Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford will be reteaming for another Indiana Jones movie, set for release in summer of 2019.Here’s the announcement:Indiana Jones will return to the big screen on July 19, 2019, for a fifth epic adventure in the blockbuster series. Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce.“Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven.”
This looks pretty darn neat! It’s like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters but in the 1940’s.
The movie is based on the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children…
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the debut novel by American author Ransom Riggs. The book tells the tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island.
I’m late with my GURPSDay Thursday post this week, but it’s not my fault, I swear!
I had to finish listening to the Film Reroll Podcast‘s latest episode, Ep 6: Frozen (Part 2). Film Reroll is this awesome show that takes movies and plays through them using GURPS. Each player takes a character from the movie, that’s been believably built-in GURPS with all their advantages, disadvantages, and skills. They start play at the film’s opening and things go quickly off the rails from there. It is a hilarious series and I can wait to see what they do next.
As the show’s tagline reads:
We play through your favorite movies as RPGs and totally ruin them.
“Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.
I have been a fan of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman since I first saw some of the TV movies as a child, and later when reruns of the shows came on the early SciFi Channel. The concept was fascinating to me, using technology to enhance a human being to superhuman levels, it seemed like science fiction that could become science fact someday.
That being said when my gaming group’s current campaign became a little stale and the need for a break became apparent, I suggested an updated “Six Million Dollar Men“ campaign. Something in the vein of Special Ops/Black Ops. The idea met with general consent so I began the planning phase.
This basically involved a campaign summary stating the campaign’s premise:
A loose remake of the Six Million Dollar Man, set in the modern day, a group of healthy military volunteers are subjected to a year long process of surgeries and daily injections of nano-machine packages that gradually alter and enhance them. The soldiers (PC’s) are now operatives for a government agency, the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) a division of the United States Department of State, that handles all manner of special situations from augmentation of existing troops/federal agents to dealing with international crisis. Their status as bionically enhanced has to remain a closely guarded secret.
Then I came up with the Bionics package that each player would add to their soldier character.
Bionics (-10% Super Science)
Breath-Holding 2 B41
Damage Resistance 5 Tough Skin B47
Damage Resistance 20 Limited (Crushing) B47
Enhanced Move (Ground: Running) 2 B52
Enhanced Time Sense B52
High Pain Threshold B59
Increased Dexterity +5 B15
Increased Health +5 B14
Increased Strength +40 B14
Nictitating Membrane 1 B71
Parabolic Hearing 4 B72
Regeneration Regular B80
Resistant Metabolic Hazards B81
Subsonic Hearing 5 B89
Telescopic Vision 4 B92
Temperature Tolerance 4 B93
Unusual Biochemistry B160
Secret (Nano-Bionically Enhanced) Possible Death B152
Maintenance (People Required: 1 person, Freq.: Monthly) B143
I then posted all that on the Steve Jackson Games Forums for advice and made recommended changes.
The next step was looking for ideas for an appropriate adventure. Googling “GURPS special ops campaign” returned a link to a familiar destination, themook.net. What looked to be a one-shot adventure called Spec Ops: Operation Needle that Warren “Mook” Wilson, who by the way happens to be the author of “How to be a GURPS GM“, had prepared for a convention. Basically, a very straightforward 5-6 man SpecOps team goes into Syria to take out a chemical weapons factory.
Looking over all Mr. theMook had prepared it occurred to me to ask the question, “What would happen if this adventure took place in the setting I was creating, and what if some of the SpecOps team, normal NPC’s, got killed and the rest got captured, and what if the Director of SpecOps reached to the OSI for a little help?” And suddenly, I had an adventure!
I spiced it up a little by putting the enemies on high alert due to the recent attempt on the facility (the SpecOps team hadn’t been moved yet), and adding a big bad in the form of a Chinese Bionically Enhanced soldier. (the Chinese, Russians, and British all have their own bionic programs) The Chinese were supporting the Syrian chemical weapons project and the enhanced soldier was there as protection for the Chinese Scientists.
The outcome? Big BOOMS and much enjoyment for the players.
