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Michael Miller
Attended Lehigh Carbon Community College
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Michael Miller

Rituals, Tales & Campaigns  - 
 
“The Sleeping Emperor”
A tale of #SundayAMSwords

Opening eidolon: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113990765511580864989/posts/SMmYndXkdkL

A bustling city, before the dawn. A massive central circle, sacred and deserted. Three rogues: Gammon the Star-Wanderer, Crosby Halvard the Searcher, Tapper the Trader.

The emperor in slumber eternal. Crystal orbs, candles, mystic ceremonies. A flickering of lights illuminating a secret map upon the dead emperor’s chest. Carefully unwrapping the Emperor. The phosphorescent dust forming an shade more than man, image more than shade. Painful slow motion reaches for its fallen, stolen crown. A burst of flame arcing toward the gamboling tormentor. Crosby recapturing magic within a crystal sphere. Tapper’s daughter, Little Yil, slipping through steel bars into the under chambers. Surrounded by the Emperor’s Caretakers. Crown on burning orb. The melting crown and pried gem.
The peony fields under their glowing blue-green wards. Gammon and Little Yil, comparing brands from evil cults.
Smuggled past the golden bird guardians. The caravan led by Yemina, the others packed like common cargo. Gammon, the Moon-man, can’t hold his liquor. Moon-man merriment leads to messy mishaps. The trickery spotted! Tapper’s offers of fine wares to the great Kingfisher. Where did Little Yil get off to at the Kingfisher’s Tower?
Captured! Held by the terrible and lovely music of the golden birds. A prison with silken bars of every pleasure and indulgence. The emperor’s craftsman creating golden birds powered by human souls. 
Crosby at the door, seeing into the raging furnace and forging of golden birds. The golden, metal storks wrapping him in womb-like embrace. Little Yil climbing down with priceless gem and scrimshawed crown. The clicking of the gem into the crown, echoing like a gong. Golden birds still as statues. The gong-wracked seas turned torment for the scheming wizard-whales.

+Rob Deobald  played Crosby. +Aaron Feild  played Tapper and his daughters. I played Gammon. +Keith Stetson was our Overplayer (with a little help from William Butler Yeats).
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That was super fun! Thanks for indulging my experimentation. 
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Michael Miller

Sunday Morning Swords  - 
 
Sunday Morning Swords: 24 May 2015

#WizardOnTheRoadEdition

Good morning!

Here's our organizational thread. Comment below if you're interested in playing this morning and mention if you're comfortable being an Overplayer and whether or not you have play Swords before.

When we get an Overplayer and three or four Rogue Players, those players will run off and start their hangout. For now, let's focus on getting everyone into a group. We'll probably wait until 9:15 or 9:30 EDT to start the last group. I don't know if the 9 AM PDT game is happening for those who wake at a more civilized time.

Eppy is, unfortunately, unable to attend this week. We shall enjoy without him!

Feel free to use the hashtag #SundayAMSwords should you desire to chat about your game on the social medias.

P.S. Got some tips on how to do this and links to useful files here: http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com/blog/2014/7/14/sunday-morning-swords
A tradition of brunch and sorcery is born. Inspired by a childhood filled with Thundarrs, Blackstars, Galtars and He-Men, we're bringing the weird fantasy back to the weekend morning. Over on the G+ Swords Without Master community, every Sunday morning, we're gathering into online hangouts to play weekly games. All are invited. No experience with the game necessary (though it might help if you've read it ).
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My writeup: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MichaelMiller1000/posts/UpbhFVtgWvY

This was a great way to get back into Swords after too-long away!
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Michael Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
DEXCON 18 is only two short months away. It is a gaming convention running July 1-July 5 in Morristown, New Jersey.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to playing some awesome indie games at the convention, but we need some great GMs to run them. Can you help? 

If so, this is the Google form we need you to fill out with information about the events you'd like to run. Event registration is due by June 5.

