Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gamey Tastes and The Moody Blues

Generally speaking, I prefer my RPGs to have game mechanics that stay out of my way once I start playing. That need not mean that have to be simple or rules lite. Champions for example, which many see as very complex, is pretty easy to run. A game with seemingly complicated character creation is OK if the actual running of the game, engaging in combat and making skill checks if need be, is all fairly simple.

Now, every once in a while, I like to change up and play a RPG where the game gets in your face a bit. Not too much or all the time but you are definitely aware of some of the mechanics and they add an extra challenge or provide the game (and this is key) with a built in vibe or atmosphere.

These 'Gamey Games' as I call them are fun for me as they make me change my approach and execution when running a campaign that uses them. I need not focus on the game elements but I know I can't ignore them either.

As a friend said just yesterday in a discussion about music, "Sometimes we purposely do things we wouldn't normally do or don't really even favor, just to see if we can get a different result. It's an attempt to challenge ourselves so we don't get stuck in a place from which we can't expand. Sometimes you need to do something artistically uncomfortable or you'll end up repeating what you already know."

Now I can already see everyone from the art conscious to the RPG grognard getting up in a tither so let me clarify with the following:

YOU (Personally) DON'T HAVE TO (Must Do It or Die) DO ANYTHING (In regards to the above statements).

You wouldn't think you'd need to say that but you also wouldn't think you need a warning label on matches alerting you to the possibility that the product may catch fire.

The above quote comes from how this person feels about their music and the process of making it and it struck a chord with me (no pun intended but it's nice to have it there) in regards to how I feel about gaming.

She also noted the she sometimes makes up rules or limitations on her thought process for a given piece in order to facilitate her brain's creative problem solving ability. How can I follow these rules or given parameters and still make something creative that gets my message across.

This is basically the same thing you see in the random rolls on charts in RPGs. Now granted, I largely dislike the over use of charts and random rolling of everything as it feels (to me and me alone, OK?) like a bit of a cop out. Sometimes random rolls inspire and sometimes you are letting someone else do your thinking for you.

In regards to random charts as inspiration, I certainly love the character creation rules and superpowers charts from good ol' Villains & Vigilantes. I may roll some wacky combos of powers but often I roll up a character I know I probably wouldn't have thought up.

Now what's the point of this post? Why mention this?

Well, that gets me to the
Moody Blues part.

You see, after running Champions, I am very much in the mood for a 'Gamey Game'. A generally rules light, indie game with some odd or interesting mechanic or other that makes the players look up and say, "Oh! We are playing a new game. This is something different."

My problem is, though some of my current players are a bit more flexible in trying new things than perhaps the average gamer, none of them are very much into games of this nature. No, their preferences lie somewhere between the detailed but abstract mechanics of a Champions or a D&D and a near simulationist mentality, attempting to emulate the faux-realism of the world their character live in.

Now, in my wildest dreams (wink), I could come up with a game that makes everybody happy by meeting a majority of the criteria of the types of games we all want to play.

For now, I've got Gamey Tastes and the Moody Blues,

Barking Alien

Friday, June 29, 2012

Science Fiction Party Mix

So I asked the fellas (my gaming group, which currently consists of Dave, Ray, Marcus and Lee), "What elements of Science Fiction do you like and want to see in our upcoming Science Fiction game?" I also asked them to use one word to describe each element.

The results were quite interesting.

Note that as I previously mentioned, Lee will likely
not be joining us which sucks, but I get it. It's too 'close to home' for him to play a Science Fiction game when he doesn't get to run his homebrew Sci-Fi thing.*

The good news is we could occasionally see the return of Jeff, as we've seen him pop by periodically in the past few months for Champions. That'd be really nice.

Now, on to the responses...

Dave Likes
Aliens, Setting and Technology

Dave is a setting guy. He likes there to be an established universe full of things he can find out about, ask about and go investigate. Oddly, he is less inclined to do these things in a milieu where everything is a mystery.

I'll try to explain, though take my explanation with a grain of salt as I don't one hundred percent understand it myself...

Dave like RIFTS. One of the reasons he likes it so much is that he feels there are cool things to do and 'see' and yet a lot of room to move around and install your own elements and ideas. When Dave learns that there is a base on the moon that may have a portal to, say, Phase World, Dave wants to check it out because he knows what Phase World is before that adventure presented itself.

On the other hand, if we're playing a more generic Sci-Fi game and strange signals from a rogue moon indicate a man-made base with, possibly, a Quantum Space Fold gate to another dimension, he isn't so jazzed because it doesn't link in to a world, setting or thing he knows.

