Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Musing: Old School Modern (And Not What You Think...)

Those moments when I can't sleep is when the strange ideas creep into my head:
What would some like d20 Modern have looked like if it had been made at the same time as OD&D?
My one problem, for drawing influences, is that I can't really think of any contemporary "fantasy adventure" fiction or shows that could have been an influence. All of the stuff that I personally remember from the late 70s that had a contemporary setting was much more SF-oriented. Unless I use the SHAZAM/Isis television shows as a model. I don't know if anyone wants that. I know there has to be something, but either I didn't see it, or it shot by me completely.

I want something that is specifically fantasy in a (then) contemporary setting, and not just the fantasy fiction/movies of the time. I also don't want science fiction or science fantasy. I am thinking something along the lines of OD&D Modern, an equivalent to the d20 Modern core book but in old school terms.



What if OD&D Modern was influenced by Phillip Jose Farmer? #oldschoolmodernless than a minute ago via Spaz Favorite Retweet Reply

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ICv2 - No Titles Over 100K Again

In spite of the debut of DC’s Flashpoint event comic there was no periodical comic that sold over 100,000 copies once again in May and only 3 out of the top 25 comics posted gains in circulation. DC’s Flashpoint’s debut at #2 has to be considered disappointing. Several retailers contacted by ICv2 have indicated that they sold out of their initial orders, which means that Flashpoint might well have been under-ordered by retailers who are increasingly suspicious of the never-ending parade of comic book “events.”

Marvel’s Fear Itself event, which debuted with sales of over 125,000 copies last month, dropped a whopping 32,000 copies from issue #1 to #2, though it should be said that two of the three top 25 titles that actually posted gains, Avengers #13 and Secret Avengers #13, were both Fear Itself tie-ins.

Father’s Day Tribute To Jack Kirby From His Son

Two weeks ago we ran a blog post here at CO2 Comics titled The King and The Man that compared excerpts of interviews with Stan Lee and the late Jack Kirby who recollected their dramatically opposing perspectives of the creation of the FANTASTIC FOUR and much of the Marvel Universe.

The post sparked an animated debate throughout the internet in forums and discussion boards on comic related sites, highlighted for us at CO2 Comics by a brief and pleasant correspondence with the son of a legend, Neal Kirby who politely defended the validity of his father’s position.

This week as, we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day, Neal Kirby has delighted us again by offering CO2 Comics the opportunity to post a very touching Father’s Day letter that he has written as a tribute to his dad."

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Double Agents and Moles: Options For Agents of SWING

Ever since George Smiley, the espionage genre and its fans have been interested in moles and double agents. These operatives were a cornerstone of Cold War espionage. The question is, how do you do this with your Agents of SWING games?

With NPCs, this is easy enough to fact the upcoming Nefarious supplement will no doubt have some villainous double agents and defectors to plague your SWINGers. So, how do you add the drama of double agents to your play group?

Ever Agent of SWING character has a cover. This is even more important for a double agent that it is for a "straight" operative. Your character, the double agent, is walking a tightrop of truth and deception every day of their personal and professional lives. The Deceit skill is a job requirement, a survival skill, for your character. Important stunts from the core rules for a mole could be: Disguise of the Mind, Eye For Detail, Five Minute Friends, Hide In Plain Sight, and Honest Lie. Aspects that you might use to create a character who is a mole: More Than Meets The Eyes, Deceptive, Keeping It Bottled Up, and Strangely Sympathetic. You should have a double meaning to aspects that directly deal with your character's nature as a double agent, after all they shouldn't give things away to easily and you want to be able to activate them during play without getting your character into trouble.

The important thing to remember, particularly if you are planning on keeping your character's status as a mole secret from the other players, is to not lay it on too thick with methods of deception, or overly obvious hints about your character's true nature. For example, the "Keeping It Bottled Up" aspect mentioned above could have to do with the pressures your character faces in hiding their double life, or it could be that they close up and bottle all of their stresses in their life. On the surface, both of these choices could be justified by the same behavior.Keep in mind that your character will still have to do their day to day cover job within SWING and the group, so the bulk of their aspects, skills and stunts will need to reflect that. Their secret bosses won't like it if your character's cover is blow too easily, after all.

You also need to inform Control of your desire to create a character that is a mole. They may wish to approve any character concepts like this, to make sure that it fits in with the concept of the game and the campaign they wish to run for you and the other players. Remember that role-playing is a group activity and your idea for a fun character shouldn't ruin the fun for the other players.

There is a consequence to being a mole. Yes, that was intentional. Whenever you take any Mental or Social Consequences for your double agent character, it is a good idea to take consequences that flirt with or jeopardize your character's standing within SWING and/or the group of characters. This is particularly true of when you take a Severe or Extreme consequence for your character. You do not have to reveal you are a mole, even with an Extreme consequence, that would be too easy, but you can give broad hints. Being a double agent means straddling a razor's edge, and sooner or later your character will slip up.