.)  Regardless, it kicked off a crazed spree of mecha and  kaiju posts on this blog, and I look forward to the sequel. 

Now I just need to sell some publisher on financing my Savage Worlds kaiju vs. mecha setting before 2017... 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Setting Rule: Fighting Spirit

+Jerrod Gunning and the guys are discussing how to run anime-flavored games in Savage Worlds tonight and -- as usual -- I won't be able to attend.  Here's a quickie setting rule suggestion for running shonen anime-style fights:

Fighting Spirit

When a Wild Card is Incapacitated in a combat, she may make an unpenalized Spirit Roll.  One wound is healed for each success and raise on the roll.  Characters  may attempt a Fighting Spirit roll once per Rank per combat scene.  In settings where power points are used, this Fighting Spirit roll also restores 5 power points per success, up to the character's normal maximum.  Fighting Spirit applies to both player and non-player Wild Cards.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kaiju Haiku recently ran an article about a Godzilla haiku Tumblr. 

Haiku in Japanese consist of two juxtaposed ideas and a seasonal reference that frames the poem in the context of the natural world.  It is not mopey free verse sliced into a 5-7-5 stanza.  Those poems are not Godzilla haiku.

These are kaiju haiku:

The roaring typhoon
Carries destruction west
From Odo Island.

Red leaves falls into
The bonfire of Mount Aso.
Rodans mate for life.

On Monster Island,
Unwelcome snow blankets all.
Father and son sleep.

Diamond and ruby
Explode.  Fireworks light the sky,
Ghidorah, and Gigan.

Cherry blossoms fall,
Burning through the soot and dust
Above San Francisco

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!: There Have Always Been Dragons

Kwinn paused for a moment, surveying the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall before entering.  The Princess Kaji stood with her back to him, staring up at the stuffed and mounted body of the giant ape that greeted visitors to the AMNH.  Families and students drifted amongst the exhibits.  Kwinn Martin recognized a Soviet agent and a pair of Red Chinese, but he knew they posed no danger today.

He walked up to the princess, taking his turn to admire the lifelike remains of the Eighth Wonder of the World.  Kong’s face was forever frozen in a defiant roar, but his body was simply too massive to be posed with his arms raised, so his body was bent humbly despite his fierce expression.  Kwinn was reminded of the many Japanese he knew.  He turned to look at the young woman he was meeting, who looked so Japanese but wasn’t at all.

Kaji looked up at the monster with pity in her dark, dark eyes.  She was as still as a mannequin herself, standing with a poise and confidence that was anything but humble.  Her long black hair streamed down her back, her skin was porcelain-pale, and her defiant tailored jacket and trousers were snug to her shapely body.  The words “stuffed and mounted” swam through Kwinn’s brain.

“The dinosaurs were killed by a time bomb,” Princess Kaji said.

An image of a tyrannosaurus struggling to choose the green wire or the red wire jumped through Kwinn’s overactive imagination.  “I’m sorry?” he sputtered, thrown off-balance by the non sequitur. 

“A Time Bomb,” Kaji replied.  She smiled down at him, not unkindly but perhaps with amusement.  “With a capital T and a capital B.  Several, actually.  All simultaneous.”

She leaned in and kissed him, embracing him like a lover.  She smelled of cherry blossoms and Kwinn Martin’s mind reeled with simultaneous images of viewing parties at Ueno Park and meetings in D.C.  He embraced her back, enjoying this fleeting moment of impersonating a loving couple.

“And what, exactly, is a Time Bomb?” he growled into the princess’ ear.  He gently bit her earlobe, prompting a moan of pleasure from Kaji.  She leaned back, evaluating him anew through her dark, dark eyes.  Her smile held secrets and promises.

Princess Kaji took Kwinn’s hand – a comfortable and overly-familiar gesture that belied her non-Japanese origins – and turned back to look at the forever-growling ape again.  Gigantopithecus denham,” she sighed, “Have you ever wondered how Kong and his kin went undiscovered for so many years?”

“It’s not so odd,” Kwinn Martin replied, “The gorilla wasn’t discovered until the middle of the nineteenth century.  Why should somewhere as remote as Skull Island not escape detection until the Thirties?”

“An island swarming with prehistoric life?  An island with plesiosaurs swimming offshore?  An island where Pleistocene megafauna mixed with Cretaceous dinosaurs?” Kaji pulled Kwinn away from giant ape and began walking into the Asian Mammals hall.  “And what about Maple White Land?  What about Mokèlé-mbèmbé?  Doesn’t it seem suspicious to you that humankind never encountered dinosaurs throughout the rest of recorded history, and then suddenly dinosaurs reappear in the nineteenth century?”