I am the opposite in many ways. While I do like playing Star Trek for example, where I know the Species, technology and other elements, I don't want to investigate the Klingon Homeworld, Deep Space 9 or even Janus 6. I want to boldly go where no one has gone before. I want to take the familiar into the unknown.

More on this in an upcoming post.

As for technology, Dave is a real gadget junkie when it comes to RPGs and video and computer games. He initially couldn't get into Traveller because it's tech seemed so 'primitive' compared to the Sci-Fi he is more familiar with from games, movies and anime. No 3-D, Holographic, free floating control panels? No nanotech healing?

Granted I do include some of that in my Traveller in order to beef up the 'visuals' of the setting but I noticed a lot of the time that's all it is. If Dave doesn't see the 'trappings' of a Sci-Fi future, then he views it as outdated when there is virtually nothing he is actually missing in terms of stuff he would use. That is to say, what he is looking for is the look of the future. Whenever he asks, "Does it have X, Y and Z items?", the answer is usually, "Yes. That stuff is pretty basic."

Ray Likes
Aliens (Non-Humanoid), Nanotechnology and Virtual Reality

Ray's choices strike me as interesting as they are perhaps the most 'Science Fictiony' of the all those the players have mentioned but also the elements least often specifically encountered in traditional Traveller.

While non-humanoid aliens exist in the Traveller canon and are even fairly important to the setting (the Hiver and K'Kree most notably), Nanotech and Virtual Reality play little part in the rules or setting unless added in by the enterprising GM. This is one of the few times I think Traveller feels dated, when some factor seen all over the place in modern Science Fiction wasn't considered a major deal when earlier additions of Traveller were written.

Ray notes that his interest in Virtual Reality stems from the Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck episodes as well as the uses and abuses of it in various Cyberpunk settings.

Marcus Likes
Aliens (Humanoid), Armor and Weapons

Marcus is a combat junkie. His RPG roots are strictly D&D and his major Sci-Fi game exposure comes from computer games like Mass Effect and Halo. Bottom line, Marcus wants high tech tools for the purpose of beating people up.

But he's no mere cave man in a space suit. You see, Marcus has feelings too.

Marcus explains that he prefers human-like and humanoid extraterrestrials so that he can interact with them. An elephant-sized, jellyfish like gas bag living in the atmospheric soup of Saturn is interesting but how does he deal with it? At least to Marcus' thinking, "It doesn't want what I want or need what I need. I can't help it, compete with it, date it or anything so, yeah it's cool to think about but in the end, who cares."

Ray, Dave and I are of a very different view point but I can totally understand where Marcus is coming from in a game setting. Gave me something to think about.

Lee Likes
A cast of thousands, Hard Science meets weirdness and Untamed/uncategorized space

Yes, Lee was unable to use one word to explain what he likes. This is a
thing with Lee. It's also interesting to note that all the things he mentions are, for me, part and parcel when running Sci-Fi. They are a given. So, the one guy who doesn't feel like joining in the fun is the guy who would probably enjoy the game the most. Not surprising. *Sigh*

Barking Alien

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Likes and Dislikes

I was reading some threads on a 'private' web forum my old Compleat Strategist group used to use and I found this bit from March of 2009...
A friend asked:

What do you like and dislike in games?

What do I like? That's a bit vague. I like flexibility. I like creative thinking and solving unusual situations with bold, outside the box solutions. I like it when my players surprise me. I like to see people take chances.

What do I dislike? I don't like games that move slowly. I don't like PCs so overly cautious its hard to believe they took up the life of an adventurer. I don't like monsters, traps, characters or stories with one obvious, linear, unshakeble way that things can go. I don't like it when I as the GM or player are not entertained by the game.

Barking Alien

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Screw This I'm Happy

I've started writing this blog entry no less than three times. That is never a good sign.

While there is no end of subjects I would like to blog about and discuss, it has been unusually difficult of late to do so. I am motivated in 'spirit' but not enough to actually do something about it. *Sigh*

My main issue is the nagging problem of what to run next. As I've stated before, starting in August of this year (most likely on Saturday the 25th as that is the exact date of my RPG Anniversary), I intend on beginning a new campaign. Of what? Unknown.

I simply can not decide. No idea that pops into my head (and rest assured there has been quite a bit of popping going on)seems 'right'.

