Archive for August, 2010

JibSkarn Industries Presents: Warlords Battlecry III, Jib-butt vs. Rutskarn

31 Aug

Guess what, it’s another let’s play!

Jibar and I have been meaning to do an LP series for a while now–and did experiment with Saints Row 2 quite some time ago–but have recently settled into a new concept. Namely, ripping off Tom vs. Bruce from CGW.

Here’s how it works: We play the RPG/RTS Warlords: Battlecry III against each other, then write up timestamped notes as we do so. The notes are fleshed out, then slotted together. At the moment, there are no screenshots, but we plan to have some of those–as well as additional art–in the future.

This LP is also being hosted on the Giant in the Playground forums under care of Jibar. His post is a little different from mine in terms of introduction (and, later, art content), so you might want to head over there as well. You might find other subtle differences, such as his title for the series, which sucks and is not as good as mine.

Without further ado:

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Were my Wolves At?

30 Aug

For those of you who’ve been following my Wolf in the Playground series, and are interested in trying Werewolves for yourselves:

1.) Thufir is creating a classic game over on Giant in the Playground. Registration is open until September 13th. Inquire within–you will need to create a free forums account to play.

2.) Once WitP is concluded, I will be starting a game here on this site. Day will begin on Monday and end on Friday, with Night cycles taking up the weekend. There will be a special post for your Day votes, and Night actions between players will be handled via e-mail.

If you’re interested, go ahead and apply below. Registration will close once 35 players are reached.

EDIT: Whoa nelly, that’s the limit and about twenty more besides. Keep in mind that Thufir’s game is still available–if you singed up after, like, comment 45, that’s probably your best bet.


Lord of the Scraps: Session Eight, Part 2

29 Aug

At this point, the gnome lieutenant continued his presentation.

“Now then—the stalemate. We’ve been very successful in seizing the outward bases and farmland owned by deathgrip, and many of the northern villages are under our control as we speak. The new all-terrain vehicles are proving very effective against massed infantry, and ambushes have fallen since we mobilized the most recent scout division. Indeed, until recently, we predicted an end to the war within three months. Four recent skirmishes, as well a frontal assault—the grim results of which many of you have seen the report concerning–have led us to reconsider this estimate.”

The lieutenant gestured towards the map, indicating a line of dots to the east of their position.

“These are Deathgrip’s core settlements, and it is these that are giving us difficulty. Deathgrip’s witch-corps that strains credulity—they are more powerful than we had guessed, and completely—irrevocably—under the control of their masters. We had fought mages on the northern front before, but Deathgrip seems to have been saving their most skilled for their last lines of defense. The most key areas—east of lines here and here, in the thick of the forest–are protected by squads of their slave-born battlemages. It is proving…unexpectedly difficult for our mechanized infantry to uproot them.

“Make no mistake, we have numbers and time. We will win. But in the interests of avoiding a protracted struggle, and preventing the loss of thousands of gnomish lives and untold resources…we have a few ideas.”

The lieutenant reached into a bag by his chair and pulled out three folders.

“Mercenaries. I have called you here to offer you a choice of the following three missions; you may choose for yourselves which to undertake. All of them will be long-term operations, and all of them will require considerable skill and guile on your parts.

“Your first option,” he said, gesturing at the previously-indicated forest area, “is to ship out along with some other specialists to deal with the witch corps directly. You will be operating autonomously, seeking out targets and hideouts on your own, contacting your superiors only to report successful kills. Points will be deducted from your blood-debt accordingly.

“Secondly…perhaps you have heard, in your brief time on this island, of the faction known as the Royals.

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Don’t Tease Me, Bro

28 Aug

I’m going to be turning early for a morning Spoiler Warning recording session, so the D&D post won’t be up until late afternoon tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve got two things of some importance to bring up:

Firstly, the teaser I teased in the tease at the top.

In all seriousness, I’ve got no idea when this will be done. I was about to start storyboarding with Jibar this coming week, and after that, drawing the pages will probably take up my doodling time slot (so, it won’t interfere with any other content I have in the pipes, just to be clear). I was just working on a concept, and started working on it past the point of concept doodle, and then suddenly I had something that I might as well just pseudo-polish and throw out there. The smart thing might very well have been to hold onto this until the project was nearly done.

Screw that. I like working, buil-ding a mys-ter-y, not so much the holding it in.

