Yeah, that’s where I’m at right now, where this blog is concerned. At the moment, I’m trying to get over being pissed off because of a post on Facebook (someone being an asshole on my wall), and I’m full of nervous energy. I’m hoping writing will work off some of that energy.

I’m still in the mindset that Fate is almost too flexible. I can’t get over that idea. I’ve gotten my copy of the Cypher System in PDF format, but I haven’t taken time to do much more than skim it. I know the system is solid, but I don’t know if the character building will work to create what I want. However, it looks like I might be able to make it work with just a little tweaking. I could be wrong, of course. I’ll have to figure out how cyphers (powerful, one-use items) would fit into the StarSea, but I’m betting I could figure out something.

I’m also interested in seeing Green Ronin‘s Fantasy AGE when it comes out in a couple of weeks. It’s the system that Green Ronin created for their Dragon Age tabletop licensed game, without the Dragon Age stuff. I’ve been watching Wil Wheaton use it for a “Thundarr the Barbarian“-style game on the Geek and Sundry website. I’ve been interested in the system, but I never picked up any of the books. I was expecting that the Dragon Age stuff could be taken out and still have a viable game system, and Green Ronin went and did it. So, I’ll pick it up when it becomes available.

Other than that, I haven’t really been thinking about the StarSea. I’ve been reading stuff from Games Workshop on their new version of their fantasy battle game, called Age of Sigmar. I like their “Sigmarines”, as they’ve been dubbed, but they are huge compared to other figures. But I like their fluff, and the Realmgate scenery pieces look really cool. It’s been a little bit of a distraction, but not a huge one.

So, that pretty much covers my last two weeks. I’m feeling better now. More relaxed. Later.

Another Week of Nothing.

Nothing but being sick. The cold I reported last week was rough on me this week. It migrated, as usual, to my chest, so coughing became the norm. One afternoon after work I came home with an upset stomach that had me in the bathroom a number of times. That night I went to bed early, after forcing myself to stay up longer than 8PM. I have found that NyQuil gives me weird dreams and has me sleeping 12 hours at a time (with a full dose). So, many days I’ve been out of bed late and into bed early. Not much going on otherwise.

Yesterday was the Boy’s 13th Birthday. He got into Magic the Gathering just before the end of the school year, and I found out that this weekend was a big pre-release weekend at the FLGS, so we went and played MTG until the Midnight Release of the new Core Set (said to be the final Core Set), got our cards, started deck building for the sealed deck tournament, but left before the first round as the Boy was tired. He said he had a good time, and even though he said he was tired, he was kinda hyper, so I think he was honest with me.

My only creative thing I did this week was working out a spark I got while listening to a podcast. It was the Gaming Careers podcast, and it was really a long chain of thoughts, but I sparked on a mystic circle idea, as it relates to game stats (but not necessarily anything I play or am reading right now). Maybe by next time I’ll convert it to a graphic I can post up here. It’s very bare-bones and incomplete, so you’ll have to forgive me that.

I was trying to get a hold of Issue 75 of White Dwarf, which shipped with a promo mini for their new game, but no one in town has had it. It’s already going for $25 to $50 on eBay, so I doubt I’ll be able to get the magazine. >sigh<

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got going for this week. Later.

The Fate Fractal in Other Games

(Basic Idea: Why can’t the Fate Fractal be applied to other game systems? Answer: It /can/. Provide examples.)

The past few days I’ve gotten my summer cold. Today the tickle finally appeared in my chest, which is the beginning of the long haul of the chest portion of my colds. It sucks, and I felt somewhat yucky yesterday (less so than Saturday, when my head was congested and achy), so I didn’t get around to posting. Something I’ve learned this time around that I don’t think I really realized before is that A) NyQuil really wipes me out, as in a full dose will have me sleeping up to 12 hours, and B) I have some really strange dreams while on NyQuil. In my dreams, I don’t have carpet in my bedroom, but rather weeds and grass. Go figure, the teetotaler gets wasted on NyQuil.

