Episode 95: She Had Her Teeth in Boris Johnson

This month, Mike and Roger look at the Dracula Dossier, do RPG-a-Day only a few months late, and generate another Ars Magica character.

We mentioned:

The Dracula Dossier at the Bundle of Holding (until 2 November), The Armitage Files, Declare by Tim Powers, Timewatch, RPG-a-Day 2020, Dragonriders of Pern, The Whisperer in Darkness, Transhuman Space, DramaSystem, Torg, Superhero 2044, Over the Edge, Brazil, Grimtooth’s Traps, a relevant Oglaf comic (caution, other comics are very much NSFW), Twilight: 2000, The Strange, Pendragon, Wulfhilda of Barking and Wilgefortis.

Here’s our tip jar.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com and other royalty-free sources.


I now want to run a Firefly game where the PCs do a robbery/rescue while the local populace are all outside ooohing and aaahing at the scheduled eclipse! :grinning:

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What were the emergency services doing just after the three minute mark?

I wonder if Earthquake Weather by Tim Powers also entered into it.

I feel seen. It’s like y’all knew I bought another copy of Talislanta 4e because I spotted a deal on eBay. I need two copies of it, really I do. It is actually quite good! Really! Now 5th Ed is one of the biggest editing messes I’ve ever seen in a number of places…

Also Everway keeps coming up. I may need to track down a copy.

It’s a Ken Hite book. You may assume significant Tim Powers influences. And aren’t some of the modern-day Powers novels set in the same continuity anyway? There are certainly common themes and tropes across a lot of his work.

Okay, Roger, I have to ask — what was the story with three consecutive eclipses?

I’ve been trying to track it down and failing to do so; I read it probably 30 years ago and all other details have faded, except that it’s a white explorer among “savages” (of course). I think it must have been one of the imitators of King Solomon’s Mines.

“Visions” is a story flaw from the core book. It does not require any in-character skill to interpret - like “Mentor” or “Faerie Friend”, “Visions” is a bit of a virtue with some plot hooks attached so it counts as a minor story flaw. The storyguide gives the character a vision when they feel it is appropriate, it is up to the player how they interpret it and what they do about it.

Meditation and Understanding are a very different beast - they are a Method and Power (yes, the capitalisation is not random, it is describing game mechanics). Just like a magus uses a Technique and a Form together to get results, Divine and Infernal mechanics rely on you teaming a Method (such as meditation) with a Power (such as understanding). If you look in Realms of Power:The Divine you will see the tables for the effect guidelines, much like the ones in the magic section of the core rulebook for Hermetic spells.

See page 54 for the Understanding table. Each of the guidelines has (meditation) in brackets afterwards, to let you know you need to use the Meditation method to make this work.

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