Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Alligator tears in broken mirror upon a lost land; wrong.  Never together still never apart with some strange rift of self or potential.  Gather up words and wonder of fragile fibs I told myself I could be.  Thus not you nor even me and certainly never we. If to release you from dream to sail your own finer seas.  No more nights nonesuch bright waking to morns' sepulchre skies tall and grim.

Talking to my kid about illness and death part 2

I guess we are going for surgery tomorrow morning. Everything seems to be happening very quickly, I feel like details are slipping past us.  I understand they are doing a biopsy and will validate what it is before proceeding but it just seems to be going hundreds of miles an hour.  I can tell my mom is scared.  I am trying to be there for her and my dad and my daughter.

I don't know what tomorrow is going to be like. It seems like we are getting up to a chancy situation already. Surgery is not without risk any time but there is the potential for loss of speech and comprehension of words just with this one. 

Even good we are looking at Chemo and radiation which will really weaken her. My mom isn't little or frail so I hope she can  maintain strength but this already seems hard on her.  She is on medication and isn't as sharp as she always has been. 

Again I am not sure what to do with my Daughter she asks if she is going to Grammies everyday. She liked her new daycare but still wants her routine.  My mom is like her second mom.  I don't know how this could effect her, she is at the worst age.  Too young to understand to old to not remember.  Not that I want her to, really i just want her to have more time a few years so she will always remember my mom.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A prose poet about a drive with daughter and dogs

The night was cold coming in, windows down for dogs and a girl that told me her hands wanted to be cold.  I had the heater and too tired to argue.  My little girl even with parents brains shouting roll it up waved her hands happy in the wind.  Winter fur gusted brown and white, two dogs snouts sniffing streets of night. None were ready when my child called to go back home but she froze near to bone.  Windows sealed up tight, heaters and dogs hot searched ourselves home.  At the end even the girl decided it was early to stay home, just a few more hills were wanting.

A quick prose poem in my scarecrow speaks format.  Small Epiphanies found on the road,

Talking to my kid about illness and death

As I have said we are dealing with a bit of a family emergency with my mom.  They found out she has a brain tumor.  Or thing she has one, they say a whole bunch with 90% certainty and then say they will not be certain until they biopsy it.  I am scared and having trouble dealing with this.  This is the woman who gave me life, twice if you count the Kidney.

What is making it harder, is I am trying to be level headed and supportive for my dad and family too.  I don't think I am doing a good job of supporting my mom.  I am sure she is terrified, I am.

I really what more time for my daughter too.  That probably sounds selfish but my Mom watches her every day.  I don't want her to come with grips with death this soon.  I don't want her to loss someone she loves.  Last night she said to me "Daddy sit do, I want to talk." So I do thinking she is stalling going to bed.  The girl is three and a half she shouldn't talk like she does but much of what she says comes from my wife and I or Kipper. 

"Grammie is sick, where is she sick?" My mom doesn't look sick this is just the beginning of this but she understands something is up. I say "She has a soar in her head."  "She is going back to the hospital?" Keri asks, which I can tell she is affair.  My mom just came back from one hospital with seizures being brought on by the tumor, it was how we discovered this thing.  I say yes she is going to be helped by the doctor.  I am almost crying at this.  I tucked her in and left, She called my wife in and asked the same questions. 

What do I do?  I don't know how to tell her Grammie is sick and I am scared.  I don't know how to tell my girl about death.  She understands people go away and she doesn't seem them again, i guess.  My parents had a dog who died recently I don't know if she really gets it.  I don't know what to do.

RPG thoughts on rolls skills and enemies

What I am trying to do with skills is create a system that requires a linear increase on core skills.  Why?  Well i know this is unrealistic as most people don't notice things with a linear increase making this weird.  What I am trying to do is have those unimportant non dramatic moments just disappear over time.  Having automatic successes makes it so the GM can just assume these little moments work out.

I would rather not have randomness defeat my players at unimportant moments of play but rather have that stuff not even interrupt flow.  I want my dice to convey tension every time I roll them.  Be it potential to do something great or something that screws the party.

Over time I want lackeys and goons to not matter to the players.  I want my bosses and sub bosses to always be a threat.  Here you get into something lame where only a few of the enemies really threaten the party,this is not what I want either.

I would like lackeys defending a castle to be easily dealt with but If the game really deals with those people in the castle then I want to have all the forces in the castle be meaningful.  I am not sure if this would be level based or defense vs combat attack successes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crescent Star Family Emergency

My mom is in the hospital and is really sick.  It's not something minor and I am trying to be there for Her and my Dad.  Anytime I have lost people or come near it I was young and wasn't trying to be there support for anyone. This is very hard and It's taking all of me to be strong when I am in it too.  I will probably post more later but most of my thoughts are with my Mom right now.

My grandmother and uncle had similar medical problems so this is sort of the killer that is stalking my family.  So I am scared.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

RPG thoughts on equipment

The equipment in my little RPG is going to be different that in most.  The material and quality of things is going to be of perhaps more import that the magical qualities of an item.  A item that doesn't break may be of higher value than something at is flaming if you only get a single hit and then that item snaps in two.

Also with several items being living beings unto themselves they may need to be cared for specifically.  I think something like a handle animal skill may be more central to my setting than other fantasy game.

The idea is that certain critters are designed just to die and produce a useful skeleton in some cases.  This comes a bit from the frog gun in the movie existenze.

Also there will be actual living tools that may be symbiotic with the Characters or may be independent autonomous entities. You can see some of the symbiotic type stuff in games like Rifts or Dark Space.  The autonomous tech would be like some of the creatures in West of Eden.  The Star Wars novels have something like this as well.

