Probably not of any great interest to most but hey ...

Current player-accessible resources for the Magpie Empire game can be found at:
No Magpie Empire next week, this makes me sad. On the bright side, it will probably give me time to convert the necessary ships from "stuff" to the Silent Death rules.

Succeeded in my first bit of hardback binding last night, I am pleased ... my NWO brief/spell book looks quite spiffy. On the downside I did actually glue some of the pages in the wrong order, still, I'll get over it. Oh, and there was a knife accident, but it doesn't show too much.

Now the final phase of shopping and packing (amidst the regular chores of housework and grocery shopping) is all that remains (must remember to pack the throne) before I set off bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for tomorrows extravaganza.

I am terrified, my stomach feels hollow and cold.
It really shouldn't come as any surprise to me that players will always do stuff that they aren't really supposed to.

In tonight's game, somehow our intrepid crew managed to jump ahead to an event that I had not intended to happen for several sessions yet. This isn't necessarily a bad thing of course but it will doubtless cause some interesting ripples along the line. The event that started the whole debacle off was the result of an extremely lucky dice roll on behalf of the captain, who had set the ship's sensors to detect changes in heat signatures in a fairly localised area and, as a result of the incredibly lucky roll, managed to spot an anomalous heat reading on the surface of the planet. Of course the crew went after this like a dog after a bone and managed to find out that "something" had emerged from the sea onto a beach and then "walked" off inland. Still no terrible worry for me, since I knew that though they may have been able to track the thing to a nearby city, there was no way they could find it unless it actually wanted to be found. How wrong I was. Firstly they managed to find the damn thing's general location, and then they pulled something so completely unexpected out of the hat that I had no choice but to fold and reveal exactly where it was.

So, first alien contact made then.

There then followed a significant amount of language exchange (damn you phonics!), by the end of which, the parties involved are able to communicate fairly fluently with each other.

For long-term readers, they've bumped into TitianGyreOnJonquil.

I look forward to next week's session with great interest.
With the disturbing effects of Relentless gradually leaving my system, I headed off to the middle of nowhere (aka Isfield) to referee the Magpie Empire game. All seemed to go well, with a couple of rules (sensor use and linguistics) being twiddled and the characters (well two of them anyway) setting foot on the recently discovered planet. The "away team" (no they didn't call them that) picked up some soil samples, some water, two different types of poo, a small fish, a dead bat and some rock. They also seem to have drawn some interesting conclusions about the planet, about which I shall say nothing. A significant amount of the game was spent laughing at various schatological humour, mostly started by the ship's doctor. Although we didn't leave the game on a cliffhanger as such, I'm still very impatient for the next session ... I wanna see what they do next.

And then home, to a veritable treasure trove of videoed goodness, to whit, Battlestar Galactica and Episode one and two of Lost Season two. BSG was an absolute blinder with the "Caprica Six" episode (hopefully that will give away nothing at all to those who have not yet seen it) and was, in my opinion, one of the best episodes in a while. Though I have certain reservations, which will hopefully be addressed in a later episode. Lost was equally (though differently) superb, and I very much look forward to seeing where these new developments are going to lead (though irritatingly there have been enough spoilers for the end of episode two to be less of a cliffhanger than, I think, it really should have been), certainly the snippets of episode three looked very promising. Interestingly, the Fox had been playing a lot of "The Mammas and the Papas" over the weekend, so it was a bit weird to have it suddenly blasting out at the beginning of episode one ... got to love synchronicity eh?

Anyway, must get on with some laundry before tonight's RuneQuest(ish) game, oh and I must write up the changes to the ME (hmm, hadn't considered that acronym ... how unfortunate) Players' Guide ... ttfn.
binidj: (Werebear)
Well Astro-Synthesis may not be the most intuitive programme on the market, but it does let me do cool stuff like this. I wanted to gloat about that a while ago but didn't want to release it until the players had access to it.

In other news, I'm really loving Werehouse Radio, courtesy of Pandora. I still get the occasional turkey, but for the most part it's quality stuff.
binidj: (Doom song)
I love my Tungsten E2, I'm not sure that I could live without it any more ... it has become an indispensible part of my life. Unfortunately all is not well in Palm-land; for a while now if I've wanted to touch an on-screen button with the stylus I've had to aim about half a centimetre below the actual button in order for it to register a "push", this of course means that I am completely unable to call up either keyboard or number-pad since they are at the bottom of the screen. I've tried recalibrating the touchscreen in "Preferences", performing a hard re-start (though not a total one yet), each several times now; but all to no avail. Do you, Gentle Reader, have any idea how I might fix this? Is it a known issue? Or do I need to send the thing back to Amazon and get another one? If the latter then is there a means of copying the entire contents of the PDA onto a memory card (my card has more memory than the PDA so space isn't an issue) so that I don't need to copy in things like birthdays and appointments again1?

