Between going to SXSW and my college roommate coming into town, I haven’t had much blogging time, as I always prioritize real gaming over talking about it! Luckily for you things are calming down, so there is a rash of session summaries coming this week. Once I’m through the backlog, I’ll try to do something else interesting.
In other gaming related news, I’ve been reading a lot of good stuff with gaming take-aways. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, is brilliant, and is basically Unknown Armies, the novel! The ancient gods are real, and there are “instances’ of them in America, but as they’re not worshipped any more they largely live among us and work in Quickie Marts. It’s must read material if you’re running any modern occult game.
I’ve also been reading both C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower novels as well as their sci-fi stepchild, David Weber’s Honor Harrington novels. You know, sometimes you think “What, novels from the 1930s? Must be lame!” but these rock. Weber’s novels are interesting too – they manage to make SF space combat interesting in a tactical sense, which is a refreshing change, even if his interpersonal writing is a little too “Heinleiny,” as I think of it.
These are giving me loads of inspiration for my Admiral Ken Takashi character in the Lighthouse campaign! I’m becoming more of a Navy prig with each novel. Inspired by these books, I sent an unprovoked email to our GM the other day, reading:
Request to Convene Officer Selection Board
From: Admiral Ken Takashi, Commanding Officer, Verge Alliance Starship Lighthouse
To: Verge Alliance Lords of the Admiralty
Subject: Request to Convene Officer Selection Board
1. I would like to respectfully request that an Officer Selection Board be convened with the purpose of evaluation of Commander Martin St. John’s fitness for promotion to the rank of Captain.
2. I would like to further submit the following information for consideration in addition to the Commander’s record on file.
a. Commander St. John has served under me with distinction aboard the Lighthouse for many years and enjoys my personal confidence and recommendation.
b. His record for command and bravery as well as discretion is without question, and includes the recent rescue of Admiral Rastaad from the occupied Hammer’s Star system.
c. He has led ships during a number of spaceborne engagements with hostile forces including the pacification of pirates in the Corrivale system and destruction of numerous klick vessels in the Hammer’s Star system.
3. The exact date of the Lighthouse’s return to Bluefall is unclear due to the exigencies of the current conflict, but I respectfully request that such a Board be scheduled for the earliest possible opportunity.
4. I sincerely believe that Commander St. John’s record indicates the highest standards of excellence of command and request that the board deliberate these when deciding upon the Commander’s selection for promotion to Captain.
Adm. Ken Takashi
I’m sure he thinks I’ve flipped my lid. But I can’t wait to tell one of the other bridge officers to “Please convey my compliments to Commander St. John on that last missile barrage.”
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels.
That is all.
I’ll have to check them out once I’m done with Hornblower!
If you’re looking for gaming fiction with “the serial numbers filed off,” you might want to check out Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim novels, as they’re the best In Nomine fiction ever, essentially. His novel Butcher Bird is available as a free ebook, and while it’s not necessarily a prequel to the Sandman Slim books, it’s very much a prototype, and also feels quite a bit like Unknown Armies.
LOL! Yep, that would be very Hornblower. I assume you’ve seen “Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World”? It pops up on Hulu every now and then if you haven’t.
Making me very, very jealous of your Alternity game.