RWAV - May 2000

Table of Contents

  • Editorial by unknown
  • IFIS thing for Rune with a View... by Charlotte Ruddick
  • Laser Quest Report by Shayna Franklin
  • How to write a good alternate universe story (or why Doctor Who - Inferno is so great) by Philip Ayres
  • A salutary tale of immortals, manners and children. by James Hanley
  • Some reviews by unknown
  • Those films you voted for at the start of term, and what they say about you. by Izzy Eden
  • TNG Retro by Philip Ayres
  • The 10 golden rules of Role Playing. - A brief player's guide. by unknown
  • Uncle Grexnar's agony column by unknown
  • Cthulhu 2180 by Simon Richardson
  • Filler by Chris Lyth
  • How to be a Cultist by unknown
  • Editorial

    Hello and welcome to another issue of Rune With A View. This issue contains almost everything you need to know about Killercon 2000, short stories and stuff in general. I wish I could think of something witty or interesting to say at this juncture, but it is late, I am tired, and I can't so there.

    Some society news that might well fit well in this bit-


    IFIS AGM - Held on Thursday 16 March 7pm MLT

    Elected were :

    Press Ganged -

    Gamesoc AGM - Held on Monday 13 March 7pm Lec A

    Elected were :

    These are next year's bunch of power crazed maniacs who will run the societies, organise film nights, tromp round the campus putting up posters, book rooms for you, and generally wonder why the hell they failed to realise that with great power comes great responsibility, and the necessity to buy lots of drawing pins.

    I would just like to take one moment to congratulate both this year's committees on the fine work they have put in this year. You are reading half of the work I have put in. They have done the important stuff.

    Jenny would no doubt kill me if I forgot to mention Gamesoc's annual convention at this point.

    On the weekend of March 4th + 5th Gamesoc presented Killercon 2000. We took over the Orchard building (near the footbridge at the bottom of campus) and Lec A. Much fun was had by all.

    Upcoming event(s)

    An IFIS tromp round the glorious capitol of this wonderful country. The brave souls who dare to venture on the 40 minute train journey will walk straight past anything important and cultural, eat pizza and buy stuff. (Probably) Charlotte's record is I believe in excess of £200. Ok there are no others. It is an exam term...

    by unknown

    IFIS thing for Rune with a View...

    AAAAAgh, I thought as I was told that I had to write an article for Rune with a View. "But I'm rubbish at writing articles!" I said. However, seeing as it my official duty to write something about what on earth (or off it for that matter) IFIS have been doing over the last five or six months, I gave in to the demands, so here it is for everyone to enjoy or skip over!

    OK, I could start off saying about how we have now got over 200 members (a record, I believe!), but that would be really boring so I'll tell you about some interesting (I hope!) stuff instead. Like the films we have shown. Last term we showed such masterpieces as the Matrix, Existenz and Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and we have seen The Mummy and South Park so far this term.

    In November we did lots of cool stuff, such as going to the snazzy firework display at Brunel University, and That Now Infamous Pub Crawl around Englefield Green, after which most pubs were relieved of their "Wet Floor" Asigns, door handles, ashtrays and other essential pub-related items.

    At the end of November we went on a shopping trip to London, which provided plenty of opportunities to spend vast amounts of money on obscure comics (hooray!!!!!!), toys, books and other cool thingies.

    And there was then the fantabulous Christmas Dinner at Chiquitos in Feltham (I must thank the most esteemed RWAV editor for his help with organising that!!!!) where we ate loads, drank loads and lots of silly photos were taken!!!!

    So what did we hope to have in store for you during the rest of our term of office? Well, we wanted to do all this, and achieved most of it. Show Blade Runner (Directors Cut), Futurama and Sleepy Hollow (if the American DVD comes out in time!!!) plus other films.

    That's all folks, so may the Force be with you!!!!

    by Charlotte Ruddick

    Laser Quest Report

    On the 19th of February Gamesoc finally made a trip to Laser Quest in Guildford and it was a blast! (Well, that was my opinion and I think the other participants would agree)

    We played two games, which were about 20 minutes each. The first game, well, (heh-heh) it was every man for himself, which was a bit difficult considering that there were about 20 people to a game! First, each player had to choose a name (mine was Black Widow, for example). Then, they led us into a 'prep' room where we geared up. After being led to the maze, we were on our own. Gordon Bobic achieved the top score and as for me, umm...well, I placed 19th out of 20.

