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Nancy [userpic]

(blows dust off Livejournal) *cough* *cough*

I haven't used this in a while, I know. But Since I still have it, I figure it's the easiest place to discuss the 7th Sea Quickstart (Facebook might be better, but I never think of Facebook as a proper "blog")

Today, we tried out the Quickstart for 7th Sea second edition. - Wait, you didn't know there was a 7th Sea 2nd edition? Well, there is, and the kickstarter is going on right now. Go. Join the funding. - Though in an amusing turn of events, I printed the very first version of the quickstart that was available to the people on the mailing list, while a couple of my players were using the one from the first update to the Kickstarter, but the differences were not really a problem. A new version of the Quickstart will be available to backers sometime "early next week"

Now, before I begin, you must understand that the whole "No Adventure survives First contact with the players" bit of advice they give in the demo... that's long been my group's motto. Still, we stayed closer to plan than usual, though there were a couple of twists. I distracted the Cabin girls and power monkeys with building lego ships, since there were only 5 pregens, and Roberto Gallo became Roberta, since our group is actually heavier on the girls than guys (Domenica and Alexsy were cross played anyway, but that was just because everyone felt Domenica's player would do the most damage as the Fate Witch.)

With one exception, our group played the orriginal 7th Sea (that exception was born a little less than a year after 7th Sea first came out) and we've all been playing for a very long time. Even the 15 year old, who's been rolling mommy's dice since she was 3. So we know the world pretty well (and enjoyed it too.)

We began as our heroes were fleeing across the ballroom from Duke Kazamirez' men. Crossing the ballroom itself was easy enough for everyone. Doing it without getting hurt... that didn't go as well. Both the Prince and Domenica didn't get enough raises to cancel all their wounds, but the bodyguards sacrificed their own raises for their charges. I would have liked to come up with more concequences to replace the wounds, but for the first scene, wounds made the most sense.

In the Study, Estera purred her way through offering to help the prince, and I only had to hold up my hand for a countdown because cross talk errupted about how the Prince was trusting (so he was going to go with her) even though every player in the room sensed it as a trap. Then she left through the servant's door (made more sense than a generic one), and everyone else turned to the window, since they didn't want to run into the Duke's men. At this point, Roberta decided to use the ropes from the chandelers to climb down the outside of the building... but while she was doing that (which, I decided, reduced the consequences of getting down from 3 wounds to 1 - the rope was just a bit short) Domenica decides to jump... and manages to pull off 5 raises on a Wits + Tempt roll. One brute down, and we hadn't even gotten into the courtyard yet. Ennio then uses Roberta's rope to do a controlled fall, taking out another Brute. Azucena shimmies down the drain pipe, then Roberta and Alexy climb down, with Both of them trying to swing into various guards, and reducing one of the brute squads by three men before we get to the next scene.

Now Filip arrives and admonishes the prince... only for Ennio to challenge him to a duel, while Alexy uses his Leadership to convince two of the brute squads that he was in the right after all.

it's at this point we spend a few minutes going over the dueling rules before I realize that Filip would just shoot Ennio

Filip fires, but I roll really badly. Ennio's player, on the other hand, rolls really well, uses the Flourish maneuver (even though this isn't a duel) and makes the quip "I don't know how you look shirtless, but no one looks good pantless"

One brute squad is easily taken out by the others (with Roberta "complaining" that she sometimes has to take over Ennio's job when he gets like this and taking charge of getting Domenica out of the courtyard) and the other attacks Ennio - who rolls really well again to avoid the damage - probably due to the Fate witch having blessed his sword arm and gotten three raises.

After that, the Brutes just wanted to help Filip escape, so both the Heroes and the Villains went their separate ways.

End Scene 1

None of the players seemed to feel that there was no real "risk" to having dice that would more than likely succeed, though being able to get lots of raises was still a fun thing (as always) If anything, I think there was a certain freedom in knowing that they didn't *have* to make this roll or their character would die. Because everyone was up to doing crazy stuff.

Roberta's player kept making up things for her background with Ennio - and how those situations were like the situation they were in this time, which was amusing. Amusing enough that we dropped the Round Robin Adventures bit. It was obviously a "team building exercise" and our group didn't really need that sort of thing to work together.

