Emerald Specter 17: RPGs, The Greatest Show, and More!

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How do you like the new Emerald Specter? I love it.

It’s time to do a little bit of a round up of everything that needs to be discussed here at the Emerald Specter.com. This will include, but not be limited to role playing games, writing, the Greatest Show, and more. Strap in and hang on.

As was discussed among the only 3 hosts present on the latest Greatest Show (Metal Jesus and DJ), the impending idea of actually running an actual play game on the show is being bandied about more heavily than before. I am familiar with Vampire, thus I’m working on a Vampire mesh of Requiem and Masquerade, which I hope can also be turned into a longer campaign if that is what the players want (Tricia, Kevin, Metal Jesus, and Bob). “Metal Jesus” Kevin Lama wants to run him some Burning Wheel, which I will be interested in giving a shot (despite my lack of love of fantasy genre stuff). Bob had previously mentioned Fate, and I’m hoping he goes with that, and “Soft Rock Messiah” Kevin Couick hasn’t really emphatically stated what he’d run. If this turns out to be popular, maybe we’ll migrate to “once a month” actual play, “every third week,” “every other week,” or maybe just turn the show into an actual play. Who knows?

If you haven’t noticed, the Greatest Show cast has grown over the years. Bob and I were running strong, with the occasional appearance of my wife before she started coming in every single show. Kevin Couick got invited on and just sort of hung around (not that we mind that at all). Kevin Lama popping in also added him to the regular rotation, so much so that he’s on almost every show now… good job, Metal Jesus! Saurabh will become a more frequent visitor and Kevin Couick will make a return in the near future as he’s experiencing the same sort of thing I am with my job: an inability to commit to every show.

In the past, we’ve had Morgan Imperial and her fiancĂ©, Carl, grace us. I’m hoping that we can resurrect the “Lime Lords” on the Greatest Show (a Doctor Who review) with the original trio of us by getting Morgan back on more often. This type of addition to the Greatest Show would allow us to rotate a Doctor Who episode, maybe an RPG episode, a random episode, and maybe a “special edition” type episode that we’ve been doing more of lately. In any case, making the show focus more on an anchor topic has been successful in bringing in the fans, so the “Lime Lords” return would be a good thing.

The last thing I’ll say about the Greatest Show specifically is that we are going to be bringing back the cooking. We had stable, steady viewership when we were having food being made (and eaten) on the show, so we’re going to start collecting us (or inventing) some recipes to be making on the show. While I was thinking of having a meal made every episode, maybe we want to rotate that, too… which wouldn’t be a terrible thing.

My job is shifting to something different again and when that happens I will be releasing a new podcast (audio only) called the Specter Show. I’ve had the link as the show being “coming soon” since January and I want to actually have the show. It’ll just be me having a topic (or maybe a couple) to discuss, and I’ll start that out as a weekly show and maybe work up to multiple times per week. I’d like to be on the radio (or at lest one time I did), so having a podcast that has a steady (and frequent) release schedule could be the next best thing.

I don’t often finish what I start when it comes to writing. I’ve started lots of writing projects, and I’ve completed a few, but those that I have completed have been really short in length. If I was to call what I’ve finished a “novel,” it would be comparable to the Ian Fleming James Bond novels from the 60s in that the books normally run about 50,000 words (which is small for a modern day novel). Trying to compete with this “structure” that I feel things need to fit into has brought me frustration, so I’m going to be releasing written fiction in whatever lengths I feel I can do at the time that I want to release them. No structured release (like an HBO or Showtime “13 part run” of specific lengths), no cliffhanger endings (unless that part happens to have a cliffhanger) and I’ll be writing multiple stories at the same time. For example, if on Monday I feel like writing a portion of a science fiction space opera, that’s what I’ll write. If on Tuesday I feel like writing a post-apocalyptic world of zombie survival, that’s what I’ll write. No specific lengths, no in depth editing, and I’ll release them as often as I feel I can. So if I need to take a three month break from writing because I’m in the Bahamas, then there will be no releases.

In the writing mode, I’ve also mentioned I want to write comics. I just cannot draw in the detail or the style that I want my finished work to look, so I’m stalling on that. My determination is still solid but I’m really needing an artist that is willing to want to create with me so I can concentrate on the script portion of the project.

Moving on to SpecterFit, I’m calling it right now: SpecterFit events are not going to launch in 2017, if at all. The lack of interest I’ve experienced with the announcements and the columns (the readership has dropped to almost nothing compared to the high numbers I was experiencing before) I am suspending the events portion of the SpecterFit brand. I will be writing more columns in the near future, because one of the facets of my job shift is that I will be walking a LOT more than I currently do, so I want to get back into the habit of writing healthy things as well as doing those healthy things.

