Thursday, 31 March 2011

Lesser daemon of Malal..?

Has anyone else seen this?

It belongs to us now. It's all ours. Over at netherwerks they're generous people. And creative. Look at their other blogs.

It's an unnamed monster with no stats in any system. The idea is to fix that, see how many ways it could be done. I'm getting beserker, daemon, spaceman...

How about a new kind of lesser daemon for Warhammer 40,000, maybe for that mysterious Chaos god, Malal? Back in the early days of the 1980s there were mentions, but we've long settled down into the standard quartet of Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh.

We don't know very much about Malal, but axes are suggestive, given the Dreadaxe and starmetal axe in the stories of Kaleb Daark and Skrag the Slaughterer. In a 1987 card game the god was represented by a warband of beastmen, and that ties in here too. We understand Malal is an outcast or renegade and aims at destroying the other four.

Sunday, 27 March 2011


As many of you may know, Jennie at Nine Worlds, Ten Thousand Things is taking over the running of the EXPANDERS! challenge.

The idea? Tell a story in 15 words, with one of the words given.

The word for this week is already up - right here - a very appropriate choice.

If you haven't looked around the rest of Jennie's blog yet, I recommend it. There's not only plenty of microfiction, but also several scenes for the 'blog your own adventure' project (start the adventure here) and descriptions for the Nine Worlds setting.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Desolation - branch

You leave the living island with its trees of metal and descend through the desolation to the dry bed. The area is still deserted, with no sign of the rotting figures. In your calmer state you notice the former stream splits here, a branch running away ahead of you.

Cautiously return to the ruins of the bridge   Blog One
Continue alongside the main bed   Blog One
Follow the branch   Blog One


This week's flash fiction EXPANDERS!

What's it all about?

Every week, at around 15:00 GMT on a Sunday, I'll post a single word of inspiration. The challenge?

Expand that word into a 15-word story.

One word for every character in 'Porky's Expanse!' Your story can be on any subject and in any genre or style you like, dead funny or deadly serious.

Streambed - wasteland

You turn hard and sprint away along the bed of the stream, into the trees, fear strong. A gasping look back shows the figures shambling after, but far off. The cracked bed twists left and right; after a few such turns you scramble up onto the dust of the bank and take refuge behind the collapsed fibres of a trunk. The trees of the once lush wood are now bare, many no more than burnt husks. Dead branches rake the haze all around. You lie in the wreckage and catch your breath. After some time you realise the pursuit is over.

Cautiously retrace your steps   Blog One
Continue alongside the bed   Blog One   Blog Two
Strike out into the woods   Blog One  Blog Two


Friday, 18 March 2011

Deep thought Friday

A step down from last week, I've been brushing up on utility fog for the less-than-secret project, using this seminal article. I recommend reading it, from the first image to the second at least.

How can we know we're not already in that world?

If you don't want to read it, here's the alternative:

How can we know that what we - collectively or singly - perceive to be reality is not a simluation?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Dapple, dabble

A long time ago in a post with the title 'Size matters / class war' I wrote the words:

... the lack of a mechanic is as infinite as our imaginations and capacity to communicate. In designing a game we pave over the infinity and fence the players into our way of thinking.

The same could be said for any act of creation, which is a large part of my interest in flash fiction. The less the author says, the more the audience says; the more the audience becomes the author. This is important. Why? Let me make the case.

I've been pondering the next step in the 'Getting out of the boat' gaming project and I'm starting to feel there is no next step. The idea is out there. Why should my development of the idea close avenues for players? The most that might be done is to suggest ways of approaching this new style of play, helping a group get the desired effect.

Today at Errant Greg Christopher presented a related idea for roleplaying modules, based on what he calls 'impressionistic narrative'. Put simply, the idea reduces a situation to elements and presents those elements as prompts, here words, to be read at a glance. The DM / GM fills in the blanks, on the spot if so desired. If..?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Squeeze for juice

We're talking about energy generation, but isn't a vast amount more energy all but on tap now?

