So, last time I was commenting on my car being in for service (as that was when I did the bulk of the writing). Part of ADHD is being… forgetful. It’s more like you’re constantly distracted. There’s always a “Squirrel!” moment in the offing, and reminders are a big help. I have a reminder on both my iPad and my laptop, but both got shut off for whatever reason (my lack of response on the iPad, my clumsy response on the laptop). Soon, work and distractions caused me to end up delayed until I simply decided to put the entire post off.
Since then… well, let’s see…
Most days I’ve worked have been 10 hour days, followed by nights falling asleep in my armchair. I think a lot of people don’t realize how exhausting driving all day can be. Especially when you’re the chase driver, the guy who follows and picks up everyone once they get the car to where it’s supposed to be. The Chase drives all day, unless they trade off with someone else, and usually, we don’t do that.
On October 2nd, I went by a bookstore owned by an old Ren Faire friend. I walked out with quite a load of books, that you can see below.
About half those books are replacements or books specifically purchased to suck up the wear and tear for re-readings. The Corum book is a replacement for my old paperback, which has been through sufficient exposure that the pages and spine are so stiff, I’m afraid to open it up and have it start falling apart.
I’ve been reading The Dragon in the Sword, a Moorcock book about John Daker/Erekosë that I had never seen before, even though it was written in 1986. So far, it’s been entertaining, if a little slow. I’m looking forward to reading The Star Wars, which is based on Lucas’ original script for Star Wars: A New Hope. I bought the final book, A Natural History of Dragons for the artwork therein. I’m a fan of Todd Lockwood, and he did the cover as well as the interior pieces. I’ll likely start only reading the first chapter, as the back cover doesn’t inspire me much.
Last weekend, I had a little scare with my car after going to see a friend from The Camarilla. As I was leaving, I was speaking with another old friend and remote started the car a couple of times while we talked. Once I finally got in, my “Check Engine” light came on. There was nothing I could do about it, but I couldn’t hear any unusual noises as it ran, so I carried on. The only thing I noticed was that the remote was acting strangely, not locking or starting the car correctly. After a couple of other stops though, the remote started acting normally, and the engine light went out. Seems like some kind of intermittent error created by using the remote so often.
This week has been more of the same, with very little work on the StarSea. I’ve had random thoughts about rules and such here and there, and a couple of brief thoughts on how the world works, but little else. In fact, more of my time right now has been spent re-jiggering my new LFR character than the StarSea. I’ve got my items picked, and I went through and tweaked some powers and feats for efficiency, and selected all my rituals that I think are appropriate for the character. And today, I got together the pieces for my mini, a little bit of a kit-bash based on some WFB High Elves.
Well, it’s getting late, and I need to be to work in the morning, so I need to wrap this up. Later.
This weekend was my 51st birthday. The lead up to it from the last post was spent mostly preparing for a trip out of town as celebration, combined with an event for the Girl. So, little got done for the StarSea. After typing up some of the notes therein, I read through Notepad 3 again, noticing how much I wrote on August 28th last year, and how little I “wrote” after that. More of that notepad is artwork after that point, as I was trying to work out some my design ideas. August 28th was a day at an office, and I had a lot of downtime, so I ended up writing quite a bit. Now I need to retype it all.
Wednesday, I came to the conclusion I need to retire my LFR character, and take some time off from that game. Time off for personal reasons I won’t go into, and total frustration with the character build and dice rolling for another. I’ve commented on this before. I “benched” my warlord/wizard character a few weeks ago, after months of lousy rolls. I cam to the conclusion that the character was cursed, and tried something else. In the interim, I played a fighter. The rolls came up fairly medium while playing the fighter, and I managed to turn crappy rolls into hits, due to the build. In the last three weeks, I went from stellar, to middling, to absolute shit last week. I’m done fighting the build. I could go into details, but it’s a level of gamespeak I would actually like to avoid tonight. Suffice it to say, I’m finding that the build I’ve been using is too diversified to effectively use the powers I’ve got, or to turn bad dice rolls into success. So, I’m going to take some time to build a better character.
As my sister’s birthday is the day before mine, my brother came down after my plans had been made. So, I spent my Thursday chatting with him, while I wasn’t at work. Friday, I got some things done here at home, and then went to work to rent a van for the weekend.
I spent the night at the Smalls’, my best friends and their children (whom I refer to as the Boy and the Girl). We got a mid-morning start and headed out. First was Carmel, as the Girl is in Fourth Grade and it’s Mission time. In California, our “colonial history” is tied up in the Spanish Missions that line the Pacific Coast. The Girl chose the Carmel Mission. A couple of years ago, we went to Santa Clara for the Boy’s Mission report. Carmel is a strange combination of San Francisco hilliness and rural narrow roads through woods. It’s a pretty expensive place to live, and I can understand why.