The other thing relates to Vatsy and Bruno. It’s still very close to done, but I’ve decided to give it another week to let some more peer edits come in. I’ve spent a year and a half on this thing, it’s worth spending another 7-to-10 days.

Now, the thing I have to ask you: If you commented on Vatsy and Bruno at any time during its writing, you’re eligible to be put on the acknowledgments page. If you’re eligible, and it sounds like something you’d be into, respond below and I’ll stick you in there. Be sure to mention whether you’d like your real name, username, or both.


And Another One

27 Aug



Ruts Plays Once Again

26 Aug

New episode’s in the can. Mic’s a shade quiet, I mispronounced Margolotta, said magic when I meant melee, and accidentally wore live cats instead of underwear while filming this episode. Hopefully, you can look past these mistakes and focus on how much worse I’ve gotten at playing this game.


The Cyrodiil Look: Cahmels’ New Travels (Let’s Play Oblivion, Part 4)

24 Aug

This is a bit of a short one–I’m getting V&B ready to go out the door, and I’ve only got so much time left before the net cuts off, so I kinda needed to wrap this one up. I might go ahead and do another short one this week to balance things out. On the plus side, I got out of the damn dungeon.

When we last left our patriotic hero, I was standing there with my hands in my pockets and a stupid look on my face* while an assassin crawled out of a tunnel and stabbed the Emperor to death. One would think that I could have intervened, since I was facing in the direction of the assassin and watched him climb out of the wall, take a few steps forward, and then stab Moaning Uriel right in back of the head. In fact, he moved slowly enough that I could have done anything running the gamut from a.) asking the Emperor, in a calm and level tone, to maybe scoot over a bit, to b.) jogging up and putting myself between the emperor and his target, to c.) drawing a picture of the approaching assassin, walking out of the prison, finding a mailman, giving the drawing to the mailman, and asking him to deliver it to the Emperor with the message: this is what is currently behind you, maybe you should do something about that. Then again, perhaps there was nothing I could have done to protect his Highness. This was an elite killer of the Mystic Dawn cult/fraternity/cosplayer’s union we’re dealing with, a man hand-picked to take on the Emperor’s own bodyguards, on their own turf, to perform an assassination crucial to his dread order’s long-awaited scheme to conquer the world. It’d be ludicrous to assume that I, a feeble prisoner armed only with a crappy short sword and all the rat-toilet rust-trap armor I could find lying around the ditches of a neglected tunnel, could ever hope to take him on in hand to hand combat whoops I hit him and now he’s dead. Okay, so apparently, this usage of “elite assassin” is synonymous with “glass-boned LARP-fighting dingus in a spiky suit.” Must be a cultural thing, like filling your too-goddamned-long escape tunnels with assassin-friendly rat holes and goblin reservations. And doors that can be easily barred from the outside.

You know, if I actually gave a recently-severed rat’s keister about the Empire, I’d probably have been miffed that Bethesda static-clung my feet to the floor back there. As it was, I was chomping at the bit to loot Septim’s pimp-robe, skedaddle, and go hit some bars. Say what you want about the guy, but his style was pretty solid. Hell, I might even try some of his pickup lines. “You! Let me see your face…you’re the one from my vision! It is as the gods foretold…say, baby, what’s your birthsign?”

Recently-unemployed bodyguard Walrus wasn’t too happy to see that his charge got murdered. On the other hand, he seemed to take the death of the Emperor, his own failure to commit his sworn duty, and the seemingly inevitable demise of the entire nation, pretty darned well. “Dang,” he seemed to say, “I can’t turn my back on this guy for five minutes! Oh, that Emperor, always getting into one scrape or another. Seriously, though, did you already call dibs on that robe? I know, right?”

Also, I went ahead and relayed the message the Emperor gave me, which was to take his amulet to a monk named Jauffre. To my mild surprise, Walrus was totally okay with this plan. “What’s that, prisoner? You say that while you were alone with the Emperor for five seconds, he said that you should totally have all your charges cleared and be turned loose, unsupervised, from your squalid prison cell? And that he asked—he insisted—that you take his extremely expensive crown jewels with you for safekeeping, instead of giving it me, his highly-trained, highly-trustworthy, schedule-open agent? Whatevs. The exit’s that way, here’s a key, have a nice life. I’m going to go commit ritual suicide or whatever it is we do.”

