Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
|The Radiant Family|
I'm a dinosaur. I find it tricky reading and using pdf gaming resources. So every so often I will print them off (preferably with spiral bindings) for ease of table use.
The other week I watched the recent re-boot of the Planet of the Apes films (not that recent, I know - Rise of the Planet of the Apes is almost ten years old). I enjoyed them and it put me in mind of gaming the setting. Or rather, gaming the setting I remember from my childhood - the 1968-1973 films, the live-action tv series and the animated series. I'm also thinking of other 70's post-apocalyptic tv shows, such as Logan's Run and those Gene Roddenberry never quite got off the ground.
This isn't a new idea to me - I'd had the pdf of Apes Victorious from Gobliniod Games for some time. But now I've got it printed out and I might now read it with a mind to adapting it for a one-off game.
Carcass Crawler (Issue 0)
Regular readers of my musing on RPGs will know that my system of choice is Necrotic Gnome's Old-School Essentials (OSE). Carcass Crawler is the official zine for OSE produced by Necrotic Gnome. Issue 0 was issued in pdf to backers of their recent Kickstarter and work is currently underway on Issue 1 which will be available in more traditional routes.
Another product of a Kickstarter, this one from Sine Nomine Publishing, a fantasy adaptation of their Sci-Fi game Stars Without Number. I know nothing of either system, other than they've apparently been well-recieved.
I'm going to be reading this because one of my on-line gaming buddies has offered to run a session for us. The link about is to the free version, which at 350 pages is very generous.
For March I set myself the task of reading about Mars. I didn't really think this through beforehand and if I have a theme month again (and I might), I shall prepare beforehand and stock up on books. Despite that, I had more books than I read, and there were several I meant to read that I didn't quite get to. I also didn't quite make the balence between fiction and non-fiction I wanted.
In these respects Mars Month was a bit of a failure, as it didn't work as a deep-dive into my shelves. One reason for that is (almost by defination) a lot of the books I have is quite dated; to get up-to-date info on Mars exploration I turned to the Internet and also listened to dozens of hours of podcasts. This lead to a little 'Mars burn-out' and meant that at the end of the day I just didn't want to pick up a book on the subject. I also significantly undersetimated my ability to absorb technic data - it's a long time since I had to do any 'homework'!
The lesson to me is that a themed month is OK, but it shouldn't be at the exclusion of everything else.
Here they are in the order I read them (do persevere through the lengthy discussion of The Red and Green Planet).
I started with the grand-daddy of all 'alien invasion' books.
I've always enjoyed the economy of Wells' writing and War of the Worlds gives an account of the invasion without any fat (even down to the fact that very few characters are named). Despite that, it remains a very powerful story.
Of course, I'm of the age that when I read certain passages of this, I hear the voice of Richard Burton or David Essex. Given the comments on my previous post, it seems that a number of you are too!
|Thunderchild's Last Stand by Scot Andrew Bailey|
|'Robinson Crusoe on Mars' (1964)|
The other day I reviewed William Adcock's Call of Cthulhu scenario 'Without Warning'. Hard on that comes news of a new piece by him. Regardless of this link though, I think I'd probably flag this Kickstarter from Golden Goblin Press.
On offer is a book containing six Call of Cthulhu scenarions from young and up-coming authors - two Americans, three Brits and a Pole (the KS page includes video interviews with each of them, which is a nice touch). It's intended to be a showcase for new talent. The settings are varied - one in Roman Arabia, one in the Old West, and four in the 1920s Golden Age (one each in Lovecraft County, a cruise on the Nile, Cornwall and Vienna). Each sounds interesting.
All in all, I think I'd probably be interested in backing this. But then we come to the old problem of shipping. Without a UK or EU distributor, shipping across the Atlantic doubles the cost for a hard copy. That itself isn't Golden Goblin's fault (lord knows we all suffered since Trump's ultimatum to the International Postage Union!) but the decsion does cut them off from a large market. The lack of a European distributor is even more surprising given that in one of the interviews the point is made that the UK, Poland and Germany have thriving Call of Cthulhu communitites.
Sadly, it's not just the Kickstarter: if GGP had an European distributor, there's a lot in their back-catalogue that I'd be interested in.
Nevertheless, I put it forward for your consideration...
The setting is the Canadian Arctic in 1958, where something odd had happened to the crew of a remote radar station...
|Fans of 'The Thing from Another World' will love it|
Bill makes no secret that the inspiration for this was Howard Hawkes' 1951 classic 'The Thing from Another World'. For me, that is recommendation in itself.
OK, to steal a format from the incomparable Reviews from R'lyeh...
Name: Without Warning
Publisher: Chaosium Inc (Miskatonic Repository). Availble to download.
Author: William Adcock
Setting: 1950s Arctic outpost (military)
What You Get: 27 page, 18.74 MB illustrated PDF
Elevator Pitch: The Arctic is deadly, but sometimes it's worse than that...
Plot Hook: November, 1957. An isolated DEW-line radar station in the Canadian Arctic has radioed in a medical emergency. A relief flight carrying a medic is dispatched, but as a winter storm closes in, the crew of the Hula Honey discovers something far worse than seals and seabirds roaming the Arctic ice.
Plot Support: Plot set-up, one plan/map, one handout, stat-block for adversaries, six pre-generated Investigators.
Production Values: Clean and readable, well-laid out (by Danial Carroll), atmospheric illustrations (by Jonathan Myers), PDF background layer can be turned off for easy printing.
I enjoyed taking part in the play-test and reading the final text (finding out what we'd missed in-game!) and would recommend it for an afternoon or evening's play.
It's bottle adventure suitable for one-shots or convention play, which is a draw-back, though of course there no reason why this might not just be the beginning for any surviving Investigators...
- Level 1 Sentinel
Boston – Level 1 Ronin
Skunk – Level 1 Infiltrator