Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Storytelling Video and MOOC

I may be having a great time in the Video Games and Learning MOOC on Coursera, but this video for The Future of Storytelling MOOC on iversity has a beautiful promo video and I think I may have to check it out as well!!!
The whole MOOC and MOOCy concepts are very exciting, being involved with so so many people. In VGL you have to go down 4 pages just to get to threads from yesterday - that is an inspiring environment to learn in. I am learning alot about the topic itself as well as online education and learning communities at this scale. I HIGHLY recommend people choose a MOOC that interests them and dive in.

Monday, 14 October 2013

SW EotE Discovery

Well, I am not sure I am that much closer to firing up a campaign for the system (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire) yet, but I am getting more enthusiastic. I just finished watching the Clone Wars Season 4 (Darth Maul is insane and alive no less). I am also enjoying reading the At War with the Empire Star Wars Omnibus comics.

Anyhow, I tried setting up a little scenario and using the pregen characters to see how they fared. It seems that big blasty weapons are very violent and standing out there and getting shot is very bad for your health. Pitting 2 PCs against each other in a dual is deadly. Anyhow, I found I had to look up alot of different things at each juncture, seeing what happens with various results or when characters want to do specific things. The GM screen is very handy in collecting together lots of the key tables and bits of info - plus it looks super.

One of the reasons for this post is to highlight 2 video series that are proving helpful as they play and discover the rules and the environment.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Thrail and a home

With another session of our 13th Age campaign under our belts, time for a little post with a few more sketches and a little writing. The party is currently three, with the fourth member to join any second now. We are Thrail Deepstone - a tough tentacle dwarf warrior from the sunken mountain who founded the Red Cloak to inspire residents of the new city of Fire Haven to throw off old shackles of oppression and to rise up and defend their new home. There is Sorra - the old tentacle dwarf wizard who took part in the last great battle and still remembers the horrors of those times as well as the 150 years she endured under the mountain. Jim - the tall human refugee from the the Moon is learning to live in this world and using his bard-like talents to good effect.

Here is something I wrote when our 'home' came up in the game but didnt have the time to get fleshed out...

The Red Den

Lone Pine Lane is nestled in the heart of the residential area of the rebuilding city. It features a small park in the middle of the road that has a single stone bench and the stump of what might have been an impressive tree. Apart from lines of unmatched buildings squeezed in next to each other the only other feature of note is the Owlbear Hoot Tavern.

The Red Den, as it is often referred to by the burly downstairs residents of #6 is an old building that almost stands up straight. The robust lower floor has many small windows that puncture the sturdy stone walls. The timber second floor sits carefully above and features elegant panelled glass windows and a dramatically sloped roof that could contain an array of dusty attics.

The entrance is a rough archway that shelters a portico featuring the main human-sized door, a narrow stairway and a collection of spears and polearms jammed into the large pots, barrels and a pile of hay bales. Through the large banded oak door is a large room that occupies the front third of the floor and is clearly the rec room for the inhabitants. There are several tables with chairs for as many as 20 people around what might have been the hearth of roaring fire in other times, today it features large barrels of ale and an assortment of tankards. On one wall hangs a large red banner that covers some of the windows casting a red glow over fixtures like the anvil, the training dummy and the armour rack. The room is a strange mix of merriment and hardened barracks, the walls showing signs of both sloshed mead and the errant swing of a bastard sword or two.

The second room is filled with beds, packed in from a time when Fire Haven had limited night-time protection against the shadow. There is still room for a large foot-chest for each bed, most of which are decorated by runes and the occasional piece of inappropriate graffiti. At the back is a small cluster of utility rooms one of which looks prepped for worship and another seems to be growing an interesting array of mushrooms on the walls.

The burly military nature of the downstairs is a nice platform for the lighter and smaller upstairs that presents as an odd blend of matronly toughness and frenzied academic pursuit. The upstairs rooms are clearly delineated by function, a big kitchen, a neat bedroom and a set of pokey rooms each dedicated to various elements of magical study. One room is all but covered in magical symbols, circles and ritual equipment while others are used for quiet study amidst a pile of old tomes, the mixing of mysterious elixirs or the testing of magical offensive incantations.

Who on earth might live at such a place?

Upstairs (1)
Sorra, elderly tentacle dwarf wizard
Downstairs (15)
Thrail, strong tentacle dwarf fighter and militia guardsman, plus founder of the Red Cloak
Jim, tall Moonchild bard and golucky new resident
Tentacle dwarf in the militia and the red cloak
Tentacle dwarf in the militia
Tentacle dwarf in the militia
Female tentacle dwarf in the militia and the red cloak, one of the guys
Tentacle dwarf farmer
Tentacle dwarf apprentice blacksmith and in the red cloak
Relatively untainted dwarf bridge engineer older brother
Relatively untainted dwarf bridge engineer younger brother, strangely taller and fairer
Piglix, untainted gnome herbalist working with the militia (admin position)
Tainted human in the militia and the red cloak
Untainted human farmer – severely injured and recovering
Untainted human farmer
Untainted human farmer

Recently lost several roommates to an undead assault on a farm
Several (5) members of the Red Cloak live here with another 10 scattered around FH
15 residents downstairs
7 tentacle dwarves plus 2 dwarves and a gnome
4 humans plus a moonchild
1 female
6 militia, 4 farmers, 2 bridge eng, herbalist, smith, bard