ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Diana: Warrior Princess is one of several games included in the Bundle of Laughs, a collection of comedic RPGs on sale, partly in aid of charity, until April 14th 2015. The basic starter payment of $6.95 gets you
- Murphy's World
- Critical! Go Westerly
- Diana: Warrior Princess
- Elfs

An additional payment ($15.36 and up) gets you
- Kobolds Ate My Baby
- Low Life: Rise of the Lowly
- Bob, Lord of Evil
- Demon Hunters

You'll need a Drivethru RPG account to download the games

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Laughs

10% of the proceeds after gateway costs will be donated to the charity Reading is Fundamental.
http://www.rif.org/us/about-rif.htm

Dragonmeet

Dec. 8th, 2014 12:26 am
ffutures: (marcus 2013)
I didn't post about Dragonmeet yesterday on Saturday because I was dog tired by the time I got home and I spent Sunday getting caught up on other things and trying to sooth a VERY sore throat.

The new venue (the Ibis hotel in Earl's Court) is a reasonable alternative to Kensington Town Hall. Food was mostly surprisingly cheap, though soft drinks were a bit expensive. But it felt a bit crowded, especially since they apparently had 1500+ people there, and the Open Games area (where I was running my sessions) was perpetually short of chairs. A lot of people seemed to have trouble finding the games they'd signed up for, which really didn't help.

The morning session was Forgotten Futures: the second part of Pyramid Scheme, in which the adventurers tracked Mad Empress Margaret's movements after her faked death and escape from her tomb under London. I really don't want to say more about that one since it will be in the next Forgotten Futures release, except that there was a reasonably happy ending.

The afternoon session was Custodians of the Cosmos, a cinematic adventure using modified Diana: Warrior Princess rules.

That one began about three or four months ago when the con organisers asked for people to run games - I put my name down for a couple, one of which I described as follows:

Custodians of the Cosmos
A motley assortment of adventurers join forces to visit strange new worlds, seek out new life and civilizations... and terminate anything that seems a threat to interstellar peace and harmony. Needless to say they _are_ a threat to interstellar peace and harmony, but hey, nobody's perfect. Especially when there's a big bar bill to pay, and someone's offering a reward of 500,000 credits for the Dread Space Pirate Robots...


Then, of course, I more or less forgot that I actually needed to write the damn adventure. Until earlier this week, when panic set in. Fortunately the solution was obvious - since I'd wasted a lot of time playing Oolite and that's quite a well-developed universe I set the adventure there, more or less. In this setting starships can't carry more than 7 LY worth of fuel, and can only jump between solar systems. But when a ship travels through hyperspace it briefly opens a wormhole - another ship can follow it without using any fuel.

There's a region in one of the galaxies which is divided by "The Great Rift," where all possible system-system jumps are 7.2 LY or more. There's a way to cross it, but it's difficult and involves another ship which may well be destroyed. So I decided that this was a natural region to encounter pirates. That let me use the galaxy map rather than having to invent my own - I printed it out across three sheets of A3 paper them got the players in the morning game and various random strangers to add cryptic notes to the map before I ran the adventure, e.g. "here be dragons," "Best burger bar in galaxy," a note in Japanese that I have no idea about, and so forth, to make it more interesting.

In the event I had three players so I asked the players to choose famous SF characters and come up with some simple stats; this gave me the elderly Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tegan from classic Dr. Who, and Buck Rogers (and the little robot Twiki) as the team.

The plot was actually dead simple - an alien businessman offered the adventurers money to eliminate pirates who were attacking ships along the edge of the Great Rift. They guessed fairly quickly that the pirates must be based on the other side. They also learned that the pirates (who only communicated by radio) claimed to be robots, and were stealing things that would be useful to them - computers. machinery, precious metals (useful for components), gems (useful for lasers etc.) and so forth.

So they came up with a plan - they found a hacker and got him to sell them a deadly computer virus, guaranteed to take out any computer know, loaded up with computers and started trolling up and down the edges of the rift.

Eventually a freighter followed them into their wormhole then did something that caused a misjump which crashed them out in interstellar space, and transmitted a message: "Be ye Turing-competent AIs, or human scum?"

As it happens the adventurers did have a robot with them - Twiki.



