Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Can't Stand Arrogance

ar·ro·gance noun \ˈer-ə-gən(t)s, ˈa-rə-\

Definition of ARROGANCE: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrogance

Arrogance is a bad thing okay? Arrogant people are annoying, especially those that don't think they are being arrogant. At it's worst it gets people killed. I once had a discussion with a commercial pilot about the "God Complex" which is the ultimate, extreme form of arrogance. Many doctors and commercial pilots have the God Complex. He told me doctors who are also licensed private pilots are more likely to crash, and kill themselves and their families. Why? Because of the God Complex, because of their arrogance.  They think they can do no wrong.

Arrogant people are difficult to deal with. They always think they are right, and when they are proven wrong, they have plenty of excuses. It's always someone else's fault.

When my sister was in the hospital, I had to deal with more than one arrogant doctor. The only reason I didn't give them a verbal reaming or worse is because I wanted to be there for my sister. If I had acted on my feelings I would have been kicked out of the hospital, or even arrested. I needed to be there for her.

Arrogance is a bad thing. It's a character flaw. A HUGE character flaw. Arrogance is not confidence. Here's a nice essay, confidence vs arrogance . If you describe yourself as arrogant, perhaps you need to work on that?  They say repition is the mother of learning so... Arrogance is a bad thing. It's a character flaw. A HUGE character flaw. Arrogance is not confidence.  Confidence is a good thing, arrogance is a bad thing.

Luckily, most of the people who blog about gaming aren't arrogant. There are a few that are, and I avoid them the best I can.  I won't name them, nor link to them, but most of you know who they are anyway.  Why am I writing this?  It's simply an explanation.  If you see a comment by me, out there in the blogosphere that seems out of character, this should explain my point of view.  I abhor arrogance.  I know that I'm probably not going change anyone, but I won't stay silent anymore.

Ideas? Suggestions? Requests? Insults?

I've been giving a lot of thought to running an online game.  I used to use a Yahoo group to run a free-form rpg, but that was years ago, and fizzled out.  I really would like to do something on Google+, however my Internet connection/bandwidth is not good at all.  In fact it's horrible.  So instead of throwing my hands up, giving up, and going "MEH!", I will live by one of my motto's.  Do what you can, with what you have, until you get something better.  ( The second part of the motto is: Work on getting something better. )

So I want to run a game, or more precisely a RPG.  I'm just not sure the best way to go about it?  A blog with play-by-posts?  Another Yahoo group?  A forum?  Play-by-email? A combination of these options?  The second decision would have to be genre, and then rule-set.  The genre would of course influence what rule-set I would use.  I wouldn't use AD&D to run a superhero campaign, or would I?  Heh... nooooooo.  I know I don't want to go the free-form route again.  There need to be rules.

So that's what I'm asking my esteemed readership.  What would you want to play and in what format?  Here are some of the things I was thinking about...

  • AD&D 1E
  • Mutant Future
  • Labyrinth Lord/OSRIC/ or???
  • GURPS 3E ( Probably not... I've only got the main rulebook right now. )
  • Traveller
I was also seriously considering a game set in the town of Kinship and environs.  I just haven't decided what rule-set to use.

All that being considered, this wouldn't be one of those things were you HAVE TO POST every hour/day/week or whatever.  I want this to be a flexible game.  However, if you end up being absent quite a bit, don't be upset when you miss out on things.

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions.  A fantasy sandbox, or Mutant Future would be fun, but now that I think about it, a weird western would be fun as well.  So speak up, and let me know.  If you reply I want to know the following:
  • If you're interested in playing in an online campaign.
  • The format you would be most interested in playing in, i.e. play-by-post, etc.
  • The genre and rule-set you are most interested in.
  • What you want out of the game!  Combat, role-playing, exploration, everything?
Okay, I'm all ears!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

[ Kinship ] Vanilla Pudding to Go

Entering Jelly's Cafe, Five saw Tom Solven sitting at the counter eating vanilla pudding.  Jelly's had the best vanilla pudding, except for the time it came to life, and grew to gigantic proportions, and then went on a rampage.  Well, it was still good, but no one can eat that much vanilla pudding, not even Matt.  The town stunk of vanilla pudding for weeks.  The Sheriff requested that Cook not use that recipe again.  Not that it mattered much, people were put off pudding for a long time after that incident.

