5 December: Edward Drinker Cope

Edward Drinker Cope

Name: Edward Drinker Cope

Tagline: A dedicated paleontologist who published more than 1,400 articles and discovered and named more than 1,000 species, Cope is probably most (in)famous for being one of the parties involved in the so-called “bone wars”.

Claim to Fame: On top of his massive work, he was part of something called the bone wars – and if that isn’t enough, he left his brain behind, so it could be measured against his rival! Continue reading 5 December: Edward Drinker Cope

[FTAWTTT] 4 December: Conan the Barbarian

Cover for Tales of Conan, published in 1955 by Gnome Press. Notice how un-Schwarzeneggerian Conan looks in this cover. Cover art by Ed Emshwiller

Name: Conan the Cimmerian

Tagline: Conan came from the northern Cimmuria to fight monsters, claim treasure and woo beautiful women. And to become king of Aquilonia, apparently

Claim to Fame: Conan is a barbarian, right? An uncultured, brutal, unsophisticated fighting machine. Well, turns out he’s actually kind of brainy and genteel for a brute. Continue reading [FTAWTTT] 4 December: Conan the Barbarian

[FTAWTTT] 3 December: King Eric of Pomerania

A contemporary picture of Eric

Name: Eric of Pomerania, King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, the Wends and the Goths, Duke of Pomerania (Born Bogislav of Pomerania)

Tagline: Adopted by his aunt, Margaret I, he became king of the three Nordic kingdoms at an early age. He was a visionary, but also a stubborn and undiplomatic, ruler, and was eventually deposed as king – after which he made a living as a pirate in the Baltic sea.

Claim to fame: Apart from the fact that he went from being a king to being a pirate, he established the Sound Dues, providing a steady income for Denmark for years to come and sowing the seeds for the Elsinore of Hamlet, and he secured Copenhagen as the Danish capital. Continue reading [FTAWTTT] 3 December: King Eric of Pomerania

2 December: Queen Margaret I

The effigy of Margaret in Roskilde Cathedral

Name: Margrete Valdemarsdatter

Tagline: Married off as a political bargaining chip, she became a major political figure in her own right, uniting Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and earning herself the nickname “The Lady King”.

Claim to fame: In an extremely male-dominated society, she managed to rise to the top, just like she forged a union of three nations with a quarrelsome history, the remnants of which still existed some 450 years later. Continue reading 2 December: Queen Margaret I

Advent Calendar 2016: Fantastic Tales and why to tell them

CC BY 2.0 Joel Bez

I am jumping on the Advent Calendar bandwagon again this year! This year’s theme: Fantastic Tales and Why To Tell Them! Throughout the month, I will be sharing some of the most interesting, fascinating, crazy stories from history, myths and maybe even a few from fiction!

 

[FTAWTTT]1 December – The Monkey King

The Monkey King brandishing his great metal staff, Compliant Golden-Hooped Rod.

Name: Sun Wukong – the Monkey King

Tagline: Magic monkey is spawned from an egg, achieves immortality, conquers heaven but is tricked by Buddha, who forces him to go with a pilgrim to India. Continue reading [FTAWTTT]1 December – The Monkey King

Book Review: Nine Princes in Amber

I sought out this book when I heard it might be turned into a tv-series – and from page one, I could see very clearly why someone would consider this material for a tv-series. This first book in The Chronicles of Amber is written very cinematically. It starts in medias res with a main character waking up in a hospital with amnesia, and progresses from there at full speed through the action. And there’s action aplenty! Continue reading Book Review: Nine Princes in Amber

Ashen Stars First Session – Off to Pleasure Planet

Laws-AshenStars

I’ve long had an urge to try out one of the GUMSHOE systems. I played a lot of investigation roleplaying as a teenager, and the genre still holds a certain appeal. That made me curious to see GUMSHOE in action, to see if it makes for fun and interesting roleplaying. There are two implementations of GUMSHOE I’ve been particularly interested in trying out. First and foremost Trail of Cthulhu, particularly in the Bookhounds of London setting. Trail of Cthulhu is, as the name implies, the GUMSHOE variant of Call of Cthulhu, and in Bookhounds, you play sellers and procurers of rare tomes and manuscripts in 1930’es London who get lured into the occult world of the Mythos by the hunt for old and valuable tomes.

The other is Ashen Stars, a space opera investigation game. In it, you play Lasers, lawmen-for-hire in the slightly lawless outer fringe of a galaxy that’s fallen into chaos after a great war. It has a feel that is too law-abiding for Firefly and not moral enough for Star Trek.

Now, while Trail and Bookhounds appeals more to my feelings of nostalgia, I have a soft spot for space opera. And so, when Niels asked me if I wanted to play Ashen Stars with him, I knew I had to say yes. Continue reading Ashen Stars First Session – Off to Pleasure Planet

Review of Midsummer

Most of the games that take part in the board game competition at Fastaval are unpublished prototypes. A fair number of them end up being published later on (one of them was recently on Kickstarter). However, one of this year’s crop, Midsummer by Nathan Hook, was already available on the print-on-demand service thegamecrafter.com by the time Fastaval rolled around. And if you like strategic hidden identity games, you might just want to give this one a look. Continue reading Review of Midsummer

Scenario ideas for Fastaval 2017

After coming home from Fastaval, I’m always filled with a great desire to write more roleplaying games. This year was no exception. In no time at all, I spurted out a number of scenario ideas. Now, the synopsis deadline is early this year, which means that I’d better get started on developing an idea for a scenario.

And so, in this post, I am going to sketch out some ideas for games. I would love to hear your feedback on them, so that I can tune my ideas. Continue reading Scenario ideas for Fastaval 2017