Derik Badman's Journal

2019-10-21 08:24

Another Monday looms its head as the sun filters into my office through vaguely frosted up windows. This week, looking forward, offers very little of note until Saturday's game, which I am of course not ready for.

I used The Price of Evil and a deck of cards to start working up a haunted house. It seems ok, though I am concerned that there isn't much to do in the haunted house. A lot of it seems very reliant on my being creative about using the creature that haunts the house, and there's not a ton of guidance on that. There are also aspects of the house generation system that are underexplained or just plain missing. The schematic of the house you fill in with card flips has rooms of various colors, but I can't seem to find anything explaining what those colors mean. Also the way the rooms connect to each other is really abstract and not exactly clear. There are some horizontal (always horizontal) lines between some rooms and some rooms have a "D" in them that seems to indicate a door. But the "D" is always just at the bottom of the room's square. Looking at it now I guess the doors are always used to move vertically on the map and the lines to move horizontally. Maybe the lines are hallways? But that wouldn't negate the use of doors. Maybe they are all just "connections" and it's a limitation of the whatever very simple way the maps were drawn. I'll keep working at it and hope I come up with something that at least turns out to be fun.

I downloaded this DM's Guide Masque of the Worms one-shot that is Edgar Allan Poe themed, but it seemed far too simple, and without much to do other than a few fights and a couple social encounters. Maybe (as usual) my conception of how far we can get in one session is ridiculous, but it seemed like not enough content.

Watched Ride the Pink Horse yesterday, a noir from 1947. I've seen it before but didn't remember it so well. It had an oddly upbeat ending for a noir, in that the protagonist not only survives, but does the right thing too. He is oddly hapless throughout. He mostly gets himself into trouble, gets almost killed, and just relies on other people to rescue him: ex-vet rescued by naive country girl, poor carousel owner, and FBI agent. I had a better impression of it in my vague memory from previous watchings, than I got from actual watching it yesterday.

It does have an interesting set-up at a fiesta season in some town in the southwest, filled with locals and visiting tourists. And there are some good scenes with the carousel and crowds of people. But in general, it felt like it was pulling its punches. Robert Montgomery directed it (and starred in it), similar to his The Lady in the Lake which is also not one of the most successful of noir Chandler adaptions.