Detective Short Story inspired by The Dain Curse part 12

Matt lived with grandparents but over the years the house became more his than theirs.  Hull and I found him and Maris on the couch she was balled up with her legs tucked under her body.  She looked bad like she had been crying for days. Matt was trying to be there for her, but this wasn't something she would get over, just less with time.

I mulled around the kitchen making small talk with Matt's grandparents during much of this. I overheard some of it and Hull filled in the rest. Hull was direct "Maris where is Rhino, Kimber's with him it could have been her, it could have been worse." Marisol started bawling with the word worse.  Matt was pissed at the results of Hulls words but comforted her instead of kicking us out.  That was good. "Where does he deal?" "No where, I mean he gets calls usually to meet at a park or something." Marisol replied timid. "Where does he get his stuff?"

Her answer was a house downtown, one of the dying Victorians they rented out to college kids.  We would find it was out between japantown and the park.  We had only description no address.  It was a big wild painted house full of dead heads.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Roleplaying Game writing project sample rules 13 thoughts on prestige classes

If you looked at the tale of the Gannith you being to get a look at one of my archetypes or prestige classes.  That being the dark circle of the gannith.  These are supposed to be the tenders of the dead of their people.  They are headsmen and necromancers.  The concept is someone who is a circuit executioner and had necromantic magic to raise the corpse to walk back to the funeral lands with them.  No that they would be killing everyone, they would be more often than not just tending to those who have died by nature causes.  I draw some of it from a story by Clarke Ashton Smith there was a story about a headsman beheading and beheading this bandit that slowly turned into a mythos type monstrosity.

If you read the story you will get a feel for the decorating and funeral preparation rites that required decoration of the corpse.  I didn't get specifically into the reanimation of the body to walk with the rider.

This is one of those archetype character roll that sort of give color to my roleplaying game.  I want to create something like a prestige class around it but I am not sure what to do her. 

I am a big fan of the Harp game rules and have thought of just doing it as an encheapened skill set like they do in that game, but something doesn't feel exactly right there.  I have thought yes it should give a block of skills or a cost savings on skills but something else too.  Maybe there could be combat maneuvers or spells that are granted access too or perhaps rather than just allowing for cheaper purchase of skills I cold give out a fully exploded copy of a few skill trees.  Maybe even not conforming to the normal rules so certain abilities are granted that may not normally be given.

With that i could restrain the magic while still giving some high end necromantic abilities.  I don't want these guys being necromancers or shadowlords but I do want them able to raise a walking pile of bones.

Image taken from http://www.blackgate.com/2010/07/21/on-writing-fantasy-a-timeless-style/

Detective Short Story inspired by The Dain Curse part 11

More of the the Detective Short Story i am writing.  I am not sure if it is going to novel length or not.  I am just writing on it for now, with little destination other than some vague mimicry of The Dain Curse .   I hope you like it the other bits were titled N6 Against the cult of Dain.  That is an obtuse reference to the Dungeons and Dragons module N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile god.  I am reading a book that says be less coy about titles to get blog traffic.

Finding Rhino would need Maris, Hull knew this. She had been hold up with Matt since events past, and was saying little.  Hull knew this wasn't to be easy, but what else was there.  Hull had spent a summer swindling kids out of Trading cards and selling double price at gaming conventions.  There was an oily charm about him, but getting Marisol to talk would be a test.

Hull ordered me to pick him up and drive from a pay phone.  No idea where he found one but he seemed to know a secret network or archaic telecommunication reserved for the pagered.  I found his caravan early afternoon and was quickly greeted. Bounding into my car wearing an aging Y&T jersey and jeans once to long but now the excess walk worn to fit.

The ride over he insisted on playing Dio. Almost entranced and enraged by the music Hull grew seemingly stronger with each note, as if going to battle. Imbued almost frantic with energy Hull stormed Matt's house.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sample Rules part 12 attributes

I dint think i have dug into stats yet.  Stats are going to range from one to seven and basically function as skills.  The difference you will never have automatic successes associated with stats.  If you had some superhuman character or critter the stats would actually go beyond seven to nine or fifteen and upwards.

basically stat rolls will be skill rolls, if I was doing saving throws I may even have them just be a skill that adds to the basic stat.  These skills would then allow for automatic successes as normal.

My primary reason for the skills is going to be unskilled checks and then skill cost.  I was thinking of having starting skills max out at their controlling stat value but that is seriously lame.  I personally have no coordination but I can ride a bike pretty well.  It just doesn't feel right now limit characters like that.  It does seem right to allow them to purchase skills cheaper depending on their natural talents.  I think I got a bit into this with the experience explanation.

As to specifics on attributes i am not sure which way i am going.  I am doing a basically fantasy game so I don't feel a need to separate dexterity and some hand eye coordination stat.  Education seems more of a modern game skill also I think I am taking care of it with my skill attribute purchase system.  I know I will be doing magic so I need stats to cover that.  I know many of the spell casters in the game are going to be mystical in nature, I am not sure what sort of stats I should used.  I feel much of it would bargaining with spirits so I think i need a presence/persuasion stat. 

I think I may be wacky and split the traditional Wisdom stat in two for intuition and sensory.  I want a stat that deals with mental fortitude to bullshit.  I want it to be separate from intelligence and even Charisma.  Perhaps its best just a saving throw like skill though.  

One thought is a mental physical pair like most games do.  Something like power, manipulation, resistance and perception. 



The problem I keep coming back to here is the Ego seeming more like a skill of Charisma.  Also that split of wisdom could be removed if I am trying to go for clarity.