My group is, I have come to realize, more than a bit different from groups I've had in the past, especially without one particular player who often moves the plot, story and action of a give session along. My game is suffering from the nearly debilitating slowdown brought on by smart players overthinking every action. This is juxtaposed by one other player who does not do that but instead goes after plot ideas and actions that have very little to do with what is going on at any given moment.

I know, I know, more complaining from the AD-man. Starting to sound like a broken record am I?

Perhaps. And I certainly don't want to. I want to come here excited to blog all about the awesome game session we just had of this crazy-cool game you probably never heard of.

My problem is can't please everybody but heck, I'm not trying to. I only want to please five people, my four players and myself. We can't be all that different in interests and styles can we? I mean, we're friends aren't we? Sure we are! So why is it so hard coming up with a game that will equally interest and fit us all. I thought it might be Traveller but for various reasons it's not. The mechanics and rules (especially character creation) don't appeal to one fellow and it's subject, style and setting are too similar to another's homebrew that he is experiencing a 'I'd-rather-run-my-thing-than-play-your-thing' situation. OK, I get that. So what can Adam run that he (and the rest) wouldn't play otherwise?

I don't know. I. Just. Don't. Know.

Ending on a happy, I have entered into a new and pretty, damn awesome relationship with someone who is She is wow. She is interested in knowing more about this gaming stuff.

Screw the overall vibe of this post. I'm happy damn it.

Barking Alien

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not Quite Feeling It


That is, I am not quite feeling the Traveller campaign I am preparing to run.

I am in one of my moods. I am incredibly inspired, partly thanks to a new relationship, partly because I just finished my campaign at the Learning Center with the kids and I'm looking forward to the summer program. Unfortunately I am also a little unfocused.

I say a little because my head is still in Sci-Fi mode but it isn't really on Traveller.

I've been reading and re-reading InSpace, the rule lite space exploration variant of the game InSpectres which explores the type of 'Big Science Fiction' mysteries found in Solaris, Forbidden Planet and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The new edition of Starships and Spacemen has had the effect of making me look at the original once more, as well as
E.T. Smith's super cool update.

Then there's all the IP setting ideas I have, most notably something a big more tongue-in-cheek (after the deadly seriousness of much of our Champions game) such as Red Dwarf or
Galaxy Quest (yeah, haven't revisited that in a while).

Anyway, I'm sure I'll come around. In the meantime I do have other things to address and hope to get back to regular posting pretty soon. Maybe it'll help me sort things out.

Barking Alien

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Mighty Explosion Can Begin With But A Tiny Spark

I have recently had the privilege, and yes, I feel privileged, to meet and speak with someone who is not only a passionate artist but a truly beautiful person.

Talking to another creative individual, even or perhaps especially one creative in a field different from my own but still understanding them and being understood is a feeling like no other.

I suspect you will see a lot of cool ideas from me in the near future because I have found a new, additional source of inspiration. I hope my new friend will benefit in the same way.

Barking Alien

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thinking Smaller On Big Ideas

A lot of people, certainly a lot of GMs I know, start simple or small and add details as they go.

Maybe it's a single town with a dungeon near by or the starport and some alien ruins but as time goes on it will become a town near a city that's in a kingdom on a continent, etc.

I don't always (usually) work that way. I try to. I wish I did. No, I start huge and epic and have developed the rather odd skill of learning to edit and hold off and pull the camera in tighter.

While thinking about my upcoming Traveller game for example, I came up with some such idea that reminded me of Red Dwarf (the British Sci-Fi Sitcom that I can't believe I haven't mentioned more often on this blog as I love it so much). That somehow got me looking up pictures of ships from the show on Google, which lead me to thinking how much the
Omega Planet Skipper from EXONAUTS' site would fit a slightly more serious version of that universe, not to mention Space:1999, which got me thinking of the InSpace/Space:1999 idea I had and BOOOM!

Gaming Epiphany!

Picture a Traveller game in which the players start out as the typical Space Truckdrivers/Serenity(bleh) group of ner do well troubleshooters when a misjump or some other accident sends them millions of years in the future.

The last Humans alive in the universe (perhaps) with maybe an android or uplifted animal companion for extra fun, they have to maintain their ship and stay alive just to find out if there is any life in the universe not entirely hostile to them. Maybe they want to find out what happened to Humanity. Maybe they want to find Earth. Maybe they want to find some tropical planet somewhere and just lie on the beach forever drinking cool drinks with umbrella's in them.

