Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Unknown Armies 2nd ed vs 3rd ed

Been a while since I've talked about Unknown Armies. Especially after I was unhappy with the high buy in cost for third edition by splitting it into three books. So I didn't back the kickstarter and didn't look around for the books.

Eventually a collection of the three main books fell into my lap via a good trade deal. Really it was one I couldn't pass up. So I finally had the new version of Unknown Armies in my hands and I gave it a read through. After that I never mentioned it. Why? Because it was kind of a let down really. It didn't click at all with me, not the way the previous two edition did and it just felt like a whole lot of 'meh' to me.

Well over on rpgdotnet a conversation popped up where a person is reading the second edition of the game. A couple of us said we preferred it over 3rd and one person in particular (Comrade Pointdexter) hit the nail right on the head as to why. Saying it much better than I ever could have.

There are things I'll ransack from UA 3E (such as The Naked Goddess archetype, the schism in her cult, and Ordo Corpulentis), but I stick with 2E. Not only because I like that system better, but the overall tone of 3E strikes me as merely bizarro and kooky than uncanny, dark, and noirish. I recall one reviewer of third edition wrote that he wouldn't have guessed it was a horror rpg if the rule books hadn't said so. If 2E was Tim Powers, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, James Ellroy, and Nick Cave then 3E is The Adventures of Pete and Pete and Ween (and, Christ, what they did to The Sleepers is a joke. Literally, a setting meta-joke. No 12-Step Sleepers in my UA, thanks). Take the 1st edition supplement Postmodern Magick and compare two of the individuals/cabals within - The Bad Man and Team Salvation. Second edition was all about characters like The Bad Man; third edition is totally Team Salvation. And I never could stand Team Salvation.

 I have to agree completely with this. It's not a horror game in the way it's been rewritten. The updates to the power groups in the game aren't all that well thought out. It just doesn't work or compare to the previous edition. For the record 2nd edition took everything that was good about the original version, and several of the supplements, combined and refined them in probably the best follow up edition to a game that I have ever seen. It kept the tone and feel while making it all work together.

If you're looking for the 3rd edition you can find it on the Atlas Games page on DrivethruRPG and on Amazon of course or even Ebay. Don't forget to check your FLGS first though.

For 2nd edition you are going to have to hunt around on Ebay, on Amazon, or through second hand sellers. Or you may get lucky and find it at a FLGS also, be sure to check the used games section if they have one. UPDATE: You can now pick up first edition and second edition over on DrivethruRPG. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Truly Rural update 8-17-29

Truly Rural Productions update. While I'm waiting for a piece of art for Clandestine Societies I've started pushing forward on a second project.

A few years back I did a 'roll 20' post with twenty different kinds of masks you could find in a game. I've decided to take that list and expand each entry with a description of each mask, how their magical ability works in more detail, duration or uses and some notes on converting it over to a game system. Thought about stating it out with WaRP but I'm not sure if anchoring it with a system helps or hinders potential sales.

Also since 'Squad Names' sold a few copies I've started tossing together a second edition of that. No idea when it will be done as I'm just jotting down names as inspiration strikes.

After Clandestine Society and the as of yet untitled Mask project I will start working on another installment for Sponsorship.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Kung Fu and Titties (2013)

Sometimes when you review a movie you are taking a bullet for somebody else. Stepping in line to stop something terrible from happening to others. Tonight my wife and I have done just that. So please heed our warning when we say not to watch this movie. If only we would have been warned ourselves. The movie is...

Kung Fu and Titties

And yes, you can buy it at Amazon.

My wife and I were searching through the Roku looking for bad Kung-fu movies to watch at some point. Then over in the suggestions it appeared. The name that made us both go what the hell. We had to click on it just to see if was an actual movie listing. It was and we both laughed, then for some damned reason we said 'what the hell' and loaded it up.

It's really hard to classify this as a movie and more like glorified handicam filming. The plot itself was just as bad. A man named Richard Titties must travel to another dimension to rescue his girlfriend from a breast obsessed madman. No, I'm not joking, that's the plot. I would like to say there was some interesting bits in the movie, that somewhere there is something actually good buried in all of the badly filmed mess, but if I said that I would be telling a lie.

Of course the question everyone wants to know, “are there titties in the movie?”. Yes, you wonderful one handed remote control holders there are. There are a lot of titties in this movie, along with some ass and some guys ball sack. But having grown up on direct to VHS movies in the 90's and being an early entry internet nerd I have seen titties for a long time. It's not worth watching this to see them, just hop on google and find some instead. Trust me your brain will thank you later.

So throughout this 'film' my wife kept looking over at me and asking “what the hell?” and all I could do was shake my head and shrug. Afterwards I was at least able to point towards my rack of movies and proclaim that in comparison everything that I own is of the highest quality movie making skill. I have Zardoz on that rack and this makes it look good. Think about that for a moment.

