Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Hope on a rope

So last week the Chill Envoys entered Unknown territory. SAVE agents are drawn from the community but selected based either on their circumstantial exposure to metaphysical forces or because they have expressed an interest in the supernatural on an armature level. Its is designed to be a slow conversion; to be a curios onlooker that is gradually and inevitably drawn into a deeper and increasingly life threatening situations. Action must replace disquiet, knowledge mysticism and resolve fear. 

To become an Envoy is, effectively to take up arms and draw a line int he ether on behalf of all humanity despite the potential sacrifices. Whilst the current party have played a very cautious hand to date, I am proud to sat that they are slowly becoming committed to their cause; they are crossing the line that cant be uncrossed and facing their demons. Literally.

Last week saw the Envoys enter a lair of sorts, though they are not the first to venture into this area as they discovered. Whilst it is yet unclear what it all means they have just discovered a place that holds Unknown artefacts including a receptacle for the one that has been recently intruding upon their own world. SAVE is predominantly an information gathering organisation and whilst Unknown entities can be influenced, direct contact is often unwise if indeed it can be avoided altogether Whilst the history of SAVE is littered with attempts at containing and researching otherworld items, there has never been a successful outcome in doing so. Something always comes for them.

Nevertheless our intrepid Envoys have banded together in true D&D style and the rallying cry went up last week "Do we have any rope?". The age old RPG debate n the availability, length and weight of rope is a venerable one and was duly had. Despite playing characters based in the USA in the early nineties, that did not stop our heroes dutifully tying themselves together Sherpa style and embarking one after another into the mists, gas lanterns held aloft. Hopefully when they all come out, there wont be any frayed ends..

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Age concern

We routinely get correspondence into our steam powered gnome infested internet engine regarding people who are interested in popping along and having a go. What is interesting is that quite often people seem a little concerned about whether the group is old, young or somewhere in between. More specifically, younger people are concerned about being too young and older people are concerned abut being too old and people in between are often concerned about being neither young nor old or on the other tentacle being too young or too old.

Given this then either you would have to be a newborn or an immortal or both to actually guarantee not being self conscious about the correct role playing age - there would be no one at the club whatsoever if that were the case. Or to put it another way, the only theoretically viable club profile would be made of child snatching people who think that they are elves. I wont speak for anyone else but I would have some concerns playing with people like this as well as the fact that babies can be both smelly and noisy.

Now this is oddly a case of irrelevance being very important. so not only does it does not matter where you are on your particular lifespan , more specifically you will often be role playing someone or something else that has a radically different life expectancy; in the case of some thing like Cthulu, for example that could be very short lived concern indeed. There are tree like entities, such as Ents that converse for so long they start to grow roots or the other end of the scale there are clone bodies that can be utilised like tools, discarded or sacrificed depending on the circumstances. Whilst we all get a feeling of clinging to life after having eaten a dodgy curry or indeed seeing the whole of our lives flash before our eyes when we get an unexpected mobile phone bill, if you don't have any life to begin with or indeed eyes, you have to look at things in a very different way; there are often droids, androids and sentient mechanisms that can be introduced as player characters. Perhaps your character's concerns is more about getting the correct parts so he doesn't wear out rather than where his next meal is coming from. Alternatively perhaps you will be dropped into the shoes of an alien where you would have to consider matters of primal motivations as well as what passes for fashionable footwear in your civilisation. 

The bottom line is that basically there is no concern for age at all. Or to try and get the concept across of such an unusual hobby, if you are a brain in a jar, then you would be very welcome.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Slugging it out

There is an esteemed history to blobs, though I would like to say that they were most prevalent in the atomic age of domestic appliances, they have continued to make an appearance over the decades. I did raise a slightly inebriated eyebrow when GM Jon mentioned that the crew of the USS Lexington had just encountered one, though Dave also remarked on a punishing battle with the bell curve last week as I believe most of their evening was spent making appalling rolls. Personally I can find it a struggle when an entire party repeatedly rolls badly as other than NPCs either doing a tap dance to pass the time whilst the party slap themselves out of their collective hypnosis or allowing my monsters to merrily chomp away at protagonists, I'm never quite sure what to do.

Interestingly the early 'blobs'  typified unfathomable and frightening entities, their physical form directly representing the barrier between the world we know and something completely alien. They also have the advantage of being relatively easy projects as far as special effects are concerned.

In more latter day scenarios there is a nod to the heritage I believe where things like gelatinous cubes are concerned but as Science Fiction matured the genre it has given way to more descriptive creatures and plot devices and to even  more sophisticated, albeit malevolent, entities.

As for best practice, well this is still an open debate. They give nothing away. It difficult to imagine a Player character actually being a blob of some sort but not impossible. In fact Starfleet would be compelled to entertain incorporating a blob species that has made it to the interstellar age and provided they didn't vaporise anything at first contact, I would love a blobby Ensign on the bridge of the USS Discovery in the upcoming series, packed together with all its backstory of awkward struggles through Starfleet Academy. Eventually gaining the respect of his fellow cadets and a confident relationship with a young human aboard its first crew assignment. It would be an inspirational role model to young blobs all over the world who feel marginalised and underrepresented.

Problem is of course, where do you put the badge on a blob ?