What Happened Next, In the Past?

kylo-ren-kills-han-solo-828972In some games I run, I like just the most vague of character backgrounds, and I ask for trust from my players.

Because, there is great dramatic weight in learning things about characters during play.

After-all, do any of us really know what our parents were like, and everything they did?

What happens next when a past love shows up, or when it is determined that the villain you have been facing off against is a past love?



RPG Saturday, Wyrd is Bond

Long before PbTa there were other indie games. Wyrd is Bond is one of the most interesting, so much so that it was instrumental in my design of Strong Island.

I wanted to love the gangs more than I did, but there is utter genius here.

NAME: P-9 (pronounced Ronin, from the Greek Rho (p). Grew up an orphan on the streets, took the American name of Ronan).

GANG: Ghosts

POSITIVE TRAITS: Mathematical Prodigy, Fast Hands

NEGATIVE TRAITS: Perfectionist, Soft-Hearted

RIVAL: Han-co Sangre, Los Reyes

LOVE: Fee-Line, Blood Queens

SKILL: Sees the Odds

kyp2000-new-l1Of all the games I own, this is the one I am most interested in seeing in actual play. Something about the mechanics seems off to me.

But, man, the setting just oozes.

If Jason L. Blair ever wanted to do a 2e, I’d love to adopt Strong Island to it. HMU!

Imagine If: Infinity War, Release Date 1995

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.

Teased at the end of GotG 2 with images of the iconic Captain America shield, gamma-irradiated eyes, Mjolnir, etc…. Producers wanted a huge hit! The casts of the first two GotG movies returned, with Robert Duvall reprising his role as Thanos, and Eddie Murphy, now a gigantic star, showing up because, the rumor has it, he was taking home a huge amount in points. However, the rest of the huge cast needed to be filled out:

Iron Man- Tom Selleck. Yes, he was 50 years old at the time of release, but his stint on Friends showed he was still virile. Plus, not many in Hollywood rocked a mustache. Reynolds had campaigned hard for the part, and it is believed there was footage from early production with Burt.

Captain America- Robert Redford reprised his role alongside Rutger Hauer as Thor.

Hulk- Steve Buscemi. Producers loved his nervous energy and bottled-up rage.

Black Widow- Nicole Kidman was the choice for both her red hair and acting ability.

Hawkeye- Stephen Baldwin brought both a manic energy and bizarre intensity to his role in The Usual Suspects, and producers loved his take on Hawkeye.

Scarlet Witch- Daniela Peštová was not only the SI swimsuit cover model, she spoke 5 languages fluently.

Dr. Strange- Sean Penn would to many always be Spicolli, but was now getting a  reputation as a bad boy and intense method actor.

Vision- Keanu Reeves‘ wide-eyed audition charmed producers for the android.

Henry Pym- Michael Douglas had the range to convey Pym’s intellect and adventurous nature.

Wasp- Sharon Stone was able to be sexy, fashionable, and authoritative.

Falcon- Morris Chestnut owned the role of Ricky in Boyz n The Hood.

War Machine- Wolfgang Bodison had impressed Rob Reiner enough to give him an important role in A Few Good Men.

Black Panther- Djimon Hounsou had started making ripples.

Loki- Mike Myers sold producers on his ability to morph into the role of the trickster Loki.

Spider-Man and Nick Fury also returned from prior films.





What Happens Next, Maximum Level

1515102416Ask a D&D player to make a character, and explain to them that they will never increase in level. What level character will they make? If your D&D game has become all about leveling-up, why not put an end to it. Run the game with the characters they want to play. I designed one game that has no real XP system. Characters can be tweaked, but they do not increase in power.

And we liked it!

The Epic Level Handbook had wonderful ideas, but lacked in execution. Godbound does some interesting things.

Get to the roleplaying, get to the world saving, and get to what most GMs want most of all, engagement.