Lately, I’ve picked up and read bits and pieces of some rules-lite systems. Breachworld and MiniD6 in particular stick in my mind, and I’ve mentioned previously that I’m being attracted to Cypher System again. After looking at an older version of Fate, I think I’ve finally figured out why:

Fate gives me analysis paralysis.

There are so many ways I could do what I want for the StarSea that I feel like I’m trying to shoehorn the setting into the game. I’m trying to find the most efficient way to do what I want with the game system, and no one way is shining as particularly efficient or screams “Pick me! Pick me!”

The idea of creating my own game system has crossed my mind. That’s a whole lot more work than I want to take up, though. I’ve tinkered with my own systems before, and I tend to overbuild. I think in that route lies madness (and frustration for players). That may be an issue with the setting in general (that is, I may be trying to throw too much stuff into the world), which makes it more important that the system be clean and free of cruft.

On the upside, I did trim down one idea. I’d wanted to include tanks and personnel carriers, but as I’ve gotten to thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you have flying ships of various sizes, why do you need tanks? Well, you don’t, assuming that the boats can do the same thing. I’m thinking that I may need to start doing some cutting with other parts of the setting. Possibly some of the orders, possibly going from a groups of planetary systems to a single world (which will sink the whole “sea of stars” thing), and maybe a few other changes.

However, one idea from Fate that I’d like to port around is the Fate Fractal. The idea of the Fractal is that any object can be built like a character, with aspects and stress tracks, etc. One variation of the game includes the plot line as an item that can take stress. However, typically the Fractal is used for vehicles or other character possessions, and often for organizations.

I found myself asking “Why can’t this idea be used in other game systems?” And I realized the answer was “It can.” Cypher is one that does it, in a round about way. The rules are a bit simplified, but they’re basically there. Back when I had wanted to write for Wizards, I proposed an article about large scale combat in 4e, making military units extensions of PCs (or other characters), acting as weapons and armor, and in the case of 4e, potentially giving them powers that would be appropriate on a battlefield.

And I think scaling is another issue that needs dealing with that the Fate Fractal handles better than others. Breachworld and MiniD6 both wind up giving battleships and other large objects mountains of defense and offense (upwards of +24D6!) because of their size, rather than simply rule that such huge objects can’t be harmed by man-portable weapons, and they can’t target objects smaller than a certain size. It seems a waste of everyone’s time to be rolling such phenomenally large numbers of dice regularly. Of course, Champions lives on that, but that’s another kettle of fish altogether.

Well, I need to be up in the morning, so I’ll end things here. Later.

Being Brief

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.

Lots of Stuff

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…







This week’s post is cancelled.

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.

Another Three Week Post

Life has been both hectic and slow at the same time. I really didn’t think I had enough to report on in the week before Memorial Day, as I’d only last posted on the Tuesday before, so I put off posting on Memorial Day weekend. That week of the last post had been pretty average at work, but the following couple have been in all over the place. I only worked the Saturday before Memorial Day, and the Tuesday after, but not again until Friday, so I had very few hours in. This past week, I worked pretty much every day (including lots of overtime), and had something going on most evenings (including collapsing and falling asleep early a couple of evenings). I’ve been thinking on things, but not really formulating full ideas. I’ll cover some of those below.

One of the things I’ve been distracting myself with is a tablet game called Kings Road. It’s a Diablo-style RPG. I became obsessed with acquiring a certain set of equipment for my character, and spent a good deal of time playing in my spare time, and not thinking on the StarSea. I’ve had some creative flashes, but nothing lasting. I need to indulge those impulses at some point.

Weapons and Why They’re Important to Me

I’ve commented on one of my babies in the StarSea: Weapons. I feel I need to explain why they’re important to me, and the setting. This is likely to work something out in my own mind, or to justify to myself a choice, or to figure out if this is something I can remove.

