A new Addition plus the usual, and a PAIR of rants!

Chris Van Deelen

Another week has come and gone and we’re all that much closer to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars story.

How can you tell I’m really eager to see this movie?

This blog will mark another change, and I’m hoping my regular readers will enjoy it. As usual you’ll get a couple reviews, my thoughts on yet another Kickstarter, my progress when it comes to writing and projects and so forth.

This time I’m going to begin sharing my thoughts on various aspects of RPG’s, and I’ll start with my favorite genre, the post-apocalyptic RPG. That will come a little later in the blog, however.

So this week I finally got around to finishing off the latest short story in my series about Ronnath and his daughter. It’s called failure and I’ll be posting it eventually, but probably not until later this week.

Now for the big decision. I will have to take the time to edit and remove a lot of material from the Plant mutations book so I can get it sent to Mike. I will also be doing the same when it comes to the other two mutation books, and I really hope to begin work on that this week.

The biggest reason for me to get these books done and submitted is they are holding back all the monster books I could have submitted! So many of the mutations are brand new and will require the three books to be published before I can really consider publishing the other books. After all, as a reader and a collector, I don’t appreciate seeing material re-published in another format when I already own the material.

So starting this week I’ll get to work on the Plant book. It is going to take a lot of work as I need to cut a great deal of material from it, which is a shame, but it has to be done. After that, then I can work on a third edit for the other two and get them to Mike.

And of course next month – or sooner – I will begin writing the novel I have been very vague about over the past few blogs. Needless to say, the only hint I can give, is its returning to an old favorite of mine.

I know, it would be difficult for me to be any vaguer, but that’s the case. I really can’t say much else.

Time for my weekly rant… I mean observation.

I hope I'm not going all SJW here... but these meme's I've been seeing over the past few months... such as 'drill a hole in the top of your new iPhone to get a jack for your headphones... or how about rubbing chili peppers in your eyes to make them nice and red for Halloween.

Or how about - use fire to melt the cap to your gas tank if it ever sticks. And my personal favorite (not!) - Stick screws in your tires to improve winter road traction!

See, the issue here is the fact there are incredibly stupid (and oblivious, not to mention naive) people in the world who fall for this shit.

There are plenty of people who think these are funny. And in many ways they are.

However - there are those who fall for these, and actually try to do what is suggested.

Yeah, I believe those who make these memes should be held accountable.

Or at the very least, put a goddamn warning on the meme, that it is a joke!

Because there are too many sheeple, stupid people, idiots, and just plain innocent (can you say someone's elderly parents?) who believe this stuff.

That was my little rant, take it as you will.

At least I'm not falling for the so-called advice!

Last week I posted my 80th New Mutant Monday creation, and of course tomorrow I’ll get another three up. I’m having trouble coming up with ideas, and it really makes me wonder if I will be able to continue with two entries a week next year.

I hope I will be able to. At least I can count on my fans and friends sending images to me to use and that certainly helps.

So last week I wrote up the Rainbow Bees, Explobug, and Adimant-Worms. Three bugs, and this week I have all three ready to post, and the only thing two have in common are they are the result of the uplift virus.

I mentioned another Kickstarter at the beginning of the blog, so this is it… a party game called Survive the Horde. A zombie game which looks like a lot of fun. That makes it… about 20 bloody Kickstarters I’ve backed in the past four months.

I REALLY need to block any Kickstarter posts on my newsfeed… still, next year, if they’re all on time, will make it quite the entertaining year for tabletop board games!

And yes I finished another pair of books last week. One was called Recon: Book one of the Fringe by Tarah Benner. Another post-apocalyptic dystopian novel about a society where there are essentially three tiers, with the main character expecting to get into a tier one job during her ‘bid day’ only to discover she’s been screwed around and is sent into Recon, which is the bottom of the food chain with essentially no chance of survival.

I could hardly wait to finish the book because I found the characters completely unlikeable, the plot as dull as hell, and the action – what little there was initially – equally dull.

I’ll be hard-pressed to read the second in the series, although I have it on my wish-list.

The other novel I read however more than made up for it. This was called Emergence: Dave Versus the Monsters by John Birmingham. This novel is about Rig worker, who happens to be the safety co-ordinator for the company, and a failure as a father and a husband, with tons of serious vices.

