rpg

Actual Play: Courage – Chapter I

courage logo

Our feline shapeshifter is back in chapter one of our Exalted Actual Play! Though the play might not be so actual anymore, it’s still fun to read it again after all this time and sharing it with you. In this chapter, we get to know one of Courage’s closest friends, the businessman and all-round good guy Five-Coins Yvor. So, what are you waiting for? Click below to read the five pages of the first chapter.

Courage – Chapter 1

If you have any comments or feedback, hit me up in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share this Actual Play with your fellow gamers and friends!

Gender roles in RPG’s, or: bikini witches and action heroes

The above video illustrates one of my main gripes with many games, and sadly also with many RPG’s. I know that games are a place to give shape to our own dreams, and that sexualized versions of the genders are part of that, but…must it be done in such an obnoxious way? Is there no one who dares to challenge the stereotyping of genders, putting them into roles we thought we had escaped when we gave women the right to leave the kitchen?

Or am I just over-reacting? Read on to find out!

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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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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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Shapeshifters, blog updates and oh my!

Heya everyone, just a little heads-up about what’s going on behind the scenes of this blog. I’m pleased with my ability of keeping up a steady stream of posts, and it’s good to see that people appreciate the effort. In order to tell you what you can expect in the future, here’s a little summary about what will be coming.

  • You might have noticed the new pages on top of this…uh, page. I’m starting to sort through the mess this blog has become since its inception just somewhat more than a month ago. You will be able to find my columns in one place, which will make it easier to look them up later.
  • Next to the Columns page, you also see an “Actual Play” page. In the future, I’ll be sharing more of my adventures from the digital tabletop with you, and I’ll start with my current Song of Ice and Fire campaign dubbed “Riverlands Saga”, and a now-dead but rather long solo Lunar Exalted campaign. You’ll be seeing the first chapter of the latter later this week, and just like the Columns, you’ll be able to find that on its own page!
  • I’m considering doing something more than just writing. Podcasting is an option, as I just love to ramble on about the things I love (that’s what a podcast is for, right?), but the question remains if they will be pure audio or also footage of me playing games. I don’t wanna promise anything, but I’ll keep my options open.

So, in short, you’ll just get the usual servings of my opinions, with a possible side dish of my voice. Stop the excitement, I’m starting to blush!

Anyway, thanks for reading my blog, guys and gals! I’ll do my best to give you more than my best on this page!

Chin over and out.

Strange Sunday – Animals!

“corgi rogue” by reiley

My love for furry, little critters knows no bounds. I grew up with dogs, owned a guinea pig and even a group of adorable rats. If it’s a mammal and has big eyes, odds are high that I want to hug it and hold it close. Not really manly, I know, but that’s just the way it is. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who things animals are awesome, as their important role in fiction shows. Many authors and game designers go even so far to have four-legged mammals walk on two feet and have them act rather…well, human. Those strange people known as “furries” even go out of their way to make costumes to look like such a anthropomorphized version of a critter. Our love for animals and how we give them a place in our “art” seems strange to many, and that’s why I’m highlighting it in this week’s Strange Sunday, to discuss with you the stranger ways of using “anthros”

Heil Lassie
Alternate history is a popular sub-genre of fantasy, and it’s actually a genre where humanised animals haven’t been spotted all that often. A shame, if you ask me, because replacing humans with furry counterparts is a way of teaching people about history in an interesting way. As a kid, I rarely watched Alfred J. Kwak, a children’s cartoon that I absolutely didn’t care for back then. Years later, when I was in high school, I stumbled upon a few episodes and checked them out. And what do you know: there’s a crow in that show who turns out to be the feathered version of Adolf Hitler. It’s an interesting approach to show children such a villlain, and most adults will recognise him immediately.

Why not take this a step further? How about a Victorian era setting, in which the British Empire is run by two-legged collies, who struggle with the rebellions of the Persian cats? Or a game about a planet of highly advanced monkeys who...oh wait. Anyway, combining alternative paths of history with furry protagonists might turn out rather interesting.

My furry friend
Animals don’t have to be the main characters, of course, and their intelligent versions could just co-exist with humans. This is something that is explored in Exalted, where tribes of intelligent animals live besides or wage war with their two-legged neighbours. It’s also a core theme of the Ghibli highlight Mononoke Hime, where gigantic wolves and boars fight for the survival of their forest, while humans encroach on it.

Imagine a game where animals work together or against humans, and you’ll imagine a game with additional possibilities. Themes of racism and cross-species friendship become interesting plot hooks, and trying to place the intelligent animals in the setting becomes a writing challenge of its own. See if you can find out where a tribe of telepathic and magical mantis-people fit in…

That’s it for this weeks Strange Sunday. Now, if you excuse me, I have to look up that write-up to play a Corgi in a D&D campaign…