    The second game was somewhat like the first except we were divided into two teams, red and green. That game was quite interesting because not only did you have to concentrate on shooting the other team you also had to beware of friendly fire. The last thing you need when targeting at an opponent is to have someone from your own team shoot you in the back! In the end the Red team won. You want to know names? Just ask around. Compared to laser tag games back at home (meaning Florida) Laser Quest was impressive.

    The arena was quite big with a maze consisting of lots of twisty-turns, barriers and the best of all, platforms. Some of them could be ambush hazards (as I found out when I had about 4 people from the Green team shooting at me) or it could be quite handy if you hide in the right place--just ask Steve. To sum up this activity was a success and I highly recommend that next year's Gamesoc committee considers doing it again next year.

    by Shayna Franklin

    How to write a good alternate universe story (or why Doctor Who - Inferno is so great)

    Doctor Who is currently re-running on BBC2. For most of the spring term the story in residence should have been Inferno which is (almost certainly) Jon Pertwee's and quite probably Doctor Who's finest hour. It's the series' one brush with alternate universes. In a fit of enthusiasm I've watched all 7 parts on the bounce one cold December Sunday. Alternate Universe stories rely on you having something to compare your alternate to. At this time the Doctor is marooned on Earth in the 70s, working for UNIT - we have identifiable regulars in Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sergeant Benton and Liz Shaw. The story deals with a project drilling through the Earth's crust to tap a new source of energy. The Doctor is trying to use their Nuclear reactor to reactivate the Tardis console. Just as workers who've come into contact with the goo leaking from the drill shaft start turning into monsters and the lead scientist goes from being "driven" to being on the board of a well known supermarket chain the Doctor runs an experiment which strands him in an alternative universe. In this alternate universe there is still a project to drill through the Earth's crust to tap the energy source. But this world is very different from our own.

    The insinuation is that this is a world where we lost the 2nd World War and Britain became a republic. A fascist state - "Unity is Strength" - exists. Our Brigadier is the Brigade-Leader - minus moustache but with an eye-patch. Benton is a bullyboy soldier. Liz is a military officer. All the stories supporting cast are here. But the project is 2 days in the future - much closer the point of penetrating the Earth's crust. An imminent disaster is obvious - can the Doctor save this parallel Earth and return to our own to save ours? So why is this so good? Well for a start the formula of things different but similar works perfectly here. We can contrast the characters and circumstances of the 2 different Earths. The changes are very clever - somehow the alternate earth looks so much bleaker than ours - the story uses an old gas works as its main location. The soldier's uniforms and guns are different. Some characters look different - the Brigade-Leader's eye patch, Liz's hair and uniform, Stahlmann's suit vs. Stahlmann's uniform, Petra's patterned late 60s mini dress vs. the white dress her counterpart wears, our Sutton's laid back appearance vs. his suit in the alternate Earth. Some _are_ different - The Brigade-Leader is fascist bully, Petra and Liz are servants of the state - yet the same - Liz studied Physics, there's some hint of a budding relationship between Petra and Sutton, Stahlman(n) is obsessed with his pet project. Essentially this 7 parter is a 4 part story about the doctor saving mankind with 3 episodes of alternate universe stuck in the middle which develop the plot by showing what might happen. The alternative universe is part of the narrative, and as you'll eventually see what the Doctor learns there has some effects on this reality. It's not just an excuse to do an alternative universe story as some shows seem to be. In 27 years it's the only time that Doctor Who tried this trick. The story is successful, why not do follow ups or visit other alternative universes? Well as I've said this (70-75) is the only time when Doctor Who does have a back stock of supporting characters and stable circumstance to compare with. But the trick does become boring after a while - Star Trek's first 2 stabs at this - Mirror, Mirror and Yesterday's Enterprise are both highlights of TOS & TNG respectively. Both are cheapened by their follow ups - DS9's Mirror Universe storyline, and the revelation that "their" Yar survives, mothers a 1/2 Romulan daughter and is then shot - in the case of the DS9 storyline to the point of "not another Mirror Universe story!" Sliders does it every week - do not watch so cannot say. As per all good ideas use sparingly - familiarity breeds contempt. One of the best comic stories I read in recent years - the Age of Apocalypse - showed the X-Men trapped in analternate reality based on Professor X being killed in 1950. An almost by the numbers treatment of how to do an alternate universe results in an excellent story given thorough coverage by running it simultaneously in 10 different comics for 4 months. Quick and to the point. Slightly spoiled by the 4 survivors of this universes apocalyptic end, but it proved too irresistible to the publisher to leave alone who - akin to their "Days of Future Present" story have found ways of coming back to it several times.

    by Philip Ayres

    A salutary tale of immortals, manners and children.


