This week, things are going to be brief. It’s too damned hot to think, especially after being out working in the heat. Only a half an hour about did me in today. I think I’m just a little dehydrated.
One thing I did want to discuss is a question I thought of while working. I wonder how much reading reviews of things we buy before we buy them affects how we feel the thing we purchased is performing once we use it. For example, I bought a weed-eater last week. I researched the prices, and then checked reviews, and bought the device that had the best reviews and price. I’ve now used it a couple of times. It has some issues, but generally, I’m happy with the purchase. But how much is the idea that I bought the best reviewed item affecting my opinion of its performance? Just some thought games, to which I have no answer.
Other than that, I have had little going on in the StarSea department. When I failed to get the game going in April, I really lost steam. I think I need to set a new deadline. I’m beginning to vacillate on the Fate System or the Cypher System, which is not a good thing. On one hand, I have very little designed for the Fate System specifically. On the other, I have to wait for the setting-neutral rulebook and then potentially design for that. Am I experiencing the “Shiny!” Effect (“shiny thing distracts me from current direction…”), or do I have real concerns.
I have given a little bit of thought to a couple of things in the StarSea: Mapping the ‘Sea, the economy, and rulership. My thoughts are very vague for now, so I won’t go into detail. They’re thoughts and concerns recently, for whatever reasons.
Most of my free time has been spent with the kids recently. Now that they are out of school, I usually spend my days off with them. Not today, because of the heat (106 locally, with high humidity and bad air quality), but otherwise, I’ve been by there frequently. I resurrected my notes for a game the Boy and I were working on. It was too ambitious, I now realize. Too many things going on, and too many dice rolls and such. We might try something similar later. I’ve been inspired to do something with the game from the Gaming Careers podcast.
That’s it for now. Head ache is getting to me. Later.
I was kind of at a loss for a title, so forgive me for so meaningless a title.
I was able to unclench after last week, but with one exception, I can’t remember what I was going to discuss. I started a post that was really just ending up a big pity-party after last weekend. I’ve decided that the draft is going to stay that way, or get ‘ported out into another program, but it will not be posted. I see no need.
One of the items I was going to discuss from last week was watching the previews from the upcoming DC Comics animation, JLA: Gods and Monsters. The idea is that the places of the DC Trinity (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman) are replaced with other characters from the DC Universe, and they are very different. I felt these clips had a very “Watchmen” feel, being more gritty and dark, rather than the bright, hopeful world the DC Universe is usually seen as.
After watching the three videos (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman here), I got to thinking how I’d like to do a game like that. Everybody selects a hero and warps that hero into something different. Even something like the Tangent Universe would work.
But I’m trying to avoid distractions from the StarSea, so this idea will just sit in the back of my mind and percolate.
I managed to finally complete assembly on my bard figure for our LFR games. I need to paint him now, but I’m vacillating a lot on his color scheme. He’s sort of based on Corum and Jhary-a-Conel, which might imply a good deal of red, but I’ve done red a lot in my figures, and I’f like to do something else. What I want to do is take some photos and try coloring him on the computer, but I keep forgetting to take pictures while I’ve got him out the game.
Caught the season finale of Game of Thrones, and like some others, I think I’m done with the series. I cannot think of a world that so deserves to be destroyed. I can live with characters being killed, but it seems that all of the characters with any knowledge of the threat to the world and any chance of saving the world are being killed off as well as those who deserve it. Except the ones that really do. The villains are winning, and with them, the evil will rise. Let it all burn. I won’t bother with witnessing it. I just don’t care any more. In fact, that’s almost more the problem: I’m now so apathetic about the remaining characters that I see no reason to watch any more. So fuck it. I’m done.
Yesterday was Free RPG Day. I finally got a chance to play Numenera, a game I kickstarted a few years ago. I read the rules when I got them, but I never played the game, and I set it aside a few months ago when I became disenchanted with d20-based games. In playing it, I find that my issues with d20 play have a possible solution.
To revisit quickly what my issues are with a d20, the additive nature of the d20 systems usually published means the die is grossly important at low levels, where bonuses are low, and virtually unimportant at high levels, when bonuses are so high that most challenges are overcome before the die is even rolled.
The Cypher System, which is what the core dice-rolling mechanics for Numenera and the Strange (the second game in the line) is called, deal with the issue by having the GM simply set the difficult of something, and then the player has ways of shifting the difficulty downwards, and then you roll to beat the final difficulty.
Outside of the pre-gen I was playing being poorly built, the game played well. I always felt the possibility of failure, but it never seemed hopeless or too easy. The threats of the enemy’s seemed appropriate at every turn. I really enjoyed the game, if not the character.
[An explanation: The character I was given was a strongly Dex-based warrior-type, having a high Speed stat, a power chosen to increase defense when without armor, and the ability to do Speed-based things easily. The character’s equipment included armor, shield, and a heavy weapon. So, a fast character with nothing but hampering gear. I don’t blame the GM; he simply used the pre-gens that came with the adventure. I blame the adventure’s writer and editor for missing such a poorly designed character.]