A chance comment today reminded me that while we can't seem to get close to perpetual motion, and we are the heart of our problem, our hearts could also be part of an easy solution.

We could easily each produce what we need to run the device we're using right now for example. Could you do a little light pedalling too?

Think how much less power we'd need if every television on the planet was driven by the viewer. Think how much less television we'd watch...

If we did still need to go for a walk or run after watching a favourite show, why couldn't shoes or belts extract energy from the muscular movements as standard - or even clothes the excess body heat - in the same way as automatic watches or bike lamps?

Moving into speculation a little, the Fremen in Dune had their stillsuits using breathing and other movement to recycle water, and The Matrix saw the human body power its own prison (cf. the TV example). This is all still near future stuff - at the very most.

What else might be used with no need for a strange new material or process?

Diddly Squat?

Most of us with an interest have probably noticed the rumour by now, and Bell of Lost Souls has just put it out for a much wider audience too. The suggestion is the Squats might finally be coming back to Warhammer 40,000. It's been a while.

Read this post at The Veil's Edge - from Tuesday - for an important idea, that bloggers are responsible. In this sense there's been little doubt for a while now the Squats will return in some form. I do disagree with one point though, that this rumour feels right.

For me what makes it seem like a rather crude joke, or an exaggeration on the part of the quoted source, is the idea they might have battle axes and be intoxicated. Yep, you read that right. If the impression given all those years ago was that GW wanted more than dwarves in space, why would they go back to the idea? This is the popular, comic image of the Squats, embellished in the telling over years, not the expected Demiurg.

I think the design studio at least would want to justify the anger and bitterness caused and give us a fuller development, and we ought to expect no less as older and hopefully more mature people. While it may be wonderful to see the Jokaero back, today's idea seems little more than a short step from the original concept. From the point of view of design, it can't have been much work. No one is really challenged by the new Jokaero. We got a surprise; GW earnt some kudos. But surely two decades ought to bring more?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Doctor Who's who

The Happy Whisk asked me at her blog a day or so ago who my favourite Doctor Who is.

Our favourite Doctor is not necessarily the same as our Doctor of course, but in my case the two probably do take the one form. I'd go with the controversial choice of the seventh, Sylvester McCoy.

Why? Well, I think the question can only really be answered by watching the shows themselves. One is all but required viewing for Who fans anyway, Remembrance of the Daleks.

Saying this is also a little controversial perhaps, in that the shows are in a sense the weakest means of experiencing Who over the medium and maybe longer haul, in terms of scripts, acting and effects; famously so for the effects, and maybe the scripts now too.

Food - dream - snow

The berries look a fine choice, and you browse for a full cluster, soon found.

You pick a single fruit and gently bite, tasting the juice; the flavour is rich and mellow, just a little sweet. The berry itself has a dense but tender flesh and a handful prove a satisfying meal. Content, you lie back, resting in the fork of a yielding branch. Your eyes grow heavy, and that suits you just fine. Could there be any more inviting a bed?

You dream vivid scenes of bizarre events, in which your body grows less coherent, more diffuse. You become a creature of ever less certain nature, pulled this way and that by vast creative forces, dispersing out across the void, at last universal.

You awake to a complete absence of sound and texture. No bird chirrups, no leaves move. You feel weighed down, and cold. You start in shock as you realise a thick fall of fresh snow covers you and all the branches of the tree around. These are now naked of leaves and berries and a bleak forest spreads under the low sky, the ground far below.

Shivering, you lift yourself, the snow slipping off in clumps and vanishing in among the flakes, breaking up as it falls to the white expanse of the forest floor. The wind blows icy in your face. You start back along the branch to the trunk, and from there clamber down to the ground, muscles aching and teeth chattering. No paths are to be seen.

