27 April 2011

Planning a Supers-Steampunk game

Now that I have a bit more free time I can now start some new projects. One of them is preparing for a one-shot role-playing game in about two-and-a-half weeks. A friend from out-of-town wants to game again and I'll be piecing together the game.

So, I asked him what he wanted to play and the two things that came up were Steampunk and a supers game. Well, why not combine them. I'm still deciding on the system (it will probably end up being GURPS) and I have to make sure everyone has characters made up before game day (don't want to burn game time making characters, especially for what may only be a one-shot). Oh, and then I have to design the adventure.

All I've determined right now is that the campaign setting will be May 1881. Right now I'm going through my notes on that period and designing the setting. There are going to be some divergence from real history thanks to the introduction of super powers and steam-tech. I'm going to get the basics of a world set up and then we can decide where the heroes are based. Then I get to design the wicked villains.

Since over the last few years I've been reading a lot of sci-fi and adventure stories written in that general era I may have quite a bit of material to draw from. It has been months since I've been a gamemaster, so this little project has been a great outlet for some pent-up creative energy.

Who knows, It might end up being good enough to become more than a one-shot and might be the genesis of another one of my multi-year campaigns (and if not I'll be able to then channel some creative energy into creating that world too!).

Now if you'll excuse me I have some research to do and some notes to take :)

21 April 2011

Third Sentence Thursday #5

Third Sentence Thursday

"He stood before what appeared to be the station's sole permanent building - a weathered structure that presumably at some dim time had served as a railroad storehouse" (The Blue Max by Jack D. Hunter)

'He' is Bruno Stachel, a German aviator arriving at his first assignment. The station has one permanent building which means there are numerous temporary structures scattered about the area. While the area may have once been a bustling railway station it now serves a much different purpose.

I just finished up this book last night. I really liked it. While very different from the movie there were eerie similarities. While I still like the film the novel is much better (which I suppose is nearly always the case).

Here's how Third Sentence Thursday works:

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence to Sniffly Kitty's Third Sentence Post for this week.

20 April 2011

Invasion Literature

Now that work has slowed down and I have some more free time I plan to get back to reading and writing some more. One genre I plan to focus on this summer is Invasion Literature. Basically those are stories about the home country being invaded by some outside force or nation. H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds is an example, but I plan to focus on stories involving fictional wars between real nations. No aliens for me this time around.

I also want to read more than just the short list for the genre on Wikipedia, sometimes there is some good material in overlooked novels. The problem is where to get titles & author names for my search.

Luckily I stumbled onto the Tea and Tiffin blog where KapitanMors wrote a nice introduction to the genre and listed a few good starting places for continued reading.

It will hopefully be an interesting journey and a nice break from all of the World War I history books I've been reading.

Does anyone have a suggestion of any good books of this genre, particilarly ones that were written before 1914?

07 April 2011

Third Sentence Thursday #4

It's Thursday! That meens it's time for:

Third Sentence Thursday

Here is the third sentence from a book I read a couple of months ago. My current book reading speed will still be a little slow for the next couple of weeks.

“Robert Wolff knew that there could be no horn or man blowing upon it behind the sliding doors.” (The Maker of Universes by Philip José Farmer)

Wolff hears something that can’t possibly be real in a confined space behind some sliding doors. What is the true source of the sound and will Wolff open the doors to find out?

Of course he does open the doors and his life will change forever as a result. This is where the whole World of Tiers series began. I’m so far into it I’ve nearly forgotten about Robert Wolf, the character Kickaha becomes the primary protagonist by the third book. In fact Kickaha steals the show in the scenes he has in The Maker of Universes.

Here's how Third Sentence Thursday works:

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence to Sniffly Kitty's Third Sentence Post for this week.

05 April 2011

Random Writings

When times allows I am part of a local writing group. Over a year ago we broke from our usual routine and picked some random news clippings and images and spent about five minutes writing a quick story about them. Below is what I managed to write in the time allotted... didn't keep the scraps and image that was the inspiration:

My favorite place in the world is the amusement park by the sea. Why is it my favorite place? It is where I had performed the marriage of my best friend to his wife while still wearing my hospital gown.

It was a strange few days leading up to that point. On Monday I was driving to work and was thinking about my friend's upcoming wedding and wondering if his new wife had a sister. Music was playing on the radio and I tapped along with it on my steering wheel.

Unfortunately I have terrible rhythm and lost control of the car. I braced for impact and heard metal and plastic crunching as my car collided with a nearby van.

Inside the van were a group of terrorists who were planning mayhem on our fair city. My accidental intervention spoiled their plans.

As they prepared to get their vengeance upon me another person appeared, guns blazing. He wore a tuxedo and had a pistol in one hand and a plastic lawn flamingo in the other. He splattered the brains and innards of my adversaries across the landscape, a single eyeball bouncing down the road leaving little read splotches as it went.

I thanked the man for the rescue but he was totally drunk and fell into the nearby ditch. An envelope fell out of his pocket marked "Ultra Secret."

I opened the envelope... not sure why, but I learned of a terrible plot by an evil organization to take over the world and this drunk with the plastic flamingo was supposed to save the day.

As I decided what to do next the plastic bird began to speak. It was no ordinary lawn ornament but was a talking computer with built-in satellite phone and toaster.

The machine told me the next stop on the mission, a nearby yak breeding farm. From the map that printed out I saw that the farm was located deep in a desolate swamp far from the wandering eyes of civilization.

My car still operated so I proceeded to the swamp wondering what my next move should be. I was not -

(That's where it ended due to the time. We then took turns reading what we had wrote. I never went back to that story until I flipped through an old notebook to-day. Any comments?)
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