The following articles originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in June 2008.

In this issue Robin D Laws discusses the use of genre conceits in Mutant City Blues, we have more music from James Semple, and a second interview by Luke Crane. This issue sees the return of Mystic Moo – learn how to get your fondest wishes, with cosmic ordering. I was very pleased with the results of the last poll – our readership is higher than I expected – so I’ve included another one, with a peculiar question. Your feedback really helps.

The following articles originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in December 2007. 

In this issue, Robin D Laws discusses three ways you can resolve interpersonal conflicts in the GUMSHOE system. Interpersonal conflicts also feature in Mystic Moo’s Yuletide pantomime, and Simon Carryer reminds us of the fun of festive travel with his article on Rail Transport in the 1930s. Finally, Steve Dempsey suggests a way you can improvise adventures using GUMSHOE, perhaps while sitting in a turkey induced stupor around the log fire.

Contents

The following articles originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in October 2007. 

October heralds the relaunch of See Page XX to fit in with the new look Pelgrane Press website. But it’s more than cosmetic; there are other changes – this month features more articles than we’ve ever had before. We have two interview, one with Kenneth Hite, author of the forthcoming Trail of Cthulhu, the other Brennan Taylor, President of Indie Press Revolution. Graham Walmsley shows how adaptable GUMSHOE is, in this case as a basis for Live Action Roleplaying, and Robin D Laws shows you how to create use GUMSHOE with other settings. Fred Hicks talks about the fine balance between character empowerment and danger. As a resource for the forthcoming Trail of Cthulhu, Simon Carryer offers us a fact-packed article on air transport in the 1930s and finally, dear old Mystic Moo gives us the RPG Horoscopes for the season, and acts as an agony aunt for roleplayers with “issues.”

The following article originally appeared in an earlier iteration of See Page XX in June 2008.

By Paula Dempsey, alias Mystic Moo.

Mystic Moo explains how visualisation can get you the games of your dreams. We are lucky enough to have a transcript, despite the difficulty of typing with hooves.

Listen to the podcast here:

Podcast Transcript

Posh 1950’s announcer: Good Evening and welcome to the BBC. We now go live to Hamish the Highland Cow in the cowshed. Good Evening Hamish!

Hamish: Hellooo! This is Hamish the Hieland Coo on location for the BBC. The Bovine Broadcasting Company, that is. I’m here in the cooshed with Mystic Moo to investigate some pretty extravagant claims. Mystic Moo, you’ve been claiming that you can help our gamer friends get as many games as they want, just by listening to your voice. Tell us more.

Mystic Moo: Hamish, today we are going to help all our gamer listeners get as many roleplaying games as they want. They can do this through a process called Cosmic Ordering, or, as I prefer to call it, Cows-mic Ordering. On account of I’m a cow and I’m using a microphone. The theory is that they tune in to the frequency of the universe, send out their wish and, if the stars are right, their wish will manifest.

Hamish: So cows-mic ordering can get me anything then?

Mystic Moo: In theory, Hamish, yes. Of course, the universe has to think it is for the greater good that you get it.

Hamish (hopefully): Like a giant tin of shortbread, maybe?

Mystic Moo: That is not for your greater good, Hamish. Cows should graze on grass, not biscuits. The universe won’t send you biscuits.

Hamish: So Cosmic Ordering can get you anything but biscuits.

Mystic Moo: That’s right, Hamish, although Marigold claims she did once get three cans of low alcohol lager and a packet of ginger nuts, but that was less down to cosmic ordering and more down to sticking her head through the kitchen window when the farmer wasn’t looking. Anyway, today we’re going to concentrate on games. I’d like all our listeners to get in a position where they are comfortable and able to relax, but not go to sleep and listen to this special Mystic moo-ditation. (Moo runs through standard yoga relaxation techniques).

Now to manifest your desires. I want you to picture a green door. A green door. Open the door and go through it. In front of you is a huge warehouse, so big you can’t see the far wall. On either side of you are shelves stacked with your favourite games, in alphabetical order. To your right is a magical supermarket trolley. No matter how much you put in the trolley it is never full. I want you to imagine yourself going from shelf to shelf and filling your trolley with all the games you want. Really smell the cardboard, feel the shape of the dice, leaf through those pages there. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Trail of Cthulhu, you really want that.

Now imagine yourself going back towards the green door. You see a cow sitting at a checkout. Her name is Marigold. She scans all your items and puts them in a big box for you to take home. Thank Marigold and make your way to the exit. Your games will be delivered shortly. Go back through the green door and slowly return to the real world. When you are ready, open your eyes and stretch. Welcome back to your cowshed or wherever you are.

Hamish: And will this work?

Mystic Moo: Depends how determined these gamers are to manifest their desires. If they really believe, it will happen. Now put the kettle on, there’s a good coo.

Hamish: This is Hamish the Hieland Coo, for the BBC, signing off.

The following article originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in December 2007. 

Paula Dempsey, alias Mystic Moo, predicts your gaming future.

(To the tune of Let it Snow)

The weather outside is frightful
So Buttercup’s made a trifle
For Hamish the Hieland Coo

Let it Moo! Let it Moo! Let it Moo!

The cowshed’s bright and merry
And Marigold’s on the sherry
And Buttercup’s had one too

Let it Moo! Let it Moo! Let it Moo!

Sorry about that, but there’s no telly in the cowshed, so we’re making our own entertainment.  Hamish is over there with a wee dram and a mince pie and Marigold’s sleeping it off in the corner.  We’ve earned it, though.  Last night we invited some of our local human gaming group over to try a little experimental drama.  We had one gamer from each of the twelve signs in the RPG zodiac and we matched their starsign to their ideal pantomime role.

Mystic Moo proudly presents – Aladdin

Dork:(Director)

All right everyone, places please.  I said, places please! I put those chalk marks there for a reason, you know! Look, I’ve committed a lot to this performance.  I’ve cancelled chess club, for heaven’s sake.  If you’re not going to take it seriously, then I’m going home.  Now, I’ve made these script alterations…

Orc:(Henchman)

Ugg?

Dork:

Right, Act One, Scene One.  Cue Aladdin.

Traveller:(Aladdin)

Here comes I, Aladdin, on my magic carpet!  Ooh, what’s this old lamp?  I wonder what will happen if I rub it?

Vampire:(Genie)

(Entering through trapdoor) You called, Master?  I am the Genie of the Lamp. What is your will? And is the pub open yet? I’m bored already and this costume is just so BRIGHT! Couldn’t I be a Dark Elf or something instead?

