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Jim Crocker
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I got to play this at Dreamation and it was amazing!

Any game that facilitates my character concept of Emily Dickinson, monster hunter deserves all of your filthy lucre.
Well my friends, I won't pretend like I didn't think this campaign would fund eventually, but I am legitimately surprised and cheered that it funded on the first day. Wow!

I'll be announcing some additional funding goals when I'm back from Breakout next week. But until then, thanks for the support so far, and if you know someone who might dig the game, let them know! Thanks!

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Side-view cutaway of the Akira-class ship. There are some modifications for the WTR, but this outline basically holds.

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An overhead blueprint of the Akira class Federation ship. The WTR is the first off the line for this new design, greelighted after the Borg incident six months previous. It's equipped with an experimental Positronic Matrix AI, based on Commander Data's artificial brain.

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The Crew of the USS William T. Ryker! If you look closely, you can see the model of the ship we put out on the table for every game.

Part 1 of 'Follow the Latinum'. Stardate 43613.1

LT Cmdr Sabin 'Action' Jixson, Chief Engineer
Cmdr Randon K'Vosik, First Officer
Lt Cmdr Ash Bigsby, Security Chief
Captain Jack Grayson

A quick recap: Starfleet notified the crew of WTR that the Vulcan Ambassador to Ferenginar, Nupok, had been murdered and the situation needed to be defused and the murder solved.

They also received a message that the negotiations with the Cardassians succeeded in getting permission for a Starfleet medical team to visit a Cardassian POW camp to provide humanitarian aid to the prisoners. Grayson dispatched Nalaj and Sorensen by shuttle along with a medical team to assist.

After a quick meeting to discuss Ferengi culture, the Captain contacted Nupok's son Narek, who seems to have 'gone native''. He was effusively emotional, dressed as a Ferengi, and said that he had not been through the Vulcan rite of Kohlinar and so hadn't purged his emotions. He begged the Captain to solve his father murder and expressed 'exceeding anxiety' about the possible danger to his 'mother', a Ferengi named Stralla.

The team beamed down to a reception from Daimon Skel and his 4 Underdaimons, Grath, Prek, Held (Whose hobby is cooking alien delicacies), and Flain (Who LT Bigsby determined was serving someone besides (or along with) Skel).

Captain Grayson's discussion with Skel revealed that a cadre of Nausicans were witnessed at the crime scene, but that the Ferengi Guild of Investigation now has all evidence related to the incident.

Cmdr Jixson received a mysterious datachip that led to a shocking message: A Ferengi who seemed to have a captured live Trill Symbiote in a stasis tank. The Ferengi threatened to kill the symbiote if Jixson did not meet him alone and hear his damands. Jixson was able to analyze the message to determine the Ferengi on screen is Daimon Ploog, a Ferengi who made his fortune running grey-market medical trauma kits to warzones. His ship, The Lancet, has a salvaged Romulan cloaking device.

Jixson also investigated the provenance of the symbiote, and determined it is almost certainly Fallon/Mekton, whose last known location was on way the to help the Bajoran resistance in its struggle against the Cardassian occupation only a few months ago.

The session ended with Bigsby and K'Volik headed to the Ambassador's residence to speak to Stralla and Nupok, while Grayson and Jixson headed by hovercar to visit the Guild of Investigation. As we wrapped, a pair of hoverbike-equipped assassins attached photonic detonators to the car and sped away...


-Commander Vor'Tok, a Vulcan well north of 100, dry and efficient, who turned out to be an excellent officer but a very poor commanding officer. Communications Officer on the WTM.

-LT Talas Azollahr, a self-confident Andorian and the WTM's Transporter Chief. Buddies with Jixson, she is a savant with transporters, but entirely too cavalier about the dangers associated with their use. Beamed the entire Kbiyashi Maru into her ship's shuttlebay using a sustained phaser beam as a carrier wave to get through the shields. This caused a hull collapse and warp core breach when the ship burst the shuttlebay forcefield and bulkhead, as well as completely cooking the entire transporter grid AND all the ship's weapons systems, but Shelby was impressed with her totally unorthodox solution.

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+Shannon White this is a form of imposter syndrome we can all get behind.

Pop culture musing: I didn't realize just how much the horribleness of 2017 would leave me so deeply vulnerable to genre takes on romance. Several places I wouldn't think to look for it have smacked me hard in the feels with stories of individual people making connections in the mishmash of genre convention that have elevated those stories considerably. So: three pieces of recent pop culture that surprised me because NO YOU'RE CRYING...

