Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reading Ambrose Bierce

Every Fall, either right before or right after Halloween, the Second Foundation Reading Group  in the Twin Cities picks a horror/supernatural-themed author for discussion at a session of our reading group. This year, we've chosen Ambrose Bierce. I've read about 60 pages worth of his ghost/horror/supernatural stories so far, including two of the ones that mention Hali, Hastur, and Carcossa. I am really enjoying this author.

If you're local and a fan, please join us on Sunday, November 2 from 2-4 to discuss the works of Ambrose Bierce. We'll be meeting at the Parkway Pizza on 4359 Minnehaha Avenue S. in Minneapolis.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mayor Betsy And The Prince

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

Mayor Betsy is clueless. At least about the occult underground in the Twin Cities. That's what the players decided.

The greatest supernatural force in Minneapolis is Prince. That's right, The Prince of the Purple Rain. Not some dumb vampire prince.

Wrong game.

Prince used to lead the Summer Court. But the people of Minneapolis are feeling his absence. Prince has withdrawn his favor from our fair city. We wish he'd come back.

The Revolution is trying to bring him out of seclusion.  Of course, they are all powerful Summer Court functionaries too. They're trying to hold things together, maybe renew things.

Then there is the White Court, fueling a massive wave of gentrification across the metro. Affordable apartments go down; luxury condos go up. What is the White Court up to with all their buying and selling?

Finally there is the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Narayana Kocherlakota. Everyone's sure he's up to something. But no one's exactly sure what.

Narayana Kocherlakota

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Midnight At The Witch's Hat

"The Witch Hat Tower And A Full Moon" by Mark Goodman Photo

If this stunning image doesn't convince you that Minneapolis, Minnesota has places of power, I don't know what will. The Witch's Hat in Prospect Park has been part of the Twin Cities' occult landscape since 1913. It was built as a water tower (with a bandstand deck at the top) and it occupies the highest natural spot in the landscape of Minneapolis.

This was just one of the numerous supernatural locations that the we identified in our first playtest session of Dresden Files Accelerated. Others included the Elf House near Lake Harriet...

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Where it looks pretty easy to leave a message... for someone.

Elf House

More to come on the "movers and shakers" in our Minneapolis' Dresden setting, as well as on the cool PCs that our players created using Dresden Files Accelerated's "Mantles".

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dresden Dreams

Winter Knight Dice

The dice fall where they may, and sometimes they fall in your dreams. That was my experience last night. I spent roughly four hours reading the Dresden Files Accelerated Alpha Playtest rules, because our Thursday Night Group will be running it's first playtest session tonight.

We're doing some city generation, character generation, and campaign issues.

Once I had finished reading the rules it was 12 midnight, so I turned in.

Almost exactly an hour later, I woke up from a nightmare.

We had been playing the game.

We were rolling the dice. A spell was being cast.

The roll was a Bad One.

I was more than a little rattled.

It's just a game right?

Except that in the dream it was both real and a game.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Doomsdays & Dresdens


Quick post for today. Yesterday's write up of the USS Constellation for Paul Stefko's Interstellar Patrol prompted someone to suggest that I should do a write-up for the Doomsday Machine itself. I am thinking about how one might do that.

In the meantime, I am preparing to run the first playtest of Dresden Files Accelerated with our Thursday Night Group. I'm thinking our playtest adventures will take place in the Twin Cities, MN, one of the cities that gave birth to Urban Fantasy in novels such as Emma Bull's War for the Oaks.

Should be fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

U.S.S. Constellation

Commodore Matt Decker

The Constitution class of starship was a solidly build workhorse vessel suitable for deep space, long-term exploration. It was also used for perimeter patrols and defense of core systems of the Federation. This class of starships was also built to hold its own in a battle. The Klingons and Romulans soon learned that they needed to field three D7s against one ship of this class to ensure a superior prevailing force.

Commodore Decker - like Captain James T. Kirk and their peers commanding other Constitution class vessels - was a hard-headed commander and a bit of a megalomaniac. But you had to be to go out to the edge of the Federation and beyond with one starship on a five year mission. This ship could take you there, but you had to bring it back in one piece.

With a crew.

Which not everyone did.

Federation Starship USS Constellation
  • Propulsion: Two warp nacelles and impulse engines
  • Tactical: Phasers, photon torpedos, and shields
  • Sensors: Suitable for deep space exploration
  • Amenities: Everything needed for a five year mission
  • Special: Saucer separation
    • Someone at the helm may invoke this Aspect to detach the saucer section from the engineering section of the ship. Crew will be needed to staff a bridge on each section.
  • Special: Tractor beams
    • Someone at helm, engineering, or science may invoke this Aspect when using their Forceful Approach to grab hold of an object in space. 
  • Special: Self-destruct
    • In extreme circumstances, the Captain may invoke this Aspect and use their Forceful Approach to destroy the ship (often damaging or destroying a nearby enemy in the process).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Klingon Bird-Of-Prey

Klingon Bird of Prey

Here's another example of a starship built using Paul Stefko's Interstellar Patrol campaign frame for Fate Accelerated Edition.  The Klingon Birds-of-Prey are a beautiful line of ships.

Klingon Bird-of-Prey
  • Propulsion: Warp capable starship
  • Tactical: Klingon patrol [raider, scout, pirate] ship
  • Communications: An ideal vessel for espionage
  • Amenities: Hot, humid, and cramped
  • Special: "A cloaked ship is no small favor"
    • Someone at the helm may invoke this Aspect to make the Bird-of-Prey invisible to sensors for all or part of a Scene
    • A captain may invoke this Aspect to drive a hard bargain with someone who needs to get somewhere without being detected