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Katie Plays Posts

Wrecking Belle’s Tragic Love Story: Cyberpunk Red Background Blurb

I’m getting ready to commission some character art for Wrecking Belle, and once I have that I’ll make a full page with some more detail about her. But in the meantime, I wrote up this little piece of background prose after our latest session and couldn’t wait to share it!

A little bit of context for it: when I was rolling her Lifepath, the dice gave her 1 tragic love affair that ended with the lover killed in a fight, and she also has an enemy that was a romantic rival. This scene takes place just after a job where the main antagonist walked away after promising Belle that he’d see her again real soon, shortly after he had tried to shoot her. Belle didn’t want to go back home, so she went through her little black book to find someone else’s bed to sleep in for a few days; someone better with a gun than her. She settled on Scarlet, a mercenary with nicer digs than hers and more guns than you can shake a stick at.

I didn’t sleep well that night. My mild paranoia after that video calling out the corruption in NCPD was tolerable, but I couldn’t shake the words of the massive cybernetic man that Odin let walk away, or the look in his eye. I’d seen that look before. Every creak jolted me awake, and I finally gave up and simply laid there staring at the ceiling, my handgun on the nightstand in easy reach for all the good it would do.

Scarlet stirred next to me, and the movement sent the smell of her hair into the air. It reminded me instantly of someone I hadn’t thought of in a while, and my heart sank. Shit, I thought, maybe that was why I had stopped calling her in the first place. 

With a light sigh, I got up and went to the sink for a glass of water. I stared out the small window and reminisced.

Young love often ends in tragedy, a fire that burns brightly and devours all it’s fuel quickly. You see it coming, and if you’re lucky it only fucks you up for a little while. I had no such luck. 

Ember was my guiding light and by far the best thing in my life, which was rapidly starting to fall apart. She was sharp as a tack, always knew how to make me smile, and loved me for exactly who I was. On top of it all, she was stunning. Ember was too good for me and I knew it. If only she had known it, too.

Everything went terribly wrong shortly after she had nursed me back to health when I got my cyberlegs. I’m convinced the mental trauma would have been worse without her, but I pulled through it ok. We were out at a nightclub having a good time, the first night we’d been out in weeks, when Reznor showed up.

I knew him from the Derby scene; he was a good looking guy and half my team had the hots for him. For whatever reason he had set his sights on me though, and I loved the attention. Ember never minded a little harmless flirting, it was part of the persona. And hell, she liked having a third from time to time.

Reznor had taken me out for a drink after a bout one time though, and I didn’t like the vibe I was getting from him. I paid for my own drink and left, ignoring his warning that I would regret that. Turns out he meant it. 

As soon as I saw him walk in the club, I tried to get Ember and I out of there before he spotted us, but I guess he knew I was there and had come looking for me. I still cringe when I think about the shit that came out of his mouth that night. I reflexively put myself between Reznor and Ember, facing her and all but begging her to just leave with me, but she had this thing about not letting men talk to us that way. 

It all went so fast from there I’m not even sure how it happened, or maybe I just don’t want to remember. Our story ended with me sitting on the ground in a pool of Ember’s blood, her head in my lap as I stroked her bright red hair, waiting for help that would arrive too late. It still haunts me two years later. 

To my credit I didn’t jump completely out of my skin when a sleepy voice came from behind me and asked why I was up. I hastily wiped a tear from my cheek as I turned and mumbled that I heard a noise. 

“Nobody is going to get you while you’re here with me.” Scarlet said reassuringly. She crossed the room and took my face in her hands, smiling sadly at me as she brushed my bangs back behind my ear. She graciously didn’t ask any questions, she just held me until my breath steadied, her scent simultaneously overwhelming yet comforting. “Come back to bed” she said softly, taking my hand and gently leading me back. I followed wordlessly, desperately wanting to forget.

