Archive for the ‘Rants –’ Category

Let’s Play Tropic 4: XV

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

March ’61

The high school is finished, and with the arrival of a teacher from the mainland we already have two students enrolled. The middle school also only has two students so far, but the next generation well be all smartenated up and full of learning. There has been some concern about the Blimp Ride being right next door to the schools, but we assured the parents the blimps used Helium and wouldn’t explode. I’ve got someone checking to make sure the Blimps DO use Helium, and if not, how expensive it would be to switch.

March ’62

Both schools are now nearly full, and the teachers have been assured that the blimps use totally safe Hydrogen. Fortunately since practically none of them have even an elementary education we have at least a generation to fix the issue… as long as the blimp doesn’t explode in the meantime.  Tourists do keep coming to the island, even though our touristy locations are pretty minimal still.

January ’63

Our fourth mansion is finished, the second one to go up in our “historic fort district”. I’d hoped to build some nice touristy attractions here, but it is so hard staying in the black when we have to keep importing goods to process and send elsewhere. Such a pain as there is always new expansion which needs to happen I keep spending the money like it’s nothing.

May ’63

Yet again a freight has arrived with goods we can’t afford to pay for… Rather than wait possibly months for foreign aid we’ve decided to print some money. This will cause inflation, but if we can stay in the black I think it’ll be reasonable, and ultimately we just need to get to 40 factory workers to fulfill my contract with the American CEO and then I can move on to a better island! I should probably start padding my Swiss account while I’m at it, as We’ve already got half of the needed factory workers.

November ’63

Almost managed to keep in the black, but we decided to build some nice housing, specifically 3 condominiums in the harbor district. And of course project costs exceeded expectations almost immediately, not 2 weeks later and we’re back in the red again. I may just have to print some more money when right before the next freighter arrives. I mean we’re over 75% of the way to my goal… and then the massive inflation will be someone else’s problem right? What could go wrong.

January ’64

Ah ha! We did not even need to do another print run of money, the latest freighter brought in enough cash that we were able to hire a half dozen people to the newly completed weapons factory. Congratulations me!

Why pay once when you can buy it twice?

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

So I’ve got Amazon Prime which is nice and all for videos, except SOOOO many of the shows on there the latest season must be purchased to watch. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by Netflix, or maybe it’s being used to getting stuff from the library for free, but I just can’t stomach paying twice for something, especially if it’s digital both times. I guess it falls into the same boat for me as Hulu’s “Ad Free” tier having some shows that still have ads. Sure, I get that they have contracts on those shows and the alternative would be to make those shows unavailable which isn’t really a good either.

And of course it’s all the more painful when after spending 10 minutes flipping around trying to figure out what I want to watch it turns out the thing I’ve selected isn’t available (well… it is available for an additional $29.99 or whatever). I’m already paying $8+ a year for your service. I do kind of wish there was an option to only show me what’s available. Maybe I should stick to just buying physical copies (hey, I can still watch ’em when the internet’s out!) and borrowing stuff from the library. It’d certainly be cheaper.

Once More, with feeling

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

State of the Blog

So it’s time to resurrect the blog, starting tomorrow (Friday) I’m going to try and get back into the 5 posts a week rhythm. I’m going to change the format up a little however as it’s been four years!

Mondays will remain Let’s Play… I’m thinking X-Com 2, but I’m open to suggestions, and I’ll need at least a week to actually figure out what I’m doing if it’s not going to be a very short campaign.

Board Game reviews will remain on Tuesdays… though I might focus more on my favorite games, with occasional worst or new games as an infrequent occurrence as opposed to my previous “whatever was on the table” approach.

Media Reviews will probably go away, or possibly be used as filler when I’m behind on a regular feature. Instead Wednesdays are going to be a hobby focus. I’ve been gluing metal and plastic together for  more than a decade and know a thing about a thing.

Thursdays will remain “Rant” day where I talk about whatever.

Fridays are going to be a new feature “Meet the Cult” where I take a day each week to focus on one of the many otherwise unremarkables who have devoted themselves to my Warhammer 40k cult of Slaanesh. Usually you hear about the backstory of the movers and shakers, which often becomes a bit of Mary-Sueism. So of the conversions I’ve done have been quite fun and I already have bits of story about these guys in my head so I’m going to flesh it out. You might learn a little bit about the big name characters in my 40k/AoS Slaanesh army by extension, but that won’t be the focus.

Choose Your Own Post unless there is popular demand, CYOP is going on indefinite hiatus. Once I get my writing chops back I may work on it as a separate project or something.


Well that was an exciting 4 year Hiatus

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

A lot happened (details available upon request), but I think it’s time to revive this old thing. There may be some format changes. We shall see.

Today was awesome

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Coffee, games and hanging out with a cool person. I still feel kind of giddy.

A rotten start

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Well… today WOULD have been the second day in two weeks where I could sleep in. Like, turn off my alarm clock entirely (I actually set it for noon), and just as sleep as long as my body would let me.

Nope. Of course not. One of my new roommate’s friends is over here banging around, shouting and making noise at 9:30am. So drunk my roommate fled into the house and locked the door, and then called the police when this guy drove off.

On the bright side I got some painting done while watching Killing them Softly and Hitchcock. Nice. I forgot how much I like Hitchcock’s work, so a biography was pretty excellent. Then we played some Dungeon World at the game store.

