Thursday, December 25, 2008

Posts to Come: All-in-one List as of Xmas 2008

It's harder to track my list of posts to make when they're all spread about, so here's a consolidated list of what I still need to do, as of now:

Was Serenity a Nail in Firefly's Coffin?
Things of a Literary Nature: Innate Timeline Branching in Fiction
Crisps, Chips, or Fries?
Centaur or Thri-Kreen?
something about Arkham Horror (mechanics, summer league, etc.)
some kind of game review

Add to and update "RPGs for Me to Play". for having found sudoku w/ green dots

I also intend to post a section of that story that I'm trying to write. I'm not doing it by chapter at this point. I am still trying to write, but I seem to have trouble getting the words to flow. Here's what else is going on in my life:
Basically, since commencement (Did I mention that I'm graduating? The bureaucracy still needs to do some stuff, but, as far as I know, I've got a diploma coming my way.), I've been taking a break. That won't last long, since I need to find a job.
I also want to get through the Arkham Horror Summer League (new URL: - and you have to log in for the text to turn into links). At this point, I'm doing it by myself, and I'm halfway through. The last scenario got released last week. I hope to get through the last of the scenarios that don't require Curse of the Dark Pharaoh by ... soon. Then, I need to get Curse of the Dark Pharaoh so that I can do the rest. I also got 4 books for Xmas, 3 of which I intend to read when I get the chance (the 4th is for either of two RPG systems that I don't use yet, so that will wait).
Of course, this is all aside from the stuff that I need to do, like looking for a job and working on getting some certifications. And losing weight. And practicing my martial arts. And cleaning my room.
That's all for now.

Merry Xmas

Well, we've survived Robot Santa's attacks yet again, and I came out on top this time. I'm just posting this to say what I got.
I got a WristStrong bracelet and A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.
I got Spirit of the Century and Don't Rest Your Head, each in both print and PDF form. DRYH also came with a free gift of Reality Storm: When Worlds Collide, which has Silver Age Sentinels stats for a bunch of Champions Universe characters and HERO System stats for a bunch of SAS characters, and complete, official rules for converting between the two. Of course, I don't have either system, so that'll be shelved for a while. I also got some Fudge dice to go with SotC.
I also got Steampunk, an anthology of steampunk stories.
More blog posts are coming soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Miscellaneous Updates

Well, life's been pretty hectic this term. I've got finals this week, but after that I should be able to post more.
Quick notes:
-My play-by-e-mail game now has a genre, and will probably get a system soon. Once I'm out of school, I should be able to get a regular schedule, so that I can update regularly.
-I would like to update this blog at least weekly.
-I would like to do that story thing that I was trying to do.
-"War is other people." -me; this results from that war is hell and that hell is other people
-I want to do some stuff on games, including some reviews and some mechanics analyses.
-There should be a site like boardgamegeek for RPGs.
-Reminder to self: There are several posts that I wanted to go back and edit, as mentioned in the posts themselves.
I'll try to post something more complete later on. If I don't do it before Friday, then I probably won't do it on Friday, either. Saturday or Sunday would be the likely times then, assuming that I remember. :P
That's all for now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Announcement: August and Arkham Horror

Alright, so, that stuff that I said that I would do doesn't look like it will happen soon. My previous summer classes really wore me out, and I need to use my current, lighter schedule to rest and recuperate. I just really don't feel like doing much of anything right now.
The RPG that I'm trying to run is currently completely stagnated, since C says that he's too busy to give me some genre decisions, and M ... I need to yell at him some more. Actually, if I get M's full input, I may have to use my power of ... being the GM ... to move on.
The main thing that I actually *do* for fun lately is Arkham Horror. I like it. Of course, it's not necessarily clear why. It's a cooperative game, a hard game to win, a complex game, and of course it has a Cthulhu Mythos theme. I've also seen it described as something like a light RPG, and I can see why. It has characters - though it takes away about a third of the rules compared to an RPG, since there are no character creation rules, since the characters are pre-generated. The characters even have back stories on the backs of their sheets, if you bother to read them. Random events also tend to come with descriptions around them, like when you get the chance to get Ruby Standish (an Ally). It involves bumping into her while she's sneaking around the Silver Twilight Lodge and ... I think that it's a Fight check to stop her. If you succeed but her Ally card isn't available, then you get an item - I think that the theme there is that she gives you something that she totally ganked from the lodge. This game has a good dose of atmosphere, all things considered.

