Monday, July 30, 2012

D&D Next Actual Play: Session 2

So this is an odd session with a surprise ending! It is full of bizarre things I would have never done in a D&D game, but hey, that's why we don't pre-plan our sessions, right? So we can be surprised? Anyway, moving on.

The Cast:
Kris as Dungeon Master!
Daniel as Boris Borisovich Berezovsky, the Dwarf Fighter out looking for a purpose!
Kenny as Kovus the Human Cleric of Pelor, out to destroy the great evil lurking in the Caves of Chaos!
and me, Ego, as Calder the Elf Wizard, out to obtain the Megatome!

So yeah, we picked up from last time, when we killed an owlbear. We'd left the unconscious (but stable!) Boris a couple cambers back so we could chase the owlbear last time, and when we got back to him this time we found a trio of gnolls looting his not-quite-a-corpse! This was an issue. We acted as fast as we could, and managed to kill the one holding Boris's ancestral axe (also named Boris), but the others got away with all of his gold. We hadn't gotten much at this point anyway, so okay.
We wandered for a tiny bit but decided we ought to rest. We made camp, and while doing so Kenny realized that Kovus has Herbalist - now, we're all ~19 year olds, so it goes without saying that we made drugs with Herbalist and smoked them using the owlbear skull as a bong. Welp.

When our characters came to, we were in a cage with a couple of gnolls looking in at us. Turns out that while super-high, we invented the TV, the electric guitar, started a band (Infinite Rape. We're not restricted to any particular genre, and this was mostly an excuse by Kenny to make a million rape jokes as song titles or lyrics throughout the night. Insensitive, but hilarious), released two albums, and became a best seller to the gnolls. No, I'm not quite sure how it happened, but they decided that since they're such great fans they're NOT gonna eat us, and instead the Gnoll King wanted to meet with us!
So we go, and meet with him. Long protracted conversation, but the gist of it was: "We don't actually like our orc allies. If we prove ourselves loyal to the gnolls by freeing some of their people from an orc encampment where they've been captured, and then help us storm the orc fortress, not only will we not eat you, but we'll also give you the Dark Stone that the Orc King is using on the end of his scepter!"
Quest hook if I've ever seen one. Time to infiltrate an orc encampment!

Yeah, not so much infiltrate. We tried, we really did. Then I fucked up a check (the FINAL check we would have needed to get inside quietly even!) and we were being chased. Managed to hide ourselves and starting exploring this place. It was a big cavern, with passages going out to all sides. We got ourselves over to one of them and we started down a bit, sending Kovus ahead to scout. He'd figured out the end of this passage is a barracks when he blew a roll. Now he's being chased by a large horde of orcs, but the barracks are now effectively unguarded. Because he's SO LOUD, I left Boris back in the passage and infiltrated the barracks.
Meanwhile, Kovus is being chased by orcs all over the place. He passes through the central chamber and into a passage on the opposite side, where he's cased down a mine passage. It's only one-person wide most of the time, but he ducks off to the side and jumps to a safe platform where the orcs would just pass him by. Or, he would if he could make Strength checks worth a damn. He slipped and is grasping for his life - Strength check to pull himself back up. His 8 Strength does exactly what it's supposed to: fails him. Kersplat. Very low health Kovus, lying at the bottom of a pit.
Boris, having seen all the ruckus, went back to try and help out Kovus, following down the shaft. He evaded the orcs, and let down a rope to pull him up, and succeeded! Kovus cured himself (out of spells now!) and they essentially just tuck off to the side and start writing poetry and song lyrics. Boris's poems consist almost entirely of the word Boris - a cunning linguist he ain't. For being all about rape though Kenny's songs aren't half bad.
And back to me, I'm searching the barracks. Going downstairs, by some manner of fortune I find the prison! Full of all sorts of folks. I find the gnolls and talk to them and convince them not to eat me, and I let them out. They then proceed to devour and slaughter everyone else in the room other than me. We get out and sneak around, looking for Kovus and Boris. Seeing the evidence of all the ruckus moving toward the mines, I went and checked 'em out and found them and we snuck out of the camp (after a last-ditch failed attempt to poison the food supply as we left).
Oh yeah, if I didn't mention it, the characterization for the orcs in general was that they were black gangsta frat guys. They're into rap, and Infinite Rape totally doesn't do rap (except for on The Rape Rap, but that's just the one song).

So we get back, and rest up, and invade the orc fortress! Since the whole gnoll faction mobilized we didn't have much of a hard time getting straight to the Orc King with the Gnoll King at our side. Now, he was brilliant, so the Gnoll King announced himself, charged directly at the Orc King and was promptly cut down. His retinue joined in as we started the fight. It was wild and violent, but guess how it ends?

Yup. He killed us.

WIZARDS, THIS IS PLAYTEST FEEDBACK RIGHT HERE. Okay, so we did some talking and thinking afterwards. First, we tried to decipher the problem (TPK should never be the result in my opinion, unless extremely warranted dramatically by the specific situation). Here's what we came up with for options:
* The Orc King is overpowered. An option, easily verified by looking at others' playtests.
* The encounter overall was overpowered. 3 orcs and the king versus our PCs could have been too much. Even if it wasn't, you NEED to include some sort of guideline for the power level of the creatures or how many makes a reasonable encounter. Kris says he DID intend this as "Difficult, but winnable," not the sort of encounter you run from. You cannot assume we are only going to play your pre-planned adventure, even for the playtest. We tried - it was lame. I can't run pre-written adventures, and Kris doesn't like it either.
* Our rolls were shitty and his were great. This is definitely not impossible. Explore the possibility that the others are true first though.

So, what do we do from here? Well, we have a couple options. Option 1: Our characters are dead, moving on. Option 2: Our characters are unconscious, but the Orc King didn't out and out kill us for some reason. Loss is only a set-back. Option 3: As Option 2, but we play a different game next session as an intermission.
Option 2 or 3 are most likely. Kris has expressed interest in running Lady Blackbird for us (an idea I hugely support since I've never had a chance to play it myself, just ran it twice), so we might hold back on continuing these fellas' stories until after we do that.

So yeah. TPK. First time that's ever happened to us for real. How exciting.

Anyway, a quick update on other things. I know I've slowed down on the posts a bit, sorry about that. Been doing a LOT of gaming the past few days, but nothing new. My laptop's battery fried, so I'm waiting on a new one, so I can't bring my computer around easily, which sucks and is limiting where and when I can write. I have a set of Rapid-Fire Reviews I'm saving for a slow day, I'm working on a Dark Knight Rises review, and I've been doing a LOT of Apocalypse World stuff for fun so I might post more about that. Also, Kris is currently out of town, so we can't do too much gaming for the next little bit. He'll be back this weekend I think, but since he can't game during the week it'll be a bit longer till we game again. Considering starting an Apocalypse World thing with just me, Dan, and Kenny - Kris has made the comment that it's really not his thing anyway, so maybe. Ideas.

Later folks.
End Recording,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Apocalypse World: The Boy and His Dog Playbook Tri-Fold

Okay, so this is kinda out of the blue I guess. If you're not familiar with the tabletop RPG Apocalypse World, become so HERE. It's a great RPG that, while I haven't ever played it straight, I've played at least 3 of its derivatives - one of which is the also wildly successful Dungeon World! It's a great game, and has a cool thing. Okay, so Character Classes are handled as Playbooks, a self-contained pair of pages that serve as a character sheet for members of that class. There are, I dunno, a bunch that come with the game default. There are ALSO a bunch of Limited Edition ones that to get from the creator you had to do certain things (contribute to his friend's kickstarter for one, buy the game at a con for another, etc). There are 6 of those. People have also made their own custom playbooks, supplements, and hacks.
The cool thing is that the community is encouraged to NOT just share these! Instead, we're supposed to trade with people and BARTER for them (a cool thing that brings some of the game's post-apoc flavor into the real world).
Now, I have quite a few. I have all the LE ones and a bunch of custom ones, as well as the LE and several custom Monsterhearts ones (since that game's in on the action now too with its Skins). One, however, has been incredibly elusive: The Boy And His Dog. This playbook, created by dragonraven of the official game's forums (Barf Forth Apocalyptica), was forum-posted but no one seems to be able to find the legal tri-fold with art and everything.

So I made it.

I took (I believe) Johnstone's NOT Johnstone, the best I can call him is d7 I guess, ask me if you want to know more about the template and stuff, anyway so I took d7's Scribus template and dragonraven's content, built 'em together, formatted everything in GIMP, and then went and took a stock image from deviantart (link!) and manipulated it into the art style of the game.
So really the only things I did was modify the image and put together all these disparate elements. However, that's not gonna keep me from putting it up for barter! The barter is non-standard though.
So here's the rule: If you want one of these suckers, comment here on the blog (if you don't get an answer, comment on a more recent post that this is what you're talking about and I'll work it out with you) with the playbooks and skins and stuff you have (or any other cool stuff you made or have that you think is worth the trade). If you have something I need, you send me that and I send you this. HOWEVER, in the spirit of paying forward some Kindness bestowed upon me, if you show me what you've got and DON'T have anything I need, you can have it anyway as long as you promise to pay the Kindness forward yourself!

So of course this isn't official or anything - I'm not dragonraven. The font isn't perfectly sized, scale it up too much and it looks kinda blurry (though it stands up better than the first draft) and there isn't a Barter section since dragonraven never finished that. This is all for coolness and putting a desperately wanted piece of Apocalypse out into circulation.

Want a preview? Sure. I'm proud of the way the art came out (took a few shots) so you can see it before you buy!
Cheers, hope someone like it enough to take up the offer!

(also, D&D Next session 2 AP upcoming soon, as well as more Rapid-Fire Reviews)
End Recording,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rapid-Fire Movie Review Catch-up (MiB3, Snow White, Prometheus)

So hey there! Been a few days. It seems that my last post had some good traction - Johnstone tossed it up on Story Games and Watergoesred did his own spin on it (linked in the spirit of community! His spiniphants are cool!). As such, with the views coming in at a decent enough click I figured I'd let it calm down and let people see that before covering it up with the next things.
A couple things have happened since then. 1) I saw The Dark Knight Rises last night, it's fucking fantastic. 2) I played session 2 of D&D Next! It was less utterly revolting, but no less bizarre. 3) I made a couple indie game poster-like image things, they're pretty cool. I'll be sharing soon enough, I swear.
On the serial side of things, I should take Midsummer Songaday off the banner (I'll miss ya!). Art of the Pantheon has hit the stumbling point I expected it to: I'm not bored. Seriously, it's summer, I have stuff I can do. 80% of the actual drawing happened because I was bored in or between classes - I suspect content will speed up again when I get back in class in the beginning of September. Stars Without Number is definitely going to start being a serial thing I think, but not quite yet. If you've got any good ideas for regular column stuff, pitch it, I'm looking for something (since these serial things have a habit of drawing consistent views).

Okay, I'll be honest. I haven't JUST been holding my content because of the Metamorphica aliens, though that has been a factor. No, I've spent the past, I dunno, 4 days doing almost nothing but reading webcomics. In four days, I've read every webcomic David Willis has online - that's Dumbing of Age, Shortpacked!, and Roomies/It's Walky/Joyce and Walky. It is amazing and I'm hooked on them. I've read 22 years of comics in the past couple of days., I don't have a social life. Why do you ask?

Oh, and I got my driver's license! Almost 19, but hey, better late than never. I don't actually like driving, but it's nice to be able to actually do it on my own.
I HAVE been writing though! I'm working on fixing my immense backlog of things I should have done. Essentially, the gist of the idea is that I'm gonna do a few of these Rapid-Fire posts where I take something I'd normally do a whole post for and do several abbreviated reviews within a single post. Today, I catch up on movies! I saw Men in Black III, Snow White & The Huntsman, and Prometheus, and never reviewed them. Admittedly, I've also no seen The Dark Knight Rises, but I hope to have the motivation to give it its own post (if I don't in a while, it's a 9.5/10, maybe even a 10/10, we'll see. Worth seeing without hesitation).

Men in Black III
Okay, so MiB3. This was a movie that I was worried about. It's been quite a bit since the last one, and the mishandled regeneration of a franchise can do a lot more harm than good.
Thankfully, that was not the case.
This is a good movie. It was pretty much just the right length, and had some great lore of aliens in our world, and best of all it was FUNNY. I was expecting the humor to be a lot more basic than it was. Hand in hand with that, it demonstrated something that could easily be a death sentence otherwise - an awareness of pop culture. J talked about things in it of course, but did so tactfully and without pushing the issue of "hey look we're right there with you!" Moreover, there was a lot of attention paid to the details of all the scenes. One moment I recall particularly vividly was a moment early on, where J walks into the Men in Black HQ and is walkign through the main floor, and the director is giving us this panning establishment shot of him walking, and up on several monitors are some pictures of some aliens that are of note to the MiB, and they're flipping through a couple aliens as the shot continues, and one of the pictures was Lady Gaga. That just makes me laugh, and it makes me proud of the movie-makers for having such a subtle little joke that so many people are going to miss but they don't want to push it and blow the coolness.
Of course, it's not perfect. The plot can be a little predictable, and some of the writing feels slightly dated, like one of the other movies, but it's worth it overall.
Grade: 8/10, B+. If you want silly sci-fi, or a good laugh, or Will Smith, you've got your movie right here.

Snow White & The Huntsman
Yeah, this one did not live up. I was looking forward to a darker look at Snow White, and it just did not live up. It ended up almost silly at times, it was super-linear and the trailers were very misleading. The visuals were pretty great, but that's really the high point. Actually the music was decent too, so I guess there's that. Essentially, this is a mid-level title that was given very high production value and called a triple-A title. The acting was mediocre, minus Charlize Theron who was excellent.
Grade: 6/10. One of the few times recently I've wound up disappointed (I expected Dark Shadows to be mediocre so I wasn't really disappointed there, just given what I thought was coming). Watch it if it comes to TV, maybe even pay-per-view it, but I wouldn't rent the DVD.

Back on a high note! I liked it. Quite a bit. It was great sci-fi, which was what I was hoping for, and it left a lot of little mysteries while answering the more pressing questions. It's up to you whether you like some of the ways it mirrors alien - Noomi Rapace even wound up LOOKING like Weaver a couple times (mostly when her hair was wet). Mostly very exciting, raised a lot of interesting ideas, and its extremely loose link into the Alien franchise was excellent.
Two issues, one minor, one major. The minor one is the prequel effect. The tech in Prometheus appears far beyond anything we saw in Alien or Aliens, which is strange chronologically. However, this is to be expected - essentially, you just have to suspend disbelief and imagine that this is what Alien was intended to look like all along and it just didn't have the technology to show that then.
The major one is tied to its horror tag. It...wasn't incredibly scary. Had a few jump scares, TRIED to be generally creepy and succeeded there, but was never really all that SCARY. I applaud the effort though - I admit that I'm very hard to satisfy with horror, you have to hit the perfect note for me to like it. In general, horror is NOT my genre, I was just hoping this could challenge Alien (one of the few movies to truly hit a scary vibe in my opinion), and it didn't live up to that point.
Overall though that's not that big of a transgression, and a lot of others would disagree.
Grade: 8/10, 9/10 for huge sci-fi fans like me.

Hope that helps anyone! Other Rapid-Fire posts coming are Game Reviews, Fiasco, and Go Play NW. Cheers!

End Recording,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Building an Alien with the Metamorphica!

Alright now, time to make some aliens! Like I mentioned when I talked about The Metamorphica, I've been using that book to create some really cool alien species for my Stars Without Number sector, The Shattered Nexus. However, I haven't concretely placed any of those species into the worlds yet so I figured instead I'd walk through a creation process for a post!

Okay, so I've got a few files open on my computer right now. Three are essential, the others are reference.
1) This file that I'm writing in, obviously. If you're curious, it's a Notepad .txt in my case.
2) The Metamorphica, of course. this is the star of the show.
3) Firefox, on the Wizards of the Coast dice roller page. This page, at "" is really helpful actually. While a lot of dice rollers may have a wide range of dice to roll, this one actually has a dX where you can define the x (up to 999), allowing you to do some weird rolls. Unfortunately, its randomization software does not appear to be the top of the line, but it's decent.
4/5/6) The Stars Without Number rulebook pdf, my map of my SWN sector, and my written planet index with general descriptions. These are just for reference in case I want something to fit in a bit better and will likely go unused.
For almost all of the time, I have The Metamorphica snapped to the left and Firefox and Notepad carefully positioned to share the right half of the screen.

Now that I'm all set up we can finally start! Let's we'll generate 3 aliens, all of whom share one hex on the Stars Without Number sector map, so they're close but not necessarily on the same planet. Something I do that is not necessarily always true with The Metamorphica is that I build the aliens as a species, whereas I think usually the book intends to be used for individuals (though it definitely allows for species use).

Looking at the Metamorphica, we have Body mutations, sub-split into Form and Function, Mind mutations, sub-split into Behavior and Cognition, and Power mutations, sub-split into Psychic Powers and Supernatural Attributes. The more mutations we give an alien, the further from human it gets.
I like to start by setting a recipe, declaring how many of each type of mutation I'll be rolling. I tend to try to re-use this recipe over several aliens to try to get some semblance of unity. For today, two of my aliens will share a recipe and the third will be different.

For the first two, let's do 1 Form mutation, 2 Body mutations, 2 Mind Mutations, a Supernatural Attribute mutation and an overall Power mutation. Let's throw in one more Mutation from all of them as a wildcard. At the end, I have one re-roll.
For the last one, lets give him 2 Form mutations and 2 Body mutations, a Cognition mutation, 2 Mind mutations, a Psychic Power mutation, 3 overall Power mutations, and 3 wildcard mutations. Two re-rolls. This guy is going to be more creature than person likely.
So, one alien at a time do you think? I'll start tying things together and doing designer-y stuff after a few rolls and I get a picture of where this is going.

1 Form mutation. That's from 1-200, so just a d200 roll.
80: Horns. This mutant has horns or antlers growing out of its head. Roll 1d20 for type of horns or antlers. 19, Two small horns.

2 Body mutations. Body is 1-400. That's d400.
237: Double Jointed. This mutant is able to twist its limbs into surprising positions owing to a superior flexibility.
46: Exotic Genitalia. This mutant's sexual organs include unusual shapes or structures, and may include erectile issue in various places all over the body or in strange locations.
That second one is probably my re-roll. I just don't have any great ideas for what to do with that.

2 Mind mutations. Mind is 401-600. d200+400.
537: Eidetic Memory. This mutant has perfect recall and can peruse its memories like films or photographs.
471: Periodic Amnesia. This mutant is vulnerable to bouts of stress-triggered amnesia.
Oh my, THAT was a coincidence! So I'm thinking that they can perfectly remember everything, but when they're stressed to a certain degree their minds wipe and they start from scratch again. As such, their society has evolved to be extremely pacifistic. They also have warrior guard types, the unlucky caste of their society who stand watch and fight those who would stress the sages. These warriors rarely have much in the way of memory, but this makes them unpredictable and adaptable fighters, like savage barbarians. So far I've seen nothing to say these guys aren't humanoid.

