Sunday, December 29, 2013

Been silent for the last couple of weeks.

As you all may have noticed the blog has been quite for the last couple of weeks.  Basically the holidays came in and all of my free time got consumed.  First by my real world job where they had us on overtime up until our Christmas break trying to get out a much as possible.  Then I stepped away from the computer and spent a lot of time with my kids and all their new toys.  After the New Year holiday I should be back to normal on here with Cyberpunk Sunday and a few more posts in between.  Goal is to due more 'gamer centric' type of things but we'll see.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.021 - Firefighting, medical and fashion.


First up is an article that was sent to me and should have been in last weeks CS.  However my brain isn't in tip top shape so it slipped my mind.  Anyways here is a piece of tech in progress designed to be used by fireman.  It allows them to see through smoke along with a display giving them vital information.  Something they could really use.  Of course once this tech is up and running there are all sorts of other uses that it could be used for.  No idea how far along the path it is to being finished.

See through smoke firemans helmet.

Next is a set of glasses (they look more like goggles right now if you ask me) for the medical field.  Allowing the wearer to see though the skin of their patient to give them a good view of their veins and arteries.  Wish they had these the last time I had a blood sample taken as they always seem to miss the first few tries.....

Glasses that see through skin.

Finally we'll end with a little bit of fashion.  How about a light up hoodie with multiple light combinations.  Yeah I wouldn't wear one but I can see why some would like it. 

Light up 'technomancer' hoodie.

Hope to see you with another installment next week. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

WaRP mods for Question of Faith



Been working on my own setting using the WaRP OGL from Atlas Games.  The setting is fantasy so I've had to make a few modifications to the WaRP system since it was originally designed for a modern conspiracy game (Over the Edge).  Below are the few changes I've made so far to the combat section.

First up is the Damage Factors.  Had to spread them out a bit to give a bit of variety to melee weapons. 

Damage Factors

Unarmed                                              X1
Throwing Knife                                   X1
Knives, clubs, thrown axe, crossbow  X2
Swords, axes, etc                                 X3
Large Swords, axes, etc                       X4

After that I had to modify the armor rules for pretty much the same reason.


Type                  Rating                Penalty

Heavy cloth       1 point                    no
Leathers             1                            no
Chain                 1 plus bonus die    no
Partial plate        2                           yes
Full plate mail    2 plus bonus die   yes

And then finally shields.  Had to come up with something since rules for them don't exist in the WaRP SRD at all.


Shields

Shields are a special case in armor since they don't reduce damage but instead have a chance in preventing it. They also come in two sizes; small and large.

VS Missile combat. Shields add defense dice as 'cover'. Small providing 1 die and large providing 2 die. This is if the defender states they are using them for cover.

VS Melee combat. If the player states they are using them in combat they provide the following affects, otherwise they are simply strapped to their backs and provide nothing. Small shields add one die to your defense roll. Large shields add two dice to your defense roll but also add a penalty die to your attack roll as well. 



Anybody familiar with WaRP have any opinions on these.  Haven't had a chance to playtest any of it yet since it's been rather busy leading into the holidays and I've overtime at work mot of the time.  Lets hear your opinions.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyberpunk 2.020 Brain mods, Bitcoin and Bugs


You have to read this one to believe it.  A supposedly FDA approved product that allows you to overclock your brain.  Yeah you'll be sending some very low jolts of electricity across your grey matter with this thing.  First I'm a bit skeptical that it actually has benefits... but I'm like that about a lot of things.  Second, well lets hope you don't get a defective one and cause something a bit more permanent than a light jolt.

Using the Foc.us to ramp up your brain.

Ah Bitcoin.  This one is from a couple weeks back but still very impressive. During a Senate hearing over the virtual currency that was surprisingly positive the value of rose up through the rood.  Hitting around $700 a Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin hits 700 US in value.

Now this... this is government cyberpunk conspiracy to a very interesting level.  Russia claims they have found hacking devices and spammers hidden in basic household items manufactured in China.  I guess that's one way of listening in without a multibillion NSA set up.

Bugs hidden in common items.


That is this weeks Cyberpunk Sunday.  Hopefully I'll have another one up next week.




Friday, November 29, 2013

The Reverse Death Spiral... again.

A thread over on rpgnet got me thinking about the old 'death spiral' in gaming again. They were talking a lot about using the 'reverse death spiral' where the characters get bonuses, instead of penalties, as they get near death. Basically the character is fighting harder to try and stay alive, the adrenaline is really pumping and their motivation is growing.


One person even mentioned wounds as armor. Which I sort of used in my old freeform system I made once upon a time. In my system there were different levels of wounds once one of the lower damage levels got filled up it took bigger hits to hurt the character. You could also use a flat increase to the armor type or whatever, depending upon the system.


One issue that got brought up with the reverse death spiral is that players may start keeping their players 'on edge' or constantly wounded. Never using that healing potion, lower level healing spells, etc, just to constantly get the bonus. It was pointed out this was done in the City of Heroes MMORPG with one of their classes turning them into a 'walking wounded' class.


My solution for it was this. The bonuses are only in affect during the fight in which the damage was taken. Once that fight is over the adrenaline stops flowing, the aches really begin and the blood loss starts to build up. So they are back to no bonus for the next encounter and maybe only a few hit points left so not much of a chance to build a bonus then. Therefore it becomes important to keep healed up between fights.


Heck you could even turn the reverse into a normal death spiral after the fight. Which is what I would most likely do.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.019 Bitcoin, cybersex and drones


First off lets take a look at the downside of the Bitcoin.  In the form of disappearing exchanges and Bitcoin 'banks'.  See the problem with having a virtual currency without any real backing is that the 'banks' for this currency really don't have any real backing as well.  So if you're not careful all your coins just up and go poof.

Bitcoin exchange gbl holding 4.1 billion vanishes

Then on to the creepy side.  We all know cybersex is a big thing in various areas of the net.  Now somebody in Japan (really is that a surprise?) has taken it to a whole new level.  Using the Oculus Rift they are taking the VR Tenga where all the perverts knew it was going.  Yes this thing even has a robotic hand attachment for... well... just go read the article and watch the video if you dare. 

Japan unveils virtual sex machine video

Now we also have DRONES!  I think I could start up a 'drone saturday' article series on these.  This time I link to a site that lists even more links.  Called the 'covert drone war' you can find all the latest in news about the darker side of the use of drones.  From innocent civilians being killed, faulty equipment and more.

Covert drone war

So it was weekly this time around.  Hopefully I get enough for another next week.




Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.018 Urban decay, palaces, style and glospex.


First up this week is a tower of urban decay.  Johannesburg Africa, where one of the tallest ever attempts at a residential skyscraper sits and slowly falls into ruin.  All sorts of restarts, false starts and stoppages have plagued this building.  An awesome sight of what could have easily doubled for a block in Judge Dredd. 