Refining it, the idea works best as Red Dwarf/InSpace, with big, high concept science fiction like Solaris, Forbidden Planet and 2001: A Space Odyssey crossing paths with the occasional remnant civilization of genetically engineered creature or renegade robot left behind by a dead-beat Humanity.

Personally I think the concept is awesome but I also thinking it would be hard for my current group to 'get' the idea. I can't be too tongue-in-cheek with these guys even though we joke around a lot. They like their gaming serious and aren't adept at understanding my dramatic comedy or comedic but serious game ideas.

I now have to start widdling this down to see if I can use any of it with them or just scrap it and start from scratch.

Hmmm...or I could just save it for the New Jersey Group. Ah, Jersey.

Who said that?! >_<

OK, OK...something less amazing...

Barking Alien

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sad Vargr Face

One of the players in my current group has decided to opt out of our upcoming Traveller game.

This makes the Vargr childern sad.

For a while now this fellow has been working on a Sci-Fi game of his own and, unable to find enough time in his/own schedule to playtest it with us, he feels that playing Traveller is a bit like rubbing salt in the wound. I get that to some degree and certainly when I suggested we play Traveller next after Champions, that was not my intention.

Rather, since he had gotten mixed though generally positive responses off of his game the few times he'd run it, I figured, since he's never played Traveller, doing so would give him some insight into or some ideas on how to spruce up his own game and, more to the point, make it more accessible to those not familiar with its style and universe (the one element which I personally feel Traveller does especially well being more 'D&D' like in its generic-ness).

Now, I've asked him, "What if it wasn't Traveller but Red Dwarf, Star Trek, InSpace or something else? Would that change your mind? Is it because Traveller is too similar to what you have in mind?"

He hasn't gotten back to me on that yet. I will keep you posted.

Barking Alien


A Sound of Thunder

Didn't want to sign off this evening without paying my respects to a literary favorite of mine who has passed on to, with any luck, a world even more interesting then this one.

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

If you haven't any read any of his short stories in a while (or even ever), I highly recommend taking the time to do so.

Rest in peace,

Barking Alien

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Looking Forward Before I Leap

Geez but I've been griping a lot lately. Boo-hiss on me.

While it's all fine and good to get things off your chest and blogging here does allow me to do that, I am starting to feel a negative vibe creeping in to too many posts. So, just to get some fresh air in here, let's talk about something positive.

Now nothing is more positive then the start of a new campaign...

When I first started this blog three years ago, my intention was to focus the vast majority of the content on Science Fiction gaming. As I had mentioned not too long ago, the blog isn't called Barking Faerie.*

Now in the interim, as I approach 35 years in the hobby and top 500 posts (this one is actually the 501st - GO EMPIRE!), I find that things like Superheroes, Muppets and even Fantasy (makes nasty-tasting-medicine face) seem to outnumber my first love, aliens, robots and faster-than-light travel.

Now granted, I have managed to squeeze in my love of outer space and ray guns into my discussions of other subjects. The Muppets and comedy RPGs in general wouldn't be the same without Pigs In Space, Paranoia or my homebrew Galaxy Quest game (a very popular set of posts I might add!). My Supers game is certainly heavy on the Sci-Fi elements, from the good-guy sentinels known as The Minutemen to the extensive coverage of the physics behind alternate dimensions and unified field theory.

But this year, I am going to get the chance to do something pretty extraordinary. I am actually going to attempt, and I assure you succeed at least to some degree, to run an extended Science Fiction RPG campaign and blog about it!

While the act itself should be pretty simple, I suddenly feel like the Great Gonzo announcing his lastest daredevil artiste stunt.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I do request you be still and quiet for a moment and keep photo flashes to a minimum. I, the Amazing Adam, will now attempt to run a Science Fiction RPG for his current gaming group...without a net! Maestro, if you please..."

In space, no one can hear you get shot out of a cannon
into a orange slushie soaked paper towel.

Anyway, I know what I want out of a Science Fiction game campaign but I am dealing with a whole new crowd of players whom I've never really run a serious SF campaign for. What do they want out of it? What do they hope to do, encounter or 'see'?

Looking forward to finding out...

Barking Alien

*At one time I considered starting a second blog where I would post any and all Fantasy genre related ideas, in order to keep Barking Alien more focused on Sci-Fi and Supers. My ideas for titles included Green Shuck, a type of faerie folklore creature associated with the Black Dog/Black Shuck/Grim or Ghostly Hound.

