Monthly Archives: December 2014

Holiday Haze

It’s been a while. Things have been hectic, and I’ve found a new distraction. Yay.

I’ve been working quite a bit. Usually, I’ve only been off one day a week. Most weeks, that day off has involved Christmas shopping and errands related thereto, focusing on my mother’s physical therapists and her therapy, but also a little bit of gaming has. And then there’s EA’s new SimCity BuiltIt, an iOS game that I fell into last weekend. Truth be told, that was why I didn’t take the time to make this post. I obsessed over the game for quite a while last weekend. I’ve cut back since, only checking progress every hour or so. It’s basically a farming game, harvesting resources used to make a more robust city that requires more resources, etc. I’ve enjoyed it, but as I said, I’m finding ways to pull away from it.

I kept forgetting the other movie I’d seen a few weeks ago was X-Men: Days of Future Past. It was a pretty well done integration of that comic plotline into the movie franchises. Lots of good special effects and interesting character choices. I had really balked at X-Men: First Class, but once I unclenched, I enjoyed that one, and I had no misgivings with Future Past. An enjoyable flick.

After my last post, I got a response on Facebook from my High School friend, Eric:

re: characters devolving. Is there a reverse for this? If regular humans become Orcs under a negative stimulus, then is there a positive stimulus? What happens under it? Perhaps you’ve already worked this out, but I thought it might be interesting to have a surprising positive path to follow for your game.

No, the effects of Corruption are permanent, but to fall requires a couple of things. Most groups have some form of counseling. The Psionics are probably the best at it, as I want them to have certain edges in the setting, although I may give that honor to the Divines. The Arcanists are probably the worst at it. Counseling will be the method of “healing the moral damage”caused by Corruption. Morality therefore exists as a bulwark against Corruption, and the Wyrd rewards morality with power. Normal mortals who become orcs, et al, are those who live away from civilization and forget their connections to the rest of the People. That can include the poor and underprivileged in a city, especially as desperation sets in and immoral choices get made. It can also happen to other mortals, such as soldiers, who too closely embrace the seedier side of their profession, pirates without a code of honor, etc.

However, counseling should not be the version of Confession we so often see in Mafia fiction. The GM of a StarSea game will be recommended to punish repeated offenses of the some nature with a failure if counseling to work, to show the degradation of the soul. However, players whose characters continue to work towards redemption should receive it.

I’ve made this choice because I wanted an explanation for how certain humanoid monstrosities can appear in the setting in large numbers. It started with the undead (based mostly on the Pharon faction in a game called Vor the Maelstrom, but also the Necron of the 40K universe), but I realized it could easily be spread throughout the other groupings. As the leadership of a group become corrupted, they lead the lesser members of the society into moral weakness. A society without the leadership of  one of the Orders could easily exist without falling to Corruption, but they’d have to have strong leadership with a solid moral base of some sort. That does conversely mean that the Arcanists have a weak moral base, and that’s fine to me.

Well, it’s getting on, and I work tomorrow. I thank those who read and comment for your assistance. Your comments help me find direction and see the holes in my explanations of events.


More Movies and Some Goals Accomplished (Finally)

Last time, I mentioned seeing a couple of movies. There was another I’d seen during those days between the end of NaBloPoMo and the last post, but I can’t remember now what it was. I remember enjoying it, but damned if I can tell you what was.

I watched the first episodes of John Rogers’ new The Librarians, which were shown as a movie. It made me want to run Mage again, like Welcome to Night Vale did. The Urban Fantasy settings of both really enchant and inspire me.

Last night, I watched Guardians of the Galaxy again with the Framily. There’s some really cool stuff in there. In the Blu-Ray, there’s a remark by James Gunn that he’s got books of info on the various aliens we see throughout the movie. I’d love to see it and give it a read.

I finally got back to typing up my notes on the StarSea setting I’d made last year, and I finally finished Notepad #3. I need to scan the images, which I’ve been doing with my iPad and an app I’ve gotten for it. Then I need to move on with Notepad #4, and some other random notes in a couple of other locations.

While doing that, I realized there are some gaping holes in the historical notes I’ve written to that point. I’m sure there are solutions for these issues. It just blew me away to see those errors. But then, this is why I’m doing the retype: I’m also re-reading and finding the holes in my ideas.

One of the other things I’ve been thinking about is the effects of Corruption on the People, and monsters created thereby. In general, based on a Person’s connections/allegiance, Corruption has a different effect. So, a Primal who becomes saturated with Corruption becomes a lycanthrope (a word I hate using, but “were” doesn’t really work either). Divines become undead, Arcanes become lesser demons and devils, and Psionics become aberrations (basically stealling the D&D idea as I have no better idea).

