Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Link Dump

Vehicles by year - Good SotC resource
GunMetal Games Forum
SotC - Amulet of the Dog King
The Spider Temple
Three SotC Adventures
TechNoir RPG
TechNoir Info Forum
TechNoir RPG Beta
Guide to Writing TechNoir Transmissions
TED - Charter Cities
ShadowRun Primer - Makers of Reclamation RPG
Void Vultures
Kickstarter: Managing Expectations and Evaluating Goals

Savage Worlds Showdown - Miniature Rules for All Genres
Crunch Waffle Miniatures
A good hair/fur tutorial
Painting documents (skin tones, brushes, tools) - They're back! - Check out their Portable Utility Pods!
Fenris Games

Ambigram Generator!
Blade Runner Sketchbook
Manuel de Pedrolo
TRON: Legacy Concept Art !!!!!

H+ Magazine
Kevin Warwick

"Gun Facts"
Kickstarter Best Practices
Essays on Writing
Vector Lovers - Crash Premonition
Castle Bravo Nuclear Test
PAL-V - Flying Car!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Little Trouble in Big China - Part 2

This needs a bit of editing, but here's part 2!:

"This can't be!", Wilhelm thought to himself, trying not to let the others notice his near panic at Ming Lee's disappearance. "OK...remember your training". OK. Wilhelm was back in the moment. The moment where they were in a warehouse with the crazed Jinda, always willing to lay down their lives for the cause of their master. By the time Wilhelm took his cleaning breath, Justin had already prepared for "negotiations". Justin was generally quick to talk his way out of situations. Sometimes, it was remarkable to behold. But this time...this time, Justin knew his bullets would be doing the talking. As he squeezed the trigger on his revolver, he heard Wilhelm's shot ring out first, wounding a Jinda. Justin may have been a terrific shot, but Wilhelm could still have the drop on just about anybody. With this first shot fired, time seemed to speed up, as skilled bladed began to converge on the two heroes.
            "Damn this filthy glass", said the Talon out loud, staring at the skylight on the roof. His instincts were spot on, but he hadn't planned for the filth on this neighborhood to shroud his view into the warehouse. Through the filth, he could barely make out a crate stacked high enough for him to land, but no line of sight of his friends.  As he took a few minutes to work out a way to possible open it a crack, or even cut a small section away... ! The Talon heard that familiar sound of a gun shots, followed by the sound of men with blades rushing from inside. "Well, that didn't take long", he said to himself, as he jumped through the glass.
            Shelly had come back from unconsciousness a while ago, but her only evidence of it was that now, instead of the pleasant dream she was having about finding the "digger", and it's engineering marvel, she only had a headache, and bound hands in the confined darkness. Shelly always dreamed of the remarkable finds she was about to discover. So, she was sorry to be awake, now. She made a habit of snooping around, but she never had someone get the drop on her like this before. She never even saw who clubbed her over the head. But that odd smell... But none of that mattered now. Now she was bound and confined, and she just heard two gunshots and the muffled sounds of men with blades rushing for an attack. Then light came from all directions! With a loud crash, suddenly the crate around her tore to splinters, and tossed her down a few feet to the ground. As her eyes adjusted to their new surroundings, she looked up saw possibly the most welcome (and surprising) sight she had seen in years. Before her was The Talon.
            The Talon stood over Shelley. He saw her, but with an unmatched focus, he studied the warehouse, noting exactly how many foes there were, and assessing his next move. He had no time to free his surprised colleague now, Jinda were already on Wilhelm and Justin, firing and parrying. Thinking quickly, the Talon used the power of his ancient stone to cast a blinding light, rendering the Jinda helpless for a few crucial moments, giving Wilhelm and Justin the upper hand. This gave The Talon a moment to drop Shelley a gun.
            In one swift motion, Shelley disassembled the gun, used the sharp firing pin to cur through her bonds, and re-assembled the gun. For Gun-Shell, this was like playing with blocks. As the other heroes battled the Jinda, they all stopped for a moment and marveled at what happened next. In a kung-fu spin move, Shelley flung the pistol at the closest Jinda, striking him directly in the eye. As it did so, the gun fired, leaving his fellow Jinda, next to him, missing much of his brain matter! The gun then bounced right back into Shelley's hand. Even the now half-bind Jinda was dumb-struck for a moment, before the Talon ended his miserable existence. Wilhelm had always found Shelley somewhat tomboy-ish. It was difficult for him to even picture the brunette in him mind without  some small amount of grease on her pretty face. But at that sight, even Wilhelm thought, "I think I love that woman!"
            After mapping up the remaining Jinda, the heroes searched the warehouse and discovered a note. They were to bring the manuscript to the Valley of Tears. After finding a map of it's location, it was off to the remote location. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the burned remains of several Jinda. The eerie site was an alter surrounded by the stone warriors of Qín Shǐ Huángdì. Wilhelm and Justin held back and covered the Talon and Shelley as they approached the alter. Once they reached it without incident, the two joined them near the alter. Just then, the trap was sprung. Before any of them could react, blow darts came at them from above! Darkness enveloped them all as they lost consciousness....