There is the option just to pull it out this sort of is drawn from the  Myers Briggs chart.  I am using a high charisma for the introversion vs extroversion.  High intelligence for thinking vs feeling as basically feeling isn't something you can give a stat that will be how the character is played.  Intuition verse Sensory information gathering I included both as stats.


It looks a lot like AD&D to me but maybe play testing will be needed.

N6 Against the Cult of Dain part 10

The blood scattered us, leaving Hull alone with few answers.  Again he had tucked his motor home into a back alley.  Long Haul trucks and a few other motor homes told him he wouldn't be bothered here.  The camp lasted several days before he would be told to move along. In that time Hull dwelled on what little he had.

Rhino was the one screw unturned here, Hull kept coming back to it. Hull only knew him threw Marisol, and only by reputation.  A junior college football player and occasional dealer.  Chasing the Dragon sparked thoughts of knights and heavy metal records for us, but Rhino used it as a password for Heroin.

Kimber wasn't fond of needles but pills she loved.  She and Maris had been friends for years, so Rhino and her were at least acquainted.  The shape of things was coming to being in Hulls mind.  Again Hull thought Rhino! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sample Rules part 11 flying mounts

Going off of the Arzach / heavy metal bit I am thinking of having some personal flying mounts. I really don't want to have Air ships and what not thought.  Those are becoming a fantasy staple and I want to be different.  Another thing I don't like with air ships is they become flying bases of operation stocked with all the mundane tools a party can ever need.  I need my folks to look for a thirty two and a half foot pole.

Instead I am going with mounts and a few areal cities.  Carinthis was always intend to be a city of interconnecting towers and high bridges arching over the city.  I am not sure if I want giant birds messing that up.  Going with the stone bird aspect of Arzack may help me out here, having them too heavy for the many towers of carinthis. 

I have imagined cities in a monument valley type desert that are high up on the stone or perhaps random giant arches of an old society as in arzack.  I don't want blimps and balloons replacing air ships but I would be cool with them holding up cities in the sky.  I have thought that would be nice as it almost would create a second tear of games as these places could not be accessed normally.  I think World of Warcraft has a few spots that need flying mounts to reach just like this.

Perhaps with the rampant biotech people could become transhuman and fly on their own. I am not fond of this idea but its something that could work its way into my game.  I want things to be mount heavy but if it excites the players maybe it could work. 

N6 Against the Cult of Dain part 9

The roads through the mountains wired over the land in spirals and turns.  Criss crossing and breaking the path to Holy City was confounding.  Once it was a religious commune promoting Celibacy, tea totalling and white supremacy now it was nothing.  Currently it was home to a glass blower who specialized in marbles and the occasion special order glass sex toy.  The remains of the "Divine Way" church and zoo, rotted a ghost town.

Sorci's Ford groaned as we exited, relieved at casting off it's load.  We parked some ways away and crossed road and field before getting there.  The property was closed off with cyclone fencing but you could push your way through the bushes.  Getting the wasn't much and the moonlight helped. Lights would have given us away.

Back when it was running Holy City and a prayer grove set up, Kraz and talked about it.  I figured it was the place to look, Keith would certainly have mentioned it to his new friends.  I hide back like a coward behind, while Hull, Matt and Tony trudged ahead into the copse.  I could hear someone else I guessed Kimber but after moments they returned with Marisol.  She wore a Halloween store fright robe but was naked besides and crying. She was tied and left!

Maris didn't know much.  Consoling her the rest of the night all we learned.  They had Kimber, Rhino was with them and blood.  Drowning concrete here was blood a lot of blood!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sample Rules part 10 the Green People

Reaching back to do more of the race mechanics for my roleplaying game, here is the Green Race.  Reglin of A tale of Carinthis is of this race.  In some respect they are my elves, but I have always hated elves so I wanted to whack them a few times with the ugly stick.

The green race is one of singers, their language is song.  Even the lowest of them is an adept singer of magic.  Physically they smaller than human averaging around five feet and are very lightly built.  They are dexterous and light.  Their hair rarely grows long rather reaching an average length and maintain that mean.  The coloring mostly grey black and brown and white.  Orange is uncommon as is blond.

The green people have warred with mongrel race of dog men forever.  They are prey and prey upon in turn.  Stalking the forests their clothing is usually of some tan or green coloration.  A lose poncho of heavy leaves is a common element of their dress.  A constant element is the use of a veil or mask which is always worn.  A green would much sooner disfigure himself than reveal his mouth.  Those who have seen a fallen green unmasked are hunted furiously.

Their culture is one that seeks rebirth and sees life as a cycle of evolutions.  The move through lives working up a latter of incarnations.  Humans are not always the highest some animals are far higher than human who hold certain jobs.  One is not set in their lot though, great deeds may move one up several rungs.

The culture allows themselves twenty five years before they seek a new incarnation.  This is the second of the sacred laws.  A grand fire is set on the four days of the sun each year.  Those who have not reached the rung of the druid leaders are burned in this fire.  Those that have are allowed to enter the necropolis and seek a higher form.

This comes from some article i read in a GURPs magazine.  I don't even remember what you call that one. Singing elven race what what I got from it.  The rest is quasi Egyptian metempsychosis and Logan's Run.  Also I hate elves so making them suicidal and short lived takes the lame out of them.

If put into Pathfinder terms they would look something like this.

Racial Traits

    +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 strength:

    Access to green blood magic songs ( more to come)

    Cultural skills: Green have a +2 racial bonus to stealth and spot.

N6 Against the Cult of Dain part 8

"No Woodsey Latham isn't lying, this time!  He is terrified, getting on a bus! Wouldn't say where!"  All of us were thankful there was some upside. "Temple of Harvest, ever hear of it, its the one thing I got out of him."  I'm not sure who Sorc was asking but it sounded like some of that parading around a pole with ribbons crap.

