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.
This week’s entry is primarily unrelated to gaming at all, so if you’re looking for gaming stuff, you won’t find it here this week. This week is about some self-discovery I’ve been experiencing this last week, and so may be kinda messy. You have been warned.
Last Monday, the TV droned on while I did other things. Katie Couric’s show came on, and they started discussing how a psychological problem had affected a pretty older lady and a man about my age. Being a sucker for a pretty face, I paid more attention. Both described their personal battles with ADHD, and the negative impacts on their lives. There was also a doctor who was treating them and was himself an adult with ADHD. It came out in the course of the segment that many children with ADHD never outgrow it, much less even have it diagnosed.
All of these folks described things I’ve experienced. It took a while for that to soak in; nearly a week, even. Impulsive behavior, not completing projects, temperament issues. And then something came along and distracted me (Hint: another symptom).
On Friday, I got the dubious honor of being lead driver for the first time. Lead driver is basically a dispatch sort of job, figuring out who is where and can get where, tracking cars transported, etc. It kinda came about because I was the one willing to do it, and the only one truly capable who wasn’t pissed off at management. Two of the drivers had been reprimanded at the start of the shift (and wanted nothing to do with the job), one driver was the wife of one of the reprimanded drivers, one was deaf as a stump, and then there was me. So I took up the responsibility.
The area manager and the two drivers who weren’t each other spouses said I did a good job for my first time out. I was (and still am) proud of myself for rising to the occasion. I’ve only been in a management/supervisorial position once before, for a few weeks, and that job was so extremely laid back (a night shift doing tech support for special monitors) and with so little supervision above me that it really didn’t feel like management.
Saturday is when things hit me. I was driving for the company, by myself with my thoughts and not feeling like listening to podcasts, so I wasn’t distracted from those thoughts. These things combined to leave me in a mood. I found myself wondering, “If I am this way, why wasn’t it discovered before? How could my life have been different, if I’d been taught how to deal with this long ago?”
I’ve let go of that at this point, especially after starting to research this condition. As I was reading about it, I was seeing quite a bit of myself in the symptoms, and on some review, I can see moments in my past that hammer the idea home. The conclusion I’ve come to is: I’m an undiagnosed adult with ADHD.
I’m self-diagnosing, and I know that I could be wrong. Way off, even. As I said, though, I sure seem to fit most of the symptoms on the websites I’ve looked at (WebMD and Wikipedia). Actual diagnosis is beyond my means right now, even if ADHD is a recognized disability, and treatment is way out there. Fortunately, there are ways for me to help myself, like lists and other things to help me keep on track and focused.
Coming to this realization the past few days has been like such things are often described. It’s like a light has burst from the clouds and and there was the singing of angels saying “There’s a reason for your life being like it is: You aren’t just a screw-up.” (Low self-esteem is a symptom.) Feeling I have something that I can be aware of means I can monitor my behavior a little better and try to find strategies to self-correct. Being aware of what’s happening, I’m seeing myself getting distracted and trying to refocus on my original thoughts.
I could probably write on this forever and a day (provided I don’t get distracted :-) ), but really, I’d be going around in circles, and none of us needs that, so I’ll end this week’s post here.