1 Supernatural Attribute, those are 701-1000. d300+700.
896: Possession. This mutant can send its consciousness into the body of another individual, and control them. Roll 1d6 for duration of possession (3, several minutes), roll 16 for original body's state during possession (1, Mutant is distracted but can still sense original body), roll 1d20 for possible targets of possession (13, people only), roll 1d6 for range of initial possession (Target must see mutant), roll 1d8 for speed of possession (2, requires complicated rituals lasting over an hour).
This is a very cool power. It doesn't just transfer the consciousness over, it transfers memories! This is how they share their memories among each other and prevent significant memories from being lost to a single member's stress. They also use this possession to pass combat knowledge onto the elites of their warrior caste.

1 overall Power is 601-1000. d400+600.
720: Arcane Tracking. This mutant can track down any individual, no matter where they are, as long as it possess an object or some item that once belonged to them, or they had contact with.
This is definitely what allows them to track and find their way to ever-greater fountains of knowledge.

The Wildcard is a 1-1000. Because I can't roll that with the roller and I'm not a big fan of 1000 (Zone of Silence) I'll just call it 1-999. As such, d999.
249: Explosive Death. When this mutant dies, it explodes, as do sizeable parts of its body when they are removed.
Hmm, that's a weird one...

Alright, my re-roll is definitelt the exotic genitalia. So just a straight d400 to replace it...
373: Structural Weakness. This mutant's bones and other hard parts are structurally deficient and more prone to breaking and fracturing than usual.
Yeah, I can work with that. These guys were pretty squishy sage-y guys already.

So to summarize:
Two small horns. Double-jointed. Weak structure. Eidetic memory with stress-induced amnesia. Possession, with knowledge transfer. Arcane tracking. Explosive death.
A name for the race. Something sagely. Adrianos! That's what they're called, adrianos, singular adriano. A as in apple, by the way. I got the name from the Story Games Names Project, just flipping through looking for something suitable alien.
The adrianos are a very intelligent race that wishes to live in peace. They appear as humans, with two arms, two legs, and a head, and are approximately as tall. They are entirely hairless as a race, but can instantly be identified by their translucent skin. Instead of seeing muscle underneath though you see orange crackling energy moving in a thin layer just beneath the skin, occasionally flashing in areas or dimming, as the flow of energy would have it. As they speak you can see the flashes of energy within, and it smolders within their pupils. Running back along the head are two small horns, curling about two inches behind the head, and these horns are made of a cartilage-like substance. In fact, the entire skeleton of the adriano is made of it, allowing them a great range of flexibility (to the point of confusing even contortionists) at the expense of their bones being significantly easier to break. When large parts of the adriano are broken off or when it is killed, the energy flowing under the skin rapidly begins to brighten, first to a high orange, then to a yellow, and finally to a blinding white before exploding, showering those nearby with hot plasma and bone shrapnel. The adriano brain has a perfect memory, but significant stress causes the entire memory to wipe, leaving them with nothing.
The adrianos live in a intellocratic government (led by the smartest) with three distinct castes. At the bottom are the warriors. The warriors are those who stres easily and cannot easily hold onto their memories, making them unreliable as one of the general members of society. Their empty minds make them ferocious and unpredictable in battle, and they fight savagely, without fear. They do their absolute best to prevent any discomfort from befalling the general public.
Above them are the scholars, the middle class. They are shielded from worldly stresses, but lack the resources for frequent possession and sharing of memories, leaving them intelligent and sharp but not incredible. It is not uncommon for a scholar to journey out after some knowledge using their tracking ability, surrounded by several warriors to protect them, bringing back the forgotten places and items in their memories for their superiors.
The top caste is the sages. They form the upper echelon of society and embody all the knowledge of the adriano people. They frequently share memories with each other. They do not meet with those from outside their society for fear of stresses.
...did I cover everything? Yeah? Okay, good. Anythng else before moving on to the next? Sure, have a couple potential uses for why this race could be useful.
* Encounter an adriano on a journey with their tracking power. Perhaps the PCs seek the same knowledge - if it's just one thing, maybe they're a rival, if not maybe you team up. Works with any of: Lone scholar who's warriors died, full group, scholar who lost his memories but is still trying to track.
* The information the PCs seek is long-gone from the world except in the minds of the adriano sages. Alternatively, the PCs know or saw something that the adriano sages desperately want to know.

That should be good. Next up!
1 Form mutation, 1-200.
100: Long Legs. This mutant's legs are freakishly long, allowing it to move up to 50 percent faster.
Makes me think of heading in a spidery direction. We'll see how the other rolls go though.

2 Body mutations, 1-400.
48: Extra Eyes. This mutant has more eyes than normal. Roll 1d6 for number of additional eyes: 5, two or three extra eyes.
Very little is being done to stop my spidery sense.
166: Stubby Digits. This mutant has shot and stubby fingers and toes.
Oh, that's weird with long legs. Probably the re-roll. This second body mutation has NOT been lucky.

2 Mind mutations, 401-600.
458: Motherliness. This mutant tends to mother people, making them feel safe and cared for. In its presence, worried, frightened, and irritated people grow calm and contented, especially children.
546: Enhanced Senses. This mutant's brain is able to process sensory information more efficiently than is normal for its species (or humanity in this case). Roll 1d6 for which senses are enhanced: 3, Smell and taste.
Hmm. That's some weird ones.

1 Supernatural Attribute, 701-1000.
795: Elemental Body. This mutant has a body composed of some inorganic or inert substance. Roll 1d6 for change trigger (if any): 1, Elemental body is permanent. Roll 1d20 for type of elemental body: 17, Two elements. Rolling twice more...: 18, 9, so that's Water and Lava.
Holy cow. That's new.

1 Power mutation, 601-1000.
871: Mechanoid. This mutant is partly or completely mechanical. Roll 1d12 for extent of mechanization: 5, Partly mechanical (roll 1d6 times [rolled a 6] on the body part table table; ignore duplicates). I'm going to say that which 6 parts it is varies from individual to individual, but all of them have 6 rolls on that table. Also, roll 1d8 for type of technology: 8, post-industrial, roll 1d10 for type: 8, gravitic.
Woah. This is a place where doing this as a species becomes weird because it's bizarre that they all are mechanical-ish. Also, mech+water/lava creature is odd. Also, gravitic tech? Hmm... I think I can make that work.

1 Wildcard, 1-999.
968: Totem Animal. This mutant has a supernatural link with another animal. Roll on the creature table: 1, Amphibian/Reptile, roll d100: 100, Water Dragon (YES THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED). Roll 1d4 for mutant's ability to communicate with totem: 3, Con communicate normally with totem animal(s). Roll 1d6 for number of creatures mutant is linked with: One particular animal of this type that does not associate with the mutant. Roll 1d4 for powers granted by totem: 2, Mutant can temporarily assume totem animal's abilities by concentrating.

So what's my re-roll? Stubby Digits, for sure. I was thinking maybe Mechanoid for a minute, but everything fell into place. So a Body mutation, 1-400.
291: Infected. I'll say right here, I'm not feeling it. When I decide which slot I'm re-rolling, I typically just keep re-rolling until it's interesting or useful. So again, 1-400.
274: Hollow Bones. I was thinking it had NO bones, so re-roll.
31: Claws. This mutant has claws that can be used as weapons. Roll 1d4 for type of claws: 4, Talons. Perfect.

So to summarize. Long legs, two or three extra eyes, talons, a mechanical and water/lava elemental body, enhanced smell and taste, a motherly aura, and a unique Water Dragon totem animal.
The idea I have is gonna be a lot less fleshed out the adrianos, I don't usually go that in-depth. This race, the, um, lothi (low-thigh, both singular and plural) were originally formed of water and lava - a bizarre chemical imbalance between the two results is the lava being surrounded by water but did not evaporate it, and somewhere in there sentience stirred. It remained immobile for a logn time until one day the great Water Dragon Oros came and found it. Touching its sentience, Oros used his immense intellect to craft a set of machines that used antigravity power to shape the lothi into its own image, a long, serpentine creature but glowing from within in intense heat. It had long legs and sharp claws and many eyes, and the technology allowed it to sense the world. It devoted itself to the totem dragon, and built more of the machines that let its people walk the land and commune. They are kind beasts, devoted to caring for those lesser than it in mimicry of the great kindness Oros did to their species.
The lothi are very powerful, but are benevolent. They make good allies, and in a Stars Without Number game may be a way to establish a new Pre-Tech. In fact, maybe they're being oppressed by others who want their tech. If you want them as villains, cast the PCs in a light that they appear to be causing harm to the species' under the lothi's protection, or to the water dragons. Any interaction with the great Oros will surely put them in your game.
That's probably enough for right now with these guys. They're strange! And I didn't even have that many mutations, it's just hitting the right ones to go crazy.

Remember we gave him 2 Form mutations and 2 Body mutations, a Cognition mutation, 2 Mind mutations, a Psychic Power mutation, 3 overall Power mutations, and 3 wildcard mutations. And two re-rolls. Let's just jump right into this monster!

Form Mutations, 1-200.
164: Strangely-Coloured Skin. This mutant has skin that is patterned in one or more strange colours. Roll on either the basic or extended colour table for each part of the pattern. Roll 1d20 for skin pattern: 19, unreflecting skin (looks black).
69: Fur. This mutant has fur covering all or most of its body. Roll 1d4 type of fur: 3, Short, soft fur.
Both of these are great individually, but since fur would mostly cover the skin I'll probably re-roll one for a more visible one. Probably fur, but it's a tough one.

