Morning to everyone,
So, I’ve managed to move the podcasts to the new host, A Small Orange, and everything seems to be going great. As you can see, I’ve reduced the number of podcasts down quite a bit and eliminated the OGG stream completely. The old host was providing MUCH more diskspace, but had serious lag times and was constantly over taxed. As such, I made the trade off to stick with a smaller host with better latency.
That being said, this now also allows us to move from WordPress.com to Outerheaven.ca, my personal site. Outerheaven.ca will become a nice hub for much of our work, and help keep it centralized. Please update all your bookmarks toCritical Failure: The GURPS Podcast.
Changes to come: To meet the type of hosting available, the number of available podcasts on the RSS feed will be reduced; perhaps to simply the 5 most recent. This will not mean all the old podcasts will be unavailable, they will simply be moved to another storage solution. Watch for their return in the coming weeks.
Podcast releases will now be once every two weeks. Since I was doing the bulk of the work, it got to be really tiring to have a twice a week release. This will not only free up time, it’ll allow me to create a proper intro to the podcast, and to clean up dead air. Potentially, the new season of Critical Failure could sound almost professional (ha!).
CptCylde will be starting a new game; a nice and simple “The Matrix” setting. This will be a nice, light introduction for a new gamer, and should be starting quite soon.
“What happened to the finale of the Ayn Rand/Pseudo Objectivist/Space Setting game YOU were running?”
Well, that can be explained in one short statement: Moegreeb can’t find his MP3 player. He’s currently in the process of moving across the city, and has misplaced ti somewhere in his many boxes. Eventually we’ll find them and put them up; though based upon how poorly I was running that game, Im sure no one will miss them
We look forward to serving a new season of listeners very shortly, and we can’t wait to show off our new digs once they finally start to look complete!
Yes it’s been almost 3 months since the Critical Failure crew have made any new postings or even podcasts, and we apologize greatly. We know some of you were listening to our antics for some time and we feel terrible for leaving you out in the cold! Fear not, the crew will post the remaining 3 episodes of the Space campain (that sad sad fumbling oddity), and will start a brand new season of adventure!
This time we will be running a single longer term game; a dark drawven fantasy. To ease our time constraints, we’ll be moving back on the release schedual to twice a month; ensuring a sucessful and satisfying run.
Mostly, we were distracted by Magic: The Gathering (we are geeks afterall), and simply became a little burnt out. However, check back for more updates and new features!
Coming Soon: The Critical Failure Source Material Wiki, get all the data, settings, NPCs and other goodies from our games. Run your own! And (hopefully) play them better than we could
Keep rolling those dice!
Now available; Podcast #37!
Suddenly things don’t seem so cut and dry about the mysterious tombs of John and Dagny Gault. Why is there a second airlocked section not on the map? Why can’t Dick Dawkinstown follow? What is with the mysterious holographic note?
About two weeks ago I was surfing along RPGNow and came across a neat little supplement from a company called “Tabletop Adventures” (TTA). As you all know, the current running adventure is a Space Campaign, and so I am in need of new material to use in the next season.
I came across “Derelict Starships” rather randomly; I was just searching in an “others” section of some sort, and stumbled upon it. What’s interesting to note is that it makes no mention of specific system, setting (outside of space) or plot. It simply is concerned with derelicts, and nothing else.
So what exactly is this supplement? Well, TTA appears to have compiled a collection of descriptions for use in a game. A GM would select a compatible description, read it aloud to his players, and wholla! Description, atmosphere and mood; taken care of for the lazy GM. Being lazy, I love the idea.
The supplement is broken into a few sections; the “Bits” section which rhymes off a series of different generic sections/corridors for quick random use, and the “Shards” dealing with specific sections in a starship (Bridge, Engineering, tubes, etc). The Shards are the bulk of the supplement, making up 20 pages. Each Shard is 10-20 lines long, usually describes the local area quite well, and occasionally comes with traps/encounters should the GM wish to use them.
