All posts for the month December, 2004

Holiday Events and Musings

It is about a week until Christmas and it hasn’t really sunk in. My first year in San Diego seemed to drag forever but this year feels like it is flying by. In a week and a day I’ll be returning to Las Cruces, NM for a week. I look forward to seeing how the place has changed and how much it has stayed the same.

I also look at where I was a year ago and where I am now. A year ago I had just lost my job with Skytech Mortgage due the increase in mortgage rates. I was freaked out, living in Lakeside with a girlfriend who was obsessed with chatting (full on webcam and microphone) with men from England. I was angry, sad, and bored.

Things are so much different. So many things have happened since last Christmas and I have so much to look foward to. Now, I’m fully employed, living on the beach and completly responcible for myself. I’m making it and laughing all the way.

It other new… Last Saturday was the Ligand (the company Stephanie work for)Christmas party. I had never been to a full on corporate party before but we had a good time. I was a little intimidated at first but after a few glasses of wine managed to relax. She got recognized for 5 years of service. One of Stephanie’s co-workers had brought his wife who happened to be from Las Cruces and graduated at NMSU so it was fun talking to her and I’m still convinced that I am the only person from Las Cruces who doesn’t like green chili.

Tomorrow is my Christmas party which should be a bit smaller (about 10 people compared to 400).

I also finished my Mage (roleplaying) game which can be seen on my webpage. This is the second adventure I have ran for what has been labeled “The Champions.” For some reason those games take more out of me than what I’m use to. My GMing seems a little more forced. The games are still tons of fun and I’m glad we switch GMs after each game. Up next is OGL Steampunk, Paranoia XP, and a heist fantasy game using HARP.

I had a great time playing in the Werewolf game at Gencon this year. One of the extra bonuses is that the new Werewolf game hasn’t been released yet. It won’t be out until Feb 05. As a result the demo gave me a chance to take a sneak peak at the game. Other gamers of course are as curious about the game as I am and the demo gave me a chance to share my knowledge on rpg forums. One of the things I did was post a summary of the actual demo which I’ve decided to also put here. So, for those of you who enjoy, werewolves, rpgs, or both enjoy. I ended playing Pedro in Part 1, and Alice in Part 2 and 3.

Part 1

The adventure is set in a high school in a poor part of LA. A young poor athletic hispanic student named Pedro (aka Tru) was caught with a gun in school that was brought to him by his hot girlfriend Becky. The adventure opens up with a parent teacher conference that included PCs: Pedro, Becky, Gilbert (Becky’s dad and a teacher) Ira (Vice Principal), and a Janitor Steve (their was a sixth character but I’m not sure who it was as we only had 5 players).

Parent teacher conference starts and after a while strange things start to happen such as flickering lights and the getting cold. Suddenly the time advances to 10 in the evening and children dressed as catholic school girls or Indian girls are seen walking around. When someone sees their face the notice their mouths are stitched shut by wire, staples, or other nastiness. The children walk around, put their finger to their mouths and say “sssshhhhhhh.” They would also reach out and touch you which would cause you to loose your voice or breath.

Other strange men dressed as old principals would appear and order you to sit down. If you tried to resist things like letter openers, syringes, scissors, bottles would be flung at you in a poltergeist like manner. The ghosts also seemed to dislike loud noises.

A little invesitgation would reveal that a number of suicides had occured at the school and the principals had covered them up.

Of course this entire time everyone is trying to escape (the school is empty with the exception of the ghosts and the PCs). The doors are chained locked with 18th century locks.

Steve the janitor at one point keeps hearing noise to the point it is driving him crazy. Plugging his ears is not working and upon seeing two hangers proceeds to put out his own ears.

The other characters are also getting beat up by the ghosts (falling on top of barred wire jacks, getting stuck by flying objects ex ex). They manage to retrieve the gun Becky brought to school that caused the entire mess. An attempt to retreive the janitors tools to open the locks reveals thousands of spiders which included one dauberman sized spider.

At this time, Steve the Janitor, starts changing and freaking out. He runs into the library were the PCs follow. The school starts to shift into a catholic missionary that has Indian slaves. The library morphs into a Catholic cathedral and the doors lock shut. Also in the library is Roberto, a pimply faced student that everyone ignored. He turns out to be a zombie of some sort. Roberto the Zombie, and Steve the Janitor (now Steve the Werewolf) proceed to fight. Steve tears the zombie a new asshole.

Steve then goes into a frenzy and attacks everyone else. He first goes after Pedro who makes a good run but Ira steps in the way and the Werewolf scatches her down. Pedro then jumps to save Ira and Steve bites his head off. Steve then rips into Ira.

