Wednesday, November 16, 2016

These Are The Voyages...

As far as I can tell, I've never shared this here. Weird.

I have this idea for a Star Trek game. Actually, I've had it for a very long time, but never got around to implementing it. The core ideas have been floating around my head since the days of FASA Trek, but really crystallized when I read a particularly glorious passage from one of Peter David's New Frontier novels:

'That may be the case, Commander, but here's the truth of it: My great-grandfather was in Starfleet back in Kirk's time. And the fact was that Kirk had some very staunch supporters. That served him well, because he also had any number of people whom he angered with his constant glory-hounding and disregard for regulations. And it was widely believed in Starfleet that, every so often, he would file utterly preposterous reports, just to tweak those individuals whom he knew didn't like his style and his way of doing things. Such as the incident with the giant killer amoeba. And that totally ridiculous alleged occasion in which his fist officer's brain was stolen. I mean, come on people. Clearly, these things could not have happened. Every time you heard uncontrolled laughter ringing up and down the hallways of Starfleet Command, you could tell that Kirk had filed another one of his whoppers." - Admiral Edward Jellico

And thus was born the USS Mulder, a run-down Oberth-class science vessel and her somewhat hapless crew. The campaign set early in the NG era, about contemporary with the launch of the Enterprise (uncomfortable uniforms and all).

USS Mulder "The Truth Is Out There"

An Admiral with an axe to grind regarding the legendary James T. Kirk and his exploits assigns the PC's (who've earned his ire in some way) the task of re-visiting the worlds Kirk's Enterprise encountered on its original five-year mission, in order to verify his reports and provide situational updates. It allows me to mine TOS for inspiration, but mess with things as I see fit. It's not a particularly serious campaign premise, but that's OK.

Maybe I'll get around to running it someday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Things

Resolved:  The only way I'm going to get through this is by making things and sharing things I make until either I feel better or the world gets better or both. It may not be pretty. It may bounce around from topic to topic. It may not even be new. But I'm going to churn things out all the same. Like them or don't.

First off, something I had laying around. This is a convention one-shot I wrote shortly after "Young Justice" was canceled, teasing a third season. It's my take on a season three finale, written for DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds.  It's not particularly edited, but it's pretty typical of my convention game notes (I break each scene into beats, note cool stuff that can happen, and provide illustrations to help me when describing things).


Wednesday, August 17, 2016


What fictional character would best fit in your group?

It's terribly trite, but any of the main characters from "Big Bang Theory" would probably do fine with my Tuesday Nighters. As it is, the group contains two Physics Ph.D.s, a Chemistry Ph.D., and an Engineer.  Plus a couple of IT guys and some stray English majors.  It's a pretty brainy, nerdy set.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#RPGADAY Day Fifteen

What historical character would you like in your group? For what game?

Putting aside "Little Wars" with H. G. Wells (it was the first wargame rules I ever read), which could be fun, I'm thinking something like The One Ring with Christopher Lee. I don't know how much of it would be game and how much of it would be Tolkien discussion group, but I suspect it would be delightful.

Monday, August 15, 2016

#RPGADAY Day Fifteen

Your best source for inspiration for RPG's?

The internet. I'm an idea sponge, it's my blessing and my curse. All it takes is a link to a video, a random piece of art, or a book/TV/movie recommendation, and I'm down the rabbit hole.

Unfortunately, I rarely maintain sufficient focus to see things through, so my attention is constantly bouncing from one cool thing to the next.  The good news I retain a lot of it, so I can pull out something useful pretty much whenever I need it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

#RPGADAY Day Fourteen

Your dream team of people you used to game with?

Interesting question. I don't know about a "dream team," but there are folks I gamed with in the past I'd love to sit down at the same table with again.

Chris Hall was one of my early Champions GMs, as well as a player in some of my games back in the early 80s. We lost touch for the better part of thirty years and have only recently reconnected. He doesn't play games anymore, which is a pity.

Charlie Russell was a regular in my San Antonio games and always fun to have around. We've lost touch altogether, which truly sucks, because I think he'd dig Feng Shui.

Kyle Bennick was one of the first gamers I met when I moved to Houston. He's still in the area, though in Houston terms, "in the area" means he lives about sixty miles away. He's also got two young twins, so I don't think he's doing much gaming anymore.

Mason Hart used to be part of my Tuesday crew, and our gaming styles were pretty sympatico (especially compared to the tactically heavy approach that predominates in that group). When his second kiddo was born, he dropped out of the Tuesday crew, though he still plays with another group.

I miss playing regularly with my wife, Jane. Over the last ten years, she developed significant anxiety regarding math, which seriously impacts her ability to enjoy RPGs. We've come up with a few work-arounds, but it's not where her interests are now, and I understand.

Last, I've got say Aaron Allston. Because he'd still be around. :(

#RPGADAY Day Thirteen (Late)

What Makes a Successful Campaign?

First and foremost, I can't be GMing it. Seriously, I haven't had a game go past three or four sessions in more years than I care to admit. Now, to be fair, I'm not wholly to blame. My last few attempts have fallen afoul of work schedules, holidays, and an unplanned hospitalization. But after a while, it starts to weigh on a person.

So, with that in mind, I do have an understanding of what it takes to make a campaign work, even if I haven't succeeded in a while:

GM Dedication: This should be obvious. If the GM is unfocused, or uncommitted, the game is going to fail. Maybe not immediately, but sooner than later.

Player Buy-In: The player's have to be on-board as well. For the campaign premise, for the rules system, for making time to play, and for spending hours in the company of the other players.

A Regular Schedule: Every game I know that works long-term has a schedule the players and GM abide by. It's a part of their routine, not something they squeeze into their busy schedules. This is an aspect of dedication and buy-in, but it's worth calling out separately.

Rituals:  My Tuesday group meets for dinner at 5:45 (having hashed out the location earlier), eats until 6:45, then drives over to our venue (Rice University) and play until 10 PM. Meeting and eating helps us get the socializing and cutting up out of the way, but it also provides a nice secondary bit of continuity with the group.

Communication: Do I really need to say more about this? Nah. Communicate, nerds!