"Kimber got hooked up with them buying, Kerath was already running with them.  They probably seemed harmless with him as the lap dog."  "They probably let him wear his cloak, this is fucked! Kraz could be tied up with anyone and think he is playing a live action roleplaying game."  Keith was always looking to be and never look at who he was with. I was the only one who really knew how screwed up Keith could get himself.

In moments the party was assembled and armed from Hulls weathered home.  Matt could fight but cared too much for his clothes.  Tony was tough and determined if Kimber was involved.  I wasn't much use myself I was scary but pretty much a pussy. I was to take Hull's pellet gun and hold the line.  Hull himself whirled a ren faire morning star over his head and howled for battle.  Sorc was our wheel man.

The band piled into the back of Sorci's truck, straining the springs until it scrapped hard over every bump.  I directed from the inside heat whilst the other shivered under a blanket in the back of the truck.  The night growing cold with the speed of the freeway.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sample Rules part 9 background on setting

Well back to my daily Roleplaying game work.  I have written out several of the rules on the how things will be done and a few stories but I am not sure how clear the setting is coming out for the RPG.   My goal is the setting to stand on its own even if my rule set is discarded and I am playing with the Pathfinder Roleplaying game rule set.  Though in all honesty I would prefer Iron crown Enterprises HARP.

If you were to list a few short descriptors of the setting they would be desert, biotechnology, demiurge, uplifted, Arzack, AI and Planetary Romance.  Which all means very little without explanation.

Lets start with influences for the Roleplaying game.  My first and most driving is the AI RPG by the Digest Publishing Group.  This was something that never materialized, but I have had a few conversations with Joe Fugate and have a little more than a passing picture of the  product.  Actually it is more my own miss ideas about the AI RPG that drive my game more that the actuality of the product.  The reality of AI is much more in line with the Eclipse Phase Roleplaying Game but with a more fantasy twist.  The book The Broken Land by Ian Macdonald is the nearest thing you will find.

In my mind growing tools was not through nano construction but Biotechnology of living tools.  It becomes much more like the Yilane of Harry Harrisons West of Eden. 

Visually my ideas were heavily drawn from parts of scifi animation.  Heavy Metal was one source but this always struck me as cheesy and juvenile.  I was please to find the source Arzack was clearly adult almost expressionistic.  I love what Mobeius did there and in l'incal.  The vast desert comes directly from Girards art.

From Ai and Arzack I started seeking any material that was like minded.  These let me to planetary romance fiction and the Roleplaying games that where influence by it.  Specifically Empire of the Petal Throne and Jorune are very much touch points for me.  Many would see a pretty big connection with the Darksun RPG with my lack of metal weapons or rather rarity.  While I am familiar with the setting of Darksun I have actually never played.  I haven't even read the books out of fear it is even closer to my setting than I fear.  i guess I am going to have to before I finish this stuff up.

The lack of metal comes from the cosmology that I have dreamed up.  I sort of dreamed up a false god called The Architect that is the demiurge of my world.  While I wouldnt publish this I sort of through of this as a continuation of the Werewolf world of darkness mythology.  The Weaver devours Gaia but afterwords is destroyed birthing a new entity , The demiurge.  An active creator that is constantly designing but through the nature of Gaia.  The metal and machines that destroyed Gaia are also enemies.  This draws from the gnostic demiurge and is meant to be a fool that sees the earth and assumes it created it.

N6 Against the Cult of Dain part 7

Some more from my detective story. I am not sure where it is headed but it is drawing from the detective novels The Dain Curse by Dashel Hammett and something by F Scott Fitzgerald.  Unlike many of my works this is not a kids story as I am trying to have the character spec naturally.  They have direct real world influences and I am specifically choosing language these individuals would use.

The loud words sent us to the parking lot. Tony was getting Rhino's location out of Matt when Sorc arrived. I guess Hull emailed and Sorc had a phone from his gig doing graveyard tech support. His micronized ford truck pulled up next to us. He stood in the door well hands on the roof keeping the car well between us baring the weight of hard news.

"You won't believe it, Woods!" That's me, long stupid story about that one, but it was better than people calling me Chunk. "It's not Mount Madonna its Holy City and they have Kerath with them." That got me cursing, what the fuck was Keith doing in this. Kerath was my fault a friend of my cousin that started tagging around with my other friends. He wasn't a bad guy he really just wanted to belong, but tried far far too hard. He decided he was going to like metal even when he didn't because he thought he could fit in with the crowd. He even made up that name Kerath. I called him Keith or Kraz, cutting Kraznoselski down with little dignity.

Holy City made some sense with Kraz involved, he grew up in those hills and knew them. I could get Hull up there but wasn't much of a guide.

"Latham says they are going to sacrifice Kerath!" Sorci finally blurted. "Oh the hell they are! Who is They anyway." I surprised myself to be saying. But Latham was a liar and Kraz would like it too much. My cousins and I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with Keith, it was his wet dream to be sacrificed to Lloth demon queen of spiders.

So it Goes

This is part of an ongoing short story I have been working on.  It is a bit of dream interpretation and a bit of James Joyce style flow of consciousness writing.  I am not sure this is something I would ever want to publish as the psychological analysts would realize I am nuts.

Aloysius was long alone in the land, sometimes broken some strong.  These the tame lands of Nicene's sway, only an audience he sought.  Not to marvel of the bright land wrought nor of noble lesson to be taught.  Aloysius was a seeker a suitor though worn and simple spun.

