Last week was another busy week. Work stayed local, for the most part. I got out of town once, and I did get a little done.
(Oh, hey look! There’s a horizontal bar button! DUH!)
One of my thoughts was on using the Changeling the Dreaming “realms” for adjudicating what can be affected by magic in the StarSea. Unfortunately, after looking at the old LARP rules (the only rules I have in easy access), I question my thinking.
Changeling the Dreaming uses a “verb/object” wild magic system. That is, you have an “Art” (or actually, a number of them) which determines what you can do (your verb), and “Realms,” which determine what can be affected, either by type or area/time (your object). Sadly, only two of the eight or so Realms isn’t extremely specific to the setting.
The Dragonlance Saga Edition had something similar, but far too many divisions, and no real “object” section. More accurately, the object is part of the verb and the magical divisions. In that game, there was arcane magic, which only affected directly nonliving things (for example, fire and lightning can be used as an offensive power, because you’re controlling the element, not the target), while divine magic directly affected living things only.
At this point, I realize I’m way off track from my original idea. My thought was to simply find something I could use for guidelines for determining difficulties for magic rolls to affect large numbers or spaces. I think part of this can be dealt with by simply re-reading the FATE rules. It’s been a while, and I just took a moment to review some of the pages that deal with areas-of-effect, and that pretty much confirms my need to re-read.
I also had some thoughts while reading the second series of the Hawkmoon books. The first book was a bit of a slog. It seemed a bit directionless. It’s obvious that this series is meant to tie Hawkmoon into the Eternal Champion mythos, which isn’t even hinted at in the first four books. There is very little excitement in the first book, and very little of the trademark Moorcock backdrops.
In the second book, as Hawkmoon starts off in a severe depression, but is eventually brought around and transported to an alien world in which the humans present live amongst massive trees, so large that they can ride horses on the branches! That made me remember the wondrous elements of Moorcock’s settings, the images my brain created from his writing, and I realized I was missing this sort of fantastic elements in settings I read and run in recent history.
D&D 4e mentions fantastic settings frequently, and I feel I was pretty mediocre at this in recent history. I want to describe much more fantastic places. One of the steps in that direction I want to go is towards more unusual worlds. Currently, my worlds are spheres, but I’ve been thinking of going back to flatworlds. I’m not sure yet how I’d handle one side, as I only really want to handle mapping one side of each world, to save myself time and complications. But I like the idea, which is an old one I had discarded and am now revisiting.
I’ve also been giving some thought as to how the politics work again. In the real world, as well as the influence of Star Wars, the knighthoods didn’t/don’t directly rule. So, I think I need to do a little research into how the knighthoods of Europe (as I don’t know of any similar organizations in other regions) operated. Building on that aside for a moment, Europe and the Middle East seem to be unique in the creation of the knighthood. While other countries had nobility, only in Europe does there seem to be international organizations like the Knights Templar or Hospitaler that operate separate from the ruling juntas. However, I want to do some further research into these sorts of groups to see how they operated, and apply it to my own knighthoods.
Anyway, that’s pretty much all I have for this week. I’m tired, and I’ve got a car recall to deal with tomorrow, so I’ll be headin’ for beddin’ now. Later.
Not much to report this week.
I used my iPad to “scan” some images I had drawn in Notepad 1, but then accidentally overwrote them re-downloading the folder of files for Notepad 1 from the iPad.
My work week left me exhausted (which makes me wonder if there isn’t some other issue going on with my body or sleep cycle), and I had very few long trips that would allow me to actually write.
I really didn’t even give the setting much thought. I’ve had some personal issues on my mind this week. So much so that I’ve thought on little else without some external distraction. Nothing I’ll comment on here, but I might start journalling elsewhere (and privately) about the issue.
That’s it for this week. Sorry to disappoint all six of you who read regularly. Later.
This week has been rough on me physically. I worked a early a couple of days, and slept late on a couple of others. Early morning trips mean long distances, but that can also mean a sleepy Doc while traveling, usually while not driving. I did get some typing of my old notes done on a trip home the other day, but mostly, I’ve been reading while riding.
I read a couple of articles on the FATE system, as well as on Numenera, as both systems include opportunities for the GM to create issues for the players. The purely FATE articles were Ryan Macklin’s new product on DriveThruRPG, and focused on Character Creation, which I found helpful, as there were plenty of references to D&D style gaming, which gave me a lot of good idea on how to handle Character Creation in the StarSea.
I also read a comic I’d picked up a while back called Ravine. Some really nice artwork there, and some neat ideas for alien races that I might steal from, a little.
Last thing for this week is that this is my first post with my new keyboard for my iPad, a Zagg Folio. I saw it for $18 off, and Target’s regular price is below MSRP, so I decided to strike while the iron was hot. It’s a little tight, but it works a little better than the virtual keyboard, in that it’s easier to edit what I’m typing, as I have arrow keys. Those are easier for me to use than the magnifying glass that Apple provides.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. I have to work tomorrow, and I have a couple of things to complete before bed. Later.
Tuesday, I had to reset my iPad due to a corrupted podcast. Seems the file thought it was about 12 GB, and neither the iPad nor iTunes on my laptop could get rid of said file. So, I had to reset the iPad. Not really a big deal, just a pain in the butt.
However, I did manage to start getting some of my old notes typed up. It’s helpful to look at the old notes again every once in a while. It’s interesting to see how many decisions I’ve made and how I’ve changed things. However, without an external keyboard, the going is slow. I only today learned how to get some precision with the cursor, which has been my bane up to this point. I’m going to have to wait at least one more paycheck before I can take care of that. And I still need to get AppleCare for the iPad before I do other stuff.
