Saturday, June 25, 2011

Intermission on a Mission

Howdy Barking Alien Fans! (Yes the six of you. Do you prefer 'Barkkies' or 'Barkkers'? I forget which is in at the moment).

I have been sick as a green dog of late and because of this, I am pretty behind on my posting. I will continue my recap of the RECESS Muppet Show RPG Session as soon as I am feeling a bit better but first...

R.I.P. to Gene Colan, a legend in the comic book industry and a professor of mine in college. We didn't always agree but I always had an appreciation and respect for the man, his art and his impact on the medium.

Sadly, another R.I.P. is sent out to Peter Falk, the actor best known for his portrayal of the TV detective Columbo but better known to fandom for his part as the narrator in The Princess Bride.

In two weeks I will begin GMing professionally. That is, I've been hired by a learning center in Brooklyn to run an RPG each Sunday as part of their 'Summer Fun' program. The players range from 3rd to 7th graders and the sessions will be about 3 hours long. It looks like there will be about 6-8 kids in the program at present. I'm really excited. A few of these kids are 'English as a Second Language' students, speaking Chinese at home. A few are simply a little behind on their reading and writing comprehension. In addition to having a great time gaming, some of the game elements will be geared toward teaching cooperation, information retention, improving math skills and the like.

System wise I've been talking to my ex-wife (who runs the center) and she and I have hashed out what I would call an 'Old School Minimalist' set of rules. We're keeping the classic 6 stats but they're rated 0-5. When you do something you check against the appropriate stat to see what bonus if any you add to your die roll.

So if the Wizard has Strength: 4, Intelligence: 5, Wisdom: 3, Dexterity: 2, Constitution: 1 and Charisma: 0, he or she adds nothing to a D20 roll when attempting to befriend of a local guard. On the other hand, the Wizard may add +5 to any roll involving casting a spell or trying to remember a local legend.

I've got some time to work out the additional details. I'll keep you posted.

News of DC's September relaunch continues to depress and befuddle me, though I must say the art for All-Star Western #1 featuring Jonah Hex looks pretty damn good. As does Keith Giffen pulling a Jack Kirby riff on OMAC #1. If nothing else I'll check out those two.

Well, that's all the time and energy I have at the moment. What I wouldn't give to be well enough to drink a cup of coffee. Ugh. I miss my coffee.

Later Days,

Barking Alien


  1. That Summer Fun program sounds awesome. I'm interested in your rule set too. I've been doing something similar with my severn year old son and his Italian friends - keeping it really basic. It's been quite a bit of fun. I have been playting fast and loose with the dice. Essentially, just wining it. But then it's pretty darned cool to just toss around some funny looking dice and play with minis isn't it?

  2. Congrats on going pro!

    P.S. We prefer "Barkkers."

  3. I'll go for "Barkettes", although that suggests a miniskirt and a beehive hairdo, and I'd look awful in either.

  4. I thought of "Barkettes" also. Then immediately rejected for similar reasons. I'm actually not hardline about either.

  5. Wacky suggestion: Adventures in Oz?

  6. @kelvingreen: I'd look awful in either

    Agreed - that's one image I won't be able to shake off for a while!

    Personally, I consider myself a "Barkie" - "Barkers" take themselves far too seriously and get lost in overly-involved debates about the relative merits of superheroes and sci-fi. Daft muppets...

  7. Meant to post this earlier but:

    it's very cool that you're getting paid to run games of anything for anybody for any reason*!

    "Followers of the Bark" - too literal? It's kind of a Gamma World reference but not everyone is going to get that.


    *Still not sure about that ex-wife thing but I'm willing to overlook it for now

  8. We're great friends, perfect gaming buddies...we just didn't do married right.