Orc:

Ugg!  Hit things yet?

Dork:

No.  Cue Princess Nanki Poo

Burrows:(Princess Nanki Poo)

I am Princess Nanki Poo and I’m so lonely locked up here in my wonderful jewelled tower.  I wonder if I will find anyone to fall in love with?

Cugel:
(Prince Charming)

Oi, Princess Nanki Poo, I don’t half fancy you.  Want to see my magic wand?

Dork:

Try and stay on script please.  And what’s Prince Charming doing in Aladdin?

Cugel:

Call it dramatic licence.  Anyway, you wouldn’t let me play Aladdin.

Burrows:

Sorry to be mean, but you wouldn’t have made a good Aladdin.  Cugels are the slimeballs of the RPG zodiac.  And Travellers are the best flying carpet pilots – everyone knows that.  Sorry to be mean, though.

Orc:

Hit things now?

Dork:

NO!

Vampire:

Look, can we get on with this?  I’ve got the Dracula Society Christmas Party at seven o’clock and I haven’t ironed my cape yet.

Dork:

Will you stop whinging?  Cue Shoggoth.

Shoggoth:(Arabian Nights dragon thingy)

Why haven’t I got any lines?  Every time I come on stage people just shout “It’s behind you”.  It’s a bit dull.

Burrows:

Sorry.  I think you’re not supposed to say anything, actually.  Just lurk about looking menacing.  I hope that’s OK and everything.

Dork:

Oh for God’s sake. Cue Frodo.  And could he be a bit less perky this time?

Frodo:(Aladdin’s monkey)

(Perkily) Hello Aladdin.  Where are we going on the magic carpet today?  Can we go and find some treasure? And who is that pretty lady in the window of the tower over there?  I’m going to climb up and find out.

There then follows a tedious musical number between the monkey and the Princess.

Vampire:

This script’s crap.

Dork:

You’ve missed your cue, you miserable git.

Vampire:

Sorry.  Monkey, where have you been?

Frodo:

I’ve been visiting a lovely princess.  I think she’d be the perfect girlfriend for Aladdin.

Werewolf :(Uncle Abenarzer)

(Entering stage right) Oh no she wouldn’t.

Audience:

Oh yes she would.

Werewolf:

Oh no she wouldn’t.

Audience:

Oh yes she would.

Werewolf:

Oh no she wouldn’t.

Audience:

Oh get on with it!

Werewolf:

I’m Aladdin’s Uncle Abenarzer and I’m going to make sure that he never goes out with Princess Nanki Poo.

Audience:

BOO!

Traveller:

Hang on, I’m the hero and I’ve hardly had any lines so far.  Genie, I command you to bring me the hand of Princess Nanki Poo! Oh bugger, I could have phrased that better…

Vampire:

It’s quite a nice hand.  Almost a shame you didn’t want the rest of her really.

Burrows:

This is a sophisticated audience.  Do you think they’ll be fooled by a lame conjuring trick like that? Not to mention that lame joke.

Vampire:

I agree.  Let’s do it for real.  I’ve got a ceremonial athame in my backpack.

Burrows:

(Tearfully)  You’re just spoiling it for everybody!

Dork:

I’d like you to know how frustrated you are making me. 

Werewolf:

At this point I transform into a ravening creature of the night and tear Aladdin’s magic lamp away from him.  Howling, I run off into the gloom.

Ranger:

(Leaping from balcony onto stage and slapping thigh) Ah, but you reckon without me!  I am Jack the Giant Killer, a mighty warrior, and I will slay you and retrieve Aladdin’s lamp for him.

Orc:

Oi, that’s not fair! That’s my job!

Ranger:

But his magic is powerful.  I can’t do it all on my own.  Where is my loyal henchman?

Orc:

Yeah!  Game on!

Cue a woefully unconvincing fight scene.  Abenarzar drops the lamp and runs off.  There’s another song.  No idea why.

GURPS:(Handmaiden)

I am Princess Nanki Poo’s handmaiden, but no-one knows my secret identity.  I am a peri and extremely magical!  I will take the magic lamp and give it back to Aladdin.

Traveller:

Huzzah!  Now I have the magic lamp back!  Genie, I command you to bring Princess Nanki Poo to me!

There’s a break at this point while we sort out the block and tackle, but eventually Princess Nanki Poo flies through the air and lands at the feet of Aladdin.

Traveller:

Princess Nanki Poo – will all the magic in the world make you agree to become my wife?

Burrows:

No magic in the world , because I already love you, Aladdin. 

Werewolf:

(Sobbing) That is so touching that I renounce my wicked ways and promise to be a nice wolf from now on.

Shoggoth:

I’m lurking again.

Audience:

IT’S BEHIND YOU!

Vampire:

Yippee, it’s over!  Right, can we go down the pub now?

Dork:

Not yet.  We need to do the closing number.

Graceless tap dancing all round, to the tune of Cliff Richard’s Congratulations.

GURPS:

Hang on, where’s the Ninja?  The panto’s nearly finished and he’s not done anything yet.

Everyone looks up.  The Ninja is hanging from the theatre ceiling surreptitiously dropping icecream tubs onto the audience.

Ninja:

Strawberry or vanilla?

 

And what did we learn from this, admittedly experimental, performance?  That our actors played their starsigns to a tee, but unfortunately couldn’t play their characters if you held a gun to their heads.  Next year I think we’ll have a carol concert instead.  Moo for now!

That’s it for this month! Moo for now.

The following article originally appeared on an earlier iteration of See Page XX in October 2007. 

Paula Dempsey, alias Mystic Moo, predicts your gaming future.

The cattle truck has just left and Hamish is putting the kettle on. We’re home from GenCow and we’ve had quite a time of it. You wouldn’t think cows would have much luggage, given we don’t do the clothes thing, but Buttercup’s got enough Indie games to open a shop and even Hamish did some shopping, indulging his Braveheart fantasies with a spiffy new “Man Kilt”. Those of you who frequent human roleplaying conventions would find much that is familiar in GenCow, although we bovines tend to prefer slightly different games (usually based around themes like running around in fields, eating grass, herding) and burgers are, of course, banned.

Elsewhere in the cowshed, Buttercup’s New Age shopping catalogue is stalling due to the UK postal strikes. One way or another neither cows nor letters are moving much at the minute. Still, orders are coming in via the inter(hay)net, so if you’ve ordered an Aberdeen Angus Oracle set, Cow Chakra Crystals or a Dreamcatcher, handmade on the prairie by genuine American bison then keep your hooves crossed that she can get them to you by cow-rier soon.

