Friday, October 20, 2017

A RPG Setting For Alt-Hero? Really?

I'm listening to last night's Darkstream, keeping up on Alt-Hero and such, when I hear that Vox got approached to make a RPG out of it. While there are videogame RPGs about superheroes, the ones most superhero gamers talk about are tabletop games so I'll go there for now.

It's not like the tabletop world doesn't know who Vox Day is. The SJWs in tabletop gaming are tight with the SJWs in SF/F, so they got the memos early in the Gamergate lifecycle about Vox and dutifully detest and decry him lest they be cast out of the rabbit warren.

Green Ronin is based out of the Seattle SJW Warren, same as WOTC and Paizo, so it won't be them. They're too woke, so it's not going to be Mutants & Masterminds. It won't be HERO, as they're SJW-amendable (and cucky). That's the two largest tabletop superhero games right there. The third-largest is Palladium's Heroes Unlimited (Misleading: it's quite limited.) so that's our best bet, as Kevin Siembieda is something of an outcast and thus would not give a shit about the SJW narrative on Vox Day. The folks at Steve Jackson Games might go for it as a GURPS supplement, but it's unlikely due to SJG being (a) focused far too much on Munchkin and (b) far too cucky and amenable to SJWs. (Tabletop RPGs are so small a scene that all the major players fit in my house.) No one else has a superhero game of any significance, so there's the best tabletop option: Palladium Books.

It could work, if the entire system got a proper clean-up and presentation fix, because right now the rules for Heroes Unlimited are so muddled that any competent technical writer will scream bloody murder at how sloppy it is. (I can follow this up with a step-by-step walkthrough if enough of you wish.) M&M and HERO would be better choices, as would GURPS, but SJWs ruin everything so this is what's likely to come out instead.

Oh well. At least unofficial conversations can be done and posted online. If I'm wrong, and this is about a videogame, well then I am just as interested as you are about who wants to do it and how likely it will be to not suck. At least it's not a Heroclix thing.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Give Me Lightsabers, Super-Robots, Epic Sagas, & Mythic Heroes

Like others, I'm looking to riff on Star Wars for my own purposes. What I see a lot is a shift of emphasis away from the Knights & Wizards towards the more underworld and mil-SF aspects. I'm wanting to go the other way. Space Knights, Space Princesses, castles in the sky, and fantastic powers capable of wondrous things- including wondrous technologies. In short, more like this:

Flat out going good and hard for the Space OPERA, and laying on the myth and fantasy thick (like how I prefer the frosting on my cakes). There's not enough of the fantastic and mythic in science fiction, and I'm fully behind the #RegressHarder mantra. (And yes, you see it in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, straight and subverted.) If you've ever seen the original, non-Flanderized King of Beasts: Go Lion from which we in the West got Voltron, you will know that "Space Princesses" is not code for "Baby's First Sci-Fi". It's hearkening back to John Carter, but played out on a galactic or universal scope and scale.

Not this week, but next week at the Study I'll start sharing my world-building brainstorms on how I'm going about this. Don't you folks who want the more romantic riffs worry; I've got you. It's just going to be a bit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Alt-Hero Is Where The Superhero Comic Action Is Now

The Supreme Dark Lord, Vox Day, had a very pleasant update on the Alt-Hero campaign today. You can ready about that here. But first, allow me to show you the breakout star of this superhero comic book project: Rebel.

That's the sort of superhero that DC and Marvel used to be openly proud of publishing, because both companies knew their markets and--being competent at business--marketed to it good and hard. That is still the superhero comic audience, which is why Rebel (imagine Daisy Duke as a superheroine) hit like the fist of an angry God.

I am not tired of winning, and Alt-Hero is very much a winning campaign. I fully expect that the comic (now that Chuck Dixon is involved) will be the sort of action/adventure series that the Big Two used to do as their bread-and-butter before the smart money left and the SJWs currently feeding off their decaying corpses like the maggots they are infested them.

Fuck the milkshake tossers. This is the real deal. Looking forward to all of this being published. You want to win the Culture War? You've got to show up and support those shaping it back to health and sanity- and not be like the Cuckservatives that shoot at their own supposed allies. Want in on the Alt-Hero campaign? You can do that here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

MAGA 2020 & Beyond Now Up For Preorder (& More)

One of my fellows has a story and an essay coming out with the publication by Superversive Press of MAGA 2020 & Beyond, which you can pre-order . He talks about it here.

This is how we start building parallel institutions, and the cultures that they promote. We form our own publishing houses. We start our own literary movements. We boost our friends and allies (in an ethical manner, of course; Brian Niemeier did this with the aplomb I've come to expect from his blogging now) as best we can.

Like it or not, this is a team effort. We don't have to be the bestest of buddies to be good allies working towards a common goal; we can, and should, argue amongst ourselves as needed- but never at the expense of dealing with common enemies. A unified fleet, a disciplined army, always routs chaotic and disunified opposition and crushes it underfoot. Civilization--so long as it asserts and renews itself--always defeats Barbarism.