So they told Twiki to say they were robots - the stranger then transmitted a coded signal that made Twiki go berserk and start hitting Rogers. Fortunately Twiki was too small to do much damage, though Rogers' knees took a pounding. The stranger then demanded that they yield their cargo of computers to the "Thought Collective." Needless to say combat then ensued, which led to the attackers using their hyperdrive to escape across the Rift (at this point the nearest system was 6.8 LY away). The adventurers followed them through their wormhole, and resumed slugging it out on the South side of the rift. This eventually left both ships damaged, the players' ship out of fuel, and the attacker fleeing on fuel injectors (which give extra speed in normal space). By the time the adventurers limped to a Rock Hermit (asteroid base) the pirates had been and gone. The adventurers got Twiki rebooted and went on the hunt again.

After another inconclusive encounter the Collective decided to take out the threat. One of their ships pretended to be an innocent freighter dropping cargo and fleeing from the adventurers' ship - they naturally went to scoop it up, taking aboard three tons of radioactives and two of computers. A couple of minutes later alarms started sounding from the hold, and they went down to find that the five crates had assembled themselves into a large robotic bomb (stolen from Dark Star) which screwed itself to the floor plates, with a 300-second countdown. It then asked them to prove that they were Turing-competent intelligences, with the countdown starting up whenever they stopped talking. The adventurers solved this one by feeding the computer virus to the bomb, which promptly started to sing Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" - the virus had rickrolled the bomb! While it was distracted they used Kenobi's light sabre to cut out the floor plates, dumped the bomb, and put the pedal to the metal. A BIG explosion then ensued, but they got away.

Finally the adventurers worked out the most likely location of the pirate base, and went after it. This did not go entirely to plan - when they navigated to that system's navy base, it turned out to have been replaced by a Borg-style cube, and they were promptly boarded by another robot which cut through the hull; the dreaded "Blackturret" (a Dalek - yes, I know real Daleks aren't robots, exactly, but bear with me). The adventurers claimed to be aware of secret government anti-piracy plans that they would only reveal to the pirates leaders - this got them in to see Long John 3PO, their leader. They tried the virus trick again but 3PO just downloaded it and sneered at them... except that it started to tap its foot as they were being dragged away for execution. The adventurers guessed, correctly, that things were about to go badly wrong for the pirates, and made a break for it as "Never Gonna Give You Up" began to play over the cube's speakers. They then ran for their ship and escaped as the cube finally imploded, triggering a Queridium blast (Oolite's WMD) and eliminating the robot pirate threat once and for all. They escaped into hyperspace seconds ahead of the blue sphere of death.

Fadeout to a happy ending, apart from the sudden realisation that they didn't have an address for the alien who had sponsored them, or any way to claim the reward...

I was actually pretty pleased with the way it went, and I think a lot of the credit for that was that I knew the Oolite universe well enough to explain technology, the way its hyperdrives and jump drives worked, etc. so well that I never had to grope for an explanation. The robot pirates were the only real invention, and they worked well in the fairly silly context I was creating.

Finished that about six and went along to the game auction at 6.30, that took more than an hour and raised £1600+ for charity. I didn't manage to win any item, and some of the prices were insanely high, but it was all for good causes. After talking to friends for a while I headed home. Hopefully I'll be feeling more human and will actually be able to talk properly in a day or two...
ffutures: (marcus 2013)
These are the scenarios I'll be running at Continuum 2014 at the end of July - I've run both before at other cons, so please don't sign up if you've played in them before.

Saturday Morning
Adventure title: Pyramid Scheme
System: Forgotten Futures
4-6 Players, pregenerated characters
Summary: In the aftermath of the Sirian invasion there are some unusual opportunities for entrepreneurs. Some of them seem too good to be true... but why on Earth would the government pay anyone to dismantle and ship a pyramid to Mars? This is a test of a new setting and scenario and some delays and problems are possible.

This is another test of the setting for Forgotten Futures XII. I previously ran this at Dragonmeet 2013.

Sunday Afternoon
Adventure Title: Monster Mash
System: Diana: Warrior Princess
4-6 players
Adventure Description: America, the 1950s. You just want to meet with your friends, chug a few beers or some blood or brains, and maybe go out and terrorize the neighbourhood a little. But the locals seem to have weird objections. Well, that's what being a monster is all about, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but somehow it always hurts. But not as much as you're going to hurt the locals...
Note: this is a play-test of a system variant and adventure still in development, occasional rough patches are possible. I've run this once before at Dragonmeet 2012.
ffutures: (marcus 2013)
Just sent a DMCA notice to a site that has a vast number of pirated RPGs downloadable, including Diana: Warrior Princess and Elvis: The Legendary Tours. They will be hearing from a LOT of games companies, the shit has just hit the fan big-time on the main industry mailing list.
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Hits on my site have risen quite a lot this month, and my royalties from DriveThru RPG have quadrupled, mostly a lot of extra sales of Diana: Warrior Princess; part of that is probably because it was in their sale, but this big a jump makes me wonder if it has been reviewed somewhere recently.