Body Mutations, 1-400.
88: Internal Weapon. This mutant can produce a weapon from its own body, or transform part of its body into a weapon. The mutant can produce a single weapon, or one weapon per limb. These weapons can be hidden when not in use. Roll 1d6 for type of weapon: 3, Knives or sword-like blades.
YES. I like it.
155: Strangely-Coloured Eyes: This mutant's eyes are an odd colour, and may not even have a visible iris or pupil. Roll on either the basic or extended colour table to determine dominant colour: 95, Vermillion.
Nice! Also no functional changes, all form. Even though Internal Weapon is pretty functional. Also, lots of weird color on this sucker. Come on, 4 Form shifts and I'm still defaulting to humanoid?!

Cognition Mutation, 501-600.
537: Eidetic Memory. I'm going to cheat now and re-roll since I already got this on another monster in this post. GONE.
520: Decreased Mental Capability. This mutant has mental capabilities far lower than the average specimen of its type. Roll 1d4 to determine decreased mental capability: 3, Intellect or capacity to learn. Roll 1d4 to determine the amount of decrease: 4, -1/4 (decreased by one quarter).
Finally, something to make this thing into a beast a bit! But only a little it seems.

2 Mind mutations, 401-600.
576: Natural Leader. This mutant possesses a natural charisma and the ability to lead and inspire without being resented for giving orders. Others tend to respect it and look to it for guidance.
449: Kleptomania. This mutant feels compelled to steal.
I like the second one, but I don't like it being all leader-y. We'll see though...

Psychic Power, 601-700.
644: Hypnotic. This mutant is able to hypnotize others once it catches their attention. Roll 1d6 for what the mutant uses to hypnotize: 3, Gaze.
DAMN. On a 4-5 it's the skin patterns, and with already nonreflective skin that could be cool.

3 Powers, 601-1000.
995: Werecreature. This mutant changes shape at certain times, having two different shapes that it switches between. For its second form, roll twice on the creature table and either combine them or choose the more dangerous result. There is a 1 in 3 chance this form is anthropomorphic. (Roll says no, by the way). Roll 1d6 for trigger: 2, At-will.
716: Animated Skin. This mutant can shed its skin, and then have it move around and perform simple tasks. The skin's strength is equal to 1d8x10 percent of the mutant's normal strength. Rolled to get 50% by the way.
812: Face of a Demon. This mutant has the same face as a particular race of demon. Roll on whaver table you consider appropriate or 1d6 here for type: 1, Demonic beast or creature.
What creature am I a "were" of? I'm a weredemon! What does my demon look like? Not a clue, so I'm going to take the advice on werecreature to frame it. Rolled twice: 2, 3, Amphibians and Reptiles and Aquatic Animals. 31: Desert horned lizard. Lungfish. Thinking this means a large lizard creature with smooth scales that can be flared out to be sharp and spiny all over. Where normally it would have a mouth it instead has an open circular maw, lined with ring after ring of sharp teeth. This face is always present, even when not changed. When it transforms it slides out of its normal skin, which remains animated.

Do I need rerolls? Yeah, I've already decided to reroll Fur. Also Natural Leader since I just don't feel it. So a Form reroll:
65: Flippers. NOPE.
103: Long Tongue. This mutant's tongue is at least 1d4+1 times as long as is normal for its species. Came up with 5 times as long by the way I really like this.
Hmm, concealed within the tongue is a blade-like tooth that can be projected from the end and wielded like a blade. Covering my internal weapon base here!
The other one was a, what, Mind reroll?
546: Enhanced Senses. Rerolled one more just to see and got an even better one. Also already saw this on the adrianos.
538: Emotionless. This mutant does not feel extremes of emotion; not anger, despair, fear, nor joy. It still has some small semblance of emotional life, such as annoyance, contentedness, enmity, and friendship, but these are highly intellectual compared to normal human emotions.
I think this is in the mortal form. It takes a lot to drive it to the edges of its emotional scale, but getting there throws the creature into its transformation where it becomes EXTREMELY emotional, usually violent rage.

That should be all! That's summarize him.
Unreflecting skin and vermillion eyes, a VERY long tongue with a blade concealed within, and the face of a lamprey-lizard. It doesn't feel the extremes of emotion, but when it does get emotional it sheds its skin (which remains animated and mobile) and reveals itself as a complete lamprey-lizard demon. Its gaze is hypnotic (turns out with a lamprey-lizard face gaze is appropriate, glad I stuck with the randomness). These guys are also kleptomaniacal, but that's really just a mental flaw. They're also slightly less capable of logical thought, but not by much.

These guys, the, uh, the Careeth, they have no noticeable society. They tend to rip each other apart, and are asexual - when the time is right and the Careeth transforms, two smaller demons crawl out of the skin, and each will grow its own skin later.

So that's it! Let's wrap up!
Using the Metamorphica, I've procedurally produced 3 sets of mutations which I've built upon to form three alien species.
* I have the adrianos, a pacifistic sage species with perfect memories that go away when they're stressed.
* I have the lothi, water/lava beings made mobile by gravity-tech cybernetics granted by the totem Water Dragon Oros.
* And I have the careeth, weredemons whose demon forms are lizard/lampreys. They're hypnotic and have unreflective skin that remains animated when shed.
I'm happy with that. Absolutely.

Do I have a way to tie these suckers into my Stars Without Number sector? Nothing springs to mind immediately, but it works well enough if I just shove them on planets.
Anyway I just want to get this post out, so I hope you guys enjoy some aliens! Got any questions or suggestions, or maybe you like or dislike one of these in particular? Let me know, I'm happy to talk about them.
End Recording,

Monday, July 16, 2012

D&D Next Actual Play: Session 1

Missed me in that week of absence? Sorry, I just have been having a hard time writing, I'm trying to get on it again. At the very least, I'm very glad that I actually started feeling guilty about not posting anything after only a couple days (rather than a couple WEEKS like it used to be) despite decent view counts still, the guilt means that I really AM dedicated to this thing, which makes me happy. Oh, and Johnstone, I'm gonna be putting up some of those aliens in either the next post or the one following that, I swear. Anyway, on to D&D Next!

Hey, this wasn't on the schedule! That's because out of nowhere we decided to play it last week.
So we were chatting and there was a general wish to play D&D of some kind! We started to chat about our issue starting the game last time, and Kris brought up that he wanted to give running it a shot again, so we decided to just do it.

The Cast:
Kris as Dungeon Master!
Daniel as Boris Borisovich Berezovsky (I used the Story Games Names Project Android app to generate this, no kidding) the Hill Dwarf Fighter!
Kenny as Kovus the Human Cleric of Pelor!
and Me as Calder the High Elf Wizard!

So, a few notes about this game session and some oddities/growing pains.
1) This is the third or fourth time we're trying to start D&D Next. Some days we just weren't feeling it, and the closest time I'd had Kris and Kenny pick their characters and we got some compelling stuff but ended up just not knowing how to start. As such, there might have been a bit of apprehension, especially from me - I was worried that we couldn't get it off the ground. That's when Kris volunteered, said he had been thinking and might be able to start it.
2) This is Kris's first GMing with us in a while. In fact, his first GM role with us since we started doing story games (though he runs his own D&D game back at Gonzaga, so he's been doing that I suppose. Not since the middle of May for sure though).
3) Kris is unfamiliar with the rules - I primed him on it as "3.5, but no skills or feats, everything is done with an appropriate ability check. The grid is meant to be optional." I then handed him my computer with the monster file open. So if we goofed up a little, so be it. We decided to try it gridless, but with drawings of general locations. Note, this is also Kris's first time ever running gridless combat. Note that this also means that Kris is going in entirely unprepped (which he handled fine - he said that in his own game back at college he'd been doing with less prep and was much better at it, which I'm very glad for, since I recommended he'd asked some advice a while back and I basically advised him to try low-prep so I'm glad it worked. Plus, I'm a big believer in low-prep).
4) We did not run Caves of Chaos as written. Essentially, we took the basic core concept (region of caves riddled with gang-warfare between savage humanoids), took the map, and made up new stuff in it. Because of the limited monster supply, he mostly took his direction from there. This is probably for the best - I've read most of the Caves of Chaos already and am familiar with everything. Hell, his potential twist is a little spoiled for me since I've read the monster list.