Early this evening, I got to reconsidering some my thoughts from last week, especially the demon realm. Last week, I think I’d talked myself into not having the demons exist in a different dimension. I kinda think I need them in another realm, or I need to come up with some other way for them to move from world to world. In fact, I prefer them being trapped somewhere so that they need to corrupt and tempt People into summoning them from wherever they are. My original thought, way back in the ’90s. was that the demons lived in a nebula that screwed with people’s senses. The right people could detect that disturbance. Those people could also detect the wrongness around the demons themselves, assuming they were sensitive enough, breaking through any illusion or shapeshifting the demons might use to hide themselves. I like the ideas of the demons having a wrongness about them that can be detected, but I’m thinking the nebula can go as the home of the demons. I think that idea will get shelved for something else.
Maybe the demons are trapped in a subspace realm, in which they are like phantoms or some such, until they can find a sucker to bring them back into reality. The image in my head is a ghostly smudge in the air, like a shadow, in the shape of a humanoid figure with visible eyes, lurking in a room behind an unsuspecting future victim of possession. I rather like this, but I need to give it more thought before I commit to it.
I also got to looking at the Legends of Anglerre (a British comic-based FATE RPG) “plot stress” system. Basically, it’s a system for setting u a plotline with a tipping point, and then activating it through “player inflicted damage.” If you understand the FATE Fractal, then you likely get how this works. (The FATE Fractal is the idea that any thing can be built in game terms like a PC, and act and be acted on accordingly.) I’m hoping this is something I can incorporate into the StarSea.
I was reminded of a game that could be in my “Influences” chapter: Fading Suns. It seems that FASA now has the rights to the game, publishing a third edition, now in two books. I have the first and second editions, and I liked the setting, but my setting is going to be a bit different. My setting is more like Spelljammer, but less silly and with some more modern influences. Fading Suns is more like Warhammer 40k: a sci-fi setting with some magic-like weirdness.
I repeat these things to remind myself as much as my readers; maybe more.
Well, I have to be up a little earlier tomorrow (to earn the money for that keyboard!), so I’m calling it a night. Later.
That is the question, to misquote the Bard.
This post is on the computer, as I was looking at webpages when my blogging reminder came up. I’m still getting used to the iPad (last night, I learned how to enter multi-tasking mode, which also was the key to figuring out how to actually close out programs), and sorting through programs. Before I bought the iPad, I had read about a fair number of apps that looked useful, and I’m still going through them to figure out what to keep and what to discard.
One of the things I enjoy about having a device like this again has been listening to podcasts. I have about two years of podcasts to catch up on, having lost my old iPod Nano when I was working at the IRS in 2012. Probably the one I enjoy the most is Critical Hit, a Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons podcast, a live-play D&D4e campaign. The guys and gal there are a great group. I haven’t been able to listen to any podcasts since the loss of the iPod. I’m always doing something that eats up RAM and bogs down the laptop without the addition of iTunes. However, with the amount of time I spend driving (especially this week, as I worked four days with plenty of trips out of town), I’ve been able to get back to them. I have a number of other podcasts I’ll want to catch up to, and I’m thinking I’ll be unsubbing a couple eventually as well, as they cover subjects I’m just not as into any more (such as the Numenera podcasts I was following).
I got a couple of stray thoughts running through my head about the StarSea from the Critical Hit podcast this week. I was inspired to think about the presence of planes beyond the mortal one. Contrary to my usual, I’m not likely to include alternate realities. While I usually like other planes of existence, but I think the StarSea will be complex enough without other planes. Except for maybe a hyperspace-style plane, although I’m not enthusiastic about that one. I thought about a sub-space, or some other Phantom Zone-ish realm which is the “hell” the demons now inhabit…
Oh, didn’t I mention the demons before? I might not have, but they are there. I think I have mentioned them before, but I think it’s been a while. Maybe I’ll return to that later.
The transitive plane might solve some of my problems with the mechanics of the ships’ engines. I know how most engines work, in their simplest terms. Car engines turn wheels, boat engines turn propellers, jet engines push out air. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I have in my original notes a mention of Ether, and starship engines could work like jets, providing thrust through Ether. Or, they could work like Star Wars hyperdrives, shifting ships into a sidereal dimension that allows FTL travel. That idea only works with my empty gulfs if I assume a more Babylon 5 hyperspace in which travel is between beacons, which I already have in place. However, piracy becomes more difficult if you have to follow the beacons.
So, it comes down to which concept of reality do I use: hyperspace is necessary for space travel; or a flow of Ether that ships ply like an ocean. I think my choice is clear.
That’s about all I have for this week. Later.
So, Thursday afternoon, I went into the local Apple Store and purchased the iPad Mini I could afford. 16 GB, wireless only. No add-ons yet. I simply couldn’t afford more. I’ve spent most of the past few days updating the OS, getting software, playing games, and just getting used to how the device works. I’ll be working on getting the stuff I’ve filled notepads with typed in and turned to an electronic format. I’d like to be able to put it into a database, but I haven’t found one for the iOS, yet.
I also completed the first four Hawkmoon books, which tell the complete the story of The War Against Granbretan. I realized that some of it is really poorly written. I noticed the truly sloppy clean-up of a poorly conceived character most, as well as the general lack of depth of all of the characters. The setting is rather interesting and would work well as a setting for Numenera, the all its weirdness.
I otherwise haven’t had much time (or more correctly, haven’t made much time) for work on the StarSea this week. A friend made an interesting comment on my Facebook post announcement from last week, but I haven’t been able to give it the thought it deserves.
So, I’m pretty much done for this week, so I’ll post this now and see how it looks. Later.