Quartz Crystal Whistle of Double Time

I created this Quartz Crystal Whistle of Double Time for my character Take to use in the Yanking on Glorious Leader’s Chain scenario, as a follow-up to the Biscuits and Grave-y, both let’s play videos which you can watch on my video channel.

This is a new Loot item for Runehammer Games’ Index Card RPG Core you might find useful.

Quartz Crystal Whistle of Double Time

This is a whistle made of quartz crystal.

When blowing on the whistle, one can take 2 Actions per Turn, or take an Action even after a dash Move to Far. However, it makes noise, as a whistle does. That means no stealth while using it, and anyone within hearing distance will be alerted to the user’s presence.

You may want to add a Spell Burn die to balance the benefit of this device for each turn it is used, to account for the user’s hyperventilation and recovery.

The Holy Silver Talisman of the Fire God Zhipho

I created this Holy Silver Talisman of the Fire God Zhipho for my character Take to use in the Yanking on Glorious Leader’s Chain scenario, as a follow-up to the Biscuits and Grave-y, both let’s play videos which you can watch on my video channel.

This is a new Loot item for Runehammer Games’ Index Card RPG Core you might find useful, though, let’s be honest, it really was a bit underwhelming for Take in the scenario. Perhaps there’s a larger, perhaps backpack-sized, version somewhere that, one might say, “throws” flame? Now, that would be impressive!

The Holy Silver Talisman of the Fire God Zhipho

This is a small sealed box made of silver. It has a top that is hinged and reveals a small screen with holes around a miniature fire altar dedicated to the Fire God Zhipho.

With a Basic attempt, the flame can be lit by spinning the tiny prayer wheel against the sacrificial stone. When the flame is lit, the talisman acts as a strong and righteous holy item, in addition to being silver, which might be handy if one is facing things with weaknesses to such things. The flame also casts a sphere of light, much like a large candle; and can be used to light flammable thing on fire.

The talisman has 10 charges, but is refillable. Failure on an attempt to light it uses a charge. You may want to balance this by requiring a new Basic attempt each turn to keep it lit. Also, attempt rolls may become Hard in particularly windy conditions.

The Lost Words

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is a new release that is also a response to the loss of words about the natural world in the 2007 Oxford Junior dictionary.

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds.The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

Via A new book teaches kids of the internet age all the “lost words” from nature and outdoor play—Thu-Huong Ha, Quartz

In 2007, Oxford released a new edition of its “Junior” dictionary, aimed at kids aged seven and older. A handful of parents and pedants were critical of which words had been dropped from and added to the edition. Words about nature—”moss,” “blackberry,” and “bluebell”—were gone, and in their place, “blog,” “chatroom,” and “database.” (“Saint,” “chapel,” and “psalm” had also been removed.) The dictionary made more cuts in 2012: “Cauliflower” and “clover” were supplanted by “broadband” and “cut and paste.”

In 2015, authors Margaret Atwood, Helen Macdonald, and Macfarlane, among other novelists and nature writers, expressed their dismay in an open letter to Oxford University Press. “Childhood is undergoing profound change; some of this is negative; and the rapid decline in children’s connections to nature is a major problem,” they wrote.

Star Trek Adventures Quickstart

A new Star Trek Adventures Quickstart is available from Modiphius.

Welcome to your new assignment, Captain. Your continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before…

“We’ve received a message from Narendra Station that a runabout called the Susquehanna has gone missing in the Carina Nebula, deep within the Shackleton Expanse. The Susquehanna was investigating an unusual alien signal that originated from the nebula when all contact was lost. We have been ordered to enter the nebula, find the runabout, and determine the origin and cause of the alien signal. Starfleet has also advised that Romulan and Ferengi ships have been sighted in the region, so we should exercise caution since they may well have detected the alien signal as well.”

This is a FREE 30 page Quickstart for the Star Trek Adventures Roleyplaying game, and contains an introduction to the main game’s core rules, plus “Signals” a self contained adventure with six pre-generated characters for you to enjoy. You will also need:

At least two 20-sided dice (d20) per Player, and several
6-sided dice (d6) to serve as Challenge Dice
A set of six chips or tokens for Momentum
A set of twenty chips or tokens for Threat
The pre-generated characters found in the back of the booklet.

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare Pre-order is now available at the Modiphius store.

Get in early on the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare miniatures game pre-order and secure preferential delivery, web exclusives like the Red Rocket, Behemoth, scenery, and special starter bundles to get your settlement up and running. Due to massive demand pre-orders will be shipped in waves. First wave will be March 2018

Spend £120 or over on our Fallout: Wasteland Warfare pre-order and we’ll send you one of our first Special Event Miniatures – Nuka Cola Girl complete with 10 cards (unit & AI), 3 Nuka Cola ‘Thirst Zapper’ weapon cards and 5 bonus Nuka Cola and Quest cards. Special Event Miniatures will also be available through other pre-orders, online promotions and Modiphius conventions.