There’s a new feature for you humans this month. Those of you with nothing better to do than follow the way of the mystical cow might remember my spirit guide, Zed, a sixties wallpaper designer turned pan-dimensional guru? Zed visited me again after GenCow and has agreed to work with me on a new problem page. See below for the first lot of divinely inspired answers, and keep ’em coming!

RPG Astrology

But first, as it’s Autumn, you might be thinking about a Halloween party. I know we are here in the cowshed. Here’s some recommendations based on star signs to help your party go with a swing.

Orcs 21 March – 20 April

Give Orc guests a bit of notice and let them put their hitting and squishing skills to good use without getting arrested. Encourage them to visit local streetmarkets and supermarket fruit counters and buy huge amounts of grapes, rhubarb and other soft fruits in preparation for a great Orcian winemaking frenzy. Orcs need to get a big wooden tub in the garden (or a washing-up bowl for flat dwellers) and stomp, squish and pummel to their heart’s content. My prediction is a massive hangover by Halloween. If you’ve never seen an Orc trampling rhubarb, you should, just once as an experience. You probably wouldn’t want to see it again, mind.

Gurps 21 April – 21 May

Gurps are the most mutable sign of the role-playing zodiac. That is, the most changeable. So for a great mix of sounds get Gurp guests to DJ at your party. One minute it’ll be Sinatra, the next Cradle of Filth with the Spice Girls and the White Stripes in between. The downside is that by about 10.30 the Gurp won’t know where he is or what the hell he’s doing and will probably threaten to sue you for trauma caused. Give him another half of shandy and he’ll have changed his mind by morning.

Shoggoth 22 May – 21 June

After an unremarkable and rather damp summer, Shoggoths are feeling a bit down in the dumps. I’ve had a lot of complaints from them recently asking if the stars will ever be right. If you must invite them to your party at all, ask them to co-ordinate some spooky party games like Pin the Tentacle on Cthulhu. Remind them, though, that moving stars about using supernatural powers is forbidden under intergalactic law. Especially moving them so they spell naughty words. So just stop it.

Frodo 22 June – 22 July

Frodos are the most hygienic of the starsigns and contribute best to the party by getting there early in the afternoon and getting the burrow, er, house spick and span. One note of caution – before letting them loose with the Dyson make sure all jewellery is securely stored away. If they do wander off glinting suspiciously don’t call the police. Just get a mate (Gurp, preferably) to dress up as a wizard and get your favourite earrings back for you. Unfortunately, your entire neighbourhood may end up being trashed as a result, but at least it will be a party to remember.

Werewolf 23 July – 22 August

Werewolves make great bouncers, so if you have any fears about gatecrashers get a Werewolf over. Each guest will be individually sniffed and assessed prior to admittance, which adds some novelty although your Aunty Gladys might take offence. Just one word of warning – keep the Pernod locked up. These guys go ape-poo for aniseed. Actually, another word of warning – don’t invite Marigold to your party as she goes mad for Pernod too. And advocaat, Guinness, a nice Merlot… She nicked my sherry last week.

Cugel 23 August – 23 September

Watch Cugels. They’re deadly in a social situation. Ten minutes in and they’ve drunk your booze, snogged your girl / boy friend, helped themselves to your I Pod and got themselves an invitation to stay for another week. I would strongly advise not inviting them at all, but unfortunately they’re also the world’s best gatecrashers.

Ninja 24 September – 23 October

Ninjas are party wallflowers, bless them. The problem isn’t that they’re shy, but that they actively enjoy sliding along the walls and hiding in shadows. Getting a drink from the kitchen becomes a military operation and more sensitive guests may feel Ninjas lack a certain sociability. Where they come into their own, however, is at 3am when you’ve run out of booze and the off-licence is shut (that’s liquor store if you don’t speak Brit-Bovine). Give ’em twelve feet of rope and a can opener and as if by magic three cases of Chardonnay appear in your front room. Followed half an hour later by the local police.

Dork 24 October – 22 November

The party invitation says 7pm. Dorks turn up at 7.03 and apologise for being late. They would have been on time, but their mum insisted on popping to Sainsburys on the way over in the car. Dorks come equipped with a two litre bottle of preternaturally orange pop and a family multi-pack of cheese and onion crisps. Once inside they install themselves somewhere inconvenient and hassle the Gurp until he puts on their Rush CD. Which is just the thing to get the dancing going. Still, they don’t usually stay for long, as mum will pick them up at 10.30, and they do a better job than beer goggles at making everyone else look devilishly attractive.

Vampire 23 November – 21 December

On the subject of devilish, here come the Vampires. Cool and sophisticated, they eschew lager and request absinthe. They’ll bring some class to the party as they’ll be impeccably dressed with amazing make-up. By the witching hour, however, they’ll be out of their skulls on snakebite, watching your sister’s / daughter’s Sabrina videos and playing the Salem drinking game. I love these guys. They can party round my barn any time.

Ranger – 22 December – 20 January

Don’t really like parties that much. The music interferes with the music of the night (round here that’s a bunch of foxes mating and next door’s mog having a scrap with our Tiddles). Where Rangers come into their own is when there’s a barbecue. They can get a fire going in a minute flat and before you can blink there’s burgers, fish, fillet of weasel… And afterwards they cut a neat hole in your lawn and bury the ash. Rangers also come in useful for helping tipsy guests find their way home. And for helping Vampires find their arses with both hands.

Traveller – 20 January – 19 February.

When the party’s over, if your guest needs a lift then the Traveller is always delighted to oblige. Three streets over, next county, Alpha Centauri, all no problem.

Burrows 20 February – 20 March

A Burrows guest will email a few days before. Should she bring anything? Then she’ll ring on the day. She’s made chocolate cake. Is that OK or should she have made lemon cake? Will everyone like chocolate cake? What time should she come over? Would the Frodos like help with tidying up? Can she wash up? She’s lovely, but my goodness she wears you out. If a Burrow is invited I suggest you get a Vampire to look after her. She’s a bunny that keeps on giving after all. And keep her away from any Cugels, or it’s not fair.


Mystic Moo’s Agony Column

Dear Mystic Moo,

I have rather recently been introduced into the wonderful world of Indie RPGs. There are soo many I would like to play: Burning Wheel, Burning Empires, Dogs in the Vineyard, GUMSHOE to name just a few. On top of that I’m supposed to playtest new games from a certain rpg publisher. But my players want to continue playing their old characters and the current stories too!