Dark Tower: a symbol of urban decay

The wealthy have few limits on building their homes.  Now we are seeing a new trend of urban palaces sprouting up in New York.  Where the rich will buy buildings and turn them into their own personal living space in the middle of dense urban sprawl.  How long before parts of the city become filled with these?

NYTimes: Palaces in the making.

Stylin' and profilin'.  A friend over on Facebook sent me this link.  So now the sharp dressed executive can rest more assured that their clothing can be made bulletproof.  Carbon nano-tube technology mixes with upper class style.  Nice to know that the rich and well off can afford this....

Bulletproof suit absorbs small arms fire

This time I'll end with a link to a project over on Indiegogo that could use a little bit of attention.  GloSpex make glasses that emit light out in one direction, giving you that glowing lens without burning out your retinas.  I've got two sets of the first generation run of their original design and they are pretty sweet.  A bit rough around the edges but as a first gen that is expected.  I'm sure these will be of a much higher quality.  Go give them a bit of support.

New Glospex on indiegogo

See you in two weeks.  Maybe one if I stumble across enough articles.




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Binding up stuff.

 
 
Probably one of the better investments I've made over the years. A Combind for spiral binding game stuff. Bound up several printed off books, adventures and what not.  Also been toying with the idea of producing a small 25 to 35 page game book and selling it in this format.  Crank it out at home, old school indie publishing style (original definition of indie not the bullshit forge version).  Or even trying to start up Inner Voice in this manner as a black and white zine.
 
As for the picture on the left is the Little Fears Nightmare Edition playtest stuff from several years back. I put it into three sections for easier r...eference when I was doing the playtest for Jason L Blair.
 
 
Bottom right is 100 Horror Adventure Seeds from Postmortem Studies done up in two sections as I didn't have the bigger binder strips at the time.  Got some use out of it even before I bound it up
 
 
Then finally there in the center is the WaRP SRD that I've been flipping through a lot lately while working on my game. I've gotten more done up like this but they are in boxes in storage at the moment.
 
Anybody else bind up their stuff like this?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.017 - Smog, Trees and Virtual Reality.


Ah smog.  Smog on the level that they had to make new systems to measure it because it blew the old system away.  China has the smog in spades.  Of course this is what you get from unchecked air pollution and letting companies do whatever they want.  This could be the future of the air we breathe as we roll on into the future.  Where what looks like a morning fog is a actually a choking haze of air pollution that is good for nobody.

Heavy Smog Lingers in Northern China

Okay but then again maybe not.  Detroit, the biggest stretch of pock marked rusted America in the rust belt.  Where they've lost about half their population and the city is a showcase of urban blight.... is getting a bit greener.  A private company is buying up abandoned property in some of the worst areas, cleaning it up and... planting trees.  There is some interesting ideas going along with it and their plans for the future.

140 Acre Forest Appearing in Detroit

Another Twitter feed recommendation.  VR Breaking News covers all the current developments in the VR field after it's seen a recent resurrection from 90's abandoned development hell.  With things like the Oculus Rift and console systems looking into the technology things are moving forward quite rapidly again.  This feed posts enough links that I could make every Cyberpunk Sunday a VR Sunday and still have some extras left over.

VR Breaking News on Twitter

See you in a week with three more links.




Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hexcommunicated

Picked up Hexcommunicated from Rafael Chandler a while back in one of those bundle deals. Finally managed to start reading it a few days ago. So far I'm pretty damn impressed. Not at all what I thought it was going to be. Probably be finishing it up this week at work on breaks.  Probably try writing up a review for it after that. 
 
You can find it here at Drivethrufiction:
 
 
Here is the write up on the book.

 "Murderous Soultergeists prepare a gruesome ambush in a Cary hotel. A massive Frankenstitch lumbers towards a quiet Apex farmhouse. And above a derelict asylum in Raleigh, a disembodied Skelekinetic deploys a horrific weapon.

Agent Nick Tepes is a Vampoule, a synthetic vampire specializing in counterterrorism operations. When his team picks up chatter about an imminent attack from the Al-Hazred terrorist network, Tepes and his unit of FAE operatives move to intercept....

However, a psychic has already seen the future: as the sun comes up, the terrorists will strike, and Tepes will die. The team has one night to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong...

The debut novel of video game writer Rafael Chandler (SOCOM 4, Final Eden, MAG, Rainbow Six: Lockdown), Hexcommunicated is a white-knuckle mashup of urban fantasy and techno-thriller, set in a world of cybernetic werewolves, undead spies, and Lovecraftian WMDs."
 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Question of Faith - Core Concepts

The three core concepts of 'A Question of Faith'. 

One of the things I'm changing in the WaRP rules is the open nature of the character concept.  It's currently sat up to open a truly wide open set up for making whatever you want.  However the setting of QoF is much more narrow than most other games.  Basically you play a group that is sent out by the church to travel from town to town searching out evil.  Re-enforcing the rule of the church and it's beliefs among the populace while tracking down demons and killing them without mercy.

So I'm using something I call the 'core concept'.  Working something like character classes from other games but still allowing some of that openness as well.  Anyways I'll get into more details on how it works later.  Until then here is the basic write up on what each of them are.


Cavalier

You are the sword arm of the church in the cities and small towns. Chosen for your physical strength and endurance to be the first to take the fight to the followers of the dark. While you may not always be the leader you are always in the front when there is danger about. Weapons at the ready, armor carefully maintained and the courage to go nose to nose with anything that dares to stand against the church.
 
Cleric
 
You are the armed healers of the church. Those who have sworn to take blood in order to preserve lives. While not as trained in the ways of arms to the point of Cavaliers you are able to fight. What you can do is call upon the aid of the Lord to grant abilities that can heal some and hurt others. Demons tremble at your words and are burned by your faith. Do well to make them fear your name.
 
Priest
 
You are the voice of the church. One who travels far and wide to help maintain the faith of the Lord in the people. Every town is a flock that needs tending and dedications reaffirmed. By your words even the governors have to listen and obey. Giving the people a chance to repent their sins, report those who are in league with the dark and putting hope in all of those who stand by the light. You may also be called upon and asked to perform various ceremonies such as weddings, blessing of children and laying the dead to rest.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Question of Faith - or so it begins.

Working on actually getting a game out in some form or the other.  Usually I don't get to far in these attempts but now I really feel the need to finish one.  Just to achieve some sort of self-gratifying urge that has been in the back of my head for years.  So I've stepped up and put my game face on and really started to get down to the nuts and bolts of doing the deed.

The game will be called "A Question of Faith" and will be set in a dark fantasy type of world.  Players will take on the roles of warriors and priests who work for the church trying to push back and stop the influence of demons and their ilk from the land.  Going to use a lot of old beliefs in this like whenever there is an outbreak of a disease then there must be some greater evil behind it, that servants of the dark are active in trying to influence and corrupt those around us, things like that.  The demons will be a very real thing to fight, they will have physical forms (most of them) and they will be brutal. 

