Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In Which The Warlock Can Finally Breathe!

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday--there's no pretenses about it whatsoever. You get together with your friends and family, eat until you can't move, watch football, then take a nap. Life is good, right?!

Well, this Thanksgiving signals the beginning of a definite slowdown in the Platinum-Life, which is much needed at this rate. With my fall slate of IEP meetings in the bag, and Parent-Teacher conferences completed, I can now get focused on some of the stuff that matters--the gaming!

Under a sort-of challenge from El Willy, I took it upon myself to start work on a new project--a total redux of his WEGS 101 system, moving from medieval swords-and-sorcery, to 4 Color, Silver Age, superheroes! So, I've been throwing down my 2d10 and 2d6, writing up skills and new rules for the pre-existing system, turning it into a 60s-styled beat 'em up! What's strange is the fact that this is actually working. It's almost easy, picturing the old-school Avengers as WEGS Arktypes...

Speaking of WEGS, I got the opportunity to throw down a brand new adventure, courtesy of El Willy, with a Thanksgiving twist: Hobgobble's Eve! Tossing down twice last weekend--once for our usual Friday night gaming group, and once more for the Witt-Weggers--the players found themselves in the midst of a HobGobbo feast, as they fought the leather-clad Gobbo Grandma, and the particularly cranky Grampa Umm-Lumm, in pursuit of the ancient Blunderboomer!

Thanksgiving brings with it the chance to actually head home for a while (and, hopefully, grab some wings at Dino's), but also a chance to actually work on "Dungeon Slam!" for once. With a good deal of Witt-Wegger Alumni coming back into town following the Christmas holiday, I'd love to get another printing done for them to sample. That'll take a fair amount of editing, though...but hopefully I'll be up to the task.

For all though, enjoy your day of feasting! Life is good, fellow gamers! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Which The Warlock Posts About Tasty, Delicious Nom Nom Noms...

Indulge me for a moment, as I wax poetic about something that's near and dear to my heart: good food.

When I was coming out of high school, I always had--somewhere in the back of my head--the desire to be a chef. It's not something I acted on, which I'm somewhat glad of now, as I'm sure I would not have the sheer physical endurance needed for the culinary world, but I still love to cook and can really appreciate well-made cuisine.

I readily admit: I'm a foodie. I watch Food Network incessantly. I've read all but one of Anthony Bourdain's books, cover to cover. I have a collection of cookbooks on top of my refridgerator. Hell, I've even played the "Iron Chef" drinking game...though I don't recommend it, if you have anything important to do in the near future.

It's kind of odd, as my favorite two cuisines are at almost diametric opposites on the spectrum.
Indian food is one of blending--bringing together a series of spices (a garum) into a blend that's standard for a household, which represents a personal flavor. Full of stewed and curried food, Indian cusine brings elements together into a singular meal, brought together by their commonalities.
Italian food, on the other hand, is one of stark flavors. In a well-made bruschetta, one can taste each individual ingredient for its full freshness and flavor, while simultaneously composing a greater whole of a simple antipasti.

It's because of this that I have a tendency to look for smaller, family-owned restaurants. It's no surprise that Jeet India and Giovanni's--both Fairborn institutions--are among my favorite restaurants.

What's most shocking to me, though, is the fact that I find myself recently enamored of a chain restaurant: Texas Roadhouse, of all places!

Starving and needing some dinner, the PlatinumChick and I headed to the newly opened chain-station earlier this evening, and my expectations were somewhat low. I've had steak and ribs at some of the best places on Earth: prime rib at the Jon-Benet Tavern in Butler, PA; ribs at Bob's Bar-be-que of Ada, OK...and I have rather high standards on both.

While I was expecting a pre-packaged, "Applebee's" steak, I instead got a tender cut of ribeye that parted before my steak knife like the red sea. I expected 'blinged-out' waiters with no knowledge of their menus; instead, I got a knowledgeable, friendly young guy who really knew his way around the kitchen.

Needless to say, I was impressed. For once, a chain got it right--the homestyle appeal, the food quality of a 'real' restaurant, and the love of food so common to fine cuisine. My commendations!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

In Which The Warlock Remembers He Has a Blog!

Sorry for the lack of updates recently--the weeks have been hectic recently, as work has had me hopping on IEP and MFE documentation, to say nothing of my normal workload. As such, it's been a touch rough to focus on gaming during all this time.

That said, I have come up with something of an idea for a game...if I can pull it off.

The premise would be something of a coupling of Alan Moore's seminal Watchmen and some of the more recent Ramsey Campbell Cthulhu Mythos work, with a touch of Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth thrown in for good measure.

Players would take the role of low-powered superheroes--think Punisher, Batman, or Moon Knight instead of Green Lantern or Iron Man--as they investigate psychotic supervillains, vile cultists and serial killers, and the conspiracies behind the banning of global "superheroes".

The biggest problem in this centers on the system to use in this. There's no easy answers here...

I'm tempted to use Mutants and Masterminds, as many people are familiar with the d20 system. However, M&M suffers from the rules bloat of 3.5e D&D, and is really numbers heavy. While I'd always have d20 NPC Wiki to fall back on, I hate to do that on a consistent basis. Plus, it seems like most of the orientation in M&M is towards high-powered, Golden Age superheroes, which isn't exactly the time period in question.

I've heard good things about Silver Age Sentinels and Champions, but I own neither, which is...well, more money for only a singular game. And further, I don't know much about the actual nitty-gritty of either system.

As such, I'm left with my old stand-by: Heroes Unlimited. While I love the quirky little Palladium system, it's not exactly the most elegant thing out there, and many players balk at learning a new system just for one game. However, for low-powered supers, there might not be a better system to catch it.

Suggestions? I'm all ears...