Sunday, 18 September 2016

This Week: Parahumans, Blackpowder, & Narcos!

Welcome to This Week, a weekly series where I discuss all the gaming (both video and tabletop) content I've played, made, prepped, run and seen that's cool this week.

Let's jump in with what I've done This Week...

What I've Played

I got the chance (finally, after a million scheduling conflicts) to play in a friend's Parahumans one-shot, based on the web-comic Worm and using the Wild Talents 2nd Edition rules. For those of you unfamiliar (which I was) it's a superhero setting with registered heroes and villains. It was my first time being exposed to this particular setting and system, so it was quite an interesting experience. It's also the first time in a while where I've just played an RPG, instead of being involved behind the screen in some capacity.

(Image from NeoWorm)
The session was a heist - braking into a covert vault underneath a cafe - but it quickly became complicated. As it always does. We fought other Supers, did some sweet safe-cracking, and eventually caused, or at least coincidentally witnessed, a horrendous apocalypse from a giant Kaiju-like destroyer of worlds. The story line was great, run by a friend of mine and fellow GM Laith. The system was a bit confusing and felt like it wasn't well achieving what it was trying to do. Next time I think it would do better using Masks or maybe City of Mist when it comes out properly.

What I've Made

Whilst I didn't make it this week, a LARP project I've been working on for a while now went public with its first teaser event. Say hello to Blackpowder & Bloodlines, an intense and innovative LARP being run in Melbourne, Victoria in 2017. I've been working on the rule system for it, and I'm incredibly excited about it. I can't say much yet, beyond what's listed at the website.

(Image from Blackpower & Bloodlines)
To fund it, we've set up an IndieGoGo campaign, so if it sounds like something you'd be interested in, please check it out!

What I've Seen

Narcos! I've been getting into this Netflix series pretty heavily recently, and finished season 1 last Sunday, and have been watching season 2 this week. I'm not sure what it is about Netflix series, but they keep consistently knocking it out of the park for me. In the last few months I've watched Stranger ThingsOrange is the New Black, The Get Down, and now Narcos, and each one has been amazing. There have been a few blunders from Netflix that I've also watched and regretted, such as Hemlock Grove, Between, and The Returned, but I guess they can't all be winners.

(Image from BreatheCast)
However, the one trait I can see between all of the series that I do love is that they're telling stories that no one else is from new perspectives:

  • Stranger Things gives us a few female protagonists who are absolutely bad ass - between 011, Joyce, and Nancy, I seriously don't want to mess with any of them. 
  • Orange is the New Black is giving us a look inside a topic people don't really want to talk about - that prisoners are just people (and in most situations in the TV show, they're more human than those outside). 
  • The Get Down I fell in love with immediately, and it gave me a deeper appreciation for a culture and time period I know little about (being born neither in that time period, the same country, nor anything similar to the same culture). I got a little window into that - a window that's usually ignored. 
  • And finally Narcos gives us a view into something we're also often afraid to face - just why people fall in love with monsters... Seriously, if you need inspiration for how to build a sympathetic bad guy, or to give answers to the question "why would anyone follow the villain?" you need look no further! 

I might continue my What I Learned... series (1, 2) with these titles - as each and every one has taught me a hell of a lot about games. And I may as well continue it with Netflix as my focus, like the last two times!

That's all for This Week this week. I'll talk to you next week, and tell you of all my adventures again! In the mean time, fill your own week with as much awesome as possible.