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Jeff's Gameblog
Saturday, 28 February 2004

So I decided to skip trying to turn my scenario into a PDF and simply posted it to my website. You can go directly to the scenario by clicking here. I've been thinking abit about "historical authenticity" vis-a-vis the Ripper scenario. I think authenticity (or more accurately, the illusion of authenticty) involves several elements: 1) real historical personages as PCs and NPCs 2) real locations 3) real timetable (except as altered by the PCs, of course) 4) a plausible milieu (finding ways to show that the PCs are in Victorian London and not Anytown, Anywhen) Of course, to make the Ripper work as a mythos-inspired CoC scenario will require taking a few steps away from known historical information.

Posted by jrients at 7:22 PM CST
Friday, 27 February 2004
BattleTech scenario
I finished the graphics for my BattleTech scenario. A shot of Arakkis from the first Dune movie will be standing in as "Messick IV from space". I used the nifty Traveller world/system generation program Heaven & Earth to make a hexmap of the planet surface. Finally, I wanted a little hexmap of the battle field, which I put together using Bruce Gulke's excallent Wilderness Mapper, found at the bottom of his utilities page. I think I will post the scenario to my website as soon as I can figure out how to turn it into a PDF.

Posted by jrients at 10:46 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 27 February 2004 10:22 AM CST
Thursday, 26 February 2004
Call of Cthulhu: Jack the Ripper
A good, solid, historically-based, nightmare-inducing Jack the Ripper adventure represents to me the Unholy Grail of CoC gaming. I feel like if I could pull it off with aplomb, I could probably retire my CoC stuff permanently. Here are the features I want the game to have:

1) A sense of period authenticity.
2) Use of historical personages for as many characters as possible.
3) Attempt to adhere to the Ripper timeline.
4) The PCs are all people nowadays suspected of being the Ripper, even if they weren't back then. The idea here being that these folks are suspects because they were unofficially investigating the crime.

Posted by jrients at 7:28 PM CST
BattleTech scenario
Well, I finished the text for my first BattleTech scenario last night. I'm still thinking of jazzing up the presentation a bit. I'd like a pic of the planet (swiping a graphic of Arrakis or Tatooine ought to work), maybe a map of the planet a la Traveller isocadedral projections, and a hexmap of the battlefield.

Posted by jrients at 11:57 AM CST
Wednesday, 25 February 2004
Project 3 of 3: Game Weekend
This is my short term project. Gopher and Dave have been my friends for longer than anybody else. We went to the same K-12 school. All my earliest gaming experiences were with them: D&D, Call of Cthulhu, BattleTech and many others. We still try to get together once or twice a year. We play some games, knock back some drinks, smoke some cigars, and chew the fat. We're in the middle of trying to schedule a new game weekend at my place. BattleTech and D&D Expert rules will be on the dance card for sure. Dave's become a big Catan fan, so we'll probably play one of those. He also mentioned a card game called Bang. I'd like to add Carcasonne to the mix, time permitting, but my main objectives are to finish the BattleTech scenario I started several weeks back and to get cracking on some notes for a D&D game.

Posted by jrients at 4:55 PM CST
Project 2 of 3: Winter War
Winter War is the local game convention that I have been attending and GMing at for over a decade. I've reached the point where Winter War has become completely integrated into my gaming activities. My goal is to start planning for Winter War events on something like a two year cycle. The first year I come up with an idea for a con game I just let it percolate. If twelve months later the event concept still intrigues me, then I might make a casual inquiry with the convention chairman, to determine if he thinks the event would be viable. If he greenlights it then I might run the evnt the following year.

Here's the list of the events I'm thinking of doing at the next Winter War, or maybe the con after that.

Carcassonne (the recent upstart of the group)
Call of Cthulhu: Jack the Ripper
Star Fleet Battle Manual
Illuminati Tournament

I plan to outline what I want to accomplish with each in the next week or so worth of blog entries.

Posted by jrients at 4:16 PM CST
Project 1 of 3, my current campaign
Home Team, my super hero campaign

Rules: Heroes Unlimited 1st edition, plus some Ninja's & Superspies Revised

Setting: Marvel New York

I like using pre-existing supers settings (Marvel, DC, Amalgam, Image, whatever floats yer boat) but there is always the problem of the established heroes. My solution is to set my "twelve-issue limited series" mini-campaign during the run of the Secret Wars. The Avengers, FF, X-men, and Spidey are off fighting bad guys on another planet, leaving the PCs behind to keep the tide of villainy at bay. Sure, some of the best villains are gone, too, but you can always find more villains. (And I plan on using Kang the Conqueror and Dr. Doom anyway.)

Issue #0 of the campaign was character creation. My three players, after throwing dice and fiddling with the rules, produced the following heroes:

Jill Montgomery, Agent of SHIELD
Cyborg, the 7.5 Million Dollar Man
The Dingo, the Aussie from Outer Space

In Issue #1 ("Night of the Dreadnoughts") we established the premise of the comic with the public disappearance of the NPC heroes. The Dingo had some great mini-scenes. His character had moved to the Big Apple to find work with a bigtime crimefighting superteam. He was rebuffed by Jervis, the Avengers' butler and over tea Doctor Strange informed him that the Defenders had to disband to save the future timeline.

The main body of the adventure consisted of Shadow Master, leader of the Crime Masters, using his criminal genius to remotely activate some Dreadnought robots. Our heroes defeat the rampaging robots then track down the Crime Masters and capture them in their lair. The session ended with Agent Montgomery finding out "the boss" wanted to speak with her first thing the next morning.

Incidentally, the Crime Masters are the sample villains in the Heroes Unlimited rulebook and the rampaging dreadnoughts idea comes from a scenario suggestion in the Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Rules (the old FASERIP version).

Next issue: Hydra!

Posted by jrients at 3:47 PM CST
Current Gaming Projects
I have 3 current gaming projects that exist are anything more than pie-in-the-sky musings. First is my Heroes Unlimited mini-campaign, called Home Team. Second is my ongoing committment to running events at the Winter War gaming convention. Third is a proposed game day with my two high school gaming buddies Gopher and Dave. In my next few entries I plan to outline my plans for each.

Posted by jrients at 3:04 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 25 February 2004 4:18 PM CST

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