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Showing posts from November, 2016

Retired: Talis of the Otter Clan

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Character: Talis
Game: GURPS
Episodes: 25
Theme Song: Damp Animal Spirits by Tanya Tagaq
Keywords: Flighty, chaotic, twitchy

Years ago my friend James decided to run a game using GURPS (I still don't know why) based on Michelle Paver's great young adult novel series The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. It was a series I had read and had listened to on audiobook narrated by Ian McKellan. I was super excited to get into the game and make a character and see the world come to life. If anyone could do it, James could do it justice.

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness takes place in a pre-agrarian society in the Northern part of the world. When talking about her work, Paver notes that she researched the Lapplanders a lot for the books. There is magic in this world, but it's ritualistic and very based on spirits. There aren't magic healers or people who just touch you to make magic happen. It's slow. And requires a lot of thought and planning.

Within the world, there are clans, ea…

Campaign: Donahue O'Kelly

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Character: Donahue O'Kelly
Game: Urban Shadows
Episodes: 4
Theme Song:Glitter & Gold by Barns Courtney
Keywords: Patient, Sympathetic, Tired

After months away because our GM has been sick, we jumped back into Urban Shadows. To the Gm's credit, it didn't stall out, even though it did feel like an episode of pick on Donahue. This is, in part, because we had a new character and a passive character at the table and then Donahue, as half our table couldn't make it, and it is in part because when in doubt, I will drive the fiction if no one else is.

This time, with Donahue, we finally really got to see parts of his dragon. He spent most of his time on a legend of zelda-like quest, where he had to go to one person to get a thing, but to get that thing, he had to go see another person, etc, until I was about five people removed from my original intent. Nevertheless, Donahue persevered, saved several people, exchanged some flirtation with a paper angel, and managed to figure ou…

Campaign: Kadlin Ottardottir

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Character: Kadlin Ottardottir
Game: Sagas of the Icelanders
Episodes: 0
Theme Song: White Foxes by Susanne Sundfør
Keywords: Noble, True, Careless

Kadlin is a shield maiden and middle daughter of the Matriarch, Rannveig. Initially I wanted to play a shield maiden because I was tired of playing caretaker women. Now, upon reflection, I'm noticing this trend of playing really assertive and strong women after playing a lot of women who are sweet and lovely. I go in waves like that.

So after I noticed my swing right, I decided to land somewhere in the middle with Kadlin. She's a shield maiden because she was always a tomboy, and after her father died, she took over doing most of the farm duties at home for her mother. Her older sister was married, and so Kadlin became the one everything rested upon. When Rannveig remarried, she had another child, Oddrin, whom Kadlin didn't really get or understand much. The girl spent most of her time with Soren and his older brother, and eventuall…

Campaign: Warren Legacy AKA Amp

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Character: Warren Legacy aka Amp
Game: Masks
Episodes: 4
Theme Song: I Don't Wanna Know by Weathers
Keywords: Heroic, torn, confident

We returned to Masks after a month and a half hiatus. We lost a player in that madness and now it's just the four of us. When last we left our heroes, they had fallen apart and this issue started with everyone doing their own thing. Amp's thing was doing what no one else was: She was still being a hero. She was saving people. She was making public appearances. She was being a god damn hero.

But in this episode, we saw the team come back together. There was a moment when Rhea, the legacy, called Amp on her shit but she ignored it and flipped it back on Rhea instead. One thing I have noticed about Amp is that she's confident and assertive, which has lead to a lot of people saying she doesn't have emotions.

I played another female character recently, Lana, who was also assertive. She was also accused of having no emotions. Rosa Diaz, from B…

Metatopia: The Commander of the People of the Snow

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Character: The Commander
Game: Gather by Stephen Dewey
Episodes: 1
Theme song: Wolf by Fever Ray
Keywords: Devoted, Careful, Intense

Sunday, burnt out and ready to go home, Rob, Rach, and I decided to sign up for one more game by a designer we had enjoyed previous products from. Stephen Dewey is the creator of Ten Candles, which if you haven't played you should. It's awesome. Gather was the game we signed up for, and I'm so glad we did.

Gather is a freeform story game using tokens and cards where players take on the roles of representatives of the people of the world who come together to sit at council, air grievances, ask for help, or broker alliances. The Gather is done yearly, with the people coming together to hear each other (or not) and form a world as you play. The cards on the table ask important and pivotal questions about you and your world.

I played the Commander of the People of the Snow. Interestingly enough, we never gave a name. This anonymity allowed for a cert…

Metatopia: Lana McEwen from Zombie World

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Character: Alana McEwen, "Lana"
Game: Zombie World
Episodes: 2
ThemeSong: Castle by Halsey
Keywords: Ruthless, decisive, survivor

In every zombie apocalypse story, there's the strong, independent, fierce woman who's also capable of speaking to people like they're people and isn't afraid of men, right? Well, no. I mean, I have yet to really see that character who isn't in a position of care taker. Sarah Polly's character in Day of the Dead came close, but she was a nurse, and the caretaker.

Zombie World is an upcoming game from Mark Diaz Truman that is essentially Walking Dead PbtA. It's. So. Good. And I mean, I don't like the Walking Dead, but I love me zombie fictions and this game perfectly grasps the feel of drama and trauma and suspense in the Walking Dead television show. It does it almost flawlessly. So when it Kickstarts, I recommend backing the fuck out of it.

Now. Lana. In this game, you get three cards that tell you your past, your curre…

Metatopia: Jade the Problem Child

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Character: Jade
Game: NP by Matthew McFarland
Episodes: 1, playtest
Theme Song: The Greatest by Sia
Keywords: reactionary, emotional, intense

By the end of Saturday, I was sitting down with Mark Diaz Truman, Matt McFarland, my friend Rob, and a playtester named Lisa to play Matt's new game, called NP, which I was told means Neuroplasticity. The premise is aliens invade earth and kids can manipulate time, kinda, with their little plastic brains. Not actually plastic. Just flexible enough to learn something in the future and bring that knowledge back to the present.

That part was super cool. I really dug the idea that we were using skills we learned in the future, making us tiny, emotional, wannabe adults. Matt and I had talked before hand about the game, and when the time came to play it, I selected the Problem Child because of the discussions we had had. Initially I was gonna play baby Robin, because that's what Rach had done, but I decided I was gonna be the problem kid. I never …