Monday, 13 October 2014

The King in Yellow in USR Mythos

USR Mythos isn't all about Lovecraft. Oh sure, there's a tonne of cosmic dread in there - big ol' things with tentacles for eyes and eyes for knees or whatever, but Mythos will go beyond Lovecraft. I will definitely be including aspects of Chambers' The King in Yellow, which I suppose has found its way into Lovecraftian lore anyway, but I'm a big fan of the whole Carcosa thing. I think the notion of a world beyond this, like pulling back a veil and discovering something incredibly haunting, is one that really speaks to me, so I want this to be a part of Mythos.

If you're unfamiliar with The King in Yellow then I would describe it thusly: there is a play manuscript called The King in Yellow that sends people mad if they read after the first act. In Chambers' stories and other works in the Carcosa mythos, this madness tends to lead people to another world - dim Carcosa, the world within the play itself. It's all kinds of messed up, but I highly recommend you go and read it for free right here. You'll want to read the first four stories, which are the ones tied to the Carcosa mythos.

So with the eponymous King in Yellow be an actual creature in the game? Or will be be more symbolic? I'm thinking I have a completely separate section for Carcosa along with all the other locations. I'm rambling now, so I apologise.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Here's another reason why you should be watching Sleepy Hollow

Word to your mothers. Sleepy Hollow is back and it's giving me all kinds of great feelings. Last year I wrote a post explaining the reasons you should totally be watching Sleepy Hollow, which you should read if you're not into this awesome show.

Anyway, the image above is another example of why you should be setting your peepers on this televisual spectacle. Without spoiling too much (maybe a little), that there is war. Notice how it is a SUIT OF ARMOUR WITH A FLAMING SWORD RIDING ON THE BACK OF A HORSE WITH FLAMING EYES. It is also an avatar controlled by a powerful magic-user who CAN EAT SINS.

That. Is. Incredible.

Also, in one scene Abbie Mills is attacking this guy with a shotgun. I cannot express how cool a show is when there's a scene of this insane magnitude.

Also, Abbie Mills is the perfect woman. Oh my glob.
Guys, you should be watching the hell out of this. Pun intended.

Take a first look at Netflix's Daredevil

Photograph: Netflix © 2014 Netflix, Inc
Na na na na na na na na DAREDEVIL! As a big fan of the red dude I've been looking forward to seeing the first glimpse of Netflix's upcoming Daredevil show - a 13 episode-long series coming in early 2015.

Marvel released the first images from the series at New York Comic Con and from the looks of it they're going ahead with the first costume that Murdock made in the Frank Miller run, which is more like a ninja outfit than the red spandex he's most famous for.

Here's Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock - red glasses and all

Photograph: Netflix © 2014 Netflix, Inc
Daredevil will join a recent raft of superhero shows such as Arrow, The Flash, Gotham and Agents of Shield, that have sprung up on our screens in the past couple of years. 

Showrunner Steven S DeKnight promised that the story would be steeped in grey areas: “There are no heroes and villains, just people making choices,” he said. “There will be times on the show when you won’t be sure who to root for.”

Oh, and check out this lovely promo posted by Joe Quesada:

Image: Marvel Entertainment
I mean, it looks pretty nice, but it's no Affleck.


Which is the king of gamebooks?

Pictured: irrelevance

Autumn has broken in and I'm as happy as a cat with a ball of yarn the size of the Death Star. What does Autumn mean for me? Playing games - of course! Well, that and gorging myself on comfort food until I become the very definition of gout. Games games games!

Also, Autumn means having these guys fed to me on a drip

A perfect way to pass the time, especially if you're looking for a bit of quiet time, is with a gamebook, yes? Remember, kids: regular books suck compared to ones where you can die in a variety of hilariously brutal ways (I'm looking at you, everything Ian Livingstone has done).

So I got to pondering, as I am wont to do when I'm bored: what is the best gamebook ever made? Yes, marvel at my ingenious questioning. Honestly, I can't say because I've not played every gamebook in existence but from the ones I have played through I might have to go with Fabled Lands: The War-Torn Kingdom. It was the first book I played that made me feel I had full agency over my character and therefore could allow me to be completely dick people over. Be warned, gamebook NPCs: I will waste no time in betraying and most likely killing you, even if it's just for a few pennies and a roast chicken.

Go on, challenge me. I bloody dare you!

Clearly, I have a very specific criteria when it comes to judging what makes a great gamebook, but I love FL:TWTK for many more reasons than the fact I can bomb around the country being an utter douchenugget to all and sundry. It's the freedom to create your own story and play your own way that really tickles my pickle. If I wanted to become a naval merchant (which I did before I was knobbed over by the weather, rendering my ship as useful as trousers for fish) then I can totally do that.

So I'm interested to hear what you think the king of gamebooks is and why. Have a good one, chums.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Designing cosmic horrors for USR Mythos

Welcome to USR Mythos Month, where all October long I wax lyrical about the upcoming USR Mythos setting. 

What kind of stats should unknowable cosmic gods have in USR? The game is designed so that if you're at the appropriate level, or even under, you should still have a chance of defeating whatever enemy you're wailing on at that point in time. While this works well for orc tribesmen, galactic bounty hunters and steampunk cowgirls, cosmic entities sort of screw all that up. The point of things like Cthulhu, Dagon and those other physical gods are that they're just completely unstoppable once they get going. When the stars are right then there really is no hope for humanity (no matter what that episode of the Real Ghostbusters said).

Monday, 29 September 2014

Get your cultist robes out because October is USR Mythos Month

Image: Cthulhu by Spankye
October is the best month of the year, without a shadow of a doubt. It's the month of Halloween, my birthday and Autumn is in full swing. This year I'm celebrating October with Mythos Month - an entire month dedicated to USR Mythos, an upcoming Lovecraftian setting for the game.

So get ready for cosmic horrors, eerie locales and savvy investigators up the wazoo! FHTAGN!