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Messages - Morbid

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Twisting H: I think that issue of Unspeakable Oath was from 2011.  So, most likely a coincidence, especially given how much it predates No Soul Left Behind.

Speaking of No Soul Left Behind..

(from the pdf proof)

"If your group knows the score or just wants a one-shot, feel free to skip this part. Iím disappointed in you, but it wonít be on the test. I just wish you would apply yourself and achieve your full potential, you know? Tsk tsk tsk."

As a TA, I especially enjoy the "it won't be on the test" disclaimer.  The following section on charter schools is likewise great.

RPGs / Re: TOC - the Final Revelation - Smoke Bomb preparation
« on: June 12, 2015, 02:59:35 PM »
I remember Robin Laws mentioning an idea on an episode of Ken and Robin Talk about Stuff that I think could work:

You know those little floaters that you get in your vision?  They start to form shapes or even be recognizable.  The resulting shapes could be something as obvious as a skull or just little worm-like things wriggling across their vision only to disappear when looking at something else.  Or a fly that looks like it's on the inside of their eye.

Alternatively, they could start to see unsettling patterns (ideally, fitting their backstories or sources of stability) from seemingly random visual noise.  The shadows of trees form silhouettes, cracks in the pavement spell out forgotten words.  And since they are English, the tea leaves should be worst of all.  (There's a China Mieville short story called "Details" that does this sort of imagery.)

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Upcoming RPPR One Shot games
« on: June 12, 2015, 12:25:22 PM »
That mini campaign sounds really cool.  Almost Dishonored-like in that players can choose how to deal with different prominent figures are the city.  Maybe it's because I've been listening to the Savage Worlds "Day After Ragnarok" game but I could maybe see that setting working.  Limited tech and Serpentfall makes it kinda hard to say, "well actually in the history..."  It's definitely a bit more over-the-top, though, and the description reads like a more serious setting.

I just want to weigh in with some of the things I've noticed while running DramaSystem/Hillfolk:

As you've realized, the feel of the game will end up dramatically different with the two systems.  I really like Hillfolk, but its procedural scenes - in this case, gathering information - are pretty bare bones.  (I think that's intentional, to keep players from defaulting to them as the more comfortable option of looking for clues and murdering dudes over dramatic confrontations.) 

Using Hillfolk will make the game all about what everyone has to give up or promise in order to get the leverage you want.  It'd be great if the characters have drastically different views on how to accomplish their goals or ties to competing factions.  Or if one/several of them don't totally trust the Brotherhood of Steel.  Hillfolk doesn't work that well if everyone is cooperating 100% - it puts more pressure on the players to make each others' lives interesting.

Since you mentioned getting just killed in combat and NBA has a lot of mechanics devoted to bad-ass combat, I overall see the game more easily as a Hillfolk one.  I'm definitely picturing it as a one-season HBO post-apocalyptic drama in my head, anyways.  But if you want lots of "not getting caught" Hillfolk just doesn't do that kind of gameplay.  I think it could work pretty well for building networks and getting/applying blackmail though it wouldn't be mechanically represented.

I know you generally don't do so for RPPR, but you might consider recording character creation with Hillfolk.  It's really an important part of play, especially when you get to what each character wants from another and why they won't get it. 

RPGs / Re: Red Markets at GenCon/Upcoming Beta
« on: May 17, 2015, 11:29:46 AM »
I'd like to try out the GenCon playtest - Friday will be best.

I'd also like to do a playtest with my group, but it would probably be only a session or two.

The quest line still sounds easier than navigating the hotel booking system.

Did anyone see any Delta Green panels listed?  I tried searching for Arc Dream stuff and looking through all the seminars, but I didn't see any.

Edit: Kamen beat me to it, so here is a link to the Golgotha account, which was mentioned but not linked previously in this thread:

(The link was from the comments in Games I Shan't Be Running originally.)

RPGs / Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
« on: April 03, 2015, 05:24:59 PM »

I found this article today, which immediately reminded me of some Carcosa-esque imagery.  It even comes with a version of Hali:

From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge.


At times itís impossible to tell where the vast structure of the Baogang refineries complex ends and the city begins. Massive pipes erupt from the ground and run along roadways and sidewalks, arching into the air to cross roads like bridges.

There's also that potential feeling like in Twisting H's post that the environment - the sprawling network of factories, refineries, and pipes - may be more in control than the humans involved. 