The Mission was a mission. Lots of adobe buildings and gardens. After the Boy really looked at a large crucifix with Jesus wounded, I had to run down the story of the Crucifixion as I know it, so he can at least know the story. Afterwards, we went downtown and had an early dinner at Forge in the Forest. Good food, but I tried avoiding foods I know trigger my cough. I’m still nursing that much of my cold. I have quite a bit of post-nasal drip (likely from the smoke in the air from all the local fires), and a lingering cough. Nothing I’m expelling is colored, so I know I’m not still sick (contrary to what one of my co-workers squalled at me today). Just dirty air and my body holding on to the symptoms to protect itself from the lingering crap in the air.
After dinner, we walked around downtown, window shopping. In fact, I keep remembering at bad times that the Peanut Butter Maltballs that were purchased for me are still at the Smalls’. Lots of art galleries in Carmel, as well as other boutique-style shopping. Definitely a tourist trap. We returned to our van and changed our clothes therein. That’s when I got the confirmation of what I’ve been suspecting: I’ve gained at least an inch around the waist. I couldn’t get the slacks I brought with to button. So, I desperately need to start getting some exercise and get some of the weight I’ve been gaining off. Too much fast food any more, thanks to my job.
Then we were off to the play. Oh, I haven’t mentioned that. We went to go see our friend, Scott McQuiston, play the part of Farquaad in Shrek: the Musical. He says the role is the most physically demanding he’s ever done, as he does the entire play on his knees. Shrek and Fiona are played by actors who are a couple in real life, so they had good chemistry as the star-crossed lovers. There were some cute and clever adaptations of other aspects in the movie story, and my only real criticism was that I could see the mikes on some of the actors’ foreheads, which was a distraction for me. I’m likely one of the few people in the world who might say such a thing, so I’ll give it a pass.
After a late night snack, we returned to our hotel room and crashed. Sunday we went into Monterey and did some wandering. We stopped at the local game store Scott had directed us to, Mythic Games. I was fairly disappointed with them. The stock was mostly MTG and WH40K, with a smattering of RPGs, board games, and other minis games (but no RPG minis). Most of the people in the store were playing the new MTG release, and a few were in the back painting minis. The main gaming floor was dark, which made seeing what stock there was difficult.
From there, we went to the Robert Louis Stevenson House, which he never actually owned, but lived in for three months while he courted a married woman and got inspiration for Treasure Island. The docent there directed us to a church by the beach which was supposed to be the original site of the Carmel Mission, but we couldn’t find it later.
We ended our trip on the Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf and nearby beaches. More tourist-y stuff. We then made our way home. Both kids got a game at Mythic Games, and both were played either on the way home or once we arrived. I made my way home so that I could work today.
So, that’s what I did last week. This week, I’ll be working on a new character for my Wednesday night game, as well as trying to work some more time in to get some more typing done. I’m beginning to think, after some discussion with Rob, the kids’ dad, that I’ve actually got a pretty clear idea of many aspects of my world, I just need to start compiling things, and not letting my notes derail me. We shall see.
I caught one of those contemptible summer colds this week. Late Monday night, I started getting sore tonsils, and things went downhill from there. Thursday as I was leaving work, the office manager subbing for the area manager asked me if I wanted to work Friday. I said “no.” Just as I got my car in the driveway, the lead driver called with the same question. I gave the same one-word answer. He was kinda surprised, but accepted it and let me go. I went to be around midnight and slept until 12:45 PM Friday afternoon. I felt hungover the rest of the day, likely because of the lack of liquid while I slept. I even cancelled the D&D for Kids I do at the FLGS, partly because I felt bad, and partly because most of the parents cancelled, and the rest didn’t respond.
By yesterday morning, though, I was feeling much better, but I coughed a lot. Today, I’ve felt pretty good, coughed less, but there have been some side effects that I’ve been unhappy with. Hopefully, even that will be gone by tomorrow, as I’ve agreed to work. Tomorrow might get real interesting…
I went in to the FLGS Wednesday to pick up Mindjammer, only to find out the one copy the store had sold two hours before I walked through the door. So, I put it on order, but was told there weren’t more at the distributor, so I might have a wait. I then went about my Living Forgotten Realms way. Apparently, the owner had the foresight to order more copies, and I picked it up on Saturday. I haven’t dug into it much, but I did look at the new version of the plot damage mechanics. I like this version better than the version in Legends of Anglerre. It’s a bit more clear, and has better examples of how it works.
