Thursday, February 27, 2014

Just a pleasant memory

Grey and far off the sky embraced yielding space from the sea and horizon. There the waters were grey and even the golden land tarnished. With the Vaulted air birds helix'd some strange interlocking pairs ascending in flight.  We were warm the windows dry moving un-interfered. Quiet was comfortable with nothing looking to be said, but for the wondering of up ahead.  It seems this should have been an anniversary or a day beyond.  A forgotten purse and special dinner the night before come to mind.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Observations of rereading the Dungeon Masters Guide 30 years later, part 1

I have started a new project related to my gaming groups, starting an old school AD&D game.  I am going through the players and dungeon masters to reread all the rules, with the goal of fishing out the weird house rules we always used.  The rules of the game are sort of imparted through osmosis more than actual study for most players of the original game.  Sure we look into the books and find some thing we can latch onto and know, but often we think we know the rules of AD&D more than we know them.  I am specifically trying to take not of things I thought were in the rules and are not. There are rules that are like ghosts, you read them and then can never find again.

Here are couple of points I never really knew, or knew but not as specific elements of the rule books.  Starting with the dungeon masters' guide, I didn't know how much Gary Gygax wanted to kill off my character.  Aside for elements like monsters and wizards having no hit points, Gygax was a butcher.  Those Disease and Parasitic infection rules were basically setting a timer on characters lives.  You apparently adventured solely in the northern climates or awaited renewal in carousel.  Seriously Just hanging out in a tropical city allowed for the chance of infection every week.  Let alone going through sewers like you might in Gygax's A series.  Yes I survived and conquered but I croaked due to scabies.

Another point I had ignored was how much TSR was trying to sell to me.  They sure mention all their little figures and how useful they would be.  Dungeon Geomorphs shit you better have em, son!  I sort of remember TSR going a bit apeshit about their license back in the late 80's with the whole Role-aids thing.  I had no idea they had started it with The Judges Guild license.  Accept no substitutions!  I can understand that in some respect, quality control is handy.  Our Dungeon Master Brian had all sorts of extra stuff hidden in binders that took the original game and blew it out of the water.  But flipping out over a module, whatever.

Back to the players handbook, thieves should never exist anywhere.  A first level thief with the best chance to pick pockets is only going to have a 35-40% chance of ripping you off.  How do they get better starting off that low.  I mean you do it once and retire I guess.

There are a few rules I seem to have materialized from out of my head.  I would swear I have read that you can only receive so much experience from an adventure.  That number was specifically enough to level you and then you could reach the next level minus a single experience point.  I can tell you that rule has been followed from gold box games to Dungeons and Dragons online.  But I have no idea where it is in the Dungeon Masters guide.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sven the teddy was very Unwell

Sven the teddy was very unwell, he couldn't breath or play or run.  Deep inside Sven's fluff had turned brown and grey.  If not washed thrice weekly someone would toss Sven away.

Sven hated wash day, even before they were begun.  They gave him a little zipper down near his wrist.  That's were they vacuumed out his fluff to throw in the wash. With out his cotton he felt like a popped balloon.  He would wait for hours patiently to his batting to be refilled. But in a couple days it would turn dirty again.

He asked all the other animals if they could lend a little fluff, most were too scared others had a different sort of fluff.  Fluff is very different it would surprise most to know.  Some Fluff is little pellets, other just rags and Steiff bears have excelsior. Sven was made of ordinary non-premium cotton which wasn't special at all.  Any bear could add a little cotton fluff, but for bears like Sven it was the only stuff. 

His days unhappy Sven worked to get through each one.  Even the days without cleaning were uncomfortable.  His zipper snagged his fur and even being touched hurt sometimes. He hid out from the other animals, none new what to say.  He didn't like being treated different or other seeing him as sick.  Most of all he hated hurting the bear closest to him when he when for a cleaning.

After month He thought of hiding beneath the sofa or letting the dog tear him up. The Cleaners often damaged animals and one was lost every month.  Some came in confused and after a week their time was up.  Sven often wanted to walk away without his fluff but he was scared of that too.

One day he awoke with a new seem of stitching across his belly and the prickly pains of being sewn up.  He learned he had been taken to the seamstress who had packed him full with her own bag of fluff.  Then Sven wasn't a sick toy and he could play all he liked.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Summer Elegy

Aloysius shuttered into closeness of contact, fearful and ashamed.  His need as some unsavory letter; carried.  A through and through reminder he couldn't let Nicene go, the truth it spoke of illness.  Here, close; he struggled wanting to run after having drawn near.  Hang on deed, like a gun against the head and no nerve against the final cut.

It was the bright folk, Nicene's host, who called Aloysius from retreat.  Still our man feared Nicene as if unswaddled and unbedight.  Thrust to her midst, Aloysius feared his stalking and hunting oft Nicene's lands. He was not her equal, perhaps not even a remade and perfected Aloysius.  Nicene was the great art of immortal hands, malice wholly forgot her design. She greeted Aloysius a friend returned.

Thoughts on The Curse of Oak Island TV show

The curse of oak island has been a bit of a blessing and a curse for those of interested in the topic.  The material surrounding Oak Island has been limited at best until now.  They actually are doing filming around the island and show us a bit more of the area than the few pictures we saw in the old Leonard Nemoy "In Search Of" episode.  It has been roughly three and a half hours of footage in the five episode they have given us this season which has been the most any show has given us devoted to oak island.  Also the show seems to be trying to keep the more paranormal aspects of the story on the back burner, preventing it from coming ghost oak island of whatever.

My frustration with the show is they are just not using solid techniques with regard to their investigation.  They should be having a full geological survey of the island completed.  Also their digging is certainly not archeological.  If you look at the scenes in the swamp you can see they make no effort to mark locations.  Flags could be used or orange spray paint, to note locations.  These seems like standard drilling technique and at least on of the Lagina brothers should be well versed in their use.

Having watched the show I have a couple of specific suggestions and a more general suggestion on how they out to proceed.  Generally I think they should use the Mythbusters as consultants.  They seem to be proceeding with very large scale operations when uncertain they will work.  I think the Mythbusters could work on a smaller cheaper scale that would allow the Oak Island team to try more things.

I would like to see the team continue in the swamp but with something that allow the team so focus on a specific area rather than attempt to drain the entire swamp.  I think what would work would be some sort of inflatable caisson, circular in shape.  This would allow them to quickly drain a small area by focusing in tightly.  It would also be able to move to another area should they find nothing.

My second idea would be to create a cofferdam around smith's cove and do a large scale drainage.  Obviously this is costly but it would probably provide the most answers per investment.  Barring this they need to dig a trench in the dry area between the cove and the money pit.  Unearthing the pipe that leads to the money pit is going to be the purest form of evidence that will prove the pit is really and not some sort of sinkhole.

I would really like to see something more scientific happen in the future seasons of the show.  I think they need to prove something solid with regard to the money pit.  The coin found the this seasons last episode is pretty suspect as it could have been dropped by anyone, even a producer.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Everything after

It comes up like cracks in the ice, with sudden realization of trouble and worry.  Scrabbling back, run rabbit. What will you with the day about to come?  What was your course? What have you done?  Have you wrought marvels you indeed sought?  I molder with sun and rains all undone an autumn long past.