Monday, July 13, 2020

Playing Catch Up

Hey all.

Sorry I've been quiet this month but a number of things have come across my control console here at the Barking Alien Blog that require my attention. 

First and foremost, my girlfriend Esmeralda's birthday was July 11th. Happy Birthday My Love! Not being able to be with her due to distance and the current planet-wide health crisis truly sucks. I mean it really REALLY sucks. I am glad she is safe and sound at her place and the same for me at mine but I miss her terribly, especially today. 

Meanwhile, I have been looking over a number of RPG items that have come my way and learning what it takes to get me interested in a game. What I mean is, what makes me want to learn a new set of rules, tackle a particular setting or genre, and how or if I plan to use a given game in the future. 

Cases in point...

Modiphius Entertainment recently released the PDF for a new Core Rulebook for the Star Trek Adventures RPG entitled 'The Klingon Empire'. This book is not only a sourcebook for all things Klingon but a true core book for running Star Trek Adventures, albeit with a Klingon bend. 

The book features some reorganization and clarifications of the Star Trek Adventures rules and while not exactly an 'Second Edition', it is a better representation of the ideas and mechanics used in this RPG, one that's become a favorite of mine. 

That said, I am in no rush to get it. I really wish they'd make it a sourcebook instead. I don't feel like I need a new core rulebook, I am not in desperate need of that much Klingon material, and most importantly, it's not like I am going to be running a Klingon focused campaign - one where the PCs are Klingons on a Klingon ship - any time soon. OK, maybe ever. This makes the book, with it's tons of pages and larger price point not especially enticing to me. I'll get it eventually, it's a Star Trek RPG book after all, but I am in not hurry. 

The next item, which is holding much more of my interest and attention, is Free League's Vaesen RPG, a game about 19th Century Paranormal Investigators dealing with Faerie Hauntings in Sweden.

I know, niche much?

I have long been intrigued by the faerie folklore of Europe; not just the popularized Pixies and Banshee of the British Isles, but the lesser known and appreciated Nisse, Vaettir, and very different Trolls of Scandinavia.

Running a game that is one part dark fairy tale and one part Call of Cthulhu is right up my alley, though I do wonder if perhaps I should move the setting to mid-1800s London to make it more familiar to my players and I. I have knowledge of what a Wood Wife is but only a vague grasp of life in 19th Century Upsala. 

Next up is an upcoming RPG that is currently in Playtest status. I can't discuss it at this juncture but I surely will in the future. Trying to make time to read it between all the other reading I'm doing. Actually playing it is another matter entirely. Isn't there a pandemic? Don't I have all this free time? I thought I did...

Finally, I am working on a project near and dear to my heart that, like my ALIEN RPG campaign and my old Smurfs RPG idea, has been on my mind for over 35 years. I am putting it today with an original rules set derived from many of the mechanics I've encountered over the last decade and trying to get it all to function in harmony.

Fingers crossed and more about what it is as it gets closer to completion. 

Anyway, that's where my head is at. Hopefully I can get a few things out of the way to post some more real content in the near future. 

Thanks for dropping by,

Barking Alien


  1. Having family in three continents, I can attest the situation sucks hard and it continues to look grim for the immediate future, at least for long distance travel. I hope it eases enough that you and your girlfriend can spend time together.

    What changes are introduced in the Klingon manual? Also, I'm interested in one thing you mentioned in an earlier post, how do you manage advancement in STA differently from the rules? This seems to be a common concern.

    And, finally, I am speculating that something you have in your gaming plate could be sandy in texture, spicy in flavour and maybe a bit wormy XD.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Miguel and for the kind words.

      I do miss my girl a lot and vice versa. We'll figure something out once things improve across the board.

      I haven't gotten all the way through the Klingon book but so far the only major changes are to the Reputation System and Character Advancement System. Other than that there aren't huge differences, though some concepts are cleaned and cleared up at bit.

      I have very mixed feelings about this product. On the one hand, as a fan of Star Trek and the Star Trek Adventures RPG, I am glad they made such a fine and impressive product. At the same time...I find much of it to be of little use. I don't run Klingon focused campaigns and I'm not likely to anytime soon. It should have been a sourcebook and not a corebook, IMHO. It's definitely cool but not as cool as first getting a Movie Era book or an Enterprise Era book or something like that.

      Regarding your speculation...Mmm, could be. Remember though, “Hope clouds observation.” ;)

  2. This brings up an issue I always have with games based on published IP: why buy the setting books when I have access to the internet? There is so much information available online for Star Wars, Star Trek, or most other IPs that I'm always hesitant to buy a book if it doesn't provide me with more than what I can find online.