Monday, 20 October 2014

Resumption of this Journal under a New Title.

Dear Long-suffering Readers--

Strange Aeons have come to pass, and like Cthulhu in Ryleh, this Aetheric Journal has risen from its unnatural quietude to spread Madness, Terror and Unholiness throughout the Ether. That or tedious musings on Games of Storytelling and Imagination (and its Milleu) will once again be inflicted on the unsuspecting Reader - Beauty (and Horror) being in the eye of the beholder. And it will do so under a new Title, inspired by the wonderful swashbuckling motion picture of 1937, The Prisoner of Zenda (HT Stately Frey Manor)

In any case, this Journal will shortly resume with a rather untimely "A to Z of the 'Verse". It should be noted that in this particular Cortex Original version of "the 'Verse" only the events of the Firefly TV Series (with a few exceptions) will be Canon. The events of Serenity the Movie (and any other comics, supplements or gaming books) will not have happened. Unlike many other people, while I found Serenity the Movie to be a tolerable adventure scientific-romance moving-picture, I found it wanting in its resolutions to the Firefly Television Series. For example the origin of the Reavers in Pax I found deeply unsatisfying, and the idea that River Tam who was made emotionally unstable in a surgical effort to improve her Psychic ability was then given highly advanced combat training I found ludicrous. I only hope that Readers find my efforts to fill in the gaps left by the fourteen episodes of Firefly to be of interest.

Your Humble Servant,
Mercurius Aulicus.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A Miscellany of Firefly Links

Gentle Readers--

There are, I hope, many of you who appreciated the sadly short-lived televisual series "Firefly". Here are a motley miscellany of Aetheric Links that may (or may not) be of interest to you:

* How would you like to read the script of an unaired Firefly episode, that would have been 15th episode of Season One? (HT Saffy the Geek)

* Topless Robot's Firefly's 15 Best Chinese Curses and How to Say Them- Probably better pronounced than by the actors.

* An animated map of the Firefly 'Verse created by Koen Hendrix.

This is Blue Sun Cigars by ~emptysamurai. The artist goes on to say that "The Mandarin text is a poem about cigars which coined the mandarin word for cigar."

With fondest Regards,
Mild Colonial Boy, Esq.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Playing D&D by S J Tucker

"Playing D&D" -- SJ Tucker

From The Victorian Adventure Enthusiast

Dear Readers,

In a recent excellent interview in The Victorian Adventure Enthusiast with Phil Masters, a GURPs guru, there was a rather interesting discussion regarding an alternate dieselpunk world called Brittanica-6 for GURPS Infinite Worlds.

This then is that discussion:

VAE: In more a steampunk vein you've written GURPS Infinite Worlds: Britannica-6. Despite its late 19th century setting Britannica-6 is *not* Victorian setting. What makes this different than other steampunk and Victorian settings out there?

PM: The origin of that was a typically brilliant one-paragraph note by Ken Hite in his GURPS Infinite Worlds, which I initially took as inspiration for a convention demo game, and then expanded into this publication. It's an alternate history in which Queen Victoria was never born, because a rather peculiar incident in early 19th century history turned out differently (and if you look, Victoria was only born as the result of some quite strange political stuff!), and a very different British Empire has got into internal squabbling involving some weird-tech super-weapons and gadgets.

So I took the absence of Victoria as the key. It's not a Victorian era! And the easy replacement for Victorian society is a continuation of Georgian/Regency society, which has the right flavour of dynastic squabbling, too. (I think that this is what Ken had in mind from the first, actually.)

Then, I decided that the technology, having had 70 years to run away with itself, could have got beyond steam. Dearly as I love steampunk, it's become a bit of a cliche; I wanted something a bit different. And Ken's paragraph had mentioned things like "the Electrical Terror".