Kwinn stopped and drew Princess Kaji closer.  He looked up into her intense, war-haunted eyes and felt her body shiver with emotion.  He kissed her; it was impossible to not love her in that moment.

“I understand what you’re hinting at, Princess,” he said as their lips parted.  “This Time Bomb of yours blew – debris? shrapnel? – into the space-time continuum.  Shattered fragments of past ages landed in the modern day.  Your war for the future killed the dinosaurs and caused casualties even into the twentieth century.

“Don’t be surprised that we didn’t notice.  Mankind was in the midst of a great age of discovery when we found these prehistoric survivors.  Don’t forget: there have always been dragons.”

The sadness left her eyes for a moment, but then returned. 

“Yes, Kwinn,” Princess Kaji said.  “There have always been dragons, but you didn’t create them.

“The Time Bombs fired back at Earth’s past by the future factions didn’t just exterminate the species that ruled the Earth for 135 million years, they devoured them.  The nano-fusion warheads tore millions – probably billions -- of dinosaurs and other animals apart at the cellular level and stitched them back together into the daikaiju.  Countless lives lost, holes in the time stream…

“It makes me angry, Mr. Martin.

“It makes me angry because I would do it again in a heartbeat if the choice was mine to make.  I would kill that confused, time-lost beast we just passed again and again if it meant I could save my future.

“In my future, there is no want.  Humans are free to be explorers of their own hearts and minds, their own bodies and souls.  We visit distant stars, we commune with life forms you can’t even imagine, we journey through time and space…

“But for those of us who have volunteered to join the war – those of us who have chosen to save the future for others -- there is endless, selfish destruction.  I think about the species we have slain, the possibilities we have murdered in the name of our future and I weep with shame and fury that it has been necessary.

“You might not have created G-Zero with your atom bombs, but the daikaiju truly are humankind’s creation.”

Kwinn Martin drew Princess Kaji close.  She cradled her head against his broad shoulder.  He looked across the Asian Mammals hall and caught the eye of a stuffed tanuki.  Movement reflected in its glass eye and he shifted to watch the Red Chinese agents approach, reflected in the exhibit’s windows.

Kwinn fished in his pocket for his other pack of cigarettes and his lighter.  Those two should know better to interfere; Princes Kaji was a U. N. Intelligence matter, and even the communists respected that.  He withdrew from the embrace and began lighting a cigarette.  The flint wouldn’t spark.

“Twentieth century addicts!  Those things cause cancer, Kwinn,” the princess exclaimed.  She seemed about to say more when she noticed the Chinese agents.  Kwinn turned to face them; Kaji balled her hands into fists.

“Not all daikaiju are yours, mammal!” barked one of the agents.  He began to raise his arm, palm held outward, a strange light glowing from his hand.

Kwinn bit the cigarette filter.  The magnet-propelled dart erupted from the tobacco and buried exploded through the agent’s eye.  Princess Kaji leaped forward and shattered the other agent’s eye with one powerful, barehanded blow.

The disguise hologram that hid the agents’ true identities failed with their sudden deaths.  Kwinn suspected that the circuitry must have been implanted in the would-be assassins’ skulls, but he would have to ask Princess Kaji later.  The woman from the future was staring aghast at the ruins of the assassins’ heads.

They were unmistakably reptilian, though covered with fine, colorful feathers instead of scales.  They reminded him strangely of the deinonychus skulls in dinosaur exhibits, despite the swollen brain cases that rivaled a human’s in size.

“It appears that there have always been dragons, Princess. 

“And there always will be.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!: The Grand Unified Theory of Kaiju

Recovered transcript of Dr. Takarada Testuo’s address to the UN Science Council, June 16th, 1975.

Dr. Takarada Tetsuo: When the daikaiju labeled Gargantua-0 (colloquially known as G-Zero) first appeared off of the coast of Japan following the Bikini Atoll tests, it was generally assumed that humankind was responsible for the strange beast’s creation.  Numerous theories were proposed – that G-Zero was an irradiated Komodo dragon or saltwater crocodile, that G-Zero was a prehistoric survivor awoken and mutated by the atomic blast – but they all ultimately laid the blame at mankind’s feet for playing God with the atom bomb.

Subsequent daikaiju attacks have seemed to invalidate this hypothesis.  While Seiryū, G-Zero’s conspecific successor, can naturally be assumed to share an origin with the first recorded daikaiju – though Seiryū is admittedly larger and somewhat more draconic in appearance – other daikaiju have a bewildering range of origins.  While the so-called ‘Four Guardian Beasts’ --  Seiryū, Suzaku, Byakko, and Genbu – have appearances that suggest mutation from Cretaceous-era reptiles, many other daikaiju have no obvious relationship to known species or outright violate known laws of biology.