My boss is unwilling to pay me for playing rpgs and wants me to work on his strange cartography software, which doesn’t leave me enough time to satisfy all my gaming cravings. What am I to do?

An over-worked, time-stretched rpg enthusiast.

Dear OWTSRPGE

Buttercup spent a lot of time and money on Indie games at GenCow. One of the nice things about them is that, generally, they are smaller than mainstream games and therefore somewhat cheaper. As you don’t need quite as much money to fuel your gaming habit, I suggest downsizing. Tell him to stuff his cartography software and get a job with fewer hours, to give you more time to play. Alternatively, think about how to curb your cravings, which do seem a little excessive. Perhaps you can get some kind of gum at the chemist? Or a patch? I was considering suggesting cold turkey until Marigold pointed out that the last time we had any cold turkeys around here, the farmer had forgotten to pay the gas bill.


Dear Mystic Moo,

How can I find fellow gamers in China?

I tried to join “The Party” but it seems they are not really into gaming.

Red Panda

Dear Red Panda,

I can understand your problem, but living in the most populous nation on Earth you should be able to find three or four like-minded individuals. The Chinese must be up for it as in the past they have given great games to the world – Mah Jongg, for example, or anything by Mattel. Be a pioneer and introduce roleplaying to a whole new market. Think about what games would appeal. If The Party still holds sway, offer Paranoia. Feng Shui would surely go down well. Present it as a clandestine Western activity and offer crisps. They will come.


Dear Mystic Moo,

My character, Vadis, is a runepriest of Lankhor Mhy. The women in Pavis are very mean to him, although he buys them pretty things and lets them plait ribbons and bells into his beard. He’s heard them giggle about how they made the “wankor cry”. How can Vadis meet a nice girl?

Desperate and Sticky, the Wastelands

Dear Desperate and Sticky,

If you want to get a girl be a man, man! And if you don’t know how, get a book about it! If you go shopping with the Pavis women and let them do your hair you’re just asking for it, aren’t you? Stand up for yourself and next time they wind you up remind them that the Crimson Bat sees all and you have divine knowledge that he’s, ahem, batting in your corner. Failing that, get your Gorgorma sister to beat them up.


Dear Mystic Moo,

I’m not a gamer but every year at Gen Con I work as a demonstrator hanging around a stall in a leather bikini. I do this in time off from my day job as an international fashion model because I’ve found gamers to be generally a much less bitchy crowd than international fashion models. In fact, the gaming crowd is really quite friendly and I’ve often thought I might enjoy a game of Dungeons and Dragons or Mutants and Masterminds. Not that I really know what a mutant is but I do seem to have the power myself to defy gravity. Anyway, on one of the stalls I have noticed a man, a gentleman even, of such distinction. His greying hair and dreamy foreign accent are so distracting, I can hardly remember the game I’m supposed to be promoting. But as an international fashion model I don’t think a real gamer would want anything to do with me. I really don’t know anything about the games or all those funny little dice they use. So my question to you is which game should I try out if I am to get this gamer to even look at me.

Blushingly yours,

Brandi

Dear Brandi,

Get out of here! We have Booth Bovines at GenCow too and international fashion models they ain’t. If you were earning your cowcake on the catwalk you wouldn’t need to get togged up in a chainmail bikini and point your bits at ogling gamers just to get them to buy the latest edition of Mootants and Masterminds or whatever. Believe me girlfriend, if you are for real you have bigger problems than what games to play.

Regarding this gentleman. Don’t let an accent like Simon Cow-ell fool you. He’ll roll your dice and break your heart. And he’ll either be married or desperate, neither of which bodes well.

That’s it for this month! Moo for now.

The following article originally appeared on DyingEarth.com in August 2007. 

Mystic Moo’s Convention Guide

By Paula Dempsey, alias Mystic Moo.

Editor’s note: The introduction to this column is a little bit British-centric. We have included links for those not familiar with recent bovine news in the UK. I’m afraid I have no better idea than you of the cow-centric aspects of the article.

Welcome cow-fanciers everywhere. The call came this afternoon: “What about a new Mystic Moo column?” he said. Well you may not have noticed, mate, that now is not exactly the best time to be a cow. Cattle movements are restricted, which is playing havoc with Buttercup’s line dancing classes, and as for the Shambo thing, well words fail me. So here I am, struggling to cope with all that bovine angst and you want a “humorous”column for some human magazine. Like I care about you lot!

Then the flannel started. “Your public need you, Mystic Moo. Spread cow wisdom. Help them realise the essential humanity of cows (excuse moo?). Be an ambassador for your species”. And finally, to top it all, “There’s a bottle of Bristol Cream in it for you”. So I thought, maybe you do need some homespun heifer wisdom. But what to write about? Then Buttercup comes crashing through the byre door like a bull in a china shop (but not quite as sexy). “Oi, Moo” she says “I just checked my email and my booking for GenCow has arrived. Lend us your dice bag, old flower”.

Inspiration struck like an over-enthusiastic mozzie. The cow-vention season is upon us and Buttercup’s getting all of a doo-dah over GenCow, the mother of them all and exclusively for those of a bovine persuasion. No humans allowed, so hard cheese.

I’ve asked old Butters to pick out some of the highlights of the event so you can see what you are missing. I’ve never really taken to White Wolf myself, but she reckons Friesian: The Milking is worth a go. She’s also written a LARP, bless her. It’s a Paranoia one where you have to work out who are the cows and who are the blokes from the department of agriculture. She’s a bit keen on Battle Cattle as well, but if you ask me she’s operating under false consciousness. Anyway, the mad cow is throwing things into a suitcase left, right and centre with two weeks to go. Talk about over-enthusiastic…

Then Hamish wanders in. Hamish is a nice bloke who self-identifies as a Hieland Coo. And today he’s not happy. “Mystic Moo”, he says. “I’ve been thinking aboot whether tae go tae GenCoo and I’m wonderin’ whether I’ll have a guid time or whether I’d be better abidin’ here in ma wee stall. How can I decide?”

No problem, Hamish. All you need to do is consult Mystic Moo’s Convention Oracle.

