FANTASTIC!

How am I? Well, my left shoulders rather sore after some time bowling in the nets at a local park to Godson, Age 11 on Sunday. it was the first time I’d picked up a cricket ball in at least 25 years and I was never very good at it to begin with. The main issue on the day however, was on the rare occasions when I actually managed to hit the stumps, was resisting the urge to loudly yell “Got him yes, piss off you’re out!” in the manner of the 12th Man…  Anyhow, that’s enough about me for now, there’s something far more important to announce!

In these troubled times, in the days of fire and plague that make us wish for the carefree innocent times of 2016, we need things that’ll get us through the day. Minor distractions, upcoming events that as of yet haven’t been cancelled and the tiny bits of good news, things that we can latch on to that give us hope that’ll it’ll get better some day. We may not know when this crisis will end, but there are good things out there in this hellish, perpetually indoor existence. The wonderful, sometimes unexpected things that bring joy, delight and can even make us forget, if only for a little while, that Tony Abbott was once Prime Minister.

*drum roll that soon becomes a rhythm of 4.*

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON IS DOING BIG FINISH AUDIOS! I REPEAT, CHRISTOPHER ECCELSTON IS DOING BIG FINISH AUDIOS!

It’s now been near 15 years since his time as the Doctor and to say the news is welcome to me is something of an understatement. Details are still being kept quiet, but we do know that 12 stories over 4 box sets are incoming, with Volume 1 to be released in May 2021. Yes, that seems like a long wait, but Big Finish also recently announced a new companion for the Fourth Doctor, with that series premiering in 2024! Never let it be said that Big Finish don’t plan ahead…

The stories about Eccelston’s time in the role and his leaving after one season were few and mostly centered on conflicts with the production team. He’s spoken recently about the issues he was going through at the time and it gave a lot of nuance to his performance. And that’s not mentioning the stigma and courage it takes to speak up about mental health issues. There was a long stretch when he seemingly refused to do anything with the show, but in recent years has been attending conventions and I’ve seen some lovely video of him greeting other Doctors. I’m incredibly happy for the news and it’s my fervent hope that he’s in a better head space than he was during his time as the Doctor. I want him to be well, as I do everyone in my life. I don’t think that’s too much to ask the universe.

Right, now that’s that out of the way, let’s get back to RPG’s. Work on Crimson Skies has continued, with me unable to get the idea out of my head. I think it’s a positive step in my headspace that I’m even considering sitting behind the GM screen regularly again. After I ended my last campaign I told myself that with the right idea I’d give it another crack, and that I’d learn from previous mistakes. I’m still going to get nervous, and have doubts, because that’s what I do. But I think I can do better. I’ve still been unable to come up with an arc yet, but my wonderful and talented wife assures me that the player characters background she can come up with something. I believe her.

There’s a rule from the upcoming Troubleshooters RPG that I’m planning to adapt, and that’s the plot hook. As part of Session 0, I want to players to meet up (Virtually of course), generate characters and a shared background, while I answer questions. I also want to hear about 2 people from their characters lives*. I don’t need them fully written up with stats etc, just a name, a brief description and how they know the character.  And the plan is to mine that information for all it’s worth, adding them to story hooks, putting them in danger and having them go missing and need to be rescued. You know, things I haven’t done in previous campaigns. It feels like I’m taking a positive step forward with this. Now, to find people who want to play…

More to follow. Be seeing you.

* Yes, Shadowrun does something along those lines as well. But I’m not touching that overly complex and stat heavy system with a 10 ft pole.

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