April 04, 2014

March 28, 2014

Ken and Robin’s Tiny Dolls Talk About Stuff

In the latest episode of our eerily familiar podcast, Ken and I talk PC/NPC asymmetry, clone dolls, starting in media res, and murdering Alexander the Great.

March 11, 2014

Special ID

If you watch action movies for the storylines, you will find much to deride in Special ID. If on the other hand you want to see Donnie Yen direct some inventively punishing martial arts sequences, you can now catch it in a limited theatrical release in North America, or grab it on iTunes. Yen plays an undercover cop caught between his triad boss (Collin Chou) and his triad protégé (Andy On.) At one point the case takes him to the mainland where he meets a winsome/comically strident female counterpart (Tian Jing.) Other than that it's, shall we say, loosely plotted. But what you’re there for is the action--particularly the climactic car chase/martial arts battle which is possibly the best combo of those two elements you could hope to see.

The subtitling is tad iffy for a Hong Kong flick getting an English-language theatrical release nowadays.  Weirdly, at one point the translator drops in a line from Glengarry Glen Ross. Yes,  you’re right, triad guy. You should keep your mouth shut until you know the shot.

March 06, 2014

Digital Tool Use

Right now I am working on Feng Shui schticks specific to the foes the heroes fight. (The new edition abandons the PC/NPC symmetry of the original.) Inventing crunchy bits is a job of fits and starts, ideal for idle thinking while running errands. But without a way of quickly noting an idea, it vanishes. Dictating rules bits into the phone does, however, have its perils.

Level Stick

After a successful attack with an outcome of five or more, the outcome target euro needs to Downeymeade increases by one until Boloco's down.

The Birds: Listening

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February 28, 2014

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Elves Don’t Listen to Podcasts

In the latest episode of our half-Usonian podcast, Ken and I talk meaningful F20 fights, animal spies, publishing your homebrew, and building an unbuilt utopia.

February 20, 2014

Feng Shui 2 Sorcery Power: Fight Finder

A teaser from the first draft manuscript for Feng Shui 2, in the form of a new Sorcery ability:

Fight Finder

Spend 1 Magic to know the location of the nearest group of people who want to kill you. You do not know which group.

If no one wants to kill you, it must be early in the series. You get the Magic point back.

The Birds: Arbitrary

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February 18, 2014

Who Haunts the Dreamlands?

Playtest feedback for Dreamhounds of Paris, the upcoming Trail of Cthulhu campaign sourcebook in which you play the major figures of the surrealist movement wreaking –psychic-revolutionary havoc in Lovecraft’s eerie fantasy realm, is in. Participants should pat themselves on the bat for a collectively great job. They’ve turned in detailed, thoughtful responses that will make the book better. This must have the highest ratio of comments made to comments used of any project I’ve received playtest feedback on.

Because the campaign strongly encourages you to play real historical figures, supplied for you in the book, we can do a fun thing that doesn’t usually arise from playtest reports. We can see who the most popular of the 20 supplied characters were, and in what proportion. Here’s the breakdown for the six most chosen characters, in handy pie chart form.


Clearly, seeing to it that you have Dali or Cocteau along is the Dreamhounds version of making sure somebody’s playing the cleric.