Step One

Reach for your dice bag and roll 273 assorted dice. If you can do this without ransacking the house for dice just play Dogs in the Vineyard all convention long and you’ll have a great time. If this presents a problem for you, go on to:

Step Two

Add together the digits of your age in DD MM YYYY format. For example, Hamish was born on 25th April 2005, so 2+5+4+2+5=18. Then roll a D10 for your lucky number. Hamish rolled a six. 18+6=24. Then roll a D4 to balance your karma and deduct this from your total. Hamish rolled a three. 24-3=21. Finally, add the digits together to get your overall Oracle number. So Hamish’s number is three. And before all you smartarse mathematicians write in to say this is simplistic, you try arithmetic with only two toes on each foot, and connecting with the universal whatnot at the same time!

Now you might be ready for Step Three, but frankly I’m not. All this number crunching really takes it out of a cow, so I’m getting Buttercup to stick the kettle on and Hamish has a tin of Hieland shortbread somewhere. Back in a mo.

Sorry for the gap in service. Someone mentioned drink and that old lush Marigold was right in there. Everyone knows she keeps a bottle of advocaat in her hayrack. Any minute now she’ll start singing. If I hear My Heart Will Go On one more time I’m going to go postal. SHUT UP YOU DRUNKEN MOO! Right, I’ll just dust the last few crumbs off my keyboard and here goes with:

Step Three

Look up your Convention Oracle number on the table below to find out what will be your best Con experience this year, then re-roll and recalculate for your worst experience and once more for what will happen when your just can’t take any more gaming.

Best Time Worst Time Between Times
1 You get shot during an archery demo but your copy of Hero is in your pocket and it’s arrow proof. You reach enlightenment.  Problem is, you realise Jack Chick was right and gaming is a passport straight to Hell. You order a frappacino in the convention coffee bar and it takes two days for your mates to dig you out of the whipped cream.
2 Your street cred goes through the roof when you whip out your signed copy of F.A.T.A.L. and wave it about. (One from Buttercup, there) You accidentally tread on a cosplayer’s tail and get beaten senseless by a six foot raccoon. The Tardis materialises in the Trade Hall.  Fill in the rest according to inclination.
3 You enjoy a game of Best Friends so much that the whole group goes out to a movie together afterwards, then for pizza, then a spot of shopping. Maybe we’ll give this whole convention thing a miss and get a manicure tomorrow. But don’t tell  Kelly ‘cos she’s such a B.I.T.C.H. You find the new edition of your favourite game in a limited edition handblock printed onto hand-made paper and illuminated by Lindisfarne monks.  This happens two minutes after you max out your credit card. A woman engages you in conversation.  After a while she  tells you she’s in touch with her inner cow and offers to cast your horoscope.  Don’t trust her.
4 The Animé cinema runs an all-night Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya marathon (aah, wishful thinking) You get the last ticket for the last available LARP and all the characters are clowns. Your cheap hotel room is pretty good.  And your 15 room-mates think so too.
5 The Trade Hall is selling Fruits Basket merchandise and they have cow hats. Your friend gets a hot date with a booth babe.  And it’s your sister. You eat an Igor bar and keep all your teeth.
6 Your new special friends invite you to play Breaking the Ice, the LARP. Someone compliments you on the detail in your monster costume.  You are not in costume. Fun on Sunday as you watch the Dogs in the Vineyard LARP group getting arrested outside the local Mormon temple.
7 There’s a mix-up at the Awards ceremony and you become the proud recipient of both the Gamer of the Year award and a year’s supply of Jolt Cola. Your hotel is a whole block from the convention and there’s no room on the shuttle bus. After a heavy game of Call of Cthulhu  you fall asleep in the bath and wake up to find the shower hose wrapped around your neck in tentacle-esque fashion.
8 Imagine the best thing that could happen to you at a con.  It happens.  If you can’t imagine anything, you shouldn’t be here. You suffer deep embarrassment during a Changeling freeform when your ears fall into your pint. You spend a whole morning hanging out on the Pokemon stall.  This is fine until a so-called friend sends a photo of you getting jiggy with a Jigglypuff to your significant other.
9 It’s the end of the con. You’re overtired and overdrawn but your plush Shoggoth loves you. You break the catch on your  chain mail bikini and nobody can find a can opener. Day 4 – You discover the mysterious world of Outside and sample the rare alien dish they call “salad”.

Happy Conventioning and Moo for Now!

The following article originally appeared on DyingEarth.com in December 2005.

Yuletide Moosings on Presents

Paula Dempsey, alias Mystic Moo, has felt your presents.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. So let’s talk presents. I can read your mind, don’t forget, so don’t even think about that 4th edition of Bunnies and Burrows in a limited print run of only 5000 copies with an authentic fur cover and floppy ears, because that is so SAD and also lapinist and contrary to my mystical respect for nature (especially bunnies) so just DON’T DO IT!

Every year my postbag overflows with letters from you, my little seekers of wisdom. And what are these letters? Well not bloomin’ Christmas cards for a start. You lot only write when you want something and number one in the Moo mail this week is “What do I get my gran / girlfriend / bloke from my gaming group / nice girl from the Post Office who smiled at me when I bought a stamp last week? ”What’s the Moo to do? Well, I just consulted my spirit guide.

Some of you may be surprised that not all spirit guides are Native Americans or girly Victorian consumptives. And thank the Goddess for that. My mate Buttercup (two stalls down, the one with the windowbox) had one of those sickly ethereal types and we were hosing the ectoplasm off her salt lick for weeks. I am currently channelling the spirit of a sixties wallpaper designer turned pan-dimensional guru who wishes to be known only as Zed. His teachings contain important messages for the future of mankind which I eventually intend to publish in book form, but until they up the advance I’m not inclined to put hoof to typewriter. All the publisher’s fault if you don’t get to read Z’s prophecies in time to prepare yourself for what is to come. In the meantime, as someone’s had the decency to drop a couple of mince pies and a half bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream into my hay net, here’s Zed’s advice on stylish present options for your loved ones this Christmas.

Right, settle down, chew a bit of cud, concentrate… Zed tells me that people fall into distinct personality types, which he says makes things a bit easier. These are karmic and based on their last past life. Some of us are old souls who fall into a mythic type. These are elves, magicians and owls. More common are those who were kicked out of the afterlife PDQ and bounced back to the earthly realm to burn off their karma before they did any serious damage. These are goths, combat wombats and grans. You can tell what type your friend / significant other / bloke who gave you a Polo mint on the bus last week is by reading their aura. If your psychic ability is too weedy to cope with that small task, try Buttercup’s Bovine Aura Wheel, yours for only £30 plus postage from the usual address. Mooooooooooo…woah, lost it there for a bit. Wow. OK, here are Zed’s tips for successful present buying and my own tips for buying games by personality type.