I leave for gencon in 2.5 days! Can’t wait!

More on Magnets

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Still, no pictures, because I’m lame. Maybe I’ll remember tomorrow. However the magnets I use are rare earth magnets. We actually carry them at FNG for exactly this purpose, though I did pick up some from Think Geek before they became popular for use in minis. The ones I use are 1/8″x1/16″ discs. I am careful to always check magnets against previously assembled pieces so that the polarity matches up. Pretty much every model I have that uses a flying base now has a magnet in it, whether it’s a Battle Fleet Gothic Eldar ship, Tau Gun Drone, eldar Jetbike or whatever. The smaller ones are just a little too tiny I’ve found. Though I have seen folks only who have used two of the 16x32ers.

Twice is a coincidence, three times … a super coincidence?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

I don’t know. Today was good though. We switched servers yesterday, and today I got basically everything flipped and set up right. Still have a little bit of electronic housework, but everything is working now. Some of the highlights of the server move:

* Every event in our meeting room calendar being shifted by 3 hours due to a hack in the software designed to counteract a weird setting on the old server. Hack removed, everything is perfect now.

* WordPress no longer stuck on Latin charset, but shift to UTF-8 changed lots of characters in whacky ways. Search & replace is my friend, but it can be a little daunting when 6k+ changes are made.

* Email is still a little weird, but it all works and people really will have to dig to find the weirdness.

* Test server is go (and basically all good).

So tomorrow I can get back to actually updating the frontpage, putting in the calendar (basically the boring once a week, once a month stuff) and maybe next week I can get back to working on the fancy site overhaul that keeps getting pushed back for more important things.

That which was dead lives again.

Monday, July 29th, 2013

For great success. I’m going to try and start this horse back up again. It’s been a while, and I’ve let it malinger. Apparently structure isn’t what I need. Habit, repetition. So yeah I’m going to start trying to write here every day. Of course, this is only a few weeks before GenCon, so almost immediately upon starting I’ll be taking a break but we’ll see if I can’t start again AND make some interesting posts or something.

Well, the interesting posts will have to start tomorrow. For now all I can tell you is today I got some Tetris socks.

I was a hipster RPGer before it was cool.

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

oteSo I may have mentioned Baron Munchausen a time or two. I don’t think I’ve mentioned Over The Edge. Back In The Day™ two of my favorite games, Role Playing wise, were Paranoia and Over The Edge. And now I have a confession to make, I was never a very good diplomat for the style of gaming I love. Half a year back or so the 20th anniversary special edition reissue of OTE came out and I got a copy because it was a thing I’d loved, and I knew that it was a limited print run. Here’s the second half of the confession, as much as I loved the game, I got it, flipped through it momentarily and then stuck it prominently on my RPG shelf in my living room where there was any chance someone would notice it and go “Oh wow,what a great game!” and then it’d be true love or something. Of course reality is that practically no one knows about a game from 1992.

Then last week I came across a blog post from Vincent Baker talking about how he’d borrowed some mechanics from OTE for Apocalypse World. And it clicked. What did I love about OTE? Story. It wasn’t about the mechanics, I mean really, they basically fit on a single page. However Al Amarja overflows with setting, and story. Conspiracies and weirdness abound. Dark and disturbing things, black humor, wacky silliness. Drugs, Sex, Rock & Roll. Magic and Murder. Mutants, semi-feral baboons, aliens, more criminal organizations than you’d want to shake a stick at.

So anyways, a year or so back Dave reminded me what I like in Role-Playing which is basically What It Says On The Tin™. That is to say, I’m no stranger to tactical combat, and I love board games, but really, when I sit around a table with some friends, I want to do whatever it is that we’re going to do. If we’re going to play board games, let’s do that, and really do it. If we’re going to Role-Play, let’s do that. I’ve long griped the tired and clichèd gripe that I want to Role-play not ROLL-play … but it’s only clichèd because it’s so damn true. D&D isn’t about Role-Playing. I mean… it can be. If you’ve got a great session you might barely engage the rules at all. Oh wait. Just because it’s the progenitor of a genre doesn’t grant it any special status besides that of actually being the progenitor of Role-playing. D&D is a series of tactical encounters loosely wrapped in a story. Often though, the story is almost entirely the creation of the DM. The players should be able to play too right?

I’ve played basically edition of D&D excepting AD&D1st Ed. That is D&D, AD&D 2nd, 3rd, 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4th. Actually no, I lie. Though I have downloaded the D&D Next files, and was in the Beta, I haven’t actually played it yet, or read the rules. And I enjoy it. Obviously I have fun, or I wouldn’t be doing it anymore. That said, there’s better stuff out there.

Back on topic we’ve been playing Monsterhearts, Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Monster of the Week, and a bunch of one offs of other story and indie games, like Dread or Fiasco or Don’t Rest Your Head or Vesna Thaw and much more. And they’re great. Some are better than others, but they all attempt to do that thing that OTE did back before there was really an internet. Many of them have learned a thing in the intervening two decades, and in fact where the 1st edition of OTE had a section on how you could use the setting and convert it to other games, the latest edition has a section on how you can steal the latest tech from Indie/Story gaming to make your OTE game better.

Who knows how soon it will be, but I need to drag some people over the edge. I think maybe I know enough now to convert the world to one of the best games ever published.