Three Weeks of Stuff, in One Big Blast
Posted by docryder
If you read my last posting, you read about how I’m having difficulty focusing. This post has been a couple of weeks in process, but my inability to focus is (figuratively) killing me. I can’t seem to stay on task much the past couple of weeks.
It might have to do with a job interview I had on the 15th. I was very aware of when the appointment was, etc. Like I was anxious, but without nerves. The initial call was very regimented, not more casual and flexible like most employers. I was given an appointment time, not asked what was good for me, etc. I felt like the interview and my distraction were related, but I can’t tell you why. Now, five days later, and I don’t believe they really were. I’m still very distractible, and I don’t know why.
I was going to rant about some personal stuff, but after writing it, I looked at it and said, “Why? This really doesn’t belong here.” Aren’t you glad I edit myself?
So, to the meat of my posting…
Divine Characters and Gods – A couple of weeks ago, after my last serious post, I was working my way through the second Corum novel, Queen of Swords. Moorcock used the priesthood of the gods of Chaos in a rather interesting way I’ve never seen in an RPG. The clerics in this book were truly tools of the gods. The first novel is called Knight of Swords, and the story revolves around how the gods of Chaos have defeated the gods of Law some while back, and this is what allows humanity to rise to power and exterminate Corum’s people. Corum defeats the titular god of Chaos. That being said, you can see who the villain of second novel is, and as said goddess can’t make herself known on the plane due to the rules of the Cosmic Balance, she uses the Knight’s priests, empowering them to create upheavals, and thereby draw people to Chaos (“Only Chaos can protect you from the upcoming troubles! The gods of Law are too weak!”). Magic is used to back up their claims.
I can’t think of a time in which I’ve ever seen a DM actually hand the word of a god to a PC, or seen a group of evil cultists being anything other than psychopaths. Even though this god-mortal interaction is only commented on in two or three chapters, it struck me. DMs seem to more often than not simply make sure the cleric is doing things that make sense for that character’s god, but do little in the way of having the god actually nudge the character down a path that furthers the god’s goals. I think that’s something I’ll be investigating the next time I run a more traditional fantasy game. (More later.)
Movies – I also caught a few movies that I felt I would comment on, as each had an impact on my mind.
Jupiter Ascending – I caught this one at the local cheap theater. I’m glad I saw it on the big screen, but I’m also glad I saw it at the cheap theater. It wasn’t an especially good plotline, and in fact the plot had holes you could fly a solar system through. The effects were cool, and it looked good on the screen, but the story was weak, and some of the performances were overdone. It had some neat ideas for tech, but some of the animal people were a bit silly. I’ll probably buy it on DVD when it becomes available.
Birdman – I think this one only won the Oscar because the Screen Actor’s Guild understood the movie. The movie is about an actor acting and directing and producing, and I don’t think many of us on the outside really get it. Even after watching the “Making of” featurette on the DVD, there were confusing things about the movie and plotline. I also hated the Jazz drums-only sound track. I bought the DVD, and anyone who reads this blog is welcome to it; you need only ask. It’s nothing I want to keep in my collection.
Avengers 2 – Well, of course I saw Avengers 2! Great fun! I think the Black Widow controversy is mainly from folks who haven’t watched Agent Carter and didn’t get what Natasha saw in her “chaos magic” spawned dream. I enjoyed seeing the vision on screen, as well as all the little hints about his connection to Wanda. With the little bit of hinting about CA:Civil War, I’m interested in seeing how they’ll handle the end of that one.
Games on consignment – I spent a couple of days working on checking prices and getting some of my old games, as well as some that Roger left behind, out of the house. They were taking up space. These were books I’d taken into Crazy Squirrel‘s Game Swap Meet a couple of times, but they never sold. This time, a couple of items have sold and made me a little money. As well, we had a rainstorm around that time, and I discovered some of the bins of fabric Roger had left behind had fallen over and broke. I took some time to dig through those as well, and start to get then out of the storage, which is no longer secure from weather. I have a lot more to do on that mark, but it’s getting warmer and more difficult to work outside. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make the time to get more of the stuff cleaned out of the greenhouse/storage.
Campaign Ideas – I’ve been thinking about games I’d like to run, in addition to the StarSea (more in a moment). Here’s a list. Some of these would likely work well for the D&D for Kids game, as I’m running out of adventures for them.
- Neverwinter – Both the Encounters season and the stuff from the sourcebook. I have the Encounters module still, and I really enjoyed the plotline. However, I doubt the kids would enjoy it, because of the politics. They just like beating up enemies. A superhero game might work better.
- Heroes of the Feywild – Again, using the Encounters season, as I have that one also. This idea might be good for the next D&D for Kids campaign, including the cool character creation extras. I could expand out that Encounters season, but that would be a lot more work than Neverwinter, as I would be creating from whole cloth.
- Scales of War – This one looks like a cool campaign that I’d enjoy running. Has a cosmic level of doings, with Tiamat warring with Bahamut and the ensuing chaos. Wouldn’t work for the kids, but would probably work for our Wednesday Night game (which may be moving to Thursdays, but I’m hoping not).
- The Swords Trilogy – Well, not exactly Corum’s world, but close. If I pull the entire setting and plotline, it would look something like this: The world would be a faerie tale, idyllic world to start, with a barbarian race coming in to destroy what the PCs hold dear. The PCs escape, and find themselves allying with another nation that is next on the barbarians’ hit list. The gods are silent to start, until the PCs learn that those gods have been barred from the world by the evil gods. This is due to some force the PCs learn they have to undo or reverse, probably by defeating the some servants of the evil gods. There should be some mention of the influence of the evil gods towards making the world a darker place, swaying mortals to unleash their dark sides (as mentioned above, in the first part of this post). That might be something to link to the Feywild game mentioned above.
These are, at present, all 4e campaign ideas. I’ve thought about the idea, as well, of running these as Fate games, using the Freeport supplement to give me the fantasy and magic rules. I’m thinking I need to do something like that at some point anyway. It would get my players used to the rules for StarSea, assuming I don’t go nuts at some point and drop Fate.
Regarding that last statement, I have thought about that lately. Again, I’m looking at tinkering with the Fate system more, at a deeper level. I’ve already mentioned changing the Advancement System, and building my own. As I listen to the Critical Hit podcast Fate superhero game, or I think about things like lightsabers (which I’m also thinking of removing from the game; sometimes you have to kill your babies, and this is one of those), I’m thinking I may need to tinker with how combat works. I like having combat in my games, as do the kids (although they may outgrow that). The point of using Fate was to avoid doing so much tinkering. Of course, there’s nothing I don’t tinker with, gaming-wise, so maybe I’m just being foolish and finding reasons to distract me. But if the system really won’t do what I want…
Then again, the Cypher System setting-neutral book will be out this summer. Maybe I need to re-examine my feelings about that system, as that was where I was going to start pulling ideas from for my Fate concerns. Or maybe I need to look at alternate Fate games that tinker with those rules. There are lots of ways of dealing with this. I just need to start looking into rules systems, again.
Gaming Careers podcast – I started listening to this podcast a couple of weeks ago. I’m really enjoying it, even the shows that I’m not especially interested in (i.e. the video game episodes). It’s sparking some creative ideas, and giving me insights into how to get into the industry part-time. As one of the other podcasters I listen to said, “Do you want to be a publisher or published?” I want to be published infinitely more than be a publisher. In fact, I have no desire or inclination to be a publisher, at all. It seems like a lot of number-crunching and such I don’t want to deal with.
So, after three weeks, that’s about it. I think that’s more than enough. Later.