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Gaming the New Year

Brought in the new year playing CyberPunk 2020 (with a few house rules). Pulled together an introductory adventure and wrote up 9 simple characters with a minimum of overlap between them for a game. Each character was a direct rip-off of a character in a piece of cyberfiction -

* a classic meatboy enhanced with vat-grown muscles (background characters in a bunch of novels)
* a datacourier who's brain implants get compromised (Johnny Mnemonic)
* a razorgirl with amped reflexes and razor fingers (Molly Millions)
* a nihilist cyber terrorrist (Panther Modern from Neuromancer)
* a wirehead synner who is trying to recover his creation - a virtual entertainer who others see as a god / hero (Little Heroes)
* an escaped experimental cyborg killing machine (Destroying Angel)
* a street shaman (Shadowrun)
* an ex-military field reporter who doesn't trust his own memories, but records new ones for the man (Memory Wire)
* a low tech survivalist who lives under the city (the LoTek from Johnny)

8 players sat around the table, at least two of whom had never gamed before, and the majority had only played D&D a handful of times. It was an awesome experience although I didn't gauge the amount of time required, and didn't get to the final scene which kind of sucks.

2007 was the year of CyberPunk for me. After six years of not playing cyberpunk, at the encouragement of my players we launched a new CP2020 campaign in January. Around the same time I started shopping around for an alternate to the RTG Interlock system to run it. I've settled on a heavily-modified version of the ACTION! System and started working on a new "Futureshock" styled RPG.

My RPG discovery of the year was Lacuna Part 1. This is a genius game that starts off like you are playing Agents in a Jungian version of the Matrix, and then goes on to explode your mind. Ran it once at my birthday / HoundCon, and am running it again for Sooch-a-palooza on Friday.

The game I've wanted to play for years that I finally got a chance to this year was Vampire: the Requiem. I fell in love with this edition when Dextra bought it the year it came out at GenCon. I finally got to start running it this fall. I'm still not sure if I'm happy with the low damage from combat, but I love the other changes to the game and setting. This game supports the premises of Vampire better than the original Vampire ever did. Makes me very happy.

Dungeons & Dragons consumed the majority of my RPG time until the summer of 2006. I started playing again lightly this year, but I'm happier to keep this game on the shelf again. It's something I love writing stuff for, but I'd rather be playing something else. Especially something more modern. D&D actually reminded me of my love for CyberPunk. My last campaign of D&D was essentially a CyberPunk campaign set in Eberron. For fantasy gaming, I had replaced it with Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay 2nd Edition and played a few games of it this year.

Speaking of Warhamster, this year I ran a Warhammer 40,000 RPG demo at GenCon. As a thank you, I received a copy of the 40KRPG rules in November. 20 years in the making, it's about time they turned Rogue Trader into an RPG. It's a very sexy book, and I love the setting, although I sort of worry that I won't actually play much / any of this game beyond the first adventure that we've started.

Looking to 2008, I'm not actually watching any one RPG that closely, nor really looking forward to any game releases. I'm hoping that along the way, once again, a few releases will catch my eye and attention, and hopefully blow my mind. But if none do, I'll be glad to finally get New Tribes done enough to be playable.


Warhammer 40,000 - Dark Heresy

In the mail today I got my copy of Warhammer 40,000: Dark Heresy.

The book is drop-dead sexy. I ran a game of Dark Heresy at GenCon from the preview document handed out to the DMs and it was a blast. A few of the rules changes from WHFRP2 I was unsure about at first, but after a few reads through the document I learned to appreciate the changes as ones that improve the general feel of the game. One big one is the avoidance of the multiple careers of WHFRP and replacement with general "career paths" - a system that avoids getting bogged down in thousands of minutiae for each possible career path available inside and out of the Imperium.

So yeah, 100% sweet 400-page monstrosity that I've been waiting for since 1987. 20 years later and it was worth the wait.


Chromatic Rock

The words first showed up for me in CyberPunk. In the "View from the Edge" book, page 7.

"Chromatic Rock: A type of heavy metal characterized by heavy electronics, simple rhythms and violent lyrics".

It was described by Mike as heavy metal with heavy electronics and punk lyrics.

When I got into CyberPunk, I was a punk (mohawk, spiked bracelets, doc martens, leather jacket, ripped jeans, hanging suspenders, plaid shirt around my waist). I was listening to the Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, Exploited and more local punk acts. Bands with synths weren't punk, they were "new wave". I could somewhat see the potential of combining Punk with Metal, but couldn't imagine the combination working with heavy electronics.

Then, a month after I bought CP2013 in 1988, I heard Ministry for the first time. Stigmata from the Land of Rape and Honey to be precise, released that same year.

"Industrial Metal" was my primary musical style in my cassette deck, then my CD players, and now my mp3 players since 1988. I still listen to punk, and a lot of other Industrial genres, but Ministry and Industrial Metal are Chromatic Rock and thus CyberPunk to me.



THIS is CONTROL is a campaign site and fansite for Lacuna Part 1 - The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl From Blue City, an RPG by Jared Sorensen published by Memento Mori Theatricks.

"Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage."


October Updates

With November here and the weather getting a lot colder, we're looking back on the games we played last month.

We've opened a new chapter in the BlackHammer CyberPunk Campaign chronicled at the CyberWiki. The Arasaka Shell Game had our punks back in the familiar digs of Night City working against a transformed Arasaka menace.

The RISK 2210 AD site now includes comprehensive game FAQs, as well as the first DreadGazebo expansion for the game - The Resistance Command Deck.

Finally, Dextra's GeekCats are still going strong, now featuring the first image macro starring Monte Cook's dog Marley.


Worth the RISK?

We've been active RISK 2210 players since the release of the game by Avalon Hill many moons ago. I've competed in a few major tournaments and have even had an article about RISK 2210 strategies published in Undefeated magazine. So now we bring you the DreadGazebo RISK 2210 page.


Back to the Dungeon!

At the request of the lovely Dextra, we have started playing D&D again after over a one year break. Because I was so burned out on the game last year, I agreed to run it again on condition that it wouldn't involve very much work on my part - that we would just use pre-published modules and run through them one by one and have fun at it.


GeekCats - The RPG LOLCats Collection

Dextra has just started a new blog called "GeekCats" - a collection of LOLcat graphics designed using photos of our cats and our gaming stuff. So check it out at GeekCats


Requiem for a World of Darkness

On the original version of the DreadGazebo, we had a couple of Vampire and World of Darkness related sites that somehow got lost during the server moves we had in the meantime. Since then, the new World of Darkness was released and my own interest in the game has shifted significantly. And thus, we present Montreal's Requiem, a site for Vampire: the Requiem in specific, but also where I can stick any old articles I find from "FlashFires & SwampGas" and "Dark Paths".


The Future Is Disposable

When discussing themes and styles for newTribes (our cyberpunk game), one of the themes I love is single-use products – a truly disposable future. In the classic CyberPunk 2020 RPG this is well represented by the polymer one-shots (cheap plastic handguns that are thrown out after use instead of reloaded). However, very few players will use these crappy guns, no matter how cheap they are – they are best used as a way to arm NPCs in a manner that allows them to be a threat, but that doesn’t give the players anything to salvage.

However, for newTribes, I want a more disposable feel. Since so many games revolve around combat, most of the suggestions we went through were weapon and armour related – but here they are: