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Messages - Morbid

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1
I am real excited for the meet-up.  Circumstances always seem to prevent me from attending the whole thing, but hopefully not this year.  I'll actually be running a session of Observer Effect as well - it starts at 1:00 PM on Thursday. 

On another note:
Is anyone looking to trade up from an airport hotel?  If so, I have a room I can transfer to you.  To be clear, this is still some distance - but it's 2.5 miles instead of 7-8+ miles, like an airport hotel is. 

Here's the info:
Hotel: Candlewood Suites Indianapolis Dwtn Medical Dist
https://www.ihg.com/candlewood/hotels/us/en/indianapolis/indwp/hoteldetail

Reservation: August 16 - August 20 (Check-in Wednesday, check-out Sunday)
Rate per night: $181.00

Notes: One-bedroom King with pull sofa.  Includes kitchen, described here:
https://www.ihg.com/candlewood/hotels/us/en/indianapolis/indwp/hoteldetail/hotel-room-rates

Distance from convention center: about 2.4-2.5 miles, depending which streets you take.

7/6/17: I have added this to the GenCon hotel exchange forum as well.

2
General Chaos / Re: An offence to food - or is it?
« on: February 22, 2016, 05:24:49 PM »
So far I have not ended up making the St. Paul sandwich.  It turns out that bean sprouts are hard to find in central IL in the middle of winter.  While there's many versions of the Egg Foo Young, they all seem to involve bean sprouts and I'm not sure what would be a suitable substitute.

I tried just adding pickles to my normal breakfast sandwiches (egg with spinach and feta this week) and liked the result so the principle is sound.

I made the pork shoulder version of the beef satay recipe for the Superbowl.  It's solid, though a little salty as written.  If you forget about the leftovers in the fridge, they actually kind of "cure" into little pork jerky pieces, it turns out.

Fuzzy Dan: on the GroupMe, you mentioned bierocks for the Superbowl and posted a picture.  I had never heard of them before and was intrigued.  Do you have any tips for this Midwestern combination of meat and bread?

3

Not just "Blonde racist white girls," there was also "Drunken racist Dude-bros" hammering the mistaking-the-monster-for-stereotype schtick.  Jason and I were trading that one back and forth; we were actually trying to make those characters as unlikable as we possibly could so that y'all would actually cheer when they died.  I still stand by that decision  :)

I'd say that plan worked well - your surfer dude voice was impressive and my only disappointment in that game was that so many of the primary characters survived.  (Mostly by letting the secondary characters keep the killer busy.)

Though it's not RPPR-campaign focused, Glancy does talk about Masks fairly regularly throughout Unspeakable - this one probably has the highest volume of comments on it.  http://theunspeakableoath.com/home/2015/03/unspeakable-episode-19-bret-kamer-of-the-masks-of-nyarlathotep-companion/ 

4
General Chaos / Re: What are you reading?
« on: February 20, 2016, 11:32:00 AM »
Extraordinary Renditions (new DG story anthology) is good and cool. It has a story set in the great depression dust bowl era that would make for a great No Security scenario.

Picked up Extraordinary Renditions yesterday. Through the first three stories.

I have to be honest. The stories are significantly better than most modern Cthulhu mythos tales.  I was a little shocked.  I hope the "Delta Green" on the cover doesn't turn the literary away from these stories as "oh that's just game fiction." They are not.

Helps to be next to the internet to look up all the German words/WWII/CIA project details as well.

Yeah, I actually took a while to pick up the Delta Green fiction collections because I remembered White Wolf's output as being .. inconsistent, let's say. 

While some DG stories/collections are better than others, I've found them all worth my time.  Adam Scott Glancy's "Once more from the top.." (Dark Theatres is the collection) is a fantastic version of the Innsmouth raid.

The Extradordinary Renditions story set in the French countryside was especially effective.  I should finish the rest of the collection..

I've actually found that Cthulhu collections are a little more reliable than general horror collections, but that may be due to my taste.  At least, "New Tales of the Yellow Sign", "New Cthulhu: the Recent Weird" and what I've read of "The Book of Cthulhu" have all been pretty solid, though NTotYS is the only one where I've read every story.

