IMC 3: The Spy Report on Amber

MB&LK’s Amber Bits: The Spy Reports
A Character Exercise devised by Meera:
As a GM: Create a spy report about the PCs for amusement’s value or as a hand-out / party favour. (Heck, doing one about your players might be just as much fun, assuming they share your sense of humour.) What would a reporter find out? (Or a bard who wants to hear about their adventures?) Does your group belong in the Times or the Tabloids?

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Neverwhere: Miniseries

Yesterday was the birthday of a friend of the Olsons (and a member of the RPG group that Scott is a part of), so we all went to Matt’s parent’s house (which he was housesitting) and other friends of his, including Jeff (aka Astin) came by. There was barbecuing, there was talking, there was fun.
There was also Neverwhere. It emerges Matt had a DVD copy of the British Miniseries based off of the Neil Gaiman novel. So, he put it in and we watched it during the afternoon and evening.
It was very faithful to the book, the credits listed Gaiman as a creator of the series, so that was a good sign. The acting was good, the visuals were not the usual high American budgets, but they did the job. The atmosphere and world of Down Below was evocatively and effectively captured.
Highly Recommended, especially for fans of the book.

Game WISH 52: Your Robin Laws Type

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 52: Your Robin Laws Type
Robin Laws identifies several types of gamer in his book of GM tips: The Power Gamer, the Butt-Kicker, the Tactician, the Specialist (plays one type only), the Method Actor, the Storyteller (plot and pacing fan), and the Casual Gamer. Which of these types do you think you are, and why? Most people aren�t pure types, so multiple choices are OK.

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Melancholia of Disappointing Players

Even in a game as old as SB, it is not a perfect game, and I am not a perfect GM.
It has been pointed out to me that there are cracks in the castle of Camelot, weaknesses in my GMing style, problems and such on the part of how I handle certain players and scenes.
I do have a penchant for putting characters together, but sometimes (many times) such groups do not function well, and characters wind up getting less screen time and activity. In one egregious case, I let an NPC have too much of the glory, so to speak. I am going to rectify part of that on the part of the NPC, and despite the fact that I love the character, am tempted to completely remove the character from the game. Considering what is happening, it wouldn’t be a stretch to do so, and the tragedy might make an interesting footnote.
I have to think about this. The law of unintended consequences always holds true. But the problems of large groups in the same spot is something I have to work on in general. I know that the player’s comments were not intended to do so, but sometimes criticism makes me melancholy. And I need feedback in order to GM better.
(Note: I’ve responded to comments in the extended entry)

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Just a couple of thoughts

A pretty busy day here at my office; there was not a lot of time between things to hop on and blog, or even surf blogs.
The weather has been extraordinarily and uncannily good here thus far in June…a fact not lost on the meteorologist in the newspaper.
I didn’t mention that the TIVO did indeed die two weekends ago when I was “home alone”, and the Olsons have not had the opportunity to repair it. Consequently, we’ve been without TV for that long, relying on our computers, the Xbox (with the DVD attachment) and the antics of Damion to keep us entertained in the evenings.
Days are really long here at this latitude. The only time I dealt with more extreme day lengths was during my trip to England (as referenced by my brother in a comment). The day is 15 hours 36 minutes long today, a half hour longer than NYC and an hour longer than Los Angeles.
Of course these will be reversed come the Winter solstice.

Top public high schools in the country

Newsweek in one of their recent issues has rated the top public high schools in the country, or at least according to their criteria. The criterion is based on a formula that uses the number of graduating seniors, and the number of those who took advanced placement courses. They have a web page with an expanded list of top schools.
Fair? Probably not, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a all-around “Best”.
Anyway, my alma mater, Susan E. Wagner makes the list at #711. I was a bit surprised, though, that Port Richmond High School was far higher ranked, at #493. In my day, Port Richmond was considered one of the lesser public high schools on Staten Island, with Wagner and Tottenville (not even on the list) competing with each other. How times change!