Seek a hollow among the roots of the tree    Blog One
Strike out into the forest    Blog One   Blog Two

Monday, 14 March 2011

I like pi too

Something for today. Far too late though - it really should have been posted at 3:14 pm.

All you need to use it is here, except the rest of the deck so far, which is here. We're up to 16 now, passing a likely magic number for the pdf, but there'll be another along.

A geomorph too. I've never seen one with such a large circular room that I remember, and the columns ought to make it even more fun. I still have no firm idea of the correct proportions so I'd be grateful for any guidance. If you're looking for a pattern, there are three rings, represented by what could be thought of as points, in one room, and with four central, but after that it definitely breaks down.


Mat - surprise - alert

You reach down to lift the mat and are surprised to find it warm to the touch. Before you can quite take this in, the mat lets out a low growl and twists to snap at your hand, and with a deep huff blows dust, leaf fragments and bristles up into your face. You pull away, eyes stinging; it slips under the door. The voice inside falls quiet. Footsteps approach.

Stand firm and prepare to be discovered   Blog One    Blog Two
Escape back along the tunnel   Blog One    Blog Two

Pink, blue

With the 'hot elf chick' everywhere recently, even this week's EXPANDERS!, more on gender in gaming and other interests. It's the subject of some current or recent posts.

Greg Christopher at Errant has thoughts on magic as an equaliser in games.

Loquacious at World of Wonder looks at women as players, here first, then here.

Juliette Wade at TalkToYoUniverse has a major post on contemporary culture with the title "The Cultural Question of Girls and Princesses, Boys and Battles". This is one that's well worth reading right the way through and mulling over long.

The latest follower here has the name Mary. Not enough battles at the Expanse? If you're reading this, Mary, it's good to have you onboard too. There's no personal site link in your pop-up so please drop me a line or leave a comment here. This is often the case, and finding a new arrival can involve a lot of detective work or plain good luck. Anyone with the same trouble might like to read this post at The Angry Lurker.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bridge - trail - shadow

You approach the bridge, on the other side of which the overgrown trail runs up a slope back into the woods. You see the stone is fresh-cut, but that lichen and trailing plants have already begun to cover the surfaces. The wildflowers grow up to and even on it.

Then you notice a thing out of place.

Along a flank of the bridge, for the short distance down to the water, plants are crushed, forming a narrow track. The ground there is unmarked by the hoofprints of the creatures in the meadow. Right by the stream, the arch of the bridge creates a dark space.

Cross the bridge and follow the trail into the woods   Blog One   Blog Two   Blog Three
Step down the track to look into the dark space   Blog One   Blog Two
Turn back to explore along the stream   Blog One   Blog Two
Return to the oak   Blog One    Blog Two


The time has come for this week's EXPANDERS!

What's going on?

Every week, at around 15:00 GMT on a Sunday, I'll post a single word of inspiration. The challenge?

Expand that word into a 15-word story.

One word for every character in 'Porky's Expanse!' Your story can be on any subject and in any genre or style you like, dead funny or deadly serious.

Hole - pipes - void - energy - tunnel

You walk along the narrow bank against the course of the stream, through clumps of reeds, disturbing small winged and snouted creatures. They flap and scurry, drop into the water. A wild place. In all the history of the world has any other trod this path?

The wildflowers suddenly fall away and a great hole looms. Clumps of earth lie all about, the ground burst upwards. What is this? A thin fountain spurts from within, trickling into the stream, the source of the oil.

You step cautiously up to the edge and peer over. The earth pit is criss-crossed with broken pipes, and liquids drop away and down, splaying, vanishing, into a deep void.

And there - in the endless dark - stars!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Scrapes (3) - Developing devices

More cool rules ideas, with something for almost everyone this time. A quick recap.

In the first we had horrific injury ideas from Tales from the Maelstrom, for wargames and 40K especially, with new counters from me too. More Maelstrom house rules here.

In the second, we had Ork fungus brew from Digital Waaagh!, also for 40K, and a set of numbered counters useful for remembering D6 results.

