Saturday, June 29, 2013

Holy Cars, Batman!



batmobile pictureMaybe it's just me, and it probably is. But strangely enough i was never in love with cars from the movies or TV. My interests only grew after getting to sit behind the wheel of so many.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some spiffy cars on the boob tube. It's just a huge disconnect in my head between what i put in front of my eyes and what i park my 3/4th of an ass on. Video games and steering wheels are as close as i can get to most cars on a given day, but it is still the actual driving of a car that gets me.

So never having driven the Batmobile, i wasn't craving to translate Adam West tear-assin' into the pages of my book. But the other day someone who is normally full of good ideas ( +Joshua Macy ) brought it up. And then it dawned on me. People are more likely to use something like the Batmobile in their games, for starters, then they would be interested in a 2007 Skoda.

So let me show you the Batmobile as i would care to present it for FATE.



Now Batman has always been a rich kid.
And rich kids have a tendency to have some pretty spiffy toys.

Spiffy toys don't grow on trees sadly, they must be crafted by people who for some strange reason design cars that will almost never see the light of day.

One of those toys is the 1955 Lincoln Futura.

This whizbang device was handcrafted by a bunch of (Derogatory colorful ethnic slur) Italians in Turin, Italy. The Futura then hit the show circuit and famous automotive madman George Barris picked it for the batmobile.

1955 Lincoln Futura
Engine type         Overhead valve V-8 with a 4 barrel carburetor
Drivetrain layout Front Engine, RWD
BHP/ TORQUE      300 bhp / 415 lb·ft
0-60 MPH              10.2 seconds
Top Speed              100 Mph
Curb weight:            5500 lb
Aspects
Easy to spot in a parking lot.
Handles like a boat.
Built like a tank.
American Classic.
Stress Boxes [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Now for a fictional Batman Batmobile i would remind people to remember the time period of the fiction. The car above could be lightened, boosted and ready to go by just changing the aspects used.

For this car i would stick to 4 aspects. This gives the car an extra stress box to reflect the heavy steel construction.







So the new aspects for our 1955 Batmobile would be.

Tuned and Turbo.
Billion Dollar Technology.
Built like a tank.
Instantly recognizable.

I will continue to look at the Batmobile from time to time.
But i am very much interested in your favorite cars and what car you are presently driving.

So till next time.








Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rolling Steel


Some of you, who have missed a few episodes. May not know that i am a bit of a car guy.

I enjoy driving them and poorly putzing with them. But mostly i enjoy the art that is the automobile.

At the moment i am writing a silly little book about automobiles and roleplaying games. Quite often transportation in a game is glossed over and "Car" is all the pertinent information supplied to players and DMs.

To me this is a total exclusion of plot hooks and storylines that are informed by the kind of tools one uses. If your character drives a Smart car, moving around with a group can be a problem. So can a car chase. Plus the world is full of interesting car brands that my gentle readership just may not know about. Each choice your players make in a game speaks to what they want to do and leaving that unexplored is a botched roll against your DMing ability.

So to answer this call to myself and peculiar sensibility i will write something that most likely only i will ever use and that i could never ever in a million years sell. . I do want to make it an interactive document with video to better paint a picture of your in game cars. Let's take a quick peek at an example


The Lexus is350c F Sport

VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower / Torque: 306-hp/277-lb-ft
0-60 MPH Acceleration 5.2 seconds  
Top Speed 141 mph
Curb Weight 3700 lb

Nimble :G-AI
Driver's Car: Intuitively Responsive
Stylish: Luxury branded sports car
Stress Boxes [ ] [ ] [ ]

The The Lexus is350c F Sport is a perfect car for a small group. 4 doors and the kind of grunt that will allow a talented driver to shine. The ride is maintained by something Lexus calls G-AI. This computer maintains optimal braking and handling  in tough situations and tight corners allowing the driver to maintain speed in almost any situation. Being inside one is like sitting in a little leather wrapped rocket ship.




Monday, June 24, 2013

At least in Cyberpunk 2020. I can get a new heart.


Well, hello there neighbor!

I'd like to tell you a story. Well mostly because it's how it happened and how it went down. Some things may be larger than life because, well because we *are* talking about a roleplaying game.

Every red cent i had went straight to that guy at the comic book shop. 

GURPS was a longtime favorite for a good cyberpunk game. Then as if by magic a strange book appeared in the little comic shop that is now a Mr. Hero. Cyberpunk, oh and look. What is this chrome book thing-a-ma-bob?

