A few musings on Kickstarter

It's been a bit quiet around here, which is at least partially because of the fact that the day of Scions On A Plane has been literally the only day of gaming I've gotten to participate in the new year.  There are plans for International TableTop Day, though, so hopefully that'll get things going again.

In the meantime, I'm just going to jot down some of my musings on Kickstarter campaigns, based on what I've seen working and the campaigns I've chosen not to back.  I'll go over a few categories of what I look at in a Kickstarter and talk about what usually entices me and what doesn't.  Right up front I'll say that I often first inspect a campaign based on the product offered, but the product offered has yet to overcome my apathy if I'm seeing things that I dislike about the project.  I'll list the projects I've backed, but I'm going to leave out specific names of ones I've chosen not to back, since I don't want to directly harm their chances of getting other backers.

Price Point

One of the most important things I've seen about how I interact with campaigns on Kickstarter is that I need to feel like I am getting value for the money I'm pledging.  If the initial reward tier is too high, then I virtually never pledge, especially if I'm considering a project that I've got no prior experience with.  Low as the price point sounds, it seems like $10 is about where I need to feel like I'm getting some reward even if it isn't the full version of the product.  I backed Dresden Codak, where I get a PDF for $10; Artisan Dice, where $7 nets a die; Fate Core, giving a PDF at $10; and Werewolf 20th Anniversary, with a wallpaper at $10.  The outlier is Zombicide Season 2, where the first reward was at $50; in that instance I already owned Zombicide Season 1 and had friends who participated in the first Zombicide Kickstarter.  I pledged more than the minimum on them all, but I feel that the reasonable minimum was a contributing factor in my choice to pledge.

In the projects I've chosen to skip over, the lowest pledge at which I gained a reward was $14 dollars.  More typically, I've found rewards starting at $25, $40, or $50.  In a few rare cases I've looked at projects at where the initial reward was over $150!  Obviously some design projects need that high of an initial level, but I think it puts them at a distinct disadvantage from the start.  I've seen some of the projects where high pledge levels are important for getting actual products made get around the need a for a high "first" pledge by offering things like t-shirts and schematics for lesser pledge levels (and this is somewhat the Werewolf Kickstarter did).

Funding Goal

In a lot of ways, the funding goal is even more important than the price point to me.  In order from lowest to highest, the campaigns I've backed were Fate Core ($3000 goal), Artisan Dice ($9000), Zombicide Season 2 ($25000), Dresden Codak ($30000), and Werewolf 20th Anniversary ($85000).  These campaigns also all managed to hit their funding goals at a rapid pace.  Many of the Kickstarters I've chosen not to back have had goals upwards of $150000.  While there are certainly projects that do require that sort of funding, I've found that many Kickstarters which might not need such high goals (a single RPG game book, a figure carrying case, production of cooking sauces) aim for these lofty goals.

My sense in this case is that when the Kickstarter is designed to reach for "just enough" to fund a project they set these lower funding goals and when they're aiming for enough to produce the Kickstarter and then gain mass release outside the campaign, too.  While that's probably the better business decision on paper, I think it often does not actually pay off as those campaigns go unfunded where campaigns with lower goals have far more success and pull in the extra funding that would enable them to seek broader release.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the campaigns with higher funding goals are also those with higher initial pledge levels.

Stretch Goals

Stretch goals are vitally important.  They're not a requirement on Kickstarter, but they are a fairly common aspect of virtually every campaign on the site.  Most Kickstarter campaigns are long affairs, lasting over 30 days.  Stretch goals keep people considering a higher pledge level and serve as extra incentive to woo individuals who are undecided into pledging.  In looking back at the campaigns I've backed, Dresden Codak has 26 stretch goals, mostly announced fairly early on, but modified as the campaign continued.  Artisan Dice, still fairly early in the campaign with 35 days to go as I write this, has six stretch goals with more hinted to be revealed further down the line.  Zombicide Season 2 has 45 stretch goals currently at just 5 days to go, with a few optional bits that aren't quite stretch goals, but have been revealed similarly.  Fate Core had 35 stretch goals.  And Werewolf 20th Anniversary had 12 stretch goals, though they were bigger ticket items such as whole new books.