    Ichobane wondered through the snow swept streets of a small town in Colorado. He was in a foul mood as this type of weather never did agreed with him

    Ichobane was a fine man of noble stature. He looked not a day over twenty five, but that young face covered a mind which was already older than the mortal mind could conceive. He was an immortal of great age and deed, he was a knight of Atlantis during the height of its power. In his time he had crushed kingdoms and heroes alike, he had seen the end of magic, had watched the birth of a new order of humanity, and seen them grow. He had lent aid to countless rising empires, he had sold ballistas to the Romans, led Mongol hordes into battle, and helped introduce gunpowder into Europe. But, as he was soon to discover, the youth of today have no respect for their elders and betters.

    Ichobane's thoughts were interrupted by the noise of a baseball hitting the sidewalk, and coming to a stop just in front of him. Then the squealing voice of a small boy started up.

    "Hey, that's my ball!" The voice belonged to little old boy who appeared to be almost triangular in shape. He was standing in a fenced off play park with a small baseball diamond in the centre of it. He and his friends where obviously involved in a game. Ichobane picked the ball up and looked at it for a moment.

    "You will address me in the manner which is becoming of a man of my position, child." Ichobane replied sternly.

    "Yea, well you can kiss my ass! why don't you stop talkin' like a gay homosexual and gimme my god'amn ball back!?" replied the child, much to the amusement of his friends.

    "I'd advise you to show some manners," replied Ichobane, not letting his anger show "thought I don't have time to teach them to you."

    "Screw you hippie! Gimme my ball before I come over there and kick you in the nuts!"

    "Well now," said Ichobane "I wouldn't want that" and with that, he threw something back to the kid, and walked away.

    Behind him, the kid caught the projectile, looked at it and started shouting "God damn-it! That's not my ball! Hay! Come back here! Heeeeey!" One of the child's friends came over to see what was happening. He was a much thinner child, wrapped up snugly in an orange hooded coat. The hood muffled the child's voice to the extent that Ichobane couldn't make out what he was saying clearly.

    "Muf, mmmm mm mmm mmmmm?" enquired the friend.

    "That dick head took my ball and threw this back!" Replied the fatter kid, showing the item to his friend.

    "Mmmm m mmmm m mmmmf! Mmm m mmm mm?"

    "Sure," said the fatter kid, putting on his most sincerely charitable voice, "I don't want this piece of c***, you can have it. Maybe you can give it to your dad or somthin'. It'll be like a weeks pay to him."

    The kid in the orange coat took the item, while hurling a string of muffled words at his fat friend which were bviously obscenities. Upon closer inspection of the item, he exclaimed "MUMMF! MM M MMMMMMM MMMM MMMMMMM!"

    "Oo, a hand grenade? What do they do?" asked the fatter kid. As if to answer his curiosity, the grenade erupted, engulfing his freind in a ball of flame.

    "Kick ass!" exclamed the fat kid, "Hay mister, I want another one! Haaaay!"

    As Ichobane walked on, he heard the explosion, and the voice of one of the other children, as it screamed after him "Oh my God! They killed Kenny! You Bastards!" but Ichobane didn't look back, he considered it to be a form of natural selection. In fact he never give the incident a second thought, but I personally hope that it serves as a lesson to all potty mouthed children, everywhere...

    by James Hanley

    Some reviews

    Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace - Terry Brooks

    What can I say? You've seen the film? Well, the book is pretty much the same.

    Anakin is a little less annoying, a few extra bits, e.g. The book starts with Anakin pod racing against Sebulba on Tattooine in Watto's pod and smashing it up. Darth Maul is a little less "I'm just too damn cool!" and has a little more character.

    It's a good book if you like the film, a nice bit of light bedtime reading.

