Monday, September 30, 2013

Mongoose Traveller SRD - John Reyst

The source for this version of the game. 4 out of 5

Arkham Digest Interview - Ross E. Lockhart

" Why did you choose Tales of Jack The Ripper to be your first project? What do you find alluring about the Ripper and his murders? As boogymen go, Jack is a rock star. Everybody knows about Jack, but nobody knows who he really was. Everybody has a mental image of this heinous killer--mine includes a touch of Lon Chaney in London after Midnight--and yet, a century and a quarter after five women were brutally murdered, the case remains unsolved. Moreover, Jack has inspired so many authors to expand upon the mystery that the lines between fact and fiction aren't just blurry, they're practically invisible. John Francis Brewer's The Curse Upon Mitre Square may have been the first bit of fiction to explore and exploit the murders, but it definitely wasn't the last. Authors from Marie Belloc Lowndes to Robert Bloch to Harlan Ellison to Maureen Johnson to Alan Moore have taken their own stabs at this subject. With Tales of Jack the Ripper, I wanted to give some of my favorite storytellers a chance to peel back the layers of this mystery and expand on Jack's literary legacy." 3 out of 5

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Johnny Alucard Interview - Kim Newman

"What was the journey from the story “Who Dares Wins: Anno Dracula 1980″ to the novel “Johnny Alucard” like? More than just a title change? Kim: The journey actually starts with the piece published in Steve Jones’ The Mammoth Book of Dracula as ‘Coppola’s Dracula’ – which I wrote before Dracula Cha Cha Cha. I can’t even remember now if I intended that as the seed of a book – it’s slightly different in tone from the first two Anno Dracula books – though it pretty clearly sets up the character who is the spine of the new book. I wrote two other novellas on the assumption that what I would end up with was a collection of Anno Dracula stories, but then found myself doing fill-in bits (Who Dares Wins was one of those) which made me envision the book more as a novel. My Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the d’Urbervilles has a similar structure – a series of individual adventures, but an overall, attenuated focus on one relationship that turns it into a novel. This was often a pattern for books which first appeared as magazine series or serials – though I suspect it has been impressed on me by the way long-form television works these days, with standalone and arc episodes and the notion of a season box set as an entity. Think of Johnny Alucard as Anno Dracula Season 4." 3.5 out of 5

Three Clue Rule - Justin Alexander

"Mystery scenarios for roleplaying games have earned a reputation for turning into unmitigated disasters: The PCs will end up veering wildly off-course or failing to find a particular clue and the entire scenario will grind to a screeching halt or go careening off the nearest cliff. The players will become unsure of what they should be doing. The GM will feel as if they’ve done something wrong. And the whole evening will probably end in either boredom or frustration or both. Here’s a typical example: When the PCs approached a murder scene they don’t search outside the house, so they never find the wolf tracks which transform into the tracks of a human. They fail the Search check to find the hidden love letters, so they never realize that both women were being courted by the same man. They find the broken crate reading DANNER’S MEATS, but rather than going back to check on the local butcher they spoke to earlier they decide to go stake out the nearest meat processing plant instead. As a result of problems like these, many people reach an erroneous conclusion: Mystery scenarios in RPGs are a bad idea. In a typical murder mystery, for example, the protagonist is a brilliant detective. The players are probably not brilliant detectives. Therefore, mysteries are impossible. Or, as someone else once put it to me: “The players are not Sherlock Holmes.”" 4.5 out of 5

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

RAILGUNS The Series Part 2 History - T. D. Wilson

"In my last installment of Railguns "The Series", I started off by describing what is a railgun and how it compares to the function of an electric motor. This time, let's take a look at the history of the railgun and a little bit of why the railgun is considered to be a potential weapon for ships, portable field artillery, and even small arms." 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Strange Fate for ‘The Kerberos Club - Shane Ivey

"The Fate crowd was already primed for pulpy action from Evil Hat’s Spirit of the Century. They even already had an adventurous group to tie adventures together in Spirit’s Century Club. The Kerberos Club brought the action back to the middle and late 1800s and placed it in the British Empire. In Victorian London, the greatest empire of the colonial era was at the zenith from which it would soon tumble in conflicts with the other colonial empires. And of course, that fall would usher in the Twentieth Century, the era of Spirit of the Century. The Kerberos Club and Spirit of the Century weren’t created together but they drew from the same creative wells." 3.5 out of 5