For the base system I will be using the WaRP OGL from Atlas Games.  It's simple and easy to modify around to fit a setting.  I'll be imposing a few limitations here and there to reinforce the game world along with adding a few bits as well.  The base mechanics will be the same, most of character creation will be the same although I will have to expand it out a bit for the 'magic' that will be available.

I've also started purchasing a few bits of stock art through drivethrurpg with more on my wish list to buy later.  Still looking for some more and I may have to either draw up some of my own or see what kind of funds I can scrape up for an actual artist to do specific work.  Problem there is that I'm poor but I'll do what I can.

Anyways this is the basic overview of the project at the moment.  I'll be posting up more on details and progress reports as they come along.  As for now I need to get back to finishing up the Character Creation section.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Numenera - Just when you thinks its over.


Just when you thought I was done.  Hell I thought I was done.  Then I picked up something at the post office today much to my surprise.

After raising my voice on my blog and in a few other places last month about the delay in receiving my copy things got done.  MCG sent me a priority 'fast as you can get it there' package through USPS.  Which is fine as I use a PO box and most delivery services don't deliver to those.  I got it in a couple of days, confirmation and all that. It has been sitting in a plastic tote in my room since then as I have no desire to even read it.

So today I get a package in the mail from PSI.  The service that MCG is using for their shipping.  Inside is another copy of Numenera.  First I thought it must be the copy that was shipped before and it really did get lost in the mail.  Nope it has an October shipping date AND it has Peter Amthor on the address (which isn't my real name, I gave MCG my real name for shipping).  So this was shipped after, like weeks after, I received the first copy. 

What does this mean?  It means their shipping company is really, REALLY, screwing up.  All I can guess at is that they are really still way behind on shipping books out.  As in they just now got to my copy.  Or maybe they just now got around to checking the 'ship these now they are late' notices from MCG.  But honestly I don't even know since they didn't have the correct name for shipping on it.  Personally I would be switching companies for handling this stuff next time, but that's just me.

So if I would have just waited as they wanted us all to do it would have been another month.

Now... I think I'm done.  I don't foresee anything else that could possibly go on with this Kickstarter that would even be worth wasting my time over.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.016 The future, drones and eco soldiers



Lets start off with a look at how a connected and advanced future is going to affect us.  This two page article takes a nice quick look at where we could be going and the challenges faced.  It really makes you set back and think a bit.

Challenges of a connected future.


Oh it's been a week or two since we've mentioned drones so it's about time to bring them up again isn't it.  We all talk about how soon we will be monitored and tracked by the little things flying over our heads.  Now we can look at how they are being purchased by police forces and then never being used (or being crashed) to do much of anything.  I guess the police state wants to watch us but just can't manage to get motivated enough to do it.

Feds waste 1.2M on drones.

Been waiting for an article like this.  Government funded eco warriors out to save the planet.  Well in Nicaragua they are out to save their rainforests.  They aren't just run of the mill eco warriors either they're the military so that makes it even better.  Actually makes me happy that some people are smart enough to realize that tearing apart our environment is a bad thing.

Nicaragua fields eco soldiers to save rainforests.

See you next week with three more links.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Question at Night

This is a very rough draft of a short story that I wrote for a game I working on.  So it still needs a bit of working on but I figured I would go ahead and share it.

'A question at night'


They stood in the center of the room waiting. He was one of the old guard, mid-thirties and worn by fighting. His armor marked by repaired damage and stained with the blood of the dark ones. She was much younger, untested and nervous. Even her armor betrayed her lack of experience, new and unmarked. Both stood beside each other looking about the room. Two empty cells made of barred walls, a table in the middle of the room covered with papers, books and some writing instruments, wooden stools and a single oil burning lamp hanging from the ceiling.


Within a few minutes a third man enters the room through the door. Wearing the leather armor of a town guardsman with one arm colored black to denote his rank as a sergeant. Carrying a bowl of soup in one hand he stops just two steps in as he raises his eyes to meet those of this visitors.


“Chevaliers... I was unaware of your presence or I would not have kept you waiting. It is an honor to be graced by your company. Please have a seat.” he motions to the chairs as he sets his soup onto the table, “I was attending to tonight’s orders and grabbing a late dinner. There is still more left if you are hungry. I can have a man bring you...”


“That isn't necessary Sergeant we are not in need of food at this time. I am Brother Joseph and this is Sister Mary, we are here to look into some matters involving some of your men.” He motioned for the guard to sit down, “Do sit down and enjoy your meal, we have a few questions to ask you while you eat and then we'll be on our way.”


With a little nod he takes his seat. A bit of sweat already appearing on his brow. He pulls a spoon from his his belt and stirs the soup a bit. “Anything you say Brother Joseph, I am always ready to aid the servants of our Lord.”

“Then before your first bite... put this in your mouth for a moment.” He drops a silver coin onto the table where it rolls a bit before stopping. The guard stares at it for a moment, sweat building more on his face, before looking up.


“Why do I need to do that? I mean what is it for Brother?”


“Just put it in your mouth please, on top of your tongue.” Her voice was a bit soft compared to the two men. But very clearly spoken and slow as if every word was premeditated long before they were spoken. Staring at her for a moment he then reached over and retrieved the coin from the table top and rubbed it slightly with his fingertips. Glancing back over at Brother Joseph while laying the coin onto his tongue.

“Good, now please swear your loyalty to our Lord who...” His words are cut short as the coin is spit back on the table, smoking with a good deal of burnt flesh and blood clinging to it. The guards mouth hanging open and a charred twitching chunk of burnt meat laying out of it. The body shook, eyes rolling back into the head, “A prayer of cleansing now Sister Mary!”


The thing that was the guard stands up quickly, inhumanly fast, bringing the table up with it. Running it forward slamming against his enemy as he tried to draw a blade. Running him back into the bars with a metal clang as they met with his armor. Sister Mary pulling her Lords Badge from beneath her robes immediately begins reciting a prayer in a clear determined voice.


With its face growing red with blackened veins it looks over to her and lets out a shrill scream. The skin of it starting to smoke faintly. Joseph regaining a bit of footing shoves the table back pushing the creature back across the floor and against the wall, shattering the table between them. In the close quarters neither are able to pull their swords reducing the fight to short strikes, kicks and shoving each other into the walls. As the prayer continues the smoke gets thicker and an acidic smell fills the room. Finally as the two tumble through the middle of the room one manages a grip on one of the chairs, bringing it across the others head knocking them down in a heap.


“Stop... that... you... wench...” Gurgling out the words as it turns towards her. The eyes bulging out now, face an almost purple red and the neck swollen to twice the width of the head. With a forward lurch and a cracking noise as a jaw dislocates itself a spew of intestines is vomited forth onto the last the Sister. Moving around her body and slithering upwards towards her arms. Pausing for a moment to keep from throwing up herself she keeps on with the prayer as the guts wrapping around her smoldered as well. They continue to pull around her, gripping her arms tightly as they constrict, trying to pull down her arm that holds the badge forward. Her throat burning with each breath from the smoke and eyes running with tears from it as well. Each word a struggle as they fight to see who can outlast the other.


