Wednesday, February 2, 2022

31 Thoughts

I was pre-occupied by so many things last month (all good mind you) that I barely had time to put up the fourteen characters I managed to get done for the 31 Days / 31 Characters Character Design Challenge.

I hardly had the chance to relax, absorb, and think about things in the way I normally like to. To that end, here are 31 things my brain has finally processed...

(In no particular order)

1) Happy Birthday MLK. Don't forget - February is Black History Month and Black Lives Matter.

2) There is a new Fraggle Rock series on Apple TV+! NEW EPISODES of FRAGGLE ROCK exist. Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock - Dance your cares away! I am loving it, although Mokey's redesign is weirding me out for some reason. Lili Cooper, the Human actress who plays the new 'Doc' is big time crush material. So adorable.

3) Remembering Bahamian-American actor, director, and diplomat Sidney Poitier, one of my all time favorites, who graced the silver screen in 1959's Porgy and Bess, 1961's A Raisin in the Sun, and 1970's They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!. He directed the Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder comedy Stir Crazy in 1980 as well as a number of other successful comedies. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Presidential Medal of Honor from Barack Obama, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. 

4) Rest in Peace to comedian, actor, TV host, and personality Bob Saget. So talented and so young. Deep condolences to family, friends, and fans. 

5) More sad news with the loss of one of my favorite musical talents - Meat Loaf, Michael/Marvin Lee Aday. He wasn't a perfect Human being and I disagreed with some of his personal policies in the later years but he made great music. Godspeed to the Bat Out of Hell. 

6) Some Tabletop RPGs are coming this year that have me really excited. Not the least of which is The Dark Crystal Adventure Game by River Horse. So many many ideas. 

7) I backed Heckin' Good Doggos on Kickstarter, an RPG about Dogs doing Dog Stuff. Because Dogs.

8) Another passing meaningful to me is that of Jean-Claude Mézières, artist and one of the two creators of the French Science-Fiction series Valerian and Laureline. 

9) Members of one of my old gaming groups and very dear friends for over 30 years, Aris, Keith, Vlad, and their good buddy George have a video podcast on YouTube called The Podcast Cosmic. It is essentially a bunch of old guys talking fandom but its entertaining and passionate and I love these dudes. Check it out. 

10) I loved the first two episodes of The Book of Boba Fett, liked the third, was disappointed by the fourth and as for the fifth, well, the Season 3 Premiere of The Mandalorian was truly fantastic. I do think they should have finished Boba Fett's story first though (wink). As for the sixth episode, damn, I don't even know where to begin. Incredible. It all makes me feel like...

11) I really want to run Star Wars D6 again. Really, really. A long term campaign with some of the elements we see in the Disney+ series. Not merely adventures but living in the Star Wars.

12) I am liking Star Trek: Prodigy quite a bit. It is definitely a children's show; not aimed at me but a much, much younger audience. That said, it is well done and stays true to the tenets of Star Trek while showing it in a dynamic new way. Take a look. 

13) I am still kind of obsessed with Ghostbusters and my Ghostbusters RPG ideas. I really want to run a campaign with my old Art and Design / 'The Home Office' gang. We shall see...

14) I need to run some genres/settings/games I haven't run in a while or maybe never before at all. That last bit would be hard to do. Maybe just a few one-shots scattered throughout the year.

15) One of these days I want to run a campaign of Pirates! - Romanticized realism with a supernatural twist. Like a Pirates version of my old 'Odd West' The Legend of Boot Hill game. Weirdly, I'd love to run it with my Sunday group but my buddy Keith - a massive fan of Naval Adventures in the Age of Sail - absolutely despises Pirates. 

16) I am interested in running a one-shot or short campaign of Medieval Fantasy yet I like the subject no more now than I have in the recent past, which is to say very little. I will be very curious to see The Goblin Slayer and Konosuba TRPG English Translation go over with my friends, since I'll likely adapt one of these for whatever I end up running. 

17) Based solely on The Legend of Vox Machina Netflix Animated Series, I am not sure I understand the incredible popularity of Critical Role. After the first three episodes I see it as a decent story with some good characters but nothing particularly interesting or unique. Perhaps because I am not a fan of Dungeons & Dragons and the type of characters and stories typical of that game, Vox Machina just doesn't land with me. I can only assume that for people who do like this sort of thing, this series is the bees knees. What say you D&D fans?

18) Likewise, Peacemaker isn't connecting with me the way it is with many in superhero geekdom. The show is very well done and John Cena is absolutely excellent in the lead role but I am not feeling it. I am not hating it either and will probably continue on to watch all of this first season. A fan of the original Charlton Comics version of the character and (to a lesser extent) the later DC Comics incarnation as well, perhaps my affection for those is clouding my assessment. 

