Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Fun and Games

My players are on their way to smuggle a truckload of chocolate from Seattle to Boston. After a tornado damaged their RV, they had a bit of downtime and decided to visit an amusement park. Okay, two players decided and the rest groaned and went along.

I had this throwaway idea of a fortune teller who'd give them a cliché reading and then later would be seen leaving the park in a hurry. This worked absolutely beautifully. The characters had found out that the fortune teller was the real deal or at least had actual magical talent. If you are doing something illegal, maybe it's not such a brilliant idea to let someone like this read your past and future, no? Cue major freak out of the players.

I thought they were going to rugby-tackle the poor woman when I describes her heading for the park exit. But the characters were content with some bullshit explanation and the advice to one of them to keep away from the white-water ride. For some added paranoia, they placed an RFID tag in the lady's backpack and where does she seem to be headed? To the town where they left the truck full of chocolate.

The rest of the day didn't go exactly smoothly (there was a guy who might or might not be a vampire and they attracted his attention AND a spirit took over a drug addict and ran amok), but the fortune teller was my personal favourite. I wanted them to feel a bit unsure, but I had not thought that I would cause this amount of panic. And we are not done with Madame Esme because part of the group wants to find her and ask her what in hell all this actually was about?

We are on Obsidian Portal

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cook Scorpion: Midnight Soup

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I have no idea where the name comes from. But whenever you eat it, this is a great recipe if you have to feed a lot of people quickly. You can also cook it the day before and it will only get better by sitting for a day. It's a staple for my roleplaying rounds. If you need a vegetarian recipe, I'm fairly sure that you can easily replace the minced meat with tofu.

You will need:

500 gr minced meat (doesn't matter if pork or beef or a half-half)
2-3 onions
some olive/sunflower oil
1.5 litres hot water
1 litre of tomato juice
1 bottle of ketchup (250ml I guess)
400 gr rice
salt, pepper and paprika/chili to taste

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Sear minced meat and onions in the oil. When the meat is brown-ish, add the water, the tomato juice and the ketchup and bring to a boil. Add the rice and let it cook gently for 20 minutes (you can more or less switch off the stove after 10 minutes). Season to taste. You're done.
If you let the soup sit for a day, the rice will soak up all the water, but that doesn't change the taste at all. If you want to, add some more tomato juice/water when you re-heat it. Take care it doesn't burn. Goes well with fresh bread. Will feed six gamers with big appetites.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Humans & Households



The new The Gamers miniseries: Humans & Households. Episode one is the set up and it's all fun and games, but episode two is where the real mayhem starts. I will never look at mailboxes the same way again.
If you want to support them, you can buy the series here for 10$ or more.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cook Scorpion: Banana Rolls

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Banana Rolls - I came across the recipe here and I had time and almost all the ingredients, so I made them. The recipe is vegan, my rolls certainly are not, I replaced the almond milk with cow's milk and used normal butter. I also didn't have walnuts, but I did have chocolate sprinkles and I don't think you can go wrong with those.

The rolls are best served warm and if you can't do that, at least nuke them in the microwave for a bit. I brought them to my Shadowrun session and almost none of us could eat more than one - and usually roleplayers devour enormous amounts of food, so be warned.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Victorian Fashion



For anyone interested in fashion, this video is a gem. You don't just get a close look at the dresses, it also allows you to see what was worn underneath and how it all combined.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lexapros and Cons

"In the past year, I masturbated exactly 468 times." Chuck knows this for the same reason he has to make absolutely sure the stove is turned off by checking it multiple times a day or why he has to wash his hand when he touched...pretty much anything. He has OCD. He's also seventeen years old and not exactly popular at this high school - together with the OCD, that will make impressing the new girl at school, Amy, a lot harder.

If you're put off by that first sentence, than Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo probably is not for you. But come on, teenagers think about sex all the time and no sugarcoating is going to change that. Chuck is a very believable teenager, from his crush on Amy to his problems with navigating school and life in general. His OCD is not just a gimmick, it's not played for cheap laughs and it's not magically cured by the end of the book. I don't have OCD, so I cannot judge reliably, but I thought that the book did a good job of describing what life with OCD is like.

I laughed out at the first sentence and the dry humour of the book was very much my thing. I thought that the ending was a bit too perfect all around, but on the other hand - why not. It wasn't too perfect to become unbelievable and it makes a nice change from a trend in YA literature where nothing is ever okay.

It's an easy read, with short chapters, and I think a good choice for a reading project. Parents mind balk at the language, but I don't think teenagers will mind.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Deadlands: Drywater Creek

Cast of Characters:
Alan Trehorn: Half-Apsalooke/Crow scout who might be taken for a greenhorn, but at your own risk.
Etienne DuMont: Texas Ranger. He used to be dead, but he got better.
Kenneth Lake: Professional poker player and reluctant participant in these events.
Dr. Frances Gray: Doctor and a strong believer in science and natural explanations.
Sister Elisabeth: A nun of maybe questionable past, but unquestionable faith.
Eliah Davis: Black cowboy who has seen some weird shit in his life. He spins this tale for you, somewhere at a camp fire on the prairie.
last time

We travelled to Drywater Creek, Eitenne had been ordered to go there. With no good knowledge of the land and no maps, that proved more difficult than we had thought. But we kept in what we thought was the right direction and finally we found someone who knew the place. That's a story worth telling, whom we found and how.

A dog kept barking at us and running around until we followed it and came to a crevice. A boy had fallen into it and we pulled him out. The dog was nowhere to be seen once we had gotten the boy out - he told us that it had died a couple of years earlier. Yeah, well, I've seen stranger things than a good dog keeping its eye out for his master even when its dead. We took the boy to his parents, he had broken his leg and couldn't walk. They were friendly enough, we got a good meal and a night in their home and directions to Drywater Creek.

In the morning, Elisabeth got it into her head to heal the boy. I can't really blame her for that, a broken leg is no small thing for a family who has to take care of a farm. It would have been better if she hadn't done it in secret, without telling the parents. The next thing they know, their boy is running around the house, all healed up. And they thought witchcraft, of course. Asked us to leave and backed up the asking with a shotgun.

So we were on our way, came to Drywater Creek not long after that. The first thing we saw was the dead body hung to rot on a tree, with a sign round his neck: murderer. The sheriff told Etienne the story: the guy had been making trouble for a while. He didn't live in town, he was part of a local gang of scum who are camping out somewhere. One day, he got into a fight and killed someone. The townspeople arrested him, waited for the judge and then hanged him. Since then, there has been a murder every night. People are scared and the sheriff is too much of a paper pusher to do something about it. He was glad to accept our help and we decided to stake out main street, with Elisabeth as a target for the murderer. Since no-one else is going outside at night for fear of being murdered, she should make a nice decoy.

The people here are not overly found of anyone who isn't white. They are not that bothered by me, but Alan gets treated like shit. If Etienne hadn't thrown his weight around, he wouldn't even have gotten a room at the saloon. Doesn't make me all that eager to help them out, truth be told.


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Yes, Lassie wanted to tell us little Timmy has fallen into the well.

And the characters were so pissed at Elisabeth for healing him. Somehow we always end up in trouble when she does that. Okay, not always. But try travelling around a country where the people are at the same time religious and superstitious with someone who works miracles left and right and whose people skills suck. She has a knack of poleaxeing people and only very few of them enjoy being preached at at the drop of a hat.