Actual Play Report- Silver Kiss

Sophie and Giffy were the supernaturals; Taylor and Kylie, Sam and Conan were the humans; Tami and Raife. The supernaturals were were-jaguar half siblings (same Dad, different mothers) and the humans were both cheerleaders.

Giffy and Sophie quickly established a pack order: parents, then Kylie, then Taylor. He at least was higher than the kids also in their family of half siblings and multiple wives. Raife had a twin brother, Chet, who was pretty similar except a bit more emo, a lot less popular and not gay like Raife. Tami was an only child with absentee parents.

Raife was quickly shown to be a social butterfly, friends with everyone and somewhat stuck catering to Tami who was top of the social ladder and rather demanding. He waited for her after cheerleading practice and when they came out they headed up to watch the sunset on the hill and then off to the one burger joint in town for dinner. Raife texts ahead to Bobby, the head of the fencing team: Hey B, the Queen is coming.

Kylie and Taylor had just arrived in town and headed to the one burger joint for food. They were sitting in Tami and Raife’s usual booth by the window and talking about starting school the next day.
Kylie: How do you already have a letterman jacket?
Taylor: I’m good.
Kylie: No, but HOW? We haven’t even been to school yet!
Taylor: They sent it ahead.
Continue reading

Things I Love Thursday Earthquake edition

There is so much to be thankful for this week.

After the earthquake in Christchurch there were a lot of scared people. Social networking really rocked then, because those who were able to checked in and set people’s minds at ease. Those of us in other cities were able to use twitter to follow the news, especially useful when the major news websites were overloaded. There were a couple of false rumours flying around, but they were far outnumbered by the sharing of news and ways to help. Such a relief to see posts from friends down there and know that they are all right.

Fundraising – my Silver Kiss game has never been cheaper than it is in this Quake relief bundle. Heaps of amazing games in there, they calculate you save $300 and all of your $20 goes to the New Zealand Red Cross. There are heaps of shows happening around Wellington and bars doing special offers, all in the name of quake relief.

Sally’s blog on the importance of human connection in times like these. It makes me want to hug Sally, and basically everyone I know, really hard.

I am thankful that so far the news of people I know down there has only been good. As of the time of publishing I still haven’t had news on one cousin, her husband and kids. Fingers crossed that they’re safe, much love to people whose news hasn’t been so good.

Trade Me set up an Earthquake support centre where people can advertise accommodation available, lost and found pets, volunteer labour offers, etc and it’s all searchable. I have been involved in the drive on Holiday Houses for owners to offer free/cheap accommodation. The response has been awesome. It’s so heartwarming to see all these people opening up their houses to people.

Honourable Mentions: Emergency preparedness, people checking in on each other, sympathy, senses of humour, my husband, my family and my extended family, all my lovely friends, Glee for calming me down on Tuesday night, Supernatural for releasing new episodes, perspective, quake-proof housing, rescue workers, running water and hugs.

Be Prepared -better late than never, right?

OK, so I was meant to post this back in October and I just plum forgot. Christchurch just had another major earthquake, and that has freaked me out. Finally, the reminder email for being prepared.

So, you’ve had way more than 3 weeks to get your stuff together for emergency survival. How did you do?

Original post here, a bunch of people asked for reminders in the comments.

My list:

get back up batteries for the torch and a bigger, meatier torch might be nice too. Yes, we got a new torch and a fancy survival pack for two for Christmas. It has water purification tablets, space food and heaps of good stuff.
Transistor radio? Conceivably not necessary if we have access to the car, but we should probably not rely on the car. I think survival pack had a wee radio with it…must check.
– Landline phone that doesn’t need electrical power. We only have a flashy called ID phone that relies on the cradle being connected to mains power. – Didn’t manage this one.
Couple more things for the first aid kid (esp wipes, gauze, etc) – Sorted.
– Alternate method of cooking. We have a little wood burner BBQ but not so much fuel for it. – Didn’t do this either, but we’ve got heaps more canned food and water in the house, and that makes me feel better about things.

How about you, those that commented back in September?

Things I Love Thursday

Roleplaying. My roleplaying games are all exceptionally good right now. Even if my beloved werewolf FBI agent Will got shot in the chest on Tuesday and I couldn’t sleep well after that. Tonight is Fall with guest star vampires and Sunday I am getting some more sweet sweet Monsterhearts action. Oh yeah.

