RPG System Design: Hero Point Mechanics

I was reading a little theory on John Kim’s page and came across this article: RPG System Design: Hero Point Mechanics. It is really a great discussion of the topic and covers some really good ground. I mean, we used “Fate Points” in Rolemaster (and other sufficiently random systems) to mitigate “unfortunately random character death”, but we didn’t really think about all the possible ways to implement these buggers way back then….over time, they’ve really come into their own.



Movie Review – Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading is a Coen Brothers comedy about the intersection of several story lines.

This hilarious farce gets a strong 8.

John Malkovich is outstanding as a CIA analyst who has been demoted and chooses to quit instead. His character is full of righteous outrage. Malkovich plays it to the hilt. He is quirky and all over the place. Malkovich is a delight to watch. Malkovich’s character is fairly goofy, partly explaining why his wife, Tilda Swinton, is having an affair with George Clooney. Swinton is also outstanding as a hard, demanding, bitch of a wife. Her character is cold and calculating – a delightful bit of acting. Clooney’s character is also a bit of a goof, but kind of endearing as well. He really gets into the character. It always seems that someone is following him when he goes for a run. Are they? Brad Pitt seems right at home playing a doofus gym trainer. He is crazy and all over the place. He finds a disc of CIA information at the gym and tries to sell it back to John Malkovich. His partner in crime is another trainer, Frances McDormand. She was also delightful in her role. She is obsessed with getting some plastic surgeries and internet dating. It was an outstanding cast, and all of the actors played their roles well. It was truly enjoyable watching them interact and strut their stuff.

The plot can be summed up by the movie’s tagline, “Intelligence is relative.” Few of the characters have many redeeming qualities and deserve the bad things that happen to them. And things do go round and round. I almost want to use the word “zany” to describe the plot. It twists and turns, intersecting everyone in the most bizarre or hilarious twists. I laughed quite a bit during the movie. The Coen Brothers have a real knack for putting together great casts with great scripts that are executed well.

Gaming Star Wars and Other Stories of Incredible Odds…

This is your father's lightsaber...I was reading “The Lost Level” by Andy, another WordPress blog that focuses primarily on Gaming related topics and noticed the following bit on Star Wars Games: Lost Level-Star Wars Game

Well, I read Andy’s post and the original Steve Darlington paper from “Places to Go, People to Be”: Andy’s Link and it reminded me of some of the reasons for Aega Mythea and HAGIS.

Both of these links make good reads. If you’re following my blog, they may help make more sense of things. More fundamentally, one of the most helpful reads would be System Does Matter from the FORGE (the Indy game design site).

~Adaen of Bridgewater

Q-Branch Update: Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins “James Bond” research firm

Q-Branch Update: Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins “James Bond” research firm

ImageLONDON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet has joined the British research firm thought to have provided the inspiration for ‘Q’, the character who creates spy gadgets for James Bond. Tenet has been appointed an independent non-executive director of QinetiQ, the company said on Tuesday….

I thought this was an interesting article for those fond of the espionage gaming genre. I find it interesting that the “Q Branch” is now traded on the London Stock Exchange. I’ve added a header photo of Desmond Llewelyn, famous for his portrayal of “Q” in nearly every James Bond film until his death in 1999. Though I do like John Cleese quite a bit, Mr. Llewelyn will always hold the distinction in my mind as the original “Q”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Llewelyn

Whether an exploding watch, retractable machineguns built into a Lotus Convertible, or a full-out jetpack, gadgets are one of the key elements of many spy games. To me they have always been a fun element for the GM to tinker with. I’ll have to look for my brother’s old character Tom Davidson who drove a suped up version of our father’s car (an Acura). I’m sure I have all the stats somewhere….I’ll add them if I find them (there’ll be some ransacking involved).

I’ve been a longtime enthusiast for games of this sort and am somewhat of a collector. Back in the day, we played a lot of Top Secret SI (by TSR), but have used material from the original Top Secret Game, James Bond 007 RPG, MISSION, Spycraft, and others. For fans of espoinage games (whether in print or out), I recommend the Modus Operandi website. It is an excellent resource. http://www.modus-operandi.co.uk/.

Other Sites that may be of interest include:





~Adaen of Bridgewater

Tuesday October 24, 2006 – 09:27pm (EDT)