Excerpt from the first adventure for the modern fantasy setting London by Moonlight.
It’s late evening when the young man comes home to his family’s dingy apartment. He gives a little sigh as he opens and closes the door, glad that he can get finally get little relaxation. As he looks up from locking the door behind him, his eyes meet a scene from out of a nightmare.
Odd symbols and splashes of blood cover walls of the apartment. His mother, father and little sister are bound and gagged, like animals prepared for slaughter. The women are quietly sobbing through their gags. His father’s rage was impotent.
Someone in a Halloween mask placed a knife to his throat.
“Welcome home Billy,” said the man holding the knife to his throat, “We’ve saved a seat for you.”
Two other intruders popped up from behind the chairs with the shout of “Surprise!” Joyfully, they grasped him by his arms and maneuvered him into an easy chair. He knew he should fight this. He knew that if they managed to bind him, he’d be dead. But there was a numbness that fell over him, and he could not find the strength to fight. He meekly allowed them to tie him into that chair.
Once Billy had been secured, the man the had held the knife says, “It’s time to bring out Mother. She’ll want to bathe in this directly.”
The two other intruders scurried into the kitchen and returned carrying an odd case. It looked like it once held an old sewing machine, but had breathing holes cut in the sides. They held it with great reverence and cautiously placed it on the coffee table.
One by one, they snap open the fasteners. The top of the case lifts off with the sucking sound of wet mucous. The camera is angled so the audience cannot see what is in the case, but can see the reactions of the family. Each of the victims begin to scream.
I had to do a lot of thinking about this post. The main reason is that I wanted to make certain that this wasn’t just another Crazy Brain tangent. I’ve been flailing around with the rules for Dream Palace and the Luna System for a long time now. . . too long. While I’ve had some really good ideas and come close to making a complete game, something has been holding me back. So I decided to pull back from both projects and look at them from a distance.
There were elements that worked excellently in both games, but there were also some aspects of both games that simply were not working for me. Then I tried looking past the rules and tried to see what I, as a gamer, was actually after.
I have stated before that I am looking for a game that will keep up with my imagination. I’ve been happiest with freeform roleplaying online. If you say you do something in freeform, Boom! it’s done! The only time you have a conflict is if another player disagrees with what you have played out.
It finally hit me that I have been trying to design for what I think other people will like, and not for myself. I know that sounds foolish, especially since this is a company that makes games for other people to play. However, game design is also an art. If I, the designer, am not making something that I would not want play myself, how can I expect anyone else to want to play it? I want to make something Amazing. Dream Palace and Luna are close to what I want, but they aren’t quite there.
So, I am announcing the creation of the Dream System. I’ll be taking elements of both Dream Palace and Luna and merging them with some new ideas. Wish me luck! Maybe this time I’ll get a game that works At the Speed of Imagination.
Recently, I watched Geek & Sundry’s episode of Tabletop where they played Mice and Mystics. If you have never seen Tabletop before, I would encourage you to watch it. Not only is it informative about the games it covers, but it is also very entertaining.
At the beginning of the video, Wil Wheaton brings up the “RPG in a Box.” Mice & Mystics fits into this category since it is a hybrid of roleplaying and board games. I consider this a good move since the gaming industry needs more entry-level roleplaying games to keep them alive and thriving in the market.
The best bad movie ever made is HERE! Kung Fury finally premiered on May 28th! You can watch it for free on YouTube!
Kung Fury is set in 1980s Miami Florida (quite a feat since filming occurred in Sweden) and renegade cop Kung Fury is there to take down the bad guys! Can he defeat history’s worst criminal, Aldolf Hitler?! Will he overcome his tragic past and take on Triceracop as a partner?!! Am I using enough exclamation points??!!
Congratulations to Laser Unicorns for coming up with this highly entertaining short film. It truly captures the 80s American spirit (in Sweden.)
I will making some changes in the web site over the next few days. Dramatic Games is becoming Sock & Buskin Games. I have the same mission in mind when it comes to the games I am going to deliver, but it was time to choose a company name that wasn’t so generic-sounding.
Believe it or not, Sock & Buskin was a name that was originally up for consideration, but I thought it was too obscure. However, it is delightfully quirky and retains the reference to drama. “Sock & Buskin” actually refers to the names of the drama masks. The Comedy Mask is “Sock.” The Tragedy Mask is “Buskin.” The names are the footwear that ancient Greek actors would wear during a performance. Comedy characters would wear Socks to keep them low to the ground, while Tragically Heroic characters would wear an elevated boot called a Buskin.
So, there you go. A little theatrical history. I will be so amused if I attend a gaming convention and someone asks to see, “Mr. Sock” or “Mr Buskin.”
One thing that I can thank my mother for, besides giving birth to and raising me, was introducing me to the Dream Palaces of Peoria. TV was our main form of entertainment in the Sears household, but every once in a while, Mom would take us kids to downtown Peoria and treat us to a movie.
Our movie trips took place during the 1960s and 70s. During this time, the old movie theaters, the Rialto, the Palace, and the Madison were still actively in use. Higher up on the bluffs, there were also the Varsity and the Beverly. They were all mere shadows of what they once were, but I used to delight in the remaining workmanship that went into their interiors. The concession stand would be a tiny plastic thing compared to the huge lobby. While we would wait for the movie to begin, I would stare up at the high ceiling and lose myself in its detailed designs.
During the 80s, those Dream Palaces came down to make way for new buildings. The Rialto came down first. The last movie shown in it was The Jerk starring Steve Martin. The Palace joined the Rialto soon after. The Varsity and Beverly came down after struggling for a few years. At one point, the Varsity had been split in two, with the balcony turned into a separate theater. The large theaters were only useful when there was a huge blockbuster movie. Otherwise, people were happy to visit the smaller metroplex theaters.
The Madison stayed up, however. They added it to the National Register for Historic Places on November 1, 1980. It went unused until 1996, when Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment reworked it into a venue for live concerts. The theater closed in 2003, and this last surviving Dream Palace lays waiting to be used once more.