Spelling & Editing
Inspired by the cover of Gamemaster Philippines, I decided to grab the following definitions off the web.

1: a cavalry unit consisting of two or more troops and headquarters and supporting arms
2: a unit of the US air force larger than a flight and smaller than a group
3: a naval unit that is detached from the fleet for a particular task

1. An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
2. One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp.
3. A wandering beggar; a vagrant.
4. A vicious and solitary animal, especially an elephant that has separated itself from its herd.
5. An organism, especially a plant, that shows an undesirable variation from a standard.
1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado.
3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: “How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?” (Saul Hansell).

1. A red or pink cosmetic for coloring the cheeks or lips.
2. A reddish powder, chiefly ferric oxide, used to polish metals or glass.

Okay. I believe that there's no such game as ROUGE SQUADRON 2, but there probably is a ROGUE SQUADRON 2. Attention, editors... it's on the front cover. Fear not, D&D players have been spelling it incorrectly for years. Along with the "% liar" and "monastic aesthetics" gaffes.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled day.
White Wolf's WOD farewell
Was reading this off Garapata's blog.

The following lines struck me:

Don't doubt it, though, we stand on the shoulders of giants.(*)

Best regards,
Stewart Wieck

Co-founder, White Wolf, Inc.
Co-creator, World of Darkness
Co-designer, Vampire : The Masquerade & Mage: The Ascension

(*) Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson for creating the rpg industry. Greg Stafford, the great shaman himself, and the whole crew of 1980's Chaosium for creating the first art in rpgs. Tracy Hickman for bringing story to the medium.

I love hearing from game designers and their influences. Most authors have something similar to this, but nobody really gets to read that much about it in the game industry. While I'm familiar with Gygax and Arneson, and the work of Stafford.. I'm floored by his mention of Chaosium and Tracy Hickman.

Chaosium did come out with some of the best RPGs in that era. Runequest and Call of Cthulhu and Pendragon come to mind. They also were among the RPGs of that time that placed equal emphasis on art and design and layout for the finished product. The black & white art of the early Cthulhu books (and some of the full collor plates too) were astoundingly beautiful and frightening. I miss my old hardcover Call of Cthulhu book.

Tracy Hickman I'd NEVER thought of. But if he's referring to the Dragonlance modules, where players not only went through a series of tactical obstacles as part of a campaign (as in the G1-3 series involving the Giants and the Drow series of D&D modules) but also became familiar with the motivations and triumphs and tragedies in the unfolding Dragonlance story... it's true. The Dragonlance modules had a real 'meta-plot' that tied them all together...

If this is one of the influences, then World of Darkness really has to end the story... to tie things off and move on to other things... where new stories can be told. We can always re-visit the old World of Darkness. Just hopefully not as badly as some of the Dragonlance novels that came out after the first trilogy.

And now, Dean's rendition of Sturm Brightblade's death foreshadowed:
Dean: [looks meaningfully at Sturm] "ONE OF YOU will die..."
Games vs. Game Lines
This is taken from the article written by Mike Martinez on RPG.net here.

The Benefits of Structure
Take a look at the most popular role-playing games around. Whether they're number-crunching battle-fests like Dungeons & Dragons or angsty, character-driven talkers like Vampire: The Masquerade, they have a similar structure.

No, I'm not talking about dice, or theme-and-mood or whatever. I'm talking about some of the most basic concepts in role-playing. These games - and nearly every game out there - have character options. Classes, clans, tribes, archetypes, careers, whatever you want to call them. These are the things that people have in mind when they read a game and say, "I want to be a...."

Some games have steadfastly refused to force characters into a given mold - take Call of Cthulhu, for example, or the old RuneQuest. In those games, you just created a person, and then chose "career paths" or whatnot during the course of play. It's a much more organic way of developing player characters, I'll grant you, but not very conducive to marketing supplements.

Let's go back to D&D and Vampire, two of the biggest games around. Of course, D&D has classes. And Wizards of the Coast has smartly put out sourcebooks for many of those classes, such as Sword and Fist and Song and Silence. (Not to mention the dozens of class-based d20 System supplements out there from other publishers.) And then there are race books, magic supplements, etc.

Of course, fans of White Wolf's games scoff at such silliness as class...then go and choose from among 13 clans...or 13 tribes, nine traditions (and five technocratic conventions), and a variety of guilds, kiths, dharmas, houses, factions, creeds and amenti. And Vampire, Werewolf and Mage had not one, but two splatbooks for each clan, tribe and tradition - first/second edition and the revised edition. Wow. Hats off to the marketing folks

The point to all this is that RPG systems are designed to help players flesh out their characters through pre-set stereotypes, whether they be classes, clans, careers or karmic duties. Each of these options, as presented in your average core book, takes up a few pages. Quite naturally, players love more information on their particular character...it helps them develop their characters into well-rounded personalities as the player explores how their individual PC is different or similar to their average colleagues.

And, thus, these are great opportunities for supplements.

I'd never thought about it, but it's true. White Wolf did scoff at "classes" and then created something very similar. It's not the same as the old D&D classes, which really restricted you / penalized you when you multi-classed. In fact, D20 has actually re-tooled their classes to make it more like White Wolf's classes... er, templates, clans, archetypes, whatever....
Less hair makes your head cold. Bought a beanie and a cap to keep it warm. Lost 'em both.

Head cold again.

Found cap, head warm.

I miss having more hair on my head. I also miss not having to shave, but that's another story.
Hellstrom's Hive
The Dosadi Experiment
The White Plague
What do all these stories have in common? If you don't know... you can find out using the new Google thingy in the left sidebar.

For my darling K8:
<-- LEFT
Despair in the Zero Hour
I just realized that perhaps the reason not many folks are volunteering to help out with the New Worlds event from AEGIS is because they believe that it's only restricted to the GM work (of which we have a limited amount anyway).

1) I've posted another e-mail regarding the general nature of volunteering to man the booth, to set up, to decorate it, etc...
2) I'll be coordinating with Wu Jien for the Tourney event...
3) I'll be trying to find some non-list people to help out.

Ah, buhay.
Saw the site mentioned in a friend's blog with the erroneously spelled "Isenguard". It's here for the curious and outraged.

Excellent film! Was a bit bugged by some of the special effects in Mount Doom that could've been fixed before the final print came out... but it was excellent overall.