Game the Game: Roll vs Role: Character Changes

Does your game of choice, or the game you are playing, allow for your character to change over time? I am not talking about changing your class, but that can be part of it. Can your alignment change? People change. Remember that friend in college who loved industrial music, and always wore combat boots. Now, he likes to play golf on the weekends, and listens to NPR.

People change.

Does your system allow for this change.

In designing my superhero game, I very specifically put in rules so players can rebuild their characters, from the ground up if they like. Why? Because it happens in comics. Because it happens.

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Lost Childhood: White Whales


Many people spend not-insignificant amounts of money reclaiming items they lost from their childhood.

Or at least verifying their existence.

Above is the peanut butter weasel, I spent years tracking down it’s existence, even going so far as to contact the cereal company to at least verify I wasn’t going crazy and had remembered incorrectly.

Below is a list of White Whales, not just mine, but for my friends and colleagues.

What are your White Whales? What do you want to proudly display on your desk?

  • The Rob and Fab album
  • Wonder Woman and the Star Riders comic (and anything associated with it)
  • Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones
  • Marvel Trapper Keeper
  • Chewbacca necklace
  • Emperor Joker comic
  • Serial Killer knit hat
  • 1982 DC Comics Style Guide
  • Dune RPG
  • Milk and Cheese Wildstorm CCG cards

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Imagine If: Elektra, Release Date 1986

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

Daredevil was a one and done. When Frank Miller reinvigorated interest in the character by taking over as writer and artists, producers wanted to head back to the well.

chuck norris delta force 1986 aviator sunglassesChuck Norris was still kicking ass in 1986, and donned the red tights once again.

The fact that the actor insisted on keeping some facial hair, which did not work well with the cowl might have been the first clue things were not going to go well.




MSDWISD EC001Elektra-Demi Moore

She was red-hot in 1986, and actually of Greek descent.









If you needed a villain in 1986, rather if you ask someone to remember a villain from the 80s, they might very well turn to…. The Best Around!

portland-press-herald_3730050Bullseye-William Zabka







df7c8a19c94ac85c06f207e19d772e7f--movie-characters-famous-facesStick-Willem Dafoe

In the same year, Dafoe would star in Platoon, bringing him much more attention and acclaim, but he brought intensity and humor to the role of Daredevil’s blind mentor.






5c46f0f14db02bbe29eceeb0341e2c5e--sharon-stone-s-style.jpgTyphoid Mary-Sharon Stone

Before her big breakout (Total Recall), Stone had been cast by producers in hopes of making her the next big thing. She brought the sexy and high-energy to the role.





JetLi018_c2cb91486a737af86ec8ac330e06449cKirigi-Jet Li

When reviews rolled in (and they were not good), Stone was noticed by critics, as was the young martial artist Jet Li.



Game the Game: Con Games

powermanThis year, I will be running my Secret Legal Crisis. It is a game with a somewhat ridiculous premise, Wonder Girl and Wonder Man, Power Man and Power Girl, and Carol Danvers and Billy Batson are all served to appear in court to resolve superheroic naming protocols. She-Hulk will be serving them their papers.

How much do I believe in this game?

Enough that i commissioned artwork for it, out of my own wallet.

I want it to be memorable.

And when the reveal comes, wow is it great for folks who love geeking out over comics and canon.

I have a list of Convention Games I have in various stages of development. Games that I want to run, and hope to.

  • A two-table, 16 player GI Joe game with 2 GMs, two teams of Joes, working on missions connected to each other, GMs would communicate during the scenarios.
  • A two-table Marvel+DC game, one table running Marvel, the other running DC… to begin. Secret Convergence Contest and Crisis of Champions.
  • A 13th Age game with the D&D cartoon characters as the PCs.
  • A Voltron-style game with the Wu-Tang Clan as a 1980s cartoon.
  • A dead rock-stars Scooby Doo style game, where they need to form a band, and solve a mystery, shenanigans ensue.
  • A 1980’s LXG.
  • A 1970s LXG.
  • Archie+Monsterhearts.
  • Monster High + Monsterhearts.
  • Splinter of the Mind’s Eye TV Show.

I like making my con games memorable. I think the first two will be a go, I just have to get my co-GM/ conspirator to the con.


Crisis of Comics: Wonderful World of Comics

Crisis of Comics takes a weekly look at some of the recent publishing woes by the Big Two, offers up theories and concludes with suggestions about what might be missing.

There is a comic based on a ride at Disney World (Big Thunder Mountain).

I have not read it, but odd.

Instead of looking for the next Pirates, why not dig deep into the not-necessarily-animated Disney archives, and look for pre-existing properties, that might already have a fanbase. Marvel should (again), take a cue from DC:

  • Witch Mountain. The remake with the Rock could never live up to the creepy original films.
  • Condorman. Why not? No need to reinvent the wheel, a gritty reimagining integrated into the Marvel U.
  • Black Hole. Trippy Kirby-esque art.
  • Big Hero Six. A real shame they have done little with the property in terms of publishing. Opportunity missed.
  • Incredibles. One of the most beloved and well-reviewed superhero movies doesn’t have a comic?
  • Herbie. We could always use more Herbie. An anthology series perhaps.
  • The Cat From Outer Space.
  • Tron.
  • Medfield College. An mature, anthology style series.
  • Dragonslayer.


The Pull List, Release Date 8/16

689387_c81ff2ae03e693eef170e7fa949c04bfbaf541c5I have a situation.

A dilemma, if you will.

I will put it in broad terms, in question form:

How much is $4 worth to you? Is $4 a reasonable price for long-awaited entertainment? If you could watch Game of Thrones early one week, for $4, would you do it? What if it meant you had to walk across town?

This is my dilemma, sort of.

Next Wednesday, I will be at GenCon. I have picked up comics at GenCon before, that is not the issue.

The issue is, should I hold off buying a comic that my FLCS will set aside for me, as it is in my actual pull list?

What if the comic is one of your faves? I know that I gush about Archie and their offerings, this one is so dark and wonderful. Sabrina #8, we waited a long time for #7, can i wait 5 days? More to the point, can i justify the expenditure, I would be buying it twice?

I am unsure.

But anyone out there reading this, YOU SHOULD PICK THIS COMIC UP!


Bring That Beat Back: Playlist

Find me at GenCon, I might have an ashcan copy of BTBB, and will be happy to put one in your hands.

And, as you think about DJs bringing light, and standing up against all the bullshit around us, a playlist.