Consider the frequent giant arthropods that have plagued both Japan and North America.  If the dinosaur-like daikaiju strain our understanding of the square-cube law, these insects and arachnids mock it.  There is no known scientific principle to explain how a giant butterfly could breathe, let alone fly.

Consider also the so-called “astro-monsters” – daikaiju that have arrived via crashing meteors or by flying through the vacuum of space under their own power.  These creatures have sported multiple heads, a merger of carbon-based and silicon-based biologies, and even advanced cybernetics! 

In short, the extraordinary biologies and abilities of most daikaiju suggest that they cannot be the results of mutation caused by exposure to radiation.  The atom bomb did not create G-Zero.  The nuclear age did not create daikaiju.


The biological impossibilities of daikaiju argue that these strange beasts are the result of deliberate bio-engineering.  From Seiryū’s atomic hurricane breath to Genbu’s power of flight, from Papiron’s supersonic speed to Gigamonster’s buzzsaws, it is obvious that these creatures should not exist.  No known laws of evolution or genetics indicate any way that daikaiju could be the result of natural mutation. 

As Sherlock Holmes said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Daikaiju are the result of genetic engineering by alien intelligences.  This is patently obvious when we consider the astro-monsters, but it is true of the terrestrial daikaiju as well.  All daikaiju are bio-weapons built by alien engineers.

But why?  Why did they build these monsters/

These engineers are apparently deeply concerned with the fate of the Earth itself.  They have created horrors capable of causing devastating ecological damage and defenders capable of repelling those destroyers.  They have created monsters that feed on nuclear power and strange creatures whose very presence enhances the biosphere.  These engineers are fighting a war through these daikaiju, a war that will either turn the Earth into a polluted wasteland or a bountiful paradise.   

Why would beings capable of such astonishing feats of bio-mechanical engineering concern themselves with the fate of an underdeveloped world such as ours?  If they can build monsters capable of living millions of years and surviving vast geological upheavals – as we know they must, from the geological evidence of Byakko’s subterranean tomb – then why do they care whether we poison ourselves with nuclear power or destroy ourselves with atom bombs?  How can this little blue marble matter to these cosmic geniuses?

There is only one logical answer: these supposed aliens are not alien to this world.

Dr. Takarada is momentarily drowned out by exclamations of surprise from the assembly. 

Unidentified speaker: Are you seriously suggesting the daikaiju were built by a prehuman civilization?

Dr. Takarada: No, I am not.  There is no paleontological evidence to suggest that the archosaurs or any other pre-mammalian forms of life ever developed sentience or technology.

I am suggesting that the “aliens” are from the future!

Shouts of astonishment.

Unidentified speaker: The future?  Doctor, you can’t be serious!

Dr. Takarada: The evidence permits of no other interpretation. 

Extraterrestrials would have no logical reason to expend such resources on the defense or destruction of this planet. 

Archaeological evidence does not permit the existence of a pre-human or prehistoric civilization capable of such astonishing feats of engineering.  Build the pyramids?  Yes.  Raise Stonehenge?  Yes.  Manufacture monsters?  No.

But future humans?  Future races?  They have all the motive in the world to fight to save this planet or doom it.  What we do today – whether we allow the environment to be destroyed by pollution or let humanity be exterminated by nuclear war – will ripple down through the eons and reshape the Earth of tomorrow.

Many of the mysterious aliens who have threatened this planet with astro-monsters have appeared human.  Occam’s Razor suggests that humans are exactly what they are.  Cockroach-like creatures have unleashed terrifying insectoid daikaiju on the capitals of the world.  Why should we suspect them of being anything but the descendants of today’s cockroaches.  As for the apes…

Unidentified speaker:  Very clever, Dr. Takarada.  Too clever!

The battle for the future is being fought now – and you’ve just made every person in this room a casualty of it!

A few cries of fear are cut short by the hum of energy weapons. 


Friday, June 13, 2014

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!: Matt Frank

Do you need art for a  Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!! campaign?  There's a lot of awesome kaiju art on the internet that suits the bill, and an awful lot of it is by Matt Frank.   While there's some awesome stuff on his professional page, his deviantART page has some absolutely pefect pieces for use as figure flats or flavor illustrations.  If I ever get around to trying to produce a book of this setting (or if somebody with deeper pockets pays me for it), Matt Frank is my first choice of artist.

The following are from his Godzilla Neo project that reimagines characters from every era of Godzilla (including the cartoons).  They'd take a bit of work to turn into custom figure flats, but they'd be worth it.


