• After Action Report – Cthulhu: Now – Light of Darkness (Part 1)

    This was a group of players who (with one exception) had never played Call of Cthulhu before and in fact had only started role-playing in the past few months (Pathfinder, which had been run by the one experienced player). They had played Arkham Horror and so had at least a grasp of the general concept but that was it. With the one exception I don’t think any of them had even read Lovecraft. I had planned to run Crack’d and Crook’d Manse from Mansions of Madness but the group suddenly decided they wanted to run a modern-day campaign. Literally the only modern thing I had with me that the experienced player hadn’t played was a tournament scenario I had run a couple of years previously. I didn’t consider it to be a good introduction to the game but, despite being warned of that, they decided they wanted to go for it. And so, a playthru of… Light of Darkness A Scenario for Cthulhu: Now Introduction: It is late at night. A group of travellers are proceeding north on I-95 from Jacksonville to Savannah and passing through southern Georgia when they encounter a detour. Road construction. They need to detour along a back road for about 25 miles before it intersects the Interstate again. They quickly leave the Interstate behind and find themselves driving through dark, empty countryside; alternating pine forests and stretches of swamp (the Okefenokee swamp occupies this part of Georgia) with an occasional abandoned and overgrown farmhouse. The

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  • Let’s Play! – Aura: Fate of the Ages – Part 2

    Continuing the walkthrough for the game Aura: Fate of the Ages, Umang arrives in the world of Dragast and meets a guy too busy working a puzzle to tell him more than to shut the door. And the puzzle is only missing two pieces. He then meets the creator of Dragast who apparently knows everything that isn’t a secret but won’t tell him anything useful, forcing Umang to figure out everything on his own. Along the way he finds the worlds most versatile statue, thinks nothing of letting a random guy out of jail, maybe summons Cthulhu by solving the same puzzle twice, complains about tedious backtracking and finally finds the tetrahedron of Dragast, only to find he has half the world yet to explore. Just another day of adventuring.

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  • Welcome to The Secret World

    For the past few weekends I’ve been playing in the open beta for The Secret World, a new MMO coming out in a month or so from FunCom. The Secret World is different from most MMOs we have seen so far. It isn’t set in some fantasy world or on a distant planet. Instead, it is set here on Earth in the present day. But this is not the Earth most of us are familiar with. This is a world of secrets that have been hidden from the general population. A world of vast conspiracies and creeping evil. A secret world in which all of the myths and legends, all of the stories and tales you hear, everything is true. You become involved in The Secret World when you swallow a bee. No, really. The bees are representations of Gaia and they are returning because “dark days are coming”. They are finding individuals that they can imbue with “anima”, magical energy, that those individuals can then use to fight the growing darkness. You are one of the individuals that have been chosen. But you have no sooner become aware of and begun to control your newfound powers when you are contacted by one of the three organizations which secretly rule the world. The Templar, The Illuminati and The Dragon have been struggling behind the scenes for control of the Earth for centuries but now the “Filth”, an evil from beyond the world as we know it, has broken through. The

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  • The Dreaming City

    I stood at the tall windows and looked out upon the towers of glass and steel that made up the city. It was night and the city seemed deserted, the broad streets empty and the pavilions silent and only the occasional lighted window showed where the few inhabitants had gone for the evening. I felt her hand on my shoulder and turned to find her waiting. We embraced without words, though we had been apart for so long, for words were not needed between us. We stood there in the room with the tall windows and the white walls and held each other. Later we continued to hold each other as we lay there in bed. I felt her soft breath and knew that she was asleep but I resisted, lying there in the near darkness. I knew that when I slept I would wander again and it would be long before I returned. So many of us had learned to wander and each night fewer of us returned and so soon the city would fall dark and none would return to look upon its towers of glass and steel. And so I lay there in the darkness of the room with the white walls and the tall windows from which I had been gone for so long and wondered when I would ever return.

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  • Let’s Play! – Aura: Fate of the Ages – Part 1

    In this first part of a walkthrough for the game Aura: Fate of the Ages, we meet the unlikely named Umang as he is sent to the valley of Ademik (or possibly Ademika; no one seems quite sure) to continue his lessons from the slightly less unlikely named Grifit. Grifit turns out to be missing, so Umang must decipher the use of a bunch of strange machines in order to find the way out because someone forgot to tell him about the back door. Along the way he gets to complain about numerous OSHA safety violations, wonder why overly elaborate machines are better than simple combination locks and wish that he had a can of WD-40 along with him. And that’s before he finds out about the rebellion.

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  • Night Beach

    I stood on the beach for a while, looking out over the sea. It was night and the sky was partially overcast, the undersides of the clouds illuminated by the light of the city behind me and blurring out all but the brightest of the stars. They were more visible near the horizon, beyond the long rolling of the waves. There seemed to be no one beyond me on the beach so I watched in silence for a while then turned and climbed up the wooden steps to the boardwalk. I had only taken a few steps along it when a nearby door burst open and a laughing trio emerged, two men and a woman. One of them staggered almost into me and I put out a hand to steady him. I don’t think he noticed, but his companion mumbled an apology in my direction then the three of them set off along the boardwalk. I glanced into the noisy bar they had just vacated but let the door swing shut. I was looking for a quieter evening. I continued on to the main street and stopped on the sidewalk. Crowds of people walked past me; groups of individuals, couples and families walked along the road past brightly lit shops, restaurants and entertainments. Children ran from a nearby arcade and a couple stopped to buy candied treats from a vendor’s window. I briefly looked at a brightly colored jacket displayed in a window before making my way down the street.

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  • Random Thoughts on a Walk

    It’s a nice, sunny day, I guess I’ll do my walk outside today. I usually do this loop to the left. Maybe I’ll do it to the right today. Mix things up. There’s always a lot of traffic on this road. A lot of dump truck out today though. Man, those things are loud. Hard to hear my headphones. This gas station has been empty a long time. Wonder if they’ll ever put anything else here. There sure is a lot of trash out here beside the road. People are always throwing crap out of their cars. Sigh. And a ridiculous amount of it is cigarette butts. Big open field here. Owner is probably unhappy that he didn’t have someone who wanted to build on it, but nice to have it here. Lizard just ran across the sidewalk and disappeared into the grass. Nice view of Kennesaw Mountain from this direction. Never noticed it when walking the other way. Looks like I’m not the only one out walking today. Not going to walk as fast as those people though. Too hot. At least there’s less car traffic on this road. Turning again. Man, no one has cleared the sidewalk here lately. Going up under the Interstate again. That’s really loud. You never notice how loud traffic is until you walk around it. Or how much trash people dump out either. Bunch of crap under the bridge. Literal crap, actually. Looks like a used diaper. Sigh. Little creek over here. Looks

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