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Gordon McDonald
Worked at Strange Company
Lives in Edinburgh
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Gordon McDonald

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Loving this picture
 
'Spending The whole day waiting for The world to come home' by Hayley MacMillan 
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Saw this and thought of your +Michael Horton :-)

I am still working on a suitable quote. It's almost there, but not quite.
Took some pretty pictures of my kill team so far. I guess it will turn into more of a squadron once I'm all done. I have such plans. I'll give you the list but I want to save the details as a surprise: Callidus Culexus Everso...
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[No Rest]

Shared because it's how I pictured the the battle for chelm.
Robert J Schwalb is raising funds for Shadow of the Demon Lord on Kickstarter! Tell tales of dark and horrific fantasy with your friends using Robert J. Schwalb’s thrilling new tabletop roleplaying game.
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[No Rest]

Some quoatage done.

I've nerver done quotes before, it really is rather fun.
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My poor little brain is used to it :-) Although there can be some memory loss.
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Hots
Coming in with Colin's character as an old friend. This really made my game as I always had a partner in crime and someone to touch base with. Even if we did get ourselves into all sorts of trouble.

Flint Esperon was a surprising addition to our little pair of trouble makers and we worked together on a couple of occasions over the event. I do look forward to the two of us organising the Dynasty parties 

The Imperial Tarot, I had a lot of fun and got a lot of interaction with PC’s from all sides of the game by being able to use the Augury ability. I’m a little unsure as to why the Inquisition came to me over an Inquisitorial Augur, But, I’m glad I did.

I’ve joined a Rogue Trader Dynasty under the old Alluvian warrant with Cal as our Rogue Trader. I think we are going to be the first group to actually buy a Warrant in play, so it’s going to be interesting. Liking my group so far, here’s hoping I’m not too radical for them.

Not becoming the vessel of the emperors might was awesome. I got quite far through the process before I was eliminated and I think it was very much for the best. Nox really wanted it, but as a player I knew it would completely change the character I was playing. Clos was a definite win for me as a player.

Negotiations about Letters of the Marque. I had some great conversations regarding it with lots of important people. Not sure exactly whether it worked or not as there is currently nothing in place in the system for it. But, it was great to have a Big Thing I was attempting to achieve at the event.

I won a duelling contest despite my lack of IC and OOC combat skills. All my duels were very close and I think they could have all gone either way. Apparently I get a prize 

I think I came across a suitably dodgy and trying to turn over a new leaf.

All the work on background links and details really paid off and I was able to improvise all sorts of stories and things I had in common with people.

Playing cards IC (and ICish on the Saturday night). I want this to be something Nox does regularly.

NPCing the Cardinal Captain again was a lot of fun. Especially, trying to find a proxy to attend the War Council for me and dumping it on a rather terrified Sister Hospitlar . I hope you had some interesting conversations on the back of it Sister Hypatia?

I also rather enjoyed making the players choose whether they wanted the Cardinal’s support for the sainthood of the padre or the crusade as a whole. I think the fact that they decided they would manage the push for the padre themselves, so that should generate some more RP further down the line.

The Not So Hot

I only went on one linear. I got offered a slot on another one but turned it down to attend a meeting I had to go to but didn’t end up having any input at. I really don’t have the patience for standing about waiting for linear slots to come up and because I don’t wear armour or carry a big weapon most people assume my psyker is a non-combatant. Hopefully people being more aware of what I can do and being part of an established crew will make it easier.

Psychic Mass Double – my new least favourite call. I had terrible luck with almost all of my psyker draws and ended up unconscious on the floor twice by over exerting myself. Sorry to those of you that were caught in the blast (totally not sorry, you were standing too close and not paying enough attention to what was going on :-p).

Not taking a half day on the Friday to drive down made my Friday night a bit manic. I could have done without that.

Fire alarm.
At a most inconvenient time.
When I wasn't wearing shoes.
Or a jacket.
And may failed attempts to leave the building led me to where the smoke alarm was triggered instead of outside.
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Yeah, 2400 IP to be paid in 4 installments is a lot!

Orev chose very well and has managed to get a lot of great game out of becoming a new dynasty. I'm looking forward to our attempt at it.
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Gordon McDonald

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The next event for no rest for the wicked rogue trader LARP has now been announced. Tickets will be on general release soon and crew slots are open now.
 
Humble pilgrims of the Emperor (and the rest of you),

It is my pleasure to inform you that our next event is entitled The Footsteps of Giants. Steve Clapton is our lead writer for the event, and the introductory premise of his event is now available at http://billetto.co.uk/the-footsteps-of-giants/

If you missed the previous announcement, the event will be on the weekend of August 7-9 at Douglaswood Scout Centre, near Dundee.

As you may surmise from the Billetto link, bookings are also partially open. Crew from When Angels Fall have first grab at player tickets, and general player bookings will open on June 7th at 7pm. Until that point, crew catering tickets are available on the Billetto site for anyone who wants to crew.

Due to rising site costs, we’ve had to raise the price of our standard tickets for Douglaswood events to £70. Hardship tickets are also available at £55 for those who don’t have the means to afford the standard price tickets.

I have sent out an email to crew from the last event with instructions on how to purchase an advance ticket. If you crewed the last event and do not have this email, let me know and I will pass the instructions on.