Suddenly there is a flash of steel from behind the thing and the tendrils of guts go limp around her. Brother Joseph had regained his feet and finally managed to pull his sword. Headless and spurting blood the thing falls to the floor. The Sister backs away shaking the gore off of her and stumbles back against a wall gasping for breath and covering her mouth.


“Sister Mary are you injured.” She shakes her head in response as she swallows hard still keeping herself from throwing up. “You did good, your faith did not falter. Well done, especially against a Baalarashi. They are quite a nasty bit of business.”


Speaking from behind her hand still at her mouth, “I fear my stomach may not be as strong as my faith...”


“Nonsense,” with a grin and a laugh. “the first time I came face to face with one I threw all over it and myself.”


Lowering her hand and finally smiling a bit she nods. Reaching down and retrieving the fallen coin he tosses it to her. With clasped hands around it she utters a silent prayer and the flesh and blood of the creature turn to dust. As she hands it back over to him she looks out the small window into the night. “ Baalarashi almost never travel alone do they?”


“No... they do not. I fear we have our work cut out for us in this town Sister.”

Monday, October 7, 2013

Are you a loser RPG player?

This one is an oldie.  I wrote this one many long years ago along with a few other 'Top Ten' style lists.  I would have to say that this is probably a bit of a precursor to a lot of my feelings that went into the 'Be A Better Player' articles that I wrote years later.  You know where you are playing in a game and most of the time you are fighting the urge to just backhand the guy next to you.  Yeah those types of players....


Top 10 things that help determine if you are a Loser RPG Player.

1. Most if not all of your modern day characters have “and wearing a black trenchcoat” in their description.

2. Most if not all of your characters know how to use fully automatic weapons effectively. Even if their occupation was something as mundane as a Librarian.
3. You purchase your characters weapons based on which ones do the most damage not by what would fit your character the most.

4. Most if not all of your characters either have no family or they are all dead just so you don’t have any strings attached.

5. You know exactly how to play a Ronin Werewolf Demon Hunter but no idea how to play a Librarian.

6. You consider most if not all of your characters to be ‘departure characters’.

7. You know exactly how to work the game system to give you the most hit points, combat actions, extra abilities, etc, and you do it on every character.

8. Most if not all of your characters see money as the main driving goal of their lives.
9. Cheat on your die rolls when creating your characters.

10. You think your characters should always be the ones in charge and that all other PCs should listen to them and look up to them in awe.
 
 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.015 - Silk Road Seizure, bionic legs and auto tagging.


Okay first up is the government seizure of 'The Silk Road'.  A hidden website only accessible by using a TOR browser which is supposed to keep the user anonymous AND make it harder to actually find where the site is hosted.  Now first off if you didn't see this coming you really don't get reality to well.  It was being heavily used for the sales and transfer of illegal drugs using Bitcoin as it's main currency.  The owner is also under arrest for a variety of charges and probably won't be seeing the light of day anytime soon.

Of course this has also affected the value of the Bitcoin as its been on a jumpy ride ever since this happened.  But I will note that it is still very high above it's worth just last year.

Article on the seizure of the site and indictment of the owner.

Article on the current value of the Bitcoin after the seizure.

Now on to some cybertech!  Lets take a look at the development of the mind controlled bionic leg.  This tech has been in the bionic arms before but putting it into legs is a lot different.  As the article states one miscalculation could send the person spiraling to the ground.  Also notes that the US Army is funding the development of this as well.  So I'm assuming we'll be seeing disabled veterans being used to test these out in future testing.

Mind controlled bionic leg.

Okay and as we all know there are plenty of people out there who really don't like automatic face recognition software.  So they've been working on all sorts of ways around it.  From LED sunglasses to strange makeup and hairstyles that obscure facial features.  This one however is a bit less drastic.  A t-shirt meant to mess with the auto ID and causing the program to pick out the faces printed on the fabric as people.

Creepy auto tagging foiled by shirt.

Okay that's another week down.  Please tune in next week for another.





Thursday, October 3, 2013

Agents of Shield predictions



Okay going to make an "Agents of Shield" predictions post.  I'll just add to it as I either make more predictions or get proven wrong... or by some stroke of luck get proven right.  I'll add the date that the predictions were put above them as well.

11-12-13

More and more Coulson is suspecting something is wrong with himself.  This time he paused for a moment when uttering the 'magical place' phrase and then tried to get the information on his own recovery and was denied access.  So my prediction about him knowing there is something wrong was correct.

Don't have enough data to even think about a prediction for Skye after the new information was dropped tonight.  So as a complete outright guess I'm going to with 'probably the daughter of one of the future big bads'. 

11-5-13

Okay one of my first predictions "Coulson is aware that he actually did die and knows there is something 'different' about himself." is starting to show up.  Now I'm setting back thinking wouldn't it be odd if they threw us the curve ball and he really is Phil Coulson and the only thing artificial is a replacement heart or something.  But I still stand by my LMD theory.  I think he was dead for quite some time before he got turned back on though.

Fitz and Simmons will hook up.  But it'll be a long drawn out Whedon style process getting there.

They keep giving us locations without actually showing us the locations.  The Slingshot, The Sandbox... I bet some of these show up again but a few will show up in some of the upcoming movies.

10-22-13

I don't think the doctor is going to be showing up again.  Okay I couldn't resist that one.  Now then....

Project Centipede isn't connected to the EEA's. 

Project Centipede is part of Hydra.  Which is part of the reason they are so hot to make super soldiers.  They've seen what they can do.

Skye's parents are going to end up being dead Shield agents.  But I'll admit this isn't what I thought Skye's secret was going to be, nowhere near anything I had rolling around in my head actually.

Oh and that was a nice shout back to the first Iron Man movie.

10-15-13

More EEA's will show up.  That's Enemy Eyeball Agents to you all.  Whoever the EC's (Eyeball Controllers) are they aren't using alien tech because they are older than the portal.  But the time frame of the agents they took could put them around Iron Man one and Stark tech may be that advanced.  Left over group of Stane's maybe?

Coulson is not a perfect copy.  Something didn't cross over right hence the lack of muscle memory last week and the rescued EEA noticing that something was changed in him.  May have to go back and watch his previous movie appearances to see if there is something actually noticeable they are doing that I'm not noticing.  At least it gives me an excuse to watch the movies again.

or.....

Agent Coulson has died before this another time.  Like between the time tonights EEA knew him and when he met the Calvary.  Hence why one would notice and the other not.

10-8-13

Dr Hall will return, but that is a given.  He's going to be Graviton.  If pulled off right he could easily be the 'Magneto' for Agents of SHIELD. 