I was really disappointed with the Sherlock Holmes/Cthulhu mash-up collection "Shadows over Baker Street" though that is not really modern Cthulhu.  And it's a tricky balance with Sherlock Holmes' perfect rationality coming up against the unknowable nature of the mythos.

5
Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Red Markets Rewards
« on: February 11, 2016, 11:17:07 PM »
It's a shame to hear that the game fiction is so unrewarding - though not entirely a surprise.  On the plus side, I wasn't following RPPR during the No Security KS, but now I found the two corresponding stories on smashwords.

Edit: To Bright Boy was excellent, great continuation to Bryson Springs.  Still readin Cult of Two.

I am definitely looking forward to the novella, as well. 

The only other thing I can think of is a simple automated character generator, even if it's mostly a prettied up spreadsheet.  But having a good variety of pregens should accomplish almost the same goal of getting people playing quickly.

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RPGs / Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
« on: February 11, 2016, 10:59:47 PM »
I have not actually been to an Ace hotel (though I'd love to stay in one, opportunity permitting).  Would you say that the design/decor was fairly unified or was it more eclectic? 

I think what they're doing is cool with restoring/rehabilitating old buildings, but that behavior parallels Carcosa itself slowly absorbing people and cities - at least in the Tynes mythos. 

I definitely like the idea of obsessive design leading to Carcosa.  "Night Floors" has the apartment with strange items epoxied together in layers, but what about constantly striving for minimalist elegance or that perfect strange juxtaposition?  Competitive "authenticity" sounds perfect, with the King in Yellow being most authentic of all. 

Over the time, I think the themes (decadent design and physical entropy) could intermingle - the residents/guests starting to succumb as they stop taking care of themselves, but they've perfected their surroundings. 

Thanks for the thoughts; I'm still working out how everything fits together.

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RPGs / Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
« on: February 11, 2016, 03:53:39 PM »
My friend was telling me about Ace Hotels, which I feel is fertile ground for a Carcosa/Ruin type series.

The idea is that the company buys up historic buildings with a lot of character as hotels that "appeal to the creative class."  Often they're buildings with an odd history that must be restored or adapted into hotels.  They often have restaurants and entertainment worked in and an emphasis on community among the guests.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Hotel

http://www.acehotel.com/  (If you look at the blog, it's pretty pretentious - something that Portlandia apparently pounced on.)

From the website:
Quote
We believe that Mr. Strummer was right when he sang, "If you're after getting the honey, hey then you don't go killing all the bees," because there is no honey without bees.

which is delightful if you've listened to the Night Clerk.

One of the owners died suddenly in 2013, so if you don't feel too ghoulish working in real world events, that is also an option. http://nypost.com/2015/10/30/family-of-late-ace-hotel-founder-developer-clash-over-ownership/

For my Delta Green game, I am going to start with the planned Chicago hotel and work in many of the ideas from Night Floors and Tynes' Hastur Mythos essay. 

The fact that these are all owned by a corporation that keeps adding to its portfolio immediately adds a sense of conspiracy.  Are all the hotels connected to Carcosa?  To each other?  Are they anchoring their respective cities into Carcosa?

I could see a similar idea working in Ruin with a less flashy hotel chain.  Are those hotels by the side of the highway so homogeneous that you can enter one and find yourself in a different one?  Or when one really goes wrong, can that infection spread through the whole chain?

Still on the note of hotels: the Illuminati room in the Hotel Zaza in Texas.
http://www.vice.com/read/houston-hotel-zazas-room-322-has-got-the-internet-freaking-out  Here's the Vice article on it. 
Ken and Robin have talked about it as well: http://www.kenandrobintalkaboutstuff.com/index.php/episode-123-freemium-democratic-regime/

In short: a strange and creepy room that someone checked into by mistake.  A theme room?  An actual occult site?  A release valve for the emotional toxicity of the hotel's residents? 

8
Thanks!  I will give it a listen. 

Edit: It did not disappoint.  Slasher Flick is pretty great and that particular game is near peak 80s. 

