Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Carpe Blogeim: A Patron Reviews Patreon


Guest Post by Blake Chapman

(Note: Blake is one of my Patreon patrons but he sent me this of his own accord without prompting from me. Since he doesn't have a blog I asked if I could put this on my blog and he cleaned it up and consented. Thanks, Blake!)

Christoper R. Rice recently released his specials for Patreon backers, and I was delighted that my first month of pledging netted three nice specials, including a surprising, and quite welcome, peek into his Aeon campaign universe. Let's start there.

The Extramundane Observer (FEB Surprise #1)
This in-universe publication was a fun little read, and helps gives a sense of just what's going through the minds of people in the Aeon universe. Some more specific thoughts on the columns you'll find inside:

Naming Our Fears
Here's a pair of in-universe classifications for powers, one by type, one by strength, along with the background for each. I like the names given the various Power types, and would definitely like to make use of them at some point. They're nicely evocative of the talents a character may have,

The threat chart scales pretty quickly for mundane opponents, and becomes "send an army" in short order. It's kind of hard to picture what that response would look like, and I wonder how meaningful it is if the powered individual can avoid letting that force get concentrated on them. Alternatively, I may be suffering a failure of imagination here.

There's a follow-up discussing whether or not it's really useful to know such things about empowered individuals. The analogy of powers as being like a car when you know nothing about cars is simply brilliant, and it's a concept that would work very well in a wide variety of scenarios. Knowing what something could do isn't the same as knowing what it actually can do, and that plays so nicely into horror, dungeon delves, and more.


Return of the Workhouse
This is a nice snippet in the Aeon universe, and neatly sets up a number of plot points for the interested person/player/character to follow up on. Themes of community, oppression, and exploitation all arise, and it's well worth pondering if you're running a similar setting.


From The Tap: Interview with Elena Pushkov
Another nice little window into the Aeon universe, this time spotlighting one of the people who've found themselves with a useful and potentially disruptive power. Elena seems seems nervous, a little unbalanced, or both, and the implications that has are interesting. And she could be a fun wildcard to throw into a scenario.



Cho No!
This anti-metahuman politician is set up to be all kinds of trouble for player characters, and the scary part is that they may have to wonder if he has a point. The appearance of superhuman powers among humans adds a huge number of new variables and uncertainties to the world, and old ways of predicting what's dangerous are no longer completely valid.


Letters to the Editor/Classifieds
All of these are entertaining, though they raise questions about just what sort of publication Extramundane Observer is that these got published. (It's one of those flyers the crazy guy on the street passes out -CRR) I really can't say more, since the fun is in reading them for yourself!



Boil and Bubble: Mahotsukai Ritual Path Magic (FEB Special #2)
Hmm! This Japanese themed, spirit, pain, and undeath oriented variant of ritual path magic is interesting, though I'd need to delve deeper into the mythology around them to make proper use of it. Overall, it looks solid and helps aspect Ritual Path Magic toward the kind of magic they practice. Even if you don't use it, it's still a good example of adjusting RPM for flavor and setting.

I also like the chance of annoying local spirits of various kinds. It should be a nice way to spice up a mage's life.



GURPS101: More Telepathy Powers (FEB Special #1)
Christopher has a gift for making powers that I can look at and immediately think of ways to use them. After just a few minutes of looking over Mind Chains and its techniques, astral spiders, the ghost of a chained prisoner, and psionic traps all come to mind...



Summary
All in all, I'm quite pleased with what I received this month, and look forward to seeing what the Raven will be writing about next time. I don't know what it will be, but I expect it to be just as shiny as these.

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