Thursday, July 31, 2014

Works in Progress

My current project is a huge Khaboom city solo, titled "Missing Inaction" (because you will not have a moment to relax) and I have just received the draft front and back cover from Stan. I know need to write the blurb - a short job compared with getting to the end of the solo (still nowhere in sight after reaching paragraph 1139!).

I have the next chapter of a long-running campaign to GM this afternoon where the players are attempting to deliver a load of cannonballs to a port - they have already broken the axles of one re-inforced wagon and a can see problems with a large hill ahead...

I have the luxury every second Sunday of being one of 8 players in a game played out on a planet called "the World of Laws". The GM is a DM... it is very loosely based on TOG as we have ACs, Hit Points and the like but the players quickly have learned to say 'Luck' instead of 'Wisdom" and although we roll d20 for saving rolls, the rolls are permitted with no reference to a rulebook, only to what makes the game hum. A roll of 1 or 20 represent the extremes of a critical fumble or doubles sixes. There is a veneer of TOG but it has the heart of the Troll :)

All three are works in progress, as are we all :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kickback - a very short satirical solo

It's been a long name but then, when you have nothing to say...

A passing whim made me start this (just paragraph 1) yesterday on Trollhalla. I thought I would continue it but it is not yet finished and I shall only finish it if a jury of my peers returns a guilty verdict. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead-ish is entirely haphazard and you must remember that I am English and as a general rule we are unable to express affection and so mask it by matey digs, understanding full well that everyone else knows we only poke at the ones we love...


You sit at your desk, pouring over the text which long ago began swimming before your weary eyes. Much of it is familiar but there are twists and tweaks, some odd, some perhaps perverse. You know many are counting on you and have backed you with gold. You grit your teeth and battle on. Suddenly, your nose twitches and you sneeze violently. Make a L1 SR on CON. If you make, it is just a very nasty cold - go to bed for 3 months with a hot water bottle (go to 10); if you fail, you put your back out and cannot move a muscle for 6 months... (go to 20)

You lie there helplessly, watched by your cats who come and go through their catflap as they please, while you can only dream of movement, freedom, health and artistic endeavour. After what seems to many as decades rather than days, you rally from your stupor and hear the sound of the doorbell ringing. Make a L1 SR on STR to rise up from you sick bed and greet whoever may be calling. If you make it, you see the smiling face of the Game Designer Fellow, clutching a hastily picked bunch of nestertiums from your neighbour’s window box (go to 19); if you fail, you are unable to summon the inner forces to admit the visitor and so miss out on critical new rule tweaks based on actual gameplay, albeit not universally popular with the guinea pig players – you are feeling well enough to pick up pen again though and begin amending rules which bugged you way back in the day and adding ones which seem to work well in other, more lucrative, games (go to 2).

You begin to receive a large number of anxious emails, both from friends and strangers. Friends are solicitous about your health while the emails from people you don’t know are more concerned with the release date for the magnus opus dependent on your editorial care and your artistic genius. Make a L1 SR on INT. If you make it, you phone a Fellow, the one who is good with graphics and could easily have worked for the United Nations (go to 15); if you fail, you respond to all the emails saying that you are sure you will be better tomorrow and, despite the day job, you reckon things will be back on track by the fall (go to 5).

You tell the PR Fellow that you need more time and he is quick to weigh up the situation, deciding that an aggressive defensive spin is necessary. He floods the website which fans frequent with news of emails that all the Fellows have sent out, beers they have drunk together planning their masterpice and sends little pieces cut from newspaper that can be rearranged to form the word ‘TROLL’ so that the fan base has something new to play with in the meantime. Make a L1 SR on LK. If you make it, this strategy works with most loyal fans but not quite all of them (go to 7); if you fail, the tactic gains no sympathy and rebounds badly, drawing the attention of the ‘Other World Out There’ to the shortfall in delivery against expectations – go to 18.

Your computer beeps at you aggressively – it is stacked to the gunnels with unanswered emails but you can’t get up to type. Your cell phone is full with messages too but you lost your voice yesterday and can only listen – all your Fellows are urging you to have skeleton replacement surgery for the sake of the project. Make a L2 SR on CON. If you make it, you steel yourself against the pain and manage to send an email to the PR Fellow (go to 15); if you fail, the effort reduces you to little more than raspberry jello and you collapse into a catatonic coma (go to 3).