Tag Archives: Dresden

Dresden Files: Black Court

A snippet from a WIP – the same as this one, actually.

“Right,” the Knight says. “The Blacks probably know we’re here, so we’re not going to be subtle. Let’s whack them as fast as possible.”

“At the cost of the victims?” Grey objects. “We cannot get every vampire at once. They will kill their prey as soon as we approach.”

“They haven’t yet. We can’t get all-”

I put my hand on his arm. “It’s my turn.”

The Winter Knight turns on me. “You can’t-”

“You had your fun.” My eyes are bright; I’m awake, alive, with Summer flaring through me in a golden river. “Black Court respond best to fire.”

He scowls at me.

I point at Marta. “Do you trust her?”

The Winter Knight, unexpectedly, responds immediately. “Yes.”

My smile deepens. “Then put your Mantle away. It’s my playtime.” I don’t wait for his response, and turn to Marta. “Shall we?”

She gives the first proper smile I’ve seen; a wolfish, feral one.

“And me?” Grey says.

I wink at him. “You’re always welcome.” The priest next to him is already re-wrapping the cross around his fist, so he’s in.

The Winter Knight is staring at me with something wistful crossing his face despite the crinkle of irritation around his eyes. And then he lets Winter fade, and Summer blossoms. I spin out, whirling in glee with my hair and bloody clothes flying as I let Summer fill me. The fire and life is mine to command, and I’ve got a scourge to destroy.

“Let’s go!”

I am in the cornfield, my Queen’s lips on mine, her voice in my head and life surging through my veins.

I am alive.

The cavern’s large, with a slippery floor and dripping walls. The river’s close to the surface here. There are humans here; battered and dull-faced people who don’t look up at the noise. It’s also full of Black Court, and they descend on us as soon as we enter the space.

I let my colleagues deal with the nearest ones, just focusing on getting as far out into the cavern as I can. I duck under a grasping hand, slam into three more, and then I’m spinning with the memory in my head and Summer flaring through me, my hands going out, laughter and sunlight following my movements. I light up the cavern with warmth and life.

It’s the equivalent of an atom bomb. The vampires die; the sunshine turns them to dust as it passes across them, their arms reaching and faces screaming soundlessly.

I feel a brief moment of pity for them. Were they human, once? But they’ve chosen their actions and their natures. Summer isn’t always kind, and my fire is burning through me.

Summer is here.

DFRPG: Apocalypse…not exactly averted

We’re finished! After two years, the Dresden Files game that I’ve been in as a player, the one that first got me into role-playing games, has finished.

The world’s…sort of intact? Mostly? And we didn’t kill anyone too badly?

Well, we survived.

Mostly.

Anyway! The world’s still there, even if most of Wiltshire isn’t. So it’s fine.

Overall it was a good game, and for most of it, I loved it. I’ve written 160k of fanfiction for the world and my character’s background story. I’ve spent way too much time plotting my own casefile. I’ve been making notes on the books to help me remember details. I’ve started my own games in the same universe, just because I love it.

But towards the end, much as I hated it happening, my enthusiasm definitely vanished.

I think one of my major frustrations with it was the slow pace. We could only play once a month and if everyone was busy, we had to pass on to the next month. As I’ve got my own games running (amongst other projects) the delay meant my headspace drifted – it’s like finishing a book and sending it off for editing, and then I’m writing the next one, and when I get the first one back it’s a surprised moment of “Oh! Yeah! That! Now I gotta remember what the heck was going on with those characters…”

I had some gaming style issues as well. I have (now!) learned not to argue with the GM, but it is hard when I know the world and rules; however, it mostly comes down to different play styles, and as a player you just have to step back and admit you’d do things differently. I get annoyed by fellow-players, too; it’s very easy to go off-track in a character-heavy game, as you are RPG’ing the actual interactions! Staying in-character is difficult, but…ragh. Still. They’re minor frustrations that didn’t spoil the overall game. The campaign had a nice mix of investigation, action, various allies and groups and enemies, and it added a realistic element by being set in a location we knew.

I’ve gotta write up and finish my little project, and then it’s done; one chapter of the game closed! I was originally going to run a second campaign in the world but as I’m already involved in other groups and games, I’ve opted not to. I have more than enough on my plate with the Wolfpack, particularly as they’re currently attempting to start a war…*sigh* players, who’d have ’em?

On wolfpacks and stories

I’m plotting a new campaign!

