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Messages - Salkovich

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On the topic of reading recommendations, are there any must-reads for getting an understanding of espionage techniques/developing planning abilities for realistic espionage?

Caleb said it, and so it is done:

Load Bearing Fungus, Acoustic

Damn, be me to it! :P Good job! I like the album title, btw.

Thank you, thank you. I write what I know

Caleb said it, and so it is done:

Load Bearing Fungus, Acoustic

Ran Fall Without End in Call of Cthulhu this evening, and one of my players did an amazing thing.


So I had three teams, dubbed Team God, Team Hobo, and Team Writer. Team Hobo was made up of out-of-work, depression-affected alpiners. Team Writer was a pair of intrepid journalists. And Team God was a pair of priests trying to win fame for their church.

Team God heads right for Peter's Glacier, wanting to make use of their solid climb and dex skills and get to Wickersham's Wall as quickly as possible, while both Team Writer and Team Hobo head for Knife's Ridge, intending to make their way to the Overhang.

So, both Team Writer and Hobo run into the poor P. Hutchinson brother, injured and raving, coming down the path. They call out to him, he panics and goes nuts, and nearly falls off the path trying to strike out at his attackers. The PCs haul him back up and sit on him, trying and failing to persuade him to calm down. Finally Hannah, playing the Belay man of Team Hobo, punches Hutchinson in the mouth and knocks him out cold.

So they're sitting there, trying to decide what to do with him. Nobody wants to have to lose time by dragging him back, and they don't want to leave him to die of exposure.

So they decide to do rock/paper/scissors to see which team has to carry him back. Now, this was a game run over Skype, so the participants are sending me PMs with their rock or paper or scissor decisions.

One of the players from Team Writer wins the first round, and Hannah, from Team Hobo, calls for best 2 out of 3. So alright, they choose to throw again.

The guy from team writer sends me "paper."

And Hannah sends me the following:

"Robert will throw rock. Heavily to the injured man's face so that he will die unconscious in the snow.
he will not suffer

She fuckin' impales her hobo murder check. And then I read it aloud. All of this before they even rolled a single climbing check.

PCs are amazing.

General Chaos / Re: Kickstarter: Cool Stuff
« on: January 16, 2014, 03:03:46 AM »
absolutely, as long as we work out the details

General Chaos / Re: Kickstarter: Cool Stuff
« on: January 15, 2014, 11:32:49 PM »
Using this as a bit of a pimping space. I'm a member of the Drunk and the Ugly (and active here) and I just started my own kickstarter today. It's for a book of poetry, but I'm putting up tons of RPG related reward teirs.

Available are a series of AP episodes of games I've run, and I'm pulling a Ross and running Skype games for backers. I've also got an option for writing on any subject - RPG related or not. I'll write you a cool character concept, a horror scenario, a monster idea, anything you need.

RPGs / Re: Eclipse Phase
« on: September 02, 2013, 02:32:57 PM »

We also interview Caleb about revelations and game design. It's a pretty rad interview.

I ran Revelations for the Drunk and Ugly group; it just went up to today, and it's pretty fantastic.

Oh man, Cold Dead Hand? The Russian one? Yeah we were in on the playtest for that. that scenario is madness

Which scenario is that?

"A Cult of Two" is the creepiest thing I've read in a while. Well done, sir. Well done.

General Chaos / Re: The Corrupt A Wish Thread
« on: July 19, 2013, 09:32:27 PM »

Granted, you now work between 5 and 10 hours a week at Hobby Lobby.

I wish Hollywood would option Base Raiders and pay me a million dollars for it.

You got it! They hire M. Night Shamwow to direct and Shia LeBouf to star.

I wish I had a computer that wasn't completely terrible.

RPGs / Re: Horror: How Far is Too Far?
« on: July 11, 2013, 10:14:47 AM »
I think an idea of horror going "too far" in tabletop RPGs is difficult to address, specifically because of the biased nature of the experience. Creating horror in a tabletop RPG is an extremely abstracted endeavor: there are no visuals (or if there are, they are limited and static), immersion is easily broken based on the simple fact that the environment can only be described to the players, and it is difficult to establish a sense of threat or fear without quite a bit of leg-work being done to immerse and invest players in their characters.

It's been said before, but horror as a concept falls into and is made up of three areas:terror (the suspense), horror (the shock value/jump scares), and revulsion (torture, gore, etc.). With videogames for example, all three are easy to create. Amnesia creates suspense through bizarre visuals, strange environments, and excellent sound design, creates horror in the interactions with the unbeatable monster, and revulsion through the environment and the player's broadening understanding of the true nature of what is going on -- all of which are rooted in the player seeing and experiencing the game from a first person perspective. Tabletop RPGs simply don't have that.

What they DO have is a massively skewed bias towards working with the horror branch of revulsion. Revulsion of a monster, revulsion towards the idea of a monster, towards something that threatens cultural, religious, or human norms, etc. etc.

The Amante is a perfect example of this. It's a well balanced monster across the three branchs: horrifying in its appearance and actions, terrifying in its ability to create a threat from many different angles (the hidden seeker threat, etc.), and revolting and repulsive in its "sexual" desires and behaviors as compared to human norms. However, because the tabletop setting prevents the audience from completely being scared by its horror qualities, the focus gets shifted towards what the Amante represents: its revulsion qualities.

Skip Mill's home is horrifying (I was probably the one person who always wondered what was up with the body on the bed) and terrifying (the sudden realization that this man who was behaving only slightly oddly was actually hiding such disturbing desires), but the porn and fluid plastered all over his walls is what sticks (forgive the pun.)

A lot of RPG scenarios in general, and Hebanon Games in particular, seem to skew towards this idea of revulsion as the core tenet of horror in tabletop gaming. There's good reason: it's incredibly effective. But the brand of horror that revulsion represents has a much broader experience for the audience, and so opinions and tastes are going to differ.

That said; Lover in the Ice is brilliant. It's well written, it's grounded in all three branches of horror, it is engaging, and it's memorable.

I listened to two of the CoC APs: City under the Sea and Punitive Measures.

Really liked both, wished Punitive Measures was longer, it seemed a very interesting scenario

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