Showing 1 - 10 of 50 posts found matching keyword: rpg
Tuesday 28 June 2022
PROLOGUE, PART THREE
Cobryn opened the throttle all the way. He'd never piloted an exploration buggy before, but the fundamental principles had to be the same as piloting a starship: faster was always better. The four-seat buggy surged forward, nearly tossing its passengers from their seats. Oops. Maybe that was too much throttle.
"Wheeee," Quig shouted gleefully over the roar of the engines and the howl of wind through the open cockpit.
Sahara was less enthused. "I thought you said you knew how to drive one of these things!"
"Obviously he does," answered Striker One. "We are already overtaking our quarry."
It was true, Cobryn noticed. The goblins were slowing their buggy down to navigate the rough-cut path – it didn't even deserve to be called a road – through the forest. They simply weren't willing to take the same risks he was. Of course, taking chances is what had gotten Cobryn into this situation in the first place.
He had taken a chance when he accepted a smuggling job for a client he didn't already know. The pay was great, but it turned out the cargo wasn't. Cobryn might be a lot of things, but he was no slave trafficker. The client hadn't liked Cobryn's change of heart. One thing had led to another, and Cobryn had lost his ship, his reputation, and his freedom. With no better options, Cobryn had taken another chance on a mysterious message. One thing had led to another, and now he was on the other side of the solar system chasing goblins with an annoyingly cheerful ysoki, a humorless android, and a lashunta woman who just might be a bigger gambler than he was.
"What are we going to do if we catch them?" Quig asked.
Cobryn scoffed, "What do you mean 'if'? I out-maneuvered that space pirate, didn't I? I think I can handle a couple of goblins in a go-cart."
"When we get close, I'm going to put this grenade in their driver's face," said Sahara.
Striker One was skeptical. "That may be unwise. Our mysterious benefactor has insisted on secrecy, but those goblins were clearly surveilling our arrival before they fled. It would be useful to know why and where they are headed."
"Whatever you're going to do, you'll need to do it quickly," said Cobryn. It certainly didn't take a pilot of his skill to catch these goblins; they could barely keep their buggy moving. Cobryn relaxed the throttle and pulled alongside them, coming eye to eye with the goblin in their passenger seat. It grinned. Only then did Cobryn notice the plasma pistol in its hand. His reflexes saved his life. (Again.) He jerked the wheel, and the pistol bolt blasted the buggy's windshield frame instead of his head.
"Decision made," said Sahara. She lobbed the grenade.
Tuesday 14 June 2022
PROLOGUE, PART TWO
Sahara twitched her antennae in nervous anticipation. Had she escaped from a noose only to face a firing squad?
"Surrender your vessel and whatever your cargo is, and I just might let you live," ordered the space pirate through the starship's radio.
Sahara toggled the radio to broadcast. "We don't have any cargo of value," she said. It was the truth. The holds were as empty as her pockets. Not even the ship itself was worth more than what a scrap yard would pay for it.
"I'll be the judge of that," came the reply. "Turn off your engines and prepare to be boarded."
An electronic signal from the ship's science station caught Sahara's attention. She looked at the android in the gunner's seat. "The pirate weapon has a target lock on us," Striker One said calmly.
Sahara looked at the ratman. "Are the shields working?"
The furry Ysoki nodded vigorously. "You can count on Quig."
"If you say so, Quig," said Cobryn, the ship's pilot. "But shields won't last forever. A pirate ship like that against a tub like this…. We'll never be able to outrun him or his lasers. Maybe we should comply and hope for mercy."
Sahara's three crew mates waited for her response. She hadn't asked to be captain of this vessel, but she wasn't a trained pilot like the human or a natural engineer like the Ysoki. And she certainly didn't have the artificial man's ability to talk to computers. That left her in the captain's chair by default. It was not a comfortable fit.
The last time she'd been the captain of a starship, it had been on a two-seat craft fleeing the slavers who had captured her and her sister. Their escape plan was Sahara's idea, but it had been her sister's beauty that lured an overconfident jailer into giving up the security codes to the ship that would carry them both to freedom. The plan had worked well, but an unlucky break, a guard's unpredictably overactive bladder, had resulted in her sister being gunned down on the launchpad. Sahara took off without looking back. She knew she would meet the same fate if the slavers ever caught up with her again.