Be seeing you,

Yoda
No Rest for the Wicked
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Hmm...I need to check my calendar but, assuming no clashes, I could see about crewing if there is a way of getting up... Hmm...
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Because I think some of my larper friends may find this very interesting.
 
More About Aesthetics and RPGs

It's funny, really, this chain of thought started with a post where I excoriated people for comparing role-playing games to theater, and now, in this post, I'm going to compare role-playing games to theater. So, for those sensitive to it, hypocrisy ahead.

One of the most influential books on my designs, and thoughts about aesthetics, is Zeami's On the Art of Noh Drama [1]. I haven't read the book in over a decade, so this post is going to be based on my recollections of the book after ten years of processing it in my head. So, don't take my word on what the text says, just take my word on how I've related to it for over a decade.

Zeami's Noh has a very clear aesthetic goal: to cause the viewer to attain Buddhist enlightenment: a realization that the world and its suffering is illusory and a subsequent detachment from all things. (I say "Zeami's Noh" because modern Noh has its own set of concerns which I can't speak to 100%.) The basic strategy, as I see it, is to tell the story of a character coming to enlightenment with the help of a supernatural (fictional) guide. This sets up a particular experience in the mind of the viewer but, when the story draws to a close, they understand that it is just a story, just an illusion and then, from there, that their own experiences is similarly illusory. Doing this requires a very precise performance. The story, characters, dance moves, music, and so on must be presented just so, otherwise the right mental state won't be evoked.

Obviously this is not something that works 100% of the time. But Zeami takes it very seriously. You will never see him saying that this is just a play, it's no big deal, etc. This is a big deal. Souls are on the line.

One thing which Zeami gets at in his text is his disdain for what he calls "role-playing." What he means by this is when actors try to realistically portray their character, to give the audience the feeling that that character is in the room. This is particularly troublesome for supernatural creatures. When portraying an ogre -- terrifying and violent -- don't be such a realistic ogre that people are genuinely terrified of violence. Someone who is in terror isn't in a state to have the experience of enlightenment, you've just increased their attachment to their physical bodies by creating animal emotions of flight and fear. Rather, you should portray an ogre just so that the watchers intuitively understand "yes, that is an ogre" without inciting the intense emotional experience of terror. Likewise, if you are portraying a fox spirit, as in, being seductive, you should not be seductive enough to cause lust in the audience, rather, you should be illustrate seductiveness so that the audience intuitively understands you are a fox spirit, but doesn't fall into baser emotions.

For me, this was a big deal, particularly in our movie-based culture which values realistic portrayal above all other forms of acting. It was the thing that made me realize, or at least, the thing that became emblematic of the idea that realism isn't an end unto itself. We should ask: what is the art trying to do, to its creator and its audience? And we should use whatever the most elegant tools are to get there. Sometimes that means not being realistic.

I think of this a lot, with respect to role-playing games. In my post yesterday [2], I talked about not being particularly interested in realistic portrayal of character of character emotions, and this ties into that. If a character is in a quandary, I'm not necessarily interested in watching myself or someone else play-act that quandary. Rather, I'm interested in understanding the quandary, understanding the choice the character makes, and attempting to understand why she made it.

Another important thing to me is the range and ambition of Zeami's aesthetic goals. The stakes of his Noh are not "more or less entertaining" but literally the salvation and enlightenment of the audience. It's not that Noh is not entertaining. It's that it's entertaining in service to those goals. That's a pretty ambitious thing for art to achieve but, if we take his word for it, it works at least some of the time. I think that's impressive and I think it sets a much wider range of possible aesthetic goals for our art than we usually let ourselves imagine.

[1] The version I read was Rimer's translation http://www.amazon.com/Art-Drama-Treatises-Princeton-Translations/dp/069110154X
[2] https://plus.google.com/u/0/117301572585814320386/posts/doUwuLu8S85
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Looks like I'm going to be at a loose end in central glasgow on friday. Any of my glaswegian friends want to do anything?
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I don't think most of the people there are either, mostly just an excuse to dress up as a superhero and drink :)
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At an upcoming larp I'll be playing a spiritual leader of an athiest philosophy based around personal virtue (think roman rather than modern) and I'm hoping to recruit some followers and hold a spiritual gathering at the event.

There are some established beliefs but no real details of the ceremonies or practices of the faith. I know I don't want it to be a sermon based gathering and I want some elements that bind the group together as well as provide some interesting roleplay for the people that join. Can anyone sugest any ritual elements to include or resources to look at for building bonds between the group?

They shouldn't involve combat as there's plenty of that in other parts of the game and I'm looking to offer an alternative.
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Hope it goes well, let me know how it went.
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Well worth a read for anyone working on a set of larp rules.
This post got spurred by my readthrough of Hillfolk, as I lamented some of the decisions made in explaining the game. I made a bit of a fuss on G+ about it committing a large number of the cardinal sins of rules-writing, so n...
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[No Rest]

Well. If you don't say you want it you don't have much chance of getting it I guess :-)
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Might as well go big, or you should just go home.

And long term goals can totally be a thing.
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Happy birthday +Jamie Smith and +Paul King 
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Self emplyed sculptor/designer
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  • Strange Company
    2012
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Mindwanders
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I'm an Edinburgh based artist and designer. I've made glass heart jewellery for a while but my current passion is for my Techno-Fairies.
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