Elves

Elves are characterised by their green aura, willowy appearance, long straight hair and long straight noses. There’s one other characteristic too, but we don’t talk about that on the cosmic telephone if we’re all going to get along. Elves are difficult to buy for as they get bored easily, so forget the battery-powered dancing snowman or novelty chocolate Santa. Instead, go for something with longevity. Oh, and shiny. Elves like shiny. In short, diamonds are an elf’s best friend. Jewellery fits the bill, obviously, but elves also appreciate glittery makeup and elf gamers would love a set of crystal dice. Just don’t buy earrings. Darn, I said it… Mystic Moo effortlessly plummets down the karmic ladder…

Ideal game: SkyRealms of Jorune, as it’s suitably arcane and you need to be around for a few centuries to sort the rules out.

Magicians

Their aura is purple and they have been there, done that and bought the demon a tee-shirt. You may sense a certain ennui from these souls that have been around for so long. Zed suggests that they will benefit from new experiences, so consider one of those vouchers for a novelty day out – ballooning, rally driving or visiting cows to take them sherry, for example.

Ideal game: Anything but Ars Magica. It’s hardly escapist for this mob.

Owls

The oldest souls of all, their aura is brown, the colour of nature and of the earth. They are small, rotund people with poor eyesight who frequently sport round spectacles. Owls appreciate books and value knowledge in all forms. As well as books, try anything which appeals to their love of nature. Gardening implements would go down well, as would binoculars, outdoor wear such as hiking boots and, most appreciated of all but terribly difficult to find, a nicely presented hamper of dead mice.

Ideal game: Big Eyes, Small Mouth. Owls like playing the baddies.

Goths

Plan to come back as Magicians, but they should be so lucky. Messy dabbling in the occult will do them no good whatsoever and the best they can hope for is speedy reincarnation as a bat. Buy these people big bunches of sunflowers, joke books, whoopee cushions, amusing horse-shaped cigarette dispensers. They’ll hate them, but it might lighten those auras from black to at least mucky grey for about two minutes. They’d probably have preferred the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe or Bauhaus’ Greatest Hits, but they already sold their grandmothers and bought those last week.

Ideal game: Star Children – Velvet Generation. They can live out those Bowie fantasies, preferably as far away from my field as possible.

Grans

Grans are wonderful people with a gentle lavender aura who appreciate the smallest gift if given with good intent. The more malicious and / or penny-pinching amongst you (or maybe girl gamers alert to the latest trends) could consider knitting a gran a jumper for Christmas. In my experience, shortbread, choccies, house plants or a mega crossword puzzle book go down well. More life-and-soul- of-the-party grans would appreciate a bottle of gin. Don’t forget that gran is a personality type. That gorgeous goth guy on the number 63 bus could be a gran deep down inside. Girlfriend, knit him a Dr Who style scarf and see what happens.

Ideal game: Buttercup recommends Secret Lives of the Gingerbread Men. Suggest you have plenty of Yorkshire Tea to hand whilst playing.

Combat Wombats

Oh Goddess, here we go. Combat Wombats are hugely over-represented amongst gamers. Historical re-enactors are almost exclusively CWs and all CWs share a distinctive khaki aura. Don’t believe for one second that they are reincarnated warriors. No enlightened soul would go through that again. They are more likely to have been put upon in a previous life – maybe servants in Victorian houses (cleaning up after consumptive future spirit guides, I daresay), refuse collectors or just plain timid. Indulge them with sets of miniatures or books on military history. Alternatively, give a teddy in combats from one of those make your own bear places. Come bed time, CW and his new furry friend will be snuggled up under the duvet dreaming of victories to come. By the way, not all Combat Wombats are men. Women CWs are in the minority, but unlikely to appreciate good perfume or jewellery. So save your money.

Ideal game: Anything spikey. Buttercup is a bit of a CW on the side and recommends Game of Thrones because if they if get bored playing it they can always beat the living daylights out of each other with the 500 page rulebook.

Zed has ceased communication for today, so, from one byre to another, enjoy your shopping and have a very merry Christmas, Yule, or whatever you celebrate.

Moo for now.

This article originally appeared on DyingEarth.com in November 2005.

Paula Dempsey, alias Mystic Moo, predicts your gaming future.

Whether Shoggoth, Cugel or Orc, we roleplayers are born under different stars to normal folk – discover you RPG star sign and learn your fate.

Although the sun shines outside, I confidently predict the return of Autumn. And how will the first horoscope of Summer affect your sign?

Orcs 21 March – 20 April
July marks a major transition point for Orcs. Having Mars as your ruling planet means your primary motivation is to hit things, hit them hard and make sure they don’t get up again. As the Sun moves into your fifth house you feel the need to take your urges outside, as it were, and hit things out of doors. A good month to take up pastimes such as cricket and baseball. Take care if driving, though.

Gurps 21 April – 21 May
Saturn moves into your eighth house on 19th July. As this is the part of your horoscope concerned with matters of money, sex and death I suggest you consider the following: Under no circumstances should you take your favourite D&D character adventuring on that day. Should you ignore this advice, I can personally guarantee that you will get at best a bloody nose and at worst your new character will have the stats of a one-legged weasel following Grumpo the Dwarf’s grisly demise at the claws of a big red dragon. Adding insult to injury, the rest of your gaming group will contrive to be in the little hobbit’s room when the delivery guy calls, leaving you to foot the bill for ten mega-sized pizzas. Best not to game that night. Or have sex…

Shoggoth 22 May – 21 June
As predicted in January, Shoggoths are having a rather subdued year. Your ruling planet, which is so damn freaky we astrologers haven’t actually named it yet, is lurking somewhere at the edge of the Milky Way and, quite frankly, it can stay there. Take time for introspection this month. Look at your life and how you can make it more fulfilling. Shoggoths can be their own worst enemies at times, especially those times when they menace other life forms and threaten the destruction of life as we know it. This doesn’t make you sympathetic characters. Think about how you could turn your life around; maybe take up voluntary work, get a puppy, that kind of thing.

Frodo 22 June – 22 July
Spring in the air! And Frodos do springing best. Comes of being only three feet high. Your excitable nature comes to the fore this month – you have big ideas for such a little dude. Mars in your second house has given you the impetus to get going, but Frodos tire easily and you could easily overdo it. Take particular care on the 14th, especially if using escalators. If not, you could end up with minor abrasions and having your feet shaved to get them out of the mechanism.