Gaming Outside The Game

At one point during a recent session of Champions, one of the players who entered the campaign in its 'second season', found out about an enemy organization which was already known to the first season Players and their PCs.

He remarked that the Players could use a list of the major players and organizations in the setting. I actually have such a list of major superheroes and villains known to the public, which I made available for everyone to read, and the PCs are members of a team of superheroes tied to the UN and have access to the team's international database.

My thinking is, if a group is not well known to the public, you only recently joined the superteam and you haven't taken the time to look stuff up in the computer system, why should I freely give out info on the organization in question? How is that fair to one of the other players in the group who specifically bought the Knowledge Skills 'Criminology' and 'Superhuman Community' and the ability to sleep less than normal to reflect the fact that he stays up all hours of the night studying up on opponents and allies alike?

Well, the first player feels that with all the details in this setting, I should do a wiki type page giving everyone an equal footing run down. Not on secret GM stuff of course but stuff that the PCs, as members of the UN superteam for anywhere from 1-to-4 months now (in-game time) would be expected to know or would be informed of.

That is just not my way of doing things. I don't like doing that. Why? Well, I don't really want to game outside of the game. That is, if you want info that is already readily available to your PC, have said PC access that info or talk to an NPC in-game. Seriously, I am already doing tons of work for this campaign including designing and updating villains, making illustrations of every major character we meet, working on scenarios based off what the PCs did last I should make a wiki page too? Spoiled much?

This same player also wanted to participate in a gaming phenomenon I've encountered only one or two times before and which, while probably as old as gaming and the telephone, is made easier by way of the internet. He wanted to play out a meeting with an important NPC over IM or through email. He said it was, "So it wouldn't take up game time".

This concept makes little sense to me. What is game time for then? Isn't it the time when we interact with NPCs, further PC and NPC goals and move the plot along? Also, the idea once again seems unfair to me. We, the group and I, get together once a week for what is usually an 8-10 hour session. Each player and PC gets a part of that time dedicated to what they're doing in the adventure. Why should any one player get more time than the others. If I did it for everyone when would I eat, sleep, write this blog, walk my dog or, you know, live.

Though perhaps I am wrong in my attitude toward this approach. Am I too old school in my wanting to game at the table with the group and not in pieces away from it?

Opinions please. Anyone else experience this positively or negatively?

Barking Alien

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pleading The Fifth

Apparently some...silly magicians or something, from some beach somewhere, are working on a game. The fifth version of it I hear. Whatever.

Here is a Fifth Edition I care about...

Traveller 5th Edition

Check your periodic table of awesome. T5 is the atomic weight of bad ass.

Barking Alien

*I wanted to embed the video but blogspot wouldn't let me for some reason :(

Sunday, June 3, 2012

All The Myriad Ways

Man, I am so behind on my Champions recaps I am ashamed. From this point forward, until such time as I have caught up, I shall wear the Hubcap of Shame.

This thing is heavy so let's get to it...

Instead of a full recap of the last two or three adventures (I think it was three but I might be wrong), I am going to summarize and just mention the highlights. That said, this is by no means a short post. Also, stay tuned after the summarization for some notes and news.

The PCs, with recommendations and some assistance from a few NPC allies, came up with the following plan:

Use the interdimensional gateway at our secret headquarters to 'port in optimal parallel Earth versions of themselves (the PCs and other major heroes) or major villains (who are also good on their particular alternate world) and intercept Dys'Dayn, Empress of a Billion Dimensions, before she can make contact with the even-more-evil-than-she-is Dark Seraph. Actually, good plan.*

The newly assembled force travels to Champions Earth Alpha Delta-4 (the Empress' next and last stop before moving on to The Abyss that holds Dark Seraph) where they encounter that worlds heroes who are largely styled after the Charlton Comics heroes and The Watchmen. The majority of Earth AD-4's villains are gangster, cult leaders and mad scientists and it's no exaggeration to say they would have been completely wiped out if the multiversal heroes hadn't shown up.

I let the players play their parallel selves and their own characters if they were assigned to the mission (some were on other missions back on their home Earh). I have to hand it to the guys in that they really had the other versions of themselves act and talk differently from their primary characters. In addition, I had some of them make up their alternate selves. A surprising and subtle favorite was Marcus playing an old version of The Power who had taken the name and costume of his PC's father, The Good Fight and a version of The Power who was Power's sister (The Power has a dependant NPC younger sister on Earth AD-1. On AD-4 the sister inherited the abilities and became The Power).