Biollante (Rose)

Godzilla Jr (AKA Minya, Minilla)
Jet Jaguar
King Caesar
King Ghidorah
Kiryu (Millenium Mechagodzilla)
I especially like the characters he's worked in from Japanese mythology.

There's plenty more of both Godzilla series characters and crazier critters for the upcoming Colossal Kaiju Combat game at devaintART. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The King is Dead: Progress Update

Here’s how things currently stand with the playtest materials for The King is Dead:
  • It’s currently at something over 30 pages -- most of which is new – which probably makes it the longest thing I’ve ever written.
  • The introduction is complete (and has been presented on this blog).
  • The setting background/gazetteer section is roughly broken down but needs a lot of work.  The main body of that section is the “Grim, Unpleasant Land” posts that have appeared on this blog, but I’ve realized I need to revise the sections on the Colonies significantly and add more detail about the broader world.  The information on the Colonies has been regrettably 13 Colonies-centric, so I need to add more info about the Caribbean island equivalents and the New Orleans stand-in.  I struggled for a while with a naming scheme for the entire world based off of the goofy pun names for Malleus and Clavus, but I think I’m going to reject that and embrace a more organic approach to the rest of the world.  (For those who haven’t picked it up, “malleus” and “clavus” are Latin for “hammer” and “nail;” the neighboring pseudo-European continent has so far been called “Incus” after the Latin for “anvil,” but I think I might drop that since it leads to words confusingly close to “Inca.”)
  • I haven’t decided whether or not to include that massive recommended viewing list.  Hmm… Maybe I should work specific TV and movie recommendations into the secret society descriptions?
  • The actual character creation section is coming along nicely.  It’s strongly outlined and many sections are complete or nearly complete.  I’ve got a nice breakdown of the steps (it starts with choosing a secret society), a good explanation of the changes to the skills, a guide to how existing Hindrances work in the setting, and some clarification of Edges.  I need to work in some explanation of Arcane Backgrounds, add some new powers, and add in some equipment (which I’ve already started).
  • Ideology/background sections are done for most of the societies are complete; I think the Zunft von Hohenheim is the only one that isn’t.  Unfortunately, due to the insidious darkness in my soul, I wrote a lot of betrayal and distrust into the descriptions, so I think they need some serious revising.  While I do want ideological differences to be a point of contention between the good guys, I don’t want this to be the Old World of Darkness where the heroes are too busy fighting each other to fight the bad guys.  That’s probably why the Zunft is incomplete; I kept writing them as amoral mad scientists in everybody else’s descriptions when in fact they should be progressive science heroes.  Thankfully, those revisions are gestating in my brain right now.
  • I’ve only gotten example characters completed for a couple of societies.  That’s going to be a slog, but I want to provide at least two fully detailed pre-generated characters for each society to give players a good idea of how diverse each society actually is.  It’s recently occurred to me, though, that I should include “wealthy patron” archetypes for the Illuminated and the Circle of Isis, and I’ve already got two good pre-gens for those societies.  Do I dare push the number of pre-gens to 4 per society?   
Would setting fiction be useful in the playtest packet?  I need to flex my fiction muscles if I’m going to persuade Four-in-Hand Games to let me write the accompanying setting fiction for my section of Steamscapes: Asia, and this seems as good a time to practice as any.  I know I’m more likely to complete a story if I have any immediate need for it than I am if it’s “just for practice,” but I’m not sure the playtest packet really needs setting fiction.

Obligatory D&D 5e Pre-Release Post

I'm glad Basic D&D is going to be free, because I'm curious about the new game but really, really unlikely to pay money for it.  Like the dumbass I am, I will almost undoubtedly buy the new Forgotten Realms setting guide when it comes out (it hasn't even been announced yet, but I'm sure there will be one since the Realms are the default setting for the new edition). Otherwise... umm...


I guess I really don't have anything else to say about it. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!: Soul Meld

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!! is a Savage Setting of colorful tokusatsu- and anime-style mayhem.  Every player assumes control of a human-scale character and either a “super robot”-style mecha or a daikaiju.  MKST!!! deviates from how mecha and giant monsters are handled in the Savage Worlds core rules, Sci-Fi Companion, and Super Powers Companion by creating them using the standard SW character creation rules and then granting the mecha and kaiju a +20 Gargantuan-scale bonus to damage and Toughness when they need to interact with humans.  By substituting the G-scale for the complicated math of Sci-Fi Companion walkers and Super Powers Companion character creation, Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!! aims to provide Savage Worlds players a fast, furious, fun way to stomp Tokyo into rubble.

The following new power is for use only in MKST!!! campaigns.  It has not been designed to scale with other Savage Settings.