            "Welcome back", said a callous voice. Lo Fan stood before them, the lovely Ming-Lee at his side. All of the heroes were bound, as well as the professor. They were in it now. "Thank you, centurions!" Lo Fan said. I already had the instructions on how to command this great army, but what I needed was your lovely jade stone." The Talon shuttered. His precious and ancient stone, used only for good, was taken. He'd delivered it right to him. Damn! Immediately, Justin began taunting Lo Fan. Trying to convince him that he had already lost the fight. Lo Fan wasn't fooled by the rouse, but if gave Wilhelm just enough time to work his way out of his binds and check...Yes! They had failed to notice his hidden pistol up his sleeve! Just as Lo Fan began to snicker of Justin's suggestions, Wilhelm let a shot ring out...passing straight through Lo Fan! One of the shadowy figures stepped forward and said, "Surely you didn't think I would leave myself that vulnerable, SIEZE HIM!"
            What happened next happened very quickly, as the Jinda began to descend on then, Wilhelm shot his last bullet in the chamber and took one out, as the Talon and Shelley escaped their bonds. All as Lo Fan placed the green gem on the alter and sung an ancient song. As the heroes fought of the Jinda, the rumbling of the stone warriors startled them! They were coming to life! "Go, my minions. Go, conquer earth!" yelled Lo Fan, mad with power!
            As soon as Shelley had a moment, she spotted the digger in the corner of the alcove they were in. Unable to resist, she headed right for it. Meanwhile, Wilhelm, mad a direct plea to Ming Lee. "You don't have to follow him into the darkness." he told her, staring deep into her eyes. "I...I don't want to, but I..." she timidly replied. "Join us, and redeem yourself, Ming Lee, no matter what happens, I will protect you", Wilhelm interrupted. "Yes", Ming Lee said, her face welling with tears. As she began to move towards her new found savior. "No!", Lo Fan shouted. "How dare you defy me, come to my side, Ming Lee. Now!". But to no avail. "Jinda! Get her, and bring me the item!" The item...Wilhelm though. Of course! He suddenly realized that Ming Lee had been the key the whole time! Just as Jinda approached Ming Lee, they found that she was more than capable of dispatching them, as one by one they fell to her martial arts! "Ming Lee", Wilhelm shouted. "You're comb!" And she tossed him her decorative comb with the grand pearl on it.
            As Justin finally freed himself, he noticed tucked behind the alter, a box holding their possessions. As though his gun was willing itself back into his hands, he went right for it. With all the commotion, he had a hard time getting a bead on Lo Fan. But as he turned around, suddenly a large Monkey-like monster howled right in his face! As it raise it's huge claw, he heard a clank sound, as the monster fell to the ground. Standing before him was Shelley, in the digger suit, beaming as she has just tried another switch. "Ooo, that was fun", she said. The monster wasn't dead, but Justin soon ended that by firing several shots at it's head!
            Lo Fan, seeing that things were starting to get out of control commanded several of his stone warriors to break off, and attack the centurions. As they approached slowly and methodically, Wilhelm grabbed the comb, placed it on the alter, and sang the same song that Lo Fan had just sung moments before. When he finished, a beam of light cascaded throughout the warriors. First stopping them in their tracks, and then they began to crumble and fall apart! "Damn you, centurions!" cried Lo Fan, as he disappeared in a puff of smoke. As the Talon made short work of the few remaining Jinda left, the whole area began to rumble. "We must make haste!" shouted the Talon! But Justin was missing!
            When Lo Fan had vanished, Justin had seen him reappear behind the alter. And watched as he scurried away through an unforeseen passage, like a cockroach. "You're not getting away from me this time", Justin though as he dove in right after him. Just as the save collapsed behind him.
            There was no time to loose! They had only moments to leave. The Talon told Shelley that the digger did not have enough power to evacuate in that thing, and they had better leave it behind. "Power" she thought. I have an extra power cell right here with me. Remarkably, the power cell fit perfectly, and in a moment, she went from being the slowest member to escape, to the fastest.
            When they reached the edge of the crater like formation, they had only seconds before the entire site has somehow been swallowed up by the earth! Wilhelm stood there, shocked that Justin's exploits were over. Shelley has an uncharacteristic tear on her cheek. Ming Lee stood in reverence and guilt over the centurion who had lost his life to end this menace and bring her back to the light. It was The Talon who broke the silence. "We will have to time to morn our fallen comrade later, centurions We should leave this place before the authorities, or anyone else comes calling."
            Wilhelm said a particularly long good bye to Ming Lee, who vowed to see him again, someday. As The Talon made arrangements with a charter. A sad chore that was not neccesary in the original plan. But now... As the pontoon boat approached the dock, and the team looked on the bustling city of Shanghai with sadness, the door flung open. "What were you guys going to leave without me?!" said a familiar voice! Justin was with them again. "How the heck did he..." was all Wilhelm could think to say. It's a tale to tell while we're in the air, guys. Let's get out of here!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Little Trouble in Big China - Part 1

