Tag: The Paranet Papers

The Paranet Papers, Part 7 (Goes Bump, Who’s Who) + Conclusion

OK, let’s finish it.The last two chapters update general information about the setting: new supernatural creatures, the fate of old ones, new characters, upgrades for old ones.

It’s more Farla’s domain than mine, so I’m not going to cover it in detail. It would be more fun when we get there in the readthrough (so, keep voting for DF on the poll. We need more Farla suffering to sustain us). Instead, I would mostly focus on game-related stuff here and in the end give my opinion on the book as a whole.

The Paranet Papers, Part 6 REDUX (Spellcasting)

So, turns out combining paragraphs from the book the way I did turns them into a chant to summon Mary Sue into our world. Didn’t know that. It’s all good, though! Turns out she can’t survive in reality for long. Especially in December in Russia.So, without further ado, let’s do the chapter again.


The Paranet Papers, Part 6 (Spellcasting)

The theme of this chapter is to bring magic closer to canon due to new stuff being introduced in the books published after the game was created. Those of you who read my reviews of the first volume may recognize it as absolutely terrible idea. The rules of magic were the best when they were dealing with relatively generic stuff, like the evocation of five elements (though even there we had spirit covering everything the other four didn’t) or general thaumaturgic rituals. When it comes to DF-specific lore, like soulgaze or hexing, it was generally flawed at best. Most clearly it could be seen in the section on Laws of Magic, which attempted to define in mechanical terms something the books never bothered to properly codify, creating a horrible mess stitched together with a lot of “up to the GM” handwaves.So, let’s see how well it went this time.


The Paranet Papers, Part 5 (The Ways Between)

If there is one purely good thing I can say about this book, it’s that it tries new things. While the chapter on Las Vegas was a pretty standard urban fantasy setup, the chapter on Russia went into historical fantasy territory and tried to deal with a rarely used yet interesting period. The third chapter gave us a small community that abolished the secrecy, changing the standard dynamic the setting since on the one hand you don’t need to worry about hiding your powers, but on the other everyone knows what you are, which may be good or bad depending on your actions. The fourth chapter dealt with a massive continent-wide conflict attracting a lot of warring factions.And this chapter deals with travels and road trips rather than anchoring the game to one location.

Let’s see how well it does.

Also, neat picture:


The Paranet Papers, Part 3 (The Neverglades)

The third chapter describes a small town of Okeeokalee Bay, Florida, with something strange in the water causing about a third of population to have various minor and major magical powers. As a consequence, everyone here knows about the supernatural and accepts it as a part of life because this book hates me.However, my issues with the concept of secrecy aside, I’m inclined to like the setting because it’s a small town built around a tourist trap with weirdness abound. So, you know…

Bill is actually a good candidate for the role of subHarry. In absence of any other options, I’ll go with him fucking around Harry’s mind.

And yeah, I know that a small town with big secrets is an older trope than either DF or GF, I still can hope.

Well, let’s see how much my hopes are misplaced.


The Paranet Papers, Part 2 (Russia)

The Glorious Revolution is upon us, comrades! Join Red Army today to die tomorrow!

OK, truth be told, as much as I enjoy playing up the image of a dirty commie sometimes, I’m not really one. The truth of the matter is that communism doesn’t work. It’s a distant utopia that requires either unlimited resources or perfect people to function (and if you have either, nearly any social order would work fine). And the attempt to make it work has resulted in some really, really horrible things.

So, kids, don’t try communism at home.

But, as with many other historical horrors, it makes for a great game of make-believe. The time of Russian Revolution is fascinating. It was a time of ideals clashing against reality, producing nearly unprecedented human brutality. You had reds driven by unreachable ideals and personal ambitions imposing their vision of the world on common people, you had whites clinging to the old order which time was gone or attempting to find a more moderate solution to Russia’s problems, you had blacks using the chaos of war and the fact Russia is fuckhuge to seize control over some territories and try to live the ideal of anarchy, you had greens fighting for common people and ultimately being crushed and forgotten between two giants. And, of course, you had the common people themselves, just trying to survive and being pushed beyond their limits.

There is a lot of material for potential games on every level: a game of survival, political intrigue, war action, spy games, Kafkian nightmares due to the secret police gaining power and influence, assassination plots, etc., etc.

And adding supernatural component to the conflict expands the possibilities even farther. I was actually tangentially involved in a Russian TRPG project about the Revolution called the Red Lands, in which the civil war was interrupted by the sudden appearance of magic, which prolonged the war for a few years as the participants suddenly gained unexpected advantages, and turned the whole conflict from a mundane war into a direct battle of ideals, with the winner potentially gaining power of Revolution to reshape the world into their image.

As such, I’m curious how this game handled the issue. It’s only one chapter rather than the whole game dedicated to the period, so I don’t expect it to be very detailed, but let’s see how well it does thematically.


The Paranet Papers, Part 1 (Introduction, Presentation, Las Vegas)













So, the third volume of Dresden Files RPG. The premise here is that a number of Paranet (about it later) reports written after the events of Changes were turned into setting expansions, giving us four potential playable locations structured similarly to Baltimore chapter from the first volume. There are also some expansions on magic system due to “facts” the devs learned over Harry’s continuing adventures and some information on Nevernever.

The book actually looks promising at a first glance. The biggest problem with Dresden Files RPG always was the fact it’s a Dresden Files RPG. When it followed the deeply flawed lore of the books, the result was the inconsistent mess of the Laws of Magic and the like. More generic material not tied to the peculiarities of the books was mostly at least OK or outright good.

As such, expanding the game into other locations not directly connected to canon and doing its own thing has potential.

Let’s see if my hopes are justified.

(There are going to be some spoilers for the events in the later books, included Changes ending. You’ve been warned.)