After a final character-creating screen, in which I declined the preset classes in favor of a custom one I dubbed Vagrant, I managed to stumble through the rest of the dungeon without further interruption. Within mere minutes, I stood at the edge of the sewer grate, looking out over the beautiful landscape and thinking: this is coming thrillingly close to beating bowl-punting as a form of afternoon diversion.

I don't see a single filthy, neglected pile of bones, but I think I like it anyway.

Of course, things weren’t going to be all about leisure, were they? I had a quest now: I was to carry the Bloodline Amulet of the late Uriel Septim to Jauffre, a monk at Wenyon Priory, Chorrol, located northwest of my location. What’s more, I had a plan, which was to go in the exact opposite direction and pretend the past hour or so never happened.

Beyond that, my schedule was flexible. I had a load of rusted, ill-used adventuring equipment to sell, a slightly doughy body to rework into a taut killing machine, and a host of respectable employment options to sneer at. After all, I could only derive so much booze money from the stuff I found in a rotted-out goblin cave; sooner or later, I had to get some fresh money rolling in. I just had to figure out how. Again, I had my bloodline’s rich tradition of not taking honest jobs to uphold, and I suspect that I’d surpassed the Fighter’s Guild’s maximum IQ threshold around shameful beating #52, so that left me with…professional spitting leagues. And burlesque dancing.

Not that I didn't have the glamorous mystique for it.

Whatever, I’ll ask around, something’s bound to show up. If Vvardenfel taught me anything, it’s that there’s always a market for swarthy, disreputable outlanders willing to perform aggressively petty personal errands for modest lumps of cash. And, hey, as long as their quest reward clears, I’m down for just about any task, no matter how savory it isn’t. I’m like a character out of an Ayn Rand novel, except for the part about being extremely competent, or principled, or marginally competent.

I’m sure something’ll turn up. I’ve got a real good feeling.

*Note that, given Bethesda’s face modeling and animation, this condition is omnipresent.


Wolf in the Playground: Post no Bills

23 Aug

Dramatis Personae

Myself: The King Quisling.

Dr. Bath: My loyal advisor.

Helgraf: A player who j’accused my ass just about every dang round. I would have been more offended by his baseless, ceaseless persecution if it weren’t entirely justified.

Xykon_Fan: Once one of my greatest threats, now my greatest weapon. A public figure, generally held to be an innocent, who after recent events had come to identify me as an ally.

billtodamax: A semi-public player who was about to become crucial to the success or failure of the Wolves.

When I last left off, I’d just thrown one of my oldest lieutenants to the wolves—er, the villagers—to preserve my credibility in the eyes of the villager corps. I felt guilty about it at the time; was it really worth trading the lives of one of my boys just to avoid garnering suspicion myself? I didn’t know it at the time, but I was barely a cycle away from having that question definitively answered.

Night fell, and we set about assassinating a villager of no consequence. It was just before Daybreak that I received the following message. It was written by the player billtodamax, and it was addressed to both Xykon_Fan and myself:

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Fiction Week Is Over

22 Aug

Wellp, thanks once again for furnishing the six-foot flaming hoops for me to jump through. Hell-god typist’s cramp aside, I’d say it went pretty well, especially considering my unrecorded post-must-be-complete-before-midnight rule and menagerie of oddball terms. I got a little lucky on those–there was some wacked-out stuff on my registries that could have really sunk me if I’d rolled them. I’d say the closest I got was when I got “sentient mullet”, but I managed to give that one the slip.

Now, it just so happens that Vatsy and Bruno: A Tale in Three Acts is mere days away from its complete, unedited release. If you enjoyed the off-the-cuff improv fiction I assembled this week, you may enjoy the final cut of Vatsy and Bruno, a work I spent about a year and a half creating and the past three months editing. It’s a grimly comedic tale of dystopia, bad food, crime, cliche, mutants, friendship, mad science, bounty hunters, and–above all–journalism. I’ll be rolling out a modest read-this-goddammit campaign once the draft is 100% complete.

Since we’ve got that out of the way: some bullet-pointy thoughts on Fiction Week below. Minor spoilers, so I’ll throw in a fold just in case you haven’t read it yet. Which, if so, feel free to do that now–it’s pretty short.

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Apocalypse Gothic: Alternate Ending

21 Aug

For my extra image, I have chosen to create an alternate, illustrated ending–one that will challenge your conceptions of the work, the boundaries of visual expression, and the storytelling mores of the 20th and 21st centuries. Enjoy.

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