Anyone know?

later - forgot to mention that one of the things I found while looking for an explanation on line was this video - unfortunately they're thinking of a different Diana!

ffutures: illos from the novel by George Griffith (Angel of the Revolution)
These are the adventures I should be running at Dragonmeet at the beginning of December.

Morning
System - Forgotten Futures
Adventure Title - The Ether Thieves
Adventure Description - In the 23rd Century the Anglo-Saxon Empire's economy depends on elemental forces extracted from the Ether. When the crew of the trawler Nostromo learn that the ether in their allotted area of space has been badly depleted, it's time to look for the culprits. Load the guns, me hearties, and sing a space shanty or two as we track them down...
Note - this is a play-test of a setting and adventure still in development, occasional rough patches are possible.

Afternoon
System - Diana: Warrior Princess
Adventure Title - Monster Mash
Adventure Description - America, the 1950s. You just want to meet with your friends, chug a few beers or some blood or brains, and maybe go out and terrorize the neighbourhood a little. But the locals seem to have weird objections. Well, that's what being a monster is all about, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but somehow it always hurts. But not as much as you're going to hurt the locals...
Note - this is a play-test of a system variant and adventure still in development, occasional rough patches are possible.

Hope I'll see some of you there.
ffutures: (Default)
Dragonmeet was... interesting, mostly because the Forgotten Futures adventure I was a bit dubious about went very well, while the Fanfic RPG scenario I thought was OK turned out to be a bit of a disaster.

Briefly, the FF adventure was based on something [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll mentioned, the Bone Wars between rival paleontologists in the 19th century. I changed this to the 23rd century and set it on the (habitable) Jupiter of A Struggle for Empire. don't read on if you might want to play this at some point )


The Fanfic adventure didn't go as well,mostly I think because the players ignored my request that they put together a plausible team of crime-fighting park rangers and instead went with a group that made no sense; Gaius Baltar, Gaius Julius Caesar, JD Dorian (Scrubs), Napoleon Solo, Christian Bale (studying the park ranger service for his next movie and prone to method act to a ridiculous extent), and Fox Mulder. Don't read on if you might want to play this at some point )

Anyway, two interesting but exhausting sessions - I stayed on for the auction (which raised £1460 for charity) but couldn't afford anything I actually wanted, then decided I'd skip going for a meal or to the pub and went home and got an early night. Next time I really need to pace myself a bit better...
ffutures: Tesla (Tesla)
I'm trying to get my act together for Dragonmeet tomorrow, for once I'm going to try to travel light, just take the stuff I really need (e.g. about half what I usually carry) and see if it makes things easier. I will have the usual CDs etc. for sale, and my laptop for a rolling powerpoint "Marcus' games are wonderful" presentation, but I won't bring as many printouts as usual - the books weigh a ton and they don't seem to get a lot of attention. We'll see how it goes.

Just designed the adventurers for the Forgotten Futures adventure; a motley group but somehow strangely familiar...

General Sir Malcolm Reynolds GC - Retired soldier & Pilot
Sgt. Fred T. Jayne - The General’s Batman
Chaplain Book - Representing the Church of England
Dr. Simon Tom - Doctor & Scientist (accompanied by his sister Fluvia)
Lady Indira Serra - Gentlewoman & Explorer
Miss Zoe Drystone - Lady Serra's Companion

The adventure is written in enough detail for me to wing the rest, and is (as expected) not the one originally advertised - working title is Marooned on Jupiter.

Props etc. for the Fanfic game are also ready, but players will be generating characters from scratch this time so I can't give any details yet.

Should be fun, hope I'll see some of you there.
ffutures: (Default)
I've been preparing handouts etc. for Jellystone!, the Fanfic RPG adventure I'll be running on Saturday afternoon. I was expecting to have to do a lot of drawing etc., but it turns out that there is a Jellystone Park motel franchise that uses the Yogi Bear image, and they have produced all of the maps etc. I could possibly need - as an obvious example, I think that there's going to be a big confrontation in a motel, and I've found loads of maps, all nicely labelled as Jellystone Park motel. There's a nice "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp - Resort" logo with a picture of Yogi, and so forth. The plot is coming together quite nicely, and I think it's going to be a fun session - I'll post a summary next week, since this obviously can't be published in the game - too many trademarks etc!