The battle between Project: UNITY (the PC team) and it's quantum reality cavalry and Empress Dys'Dayn was awesome...and short. If it weren't for some really cool maneuvers on the part of both the heroes and the Empress a like, I think it would have seemed anti-climactic. The sheer number of heroes at the Players' finger tips, their power level and many rolls going in the good guys' favor meant that while it wasn't easy to defeat the Empress, it was pretty fast.

Luckily, inspiration struck! In the aftermath of the battle, one of the NPC allies ( a good version of our own world's biggest baddie) prepares to head home only to discover his arch-enemies have defeated and even killed a few of the heroes of his native Earth. He requests the PCs aid in saving his planet and they agree, heading off to challenge the worst villains of Earth AD-3...Evil Versions of Themselves!!!

What followed isn't over yet but involved some crazy cool encounters and waaay too much thinking. See the * below.

For my part I had a blast finally let my bastard GM side out (a thing I rarely do). I think fast, a talent that aids in my ability to ad lib the majority of every game I run. In addition, I love super heroes comic books and have read a gazillion of the them. Lastly, I know the Champions 4th Edition system better than any of the Players. The result, I used their own abilities in crazy kickass ways that they either hadn't thought of or usually don't do because they're Heroes!

Interestingly, it was Marcus ( who has recently been grinding my gears a bit with his play style, disinterest in teaming up with or helping out the rest of the group and constently griping/obsessing over how-come-everyone-else-is-more-powerful-than-me), who came up with the coolest way to get his evil counterpart out of the picture.

Instead of battling him (the evil The Power), Marcus had the older Power/Good Fight II pretend to be the evil Power from the future. The 'elder version' told 'his younger self' that something crazy was going to go down and the evil Champions were going to get beat up by heroes from other dimensions (essentially true). Now, if the evil Power hides with his sister, dad (The Bad Fight?) and best friend (evil version of the hero Siphon Zero/Revenant), he could emerge after the fight and take over. Basically, sit it out and let the Supers from the other worlds do you the favor of taking out the competition for you. Evil The Power agreed with this plan and has gone underground until the smoke clears.

Wicked clever.

Now...not everything was shiny in the gleaming City of Tomorrow...

*Tempers, attitudes and nerves seemed a bit frayed Saturday. We definitely pushed each others buttons and I was no exception.

For reasons known only to my players...some of them at least...they really enjoy taking time to plan out actions. They will discuss tactics ad nauseum and never pull the trigger on a plan until I go forward, assuming they are ready and indicate something happens. Then it's, "No, no! MaxiMode and Ultramarine were ALREADY outside! We told you they were going to head out."

Going to. Never do. Never, "They leave."

One player in particular, a quantum mechanics and physics buff, will take twenty minutes of real time explaining exactly what his character's power will do. One of the other players eventually got tired of this and said to me, "Is this a Superhero game or a science lesson. Is this Champions or 'Ask 100 Physics Questions' The RPG?"

I love science and am a big of a physics head myself but I had to agree. The whole thing was weakening the momentum of the game. It took far too long to get things done. Finally I had that fellow's character's evil doppelganger teleport in (something the PC can theoretically do but never does) and redirect all the electromagnetism in the room into a blast directed at the PC (something else the PC can do but never does). To his credit, the Player reacted very quickly and the brief back and forth was awesome. Finally, locked in combat with each other, the villainous version never saw another hero sneak up on him and deliver a devastating attack from behind.

In the end, we all talked about it, letting off steam and discussing our differences in game styles and what appeals to us and doesn't. Now, the truth of the matter is our Science Savant is never going to change and start giving us the abridged, layman's terms description of his moves any more than I'm going to start a wiki that goes into meticulous background detail on every person, place or thing in the campaign milieu and its history (I prefer the find-out-as-you-go method as both a player and a GM. You want to know and remember campaign info? Take notes). I do think and feel that, having discussed it out in the open, we get each other a little better. We will, hopefully, be more aware of the others persons opinions and be a little more patient with their idiosyncrasies.

Now that isn't everything that's gone on in the game but that's the major stuff. Well actually there is a side story that is pretty major happening back on our own Earth that the original Power is involved in and I really like where that is going and so does Marcus. Marcus was feeling like he was getting tired and a little annoyed with the game but he also admitted it was partially because he lost his focus and wasn't sure what to do with his character. Now that he has a goal and an investigation to pursue he says his interest in considerably renewed.

All this and I plan on starting Traveller in August!

Oh all the myriad ways...

Barking Alien