Moving on to Vodacce and the Masquerade, this is where I ended up not doing right by the adventure - we were running short on time (we only had 2 1/2 hours) so what should have been awesome RP scenes were broken down into Quick rolls. Still, everyone made their successes on the Schmoozing so none of the lies about the potential patrons were learned, and then Domenica arranged for all four of them to be in the same room for Alexsy to make his pitch. With another awesome Sorte roll (5 raises) and a bit of further Advantage cooking - Alexy persuaded all four to stand with him.

And then I read the introduction to the Duel scene - and had to call it a night.

* * *
So, what do we think? Well, we recongized the weakenesses of it being Quickstart rules (It would have been great if the Sorte Preview had gone out before this), but everyone had fun. The rules were simple enough, and open enough, that our group had little problem with it, but the villains were not particularly satisfying with simply a Strength rating. It gives the villains no depth, and feels a little cheep to have them rolling the same dice pool for everything. While I'm great at allowing the players to go off on a tangent, the limitations of the quickstarter gave me few guidelines, resulting in me faking it more than a little bit.

Over all, we're all looking forward to sailing the Seas of Terra and buckling swashes in Theah once again. Our group will be up to 8, since all the kids want to play too (though I'm going to have to figure out an ice magic for the youngest...)

7th Sea QS Actual Play

Nancy [userpic]

So... not that many people still read this anymore... Though my players might.

I'm starting to set up my Exalted 3rd Ed game, even though the book isn't even finished being written yet. (The Kickstarter adding 50% more sorcery and 50% more martial Arts didn't help). I know more or less what I want, in terms of feel and tone, is Conan The Barbarian (the 1982 movie), but as if it were re-imagined in the style of ...

And that's where I have a problem. I'm not versed enough in Anime to be able to put something in there immediately. I know that Ninja Scroll is too dark, and that most of the other series I could think of are too light. After that, I'm kinda stuck.

My husband suggested InuYasha or Vision of Escaflowne. Now I'm nowhere near done watching either series. (InuYasha is long, and Escaflowne is subtitled, which means I can't multi-task while watching it.) InuYasha actually came out close to ideal... in it's darker parts. The Lighter parts can get pretty silly. Now, there's nothing wrong with silly, but I know my players. If we Start with InuYasha levels of silly, we'll end up somewhere north of Ranma 1/2 levels of silly. (Sorry, guys, but you know we will.) The little bit of Escaflowne I've watched seems to have a better "base" but there's more Magitech in it than I want to use as a base. Yes, Exalted has Mecha Warstriders, but I don't want to start my game off with an expectation that there will be Warstriders in use. 3rd Ed is trying to tone down the Magitech (more Magic, less Tech), so I don't want to use something with lots of Magitech in it as an example.

Oh, and Record of Lodoss War (which, admittedly, I haven't seen in a while) is too D&D/Tolkien.

Bleach was tried, but it's too contemporary, and still a little light. Naruto, what I've seen of it, also strikes me as a bit, Schizophrenic in tone. InuYasha might swing between dark and creepy and Silly Funny, but the swings, while often abrupt, feel more natural than what I've seen of Naruto.

So I'm looking for something Fantasy/Historical Fantasy, about the same tone as InuYasha's darker parts, and with less Magitech than Vision of Escaflowne.

Any suggestions?

Feeling: creativecreative
Nancy [userpic]

So I've been using DeviantArt to post my pictures, mostly sketches of characters for various writing projects that may or may not ever get written.

One that's been brewing for a while, and is finally starting to settle into something usable, is a magical school sort of idea. Something that ends up being a bit of a blend of ideas from Winx Club (hey, my daughter liked it for a while, so it stuck), Hogwarts, Changeling (the Lost/Dreaming) and X-Men (Well, Xavier's School for the Gifted.)

Up on DA went the picture of the "five girl band," which included a clear token minority. A Latina girl. One other has some Native American features, but she also has medium brown hair and hazel eyes. I frowned at myself for that spread, but at the same time, I didn't want to go with a Five Token band either and force it. So I reminded myself I needed to at least add some diversity to the secondary cast, and moved on. I added "school pictures" of the five girls this morning.

Someone Favorited four of the five earlier this afternoon. Anyone want to guess which one was left out? Hint, it wasn't the blonde.

And it really bothered me.

I went and checked out the person's gallery and selection of favorites, and, in addition to way too much non-artistic nudity, the other thing I noticed was that they're all pretty white chicks.