Okay, to the game. We started off with character creation, as all good D&D games should. Wait... no, we didn't. We're stuck with these damn pre-gens. Now, Wizards, I absolutely understand what you're trying to do with the pre-gens for now, you just happen to be totally cramping our style. We did the best we could though: we started individually, filling in the blanks of Name, Alignment, Gender, Height, Weight, Eyes, and Hair, trying to get a feel for our character. My own Calder is Lawful Good, with sparkling golden eyes and long, flowing blonde hair. I'm also as gay as can be; I AM a high elf, after all. Kovus is Neutral Good, like Pelor, and is quite tall for a human at 6'5". Boris is Chaotic Neutral with a scraggly unkempt black beard.
Now, that was easy, but unfortunately, it's also boring. REALLY boring. We're playing class-race combos basically. And so we brought out the biggest thing we learned from Story Games in my opinion: questions. Lots of questions. Ask pointed question meant to refine and define a concept that are entirely unrelated to the mechanics. I'd done this last time and either Kris remembered it or he's integrated it into his own style now, because I went to ask Dan a question while we were reading off our guys to the group and Kris told me to hold on, that he was gonna let all the intros go and then he had some questions, so that excites me that the style is catching on.
So Kris had some cool questions! I'll talk about my dude first. Turns out Calder grew up in the tower of his master, and the tower was an Infinite Library - it spouted forth knowledge. However, eventually Calder decided that he wanted to go and get some truly powerful knowledge himself, so he left to go adventuring. Along the way, he picked up the trail of the Megatome (S:S&S EP ftw, but this is a different Megatome), a book containing powerful dark secrets that he wishes to obtain to discover the powers within and ensure that the magic doesn't fall into the wrong hands. His research shows that the book is in the Caves of Chaos, deep underground.
Daniel's Boris Borisovich Berezovsky the XVIII comes from a long line of Boris Borisovich Berezovskys - in fact, every single member of his family is named Boris Borisovich Berezovsky, women included. His greataxe is lovingly named Boris as well (leading to many jokes about Boris using Boris to Boris things and we rapidly lost track of whether Boris was a name, a noun, or a verb). His family all serve several years of military service out of honour (explaining his Soldier background), but unlike the rest of his family (who tend to go into upper-class professions like diplomats) he continues on as a fighter, hiring himself out as a mercenary in order to visit places and do new things and hopefully find himself and his purpose somewhere along the way. Calder obtained his services several months ago, soon after leaving the Tower. I unfortunately forgot about how amazing his inventory is, and as such didn't ask about his lucky charm or his souvenir.
Kenny's Kovus is a priest on a holy mission from Pelor to destroy the great evils of the world. His current quest has him seeking the great darkness that dwells deep inside the Caves of Chaos, and he met up with Calder and Boris to help him succeed in his mission. It doesn't bother him at all that they're going to have to slay all these savages to get there - it's very clear that Kovus is extremely goal oriented in that only the great evil matters. If it can be destroyed, it's worth it.

So I must say, I have no idea what we would have done without the questions. Seriously, this is the bare minimum of buy-in here. Maybe it was just us who didn't ask lots of cool questions pre-story-games, but does anyone else hae anything they do to try and invest themselves into a pre-gen they just don't care about or flesh out an otherwise dull PC? Seriously Wizards, maybe even just a little more range with the pre-gens would have helped.
Anyway, so we got to the game. This is where we stalled out last time.

Thankfully, Kris knew what he was doing and had a kicker in mind. If he'd only worded it slightly differently, this was it: "So you guys are at the inn enjoying a drink. A gnoll and an orc, who's clans are allied right now, are talking at the bar. Suddenly, a hobgoblin walks over to them and pciks a fight since the hobgoblins are a rival gang. Within moments, the orc is holding the hobgoblin and the gnoll is starting to tear him up. WHAT DO YOU DO?"
In other words, he Dungeon World'd all over us and I love it.
A circle had formed around them and we debated whether or not to actually attack. I broke the dilemma by standing up and magic missile-ing the orc in the back. I did my bit of damage and hurled us into initiative. Boris went first in the order and straight up decapitated the gnoll. The orc chucked the hobgoblin into the crowd, clearing a path to me, and I tried to stop him cold with a Ray of Frost and ended up freezing the bar. He was getting ready to charge me when Kovus Radiant Lanced right through him, slaying him. I clonked the groveling hobgoblin on the head and knocked him cold, but didn't kill him.
Unfortunately, we seem to have made a big ruckus and mess out of an everday scenario (gang scuffle) and got kicked out of the inn. We had a choice whether to go find somewhere to camp or to go straight for the caves. Who the hell goes and camps when there's CAVES to explore?

So we were travelling and we noticed some flashes off in the distance, near a cave. I used my keen elven senses to see that they were figures in black throwing magic at a bunch of orcs. They chased the orcs into a cave and left them alone after that and came over and talked to us. Turns out, these casters had a camp established in one of the nearby caves and we went with them to investigate. As we go along with them, they explain that they've been searching through the caves for ancient relics and such, and I bring up my search for the Megatome. They say they've heard of it but that it's sealed away, and that they need the Dark Stone to unlock the passages leading to it, but the Dark Stone lies within the orcs' caves. While we're talking we've come upon their entrance chamber and see that it's covered with tapestries and magic rune carvings and I tried a roll (with the help of my background's +3 to checks about Magical Lore) to find out absolutely nothing because I rolled really really bad.  In the end, they asked us if we could go and find the Dark Stone, us being the competent-looking adventurers we are. We accept!

So we get to the entrance to the cave. Looking in, this place is definitely well-barricaded and is likely to be well-guarded, so we look around for another way in. We find that another cave is connected to this little complex, and it seems to be entirely unguarded. We did absolutely zero checking for traps because we have no rogues and are apparently idiots. Kris is too nice to spring traps on a rogue-less party though, so we actually walked in okay. It didn't take long for us to hear an orc patrol coming, but we hid behind some rocks and stuff a bit apart from each other. MOST of us made our rolls to hide, but someone (I don't recall who) was poking out and called their attention. Kovus and Boris started fighting while I, still hidden behind a pillar, carefully chucked a Magic Missile while staying hidden. The orc, in gangster fashion (or what we thought sounded gangster - we're all nerds, we don't know) started looking for where the shots came from and fired blindly (by which I mean "threw a javelin") in the general direction of my Magic Missile. Now, I'm still behind the cover, and don't remember the cover rules and can't find them in the book. Kris gave me 9/10 cover and made his attack roll but failed the d% roll he made to do the cover (I'm fully aware this is not the most elegant way to do cover, but we just made it up because it came to us quickly and we couldn't be bothered to look). To compromise, we decided that he missed me, but only barely, and m being the wimp wizard I yelped and gave myself away. Now, all the combat is going on (three orcs) and we're most of the way through, two down, and the last one is running away. We give chase a bit, I Ray of Frost him to the spot and we kill him too, but we find ourselves halfway into the next chamber - and realize that we've been LOUD. Oh shit. Something's coming.


Yeah, a fucking OWLBEAR rushes out and pretty much one-shots Boris, putting him unconscious on the ground. We try taking a couple shots, but it grabs Boris and runs back into the next chamber. We heal real quick and give chase.

Turns out we've found a female owlbear. In heat. Using the unconscious Boris to, um, you get the picture. Yeah, I wasn't expecting that (none of us were) but I really should have been. Weird-ass shit like this happens all the time when Kris GMs. I don't know how we keep forgetting that. And apparently, he assures us, this doesn't really happen with the group he runs back at college. Oh well, we keep on going! Poor Daniel.
So the first thing I do is Ray of Frost the damn thing. That's not exactly comfortable for Boris either, but hey, he's gonna be the one to remember the least of this, being out cold (heh) and all. Until he wakes up covered in owlbear of course, 'cuz WE'RE sure not cleaning him off. Now this immobilized owlbear is just sitting there and Kenny lights it up with a Radiant Lance.
I'll time-skip a bit. We did that pretty much every turn for a long time, Ray of Frost, Owlbear is stuck out of combat range, Radiant Lance. My +6 to hit with that spell plus decent rolls made this fight pretty one-sided. A couple times I missed and and ran to maul us, actually getting to Kenny one time, though he amazingly survives. Kenny ends up throwing up a Spiritual Hammer as well, which distracts the thing while it gets hit. Unfortunately, owlbears have over 100, probably over 150 hp, and we dealt damage 7 or 8 per round. We killed it, but it was essentially a watered down version of a 4e Solo Monster fight - though it moved WAY faster than 4e. And there were risky moments, but we did all right. Boris is fine now, though grossed out, and we're patching ourselves up. That's where we called it a night.

Some real quick commentary about the game itself, in order to be a good playtester.
Dear Wizards of the Coast,
THE BASIC RULES WORK FINE. You said this is the point of this stage of the playtest and you're along the right tracks so far. Combat moved fast, we went gridless but not mapless and that was nice, fights were interesting and there's a LOT to be said for how well Roll+Ability works.
Side Note to Myself: Fiddle with replacing the d20 with the 2d6+Ability vs (10+/7-9/6-) for task resolution to allow a greater range for partials while leaving the d20 for attack rolls and opposed rolls or things that need very specific DCs.
Back to Wizards: You said this is NOT the point of this stage so I'm cutting you loads of slack, but here's some things to watch for.
* Advantage vs +x. The big competition came up between me the Elf's Keen Senses and the Fighter's Perception +3 from his background. The two can effectively be used in the exact same situations, and to balance the characters each should be approximately equal, or at least comparable in ability, one dude trained to sense stuff the other just born with it but entirely untrained. Unfortunately, the Keen Senses ALWAYS wins over Perception +3. That +x is gonna have to be a lot bigger to challenge the advantage. If you intend for this, sure thing. Just want to make sure this is apparent though. In fact, Advantage is often too strong to provide casually like I would toss around +2s. I think +2s need to still be here to fill that gap. However, I'm big fan of the concepts behind Advantage, it's a VERY cool innovation to implement all over the place.
* Synergy between some of the At-Wills. Ray of Frost specifically is extremely powerful when paired with a ranged attacker, pretty much locking down and murdering an enemy with no chance to fight back.
* Shocking Grasp needed to be cooler. I used it when the orc saw me and rushed for me, I popped out and grabbed him with lightning, and it was just not lightning-y enough. The metal thing is a great touch, but some sort of electrocution effect over it just being lightning damage would be great.
* Magic Missile did not have useful enough damage to compare with other stuff, even with the auto-hit. Between MM or comboing with Kovus usign Ray of Frost, the Ray always won. I know you want the damage low to compensate for auto-hitting, but consider 1d6+1, or 1d4+2 or 3 or something.
* Burning Hands DEFINITELY needed a strength boost. If they can half-damage save out of it, 2d4+Mag is NOT enough, I might as well just be shooting Magic Missiles.
* That said about balancing the spells, having both the couple (or slew in my case) of At-Wills along with the eventually-going-to-grow range of limited spells is very cool. I like it.
* It bothered me at first and still bothered Kris a bit since he considered it a staple term, but I'm finding myself more and more appreciative that you left flanking out, it definitely was a word and mechanic that left us firmly in the gridded realm and I feel pretty freed without it. Speaking of the removal of the grid for my game, it worked great.
* The High Elf Scholar Wizard may very well be the best character of the five for utility even, and I know he's helpful (and kinda cheap) in combat. Keen Senses gives him advantage just about every time you roll the equivalent of a Percpetion roll, probably the most common "skill" roll in the game, and the range of things covered by his Scholar bonuses means he's pretty much always able to grab the bonus for knowing thing. Now, perhaps my view is skewed - this first session just seemed to keep highlighting how well my Wizard kept fitting the situation.
*DESCRIBE THE SPELLS ON THE CHARACTER SHEET. You describe everything else to avoid page flipping, give us the spells, even on a separate but attached page. It's just way more convenient, and you've done an otherwise great job of keeping the need to page-flip to a minimum.
* The Fighter stuff really is quite good. It bothered me at first that he only had one page and it scared me that he was just really sparse on things, but it turns out his stuff is just shorter to describe than, well, spellcasting. It's pretty much ALL very interesting. If Daniel wasn't so dedicated to playing the Fighter-type most of the time, I totally would have, it is by far the coolest designed piece, both between interesting abilities, a cool and useful background, a great attack, and an extraordinarily flavorful inventory compared to everyone else.