The lack of muscle memory is another sign of Coulson being an LMD.  If he hasn't figured it out himself yet he will.  I still think he suspects something.  Also the 'rusty' remarks are sorta hints at him being a machine.

The bad guy that got away is part of Hydra and will return as such. 

10-3-13 predictions so far.

Coulson is a LMD (Life Model Decoy).  Originally these were robots meant to go out and take the death shot for an intended target.  Later on they got more advanced making it a lot harder to determine if they are human or not.  Coulson is getting hurt in the series, bleeds and all that.  May be a very advanced model.  OR since everybody is saying this they could turn around and prove us all wrong.

Tahiti, it's a magical place.  This is a false memory planted into Coulson.  When he was activated as a LMD to cover up the time it took to transfer his mind into it. 

Coulson is aware that he actually did die and knows there is something 'different' about himself.

If he is a LMD then Skye will be the one to figure it out.  Most likely with her computer skills.

The Rising Tide is part of Hydra.  Although I don't think some of its members know this, including Skye.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.014 Robots, modern slavery and slums.




The advancement in the field of robotics has always been a bumpy one. It seems we make some headway and then stall out for a while. This, however, looks like something that could push it towards a steady upward growth of innovation in the field. Using lessons from biology and applying them to robotics in order to give them a more human range of motion.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/518796/some-robots-are-starting-to-move-more-like-humans/


How about a look at society. In Qatar there are some startling reports of labor abuse among immigrants. Not talking about some random construction jobs either, but about the building of the site for the 2022 World Cup. Everything from seizing passports, withholding pay and working people until they die. At the current rate it is predicted the construction will cost the lives of around 4000 workers. International image at a world event is put before any number of human lives evidently.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars-world-cup-slaves


Finally there is my favorite for the week. The slums in Asia Dharavi are home to an estimated one million people and it generates profits worth around 500 million dollars. Yes the slums generate a profit of all things. Apparently they recycle the garbage from the rest of the surrounding city and craftsman, laborers and other such folks use what they scavenge to run their own home based mini-factories. Now an architect firm has proposed a building to house the slums in, allowing room for the people to continue doing what they are already doing. There is no ground floor, residents are given 'blocks' of space to build however they want allowing them some design on their own home/workplace. Really you just have to read this AND see the amazing blueprints provided.

http://www.designboom.com/architecture/ugo-architecture-and-design-lets-talk-about-garbage/

See you again next week for three more.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.013 Bitcoins, Dead Drops and Police Ray Guns.



Talk about your anonymous file sharing. Dead Drops creates an interesting way to go about it. Offline public space file sharing ports built into the walls of buildings. Of course there is no telling what may be in there. Could be the latest rip of a current movie or a virus geared to zombie your computer. Ah well you take your chances.

The Dead Drops website


The street will find it's uses for technology. That time has started to come for the Bitcoin (also whats a Cyberpunk Sunday without a Bitcoin article?). Now the homeless are using this online anonymous currency as a way to help survive. Making a few bits worth here and there adds up at the end of the month.

Bitcoin and the homeless.


New police 'toy' currently coming along. Battlefield tested 'ray gun' that disables the electronics and shuts downs a target vehicle. No actual information on if this thing permanently disables all of the electronics on a vehicle, thereby really racking up the damage in the dollar sense. Also nothing about how specific of a target it can hit or if it can also hit vehicles near the target with the same 'shot'.

The Police 'Raygun'.

That's all this week.  Come back next Sunday for another batch.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Read The Damn Book



Time for me to recommend another persons blog post... and there by also recommend their blog as well.

Today it's going to be a post by Anthony Jennings who runs the blog "Read The Damn Book".  There is a lot of WoD discussion going on there so anybody interested in that should tune it.  But he also covers a good variety of topics as well.  Which is where I'm going.

Back on the 14th he posted up his 'Table Rules' for when he runs games and why he uses them.  Eight rules that have helped keep peace at his games and made them all run just that more smoothly.  Now your mileage may vary of course but these are some pretty solid rules I must say.  Although the 'No alcohol' rule wouldn't fly at the gaming table where I've spent some of my best games as a player at.  But hey different strokes and all that. 

Anyways here is the link.

Read The Damn Book: Table Rules

So give them a look and after that give the rest of his blog a look as well.  You might find something that you like.

Friday, September 20, 2013

OSR I want to like you.

I really want to like the OSR movement. Honestly I do. I've really enjoyed some of the product that has come about because of it and met a few really cool people that are pushing the whole idea. But there always has to be that bad with the good. Sometimes the bad just comes forth a little more than anything else. Here's one of the negatives that I've seen rise lately.


Out with anything new. A new game comes along and people pick it apart. But not based on what it does wrong, but on what it does different than a decades old game system. More recently I've seen several OSR minded people rag on Numenera (yeah yeah I know....) because 'they could've simply used a retroclone system and accomplished the same thing, or being unneeded and could've just been a supplement for -insert their favorite OSR game-.

I'm sorry but some of us like new things every now and then. Change can be good, interesting and a pleasant change from the norm. But all to much do I see folks railing on others for liking something that doesn't fall into the old school rule sets. Basically they don't like it and you shouldn't either.  Way to much 'one true wayism' and it feels like dealing with all the other egotistical pundits that thrive on splitting the hobby nowdays.

I like my old red box DnD. It's what I usually use when I run fantasy games. But no way do I think it's the end all be all of game systems for everything. Nor do I think the same for any game system out there what so ever. But apparently that way of thinking isn't all that welcome among some OSR circles.

Ah well just my two cents on the subject. It's probably different than your two cents.... you may have Canadian pennies, or I may have a wheat penny and one of the newer shield ones why you have two others. Or maybe you use yen.....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Numenera so now I'm a liar



Well so now I'm a fucking liar.  That's just great....

From Tammie at MCG.

"In a previous email you indicated that you had responded to the backer survey and were surprised that your name wasn't listed in Numenera (corebook) as a backer, and I'm sorry to be the bearer of sad news, but I'm afraid you are mistaken. You did not respond to the survey in October 2012, which is the survey from which the names were downloaded."

Like I've said before.  Last penny of mine they well ever see.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Numenera finally an announcement



First off there is evidently a bit of a misunderstanding about something I said on my last blog post:

"As a final note it appears that Shanna Germain is the only person from Monte Cook Games that is even trying to do any sort of damage control or PR about this whole thing.  Probably not an easy task right now but if books don't start showing up soon overseas it's not going to be getting any easier."

Shanna evidently took that as "only doing PR".  Not sure how she took only that away from what I said.  I was trying to point out how she has been the ONLY person to step up and try to communicate with fans and backers about the problems going on.  You go and find a Numenera fan community online and chances are you will find her there as well.

Do I have a bad attitude and very unlikely to trust others?  I'll admit to that.  When I get aggravated about something my attitude goes to hell rather quickly.  I've also been screwed over and lied to by a few game companies out there (7th Circle comes to mind immediately) so I'm hesitant to trust any of them.  And yes most of them appeared to be all about the best of intentions and sincerely caring.