Feel free to reshare. We're looking to gather a large, diverse slate of games.
Drive
IGX at DEXCON 18: GM QuestionaireThanks for running games as a part of the Indie Games eXplosion at DEXCON 18! The Indie Games eXplosion is a collection of independent role-playing games and story games run at the DEXCON 18 games convention. The convention runs July 1-5, 2015 in Morristown, New Jersey. This form will help us register your events. Please register your events by June 5, 2015. This is for independent tabletop role-playing games ONLY. If you are running a LARP or ...
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Yay! You'll be there!
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Michael Miller originally shared:
 
Just read a several months backlog of Storm last night and was really, really impressed. The first three issues were kind of low-stakes, self-contained stories. They were fine, but didn't wow me.

Issue four starts a storyline that snowballs all the way through to issue eight. It is pretty amazing, featuring Storm saving people's lives, winning fights through nonviolence, winning fights by being the biggest badass you've ever seen, getting arrested by the FBI, sparking a protest movement (which may or may not be a meta-commentary on the #savestorm hashtag), dispelling tsunamis, using her skills as a thief, manipulating the Earth's magnetic field, and facing the consequences of what the X-men leave in their wake. It is a good story. If you like superheroes, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

The art is good, too. The figure work is solid, the graphic storytelling clear. None of the characters are sexualized. Facial expressions are good. Panel compositions are straightforward and clear. I'm not familiar with the artist, but he seems like someone who is putting the finishing touches on the fundamentals of his craft, but maybe hasn't developed his own personal style just yet.

I'd be delighted to hear what others think. Feel free to reshare. Sales on this book have not been stellar and it could use any help. Preorder from your local comics shop today! If you don't have a local shop, the Comixology (subsidiary of Amazon) link is below.

#savestorm
Storm (2014-) Issue #8: http://www.comixology.com/Storm-2014-8/digital-comic/191841
On the run and trying to clear her name, Storm pursues the mastermind who made her a fugitive from the law! And in order to do it, she just might call in help from some unexpected places!
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4 comments
 
+Real GH Total Good Badass she is. :)
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Michael Miller

Rituals, Tales & Campaigns  - 
 
“The Acidic Fury of Ancient Bara”
A tale of #SundayAMSwords
Opening eidolon: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/503629170805306548/

Four rogues, clinging to fragment of aircraft carrier, afloat upon a lake of acid. Hooting and hollering from the spiky shores. Taryb: A flurry of motion from stone to stone amidst the hungry yellow acid. The Scythian’s spell highlighting the handholds to climb a carved, rocky pillar. Arvin the Shadow hurling a rope tied to a throwing knife. The toppled pillar, a bridge. Beneath, a banshee machine trapped by height for the good of all.

Walking amidst the sharp-edged badlands. On open ground, a banshee machine, hovering on cushion of green energy. Flails coated in gore. Two red eyes locking on Baltazar. “Felinoid acquired.” Rock shattered into flying shrapnel. The Shadow’s quick blade. A raging machine, blind in one eye. Lurching. A flail cracking open a geyser of acid and spinning it around. The Scythian’s shield dissolved. Baltazar cornered, tossing vial to Taryb. “Use this!” Blind machine turning toward voice. Facing danger, it is sometimes best to remain unnoticed. Taryb atop the machine, dodging flame jets. The vial with no opening smashed. Bright yellow fluid tracing all the seams and inner workings. The sound of machinery grinding the opposite way it should.

Tribe of small figures in slick, black leathers. Examining the banshee wreckage and rogues’ tools. The rogues in small caves, blocked by stone bars.

The Shadow hears whispers of the moon: The ancient Bara empire, builder of fleets of banshee-machines. Machines built to house the ghosts of conquered peoples and to be used to conquer more peoples. Baltazar seeing that the banshee machines had killed his people. Their souls its fuel. The Scythian discerning the sturdiness of this acid-proof rock. Pterosaur alighting with more leather-clads. Examine your surroundings, but not too closely lest you get them on you.