...That's all I can think of right now. This has taken a fucking WEEK to write, and it's now 4:40 in the morning and I haven't gone to bed yet, so I'm done and posting this. Night all.
End Recording,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Metamorphica

Hey, while I'm in the mood to post links to cool stuff, figure I might as well use this day to link to my new favorite systemless RPG book. Coming to sit right alongside the Story Games Names Project, The Metamorphica is a book of random mutation tables - a list of tables that you roll dice on to determine mutations.

I must say, in the past, I really disliked random tables. My opinion sounded sort of like: "randomly choosing elements instead of picking specifically tends to make a disparate and uncohesive whole." And frankly, I still don't think that's necessarily incorrect. However, playing Fiasco and then multiple mutation games at GPNW really cemented for me the idea that random tables allow for the creation of interesting concepts when you're low on ideas and creates constructs I would have never thought of. For example, in Geiger World at GPNW, I rolled the Plant and Seismic mutations. It took a little thought, but from that I ended up playing a mad wizard's Shield Golem that's skin was covered in layers of moss and plant matter and I photosynthesized for energy. It was a cool idea thta was a lot of fun to play and I would never have done that without a random roll. My Metamorphosis: Omicron character was even crazier.

Essentially, to me, The Metamorphica is a golden tool of improvisation, instantly providing interesting ideas to fill a gap. Now, there are a LOT of mutations (1000, all in one table, but it's divided into blocks of type of mutation), but a great many of them are very cool. My own recent use of them has actually been in creating interesting alien species for my Stars Without Number thing, and it's been amazingly good for that.

And the kicker? Free download. Five bucks + shipping to get a paperback or free pdf. So why not? If you do RPGs, check it out. It doesn't matter WHAT your game is, you can probably find a good use for this stuff.

-- Dear Johnstone: Hey, if you're reading this, I believe I met you at Go Play NW but didn't get a chance to game with you. Heck, the only reason I at all consider that you may be reading this is the fact that I've linked my blog in my GPNW forum signature. Regardless though, just wanted to say thank you for this great thing and keep up the fantastic work. Cheers!

EDIT: Holy cow look at that, this is the 100th post on the blog! That's freaking CRAZY! Thanks so much to all of the cool people who keep coming by each day and make that view count stay up, I never could have kept this up without you guys silently supporting and motivating me.
End Recording,

An interesting interview with Edmund McMillen

Not my interview. I wish I could get a chance to pry this guy's brain, I honestly think he's fascinating, and this article just cemented that for me.

You may have seen the name Edmund McMillen here before - he was the designer behind Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, as well as other stuff like Gish and Time Fcuk (not a typo), and if you've read my reviews of his games it should be pretty clear that I'm a big fan of his work. This article is about a week old now, but I wanted to share it because I think it's an absolutely amazing look into the mind of a man who not only thinks in very odd (yet surprisingly sensible) directions, but, more importantly, a man who's not afraid to put out games that challenge a lot of the taboos in our society, especially religion in BoI.

Special things that I found interesting:
* Violence's prominence in religion (which I find very true, though I think what to make of that is extremely debatable).
* Recreating childhood to find that sense of fear of infinite possibility and myth again.
* Shame over Super Meat Boy as "safe," which I can absolutely see.
* Unhappiness with the way Indie Game: The Movie has changed people's perceptions of him.
* The story behind the left arm tattoo (check out the second picture to get a glimpse of it).

If you didn't catch on, I'm stalling a bit because I didn't actually write up a content post for today. I'm having friends over to game today (Saturday) but I don't know what we'll play. More GPNW posts soon, I swear! I the meantime though, check out the interview, it's very cool.

End Recording,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

So I was gonna do the Microscope AP as today's post but saw this and so I'll review this today. Here's the review:

Yes. This movie is comic book movie gold. This is EVERYTHING I want from a Spider-Man movie minus organic webs.

So what's my past with Spider Man? I've seen the movies, but nothing else - however, I'm moderately to decently aware of what happens in the comic book world so I'm not blind and only built from the movies. Here's my list of things I liked: Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, I like the way Peter got played, the way they really made you feel how FAST and STRONG Spider-Man is, Gwen Stacy (I appreciate the complete absence of MJ at this point. Plus I think Gwen is a bit more compelling anyway, and the romance itself is just better in this one), Emma Stone (she's pretty cute, especially as a blonde), fucking Lizard and Curt Connors, the references to Norman Osborne, the first-person sections, the prominence of Peter's father, the fact that this is the first of at least 3 movies (and after last time they're gonna watch their every step), the happy-ish ending, the fact that Peter DOESN'T catch Ben's killer yet, the thing with Flash.
What I didn't like: Web canisters (I just like the organic web idea more), the fact that I know the happy-ish ending simple can't last (unless this breaks far enough from Spider-Man tendency to kill off Gwen and make way for MJ - creators, do that! I like Gwen more!), the lack of wrestling in his past (I get trying to disassociate with the 2002 movie, but this was a pretty important thing), the critics who're upset with points that were also in the '02 movie (come on guys, this is an established thing! They can only twist so much!), Spidey STILL isn't wisecracking enough (though I get it, your audience would probably tire of lame puns and corny jokes very very fast).

I dunno about anyone else, but I'm ready for Part Two. Bring it on. I CAN'T WAIT.

(In the meantime I'm going to sit anxiously for Batman 3 and Bourne Legacy)

I hope you enjoyed my fly-by review. If you want the usual process come and ask and I'll write out something a bit more comprehensive.

Watch This Movie If You Like: Action Movies, the old Spider-Man movies, if you were disappointed with the handling of the old Spider-Man movies, Teenage romance with superpowers.
Don't Watch This Movie If: You're a hater, you hate comic books, you hate fun.
Final Grade: A, 9.75/10.

End Recording,

AotP: A Return!

Previously on Art of the Pantheon:
Introduction, Concepts, Original Sketches
Hense Take 2, Design Guidelines
Hense Take 3 (with hood designs), Lemaign
Garmuth, a bit more Hense
More Garmuth, Roathus
Slimmer Hense, Hense Color, Windbags (Lore and Pictures)
Micia, the Lorn Mother
Colorful Forms (Hense, Jevel, Roathus, Micia, Garmuth) 
Olak Take 2
Finalizing Hense, Garmuth

Who is this? Well, it's not related to Bastion or the Pantheon in any way! Sharp viewers will recognize this as being from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. This was the flash-forward to Arwen's potential fate should she remain in Middle Earth for Aragorn - eventually he would die and she would live on in eternal grief.
Why is it here? Because I was watching Two Towers the other day and saw this and instantly triggered my AotP reflexes. Who could it be about? Why, Hense, of course!
Here's some other versions of the shot. I took all these screenshots myself off my DVD copy, btw.

That second one there is actually from a different part of the same prediction. It looks MUCH better in motion, mind you.
Anyway, what it has from Hense is pretty obvious: all black, veiled (albeit more like the original veil idea I had, less like the second-and-onward one), in grief and pain but living on. Now, I obviously already have quite a bit of Hense decided. Maybe if I'd seen this early on in Hense's development she would have taken a different path, but that didn't happen.
It DOES have something to take from it beyond cool inspiration stuff. In case you couldn't tell, she has a whole body, something that Hense has as-of-yet been unable to come up with. Well, no more! With a little inspiration from here, Hense has a body!

Yeah, that sure is Hense! Hot DAMN! This is basically what I've been looking for from the beginning. She's strong and silent behind a veil of black and flame - in fact, that's not an awful tagline description.
"Left broken with pain, Hense stands strong and silent behind veils of black and flame."

This isn't particularly different, it's essentially just her dress alone. It's function is now pretty muddy, unsure if it's robe or dress, but I'm comfortable with that.

It hasn't born any fruit yet, but this work has also had me come to the idea that Acobi is TOTALLY bound in a corset.

