Sunday, June 19, 2016

La Compania for Free RPG Day

I ran two games for Free RPG Day. The first was "Slugfest," using Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This was my first time running Lamentations, which is a pretty crisp little retroclone. The PCs were members of La Compania, a private mercenary company in the pay of the Viceroy of New Spain.

I was pretty proud of the PCs that I created for the game (eight created, five used), which included one based on Lance Hendrickson's "Bishop", another based on the notorious historical figure Malinche (didn't get played), and another a member of the von Bek family (I often have a von Bek or another of the Moorcockian-Hal Duncanian lines of Champions in my games).

They PCs entered a Smoking Mirror Engine beneath an ancient shrine to an ur-Lord Tezcatlipoca in the long-abandoned city of Teotihuacan, and proceeded though a series of Engine gate links to alien worlds. First they were surprised coming out of a gate by Octovoidal Transvectors, and later had an encounter with some Achernarians investigating a crashed starship module.

The mood shifted from grim SF to goofy Slugfest shortly thereafter. The slug minis up above are Garganta-Slugs from the Hereticwerks blog, as were the Octovoidal Transvectors and the Achernarians, who have been recurrent characters in a number of my Fate, Dr Who, and old school SF games.

The Slugs sourcebook for Free RPG Day has great illustration (with typical, not-for-children LoTFP flourishes). But I don't really see the "gaming revolution" promised in its introduction and the re-release hype. There's a difference between revolution and revolt, which is why both punk and metal were ultimately dead ends, but persist as simulacra. I'll leave it there.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

More on Tomoe Gozen

I am not sure whether it was Lee Gold's Land of the Rising Sun RPG, or Jessica Amanda Salmonson's novel Tomoe Gozen where I first learned of the rapid draw-strike-sheathe sword art of iaijutsu, but the novel ends with a moving dueling scene as ably depicted above by Wendy Adrian Shultz. (I love her illustration, and I believe she also illustrated Phyllis Ann Karr's Wildwraith's Last Battle).

It's a moving scene - particularly the aftermath of the duel.

Prior to the Epilog, which is where the duel occurs, the third part of the book deals with a mishap at sea, and adventures on a mysterious island. There is a memorable sex scene (among many other things). So I am not sure how I had forgotten this part of the book entirely.

Or had I?

You see, in our recent Ryuutama RPG games, I had created a setting called The Sinking Lands, which served as an alternate setting which allowed Rachel to play from time-to-time rather than GM. I had thought that this setting was more influenced (if anything) by the swampy landscape in C.J. Cherryh's Gate of Ivrel but now that I have re-read the third part of Tomoe Gozen, I notice a couple of supernatural similarities (for clues, seek the Labels to this post).

There's no failed marriage though.