Showing posts from July, 2013

I just touched Joel Hodgson

More to come, but here's a crappy picture.

By Robin: The Gaijin and the Gorilla Lizard (Part Two)

Jun pulls me up and out of Shibuya station and onto the bustling streets.Middle aged women flit from store to store, eager to capture a good buy before the high school girls get here in the afternoon.We move away from their set lines of shopping and head towards a sort-of-square nearby.Jun pulls away quickly, almost skipping.She stops before the famed statue of Hachiko. Again, we feel the wind whip up around us. Jun shivers, but tries to hide it. Instead she pulls up closer to the dog statue. Standing there admiring the statue of a loyal pet, we notice a younger women, about our age, strolling by.Jun elbows me. “I think she’s checking you out,” she nods toward a short, rather slender girl in a crisp suit. “Eh, not quite my type.” “So what is?” says a smooth, raspy voice from behind. A woman sways out from behind the stone dog, “My guess it’s cute American girls with snotty attitudes.At least, that’s how it looks from here.” A quiet little screech slips through Jun’s pursed lips…

By Light, By Night Part 5

Types of Fae (Continued)

The Giant Folk
Few of the Giant Folk feel much relation to each other, but their huge and monstrous appearances unite them despite a lack of common culture.Young changelings are often surprised by how many of the Giant Folk ally themselves with the Court of Light; there’s as many or more Shreks amongst the fae as there are Lord of the Rings-style cave trolls.The intelligence of the Giant Kin is also often underestimated; trolls, in particular, enjoy reminding others of how much magic they have mastered.
Buggane An obscure kin who originated on the Isle of Man, buggane perfectly reflect how deeply connected the Light and the Night really are.Buggane appear less human than many Giant Folk – hairy, tusked, and clawed – but they have gentle hearts and prefer to spend their time enjoying the peace and quiet of nature.Their preferred approach is necessarily Forceful; they often serve the Court of Light as reluctant warriors of last resort. Suggested Stunts: Because I have…

By Light, By Night vs Die, Daikaiju!

Does anybody care if I finish By Light, By Night?I thought it would make an interesting challenge to write a Young Adult Fiction sort of Urban Fantasy setting for FAE, but I’m getting kind of bored.
FATE Accelerated Edition and FATE Core both say that the game is for a minimum of three players.Honestly, I think most RPGs say that, but after experimenting with FAE for awhile, I really have to agree that the FATE games do not work in a duet nearly as well as I’d hoped.It’s hard coming up with Aspects all the danged time. Yeesh!And, honestly, it really does detract from the immersion Robin prefers.
Since I’m feeling a little burnt out with FAE, I’m really considering tossing By Light, By Night on the back burner (or trash heap) and trying my hand at a kaiju/mecha/sentai Savage Worlds setting and rules.I’ve thought about kaiju and sentai a lot since I first saw “Battle of the Planets” in 1978, so it feels like it would come together pretty easily.I’ve already got some pretty solid ideas:

I'm going to have to start reading Marvel again


By Robin: The Gaijin and the Gorilla Lizard (Introduction & Part One)

After Sean and I left Pacific Rim, last week, we started talking about all the different things it reminded us of, or, in some cases, the many things it was "inspired by." As we were sitting outside our favorite wine shop enjoying a good bottle of French Tannat, Sean turned to me and mentioned how the scene in the shelter reminded him of my old story. I have to admit, I though that too. As we watched the people rush off of the street, guided by police down into underground shelters, I thought of a story I write 14 years ago. 

As we sat and talked, Sean mentioned that I should post the story, get it out there. Honestly, I thought it was a good idea too. In the span of 14 years, I started a revision once -- about 5 years ago -- but never finished. So I took up his challenge to post the story online, and have decided to get back to that revision. So, for the next few weeks, I will be posting parts of my Kaiju story: The Gaijin and the Gorilla Lizard.