There is some ruckus as the leather-clads come to take the secrets of defeating the banshee-machines from the rogues. Ancient rivalries renewed.  Taryb evading the leather-clads. Breaking the storage tank in the heart of the banshee-machine. The souls spilling out, hoisting her aloft. Glum, quiet ghosts. Baltazar laying the ghosts of his people to peace. The Scythian’s MEGATOME to the rescue! The sturdy rock cracking. A geyser of acid! The Shadow, unnoticed, gathering the Ghost Scroll from the banshee-machine. Upon the pterosaur, the rogues safely gone.

The Scythian portrayed by +Aaron Feild  Taryb portrayed by +Keith Stetson  Arvin the Shadow portrayed by +Richard Ruane  And, introducing in his first game of Swords, Baltazar portrayed by +Thomas G. 

Here’s our virtual tabletop: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/15WajFT1FKO4ntPPa9If5brjP3cbOfydC6z1EW44kk8U/edit?usp=sharing
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Michael Miller

The Alchemical Laboratory  - 
 
Apologies if you're seeing this twice. I wanted to include the folks who follow the Swords Without Master community as well.
Michael Miller originally shared:
 
Character creation systems are one of the parts of game design I struggle with the most. Anyone want to take the current version of With Great Power hero creation for a spin? If so, it's in the attached PDF.

I'm particularly looking for feedback on:

~I am assuming that 75 years of superhero media have taught my players the genre. That said, is this enough of a prompt to get people thinking, or do I need more?

~This version of With Great Power is derived heavily from Swords Without Master. As such, it is meant to be a very quick-playing game. Does this creation process bog down creativity?

All feedback welcome. Thanks!
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Michael Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
The DREAMATION 2015 Complete Schedule is NOW POSTED. We have crammed 869 events into 73 hours, and it is by FAR the largest DREAMATION schedule we've ever had.

I'm working on the index now. I hope everyone is ready for this, because I honestly can't believe what this program looks like right now.
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Michael Miller

Discussion  - 
 
Michael Miller originally shared:
 
Camp Nerdly always holds a special place in my heart. The scenery is great. There are plenty of people I only get to see there. It has more opportunity for me to display my pitiful Frisbee skills than all other game conventions put together.

This was our fourth Nerdly, and certainly the best one yet. We stayed in a nearby hotel, because after being in the hospital last year, I was not about to risk my old man back on a camp cot. Kat had the brilliant idea to go down Thursday night after work and avoid all that wretched Friday traffic. And we did exactly that and it worked out great. I got to learn how to play the card game slash with a host of people, like Keith, Bill, Tim, Josh, Whitney, and Sean. I scored points for introducing She-Hulk to her prefect press secretary, CJ Cregg from the West Wing.

Friday evening, I got to play Brendan's latest iteration of Masks, his game of the angst-filled lives of teenage superheroes. We had a great table of Rebecca, Jared, Kat, and Frank and really sunk our teeth into the tribulations of Zap and the Young Heroez: Quarry, the genetically engineered escapee from a evil corporation; Pandora, possessor of an ancient Greek magical box that could produce all manner of horrors; Xyrax, the most attractive insectoid alien from a parallel dimension; Shatter Dancer, hacker and stone shaker; and, of course, Zap, the electric-powered protege of the world-famous hero The Shield. We faced down a bizarrely amped-up version of The Kelpinator, and found ourselves embroiled in the machinations of the evil Friendly Chemical company. The game was so enjoyable that we continued it on Saturday night.

Saturday morning, I ran the latest version of With Great Power for Kat, Joe, Brendan, Rich, and Matt. They created a slew of really cool characters. Kat portrayed an adult version her Pandora hero from the Masks game. Brendan created an heir to the muse of memory who could revise peoples' memories at the risk of losing her own. Rich played a speedster who was paraplegic when he wasn't using his powers, and knew his time with them was limited. Matt played Professor Rewind, who could speed and slow the passage fo time, but was trapped in a time loop himself. And Joe played Cataclysm, imbued with so much cosmic power over the elements that he could scarcely contain the power in his wake. They faced off against the schemes of Ianus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings who wanted to put an end to technological progress, and also the rage of Heraklea, an ancient foe of Pandora. A very fun session.