A Lullaby for Luna: Werewolf Actual Play

So as I mentioned before, I have been DYING to play in a Werewolf game, and while I’m having a blast running my game, my heart still wanted to play.

And then an amazing opportunity fell into my lap, and I got to join a game that a published freelance write for Onyx Path is running! Honestly I just about died of excitement when I found out about it all.

We’re only a few sessions in and I am already having an amazing time! Erica is a great storyteller and I am so excited to see where the story goes.

My character, Quinn, is a super social Elodoth that brings balance to her pack of warriors and spirit talkers. She’s got a secret background that I hope comes up at some point!

We’ve posted our past sessions on YouTube, the first few we’re still trying to sort out some audio issues but I think next week we’ll have it nailed down! Catch up on Erica’s channel and listen to A Lullabye for Luna.

If you want to watch live, that’s an option now too! We stream on Thursdays at 4pm PST on Twitch, and we’d love to see you 🙂

Oh Hai, TTRPGs

Ok so I know this blog has been dead for a few years now.. it’s a thing that happens. But hey, I’m back for now, let’s talk! I want to talk about tabletop roleplaying games, or TTRPGs for way shorter.

I love them. Like.. for real. If I had to pick just one type of game to play for the rest of forever, TTRPGs would win. The trouble has always just been finding people to play with, finding time, etc. Anyone that knows anything about TTRPGs has seen all the memes about scheduling, people dropping out, etc.

So, a silver lining of the whole COVID thing has been the MASSIVE ability to play TTRPGs online via amazing services like Discord and Roll20. Friends had more time, nobody had to drive anywhere, all the streaming stuff has been improving.. the perfect storm for all the gaming.

So of course I’ve been playing with a vengeance, making up for lost time and stuff. I am especially excited that people are starting to branch out from D&D/Pathfinder. Don’t get me wrong, those games are just fine! I like them well enough and if that’s your favorite by all means, I’m glad you love them. But there are just SOOOO many amazing systems out there that people have never even heard of that a party can tell such an amazing story in, and I’m really glad to see them getting some love AND to be able to find people to play these other games with.

So.. here’s what I’ve been up to!

First, My Gloomhaven group ran a Pathfinder 2E campaign to kick things off.. gotta start with the familiar sometimes haha. I played a gnome bard fortune teller.

Then, my husband and I grabbed some other friends and started a Delta Green campaign. DG is one of my new favorites, it’s so good. It’s basically set in our world with a Lovecraft-ian twist, and your characters are agents with a secret organization trying to find the cause, cover it up, and minimize human exposure. Grab the Need to Know (including a sample mission) for FREE and give it a whirl! My character in this game was Frankie DeSoto, a DEA agent that was exposed to the supernatural on a drug bust gone wrong.

And then, my best friend said her husband needed another player for a Blades in the Dark game and asked if one of us wanted to play in it. I took that slot gladly haha! Blades has SUCH a unique game play system, and I especially love the downtime mechanic and want to adapt it for every other game. Anyway in this game the characters are a gang of criminals in a sort of Victorian, sort of Post-Apocalyptical setting. My main character Penumbra is a Lurk, basically a rogue type character, who was once nobility until her family lost everything. She’s currently away on a gambling bender so for the next session or two I’ll be playing Rias Breakiron, a cutter that doesn’t actually like violence but is just really good at it and knows it gets things done.

More recently, my Pathfinder game wrapped up, and after playing a few weeks of Gloomhaven we decided we wanted to keep playing TTRPGs. So we switched to Cyberpunk Red. If you don’t know what cyberpunk as a genre is, go watch Dredd and then buy this rulebook heh. We’re only a few sessions in but so far I’m digging it! My character Wrecking Belle is a roller-derby star and social influencer that got dragged into the criminal underworld by being kidnapped by a ripperdoc after her cyberlegs and now she wants revenge.