Today magic items and high technologies, bringing together excellent ideas from five different blogs and some of my own thoughts on expansion.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Deep thought Friday

More deep thinking for a Friday. The four past ponders are here, here, here and here. James S has joined Jennie with a later comment at the second so you might want to look at that too.

I think therefore I am.   René Descartes

This is arguable based on what we understand by the verb 'be'. But how far could the notion 'be' be a useful device and thought a self-sustaining thing, a closed loop willing itself into existence?

Hot elfin Chico

Not a hot elf chick, the sprightly Chico Marx, and he's really on fire in this clip.

What am I going on about?

The OSR blogs have a dastardly plan to attract attention - post a 'hot elf chick' or the like to lure a crowd. I've realised that might not bring the Marx Brothers' demographic.

Anyway, Johnathan at Ostensible Cat has a good intro, to the plan and the OSR. The blogrolls in the left-hand column here are a possible starting point for OSR links.

The OSR - Ossification, Strangeness and Rogues or Our Satisfying Rejuvenation?

Chico then, at the piano, with Harpo conducting. Keep watching for the wizardry.

Chico plays "On the Beach at Bali-Bali" and Harpo on the piano Rachmaninoff's prelude in C sharp minor, a 'Fantasy Piece'. The safe and dry among us might see more in it all on a day like today, and think - at the very least - of those around the world who are not.

Blogging our adventures (1)

The online adventure project is going strong.

We now have nine 26 scenes in five 10 or more locations spread over four five blogs, Lunching on Lamias, ArmChairGeneral, Nine Worlds, Ten Thousand Things, Warpstone Flux and the Expanse. It all starts here.

This is a quick summary for present and future participants of what's happening at the moment.

If you want to get involved, it's easy - all you need to know to get going is at the bottom of this post.

dʒ is for Dune, Jokaero...

How might Dune have inspired GW? Warp Signal has that post up now, along with a working definition of science fantasy. To explore one of the key themes of the novels - free will - try the latest instalment of the Spinoza series I mentioned here.

On the subject of early GW, the Jokaero are back! Tabletop Fix has an image of what is likely to be a choice from the Grey Knight codex. Do I want to know more about this! All Things Fett recently spotted a possible alternative model, good for variety.

Update: The Veil's Edge has just posted a look at the Jokaero in the 40K universe.

Update: Tales from the Maelstrom has a classic Jokaero mini painted up too, good
             for more variety if you can find one; BoLS is saying here it's a 1985 release.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Message - life - hollow

You listen, and while no specific words can be made out, there is urgency in the tone. The sound is metallic, but rough, like riverwater falling. You realise the voices seem not to wait for a response, and as the seconds pass that the message is repeating.

Repeating, once... twice... thrice...

What is this?

A rising fear clutches and you stumble back over an upraised root and fall, rolling into a depression among the woody arches and ferns.

The earth is soft, formed of leaf matter rotted down over so many seasons of growth and dormancy. Shoots grow through, born of the last fall of acorns. The sense of life flowing through this place encourages you, gives you strength. That thrum is there in the root at your back. A direct link to the barrier against the void.

You too will return to the soil, to be born again. But not now, and maybe not today.

You stand, and as you rise you become aware of how far the ground still drops, into a hollow almost beneath the tree itself. Above the voices urge still from the trunk.

Question the voices  Blog One       Investigate the hollow  Blog One  Blog Two
Agree to help  Blog One                Go down the hill  Blog One  Blog Two
Refuse aid  Blog One  Blog Two        Go up  Blog One  Blog Two


Is it a dread? Is it a knight? Well, ...

My thoughts on the complaining about GW's new dreadknight are sketched out here. As I wrote at Brent's, "For me there's much less to argue with in that model than we'd been led to expect." As ever, the calm reassessment and acceptance has begun.

But here's an angle I've not seen picked up on yet. Count the 'classic' tropes in this vid.

