Sorry to drop this on everyone with such short notice, but something just came up that needs my attention. So I need to cancel the game tonight. Our next session should go on as planned however.
If you hadn’t noticed already, the Facebook page for this group has been updated as part of the final press towards our new destination: the Weird West.
Summer is always a weird time for us. Lots of folks disappear into the summer haze to distant ports o’call, while others we’ve never seen before (or not since last August) appear out of nowhere to take their place. Kicking off a new world is always challenging, maybe even moreso in the summer. So this time around, we’re going to approach things a bit differently. So, to make sure everyone is on the same page, here’s a peek at our summer schedule:
June – Character Creation: We’ll be spending this month building characters for the new world. Character creation isn’t hard and doesn’t take long, but it generally eats a session. Using two sessions gives everyone more breathing room to create the character they imagine without a lot of rushing around. The Weird West can be a dangerous place. It might be a good idea to have a spare character waiting in your folder.
July & August – Welcome to the Weird West: Before we get to the meat of the story, you greenhorns can wet your whistles in some dusty watering hole getting to know the place. Think of it like a summer beach novel: light on plot, heavy on…explosions!
September 1 – Did I Mention Character Creation?: By now, the summer crowd will have filtered through and school is back in session. So its time for the folks who abandoned us for the summer to whip up their characters (or replace characters eat, maimed, or otherwise blown to bits in the previous two months). For those of you who already have characters and have wisely avoided the reaper’s attention, Joe will no doubt have something special for you.
September 22 – The Lost Angels Express Leaves the Station: We kick off the main storyline in earnest.
And somewhere in there, we might have time for a contest. Hmmm….
No. Not us. We aren’t going anywhere (though elsewhere I’ve gone digital and have nothing but good things to say).
In just one short month, we’re cracking the lid on a new game setting: Deadlands. And it seems we’re not the only one’s. The big news that hit the net yesterday, and caught gamerdom blidesided, is that Microsoft has optioned the Deadlands game setting for a new internet television series to be broadcast over its XBox platform.
This may not seem like big news to you. And it shouldn’t be…yet. RPGs have a pretty poor track record when it comes to TV adaptions. Most of you were probably not even a thought for Kindred: the Embraced, a series even the Aaron Spelling magic couldn’t save. And don’t even get me started on the Dungeons and Dragons movie (and its sequels). And that…is just about all there is to talk about. But despite the announcement, there is a long road to go on a Deadlands internet show. Personally, I’m much more interested in whether or not it will be available on Netflix, iTunes, or even On Demand as I have no interest in buying a XBox just to watch a TV show, no matter what they decide to call it.
But if the show makes it to a debut, and we haven’t run out of cowpokes, indians, or zombies (or worse) to shoot at or blow up, well we might start seeing a new level of interest in what we are doing!
See you all Monday!
The end is nigh! Join us for the two final sessions of Heroes of Ash and Flame. You’ve sensed her presence. She’s harried your companions, even stolen one of your own. Now, come face to face with the greatest adversary you’ve yet faced on the blasted wastes of Athas.
Join us Monday, February 17, for Heroes of Ash and Flame. 6:00 pm at the Lewisville Public Library.
Heroes of Ash and Flame is reserved for teens, ages 12 to 17.
That’s right, pardner! Our next stop is a visit to the Weird West. That’s right. Weird. As in “not of our own.” No, this isn’t the Old West the way you read about it yer history books. Well, some of it’s the same. But when the dead rose up at Gettysburg and started walking around…well, let’s say history decided to take an unexpected detour.
You want it summed up real pretty?
After almost two decades of bitter fighting, the American Civil War has ground to a standstill. The Confederate States are still free. California has fallen into the Pacific Ocean. Rail Barons fight bloody battles to decide who the victor will be in the race for a transcontinental railroad, while a superfuel called ghost rock advances technology by unpredictable leaps and sometimes dangerous bounds. The Sioux have retaken the Dakotas and the Coyote Confederation dances the Ghost Dance on the High Plains. Some even say the dead walk among us.
Does that about do it for ya?
So what’s in it for you? Well, Tenderfoot, I’m so glad you asked.
You want magic? Check.
You want steampunk? Check.
You want monstrous, soul crushing evil that will eagerly suck you down its gullet and pick its teeth with a cactus needle? CHECK!
But…it’s a western? You’re darn-tootin’, Greenhorn. Western with meat. Meat that bites back, that is. You fellers take up the roles of steely-eyed gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers called hucksters, mysterious shamans, savage braves, mad scientists, and others who battle against evil and attempt to prevent the Final Reckoning. So check that pea-shooter on your hip and steer your horse into the setting sun. Because these days, the west needs heroes in the worst way.
