Monday, July 24, 2006

Shout Out from Half Meme

Paul Czege put together a really cool ad for Bacchanal, with kind words for a drawing of mine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Art

Nothing new from me -- my creative powers remain stalled, stunned, and stunted for now. But Joe just did a couple new colorings of trollbabes -- one unnamed, and a very different interpretation of Tha.

Just uploaded to my long untouched illo site.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

These Folks Need Dogs

Just how messed up can tiny, isolated-against-the-world religious communities get? I dunno, check out this article about rape and incest among the Amish.

"This approach is rooted in the Amish notion of Gelassenheit, or submission. Church members abide by their clergymen; children obey their parents; sisters mind their brothers; and wives defer to their husbands (divorce is taboo). With each act of submission, the Amish follow the lesson of Jesus when he died on the cross rather than resist his adversaries."

Gelassenheit is a lot like the Faith's "stewardship" but expressed from the point of view of the stewardees, not the stewards.

Apologies to any I give offense to by comparing real-world tragedies to roleplaying game adventures. But it's not as if Dogs is D&D.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Business Casual For a Martian Warlord - Part 2

I had originally planed on only making the characters for the Nine Worlds game, but since we had some time, I thought it would be best to get right into the playing out a few scenes, and get a feel for the system, and I'm glad I did.

I started a scene, and decided, with approval of the players, to have Scopas (played by James) and Cohen (played by Randy) be together. They were on Mercury, and both had reasons to go to Hades. Scopas wanted to make sure the shades of his friends would be together -- he reasoned that since one had committed suicide, they might not be able to be together. Perhaps that one was in Tarterus. Cohen had a Muse for transporting a Thanatoi agent and his cargo safely to Hades. I figured what the heck, they are both going the same way...

Next, Randy set the scene. Things were going fine until Cohen announced that they would be making a stop on Mars for supplies. Actually, he was smuggling arms to New Sparta. They were approached in Mars aetherspace by a Marian port authority ship, and were boarded. Ah, conflict. Would they find the hidden contraband? Turns out they did, but the conflict was a real nail-bitter, as Randy and I tied for Fate. The first tie-breaker was a tie. As was the second! The third card allowed me to win, but only barely. They Eclipse was being escorted down to Thracia. Things were not looking good.

James was up and said that Scopas had a contact on Mars, a warlord in fact, named Celeus. He had done some courier work for the warlord in the past, and thought he might be able to help. Scopas and Cohen were escorted to Celeus' estate in Thracia, and met with the warlord. It was in this scene that I coined the phrase "business casual for a warlord of Mars." I was trying to describe him and that is what popped into my ridiculous head. Another conflict. Basically, both Scopas and Cohen wanted to convince Celeus to help them, worded slightly differently, and the warlord did not want to get his hands dirty in their little affair. Once again, Randy and I tied for Fate, but I beat James. First tie-breaker... a tie! Second? Tie again! We were both sweating, and he was sure he was going to get hosed again, but he pulled it off.

The narration was pretty interesting. Scopas, who lost, had been using Arete, and Cosmos to boot. He was trying to use the truth, create a logical case for why Celeus should help them. It fell on deaf ears. Cohen on the other hand, went the Hubirs route, creating false documents, and a magically glib tongue. The warlord was all ears. He totally fell for it.

Another interesting thing... when I was stating out Celeus, the idea popped into my head that he should have the Muse "See the Free Spartan League Succeed." Yep, the warlord was secretly working against Ares. Randy worked into his narration that Cohen let it be known that the weapons were for the League The warlord assured him they would be delivered. His Muse was resolved. And he won a few points which he put into a new Muse "Deliver telluric weapons to Celeus." Holy crap! So in two short scenes, he went from smuggler/explorer to subverter of Ares rule. I approve. The Eclipse and it's crew was released, and that is where we ended for them.

Next up was Amaris (played by Tammy.) We started with her arriving in Arcadia after traveling by foot for many days. She had to see Artemis, convince her to help get Amaris' centaur friends back. She went to the Primarch's temple, but was turned away by the priestess-bureaucrats. Their Lady could not be bothered, they said. Amaris, being the raised-in-the-wild-child that she is, challenged the priestess to a duel. If she won, they would take her to see Artemis. She succeeded and was taken to the Primarch's inner temple.

Artemis was sitting on a bench, fletching some arrows. Amaris pleaded her case, begging the Primarch to help track down those that took the centaurs. Artemis was sympathetic, but said that if they were off-world, it would hard for her to help. She had to defend Luna, and could not spare the resources. Conflict time. And wouldn't you know it, Amaris won. We were all pretty shocked. Her fate was one point higher. Artemis was moved by the girl's story, and saw a bit of herself in Amaris. She promised she would do what she could... at that point it was pretty late, so we stopped for the evening. Tammy actually resolved two Muses, and is now sitting on some Valor.

First game, one of the characters gets into a conflict with a Primarch, and wins. Damn. Another character is working against the interests of another Primarch. I love this game.

And here I was at the beginning of the game thinking "What should I do? I know, I'm gonna stat out a kraken. Yeah, maybe we can have that kraken that killed Scopas' friend show up." All I had to do was sit back and let the players hand me some nice and juicy conflicts. Oh, mind you, I'll be keeping those kraken stats handy. It's a long way from Mars to Hades after all...

We only get to play once a month, and decided that we would try and get some playing in next month at Gen Con while we're there. Maybe Ed can join in, eh?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Business Casual For a Martian Warlord - Part 1

Joe here. Wow, I haven't posted here since December. Sorry Ed for making you do all the work!

Last night, I started my new Nine Worlds game. My group had just finished a season of Primetime Adventures, and I was ready to try running something different. I'd have been itching to do some 9W for a while. I had only planned on doing character creation, but we finished pretty early, so we ran a few scenes. Holy crap, it was awesome. I'd run some 9W with Ed quite a while a go, but this was the first time with multiple players, and it really was something.

First off, for the characters:

Cohen (played by Randy) - He was originally from Earth, spent some time teaching at the University of Delphi, and now runs a cargo/smuggling aethership, called the Eclipse. He is searching for the lost secrets of the Cyclopes telluric weapons.

Scopas (played by James) - He is a former freelance courier from Mercury, know for his speed. Recently everything fell apart... one of his partners was killed a kraken and their spouse, his other partner, committed suicide. He wants to see that kraken slain, by his own hand, and be sure that the shades of his partners are together for eternity.

Amaris (played by Tammy) - She was born and raised in the wilds of Luna by a clan of centaurs. They were recently attacked and the centaurs not killed were kidnapped, taken off-world. She wants to find out who took the only family she's ever known from her and free them, preferably with help from Artemis.

Lots of connections, good muses, place to go, creatures to kill. My mind was abuzz with ideas, so we started. It just so happened that Cohen was heading to Hades to transport a Thanatoi and his "cargo." He took on another passenger, Scopas, who had his own reasons for going to Hades...

More coming!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Downtown Milwaukee Is Sinking

Seriously. Insert your own "years of stress from fat gamers at Gencons past" joke here.