How to Talk Like a Child of Ether

mta-sons-of-etherHere’s something awesome for you Mage: the Ascension fans, from their Facebook page. Its a post from Pete Sears titled “How to talk like a Child of Ether“. It basically has a list of prefixes, nouns, adjectives and suffixes to use when a Child of Ether speaks about devices and/or… “science!”

It probably doesn’t even need to be said, but this can also work perfectly for other games, like for Inventors and Mad Scientist types in Savage Worlds or just about any steampunk game. Enjoy!

How to talk like a Child of Ether.

I’ve got something of a confession to make. I’ve always wanted to be a Mad Scientist. When I was very young, both of my parents worked in a restaurant that my grandparents owned. I spent a lot of time there in the large storage space upstairs playing with the gigantic coffee urns. Because of their size and proliferation of knobs, switches, spigots, and other unusual paraphernalia, it was easy for me to surround my-self with them and pretend to be doing mad scientist things. my parent thought it was cute…until I re-animated the cat… 

How to use this list: It works not unlike a Chinese menu of old. Pick a prefix, pick a noun, pick as many adjectives as seem appropriate, and pick a suffix. If you don’t know what a word or cluster of words mean, don’t sweat it. Of all the traditions the Etheric mages have the most to gain by being able to talk a good line of bullshit. Besides, Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

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Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons

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Eye of the Beholder is an upcoming documentary by X-Ray Films and Cavegirl Productions about the art of D&D. Its due for release in 2017. The film features work from both new and classic artists whose paintings and illustrations have shaped the look of the industry over the past 40 years. Throughout the course of the game’s lifetime, both TSR and Wizards of the Coast have solicited iconic artists to help bring their characters, worlds and events to life. Their artwork has fashioned the face of fantasy in the minds of millions of people. Before its demise, TSR released several art books that showcased some of these works, but this is the first film to give voice to the artists themselves.

A recently-released trailer shows that the artists will tell stories about their involvement in the game and their hand in creating its quintessential imagery. We’ll get a history lesson with a slant towards artistic and design perspectives, along with input from other industry insiders involved in the production of the game.

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The rise and rise of tabletop gaming

Here’s a fantastic article about a surge in tabletop gaming based on a gaming café in England. It looks like their main fare are board games and card games, but I’m sure RPGs could work in the same setting.

I love that tabletop gaming is on the rise, and that its driven by in-person social gathering. Its curious that it could be a reaction to the disconnect fostered by more “distant” social interaction from online games. My brother and some of his friends use online tools like Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds to play RPGs together, but being behind a monitor and using a webcam and microphone to communicate just doesn’t appeal to me for gaming. I think its fine for conference calls and even to speak with friends and family who are far away, but there’s something more magical and more intimate about sharing physical space with friends.

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Thirsty Meeples owners John and Zuzi in Oxford

18 Days (1-12) [2015-2016]

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So, I mentioned reading two comic series over the weekend. One of them was Monstress, which I really love for its creativity and art. The other was 12 issues of Grant Morrison‘s 18 Days, which is a sci-fi-influenced retelling of the Mahabharata with Jeevan J. Kang, Saumin Patel and Francesco Biagini providing art and several writers (Morrison, Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra, Samit Basu, Ashwin Pande and Sarwat Chadda) contributing to the story, under Morrison’s direction. It was released by Graphic India, a publisher that’s new to me.

Stats
12 issues
Suitable for children if accompanied by adults (mainly due to the large cast and plot)
Suitable for teens (the violence is not gory, no sex or foul language)

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Monstress (1-6) [2015-2016]

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I read two comic series over the weekend. One of them is Monstress, by Marjorie Liu (writer) and Sana Takeda (artist). It was jaw-dropping. The world-building is astonishing. There are elements of fantasy, steampunk and Lovecraftian-tinged horror underlaying class struggles, race struggles, a sprawling history, and the coolest cats (yes the 4-legged feline type) that I’ve ever read on paper. And that’s just from Liu. Takeda’s artwork is breathtaking. Its art-noveau coupled with gorgeous Asian-fashioned characters on beautiful, detailed backdrops. The linework and somber colors are mesmerizing. The patterns keep throwing me back to designs from White Wolf‘s RPG, Mage: The Ascension.

Stats:
6 issues (so far, but there’s more coming)
Not suitable for children (violence, language, horror, twisted and complex plot developments)
Suitable for teens (violence, language, no sexual scenes)

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Preacher (Pilot)

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So, wifey & I watched the pilot episode of Preacher last night and weren’t really happy with it. I know its getting rave reviews online from people who’ve never read the graphic novels, and that’s fine, but the comic is one of our favorite series. I know a lot of people love Sandman, but Preacher is what made me a Vertigo reader. Hell, for those of you who read it – she included “Until the end of the world” in our wedding vows! We’re going to catch a few more episodes to see if it develops into something we’re happy to watch, but in the meantime, here are a few thoughts:

Characters

  • Jesse (Dominic Cooper): I know its the same actor who played Tony Stark‘s father in Iron Man, and I don’t confuse the 2 characters at all, so that’s good. However, he doesn’t have the presence and matter-of-factness that Jesse does in the books, and he’s not wearing the white jacket or trousers. I also really didn’t like the scene with the boy who spoke about Jesse “doing things” before he was a preacher. That wasn’t a thing in the books and changes the tone of his character and reputation completely for me.

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Ideas for a Post Apocalyptic Campaign in a Fantasy Setting

Here’s a fun read from Tribality which discusses ways to blend fantasy with a post-apocalyptic setting. I’ve looked at some of this before, being familiar with Earthdawn, Gamma World and Dark Sun for many years now. Newer entries for me include Numenera and Evernight (from Savage Worlds), which actually isn’t mentioned in the article.

The article also goes through discussing what post-apocalyptic means in a setting, some existing systems/settings with rules to look to for inspiration, player class and race thoughts about retrofitting classes and modifying races to accommodate the setting and, finally, enemy selection.

I’ve actually been looking at ideas that relate to this for a potential campaign of my own. Some of it is inspired by the anime Attack on Titan, which could definitely be looked at as post-apocalyptic. Another idea I’ve been working on in the little spare time that I have is a vampiric setting, which also ties into this – its a bit like Vampire Hunter D, now that I think of it, but with less science and more medieval occultism, superstition and folklore.