While most of the campaigns I haven't backed have had stretch goals, those goals were often, in my mind, unobtainable.  They were set out past the funding goal (which is the norm), but when the goal is so far out that it may be unobtainable, stretch goals fail to add extra incentive.  Similarly, I find that I'm most motivated when there are a few stretch goals laid out at the start and more are added as the campaign goes on.  That pattern taps into my curiosity and encourages me to share the Kickstarter and raise my pledge more than a list of stretch goals which is completely set down before the campaign even begins.  Obviously, I'm sure the best campaigns have their goals planned internally before the Kickstarter begins, but there's no need for full disclosure right away.

In looking back, a lot of the campaigns I've backed have shared quite a few attributes and given their success, it seems like those attributes are attractive to quite a few people.  The key outlier in my purchasing habits here seems to be the Werewolf 20th Anniversary book.  It had a higher funding goal, fewer stretch goals revealed less frequently, and didn't provide the actual produced item until a much higher pledge level.  I think that the key factor that got me to overlook those things that might normally turn me off was the fact that I was highly familiar with White Wolf/Onyx Path and the product that I'd be purchasing.  The same goes for Zombicide in some ways, as I knew that $50 was less than I'd pay for the full game once released and I already owned Season 1.

As a side note, I've left out one Kickstarter which I backed with the intent of helping a 9 year old girl go to camp to learn to make computer games.  I excluded it because I consider it a charitable donation more than a purchase and am not concerned with getting a final product back.  Normally, I'd do that sort of thing on Indiegogo, but it happened where it happened.


An Exercise Worth Trying

Fate Core is coming.  I saw over on Reddit/RPG/ that some folks had made Fate Core (made by Evil Hat) style Facebook cover images.  I've statted myself out in Fate before (under the Strands of Fate system), but I think it could be fun to do it again as it's been a couple years and I'd like to put up a character sheet as a cover photo on Facebook.  So let's go through the steps of character creation to do just that.

First is the obvious one!  I need a name, but since I already have one, this is easy!
Name: Keith

Next up is the High Concept. That's "who I am."  In past Fate games I've played characters such as "Captain Eyepatch," "Heavy Metal Emissary of the Phoenix," "Overconfident Kid," "Tough-as-Nails Biker Grrl," and "Steampunk Suit-wearing Inventor."  For myself, I think I should highlight my job and my aspirations.  My job is as a program manager at a group home and my aspiration is to be a writer.  So I need to play with those a bit because they're not dynamic yet and don't flow together.  (Dynamic, in this instance means I need to be able to invoke it, calling upon the descriptor for a bonus to one of my rolls.)  For "writer" I like the term "hard-writing" for the pun and the fact that it sounds "active" and therefore easier to invoke. For the program manager position, the first couple things that come to mind are "program manager" or "group home manager."  Honestly not very dynamic sounding.  And "program manager" isn't very immediately descriptive.  However, I have a backup plan.  In a staff meeting last month, I jokingly described my job duties as "damage control."  That has some potential as a dynamic descripton.  Modifying slightly, I get "Damage Controller."  All together, that gives me "Hard-writing Damage Controller." Much cooler than "Group Home Program Manager who Wants to Write."
High Concept: Hard-Writing Damage Controller

Trouble is an aspect that's about challenges.  It can be an enemy ("The Alliance"), a personal issue ("Hot Headed and Stubborn"), something that makes a job tough ("Striking Appearance"), a physical limitation ("Sickly and Small"), a lack of knowledge ("Supernatural Cherry"), or other issue ("Nothing Without My Suit").  For me, I feel a trouble is easy to pick out; it's a physical issue for me, revovling around a knee I've had issues with for more than half my life.  It impedes my ability to exercise the way I'd like, has given me body inage issues in the past, and frequently aches fiercely. Perfect material for a trouble.  Again it has to be able to be called upon, in this case as a detraction from one of my rolls called a "compel."  So I can't trot out a full description.  My initial idea here is "Oft-wrong Knee" but I don't think that describes very clearly.  Perhaps "Half a Knee Short" is a little better, playing off the surguries and kneecap fracture I've had.  It's good enough to run with now, and if I was playing me as a character I could always change it up later to better suit what I mean.
Trouble: Half a Knee Short

The phase one aspect is one I've always interpreted as "where I came from."  I try to use it to say something about the character's family or why they are where they are.  One of the things I'm proud of on my mom's side of the family is the strength of will several of my relatives have shown, being able to decide on a good course and follow it through to the end in the face of temptation.  So I'm going to go with "Inherited Force of Will" to refer to the moments when I can emulate the strong folks in my family.
Phase One Aspect (Background): Inherited Force of Will

