Showing posts from December, 2017

Fiction Review: Ready Player One

Big hair from the eighties looks normal to me. My best friend from high school - she had huge hair. This is relevant as the novel Ready Player One   is part love-letter to the culture of the 1980s - especially the geek culture. A 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, I noticed some buzz about it but never got around to reading it. Having seen a number of trailers for the upcoming movie adaptation - trailers from which I couldn't quite tell if it looked awesome or dumb - I decided to give it a read on my time off from both work and grad school at the end of the year. The audiobook is read by Wil Wheaton, which read to a bit of oddness when Wil Wheaton is mentioned briefly in the novel itself... Ready Player One takes place in a dystopian 2040s. Cheap oil is a thing of the distant past, leading to the United States and the rest of the world suffering from a decades long economic disaster. The protagonist Wade Wilson, is the orphaned child of refugees. American refugees, as people unabl

RPG Review: Star Frontiers

I was never able to get a copy of the Traveller RPG as a kid. The local hobby shop, long since departed, had the Traveller books, but I never knew where to start. I saw little black books -  Books starting with 4, Supplements, etc. But I never knew where to get the first three books.  My first science fiction RPG was Gamma World  but shortly after it I obtained Star Frontiers . Gamma World scared me a little bit. This was the early and mid 1980s. It was a time when nuclear war didn't seem all that unlikely a possibility. Yes, Gamma World  was over the top and wild, but the setting of a fallen Earth always made me feel a little down. Star Frontiers , on the other hand, was something I could get into. Gleaming towers, hover cars, laser pistols etc.  Let's talk a little about the setting of Star Frontiers. It takes place in the "Frontier", a region close to the center of the galaxy where four species have come together to form the United Planetary Federa

Star Wars Actual Play: Takeover at Whisper Base

Based on the adventure of the same name in the Age of Rebellion Beginner Game Cast of Characters: Athena Ellia, Twi'lek Scout and Force Sensitive Emergent Bobar Kane, Human Commando Rik Corruss, Human Saboteur Setting: The planet Onderon, shortly after the Battle of Yavin Objective: Rebel Intelligence has learned that Imperial Moff Dardano has built a secret listening post in the jungles of Onderon - Whisper Base. This base was not for use against the Rebellion but was rather intended for use against his rival, Admiral Corlen. Not even the Empire knew of it. The Rebel Alliance has sent a small commando team to secure the base as a forward Rebel base. They must cut off its link to a communications bunker and prevent any Imperials from escaping by shuttle. Capsule Summaey In the entry garage, the Rebels cut the communications link and dealt with a group of Imperial security personnel that responded to the cut cable. The Rebels deactivated an old Clone Wars er

Cracking Open Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars Games

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm teaching my younger daughter how to game using Fantasy Flight Games' incarnation of Star Wars. I'm thinking of doing a few posts where I do a bit of an examination for their incarnation of the RPG. To begin, FFG does not have one Star Wars RPG but rather three. They are Edge of the Empire , Age of Rebellion , and Force and Destiny . Each is focused on a specific lens of Star Wars gaming. Edge of the Empire deals with "civilians" - smugglers, bounty hunters, colonists, mercenaries, nobles, etc. If one wanted to run a game like the Firefly  TV show or all about characters like Boba Fett, this is the game to use. Age of Rebellion  on the other hand, is focused on the Rebel Alliance's battle against the Evil Galactic Empire. Finally , Force and Destiny deals with Force-sensitive characters. All the games provide for potential Force-users, but in Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion  you are dealing with very basic Force

The Next Generation of Gamers

Watching season one of Stranger Things , I was thrilled to see the kids playing D&D. As I've said before, I was the same age as the kids - in fall of 1983 I was 12 years old, in the 7th grade. I'd been playing D&D since the end of the 4th grade in one form or another. I probably wasn't all that good at it when I started. Heck I'm still learning. My younger daughter is in the 7th grade. She's the geeky one of the two girls. Both my daughters are awesome, but when it comes to Stephen King, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and superheroes, she's the one. Quick aside - older daughter and I also share a lot as well. It was she who actually introduced me to Stranger Things , we both love New York City (and subway trains), Disney, and while little sister loves comics and superhero movies, big sister is the fan of the Arrow-verse shows. Anyways, while younger one was in the hospital recently, we were talking about Star Wars - and she expressed an interest in tryi