Beginings and Endings

So, I'm going to be a part of a play-by-skype M&M game, which means that my character ADD is in full swing. I initially pitched a teenage paragon type, like Clark Kent in Smallville or Connor Kent in Young Justice. But then the little ADD voice said "but what about...." and proceeded to drag out around 50 character concepts. Sigh.

And now some thoughts about the ending of Mass Effect 3

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Campaign Ideas I Won't Run

Obviously inspired by the upcoming John Carter movie.

Cowboys and Martians, presumably the Savage Worlds Mars setting.

The pitch: In the waning days of the Old West, a ruthless gunslinger called "Redface" for his ruddy-red complexion, was finally caught and due to be hanged come dawn. But in the night, he broke out of jail, killed a couple of guards, and headed off for his hideout in the Badlands. The sheriff's dead and one of his deputies formed a posse (of the PCs) to catch that varmit. You tracked him down to a cave (cursed, if you believe the natives) and followed him in.

The cave turned out to be a tunnel, but on the other end there were two moons, red sand and rock as far as the eye could see, and hey, is that a bunch o' six-armed green fellas headed your way?

ME Three

Anyone else with the PC version find it to be occasionally buggy? I had it lock a follower behind a door that couldn't be opened in the first mission after the tutorial and set Shepard back to 1st level once.

TL,DR: So far, it's as good as my expectations could be.

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State Of Me

Life: Looking forward to spring break with The Boy.

Reading: Lots of audiobooks from librivox.org - it's got scads and scads of public domain stuff in audio format. Also, Tales of the Far West (as an ebook). OMG, I was only sort of paying attention to it, but now I wish I'd ponied up in the kickstarter. I knew it was a mashup of cowboys and kung fu, lightly frosted with steampunk, but I had no idea the setting was turned up to 11. Kung fu gunslingers are capable of feats that would make the folks behind The Matrix and Equilibrium drool. Can't wait to finish it.

Watching: Picked up Justice League:Doom. It was neat to see the JLU voice cast (plus Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan) back together. (Oddly, Flash was Barry Allen not Wally West, so it's not in the JLU continuity.) Some cool moments, some disappointing ones. Totally worth a rental. Not sure about full price. Also watching lots of DS9 on Netflix. The show really picked up when Worf joined the cast.

Gaming With Dice: Missed a few sessions of the Tuesday game due to real life intrusions. But I will be there playing Pathfinder tonight. And I was one of the folks on the Vigilance Press Podcast - Marvel Actual Play Demo. The new Marvel game is nifty. I like the Doom Pool / Plot Point economy a lot. Not sure what I can do with it, but I like it.

Gaming With Pixels: MASS EFFECT 3. W00t!!! Got to play a little this morning before work. Josephine Shepard (Paragon Vanguard) is kicking butt and taking names again. I had a couple of glitches - once I lost a teammate on the other side of a door that wouldn't re-open and once when I loaded up, it'd lost my characters' level and power layout. But the story is compelling, the stakes are higher than ever before and the band is getting back together (along with a couple of new faces).

Why Don't He Write More

Well, part of it is the slow, steady decline of LJ activity in general.

Reading: Mostly comics these days. I'm back on the getting-floppy-comics bandwagon, currently reading Action, Batman, Justice League and Scarlet Spider. Overall, I'm actually reading more Marvel these days, Bendis-era Avengers trades, plus I want to dig out my copies of The Crew. Oh, and I'm reading Carrie Vaughn's After The Golden Age. I liked her Wild Cards work, as well as the Kitty Norville books. I'm pretty early into the book, which is entertaining, though One Of The Stories I'd Like To Write Someday is about the ordinary son of two Big Darn Superheroes. Lastly, I'm listening to Proven Guilty.

Gaming With Dice: Owlcon sapped all our energy, and with player absences (myself included), we only got back to our regular games last night, which I had to miss again. But I will be playing the New Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game this weekend over Skype for the Vigilance Press Podcast. I am still digesting MHR and want to see it in play. I like it quite a bit, though I want to see one of their "Event" books (even if it is Civil War, blech) to see how they intend longer games to run. The game comes with the "Breakout" mini-event (Bendis' New Avengers 1-6).

Writing: Finished "Six Guns" - a team of cyborg mercs usable in your Mutants and Masterminds game. Soon to be downloadable from Vigilance Press. And I want to write MOAR. I'm also committing gross acts of fan-fiction, inspired by the Breakout event. In my world, the New Avengers are: Cyclops (leader), Beast, Human Torch, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Wasp, and a new Nomad (revealed to be Josiah X / Justice from The Crew). In my head, Civil War will happen very differently, largely by changing the SHRA and de-douching Iron Man and Mr Fantastic. In My World, the SHRA boils down to "masked crimefighters have to register with SHIELD". No one gets drafted or thrown in the Negative Zone. Also, it's largely fought in the courts. Heck, the only Marvel character who seems to really hide his ID these days is Spider-Man anyway.