Phase two is about a "guest star" and how interactibg with that person changed your story.  Typically, this works best in a group where people can trade story ideas and create aspects together.  But since this is a solo exercise, I'll fudge it a bit.  I'm going to go back to when my friend Dyer and I used to take practice weapons out and spar in order to get exercise.  I'm calling it "Sunday Night Sparring."
Phase Two Aspect (Cross-over 1): Sunday Night Sparring

Phase three is another guest star.  Pardon me if it's corny, but this aspect has got to relate to the fact that I'm married.  Given that I wear a titanuim wedding band, it's an easy aspect (with bonus semi-pun).  Being married us a big and important part of ny life and it's natural for it to fit in here and would theoretically give sone plot hooks for a game.
Phase Three Aspect (Cross-over 2): Titanium Bond of Love

Skills should be pretty self explanatory.  We all have them.  In Fate Core a pyramid system is used, with the "best" skill of a character at the top with at least one more skill on each level as it goes down.  I like to start with the top of the pyramid and work my way down.  The hard part here is ranking them.  It'd be easy to put something like "craft" or "knowledge" at the top to represent my schooling/writing skills, but I actually think I'd like to put Rapport at the top because it relates to my work and to my aspiration.  The tier below that, I think, should contain Will and Crafts to continue linking back to my high concept and aspects.  Beneath that, I'd place Lore/Knowledge, Fight, and Empathy.  On the bottom of my pyramid would be Drive, Athletics, Investigate, and Notice.  I think leaving Resources off my list is justified by the fact that while I have a good income, I rarely have extra cash at hand.
Great(+4): Rapport
Good(+3): Will, Crafts
Fair(+2): Lore, Fight, Empathy
Average(+1): Drive, Athletics, Investigate, Notice

Stunts are about the things you can do that set you apart or where one skill allows you to succeed in place of another.  Players usually start with three to five stunts in game, so I'm going to roll with the low end and choose three.  The first stunt I have in mind would allow me to use Will in place of Physique (which, you'll note, I didn't have in my skill pyramid) in order to test my endurance.  I've done this, I think, numerous times in my life, so I feel like it's fitting.  To make it catchier, I'll also give it an aspect style name.  Second, I want have a stunt that will emphasize my ability to make connections between current events and someone's backstory; this is a stunt which will give me a bonus to my rolls rather than letting me substitute a skill for another.  Again, I want an aspect-y name, so I'll tie it to my aspirations as a writer.  Third and final, I want a stunt which creates a rules exception (so I've used all three types!), so I'm going with a stunt which will allow me to gain a second chance at defending against a social attack.
Soft Body, Strong Will: Use Will in place of Physique when determining endurance.
Seeing Real-life Plot: +2 to Rapport when learning of or knowing about someone's life story.
Whoa, Take it from the Top!: Gain a second defense roll against social attacks during a single challenge.

So that's what I've got!  I'm pretty happy with it and I feel like I'm still very familiar with the basics of Fate Core, which is great to say for a game system that hasn't even officially released!  I'm looking forward to the day it reaches my doorstep, that's for sure!


Kicking Dice

Sorry for the week of silence.  Work got crazy and I barely even had time to sleep last week.  But back to it with something short now!

As has been going on lately, I jumped on board another Kickstarter in the last week.  This time it was for Artisan Dice's metal polyhedrals.  At the moment, I'm just planning on getting a single D20 (though if I was given the option of getting fate dice, I'd be all over it).  While this Kickstarter isn't blowing stretch goals out of the water quite like some of the others, it's still rolling along well and got to it's first couple unlocked stretch goals in a timely fashion.

So far the one I'm most excited about is the Dragon's Breath option, which will make the steel D20 that I'm ordering have a blue-purple sheen.  There's still plenty of time left on this Kickstarter, too, so hopefully some more cool options will crop up.


A Ramble on Writing

I enjoy writing, it serves as a stress relief for me and I like giving others something to read for their entertainment.  For a long time, it was hard for me to stay focused on a story to finish anything of any significant length, though, without it being a collaborative story.  Last year, I changed my strategy up a bit and finally found some success.

The inspiration for the change came from a few different sources.  First, I recalled my experience in college setting time-goals for my writing (I was on 10-week quarters and had to have, if I recall, 6 stories submitted in the class); that meant I needed to get my stories done in compact forms.  While most were 1 or 2 page vignettes, I did write out a few longer stories which were successful mostly because I couldn't leave them open-ended to write as much as I want.  Second, I got a few minutes to speak with Nate Kenyon (author of Starcraft Ghost: Spectres and Diablo III: The Order among other things) at Blizzcon; we didn't talk about my writing at all, but hearing him talk about his process and how he got support for his books and was excited about getting a chance to jump into Blizzard's worlds was inspiring.  Third, I heard (again at Blizzcon) about one of the past winners of the Blizzard Writing Contest being employed to write stories leading up to the release of Mists of Pandaria; I'll admit, I was jealous, and decided I was going to do that.