When the rig he returns to after his leave suddenly comes under attack by monsters, he finds himself taking one on head to head and winning, only to discover something absolutely life-changing has taken place.

This book was funny, and the action was very well written and overall I really enjoyed it a great deal. Of course I have the second novel in my wish-list and I can say I REALLY appreciated the numerous pulp-culture references and tips of the hat to other books I have enjoyed like Monster Hunter International.

Unlike Recon, this I really recommend you pick up and read.

Oh and if you can believe it I finished watching season one of ‘All Hail King Julien. It’s a computer animated show on Netflix which is all about the king of the Lemur’s, King Julien. I has Mort and Maurice in it, and introduces several new characters.

One of the reasons I really enjoyed the show was because there was plenty of adult-oriented humor, and something which rarely occurs in cartoons – continuity. Not huge amounts, but enough that I could enjoy it.

Show has three seasons with the fourth starting in mid-November.

After missing last week’s d-infinity live, this week the guys made up for it by discussing Magical Economies in RPG’s. And yes they made fun of me with my less than captivating name for last week’s blog. I loved it!

And at this time I would normally get ready to sign off for another week, but as I stated earlier – I have something new to discuss!

So this week I’m going to talk about Factions in Post-Apocalyptic games. You can call them whatever you wish – gangs, Political parties, Cryptic Alliances, Factions – there are a myriad of names to be used.

My first ever encounter with this aspect of the game were the Cryptic Alliances from the 1st edition of Gamma World. These were groups which had their own agenda and if the GM was so inclined, could use them as allies, foes or even allow the players to join.

I was intrigued by the groups, and at such a tender age, I had no idea what to do with them. As the editions advanced, some of the groups disappeared, new groups were added and the rules appeared how to join and what kind of effect this might have on your game.

Other RPG’s followed suit, most notably The Morrow Project and Darwin’s World. I found these two games covered the factions in a well handled manner.

Factions can add serious flavor to your game. Sure a lot of games will involve scavenging, survival and exploration, but by introducing the factions, you can have a whole new foe, or maybe a patron or a group to act as backup for the players.

The awesome Fallout series of games have plenty of factions, and Fallout 4 has several you can join and be part at the same time, although without spoilers, depending on the path you take, you’ll end up killing at least two of the factions. You have the Brotherhood of Steel, the Railroad, Minutemen, Institute, and you can even join the Raiders with the last DLC. There are several other factions you interact with, but they are mainly there as foes, such as the Gunners.

Factions add a great deal to any game and should never be ignored.

I wish, I really wish I had the time and gumption to write up a massive faction book. In fact years ago it had been on my list of ‘to write’ books for Mutant Future, but I never got around to it, and now since I’ll be either switching strictly to novels, or going to Pathfinder and 5th edition, I really can’t see me working on such a book – after all I need to write material which will actually sell more than a few dozen copies.

Oh and if you’re wondering about the meme I used for this blog – It tickled my funny bone. First time I saw it, I really laughed.

And as the title states, I have a second minor rant to share. It has to do with the image you will find at the beginning of this blog, and essentially states how a bad manager can destroy a company.

Yup, I saw this first hand when a fucktard named Helder Mendez took over at Motion Specialties.

Within a year, nearly every single employee - the good ones, myself included were gone. Either quit (as I had) or jumped ship to Medi-chair.

Now, about 4 years later, he's gone, the company is trying to rebuild itself, and they're in a smaller location up in the northern industrial park.

I went to reapply to work there once I found out what had happened, but ended up withdrawing my resume when I discovered his 'supervisor', a two-faced asshole named Ralph was still with the company.

If that was not the case, and if they would have hired me back, I'd have gone in a second. It was one of the few jobs I had where I felt like I was really making a difference in people's lives.

So there you have it for another week.

Stay strong my American friends… the election is two weeks away and as a man who is on the outside looking in, I’ll say this… it has been both frightening and entertaining all at once watching the shit-show this election has become.

Sadly it’s not an election, you’re getting who the government chooses to run the country, or should I say the corporations and other powerful interest groups.

Sorry folks. I’ll say this though – Calgary is beautiful and Canada is really peaceful! Might want to consider coming here.

Stay happy, warm and safe, people!