9
"from here on, I will no longer be rewarding racism" (or something close to it) 

I've heard it a couple times, most recently referenced in the Glancy Iconoclasts game, but I don't know what it refers to or what necessitated the statement in the first place. 

10
Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Red Markets Rewards
« on: February 10, 2016, 05:59:00 PM »
Ideally, more details on the RM world, fiction, and resources for players and GMs.  Also good would be example job-lines, Enclaves, or anything else that can get people playing the game right after they pledge.

Just nthing that GenCon play spots are a cool reward. 

I like the idea of a GM-screen - even if it's the "print and maybe laminate yourself" type.  During the playtest, I ended up printing the rules for Critical Successes and Failures, Humanity Loss, and basic combat.  Quick repeats of the rules for casualty groups and stampedes would also be useful.  And printable playmats for sure.

I am a bit leery of physical add-ons just because of how many KS projects have had problems with them.  I would love a physical copy of the book and maybe some dice, but past that I am more interested in funding more content/pdfs. 

11
General Chaos / Re: An offence to food - or is it?
« on: February 01, 2016, 03:03:39 PM »
I got that same cookbook for Christmas.  It's a really fun cookbook between the irreverent approach to authenticity and the little stories.  I really like it though I agree that the compromises show on some things.  (As an example, the rotissiere chicken ramen - sounds perfectly good, but I am kind of a purist when it comes to fancy ramen.) 

So far I think my favorite recipe so far is the celery-ground meat "Asian" "ragu".  (The quote marks are from the book.)  I had no idea that celery could be punched up that much.  It makes a really easy and cheap meal.   

The St. Paul sandwich sounds great to me and will probably be the next recipe that I try out.  I figure it will work well for weekday lunches and will report back.

I just wish I could find some decent pickles (better than Vlasic/Klausen, anyways) in central IL. 

12
Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« on: January 14, 2016, 02:17:49 PM »
I just finished up the "No Bouncing Back from this" job with one of my playtest groups.  (The holidays interfered with doing so earlier.)  I enjoy reading the other ones, so here are the highlights:

They really loved Spots and kept making more trouble for themselves.  Even when it wasn't quite enough to get the Will point, everyone enjoyed playing to the Spots.  ("I'm externalizing my frustration on this crazy old lady!")

- They sent the Chinese army troops to their enclave, reasoning that the troops would have useful skills.
- Banhammer (the latent) got chewed up during the locust/casualty combo in the second leg.
- In the third leg, they killed all the Slavers and then debated a lot about what to do with the Immunes.  In the end, they decided to send them somewhere safe and figure it out later.
- No luck catching horses in the final leg.

Then we had a case of breaking math once they got to the actual job site.  Something like 7-8 failures in a row just to get over the fence without attracting the casualties inside.  They finally got inside and immediately split up (a gift to any Market).  Banhammer tried to go through the vents, but they hadn't been quiet enough and the two Meek knew they were there. 

Pa drops one of the doorjam things down the vent to try and fix Banhammer in place.  Banhammer dodges, but when the doorjam punctures the walls of the vent, Pa fires the rifle at that spot.  He only hits BH in the leg but fills it up, damage spills over to the body and gets him within 4 boxes of going Vector.  Meanwhile Mal and Gnat climb up to the catwalks and run into Ma who is claiming to be a Shepherd.  Gnat immediately gets suspicious but all those weird cults run together for her (failed Sensitivity). 

In my favorite part, Gnat introduces herself as the ubiq admin who saved a ton of people.  Then Mal comes up with a lie to distract Ma - saying that they need some of the expired antibiotics stockpiled there as part of a new potential cure.  It was a good line and a good roll.   Now Ma (who believes that the Blight is divine punishment and should affect everyone) has to choose what to do.  Trying to kill either blows her cover but here is one person who saved thousands of lives from the Blight and another who claims he can stop it entirely.

She ultimately tries to shove Gnat off the catwalk and stab Mal with a casualty-blood covered knife.  It doesn't go well, but the tensest moment of the night was when they realized that they didn't check her for Latent veins before shooting her in the chest. 