Anyway, so yeah, here's some content! Art of the Pantheon is officially back on! Not on a schedule, but I hope to have more soon.

So if you're looking for my GPNW stuff, come back tomorrow. I want to give myself a little more time to write Microscope's AP seeing as it was the most revolutionary game I played.
End Recording,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Go Play NW: Dungeon World (and Community Megadungeon)

Hey there! So, before I jump into the Dungeon World AP, I wanted to talk about a piece of the con that I forgot about yesterday. Probably for the best since now there's an image of it. Anyway, that's the Community Megadungeon. This was a couple of long tables (like full-on cafeteria tables) with a single huge piece of graph paper across them. This stayed throughout the whole con, and everyone was invited to draw in new things to the dungeon. There was some wacky, crazy shit in there, and it's extremely cool. Greypawn on the GPNW forums works in a print shop and was nice enough to take the map with him and scan it in, so here it is! Props to him for doing that, and props to everyone else for making such a cool thing!
WARNING: It is ENORMOUS. Like, this is a 21 mb pic that's 14450 by 2950 pixels. Click to witness the glory, but be warned about the size.
EDIT: It seems that Blogger can't handle this much image. Here's the full image.
I actually do NOT have a contribution on there, and that's one of my biggest regrets of the con (which I guess also just shows how few regrets I have about this con).
What I'm jealous of is the games that Tony Dowler and Ben Wray were running on the map. Yeah, World of Dungeons being played right there on the community megamap. That sounds so cool.

Next year we totally need to do one of these in the shape of a Metamorphosis: Alpha generation ship. Hot damn. (If you don't know what that is, comment and I'll tell you or just wait a couple days for the Metamorphosis: Omicron AP)

Anyway, to DW!
"DUNGEON WORLD (Go Play NW) Actual Play
So this was the first game that I played at GPNW, a story gaming convention that happens here in Seattle every summer. This is my first year, and in fact my first convention overall, so I'm very excited (typing this right now during the lunch break after my first session). As the title says, we played Dungeon World as the first session. Tony Dowler was the GM, making this the first time that I've ever actually played a story game instead of running one, Fiasco notwithstanding. We had 7 players:
Charon as Sir Cassius the Paladin,
Nate(? I think?) as Dorrund the Cleric,
Kingston as Shirroseth the Fighter,
Ogre as Lily the Bard,
Eric as Xeno the Wizard,
Dave as (I'm sorry I don't recall your guy's name Dave) the Ranger,
Myself as Felix the Thief,
and Tony Dowler as Dungeon Master!

At first I was worried about gaming as a public activity. I didn't know these people (and have never had experience gaming outside of the small group of friends that I started with), and even worse, I know that these people are pros. All of them are GPNW veterans, and here I am at my very first convention. I didn't want to seem like a total amateur.
Forgetting my dice at home when going to a freaking GAMING con didn't help that much.
Anyway, those fears vanished pretty much immediately. I'm glad I picked a game that I know to play first, and I can say for certain now that the DW annotations I did definitely helped me remember stuff. We played pretty fast and loose with things, but it was very enjoyable.
The adventure consisted of us being hired together as a group by a wizard patron of ours (we'd worked as a team before other than Lily from what I got - Lily's player showed up last minute a bit after we began, but integrated quickly). So we were going to be teleported to a distant land to find treasure and knowledge. We were exploring the dungeon and pretty immediately ran into awesome. The first passage we went down had a pit trap which I found (thank goodness I asked for trapfinding, I almsot didn't and just about ran us all into it) and the following room had this altar with coins spilling all around it and several owl statues. Another successful trapfinding found that the coins were cursed - they turn to acid in the pockets of whoever takes them, a curse laid upon them by the god of the altar: Cortholux the god of Taxes. I also noticed that the owl statues weren't, um, statues at all, but were instead skull-faced ghost creatures under an illusion! We fought, and succeeded. High points for me included me getting myself into a corner with the things and needing rescue, me exploding one of them with a great backstab, and an excellent revelation that the only way to break the altar's hold on the dungeon was to feed the beast the coins, which several of us attempted to do, and we eventually won. The altar in that room had been to the great Cortholux, God of Taxes. Bad rolls through everything ended up making him angry at Dorrund and a failed Cast a Spell meant that he couldn't cast Cure Light Wounds again until he was audited.
We fought against a small horde of shorter skull-critters that put up this crazy fog that made targeting really hard. It was a pretty standard combat minus two interesting things: Xeno did a spell that made a magical target (like concentric red rings) stick to the enemy, and the rings shone through the fog. It was pretty sweet. The other thing was the last one's final move: poison the Paladin. He rolled pretty average and wasn't too hot afterwards, but we finished combat and fixed him up (mostly)
Now the auditor showed up: an Angel. Because Dorrund's god believes in Trial by Combat, that was what was decided. Dorrund was allowed to choose a champion, however, and chose Sir Cassius. The (still-poisoned) Paladin started to fight the Angel - and rolled AMAZING. And so, the Paladin beat the living daylights out of an Angel. I bet his god of Good is gonna love that one.
Something neat about the dungeon was that it was unstable - quakes kept coming along. Clipped some of us pretty good at one point when a wall gave way. Turns out this dungeon was perched on the head of a titan, the entities who lost to the gods and were made to hold up the planes. This one was trying to shake us off, and his name was Atlar. I scaled down to his ear and we spoke with him. We convinced him to put in a good word for us with the gods and such, but he said that he'd only do it if one of us took his place in holding up the 5 remaining rooms while they fell. We obviously couldn't - we're not quite big enough, but he accepted that if one of us would stay behind and help him hold it up while we destroyed the remaining rooms the deal would still be good. Dorrund stayed behind and stood and helped Atlar hold it while the rest of us went in, with a good roll found the best supports for the whole place, and set to, with a mighty effort, break the support. We succeeded and activated our talisman that would bring us home (breaking apart two horns) as the walls fell around us, leaving Dorrund to go with Atlar to wherever his destination was. And the session ended!

Here, check out my character sheet.

Everything here is quite standard for a DW Thief except a couple pieces. First, the easier one: I have a level 2-5 move. Tony gave us one for free, which was pretty neat. I made my Backstab stronger (and took good advantage of it - many mighty foes were slain by my rapier's high rolls). The other thing was the bonds, which are never standard of course.
* I stole something from Shirroseth but it never came up what it was or that I took it.
* Sir Cassius has my back when things go wrong. We ended up with a good deal of camaraderie between our guys, and the dynamic of "I'll stand in front, you have my back!" "Oh, uh, yeah, definitely! *hiding*" was a lot of fun.
* Xeno knows incriminating details about me. It'll be obvious in a sec.
* Xeno and I have a con running, so yeah, of course he knows incriminating details - he helped! This was a lot of fun to play with. Everyone but Xeno and I were good or lawful, so we ended up teaming up a lot about things and had a big friendship/we've done this before thing going. There was a very funny scene where Xeno had cast Contact Spirit and the spirit was only visible to him and he was talking to it and telling the party what they needed to do. Felix leaned over to Xeno and whispered "Hey man, now isn't the time to be running this scam!" and Xeno turns and whispers hurriedly "No, no, it's for real this time!". Apparently, him pretending to summon a spirit and it asking for gold in return for messages from, like, loved ones and stuff or advice on things and such, which he just took takes their gold and makes up some random shit for an answer.

All in all, the dungeon was a hell of a lot of fun. Action-packed and quick-moving, I very quickly got passed the feeling of being brand-new here and felt comfortable with everyone, and I think it really really really helped that my first game ever with someone who I haven't been gaming with since the beginning went so cleanly and was so inviting and relaxing. Plus, all that action was a great wake-up to start the con with on a sleepy Saturday morning!
This wasn't the last I saw of some of these people! I played again with Kingston, Ogre, and Tony later on. Eric, Charon, thanks for helping me draw my character into the party with the camaraderie there. Wow, thinking about it, I guess Bonds really do work!

Jumping off of that, I wanted to talk about bonds for just a second. So all the major variants of AW that I've seen have done something with a PC-interaction stat. The major ones I know of are Hx, Bonds, and Strings (from AW, DW, and Monsterhearts respectively - The Regiment might have something but I haven't read it), and they each do different things. It seems that they establish connections between the PCs in three separate time frames. Bonds are the Past you two have together. Hx is how well you know each other right now in the Present. Strings are a resource that can be used to affect someone in the Future (representing control, usually emotional control, over someone).
Now, they do different things because of different tones of game, of course. A beautiful thing about all the major Apocalypse Engine games is that, under it all, the game comes down to the character interactions. These three mechanics allow for a game-effect to come of that interaction, and the amount of influence that stat has on the game depends on (or determines, not sure which direction it was designed) the tone of the game. Strings, as a thing being traded about and used a LOT, have a lot of effect on the game. That's because the game is pretty much entirely ABOUT those relationships - they're pretty much the main thing everyone is always worrying about. Most all the conflicts of the game seem to come from within the group (though correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't played and The Walking Eye hasn't done Monsterhearts yet, though they will soon). In Apocalypse World, threats are both internal to the party, and also commonly external. Hx moves around and sees use (and is an XP gaining method!) but it's not constantly being mentioned. In Dungeon World though, the threats are almost all external. Maybe it's the fact that they NEED each other in the dungeon, or maybe "Don't split the party" is just engrained into us when we're starting with RPGs. Regardless, Bonds see the least use. I consider them to be the weakest mechanic of PC-interaction. However, they aren't useless - they do what they need to do in Dungeon World, I suppose, since those party conflicts won't happen as often anyway, or at least not nearly as strongly - in DW, maybe the Cleric refuses the heal the blasphemous wizard after a battle after an argument, but you are only very rarely going to have a character, like, STAB another one, whereas in AW stabbing is pretty much ALWAYS on the table.
What I think Bonds do very well is they provide an excellent jumping off point for the first few sessions for the your characters are going to interact. I immediately latched onto the bonds I made with Xeno and Sir Cassius, and that drove the roleplay for me. I imagine though that after several sessions and you all have a feel for things, Bonds won't be as important, and taking Bonds about things that just happened, while evocative and interesting sounding (like I mentioned in the annotations), it won't actually change any dynamics between characters, simply reshuffle your Aid Another bonuses a bit.
I'd like to see if the game would function with both Bonds AND an Hx equivalent - in fact, flip the names maybe. You have History, which is what your characters' pasts are like together and how you know each other (which is why it makes great jumping off stuff), and then you have your Bonds, which are how close you are to your fellow party members IN THE PRESENT. That would be the Aid check bonus, with History mostly being color.
Anyway, this is mostly just musing; the Bonds system in DW is fine, and works great as it is in the system, but I'm not sure it would hold up as great if placed in most other contexts outside the dungeon. Hope maybe this helps someone.

