Yeah, about due to make a post here.
Aside from my newish tradition of watching the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition for New Years', this hasn't exactly been an award-winning month.
While the last two sessions with my Saturday gaming group (spent playing Legend of the Five Rings) were a blast, they were tinged with the sad fact that said gaming group is about to go our separate ways, due to most leaving the area for one reason or another, be it job-related or other. I will miss playing my Hare Bushi aka the "killer bunny." That his fighting style could be compared to that of Himura Kenshin (of Rurouni Kenshin fame) was a happy coincidence :)
Speaking of Rurouni Kenshin, I was amazed to learn that a live action movie had been made, combining various plot arcs from the first six volumes into a single flick. And to be honest... they did a bang-up job, with the actor (Takeru Soto) pretty much nailing Kenshin's overall look while retaining a degree of realism (red hair, but not bright red like the anime) as well as getting the attitude down pat. The fight scenes made Kenshin's use of Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu to rapidly take down foes both cool to watch and surprisingly believable. Sanosuke was such a boisterous ham during his scenes, and again the actor (Munetaka Aoki) did an excellent job in the role, and though he was a bit beefier than manga/anime Sano, having that kind of build makes sense for a self-taught street brawler. The movie made a few changes (naturally), particularly to some of the villains. Aoshi and the Oniwabanshu were removed, though elements of Aoshi's fight with Kenshin were covered during the storming of Kannryu's mansion, as well as introducing Saito a lot earlier and tweaking Jin-E's role in story while still staying true to the root of the character. The movie is only available in Japanese with subtitles (from what I could find), but that wasn't much of an issue for me, as I'd rather have to read subtitles than deal with sub-par dubbing. So if you're a fan of Rurouni Kenshin, be it the manga or the anime, this movie is worth checking out.
Another plus has been Suns of Fortune for FFG's Edge of the Empire being released. I've not really gotten a chance to really read through it yet, but what I have read is pretty cool. There's not a huge amount of crunch, but the background fluff on the various worlds of the Corellian Sector is pretty neat.
I've been doing some tweaking to my Ways of the Force supplement, mostly as one GM let me know of an issue that came up, specifically in regards to Deflect Blasters and the ability to activate qualities from the attacker's weapon (especially autofire). I've got a few ideas on how to fix this, but the issue now is finding a chance to do some first-hand play-testing.
In other gaming news, ran my first true session of Age of Rebellion (Beta) in a Skype "Rebels" campaign. Intended more as a temporary thing while Ben "Cyril" Erickson recharges his mental batteries before (hopefully) resuming his Sunday EotE campaign. It was a short session, with several nods to Dawn of Defiance's "Traitor's Gambit" module that I don't think my players got (or if they did, they didn't remark on it). While I didn't do a whole lot of in-depth prep, the beauty of this system is that I didn't have to. All I really did was jot down a few bullet points on a sheet of notebook paper (yeah, going old school) and most everything was made up on the fly. Only had three players, but they had fun, which is the main thing.
March will be bringing GamerNationCon, at which I'll be running a Saga Edition game (Tales of the Blue Zephyrs: Jail Break) as well as a Dragon Age RPG game (Duty Unto Death). I've also been asked to help with a "Writing for RPGs" panel, though I suspect my contribution will pale in comparison to that of Jay Little. I'm hoping for the chance to get into some EotE games while there, but mostly I'm looking forward to meeting up and hanging out with longtime friend Linda Whitson and her clan as well as other d20 Radio forumites.
Also got set-up with a VIG companion badge (thanks again to Chris Bradshaw) for GenCon. Having access to the VIG lounge and being able to hit the dealer hall an hour early on Thursday were nice perks, as was getting premium seating for the costume contest.
However, my excitement for GenCon has been soured by the clusterfuck that was the housing system this year. Apparently they decided to try a new system (Passkey), and to call the results "less than stellar" is a gross understatement. Skimming the web, I've seen plenty of posts of people getting booted just as they were about to book a hotel reservation, or simply not being able to access the site at all. Hotel reservations at GenCon have always been a problem, but this year took the cake. I simply gave up in sheer frustration, and find myself hunting for alternate housing options. I've got a couple leads, as well as the back-up of having booked a room at a hotel near the convention center at their "gouge your wallet" prices. I'm hoping one of those leads pans out, as I really don't want to have to pay $400/night for a hotel room.
The job is naturally a job, and has it's ups and downs. This week's been interesting, as staffing arrangements have left me trying to cover a 3-person job, with priority requests showing up left and right, and nobody outside the department really grasping the concept of "sorry, I don't have the time to work on your request." At least my manager and director both understand that I'm trying to prioritize all these priorities and work them as best I can, which helps immensely.
So, that's pretty much been my month. Hopefully your January has had more ups than downs.