    Little Fuzzy - H. Piper

    This is a fantastic cute story. It is about a man who finds a cute fuzzy animal in his home one day. He becomes convinced that it is sentient but before he can prove it his little family of fuzzy animals have been kidnapped by the company that owns the planet. It's a great cute story for when you're feeling pissed off with life in general.

    Pawn Of Prophecy - David Eddings

    This is a great fantasy book. You get sucked in and before you know it you've read all five books in the series and the next series of five books! This is all about a simple farm boy, Garion, and how his life is turned upside down when an old story teller comes in the middle of the night to tell his aunt to tell her that something has been stolen and they must get it back. It is very obvious what is going to happen, but it's a great read anyway.

    PS these books are probably in the IFIS library

    by unknown

    Those films you voted for at the start of term, and what they say about you.


    You have an unfulfilled urge to travel, or possibly nostalgia for old Hammer Horror movies. Your choice of film reveals an innate desire to buckle your swash in an arid environment. Or you have a need to dribble over gratuitous CGI. (or in the case of our Secretary and Chairbeing, the need to dribble over the utterly delectable Arnold Vosloo)


    You fancy yourself a bit of a fringe SF connoisseur (remember the blink-and- you'll-miss-it cinema release?) and like to believe that you regularly make film 'discoveries'. You were probably one the first people to see Blair Witch Project. You cherish your intellectual power and individuality. Bet you wear GAP clothes.


    (Male view) You're disillusioned with 007 after he got the crap kicked out of him by Xenia Onatopp and Michelle Yeoh. Blade is the ultimate pumped hero - Inspector Gadget without the dog and that worrying relationship with Penny. And he has cool sunglasses.

    (Female view) Stephen Dorff. Next.

    STAR TREK 9:

    You're going for something reliable with a recognisable brand name; the McDonalds of SF films, but they don't offer strawberry milkshake.


    You obviously have excellent taste in films. The sheer poetry of Chris Lambert and Clancy Brown knocking hell out each other with broadswords has been ignored for far too long. And it has a soundtrack to die for...<sigh>


    You are a patient person, who is prepared to wait 20 years for the next instalment of an epic with decidedly suspect Judeo-Christian values and cultural stereotypes. That said, you have an eye for a classic, especially when it gives rise to the lightsabre, possibly the most divine piece of tie-in merchandise this side of the Tatooine system. Only please say you don't own an Ewok. Please.


    You consider yourself to be post-modern and ironic. Although you were impressed with Gaultier's designs, you were disgusted with the popularity of this space-future flick. You also have a penchant for abominable Deep South accents. Or you like the idea of seeing Milla Jojovitch in strategically placed bandages. Bing badda-boom!

    Finally, for your amusement: the top 10 suggestions for future showings:

    1. Not Delicatessen
    2. Not Delicatessen
    3. Not Delicatessen
    4. Not Delicatessen
    5. Delicatessen
    6. Musicals
    7. Anything non-SF
    8. Buffy (was that you Alex?)
    9. sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex
    10. Evil Willow in leather

    Bye for now kids..

    by Izzy Eden

    TNG Retro

    I recently had cause to plough through some old IFIS mags and found some old ST:TNG reviews that people wrote for me when I edited the mag. This got me thinking about the series a little... It's 5 years now since Star Trek: The Next Generation finished. 10 since they started releasing them on video and it first appeared on television in the UK. So I thought we'd have a little look at the series and a quick examination of its offspring and effects on the US TV industry. I'm also writing this without the aid of having seen any for quite some time so hopefully I'll be able to view the series with some perspective. This may lead to be getting slightly confused at times. I even had to mail out for a list of episodes at one point! I'm also trying not to mention the main cast too much - you all know who they are!

    Resurrections of the Star Trek series had been mooted for many years -one had the green light at the point Star Wars hit and persuaded the producers to make a film instead. Following the success of the sequels and the obvious ageing of the original crew a new series was given the go to start airing in the 1987/8 season. If you pull the Motion Picture video from the IFIS Video Collection there's a trailer for the series on there. Set 70 odd years after the first series it features an all new crew, altered political situation - peace with the Klingons and an all new Starship1. I can remember much being made about the Enterprise's ability to separate into two separate ships for battle and had great fears of the show being turning into a battle of the week thing with the same thing happening every week

    Season 1 1987-88

    During the first year the show suffers much from the use of scripts recycled from the original series. In fact the only thing that really springs out from this first year is when the Romulans finally show up at the end of the series. No great character development. They do however manage to "Character Develop"A.K.A kill, destroy, maim, mutilate, whatever a member of the crew. The first series does reintroduce the Klingons and the Romulans, introduces recurring characters Q, Lore and the Traveller and hints at a powerful new enemy destroying Romulan and Federation bases in the Neutral Zone.

