Showing posts from January, 2015

Kaiju Super Fun Time Go! character

It's been an interesting and insightful experience guesting on Savage Worlds GM Hangout (On Air!). I'm really impressed with the way Jerrod Gunning stuck to his guns (pun intended) and managed to come up with a way to do combining mecha and keep it interesting. I really didn't think it was possible.
The most recent episode was character creation time for the short (2 episode) demo campaign of Jerrod's Gatchaman/Super Sentai-influenced Kaiju Super Fun Time Go! setting. Part of the premise to the setting is the unabashed releiance on such henshin tropes as the Five-Man Band. Honest to goodness, I was going to volunteer to play the Chick, because I play female characters all the time as a GM and I have no qualms about it. Surprisingly, the gang suggested I play the Leader instead.
So I came up with this guy...
Ryoma Connaught Seasoned Human Wild Card Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6. Skills: Blast d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Knowledg…

My Cat's Enemy Saved His Life

My cat has an enemy who is also a cat. We call her Mina (she has a scar on her forehead like Mina Harker and is also kind of mean).

Mina is a stray that’s been hanging around our house ever since we moved in three years ago. I suspect that she was a pet of the former owners because she’s pretty friendly with people; she just hates my cat. She shows up at our windows and outside the back porch and howls menacingly at him. This is weird because my cat, Tiger, is a neutered male and an indoor cat, so he’s no threat to her territory or her kittens (though I guess her territoriality is explained if she used to live in our house).

Tiger is not necessarily happy with being an indoor cat, even though that’s what he’s been since he invited himself into our lives seven years ago. He showed up on the stoop of our apartment as a six-month old kitten and walked right in the front door. We tried to resist adopting him for about a week (we had an ill, elderly cat at the time and we didn’t want to pe…

What Time Is It?

I love the Forgotten Realms game setting.

I do not love Forgotten Realms fiction.

I am not unique in this. NewbieDM did someposts a few months back about playing the AD&D 2nd Edition era Forgotten Realms with the D&D 5th edition rules, and I now find myself in a similar situation. As previously mentioned, I’m starting my own 5e Forgotten Realms campaign, and now I have to figure out when in the Realms’ history that game is set.

Well, I say “I,” but the whole situation is complicated by the fact that I’ve agreed to co-run this game with one of my players. We’re supposed to alternate campaign arcs (at least, I assume that’s the idea; I doubt either of us was considering alternating game sessions). He’s a much bigger fan of the fiction than I am.

Off the bat, I can say that neither of us is interested in running the “current” Forgotten Realms. Neither of us liked the Spellplague or any of the dumb plot twists that occurred since then (though I have recently discovered that Alust…

Just in case anybody wants to watch my fuzzy face

In case you didn't catch the first part of the kaiju setting-building session on Savage Worlds GM Hangout (On Air!), here's the video:

I'm still stumped on ideas for how to do combiners. Hopefully I'll have something more to add this week.

And if, instead, you'd like me to turn bright red, here's a wine tasting video I was in:

The Quest Board at the Bright Blade Brandished

I'm starting a new 5e campaign tonight (in my defense, Shane Hensley himself said at Chupacabracon that it was important that gamers play different game systems as well as Savage Worlds). Since I'd like to make it a very player-centric open world, I realized I needed to create multiple plot hooks for the PCs to choose from. So I ripped off the request board from the manga/anime Fairy Tail and put it in the Bright Blade Brandished...
On the Quest Board 1 Gold Piece per Orc Ear (And All the Treasure You Find!). Inquire with the Knights in Silver.Help Wanted. Alchemical shipment missing, presumed lost on the Rauvin somewhere after Nesme. Inquire with Vold Taman of the Lady’s College.Open-Minded, Well-Traveled Adventurers Sought. Excellent pay for lengthy journey. Worshippers of Sharess and Hanali Celanil preferred. Ask for Madame Milliara at the Golden Oak.Cattle Stolen in Winters Edge. Ask for Jorus.Female Adventurers Sought for Caravan Duty. Inquire with Tarn the Matchmaker at the…

Kaiju Essentials

Tonight I’ll be a guest on Jerrod Gunning’s Savage Worlds GM Hangout (On Air!) Youtube show (airing 7-8PM PST). The gang there is currently running a series where they collaborate to brainstorm a Savage Worlds setting, and I’ve been invited to contribute to a kaiju setting. As regular readers of my blog know, kaiju eiga are a subject near and dear to my heart and I've already written quite a few posts about them – including an incomplete setting...

Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!!
MKST!!!* is a setting inspired by aspects of the Godzilla films of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It’s odd, but as much as those films were really goofy and child-friendly, a lot of them were essentially spy movies. While Godzilla himself was stomping around fighting outlandish foes like Gigan and Megalon, the humans in the movies were engaging in James Bond-esque shenanigans like infiltrating secret bases and having doomed romances with sexy cyborgs. Mecha Kaiju Sensō Tai!!! embraced the espionage aspects of these…

Chupacabracon was AWESOME!

I really should have gotten a picture of me and Sean Patrick Fannon together so I could run it with the caption “Seans,” but the only photograph I had the presence of mind to take during Chupacabracon was of Preston DuBose receiving an ETU-themed birthday cake from some fans.
Well, actually I took several photos of that scene, so I might as well run all of them...
Chupacabracon was amazingly fun and – dare I say it? – an unqualified success for me. I spent most of my time in panels, but they were uniformly educational and entertaining. Both games I played in were absolute joys (and taught me a lot about how to run a convention game as opposed to a normal campaign session). And – most importantly if also most selfishly – I made some contacts and got my portfolio into the hands of some important people.
Honest to goodness, though, I’m still blown away that Sean Patrick Fannon knew who the hell I was.  I went over to introduce myself to him and Shane Hensley and he burst into a smile an…

Friends Will Be Friends

The majority of this blog’s traffic comes from links posted to RPG communities on Google+, but a smaller -- yet significant -- number of hits come from links on other sites’ blogrolls. The undisputed heavyweight champion of these friendly blogs is +John Arendt 's (quasi-)OSR blog Dreams in the Lich House. My thanks go out to John both for his continued support and for his continuously fascinating insights into megadungeon-style play. I am also deeply indebted to +Tommy Brownell and The Most Unread Blog on the Internet. Ever. I would also like to thank the following fine blogs: Give’em Lead Halls of the Nephilim Hereticwerks Ninjas Riding Dinosaurs Tales from the Savage Troll The Geek Flag The RPG Corner
Some of those blog owners are friends, some are folk I know nothing about, but I thank them all for the extra hits they send my way. You will notice that all of those blogs are linked in the sidebar to the right named “Friends of Wine and Savages.” Also in there are the blogs of people who h…

Go Forth to the Fifth!

Last Friday, my Meetup gaming group got together for what was presumably our last New Member Meet-n-Greet and our first get-together as a group of friends. The Meetup group’s organizers keep cancelling meetings and not responding to inquiries, so the five of us who have been meeting independently of these canceled sessions have just decided to go our own way. And what we’ve decided to do is play Dungeons & Dragons.

It’s probably not the wisest thing I’ve ever done to admit that I’m taking a break from running Savage Worlds to play D&D right before Chupacabracon and my chance to meet Shane Hensley, but it’s not that I’m giving up Savage Worlds. I’ll still be writing Savage Worlds material; in fact, by falling back on familiar tropes and settings for the ongoing campaign, I should be able to free up my time to write more than I have in months.

We’ve been playing a couple of really dark games – my The King is Dead setting and a Ravenloft/World of Darkness mashup – and meeting pr…


2015 promises to be an exciting year. In just over a week, I’ll be at Chupacabracon II, gaming with the luminaries of Savage Worlds and GUMSHOE (and hopefully doing some networking). My professional publishing writing career will get really underway; I’ll be getting my section of Steamscapes: Asia done in the next couple of months and I’ve got a brace of articles already accepted for upcoming issues of Savage Insider. Robin and I have some new resources and renewed will to apply to writing careers, so we’ll probably be incorporating soon and looking into self-publishing and other avenues.
I plan on expanding the blog to write about Dungeons & Dragons as well; it’s a crass commercial move to attract a bigger readership, but it’s also the result of a genuine revived interest in the game inspired by the new edition.  Besides, I want to be a writer, not just a Savage Worlds writer. This does not, however, mean I’m giving up on The King is Dead; I have to admit, however, that playtest…