I’ve been GM’ing a game in the Dresden Files universe for a little while now. However, so far, it’s mostly been one-shots – partly because I was getting used to the world, partly because we weren’t sure when we’d be able to play, and partly because we originally had a mix of players. The one-shots were based within a framework; I’d sent my players hunting for various items, as that allowed for individual games and a varying set of formats and people; I wanted to be able to go between political manoeuvring and action-based adventures depending on who I had playing and what they wanted to do.

However, the sessions have now settled down into fortnightly games with two or possibly three players, aka my wolfpack. We’ve gone from a series of one-shots to a more ongoing game, possibly because one player did something stupid (hooked up with a sex vampire) and then everyone else did something stupid (the current plan is “gain allies, burn everything”) and it’s. So. Much. Fun!

Anyway! The point is that the players are dropping their characters into the political side of things, and I’ve got the chance to do some more overarching stuff with the plots.

My usual plotting technique is “this is what is going to happen if the PCs aren’t here to stop it”, which works pretty well for end-of-the-world and general chaos. However, for the political side, I think I’m going to go a bit more subtle. The idea I’ve got at the moment is to give them tasks, options, choices from the various factions. Who do they want to side with? Who do they want to work for? Who now hates them because of what they’ve previously done?

There will be a wider plot running, but it’s the calm before the storm; it’s the arming up before the Apocalypse. Whose side are the PCs on?

I am also an exceptionally happy GM and friend, because one of my players is writing stories. It means that a) I don’t have to do it, b) I get to read extra information and additional background, and c) he’s an excellent writer so they’re good stories! Obviously, I wrote stories for the previous Dresden game that I played in, so I’m really happy that someone likes the characters enough to want to run with them.

So whee! Plotting ahoy!

A new story and new world!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have spotted me squeaking about a new story…

The story started out as a short story for the prompt “Love ‘Em, Shoot ‘Em“. I adapted a Dresden short that I’d started but not finished, and amended the characters slightly. So I finished that story, and then…the characters ran away with me. I was talking to my housemate about the story, and he suggested some features. Then Jon suggested some more. And now I’ve got another two twists…

It’s post-apocalyptic urban fantasy; it’s set in “this” world with a slight alt twist at the moment, but that might not be needed – I’m still researching that part. My housemate has read the first chapter and pronounced the worldbuilding “excellent” but he wasn’t sure about the characters because they’re snarky, which is exactly what I want! I don’t want to be writing anything conventional with this one.

The plot’s still coming together, and at this stage I’m happy to just let it; I’m actually writing it in linear form so I’m working on chapter two, and I’ll just see what happens. But it’s going to be dark and fairly gritty. It’s going to be snarky, mean, paranoid and unfair. It’s going to have several twists and I’ve already written the ending, which I hope is going to be fairly unexpected and definitely a punch in the gut. In short, I’m absolutely loving it!

No name yet; Sam’s nicknamed it “Bluesky” just to annoy me!

On rpgs and tools

As you might have gathered by now, I like role-play games! I only started two years ago and had never played before, but I now GM regularly for a Dresden Files game, I’m just finishing playing in another DF campaign, and I’m just starting to play in a Pathfinder one. And while I have put some sites that have helped my GM’ing and playing on this website already, I thought a brief overview of what tools I actually use might help.

Eldritch fate diceFirst, Fudge Dice…pretty! I have the eldritch set (a nice present for Christmas from our DF GM, knowing that I needed some of my own) but there’s lotsa pretty ones. I also use the Simple Fudge Dice app by Aviv Beeri for when I forget my dice…it happens :-/

We also use props; the wolfpack have ears (hey, I’m crafty…) and I have a jester’s hat for when I’m GM’ing (versus when I’m being an NPC). We use random props too; not as many as we could, but then the ears are fun!

We use fillable character sheets which are awesome; there’s a whole load of Dresden Files resources on DFRPG-wikispaces if the link above’s gone. There’s also a stackload of resources on the Dresden Files over at Evil Hat.

Vicky in wolf-ears
Vicky in wolf-ears

For the Dresden Files campaign, we’ve mostly been playing on paper/online docs during the actual game. We’ve set up WordPress sites for each game to write up notes and provide information; it’s brilliant as they’re so flexible and the add-ins mean you can display pretty much anything (character information, sheets, notes…)

And I’ve also just started using Roll20! The Pathfinder game means I’m using it as a player, but I was squeaking with one of my wolfpack members about the possibilities for Dresden, too. You can change system, add character sheets, add tokens to the board, roll fudge dice, add in maps…I don’t think it will be particularly brilliant for the actual roleplaying aspect (aka. if we’re not using the display board, we may as well be in Google Hangouts) and it will take a bit of set-up, but for heist games or things that do need maps, it’s going to be great. We’re currently bouncing ideas for two games as a trial, so that could be really fun.