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I met Hex from Good Game tonight. She's really friendly. She's also really short.

We were both at the Dungeon Crawl show run by [ profile] barrington. Tonight's show was a special fundraiser for Geek Mook, an upcoming magazine-book about the intersecting between art and geekdom.

Apparently Bajo was there as well, but he went home early.

Geek notes

Jun. 23rd, 2010 09:29 pm
sharplittleteeth: (Default)
estel S. [ˈɛstɛl̡] n. hope, trust, a temper of mind, steady fixed in purpose, and difficult to dissuade and unlikely to fall into despair or abandon its purpose

from Hiswelókë's Sindarin dictionary

(EDIT: See also this article about the word Estel.)

sharplittleteeth: (Default)
Sick. Maudlin. Reminiscing...

Jel ordered a bunch of comics from the Book Despository recently, and I'm slowly working my way through them.

The first one I read was Skim, words by Mariko Tamaki, art by Jillian Tamaki. It's a about high school goth Wiccan girl who develops a crush on her English teacher. Which sounds a bit on the nose, but the comic is actually nuanced and subtle and funny and very beautiful. There's a six page preview here.

Today I started reading Hope Larson's Mercury. It opens with a teenage girl practising her long distance running.

And my brain went: "High school witches? Long-distance running? Hey, that's December Whyte."

Who? you're asking.

December Whyte was the character Jel played in Witchcraft High, my Buffy-meets-Southern-Gothic roleplaying game from a few years ago.

Now, Game Masters aren't supposed to have favourite player characters, especially not their girlfriend's character. But I always had a huge soft spot for December.

She was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Her family were petty crooks and jailbirds. She wasn't the smartest kid in school, nor the prettiest. But she could run. Through the woods. Past the marshes. Running from her past. Running from her dead-end town, where everyone looked down on her because she was one of those no-good Whytes. Running into her future...

I was never really happy with Witchcraft High. We had a great set of characters, and an evocative setting. But I screwed it up. I didn't know what to do with it, so it degenerated into a "blah, blah, demons attack" mess of a storyline.

If I could go back and give myself some advice, it would be this: Plot is Character. Everything else should grow out from there.
  1. What do the characters want?
  2. Why do they want it?
  3. What's stopping them?
  4. How far will they go to get it?

All the demons and witchcraft and spooky stuff are just window dressing on top of that.

One of the things I did like about that game was the soundtrack. I let each player chose a theme song for their character. Jel, with her impeccable taste, chose Palace Music's 'Horses (Lost Blues Version)'. It's a beautiful song, full of yearing and sadness and hope. Really, I think it's the thing that made me fall in love with the character of December Whyte.

I'd be riding horses if they let me
Sleep outside at night and not take fright
I would ride the reigns and never worry
I would disappear into the night

Everybody needs an angel
But here's that devil by my side
Deaths head ring upon his finger
Poor boy hanging on the light

sharplittleteeth: (Default)
Birthday drinks for [ profile] a_carnal_mink at the Tyranny of Distance. Lovely to catch up with her and [ profile] kits_the_dm . Had nice paella for dinner, then the stress of the last week hit me and I had to go home and sleep.

Karate. Lunch with Toshi, a fellow karateka who's going back to Japan for a year.

Dinner at Ito, then off to the East Brunswick Club for Sugar Kitten Cabaret. Which was tight and funny and fun, as well as raising money for WIRE. Thumbs up to [ profile] missmalice  for organising it.

Lunch in Royal Park with the High Tea Society.

I'd offered to make gluten-free scones. They came out less like delicate little pastries suitable for elegant dining and more like something you'd put in a sling-shot and use to slay giants.

Still - the High Tea included antique linen, a working gramophone and a game of croquet. Plus lots of charming people. (waves at all the new people we met, and whose LJ names we've promptly forgotten).

Sunday night was finished off with Battlestar Galactica: the Board Game at Alex's house.
Board game geekery... )

First day of two weeks leave. *relaxes*

sharplittleteeth: (Default)
Started reading Max Brook's World War Z yesterday.

I've never been a massive zombie fan like some of my friends. But so far I'm liking it. There's lots of neat little research in it - people-smuggling in Tibet, blackmarket organ transplants in Rio. It's cool.

i'm reading it as inspiration for a one-off zombie roleplaying game I plan to run soon. Blame [ profile] reinzero. He hassled me at a party recently 'cause I didn't let him play in Witchcraft High. And I thought this might be a good chance to try out the copy of Primetime Adventures I have sitting on my shelf.

Primetime is different than most of the rpgs I normally run. Very rules light, which suits me. But also, it explicitly hands a lot of control over the plot to the players. Not just in terms of what their characters do, but also how scenes are set up, what they're about, and how they're resolved. For a GM who's a closet railroader, it's a little daunting.

So my plan is to start things off with a bang, and then let whatever happens from there happen. Freestyle. It might be wonderful. It might suck ass. The only way to find out is to play.

That's where the zombies come in. I figure zombie invasion makes a great opener, and if things start to flag, we just have the walking dead attack. Ideally, I'd like to keep the action confined to a single area, somewhere large enough to explore, but not so large the characters can just walk away.

A hospital, maybe. Mmm.


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