Justin Howe's Blog, page 6

October 16, 2015

AKA “This time let’s make sure we check the hold for killbots!”

900 words of actual play report incoming! If reading that sounds awful, run away now!

As promised/threatened here’s a play report from our most recent Stars Without Number game. The main party consists of Captain Rana Bai, psychic explorer searching for her family’s lost fortune, ex-commando Estevan Zhukov, sleazy pilot Felipe Mazin, and Ace Stanton, a conman who’s promised to bring the party to a lost ship full of treasure.

The...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on October 16, 2015 00:04 • 7 views

October 8, 2015

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.31.28 PMHere’s a link to the Nicholson Whaling Collection at the Providence Public Library. It has a huge archive of whaling vessel logbooks full of squirrelly handwriting and cryptic doodles.

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.39.50 PMI’ve only poked at the thing haphazardly, but one of my favorites is the log of the Levanter out of Boston, MA from 1861. It’s reel #397 if you scroll down. The ship’s master is listed as simply “Clifford”. The picture above comes from that log as do the following doodles, including a ship board obituary:

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.45.28 PM Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.47.00 PM Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 11.49.00 PM

The...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on October 08, 2015 08:01 • 5 views

September 22, 2015

hades gamma sectorStarted running a Stars Without Number game here in town. We’ll see how long it lasts. The last space game I ran used FATE as its core system and for all the good stuff in that system, I never could get the players scared for their characters’ lives. I’ve run SWN a few times before*, and this time around I’m trying to keep my penchant for killing everyone in deep freeze. So far it’s been fun. One thing I’ve done is not create much beforehand. The first session was rolling up characters and wo...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 22, 2015 22:15 • 21 views

September 21, 2015

This past weekend I went to Gwangju for Alleycon, a fan con that wants to be a meeting place for local geeks, nerds, and dorks. A trifecta I identify with in variable proportions. It was a four hour bus ride, and overall a pretty good time, but a different vibe from last year. The biggest difference being due to the venue change from a university to a design building, which is the difference between 30 people filling a classroom and 30 people milling around a cavernous loft space. Not sure wh...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 21, 2015 23:42 • 9 views

September 17, 2015

I finished the book two months ago. I finish the posts now.

This has been a crazy book. Dracula’s got nothing on the Monk.

Chapter 10 and we’re back with the dudebros, Lorenzo and the Marquis. They’ve assembled a group of archers and are all set to apprehend the mother superior from the convent of Saint Claire at the big parade. And what a parade it is. Since this is an English man writing about the Spanish, the parade’s a long litany of sumptuousness atop a cake of voluptuousness with a garn...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 17, 2015 06:06 • 9 views

September 1, 2015

You can probably spare yourself a lot of trouble when you join a community by determining as soon as possible what kind of community you’ve joined. I can think of three types of communities and each has their value, but each also breaks in a way peculiar to itself.*

Community of Interests: “You like dinosaurs. I like dinosaurs. Let’s form a dinosaur club!”

This is probably the most common type of community, and you’d probably think it wouldn’t suffer from any problems, but there’s always goin...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 01, 2015 04:44 • 8 views

August 14, 2015

If you thought things were nutty before now, all I can say is buckle up, because from here on out things only get nuttier.

Chapter 8 returns us to Lorenzo and the Marquis moping around over Agnes’s presumed death. The only one not given over to the mopes is young poet Theodore who decides to don cape and eye patch and go begging at the convent with his guitar. As a dapper young lad he’s quick to work his way into the place and charm the nuns, which he does with a song from Denmark where the p...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 14, 2015 02:00 • 4 views

August 6, 2015

Chapters 6 & 7 can pretty much be subtitled “The Making of an Anti-Hero”.

Ambrosio’s not so much the villain as the protagonist of the novel. Unfortunately for everyone, much of his protagging is of the downward spiral type. This fact gets hightlighted in these two chapters as Ambrosio completes his turn away from his ideals and embraces the dark side as introduced to him by Matilda, his demon lover.

When Chapter 6 opens the pair are still abed together, and Ambrosio has some guilt over what...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 06, 2015 23:33 • 7 views

July 31, 2015

Do you have a favorite old, weird book?

Recommend it and I’ll probably read it!

But, I’m also looking for books to give the YesterWeird treatment to, like I’m doing with Matthew Lewis’s The Monk.

Old = written before 1930.
Weird = I leave up to you.

My definition of weird includes Fantomas novels, Cavendish’s The Blazing World, Scientific Romances, Dumas and his contemporaries, Gothic and Sensation novels, Apuleius, and P’u Songling… so it’s pretty broad, but limited. I’m not likely to do ano...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 31, 2015 07:41 • 8 views

July 30, 2015

… and now we return to The Monk, chapter 5 to be exact.

Chapter 5: Raymond finishes telling Lorenzo the sad story of “How I Knocked Up Your Sister”. Lorenzo agrees not to kill him, and both agree that Agnes needs to get out of that convent. Lorenzo then brings up Antonia and her situation.

Part of that story is that Raymond is Antonia’s mom Elvira’s brother-in-law, but he never knew about it because his parents never mentioned it (they thought their son was too good for Elvira) and they lived...

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 30, 2015 22:24 • 6 views