It's ALIVE!!!

Mon 23 October 2006
By Aaron

Ok, here I am again. For a month now, I've been free of this whole Zivildienst Bullshit. Never again, YEAH!!! ^_^ Feels great.

(Of course, now I'm unemployed, have, once again, no idea what I should do in life and way too much time at hand, but still, no slavery any more. Silver lining and all that.)

But, with loads of time at my hand, I now can actually get stuff done!!! (Or try to, at least...) So I thought a bit about my project of the next months, things I want to get done some time in the furture:

-Gaming, Gaming, Gaming I have time, I have tons of games, so I damn well will have games.

Luckily, seems I'm not the only one who thinks this way, which is why I finally get a game going a week ago. Sure, it wasn't much of a game, more a one hour nervous breakdown of fighting robot pirates in a post-apokalyptic disneyworld, but it was a fun introduction into Wushu for my players and hooked them, so it was a success. ^_^

In case anybody's interested, here's the [Actual Play] write-up I did on RPGnet:

Monday, I finally got the chance to run some Wushu again. The whole thing was planned pretty spontaneously, seeing that everybody has (surprisingly) time to play. I just wanted to show them Wushu (None of them had really played it before.) and have a good time, maybe flexing the old GM-muscles again a bit. (Haven't GMed in a while.)

Funny Thing: One called to say he was sick and couldn't come, but we met him in the street when we bought snacks before the game (He was on the way to see a doctor.) and he just said "What the hell, I can still go to the doctor later on" and played nonetheless.

As more or less always, I had prepared nearly nothing, only coming up with a few scenarios for different genres, because I had no idea what people were interested in. The genres and ideas:

-Cyberpunk: Either Transhuman Space-style "Xox-Hunters" (People hunting down illegal copies of uploaded persons, Mad AI and all that stuff.) or tribal gang warfare in a pseudo-Shadowrun setting with cyberware and magic.

-Fantasy: Iron Kingdoms-Style gang war and crime story in Five Fingers, a city of crime, piracy and conspiracies.

-Roanoke: Well, to be honest I had no idea for a Roanoke game, so I'd just have winged something. Either strange beasties or Viking Zombies, probably.

Asit turned out, we used none of them. Once we got back from shopping, we ate a bit and generally bullshitted along, talking about what we wanted to play. Two of the players wanted to play something cyberpunk-y and somebody the joked that we should combine all ideas into a single whole where we fought pirates in cyberspace while running as tribal gangs through 16th century america and so on. Completly wacky and way to complicated, I immediatly told them there's be no chance I'd run something like that. But even as I said it had an idea so I said that I'd run something that at least combined Cyberpunk and pirates. They were interested and we started creating characters for a cyberpunk based gang campaign.

Character creation took about an hour, mainly because people had a bit of trouble thinking of characters (There wasn't much of a setting beyond "More or less like a wierd, more advanced Shadowrun." so they didn't have much to work with.), but with a bit of prompting and with everybody throwing around ideas, things went along rather well. An interesting thing I noticed: The players struggled a bit with the trait-based nature of Wushu, mainly because they weren't really used to it, but with me and the other players giving advice, everybody got the Character done in the first hour. (And that included lots of rollling around on the floor, laughing at stupid shit, throwing dice and generally having a good time. ) The characters I got:

-The Babe: Doris, my girlfriend and the player with the least experience with "normal" rpgs, made a character that was more or less defined by her relationship to her Troll boyfriend. ("Bitch" or "Babes Bitch") They loved each other, waded into combat together and generally sticked together, him the giant Meatshield and her the brain of the pair. She had connections everywhere (Though that never came up in play.), always had a bunch of usefull, flying Drones handy when necessary but was also overly confident. Traits: -Double Pentration 5 (Representing her and her Troll lover) -Deep Impact 4 (Well connected everywhere.) -Fly, my beauties, FLY! 3 (Lot's of flying cyberstuff.) Weakness: "I can take it all"

(Yeah, she does have a strange sense of humor... )

-The Monk Andi, the player who was sick and didn't plan to come, wanted to play a telepath. After a bit of talking, he came up with some pseudo-buddhist telekine/monk with a bit of Martial Arts-flair and the ability to hack machines with his mind. His social trait was something like "Calm Aura", but, again, that never really came up. Traits: -Post-Modern Buddha 5 -Thinks like a Machine 4 -Calm Aura 3 Weakness: ??? (I don't remember anymore. It didn't come up.)

-The Dog I felt Manfred struggled the most with the free and trait-based character creation and so I spent as much time as possible trying to help and guide him. What we finally came up with was a ganger with heavy, animal-themed Biomods (Claws, fur, grappling tail, the whole stuff.), a dirty, agressive demeanor and the ability to influence animals. Traits: -Beastman 5 (Fighting, sneaking and lots of stunt-fu.) -Dirty Old Bastard 4(His "social" trait. ) -Alpha Male 3 (Controling Animals and stuff.) Weakness: Wet dogs stink. (He hated getting wet.)

