About Me

My photo
Denver, Colorado, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The USS Bandwagon

Given the recent hubub on Star Trek personality tests, Baby Bat and I decided to take the test.


Results for Mr. Blue:
You are Geordi LaForge
Geordi LaForge
75%
Jean-Luc Picard
60%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
60%
Spock
59%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
55%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
55%
Will Riker
55%
Beverly Crusher
50%
Mr. Scott
45%
Data
42%
Deanna Troi
35%
Chekov
25%
Uhura
15%
Mr. Sulu
10%
Worf
10%
You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz



Results for Baby Bat:
You are Geordi LaForge
Geordi LaForge
50%
Beverly Crusher
45%
Chekov
40%
Uhura
40%
Deanna Troi
40%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
40%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
35%
Mr. Scott
35%
Will Riker
35%
Data
32%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
30%
Jean-Luc Picard
30%
Spock
22%
Worf
20%
Mr. Sulu
10%
You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz


Well, I guess I can see why we get along so well! And we've both been twice divorced so I guess the bungling part is pretty accurate.

Also, now I really want to play a sci-fi RPG.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Honoring the Fallen

Have you ever honored a fallen comrade, companion, friend, or family member with a memorial in your game world?

Given my recent loss, I have been thinking about this a little bit.  I know some folks will probably feel like in-game memorials are sacrilege, but I think it can be an expression of sincere remembrance if done the right way.

What is the right way?  I have no idea.  I've done in-game memorials to fictional characters like previous PCs, and maybe to famous figures like Gygax or Roddenberry or even Ben Franklin, but I have rarely experienced such a close personal loss before.

If you will oblige me, here is another picture of Shadow (AKA Pooper, Gooblet, Piglet, and many other affectionate nicknames):


As you can see, she loved the snow.  I'm thinking about putting a solitary black obelisk in the snowy reaches of the uncivilized northern mountains.  Noone knows where it came from or why it was built, and the single block of indestructible material it is shaped from appears foreign to this world.  Tribal humanoids in the region refer to it as "the Shadow Obelisk", because once a year in the early autumn it releases a mysterious wisp of shadowy energy that floats quietly into the clouds before disappearing.

What do you think - sacrilege, or sincere remembrance?

Feel free to share stories of your own memorials in the comments, whether in-game or not.  Think of it as group therapy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shadow (c. 1999 - 9/25/2012)

Shadow (c. 1999 - 9/25/2012)



My long-time friend and companion passed away today, resting comfortably in our arms.  She was mostly paralyzed for a few hours, and she passed while we were in the car heading to the vet.

Moments before she departed, she became suddenly aware and perked her ears up, looking into the distance as if she heard a call.  A family member shared the Rainbow Bridge poem with us:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

I like to think that what she was hearing at the end was my call, from somewhere in the future.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Princess, a Dwarf, and a Gnome walk into a Mansion...

Starting a new campaign can be quite exciting.  Noone knows what to expect - from each other, from the GM, or in my case even from the game itself.

The one on the left is the gnome.
photo credit: Cayusa via photopin cc

The players consist of a Princess, a gnome translator-dimensional illusionist-fortune teller, and a dwarf captain of the guard.  We started in media res - the Princess has an alter identity as the "Night Thorn", burglaring rich nobles who treat the poor, well, poorly.  It's pure vigilantism with a splash of Robin Hood, as all proceeds go to the mistreated.

When planning this session, I built it as an improv set of sorts, so that I could give the players plenty of latitude while I get to know their characters.  I wrote notes on:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Unwritten Contracts of Gaming

There's a lot of talk out in the blogosphere about the "right" ways and the "wrong" ways to design adventures.  Terms like Sandbox, Railroad, Power Structure, Balance, Player Agency, and many more are thrown around by folks as if they were chapters in some sort of modern-day Book of Revelation.

Look, if players have time to worry about whether their player-agency sandbox is having its balance disrupted by a railroaded power-structure, then a GM needs to find more effective ways to occupy player time.

Where's my choo choo?
photo credit: amanky via photo pin cc

Monday, September 3, 2012

Games that last Forever

I played chess this weekend in the Colorado Open - and won 4 of 5 games, placing 3rd in my division.  That's pretty exciting for me as I've never done that good before.

Rooks have all the fun.
photo credit: Alejandra Mavroski via photo pin cc

Some forms of entertainment last a long time, historically speaking.  There are stories being told now that were first told centuries or even millenia ago.  Some games have lasted that long as well - Chess was probably played over 1,500 years ago in some form, and Go was played in ancient china at least 2,500 years ago.  Connect-Four has been around for almost 40 years, and was first published the same year as D&D - 1974.

Clearly, the odds of OD&D being played in 4500 A.D. are somewhat similar to the odds of Liubo making a sudden comeback, but I'd like to think that the format will still be around.  Dice games, board games, token games - these game formats have probably been around since the dawn of humanity.  Roleplaying is a combination of drama and dice (and boards, cards, or tokens for some folks), so it makes sense that it will evolve and continue to live on as long as humans exist.

So it's great to be in at the early stages.  If I had a time machine, I'd love to see what RPGs look like a few thousand years from now.  Maybe they will take place in holodecks, or in little pocket universes created just to host the fantasy world.  I'd love either one of those - it's easier to roleplay being afraid of a dragon when the monstrous beast is right there in front of you, rather than your 13-year old kid brother pretending to be fierce.

Gotta watch out for those safety protocols though.
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