Part One: Welcome to Tokyo

By Light, By Night Part 4

Types of Fae
Changeling fae are not the only supernatural beings in the world.They are the protagonists of By Light, By Night because their ambiguity – their ability shift allegiances and outlooks every bit as much as their ability to change form – makes them an excellent source for drama.They also come in a broad variety of types that nevertheless are recognizably part of the same storytelling tradition.The default assumption in the types listed below is that most fae fit into the Celtic and Germanic traditions of strange outsiders – distinct from the undead and possessed of human levels of intelligence – who can change their appearance and/or shape or turn invisible.
“Folk” is the accepted term in the Court of Light for the broader fae types that encompass what in Dungeons and Dragons would be called “races” (though that doesn’t stop irreverent Night fae from talking about sub-races and demi-humans).These folk are then divided into smaller ethnicities or “kin.”Some of these folk and …

Gaslamp Fantasies

I also tend to read more than one book at a time.At present, that means I’m simultaneously reading three gaslamp fantasy novels: Black Powder War by Naomi Novik, The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett, and The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells.This is the first time in all too long that I’m devouring books at such a rapid pace, and the first time in decades that the novels in question are fantasies.
Gaslamp fantasies, as the link above will explain, are fantasy novels set in Earth’s 19th century or worlds greatly resembling that time period.The genre is distinguished from steampunk by being actual fantasy with dragons and magicians and necromancers instead of extra-retro-sci-fi.It appeals to me as both a fan of historical fiction (including the Flashman Papers, Sherlock Holmes, and Regency romances) and as a lapsed fan of Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock. There is a strong streak of the liberal elitist in me, so I can’t help but enjoy stories of polite, educated heroes…

Thinking about Kaiju, Mecha, D6, and Savage Worlds

Has anyone done a kaiju/mecha setting for Open D6 or MiniSix?Have I written about this before?
One of the things Savage Worlds does not do well is mecha.Most mecha have personalities of some sort; the most basic way this works is in each mech being more or less agile, strong, or tough than another but there’s also a component in how they interact with the pilot.Heck, there isn’t really anything built into SW to do interactive vehicles – by which I mean vehicles that assist their pilots through AI, navigation computers, targeting systems, etc. – at all.That was, however, part and parcel of space ships in the old WEG Star Wars game so it could easily translate into doing the same for mecha.
Another things Savage Worlds does not do well (for me) is scale.Since the dice range tops off at d12+x, the Strength and Vigor Attributes for giant monsters wind up getting expressed in terms like d12+24 or d12+36 and other absurd numbers like that.I can’t explain why that bugs me so much, but it re…

I have not utterly abandoned the way of the swashbuckler

So I'm visiting Greyhawk Grognard because Joe Block is always interesting even though he writes about a game I don't really want to play anymore from a sociopolitical perspective I disagree with and I see Blue Boxer Rebellion in his blogroll with the title "[Free Map] Swashbuckler's Delight."  I don't use maps anymore, but I was curious about the title.  I took a look and --

I really, really, really want to run a fight scene there NOW.

Pacific Rim - I am not trying to be contrary

I liked "Pacific Rim" and I urge everyone to rush out and rescue its opening weekend box office...


I watched the goofy late original series Godzilla movies as a kid. I saw "Battle of the Planets" and "Voltron" in their original syndicated runs. I know where del Toro is coming from...


I've also seen "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and "Dai Guard." I've seen the awesome '90s Gamera series -- the "Watchmen" of kaiju films -- and the much better cartoon based on the crappy American "Godzilla." Heck, I own the original, death-packed "Gatchaman."


"Pacific Rim" is fun. It looks great. The fight scenes are awesome, the music by Ramin Djawadi is great, and the performances are all above par (except maybe for that guy from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" who has no inside voice). You should really see it on the big screen because it is BIG.


I was h…

By Light, By Night Part 3

The Changeling Way (cont.)
Making more changelings
Depending on what kind of mature themes you want to handle in your By Light, By Night campaign, you may find yourself confronting the problem of changeling reproduction.Changeling fae are not infertile, but most changeling infants are stillborn and most of those that survive are merely human (humans imbued with excellent luck and maybe a little magic, but humans nonetheless).A very small percentage of children born to changeling parents are also fae… but the only way to know a child is fae is to wait for that inevitable, terrible, glorious night when the child is stolen from its crib while the parents sleep.No changeling in living memory has been raised by her birth parents and no changeling child who has scoured the Earth to find her birth parents has yet succeeded.
Because all fae are outsiders and orphans, they naturally make new families for themselves by gathering with other changelings.Adult fae seek out newly-bloomed youngsters…