    Season 2 1988-89

    Just as the first series finished the 88 Writers Strike hit which effectively stopped all TV production in the states for a number of months.

    Once again recycled scripts were put to use in the early part of the season, but as time goes on the roots of what we know as TNG start to emerge. Q shows again and puts the Enterprise inconflict with the powerful Borg.

    A shortened Season shows some promise. The character of Guinan is introduced early on, and this is a fine example of how to treat a mysterious character - leave them mysterious and just hint at what has gone before....

    Season 3 1989-90

    In my opinion, Season 3 makes ST:TNG. The season starts with a new look - both to the costumes with a much more workable uniform and elements of the ship and bridge. But the whole series feels different somehow. After ten years I still can't put my finger on it. But it does. There are hints at it in early episodes but the episode that really does it for me is Booby Trap where the Enterprise is trapped in an Asteroid field. (What is it about asteroids - my fave Star Fleet episode has them and my fave SW film has them...) that's been mined. There's a moment at the end where Picard illustrates why he's Captain and takes responsibility for his crew by manoeuvring the Enterprise free. And that for me is when the series starts. We then get the Enemy - introducing Andreas Katsulas's Commander Tomalak (very similar to early G'Kar) and the Defector reinforcing the threat caused by the Romulans - Picard plays Poker with the opposition for the 2nd time that season by calling Tomalak's bluff when he threatens the Enterprise by force of numbers.

    But from there on in - Deja Q - Q reduced to Human form - Yesterday's Enterprise - the defining Trek Time travel story where the future really is changed by the past - The Offspring - Data produces a child - Sins of the Father - _THE_ Klingon story, Hollow Pursuits - holodeck abuse introducing Dwight Shultz as the holodeck addicted Lt Barclay - The superb Sarek linking TNG to the original series and finally the Best of Both Worlds. Now that is how to write a cliffhanger. Nothing since touched it. Picard, abducted and enslaved body and soul to the Borg - Riker being forced to fire on his Captain.... And 3 months till the nest episode. This is the season to watch - the show reaches it's stride, but is not weighed down by excess baggage and plot development from previous years...

    Season 4 1990-91

    Best of Both Worlds wraps up the Borg threat with an action episode devastating Star Fleet in an off-screen battle (Until DS9's the Emissary some years later) and bringing the Borg to Earth. After actually looking at the consequences of what happened in Family the show enters a period of mixed episodes - the highlight standing out are Reunion with it's revelations about Worf's girlfriend, character development of 2 supporting characters off screen and 1 amateur tracheotomy courtesy of a Klingon blade, Future Imperfect's look at what the future might be and Data's Day's presentation of events from a slightly different perspective. I'm afraid the only reason I remember The Phoenix is because it introduced a new class of Starship.

    It's all a blur from there to Reunion which once again picks up the Klingon plot line.

    Season 5 1991-92

    Reunion 2 makes the mistake of trying to pick something up from Yesterdays's Enterprise by introducing Sela. Darmok features an excellent view of a first contact mission and has the biggest on screen mistake in TNG's history. A drink for the first current student to tell me what it is....

    Unification - Spock! - And an obvious promo for Star Trek 6 - The Undiscovered Country. Excellent exchanges between Picard, Data and Spock. And after that it is a blur again but I remember - supported by the reviews I found in old RWAVs that it's a particularly bad blur. Cause and Effect might be a light in the middle of this but I don't remember anything until I, Borg's excellence - a forerunner of 7 of 9 and another thing that could have done with being left well alone! This year's 2 parter takes us to 19th century San Francisco in another time travel story - Data's head is found buried under Star Fleet command and an encounter with Mark Twain - as played by the future X-Files Deep Throat Jerry Hardin. An upturn in the stories towards the end of the season bodes well for the next year.

    Season 6 1992-93

    I remember this being rather good for the time with a far better quality of story than the previous years for the most part. Relics finds Mr Scott stored in the pattern buffer of a transporter on a crashed shuttle.