The second game I played was the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, the newest set being based on the adventure path called Wrath of the Righteous. It was a very short game, being a simple introduction to the game for new players who had never played. I was a little disappointed with the brevity, as it meant I was free hours earlier than I expected to be. But I hung out for a while before leaving. I was interested in the game as I thought it would be something I would be able to play with the kids. I think the Boy will like it, if we ever play.
As to the freebies, I picked up the Wyrd Minis Into the Breach Quickstart and the Catalyst Games Valiant Universe RPG Quickstart. I also got the free Goblin character for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Sadly, I wasn’t interested in many of the others. Too many OSR clones. The only other one I feel I missed was the 13th Age book, but I expect they’ll put it up for download eventually, so I’ll pick it up then.
I haven’t taken the time to do the research on weapons in Fate at this point. I’ve been working a lot, and when I get home, there’s always other things on my mind. I’m slowly parting from Kings Road, as I’ve finished the story adventures, and that leaves just trudging through the grind and gaining “levels” for no apparent purpose. So, I’m bored with the game at this point, and I’ll probably drop it soon. I’ll try to turn that time back to the StarSea.
I think that’s enough for now. I need to finish my laundry and get to bed for work tomorrow. So…
I was going to try to write something, but my home life sucks right now, so I’m not very inspired. All I am is angry, and not in the productive sort of way. My head is throbbing from the effect that my anger has had on my blood pressure, and I feel about half sick.
Sometimes, you just really wish people would listen, stop trying to explain, and just shut the hell up.
There’s more on my Facebook, and if you’re a friend there, you can find out what’s going on. Otherwise, I’m done for tonight.
In lieu of a real post, I’m just throwing up some of my thoughts right now. I won’t be cross-posting this to Facebook or the other social media sites I normally do as I’m currently writing this on my tablet before bed.
Lately, I’m very distracted, and I know it, and I can’t seem to help myself. I become aware of it and try to stop myself, and that lasts for about ten minutes before I’m distracting myself again. I did it just moments ago.
I have an outline for a much better post about some movies I seen recently, as well as other media experiences I’ve had, and hopefully I’ll be able to focus soon and actually complete and post it.
Sorry I don’t have more. Later.
I didn’t work much this week. I’m not sure what’s going on, beyond the area manager trying to eliminate overtime, but days have been short and few. So, I’ve done some badly neglected yard work around the house. Stuff that’s been neglected because of evil animals and their owners who are no longer part of the environment. Just after I first got laid off from the photo studio, I was doing this stuff and keeping my weight down. Then a couple of years ago, things changed and I stopped working in the yard. Things have righted themselves recently, so I’m back to doing things around the house. Hopefully, I’ll take off some of the weight I’ve gained.
But yard work means I’m not focusing on the StarSea on days off, at least as much as if I were to just sit around on my days off and try to work on it. Not that I’ve done that, at this point. There’s always something demanding my attention, and I’m certainly not practicing anything mentioned in The War of Art. I have a hard time saying “no” when asked to do something around the house, or anything similar, and I’ve commented plenty of times how easy it is for me to distract myself.
But this week, while working, I started doing some sketching. I haven’t sat myself down and sketched like I did this week in years. I let my mind wander a little bit while driving, thinking about how vehicles would move in the StarSea. That led me to trying to figure out shapes 0f boats and ships, which led me to engines and rudders and such. That also led me to ask myself how the magic fuel is stored, so I designed some fuel cells, which end up more looking like Green Lantern‘s power battery from the movie (but a little less organic). I went off on tangents, considering how the Arcanists or the Divine Order might modify the design (or more accurately, what they might have designed that the Psionics have refined). I enjoyed the process quite a bit.
This designing leads me to wonder if game-ifying this setting is what I really want. Part of me does, as gaming is a great way to share the setting. But part of me is rebelling at the idea, I think, contemplating it as a venue for fiction of my own creation only. I will say that part of the simplification of the character creation system I mentioned last week was me moving towards the simpler system leading to a simpler format for character stat blocks. In my head, the stat block for a character built with Modes becomes complicated, as I envisioned it, and the simplification of the characters became more inline with what a reader might see in a comic book-style stat book, like DC’s Who’s Who or The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which I prefer. This seems to be common to all of the stat blocks I’ve seen of FAE characters versus Fate Core characters: FAE characters are simply more readable.
Part of me wants to see what other people would do with this universe, and part of me dreads that, as I have a certain vision for what I want of this universe. I want to focus on the intrigue between knights and their factions and opposing factions. I’m not especially interested in the criminal element that is prominent in Star Wars, but that I know other folks really like.
It’s getting late now, and I’m not going to answer these questions tonight. so I think this is where I bid you all adieu. So…