I like the setting, except that psionics are limited to VR, which is not going to work in my game. That’s okay. I want to build my own.
I’ve also been reading through Diaspora. I’ve gotten through system development, and while it’s interesting, I don’t think I’d ever use the linkages system. While they provide an example of a system that connects in a fashion other than a straight line, I can’t see there being to many variations, considering you always work through the systems (one for each player) in a linear fashion.
On the other hand, the ratings system, especially after the sidebar at the end of the chapter, sparked some ideas. I just need to figure out what I would rate the worlds of the setting on. Diaspora uses technology, environment and resources, which aren’t bad, but in my mind, currently, all of the worlds of the StarSea are easily habitable, or relatively so. There may be desert worlds, ice worlds, or water worlds, but no vacuum worlds, or hostile atmospheres, etc. Settings like that, while challenging, only creates accounting problems (air supplies, suit integrity, etc.) and a certain “bean-counter-y” feel I really like not having to worry about.
Along that lines, I started giving the nature of the StarSea some thought. In fact, it’s really a mix of some of the ideas I’ve established in my own head combined with some small amount of expansion. The StarSea is like the real world space, a seeming void speckled with matter. However, the Wyrd (the force of magic) appears in two ways throughout the Sea. First, it appears as motes of light. How many times has any one of us watched a TV show with Sci-Fi space travel, and noticed a star moving between us and the space ship? (Hint: it happened a lot on the original Star Trek.) Motes are those tiny flecks of light that seem to be spread through the Sea. They seem intelligent to observers, moving of their own volition, and escaping when captured, seeming to teleport out of whatever container they are placed in. I see the motes a little like the Will-O’-The-Wisps of Pixar‘s Brave, winking in and out of existence, leading people towards the Wyrd’s arcane designs.
The other expression of the Wyrd in the StarSea is the medium ships ply, the Ether. The Ether is a flow of energy with a gaseous nature with currents and eddies. Ships can either move with the current, or tack against it. The Ether also allows people to survive without environmental suits in the void, for a while. Its magic creates breathable air and protects from cold and heat, but won’t sustain a traveller for long. So, weightless maneuvering would be a necessary skill for knights and their allies to have.
Ships use the Ether currents as the medium of travel, as mentioned before. Wyrd-drives align with the ether-currents like sails and keels on old fashioned sailing ships, and knife the ships along. Many also have wings for moving through air, as the vertical sails and keels of aquatic ships don’t provide the lift necessary for flight.
I think that’s all I have time for tonight. It’s late, I need to be up in the morning, and I have need my beauty sleep.
I’m really just posting to fulfill my obligation to myself. I want to post weekly. I’m just having problems doing it.
Partially, that’s my ADHD getting in the way. I let myself be distracted, and I really have no choice in the matter. My brain too freely jumps from subject to subject, so if I’m asked to do something, I have a lot of trouble saying “no.” If I find something to distract myself, I follow that, instead of remaining focused on what should be my priority. I’ve really been fighting that one today. I’ve needed to contact someone to do some handyman work for my aunt (who was here most of last week, creating an entirely different set of distractions), which I forgot about almost as soon as I was asked to do it. I need to make some decisions about D&D for Kids by this weekend, which I really should have given more thought after that last game.
And then there is my job. I worked three days last week, which was surprising, as it was after a three-day-weekend. And I was busy all day every day. While I like the paycheck, that cuts back on the time I have for projects that don’t immediately pay.
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Adonit Jot Pro stylus for my tablet, and I’ve been experimenting with it. It works well enough with ProCreate, but there is a little bit of a curve, more in relation to the app than the tool. At some point, I’m hoping to have some art up.
I also picked up a physical copy of Diaspora, a Fate-based Hard Sci-Fi RPG. I had downloaded the SRD, but I wanted the physical copy, as I want to support the company, and I find paper books better reading before bed. It’s been giving me some ideas, although those ideas are more in contrast to Diaspora, as the themes are different. However, what I’m really hoping to dig into is the “mini-games,” which detail handling ship combat and army-scale combat, which I expect to add into the StarSea. I want to see how they use the Fate rules to accomplish this, and then either adapt their rules or make my own.
I plan to pick up a copy of the new version of Mindjammer this weekend, pretty much for the same reasons.
I think that’s all I’m going to take time to write at this point. It’s more than I expected to spill out, which is always a pleasant surprise.
Since I posted so late last week, I’ve got little to nothing to post this week. But, I want to keep up the habit of posting weekly, so here goes.
I worked Wednesday last week, but I worked in one of the busier offices and was basically running all day. That was followed by Living Forgotten Realms in the evening.