During all this Gilbert is trying to open a library emergency door and succeeds. He escapes out the door with his dead daughter but the werewolf tracks them down in a matter of minutes and kill Gilbert. Steve runs off into the night.

Part 2

A new Werewolf Pack had been recently formed and taken territory in LA. The Pack consists of:

  • Nadine – Bone Shadow. She was originally from the Ozarks and was a sort of medicine woman. In the 3rd adventure she was the alpha. There was no alpha in the second.
  • Alice – Blood Talons. Athletic, attractive, Buffy like. She was extremely competitive.
  • Soledad – Ghost Wolf. A female catholic nun who was torn between her faith and the reality of her werewolf nature. This was the reason she was tribeless.
  • Mike – Iron Masters, Ragabash. Mike is a computer guy and kinda selfish.
  • Randell – Ahroun (not sure of tribe). Don’t remember his description but he was played as bastard that got in everyone’s face and didn’t listen to reason or other tribemates.
  • Eric – For the life of me I’m can’t remember the character’s real name, but he was a Hunters in Darkness. Very spiritualistic but also the youngest of the group in his late teens.

The scene starts with the new pack relaxing at their house. Alice is sleeping when she has a vision of ghost girls, spiders, a cathedral, and a new werewolf murdering people, and than eating a human bum.

During this she is thrashing in her sleep in garu form which alerts the rest of the pack. When Alice awakes she tells the pack about her dream and they jump to action to try and find this new werewolf who is causing havoc in their territory. Some quick research and questioning of Alice gives them a general idea as to where the new werewolf is.

The pack heads out and tracks by scent where they found the alley that the bum was in. Carnage is everywhere with the remains of not just one bum but two or three. An old bag lady is found scarred out of her mind. Soledad and Nadine take her to the hospital and try to question her but she gives little more than “evil dog, evil dog monster.”

The cops show up but Alice is in a hurry and wants to find the new werewolf before he causes more damage. Mike decides to stay behind and detour the cops from the scene. Unfortunately, he fails and the cops enter the scene and proceed to start puking and freaking out. They do let Mike go after a bunch of questioning.

Eric, Alice and Randell are able to track the new werewolf to a secure train depot. It is heavily guarded. Alice speaks to one of the guards who only responds with asking her to leave. He has a genuine “inhuman” quality to him.

A quick howl brings the pack back together and they proceed to sneak into the depot. There are 4 guard shacks at each corner of the chain link fence perimeter. When one of the guards leaves Mike investigates the shack. All of a sudden a few small spiders stream down on single pieces of thread. When he looks up thousands of spiders come sliding down.

Mike jumps out and all the lights go out. Mike starts to attack the guards sure that they are inhuman and evil.

Everyone else has found the new werewolf who immediately attacks them. A huge fight between the guards, the new werewolf, and the pack breaks out. When Alice tries to grab the werewolf he leaps into the air taking both of them through the roof of a warehouse which also houses and giant spider web in which they are both stuck. Alice gives a howl of warning, help, and evil.

Half man half spider like creatures start to attack from inside the warehouse. Eric manages to light spider web. Mike and Nadine manage to finish off the guards while Soledad, Randell take out the spider men. Eric and Alice take down the werewolf.

When everything is calm the pack questions the new werewolf who is insane and deaf (blood dribbling out his ears). Little is gathered from him other than the evil is at the high school. They are able to knock him out and take him home.

Part 3

The pack returns home to lick their wounds and question Steve the werewolf. Nadine makes a solution that helps Soledad and Randell come out of their comas but they are still extremely weak and sick.

The pack tries to question Steve further by writing on a pad of paper and letting him respond. It is obvious that he is insane, possibly beyond all hope. Steve keeps frenzying causing damage to the house. An argument about what to do with Steve occurs and the pack starts to splinter.

The pack decides to get some rest. During this time Nadine and Randell sneak Steve out and kill him and then dispose of the body. The rest of the pack believe he has been put into a deep sleep so they can decide what to do with him later.

Everyone wakes up and Mike is able to find the High School by using the computer and looking at the locations where Steve went then finding a location that would have a track and field.

The pack heads to the High School. They bust open the locked doors and immediately encounter the ghosts. They start to investigate and discover the carnage left by the students and faculty from the first adventure.

At one point a ghost girl seems extremely human. Alice goes to help her and grabs her noticing that Nadine was in near-wolf form but Nadine has lost her voice. Randell comes running around and still assumes all the children are evil. He goes to goaru and rips the child from Alice’s arms killing the girl. Alice jumps to goaru and a fight breaks out between the two werewolves causing Randel to frenzy. The rest of the pack helps Alice until Randell is knocked out.