So I've finally started running a Spirit of the Century game. We've done the character generation and have played the first session. One of the PCs, Scott, took it upon himself to write up the saga so far. Awesome.

The Century Club in...

Little Trouble in Big China

"I could sure use a bath" he said to his fellow Centurians. Wilhelm was always the
first to miss the comforts of the more civilized locations. "Before we find this Professor Troublé character, I'm getting a hot bath." Professor Touble. His name said it all, didn't it? The professor had made a startling discovery, and he was in over his head. Troublé had discovered some ancient manuscript, and our job was to keep it out of the wrong hands and deliver it to safety.
It was a given when traveling to Shanghai, that you'd spend a lot of time in the air. The arrangement that was made was to let local pilots get us most of the way. Then Justin would handle the last leg of the journey, in a borrowed pontoon plane. It was the right thing. This would keep Justin pretty fresh by the time we arrived. But still. Justin was a pilot. He'd rather go to a blind dentist then put his life in the hands of these hacks, so when he was finally able to get behind the stick, he felt rejuvenated, along with his fellow Centurions.
As always, Justin landed safely on the water, and coasted gently to the dock. Once the door opened, that rejuvenated feeling was sucked away. There, in the crowd, standing like an idiot, was Troublé. Shouting and waving the very manuscript we were sent to protect. Before we even drew our first Chinese breath, we were on the job. Wilhelm went as inconspicuous as he could right for the Professor. You had to look very carefully, but you could barely make out the shadowy figure emerge from the plane and creep along the shadows for Troublé. The Talon was with us. A man of few words unless he needed to say them. You would have sworn he was sound asleep during the entire trip, but he moved with silent and certain purpose of a man who knew his surroundings well.
Before anyone could reach the professor, "they" were on him. We knew there would be other interested parties, but we'd hoped that we'd get to him first. Without so much as a glance at each other, Wilhelm and the Talon instinctively knew that the time for stealth was over, and the chase was on!
Wilhelm sprang into action first! By the time he got to Troublé's original location he was already in the water sans manuscript, and the figures were getting away...jumping from boat to boat along the packed wharf. The Talon wasn't far behind. Justin, preferring his bullets do the chasing, pulled out his gun and was only briefly held up by some nasty looking locals. They all saw when one of the figures fell and cracked his skull on the dock. But no one expected him to burst into flames. The Talon and Wilhelm knew what that meant. Mantha! The elixir that was used by Jinda-hai gave them strength, and no fear, but also made their bodies combust upon death!
As the chase continued, the figures kept hurling obstacles in the heros' way. First laundry, then food products of the locals nearby. It was the fruit that slipped up the Talon. In all his training, he still couldn't do much about a slick surface. Had there been something to grab onto, then it would have been a cake walk. As it turned out, when he fell, sitting straight up on the small boat’s deck, Justin was able to pass him, using the Talon's own head to brace him from falling himself. The Talon was glad to help, but realized there had to be a better way. Looking around, he commandeered one of the few motor boats he could find, and quickly gave chase over the water.
When one of the cultists ignited a fuel source, Wilhelm dove for the water. It wasn't what he had in mind when he requested a hot bath. He surfaced and immediately grabbed the leg of a passing cultist, startling the shadowy figure and sending him down to the deck. As Wilhelm grappled with the cultist, Justin decided that his bullets could now be safely deployed to take out the last cultist, holding the manuscript. As the Talon casually rode by in his new-found-friend's boat, he found the winded Wilhelm, and Justin holding the manuscript, and some new found evidence.

