Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random Stuff

I kind of like not trying to have this blog be a series of carefully-constructed articles, because I can do meandering posts like this one. Anyway.

Last night we wound up playing InSpectres for the first time. We'd never played anything quite like it before, and it totally clicked perfectly right away. It helped that Mike was so on top of the GMing part; the GM has less creative control in that game, but IMO is every bit as important, if not more so, to making it happen.

I got to flip through his shiny new copy of BESM3e, which he picked up while he was in Berkeley to see Robotech: Shadow Chronicles (while I was home with a cold and lots of translation work, from which this post is in fact a distraction). Still waiting for my copy to come in the mail from Amazon, but then I paid $26 for it, so I can't complain. I'm not sure what to say about it, especially since I haven't really read much of any of it yet, but it seems very much like the game that comes after BESM1e and BESM2e, in good ways and bad ways. There tons of full-color art, though I recognized a lot of it from earlier BESM stuff, from second edition, d20, and various sourcebooks, including covers. It's all the really over-the-top color CG stuff, naturally. Although there are bigger numbers (stats are 10/level) to deal with, and optional rules for tweaking the hell out of Attributes, it doesn't seem like it was made all that much more complicated, though I still think OVA will be my go-to game for that kind of thing.

Mike's co-worker who was joining us for gaming the second time, mentioned about a card game one of his friends had showed him called Thing Game Sucks, which is about participants running out of patience at a bad RPG session. I don't normally like card games (or board games, or war games), but this one was too intriguing to pass up. I found the (tiny) publisher's website, and ordered it. I will post about it when it arrives.

The Dictionary of Mu and The Shab-al-Hiri Roach both came in the mail yesterday too. Happy dance. :3

I also wound up coming up with a concept for another, as yet unnamed, anime RPG, which is now starting to come together (just when I'm too busy to really commit much time to it...). More on that later.

Addendum (January 30, 11:38 a.m.)
Just got my copy of BESM3e in the mail (like, the mailman handed me the box from Amazon 5 minutes ago, so I haven't even opened it just yet. I also gave into temptation and ordered some Japanese TRPGs from Amazon Japan:
  • Alshard ff
  • RuLiLuRa (which I totally can't say at all)
  • Arianrhod (which was apparently published in a bunko/little paperback format for about 700 yen)
  • The latest issue of Role&Roll, which AFAIK is Japan's main tabletop RPG magazine.
I also got some manga (Rozen Maiden, Genshiken, and Yotsubato! all came out with new volumes), and caved in and got those "Moe Moe" guides to ancient and modern weapons.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

GenCon Indy!

So, today I finally decided for certain that I'm going to GenCon Indy this year. I'd been heavily leaning towards going anyway -- both to have fun and to meet some of the neat people I've been interacting with online via Story Games and whatnot -- but it was when Guy Shalev came on AIM and said that he was looking for hotel roommates that I decided for sure that I'm going. Registration doesn't open until February 11, and there's the matter of plane tickets to contend with (I'm probably going to have to fly out of SFO, since it'll literally be cheaper than SJC by $100 to $150), but at least I don't have to worry about lodgings.

Over the next few months I need to figure out what I want to do at the con, and in particular what I want to run.

Maid RPG is definitely, absolutely on the list. A friend of mine has been showing my partially translated version to some of his other friends and co-workers, and I keep being blown away by just how much people not only accept the concept, but fall in love with it. At this rate I'm going to have to start looking into how I might be able to license and publish it for real...

Other possibilities include:
  • Mascot-tan (which, bizarrely, seems to have something of a cult following)
  • My Fudge-based Halo RPG. (Still need to actually try it out with my friends)
  • My Magic Shop Risus one-shot ("Slayers meets Are You Being Served?")

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another Random Game Idea

So, I got Wario Ware: Smooth Moves for Nintendo Wii. Like the other Wario Ware games it's a collection of "micro-games" that are thrown at you rapid-fire, so fast that sometimes figuring out what you're supposed to do is part of the challenge. I haven't had a chance to try out the multiplayer stuff at all (because for some bizarre reason Nintendo felt it should be unlockable...), but the multiplayer on the GameCube version had some surprisingly meta-game stuff. Like, there's a version where each turn a doctor tells the player to do something ("Stare At Player 2," "While reciting a tongue twister," "While yawning," etc.) while playing the micro-game, and the other players tap the A button to applaud how well the player pulled it off. At the end, the score is actually based on applause, and success or failure at the micro-games is unimportant.

Anyway, I had this zany idea to do a "Game Thing" that sort of plays off of this idea in a tabletop format. The Host of the game has the players do weird little things with dice, a rubber ball, pencils, etc., that in turn determine success or failure at a main game, of which there are a couple different types, including a board game and a silly RPG. I'm tentatively calling this project "Neko Neko Wai!" on account of titles aren't really my strong point. (Though if I do wind up keeping that title, it'll be an excuse to get cute catgirl art for the game).

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I know there's maybe four or five people who really read this (Elton, Guy, Mori, and occasionally Jake), but I'm going to go over where things are, admittedly more for my own benefit. This has been a very strange winter break for me, and I'm not totally sure I'm ready for more grad school in the spring, but we'll see. My fan translation of Maid RPG has kind of gotten sidetracked on account of other, more pressing projects (like translation work that I get paid for).

Probably the biggest thing for me, RPG-wise, is Moonsick. This weird little RPG, inspired by Superflat surrealism, is a possible candidate for the next volume of Push, but it needs a major overhaul from my first draft. Surprisingly helpful thread on it here. Rethinking the game has been a wonderful challenge, and I think I'm moving in the right direction.

At some point I do still want to do the we are flat game anthology, but I'm thinking for that I'll replace Moonsick with something deliberately aimed at looking at American otaku through a Superflat-like lens. One of the inherent limitations of this project is that I'm an American (if a Japanophile) interpreting these elements of Japanese culture. The similarities and differences between American and Japanese otaku are a source of endless fascination to me, after all.

We also finally had our first real session of Ghostbusters, run by my friend Elton, and it rocked. He honestly keeps impressing me with his GMing skills and creativity, and everyone else was unusually on the ball last night. And my character, an amoral technical guy named Art Griffin, is incredibly fun to play.

Clancy: "Yeah, I've flow before. Military vehicles."
Oswaldo: "Don't listen to him! He means he's flown a jeep!"

Which leaves just about everything else being neglected. It's been weeks since I had a chance to look at Tokyo Heroes, much less Thrash 2.0. Hopefully school won't totally kill my free time.