I fell in love. 

I played the hell out of it.
All the Chrome Books were found in Germany and damn near everything else came from various holes in the wall in Cleveland Ohio.

Then there was the card games. 

But i digress.

A smooth system for combat and social moves.
Awesome customization and a grand sense of humor throughout. 

Then R. Talsorian kinda dropped off the map. (http://www.talsorian.com//talsorian/NEWWEBSITE/default.htm) Well, for me at least. I was kinda busy with a silly kerfuffle in Europe. Busy gaming that is.

As soon as i had an address people could send stuff to, the first package was Cyberpunk 2020. 

In small rooms where 6 men shared space in what was once a detective's office. A single D10 and a slew of D6 we carried on with our anti corporate battle through the Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave. They took 10 heads to mexico for Uncle Enzo, as a favor.

Every game i ran was pure awesome.
Every game i played in was a great adventure of high technology and car chases. Lots of car chases. And don't forget the guns.

It was and is my goto game for anything Cyberpunk. 
It is hands down the very best Cyberpunk game on the market.

I am sad they are not working on more 2020.
I am even sadder because of what they did next.

So you like Cyberpunk 2020, eh?

Well (Insert dismissive expletive)!!!!!

So, i offer to you the following. I warn you now. That if you have not seen Cyberpunk Version 3. Don't look. Stop scrolling, close this window and go forth knowing that you are a better person for having not seen this. That your world still remains uncurbstomped.

At this point i will also remind you that i am very oddly peculiar about many gaming things. It is an aspect of being a jackass. Well here it is...









 Ouch.

What in the holy hell?


Who told you this was a good idea.



This art is so bad that it colored everything i read. It came across as Cyberpunk goes to Sea World and became craptastic.








Now i'm not a big fan of panning a game for art, but come on guys.

This crap is like you went back in time and this creepy ass art you used touched me in the bathing suit area and then punched my Mom.

It's horrendous, it's offensive on many levels that only work inside the swirling mess that i my head space. And made me actively dislike the whole kit and kaboodle.

Alas i am still a fan of  R. Talsorian. and am very interested to hear what they are doing in the future. Maybe, just maybe their next venture will go better. 'Cause it couldn't get any worse.

So now, who is up for some Teenagers From Outer Space!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The best ten dollars i spent all year.

So to give you the executive summer.

I played Dungeon World tonight (http://www.dungeon-world.com/) . I enjoy Dungeon World. You should buy Dungeon World and play it often.

As is so oft said in the gaming community. They got some chocolate in my peanut butter.

Anything that is powered by the apocalypse (http://apocalypse-world.com/) is bound to be fun on a bun. 

<rant> 
Let me break this down for ya, Chief.

Well it's a funny story actually.
Ya see, i'm kinda good with computers.
Not super genius good. Just guy who likes computers and has played with them for a living.
So most problems are too easy. Most people make the same mistakes everyone else makes and it's a big country. If something is wrong with your computer. Google the damned thing.

I know.
That can be hard to do when your computer is broken.


But i digress.

So a friend of a friend is having computer troubles.
"Sure i'll look at it" i said.
Now as a fool, i don't take money.
Most of the time it's people over paying for 15 minutes of someone's time.
And i don't like it when someone hands me enough money to buy a new computer.
So i do things for barter.

If i walk into your house. Install a virus program, run a check and change a few things it takes me half an hour of sitting in a chair talking to some poor soul like i'm fog horn leg horn.

"Ya see here, boy. What's wrong with this here computer is. You turnin' off that there AVG and clicking ok to every pop up and official looking website."

Well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. But i think you get the idea.

So we'll call him Bill. It's a good American sounding name.
So Bill had an issue. I fixed it and shortly afterward he asked what i wanted.
I spent the next several hours printing and punching out the book.

I was shocked.
The way it was written pissed me off. It seemed to leap up out of the page and sort slap me around.

But i am getting away from where i wanted this rant to go, so i shall just boil this part down to this.
The book swore at me a great deal, it did so to set a tone for game play. The ideas contained inside of all of that foul language are amazing. And for that i was willing to power through the book.

Apocalypse World is a paradigm shift in how to run a roleplaying game.
I quickly fell in love.

