A new hero enters the arena!

I do get to play from time to time, not just run play test games. I stoked to get to play today, too. Mack is running an adaptation of Venture City based in the One Punch Man universe set in San Antonio, Texas. Our first epic session last week involved rescuing a YouTube star’s kitty from a tree, being attacked by “super haters” and their dobermans, and foiling a robbery of a Valero Cornerstore by a “super hater” sympathizer intending to ambush us. [You can tell how seriously we take our gaming!]

In the spirit of excitement, I figured I’d share my character with you, because he’s the awesomest. No. Srsly. He’s all the good bits of Mumen Rider rolled into an All-American cybernetic package.

Prognos (a.k.a. Allan Small)

An unassuming, average looking fellow with brown eyes and brown hair cut in what will be the fashion next season. Dresses formally in suit and tie in what will be the next breakout designer’s look.

  • High Concept: Spoiler Alert!
  • Trouble: I brake for underdogs.
  • Prophet for Fun & Profit
  • All Six Degrees
  • A Techno-Wizard Is Never Late

Constructed as a government experiment to produce the perfect infiltration agent in the form of a human/AI hybrid, Allan arranged to have Project Prognos canceled as a dismal failure. Given a 10% medical discharge (because he causes headaches in others around him and he complains of mild arthritis due to the cyberwire installations), he is now an attorney (mostly pro bono) who works as a financial advisor (day-trader) for charities, community organizer (rabble-rouser and lobbyist) for several NGOs, political advisor to local campaigns (only liberty-minded candidates), and civil rights activist for libertarian causes–when he’s not saving puppies, getting kitties out of trees, or fighting crime. It’s the little distractions that keep him from going mad with boredom brought on by always knowing what other people are thinking as well as what’s going to happen next.

Refresh: 2


  • Basic Precognition (Defend against physical attacks with Notice)
    • Drawback: Always Looking to the Future, Never His Mind On Where He Is
    • Special Effect: Physical Recovery/You recover from all physical stress.
    • Special Effect: Mental Recovery/You recover from all mental stress.
    • Collateral Damage: Future Echoes/Everyone else attacks at -4 for the rest of the scene.
  • Master Precognition (Enhancement; +2 Notice to defend against physical attacks)
  • Basic Influence (Synergy; Attack Rapport vs. Will to force others to act as I chose.)
  • Basic Teleportation (Synergy; Move up to 3 zones in line of sight as an action.)
  • Basic Telepathy (Synergy; Use Notice to read surface thoughts and detect unfamiliar minds in my current or adjacent zones.)
  • Master Telepathy (Enhancement; +2 Notice when reading minds)
  • Basic Energy Blast (Synergy; You can fire a projectile of some sort–microwave laser, with a range of three zones, using Shoot.)
  • Basic Technology Theme (Cyberwire Implants along all neural and nerve pathways; Power Amplification/Nullification don’t work on me.)


  • Great (+4): Rapport
  • Good (+3): Shoot, Contacts
  • Fair (+2): Notice, Resources, Burglary
  • Average (+1): Lore, Stealth, Crafting, Investigate


I was hoping @RichardBranson would save us from #BroadwayInSpace.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on Sarah Brightman. (Much.) I love her idea and her passion (i.e. willingness to spend $52 million dollars to pull it off), but…

I was just hoping the first professional musician to perform in space would be something more along the lines of a tune from Heavy Metal!

I’m not sayin’ that Sammy Hagar is prettier than Sarah, but last time I checked he rocks a little harder. (I’d even settle for Metallica, or *giggle* Nickelback.)

In other news, Starcrossed will be shipping this month. You’re running out of time to get it at the pre-order price!

How do you digitize a ghost in Modernity?

On Tuesday, a playtest group taught me something new: It is entirely possible, with the right heroes, to take an existing ghost (you know, a post-death soul, a poltergeist, whathaveyou) and digitize her for posterity and for ease of investigation.

The goal? Add clarity and brevity to the fading memories of the ghost in question to streamline and shortcut the investigation into the unexplained deaths of urgent care clinic patients in Houston. The ghost was having trouble recalling and articulating the specifics of her demise.

You have a shot at pulling this off, if your team consists of the following:

  • A teenage medium with a bad attitude [Nell]
  • An inked-up, wired-in technomancer [Marvel]
  • A rational magi with a penchant for yarn-bombing [Melina]
  • A semi-corporeal geist who’s not sure why she’s still here (not the one being digitized!) [Bridget]
  • An avatar who embodies Nature’s vengeance for industrial misbehavior [Turquoise]

The procedure goes something like this:

  1. The medium opens a conduit to the somewhat reluctant ghost.
  2. The geist explains to the rational magi how best to act as an integration and translation point for the medium and the technomancer.
  3. The avatar holds the technomancer down while she endures the pain of transcoding into digital form the lifetime of the ghost’s experiences as they pour through her body.

Poof! New file on the hard rive and no more ghost.

Next step? Open the file and find out who killed the ghost, right?

Marvel (the technomancer) had the audacity to look shocked when she and everyone else connected with this was forced to relive the moments leading up to Cindy’s (the ghost) death. Marvel played the part of Cindy, and everyone else got to be either the shadowy-faced villains or people that caused their attempt to harvest Cindy’s soul to fail.

The ongoing campaign In Death We Trust continues next week. . .

Stay tuned!

I can’t even, either.

Clive Thomson driveled something on the internet today:

It must be said: Lovecraft is not a great literary stylist. His prose is good, but not great.

The one exception? This linguistic subgenre—the craft of finding new ways to say that he can’t say something. When Lovecraft does describe a monster straightforwardly, he often stumbles, defaulting to pretty journeyman prose. But when he describes the way a monster can’t be described? He is endlessly inventive. I read and reread my collection of Lovecraft, slapping in a Post-It Note whenever I hit upon one of these I-can’t-even moments, and soon the book was crammed with stickies. I’m starting to believe these catchphrases may be his most enduring contribution to English letters.

“I can’t even.” — The Message — Medium

Despite being a relatively fun and upbeat article about “stylized linguistic incoherence”, I find myself at a loss for words to describe the level of disrespect to Mr. Lovecraft that I must inveigh here! Well, I never!!

No one should ever dis The Master™ that way! Even if it might be a little true.

My favorite [unintentional] “stylized linguistic incoherence” was a teammate of mine back in my second round of startup daze. After staring at HTML code (not her strong suit) trying to clean up the branding language for TOO MANY HOURS straight FAR TOO LATE AT NIGHT, Gail finally threw up her hands and objected to HTML in general, “That not even English is!” Which is really saying something for a bright young woman with a bachelors degree in English.