He Imagined himself Hercules to beg trials and win loves hand.  But that was only painted tales, not for the real and true.  He would see Nicene everywhere and none, though mostly in sleep. And in time he would see awake, not bleary or inward, but sober of here and now.

It was not won, nor of Aloysius made, but near chance Nicene summoned the wanderer to her side.  He would rush heart overflown and she would wash him with something like love.  Still in this something lay wrong at the core.  Something immutable as ages splitting them far in twain.

Even resolved, father and family looked upon Aloysius seeing true he and I were poorly made.  Only longing was there more.  Nicene was the other have not of Aloysius but the self he longed to be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kidney failure, dialysis and transplantation

I have seen some sites talking about renal dialysis, kidney failure and kidney transplants.  I wanted to go a bit more into the specifics of my experience.  They really were just at the beginning of the in home dialysis machines so that was nothing i experienced.  They did do a bit of Dual Dialyzer testing at my unit and it seemed to have some positives when used serially but that actually added to run time.  I was not part of the test but one of the people I knew was.  It seemed to be best for big folks , my friend on the study was a big black guy, not really heavy but very tall and muscular.

My wife was really terrified when she started researching dialysis and it is not as bad as they say.  Most of the number you are going to see are because people doing dialysis are older often very old.  Many others are diabetic for some reason it kills off the kidneys.  I have the same disease Gary Coleman had and like him had kidney failure early in life.  If you are also having kidney failure early in life you probably have a good prognosis.  I went to two units one was Fresenius  Dialysis and I try to forget the other one.  I saw a lot of people die in my eight month on dialysis but many were people late in life that had kidney failure due to other long standing medical problems. Dialysis for me was like walking hand in hand with Death and when I said can you help me out he says no.

Fistula turned to expose incision
One of the questions i have seen coming up is what is a dialysis fistula?  Please be careful searching this as there are obstetric fistulas which are not a pretty picture.  What we are talking about in hemodialysis is the AV fistula.  I have the ideal which is the non catheter brescia fistula, catheters can get infected so are not the best.  When you get one you are sort of at the mercy of your vascular surgeon as some like to do them at the wrist and other at the upper arm.  I have the lowers wrist version.  I will show you a couple of pictures.

Fistula shaved to show full scaring for dialysis treatments
The line on the bulging area directly above my thumb is the incision site. That is where the doctor actually merged the artery and vein.  There are a couple of other types of dialysis accesses but I only really saw my wrist fistula the upper arm style and direct in chest catheters.  The chest ones are actually sort of nice as there is no pain and you are not constantly having open wounds.  I am including a picture of my now healed tracks but while actually on dialysis i had two to three pairs of healing needle wounds at any time.

transplant pill box
Now that i am post kidney transplant i am doing a lot better.  I will let you know i am hugely fat and added 20% extra weight after the transplant due to the steroid medication.  I also need to take a mood enhancer to combat the roid rage that was apart of that.  Here is a picture of my pill box, yes its a small tool box and that is a pad lock.  I like it as its easy to keep everything together and no one will steal my medication.  It's not the kind that will get you high but more the kind you will have a lowered immune system and die of pneumonia instead.

Sample game rules part 8 ramblings on experience

I have sort of talked a bit about experience but the more I consider what I have said it seems like I am getting at a level based system.  I don't really think I have ever decide that it actually was a level based game.  I actually think I started specifically not wanting a leveling system. 

That said I have two thoughts that are pulling me back around.  Those are the thought that no matter how granular i get it I am going to have a break down where players have not enough reward to improve or the will.  I don't want it to be all rewards come with level but there will be some times where they get less reward than they need to improve, its just a fact.  The second though is I am inclined to have some sort of role arch type if only for role playing purposes.

To expand that last thing, I have played in Gurps and the GM clearly said "While GuRPs doesn't have classes it kind of does have classes."  What he meant was you have an idea behind what your doing even though you haven't a class.  With complete freedom there still is an idea you are working from.  I want players to be able to argue , without rules and dice, "I am totally a rogue guy!" or "I'm a viking I should be able to do that!"  And just have the concept keywords sway my decision as the GM.  What I don't want is the players pulling these statements out of their ass.

I think my reward scheme would be something like you are grated some number of reward/experience/whatever points for completing a goal.  Those goals may be either personal, adventure or community.  Personal are things you worked out at character creation and have a major and minor.  Adventure are things the GM would have written into an adventure.  The Community goals are going to be things the player turn into goal by each handing over seven points of stones, Aligned stones count for two and the other count as one. This could be anything that has been annoyingly thwarting the players.  Getting into a location or dealing with some baddy who often gets away.

The reward points will be spent for increasing skills and buying some extras, like spells or combat maneuvers.  Skill can be purchased at a rate of 1 point per X+1 reward points, where X is the number of successes currently.  So 0s1-7 cost one for one. 1s1-7 cost 2 for one.

N6 Against the cult of Dain part 6

Our path eventually found us at the library. While wireless access was ever present few of us actually to make use of it.  My companions priced out of the market and I was either at home or with the few people whom may have called. Hull and Tony sipped computer access fifteen minutes a shot here, fighting the elderly and unemployed for a turn.  I volunteered my house but Hull complained about the trip cutting into his gas money profits.

I was soon to find the trip more about weed that second rate computers.  I am naive, in my mind drug dealers live in back alleys and other dark places.  They don't read the Economist or wear an ascot and they don't sit politely chatting with elderly ladies at the library.  But Matt was the embodiment of this quaint picture.  Everyone Hull knew seemed to be named Matt so forgive me if I forget his last name.  There was a fat Matt, a tall Matt, one who cheated at Dungeons and Dragons, a mechanic Matt and several more.

