Saturday, August 4, 2012

What Have You Been Doing Lately?

Last Non-RPG Book Read...

The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry

As I've said before, I've been on a Steve Berry kick recently, as I've been slowly picking the books up on Kindle for the iPad.  Templar Legacy is the first of a series of novels featuring Cotton Malone.  Berry's first three novels and latest novel all had different protagonists, but the middle seven contained Cotton Malone.

The Templar Legacy scratches a couple of itches.  First, I'm a big fan of political conspiracies, and oddly, religious conspiracies, and the Templars and other odd medieval knightly orders have been fodder for some of my games for years.  As a novel, it came out a few years ago at the height of the Dan Brown craze, although Berry is a better writer than Brown.  It's a good read, if not quite as gripping as some of Berry's later stuff, and a good introduction to the Malone character.

Last Music Listened To...

Bedsitter Images-Al Stewart.  Some old Al Stewart, oddly enough, way back in his electric folk period from the late 1960s, well before anybody in America had even heard of him.

Last Move Watched...

I got nothing.  Haven't watched a lot of movies recently, which leads to...

Last TV Watched...
I've been studiously avoiding the Olympics, for the most part.  We did the Buffy Season 5, Fringe Season 1, Heroes Season 2, Supernatural Season 5 cycle last Sunday night after the Star Wars game, so I'm going to go with that.

Last RPG Books Purchased/Read...

I recently purchased Cthulhu by Gaslight (3rd Edition), Cthulhu Dark Ages, and Chronicles of Future Earth.

 Cthulhu by Gaslight: This is the new version, which came out earlier this year.  I'd acquired the previous, 1988 Second Edition from Chaosium about a year ago in PDF, much to my regret, and so I was curious to see what the new edition would be like.  I have to say, after an initial skim that I'm very impressed with it.  They've tweaked character generation in a couple of good ways that may make it into all of my Call of Cthulhu games from now on, the book is written with a lot more in the way of adventure hooks, and it's a much more beautiful book than the old edition.  As soon as I get done reading it, I'll post a review.

Cthulhu Dark Ages: This one came out a few years ago and was Chaosium's first official setting for Call of Cthulhu in the pre-gunpowder era.  I haven't really gone through it yet, but it seems rather impressive upon first glance.  I love the concept of blending Cthulhu into a much grimmer time, when the separation of Church and State was what happened when the Pope excommunicated Kings and Queens, and feudalism was the political order of the day and could see some interesting blending of the Mythos with the dogma of Medieval era Roman Catholicm and Eastern Orthodoxy.  I can also see it being a useful item for running straight-up Medieval settings with BRP.

Chronicles of Future Earth: This one is for Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying.  It's first official setting published after the release of 2008's Basic Roleplaying 4th Edition Core Rulebook, it describes itself as "Science-Fantasy Roleplaying in Earth's Far Future".  It looks like an odd mix of a post-apocalyptic setting (set thousands of years after the event occurred), and contains a liberal mix of fantasy elements.  I'm not sure I'd ever run it as a setting whole cloth (I rarely run published settings as is these days), but I can definitely see some elements, particularly things like spells, magic items, weird tech, character ideas, etc. that I might steal for other BRP games.  Since these are precisely the things I think BRP's core rulebook could have used more of, I consider it a worthy purchase.

Setting Stuff I'm Currently Working On...

Most of my prep time in the last two weeks has gone to work on the two games I'm running for the family, Star Wars Saga Edition: Anakin Takes a Bullet and BRP: Emberverse.

I'm also working on a Call of Cthulhu one shot.  Without giving away too many details, here's a snapshot:

The End: With the upcoming end of the Mayan Calendar coming upon us, I felt a horror game would be in order, and what better way to end the world than to hand it over as a plaything to the Elder Gods.

Loosely based on an old Actual Play recording from Role Playing Public Radio entitled "Is It The End Of The World As We Know It?", I'll be setting it in Phoenix, December 2012, and adding a few fictionalized versions of controversial local politicians into the mix.  The players will be playing characters like the Mayor, Governor, Chief of Police, Commander of the Arizona National Guard, Maricopa County Sheriff, etc. trying to maintain control in a metropolitan area gone mad and stave off the end of the world.  They'll be dealing with riots, rebellions, breakdowns of city services, crazy cultists, and most dangerous of all, half-insane teams of normal Call of Cthulhu investigators firmly convinced that only they can save the city, etc.

It should be a lot of fun.

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