19) The closer we get to the release of the Marvel Multiverse Role Playing Game Playtest Edition the more excited I get. I am starting to put some ideas together for a possible Marvel 'What If?' campaign. Generally more of a DC fan traditionally, this is pretty wild to me.

20) Especially since I didn't love all of the recent Marvel films. Eternals needed A LOT of work, Shangi-Chi was fun but not special, and Black Widow was fine but a bit disappointing. I wasn't particularly impressed by the Disney+ Hawkeye series either. Left me flat actually. 

21) Spider-man: No Way Home on the other hand was phenomenal! I absolutely loved it.

22) I loved Wandavision, liked Falcon and The Winter Soldier a lot, and thought Loki was a great deal of fun. What If? was really good as well, with some episodes being 'pretty cool' and others being 'Holy Crap That Rocked!'. 

23) Of the upcoming MCU works, I am most interested in the Disney+ series Moon Knight and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. There's that word 'multiverse' again. Ooh, speaking of multiverses...

24) Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) is coming in October of this year and I could not be more excited. Well maybe. I mean, if they announced a new Dark Crystal series continuing the story from Age of Resistance I'd...nevermind...The first Spider-Verse movie was spectacular and it featured Miles Morales, my favorite incarnation of Spidey. This one promises to introduce Spider-man 2099 in addition to the return of Miles and Gwen. Who knows what other Spider-folk are out there?

25) Can we get a live action Miles Morales? Please?

26) As promised in December, I will soon be posting up some new entries into old favorites features such as Campaigns I Have Known, Campaigns I Have Played,  and Thorough Thursdays. I also want to finish some entries I started but never got around to completing. 

27) This is true of some monthly themes as well. For example, I have a lot more to say about Japanese Tabletop RPGs.

28) Additionally, I have some new features I'd like to start up, one or two of which will be beginning very soon. One-Shots I Have Known/Have Played, Things to Do, and Meet The Party

29) I got the idea for Meet The Party while doing research for the characters in the 31 Days /  Characters Challenge Digging through my old campaign notebooks, talking to my friends, I realized there were so many old characters connected to so many campaign that there was no way I was going to be able to address even a fraction of them. Meet The Party allows me to do just that by describing the PCs and major NPCs from some of our past games. Think of it as the Characters section of one of the Campaigns I Have Known/Played entries all by itself, allowing me to expand on the character descriptions and information. 

Whatta ya think?

30) JB over at B/X BLACKRAZOR keeps promising/threatening to do a series of posts on World Building, leading me to consider threatening/promising to do the same. Thing is, like Campaign and Adventure design, I am not certain I can easily translate my approach into a system others will understand and be able to use. So much of it works by gut and hunch, with the process constantly going through adjustments and alterations. Is it worth the headache?

31) I could go over how I go about World Building in worlds that already exist. I mean, I do run a lot of IP based games. Maybe how to World Build in the Star Trek or Star Wars universes (for example) would be helpful to other GMs playing in those settings. Hmm. 

All that thinking knocked Barkley out.

Well that's it for now. I need some rest.


Barking Alien


  1. Just like the diet I'm always telling my family I'm starting, the world building series starts TODAY!

    [as he chows down on an old baguette while swilling his morning coffee]

    ; )

    1. Whenever it comes, I look forward to reading it. I am always curious to see how 'the other have lives'. I am sure there are elements of your approach I could benefit from, even if the main benefit is food for thought.

  2. If you want to play a Med-Fan game with a JRPG, you might have a look on Sword World. Unfortunatelly it has not been officially translated but I've found a partial fan reanslation on the Web.
    The system seems playable and is quite simple (like many TRPG). I've managed to understand the basic just using online translators.
    I'm trying to see if I can play some Robotech using Mekton. Balancing mecha from 90kg to 40-50t is not an easy task.

    1. I've actually played the original (1st Edition) Sword World RPG several times, mostly as one-shots.

      While I did like it to some extent and feel the 2.0 and 2.5 are interesting, I am still unsure if I want to run that sort of Fantasy. It usually doesn't do it for me in the long run.

      I do have another project in the works that may scratch my Fantasy itch however...

  3. My comic shop guy is sooo good to me! I totally forgot to order the new Marvel RPG. I talked to him and he said he would check if he could still order it. He called me back and said he could get me a copy, but wanted to know which of the 4 covers I wanted.

    1. Nice! I keep forgetting it has multiple covers. I kind of just want the classic one with the silhouette but I wouldn't mind that Scarlet Witch cover as a T-Shirt (hear that Marvel?).