All in all, Character Creation went well and was extremely funny. I think Doris had the least problems, while the other two (Both experienced gamers.) had more troubles. But I liked the results and so we proceeded. We decided that we weren't the leaders of a (not really defined) gang but the lead enforcers/elite fighters.

The starting situation I came up with was that the gang had lost it's territory to an undefined threat (Some ideas were thrown around, from enemy gangs over mutant laser sharks to a megacorp using the land for a giant arcology, but nothing was really decided. Didn't really matter anyway.) and so started wandering, trying to find a new undefended piece of land to settle on. I started the game describing how there had been travelling a while, when they came upon what looked like paradise, the perfect place for them to stay: The ruined skyline of DISNEYLAND!!!

A few narrations to build up the feel of scary, abandoned Amusement park later, the characters, sent forward to scout the place, entered a ruined building only to be attacked by ... ROBOT PIRATES!!! I set it up as a mook threat and used it to explain them the basic rules of the game, how you narrated to get dice, Veto and all that. The following combat was crazy, chaotic and had absolutely no point, storywise, but fun was had and that's what matters. We also didn't get much father then this Mook fight, because when it was over (About an hour later.), Andi had to leave so he could go and see the doctor, so we stopped the game. (Originally, I wanted to show them a Nemesis fight next. shrug)

After he left, I talked a while with Doris and Manfed about the game and how wether they had fun or not and where they had trouble. We all agreed that a game with a bit more preparation on everybodies part and where we all knew the setting before the game started should solve most problems we encountered. They (Manfred in particular) also commented on the differences between Wushu and other games and they all agreed that you had to "unlearn" quite a few things. Doris, the one with the least experience, has the easiest time getting into the free narration of Wushu combat, and we all felt that she delivered the best narration. (Focusing more of what a camera would see and describing more what she did and how it effected things, then stuff like "I try to do X", like Andi und Manfred.) Manfred loved it, though, and defenitly wants more.

I think most problems should fade with more experience.

All in all, I'm satisfied. Fun was had (Although I plan to talk to Andi a bit more, as I didn't get the chance after the game and felt that didn't have as much fun as the others.), I introduced my players to Wushu and I finally got to run something again. Storywise, it was completly wthout content, a chaotic "beer and pretzel" style game of silly action, but who cares, it rocked and I think it hooked at least Manfred and Doris.

I'm defenitly planning to run another game this months, this time with a bit more focus and less chaos. Maybe I'll finally run Roanoke, because it rocks.

-Lulu Rocks. And I plan to use it in some way.

For a while now, I've wanted to do a "Gamers calendar", as an analog to things like the Jungbauernkalender ("Young farmers calendar"), ie. a calendar featuring erotic pictures of cute gamers, both male and female. Now, obviously that's quite an undertaking and I have no idea wether I'd actually find any modells, who'd take the picture and, maybe even the most important aspect, if this thing'd actually sell? Right now, I have none of that. No modells, no idea if this would sell or whatever. But I have an idea and I think I know how I might get the rest.

The first think in my plan is to find out wether there are gamer out there that would modell for the calendar, buy it and how much they'd pay for it. To do that, I plan to grab a few of my friends and make a survey on the next Vienna Fantasy Gaming Convention, approaching potential modells (ie. cute male and female gamers) and customers and polling them on the prospect of a gamer calendar. Now, the next convention is in 4 months, so I'll probably do a bit of asking around until then, gathering people interested in the project and so on. Who knows, it might actually work.

Should I actually find people interested in modelling and buying, production would begin. Hopefully, the survey found 12 cute male and 12 cute female gamers willing to get (slightly) naked in front of their camera and have their picture plastered on a calendar for, well, not much money. (If any. Without any money for investment, actually paying people might be a problem. Which means they'd either have to modell for free or for a cut of the final income, both of which is a bit of a pain in the ass. Well, we'll see.) But let's assume that I'd actually find 24 people willing to get nude pictures taken for whatever conditions I can give them.

The next step would then be to get that thing printed, which I'd get done by Lulu.com. It's easy, it's fast, it needs zero investment (And thus lessens the chance to loosing huge ammount sof money on something that won't sell.) and it seems to do a good job, judging by the huge number of Indie Game Designers that use it to get their books printed. Lulu would allow me to stop worrying about stuff like "How many calendars do I have to get printed and where do I get the money to do so", while instead letting me spend my time and effort to get the word out, pimp it on websites and so on. It'd also spare me the headache of setting up a webshop.

Ah, well, that's the idea anyway.


Well, that was it, the first new post on this blog. No idea if there will be other posts, but we'll see.

Mood: Just had great Sex. Nuff Said. Currently Listening to: FM4 radio

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