    Transporters are a theme with the Barclay phobia story and crew getting youthened

    The highlight is Chain of Command and Picard being tortured by David "I don't only do SF you know" Warner's Cardassian ("There are 4 lights") years before Sheridan was held on Mars. The conclusion of the series tried to merge the Borg storyline with Data's and didn't really work. As I remarked before there are certain things that are better off left alone

    Season 7 1993-94

    This season was the home run for Star Trek - a series of enjoyable stories which hasn't left any lasting impression until the excellent All Good Things which just sits back and celebrates 7 highly successful years of the series my bringing back several departed friends and taking the series back to where it began...

    The impact of TNG was HUGE. In fact it probably changed the face of network TV in the states. Since the original Star Trek very few SF shows had been tried - 2 series each of Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers has a family type feel to them. V was huge for a while - the original mini series is a fine thing - but descends to farce when produced full time.

    War of the Worlds was more adult but didn't have a huge impact. These are the only serious SF shows produced in the USA in the 10 years in the run up to TNG. The rest are kids shows and mostly toy tie ins. On closer examination a common name runs through many of these ... TNG did serious SF not played for laughs. It convinced people it could be done and be popular. It spawned a host of sequels, clones and imitators. It also encouraged a spirit of adventure and a willingness to try new things.

    First the sequels - DS9 and Voyager are both variants on the Trek theme.

    Both maligned at the start. Both have been impressive at times and dire at others. One might argue that the Trek franchise has been stretched for all it's worth and a break for a year or 2 might be in order before coming back with something different - perhaps set someway in the future to the TNG universe. For possible views of Trek's future see Future Imperfect, All Good Things and the Peter David novel Imzadi - which is in the IFIS Library.

    TNG has now taken over the film franchise. Generations so-so. Ditto Insurrection. First Contact is a winner though....

    In 92/3/4 many new SF shows were born - many sunk (in one case literally

    -)) without trace. Some were very bad. Very bad indeed in a couple of

    cases. But out of this period came the X-Files - initially very different (First season was the best thing since sliced bread - see the video in the video collection for proof) but becoming increasingly formulaic as time goes on. Babylon 5 emerged (albeit somewhat slowly at first) at this point as well. Don't need to add much here. The less well known Highlander clocked up a fair number of episodes. In fact in the 90s there have been more successful sci-fi series than ever before. Perversely it's harmed the UK market - the TV companies now believe that all SF is huge big budget productions and won't touch it with a barge pole. The enthusiasm in the US has cooled somewhat - cancellations abound nowadays - but there's still a very healthy market for new SF TV. TNG very much paved the way for this.

    by Philip Ayres

    The 10 golden rules of Role Playing. - A brief player's guide.

    Lets face it, if a referee was deliberately and obviously unfair, you wouldn't be in his campaign at all. This rule exists to stop pushier players from undermining the referee's authority, not to give a referee delusions of grandeur. The GM has a lot to organise, so the occasional, accidental gaffe is understandable, not an invitation for the rules lawyers and pedants to swoop on him.

    Referees are not notorious pushover, and so, if your GM appears to be granting your every request, you should assume one of the following. A) You're really going to need what you've been given. B) Everything you've been granted is useless in the face of your character's approaching dilemma. C) There's a catch. A BIG catch.

    No one wants to feel left out, thinking that he and his character have nothing to do for a session of a game, but do not get carried away with making sure that your character gets noticed for his or her individual effort. Some of the most memorable triumphs in role-playing come from teamwork, and some of the most embarrassing defeats happen when characters try to show off, and go it alone.

    Sometimes good referees cheat.2 Shock! Horror!! Yes it's true. Fairness and the game's story are more important to some good GMs than dumb luck, so a GM might cheat if, say, the villain he/she has been hyping up for weeks dies in the first few seconds of his appearance due to an unlucky roll. This can work in the player's favour as well. For example, a referee may cheat to save a player's character from being snuffed by something the player could not stop. So it is not at all in your interests to make sure that all the rules are strictly followed.

    Yes, it's time to point out that it is role-play and not roll play. There are players out there who could write essays on this (many of them seem to work for Dragon Magazine). I'll settle for saying this: getting good statistics for your character is down to dumb luck with the dice, but acting the part of your character requires imagination.

    You'd be surprised how often this rule gets forgotten. Sometimes we are so eager to get our opinion across that we forget to respect others, and, as The Godfather pointed out Respect is Important. You may be desperate to tell the GM what your character's action is, but keep in mind that other players want to speak as well, and everyone will get a turn.