Now on to Numenera fulfillment updates.

Finally a press release from Monte Cook Games about it.  Here is a quick link:

http://www.montecookgames.com/kickstarter-fulfillment/

Things I find interesting here.  The fact that retailers, distributors, game shops and even Amazon got their books a couple of weeks ahead of the backers is referred to as a hiccup that occurred in the fulfillment process.  341 orders with no address, mine better not be in that pile because I was told they had my address over two weeks ago.  That there will be more Kickstarters for other games from MCG... no thanks I'll wait and get it cheaper from Amazon if its something that I really want.

Other notes,

More folks overseas are talking about getting their books finally.  Now if only the fulfillment company could figure out where Missouri is.

A 'Your Welcome' to the backers who have contacted and thanked me from making some noise on this issue.

I did not do these blog posts with the intent of doing some sort of damage to MCG as one person suggested.  I doubt anything I say could have much affect on their bottom line.  IF I was doing that then why haven't I linked to these blog posts in the various Numenera communities?  I only linked back to this from my own G+, Twitter and Facebook accounts.  The only community I mentioned them in was the Kickstarter one on G+ that I moderate and now co-own.

Now then hopefully my book will actually reach me.  Then I can trade it off for something I want because currently I have nothing but a bad taste in my mouth because of it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Numenera updates



Well here is a batch of updates regarding the fulfillment fiasco of Numenera.

First off I've apparently attracted some attention to myself... which was actually part of my goal with this.  Now Shanna Germain has responded both on a G+ Kickstarter community I co-own and on facebook as well.  Here is her response on G+:

"Peter: We don't know why you didn't get your book yet, but we are very sorry that's it taken so long. We are Fed-Exing you a new one on Tuesday. If your original book reaches you, please keep it with our compliments and gratitude for your support.

As a side note: I wish I could give you some small idea of how hard we are all busting our asses to get these products out to everyone despite the hurdles of shipping, processing, creating a product, and being the largest RPG Kickstarter to deliver so far. So while I agree that we didn't do a perfect job, it is not for lack of desire or attempt. We are already holding planning sessions on what went wrong and how to fix it for the delivery of the rest of the products. Backers are our first priority and always will be. We just need to get the shipping companies and delivery systems to be on board with that philosophy in the future as well. "

So a copy is supposed to be in the mail to me for sure this Tuesday.  The original book has still not reached my PO box as of today either.  I'm rather sure it never went out the door from their fulfillment company seeing how long ago it was supposed to have been shipped. 

Then right below that another backer in the US spoke up and said he's still waiting on his book as well.  Along with his name not being in the book either because the 'internet glitch' that apparently ate my survey must have ate his as well.  There has been no response to him unless it was via email or private message.

Then over to the Kickstarter comments section we start to see the overseas backers starting to get even more agitated about their lack of a book.  They have also started pointing out something that I said earlier on.  It doesn't take this long to ship overseas.  Having bought sold and traded games with people overseas for over a decade I've always laughed at how long people claim it takes for overseas shipping.

As a final note it appears that Shanna Germain is the only person from Monte Cook Games that is even trying to do any sort of damage control or PR about this whole thing.  Probably not an easy task right now but if books don't start showing up soon overseas it's not going to be getting any easier.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.012 - Weapons, Bitcoins and defy the NSA



What happens when a blockbuster toy creator turns his hand to non-lethal weaponry? Awesomeness ensues. Just look at what the creator of TMX Elmo has made now. Just need to find the 'buy now' button on here.....
 


The Bitcoin is gaining even more momentum even after the US government started an attempt to crack down on the currency. Now we are getting Bitcoin to cash ATMs. Can't wait to see these things out in the wild.

Bitcoing ATMs coming soon.


NSA spying got you down? Well some folks aren't going to take it laying down and neither should you. Here is a list of nine tips to help secure you privacy online a bit more. While some of them aren't fool proof every bit helps.
 
 
 
See you again with three more links next week.  Till then stay cyber.
 


Numenera waiting continues...



Another bit from the comments section of the Kickstarter:

"I understand that living in Australia I have to wait longer than usual, but this is another kickstarter I have paid top dollar for only to see the product I helped come to market become available in local stores before I received anything."

But evidently we see them caring more about their future sales then they do about taking care of the problems they have right now:

"A big focus of the MCG summit is to resolve the shipping issues for future products."

"We are working hard to ensure your next fulfillment experience from MCG, which for many of you will be the awesomely creepy 96-page adventure, The Devil’s Spine, goes smoothly."


But hey they have a MCG summit and apparently can't respond to emails on time right now and will be behind on them when they come back.  So the summit is someplace with no internet access and none of them have iPads or smart phones?

Also the people who backed the Torment video game were getting theirs as early as the 3rd of September.  Twelve days ago.  Which is plenty of enough time for somebody to ship a book overseas.  Trust me I know, I've sold and bought books from people overseas before.  Either the fulfillment company is not telling MCG what is really going on or there is something MCG isn't telling it's backers.

Also I've had a few backers jump up to defend MCG.  They are all backers who have received their copies by the way.  Like this guy who has had his for weeks now:

"I'm happy to get this product produced... That's why I backed it. Getting it first, getting extras etc are all very nice but it was on Kickstarter to get it going at all.
It's a bummer getting things late but because of us there is a line of other products already in the works. I'll take that over treating this like a pre-order. It would probably be smart of all gaming kickstarter warn about things like this though.
I'm not trying to put down people disappointed by the shipping issues, we all are in that boat. Just trying to remind people of what we did help get going here."


Seems Australia backers are really unimpressed.  Here's a comment from the updates section of the kickstarter:

"I received my copy of Numenera today (10 SEP). But NOT from you, from AMAZON, whom I ordered from as I wanted a second copy, they shipped it on 31 AUG by Standard (NOT Expedited) shipping. The books have been available on sale here in Australia since a few days before that. I don't know whether this is because of the one week delay resulting from your miscommunication with the shippers or because the shippers are merely incompetent, or because you have chosen to use incompetent couriers (I won't use Amazon Expedited Shipping because, though it might arrive *somewhere* in Australia quicker than Standard Shipping, it is rarely in the same state as I am when it does and they then use the most incompetent couriers possible - who deliver to a similar street address in another state, or the wrong street and number in the same suburb, or who claim to have made delivery attempts and left notes when they haven't and then want me to travel to their depot on the other side of the city to pick it up and do their job for them). Whatever reason, I am not impressed. I hope it will arrive soon, and I hope that the next items that I paid for IN ADVANCE will actually get to me at least around the same time as they appear in stores here in Sydney."