I’ve been a fan of table-top RPGs for almost 20 years. I’ve been playing them for slightly less than that long. In that time, one system has risen above the others to become the defacto tool for table-top gaming in my house. This system has a rule set that covers all genres, all settings, and is flexible and extensible enough to handle any scenario you can throw at it. That system is GURPS, the Generic Universal RolePlaying System by Steve Jackson Games.
As the official description says, “With GURPS, you can be anyone you want – an elf hero fighting for the forces of good, a shadowy femme fatale on a deep-cover mission, a futuristic swashbuckler carving up foes with a force sword in his hand and a beautiful woman by his side . . . or literally anything else! GURPS has been the premiere universal roleplaying game for almost two decades. The new Fourth Edition makes it even better!”
So, for my first GURPSDay I’ve put together a list of links to some awesome GURPS resources. Enjoy!
Blogs that talk about GURPS:
- RogerBW’s Blog (Roger Bell-West)
- Southern Style GURPS (Chris Bower)
- Celti’s Chatter (Patrick Burroughs)
- Gaming Ballistic (Douglas Cole)
- Dungeon Fantastic (Peter Dell’Orto)
- Mailanka’s Musings (Daniel Dover)
- Insidious GURPS Planning (Mr. Insidious)
- No School Grognard (Mark Langsdorf)
- The Collaborative Gamer (Joseph Linden)
- Northport (Denis McCarthy)
- Let’s GURPS (Pseudonym)
- Ravens N’ Pennies (Christopher R. Rice)
- One Yard Hex (Paul Stefko)
- Fragments of the Last War (Bryan Timms)
- Shooting Dice (Hans-Christian Vortisch)
- Game Geekery (Warren “Mook” Wilson)
- Dark Paths and Wandered Roads (Jason Woollard)
- Code By Clockwork (Jeff Demers)
The movie we missed out on. It would’ve been friggin’ awesome!
Tuesday August 15, 1933, at 1:02 am
Manhattan, New York City
The soft ratcheting sounds of the cable break reeling the grapnel line back into his specially designed trick-cane barely registered to Marcus as he thought, “This is a bad idea.”
He clung to the building’s exterior 500 feet above Park Avenue. The compulsion for… a type of justice, as he saw it, was too strong, he was too much the trickster at heart not to see this through.
A couple more feet and he’d reach the ledge that would give him access to the penthouse of notorious gangster and racketeer Louis Amberg. Louis had made the mistake of losing his temper, by all accounts a common occurrence, a few weeks ago in the Vanity Fair Club and accosting a young comedian by the name of Milton Berle while one Mr. Marcus Niger was present. Marcus had been enjoying the show when Louis became upset at some comedic quip at his apparent expense. Marcus had interceded, and suffered several harsh words regarding his skin color and station in life from Louis. Rather than take his pound of flesh then and there for Louis’ affrontery, Marcus had decided to unravel the the dirty little mobster’s world. Besides, he’d gotten bored with pretending to be a wealthy African prince, he needed some more danger and excitement in his life. Allah help him, but he actually missed his time in the war.
In the days and weeks that followed, Marcus had found a new hobby in tracing the extent of Louis’ illegal activities. A hobby made much simpler by the use of aerosolized variants of several old family alchemical recipes learned from his Berber grandmother, among them a truth serum and a memory clouding formula. As he worked his way through the mafioso’s organization he found it amazing what several well placed bribes could get you out of, not to mention the staggering amount of incompetence that a large portion of the New York police department displayed at times. The piles of evidence lost or destroyed was shameful.
But lost evidence could be… recreated. Making use of his forgery skills, skills that had been well used by his commanders in the Rif War, Marcus prepared files that would trace Louis’ rise to power in broad strokes over the last few years, and include the names and details of every victim Louis’ men could be compelled to give up. Now he would plant that evidence and tip off the right people. Justice, of a kind, would be served.
He stepped over the railing onto a lovely, and thankfully empty, balcony. The lock on the door to the interior apartment proved to be little trouble. Slowly cracking the door a hair he let his senses reach out into the quietness beyond. The smell of flowers, the lazy pulse of air handlers, and darkness. He quickly moved into that darkness and closed the door behind him. His eyes, already long adapted to the night, showed him a well furnished living space.