Let me get back to the awesome image that I mentioned at the beginning of the column. I wanted to move away from the recolored Space Ghost and more towards something that actually looks closer to what my image of the Emerald Specter should look like. The jacket is super elaborate but it’s closer to the look that I have in my head… and this new image gives me the desire to want to tell the story of the Emerald Specter. Yes, it’s a character that I created after I bought this domain and I’m hoping the story of the Emerald Specter interests you as much as it interests me.

At least I have you interested in the concept… I hope.

The last Emerald Specter column was a random history column about my involvement with fantasy wrestling (or eFedding as the new Internet age has termed it). I also mentioned I may try to branch out from the ESPL only to include another “sporting event” simulation, that being professional wrestling. I’m not sure that I want to go with professional wrestling at this time, but I won’t discard the idea entirely for the future. I’m developing the possibility of a “digital MMA league” that would do what I used to do with a dead property I had many moons ago: IPRACE.

What the fuck is IPRACE? I’m glad you asked.

IPRACE stood for Internet Professional Racing Association for Computer Enthusiasts, and was an “digital racing” version of, for example, NASCAR. Instead of a car, you raced “pods.” Your pod was made by a computer manufacturer (when this was out, it was companies like HP, Apple, Asus, and Gateway to name a few) and your “engine” was a brand of hard drive (Seagate, Hitachi, and Western Digital… for example). You’d have sponsors, normally of a brand related to computing, gaming, or food, and there was a spreadsheet that simulated the races. If I were to resurrect this idea for Emerald Specter.com, I’d change “computers” to “cellphones” and alter some of the parameters to make the races operate a little differently.

I say all that to go back to “digital MMA,” meaning weight classes wouldn’t be heavyweight, middleweight, lightweight, and the like but would be based on bytes (or bits, or hertz, etc) and the names would be limited to six characters, or something like the old school RPG video games used to do. There is a spreadsheet simulator mostly built (as I love working with spreadsheets) and I would hold “events” like the UFC does, just solely on this website. If someone wants to have their own fighter, I’d be open to working on some sort of “development path” to allow them to start as a n00b and work their way up to see if they could capture “digital gold.” If you asked me to choose the next sport I would be bringing to the site right now, I’d default to this idea.

I am a sumo buff, though, and I do like the idea of having my own sumo league pyramid (allowing others to bring in their characters to compete, too).

So, I’ve talked about the Greatest Show, actual play RPGs on the Greatest Show, the expansion of the Greatest Show to include the Doctor Who review show High Council of Lime Lords, rotating the programming of the Greatest Show, releasing my fiction, wanting to focus on writing comic scripts, cancelling the SpecterFit events facet but wanting to keep writing the SpecterFit column, discussed the defunct IPRACE, talked about digital MMA, and mentioned briefly my love of sumo. You’d think that would be all I could cram into this column before I move to do something else, right? Well, you’d be wrong.

About once a year I get an itch to participate in a email sim. The most popular type on the Internet today is the fleets and fleets of Star Trek sims that are out there (like the ones at Obsidian Fleet). The problem with this is that I get the itch because I get a snippet of free time to ponder a character, I make said character, and I start simming… only to flake out and stop posting a couple of months later because the snippet of free time was fleeting and wasn’t really anything more than a short breather. Now, I don’t want to sim in the Star Trek universe, but I’m getting into the idea of simming as an option more in the direction of what the YouTube Vampire the Masquerade Experiment (also known as New Sarum) has become… a living RPG.

Now, New Sarum allows players to (basically) run their character’s life through posting YouTube videos in character and interacting with other players. While I don’t know if I like the video aspect of the idea, I do like the idea of the same basic premise being used in a text (email or forum) format a lot better. While there was “technically” a game master, everyone was really interested in the living nature of the game, so a game master isn’t technically necessary… except for the trolls and crybabies.

I’m looking at how such a thing would work, as the old Sanguinus Curae website had run via email with only two central storytellers, and just allow most of the vampire characters do the stuff they want and if they come across a “metaplot” element created for something bigger to do, then they can either jump in on that or choose to ignore it. This is how people work, for example, with Pokemon Go. Lots of people are doing it but there are some that just don’t care to participate. Just floating that idea out there.

Lastly, I’d like to mention all the games that those of us who are on Emerald Specter.com participate in. We play Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, Ingress, and Pokemon Go and we invite you to join us. SWGoH has a guild which is those of us at Emerald Specter with some random folks who have joined us, Ingress and Pokemon Go are teams that you can just sort of be part of a larger group. We want you to play with us and enjoy the games we enjoy because, as you may notice, we talk a lot about these on the Greatest Show. Why not jump in on that conversation.

Thanks for reading!