Werewolf 23 July – 22 August
Werewolves will be looking forward to the full moon on the 25th – which, as always, signifies a change for you. This month you are particularly concerned with career matters. It’s increasingly difficult getting to the office on time after a heavy night, and colleagues are starting to ask questions about the rabbit fur between your teeth. Buy floss and mouth wash or think about changing to night work in an isolated place out of doors. Werewolves have a unique selling point that security companies just love – once a month the German Shepherd gets a night off.

Cugel 23 August – 23 September
Venus enters your second house on 3rd July. This is the area of your sign concerned with material possessions and self-esteem. The two weeks it stays there is a great time to abandon your regular game of Traveller and go shopping instead. Visits to your local game store could yield some excellent bargains. If you really can’t bear to give up your regular gaming night, I suggest you play Dying Earth. Four hours where YOU are the hero – how can you resist?

Ninja 24 September – 23 October
Always sneaky, this month you become downright vicious. Dice are surreptitiously re-rolled and things go on behind that DM’s screen that would not be talked of in polite society. Towards the end of the month your gaming group will feel the need to retaliate, especially if you owe them for all that beer you drank. Use your heightened senses to look for traps such as cling-film on the loo seat or buckets of unpleasant substances balanced on doors. Or just say sorry and blame the stars.

Dork 24 October – 22 November
The moon has moved into your fourth house, which is where your karma lives. Dorks, bless them, are born with a great deal of bad karma and are destined to spend much of this earthly incarnation paying it back. This is why you have Duran Duran on your iPod instead of the White Stripes, work in cubicle hell and can never get a date on a Friday night. I would sympathise except that in your next life you’ll probably be wildly successful while I’ll come back as a cosmically aware one-legged weasel.

Vampire 23 November – 21 December
Poor you. As Summer beckons you want to go into a kind of reverse hibernation. It’s no surprise that you have travel on your mind this month. A long holiday in the Antarctic could be just what the witchdoctor ordered. On the upside, a long-term astrological trend for you between late March and early September lends a heightened sense of personal safety. Visualise your guardian angel, enveloped in silver light, reaching out to hold you in his protective aura. Of course, it could just be that long black cloaks show up better on light nights.

Ranger – 22 December – 20 January
You really are the dancing daffodil of the zodiac this month. Springtime sights and smells fill your senses and give you a new sense of well being. Your gaming patterns may become variable as you head out and about, eschewing five hours of D&D in favour of camping in the Cairngorms. Perhaps you could take your gaming group with you, they could probably do with an airing. Two things – remember to wrap up warmly and also playing knock down ginger on Vampires at 6:30am is VERY WRONG!!!

Traveller – 20 January – 19 February
Unusually for Travellers, you feel a strange urge to settle down this month. You’ve temporarily parked your Series 20 Starcruiser and are more mindful of roots than routes. You might move house or at least do some home improvements. Turning your attention to matters domestic buys brownie points with partners. Think ahead – a little wallpapering now could lead to a long and happy GenCon later.

Burrows 20 February – 20 March
Burrows like the summer. It’s warm enough to get out and do a spot of frolicking and it’s the mating season. For Burrows born in July now is the time to party like its 2099. However, Burrows have both gregarious and anxious tendencies, so it’s not all happy, happy, joy, joy. Those with July birthdays will probably be feeling a sense of impending doom. Especially, for some reason, those born in the 1960s. This is perfectly normal for your sign, and should pass once the cake arrives. If not, it won’t last past the sixth glass of chardonnay.

IPR

It’s Valentine’s Day. In folklore that’s when the birds choose their mates and, around here, Hamish goes off his shortbread and starts making cow-eyes at that heifer across the way. Yawn. And for you humans, too, there are Spring stirrings. There comes a point in every gamer’s life when he or she briefly pauses in their perusal of 4th Edition and sighs for that certain someone. That’s when we recognise that the void in our heart can no longer be wholly filled by either Trail of Cthulhu or a large pepperoni pizza. Yes, it’s time to seek a mate. But gamers tend to be shy and retiring types – what do you think a DM’s screen is for, after all? So allow Moo to give cupid a helping hoof with Mystic Moo’s Astro Dating Guide. It’s all here – the where, the when, the who and (more often than not) the why. Here goes:

Orcs 21 March – 20 April

Don’t expect the unexpected. A typical date with an Orc will involve you sitting on a battlefield somewhere watching him give his mace a good polish. Failing that, he’ll get himself arrested at the cinema for bashing the bloke in front on the head in his hurry to get two cartons of popcorn and a fizzy orange. Make sure you take enough money for a taxi home. If you’re feeling generous, maybe you could cover his bail too. NB Not a sensitive lover.

Most Compatible With: Ninjas, who can quietly fade into the background if the going gets rough or they just get too embarrassed. Rangers may also get along OK with this sign as their idea of a good time is sitting in a wood somewhere miles from civilization and Orcs aren’t big on civilization either.

Least Compatible With: Orcs don’t share Frodos domestic nature and frequently misinterpret an invitation for coffee as a licence to invade, pillage and eat all the custard creams.

Gurps 21 April – 21 May

Marigold informs me that Gurps are rather calculating in the vehicle department. Of course, she might mean that managing the rule book requires more than a little mathematical ability, but I reckon it means they won’t come across for less than a Porsche.

Most Compatible With: Cugels with a mutual fondness for fine living, wines and feasting and Shoggoths who, ages old, will love this sign’s mutability. I can be whatever you want me to be…

Least Compatible With: Dorks. Gurps just nick their lunch money and leave them crying at the bus stop.

Shoggoth 22 May – 21 June

Romance with a Shoggoth is rather hit and miss. Buy yourself a set of astronomical tables. You’ll need them to calculate when your next date is. On the upside, they love stargazing, although they may mutter under their breath whilst making eldritch fumblings.

Most Compatible With: Vampires are attracted to their dark, silent presence. Ninjas share an interest in darkness too, particularly merging into it, so Ninjas will take on his or her Shoggoth partner’s mannerisms in time, creeping up on old ladies and causing them to feel an inexplicable sense of impending menace. Shoggoths are also the only star sign that can quite literally make the Earth move. Pass the concordances and I’ll tell you exactly when.

Least Compatible With: Burrows run away screaming, but Shoggoths shouldn’t take it to heart as Burrows do that all the time anyway.

Frodo 22 June – 22 July

How would I describe a Frodo in love? Kind of like candy floss wrapped in a wet dishcloth. Heaven help you if that one night stand turns into a long-term relationship. They’ll pop down to the High Street to buy an engagement ring and come back eighteen months later minus the ring and moaning about being mugged by a goblin. Whiny sods, Frodos!