In order to command Qín Shǐ Huángdì's army, one must complete the circle about the square, the union between heaven and earth. Scatter praises to the four winds: 東 (dōng - east), 南 (nán - south), 西 (xī - west), 北 (běi - north). Pat the horse's mane then make a surging fist. Finally, sing the ge'wei, the song of gathering.
The Green Dragon, the dragon of bounty, breathes life. The White Tiger, the tiger with claws of metal, snatches that away.

"It's referring to the army of a general that died a couple of millennia ago." said Wilhelm. "Well, whatever it is, we've got it now" said Justin. Along with the manuscript, they picked up a laundry ticket. Thinking that it may lead to those who sent the cultists, the team decided to pay the laundry a visit. The old man was polite, and pretended to be perplexed when he explained that the ticket was his, but was not for picking up.... but for dropping off. So, this was the drop off point. But who was picking up?
The Talon and Justin had been on enough adventures with Wilhelm to know that the beautiful woman who entered the shop they were surveilling was going to be a huge distraction for him. But there was nothing they could do now, short of running in guns blazing. A thought that had crossed Justin's mind several times.
Wilhelm could charm the eye liner right off of Cleopatra herself. But Ming Lee was different. She was something special. It was all he could do to not hand over the manuscript and blush like a school boy the moment she revealed that she was the one picking up. It took every bit of strength in Wilhelm to delay her by a couple hours. They just needed a plan. The team decided to consult with Professor Troublé, only to find that he'd been taken by the Jinda.
The pace of the Centurion is not the easy path, nor is it the clear path. Justin struggled with this. Life had been hard for him, and he thought that the mission was complete. We had the manuscript after all. The Talon, however saw the way of the world. The cruelty. The injustice. We'd been given one mission. But the Talon...the Centurions…always have an additional mission. But it was not the Talon's place to force this higher purpose on anyone. The Talon, with those steely eyes, looked at Justin and handed him the manuscript. "You must choose our course of action" he said, without a hint of judgment. The path before them seemed suddenly clear. The path of the Centurions is the one that makes the world a better place...the one that saves the helpless. Justin decided that we must go back for the professor.
The team decided to make a fake manuscript, and use it to barter for the professors life. When they met back up with Ming Lee, it seemed that without the manuscript, her cruel master Lo Fan, may take her life. Wilhelm, enamored with her, vowed to protect her as well, and she agreed to take them to see her master. The odds were not in their favor. Lo Fan was already known for his cruelty, and he was sure to have an army waiting for them. When they approached Lo Fan's (seemingly) abandoned warehouse, then entered. Wilhelm paused for a moment, as he noticed that the Talon had disappeared. Finally he noticed that he had decided to find his own entrance on the roof. "Yes. That might work better" Wilhelm thought. As he began walking again, within the warehouse, he was too far behind Ming Lee to do anything about the Jinda who suddenly appeared at her side, only to disappear with her a moment later in a puff of smoke! Ah...the trap!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Link Dump