Another fun aspect about these sorts of games (standalone tabletop fun times) is that they can be played with whomever, especially once they know the rules. For RPGs, assuming that we can somehow make character creation fast, the closest equivalent would be running all one-shots. An exception to this may be Spirit of the Century, due to its pulpy nature and the fact that character presence in adventures is pretty interchangeable. I've heard stuff to this effect around the internet, but right now, I don't know where to point anyone regarding that.

Actually, I'm looking to participate in the Summer League that Fantasy Flight Games is running. Ironically, I do have a couple of friends who should be regularly available (currently every Sunday), and we're not doing an RPG.
Here's the URL for the league:
Normally, Arkham Horror is for 1-8 investigators, but for some reason, the league is for 2-8. It doesn't really matter, since one player could play two (or more) investigators. The league releases a scenario (on a fortnightly basis), which specifies the Ancient One to fight and adds special rules, including a list of cards to remove from the investigator decks (the items and such that investigators use). A common theme that I noticed in the first scenario is that they yanked everyting except Allies that help with evading monsters, including:
1. both Dark Cloaks (the only common items that boost Evade (none boost Sneak))
2. both copies of Sneak and both copies of Stealth (the two sneaky skills)
3. all copies of Mists of Releh (the only spell for Evading monsters)
So, the theme seems to be not sneaking past monsters. I think that I know why, but that's for more detail, perhaps in a coming post.

Well, I'm just rambling now. I'll try to get some more coherent AH thoughts (ironic, ain't it?) into a later post.

I must not be named!

Well, I just took a mythos-related quiz online, and here are the results:

Which Cthulhu Mythos character/God are you?
created with
You scored as Hastur

You are Hastur! Thought to be Cthulu's half brother and rival or the king in yellow, Hastur comes from Carcossa on Hyades. You confuse people and often make those you meet crazy. No one really knows what to make of you and do you even really know what to make of yourself?











Shub Niggurath




Yes, apparantly, I am him-who-must-not-be-named, though really it was close, as you can see from the scale thingies.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Announcement: Everything Delayed

Things have been really busy with school, especially with programming assignments. Also, my computer died last Thursday, so my whole weekend was shot. I got a new computer. It's alright. The screen's not as big or ... resolute?..., and it's running vista, but it also has about 6 times the memory and nearly 4 times the disk space of my old one. It also weighs much less and takes about half the voltage of the old one. Plus, new laptop means new battery, so I should be able to use my laptop portably again.
Some of my stuff from my old computer got backed up. It should be most of my important stuff, but I'm not ready to restore stuff yet. I've got a lot of schoolwork to do in these next few weeks. I want to look into putting a virtual machine on here, too. I think that I'll get around to that in the second week of July at the earliest. So, also, don't expect any story stuff until July 18th or thereabouts. Speaking of the story, I've recently been inspired regarding another story. Long story short, it's about supers. You heard me.

Also, regarding my play-by-email RPG, I'm still waiting for some feedback. If any of my players are reading this, I only have a partial response from M, and I have no response from C. You know who you are. However, I don't think that anyone reads this, so I'll be e-mailing folks. Maybe I should mention my blog there.
That's all for now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Announcement: Story Delayed (again)

Well, it looks like I'm not getting any story stuff out this week, either. There's just too much stuff do to for school. As it stands, I'm going to aim for the 20th, with a fallback date of the 27th (the last Friday in June).