    Some campaigns revolve around mystery and intrigue and so listening is more than just politeness. It is often what you need to do if you are not to miss vital clues.

    Sometimes role-playing is like improvised acting, and it can be a good idea to treat it as such every so often. If you find yourself saying the first thing that comes into your head, don't always feel tempted to say "Uh I didn't mean to say that in character" Sometimes it is far more interesting to let those statements stand.

    I really wish this rule went without saying, but again, I'm sometimes surprised to see it being forgotten. You can be fond of a character, but it is just something that you invented. It is also worth remembering that everyone is just pretending; just because someone is playing a jerk does not make him or her a jerk. A role-playing game is no place to take things personally.

    by unknown

    Uncle Grexnar's agony column

    Dear uncle Grexnar,

    Nobody seems to really listen to me, or have any time for my opinions. Why do they simply dismiss me out of hand? Anxious of Egham

    Grexnar replies:


    Dear Uncle Grexnar

    My friends refuse to be seen out with me because they claim I have no taste! At first I was sure they were joking, but now I am afraid they might be right.

    Confused of Staines

    Grexnar replies


    Dear Uncle Grexnar.

    My boyfriend has just started wearing a ballgown and calling himself Doris. He looks better in it than I do. I still love him but I daren't be seen in public with him anymore because I feel dowdy next to him.

    Fashion victim of Founders


    Dear Uncle Grexnar

    I am so afraid of losing my looks as I get older that it is really starting to stress me out. Could you advise me on the best way to avoid this? Befuddled of Brighton


    by unknown

    Cthulhu 2180

    Blackness. Background music with a booming metallic sound, like the irregular, discordant striking of a broken bell.

    A deep voice suitable for this sort of trailer speaks: "In the year 2071, Microprogram heir Richard Fenster funded a space mission to go to another star. The ship Robert W Bussard was to be the first of the ram starships."

    Scenes of a man making an announcement, then of a crew walking out to their shuttle amid cheering crowds.

    Deep Voice: "Their mission should have returned them as heroes, eleven years later. But something went wrong. The ship spun off course, and was lost in the blackess of interstellar space."

    Scene of big radar telescopes, both ground and space, and of men hurrying around a "mission control" type room. Then a radar screen, showing an indistinct blob.

    Deep Voice: "In the year 2186, the ship came back."

    Mission control person: "It's far too fast for anything of ours to get to it. Let's hope there's someone out in the belt."

    2nd MC person: "What have we got in that area?"

    1st MC person: "A belter ship. The Ox. Mining, tugboat and salvage. They've barely got enough fuel to catch it. They'll want money. Lots of money."

    Cut to the inside of a small cramped room in free fall. Several belt miners are lounging in their spacesuits - rough looking characters. A console beeps. One of them goes over to read a message.

    Miner (yelling for joy): "Boys, look at this! We're rich!"

    Deep Voice: "The Ox was a mining ship, a few desperate men trying to catch the greatest ship ever built. Catch it to find out what went wrong."

    Scene of a tiny alive ship approaching a huge dead one. Cut to interior, a long tubular hangar about a mile in length, illuminated only by the spotlights of the miners that have just entered.

    Miner: "I don't like this."

    2nd Miner: "This ship has spent fifty years at two hundred and fifty below. There is nothing alive in here"

    Cut to scene in the hibernation room. The coffin-like modules are empty.

    Miner: "Where are the crew?"

    2nd miner: "How the Hell should I know?"

    3rd miner: "Hey! This one's occupied!"

    The music becomes faster. Fast cut scenes at increasing speed: an LED display, counting down 20,19,18; view from a helmet camera, running/flying along a laddered tunnel, heavy laboured breathing; a figure of a child in a tattered yellow dress flits across a doorway; gunshots - a body slumps to the deck, then tentacles erupt from the belly; a uniformed, handsome man, speaking into a log - "planet five has intelligent, starfaring life"; a large statue of a dragon, standing against the slowly turning stars; LED counts 12, 11, 10; a woman in uniform, saying "we'll keep going as long as we can, then go back into stasis"; helmet camera running harder towards a closing door; LED counting 7,6,5; a winged statue,against stars; a woman in disarrayed uniform, screaming"the Oni are all over the ship! The atomics! I have to get to the atomics!"; LED counting 3,2; helmet camera reaches the door just after it closes, turns around - to closeup of a huge head of a monster, all teeth and alien eyes, which lunges to fill the frame;


    Fade to black. Silence.