Sitting next to the diminutive man, he opened his notebook, and smiled as he saw Tom look over at him.

"Exactly why do you do this Five?  Asking everyone who will answer you so many questions?  You fancy yourself the town historian?"  Tom popped his neck, and squinted at his pudding.  "I still don't trust this stuff..."

Five gently probed Tom's mind, but meet with resistance.  A deep growl came from Tom.

"That makes my brain itch.  Stop.  I'll answer your questions."  He pushed the bowl of pudding away.  "I swear this stuff still grows.  I never seem to empty a bowl.  No wonder it's all you can eat."

Looking over his list of questions, a feeling of unease crept into Five's very being.  Shuddering he put down his pen.  Something was wrong.

"So Five you going to the movies tonight?  I hear it's supposed to be a new movie...  Wait what's wrong?"

Five noticed that Tom was sniffing the air, moving his head side to side.

"Zombies... lot's and lot's zombies..."  Jumping off the stool, Tom's transformation was incredibly fast.  One second he was a normal looking midget, the next he was midget werewolf.

Standing up, Five looked through the large front windows of Jelly's Cafe.  Main Street was filled with zombies, more than he had ever seen before.  This was bad.

"Five, I'll go out first, you follow me.  We need to make it to the Sheriff's office.  Something's wrong.  This many zombies shouldn't have made it into town without the alarm going off."  Turning to the rest of the cafe's customers, he noticed most weren't a part of the defense force.  "Everyone else should stay here, unless you're a member of the defense force, and armed.  You will be safe in here."

Tom turned back to Five.  "Try to stay near, I'll clear a path.  Let's go!"

Pulling out his Bowie knife, Five took a deep breathe, and a chill ran down his spine.  He never liked combat, but when he had to fight, he could fight.  Zombies were the worst.  He couldn't read them at all.  Their minds were blank.

With a howl and a leap, Tom, or Snarl, as many of the people called him, was out the door, and in seconds had already beheaded four zombies with a mere slash of his long claws.

Pausing before exiting the cafe, Five sent a mental message to his Clan.  The town was going to need help.  Then he was out the door, slashing out with the knife as the first zombie lurched towards him.  Somewhere down Main Street there was an explosion.  Everything seemed to rumble.  Then he was on the ground, momentarily stunned.  Shaking his head, his ears ringing, he saw the zombie looming over him, a black ooze dripping from a half rotted nostril, and staining what was once a very nice Superman t-shirt.  Five was wishing he had ordered some of the pudding when he had the chance.

Suddenly the zombie was headless, as Snarl came to his rescue.  "COME ON!"  Getting to his feet, Five saw something large and black swooping out of the darkening sky, and straight towards Snarl...

Friday, January 20, 2012


Well, I hadn't planned on posting today, but I just read a diatribe against GURPS on a blog.  Instead of commenting there I decided to just stop following it, and respond here.  I probably wouldn't have stopped following the blog, ( I won't name it, nor link to it ), but it seems every second or third sentence had some version of the f-bomb was used.  I guess the blogger was trying to be creative.

I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, they're entitled to speak, write, or whatever, about their opinion, but the same goes for me.  The title basically is telling people to stop talking about GURPS, and of course that it sucks.  Well guess what?  That's not going to happen.  I like the system.  I'm sorry if the poor blogger can't handle the math, but sheeesh, such hate is unwarranted.

As a GM, I've ran more GURPS games than any other system.  I like it.  My friends liked it.  We had fun.  Tons and tons of FUN.  I will write about GURPS, I will talk about it, I will promote it, I will run it at conventions,  I will eventually run another campaign, heck I may start a blog that talks about NOTHING BUT GURPS.  So Mr. Hate-filled Blogger, stick that in your pipe, and shove it up... oh wait, my apologies.  I'll be nice.  Thanks for giving me a post topic.  I'm not a big fan of rule-system/edition hate/haters.

The blogger in question likes Paranoia.  I don't like it, but I'm not going to tell people to stop talking about it, or playing it.  If you enjoy it, then have fun.  Just don't slam one of the games I enjoy.  It's a fairly simple concept.