Gamera: Guardian of the Universe fans get it.
Soul Meld
Rank: Novice
Range: Sight
Power Point Cost: 10
Duration: 5 turns (2 per additional turn)
Trappings: empathic link, brain-diver helmet, mystical communion, strange dreams...
Every player in Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!! controls two characters: a human-scale character and a Gargantuan-scale kaiju or mecha.  While all such pairings have some point of connection (a saurian kaiju and the scientist who wants to study it, a super robot and its pilot) some MKST!!! characters can forge a bond that transcends species and scale.  This is the power called soul meld.

Sometimes you are the mecha and the mecha is you (Ultraman)

Soul meld allows two characters to share wound levels or certain Edges.  A successful activation roll allows the activating partner to share either wound levels or Edges with the recipient; a raise on the activation roll allows both to be shared.
Pacific Rim should have ended with these guys drifting a kaiju into battle. 
When characters share wound levels through soul meld, wounds or Shaken results from a successful attack against the recipient partner can be applied to the activating partner instead.  Wounds received from a single attack can be divided between both partners or applied to a single member of the soul meld.

Example 1: Kusanagi Asagi uses her magic magatama to activate soul meld with Gamera while he battles the Legion queen. The queen Legion blasts Gamera with her horn beam, and Gamera/Asagi’s player fails Gamera’s soak roll.  Gamera takes three wounds; the player assigns two wounds to Gamera himself and one to Asagi (justifying it as the “psychic backlash” of their soul meld connection).  Gamera is able to stay in the fight a little longer…
Sometimes it's the kaiju that melds with the human (Godzilla's Revenge)
When characters share Edges, the recipient partner is able to access certain Edges belonging to the activating partner.  Inherent physical and metaphysical abilities (such as most Background Edges, Power Edges, a kaiju’s Monstrous Edges, or a human’s opposable thumbs) cannot be shared, but learned abilities like Combat Edges, Leadership Edges, Professional Edges, Social Edges, Weird Edges, Wild Card Edges, and Legendary Edges can be shared. 

Example 2: Setsuna F. Seiei – a superior hand-to-hand combatant gifted with astonishing reflexes – is piloting Gundam Exia.  Since pilot and mecha are run as separate characters under the Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!! rather than as operator and vehicle, Setsuna’s astonishing rapport with his Gundam is represented by the soul meld power.  Setsuna activates his soul meld with Exia during a battle against the Human Reform League; while the power is active, the mecha has access to Setsuna’s Improved Level Headed, Two-Fisted and other Combat Edges.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Dyvers' Great Blog Roll Call for 2014

+Charles Akins has updated his monumental RPG blog roll call for 2014.  I'm happy to see I've increased my average number of posts from 9 to 13, but I certainly wouldn't have minded an updated an update of my description to something like "This weird-ass blog is dedicated primarily to the ongoing development of a gonzo Savage Worlds setting called The King is Dead, about a democratic revolution in a Gothic 18th century world, but also features digressions about Godzilla."  Oh well, I can hardly object to being called "smart and resource heavy."  I need to perma-link this year's Great Blog Roll Call and work my way through the list; I need some new reading material.   

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Queen's Cavaliers Kickstarter Closes Soon

I've been curious about The Queen's Cavaliers ever since last February when Really Bad Eggs did an interview with designer Caoimhe Ora Snow.  I signed up for the Prefundia alert so I could pledge early and jumped in on the early bird special for the book and PDF.  I also contacted Caoimhe Ora Snow about doing an interview for this site...

...And I have utterly failed to ever do the interview.  Sorry.  I've been really busy with my own writing (which is on a much bigger roll than I can show on the blog) and even doing an e-mail Q&A was too time-consuming.  Sorry.

In any case, the Kickstarter closes in 36 hours and I wanted to post something.  It's a fun setting that takes the opposite tack of The King is Dead by positing fighting for an aristocracy that is progressive and good (in real-life, modern terms) rather than fighting against an aristocracy that's crappy and bad (just like they were in history).  It's a fun system that rewards high dice rolls with add-ons to the object of the roll rather than penalizing attempts at doing cool things with negative modifiers to the roll.  And it's way, way over its goal (making me wish I'd actually done the interview so I could figure out what their secret is).  

Anyway, it isn't for everyone, but I like it and fans of The King is Dead might like it too.  And I might use the system if I can't get a Savage Worlds license from Pinnacle (not that I've asked yet).


Savage Rifts Playtest Update: Too Many BUGS!

Sean and I went down to one of our many gaming stores -- Court of Gamers -- to run a playtest of Savage Rifts. Gathered around the table ...