Additionally, there are two “freebies”: Description flashcards and a detailed discussion on body decomp in space (What the…). Neither of these seemed very useful, but a really bogged down GM might find some use for them (however, if you are that busy, maybe you should switch back to being a player).
Overall, the majority of the descriptions are well written and generic enough for most games. The originality is a little lacking as many of the descriptions feel as if they were lifted from a random Star Trek: Voyager episode. One real minus however is that some of the descriptions are a tad short, which I suspect would leave the players a little bored when trying to picture the scene.
The entire supplement is about 200 or so descriptions, which at first glance seems like a bargain at $11 (Canadian), but suddenly becomes less appealing once you realize the individual sections contain no more than 10 each. It would literally become description of the week very quickly if a GM actually relied on the supplement to aid his descriptive skills.
The artwork and page setting for the supplement is *very* professional; so much so that I actually forgot I was looking at an indie companies production. It’s clean, clear and very suitable for printing. Bound nicely, this would look good sitting open on your gaming table.
TTA does offer more of these “Bits” for purchase, however they seem exclusively focused on Fantasy settings. Each supplement runs about the same price, and features about the same level of content. This is quite disappointing; fantasy is so over played/done that free descriptions could be found anywhere. We want other settings dammit! A little digging did not reveal any other companies jumping into this niche, and likely for good reason. The margin for profit is likely low, and unlike other supplements, looses it’s usefulness after just a few games.
Overall, I think it is a good product, but too short and a little short lived for the cost. At $11, you could simply run to a used bookstore and grab 10 novels from a bin and get much more content. If you’re like me and forgetful, or you happen to have poor writing skills, this COULD be useful. Otherwise, I’d wait until they drop the price to $5 before picking any of them up.
A duffle bag sits on [or: floats above] the deck in an awkward position. Its built-in locking seal is still engaged. On its side you can see traces of what once was a name and number but years of wear and tear have worn it off to the point where it is unreadable. Only part of the crewperson’s number is evident—the last 4 digits were 6947. There is no indication of who owned it or who dropped it and left it in haste. [If the duffle is opened, the characters will find it is full of uniforms, women’s underwear, and a data pad. If this is investigated, it appears to have a series of video letters sent and received between a slender woman with black skin and her family and friends. They also find a tiny ceramic animal with a flowing mane.]
Stolen from Digg: If there is one thing Japan excels at, it’s highly bizarre monsters.
No, these ones DO NOT have tentacles and libido issues; these ones move pillows and fear invertebrates. If nothing else, they add lore to an existing Asian campaign (I totally want to see Bisha-ga-tsuku in a Lovecraftian Samurai adventure).
Now available; Podcast #36!
The heroes discuss their options about entering the bio-metrically coded airlock, all whilst discussing ZenJedis Urban Dictionary posting?
Normally, I’m not one to tout the merits of a particular video game; there are thousands of them and so few great ones. Most tend to either peter out on game play, or offer a sub-par immerse experience; either of which will leave me more than a little disappointed.
So, what about Mass Effect?
For months all I heard was the hype from friends:
“There is just so much to do, you’ll never get bored!”
“I shot Wrex in the head for poop and skittles!” <-Moegreeb (More or less)
Annoyingly enough, Mass Effect (obviously) didn't meet my expectations. It was a good, fun experience but it wasn't the earth shattering game I was hoping for. While it was well designed and executed, it seemed dumbed down and excessively repetitive. Not to say it didn't entertain me (it certainly did), it (like always) didn't live up to the hype.
Even though this game wasn't the experience I hoped for (I seem to be less and less interested in CRPG's lately), it was saved by one single fact: It has literally the best sci-fi score I've heard in a while.
This is a disc for any serious space/sci-fi campaign. It's brooding, ethereal, and incredibly original. Check these tracks out (along with my thought for their use):
Liara’s World – The decaying remains of an interstellar Hulk as your players fly in amongst the steel ribs
Eden Prime – Stealth-ing within a Rat’s Nest
The Wards – Superior and (potentially) Benevolent alien encounter
Sadly, this awesome battle track is missing from the OST:
I know many of you like to incorporate music into your gaming sessions; if you have the cash to spare, a copy of this album will be well worth your coin. You won’t be disappointed, not in the slightest.