On another note, this year I plan on changing the blogo ( blog logo ) every month.  I really didn't like the one for January, and the style was getting old so I changed it early.  It blends a little of the old, with some new stuff.  Oh and one more time....


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Zombies Don't Make Good Pets...

It's also a pain when they make it into your safe-house.  Poor Private Gronch, one of my three characters in Urban Dead is now a zombie.  I think I'm going to have him wander around, and hopefully find one of those Necro-Tech dudes to revive him.  As a zombie he can't use his stuff, but I think it's hilarious that he's got a flak jacket on.  That was a lucky find.

I created the graphic above after playing around with CorkboardMe.  Yes, I did a screen capture for the graphics, and did the rest with Paint.Net.  It's hard to make realistic looking blood splatters!  I thought I had a splatter plug-in, but I couldn't find it.

I hope to have some fiction posted sometime tomorrow, or maybe some sandbox ideas...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thinking Thoughts or...

...man, I'm running out of good titles for these nonsensical stream of thought posts.  I was going to title it, blabbering meanderings, or meandering blabbering.  Oh well, never mind.  It's almost been a week since I last posted, and any more delaying would just make getting started again that much more difficult.  I probably would have posted more, but have been feeling under the weather, with an ear ache as well.

I'm feeling better, just a little low on energy.  However, I wanted to get a post written, and well, discuss stuff.  Like this crazy movie I watched last night, Meet the Hollowheads.  It may very well be the only movie that's a post-apocalyptic comedy. I kid you not.  Unfortunately I dozed off a couple of times, but I don't think I missed much.  It really is a low budget stinker, but still somewhat entertaining if you have nothing else to do, or you're trying to fall asleep.

I was going to give you a little info about the movie, but apparently, Wikipedia is doing a "blackout" for 24 hours, in response to SOPA/PIPA.  I guess they are hoping to get people involved.  Oh well.  Anyway, it's a really strange movie, that I think many of you fans of the post-apocalyptic movie genre may enjoy it.

Shock Cinema gives a good description of this movie.  They describe it as "Pee Wee Herman's Blade Runner", but I'm not sure that's accurate.
I'm betting John Glover wished he never starred in this "movie".

If you read my last post you know I started playing Urban Dead, a web-based browser game.  Well, I've been playing once a day, because it goes really quick.  Anyway, my zombie character, Little Henry is no longer a zombie!  Apparently people playing Necro-techs, one of the "character classes" can dezombify ( or whatever they call it ) zombies.  Unfortunately since he started as a zombie he can't use his starting skill, which is called Vigor Mortis, which helps in hand-to-hand combat.  The good thing is he didn't lose experience so after I cleared a 100 XP I bought a skill to help with hand to hand combat.  As a human civilian he's managed to find two flare guns, and a clip of pistol ammo.  Zombies can't search.  He doesn't have a pistol, so finding one is a priority, then I'll buy the skill.

I am playing three characters, and one of them looted a museum.  He ended up with a cubist sculpture, and a fire damaged painting.  I lugged both of them around for about a day, and decided to leave them somewhere.  They're only good for decorating safe houses, and they really added to my encumbrance.  I put the fire damaged painting in a firehouse.  I thought it was appropriate.  I don't know where I will leave the cubist sculpture.  Doctor Velasco has looted a number of books, which will occasionally give you experience points if you read them.  I think I may drop a few soon. Private Gronch is armed to the teeth with a crowbar, fire axe, and of course his pistol, but he's low on ammo...  I think I'm already getting bored with this game.

Anyone out there know of any good web-based browser games?  Preferably free.

If you're interested in miniature wargames, check out this blog: Vintage Wargaming.  Dave Arneson is in this photo!  I found this blog because of a post over on Grognardia.
Okay, I'm about 99.9% positive that it's some kind of military uniform reference poster.  I'm just wondering who published it? I just think it's kind of cool.  I guess the chance of finding that out may well be nigh impossible, because this photo was taken in 1966.  I wonder if there is something comparable printed these days?  I guess I need to do some research.