So if you listen to any review of mine ever then listen to this one. Avoid Kung-Fu and Titties at all costs.
"Somehow I managed to keep my titties covered throughout the movie!"

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Running Man (1987)

The Running Man

Watch it on Amazon.
Watch it on Prime.

Oh how I do love me some eighties movies. Especially when they do something in the future and the timeline has caught up to them. The Running Man is supposed to take place in the years 2017 – 2019 which, honestly, may not be to far off from being reality. However I do feel that this movie has aged well although our technology has surpassed that displayed in the film. But the media obsession of the populace is pretty much hitting the nail on the head. At least we don't have folks running around wearing bell bottoms like the do in 70's movies that were supposed to take place post 2000.

This movie is pretty much pure cyberpunk and for some reason that fact is over looked by a lot of folks. Nearly all the tropes are there, dystopic future, corporate/police state control, people fighting against that control, government controlled media, all that. The only things it's missing is cyberware and some form of netrunning (although we do have hackers). Seriously this looks like it could all take place twenty minutes into the future after Max Headroom.

The base plot is pretty straight forward. Framed police officer Ben Richards (played by the Arnold) escapes prison with some friends then is recaptures and thrown onto the reality show 'The Running Man' where the contestants are hunted down and killed on live television. Ben ends up helping some rebels who are attempting to fight back against the police state while trying to stay alive while 'stalkers' are hot on his tail.

Costumes and sets are well done and come across well with some of the stalkers having their own specialized hunting grounds that the contestants are corralled into. The set for the show, corporate offices and everything else comes across believable as well. Special effects are top notch for the time period with most of being traditional and only a few things added in like the lightening for one of the stalkers, some fireball effects and showing the television crew doing face overlays. Even the cast is great with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead doing the action star thing, Richard Dawson as the host is straight up perfect casting, Jesse Ventura and Jim Brown could have easily have been done wrong but were, again, perfect castings. We even get Mic Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac in here and doing well.

Where it falls down is the writing, okay to be honest mainly in the dialogue. There is way to much push to give the Ben Richards character all kinds of one liners simply because The Arnold is playing him. It really doesn't fit most of the time and falls flat considering the way they rounded out the rest of his character. It also doesn't help that most of those one liners are meant to be funny and simply aren't. There are points where exposition is needed but they front load it so hard that it seems awkward how it comes out. The story is good, but they really needed somebody to sharpen up what everybody is saying just a bit and toss the one line wonders into the trash.

In the end I fill this movie should be necessary watching for anyone wanting to run a cyberpunk game with massive amounts of media control going on. Like Max Headroom there is so much to peel off and use that it's a gold mine for ideas. From the massive amounts of betting that is going on based on who is going to die or get the first kill to the rebels trying to take over the airwaves. Anybody who likes some good science fiction should also sit down and give it a viewing as well. It's simply a good solid movie that will keep you entertained.
"This ain't the Family Fued Ben!"

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Vampire the Masquerade Winters Teeth review


Vampire the Masquerade

Winters Teeth issue 1

from Vault Comics

This issue is obviously the set up for the series. So be ready to go in with some expository dialogue explaining the world of V:TM for new readers. But, to their writers credit, they manage to keep it down to a minimum and only touching on what is necessary instead of feeding you everything at once.

The main characters we have so far are Cecily, a former Brujah Anarch, Colleen, a thin blooded Caitiff I think, and maybe Alejandra, just can't tell what she is going to be in the series yet. It sets up Cecily as a problem solver for the local prince of Minneapolis who is doing her job exceptionally well. We see how she is juggling the remnants of her pre-embraced life and her duty to her masters. Alejandra is newly embraced, confused and not what she seems and runs into Cecily as soon as she arrives in the city via train. While Colleen is caring for her own little vampire family adopting a mothering roll over them.

We don't really get an idea of where exactly everything is going but several plot directions are sat up. A vamp named Calder is warning Cecily of potential changes and strife that may be coming to the city. Colleen and crew are hiring themselves out to do dirty work. Oh and we get a quick panel of what is probably some hunters as well. Plenty of direction to go.

All in all the writing is solid so far. The art is good, not exactly my preferred style but better than a lot of other indie comics out there. Honestly I think the coloring is actually the worse thing about this issue. Getting way to much of a muddy feel from the palette being used.

In the back is a section called 'Anarch Tales' which gives you 5th edition stats for some of the characters along with a bit more background on them. For those who run V:TM this could turn out to be a nice little wealth of NPC's to use in your games. Already fleshed out and ready to use.

I will be picking up the next issue without a doubt.

Friday, August 7, 2020

RPGaDAY 5 6 and 7

Okay time for day five and six I guess.

Day 5: Tribute.

Well that certainly sparks a memory of gaming. I ran a game of Kult once where the players were all a special FBI unit trying to track down cultists. This particular cult liked to make sacrifices and leave the bodies as tributes to their god. As the game proceeded the tributes got more and more intense and detailed as well as using humans for their sacrifices instead of just animals. Ornate designs written in the blood of the victim. The body sometimes nailed to a wall, other times impaled on a spike and hoisted several feet into the air, once even dissected and laid out like a text book example of the human anatomy. 