The Forgotten Futures session I've planned for the morning may have to be a different scenario than I'd originally intended - the plot hasn't gelled very well, and I think I've used similar ideas too many times before. I may use the scenario I trialed at the UK RPG university con this summer instead, I know that it works - but it means that players who took part in that may be disappointed. I'll just have to see what I can come up with.
ffutures: (Phrenology)
These are the games I'm planning to run at Dragonmeet 2011 on November 26th


Forgotten Futures XII - Empire of Earth
Playtest of a new setting
Frog Day Afternoon
2240 AD - With the 450th anniversary of Bastille Day approaching, and the Anglo-Saxon Empire still recovering from its war with Sirius, the government fears that French terrorists will take advantage of perceived weaknesses to make another attempt to revive the "glories" of their long-dead nation. Your mission, should you choose to accept...
4-6 players, 3 hours(ish)


Fanfic The Role Playing Game
Diana Warrior Princess rules, Playtest
Jellystone!
The season's premiere of an exciting new action-adventure series: when poachers kill Jellystone Park's mascot and several park rangers, an elite team must be found to replace them. But there may be bigger problems than poachers...
4-6 players, 3 hours(ish)

Hope I'll see some of you there
ffutures: (Default)
On the train heading back to London, thought I'd update on the fanfic RPG.

Briefly, I've decided that this isn't a commercial proposition; it's going to be impossible to write it without referencing real TV shows etc.

So the plan now is to produce a fairly stripped-down version as a freeby, with lots of "this is not an authorised game" warnings etc, a minimal version of the Diana rules with the changes I've been using in play-tests, and one or two adventures based on my own fanfic. I have no idea when this will happen, but hopefully it eventually will.

The session yesterday ran into a common problem - what do you do when the players spot your sources and guess some of what's coming?

spoiler )
ffutures: (Default)
Haven't posted about Consternation because I've been busy - started Friday night with a panel on weird science (where I got to practice my evil laugh and generally behave like an idiot), Also played some fun board games, then yesterday morning I ran my own thing on making sense of the "science" of The Struggle for Empire, which was a qualified success - it still doesn't make much sense but I think I can paper over the cracks.

I ran an adventure in that setting in the afternoon - the Wagon Train to the Stars thing, with the characters named for Firefly crew with various evil twists - one was a traitor to the cause, another was a psychopath (and no, I DON'T mean Fred T. Jayne, engineer), and so forth. Ended up with them fleeing Earth then Mars leaving bodies behind them wherever they went, which isn't bad considering I started out with the character descriptions and about five WORDS of notes then improvised the rest as they went along.

Later on I took part in a "Just a Minute" game and established that I am way too slow at spotting hesitation, deviation and repetition, think I came last.

Then we had the auction, and I picked up some good stuff - Silver Age Sentinels, a BIG CoC campaign based on Ramsay Campbell's books, the GURPS Castle Falkenstein Byzantine Empire supplement, and a couple of other things, all for £12. Sold my last copy of the original Canal Priests of Mars plus a copy of the new printing for more than that, though the proceeds went to the convention fund.

Ended up the evening playing "the nasty horse racing game" which has fairly simple but VERY evil mechanics - apparently it's available quite cheaply, if you want a nice game that takes a couple of hours with some fun player versus player tmechanics it's well worth a try.

Today I'm playing in a GURPS Discworld game run by Phil Masters, then in the afternoon I'll be running my Diana-based Fanfic game. Not sure about the evening yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something.
ffutures: (Default)
These are the adventures I should be running at Consternation, the RPG etc. convention at New Hall Cambridge on August 19th-21st.

Fanfic The Role Playing Game (Diana Warrior Princess rules, Playtest)
They Saved Milton Keynes

When disaster threatens, the Hacker government calls in a top team of experts to save Britain (and just possibly the world). After all, how hard can it be?
Please note - this is the same adventure I ran at Dragonmeet, with some rules modifications, and I've discussed it on Livejournal (and written the fanfic!) - please don't sign up if you know the plot!

