Accidental Survivors: The Modern Gaming Podcast
Three Canadian geeks distracted by bright, shiny objects. Or beer.

Collateral is a production of the Accidental Survivors. You can hear more episodes of the Accidental Suvivors at Libsyn.

All music provided by Mindscape Music.

Collateral 05 - System vs. Setting

Links
Inspectres

the Gumshoe system

True20, a version of the d20 rules. You can find the Revised Edition here.

Spycraft 1st Edition was adapted from d20, so its kind of like D&D Espionage.

Savage Worlds, look for the Explorer's Edition if you can.

Burning Wheel

Reign

Articles on System and Setting from Unclebear.com: Setting Matters, and When System Matters.

Episodes on Pulp Gamer: Mechanics Matter, and More on Mechanics.

Feedback
If you want to contact us, you can email us at accidental@swordsedgepublishing.ca

If you're signed up on Facebook you can join the Accidental Survivors Podcast group and leave comments for us there.

You can hop on over to our message forums at www.accidentalsurvivors.com.

You can find Fraser on Twitter.


You can download this episode here.
Direct download: Collateral05.mp3
Category:Collateral -- posted at: 1:33 AM

Presentation: 10/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Fun Factor: 8/10
Total Score: 26/30

Sometimes it doesn't take long for an idea to catch on.

Looking at Blue Dragon Plus for the Nintendo DS, it sure seems that a trend has formed of RPG games branching into the strategy genre.

And why not? Final Fantasy Tactics has been such a success its become its own cottage industry. Final Fantasy XII sported a real-time strategy sequel for the DS called Revenant Wings and now Blue Dragon has a RTS sequel of its own in Blue Dragon Plus.

Like its predecessors, Blue Dragon Plus offers a mix of real-time strategy and RPG elements.

The overall presentation is top-notch both during play and during the game's cinematics. The game boasts a sountrack by Final Fantasy legend Nobuo Uematsu and character designs by Akira Toriyama (character designer for Dragon Ball Z and the Dragon Quest series).

The control scheme is simple enough that the game can be controlled with the stylus alone, selecting units by touch, selecting a destination (or target) and choosing between magical abilities are easy to get the hang of, though sometimes the small screen makes things a little confusing during the heat of battle.

Still, the characters are distinctive enough that you can tell them apart, even though they're quite small and the game does a good job of walking you through the early missions, which are played with a smaller party of more generalized characters.

For someone like me, who prefers his strategy in turns and not real-time, this was a welcome introduction to the game and made it easy to get involved in the action. The game's tutorial missions also spell out quite clearly what the roles of the various characters are- who should be wading into melee and who should hiding behind them to throw spells.

Although the game sports a few dedicated spellcasters, including an elemental "artillery" caster and healer, almost all the characters have a special spell-like ability to inflict elemental damage, usually in an area. Some of these attacks strike in a line while others affect an area. Once an ability is used, there's a "cool down" period in real time before a special ability can be used again.

Blue Dragon Plus packs a lot of fun gameplay into its 30-hour single player campaign. Your characters gain levels and can find items to increase their abilities. Each character has a unique feel and has a role to fill and the maps where the battles take place are large and allow plenty of room for maneuvering.

The levels are well designed and give you plenty of chances to use the terrain to your advantage.

Blue Dragon Plus is an engaging game for gamers of all ages. In addition to playing the game myself, I loaned it to my neice, a 12 year-old dedicated gamer who has beaten Final Fantasy X-2 and the Kingdom Hearts games more times than I can count (more times than me for sure).

Like me, she enjoyed the game and was drawn in by its cute character designs, which she immediately recognized as "by that Dragon Quest guy".

If you are a fan of strategy games, especially on handheld platforms where they seem particularly strong right now, or if you are a fan of old-school Japanese RPGs, you should definitely check out Blue Dragon Plus.

Chuck.
Category:Review -- posted at: 2:22 PM

WARNING: Instances of very strong language may offend some listeners.

Accidental Survivors: the Modern Gaming Podcast
All music in podcast by Mindscape Music

1. News & Views
Rogue Trader, a game of exploration and profit in the grim darkness of the far future of Warhammer 40,000.

Kazei 5 the anime-cyberpunk setting for Hero System 6th Edition and Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition.

Modern20 is in print.
 
2. Feature - Cyberpunk'd
Some of the things we talked about:

Literature like the Sprawl Trilogy, Snowcrash, and Jennifer Government.
 
RPGs like Shadowrun, Cyberpunk 2020/Cyberpunk, and SLA Industries.

Mass Media like Bubblegum Crisis, Blade Runner, and Ghost in the Shell

3. The Hook
Dark Cauldron: A hook for a modern or cyberpunk game, submitted by Chuck.
 
Dark Cauldron is the latest craze in online interactive gaming. In fact, it's so interactive and addictive that one client, a wealthy billionaire, wants you to take extreme measures to get his son away from the game, which he calls a cult.
 
As a cyberpunk adventure, the game takes place in cyberspace and the PCs will jack in remotely and attempt a rescue as fantasy avatars of their normal personas. They will find that the company that runs the game has dealt with "griefers" like them before, and has avatars with safety protocols disengaged to deal with them. The PCs will have to learn how to hack their avatars to be able to fight back, take out the cyberguards, then talk some sense into the boy they're trying to rescue.
 