This Matt always made me nervous.  Something in my disposition was jumpy around the illegal even or especially when it was wrapped up gentile and exquisitely dress. 

Purchases made Tony began "So you see Maris lately?" Clearly a soar subject Matt winced at the mention of the name.  She was a Filipino girl he had been tied up with for years.  It was wildly off and on but mostly off these days. "No she is with Rhino now!" was Matt's sullen reply.  "She still see Kimber?" "Probably yeah but I don't know Rhino doesn't want me around, I don't really want to be around anyway!"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sample Rules part 7 more skill musing

With some time and thought on my super new Role playing game I present more musings on skills.  I have long thought I would have skill trees of some sort. My previous thoughts on exploding skills gives me the idea of mixing the two concepts.

The roleplaying game's skills will have a general skill or skill group.  This will represent the collapsed skill that can be used when you are using it for general stuff or when the game isn't allowing for that skill to explode.  Some games will just not need all your skills to explode open for a greater level of detail.  I seriously doubt knowledge type skills will require more detail for example.   But you can also have two games that are played with different focus.  Lets say shadowrun is the setting, one game may not focus on decking, so no exploding of matrix skills.  The second game is all decking all the time so it almost requires it.

As I currently see it skills would have a list of sub skills and talents.  These would be purchased to round out a skill branch.  Your skill would directly transfer over to some primary subskill you selected.  Then you reduce the skill pay four points for your next sub skill or talent.  Talents would only be available if you already have that same number of subskills.  If you have one subskill you can have one talent.  Once you have a number that can not be positively subtracted by four you are done.

For example a stealth skill of 2s3 that is unexploded may work like the following.  2s3 hiding sub skill.  Then you subtract four for 1s7 in sneaking.  Next we want a couple of talents again subtracting 4 we have an effective 1s3 and talk a talent that allows for faster sneaking.  Our second talent drops us to effectively 0s7, we take a sniping talent that allows for hiding successes to be added to attacks.  We may want another talent but can only have as many as we have skills.  Her were would need another skill at 0s3 for tailing.  We are done here as we cant go negative.

You will notice in the above example its actually best to take our three skills and then our talents.  As that would make our tailing at 1s3. I think the way this will work out is you will take the skill or talent at the time it becomes available then as you increase skills it will automatically increase the whole tree.  That way you are again losing out if you don't take your skills early in your progression but you will also not have the advantage of the talents.

N6 Against the Cult of the Dain part 5

Latham's name was said in disgust in most circles.  All too common was "Fucking Latham" or the reviled "You slept with Latham?"  An acquaintance had even dislocated Latham's arm at a party only to relocate the same night.  Sorci was one of the few who didn't want to kill him on sight. 

Hull was counting on Sorc getting some answers out of him, this was wise Tony or I would have just kicked his teeth in.  Sorc was hesitant to get involved but owed Tony.  He blew off my offer to drive, well knowing I would make a mess of things. "Go with Hull, he won't know the roads."  Truth be told Tony knew Mount Madonna better than I but I understood.

Our paths left the game still running our lives slowly beat to death by the nameless villains of Captain Commando.  Tony and I climbed into the motor home behind Hull crunching down a couple of old insulin needles on the floor and clearing trash from the seats.  Shadows bled away as we left the back alleys turned toward the suburbs.

I remember asking for something quiet and acoustic from the radio, to fit my mood.  The best Hull could do was some Dio though it was only near as solemn as me.  Another day a trip to the kings temple would be grand but something was off today. 

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sample Rules part 6 musings on experienc and role playing

Some aspects of gaming that I would like to rope back in is smarts.  Good ideas were at the core of early gaming and modern gaming seems to have taken and wrapped them up in skills.  I have seen several articles talking about 4th edition D&D not promoting role playing and just being a dice game.  Really 3rd did the same thing.  You just don't use cleaver ideas anymore you use skills. 

I have been on both sides of the fence on this idea, I mean throwing out ideas and Knowledge that your character doesn't have is bad role playing too.  Also why shouldn't the simple and direct guy be able to play a rogue.

The thing is Character interaction is good, quick witted ideas are great.  These are the sorts of things that make Role playing valuable and worthwhile. I mean that aside from the fun these are solid interpersonal skills.

What I suggest is a goal and description system that comes from many of the rules light system.  Players role playing to their description key words or toward a described goals should generate something like my pente stones and exp.

Role playing along the concept description should give stones as should working on a goal that is outside of the group.  Finishing a goal should give exp.  The Pente stones will be useful in the gaming itself.  I may have described them but I will if i haven't.

My experience system is not as granular as AD&D experience.  it will be something where you have two tracks, sessions played and goals.  Goals will be the real system used and players will be able to log and track their complete goals with some listing multiple goals.  Completing a module could give a three goal completion for example.  The sessions played will be a secondary track that will be try to be a fall back for players and campaigns not going as intended.

Characters would have a couple of sentences or up to seven key words for their character description of concept.  They would have big and small goals to describe, one each.  These would allow the player to say what they are all about and what they want to do.  After some time a new description could be worked out after some large goal is met.  Perhaps every adventure or personal goal they complete they are given a chance to rewrite.

N6 Against the Cult of the Dain part 4

"Do they still have cults?  I mean now that the Satan Worshiping Albino's are gone you don't hear about cults."  Tony looked on low browed with a mouth drawn hard at a single cheek. "Don't be stupid, Man! This is serious she went and a car load of people went up to Mount Madonna a week ago.  The only one back is that jackass Latham.  I'm gonna kick his ass, when I find him!"

Hull thought a moment "your making me dinner after I find him, and a full tank."  Tony quickly agreed and the two climbed back into the cab.  Moments later the motor sputtered to life and shuttered toward the south end of town. 