Silver Kiss! It’s been selling online! People I have never met are talking about it and rating it at 5 stars! People are keen to help out and OMG it’s exciting. Seriously.

Fans of Telestrations hear me! There is a website where you can play it! Eat Poop U Cat it’s called (not sure why) but you can draw your own picture online or in Paint or whatever fancy programme you have and upload it. It’s addictive, hilarious fun!

Honourable Mentions: Midland sushi, meeting lovely boys for lunch, meeting lovely girls for lunch, eating delicious food, not making a big deal about Valentines Day but still having a nice night, singing harmonies in Rock Band 3, being music stalked on Grooveshark, jokes, candy, new socks, books, DVDs, sleeping, cool pillow and sunshiney days.

Now watch this Star Wars/instructional video from the 50’s mashup.

and share your thankfulness list below, if you please 🙂

GM guide: The Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon

Since my game is now out on its own in the Big Wide World, people may in fact be planning on running games of it. I figured now would be a good time to do some Game Master guide type entries so that people can learn a bit more about how I run the game. Part one: Parents.

Silver Kiss went up on DrivethruRPG and RPGNow as well as through Lulu. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

So, as a GM one of the most useful tools I have for creating conflict in a game of Silver Kiss is Parents. Parents are freaking useful for ruining teen player character’s plans, making them feel stupid or inadequate, giving them a foil to be emo against and bringing the anger.

Specific ways of having a parental unit insert themselves include:

  • Demand time with the teen. e.g. “We never see you…” or “We have a skype appointment with your mother which you have to stay home for.”
  • Complain about the choices they have made in character creation. e.g. “I don’t know why you waste your time on cheerleading when you could really use that extra study time…”
  • Ask difficult questions. e.g. “How did you get that black eye?” or “What’s that mark on your neck?” or “Why are you home so late?”
  • Be there at the wrong time. e.g. Chaperone at the school dance, turn up at school as a substitute teacher, observe the PCs doing something unusual or overhear a fraught conversation.

I always ask my players, especially the people playing the human characters, to tell me a bit about their character’s family life. Do they have both parents, are their parents supportive, etc. Using their answers will give you the skeleton of a character that you can then stick into the game at an inappropriate time. Last week Sam mentioned that her parents were often out of town. I had her Dad be home when she got back after meeting her True Love. I didn’t know what it was he did, but Sam asked in character “How was the conference?” Due to slow thinking on my part I flubbed my answer “There was lots of…keynote speaker…action.”

One of the other players laughed and said it was a cover up because he was really a spy, so I ran with that. From that moment on, Sam’s character was daughter to two world class spies who just wanted her to follow in their footsteps. It was comedy Gold, but meant I could play the guilt card about her going out when her father was in town for such a short time.

As a GM it’s important to remember that the story isn’t about the parents, it’s just the way that they can ruin what’s happening for the PCs. Sometimes you may invent an incredibly cool parent NPC such as a version of Zeus, who likes to flood towns when things get tricky with the girl you just slept with, or a Were-Jaguar pack leader who just wants the teenage boy to learn some responsibilty, but it’s important to keep the focus on the players.

If you want to check out some actual plays, here you go (in reverse chronological order): Kapcon 2011 day 1, Day of Games, Kapcon 2010 day 2, Kapcon 2010 day 1.

If you’ve played in this game, have run something similar or have an example from TV or movies I’d love to hear from you. How else can parent characters create conflict for teenage protagonists?

Things I Love Thursday

Summer holidays! Okay so we had pretty dire weather when we were away on holiday in Waitarere but the house we stayed at was so excellent it really didn’t matter. We lounged about on the couches, watched DVDs, read books and made hilarious jokes. Many games of Telestrations were played and on the way back into town Lee and I did much shopping! Excellent, excellent break away. Plus, running on the beach is total bliss, I wish I could do it closer to home.

❤ So, I sent out a couple of review copies of The Silver Kiss and I've had some lovely feedback from recipients of those, as well as comments from friends who purchased one of my first ed hard covers…"It's completely awesome" and "It looks entirely awesome, you should be very proud" and "Worth every penny". You know what that means? You should get in on this action…Buy The Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon!
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

It’s excellent getting these comments, I have been smiling away all day and I have a spring in my step. People like my RPG! They really really like it!