So putting all those things together, I sat down with the intention of writing an entry for the Blizzard Writing Contest.  That goal gave me an easy route to the structure I needed to finish; the contest generally took submissions between September and October, entries needed to be between 2500 and 7500 words, and entries needed to be original fiction set in a Blizzard world.  I chose Starcraft, because it was the world I was playing most in at the time and it has always been my favorite of all the Blizzard games I've played.  I reread the Starcraft books I own (and picked up those just releasing, such as Devil's Due), replayed StarCraft and Starcraft II (and another Blizzard game from WAY back in the day, but that's my secret at the moment).  And I set out to get writing.  I began by coming up with a general arc for the story, focusing on having a concrete beginning and end (which was a first, generally, I know major plot points and the beginning, but never the end) and set to work building a spinal outline between them.

I got lucky in that I found a few people who were willing to question my writing and provide feedback to what I was doing.  They got to see the story grow from just under long enough for a minimum entry to about 6000 words.  That was where I felt the story settling down, feeling like it was contained enough to be called complete.  There's no doubt I could add more and, amusingly, I feel like I left the ending semi-open, but at the same time, I think there's a sort of resolution, finality in the openness.

Unfortunately, the Blizzard Writing Contest didn't happen last year.  For a short while, that was almost enough to make me lose sight of the accomplishment I'd made.  My wife had asked me to write a second story, still set in the same world but with, in her words, "more romance."  I floundered on starting that.  But once the year changed, I could look back and be proud of meeting the goal even if I didn't get to show it to who I'd written it for.

With the return of Blizzcon this year, I've got renewed hope that the contest will return.  I got to ask the Warcraft twitter account if they thought it'd be back and got a "I hope so!" which I feel is positive.  So I'm back to the task of the second story.  It's sitting at just a hair under 3000 at the moment, in about 4 weeks of writing, which means I'm moving far faster than the first story.  I can see where my process is being refined so that I can do this more efficiently.  I'm beginning to feel that, even if I don't win the contest, this is excellent practice for me; if I can do it and keep working on it, eventually I'll get to my goals of being published.  I just have to keep writing.


Various things that have me excited.

Ok, so there's a lot of things coming up videogame-wise that I'm excited about.  WoW patch 5.2, Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm, Assassin's Creed IV...  I thought I'd take a minute to share some videos and talk a bit about why I'm excited for each and how each video encouraged that.

So cool.  Blizzard is really elite at crafting trailers for their games.  The poetry in this one was really cool, different from Blizzard's usual fare and it rings really true with Pandaria.  I'm "new" to WoW, in terms of actually playing, but I paid attention to the game from day one, having loved the story of Warcraft III and its predecessors.  When I had less money I couldn't justify the monthly payments and then no one I knew was playing much, but at Blizzcon last year a large chunk of the people I know who play WoW got sucked back in, so I started considering it again.  I jumped in for the last couple months of Cataclysm and then picked up Pandaria when it came out.

A big part of Pandaria's draw for me is that it's the first completely new lore in WoW that isn't strongly supported in the pen and paper RPG or novels.  That's always the kind of things that draws me to games.  While certainly the dialogue and quests don't always have the deepest dialogue ever, the over-arching story, especially with some hidden backbone stories (the conflict between the Old Gods and Titans as well as the third faction in the Burning Legion, with hints that the Old Gods may be rising and the Legion returning), is very complex and has a broad scope that really allows for a number of finite stories which balance well with the ongoing tale.  The Thunder King looks to be one of the former (a surge from the Mogu, which will certainly be put down by players) with hints at the latter (a Titan players directly talk to who hints at something big coming from upon Azeroth, and further whispers from Wrathion about the return of the Legion).

I've been waiting on this one a while.  I was a huge fan of StarCraft and I followed all the fiction (I highly recommend Liberty's Crusade, The Dark Templar Saga, Heaven's Devils, Devil's Due, Ghost: Spectres, and Flashpoint if you want to really understand the StarCraft world).  I greatly enjoyed StarCraft II (despite the all-too-common "Blizzard's writing is shallow!" complaints).  I've wanted to see where the tale of Kerrigan and Raynor would go for over a decade.  The end seems to be nigh, which has got my curiosity at a peak.