That's why she had been willing to answer the mysterious summons that had led her into this latest pickle. She didn't know where they were headed or why, and she certainly didn't trust her crew mates. But so far as she was concerned, death was a better option than surrendering to a pirate who would only sell her back to her captors.
Turning back to the android, Sahara ordered, "Target his thrusters with our gyrolaser. Let's see if we can't even these odds."
She had made her decision. The die was cast.
Sunday 22 May 2022
PROLOGUE, PART ONE
This particular starship was unknown to Quig, but he'd certainly seen its like before. Light freighters were the backbone of the solar system's shipping industry, after all. Therefore, it wasn't the unfamiliar surroundings that set the ratman's hairs standing on edge but the three strangers in the airlock with him.
Summoning his nerve, Quig asked in his high-pitched voice, "Excuse me, but is one of you the person who sent for me?" He dialed his personal communicator to the anonymous message he'd received a week before and held it up for the others to see.
The pale, broad-shouldered android raised an eyebrow in a good simulation of how other races would display surprise. "You're willing to expose your data to persons you do not know? That seems… unwise." Artificial men like this one made most sentient organics existentially self-conscious, but Quig had always found them distracting for other reasons. What made these mechanical marvels tick? He'd love to take one apart and find out.
The scruffy-looking (real) human man leaning against the starship's bulkhead smirked. "I was just about to say the same thing. Maybe I got a message. Maybe I didn't. How do I know you didn't send it?" Across the galaxy, no race was as capable of deceit as humans. Quig made a mental note not to trust this one.
"This is getting us nowhere," complained the female lashunta, her forehead antennae twitching in apparent irritation. She kept glancing out the ship's porthole at the docking bay entrance. Was she expecting more company? "Yes, I got the message. Obviously, we all did. The question is what are we going to do about it?"
The android shrugged almost naturally. "I believe we should do as instructed and take this ship to the coordinates indicated. Why else did we come here if not to uncover the mystery behind our summons?"
The human interlaced his fingers and extended his arms to crack his knuckles. "Works for me. I've been itching to get back in space."
"I think we're walking into a trap," said the woman dourly. "But as there are some… people around here who I'd rather not run into again, I don't see as I have any choice."
That was more or less how Quig felt, too. He couldn't go back home where The Families were looking for him. That was certain death. Better to take his chances with this motley crew. Besides, he'd always liked tinkering with alien technology, and if he had to walk into a trap, at least it was a trap well baited with the promise of getting his claws into an advanced starship's innards. “I'll start the engines,” he volunteered cheerfully.
The adventure had begun.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: friends games james keith ken mike rpg starfinder
Monday 22 February 2021
A series of murders have been committed in one of the seedier quadrants of the space station. We have been assigned to investigate.
This is my space station. My partner is Obo. My name Kesko. I carry a badge.
We were directed by witnesses to the scene of the crimes in a portion of the station which has recently seen a dramatic increase in reports of theft. A thievery ring was suspected.
We had barely entered the area when we were accosted by pair of aggressively threatening space goblins. I attempted to diffuse the situation, but they refused my telepathic communication. After goblins ignored a secondary verbal warning, my partner subdued them with force. I confiscated their weapons to prevent them from being reused.
My partner and I proceeded to investigate the corridor the space goblins had come from. The first door in the corridor was closed. We declared ourselves and our official business but received no response. My partner heard some noise behind the door, and we entered by force.
Room was a storage room occupied by a single unregistered human vagrant. Although initially rude, the vagrant (identifying himself as "Bruxo" but presenting no identification) eventually recognized our authority after a little telepathic persuasion. Vagrant claimed ignorance of any murders but agreed that goblin activity was a growing problem.
In response to further questioning, he tipped us to a creature deeper in the station which he said may be working with the goblins. Warning that the creature is "immune to fire," he offered us a weapon to aid us in subduing it. Weapon was taken from a sealed crate in the storage room. Vagrant was unable to prove ownership. I was suspicious; If he had a weapon that could defeat said creature, why give it to us instead of using it himself? When pressed, vagrant said he was "just trying to help." I declined weapon per department regulations re: accepting potentially stolen goods.
(Note: My partner did take possession of vagrant-offered grappler, a tool she judged potentially useful should we need to descend into the guts of the station. Tool to be returned to the vagrant at such time as we return for a follow up investigation re: potential weapons theft.)