What happens to the Unempowered? (Again, I hate the word used. I need better.) The average citizen will change as well, but to the humanoid spectrum. Humans become orcs, gnomes become goblins, etc. So there I have a reason for more “species.”

I mentioned doing my scanning with my iPad, and I mentioned last time that I was having trouble getting my photos of my so-called beard of the iPad. I can’t afford the iCloud service, but I can definitely afford Google Drive, so I’ve loaded my images up over there, as well as a couple of other files. I’m planning on taking advantage of those services more, including possibly learning Markdown in order to start formatting my Plaintext files. Hopefully, this week I’ll get my photos downloaded and processed so y’all can see them.

That’s about all I have to cover this week. Time to do some scanning. Later.





Back to a Weekly Schedule

So, if you started reading this blog during NaBloPoMo, you may not realize that I actually try to stick to a weekly schedule for my blog posting. In large part, this is because I’m ADHD; I need to maintain a schedule. So, that means I save up a weeks worth of stuff and infodump. Because otherwise, I don’t feel I have enough content to be worth the time to post on a daily basis. So there you go.

Earlier this week, my sister got out a copy of Office Space, a movie I’d been pointed towards but never seen. So, we watched it. I finally now understand a lot of folks comments at the various large corporations I’d worked for in the early 2000s. “Um… Yeah, I’m gonna need you to come in tomorrow…”

I also saw Maleficent this week. A nice twist on making the villain the hero, without making them a heroic sort. Great effects, too. Quite an enjoyable flick.

I did something today I don’t know if I’ve ever done before: I destroyed a couple of RPG books.

That’s a major thing for me, but I did it because I’d replaced the books. Paizo Publishing had a big sale in October, and I got nine books for no more than $2.00 each. They finally arrived this week on Wednesday before my LFR game. Three of those were replacements water damaged books for an old TSR system called Amazing Engine. It was a unique set of rules in that players created a “player sheet,” which was a core from which characters in any setting could be created. As you played, not only would your current character advance, but so could the player base, so that your starting character in a new campaign could start at higher skill levels than a previous character.

The books in question (that were destroyed) were a setting book and the System Guide, the book that covered the basic rules and the player core information. The rules in that book (which was very over-priced for its time) were soon incorporated into the later setting books, so I could afford to just toss it.

The setting book was Once and Future King, a futuristic version of the Arthurian legends in which technology replaces magic. I went through to old copy and cut out the pages that some cool art or concepts (including the front cover), and through the rest away. Again, as I have a new, still-in-the-shrink-wrap volume, I could afford to destroy the old one.

O&FK is another influence on the StarSea, but to a lesser extent than some others. It was more in the back of my mind as I’ve worked than the front. However, I’m going to look at it again and see what I can mine out of it for some direction on the society that my knights live in.

Just as a note, I did get photos of my “beard” before I shaved it off Monday, but I have yet to get them from my iPad to my Mac so I can edit them. My Macs are old and not capable of connecting to iCloud at this point, so I’m not having a little trouble at this point. But maybe in the near future, you’ll all be able to see how poorly my beard grows.

A chunk of this week has also consisted of Mom issues. She’s been behaving a little differently than when we sent her to the hospital. I’m honestly wondering if she’s not slipping into dementia. She’s been a little surly lately, and her hearing is getting worse. She’s also having trouble getting around, and while a physical therapist has come out and will be coming out on a weekly basis, we’re thinking she needs more than that, and we’re going to try to arrange for that this week.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Later.






NaBloPoMo 2014 – Entry 30 – Final NaBloPoMo 2014

One of the first things I discovered this morning is that we actually won our Pandemic game last night. We had all four cures, and I simply missed in the rulebook that find all four cures wins the game. I was only focused on losing conditions. D’oh!

I used the No Shave November event as an excuse to grow out my beard. Sadly, it has been a complete failure. My beard just doesn’t fill out. I may try to take a photo before I shave tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath.

We finally had our Thanksgiving dinner tonight, and it was good. Mom got home Friday night, but a leaky shower (and it’s repair) delayed things on Saturday. It was good to finally have us all at the table, listening to my aunt’s stories yet another year…

I spent the evening mostly playing Terraria. Sue me.

This time around, I’ve really drifted from the gaming stuff, which is what the blog is supposed to be about. That’s just where I’m at right now. I’m hoping to get myself back on track soon.

That’s it for NaBloPoMo 2014. Now we set course for Christmas and New Years and 2015. We’ll see you next year for NaBloPoMo 2015. Hopefully, I’ll be more focused by then.