I like StarCraft enough that I've tried to make up pen and paper conversions (and did try the Alternity: StarCraft game) and I've written 1.5 stories (the second is ongoing!) to use as entries to the Blizzard Writing Contest.  I can't wait to see where the story is going next.

Also very cool.  I find it very interesting how they've moved in a different direction than in other games in the series.  This is the first time we've moved backwards in time from the previous game (since when we got Altair after Ezio we still also got Ezio).  We've also got major changes in the modern era story (no spoilers!) and some hints at needing to connect with a different bloodline of assassins.  Beyond that, pirates!  This is clearly a way to make the games fulfill fun scenarios for the fans; swashbuckling attacks, beautiful vistas, and maybe some answers to how things came to be how they were in Assassin's Creed III.

It seems clear to me that the team behind Assassin's Creed has had the story for the modern era very well plotted out since the beginning but have been trying out ideas for the past on the fly in order to come up with entertaining locales in which to play.  I'm still hoping for a game set during the World Wars, Meiji Japan, or the various eras of the Indian Independence Movement (I can only imagine the conversations between an assassin and Ghandi).  I can't wait to see where they're going, either!


Another Day, Another Kickstarter

Not long after I raved about the Fate Core Kickstarter, I was enticed to jump in on another Kickstarter that's currently ongoing: Zombicide Season 2.

I own the first season of Zombicide, but missed the Kickstarter for it and thus the exclusives (if anyone reads this and wants to spring for them for me, I won't argue! Just saying...).  This time around I had been waiting and ready, having seen the warning on Guillotine Games' facebook page that the Kickstarter was coming.  Apparently, I wasn't the only one waiting, because Zombicide Season 2 shot out of the gate, blowing past stretch goals faster than they could be revealed.  As I write this, the campaign sits at just under $860k in around about a week.  Amazing.

I'm pretty excited for Season 2 and the extras are awesome.  In case you don't know, Zombicide is a cooperative zombie survival boardgame.  Players work together to meet objectives and escape the zombie horde.  In my experience, it is very important for players to work together; when one person goes off aline it often ends in their untimely demise ir the group being left without resources they desperately need.  Worse, as players grow stronger, the amount of zombies spawning increases; if one person quickly outpaces the others, the whole group will be quickly overwhelmed.  Dice are rolled on either melee or ranged attacks and when successful, zombies die.  Players can also search for more useful gear if they choose.  Personally, this is my favorite type of game.  While I love lots of directly competative games (Bang, Catan, Fluxx, Risk, Agricola and so on), I feel like I do best when working with a team.  I instictively try to support other players and enjoy collaborative problem solving.  At the moment, this basically makes Zombicide my favorite game.

Season 2 of Zombicide is (so far!) introducing two new settings, two new types of zombies, a new type of character, and a new form of support for players.  The settings are a prison (possibly a reference to The Walking Dead, which I love) and a mall (Dawn of the Dead, of course!).  The new barricade and security door mechanics for these settings look cool as heck.  The new types of zombies are toxic zombies, who do blood splatter damage when melee attacked, and berserker zombies, who have to be melee attacked to be killed.  No doubt having both types present in a single game will be devastating   The new type of character is the zombivor, an undead hero trying to help the survivors; I'm not so sure on the concept, but I have no doubt it could be tweaked to something I like or simply omitted and the game played under season 1 rules.  The new type if support is dogs!  Survivors can now have pet dogs to back them up and help them search or do damage. As a side bonus, zombie dogs are also being released!

So far the Kickstarter exclusive survivors, who are typically homages, are shaping up  to be pretty awesome.  The first is Brad, who looks a bit like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.  Then there's Dakota, who bears a striking resemblance to Pamela Anderson in a prison jumpsuit.  Aunt Rose looks a bit like Betty White and Kirk has a certain resemblance to Steven Segal if you squint.  Emma Stone in her Zombieland incarnation is there, too.  But the current title holder for most awesome is Fred, who is quite clearly Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead!  Very, very cool as a follow up to last year's exclusives who were lookalikes for Samuel L Jackson, Uma Therman, Angelina Jolie, Chuck Norris, Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, Bruce Willis, Danny Trejo and Bruce Campbell as Ash from Evil Dead.  I can't wait to see who is next.  Also I desperately wish I had the not-Ash survivor Troy, because seriously, he's awesome.