As a modern adventure, the game takes place at a "cafe", where players sit back in specially made sofas looking up at large 3-d displays and taking "herbal drinks" (that are drugged) that enhance the experience. Again a physical conversation with the boy is impossible and the PCs must enter the fictional world of the game to make contact with him. And again, cyber-warriors in the game will try to stop them and are capable of inflicting real damage, thanks to the PCs' drugged state making everything seem real. Here, rather than hacking the game for better chances in combat, the PCs realizing they are being drugged and either getting off the substances, or spiking the guards' cocktails will help even the odds.
 
Either way, once their client's son is free, he tasks them to go after the game's servers, taking it offline, permanently.
 
This will be a much more normal adventure, with the PCs either using their tech savvy to permanently crash the game's servers, or their skill at breaking and entering to deal with the problem more directly, either through a well-placed bomb or perhaps something as low tech as a big sledgehammer.

 

4. Feedback
If you want to contact us, you can email us at accidental@swordsedgepublishing.ca

If you're signed up on Facebook you can join the Accidental Survivors Podcast group and leave comments for us there

You can hop on over to our message forums at www.accidentalsurvivors.com.

You can find Fraser and  Rob on Twitter. Chuck don't play that. And Chris is illiterate.

Hey You! Don't forget about Rogue Trader and Kazei 5, both of which should be hitting the street around GenCon 2009!

Direct download: ASP043.mp3
Category:Season Three -- posted at: 7:37 PM

Collateral is a production of the Accidental Survivors.

All music provided by Mindscape Music.

Collateral 04 - First Game Considerations

Links
If you are in the Ottawa area, check out Go-Play Ottawa.

Dark Canary 's thoughts are in the Episode 01 -Finding a Group thread at the Accidental Survivors forums.

Feedback
If you want to contact us, you can email us at accidental@swordsedgepublishing.ca

If you're signed up on Facebook you can join the Accidental Survivors Podcast group and leave comments for us there.

You can hop on over to our message forums at www.accidentalsurvivors.com.

You can find Fraser on Twitter.

Direct download: Collateral04.mp3
Category:Collateral -- posted at: 3:05 AM

WARNING: Instances of very strong language may offend some listeners.

Accidental Survivors: the Modern Gaming Podcast
All music in podcast by Mindscape Music

1. News & Views?
Samuel L (mf) Jackson is Nick Fury .
The Mighty Thor casting call .
The Watchmen! The Collider review and PVPOnline's take on the comic.
Jonah Hex casting news. Megan Fox signed on as the leading damsel?
Dark Heresy Creature Anthema Review
 
2. Feature - Review of Victoriana 2nd Edition
This Victorian alt-history supplement is published by Cubicle 7. 
Chris's opinion: 4/5
Rob's opinion: 4.5/5
Fraser's opinion: 4.5/5

3. The Hook
It is October, 1867. For weeks, street people have turning up dead in Whitechapel.

Most have turned a blind eye to the deaths of these impoverished few, even though the natures of their deaths are so outlandish. These aren't slashings, shootings or beatings. The victims have been found missing their hearts. This is no surgical removal, either; the organs have been ripped from their rib cages with force.

But last night, a well-to-do merchant off of Cooper's Row was found murdered in a similar fashion. Now the middle-class have taken notice of these deaths, and are demanding an investigation. Scotland Yard refuses to look into them, for reasons unstated (but rumours are the order came down from Buckingham). They are, however, willing to put together a special team to investigate the matter.

4. Feedback
If you want to contact us, you can email us at accidental@swordsedgepublishing.ca 


If you're signed up on Facebook you can join the Accidental Survivors Podcast group and leave comments for us there


You can hop on over to our message forums at www.accidentalsurvivors.com.

You can find Fraser and  Rob on Twitter. Chuck don't play that. And Chris is illiterate.

5. References
Dean Koontz's Frankenstein tv movie 
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
 
You can listen to Collateral on War Pig Radio
Direct download: ASP042.mp3
Category:Season Three -- posted at: 2:02 AM

Collateral is a production of the Accidental Survivors. You can hear more episodes of the Accidental Suvivors at Libsyn.

All music provided by Mindscape Music.

Collateral 03 - Research

Links
You can thank BrianK on the Accidental Survivors forums for this particular topic.

Adventures of the Ottawa Warband an actual play podcast for my Vikings True20 campaign.

PBS' Monster of the Milky Way, a great black hole documentary.

Slayers, the kind of fantasy that needs no research.

The blog post about my research is here.

Global Security

FAS

Jane's

Books like The Physics of Star Trek could be useful in your SF campaign.

Feedback
If you want to contact us, you can email us at accidental@swordsedgepublishing.ca

If you're signed up on Facebook you can join the Accidental Survivors Podcast group and leave comments for us there.

You can hop on over to our message forums at www.accidentalsurvivors.com.

You can find Fraser on Twitter.

Direct download: Collateral03.mp3
Category:Collateral -- posted at: 4:46 AM

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