Still digging The Expanse and wondering what the original campaign was like

There was an article a few weeks back that mentioned that The Expanse books began life as a d20 campaign played by the authors. Now as I watch the show I can’t help but wonder how that campaign played out, especially given that d20 is mostly fight-y bits. Which characters were the PCs? (I’m assuming it’s the four folks from the Caterbury, at the least.) What scenes were born in actual sessions of play?
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For example, the Rocinante. I have to believe that Holden and the others lucking into a Martian gunship of their own was some seminal play moment, either hard-won or else a handout from the GM.

“So, wait, you mean the whole crew is dead, so we’re the only ones on this ship?”

“Yup.”

“So, we now own a Martian combat vessel.”

“Yup!”

“FUCKING SWEET!!!”

“And here’s your first mission: Fred Johnson wants you to retrieve something for him…”

I’ve been perusing my old copy of d20 Future quite a bit as a result.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Expanse_(TV_series)

I feel like I spend too much time managing my PDFs

Between file updates from DTRPG, the fact that no one seems to name their files the same way, and that many publishers will include duplicate files — old versions and new — in their DTRPG bundles means that I seem to spend a good chunk of time every week sorting, renaming, and puzzling over “Last Modified” dates. Add in the multiple versions of preview docs you get with a lot of Kickstarters and it becomes a total clusterfuck.

Or then you have adventures where the bundle includes one or more PDFs (maybe one is two-up, another B&W, etc.), plus individual JPEGs for maps, and then a Readme.txt file. I dunno; why isn’t a single PDF good enough here?

I realize a lot of this is due to the wide spectrum of technical skills possessed by people who produce RPG content, but sheesh. You’d think after ten years of PDFs as a viable distribution method, there would be some best practices.

/end of rant

This will be the cover to Aaron Allston’s Strike Force! It’s not a re-release, but a new book from Evil Beagle Games detailing Aaron’s handling of his famous superhero campaign that spanned decades. The Kickstarter to publish this book will start on February 1st, so be ready!

I haven’t drawn superheroes in a long time, and this was a fun cover to work on, seeing as I played in the campaign and knew all the characters. That’s Plasma Ranger to the far left, with Overlord in the green and gold facing off with Lightrune and his summoned energy sword in the red and white, while Luster and Le Panthere look on in alarm! That’s Strike Force Orbital in the background.

Having a New York Times Bestselling author as your game master kinda spoils you, but rest assured that I and the other players know how lucky we were to have played in that campaign as well as all the others in the Allston Universe.

–Denis

A conversation about Modiphius’ upcoming Conan RPG has me thinking about house systems, i.e., a core ruleset that a publisher will use across multiple properties, very often licensed properties.

Question: Does this work? Can disparate properties be done justice by a single ruleset?

When I think about this being done well, I think of Cortex Plus and Burning Wheel.

Cortex Plus seems focused on embracing genre, and it’s intentionally malleable. Ergo, when I played Marvel Heroic it felt like a Marvel comic, and Leverage and Firefly pretty much felt like episodes of the show.

As for BW, Luke seems to make a point of seeking out (or being handed) properties that are inherently “Burnable”, i.e., both Iron Empires and Mouse Guard seem to be ready-made for BW’s core “fight for what you believe” ethos. Add in BWHQ’s expertise in design, and you end up with perfect licensed RPGs.

Does anyone else do this well?

(Attached is a photo of Amy Acker int he Angel episode “The House Always Wins”, because I was Googling for “house” phrases and because Amy Acker is awesome and super-cute in this outfit.)

Carrie Fisher had a chatty phone conversation with Daisy Ridley, so they published it in Interview magazine.

FISHER: It’s hard to date once you’re a big Star Wars star because you don’t want to give people the ability to say, “I had sex with Princess Leia.” […]

RIDLEY: Someone asked me if I found it easier to date now because I’m in the film. I was like, “What the hell?”

FISHER: What a stupid question.
 
(((Someone please clarify for me why that’s a stupid question. — AV)))

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/film/daisy-ridley#page2

The Buddhists say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, and Scary Monsters was exactly the record I needed to hear in the summer of 1980. At this point, I was living in a trailer in southern Illinois, in a neighborhood where, no kidding, an 18-year-old kid could get beaten up for listening to David Bowie. Or for listening to anything to the left of this [link to Skynyrd album cover].

Todd Alcott and David Bowie, two great tastes that taste great together.

David Bowie: a personal history

The Backerkit survey for the Classic RuneQuest KS went out this morning. At first, I was sort of having (metaphorical) palpitations looking at just how much I spent on this KS.

But then I got to the end and was rewarded with the first of the PDF download links. Looking at the nice, clean PDF of the good ol’ RQ2 rulebook almost brought a tear to my eye. Now I regret nothing!

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs compared nearly 800 products with female and male versions — meaning they were practically identical except for the gender-specific packaging — and uncovered a persistent surcharge for one of the sexes. Controlling for quality, items marketed to girls and women cost an average 7 percent more than similar products aimed at boys and men.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/22/women-really-do-pay-more-for-razors-and-almost-everything-else/