This is Krang, in case anyone is wondering. Well done if you are!

Wildflowers - stream - oil

You brush through the flowers guided by the glinting on the water and burbling. The thud of hooves fades and weaving petals give way to the reeds along the narrow bank.

Fresh water. Looks cool and soft. You kneel, to cup a little and splash your face and arms, but stop mid-stretch. A thin sheen coats the surface. Oil of some kind.

You look upstream, where the course curves out of sight into the meadow. It's more or less where you've come from. Your gaze returns to the water.

Taste a little water   Blog One  Blog Two
Investigate upstream   Blog One  Blog Two
Cross the bridge   Blog One   Blog Two   Blog Three 
Return to the oak   Blog One   Blog Two


To LinkWithin or not?

Thanks largely to a post by Dave at Wargaming Tradecraft, I'm trying out LinkWithin. This is the widget now bringing up a group of images and/or links under every post.

It's a good way of highlighting old and possibly related material, but it's very intrusive too, and dominates many of the shorter posts. I also think it distracts from the posts needing more imagination or concentration. It pushes the comments further down as well.

I'll give it time, but I'm very interested in your thoughts on it.

Flash Fearsday

More weekly flash fiction, just because I'm infatuated. I'll go with exactly 140 characters, counting line breaks as one. It's a popular number, the total in a tweet. There's not a lot of room for manoeuvre in there, but that's what makes it fun. Here's a strange tale...

Dripping echoes in the rooms and corridors. But look - no water falls!
Of course not.
With the world dry these past millennia...

A haunted tap? But who's the narrator? Where are we - and who are we, or what?

Does it get even a slight shiver? Or a nervous look at a water source? Carry it on if you like, EXPANDERS!-style; improve, answer, discuss, or just shake your head in silence.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Notch - oak - roots - fork

A fresh notch stands out in the etched bark of the oak; an ancient tree. It rises above.

The clearing is run through with its arched roots, the hollows between filled with ferns.

How deep those roots must go...

So deep you sense an energy rising from the base of the world. A soft, distant thrum...

You are weary, but a desire to strike out wells up, washes over you. There are two paths you can go by. One leads up towards the canopy, the other down, into a fold in the land.

What do you do?

Go up  Blog One  Blog Two  Blog Three  Blog Four
Go down  Blog One Blog Two
Rest awhile  Blog One  Blog Two

Blog your own adventure?

Has anyone ever heard of a blog being used as a Choose Your Own Adventure-style gamebook? Something along the lines of TSR's Endless Quest series. A 'gameblog'.

It could be done of course, with the choices leading to different posts instead of pages. It might be best built up as a closed blog and made public when finished, in that it wouldn't be much fun as a reader to have to wait for the right post for days or even weeks. That said, because editing past posts is possible, a short adventure could be put up and developed with parallel routes or extra locations over time.

Adding in the combat elements of Fighting Fantasy would be simple too, and could even be done with gadgets. The linked narratives of the Lone Wolf series could be recreated by linking blogs. In fact, a project like this could span many blogs, with characters able to leave one narrative and join another when the opening comes.

Interesting idea, right?

Update: It's well underway now and the starting point is here.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Fundamental laws of a fictional universe (8)

This one is right for the recent challenge and changes. We can do it all ourselves.

All you need to use this is here, along with links to the others. I've looked at putting them into a pdf as suggested. This makes 15 and that might be the magic number.

Update: Maybe, but there's now another card, here, in a post outside the series.

Triffles (15) - An abandoned space

The last Triffle picked up a 'Say again?' response in the status bar at base of the post so it seems worth clarifying what's going on. The idea with the series is to present simple ideas for wargaming, roleplaying and writing. It's for anyone wanting familiar, comfortable concepts in a practical form, or a reminder of what's tired enough to need improving on.

This one builds on the announcement in the last, assuming it did mean danger.

