Thursday, August 25, 2016

Suicide Squad

I saw Suicide Squad last night. It was ... a movie.

I had zero expectations, but I wanted to see Harley Quinn, Deadshot and El Diablo and they were cool, so that was good. I would have traded at least 30 minutes of random fight scenes against faceless minions against a much longer scene in the bar because every time the Squad interacted, it was awesome.

I would have loved some good creature design. The Enchantress had a cool look in her original form (not as sexy squirming June!Enchantress) and I wish her brother and her minions were somehow based on that design instead of being whatever the hell they were.

The Joker was bland. I have no other word for it. His look was not bad, but every time he opened his mouth, I couldn’t hear him over the sound of my brain going meeeeeeeeh. The movie would have worked just as well without him.

I think I would watch another movie with that team because they did have great chemistry, but man, get someone to write you an actual STORY that makes sense.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lost Ember



The first teaser for Lost Ember, an upcoming indie game by Mooneye Studios, a small team from Hamburg. I'm waiting for their Kickstarter so I can back them because it looks gorgeous and I want to know what they can do with their ideas. Subscribe to their newsletter over at their site to keep up to date!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Ghost Parasite

Stanley has been depressed lately, seriously so. After consulting with two mages, he finds out that it's because he has some sort of awakened parasite, a spirit that feeds on his negative emotions. The group comes up with several plans to help him: duking it out with the spirit when it comes to feed on him, putting Stanley on a suborbital flight to banish the spirit (spirits can only exist in the Gaiasphere), looking for the spirit's true name to destroy it, putting so much cyberware into Stanley that he's no longer interesting for the spirit and, courtesy of the Technomancer, having him spend a month in the Resonance Realm. Which Stanley wasn't exactly excited about and I got the distinct impression that it was aclose call between that and getting killed by the spirit.

The spirit didn't feed on Stanley that night, so suborbital flight to St. Petersburg it was. While Stanley does some touristy things there, the group does detective work and finds what probably was the first victim of the spirit, at least in Seattle. A ganger living in Puyallup. They go there and search for its true name in a squatted house, admist people so high on Tempo and other drugs they don't even move when the group kicks down the door to the apartment. But they come up wit nothing.

The best scene was when Zach, while waiting in the parking lot for the others, decided that he needed to help a guy with a run-down car. The owner was inside the soup kitchen, getting a meal and Zach opened up the engine hood without asking. He does that, going straight from: I want to help that person! to I'm gonna do it! without actually asking if his help his wanted. He's seventeen, maybe he'll survive long enough to learn. The owner of the car came back and, with Zach obliviously studying the insides of the car's engine, he closed the hood and leaned on it. Fog and Kiki came back just in time to safe Zach from getting a beating or worse.


Some OOC highlights (both by Zach's player):
A McDonald's run solely by drones: MechDonald's
Players find a cat. GM: Do you know anything about cats? Player: Sure, I have Botany as a skill!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

DMing is a Performance Art

I came across a post written over at Monster Darlings about DMing and how it absolutely is a performance art. Go over there and read it, it brings up a lot of interesting stuff.
Don't Take Away the Player's Turn is another good post there.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Neverending Nightmares

I love Edward Gorey, so when Steam recommended Neverending Nightmare to me, I was immediately interested. It's not like they mention Gorey, not that I have read it, but it really is heavily inspired by him and his style.

If you are looking for puzzles to solve and fights to win, then this is not your game. If you're into exploring a setting and getting creeped out by artwork and atmosphere, go ahead and buy this. You play as Thomas, an asthmatic boy living in a huge mansion who is plagued by nightmares. Basically, you fall from one nightmare into the next. The artwork does a very good job of creating an oppressive atmosphere, with the edges of the screen always hidden in shadows. Thomas cannot move very fast (well, he can, but then he gets short of breath) and this adds to the atmosphere, too. It's a game about anxiety and depression and there are some really disturbing self-harm scenes, so be warned.

Do take your time with it and pay attention to the details in each screen, everything is wonderfully creepy (those paintings..).

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The only splashes of colour are things you can interact with and blood, used to great effect.
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The stuff of nightmares:
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pokémon Go at the Library

The library doesn’t have ist own Pokéstop, but it has one close by that is reachable from everywhere in the library. So we are going to places lures in it every Wednesyday afternoon for half an hour or one hour and invite people into the library to catch Pokémon. I really would love to get a Pokéstop for the library itself, but right now Niantic has disable that feature.

It’s a really easy, low-maintenance way for us to get people into the library who don’t normally go and to attract attention. I’m very curious if people will come. We’ll do this for at least a month, to give it enough time to go round by word of mouth.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Arcology Run

archology

The group did a run to get someone out of the former Renraku Archology, by now a low security prison/social housing project that's pretty much a black box where poor people go in and almost no-one comes out. They had some serious problems and some inspired solutions for them and in the end, they found their target and smuggled him out successfully. By the time they were on their way down, with more than 50 floors to go, morale was not so good because they knew perfectly well that the way down wouldn't be one bit easier than the way up. They had pissed off a lot of people and they had been attracting attention all the way.

Then I told them that there was a mass panic, with people running away from the way they were headed. They ducked into a room and with a drone, they went scouting. It turned out that there had been a fight and security had send four massive drones to break it up. Think Boston Dynamics mule, only bigger and with cattle prods. Normal people would be like: oookay, we're going to lie low. The group was like: holy shit, let's steal those drones!

They spent about 15 minutes (in-game) discussing this and coming up with a plan. By the time they were done, the last drone was on its way into the elevator and their rigger, wearing a chameleon suit, just made it into the elevator with the drone. The rigger isn't very good at her job because she's been a rigger for two weeks or so and she has been driving the group nuts with less than well-thought out plans and actions. But now, she shone, with some help from the group's free spirit. She followed the drone into its garage undetected, rigged it and then activated patrol mode in the floor the rest of the group was waiting. With that, they had basically a get out of jail free-card for the rest of the trip.

This cut the story much shorter than I had planned and I could have gotten them into trouble, for example by letting the professional runner team that was on their trail (but pretty far off) just find them. But I honestly see no reason for that. Their exit may have been a bit anti-climatic, but they came up with a good solution for their problem, they didn't make any mistakes while executing their plan and frankly, it was beautifully done. That should be rewarded. I do love getting my players into trouble, but it would simply have been unfair in that moment.