Right. Electricity! Let's go for a post-Victorian feel here. After all, diesel power and electrical gadgets can give these crazy science- loving aristocrats and royals a bit more credibility to their mad science. Steam is a bit too cumbersome for a society with the dial
jammed on fast-forward, let's face it.

So it's diesel-electric rather than steam, and Regency rather than Victorian.

VAE: The fashions of Brittannica-6 are strikingly different than the buttoned up conservatism of the Victorian era. How do you sum them up for people?

PM: The tag line I sometimes use is "Georgette Heyer with glide bombs". A player in one of my demo games pointed to a bit of unconscious '70s/'80s cop show influence, too - fast cars and garish nylon clothing.

It's all a bit decadent, in a very Regency way. (Remember, the Victorian era was in many ways a reaction against the Regency. There's not been any reaction on Britannica-6.) Technology is running away, and while a lot of people seem to be having fun, if you want a dark undertone, there's a sense that the whole thing may run into a brick wall at some point

I thought that this seems wonderfully inspiring for anyone looking for an alternative to Victorian Steampunk adventure - a Regency Dieselpunk expedition anyone?

Your Humble Servant,
Mild Colonial Boy, Esq.

[Serenity/Firefly RPG] More Musings about the Reavers, or, Reavers are a Virus

Gentle Readers,

I have posted before on matters concerning the Reavers for a Serenity/Firefly Game before on this Journal and in comments at The Black Campbell. However I have had further thoughts regarding them based upon a brief skimming (in a secondhand bookstore) of one of the most unsavoury and vile comicbooks of recent times called Crossed.

Crossed has a group of survivors lurking in a world of roaming packs of vile murderers/rapists/cannibals created by a Plague which causes a cross-shaped lesion on their faces as they act out their worst desires with these sickening grins. I won't go into any detail about the disturbing scenes contained within - but suffice it to say - I was unable to look at another comicbook for another two weeks afterwards.

It did however give me an idea for an alternative scenario for the origin of the Reavers. Suppose as a result of terraforming a moon on the outskirts of the 'Verse a mutated virus was produced which caused the infected to behave in what could loosely be described as an ultra-violent manner. The Group that I had postulated was helping the Reavers survive the effects of radiation sickness (in my earlier post), may have originally been trying to cure the disease. This Group's efforts may then have changed to attempts to mitigate and control the Disease (in addition to studying it at a safe distance). Those infected who took the Medicine and continue to take it survive as Reavers, those who don't have died out as they lost control.

However the idea of the Reaver as a Virus may explain how they can continue to exist - those strong and susceptible to the disease may join the Reaver ranks, those weak and/or immune serve the Reavers in other ways. It may also explain in "Bushwacked" why Mal was eager to advises the Alliance Captain to destroy the derelict vessel - in order to avoid possible biological contamination or booby traps.

Very well that is just a few musings on the subject, that might interest some people.

Your Humble Servant,
Mild Colonial Boy, Esq.

Welcome to a New Follower

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to Welcome a new Subscriber to this Aetheric Journal, The Venerable Bead. I would like to warn you that this Journal isn't devoted to political matters, rather matters of Story Telling Entertainments, otherwise called Tabletop Roleplaying Games. I hope that this will be of interest to you.

Your Humble Servant,
The Mild Colonial Boy, Esq.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Happy New Year

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tempus fugit (time flees) as they say in the Classics. Another year has passed with few signs of life on this Aetheric Journal. I would review the year - but that would be a waste of time. Unfortunately my rare spare time has been spent on Tumblrlogs such as THIS making facile and superficial entries rather than striving to do anything more in depth.

I have resolved this year to make more of an effort in my more substantial Aetheric Journals and to symbolise this new start - I have re-titled this Journal. From now on it shall be known as "Unhand me Knave! I am a personal friend of the Khedive" (inspired by faux Victorian phrasebook terms at Dogwash).

And so let us begin the New Year, with Resolutions of Greater Effort.

Your Humble Servant,
Mild Colonial Boy, Esq.