This was a review originally intended for another website which I was apart of, but was never used. Posted since we really need to start getting back into posting.
William H. Stoddard has written his fair share of gaming supplements; mostly for the GURPS rule system as far as I can tell. As such, he is no stranger to a gamers desire for detail, fluid passages, and tasty helpings of artwork. He’s also the author of SJGames all-encompassing Fantasy supplement, “GURPS Fantasy”.
First and foremost, GURPS Fantasy is a toolkit, not a setting sourcebook. This distinction is a fine one, and should be understood before purchasing. As a genre toolkit, GURPS Fantasy doesn’t throw down a stock D&D style setting to work with, but instead gives you copious amounts of information to begin generating your own fantasy world.
Each of the early chapters are nicely subdivided into the important parts of a setting: The type of fantasy, the magical systems, the creatures, and even the physical (and meta-physical) world itself. You need information on the differences between High and Low fantasy? It’s here. Dark, Light, Paranormal Romance? Yup, there’s a quick section on each. Strangely, they felt it was necessary to also define “Christian Supernaturalism”. Do people actually play as John the Baptist?
One of the highlight sections happens to be “The Supernatural”. One of my gripes with the Core GURPS set happens to be the weak magic/supernatural section. GURPS Fantasy rectifies this with a 20 page collection of undead minions, magical systems including alchemy, and a creature catalog. Why it was so difficult to give even 1/4 of this information in the Core set, I will never know.
The art direction for GURPS Fantasy is competent. Don’t misunderstand, this supplement will never win awards for its “original” artwork; but it isn’t as stock and out of place as GURPS Magic’s 3D models. The drawing style is very similar to what’s found in the GURPS Basic Set, giving it at least a feeling of consistency between volumes. Thankfully it isn’t very sparse either, meaning you won’t go pages without a visual break.
However, unless you were planning on a Tolkien, Zelazny or Le Guin style fantasy world, you will feel this supplement a little lacking. While the information on every standard fantasy cliché is there, you will be hard pressed to find much that’s truly inspiring. Strangely, it’s as if Stoddard picked up “The Tough Guide to Fantasyland” by Diana Jones and mistook it as a serious guide. Every cliché, boring and insipid fantasy seed is here, which is great for new comers (both to gaming and GURPS), there is nothing which will help a game remain truly interesting.
Finally, the included sample campaign/world setting is atrocious. Once again, SJGames attempts to shoehorn another book into the “Infinite Worlds” multi-setting. Honestly, this is a Fantasy toolkit! I do *not* need to hear about “Infinity Patrol Agents” or “Quantum-#” while I’m trying to create a magical world. Why SJGames feels the need to constantly remind us that they have a GURPS setting which covers everything, I will never know.
The main issue with the sample setting (Roma Arcana) is that much like the rest of the sourcebook, it’s unoriginal. The basic premise is that Rome exists much as it did in our own past, except that magic was real and gods truly did walk the earth. Considering it cleanly lifts actual history to make the back story, I was surprised to see the world saddled with a TL2 (Tech Level 2) rating. Really? The Romans were the most advanced society outside of modern times and you couldn’t even give them TL3?
Overall, I’ve been rather harsh on the book. While this supplement suffers (greatly) from unoriginality, it’s far from a bad book. It is smoothly written and decently packaged. Additionally, it would make a perfect supplement for new gamers. For those finally venturing away from D&D but wishing to keep the fantasy setting, this book would be invaluable for the creation of a suitable world. However, there is little here for veteran gamers who need inspiration. My suggestion for veterans is to locate Stoddard’s “GURPS Steampunk” instead; it’s far more original AND has bitch’n artwork.
Courtesy of CptCylde and boredom?
Now available; Podcast #35!
Moegreeb and CptnClyde steal the skin of Dagny Gault and attempt to circumvent a biometrics scanner. I guess they forgot about eye balls…