Most Compatible With: Rangers give Frodos a sense of security and make valuable companions in most situations – post-industrial allegorical wars, going down the shop for a bag of crisps, that sort of thing. Burrows and Frodos have a natural affinity and, unusually for such diffident signs, get under the duvet pretty quickly. Unfortunately this isn’t down to instant sexual attraction – more a mutual fear of spiders in the bath.

Least Compatible With: Ninjas. Frodos dislike their emotional detachment and their unnerving habit of jumping out from behind the wardrobe.

Werewolf 23 July – 22 August

Should you find yourself tempted to take a walk on the wild side, a Werewolf would make the perfect partner. A romantic date could be a walk in the woods on a crisp autumn day, or dinner al fresco under the full moon. Err…

Most Compatible With: Orcs, another healthy outdoor type who enjoys a scrap. They get on well, but it’s likely to be a volatile relationship. Gurps’ mutability is attractive to Werewolves who like a bit of a change themselves

Least Compatible With: Rangers. A date swiftly becomes a competition for territory and limited resources. You know when you’re in a restaurant and the woman at the next table starts nicking her boyfriend’s chips? That’s a Ranger / Werewolf date playing out, that is. Two hours later he’s lighting fires outside his semi to scare her off.

Cugel 23 August – 23 September

Why is it that when I associate the two words Cugel and Romance I automatically roll my eyes to the heavens (and not in ecstasy)? Cugels are the charmers of the roleplaying zodiac and they are also cheating, lying bovines. Don’t trust a Cugel an inch. Females dating Cugels should always check the hallmarks on jewellery. It’ll be Claire’s Accessories in a Tiffany box. Totally disregard any promises they make. If the sun’s about to go out then a vow to love you forever is hardly what I’d call commitment. And don’t introduce them to your friends and family. They’ll traumatise the cat, chat up your granny and never be seen again.

Most Compatible With: Travellers don’t like to stay in the same place for long, so could well share Cugel’s commitment phobia or at least won’t be too bothered by it. Dorks and Cugels are mutually supportive. Hanging out with a Cugel increases Dork self-esteem and Cugel’s just love the constant admiration.

Least Compatible With: Gurps. All smoke and mirrors on both sides.

Ninja 24 September – 23 October

Not great conversationalists and inclined to be secretive. For some the Ninja has an irresistible aura of mystery, to others he or she is just sneaky and miserable. The link to Japan brings an air of the exotic, and, as teenagers, they show a remarkable talent for smuggling their dates in past Mum after 10pm.

Most Compatible With: Travellers, as Ninjas fit neatly into small spaces, ideal for spaceships. Shoggoths like their self-sufficiency and unpredictability, and they can club together to buy black cloaks in bulk.

Least Compatible With: Orcs – your bog-standard, straightforward geezer will find these inscrutable creatures thoroughly incomprehensible. Why hide in shadows? Why not just THUMP it?

Dork 24 October – 22 November

A Dork doesn’t have a natural air of romance about him, but be reassured that before you go out on your first date (and it will be his first) he will have researched the dating experience fully on the internet and probably got his mum’s advice too. You will get flowers, walks in the park and candlelit dinners. Problem is the flowers will be from the Texaco shop and the dinners will be the finest McDonald’s can offer eaten in his bedsit while you’re waiting for his mum to arrive with change for the meter. And, frankly, you’d get more bedroom action in Ikea.

Most Compatible With: Burrows are gentle souls with no wish to offend, so may tolerate a Dork’s shortcomings better than most. Werewolves tend to be no-frills types who find the lack of romantic nonsense refreshing.

Least Compatible With: Rarefied, high-maintenance Vampires. A Dork on your arm doesn’t do a lot for your street cred and there but for the grace of god…

Vampire 23 November – 21 December

Undoubtedly the sexiest sign of the Roleplaying Zodiac, so my human friends tell me. Vampires always dress impeccably, have gorgeous hair and spout Byron at the drop of a silk top hat. Unfortunately, because of their specialised diet, they are not always blessed with the sweetest breath and their ideal date would involve you both freezing your butts off in Highgate Cemetery at Halloween.

Most Compatible With: Werewolves will find enough common (hunting) ground to sustain a relationship with a Vampire, in the medium-term at least. Rangers are the only other sign hardy enough to put up with all the out-of-hours cemetery hopping.

Least Compatible With: Cugels, who can’t stand anyone more charismatic or interesting than they think they are.

Ranger – 22 December – 20 January

Dating a Ranger has its compensations. You’ll get some nice holidays in the countryside and you’ll never get lost on the way home from the pub, no matter how many lagers you’ve had. You’ll need to exercise patience, though. Most girls prefer a gift of flowers to a dead fox, no matter how beautifully it’s presented. Similarly, cloaking yourself in the scents of the country makes great camouflage, but the pong of deceased hedgehog just doesn’t cut it in high society.

Most Compatible With: Dorks, who are so grateful for a date they’ll put up with a lot, bless them. Cugels welcome a friend who can hide them in a hurry, but the only sparks that’ll fly is when they’re gearing up for a hedgehog barbecue.

Least Compatible With: Werewolves. Rangers tend to be good shots and female werewolves, in particular, prefer their silver in the form of jewellery.

Traveller – 20 January – 19 February

They call me the Wanderer, yeah the Wanderer, I roam around and round and round and round… Sorry about that, Buttercup’s playing 20 Number Ones of the 1950s again. That said, it pretty much describes a Traveller. Notoriously commitment-phobic, it’s Another Girl, Another Planet. Buttercup, for goodness sake turn that off, how’s a Moo to concentrate?

Most Compatible With: Frodos, who might like to travel along for a while and with Gurps who probably won’t remember them in the morning.

Least Compatible With: Shoggoths, who have long memories and hold grudges.

Burrows 20 February – 20 March

Strong, feisty, independent-spirited. All words you’d never use to describe a Burrows. At their worst, they’re verging on being stalkers. Ask this sign out for for a drink and there’ll be a florist outside your workplace before you can turn around. You’ll be awash with Care Bears by the end of the first week, and they’ll bankrupt themselves on Valentine’s day. Let them down gently, it’s not their fault, it’s the stars.

Most Compatible With: Burrows bring out Orcs’ protective side. Vampires like the undying (or should that be undead?) devotion and the fluffy toys.

Least Compatible With Travellers, who will have none of this nonsense and need little excuse to move on.

That’s it for this month! Moo for now.

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