Forgotten Futures XII - Empire of Earth (Playtest of a new setting)
Manifest Destiny

2150 AD - As the Anglo-Saxon Empire expands into space, a group of patriotic Americans decides that it's time to restore the full glory of the Stars and Stripes on another world. As the "Wagon train to the stars" assembles, will the Empire be supportive - or try to ensure that their brave new world never gets off the ground?

Forgotten Futures XII - Empire of Earth (Playtest of a new setting)
Frog Day Afternoon

2240 AD - With the 450th anniversary of Bastille Day approaching, and the Anglo-Saxon Empire still recovering from its war with Sirius, the government fears that French terrorists will take advantage of perceived weaknesses to make another attempt to revive the "glories" of their long-dead nation. Your mission, should you choose to accept...

Apologies if you see this more than once, I'm posting it to my web site and [livejournal.com profile] ffutures_news too.

Motor show

Dec. 3rd, 2010 11:35 pm
ffutures: (Default)
I think my thinly disguised motoring show will be called Turbo Charged. Anyone aware of any real TV motoring shows with this name?
ffutures: (Wallace & Gromit)
I think that rather than running non-stop Forgotten Futures at Dragonmeet I may give some of my ideas for the Fanfic Role Playing Game a trial in one slot. This is basically going to be a Diana Warrior Princess variant, but rather more open ended - each player chooses some traits for his or her character, which need not necessarily have anything in common with conventional RPG characteristics or traits, then each of the other players thinks of another trait for the character (which need not necessarily be a positive one provided there's some agreement it's justified), then the player is given a pool of points to assign to the traits.

The tentative list of characters I have in mind is the Top Gear team, Wallace and Gromit, Sir Patrick Moore, and Donna Noble (post amnesia)
ffutures: Elvis: The Legendary Tours RPG cover (Elvis)
Pointed out by [livejournal.com profile] selenak

This is now officially canon for the Dianaverse (especially Elvis: The Legendary Tours...)

ffutures: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] frostfox sent me a very nice picture but I've decided it'll work better inside than on the cover, and as someone pointed out The Thinker is instantly recognizable, so I'm going to stick with it - this time using high res versions of the statue and thought bubble that look a lot better. I've changed the wording of the thought bubble a little too.

ffutures: (Blues Brothers)
I'm thinking minimalist. I think I can get away with the small references to real fandoms in the thought bubble, unless anyone knows better.





All comments gratefully received.
ffutures: (Twiglet)
...is "Fanfic: The Role Playing Game"

Basic idea is to use the Diana: Warrior Princess rules (e.g. extremely cinematic and silly) but the setting of the TV show, book, whatever of your choice. Characters are designed by players, who must base the character stats on the description of the character in a story of their choice - so it can be anything from completely canon compliant to a total Mary-Sue. The other players have to agree that the character stats match the character as described. The rule, I think, will be that players can't base their characters on their own fanfic...

Characters who are close to canon will get bonuses that can be used to influence dice rolls etc. Mary-Sues will get fewer bonuses and possibly an occasional bit of bad luck. I'm not 100% sure what I'll do about characters who are pretty much Mary-Sues in canon such as H*n*r H*rr*ngt*n or W*ll*w R*s*nb*rg, but I'm sure I'll think of something. There will also, I think, be lots of cards that players can use to influence the plot such as "Woke Up In Vegas", "Real Father", and of course "Slash" and "Femme-Slash".

Now for obvious legal reasons this can't be based on any real fandom - apart from anthing else, I want to sell this, which means I can't mess around with characters owned by grasping megacorporations. I'm probably going to have to invent some sort of low common denominator TV show and use it for my examples. My tentative title is "Ninja Monster Slayers in Spaaaace". Any suggestions on this? And what do people think of the idea as a whole?
ffutures: (lost world)
Apparently there have already been more than fifty downloads of the FF PDF from e23, and I've been asked to PLEASE not make any more changes unless it's absolutely essential in case all of them download it again. I've also had more registrations than usual in the last few days; not a huge increase, but enough to convince me that doing this was worth while, and that putting more freebies on line occasionally, over and above the normal game releases, will also be a good idea if I can do it without overextending myself.

I'm vaguely thinking of an "advertising supplement" next, say 32 pages of adverts from Pearson's Magazine, Gamage's catalogue, etc., if I can find enough fun ones. Does this sound interesting?

I'm also going to look at freebies for Diana and Flatland; I'm not sure what they'll be, but I'm sure I can come up with something.

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