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This week, my husband and I are vacationing at my in-laws’ place. They live in an area of the Adirondacks that one might describe as “remote.” It’s not quite shack-in-the-woods remote, but the nearest townlet, about fifteen minutes away, consists of a bank, three or four stores, two gas stations, and lots of Burma Shave-style signs with religious slogans along the road. While I enjoy my time here spent hiking, swimming, and boating, it does always confirm that I’m a city girl. On the other hand, I always see some hilarious things that would make awesome adventure hooks. Today, I present you with four things I’ve seen so far that would make stellar Warhammer FRP adventure hooks:

  • A man burning the corpse of a horse in the front yard of his house. One of the horse’s legs sticks out of the flames at a jaunty angle.
  • A tiny shack with barely enough room for one man to sit suddenly appears in an unowned part of the woods where there was no shack just a few months ago. My husband and I happened upon a charming bench near a pond in a previously uninhabited part of the forest, and just when I was about to sit down, he suddenly whispered, “Stop! There’s a hut behind you.” I thought he was making a Star Wars joke, but the reality was much creepier.
  • A live dog strapped to the top of a car, (or in Warhammer, to the top of a carriage.) I could see my PCs stalled for half an hour of hilarious roleplay trying to figure out if they should save the dog, or if they should set the carriage on fire because the dog’s likely a demon and the people in the carriage follow some lord of Chaos.
  • A group of stern-looking children striding purposefully towards a stand of trees in the middle of nowhere carrying nothing but a long chain.

And really, there’s the real joy of vacationing: the stories you bring back. Most people want to tell those stories to their families and friends, but some of us twisted souls want to get together and retell slightly more violent versions of our vacation tales as we sit surrounded by piles of dice, stacks of cardboard scenery, and sets of miniatures.

 

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Just a few more pictures from my trip to Japan. I’ll update with some more RPG stuff before the weekend is over, but I know some of you have campaigns set in the East, so perhaps these pictures will be of use to you! If you redistribute them in some form, credit would be nice…but to tell the truth, it probably goes more to my Nikon J1 than to me. That little red camera seems to manage well in spite of the fact that it has me as an owner!

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, touring around Japan for work, which explains my lack of blogging. It’s difficult to keep up with the happenings in the RPG world when you rush about for 11 straight hours and then collapse in an exhausted pile at the end of every day. Not that I’m complaining, mind you–it was a fun trip, and I got to see lots of temples and shrines, statues of warriors and demons, and strange winding alleyways, all of which are good fodder for campaign writing.

I’ll be updating the blog regularly again starting this weekend; in the meantime, I may share some of my photos over the next few days that don’t contain any modern details. Feel free to use them in your campaigns if they suit you!

So, I spent the weekend at Mepacon. Part of me really wishes I’d gone to Burning Con instead because I do so love BW and its GMs, but we’d already committed to Mepacon–and invited friends to join us–before we found out about BC.

While I often enjoy the “small con” feel, (Ubercon remains one of my favorites for just that reason,) I was quite disappointed that the majority of non-d20 games listed on Mepacon’s roster got cancelled; I can find Pathfinder or DnD4e anywhere, but I really wanted to play something I hadn’t seen before. Ideally, I go to cons to meet new people and play systems that I haven’t played before so I can scope out new games for our group and watch excellent GMs in action. I suspect having access to so many indie designers from NYC and their committed GMs has spoiled me, but I’m a little nonplussed when a convention is without non-d20 content. Every convention needs either Warhammer or Burning Wheel. I guess I need to get better about being on the ball and offering it myself.

We did try the Untold system, a post-apocalyptic RPG with robot people, magic animals, and soldiers; all of the rules governing the game’s characters fit on standard-sized playing cards, which made it easy to create and play a character on the fly. It was a bit focused on combat tactics for my taste, although the simple rolls made it more palatable to me than other types of combat-focused RPGs. I particularly liked the fact that an NPC’s to-hit score changed every round, so a weak character had a chance–albeit a small one–of hitting even a powerful enemy if he just took enough swings. It seemed like an ideal system for a quick, low-frustration pickup RPG game, since you could make characters quickly and teach the rules in about five minutes. We grabbed a set of the cards online so we would have them around in case we had a sudden RPG emergency and need a quick fix.

All in all, it was nice to get some gaming in this weekend before returning to crazy times at work. Soon, though, I’ll be settling back into a more regular pattern, which will give me some time to talk about a couple of other new systems and some neat stuff I’ve looked at recently.

Work ramps up today for the first time in several months, so I’m pleased to report that this will be the first blog post of the year drafted during a meeting! (I won’t get around to posting it during the meeting, but I will have started it then.)

Since acquiring the Mouse Guard Box Set, I’ve naturally put Mouse Guard on the table as a fall RPG option for my players. I now had an excuse to scoop up Reaper’s Mouslings Set, which I’ve been eyeing for a long time but had no reason to purchase. If you’ve just purchased the Set and are eager to play, you might want to know that the Mouslings seem to be in Reaper’s boneyard; it isn’t clear how much longer they’ll be on offer. On the other hand, MG is a fairly abstract game, so you certainly don’t need them to play. (In fact, I’m thinking of not using scenery at all. I know. It’s hard to believe I would ever write such a thing. Still, things change so fast in MG, and in the test game I ran, I found it so much more fun to go with what the players suggested than with what I had in mind that I don’t want to end up limiting my options with too much premade scenery.)

The Mouslings are a great set, and the tiny minis are delightfully detailed casts, although they represent quite a few ‘types’ of characters you’re not likely to play in the game. There aren’t Gandalf-like wizard mice in the Crane/Petersen game, for instance. Still, the Mouslings are a fun set to own, and they come in a handy carrying case with a handle, so you can…um..I don’t know. Carry them somewhere. Like on vacation. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in a foreign country and had a sudden and desperate need for a variety of anthropomorphic mice miniatures. It’s been at least…hmm…no times. But if it does come, I’ll be set, and let’s face it–peace of mind is invaluable.

I’ve been on vacation…you know, the type where nobody within shouting distance knows the difference between Tzeentch and Karl Franz. Where nobody knows why counters in 3e would be controversial. Also, where there’s no internet. It’s sort of heavenly for about ten hours, and then I REALLY want to see what’s happening on Strike to Stun.

Anyway, I’m back now, and I have some posts to put up over the next few days.

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