A lot of ghosts start to crowd in including new Monk spirits who have nasty jagged knives. Mike manages to connect his I-Pod to the speaker system and blasts “Schools out for Summer” throughout the school causing the ghosts to disappear.

They finally make their way to the library where they find the locus. It looks like a swirling dark whole. Alice touches it and is sent to the Shadowlands which is in the shape of the catholic missionary. The rest of the pack arrives and everyone notices a bunch of monks walking around along with the Indian slaves.

There is also a bell tower where the pack notices a strangely dressed priest. He seems to be the head spirit in charge. Soledad uses her gift “spirit name” and discovers his name is Whispers with Dead (actually, I forget his name but it was Whisper something other).

Nadine asks a monk if she can speak with Whispers with Dead and the monk says only if Mike cuts his tongue out. The pack has until the monk moves 5 prayer beads to decide (the GM actually had a beaded bracelet that and used that to count beads creating a very nice effect). Mike refuses to let anyone touch his tongue and Nadine offers hers instead. The monk says that will buy them 20 more beads. She does it anyway. Mike still refuses and sees Randell coming toward him. Eric tries to convince him to cut out his tongue for the pack. Mike runs and Alice starts fighting the monks.

Randell manages to catch Mike, open his mouth and bite his tongue out. Eric offers it to the monk. Erik has frenzied as the result of getting his tongue ripped and Nadine tries to bring him out. Alice, Soledad, Eric, and Randell go to speak with Whispers with the Dead at the top of the bell tower. They try and reason with him to leave the human world alone but all he says is “Leave here.” When they press that matter Whispers with Dead sticks a jagged knife right in Randell’s head killing him.

Alice bites the super monk who is whipping the floor with the werewolves. Soledad notices he is standing under the bell and jumps up ringing it which seems to cause him harm. After the super monk knocks out alice he starts to rip up on the other two. Eric jumps up and destroys the beam that the bell is on causing it to plummet down taking Whispers with Dead with it.

The End…

For more on Werewolf The Forsaken visit White Wolf

Gencon SoCal 04

I headed up to Anaheim last weekend for tons of gaming and geekdom and I wasn’t let down. Jonathan and I hopped into a car Friday morning and took a quick drive up to the convention center. We arrived around 9:30am. I’m slightly panicked as my first game, Werewolf: The Forsaken, is at 10am. I rush, get my passes and head off to the game.

I’m not dissappointed as I meet the GM, Dave, who is crazy, bald and thinks he is funny. The game runs for four hours and is loads of fun as we watch our human characters get brutalized and killed by a player who turns into a werewolf. The Werewolf game is tournament style and I advance to round 2 which is 2 hours later. After the game I meet up with Glen and Andy who are playing Adventure! right next to me. We got something to eat real quick but they had to head back to their game.

I called up Jonathan and I met up with him, Chris (aka soop) and his girlfriend Destiny. We walked around for a bit killing two hours until I had to go and play round two of Werewolf. In round two we get play Werewolves who track down the insane Werewolf who killed our previous characters. Tons of fun but I hadn’t eaten and started to get dizzy. Got to howl… loudly! Advanced to round 3.

After the game I called Jonathan again and he was hanging in the Hilton with Destiny, Chris and two other guys. When I got to the room they were drinking a beer and playing Munchkin. Looked like they had been playing for about half an hour but I jumped in anyway, had a beer and won the game!!!

After that we checked into our hotel. Chris and Destiny stayed with us because they were originally staying with Warmachine Nachos who were stinky and wierd. Next day we got some breakfast at Cocos and headed back to the convention center. I didn’t have anything scheduled until 1pm so I got a good chance to walk around and buy stuff. Stuff list:

World of Darkness: Antagonists
Werewolf the Forsaken: Dice (free from tournament)
Werewolf the Forsaken: T-shirt (free from tournament)
A-state: Mires End
Orbital RPG
Emperor and the Assassin DVD

Also got to talk to developers and play a demo of Wars, Deciphers new game based off their old Star Wars CCG. Game sucked! After that Jonathan and I headed to True Dungeon! Not much had changed about TD this year except they added a Paladin Class, souped up the effects, reduced the amount of time per room and dumbed down the puzzles. Well, it sounds like a lot but it was more or less the same. Unfortunatly, Jonathan died in room 4 with our Cleric. It was a stupid way to die (fell off a bridge) as the rest of the dungeon was incredibly easy except for 1 puzzle (compared to the 3 puzzles last year). I actually made it all the way through which was kind of cool. Only made it to room 6 or 8 last year.

After that I had a quick beer and then round 3 of the Werewolf game. Got to play the same characters from round two and finish up the game. Round 3 went an hour over. Got out of the convention center around 9pm, got something to eat and then headed home.

Here are some pictures of freaks in costume that I took.