Now to find the right spot to leave his surprise. Marcus made his way through the living room and crept into the hallway. According to the building plans, the second door on the left should be the study.
Marcus eased the door open, as he slipped into the room he felt a presence. Then he heard the gentle snoring of a sleeping man. As he turned he saw Louis Amberg, bathed in amber light from a small table lamp, asleep in his easy chair with a book in his lap. Marcus froze. The rhythm of his sleeping inhalations seemed natural enough. Marcus moved around opposite of Louis, and repositioned his trick-cane. Grabbing the walking stick below the “L” shaped handle he placed his thumb in contact with a hidden button and rotated a dial on the cane’s circumference that would select the memory wipe aerosol and raising it slightly he pointed it toward Louis, just in case.
He moved silently onward to the rolltop desk he’d spotted. The large oaken thing sat against the far wall. The desk’s lid was closed. Marcus made to roll the lid back, and heard a loud snort and sputter from Louis.
He whirled to see Louis’ eyes flicker open. Louis made to rub the sleep from them. He leaned forward, the book in his lap forgotten, it tumbled down onto Louis’ left foot hard. Louis swore. The book finished it’s fall landing face up, GLADIATOR by Philip Wylie.
“An interesting choice,” Marcus thought.
Marcus’ eyes traveled back up just in time to meet Louis’ gaze. Shock began to register on the gangster’s face, but before he could draw breath to scream, Marcus was in motion. He leapt toward Louis, pointing his cane and depressing the trigger button. An alchemical formula older than modern civilization, tweaked with the best science of the time to be more potent and bonded with a gas propellant, struck Louis square in the face.
Louis sputtered and sat back, the wind taken right out of his sails, he stared blankly forward. Marcus knew from experience he had roughly 15 seconds to make his escape before Louis would begin to come back to himself, minus any memories of seeing a tall black man standing in his study at 1:08am in the morning. He’d probably have to reread several chapters of his book again.
15 seconds. Marcus produced a sheaf of papers from his coat, and moved back to the rolltop desk. 13 seconds. He opened the desk’s lid enough to peer in at the almost empty surface, writing supplies and a few random papers, no good. 11 seconds. Gently, but quickly lowering the lid, he slid open the large middle drawer on the right side, it was filled with file folders, perfect. 10 seconds. Marcus slid his package into place behind several folders and closed the drawer. 8 seconds. He spun on his heel and quickly crossed the room to the door, opening it just enough to pass through, and then gently close it behind him. 4 seconds. He caught his breath for a moment, and then silently retraced his steps back to the balcony door. 0 seconds. In the silence of the apartment, Marcus thought he could just make out the sound of a stifled yawn.
Slipping out onto the balcony and relocking the door behind himself, Marcus then moved to the edge, keeping to the shadows. At the railing he raised his cane and sighted down it’s length to the building next door, the one without all the mobster bodyguards. Rotating another hidden dial on the cane, he then pressed a trigger mechanism hidden along the cane’s shaft, and in a puff of high pressure gas the cane’s tip flew across the gap between the buildings, trailing the thinnest and strongest cable Marcus had ever seen. In flight, the cane’s tip extended prongs making it a grapnel now.
A soft tinging sound signified that the cable and grapnel had landed across his intended target, one of the large horizontal flagpoles 2 stories up on the next building over. Marcus took up slack on the cable and then tested the hold of the grapnel. It would hold him. He then placed the head of the cane into a special receiver on his right arm attached to the harness he wore under his “special activities” clothing, as Templeton his butler called them. Once again he tested the line, pulling with his weight, it still held.
“Here we go again,” he thought as he pulled back and vaulted over the railing into open air.
As he swung out over the Manhattan skyline, Marcus hummed to himself, He’d sail through the air with the greatest of ease, That daring young man on the flying trapeze.
Back to WordPress after several years. It’s only gotten better.
My plan is to use this blog format to help with my writing project(s). I’ll be posting chapters as I complete them and other odds and ends as they occur to me.
If you happen across the site and don’t see a recent update, please poke/prod me to post something.