Eventually their forgotten god showed up and the cultists were at the toothy end of his giant maw as it had went insane during it's years of isolation. Gunfire ensued when the PC's saw what was happening. Finally somebody lit the warehouse it was in on fire and the thing was pulled back into it's own little hell along with the remaining cultists who were still at the scene. 

Day 6: Forest. 

Not spurning to much thought here. Except for the time we decided to go out in the woods to play. Thinking it would be cool and different. It was miserable, wind would blow through and sheets would fly, dice rolling off into the grass and took forever to find, bugs crawling up your pants leg. Yeah I'll leave the forest for the druids to enjoy.   

Day 7: Couple 

For some reason I flash on the 'Super Diablerie Brothers' who we used to joke about being a couple. They weren't, but they were a pair of friends who would found that the only fun thing to do in a Larp was to make everyone else miserable for no reason at all. Outside of the game nobody gamed with them or really knew them at all. Any attempts to get them into other activities failed. 

Their main Larp to play in was the Vampire games by Minds Eye Theater. In which, no matter what, they would band together and try to daiblerize as many other PC's as they could. Which would cause a bloodhunt to be called and then they were hunted down and extinguished. All the while complaining that they were being treated badly because we didn't play the game like they wanted to. Yeah. 

Nobody wanted anything to do with them in very short order. Their characters would show up and players would kill them immediately because they had been through this so many times they were sick of it. One of them took 'Guardian Angel' as a trait or whatever it's called (it's been so long ago) and the other GM had an NPC drug lord pull a rocket launcher out of their trunk to shot at them. The guy goes "What does my Guardian Angel say?" without a beat the GM goes "Oh shit it's a rocket launcher!". Hilarity followed and another Diablerie Brother character was dead. The last game they played their characters were hunter types, female Swedish vampire hunters to be exact, when they were immediately referred to as Busty the Vampire Slayer they walked off and left. 

Yeah I never missed those guys not being around any more. We tried to talk to them, tried to tell them to get involved in the story instead of just killing everyone, they refused to do anything else. Sometimes players can be the problem and you just have to let them go. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

RPGaDAY 2020 a couple more days

Going to do my in batches since this month will be busy.

Day 3 - Thread

Old fashioned threaded forums. Man I do miss some of those. Back when it seemed there were dozens of companies offering you free space to make your own easy to use forum. Kind of like when there were dozens of sites offering you free space to make your own easy to use web page. You know back near the end of the 'wild west' era of the internet.

You could find a forum for nearly any game out there. If a group of folks liked something they were talking about it and probably did so on a forum. Now getting traffic to said forum was a pain but if you managed to get one in at the right time it was great.

Even I sat up one for the Kult RPG. I saw Target looking like it was about to get out of the gaming business so I sat up a forum called "Parchment of Flesh" as a back up in case that happened. Told everybody that if the official forum went down we could regroup there. Guess what? Target shut their forums down and everybody ran over to he one I had sat up. Had great traffic for a couple of strong years there. It was a great time.

Day 4 - Vision

I used to have a vision of trying to big grand things. Some even started off well. Ran a local convention that went really well but things seemed to fall apart while putting the next one together. Tried organizing local players together online so we could help grow the community. Store loyalty shredded that idea in short order. Sort of relating back to day one, lots of beginnings with grand vision that ended up in the garbage heap.

I leave the grand vision up to others now. I'm just using my little vision on doing personal small stuff.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

RPGaDAY2020 Day one and two

A day late but I'm going to start at the Beginning and work Change into it. So here is day one and two.

I've had several beginnings in gaming. Where I started something great or got involved in something great and then threw it all away. Either imposter syndrome kicked in and I panicked and backed out. Or I just couldn't handle working with other people. Hell sometimes I just let myself get off focus and went onto something else abandoning what I was doing. All in all it's hurt me way worse than it has helped.

So over the last few years I've decided not to have any more beginnings and just do whatever I want and not worry about it. I'll let other people start the movements, the idea wells, and all that.  It's a change that needed to happen. I'm to old, to busy, and to burned out to keep trying to push things forward.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Sponsorship Arms and Armor released

Sometimes the PC's in a cyberpunk or scifi setting need a little more income on the side. In a corporate dominated setting with a massive amount of constant advertising they could reach out to receive sponsorship. Getting paid each time they appear on the screen with the companies logo showing.

This third installment of Sponsorship gives you two new companies that just may agree to sponsor your runner, agent, operative, whatever. A great chance to move up the sponsorship ladder and be noticed. So while they are on the move they may be getting a few credits from Athena Shell specialized Armor or Defense Designs weapon kiosks. There are even a few extra benefits provided.

Presented as system agnostic so you can transfer over to your favorite system easier.

You can grab it at DrivethruRPG.