Sunday, February 13, 2005

Music... Music... Music...

What have I been listening to lately? Well, right now, I’ve spent a lot of time digging through some older CDs and listening to things like Gwar, Megadeth, and Monster Magnet. However, I caught part of Headbanger’s Ball last night and ran into a band I had never heard of before. The band is called Seemless, and the video I watched was for a song called Lay My Burden Down. VERY Good stuff. Reminds me of Soundgarden a bit, which is always a good thing. I recommend you follow the link and listen to all three songs, especially Lay My Burden Down.

If you couldn’t tell, I like a lot of metal, but a good deal of the new stuff leaves me cold. All too often, I’ll hear the beginning of a song that I like only to have the “singer” open his cakehole and erupt with a voice of that sounds like he’s been gargling Drano for the last year and a half. Big turn off usually. There are exceptions to this. I like In Flames a lot, and both Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage have also caught my attention. While all of these bands have their “cookie monster” moments, the music is good enough that I am willing to overlook screamy-vocals, especially if the scream actually adds to the sounds instead of detracting from it.

Just my two cents…

peace… RHM

Gaming Stuff...

Well, Winter War is over and done with. The con was good. It also seemed really mellow, which is surprising considering we had a turnout of almost 500 people.

The games I ran were well received, though I feel they were a touch below my normal standards. I’m semi-scheduled to run the next installments of HeadHunters and Inbetween Days at the next convention, but I’m not certain I’ll be there. Due to the hotel sales staff being new and moronic, the con lost its usual weekend. That means the convention has been moved up a week to Feb 10th-12th. With the 12th being my wife’s birthday, I’m pretty certain I won’t be there. This isn’t a set-in-stone type of thing, but very much the way that I’m leaning. I’m a firm believer in not crapping where I sleep, so my wife and her happiness take precedence over a game convention, even one that I’ve attended the bulk of my life.

Game-wise, I’ve been in a bit of a swirl. During the convention, different people mentioned different home-brew systems that I’ve run before and how they’d like to see them come back. RPM, Casino, and Dicebag all got votes of support. Combine this with the two or three other sets of game mechanics I have on the hard drive that I feel are just as good as those systems, if not better, and it leaves me with a creative dilemma. After speaking with my chief sounding board (i.e., my wife) I came up with some conclusions about how I view myself creatively.

I am a storyteller. I like to tinker with game mechanics, but I truly enjoy creating settings more. I like constructing big sandboxes and then letting other people play in them. Up until now, I’ve never really done that. Perhaps this is the direction I should go. Build a framework for a sandbox and invite y’all to play around in it. If I want to do this right, I should explore the whole open license/GNU thing. No, not D20. Although I’ve softened my stance on D20 being the evil of game systems (D20 Modern and Mutants & Masterminds are responsible for that), I feel that D20 really isn’t my type of game. No, I’m talking about building a set of mechanics based on a set of principles, writing up a no-nonsense version and letting it loose for people to play around with. Everyone can add a brick or two to the foundation. Eventually, we’ll have a house. A bizarre, weirdly-shaped house, but a house nonetheless.

Any comments?

peace… RHM