I guess I've done enough meandering blabbering.  I'm going to go over my notes, and hopefully come up with something really good, or at least more entertaining for my next post.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the Urban Dead

I was researching something yesterday, when I stumbled upon this browser game.  I was intrigued, so I created a character.  Gronch is his name, and he's a private.  I chose that as his class, because you get to start with a pistol, and some ammo of course.  It seems fairly popular and active, but I'm not that impressed with the game yet.
You have 50 Action Points to accomplish things.  Action Points are regenerated at the rate of one per half-hour.  This makes for a slow game.  One of the first things that's recommended you do is find a safe house.  You don't want to be caught outside once you run out of Action Points.  Zombies may eat you...

Private Gronch chose Club Greswell as his safehouse for the night.  Today I changed to a different location, because I realized during my explorations I was going to run out of APs before I made it back.  Once of the things, well one of the few things you can do is search.  Today I found a crowbar, and a can of spray paint.  I was excited about that for about 30 seconds...

In Urban Dead you can play more than one character so yesterday after using all my APs for Private Gronch, who I guess is AWOL, and trying to survive the zombie apocalypse; I made a zombie character.  I named him, Little Henry, and described him as a bald midget.  Little Henry didn't do much his first day, but he did attack a portable generator.  In fact he struck at it, and eventually tried to bite it.  Nothing much came of that, except for the lights flickering for a bit.  Heh... Other than that, all he did was wander around making zombie noises when he found a living person. "Mrh!"
Today when I logged on to Little Henry I discovered he'd been attacked twice, and some heinous scientist extracted some of his DNA!  Later Little Henry did what zombies do best.  He managed to kill someone.  Granted they were already down to 38 Hit Points ( everyone starts with 50 Hit Points ), but for 1st level I guess I did okay.  Unfortunately after the person was dead I didn't get to eat his brains, so I fled the area.  I earned 44 xp!  It takes 100 XP to learn a new skill.  Now I don't know what sort of skills a zombie can learn, but that should be interesting.  Maybe there's a brain eating skill?
I don't know how long I will remain interested in this browser game, but for now it's a good way to kill a few minutes.  There's probably a lot more to this game than I know about, but I just haven't felt like doing the research.  Man, I will be glad when I can finally play Skyrim...

Monday, January 9, 2012

The new news is news?

Say that five times fast.  Just for fun.  Done?  Okay, what I'm referring to is this, Wizards of the Coasts announcement about the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons.  The gaming bloggers everywhere are posting about it, and voicing their opinion's and idea's.  It makes for a great topic, but is it really news?  We all knew it was eventually going to happen.  It was practically written in stone.

However, I think the big news is the supposed level of player involvement in the design/play-testing process.  I'm wondering how this will work out?  If a certain number of gamers like a certain type of combat simulation ( or spell casting/whatever... ), and they play-test the game, give their feedback, and ideas, etc.  The game designers look them over and either use them or not.  Now consider this,  since many, or actually probably most of the ideas and suggestions are not going to be used; how are these players going to feel?  Will they want to purchase the new edition?  I'm sure the die-hard fans will, but others might not.  I'm not much of a marketing guy, but is this a good idea?  I'm really wondering how this is all going to play out...

It's a great idea not to design the new edition in a vacuum, but I'm sort of cringing at the chimera of game that might result.

Apparently the Wizards/Hasbro now want to listen to their customers, but I really think they only want to listen to what they want to hear.  Many, many people request the old stuff to be available as PDFs. Is that ever going to happen?  Probably not.

I doubt I will ever play 5E.  I'm not going to say never, but chances are...  IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  There are plenty of other games to spend my money on.  However, there is the odd chance that they create a wonderful, fun, very playable game.  Would I play/buy it then?  I don't know, but probably not.  Been there, done that, already burnt the t-shirt.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Six Days In...

Well, 2012 is six days old.  I've spent most of this week working on the fence, because of the extraordinary beautiful weather we've been having.  Working on the fence also kept me occupied so I wouldn't worry so much about my aunt.  She's still in the hospital, and will probably be there for a long while. At one point she had flat lined, but they managed to resuscitate her.

Nothing much accomplished on the gaming front,  ( aside from building a table top from scrounged lumber ), but hopefully that will soon change.  I had hoped to at least get some Mage Knight games played over the holidays, but my brother got engaged on Christmas Day, so that got nixed in the bud.  Oh well...