Thursday, I chauffeured for my mother, and in the midst of that had my car break down. I then proceeded to stress out over it and got no sleep.
Friday, I dealt with the car. Turns out car batteries don’t like the kind of heat we’ve had here locally this summer (many days over 104°). I did also talk to the kids about the “D&D for Kids session from Hell,” and got it confirmed that even they felt that the adventure was too slow because I ran too many monsters and NPCs. Live and learn.
Saturday, I worked and drive a car up to SFO, and on the way back, got rear-ended in the Morgan Hill Taco Bell parking lot by an insulting lady.
Sunday, I went and saw GotG again, with The Boy. While he was seeing it for the first time, and asking questions about the plot (he has trouble waiting for the plot to unfold and wants to jump ahead, ALL OF THE DAMNED TIME), I was looking for some of the Easter Eggs I missed the first time.
I worked again today, and it was a lot of short runs, so I didn’t bother to type. I have tomorrow off, so I’m planning on focusing on getting more of my old notes typed up.
That’s it. Later.
I have a particularly thoughtful shower this morning. It was something of a summary of things I’d been thinking about over the course of the week. So, here are today’s shower thoughts…
I had a pretty massive post about why I won’t be buying 5e. I finally realized it was quite a bit of negativity and speculation, and decided not to include it here. While I’m interested in the system, I’m going to be looking at it for ideas for house rules should I run 4e again, but I can do that with the Basic Rules alone. Outside of the money I give them for the 4e tools, I won’t be giving WotC any more for a while. That is all.
The Eternal Champion ending and technology in the StarSea
I had started another Moorcock series a week or so ago, The Eternal Champion. In it, we meet John Daker, a 20th Century man who is swept to another Earth (which may or may not be our own future) to become a new incarnation of Erekosë, a dead warrior from the history of his summoners. He is given the mission to eliminate the Eldren, an elf-like race of immortals. As the story progresses, Erekosë comes to the conclusion that Humanity is unworthy of being saved, but the Eldren are. It turns of that while the humans have lost any technology more advanced than cannons, the Eldren still maintain energy weapons, which they claim humans also had when they first arrived in the world. (The Eldren maintain that they were the first inhabitants of the world.) With the supertech in hand, Erekosë exterminates the Human Race, but to do so, he has to convince the Eldren to use the superweapons at all. With the horrible power at their finger tips, the Eldren had promised to never use weapons powerful enough to destroy the planet again, and instead operated at the same technological level as their enemies.
These ideas got me to thinking about the tech levels of the factions I’ve got in the StarSea, as well as the cultures associated with them. This thinking tied into some other ideas I’ve had, inspired by different sources. I’ve had ideas for unusual sorts of armor, like liquid metal armors, or force field armors. Nothing that’s a true reach here, but should every order have access to them. I also got to thinking about magical pollution, which I know isn’t a new idea either, but I felt the need to consider it.
I know an older idea I’d had was that the Psionic Order is the most technologically advanced. This is how they have managed to hold their core worlds from the Divine Inquisitors and the Arcane Conquistadors long enough to become relevant politically. They use clean technology, very environmentally friendly, and more compact and portable than the other factions. But how does that impact my other factions?
One of the ideas I’ve had in this regard is that the Arcane Order definitely has pollution-creating technologies. The pollution they create is a byproduct of their skirting the edges of total Corruption (<- notice the cap). By spewing Corruption into their environment, they avoid the machinery they use absorbing it and breaking down quickly. However, that means they and their slaves are exposed to additional amounts of Corruption. This explains the Corruption that is part of most citizens of Arcane Order worlds. So, the Arcanists also have a certain industrial overtone to them.
As to the Divine Order, I’m somewhat at a loss. I can see the Divinists using some technologies, but they should have to be sanctified by the Church. Therefore, I think their technology should be relatively Corruption-free. However, while the Psionics likely have “thinking golems,” the Divine do not.
Also, access to technology will be different to the factions, but I believe I’ve already covered this. Psionics will have the most widespread technology, while the Arcanists may build a lot, but few citizens have any, as who would give technology to slaves? The Divinists will likely have a mix; certain approved technologies might be common (farm implements, etc.), while other technologies (especially armor and weapons) will be rare amongst the commoners of the Divine worlds.
The Primals create an interesting conundrum. Even our world has examples of “primitive” people having technologies well in advance of others, such as Great Zimbabwe and the Native American city ruins that have been found in the past few decades. I’d rather a Wakanda like state be the exception rather than the rule, though. However, I want the Primals to be more than “noble savages” who live in teepees, or some such nonsense. I’ve seen and heard too many descriptions of primitive cultures that seem like Europeans with different clothing.
That’s pretty much it for this week. Later.