                                           items discarded /
                                          activities unfinished


an abandoned space

/             \

a straggler /                        a roving / active 
resident                                    threat      

In general lots of questions. What's the location? Is it large or small, open or restricted, indoors or out? What happened, and how long ago? If recently, where is everyone? If in the deeper past, how has the space changed over time? Think dust, collapse, fungus.

With the possible items discarded / activities unfinished, this seems to lend itself to a characterful terrain piece, and it might be possible to include it on a geomorph, especially if the items remaining are large, like stores, vehicles or strange devices.

In terms of game rules, a roving / active threat is easily managed, and many systems allow for this. In creating a narrative we might want to know whether or not this is related directly to the abandonment, as a cause or a consequence, and what brings it into play.

The greatest challenge for all is likely to come with a straggler / resident.

Here in wargaming there's that usual issue of the rules being a blunt tool, and limited scope for interacting except through combat. A potentially traumatised survivor or isolated inhabitant may not trust armed new arrivals. In purely practical terms, the meeting could lead to a die roll - based inversely on the strength, size or armament to represent the need for tenderness - which if successful reveals traps or deployments.

In roleplaying a DM / GM can manage this kind of situation at a far finer level of detail and with more sensitivity, running a dialogue and better considering the responses. In writing of course we have greatest freedom to explore events, thoughts and feelings.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Quiet as the grave

My entry for what would have been this week's Microfiction Monday at Stony River; the photographic inspiration is at the bottom of the post. Unfortunately, Microfiction Monday may finally have passed away this week, a sad thing indeed if so.

Death and new life is the theme with this tale. I've picked up on the age of the image in the frame, and the books it's propped up against. Again, it's exactly 140 characters.

Not only did it keep down costs, and volume; employing the dead as librarians made work for the living - whole sections had to be rewritten.

If you're arriving from Stony River, feel free to try this week's EXPANDERS! It's a similar challenge, but with 15 words, one of them given, and a chance to form longer narratives.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


I'm sick of the complaining. Yes, there are plenty of tired ideas out there and hard sales techniques. Why is it so hard to challenge them constructively, or challenge ourselves?

If you don't like what a particular producer is doing, don't buy the products and services. If you think it's so bad no one else should be buying it either don't give them publicity. Be positive and point to alternatives. If you can produce something better, do it. 

I'll support you.

I'll link to your idea to help give it maximum exposure. I'll review it too. I'll try to show what it is in itself, what it has that's fresh. I'll even rearrange this blog to give it and other works like it pride of place. This goes for everyone, whether games designers, writers or sculptors, anyone at all creating. Just comment here or email me.

Everyone knows the kind of producer being talking about. They're the subject of chains of rants criss-crossing the blogosphere. To my mind we need to get to a point where every unit of every currency spent on the hobby is spent on small teams and individuals like you, with no dividend siphoned off to pay shareholders who take little risk and do little work, or packages for a board of executives who can add little value I see beyond maybe tightening the grip on minds and pockets the company already has.

Yes, a monopoly can innovate. But I'd prefer a wider choice than that. Much wider.

People like Gygax and Kaye had to struggle to find the funding. The creative people of today don't. We have a well-developed network here, and easy means of publishing. Overheads are almost zero. Time and energy will do it. Again, I can help out and so can many others. We can help a constellation of successful small studios grow right now. Just people with passion using a talent to support themselves, family, community and interests. The hardest thing to shake is the bizarre feeling good work should be free.

If this is your dream too, don't wait. We're stagnating here.


We're revolting. I mostly agree, but 'our' tone does seem a little righteous. Is it satire? Just in case it's not, here's some. A light prod at 'us', aimed at widening the field of view.