Skyrocket Love is this rather emo and epic band I found on Grooveshark and am now a dedicated fan of. I especially love their single “Save the World” because it is SO FREAKING PERFECT for my Buffy character, Calvin. Anyway, I’ve been obsessively listening to them all week. Love.

Honourable Mentions: Friday Night Lights forever, wonderfully talented and helpful friends, new Lego, funny photos, laughing til you cry, long hot baths, taking steps towards your dream and my darling husband.

Also listen to this very beautiful rendition of The Hanging Tree song from the book Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins…

Fall actual play 213 – ‘With friends like these…’

Ash and Yuki have driven off with Megan, Calvin, Alex and Darius at the side of the road. Calvin gets out of the car and starts texting. There are a couple of back and forth texts and then he gets back in the car. He starts driving, going the way Ash’s truck went.
Alex: where are we going?
Calvin: Picking up Megan.
Alex: Oh. What did you do?
Calvin: Texted Ash.
Alex wants to ask more but sees that Calvin doesn’t want to talk with Darius in the car. They drive a while and find Megan waiting at a crossroads up ahead. She gets in, angry and emotional but unhurt.
Calvin drops Megan and Darius off, Megan manages a terse ‘thank you’ before heading inside to cry.

Calvin asks Alex if she wants to go back to her place, and she agrees. Then she asks what Calvin did, again.
Calvin: I texted Ash. He was going to kill Megan.
Alex: What did you say to him?
Calvin pulls over and turns to Alex: You’re not going to like it.
Alex: What won’t I like?
Calvin: Uh, I told him that if he let her go…I would go with them.
Alex: What.
C: He was going to kill her.
A: Yeah, but you’re just going to go with them and let them turn you into a vampire?
C: He won’t do it right away…

They talk it through, Calvin pointing out that Darius can do the spell and locate Calvin so they can intervene before he is turned. Alex is unconvinced and points out that if it had been up to her to choose she would rather lose Megan than Calvin. Calvin says it was the only bargaining chip he could think of. Alex leaves the car and runs away into the night. Calvin drives home. Alex goes to her room and cries. Continue reading

Things I Love Thursday

Happy Year of the Rabbit everyone!

I have a lot to be thankful for this week. Starting with: Extra energy from exercising! My exercise regime is really pretty minimal, I try to go for a 14ish minutes run at least twice a week and do a bunch of crunches and push ups when I remember. I have got myself to a level of fitness where I have extra energy. I am a big fan of this side effect. Also my body is getting more toned which makes me feel good too.

Holiday, beachy beach holiday! The weather forecast is for rain, rainy rain and some showers, so I’m not sure how much I’ll get to swim but one can hope! At any rate I should get lots of reading done, play some hilarious games with friends and watch some movies. It will be relaxalicious!

Roleplaying this week has been excellent. An amazing double spotlight episode of Prime Time Adventures for Sophie and Celeste, which included much intense information exchange, emotional reactions and truly awesome roleplaying. My character, Will, didn’t get to do very much but I was able to jump in and produce a little and at the end Will killed his nemesis so that’s all good. Then last night we had our first episode of Fall since before Christmas and that was just…epic. I’ll try and get the actual play done before I go on holiday.

Lists of good middle grade/young adult books which portray kick ass teens and addresses feminist issues. I’ve read a bunch of these and agree, but I’m not sure why A Great and Terrible Beauty is on the Bitch list, I couldn’t get through it because it was just a relentless mean girls bitchfest. But anyway, awesome lists.

Selling my RPG. So far I’ve had 6 sales of my first editions and I have a few more on the reserve list. Plus, today I fixed it up to sell via Lulu, so people can get a .pdf download for US$5 or a book for US$10. If you’re keen on one of the ones I have in my possession, I have extras and I will sign them 🙂 Let me know!

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Honourable Mentions: Crab onigiri from Midland sushi, raw fish, house guests who cook for you and clean your house before they leave, new books to read, writing ridiculous but awesome fanfic, sleeping the whole night through and milkshakes.

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