I still can't play Skyrim.  I think it has to do with lousy bandwidth.  The Steam site mentions that broadband is RECOMMENDED.  The Skyrim box states that an Internet connection is required, but says nothing about how good a connection you need.  So I'm a little ticked off, but nothing I'm going to rant about.

Hhhmmmm... I wonder if I can write some rules to play Mage Knight solo?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Secret Santicore 2011 & Other Stuffs

Really?  I mean really?  You haven't downloaded the Secret Santicore 2011 PDF yet?  Yeah, I'm looking at you!  Go to this blog ( Giblet Blizzard ), and download it now!  It's a six pack of awesome sauce.

Seriously, it's a very professional looking PDF.  If you're into OSR gaming, you will find something in it you can use!  The best thing is that it's FREE.  Of course if it's ever put up on Lulu, or some other POD site, I would probably buy it.  It's just that good.  Even if you never use it in a game, the darn thing is an entertaining read.  Also, the art is great.

I believe this is the second year of the Secret Santicore project.  ( I could be wrong... ) I wish I would have motivated myself to participate, but hopefully I can next year!

If you're a writer, and are feeling motivated and creative, Arkhein of the Rather Gamey blog, has extended his Vayniris Anthology Project deadline to the end of March.  For more details go check out his blog.

Now, I thought I would give my readers a heads up.  I have an aunt in the hospital, and not doing well.  If this blog goes dark for a while, well you know the reason why.  If you're the praying type, please, please say a prayer for her.  Or just send good thoughts her way.  She is one of my favorite aunts.  My mom and her sister, and brother in-law left tonight to go to the hospital.  ( She lives in Arkansas. )  I have to stay here and watch the house.  It's just too soon after my sister passed away, of course it's never a good time to lose someone.  My mom is really upset, and to tell you the truth I'm barely keeping myself together.

I didn't expect 2012 to start the same way as 2011.  I just feel sick to my stomach.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Game Hacking

Today I've been busy trying to get Skyrim installed, and of course have had no luck.  I finally received an email from Steam support that at first seemed helpful, and it did get me farther in the process.  However, once I tried to login I got the same result.  Steam: Not Responding.  UGH.

So while I try again, ( it takes Steam forever to update, at least on my computer ), I've been doing some research, and found this definition of a hacker:

hacker n. [originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe] 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. 2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming. 3. A person capable of appreciating hack value. 4. A person who is good at programming quickly. 5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in `a Unix hacker'. (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.) 6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example. 7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations. 8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence `password hacker', `network hacker'. The correct term for this sense is cracker.
From The Jargon Dictionary http://info.astrian.net/jargon/
I know many people think hackers are  malicious criminals, and many are, but I read it and realized that many gamers could be described as "game hackers", especially those in the OSR segment of this niche hobby.  I am specifically referring to parts six and seven of the definition above.  Many of us like to tinker with, and rewrite the rules of the games we play, because either we aren't happy with them, or we are trying to "circumvent limitations".  Sometimes I think that this is the best part of the hobby.  Finding new and better ways to do things.

Let me be clear, I'm not trying to hack Skyrim,  I was doing research to broaden my knowledge base.  I eventually want to get a better Internet connection, and set up a wireless network.  So I was doing some research on wireless security.  There's a lot to this stuff.  Sometimes I want to move to the woods and become an original hacker, and make all my furniture with an axe.

Time Keeps On Slippin'...

... slippin', slippin' Into the future  Yeah, today that song slipped into my head, or well, that one line did.  Over and over again.  Probably because the new year is looming large, and having thoughts about what's to come.

I know many bloggers write a "year end review", but I really have no interest in doing that.  I enjoy reading other blogger's year's end recaps, but I realized that I've been dwelling on the past, and it's time to move on.  I've let the setbacks this year discourage me far too much, but again, I'm not going to dwell on that either.  Learn from the mistakes, lest you repeat them, but move on.  Make progress, and all that jazz.

No list of New Year's Resolutions for me this year, well, I do have sort of a blanket resolution.  Do better, and live better.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!  Game on!