All in all, I'm thoroughly caught up in the Zombicide Season 2 Kickstarter, and hopefully I've given you a bit of a picture of why you might want to be, too.


NPCs for Leander

These are directly copied from an email by me to my GM, but I think having a second place with them recorded would be a positive and I don't believe there's any information here that needs to be hidden.

Elene (El-en-ee) Kefalonia: Daughter of the Muse Clio, Elene has been one of Leander’s main contacts on Olympus as he trained there.  Elene was born part of a quintuple birth, in which donated eggs from seven unknown donors were used to make fertile a woman who.  Each of the five identical girls was linked to one of the Muses, who were individually too weak in Legend to grant the divine essence that would bring their children to Godhood.  Clio and her sister Urania made a bargain.  Urania renounced her child of the five, instead transferring her divine essence to the child’s sister, who already carried the essence of Clio.  Elene grew, a child equally interested in words and the stars.  While she went to school and graduated with a degree in library science, she made her career in astrology.  Clio visited her daughter five years ago, revealing her parentage to the woman who was embroiled in searching for the donor of the egg which became her.

Elene leapt into the fight against the Titans.  She was, foremost, a researcher, combing lost libraries and rare texts for insight into the enemies of the gods.  Still, when she could step in and apply her knowledge, she was willing to lend a hand.  Elene wrote her adventures into a series of ebooks released over Amazon.  As the stories spread, so did Elene’s legend.  She reached the ranks of Demigodhood and began combing the great libraries upon Olympus.  When Leander was brought to the realm of the Dodekatheon, she was assigned as his liaison, teaching him about the enemies the young general was destined to fight.  While Elene cannot be spared from her demigodly tasks to help Leander frequently, she feels a kinship with Leander, much like a close cousin or distantly aged sister.  She will still send Leander advice or aid on occasion and the two keep in semi-frequent contact.

Ashon Chane: Swahili warlord who owes Leander a favor.  He controls a massive fortress outside of the Ugandan city of Katakwi.  Leander saved him from a rival warlord’s ambush and he pledged a life debt in return.  Leander doesn’t particularly like him, but will gladly use him if it comes down to it.

Diego Juarez: A drug kingpin in Mexcio.  He planned to stage a coup of the Mexican government, but Leander was hired to put it down with extreme prejudice.  Juarez managed to escape and vowed to hunt the mercenary down.  While Juarez himself is not supernatural, he has not hid his desire to harm Leander, and Titanspawn forces have begun to lurk around the edges of his operation.


Some extra flavor thoughts on Leander

There are now and again things that I come up with about Leander that are probably unlikely to come up in a game session but that I think are likely to help develop his character, so I'm planning on collecting some of these thoughts here in hopes of remembering them and giving added depth to the character.

Leander's backstory mentions that he was a frequent RTS and FPS player.  In specific, the games that Leander played as a youth would include StarCraft I, Warcraft I three III, CounterStrike, Medal of Honor, Command and Conquer 1 through 3, Total Annihilation, Civilization I through III, Doom 1 and 2, GoldenEye, the Marathon series, HalfLife and the Tomb Raider series.  As an adult, I picture him disdaining slightly of Call of Duty and Halo, but enjoying games such as Portal 1 and 2, StarCraft II, Left4Dead 1 and 2, the HalfLife sequels, Bioshock, Dead Space, and FarCry.  He theoretically has both a Steam ID and Battlenet ID (or more recently a Battletag) which would be Leadast, a portmanteau-ing parts of Leander and Adrastos, and pronounced in a way that sounds somewhat like "Lead us."

Leander is a competent driver, but probably doesn't actually drive frequently.  Much of his mercenary work has been in situations in which having a vehicle is either a luxury or a significant added danger, and therefore he's moved on foot much more often.  He has, however, occasionally employed both jeeps and motorcycles as mounted cavalry in certain offensive and defensive scenarios.

Leander, as has been noted both in game and during character creation, is fluent in American Sign Language.  Originally, Leander began learning it while wooing the daughter of one of his employers, but when she broke off their relationship (thanks to her father discovering it), Leander continued the pursuit as a way to add additional non-verbal communication to his combat skills.  He frequently teaches at least a few key words to those he's leading and has likely done so with at least some of the soldiers and Scions he's worked with on Olympus. I picture Elene as having occasionally given Leander lessons entirely in sign language, probably having shocked him with the knowledge that she was fluent the first time she did so.


Scions off a Plane! AKA videos part the second.

This segment has the big brawl at the airport:

 And this one has the wrap up to the session: