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State of the Gaming

Running: one straight-up 4e game. We’re working through WotC’s module series. This is fun.

Playing: one 4e game which I’ve played in no sessions of but I like the writeups. Should be fun.

Will be running: online 4e game heavily influenced by The Shield and The Wire, or possibly the Scales of War adventure path instead, although I’d need a couple more people for the latter. Sort of leaning towards Scales of War for the sake of easier prep, but undecided.

Thinking about running: something, since certain people are not inspired, which is OK. But I don’t know what. I was thinking about a 60s flashy spy game, but the more I think about it the more I think I’m trying to shoehorn the wrong stuff into the wrong stuff. And when I strip away the Orlando Trash-related overarching plot and the Seven Houses stuff I realized I’m not as jazzed; there’s no hook there for me.

So maybe the modern mysticism Seven Houses game I’ve wanted to run for a while. Heavy influences are the background to 100 Bullets — the intrigue, not the noir stuff — and Mystick Domination, which nobody ever played but it was evocative.

Heresy: Kingdom Come? Shadowrun? Dogs in the Vinyard?

Eclipse Phase looks like fun but is not out yet.

Hm.

World's Longest Dungeon

The moral equivalent of running World’s Largest Dungeon for 4e, at present, would be to just run the module series. WotC is gonna put out three modules for each tier; H1 and H2 are the first two for the Heroic tier, and when H3 comes out that’ll get a campaign to level 11. There’ll then be P1, P2, and P3; followed by E1, E2, and E3. These are all announced.

Each module comes with play maps. I mean, come on.

The Branch Office

This is just another one for the hopper.

The system and setting is Over the Edge, with a minor setting tweak; the D’Aubainnes are not quite as powerful in international terms as they are in vanilla OtE, so they need to worry more about maintaining a delicate balance between the USSR, China, and the United States.

The campaign framework: there’s a United States consulate located in The Edge. The D’Aubainnes are not currently allowing the United States to have an embassy in Freedom City, although Russia does have one. All PCs work for the consulate, whether they’re American citizens or local employees. Preferably mostly the former, I think. Obvious archetypes: the consul himself, who could be a bright young kid looking to make his name at State, or a cynical veteran, or someone being punished for a screwup elsewhere. The CIA rep under cover as an agricultural attache. The press attache/PR spokesman/cultural activity organizer. (“Hey, kids, wanna learn baseball?”) The US citizen who sought and was granted asylum in the consulate but can’t return to the States for complex legal reasons. The local working as a secretary.

PCs deal with the interesting and diverse problems that US citizens bring to them; I’d have a lot of room to drive stories. Also plenty of room for the PCs to drive their own stories. I’d expect plenty of espionage stuff. Mystic shit depends on the degree of player desire. Some horror, of course.

Influences are Charlie Wilson’s War, The Quiet American, etc.

The Inquisitor’s Library

The Dark Heresy game outlined here seems to be about to take off. In the interests of screwing around with new ways to manage information, I started a blog for this one rather than a wiki. We’ll see how it goes. I’m offering all the players posting access to the blog.

Sequel

It’s 2020: Orlando. Walt Disney World is bigger. Universal Studios has become a true rival to the Mouse. The rulers of Miami are emerging from a brutal civil war; Tallahassee has been disturbingly quiet for over a decade. An old Prince is sleeping; a disbarred lawyer who started his political career in a nursing home watches over the city. With a Sheriff’s approval, of course.

One day, there’s a letter.

“Hey, kids. Long time no see. You guys ought to drop by Dubai; the moonlight is thrilling. Bring the ambulance driver.”

Dubai by Night

Orlando Trash 2020: Dubai Trash.

China, Back Then

[Game background; not to be taken as literal history.]

It’s 69 AD. The Han Dynasty rules China in the form of the hard-working but sometimes cruel Emperor Ming. He has been emperor for over ten years, and previous to his ascension, he was intimately involved in matters of state. Perhaps this is why he was so diligent and capable.

But there are shadows over his reign. It is well known that Prince Jing plotted to rebel, some years ago, going so far as to employ sorcerers to curse Emperor Ming. The Emperor resolved the issue by forcing Jing to commit suicide, and slew literally ten thousand others who were implicated in the conspiracy. It is whispered that Emperor Ming’s eunuch advisers were responsible for counseling the Emperor to this extreme act, but perhaps it was necessary in order to maintain the Celestial order and the Mandate of Heaven.

Some time after that unfortunate incident, the Emperor’s chief general was sent to hunt down the dangerous rebel known as the Jade Dagger. Much to the surprise of all, Ban Chao never returned from the hunt, and was has in fact been seen many times since cooperating with the Dagger Bandits, as the Jade Dagger’s men are known. Where there was once an annoying but ultimately ineffectual band of rebels, there is now a skilled, well-led fighting force fomenting tumult at the edges of the Empire.

And, finally, China is plagued by demons. While the Emperor’s men have always been successful in defeating demonic incursions, province by province — the eunuchs are rumored to be instrumental in these successes — it yet seems that no man is capable of pushing the demons back for good. For no matter how often they are defeated in any one place, a new infestation arrives in another province soon thereafter.

The Emperor continues to battle these shadows. He has the assets already mentioned; his current general, Guo Xun, is only slightly less formidable than Ban Chao. His twin bodyguards, Lin Bao and Lin Bo, are never-speaking pillars defending him from all harm. He is far from helpless, but he is also far from victory.

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