Games with Pixel: Mass Effect 3 is not installed on my computer yet, dang it. The demo is. Haven't tried multiplayer, but it was nice to see good ol' Shep kicking butt. Re-playing Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions just to jump through enough hoops to unlock all the costumes, which will be a bear.

Campaign Ideas I Won't Run

So, a few years ago in Marvel, the Scarlet Witch (a mutant who can alter probabilities) went nutso and in the process, some of the D-list Avengers died. Later, she was found hiding in Genosha with Magneto (her dad). The X-Men and Avengers roll in because she's a time bomb waiting to go off. In a panic, the Witch re-writes all of reality on a scale she'd never shown the slightest capability of doing, creating an alternate history called "House of M" - a world where mutants run the show instead of humans. Eventually, the good guys remember the old timeline and the Witch undoes it all. But before the end of the series, she says "No More Mutants" and disappears. So, instead of the million plus muties in the Marvel Universe, only 200 or so were left (strangely enough, most of them were starring in Marvel Comics).

So I had the idea, what if instead she said "We're All Mutants" and instead of depowering a bajillion D-listers, every human on the planet gets mutant powers. Now, most of them are minor changes, like purple skin or the ability to move a penny with their mind. But like Magneto intended in X-Men 1, now everyone is a mutant.

Now, to make things easier, all of the non-mutant supers (like Spider-Man or the Hulk) got their genes rewritten so that they have the X-gene as the source of their powers. Folks like Tony Stark or Dr Strange either get cruddy little powers or evolve so they don't need their devices. (Iron Man as a ferrokinetic, for instance.)

And now there's a world full of super-powered people.

Thing is, I have no idea what the heroes of the game would be.

Owlcon After Action Report

First off, thanks to the Owlcon staff for a well-run con. Sorry I couldn't be around more. Secondly, beware my ever-expanding ego. I had a couple of folks say they signed up for my stuff because previous years were so awesome. Then another guy told me something to the effect of, "last year, I was looking at the program and saw your 'Crisis of Infinite Batmen' round, and I thought it was going to be awesome or horrible. Then I saw you were running it and I knew it'd be awesome."

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Twas The Day Before Owlcon...

Well, for me it is. Can't wait to run my M&M game. I'm all nervous and stuff. ;-)

Reading: Lots of digital comics (legal, mind you). I'm working my way through Amazing Spider-Man and when I'm done, I will go back and read the X-Men.

Watching: I've had DS9 on while cooking and cleaning and when I wake up at 5:00 AM. I just got up to Worf's arrival. It's just so nice to see Worf again, like an old friend you haven't seen in a while. I just got season 1 and 2 of Justice League, so I'm gonna be all over that too, but I can't carry it around on the ipad like I can DS9 (via streaming netflix).

Gaming With Pixels: Nothing much. Can't wait for Mass Effect 3, tho.

Gaming with Dice: I'm eager to see what the new Marvel RPG will be like. There are some preview bits on the web page. I like the simplicity of what I've seen of the system (and its other relatives in Cortex+ - Leverage and Smallville). What I've found most interesting is that they're taking a very different approach to writeups of the Marvel cast. Instead of going the "this is the iconic build of Wolverine", they're saying "at this point in the Marvel timeline, Wolverine looks like this." So the build of Spider-Man in the core rules (which is Pete just when Bendis made him an Avenger) will be different than Spider-Man in the Civil War sourcebook that comes out a little bit later (what with the whole Iron Spider suit Stark made and blowing his secret ID to the world). And it's not a level up sort of thing. It's kind of a shame I really despised Civil War, since that's the first set of supplements.

But it does have me sort of wondering what sort of alternate universe game I could run, starting at the point of the great villain breakout in New Avengers 1, but a universe where a different team of heroes come together "to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand." Imagine if instead (he looks at the list of folks in the core rules and picks at random), we got something like Black Panther, Cyclops, Human Torch, Ms Marvel, Beast and Iron Fist. I always thought that Cyke would be an awesome Avenger.

Game Trailers; The Kerberos Club

So I've narrowed my play-by-something-as-yet-to-be-determined game as Mutants and Masterminds 3rd (aka DC Adventures) in the Kerberos Club setting.

For those not in the know, the Kerberos Club is a Victorian steampunk super-hero setting. The Club itself is a gathering place for "the Strange" (meaning, supers) and members are obligated to fight badness. The heroes are the sample PCs from the rulebook. (A brillaint chemist transformed into a chimp by Weird Science, a guy turned to living stone by Weird Science, a little girl who made friends with the Fair Folk and they've been keeping her alive for over a century because she entertains them, and Victorian Batwoman.) The villains are The Oktobermen a super-villain team that so easily translates to the KC setting all they'd need is a change of wardrobe.

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