We continued our search of the corridor. Corridor ended in some sort of engine room. On close inspection, I determined that the engine reactor was functioning smoothly, though I lacked the technical understanding to know what it did or exactly how. Partner and I judged it safe to proceed through the room to continue pursuit of space goblin origins.
As we passed the reactor core, we were ambushed by a previously undetected entity that had been lurking within. The unknown and unidentifiable entity appeared as a humanoid comprised of pure energy. Like the goblins, it also resisted telepathic communication. Energy creature moved to touch me. It's hand passed through my chest. I felt a chill, but was otherwise unharmed. I tried to back away. It pursued, touching me a second time again causing discomfort but not harm.
My partner moved to separate creature from me with her department-issued doshko. The doshko passed through the creature in the same manner its hand had passed through me.
I used a telepathic strike to repel the creature to no apparent effect. Creature responded by redirecting energy from the reactor into a controlled explosion aimed at me. I was incapacitated.
My partner issued a verbal warning and fired a warning shot at the creature with her department-issued rifle. Energy creature phased its hand through partner's weapon. It overheated and shorted out. Partner was incapacitated.
Energy creature was unharmed.
Add two more murders to the series.
Friday 15 November 2019
Phone rings. I answer. The caller is my father.
DAD: I have a very important question.
ME: What is it?
DAD: It's about dragons. They've been around for centuries—
ME: Mythically, yeah.
DAD: And they breath fire.
ME: Yes, in some mythologies, some dragons breathe fire.
DAD: So my question is: why don't they fly through their own fire breath?
DAD: If you spit while you're running, you run into your own spit. So when dragons fly and breathe fire, why aren't they burned as they move through their own flames?
ME: Why aren't mythical dragons burned by imaginary fire? Because their storytellers didn't want that to happen.
DAD: No. I'm asking if dragons were real, wouldn't they burn themselves?
ME: Uh, I don't.... I guess for the same reason that if you attached a blowtorch to the front of your car. You'd never catch up to that flame, either.
DAD: Hmm. I never thought of that. I guess I'll have to give it a try. Thanks, son.
Now I can't talk on my phone because I'm waiting for the inevitable call from the fire department.
Monday 14 November 2016
Last week, Dungeons & Dragons was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Obviously, I think this is a great thing.
But more important than any novels I've written about a role-playing adventure I created, this special occasion gives me the opportunity to remind you of Tom Hanks' greatest performance.
This movie is Mazes and Monsters, the 1982 classic based on the right-wing paranoia that Dungeons & Dragons was destroying childrens' minds.
Drink it in. That man has won two Academy Awards.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: dnd movies rpg tom hanks youtube
Monday 28 July 2014
3. The story of Mr. Tom Spy
Mr. Tom Spy was dedicated to his craft: he peeped on everyone everywhere. Blindly wandering wherever the peeping opportunity took him, he shadowed a Rogue out of the City and followed a Magus into the Woods. That proved to be his undoing.
Although Mr. Spy was good at looking at things such as tombstones in The Graveyard, he was terribly unprepared when things looked back. A Living Doll chased Mr. Spy all the way back to the City, where Tom conned an Alchemist into buying "his" doll for one gold piece.
Mr. Spy returned to the Woods only to discover that the Magus had left. Night fell suddenly and the Woods soon filled with horrible creatures like the Crypt Keeper. In no time at all, Mr. Spy was attacked by a Wolfen and infected with the dread disease of Lycanthropy.
Rushing back to the City unaware that he was being followed, Mr. Spy hoped to use his gold piece to buy a cure. However, Fate was not to be so kind. While Mr. Spy was distracted by a City Rat, a menacing Werewolf fell upon him and killed him. The End.
3 (cont'd). The story of Lady Valkyrie
The Valkyrie began her quest to purge the world of evil in the Ruins. Knowing that money was the root of all evil, she headed to the City, where she killed the City Rat and convinced the City Patrol to clean up the streets.
The good Lady Valkyrie next headed to the Graveyard, where she prayed and had her Life restored. She next ventured to and drank from the Fountain of Wisdom, improving her Craft.
Emboldened, she headed into the Crags, where she befriended a Beastmaster and a Magpie and a found a Magic Mace and Horns of Power (as well as a useless Lodestone). The mysterious even Ymir's Glow empowered her with spells! Defeating a Wind Rider, she proceeded to defeat the Lord of the Eyrie and take his precious Rage Talon. The End.