Alighting on His Shoulders

Alighting on His Shoulders: Ten Tales From Sideways Worlds by T Thorn Coyle is a collection that hits so many different genre buttons it makes its own meta music. There’s a wide variety on offer here and within the ten stories there’s a lot of different things to like. For example, there’s a couple that reminded me of Charles de Lint‘s Newford sequence, there was an angels on earth Supernatural / The Prophecy offering, there was a modern gothic fairy tale feeling in another like The Night Circus or The Devil’s Carnival and maybe a little bit of Killer Klowns from Outer Space for me, and more. Each of the ten stories collected in this brief volume hits some grand genre button for me, and the whole feels far more engaging and fully realized than the short length of the volume would suggest.

Although I’ve long been familiar with T Thorn Coyle from her works on more occult subject matters, and have, to be clear, met her in person several times and so on; this was my first encounter with her fiction. I can honestly say that I’m definitely a fan, and can highly recommend this collection on its own merits.

Also, in passing, I wanted to mention that the work on the ebook formatting and production was extremely well-done, enough better than many and most that I noted it.

I made 22 highlights.

Originally posted on my personal blog at Alighting on His Shoulders

Who Goes There?

Fantastic novella Who Goes There? by John W Campbell is, of course, the inspiration for The Thing movies, including the 1953 The Thing from Another World, John Carpenter’s masterpiece rendition, and a re-remake that I’ve not seen. For some reason, the ebook version I read is no longer available, perhaps there were rights issues; but it can be found still in an edition with an introduction and screen treatment by William F Nolan, which I didn’t have in my edition, so I mention that only in passing.

As great as Carpenter’s rendition was at fulfilling the story as written better than the older movie, there’s still elements that were not brought fully to screen. So, even having seen both the previous movies several times, and Carpenter’s an untold number of times, if I’m honest, there was still a novelty to reading the original story that revealed a whole new dimension in the narrative to explore. There were places where the story shows its age, but it was still a damned fine experience of creep and paranoia. For example, the initial character descriptions are pretty stock manly men for heroes and degraded manliness for those not heroes. Another example is that the absolute end was a bit of stale period B-movie coda that wasn’t quite as great as the rest. But it is, ultimately, more than just what it was.

I made 12 highlights.

Originally posted on my personal blog at Who Goes There?

Inquest

I’m a little late to the game, but I just watched the final episode of the first season, s01e13: Inquest, of Shield of Tomorrow, the Star Trek live-streamed roleplaying series, on Geek & Sundry Twitch or more exclusively on the private platform Project Alpha, using the new Star Trek Adventures RPG rules from Modiphius. I haven’t been able to catch it, it streamed after I was usually already asleep, the VODs are subscriber only, and if I notice that it’s being re-streamed I haven’t wanted to just jump in the middle … but, this was the final episode of the season, and I watched it.

Now, that’s some damned fine Star Trek. I mean, I realize that was the final episode for the season and so it wrapped up a lot from previous episodes, but that was intense and emotional. Damned near equivalent to some of the best broadcast Star Trek episodes I’ve watched. There was emotion, drama, and intrigue; there were callback to other movies and series; and a final surprise denouement full of hope for the future.

The emotional investment of players like Amy Dallen in the life of an organism encountered was on par with the best of Voyager in the episode Tuvix, which is the first and so far only episode of Star Trek that prompted me to write to congratulate cast and crew on an amazing job, just to put that into perspective. The drama and intrigue of the interaction with Starfleet Intelligence, and the effect on players like Hector Navarro, was on par with the best of Deep Space Nine in episodes featuring Section 31 or focused on Garak’s espionage and secrets. Furthermore, the ability to weave into the story elements from the movies and broadcast series created some fantastic business and dialogue for the players, and that’s something the best of episodes like Deep Space Nine’s Trials and Tribble-ations prove is a compelling experience for the audience and cast.

Seriously, Inquest made me remember how excellent Star Trek can really be when it reaches for those huge allegorical dilemmas in the human experience and while showing the emotional toll and toil those experiences place on those going through them. I appreciate the work done by the entire cast of players and the game master Eric Collin Campbell, as well as the crew on the shoot, for a job well damned done.

With season two tonight, as it moves to Monday nights, at an earlier 7pm PDT time slot, I may just have to stay up late to go with these fine people on their continuing voyages, and catch up on the rest when I can.