Banhammer manages to drag himself out of the vent and hammers Pa down to the babies below. 

During all of these, Grizz is sneaking around below.  First he finds the canned food that Ma and Pa have been living off of.  Then he manages to find some of the rubber, enough to technically complete their contract.  Basically, Grizz has a totally professional time gathering supplies.  They meet up and limp home, forced to leave behind a lot of supplies due to the milling casualties attracted by the rifle fire on the catwalks. 

In each session I ran, I noticed players getting more serious as their charges dwindled.  They really did want a horse or to do more looting at Bounce but didn't feel confident enough about getting away with their limited resources. 

Most of the other feedback matches what I heard discussed on GDW; frustration with no defaulting (they felt it should be possible but at a higher cost of some kind) or losing track of what you can spend rations to boost, initially.  I had noticed that players mostly used the Playmat in combat, so I made a version with Twitch/Tactic/Multitask/Focus in addition to the Endurance and Rations.  Then I made a (slightly busier) version that listed the example actions under each so it was both a reference sheet and playmat.  I've attached it to this post in case they are useful for anyone else.

Everyone seemed to have fun and expressed an interest in playing more in the future. 

And to finish on headcanon, my wife has decided that Gnat is short for Gnatalie Portman.

13
I kind of came at it backwards - I'd listened to 1-2 episodes of RPPR but that was it until the No Soul Left Behind kickstarter dropped.  I liked the concept so much (both parents have taught, I do TAing) that I went in for it.  It was only later that I listened to the playtest and have been hooked ever since. 

With that in mind:

RPG books:
- Most of the stuff from that ArcDream clearout last year.  Included Wild Talents, supplements, Candlewick Manor, pretty much everything for MaoCT except Road Trip. 
- Eclipse Phase core and Morph Recognition cards
- Esoterrorists 2e
- Laundry Files bundle of holding
- The Quiet Year
- No Security

I was already going to get Delta Green when it launched the kickstarter but RPPR helped convince me to up my pledge. 

Other books:
I like the fiction and writing shout-outs a whole lot, so: Wool, Storyteller, and many things (Powers, Planetary, etc) checked out from the library based on RPPRecommendations.  Also Darkest Dungeon, though I haven't really played it.

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General Chaos / Re: What are you reading?
« on: November 09, 2015, 06:06:34 PM »
I just finished Godwalker by Greg Stolze.  It's his Unknown Armies novel, mostly relating to events around the Mystic Hermaphrodite godwalker and the people it comes into contact with.  It's short and sharp.  Stolze is very good at throwing in small details that humanize even characters making terrible decisions and it really shows here.

I highly recommend it if you have any interest in how an Unknown Armies story "looks."  I think it'd be pretty easy to follow even without knowing the UA background; a few references would go over your head but nothing critical. 

In some ways it's similar to Switchflipped, Stolze's other  "modern magic from obsessed people" novel, but I felt like Godwalker was more personal and Switchflipped had a bit more levity to some of the characters.  I really liked both!

I also read Margaret Irwin's "The Book" and found it both a good story and full of ideas on how to make a mythos tome a little more interesting than "lose 1d4 san, gain one of these spells."

In the same collection (Modern Ghost Stories by Women Writers) I checked out "Afterwards" by Edith Wharton.  I liked it as well, though it's a horror story steeped more in the social than the supernatural.

And now I'm working on Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan.  Eclipse Phase takes a whole lot from this book..

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General Chaos / Re: Delta Green kickstarter
« on: October 26, 2015, 05:16:51 PM »
Yeah.  Either package deal is already a really good deal since Deep State unlocked; with PISCES it's crazy good.  But, well, it's a lot of cash all at once as opposed to picking up the books as they come out. 

You can save a bit by doing physical without pdfs (+$220 add-on to a $1 pledge) or all the books except the Agent's Handbook ($250, since the AH material is included in the CO Handbook.)

I'm thinking about The New Age, though.  It'd be the most I've pledged for any KS.. but it's also Delta Green.  So very much Delta Green.


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