Mild SPOILERS follow if that sort of thing worries you.

Black Mirror's Hang the DJ episode fakes you out into thinking it's a typical cynical dive into dystopia that is the show's stock in trade, but neatly flips the script at the end to remind us that algorithms can help guide us, but that it's human connection that trumps any AI. It doesn't hurt that they bow out with the Smiths song that line comes from, a stupid-easy way to break my heart into little pieces. That the romance is inter-racial just makes the whole thing even more sublime. It edged out the obvious Crocker-centric choice of USS Callister as my favorite episode of the season, a fact I am still wrapping my head around, because USS Callister was GREAT.

The Shape of Water. Guillermo del Toro is not usually a guy you associate with romance, but this was another wonderful expression of connection, in this case entirely without words. It was also somehow dead sexy without being silly or arch or nodding and winking at the fundamental weirdness of the premise. SO GOOD.

Finally, the last place I thought to look for a moving picture of two people who save each other from their demons was a BATMAN ANNUAL. But yeah, Tom King's script for the story 'Some of these Days' is a gut-punch. At first blush, the Batman/Catwoman marriage plot going on in the Batman books right now scans as a cheap stunt. Here's the thing: IT IS, and will almost certainly not end well, given DC's recent penchant for lugubrious sadism. That said, the Annuals are where writers with ONE GREAT IDEA can flex their muscles and run it out free from the continuity concerns of the main book. This one cannily sneaks into Elseworlds territory by appending a four-Kleenex coda on the end, with a different artists and everything. It manages to capture all the accumulated earned cool of both characters, pointing to the notion they really only have a shot at surviving their obsessions with each other. So, yeah, it resonated some. I won't spoil the actual ending, but Jesus Christ, it was the only way to get me to bust up more than playing the right Smiths song. Go get it, it's the best romance comic I've ever read, and the art is superb.

I think after a year of coming very close to psychically drowning in the filth and much that got vomited out of Washington this year I was ready to be done I didn't realize how much I needed stuff like this.

I probably should see Sense8, right? It's going to crack me in half, isn't it?

If you want to let me know what stuff along these lines made you take notice lately, please do.

Origins Day Two (Friday):
Sleep, the LARP, as we jokingly are referring to it these days. Skipped slot one of GoD to get extra rest, early lunch, and be sitting at the computer hitting refresh for 1:00 pm and the DexCon event listings.

Cartel, in a friendly session by MDT for me and my roomies +Joe Zantek +Daniel Scribner and +Keith Stetson. I was a cross-dressing 20 yo narco with a patina of louche invincibility. Everything was blood, soot, and lies all around me but I walked through it largely unscathed. Take home: Mark is a mensch.

Evening meant Desk Duty for Games on Demand. I tried something different and I don't know that it worked all that well, but I feel there's a case to be made for doing it that way consistently. Thanks to my co-workers +Scott Morningstar and +Daniel Scribner we got the line processed and everything turned in efficiently and in good order. With everything under control, Dan and I settled in to play Fall of Magic, and had just started when we were joined by tired-but-game +Joe Beason and +Dana Fried, who were both a joy to play with even as they faded and we had to cut the game short. In some ways it was the highlight of the show so far just because of the unexpected delight of our odd little magical road trip story. So grateful they joined us!

Cleaned up, agreed to run at 9 am tomorrow (to everyone's genuine shock and maybe even horror), and now to bed.

Origins Day One (Thursday)

Nitrate City (FATE) W/GM +Bill White. A mash-up of Universal movie monsters and hard-boiled noir. I was an animatronic Disneyland detective come to life to fight crime. We beat the deranged starlet villain by projecting an old film of her greatest performance on the screen of a dilapidated movie theater. So much fun!

Everyone's a Suspect, facilitated by +Kristin Firth. A play-to-find-out murder mystery where any of the PCs could turn out to be the killer. (Spoiler-it turned out to be me!) we get a great Twin Peaks vibe out of our Pacific NW logging island, and Kristin was an enthusiastic and helpful guiding hand to teach us the game. I really enjoyed this!

Zombie World with Smarter Mexican Me, +Mark Diaz Truman. Walking Dead-flavored zombie apocalypse where I was a former prison(er) deacon who was having trouble with his renunciation of violence. Still being whipped into shape, but with Mark GMing, any flaws were heavily masked by his GMing. I miss having him and +Marissa Kelly local every time I want to play something new.

This was my day to play! Work obligations for GoD kick in Friday.

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Attn +Rowan Cota, the cuteness of the animals makes up for the less-pretty person.
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