I found myself wondering if there was any way I could remove his (the profile said male) favoriting of my girls. Both because I wasn't thrilled with what I saw in the rest of his gallery, and because I was offended that the one he didn't pick was the pretty girl with the dark tan skin and black hair.

Which got me thinking about my own predjudices. I acknowledge that I have them. Getting certain character skins and hair styles to rectify the lack of certain phenotypes in my artwork has taken a fairly low priority (though there are only a few hair models that are suitable in the first place.) And I've let certain recent events (which are a subject for another rant, though most people who read this have already heard it) further impact my reluctance to use those phenotypes.

However, this guy's skipping of the one Latina has sparked in me a desire to do a whole bunch of beauty shots of non-Caucasian women... which is brought up short by the realization that I don't have the hair models to do them justice. And I don't do beauty shots. And this guy wouldn't get it anyway.

Feeling: pensivepensive
Nancy [userpic]

I could post this to Facebook, but it might get me in trouble. well, it could get me in trouble anywhere, but Facebook somehow feels more public, and more likely to get out of control.

I like to worldbuild, but I'll freely confess to still basing a lot of my cultures on various European ones. That's what I know. I know Celts and Northmen and Greeks and Romans. I know a bit about Egypt and Persia as well, and the neighboring civilizations. I've done some study on various Native American cultures. And I picked up some elements of Hindu culture from my best friend when I was a child. And I'll take all this and blend it together when I world build. Sometimes better than others. Sometimes with more respect for the non-European cultures than others, I'll admit. But I try to at least honor why a certain aspect was part of a certain culture and don't add it just because.

And I can't help but notice I'm missing something. Like most of the rest of the African continent. Like pretty much all of Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Asia I'll admit I tend to leave alone because Nipponphilia was rampant among my group of friends in High School. I was the weird one for preferring rapiers to katanas. It got to the point where I was actively contemptuous of Japan-fanboys, and that still manifests itself in my reluctance to include asian cultures in my worldbuilding, for fear that they'll take over. Africa I don't have what I consider reliable sources for to do these cultures justice, and the same for the Pacfic Islands (though I've dabbled in those a bit.)

But all of this has me wondering... how disrespectful is it, if at all, to separate phenotypes from culture? I know Western Culture well, but does a faux-European fantasy world require that the majority of characters are fair skinned with light brown hair? I know it's been done with Wizard of Earthsea, but I have to admit I never actually read those, so I don't know how western the culture was.

Just thinking.

Nancy [userpic]

Haven't posted one of these for a whileCollapse )

Feeling: contentcontent
Nancy [userpic]

So, you know the software I use to make my art?

It's Free this month.

Daz Studio Standard is usually free, but this month, Daz Studio Pro is free.
Bryce 7 Pro is free
Hexagon 2.5 is free

That's nearly $800 worth of 3D software. Free.


Of course, right now the site is super slow because everybody's downloading several hundred Megabytes of Free Software.

Nancy [userpic]

Drunk Duck Awards 2011 - Best 3D/Poser comic Presentation

Muse of a Knight Won Best 3D/Poser comic! And I was up against some pretty stiff competition too!

Gonna have to do an acceptance speech page today!


Feeling: excitedexcited
Nancy [userpic]

Okay, I've got something of a "Subscription drive" going on at the Muse of a Knight Facebook Page

To wit, since I can't keep track of how many people view my comic since the "update" to The Duck broke page stats, I'm going to try to at least pump up my FB page. All this will be posted Tuesday on the comic as well, so my apologies to those whom this is "spamming"

So if Muse of a Knight can get 25 "Likes" by Christmas, I'll post Bonus Art there every month for a year. If it can get 50 likes by Christmas, I'll do bonus art at both Facebook and on the Duck. And I'll figure out some other bonus if I get substantially more than 50 by then.

So if you read my comic, Like it on Facebook, if you haven't already.

Feeling: surprisedShameless
Nancy [userpic]

So October/November is seriously overbooked.
But I'm still going to try to squeeze in NaNo this year.

Impulse ControlCollapse )

All further posts about it (if any) will be on my writing filter. Comment here if you're not already on it and want to be.

Feeling: creativecreative
Nancy [userpic]

Muse of a Knight was nominated for best 3D/Poser comic in the Drunk Duck user Awards!

I don't expect to win, though I might. I'm just thrilled to have had enough fans vote for it over the other very good 3D comics to have made the nominations.

Feeling: ecstaticecstatic
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