And we are doing that now. Fork, Replace, Win. Good luck to Alfred and the others contributing to MAGA 2020 & Beyond, because I am still not tired of winning.

Monday, October 16, 2017

How To RPG: Lore is the Spice That Makes Campaigns Tasty

There's nothing wrong with your setting having some history to it. The issue comes when you got storygame wankers wanting to vent their writing/acting frustrations through a campaign, instead of doing the right thing and actually working on their writing/acting skills so they can actually satisfy those desires properly.

The trick is to put that history where the game is, and then to make it a treasure of its own, one where acquiring such actually makes acquiring the stuff most gamers are after--power and wealth--easier and faster. For my own D&D campaign, I make it clear that you're going to find that stuff only in dungeons and similar adventure sites. You want to know why the lizardmen have a mythology surrounding an exodus from a mother planet. Why? Because you'll never get that Staff of the Archmage without it.

This isn't an excuse to engage in pixel-bitching bullshit. You put the lore into the location that fits the site's original purpose. A temple, being a place of worship, has religious and mythological lore associated with it. Instead of reducing this to a die roll, as too many RPG systems do, putting it in the rooms' descriptions is the way to go; let players take notes, have their character sketch stuff, and run their curious asses to a sage in town to handle the gruntwork of research while they pursue other active leads.

History, mythology, architecture- all of this is the lore that makes campaigns feel alive in ways that mechanics can't handle, and with that in mind you can make the lore immediately and directly relevant without making it boring bitchwork players have to handle to get their gold, wands, and +1 swords. Put practical information into the lore and watch players embrace it, then get enchanted by it.

Summarized: Lore exists to facilitate gameplay in the campaign, not the other way around. It's grease for the gears, spice for the meat, and not the point of the exercise. Keep that in mind, and you will prosper greatly by using it. Too much and Gordon Ramsey's gamer cousin will scream at you while beating you about the shoulders with his dice bag. You don't want that.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

In Praise on the Open Table

If you listen to the surviving old-timers, you will learn that they didn't run their tabletop RPG campaigns the way that is assumed as normal now: organizing a specific group, which plays and acts like a team, that meets at specific places and times to performance as a team for a specific duration (in hours). It might as well be organizing a team for a bowling league with strict attendance rules.

I know, from decades of experience, that this scheme leaves the least committed with the most leverage over the group. If they don't show up, for whatever reason, it's not uncommon to abandon play altogether because some combination of player and GM decisions made the no-show guy a mission-critical element. As with a car without an ignition key, getting going otherwise tends to be beyond many to pull off, and can often lead to other troubles.

The Open Table paradigm avoids all of that. It's a paradigm of Pick-Up Play. The GM shows up, sets up, and runs the game with whomever shows up. You want a (somewhat humorous) example? Go read the posts by The Alt-Right GM about his ongoing Open Table campaign. Very little needed in terms of preparation, no need for narrative elements at all, and self-sustaining once the players start becoming players in the setting because cause-and-effect gain sufficient momentum to keep play going indefinitely.

Which is why more videogame designers and publishers of RPGs--MMO and otherwise--are doing the smart thing and adapting this more and more to their own medium. They have been for years, but business and technical limitations still forbid the fullest degree of implemenation. Especially the MMORPGs with persistent worlds, like World of Warcraft.

Fire the frustrated wanna-be novelists and get more wargame veterans on the payroll instead. Embrace the Open Table paradigm, and its key feature of drop-in/drop-out play, and enjoy adaptation and retention (in both tabletop and videogame media) as people stop being bothered by the fear of commitment to a psuedo-bowling league. Instead, knowing that they can dip out whenever something that matters comes up--job, kids, whatever--they can just go handle it and never leave anyone else in the lurch.

The Open Table is good for players, good for publishers, good for developers, good for retailers and convention organizers (for tabletop, specifically), and good thereby for the community as a whole. No hobby should yoke you like a job. (Yes, World of Warcraft, specifically the Raid-or-Die crowd, I'm looking at you. "Raid Guilds" should not be a thing.) "Schedule Your Fun" needs to be dragged into the street, beaten into a pulp, and then shot dead for good measure- for the good of all forms of gaming.

The Open Table. The superior play paradigm. Adopt it today.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

In Case You Missed It: RazörFist Arcade: ALIEN Isolation: Crew Expendable

In case you missed it, Razorfist played Alien Isolation last night to mark Friday The 13th. Admist the xenomorph survival horror, you get Razor and Terran Gell being their usual awesome selves dropping truth bombs as he answers questions from the chat. Sit back, enjoy, and be informed as you are entertained.

If you are not following this man on YouTube or Vidme, do so and ensure you'll get notified when he goes live. His livestreams are not to be missed; as with Geek Gab and Metro City Boys, the live chat is as entertaining as the stream itself. In particular, when he comments on music or comics the man has golden insights and exhibits a depth of knowledge.