On a similar system-switch, my Delta Green group hit a good pausing point so we decided to switch to MY ALL TIME FAVORITE system, Werewolf the Forsaken. I’ve been aching to play this game again for like 8 years now, and while I actually got suckered into running instead of playing, I am having an absolute blast. Been a bit of a learning and remembering curve for me since we’re playing 2E and I had only ever played first ed, but the new workup is really solid. Running a homebrew is exhausting but so rewarding! We’ve got our third session this weekend and I have some really awesome stuff planned for the pack.

So that’s everything I’m currently playing, though I do have my finger on the pulse of some other opportunities to play.. like I said, I have a lot of lost time to make up for haha! I’ll be playing a Mage game and my husband is playing Eclipse Phase at TryItCon this weekend and we’re pretty excited for that.

Any other table-toppers here? What are some of your favorite systems?

Some Thoughts on Civilization VI

Ahhh, Steam Summer Sale, how I love you and your ability to separate me from my money. This year I found out the sale had started when I got an email saying 25 games on my Wishlist were on sale hahaha!

Sadly my budget is limited for the time being, but I was able to pick up Civilization VI for under $30, which was the price point I was willing to buy it at. I’ve been playing it pretty non-stop since I bought it! I know a lot of people hate it, but I feel like that hate is just that people don’t like change (I’m looking at you, Sims “fans” that won’t stop bitching about how 4 isn’t the same as 3 or 2…..).

Granted, I wasn’t super into older versions; I think V was the first one I ever played and it required a little more attention than I usually felt like giving it. People seem to love that version, but the biggest complain I see is that VI isn’t as feature rich as V. Of course it’s not, it hasn’t been developed for as long! Jesus people. Ahem. Anyway, enough about what other people think, here’s what I think!

First, I love the graphics. I am a sucker for bright, colorful, semi-cartoony graphics. That’s part of why I always get suckered back into World of Warcraft (which I’m not playing right now). They’re nice to look at and don’t slow down my mediocre system which is always a plus.

The game play seems a little more straight-forward than in V (or the space version that I didn’t much care for), but not in a bad way. Sometimes things get “dumbed down” and I hate them, but this doesn’t feel like it’s reaching for the lowest common denominator, but more like some of the fat got trimmed out. One place I really noticed this was the ability to merge units with research a little further in the game, so I’d could combine two and then three of the same dudes into a single more powerful unit. My biggest complaint in the past with trying to do anything military was what a pain in the ass it was having to micromanage a million units; now I don’t need as many to stomp my enemies! Mwahahaha.

I played for a few days straight and did one victory of each type, and I enjoyed most of them. I was going to write more about each one here, but now I’m tired and lazy. So I’ll make another post about those another time, but suffice it to say for now my favorite victory was Culture and my least favorite was Science. Now you have something to look forward to, WHYYY is that my breakdown?

The moral of this post is: Civilization VI isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, grab it while it’s on a good sale. The end.

First Thoughts – The Division

Last night, I sat down for what I’m pretty sure is the first time this year to play some video games. Man, I can’t believe it’s been so long, life has been insane.

Anyway, my buddy over at Malformed Fork pre-ordered a copy of The Division for me, so last night we sat down to play it for a bit together. Unfortunately, the Ubisoft servers imploded almost immediately (which is not surprising; also I hate Ubisoft with the fire of a thousand suns).

By the time they came back up, I only got to play for about an hour before I was too sleepy to continue. But, from what I saw so far, the game should be pretty cool. I really liked the opening video sequence, what a neat story.

The graphics look pretty slick, and I enjoyed that character customization happens ‘in-game’. My agent looks a little like me, hehe.

The controls are pretty different from what I’m used to, so I keep crouching behind things that I want to jump over, or jumping on things that I want to crouch behind, but I think I should get used to that pretty quickly. Then in all my other games (when I finally get around to playing them) I’ll just look like an idiot jumping at walls haha.

I’m looking forward to playing a bit more of this game and I hope it’s awesome; so far it’s looking promising.