Amongst the mazes of pipes, tanks, and centrifuges, there are no people. In fact thereís no activity at all. Apart from our voices, which echo through the huge sheds, the plant is silent. Itís very obviously not operating. When asked, our guide tells us the plant is closed for maintenance Ė but thereís no sign of that either: no maintenance crews, no cleaning or repairs being done. When pushed further our guide gets suspicious, wonders why we are asking so many questions, and clams up. Itís a behaviour weíll encounter a lot in Baotou Ė a refusal to answer questions or stray off a strictly worded script.

While there's a simple human explanation - the guide isn't kept in the loop or willing to say things that can be held against him - it's also easy to map a more otherworldly explanation for gaming.  Of course the plant isn't working right now.  It doesn't want to.  When it wants to work, there will be people inside again; to question this is absurd.

There's also a certain Repairer of Reputations quality to it, but that's more down to the economics than anything else.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Shirt Ideas?
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:35:09 AM »
Exactly that.  You'd mentioned running Masks pretty much out of the book but when adding stuff from other books, it had become, "I'm just like, fuck it, I'm going to add all sorts of material to it."  It's right around the 100 minute mark. 

"Just because the characters have full access to the plot doesn't mean they won't gun down Charlie Chaplain" was the other shirt suggestion from that episode. 

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Shirt Ideas?
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:53:21 PM »
I liked the idea from episode 103.

"So I'm just like, fuck it."

General Chaos / Re: Introduction
« on: March 06, 2015, 02:33:45 PM »
Yeah, I didn't mean to represent the average so well.  Listening to RPPR seems a bit inevitable now.

General Chaos / Re: Food and Drink!
« on: March 04, 2015, 05:18:00 PM »
I made the spatchcocked turkey myself last week.  So good.  Nobody was really hungry enough to eat turkey when we made it, so we just stood in the kitchen eating the skin.  Now I'm wondering about doing a spatchcocked turkey on the grill, or smoking it...

I really like Serious Eats and their articles, but a lot of them fall in the same category as Alton Brown's recipes used to.  That is, very fiddly and precise meals that will be amazing, but take a lot more time than a simpler version of the same dish.  Though some of their articles are just generally helpful, like the one on how to get your hard and soft-boiled eggs just how you want.

I also really like the Mind of a Chef show on Netflix.  First season is all kinds of stuff but keeps coming back to ramen.  The thick, fatty soup, not Instant Noodles.  Season 2 is mostly about old-fashioned Southern US cooking - I've learned a huge amount from it so far, including a really simple and tasty way to make chicken and buttermilk dumplings.

General Chaos / Re: Introduction
« on: March 04, 2015, 03:10:57 PM »
Hey all.  I have only posted once but I've been going through and making comments (as KenR) on old AP episodes.  I've recently become hooked on the APs - in particular, for CoC and ToC adventures, it's fun to listen through and see what crazy things the players do, then read the whole scenario, then maybe run it for other people.  Listening to you guys run through Better Angels and other systems has also given me some ideas on how to streamline my own games.  Mostly it's just fun though.

I'm running Dungeon World and Monsters and Other Childish Things right now (with a Team Rocket from Pokemon theme to it).  I'm hoping to throw in some more investigative games once the Dungeon World game wraps up.

Anyways, I am a grad student in biology, hopefully getting near the end of my time in school.  I also like to cook and brew up beer to drink during game nights.  I have too many cats.

General Chaos / Re: Food and Drink!
« on: January 30, 2015, 11:35:14 AM »
Haven't posted before, but I wanted to say thanks for the mention and the linked recipe on spatchcocking poultry.

I tried it with a chicken and while there was a little too much salt on the skin, the bird as a whole came out delicious and the leftover breast was a lot more tender than previous roast chickens I'd made.  The wings came out perfect though - brown and crispy, which gave me an idea.  After a small practice run for my usual gaming group, I am going to be salt-curing a bunch of chicken wings, then roasting them to crispy goodness and tossing them in buffalo sauce for the Super Bowl.

In the practice run, I just used some of the Serious Eats cure (kosher salt and baking powder) for a day, uncovered in the refrigerator, then baked them at 425 until they turned brown and crispy.  (I think it was about 35 minutes in my oven, but I expect that would vary.)  Much easier than frying a bunch of wings and still really, really delicious.

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