Here's what's up:
Tomorrow (Thursday) morning, I have an exam. Then, I'll be spending the afternoon trying to do a programming assignment that's due Tuesday, which requires me to be in the labs. If I'm lucky, I'll get it done then - if not, then I'll be spending Friday in the labs, trying to finish it. Thursday night, I have classes.
Friday depends on Thursday. My first priority is to finish that assignment, since the labs are closed Saturday and Sunday. The remainder of pre-evening Friday should be spent on reading the Ovid and other stuff for Monday (and roughly also Tuesday and Wednesday).
Saturday will be a mix of working on a different programming assignment (also due Tuesday, but not requiring the labs) and reading. Sunday is more of the same, though how much more depends on my luck Thursday and what I accomplish prior to that. Ideally, I will be done with both programming assignments and all of Monday's reading before the end of the day Sunday. Extra time, if available, should be spent on doing more reading for later in the week.

So, that stuff pushes back the next most likely date to next Friday, June 13th. I'm really not going to rely on being sufficiently lucky to get my first story post out by next Friday, especially when that Friday is a Friday the 13th. However, I'll see whether I can manage to get something very very small out this Friday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Announcement: Story Delayed

Well, I'm not getting a chapter out this week. Some stuff came up for school, and I need to take this weekend to catch up and get ahead. That way, there can be story stuff in later weeks. There *might* be a little something for me to post this week. I won't know for sure until Friday, though.
Basically, what's throwing me off is an issue with one of my computer courses. If I wanted to do the work on my home computer, then I'd need to install some stuff, which requires XP Pro (and I only have XP Home), which in turn requires, among other things, that I clean off some more space on my drive - not to mention the stressful and time-consuming process of dealing with whatever will go wrong when I change the OS. So, rather than try to do all of that in a short enough time to be able to do my first assignment on time, I'll just use the lab computers. I would use a remote connection, but apparently, the university is not set up for that right now. They're working on it, but I don't even have a timeline for that. So, I have to go into the labs, but that's still preferable to the alternative, at least for now. Anyway, I have to use the labs during certain specific hours of operation. So, I have to schedule around that. Most of my delay already happened, in that I had to find out all of these issues and figure out how to deal with them.
So, this week, I'll be using the labs Thursday, and Friday if I don't finish Thursday. So, at worst, for Friday, I'll be working until the labs close. I'll know by the time that I get home whether I'll have anything to post here. Either way, expect something to be here the following Friday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Announcement: Story Publication Schedule

Now, I'll tell you about the other thing that I've decided to do regarding my story. I'm going to try to publish at least one chapter or section per week, starting next week. I would start this week, but it's kind of late in the week, and I'll probably spend this weekend trying to hang out with friends, get ahead on reading (for school), and work on the story. Also, I don't actually plan to publish anything the weeks that I have exams, and the weeks that my computer science projects are due. I might, but I might not. Regarding this, I have a heavy schedule for the next 8 weeks, and then a light schedule for 5 weeks thereafter. I should be fine for those five weeks - a 1-credit phys. ed. class and a 2-credit humanity - so I only might skip the last week (or two, if I have to do a paper for that humanity) then.
I'm also hoping to publish some schematics (Did I mention that my story has science fiction in it?). I plan to aim for once per week (following the same restrictions as above), but I'm only going to make once per two weeks be as high of a priority as the story itself. That being said, I might actually make more schematics than one per week, since they're easier to do than writing good prose.
Also, be warned that school still takes priority. I might have to drop down to no publications for a while, if school gets too busy. Also, don't forget that writing is an essentially artistic process. Even if I do have free time, I might get stuck when trying to decide how to phrase things, or in what order to present information, or even (for some - usually more minor and temporally closer - events) in what order certain things should happen. It's kind of like writer's block, but I don't know if that phrase really applies. I basically have the story in my head, and I just need to write it out.
So, expect some story next Friday (May 30th), and I might get a schematic up tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Announcement: Story Publication Format

I've come up with a format for when I start publishing my story on this blog. I'm going to use a numeric spread, of integers within [0000, 1024]. Other than for something that must be the first, second, or last, I'll place things at relative midpoints. So, the first thing will go at 0512, then the next will go at 0256 or 0768, depending on whether it goes before or after it. I don't intend to use all 1025 integers in that range - I'm just using that range to give me plenty of places to fill in all over the place. I have more information to post about this, but that will have to wait until later.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I've Found Something: Car Wars Podcast

I found the Car Wars Podcast. I guess that it was down for a while when I was looking before. I just happened to stumble across it again.