Saturday afternoon, Kat ran a FATE game she had picked up a few cons ago: The Secret of Cats. The PCs are cats who can see the true magic of the world and must protect their Burdens—y'know, their people. We had a great table of Scott, Andy, Jule and me who played as the cats of the Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander. We unraveled the mystery of a cat who had gone mad when its burden had been turned into a vampire. It was a fun game featuring a dog pack called the West Side Wags, dreams of human sacrifice, and an animated zombie mouse!

After washing a few dishes on Saturday night, Brendan, Kat, Rebecca and I continued our game of Masks from Friday. It was my first LongCon! We got deeper into the group relationships and questioned what it meant to be a hero. The game—like many PbtA games—is definitely written with long-term play in mind, so it really shone in the second session. I loved Pandora posing as Shatter Dance's little sister for a meetup with a mysterious hacker, various team members telling off Nimue the Sorceress Supreme, and Zap nearly drowning saving the world but being rescued by Pandora. A really great game that we could have easily continued.

Sunday morning we got there plenty early and squeezed in a quick board game of Lost Cities with Sam and Kat. Then I ran a rushed session of With Great Power. This time, Ira, Ben, Noah, E.T. and Kat created: a berserker with a tortured past; The Creep, who could trap people in their own nightmares; the Insomniac, who could put people to sleep even though he never could; Thunderclap who had the power of a thunderstorm bursting inside him; and the Puppeteer who had been raised to secretly rule the world, but was rebelling by turning those resources to good ends. Opposing them was Update, a woman who had been empowered by aliens to enhance the human race and bring it up to galactic minimum standards by any means necessary. The session was truncated by the need for chores, but it was still quite a fun time.

This was definitely my best Camp Nerdly experience. Thanks to all the Owlbears who made it possible.
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Michael Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
Reshared for weekday folks!
 
DEXCON 18 is only two short months away. It is a gaming convention running July 1-July 5 in Morristown, New Jersey.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to playing some awesome indie games at the convention, but we need some great GMs to run them. Can you help? 

If so, this is the Google form we need you to fill out with information about the events you'd like to run. Event registration is due by June 5.

Feel free to reshare. We're looking to gather a large, diverse slate of games.
Drive
IGX at DEXCON 18: GM QuestionaireThanks for running games as a part of the Indie Games eXplosion at DEXCON 18! The Indie Games eXplosion is a collection of independent role-playing games and story games run at the DEXCON 18 games convention. The convention runs July 1-5, 2015 in Morristown, New Jersey. This form will help us register your events. Please register your events by June 5, 2015. This is for independent tabletop role-playing games ONLY. If you are running a LARP or ...
1 comment on original post
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Michael Miller

Rituals, Tales & Campaigns  - 
 
2015 Feb 29 (Gammon)
“A Turn of the Cards”
A tale of #SundayAMSwords

Four rogues before a witch. A skeletal hand wrapped in the stench of death.  A deck of cards: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/sfery/images/6/64/The_Waking_Dream.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width/380?cb=20140131144527

A draw: The Raven: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/sfery/images/9/9a/Raven.jpg

Large black birds flying out of the card. The deck seized. Birds soaring as bidden by The Eightfold God of Navigators, scattering to the compass points. The seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, guarding the cards for seven centuries. “Ruin shall follow if the cards are not recovered.”

The card: The Necromancer: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/sfery/images/7/7e/Necromancer.jpg

Weeks later, the rogues pursuing the card in a Northern graveyard at night. Skeletal hands crawling from graves. Crosby striding forth. An evil sorcerer’s robes are ripped away. Smoke within. Fighting a necromancer, in a graveyard at midnight should be no-one’s first choice. 