I ain’t gonna sugar-coat it fer ya. ‘ole Joe is already set to work measurin’ pine boxes fer each of ya.
Deadlands uses the Savage Worlds rules we’ve been using for years now. Both are published by Pinnacle Entertainment.
I recently finished The Silver Skull, a novel by Mark Chadbourne, part of his Swords of Albion trilogy. In all, a pretty good read at a hair over 400 pages. The novel follows the exploits of Will Swyfte, England’s greatest spy. Swyfte is Elizabethan England’s equivalent of James Bond: dashing, rakish and quick witted. While the threat of the Spanish Armada looms over England, Swyfte and a few other stalwarts work behind the scenes to protect Queen and kingdom from the true threat: the Fae and the Unseelie Court.
It’s a solid novel, well paced and tightly written. Its not without its faults – the threat and villainous plot feels almost anachronistic in this day and age – but these are outweighed by what the novel does right. It’s also a first novel, so one has to forgive the author a certain amount. I’ve added the follow up, the Scar-Crow Men, to my future reading list.
If that sounds right up your alley, start bugging the librarians at LPL for a copy.
Most of you have been around long enough to know my roleplaying game hobby extends beyond this library program. I’ve been playing RPGs since the early 80′s, and regularly since my sophomore year of college (1992). My regular game group meets every other Friday night, and has for many years. We took a few temporary breaks to have children (it’s very hard to come up with anything coherent when you are only getting about 2-3 hours of sleep between feedings and diaper changes), but we’ve always managed to bring it all back together.
The game we are currently playing is Witch Hunter: The Invisible World. Its a game that is equal parts swashbuckling adventure and macabre horror, taking a lot of cues from one of my favorite pulp literary characters, Solomon Kane. The players assume the roles of soldiers of faith against the things in the dark, scratching at the door in the night. These characters are members of apocryphal orders of church knights, most considered heretical by their faiths and denominations. Witch Hunters all work in the service of God, but come from every faith; Christian, Judaism, Islam, etc. Character types range from the beleaguered priest, to the bravo swordsman, from the caring midwife, to the sharp-witted cutpurse. The supernatural has left its mark on each of them, and so they have taken up a higher calling despite the odds.
The genesis for this campaign began about a decade ago when I began playing another (my first) swashbuckling RPG, 7th Sea. It was (and is!) terrific fun but got me thinking how cool it would be to run a darker sort of game set in colonial America. That led me to reading Solomon Kane which inevitably led me, via Savage Worlds, to the Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane (SWoSK) and All for One: Regime Diabolique (which for a short period served as our program world milieu). Witch Hunter actually predates both of these by a couple of months, but after about 2 years of regular SWoSK play, I decided I needed a system that was heftier and a bit less ability-oriented than Savage Worlds and had a more substantial world setting. And since I’d already been adapting huge chunks of Witch Hunter to my SWoSK game, and since the publisher was kickstarting a long awaited 2nd edition, I decided it made sense to migrate over to a new system and world setting with parallel themes to what my players and I have been enjoying for years now.
We’re also trying something new this time around by going virtual. While the Friday group has always been evolving, we’ve lost several good players to distance. I also have some friends who, because we live so far apart, I never get to game with them anymore. So at the recommendation and guidance from another friend (my GM-guru), we off the tabletop and onto Roll20. It’s been a challenge, and we’ve had to learn new ways of doing things. I actually spent money on a gaming headset rather than rely on my old phone earbuds. But its been a lot of fun to reconnect with players old and new and added a whole new dynamic to our game.
While it’s not the primary mission of our program, one of the things I love to see are players taking the next step, seeking out RPGs on their own and building their own groups, either as players or GMs. For those of you so inclined, I can’t recommend any of the games I’ve mentioned in this post enough. SWoSK is a self contained game with all the rules you need to play and enough adventure support to keep your group laughing death in the eye for years. Like the idea of swashbuckling horror but Savage Worlds just doesn’t do it for you? Both All for One and Witch Hunter offer very different (and well supported) visions of the same sub-genre. (All for One now has an official Savage Worlds version, too!) And if you don’t mind hunting through the aisles at Half Price Books, 7th Sea will rock your world every which way to Sunday. Want to game but got no group? Heading off to college in the Fall and want to roll dice with your friends back home? Roll20 has you covered.
Now get out there, roll some dice and have fun!