Here is some more of the 'Getting them to the stores is our main goal' type of dialogue.  I mean they'll apparently bend over backwards for a retailer but backers are told that 'it's out of our hands' or 'wait a little longer' etc.:

"We've heard a couple of people mention online that they went to their local game store and were told they couldn't get a copy of Numenera for a number of reasons, such as the distributor not being able to get them, that they're out of stock, etc.
We've talking with our distributors about this (we really, really want you to be able to get books!) and they said the best way to fix this was to get specific examples of where the books aren't available so they can help make that happen. We're also hoping that this kind of dialogue will ensure that the future products will be available in stores when you want them to be there."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Numenera aggrivation



It's been a month from release date now and I'm still waiting on my backer copy of Numenera.  Since the 14th of last month ANYBODY could order a copy of the game (at a deep discount) off of Amazon and get it in a couple of days.  Those of us who invested our money into the project were left waiting.  Within a day or two after Gencon retail stores in the US and overseas had copies on the shelves.  Again those of us who invested were left waiting.

From everything I've heard the books didn't start shipping to backers until around the 20th.  AFTER all distributors, game shops and online retailers had received their copies.  Folks in the UK are still waiting for their books as I haven't seen a single backer there say they have gotten theirs.  People who backed the Numenera video game kickstarter at a high enough level have already started getting their books while many of us who helped pay for those books to get published are still waiting.

My name isn't even in the backer list in the back of the book evidently due to an 'internet glitch'.  I even redownloaded the latest pdf version and they haven't even bothered to correct it there.

Now they are telling those of us still waiting to.... wait a few more days.  What are we waiting for now?  A second printing?  Did they sell out of the initial run to retailers instead of setting enough aside for their backers?

Also I've seen a person on their staff keep bringing up how many pdfs we will eventually be getting and the value of them.  Excuse me... I'm not a big pdf reader for big books.  PLUS I backed early on before most of those were ever even attached to my backer level.  I backed the kickstarter for the book from the get go.  If all I wanted were the pdfs there was a cheaper level for that.  I wanted the book from day one.

Now.... I don't want the book anymore.  All my enthusiasm for the game is completely gone, my excitement is now aggravation.  It all went away as I watched online as people were talking about picking it up from the stores, Amazon and online retailers.  The book, when I get it, will either be traded off as soon as possible for something I may actually use OR it will be setting on my shelf gathering dust until it turns to dust.  I have no desire to even crack it open now. 

We backers have really gotten the short end of the stick on this.  All we are getting in return is a bunch of lines on how they are going to make it right.  Which means they'll eventually ship the book out and go "See we're all good now right?".  That's not going to make it all fine and dandy.  I will NEVER back another Monte Cook project again because chances are everybody else will get it before I will.  IF he ever does something I really want again I'll just wait and pick it up from Amazon at that deep discount because I'll be getting it sooner and cheaper than his backers will.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.011 NSA, Bitcoin and Crossbar.



Let's start off with one of the biggest whistle blowing alerts that's come along in years. Snowden making the population of the United States, and the world, aware to the level of spying that the NSA is capable of. This time his new leak cranks the level up to an even higher level. Just how far the NSA is into cracking encryption programs... and some of the ones they evidently have already cracked. If you think any of your information, your banks information or corporate information is safe... think again.

Snowden disclosures NSA bombshell decryption report

It's been a bit since I've discussed anything about the Bitcoin. But here is a bit of news a few weeks old that is of very important interest to fans of the digital currency. The government of Germany is recognizing it as an official currency that can be used for private transactions. That's a HUGE leap forward for the Bitcoin and it may cause a few other countries to follow suit. Although I bet cash money that the United States will never do this.

Germany recognizes the Bitcoin

Now lets talk some tech... or at least let me link to some tech talk. Crossbar is about to blow the lid off the Flash Drive market with something that blows away anything on the market. One terabyte on a chip smaller than a postage stamp and it access that information faster.

Crossbar says it will explode the 60b flash memory market

Okay that's all I have this Sunday.  Check back in a week for another installment of three links of cyberpunk interest.
 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.010

First up this Sunday is of course... MORE DRONES. I'm telling you most cyberpunk fiction of the day seemed to have failed to foretell two things. Cellphones and the amount of drones that are going to be over our heads. This time it's a shoulder launchable solar powered drone. Light weight and limited in uses but still it is something you can put into the air very quickly.

Launch This New 9-Hour Solar-Powered Drone from Your Shoulder

Then it's on to some of the ground work for the future of neuralware and brain/body hacking. It's all small steps and tiny advances but it's coming along. So making a colleagues hand move with just the power of your mind isn't a magic trick anymore. Okay it's not just the mind either there is a bunch of tech between the two as well.

Scientist controls colleague's hand in first human brain-to-brain interface

Of course society is another affected part of the cyberpunk revolution going on. Basically the collapse of conversing in a civilized manner. A look at the a fanbase with a growing portion who are absolutely vile online and with their reactions to anything that they don't like. Net powered rage coupled with being anonymous and somewhat untouchable.

Plague of game dev harassment erodes industry, spurs support groups

That's all for this week. See you again in seven days with at least three more links for you clicking enjoyment.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Punisher for PS2 review on Truly Rural

Latest video game review from Jay on Truly Rural. This time he steps back to the Playstation 2 and gives us his review on the blood soaked Punisher video game. Does it live up to the character or are we just measuring the blood splatters on the wall?

The Punisher for PS2 review on Truly Rural




Monday, August 26, 2013

Random starting equipment

Been in a bit of a discussion with some folks over on G+.  A bit of talk about generating up some random starting equipment tables which I thought was a neat idea.  So I started working on one that is completely random for Basic Fantasy.  Basically was going to make charts for each class so they get gear that suits them.

Some people liked the idea of random starting packages of equipment.  One person spoke up and said as long as there were a lot of packages to really add some randomness to it.  Then somebody posted up a link to a blog post... the one here below to be exact:

http://untimately.blogspot.ca/2012/07/od-equipment.html

For old DnD.  The four basic classes represented with sixteen packages for each.  Now this is awesome and I will probably be using it next time I run some BECMI DnD or Basic Fantasy.  Also if you look through the comments you can find a link to a pdf version of this list. 

So two thumbs up and I salute the work that went into this resource.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.009

The underlying theme to this weeks link is one of Gibson's favorite things.  How the street finds uses for technology. 