In my source fiction and in history, the sword is the symbol of those invested with a certain level of power and responsibility. The Jedi are signified by swords, the Christian Knights were symbolized by their swords (which also looked like crosses, so they served two purposes), the Samurai and the knights of Saladin, the Furusiyya, were also defined by their relationships to swords (and typically, also horses). I want that relationship as part of the setting. However, I have no idea how necessary it is to the setting, or the game in question.

It’s the mechanics of Fate that are creating a break in my mind. I don’t care for any of the game’s mechanics, and that frustrates me. I think I may need to sit down with the various books, enumerate the rules, and figure out how to apply the Fate Fractal to the weapon rules, without creating something that overwhelms the magic rules. Or maybe just tone down the ideas I have in mind for weapons. Maybe just requiring them to work the Wyrd is all that’s necessary, beyond some simple rules for making them somewhat superior to what the average soldier carries, which is all I really need.

Dice Mechanic – Zombie Dice

One idea that I was sort of obsessed with about a week ago was using weighted dice as a method to shift dice probabilities. The idea came with a thought about Zombie Dice and how that game functions.

The different colored dice in Zombie Dice are weighted. Green dice have more brains and fewer shotguns, and red dice are weighted in favor of shotgun blasts. Yellow dice are neutral, and work like Fudge/Fate dice. The thought I’d had was that one might weight rolls by using Zombie Dice to represent an advantage provided by a superior weapon or superior armor, with the red shotguns reducing damage, like the armor rules in the Fate Toolkit. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to calculate the new probabilities the different dice would produce, as I’m not that good with the level of math involved. I was able to figure out that getting a +4 result with 4 green Zombie Dice would be about 1 in 16 rather than the 1% or so the regular dice provide. Ultimately, I think this idea would require a new system, rather than a modification of the Fudge/Fate system, especially without the ability to work the probabilities.

High Elf Skycutter and similar models

A couple of weeks ago, I got a bargain on this model, the High Elf Skycutter.

I’m planning on building it with a more draconic motif, and without the eagle (he’ll be built separately, as an individual unit). This model very much fits some of the ideas I have in mind for the vessels of the StarSea.

I also picked up this Lego set: Naida’s Epic Adventure Ship.

It’s a very cool little model, and it also sort of fits the thoughts I’ve had about vehicles in the StarSea. The Girl and I built it, and it looks very nice, if a little girly with the color scheme you can see above.

I believe there were others I was going to comment on when I originally outlined this post, but I’ve forgotten the others now. I’m sure I’ll remember then at some point when I won’t be able to post about them. :-)

Playing MTG

Thanks to the Boy, I’ve been cycling through collectable card games lately. We did some Yu-gi Oh! for a few weeks, including me replacing a deck that was stolen from him, but now he and his friends have moved on to Magic the Gathering. So, I bought a Deck Builder Kit (no, these I won’t link to) and we built decks and played. I was able to keep up with him, and I actually kept him on the ropes in early play, and even beat him once. He’s got an amazing mind for strategy, as well as the ability to pull off his strategies.

I finally see the appeal of the game, one I’d resisted because of the feelings I’d had back when MTG first came out. At that time, the owners of TSR had started pissing away all of the cachet that had been built around the D&D brand. D&D 2nd Ed was in its waning days, and people were dropping D&D for this new game, Magic the Gathering (or, as I called it in those days, “Money the Gathering”). I developed a resentment of the game, feeling MTG was draining away the players that D&D used to have.

MTG is easy to learn, plays fast, and has enough possibilities in even a limited number of cards that you can find numerous variations on the game play, thus replay-ability is high. I can see why MTG garnered such a following, one that made the publishers, Wizards of the Coast, enough money to buy up TSR and the D&D brand, resurrecting D&D with 3rd Ed. I expect we’ll be playing more this summer, maybe including the Boy’s birthday party next month.

The Art of Blizzard Entertainment

I mentioned Diablo above when I discussed the video game that ate my brain. Friday, the Family and I went to Barnes and Noble for the first time in years, and I found a copy of the monstrous tome named above. I read it cover to cover today (not hard as it’s an art book), using it as an escape from my addiction. Wasn’t a lot of meat there, but I am interested in poking through it again and again, looking for ideas for my own designs.

