Thursday, December 29, 2016

Is It Over Yet?

This is my last post for 2016.

What a year. I am personally very glad it's over.

While I ran some good games, played in some too, saw some cool movies, and TV shows, and met some great people, the year as a whole was kind of a downer.

From celebrities passing, to political and social disappointment on a grand scale, I feel like 2016 has long since worn out its welcome.

I still don't have a clear idea of what my next big game is, and that is bugging me a little. OK, more than a little. I really wanted to have the idea locked down a while ago so that I could start developing material for it during the holiday vacation. No such luck. 

Ah well.

To all my friends, family, and those who get even the smallest bit of use, and/or enjoyment out of this blog, I would like to wish you a safe, happy, and healthy new year. 


Barking Alien

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Forever A Princess

Today, the world mourns...let's face it...far too many people to even hope to tribute in a post on a blog.

2016 has been a downright vengeful, insidious, and foul natured bastard of a year.

Earlier in the year,  my life long musical hero, the one and only David Bowie, was taken from us. Now, a very different kind of hero...

Carrie Fisher has passed away at the far too young age of 60.

Aside from her position as an iconic Star Wars actress, Ms. Fisher was a talented writer, speaker, and a bold and vibrant personality.

The daughter of Hollywood alumni - Singer Eddie Fisher, and actress Debbie Reynolds, her passing marks not only a sad day for her family, friends, and fans, but in some ways the end of a very specific era of our country's entertainment history.

I am surprised I was able to write this much. I am at a loss to convey by full regard for this woman.

May the Force Be With You, and with us...

Barking Alien

Update: It is with great sadness that I must also report the passing of Carrie Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds, just one day after the death of her daughter. 

Cameras off. Curtain closed.

The Not Yet Really For Prime Adventuring Players

Few and far between are my posts this December.

It's just been too crazy a month.

I find myself with an entire few seconds just now, so I thought I would put you all on to something some friends of mine are doing.

The Pod of Many Casts is a new podcast series in which a group of people play D&D. Wow, right? Sooo special. Don't let the seemingly common theme fool you. This one has a twist. 

It's funny. Really funny.

The group consists of a number of oddball characters, and those are just the players! Two good friends of mine (and people I game with in person), Leo and Alex, are involved and I couldn't be happier. They are clever chaps, and have a background in improv comedy.

The cast of PCs is at once familiar to those who know D&D, and tweaked to be a bit off the beaten path. I am especially intrigued by Plum - excuse me, Princess Plum, and her valiant steed...well...I'll let you hear that for yourselves.

Available on iTunes, and elsewhere for the price of naught by a listen.

Highly recommended as a break from the norm.

Enjoy, Happy Holidays and Good Luck in the New Year!

Barking Alien

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Looking for a Sign

The blog as been incredibly quiet this month...while real life has been anything but calm.

I've been working, spending time with friends, and family, and playing a lot of games. Of the latter, all have been fun, but none has inspired me to post. 


I'm not certain. I just feel like I don't yet have a clear idea of my gaming future, and so I don't really know what to say. I know plans are in the works for upcoming campaigns, but nothing is yet written in stone.

I feel like I'm treading water in a sort of gaming limbo - not going under, not drowning - but wading in the middle of the pool unsure of my next move.

I can't shake a strong desire to run things my players are less likely to be engaged in. 

I'm looking for an opening, a sign...a clear idea of what's going to be a hit with both myself, and my players.

Any ideas?

Barking Alien

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I Have All I Need

Following our Wednesday night Google Hangouts superhero game this past week, many of us hang around post game to discuss the game, gaming in general, and what our favorite games are.

It was during this conversation that my friend +Keith Jacobson  gestured to the bookshelves behind him, and said some incredibly profound words (which I will paraphrase here as close to a quote as I can muster):

"I have been collecting superhero RPGs for a while now, but outside of supporting a creator, or company I like, I think I am done buying any new superhero games. I don't really need them. I have this big collection, but Kapow! (our current game) scratches my Superhero itch. I don't need anything else."

I've owned a lot of RPGs over the years, and played probably five times as many. I've always enjoyed checking out new games, and I still do. Yet there is a great truth in what Keith is saying here. 

I like new games. I don't NEED new games. 

If I were to consider running a new campaign, and I was limited to those RPGs that I count among my favorites, I would be very happy to do so without much of a second thought. Furthermore, if no new version, edition, or thematically identical game every came out I would still enjoy the heck out of the games I already have.

Case in point...Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius Entertainment.

Here's a game I have been chomping at the bit to check out. I have the playtest rules, and I am reading through them now. I am having a little difficulty wrapping my mind around some of the mechanics, but I am curious to test them in play to see how they really function.

Now, let's say they don't. Hypothetically here, let's say the game either doesn't work right, or simply doesn't work for me. I'd be bummed, but it's not like I can't run Star Trek now. 

I've been running Star Trek campaigns since 1982 with the FASA game. I was a playtester, and writer for my favorite incarnation of Star Trek in table top form, the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games. Both of these still work. LUG's works especially good for me personally. It fits my preferred style, and approach, has very smooth, workable mechanics, and it's easy to develop your own ideas with it. 

If I want to run Star Trek, I have a game.

While I've wrestled with what superhero RPG I would want to use if I got the chase to run Supers again, I feel like...did I really? Why was it such a hard decision? You know you want to run, you're just afraid others won't take to it as you did, and do. The answer is Champions 4th Edition. I talking to myself?

If I want to run Star Wars, I have West End Games D6 RPG. Yes, I could use something else. Yes, I made a Star Wars adaption for Traveller as an experiment. That's not what I need though. All I need is WEG Star Wars. 

If I want Giant Robot Anime there is Mekton, or maybe my modified Extended Mission game. 

If I want Medieval Fantasy...ROTFL! seriously, I could want that! Anyway, I would go with Ars Magica. 

The point is, I'm all for innovation, but I have what I came for. I have a collection of games that work especially well for me. They're all on my shelves, right here, right now.

I seem to periodically go on these soul searching dream quests for the perfect game when truthfully, I have everything I need. 

Barking Alien