Users of Ringtones & Ramblings cell phones are today up in arms after parent company MoboPhono apparently withdrew technical support for older models. The company was accused of wanting to make sales.
'No freaking way!' said one long-term user. Others hurried to agree.
'I'm the proud owner of a second generation handset. Second generation, and by my definition even. Out of six, mind (leaving out the founders).'
'It may be square and clunky - and who knows what it's doing to my brain - but I accept no imitation. Call me backward-looking. Or rather don't, because simpler devices of a similar type just aren't the same.'
'If that MoboPhono thinks it's getting even a dollar out of me for the development of the next world-changing technology, well... who knows?'
'Man, I use R&R to talk to my friends! Mine! ...wait... Ours! In fact, we are R&R! Stop scratching off that logo! That's our logo now.'

Easy. Like walking into a dungeon, killing 'monsters' and making off with their valuables. Who says the hobby is a bad influence? Because, well, we imagined those valuables.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Deep thought Friday

Normal service resumes then after last week's relatively earthbound subject. Of course, if you do want to go back a fortnight to respond to Jennie, there's nothing at all to stop you.

Here's this week's though, in the form of two related questions. Have a go at one or both.

Do we have any terms for things which just don't exist? Switching that round, are there things which exist we just don't have any terms for?

Character building

Another day, another discursive Bell of Lost Souls discussion. This time a good post by Just_Me on creating new characters in 40K runs into roleplaying - not as regular a theme as the past two days would suggest - old sourcebooks, Dune and geopolitics.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Triffles (14) - A public meeting

An omen would presumably cause a stir, and a hasty gathering of the community.

speculation /                                      
rumours spreading                                       


a public meeting

/             \

         dissenting                         a shock            
        voices                       announcement  

This is arguably less suitable for use in a wargame than many Triffles, but it could be incorporated directly into the tabletop action, especially in a skirmish game, with discussions taking place as factions move in or battle around. In that sense the shock announcement could be an announcement of this fact. Interacting with terrified innocents would then be an issue, and that's a difficult subject even beyond the details of simulation. It's another I hope to cover in the 'Getting out of the boat' series, at least.

In roleplaying this is a good initial event setting up the adventure, but it could be the characters themselves later on who are responsible for the rumours or who have the shock announcement to make.

In roleplaying and writing there's potential here for complex interactions between and within the crowd and leading figures, and on the fringes, perhaps barely perceptible. The key is what characters and readers know, and the way the story is moved on through the hints given. With the numbers, diversity and mixing likely at such a meeting, it's an opportunity to open new avenues in a more natural way, even without an announcement.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Don't forget tomorrow is Old Stuff Day, as begun by Warhammer 39,999. I'm guessing bloggers of all interests could get in on this too if they wanted. The idea is to present classic posts from a blog's past for a new or grown audience, and as a reader visit older posts in the dusty depths of a blog. Thanks to Creative Twilight for reminding me.

On reminders, there's a request up at The Book of Worlds for entries for a new banner and another at Creepy Corridor for a logo for The Far Side gaming group. Any artists, i.e. most of us, might want to try their hand and have their work take pride of place.

Don't forget too there's a sci-fi gaming board being raffled off at A Gentleman's Ones, a set of rooms and corridors of The Sin of Alacrity, and the closing date is approaching.

Finally, while on the subject of spaceships, not quite a reminder but a friendly request from me to check out C'nor's proposal for adapting Warmachine to space combat. There's a poll up too. I know too little about Warmachine to help, but someone must.

This space is no frontier so feel free to post any other useful reminders you have in the comments. The needs of the one...

Fundamental laws of a fictional universe (7)

Two more fictional universe cards for gaming, these inspired by the last triffle and the exchange with Paul's Bods on spiralling craziness. These still don't go quite far enough for my liking so the 'Getting out of the boat' series will hopefully find space for more.

This time too, see if you can identify the sources of the quotes in the titles.

If you like the idea, some of the previous cards in the series are just as weird or weirder. There are 12 more - two here, two more here, one here, four here, one here and two here. I'm claiming no copyright on any of them. 

All of the supplementary information then, copied, pasted and updated from the last, but also reorganised and expanded with a suggested procedure, after meandmythinkingcap asked about this in the comments to the last.