That’s pretty much it for this post. I’m up late as it is, and my eyes are feeling it. It’s time for me to head for bed. Later.


Three Weeks of Stuff, in One Big Blast

If you read my last posting, you read about how I’m having difficulty focusing. This post has been a couple of weeks in process, but my inability to focus is (figuratively) killing me. I can’t seem to stay on task much the past couple of weeks.

It might have to do with a job interview I had on the 15th. I was very aware of when the appointment was, etc. Like I was anxious, but without nerves. The initial call was very regimented, not more casual and flexible like most employers. I was given an appointment time, not asked what was good for me, etc. I felt like the interview and my distraction were related, but I can’t tell you why. Now, five days later, and I don’t believe they really were. I’m still very distractible, and I don’t know why.

I was going to rant about some personal stuff, but after writing it, I looked at it and said, “Why? This really doesn’t belong here.” Aren’t you glad I edit myself?

So, to the meat of my posting…

Divine Characters and Gods – A couple of weeks ago, after my last serious post, I was working my way through the second Corum novel, Queen of Swords. Moorcock used the priesthood of the gods of Chaos in a rather interesting way I’ve never seen in an RPG. The clerics in this book were truly tools of the gods. The first novel is called Knight of Swords, and the story revolves around how the gods of Chaos have defeated the gods of Law some while back, and this is what allows humanity to rise to power and exterminate Corum’s people. Corum defeats the titular god of Chaos. That being said, you can see who the villain of second novel is, and as said goddess can’t make herself known on the plane due to the rules of the Cosmic Balance, she uses the Knight’s priests, empowering them to create upheavals, and thereby draw people to Chaos (“Only Chaos can protect you from the upcoming troubles! The gods of Law are too weak!”). Magic is used to back up their claims.

I can’t think of a time in which I’ve ever seen a DM actually hand the word of a god to a PC, or seen a group of evil cultists being anything other than psychopaths. Even though this god-mortal interaction is only commented on in two or three chapters, it struck me. DMs seem to more often than not simply make sure the cleric is doing things that make sense for that character’s god, but do little in the way of having the god actually nudge the character down a path that furthers the god’s goals. I think that’s something I’ll be investigating the next time I run a more traditional fantasy game. (More later.)

Movies – I also caught a few movies that I felt I would comment on, as each had an impact on my mind.

Jupiter Ascending – I caught this one at the local cheap theater. I’m glad I saw it on the big screen, but I’m also glad I saw it at the cheap theater. It wasn’t an especially good plotline, and in fact the plot had holes you could fly a solar system through. The effects were cool, and it looked good on the screen, but the story was weak, and some of the performances were overdone. It had some neat ideas for tech, but some of the animal people were a bit silly. I’ll probably buy it on DVD when it becomes available.

Birdman – I think this one only won the Oscar because the Screen Actor’s Guild understood the movie. The movie is about an actor acting and directing and producing, and I don’t think many of us on the outside really get it. Even after watching the “Making of” featurette on the DVD, there were confusing things about the movie and plotline. I also hated the Jazz drums-only sound track. I bought the DVD, and anyone who reads this blog is welcome to it; you need only ask. It’s nothing I want to keep in my collection.

Avengers 2 – Well, of course I saw Avengers 2! Great fun! I think the Black Widow controversy is mainly from folks who haven’t watched Agent Carter and didn’t get what Natasha saw in her “chaos magic” spawned dream. I enjoyed seeing the vision on screen, as well as all the little hints about his connection to Wanda. With the little bit of hinting about CA:Civil War, I’m interested in seeing how they’ll handle the end of that one.


