After the nice one-shot “The Murderer of Thomas Fell“, my new gaming group decided to continue with the 1930s
horror genre and we played through roughly a third of the Realm of Shadows
campaign for Call of Cthulhu.
It ended with a near-total-party-kill.
You can read the actual-play for “Kith and Kin” (the first chapter) and
“Provender of the God” (the second chapter) over in the RPG section.
One thing that I realize now that I’m writing those things up is how often I
feel the need to explain why, as a GM, I’m doing this or that — making the
bad guys attack here, adding some clues there, etc. Most of the “actual plays”
out there only focus on what happened around the players’ side of the table. But
I’m finding it more interesting to also include what’s happening behind the GM’s
This is especially interesting because investigative adventures rely a
lot on the GM improvising events and moving around clues to keep the story
going, as opposed to, say, a dungeon crawl, where most of the design decisions
can be done upfront during the preparation phase, and the improvisation is
mostly about adjusting enemies to keep combat balanced.
Adding the GM side of the game makes it easier for me to see what I did right
and what I did wrong, and may even get me some constructive feedback on some of
those decisions. I’ll try to keep adding things like that in the future reports.
This week-end in Vancouver was FanExpo, with the shopping frenzy, celebrity
line-ups, cosplay contests, and friendly comic-book sketching that you’ve come
to expect from such conventions, albeit at a smaller scale for our relatively
young Vancouver edition.
Here’s my artist-commission-focused loot this year:
Nadia (from Kukuburi) by Ramon Perez, Conan by Cary Nord,
and Iron Fist by Kaare Andrews. And a nice Thundercats t-shirt
because I always need a new t-shirt.
After the jump you can see some cosplay pictures I took, although you can
probably see better ones elsewhere on the internet.
Sarah Baird talks about what us left-handed people have put up with all our
lives, and all the way back through history:
Day in and day out, though, the biggest hurdle faced by lefties isn’t
discrimination — it’s mundane, basic functioning. Almost all facets of
society, from ink pens to urban design, are crafted and structured to support,
abet and cater to the right-handed majority. For lefties, functioning means a
constant, conscious consideration of how they can reverse or modify their
natural behavior in order to most effectively move around in the world.
The funny thing is that most of the time, I’m not even thinking about it. I’ll
be, say, getting hot air blowing all over me from holding the vacuum-cleaner
“the wrong way”, and not really realize that this wouldn’t happen if I was
right-handed. It’s just like living in a world that’s slightly less
Generally speaking, I’ve probably encountered less hurdles growing up in France
than most North-American lefties: spiral notebooks were not used a lot (we had
properly bound notebooks) and student chair/tablet combinations were pretty much
The last time I really felt the pain of being part of a market minority was when
I was shopping for a new computer mouse. Being a palm gripper, I ideally need a
so-called “ergonomic” mouse. But those mice are only ever manufactured for
right-handed people. The only left-handed ergonomic mouse that I’ve been able to
find is the Razer Death-Adder Left-Handed Edition. Many people dislike
Razer for their annoying configuration software but I figured I still
needed to vote with my money. And, you know, I needed a mouse.
As expected, the configuration software is annoying, but the mouse is really
I’ve been quite silent for the past few weeks because I’ve been mostly working
on the PieCrust 2 documentation website — a lot of time spent writing stuff,
trying out different layouts, figuring out how to organize the information, and
coding the infrastructure tools that will generate separate documentations for
Now at least I’ve got half of something to show, in case some of you want to
provide feeback or — gasp — help! Head over to the PieCrust 2 documentation
preview to see it in all its work-in-progress glory!
At this point, it’s only about a third done, so there’s probably another few
weeks of work. But it’s interesting how writing documentation forces you to
polish a product. This is not new — it’s really a variation of README-driven
development — but that’s why it’s taking a long time: a good chunk of the
documentation writing time is looking at what I just wrote, thinking that it’s
completely stupid, writing what it should be like, and then fixing the code so
it does exactly that.
Anyway, back to writing…
To celebrate 2015 (happy new year!) I’m starting a new section on this website:
actual play write-ups of RPG games. I got back into gaming a few months ago,
GM’ing a few Call/Trail of Cthulhu games.
The first one is “The Murderer of Thomas Fell“, a simple, one-shot adventure
that acted as an introductory adventure to my new group of players. If you’re
the kind of person that reads actual-plays, or if you plan on running that
adventure, you can head over here.