|So, you've created a wormhole|
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
One of my Christmas presents was the new second edition of The Esoterrorists by Robin D. Laws.
I'd already got the 1st edition (reviewed here), which I got after having a look at Trail of Cthulhu.
The second edition polishes the rules up a little, now that Gumshoe has been used to power a subsequent seven games (including the forthcoming TimeWatch and Gaean Reach), adds more detail to the Ordo Veritis and Esoterrorist organisations, has an expanded bestiary and includes an alternate setting - Station Duty.
It's still very affordable, and great for quick play at short notice.
Which brings me to the official point of this post - Recently a member of the Pelgrane Press Google+ community put out a call for some ready to play PCs for an Esoterrorists 2e game.
I, not having too much work that I wanted to avoid doing, knocked some up.
If you would like to use them, then they're here:
Esoterrorist 2e Characters
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
|TimeWatch main rules|
One of the Gumshoe games that I have been playing has been TimeWatch, written by Kevin Kulp.
It's not out yet, I've been taking part in the playtest cycle for the game, running it for my weekly group and laughing my ass off.
Now it's gone to Kickstarter, and I have broken my KS virginity on this book. I even paid $40 for the privilege.
I don't regret it.
I feel more of a man now. Like I can look other men in the eye...
You can go on the Kickstarter page and see why the author and publisher think you should back TimeWatch... In fact, do that. Watch the video and read the updates and consider the cost.
Now, let's talk about cool shit.
|Ezeru - Shapeshifting mutant psychic|
radioactive cockroaches from a false future
I like cool shit. Love it, in fact. And this game has so much cool shit in it that ... um... look, I'm not going to dive deeper into this metaphor. You'll thank me for it.
Instead I'll put this into context... I, as a teenager and as a 30+ year old 'adult' have spent actual hours discussing the temporal paradox resulting from the Terminator movie.
How can Skynet possibly think that ganking Sarah Connor is a good idea? If John Connor isn't born, then a there will be no resistance so Skynet won't need to send a Terminator back in time, so John Connor will be born...
Then Terminator 2: Judgement Day introduces the fact that Cyberdyne Systems used tech from the T-800 to create hardware that would later be used to create Skynet, meaning that Skynet propagated itself.
Any game featuring time travel is going to have this problem - players or NPCs change history, a paradox results and people start getting shirty just because they've ceased to exist or are now their own father.
|A TimeWatch agent activates an Autochron|
by Andy Mason
- Ignore it, like Dr Who normally does and like Terminator did
- Have history slowly assert its new form by deleting people like Marty McFly in Back to the Future
- Have people go a bit mad as their memories change, like Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys
- Go completely the other way and revel in the possible chaos like in the Futurama episode Roswell That Ends Well - become your own grandfather, blow shit up and screw with people
To do this it gives you three pertinent stats:
- Chronal Stability - How real and stable you are. If this dips below zero you start remembering alternative histories or fading into nothing
- Reality Anchor - The ability to focus yourself and others on 'reality' and restore lost Chronal Stability
- Paradox Prevention - A technical skill that allows you to mitigate paradox through cunning and knowledge.
|A TimeWatch team - a gunslinger, a neanderthal, a Mongol princess,|
a psychic Sophosaur and a 22nd Century space pilot
Therefore you can play just about anything, and the rules support them.
My players chose:
- A Wild West Gunslinger
- A sentient cyborg T-Rex (Prof. Doctor Thaddeus Rex M.D.)
- A Viking
- DB Cooper, posing as a legit TW agent
- An evolved, sentient mathematical algorithm housed in an artificial robot body
- A 1930's wise guy
In the first session, in prohibition era Chicago, one of the players opted to use time travel to move all other cars out of a street two minutes before they arrived 'in game time' to ensure that they got the best parking spot outside of a speakeasy. Later on in that session another player teleported to five minutes ago and just outside the back entrance to the speak easy so that he could catch the bad guy by surprise as she made good on her getaway sticks.
As soon as you introduce time travel into a game you force everyone participating to think in an additional dimension, and that makes for some weird and unusual fun.
What would be the repercussions of going back and stopping the villain from killing that small child just now? Maybe they were 'supposed' to die...
Maybe there's a whole moral quandary to work through before you kill an infant Hitler.
Maybe you should fund the book and find out.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
By 'enjoy' I mean 'be continually inspired and engaged by'
It is one hell of a book.
The first half (90 pages) is player facing, and expands on the wide range on cool things that players can do, use or blow up.
The book would be worth the cover price alone for this section.
The second half (30 pages) is director facing, and offers a range of pre-made people, places and perils (OK, monsters) as well as story ideas and tips.
I would probably have paid money just to get 30 pages of quality this high.
If you play Night's Black Agents, I urge you to get this book. There is not a wasted word or filler paragraph in its 120 page count.
Excellent work +Kenneth Hite, +Will Hindmarch, +Kevin Kulp, +Christian Lindke, +Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, +John Adamus, James Palmer, Will Plant and Rob Wieland.
Please keep producing work of this calibre and then take my money.