Games on consignment – I spent a couple of days working on checking prices and getting some of my old games, as well as some that Roger left behind, out of the house. They were taking up space. These were books I’d taken into Crazy Squirrel‘s Game Swap Meet a couple of times, but they never sold. This time, a couple of items have sold and made me a little money. As well, we had a rainstorm around that time, and I discovered some of the bins of fabric Roger had left behind had fallen over and broke. I took some time to dig through those as well, and start to get then out of the storage, which is no longer secure from weather. I have a lot more to do on that mark, but it’s getting warmer and more difficult to work outside. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make the time to get more of the stuff cleaned out of the greenhouse/storage.

Campaign Ideas – I’ve been thinking about games I’d like to run, in addition to the StarSea (more in a moment). Here’s a list. Some of these would likely work well for the D&D for Kids game, as I’m running out of adventures for them.

  • Neverwinter – Both the Encounters season and the stuff from the sourcebook. I have the Encounters module still, and I really enjoyed the plotline. However, I doubt the kids would enjoy it, because of the politics. They just like beating up enemies. A superhero game might work better.
  • Heroes of the Feywild – Again, using the Encounters season, as I have that one also. This idea might be good for the next D&D for Kids campaign, including the cool character creation extras. I could expand out that Encounters season, but that would be a lot more work than Neverwinter, as I would be creating from whole cloth.
  • Scales of War – This one looks like a cool campaign that I’d enjoy running. Has a cosmic level of doings, with Tiamat warring with Bahamut and the ensuing chaos. Wouldn’t work for the kids, but would probably work for our Wednesday Night game (which may be moving to Thursdays, but I’m hoping not).
  • The Swords Trilogy – Well, not exactly Corum’s world, but close. If I pull the entire setting and plotline, it would look something like this: The world would be a faerie tale, idyllic world to start, with a barbarian race coming in to destroy what the PCs hold dear. The PCs escape, and find themselves allying with another nation that is next on the barbarians’ hit list. The gods are silent to start, until the PCs learn that those gods have been barred from the world by the evil gods. This is due to some force the PCs learn they have to undo or reverse, probably by defeating the some servants of the evil gods. There should be some mention of the influence of the evil gods towards making the world a darker place, swaying mortals to unleash their dark sides (as mentioned above, in the first part of this post). That might be something to link to the Feywild game mentioned above.

These are, at present, all 4e campaign ideas. I’ve thought about the idea, as well, of running these as Fate games, using the Freeport supplement to give me the fantasy and magic rules. I’m thinking I need to do something like that at some point anyway. It would get my players used to the rules for StarSea, assuming I don’t go nuts at some point and drop Fate.


Regarding that last statement, I have thought about that lately. Again, I’m looking at tinkering with the Fate system more, at a deeper level. I’ve already mentioned changing the Advancement System, and building my own. As I listen to the Critical Hit podcast Fate superhero game, or I think about things like lightsabers (which I’m also thinking of removing from the game; sometimes you have to kill your babies, and this is one of those), I’m thinking I may need to tinker with how combat works. I like having combat in my games, as do the kids (although they may outgrow that). The point of using Fate was to avoid doing so much tinkering. Of course, there’s nothing I don’t tinker with, gaming-wise, so maybe I’m just being foolish and finding reasons to distract me. But if the system really won’t do what I want…

Then again, the Cypher System setting-neutral book will be out this summer. Maybe I need to re-examine my feelings about that system, as that was where I was going to start pulling ideas from for my Fate concerns. Or maybe I need to look at alternate Fate games that tinker with those rules. There are lots of ways of dealing with this. I just need to start looking into rules systems, again.

Gaming Careers podcast – I started listening to this podcast a couple of weeks ago. I’m really enjoying it, even the shows that I’m not especially interested in (i.e. the video game episodes). It’s sparking some creative ideas, and giving me insights into how to get into the industry part-time. As one of the other podcasters I listen to said, “Do you want to be a publisher or published?” I want to be published infinitely more than be a publisher. In fact, I have no desire or inclination to be a publisher, at all. It seems like a lot of number-crunching and such I don’t want to deal with.

So, after three weeks, that’s about it. I think that’s more than enough. Later.


Immanently Distractable

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.

Finding Joy Again

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…



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