Monthly Archives: May 2011

Summer begins

Fuck, its Memorial Day again. Normally I love Memorial Day, it is the beginning of summer and I look forward to the hot summer nights and sultry days. This year I know in my heart Labor Day is going to get here and it will be another wasted summer. I am going back to bed, someone wake me up for Comic Con.

GURPS and I

Back in 1985 Steve Jackson Games put out is own roleplaying game GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System). Although we continued to play AD&D, GURPS really became my game of choice for a couple of reasons. First because it was much more gritty and realistic than any previous RPG. Second it was flexible, one system, any setting, any genre. Third, it was reasonably easy to learn and get started quickly and build to the level complexity you wanted.

GURPS, however, is not without its flaws. It does not scale well for one thing. It works pretty well at the low end of character development. 100-150 point characters are pretty reasonable, but once PC’s start getting beyond the 200-250 point area, things start falling apart.  It also did not take players very long to figure how to optimize characters or any particular genre. For instance, a  warrior with a Strength of 12 and a Dexterity of 16 was going to be hell on wheels pretty quickly. The side effect of that, is characters tended to start looking the same after a while, right on down to the disadvantages and quirks they choose.

All that aside and getting back to what I liked about GURPS. Steve Jackson Games knows how to put together a setting book. Heck, I’d have bought most of them anyway, to use with other games. The other thing they excelled in was writing adventures. Keep in mind, most of the adventures being written at that time were all dungeon crawls of various types, even Sci Fi, horror and western games were not straying very far from that paradigm. Steve Jackson Games put out Orcslayer, then Harkwood and what was different about them was these adventures were encounter based rather than environment based. Orcslayer was actually a book of combat encounters for Man to Man, which was sort of a GURPS Lite prototype. The Orcslayer encounters were linked together by the over arcing storyline of the kidnapping of Lord Peredur of Durham’s granddaughter. Harkwood, Orcslayer’s sequel, was an adventure of court intrigue at the annual jousting tournaments held in the barony of Harkwood.

Of course today these types of adventures are more common, back then, they were an anomaly. I have been running my HackMaster campaign now for something close to 9 years and it has so far been primarily of environmental challenges. Here recently, I have been considering shifting gears and trying to be more encounter oriented. Now that summer is approaching, perhaps instead I will make my players build GURPS characters and run them through Orcslayer, Harkwood and my own Beast of Tier adventures.

My Green Lantern Ring Collection

With the Green Lantern movie coming up I thought maybe I should attend the movie in my favorite costume, putting on my Green Lantern T-shirt and matching ring and become the Green Lantern of Space Sector 3600, the last sector, known as the “SLACKER SECTOR”. The only question is, which ring should I wear.

Interesting things on the internet

Today on XKCD the alt text says that if you click the first hyperlink on any page in wikipedia that is not in parentheses or in italics, and repeat that process, you will eventually end up at Philosophy. I tried this out and it actually works most of the time. I did find occasionally I would end up in a loop, for instance, the first such link on San Francisco Bay Area is San Francisco Bay and the first link on that page points back to San Francisco Bay Area.

Facebook and Me

Facebook and I have always had a tenuous relationship. I have never been a big fan of their privacy policy and I have written before about how Facebook is a content provider only it is we users who produce the content for our friends to consume and we do this free of charge. That aside, Facebook is increasingly becoming more important in our lives whether we want it to or not. Almost everyone I know is on it, although not everyone uses it much, myself included. Facebook is a nice centralized place to maintain things like current email address and phone numbers. It is also a pretty good way to send messages, there are people out there who check their email once a month, but are on Facebook 4 hours day. I think the time is coming where we will sneer at people who don’t have Facebook accounts in the same way we sneer at vegans and people who don’t own TV’s.

Rapture Bombs

The best thing about yesterdays rapture prediction fail was the #rapturebomb pictures on various sites. This picture was the best one of the day.

I wish I knew the original source. I found it in the comments section in an article covering #rapturebomb at Gizmodo.

My blog is broken

Something is up with comments, I am not sure what it is. I will look into this as soon as I have some time.

The Best Star Trek Episodes

I read The 10 Best Star Trek Episodes article at The Best Article Everyday with some reservations, this sort of thing is way too subjective and many a forum flame wars have been fought over this subject. I do not necessarily agree with all their choices, some of them seem to be stretching it to include one from every series (except Enterprise). However, it is a good try, there are several excellent choices and I 100% agree that Balance of Terror is probably the single best all time episode of Star Trek.

 

Things that don’t surprise you much

I am not going to come right out and say they are criminals or thieves, I will leave that to others. I knew Creede Lambard when he was a disc jockey at the radio station in Laurel Montana, I played D&D with him for several years. I only met his wife Sharleen a few times. Around 1983 they left Montana to move to Austin Texas for jobs with Steve Jackson Games. Shortly after they left, there was a rumor going around they had cleaned out the bank account to TreasueCon, the small genre convention they were helping to organize. A few years later Steve Jackson Games nearly went under due to poor management and theft of company assets by an unnamed senior staff member. Shortly before the incident became public, Sharleen was the President of company and running its day to day operations. Shortly after the incident, Creede and Sharleen relocated to Seattle Washington. So while I can not prove they were actually guilty of anything, I can say truthfully, I was not surprised to read The Family that Preys Together, in the Seattle Weekly, where once again, they seem to be implicated in wrong doing.

35 years in reverse

This fellow made a video of himself every year for 35 years, this year he strung them together to make this video showing him aging in reverse. This is one of those things I wish I had thought of.