Month: February 2013

Showin’ some love for Cortex

One of the rules I try to live by is “practice what you preach”. If I tell someone to act in a specific way, I should be able to lead by example. If I tell someone to go play game X, I should have played said game myself. In most cases, I can hold up this rule, but today, dear readers, I am breaking a habit. I will tell you how damn awesome the Cortex (Plus) rules are, while not having used them myself.

That’s right, once I’m done showering in shame in the corner, you can click past the cut and read more about why you should give the Smallville, Leverage or Marvel RPG powered by Cortex a spin.

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Strange Sunday – Roman steampunk and other genre mash-ups

“WWII roman steampunk” by Robbiekooljive

I’m lucky enough to be running my first game of Dungeon World next week, with two people that have made this hobby such a blast for me. As a preparation for the session, I have asked my two players to share some ideas for the setting and “feel” of the world, and after stating that I would like to see some kind of Industrial Revolution and drunken dwarves, while shunning the conflict of technology versus nature and evil orcs, my players shared with me their ideas. The final result is both wicked and challenging: our game of DW will take place in an industrialised Roman Empire, fighting a war against both the barbarians at the gates and a race of space dragons, coming from fallen stars that have ravaged a great part of the world.

Yeah, let me claim copyright on that idea right there, ’cause even Hollywood couldn’t think of that!

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Actual Play: Courage – Prologue

courage logo

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Courage – a Lunar solo chronicle! Before you scroll all the way down to fetch the PDF of the prologue, let me get a bit deeper into the background of this campaign.

It all happened in the fall of 2011. I had left my hometown behind to live a bit closer to my university, and that was really cool and all. The drawback was that I was away from my role-playing troupe now, which caused me to play about zero hours a week. This started to annoy me, but my friend (who I will call Dee for the sake of privacy) proposed that we might play something online. He had this cool concept of a shield-using Lunar, defending a city he loves, and I had an urge to see how Google Wave fared when used as a RPG tool, and so we had ourselves a little solo chronicle. That night, Courage was born.

But what is Courage? Well, you should rather ask who Courage is. Shield of Feline Courage is a young Lunar, who works as a male escort and dancer during the day, and slaughters the corrupt and frees the weak at night. His adventures take place in the city of Whitewall, and together with a whole team of colourful individuals, he will witness some great changes in one of the largest cities of Creation.

The chronicle never really ended, so I will only post AP’s up to one of the dramatic peaks of the story. Even though we never wrapped it up, I have to admit that running a solo chronicle is a lot of fun. Doing it online on Wave also felt like an exercise in cooperative writing, which is something both Dee and I really enjoyed.

The transcripts you will find here are mostly unedited. The only things I removed were the most obvious / obnoxious spelling errors and the dice rolls. I hope that you will have fun reading these, and if you have any thing to say about them, feel free to drop me a line.

With that said… click below to see the seven-page long prologue!

Courage – Prologue

Walking down the Path of Exile

fishing hat templar

Even though I did not have so much gaming time this week, I decided to spend the few hours I had on a fancy game called Path of Exile. Developed by Grinding Gear Games, PoE (what a poetic abbreviation, hah) is more than just an homage to hack ‘n slay RPG’s like Diablo: it’s a daring playground for some things we have seen never before in this kind of role-playing games, and my fisher hat-wearing old guy and I will tell you all about it!

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An ode to the Nostalgia Critic

Oh, Nostalgia Critic a.k.a. Doug Walker a.k.a. That Guy With The Glasses a.k.a….okay, can I just call you Critic? That’s a lot easier, and makes the following sound a lot more sincere: Critic, I love you man.

I mean, I love you in a purely straight way. Even if I were gay, that sad excuse for a beard you have going and the cap would be such an enormous turn-off to me. But I love you for the fact that, since this week, you’re back, and you’re bigger, better and more bashing than ever before. Watching your new episode made me realise just how much I missed you, and how you have influenced the way I look at movies and media in general.

You see, Critic, I know you’re just acting. I know that when the camera is off, you drop that tie and shave off that beard (at least I hope so, I wouldn’t wanna be seen in public with that attempt at growing a real beard) and are a pretty reasonable guy. I’ve seen the videos and reviews you made as plain old Doug Walker, and you really know what you’re talking about and know how to phrase that in a way that doesn’t sound derogatory and patronising. That’s a rarity on the Internet, man, and I respect you for that.

But even more important than your ability to deliver critique in a nice and clear way, is your talent to deliver it in an honest and straightforward way when you are the Nostalgia Critic. You dare to point out how stupid movies that are praised by the general audience can be, and you give kudos to those movies that are forgotten and side-lined by the mainstream. Heck, your destructive comments even helped in bringing a second life to a movie that, quite honestly, didn’t deserve it.

In all those years, you have shown me that sharing your emotions about a piece of art is something everyone should do. If we love a movie, we should go out and share our love for it with people. If we hate it, we should voice our dislike, but support it with reasons for our aversion. If we want to, we can all do that in the over-enthusiastic tone of you, Critic. You are an inspiration to not just me, but so many people.

Right, I’m done with praising you now, Critic. I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but if you do: thank you so much for all the laughter and critical thinking you have brought to my life. Stay cynical and honest, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of you.

With tons of respect,

a very grateful Chin

Geek Jitsu – Achievement unlocked!

1000x500px-LL-95e55f63_achievement-unlocked-become-president-barack-obamaWorking hard isn’t all that amusing. Working hard without any reward whatsoever is just plain ridiculous. I mean, sure, the satisfaction of knowing you did a good job is a reward in itself, but additional positive reinforcement is what makes us tick. The video game industry found out about that, and since that day, every game has “dem cheevo’s”: little pop-ups that inform you about the fact that you just did something wicked. Well, at least some of those do that. These days, most of them give you a pat on the shoulder for just moving two steps forward. Sigh…

Anyway, this week’s Geek Jitsu is not about how modern-day games have turned achievements into nothing but annoying bleeps. Today, we’ll talk about creating your own achievements to hunt after while getting all healthy, and why rewarding yourself is so important!

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Ingress – a few impressions

“Ingress Time!” by AtokNiiro

A few days ago, I told you that I had been invited to the Ingress beta, but was unable to test the game until my brand spanking new Nexus 4 would arrive. Well, the beautiful phone is in my possession since last Saturday, and I had some time to play around with Ingress. I will not provide you with a full-blown review, but just with a few impressions gathered during my few hours of hacking and (failing hard at) attacking Portals.

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