Wi-fi user stalking made easy. Just how easy it to spy on people using wi-fi devices like their phones or iPads? Pretty damn easy. With this very cheap set up a person can monitor and record the activity of various users as they simply pass by little boxes hidden nearby. If you think about it this can really crank up the creepyness factor as a person could monitor the entire neighborhood they live in.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/08/diy-stalker-boxes-spy-on-wi-fi-users-cheaply-and-with-maximum-creep-value/


Would it be cyberpunk without a drone? Heck no so here we go. Robot enthusiasts have started using Google Glass as a means to control small drones. Currently they are pretty basic maneuvers but I'm sure they'll get all the kinks worked out and a lot more options will appear. Just wait until officer Murphy can send that drone down a dark alley without having to set down his donut and coffee.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2400958/Hacker-pilots-drone-Google-Glass-using-just-head-movements.html


Tired of the worrying if the government is spying on your internet activity? Or should I say are tired of knowing that the government is spying on your internet activity? Well so are these folks and they aim to do something about it. Build a new form of internet. One that is composed of small nodes and various connections. A lot harder to control and probably a bit harder to shut down in areas with a high concentration of nodes.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929294.500-meshnet-activists-rebuilding-the-internet-from-scratch.html


Of course there are some who really don't like being spied on and have built a whole new layer of security under the net. The Darknet has become one of those things you hear about but very few ever seem to be let in on. Secrecy built on top of more secrecy. You even have to have special programs just to get in. If you ask me these guys are doing it right.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2046227/meet-darknet-the-hidden-anonymous-underbelly-of-the-searchable-web.html

Friday, August 23, 2013

I found what in my bag of holding? Part 3

Now for a third batch of random items that your players can find in a bag of holding.  Because not everything thrown in has a use.


1 – Burlap sack with about a half dozen charcoal bricks inside.

2 – Large section of ordinary tree bark.

3 – Pack of rations... well beyond their expiration date.

4 – Waterskin and the water inside has been there a looong time.

5 – Handful of very pretty, but worthless, gems.

6 – Empty wine bottle.

7 – A wad of blood stained bandages.

8 – Bundle of a dozen very old and very dead roses.

9 – Bottle of Lilac scented perfume.

10 – A corkscrew in great condition.

11 – Recipe for making your own mead on a old scrap of paper.

12 – Small pouch holding chalk powder.

13 – The mummified remains of a small rodent.

14 – Leatherbound book of erotic poetry.

15 – A stack of decades old 'Wanted' posters.

16 – Around a hundred feet of thread, loose... not on a spool.

17 – Horseshoe with teeth marks on it.

18 – A nine foot pole.

19 – Small leather pouch filled with human teeth.

20 – Set of wooden dentures.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Rules for asshole gamemaster number three

There seems to be the common misconception that runs through a lot of the gaming hobby out there. That we have to accept everybody who wants in no matter what. We should greet them with open arms and friendly words despite of their actions or behavior.


This is, in my humble opinion, utter bullshit.


Now don't get me wrong here I am accepting of a lot of things. Social awkwardness, various quirks and odd habits, a lot of what gets some people ostracized from other circles I am fully aware of dealing with and allowing at my table. The ones I am talking about here are the ones who go far and beyond the average 'geek' who isn't familiar with interacting with people on a normal basis. The ones who continue, or in some cases increase, their strong anti-social tendencies even after you've sat down and had a talk with them about it.


The guy who seems okay at some points but hits on every female that comes around... as long as they are underage. I've seen this one at a local game shop, he was in his mid twenties and he seemed to like the ones who either weren't old enough to have a drivers license or just got one. Really creepy pedo factor every time I was near him.


Or how about the overly violent bully. He sees all the other players as inferior or stupid, usually the GM as well. Yells at other people for the decisions they make, threatens physical harm if they make a bad die roll. Usually states that he is the only one at the table with any form of intelligence quite loudly to the other people.


The drug addict who is always trying to get other people to join in with his habit. The kleptomaniac who thinks what is yours should be his and has no problem taking it. The guy who absolutely refuses to bathe that people on the other side of the room can smell. The ones who really push the boundaries way far and beyond their limits. Those folks are who I'm talking about.


What's my asshole gamemaster advice here? Kick them the fuck out, plain and simple. Their reputation will rub off on you and the rest of the group even if you don't want it to. Potential players may avoid your games because of a single individual at your table. Folks outside of the gaming hobby will notice the company you keep as well. Trust me, reputation is a big deal out there in the world. Not to mention legal repercussions from folks like the drug addict or pedophile types. Do you really want to testify in front of a court room that you've seen somebody dating underage girls for the last two or three years... and never reported it.


We don't have to accept everybody. Some people just cannot and will not fit in.
 
 
 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.008



Monitoring for crime even before anybody can call it in. Several cities are now trying out a sensors that can detect gunshots by sound. Not only that they are more reliable at pinpointing the point of origin than most 911 callers ever could be. So now no gunshot will go unreported. One could see this as an extremely useful for the police in quick response to potential crimes.... or as Big Brother not only watching but listening as well.

LISTENING FOR CRIME

What would cyberpunk be without some sort of fashion? Pretty dull and boring. So coming soon to a club near you remote controlled LED clothing. First off is a light up skirt and top but I'm sure there are plenty more on the way. I'm just waiting for lit up cuffs and collars like they had in Automan years ago.

LIGHT UP THE DANCE FLOOR

Last but not least is the burger built in a lab. A project to create artificial meat has finally taste tested their results. Apparently they aren't nearly as bad as some thought they would be. With the bulk of funding for this 330k project being R&D its nice to see it end with something of a success. Now that the development costs are out of the way I wonder how much it will cost to grow this 'smeat' for larger consumption.

ARTIFICIAL MEAT OF THE FUTURE

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Selling Jesus by Skunk Anansie


Music video for 'Selling Jesus' by Skunk Anansie from the movie Strange Days.  One hell of a song and she really puts everything into it.  It's actually a bit of a step away from most of the other music of hers that I've managed to listen to.  The lyrics seem even more true now than they did then.

Strange Days has to be one of the most underrated cyberpunk films of all time.  The themes, the characters, some of the tech, it all just bleeds chrome.  The only things missing are the net and cyberware.  Although the tech at the center of the storyline could be argued as a beginning jumping off platform for eventual virtual interfacing.

If you haven't see it, track a copy down and give it a watch.  Well worth the time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cyberpunk Sunday 2.007

William Gibson is considered one of the fathers of the cyberpunk movement. He's been involved with the literary movement ever since the early beginning years. His book, Neuromancer, blew the doors of the genre and helped get some main stream attention. His take on technology is that he isn't all that interested in new tech as much as he is interested in how the street will find a use for it. So I would recommend to everybody who is a fan of cyberpunk to follow his twitter feed. While there is a lot of 'normality' among his posts there is also those ones that catch your imagination. Not to mention some of the things he retweets are pure cyberpunk in essence.

William Gibson's Twitter

We are stepping ever closer to using our brains to control more than our own bodies. At Harvard they have managed to make a nonevasive brain to brain interface... between a human and a rat. Again small steps at first, but they all add up. Eventually I'm sure people will be using this for much more and a lot of it rather immoral.

Havard brain to brain interface

Now after the whole NSA scandal is coming to light with how much they are monitoring everybody that they can we will probably see more stories like this. Everything is being recorded and sifted through and this story shows just that. A man is questioned by police after Googling the 'wrong' things. For some reason I think a few details of how or why their search history was picked up on are being told. Then again I'm paranoid... then again it's not whether or not you're paranoid it's a question of are you paranoid enough?

Be careful what you Google for