This is where I come in. Hull parked in the inglorious back alley behind a failing strip mall.  Wandering in the back door of a long forgot arcade he past a biker playing pool and down the lone line of machines.  Half were broken but still flashed static and pixels and called longingly in attract mode.

Two figures haunted one of the machines in the deep dark of the establishment.  The one with long thin golden locks was Sorci.  The tallest of a large Italian family he stood the height of a normal man but towered over most of his kin.  The mountain of fat and curses next to him was me. I'm sure I was wearing denim and a Rush shirt I nearly always am.  Hull was looking for Sorc.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Sample Rules part 5 musings on skills

My game is basically a fantasy setting, with hints of technology. The catch is the technology is organic rather than mechanical or electronic.  From a fiction perspective I would call it a planetary romance, in the vein of John Carter.  The role playing game that were influence by these books are are also sources of inspiration.  Jorune and Empire of the Petal throne are both settings that have the feel I am looking for.  But perhaps the greatest influence is the character of Arzak.

I mention the influences to give a hint at the desired ton of the game.  The skills that are included should look and feel much like any adventuring game with some heavier focuses to add to that feel.  

An aspect of skills that I have also been toying with is having them explode and collapse in detail from time to time.  This comes from the idea that Eskimos have fifty words for snow.  You live in San Jose like me and you only need one, but if you go skiing maybe you need more.  Some of this is to combat the Decker effect of games like shadowrun having a game within the game.  The last thing I want is the majority of the table sitting around talking about glass blowing an artifical phallus for Andy Gibb (Sadly a true story).

What I would like is a skill that looks like Net running 90% of the time but has a series of options and specifications at a level below.  We would play with the net running skill most of the time but would actually use the more evolved if something more was needed.  This could allow for games to take a more detailed turn driven by the needs of the game.

Also I have always thought certain locations within the game world may ambiently increase skills.  This is a little like the Torg game from the early nineties.  A place like the city of Carinthis may be high flying and acrobatic in feel.  Players may just be given increased states in related skills.  Players with detailed related skills may have them forced open so this sort of play is required.

I am a little not sure what to do about having people with skills that have these hidden detailed skill trees and those that don't though.  I don't want the non tree players to have an advantage and I don't want the player to sink points in when it may not be commonly used. 

Perhaps this only is available when a skill is beyond a certain point and the character concept calls for it.  So rogues may have the option on stealth and intrigue skills but may not be able to expand this way in magic skills like this.

Also Rule 1 would be applied if the GM doesnt want to do it then it's skipped. Maybe he only allows it for a few skills that are the focus of the campaign. 

N6 Against the Cult of the Dain part 3

The days of shopping mall vice deals were well behind Hull.  Most were well aware of this change, even the mall had changed.  All of it was unrecognisable from the man to the cavernous video arcade where he presided over the air hockey table.  The once forgotten second rate mall renovated and bright, too bright. Now a cathedral of commerce well patrolled and dark corners plant filled and light.

Our Hero had gone clean long before to tell the truth.  A poor purchase of Windex vials destroyed his bank roll and set him straight.  He was uninterested in these things himself, just a job , his habits never cut into profits.

I don't remember much about the friend at the door of Hulls' motor home.  I think this was Will or Paul, I have a hard time keeping all of them straight.  He looked at Hull dismayed saying "I know, it's Kimber have you seen her?"  Hull seemed to know everyone, He knew this was a girl many of his friends had been trying to fuck for a number of years.  "No , she  still around?" Hull asked.

"She's joined a cult!" Came the reply from Tony, this was Tony now I remember, another stocky guy a bit taller than Hull but build like a tank. Hull thought a moment, finally answering " Yeah her family was like that, they wouldn't even let her pick the movies she went to and they threw out most of her tapes..." "No a real cult, like shaving your head and wearing jogging suits kind of cult!" "Hm you mean some sort of Cult of the Reptile God, I have that module around her some where." Hull laughed to Tony's growing impatience.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Sample Rules part 4 The Cazzit

Well I have talked about the game mechanics and written silly little bits of fiction maybe its time to do more with the setting that is concrete.  Lets try and tackle one of the game races. 

The Cazzit were the first of the architects children, races specifically built by an uncaring but actively involved creator.  They were designed for the vast sand sea of southern E'his.  The Cazzit are a hardy people able to survive long periods without water and are well adapted for heat.  Their skin is leathery and almost scaled, generally a thick brown but many have discolored patches of orange and black skin.  They are stunted of height and squat.

The Cazzit are a divided culture city of city dwellers and caravaning outriders.  City folk are often seen as weak gilded tongued manipulators by the Caravanners.  The caravanners seen as simple or uncouth by the city folk.  Both are rather dependent on each other and often the highest ranks of society are those that have crossed from one path to the other.

While the blanket term desert gnome could be applied to the Cazzit it was not what I was going after in their design.  I was much more inspired by the real life Beduin and Kasmirian of the Talislanta game world.  I want them to be sturdy and full of guile with natural resistance to heat and thirst.  The caravanners should be skilled with animals and navigation while the city folk would be versed in deception and intrigue.

If put into Pathfinder terms they would look something like this.

Racial Traits

    +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, –2 Wisdom: The Cazzit are hardy.  They are silver tongued but often prone to take chances a wiser man would balk at
Small: Cazzit are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD), and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.

    Slow Speed: Cazzit have a base speed of 20 feet.
    Cultural skills: Cazzit receive a +2 racial bonus on a Appraise, Handle animal, Diplomacy, Bluff or Profession Caravaneer skill.
    Endure Heat:  All cazzit function as if they the spell endure elements continually cast upon them.  This only applies for temperatures 50-140.  They are uncomfortable and sluggish in cool climates.
    Endure Thirst: Cazzit can go 5 days without water before thirst rules being applied.