Here it is:

I've only listened to the introductory episode so far.

An Honorable Mention of Gary Gygax

I happened to run across this:
I only skimmed it, but it seems to be a thorough analysis of the late E. Gary Gygax's contributions to modern society. Of note, he basically fathered RPGs as we know them today, he helped to make fantasy mainstream (rather than just a subtype of sci fi), and he generated the generation of billions of dollars of international revenue. (By "generated the generation", I mean that, while he did not actually generate the revenue himself, he did make the generation of the revenue.)
R.I.P., E.G.G.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Classic RPGs and Other Stuff

I felt like updating my blog.

Earth was hit hard recently, as Gary Gygax passed away Tuesday, March 4th. While it's unfortunate that he's gone, it has also been interesting to see the community response. Additionally, I've learned just how influential his work has been. Apparantly, by co-creating D&D, he essentially created the RPG. Thus, even video game RPGs owe their existence to him. Yes, I mean you, people-who-play-VGRPGs-but-not-regular-RPGs.
Anyway, in memory of Gary Gygax, I would like to run (or play - like that's going to happen) an original D&D game (i.e., 1st edition). I would like to do a lot of things. I've had some trouble finding free & legal source stuff for early D&D. However, I did run across something called OSRIC, which stands for Old School something-something-something. It's supposed to attempt to emulate early D&D and other 1970s to early 1980s RPGs.
I am hoping to get together with my friends over the upcoming spring break to do something, so that would be a good opportunity for this. I might also have the opportunity to start getting a feel for my play-by-e-mail RPGs. I still need to work out who wants to play and what they want to play.

So, my spring break will be mostly focused on my big project, but there will be some fun in there in the form of games, and I might even write out a bit of my story. Then there will be the remainder of the term, which should take me through into May. So, somewhere in the middle of May my gaming might pick up. See? This is why I need to run RPGs through e-mail.

I'll try to post to this blog over the break.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Possible Side Project: Play-by-E-Mail RPGs

I came up with an idea recently. I'm going to see about running an RPG or two via e-mail. This has several benefits.
1. It gets around my difficulty getting enough people together on a regular basis.
2. It allows me to try some more RPGs.
3. I can do RPGs without having to have multi-hour blocks of time available.
4. I don't have to drive around all over the place.

There are some drawbacks, too, though. Any game that relies on an on-table representation of the board will require me to represent that in some way. Also, we'd need to handle the dice somehow. Probably, I'd have to roll for whatever everyone is doing.
There's also the issue of the rules set. Players all sitting around a table can pass a book - or a monitor displaying an e-book - around. However, physical objects can't be sent around via e-mail, and there's a legal issue with sending a copy of an e-book - not to mention that the files are often too large, both for attachment sizes and for inboxes.

Well, we'll see what happens.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Announcement: Story Publication

I once came up with an idea for a story. I think that it was around 1999-2000 CE, or thereabouts, when I did it. But, I never got the chance to write it all out. Now, here it is, 2008, and I still haven't written it. Ideally, I would write it all out, proofread it, round out the rough edges, and eventually take it to a publisher to publish. Of course, that takes time.
That, by itself, wouldn't be such a big deal, except that, when I came up with it, the story was taking place in the future. To be precise, it took place in a near future - and that future is much closer now than it was back then. So, I would like to at least get it out there when it's still in the future (though it probably would have been best if published when I first came up with it, due to perspective changes and such).
So, here's the plan. I'm going to write portions of it on this blog. I make no assurances about how long or frequent the posts will be, nor do I claim that I will publish it continuously (I'll likely have miscellaneous posts in between story chunks). I don't even promise that the posts will be in order (though I do intend to make the order clear).
Also, I might revise the chunks of the story at any time, mainly to make them sound or flow better. The story itself is basically set, but the prose is still uncreated.
When I do this depends on how available I am, whether I remember about my blog, whether I feel like it, and possibly other factors.
P.S.: I also might come up with other stories and do this with them, though I'd probably stick to short stories until I finish this one.