Upcoming Larp
And once again, the crazy adventure is on. This is the trailer for our upcoming larp. This is the normal progression from Shaman and Anima. Fewer and simpler game mechanics, better location, more actually doing things hands on, more special effects and slowly creeping our way towards a fully fledged nordic style larp.

Because I think that they can work here and that players will enjoy the freedom of it. Just don't tell anybody ;P

Deep Ones Protection Kit
Everything one needs to protect oneself against theses sea dwelling horrors; complete with elder sign vessel, incantation hide, hand dipped candles, sal enixon and thion hudor.


All contained in a handy dandy easy to carry kit. Don't leave home without yours!

Crafting tips and tricks
NEVER embroider (or sew for that matter) with butcher's twine. It make give you the whole "fake rough patchwork" look that you are seeking and there are needles that work (carpet needles). It looks great but it is a wonderful way to kill both your hands and wrists. Learn from my pain. Embroidery thread is probably safer.

Tsantsa (aka shrunken head)
Yet another crafting adventure inspired by Stillbeat Studios's tutorials.

Creation instructions under ze cutCollapse )

Fake Blood - Test
Having assembled all the components needed (clear glue and food coulour) I set about doing a few tests. It seems that the Canadian version of that food colour is not the same as the recipe I came up with varied greatly. And frankly I still think (despite what Mr. Mutant says) that it's still too "red" and not "brown" enough. But suffice to say it looks pretty good fresh:

Read more...Collapse )

Simple Chopped Hand Prop
An attempt at creating a prop for a game ... basically a mangled hand partially sliced by some mean chopping implement

Construction details under ze cutCollapse )

Upcoming Tabletop Game
Dear god, look at me having time and motivation to not only post but actually DO stuff.

New skill of the day: using iMovie. I made a "trailer" for the Delta Green Tabletop one-shot I intend to run. Woot:

I think I've officially found something better than just email to invite people to games.

Goodbye and Thanks for the Fish
And so a five year crazy ass adventure comes to an end. Not in the way I wanted, not for the reason I wanted, but oh so overdue. I've finally stopped running Ottawa by Night. And as much as I was aggravated by the comments and attitudes of some players; the ones who pushed my patience just the wrong way one last time, in a way, they did me a service.

I didn't know just how tired and burnt out I was. It's a progressive thing. I thought 20 players was my max and then that creeped up to 55 or so. We added systems, automatized intention sheets, use  google docs for replies, etc. I was only sad for a day ... or so and that's telling a lot when with the push of a button you blow up what you've maintained alive for so long.

But it needed to go. It needed to die. larps need to start en end. Five years was more than enough for something wich Mutant Man rescued from death a mere 3 months after it started. All and all, I suppose it was a success and I've discovered a lot of things about storytelling through this little adventure:

- Don't run an open larp ... the social cases (I was stalked by a player I banned) more than outweigh the benefits of added attendance
- Plan for its end, don't leave it open ended
- Democracy works at first but then fails
- Dictatorship works once democracy fails but the the hate starts
- Larp is a black hold of time and energy but like a leech it numbs you so you don't feel it
- If you can avoid massively published systems, you will avoid the rules lawyer headaches
- If you can avoid popular systems, you won't have to re-write 50% of the rules
- When you stop, you will feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders
- Some people will always hate your decision
- Metagaming and cliques are unavoidable and the worst poison you can face, hence the no more open larp
- Sense of entitlement grows with time
- But sometimes the gratitude is expressed in ways you never expected (I received an iPad ... go figure)

And now I wonder, why only vampire? Now that I've axed the mutated monster that was ObN and allowed those with whom I didn't see eye to eye with to go on and build a campaign on their own, all I see is everything not vampire that could be run; everything that could be small, immersive, new, simple, RP intensive and rules light! I dream of a system that fits on one sheet! I have ideas for a sanity system that doesn't require ST presence.

There will be more larps, but not vampire. I see Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, the Hunt, Twin Peaks, heck Millenium, Delta Green, Call of Cthulhu in my future. I want to explore nordic style larping, larping with little to no system, etc. So many things that I have yet to try but which I finally have time to explore.

Dying is for Old People
Not those about to retire, not those who about a week ago were still bursting in laughter at my dubious sense of humor. There are always those people who make you cringe at the way they abuse their bodies ... but at the same time you don't expect them to suddenly vanish. As much as illness sucks, it gives you time to pre-grieve or some such; to know that it's coming.

I lost a co-worker last week. The Friday before she was the last one with me in our tiny 20 people office and I told her to have a good weekend. At some point on Sunday she died and was found by the police who my co-workers called after finding her door unlocked on Tuesday after she didn't show up for two days. Looking back, over the past weeks, she did seem unwell. I can't help but wonder if she knew what was coming or what she might have thought in those final hours. It wasn't a stroke or cancer or a heart attack. A small stomach ulcer became an abscess that perforated and eventually led to septicemia. By Saturday she was likely beyond help ... but it's hard to wonder if maybe she couldn't have been saved if she had just gone to see a doctor.

She was 58 and planning to retire in the spring. I honestly didn't know her well aside from working with her for the past 4  years.  She was the corporate memory, the encyclopedia. Her employees generally hated her but somehow, she was fine to work with as a peer. I knew she had cats, chain smoked, drank and read novels every time she went out
for a smoke. She lived alone and I guess didn't have much of a social life beyond work. It feels unfair and sad. You work all these years and in an few hours it's all gone.

I went to the funeral earlier this week. Keeping a straight face for the 2 hours cost me many a willpower. I cam home feeling like I had been hit by a truck. It's over yet still doesn't feel real.

Dying is for old people; it's not for your co-workers. It's not people that remind you that next time the ashes in the urn could be those of a close friend, a parent, a significant other or your own.

T&T Discovery
I'm not sure if this is a sign that I lead a rather bland life but this infrequently updated blog is turning into a strange and unusual produce review. What can I say? I am curious when it comes to food. My latest find was a Korean melon. It appealed to me due to its small size (about half the size of your average football).

I peeled it and seeded it and cut it into slices. The flesh had a rather boring colour, white, but it smelled very sweet. The taste was surprisingly good. It reminded me of a honeydew melon ... maybe a bit milder but with a crunchy texture; kind of like the fleshy part of a cucumber. I think this would probably go very well in a fruit salad and possibly hold its shape and texture better than most melons. Plus the small size makes it not entirely unrealistic for one person to eat it in one or two sittings.


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