N6 Against the Cult of the Dain part 2

Hull kept the coach going on gas money donations he dutifully collected from everyone who entered.  He held several Dungeons and Dragons games running so there was always a gang coming or going.   He mostly ate the snacks that always seemed to show up with these event and happily claimed any leavings.  A sordid diet for a diabetic, which Hull was, often leading to wild insulin fits.

Under the knit afghan Hull stirred to wake, a hand rubbing a balding head that longed to be shaggy and worn long. He blew his nose honking hard into a dish towel, already full of unsavory things.  Soon he was to his feet and walking.  The light trickled through the trees on the lands of my youth.  But I wasn't there and these placed didn't mean much to Hull, he was looking for someplace to eat.

The meal et and some minor restroom bathing done, Hull found his way home.  He had only shut the door when a pounding at the door sent him whirling around.  Rather than hesitation he cast open the door and bounded out with a "hello".  One would worry about cops but Hull often countered opposition with boisterous and naive pleasantness.  Eyes finally focused on an old acquaintance met happily, but with the words "I'm not dealing anymore."

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sample Rules part 3 skill rolls

The basic mechanic for any role playing game is the skill role.  It is the one that is up front for players to see and is something they own.  There are some systems that account for a more basic control of the scene system but my game is not meant to cover that particular style of play at present.  I personally prefer a crunchier system and just don't have the players for a diceless game. 

As I have stated the rolls made in my game are generally covered by a D10 + D4 open ended roll added to skill value.  This gives me an average of 8 points for any dice roll plus skills. 

Moving onto the skill levels the Characters Might have I am thinking something that looks like the below chart.  But with this I really don't see a starting character having beyond a 0s5 unless they have made some rather foolish sacrifices.

0    Unskilled
1     Read a wiki entry
2    Read a book
3    Had a class
4    Has done it enough to get the hang of it
5    Skilled or naturally talented
6    10 years in
7    Grizzled old Pro   

1s1+     Master
2s1+     Rarefied circle of experts
3s1+    Advanced the art

Now taking the base roll of 8 with a skill potential of 0-5 we are skill checks of 8 to 13 being the norm.  From here I really want the 3 or 4 to be the characters go to skills so we are looking at 11 or 12 being average rolls coming out of starting characters. 

I personally dislike games that don't give beginning players a shot at kills, I am specially thinking of Palladium here, and want to set my target numbers appropriately.  I would want my players with the 0s3 skills to succeed about 75% of the time and the 0s4 skills 80-85% of the time.  Here are the percentages of my rolls.

2    2.5    100
3    5    97.5
4    7.5    92.5
5    10    85
6    10    75
7    10    65   
8    10    55
9    10    45
10    10    35
11    10    25
12    7.5    15
13    5    7.5
14    2.5    .25

It looks like a target of 9 is going to give me the rolls I am looking for.  So my skill chart is going to take 9 as the average target

7     Easy
9     Average
11    Tricky
13    Hard
15    Very difficult
17    Near Impossible

Maybe a touch too hard but we will see in a demo.

N6 Against the Cult of the Dain part 1

A little fan rattled furiously trying hard to blow the stale air in the cab around.  The air conditioner was long dead with no attempt at repair.  The drivers' window thrown open you could only see the head of the short man at the wheel driving reckless and unconcerned.  His music spilled out the window shattering the quiet morning piece of lonely streets. 

These were the empty road ways of progress or were before being bled empty by recession.  Low buildings empty and quiet once sunlit and bird sung seemed swallowed up by drums and guitar.  The music was metal and I'm sure our little driver could point to a patch on his jacket and tell you much of the band.  If you are curious lets say it was Coroner or King Diamond or something like that. Whatever it was the streets were once quiet and now they were not.

The coach rolled hard on the road but finally came to a stop.  The Driver found a cul de sac and settled the motor home in for the day.  Everything here was empty not a business open for work, which suited him well.  There was no one to bang on the door and tell him to leave.  None cared or were concerned by his few day long camp.  Hull parked his home and drew the curtains closed, sleeping a few hours before the day was ready to begin.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

On the Dark Side

Well I starting playing that Star Wars the old Republic over Christmas.  Despite it being everything I feared it is actually pretty fun.   It is Warcraft, people who say it is not are liars.  If someone said it was a licensed engine I would not be surprised.  My character even seems to jump the same way my Dwarf did in Warcraft.

It has the same click to use cooling off abilities that make up combat.  Everything is select a target and go.  It is basically everything that Dungeons and Dragons is not.  But me as a solid DDO player actually can enjoy that a bit.  The exploration and quick nature of quests is pretty fun.  I can kill my Rakghoul quote and be done with just a few minutes of play.  I don't have to invest in a group and then feel bad for leaving them.  Also I don't have to hear or talk to anyone.

The quests are really the thing that I enjoy though.  The cut scene narration really puts you in the story.  Also the Class quest storyline for my Jedi Sage has been top notch.  I want to do quests just for the story progression.  I like that I can make the light and dark side choices and how that I get reprimanded for being an evil dick later on.  Really these are what make the game fun for me.

I also like the space bit, that is sort of fun.  I haven't done any flying around stuff with my ship but I will be soon.  I like that I have the ship and its mine all mine.  I don't have the guild worry and can do whatever stupid stuff I like.  I wish I could type a name for it thought. 

If you are on the fence I say give it a try its a really good game.  I am sure Star Wars and Wow people will like it.  I am more of a D&D guy but I am still having fun saving Yuon Parr.