In other news, we had the first "proper" session of Magpie Empire last night and, despite some trepidation on my part I think it went fairly well (though a moment of high-tension I'd got planned was spoilt by some poor dice rolls on my part ... but that led to other roleplaying fun so I wasn't too distraught) and the characters reached pretty much the point that I'd hoped they would. One slight problem I'm running into is that the players are both better informed than I am about matters scientifical, and they also have better memories. This is being dealt with by dint of me coming clean about my utter ignorance with regard to actual-real-physics-stuff and by (I hope) cheerfully 'fessing up if someone reminds me that I made a different call on something previously. I write down as much as I can but obviosuly in the course of a game your players think of things you never did and there is a need to make stuff up on the fly ... of course there's also stuff that you wrote down when sleep deprived and high on toffee waffles2 that just doesn't make sense when you say it in the course of the game, consequently some details change from the original concept and I just suck at remembering these ... thankfully I have a forgiving bunch of players. So I'm looking forward to next week's installment to see what they'll do next!

The lovely Fox managed to win an ebay auction for me whilst I was incommunicado reffing the game, so I should shortly be receiving a copy of Silent Death: the New Millenium which means that jojo-jojojojo-jojo (who plays the ship's Engineer/Gunner) will be able to blow stuff up3.

1 Yes I know that Outlook should take care of this in Hotsync but, frankly, I trust Outlook about as far as I could comfortably spit my PC.
2 I really want to redesign their website for them ... I mean really.
3 Her eagerness to start a shooting war with the People's Revolutionary Navy last night was really quite worrying.
binidj: (Preceptor)
I enjoyed Maelstrom a lot more than I was expecting to; this is due to a number of factors: my fitness levels were way up this weekend (yay!), the Alkyon colony players and I seem to have settled into our respective relationships rather comfortably, and the Church game is starting to pay dividends as more Merchant priests have bought into the whole Preceptor thing thus giving me stuff to do with the position. Of course there's now also an arms race to keep hold of the job but that is going to be a lot of fun ... mostly because I'm fairly confident of a win.

That the Big Blue Bird actually survived the event is an utter surprise to me, I was fully expecting to die1 early on at the hands of the DNF ... actually I was fully expecting to die under a large mound of fallen Eidolons slightly later in the weekend ... and goodness' knows there's nobody that could say I hadn't asked for it. I have to attribute my astounding run of longevity both to my colleagues in Sacuza and also the lovely folks in the 33rd ... who were reassuringly competent all weekend.

Incidentally, mind-altering smoothies are neither big nor clever.2

The rules adjustments with regard to Priest skills seem to be working out rather nicely, and I'll be testing them a little further this downtime. Despite certain obvious bones thrown in the direction of church groups (this doesn't directly affect me incidentally) I'm still of the mind that the point has been missed. Still there may well be changes that I wasn't privvy to, so time will tell.

Yesterday saw the continuing saga of rolling up characters for the Magpie Empire game, for which we now have a full complement (including the lovely jojo-jojojojo-jojo) so hopefully next week will see us actually beginning play ... I remain nervously eager.

1 and leave a bloody big crater
2 though they are rather yummy
Regular readers will recall that I was pottering about writing a RuneQuest-based science fiction tabletop RPG a while ago. Well due to peer pressure (ie. Nigel sans LJ , telling me he needed a break from reffing for a bit) I've had to get moving on it recently. Of course now I've got to the bit where I can't see the wood for the trees, I'm sure that there's something missing but I can't for the life of me see what. So, Gentle Reader, if you have a spare couple of minutes and have a vague interest in these things, perhaps you could take a quick peek at the Players' Guide (the character sheet might be useful too) just to let me know what I'm missing.
binidj: (Werebear)
Cross-posted to just_writingJust_Writing.

Some of you may know that every now and then I dabble in writing roleplaying games. My latest project (and one that I've been working on occasionally for the past few months) is a science-fiction game called Magpie Empire. It dawned on me today, whilst reviewing some notes on alien cultures, that what I had written was desperately dry and didn't really convey the flavour of the culture I was describing. Hence the first in an occasional series (which I may or may not publish here) of snippets from the Magpie Empire. This particular piece describes a pivotal event in the backstory of the game, though from a perspective that will (initially at least) be unknown to the players:

Arrival )
binidj: (God told me to do it)
So we're about 50 years in the future and great strides have been made in computing, space flight and medicine but not in much else. You're on a sub-light spaceship sent through a stable wormhole to explore hitherto unknown planets. What items of personal equipment (ie. stuff you could carry on your person) would you most want to take with you? If you can think of ten items that'd be great but don't feel obligated.1

In other news:

Tentacle Ribbon

1 Regular readers will probably have deduced that this is another shameless attempt to garner 'stuff' for my sci-fi RPG ... please give generously.
So I'm working on this game, it's a sci-fi tabletop RPG based on the RuneQuest rules (where physical statistics generally have a numerical value between 3 and 18) and I'm trying to figure out a means of deriving the carrying capacity of a human; ie. how much weight a human can reasonably carry for a day's hike. The calculation I'm using for maximum lifting weight (derived from weight-lifting world records) is as follows:


(STR + (CON / 2)) x 10
This figure determines the absolute maximum weight (in Kg) a character can lift above their head.

Sadly my Google and Wikipedia-fu are not strong and I've found no figures for how much a human can carry for a day. Can anyone point me in a helpful direction? Or tell me how much an extremely fit person can tote over a long period?

July 2010

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