The Gassy Gnoll: Returning to the Fold… (Or “What I did on my holiday break…”)

Here we are at January 14th and I am still attempting to gather my wits as I go back to work after a long overdue break. Suffice it to say, I don’t have an article today.

So instead of apologizing for what was a fantastic vacation, let me focus on a few of the things I’m pondering for the new year.

Sandman Slim cover Richard KadreyFirst, I caught up on a ton of reading. I picked up and devoured all four of Richard Kadrey‘s Sandman Slim novels (Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell, and Devil Said Bang) over my break along with a few other books. I should have been reading RPG-related books to review but chose to dive into a world where Heaven and Hell are real, God and Lucifer both have deep psychological issues, and using swear words is an art form.

It really opened my eyes and made me ponder how we use planar magic in RPGs. Not everyone should be able to shift from one plane to another easily, but perhaps it happens more often than anyone has noticed and more than a few “others” from alternate realms of existence are stalking our characters. As a GM, that’s a frighteningly entertaining thought and one I hope to explore in much greater detail.

Another thought that occurred was the mixing of magic and mundane weapons to greater effect more frequently. Why not dip arrow heads or bullets in some magical sauce to add more damage when we need it? What if my ex-soldier fighter character in our Zeitgeist campaign had access to different oils or balms to apply to his sword to hit insubstantial creatures or add radiant damage temporarily? That really would have come in handy in our last set of battles…

Second, I
saw the film John Dies at the End, which was written and directed by Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep, Phantasm, others) but based on a book by David Wong (aka Jason Pargin). This is one messed up film. And yet, I found myself really enjoying it. The story hits me a bit like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension with a bit of Ghostbusters and the weird world of Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. (Yes, it’s that kind of a bizarre mix.)

To set the record straight, I was a bit disappointed that the title didn’t hold true. Even so, this also brought in the concept of alternate realities or dimensions and the warped mechanics needed to get from one to another. Again, it’s the whole planar travel issue. And considering that different theories postulate that other alternate dimensions or realities already exist (or the possibility of them anyway), I think it needs to be more heavily used in our RPG materials.

Third, I have a ton more ideas for short products and articles for Moebius Adventures again. It’s amazing how completely walking away from your regular day to day routine can really open up the brain cells. There will be plenty more on this front in future articles and as I get my ducks in a row, so don’t worry there.

But now I’m back to work and the usual routine. I promise to get back into the swing of things with more reviews soon!

In the meantime, how’s life on the RPG blogosphere? Anything cool or exciting going on I should know about?

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