Saturday 16 January 2016

Comic Review: Trans-Planetarium #1

How would you feel if you lost everything because of who you are? In Trans-Planetarium, we immediately find protagonist in the midst of her answer to this question - bleeding out into a bathtub. It's a powerful image to kick off a book and it's that hook that grabs you and thrusts you into Alice's story.

Alice was born 'Alex', but from a young age realised that he was a female in a male's body. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, a young guy dressing in girl's clothes is going to be a to be a target for bullying and ostracization. As Alice is losing blood, we're given a glimpse of the past that led her to where she was right then.

Just as all hope seems to be lost, Alice is visited by what seems to be an angelic savior. It's not made entirely apparent in this first issue who this character is, aside from Alice's self-proclaimed 'teacher'. She works similarly to Ebeneezer Scrooge's ghosts, revealing a window of time to Alice to show all of human history- the sadness, the joy, the death and so on. Through this, we see that Alice was assaulted by a guy she met in a bar once he realised that she was transgender. We see various scenes where Alice is given a pretty raw deal through the shunning of her peers and even the loss of her job. Ultimately, the angel explains to her that through the challenges we find the beauty in life - a positive message and an important one.

Trans-Planetarium is written by Phillip "Flip" Knox, who can convincingly structure an effective narrative, although the dialogue does feel slightly rough around the edges at the moment with some clumsy phrasing - but it still works.

The artwork by John Abiera is composed well, with some genuinely good character expressions. While the colours are a tad flat, they are still nice and vibrant, making the book pop.

Trans-Planetarium ends with a good cliffhanger, but also works well as a stand-alone piece. The thing that really stands out is that it's a book with a trans protagonist dealing with trans issues. This isn't something we necessarily see in mainstream comics, so it's great to see a trans-positive book out there. Although it can come off a little heavy in parts (there's a particular scene where a doctor refers to Alice as 'it' that feels slightly forced) it's wonderful to see that this kind of comic exists and the creative team must be applauded for it.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player

I've been thinking about solo roleplaying a lot recently, which led me to create Quill, a roleplaying game about writing letters.

Yes, instead of thwacking orcs, in Quill your aim is to write the best missives, with characters like the Poet, the Monk, the Knight and the Aristocrat. Rather than attributes like strength and wisdom, in Quill you have Penmanship, Heart and Language.

In a game of Quill you will be writing a real letter, so crack out the parchment and ink - it's time to scribe!

Quill is pay what you want on DriveThruRPG right now

Monday 4 January 2016

Random Starship Name Generator

One of the best parts of a sci fi game is the ability to fly your very own ship, which holds true for Somnium Void too. Below is one of the random generators found in the new setting book - just roll 2d10 to name your ship.

First Name  

1. Dread
2. Black
3. Silent
4. Moon
5. Flash
6. Century
7. Ace
8. Shock
9. Red

Second Name  

1. Goliath
2. Striker
3. Bandit
4. Cobra
5. Runner
6. Star
7. Nebula
8. Vulture
9. Leviathan
10. Hunter

Pay what you want for Somnium Void today.