Monthly Archives: September 2014
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.