    Deep Voice:"Cthulhu 2186. Chaos lives."

    If you want to participate, places are open to play the crew of the "Ox". Standard character sheets will be provided for walk-in players at KillerCon 2000, or if you want to play something a bit different, let me see a character sheet. There are a few new skills, but otherwise standard rules for character generation are as used for Call of Cthulhu™.

    Contact the ref (Simon Richardson) if you want to Take part or if you have ideas for a character.

    by Simon Richardson


    As the editor I now find it necessary to fill this final page. I wish I had some more articles, particularly about Killercon 99.

    However I know that this simply gives Gamesoc members something to write about for the Fresher's issue. A look back at last year's 'Con and an advert for the first Con of the millenium.

    Sod it. I'll insert some clipart or something. Oooh nice tarot cards. That will do nicely. Byee

    Goodbye now.

    If you enjoyed Killercon, write about it, get something in RWAV for the freshers to get excited about.

    by Chris Lyth

    How to be a Cultist

    1. Pick one faith and stay with it. Dilettantism is the mark of the amateur.
    2. Avoid needless embarrassment. Practice the correct pronunciation of your god's name in the privacy of your room before chanting it in public. Flash cards are often helpful.
    3. Never invoke anything bigger than your head.
    4. Avoid all cabalistic jewellery over 10 pounds in weight, you're just asking for trouble.
    5. Citronella candles may *not* be used in rituals. I cannot stress this enough. Pastel-coloured candles in the shape of cute animals are like beacons to the Dark Lords.
    6. Always keep your kit with you: candles, chalk, incense, silver knife, thuggee knife, service revolver, garlic, Yellow Sign, cab-fare, condoms, and change.
    7. *Never* be the cultist that goes to rough up the investigator. Ransacking hotel rooms is probably safe, but going 'round to beat up the good guys is a sure route to the bottom of the Thames.
    8. When the Black Mass goes awry, stay away from the cult leader. Enraged demons always go for the pompous.
    9. Don't gloat.
    10. If you do gloat, never reveal your plans.
    11. If you gloat and reveal your plans, never leave the investigators to die slowly. They don't.
    12. If you gloat, reveal your plans, and leave the investigators to die slowly, don't have the audacity to look surprised when thy show up to foil you.
    13. Investigators always show up at the last moment to foil you. Start a half- hour early, they hate that.
    14. Select ceremonial robes that are easy to run in while still affording ample concealment.
    15. Never fuck with anything whose genetic structure you do not feel absolutely comfortable about.
    16. Never admit to having fucked anything whose genetic structure you didn't feel absolutely comfortable about.
    17. When a religious artefact begins emitting light, CLOSE YOUR EYES. Thousands of cultists could be saved every year if they'd just remember this simple safety tip.
    18. When mutilating cattle, avoid the ones with testicles.
    19. During ritual sacrificing, taking bits home for later is now generally considered bad form.
    20. Blood tests are now required of all sacrificial victims before the ritual. The effects of HIV+ offerings on the average malefic deity have never been witnessed by anyone living, or even intact.
    21. Contrary to historical belief, drugs and invocations do not mix. When the shit comes down it is vitally necessary to be able to discern between the gibbering monstrosity to throw the holy water on and the gibbering monstrosity that will go away after a few hours, some B-complex, and a good hot bath.
    22. Never play strip Tarot.
    23. Piety and belief are powerful things, and few forces in nature can stand against one who is true to his faith, his god, and his soul. However, it is also true that God is on the side of the heaviest artillery, so be prepared to change sides at the drop of a hat.
    24. For those situations where a fresh, living sacrifice is just not feasible or even possible, the lower ranks of demons can be fooled by microwaving a previously frozen chunk of ex-victim and cleverly jiggling it. However, a mock-victim sculpted from Spam will be all right too.

    Rev. Brother Ladysmith Buckminster Jones, LDD G:.D:. FES ELF PoEE JAH Aneristically known as Gunnar Hellekson, Drew University, Academic Computing

    by unknown


    1. My computer seems to want me to say Steamship here.

    2. But not good players.