So yeah, thanks to all of you for a great session, a great opener to the con, and a great introduction to gaming with strangers!"

And I will see everyone later! Probably tomorrow but maybe even sooner if I can't wait to show something off (Hint: I have an Art of the Pantheon thing I'm very excited about!).

End Recording,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Go Play NW: Overview

So I'm back from Go Play NW, obviously. GPNW is a story-gaming convention that takes place every year in Seattle in summer. The convention this year went from June 29th through July 1st, though the ticket I bought didn't include Friday night so I started on Saturday.
I came up with my goals for the con. I actually hadn't explicitly come up with them beforehand but I had the general ideas in mind.
* Play story games. After running them all this time, it's time to finally play.
* Play a combination of old and new. Learn new tricks for the things I know, learn brand new things to expand my palette.
* Play unconventional games. Game in a way you didn't understand to gain new concepts.
* Play outside my genre. Keep it interesting, keep it new.
* Play with strangers. Establish connections and meet new people, both old pros and other fresh starts.
* Be outgoing, keep an open mind, and step out of my comfort zone. This is the one that I had explicitly in my mind when I went and made a conscious effort to fulfill.

So how did I do? Very well I think. In order:
* I sure did play! I played and played and played.
* Played DW and 3:16, which I knew, played Microscope and Metamorphosis: Omicron, which were brand new to me, and played two AW/DW hacks, which were new in content but familiar in the system basics. Three of the six games were games that were playtesting (not including DW, that's far enough along to be in a different category). I think that counts for almost a perfect mix of old and new.
* Microscope was the most unconventional, but was the only truly unconventional thing I played. Metamorphosis: Omicron wasn't very standard either though, and the presentation around 3:16 made it abnormal though gameplay itself was normal (and fun!).
* DW was my usual genre, 3:16 wasn't too far off, everything else was out of it by quite a bit.
* Every person there was a stranger, and I played, so mission accomplished. Tied to the next point.
* I was indeed as outgoing as I could make myself, especially on Saturday. I want to especially thank the members of my first session, the Dungeon World game, for being so friendly and inviting. I think my positive first experience absolutely helped me to come out of my shell throughout the con. Also thanks to Ben Robbins and Dylan and Feiya for inviting me to come along to dinner with you guys, that's not something I normally do and it definitely was a positive experience. Both of my Donut games were things that were definitely strange for me and outside what I'd normally be willing to play and I was very glad to have taken that chance.

So what DID I play, specifically? I mentioned them already, but here they are in order of play.
For reference, things tagged Donut means they're pickup games. The Donut is the name of the mechanism GPNW has to help make sure everyone can get into a game and GMs can fill not-quite-full games.
Saturday Morning: Dungeon World. GM'd by Tony Dowler, Played by me, Charon, Nate (I think), Kingston, Ogre, Eric Hanscom, and Dave.
Saturday Afternoon: The Lottery. Drawing came up me, Dylan, Feiya, and Ben Robbins. I couldn't NOT play Microscope with Ben Robbins, so we did (though he suggested another possible game that's name is escaping me but it was pretty cool looking too).
Saturday Night: Donut. Ogre pitched his new Dungeon World variant based on G.I. Joe in 1946 (eventually to be dubbed Commando World). I'm sorry, I don't remember the names of everyone who played this - it was late at night and there were like 9 of us. I know I was there (duh), I know Jeremy was there, and I remember Eric Logan playing too. Yeah, that sounds right. And of course Ogre ran it, being its creator and all.
Sunday Morning: Geiger World. this is Dungeon World's basic systems restructured to do a Gamma World style game. Run by, uh, I think his name was Colin but I might be totally wrong and I'm very sorry if I am. I played with Jeremy again, Kynnin, and I believe their names were Scott and Andrew. Pretty sure about that.
Sunday Afternoon: Sweet, sweet 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars. Run by Matthew, I was playing with John, Jonathan, and Wilson. This was special in that we actually were two groups (the other one run by Neil and I didn't catch their players) that met as a whole to get debriefed and we went on different missions on the same planets and stuff and met together for medals and stuff.
Sunday Evening: Donut. Tony Dowler needed another player for his Metamorphosis: Omicron hack of Metamorphosis: Alpha and I jumped on it. Played with Matthew (same Matthew who just ran 3:16 for us), Jonathan (yes, same Jonathan too :) ), Jay, and Kingston. It was surprising and enlightening, as was the post-game design discussion we had.

So those were my games. I'm going to give each some real AP, but not right now. Real quick though I want to talk about a couple other things.
The Venue: It was Seattle University. I liked how it was, and I liked the area. What it REALLY needed was signs for where things are, and something to help us find our groups.
The Free Table: Free stuff to go to a good home? It was amazing. I nabbed a couple of the 3.5 books I've been missing and a couple cool monster books.

Oh, that's what I wanted to say! Games I want to play next year, or want to play because of the con.
Silver & White: Very, VERY off of my usual stuff, but hearing multiple stories about it (and Morgan talking about it at dinner). This sounds so cool and I do kinda regret not picking Morgan's game of it at the Saturday night Donut (though I DON'T regret playing GI Joe 1946 instead, it absolutely was a ton of fun, this isn't a matter of it maybe being better but more about regret over not going out of my way to do even more unconventional games). This is one that I'll want to play at either a con or maybe at Story Games Seattle or something, I don't trust my ability to run it the right way without seeing it first.
Monsterhearts: I heard people playing this and having tons of fun and people recommending it and I've been wanting to check it out for a while so I bought it right there at the con. I want to play it and at the same time it makes me uncomfortable and I think that's part of WHY I want to play it. However, I'm betting this is absolutely out of the question for my group.
Metrofinale: I am fascinated by the game and truly, desperately want to figure out how the hell this works, but for some reason (despite pretty clear rules) I just CANNOT figure out how to make this GO. I really hope the people who played it there will put up some comprehensive AP of it. If I can finally figure it out, I want to play or run it with the group.
3:16: I just want to play more of it! But it can wait.
Microscope: HOLY COW now that I really am clear on how it goes I want to DO it! I question my ability to pitch it to the group but I've been told by people tht Microscope is one of those games that pretty much everyone, regardless of their genre or style, can enjoy.

So yeah, good evening, and I hope you enjoy reading the APs! First one comes out tomorrow, Dungeon World!
End Recording,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Midsummer Songaday: Directory

Hello! This post serves as a means to navigate to the other days of Midsummer Songaday!

Day 1: Xenosaga Episode II - In The Beginning, There Was...
Day 2: Anamanaguchi - Mermaid
Day 3: Diablo Swing Orchestra - Balrog Boogie
Day 4: Coldplay - Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Day 5: RAGE - Burning Jacob's Ladder
Day 6: LuIzA - Lies Within Dreams
Day 7: Jim Guthrie - Dark Flute
Day 8: Lacuna Coil - Against Me
Day 9: The Hunger Games - Katniss Afoot
Day 10: Castle Crashers - Race Around the World
Day 11: Cirque du Soleil - Incantation
Day 12: Lisa Miskovsky - Still Alive
Day 13: Oceania  -Pukaea
Day 14a: Super Meat Boy - Forest Funk
Day 14b: The Binding of Isaac - The Binding of Isaac
Day 15: VVVVVV - Potential For Anything
Day 16: Cave Story - Title Theme
Day 17: No More Heroes - Pleather For Breakfast
Day 18: Phoenix Wright - Turnabout Sisters Theme 2002
Day 19: Faunts - M4 (Part II)
Day 20: Kinesthesia - Flicklife (mu-Ziq Remix)
Day 21: Mass Effect 2  - Suicide Mission
Day 22: Custom Robo - Heaven
Day 23: Prince of Persia - I Still Love You
Day 24: Sonic Generations - Rooftop Run Act I
Day 25: Rodrigo y Gabriela - Hanuman
Day 26: Nine Inch Nails - Every Day Is Exactly The Same
Day 27: NieR - The Wretched Automatons
Day 28: Funkstorung - Moon Addicted
Day 29: Within Temptation - Memories
Day 30: Metroid Prime - Title

Special Edition: Midsummer Songaday's True Form

That last one is going to be linked when I finish the post, and THAT should be the final post of Songaday. Essentially, it's what I'm putting on the discs since, as I mentioned on one of the days, the discs and the Songaday are not exactly the same, so I thought it would be interesting. Look forward to it!
End Recording,