Soon after reading the book, digging around for even more information i found a bevy of games powered by the apocalypse. Everything from Star Wars, Star Trek to "My Little Pony : The Apocalypse is friendship".  The game system lends itself so well to so many things that it has inspired thousands of people and created so much fun for any who would call themselves a gamer.

So to sum up a needlessly verbose bit of idiocy and justified praise.
I bartered for the bloody thing. One cool point to me.

Buy Apocalypse world, get it for your favorite GM for Christmas, play it and you will thank me. And if you don't feel the spontaneous urge to thank me, you are playing the game improperly. And if that is the case, shoot me a message and i'll show you how to blow the socks of your group using only two dice.

</rant>

So go out and pick up these two great games.

They have inspired me and made me a much better GM.

Now have yourself an Airborne kind of day!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hey there cats and kittens!

My name is +Jonathan Henry and this is going to be the place where i shall be posting bits of news and interest that strikes my fancy. I have been rolling dice with people since i was 12 years old and managed to finally see Dungeons and Dragons played out in my folk's dining room.

Who? Me?
I'll tell you a secret, i was a bit of a jerk as a kid and gaming was a rather good outlet for a jerk. As a child and a jerk i got the grand distinction to run D&D because, well to tell the truth, nobody else really wanted to read the books. Now in the beginning i was a good dyslexic jerk who was just getting his feet under him with this whole reading books thing, well books this big. But the jerk in me found a frackin' (Yep, get used to it.) playground there in those pages and all of the sudden, after reading every gods damned D&D book i could lay my hands on reading became second nature. Reading, speed reading no problem.

It's a passion that has stuck with me all my life. I like to read and run games. The jerk in me has mellowed a bit with the effects of life and i am now merely a jackass. I have spent this year reading, playing and running all manner of games, talking to people. I am doing this for a bunch of reasons.

So how about we talk about that for a second.

So first and foremost. It's a hell'a lot'a fun.

Many moons ago i was a bit of a con goer. My favorite thing was spending time in games with new people. Learning how someone else viewed this particular game. To see what different books they had and what they thought of them. Learning that i am a Charismatic Bastard and well, still a jerk. Google Plus brings all of those gaming peoples to my computer screen.

I get to talk to folk who are in love with games i have never heard of. They ask and answer questions. They, well the vast majority, are normal, intelligent, quick witted, well read, interesting folk. Strangely enough my oddities seem to be perfectly fine, mind you that is only as long as i remain interesting myself. And brother, i got two crates of interesting out back.

It is a Gamer Education.

Now i know i have said it before.
But if you have missed a few episodes.

Strange things get stuck in my craw.
Gamer Vulgar argot can sometime poke my good old fashioned "Classic American Puritan" sensibilities. I will expound on it further later. (Trust Me)

Street Cred is often times bandied about in relation to roleplaying games and the general gaming community. To that i say, you are a gamer not some young chipped in meathead in a poser gang. You are better served with a Gamer Education than Street Cred. It's just the various inferences that could be made with each statement that seem to bug me greatly.

So i offer up something i call #DMU on google. Dungeon Master University.
It is a series of posts of quality that show gaming in a very interesting and enlightening manner.
From On Air Hangouts, Youtube, Math, History, bits and bobs that will make your game better.

But, i digress.

I have been spending this year reading exclusively game books or gaming related material. All in a hope to learn more about this hobby that has had me so fixated at all times. I want to expand my understanding of the hows and whys. Maybe discover what it is i could contribute to the gaming community that would be of sufficient quality to be an honest addition to the hobby.

So, i'll be running allot of games, making allot of notes, having a great deal of fun and each time learn something that makes my game better, and most often my day better.

Any day i get to meet a new gamer is a good day.

I enjoy hearing the stories of great people have played and or run. I like hearing what they think about systems. Each new gamer is a new idea, a new opinion and a new set of dice and books. Then on top of all of that, as i stated before, most of the folks are awesome.

Work. 

I want to one day be able to make two dimes to rub together out of all this knowledge and learning. 
But to do that i need to become better. A better more knowledgeable DM. A more skilled and capable player. A more organized and thoughtful author. A more prolific author. Hown my mustache to perfection and bring quality that is sought after instead of meekly accepted.

That's gonna take a bit of time, patience and good old fashioned elbow grease. 
Not to mention all of the beer and pizza.

So as my first installment of madness from the Ringmaster here at Giant Dragons i bid you adieu, for i must be off to Gamer Chat.

Thanks, and have yourself an Airborne kind of day!