Talisman, game three. (Games 1 and 2 here.) I've decided that I enjoy writing these little character vignettes more than I enjoy playing Talisman.
Wednesday 1 May 2013
1. The story of Dwarfy McDwarf
Dwarfy McDwarf was a self-centered dwarf from the Crags in search of adventure. Dwarfy wandered into the Highlands where he bravely dared Narrow and Icy Paths. Dwarfy slayed Harpies and Hippogrifs galore, gaining tremendous Strength in the process. Dwarfy's exploits in the Highlands earned him several Followers, all of whom quickly succumbed to the deadly dragon's breath of the Dragon King.
Dwarfy headed to the Dungeon to test his mettle. Dwarfy found an abundance of gold, weapons, armor, and trinkets in the Dungeon. Nothing in the Dungeon could survive Dwarfy's unmatched Strength. After a brief detour to avoid the Dungeon Torturer, Dwarfy easily beat the Lord of the Dungeon in single combat.
Determined to find a real challenge, Dwarfy marched undaunted to the lair of the Dragon King, pausing only long enough to engage the services of a Tavern Maid. In the end, the Dragon King presented little challenge for Dwarfy, and Dwarfy assumed the Crown of Command and lived happily ever after. The End.
2. The story of the Necromancer
The evil Necromancer left the Graveyard and soon found a powerful Skull Wand. He sought out the Village Mystic in search of more power. The Mystic unexpectedly turned the evil Necromancer good, forcing the Necromancer to relinquish control of the Skull Wand.
The good Necromancer wandered the region in search of a method to restore his evilness. The Necromancer was eventually joined by an unlikely Follower, Red Riding Hood, whose "help" would ultimately prove a bane. The Necromancer returned frequently to the Village Mystic, who eventually relented and turned the good Necromancer evil again.
By this time, a very Crafty Assassin had found the abandoned Skull Wand and made off with it. The evil Necromancer vowed to track down and overpower the Assassin to recover his precious Skull Wand, but he knew that he would have to improve his Strength and/or Craft before confronting the Assassin.
The evil Necromancer visited the Dungeon in search of Strength and Craft, but was soon chased out empty-handed by a powerful Battlehulk hunting Red Riding Hood.
The evil Necromancer searched the Outer Region in search of Strength and Craft, but was soon chased out empty-handed by a powerful Fire Giant hunting Red Riding Hood.
The evil Necromancer roamed the Highlands in search of Strength and Craft, and here he collected countless objects, survived two Avalanches, earned the loyalty of several followers, and effortlessly defeated the Eagle King. Despite all these adventures, the evil Necromancer was unable to ever gain any Strength or hone his Craft or find any sign of the Skull Wand ever again. The End.
I played my first two games of Talisman this past weekend. You can probably tell which of the two games I enjoyed more.
Monday 23 January 2012
Move over chocolate and peanut butter, you've got company. I was supposed to be updating the website this weekend, but instead I spent all day playing Dungeons and Dragons the way it was meant to be played: as a pinball machine.
Bally/Midway released this TSR™ Dungeons & Dragons™ cabinet 25 years ago, and I can attest that it is still all awesome. I haven't had this much fun playing pinball since high school. Though to be honest, I haven't played that much pinball since high school.
If you think role-playing games and pinball machines make an unlikely combination, consider the technological odd couple presented by pinball machines and the internet: specific details about this cabinet, its innards, and its marketing materials can be found online at the Internet Pinball Machine Database. Thank you, internet.
Saturday 16 April 2011
A cleric, a monk, and a druid stood together against the malicious, knife-wielding creeper. The clank of sword on steel echoed down the hall, the sounds of battle from the adventuring party's lone fighter.
Pausing just long enough to cast a quick spell against the creeper, the cleric hustled away to tend to the fighter. The druid was worried. The departing cleric gave an encouraging wink to the druid, "Don't worry; you've got this."
As fluid as water, the monk struck the creeper and sprinted away towards the fighter's opponent. The druid still had doubt. The darting monk gravely reassured to the druid, "He said you've got this."
With the violence of a snake, the creeper hurled a knife that struck the druid's chest. The druid was visibly upset. The creeper said to the druid with a giggle, "You've got this!"
Like the proverbial sack of potatoes, the wounded druid crumpled to the ground. The druid sighed. Said the druid to himself, "Were they talking to me?"
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: brian dnd friends keith mike rpg trey