Arvin’s shadows and The Scythian’s moonlight seeking the missing card. A liquid darkness dissolving the pale light of an enchanted full moon. The necromancer crumbling to dust. Skeletons bowing before their new lady. Bones walking beyond the graveyard. Gammon leaping, blocked. A skeleton shattered by force.

The card. The Enchanter: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/sfery/images/4/45/Enchanter.jpg

Weeks later, in a Southern market in the day, another sorcerer keeps a treasure concealed. Crosby hurling the Enchanter through the building. A card seized. The God of Navigators transporting Crosby to a snowfield near the mountains. Turning on his friends, seeing them as deadly yetis. Axe brandished, dodged. Gammon grabbing card from bloody grip. A starscape reflected in the crazed, possessed eyes of a companion. Battle is joined. A companion moon seized and slowly crushed. A scream. Arvin’s dagger pinning the card to the wall. A host of trinkets coming to life. Blood smeared runes banishing the magid.

The card: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/sfery/images/1/16/Rogue_Tarokka.jpg

Weeks later, in a Western market, bustling like the first. Arvin finding the mark of The Rogue upon a pickpocket. Gammon confronting the witch “How do we end this?” “The deck must be reassembled so it can be dealt again. No matter how hard you try to get out, it always sucks you back in. All this as the bidding of Aldana, goddess of destiny and luck. They shuffled us like cards!

Crosby is no trinket of the gods! On an icy cliff, with stars in perfect alignment. An impossible ritual made manifest. The God of Navigators sealed into an iceberg, to float helpless. All who did this marked with an inexorable yearning. A yearning for another night just like this one, when the stars align so perfectly, a night that will not come for seventy-seven years, a night when a trapped god might be once more unleashed.

It was a fun game. Overplayer was +Miguel Zapico  . +Aaron Feild   as The Scythian. +Rob Deobald  as Crosby. +Richard Ruane  as Arvin the Shadow. I was Gammon.

Our virtual tabletop: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1D-TGQTVipj71BQrMimQXRct9LAWu9Qduuf7ujQX0t_E/edit?usp=sharing
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3 comments
 
Really cool framing device! My mind is churning now. 
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Michael Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
I was just notified that some IGX GMs had not yet registered for their badges. If you or someone you know is running IGX games but hasn't registered for your convention badge, now is the time.

After today, your badge code will not work. Get this done NOW. If you need help, let me know.
 
Remember that badge pre-registration for DREAMATION 2015 closes tonight. 
http://www.dexposure.com/d2015i.html
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Just a heads-up, the email with my GM code got caught in my spam filter so check there if you're missing yours. 
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Michael Miller

Sunday Morning Swords  - 
 
Sunday Morning Swords: 15 February 2015
#WindyWintryWonderland

Good morning!

Here's our organizational thread. Comment below if you're interested in playing this morning and mention if you're comfortable being an Overplayer and whether or not you have play Swords before.

When we get an Overplayer and three or four Rogue Players, those players will run off and start their hangout. For now, let's focus on getting everyone into a group, and we'll start around 9:15-9:30 EST.

Feel free to enjoy some breakfast or brunch while playing.

Also, feel free to use the hashtag #SundayAMSwords should you desire to chat about your game on the social medias.

P.S. Got some tips on how to do this and links to useful files here: http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com/blog/2014/7/14/sunday-morning-swords
A tradition of brunch and sorcery is born. Inspired by a childhood filled with Thundarrs, Blackstars, Galtars and He-Men, we're bringing the weird fantasy back to the weekend morning. Over on the G+ Swords Without Master community, every Sunday morning, we're gathering into online hangouts to play weekly games. All are invited. No experience with the game necessary (though it might help if you've read it ).
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14 comments
 
Great game, everyone! Thanks to +Michael Miller for Overplaying.
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Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Introduction
Game designer, typesetter, and more.
Bragging rights
Self-published With Great Power... RPG, published Serial Homicide Unit RPG
Education
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College
    Paralegal
  • Pennsylvania State University
    History
  • University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
    History
  • Catasauqua Area High School
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