drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Recent Reading

81. Borderland, edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold (reread). This is the first of the Bordertown books, and I did a review of it on Logophile. It holds up reasonably well. I had forgotten that it only had four stories, and I hadn't realized how atypical three of them were.

82. Alarums & Excursions #432.

83. Kerberos Club, Fate Edition. I'm currently running a campaign using this system, so I'm hitting the bumps. Overall, it's solid, but finding the bit of information I want at any given time is harder than I expected. An index would probably help. That said, I like the collaborative aspect of creating the game world and the guidelines for calibrating opposition. And, of course, I like the detailed timeline, although technically, that part of the book is a reread for me, from the original One Roll Engine version.

84. Bordertown, edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold. Still working on the review of this one. Again, four stories, of which I only remembered two of them. Those two still do it for me, especially the final story in the collection.

85. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume Three: Century #2: 1969, by Alan Moore. I get why this doesn't click for some people, and I can't quite explain why I like it, but I do.

86. Nobilis, 3rd edition, by Jenna Moran. This is the latest edition of the Nobilis RPG, and it's brilliant. It's also frustrating, as I try to sort out the bits of system in my head, but I think going through the actual character creation system, as opposed to only the nifty character background lifepath / project development system that I mistook for the character creation system, will help. And, this one has a very detailed index.

87. One Salt Sea, by Seanan McGuire. I'm mixed on this one. On the whole, I like it. I like the pacing, I like the characters, I like how it's different from all the other books in the series, and I like how it builds logically on what was established in those books. The things I don't like fall into Spoiler Territory, so I'll wait until I've got something longer than this and coherent enough to call a review. I will, of course, be buying the next book in the series.

88. Repairer of Reputations, by Robin Laws. This is a scenario for the RPG Trail of Cthulhu, based on the Robert Chambers story of the same name. I love that story. I like the scenario, but there's a central question that I wish the author had addressed. That is, the scenario is set in the world of the story, which is not our world, and not the version of our world that most Lovecraftian scenarios are set in. And, the player characters may have a sense of wrongness about this, an idea that maybe their world isn't the way it's supposed to be. All right, but what does that mean in terms of resolving the scenario? I'm wondering if the author plans to address this idea in future scenarios based on Chambers' work.

89. Insylum, by Dennis Detweiler. Fascinating and frustrating, but I can't really say more about this RPG without hitting spoiler territory. I think I'm going to have to let Insylum simmer in my hindbrain for a while.

90. Dragon in the Smoke, by Kristrian Bjorkelo (reread). This is an adventure for the RPG Victoriana. I'm repurposing it for Kerberos Club, Fate Edition. We've done one session, and it'll take another one or two to complete, I think. On the whole, it's quite good, but it has an extraneous NPC, whom I unceremoniously cut.

91. Stealing Cthulhu, by Graham Walmsley. I've added my annotations to my copy. This book talks about how to create good Lovecraftian RPG adventures by a) going back to Lovecraft's works and b) expanding and swapping the various elements he used. The second sounds very basic, but it's given me a couple of wicked ideas I want to try. I think Teresa Nielsen Hayden's Stupid Plot Tricks explains why these tricks work. Among other things, she says, "If you have one plot presented three ways, you have three plots." And, I think I can make this work for me.

92. Alarums & Excursions #433

93. Neonomicon, by Alan Moore. I loved "The Courtyard", which is the first part of this graphic novel, and I'm glad to see more.

I'm not counting these as books, but I've also read the three Dresden Files Case Files, free scenarios for the Dresden Files RPG, complete with pregenerated NPCs. I used Night Fears for the first Kerberos Club session, without the pregens, and I'm using Neutral Grounds for a different game, taking just the bare premise of it. I've not yet used Evil Acts.
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