About Me

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Seattle, Washington, 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.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Musicals for Nerds

Today I saw Spamalot. Again.

It's my second time seeing it, and it's still fun. I would love to have seen it with the original cast, but I live pretty far from NYC!

Why can't there be more musicals for people with nerdy hobbies?

"Deep Blue Kasparov" - all the excitement of endless days of Kasparov and a computer playing chess together! Drama mounts when Kasparov thinks the computer is cheating. Who will win??

Songs include Alapin' my Sicilian and Less Slav, more Semi-Slav.

"The Collector" - One man's quest for the 1938 Action Comics #1, and social acceptance from women. He finds neither but eventually finds Action Comics #7, which everyone knows is total crap. A modern tragedy in musical format.

Songs include Why am I alone Again? and Batman would Totally Lose.

"Rubik!" - The shortest musical ever, lasting only about 10.36 seconds. We could only afford that one french dude. Lasts several hours when he's sick and a random audience member takes over.

Songs include Ready, Set, Done! and Intermissions are for Dorks.


OK, maybe I do understand why there aren't more musicals for nerds.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Monstrarium: Creature Types

Creatures in Monstrarium generally fit into one of the following types:
  • Beast
  • Bug
  • Humanoid
  • Monster
  • Undead
  • Unreal
Some mechanics in the game make use of these classifications (such as a Monster Hunter's bonus when dealing with Monsters).

Bug or Monster? Depends on what it says...
photo credit: Denis Collette...!!! via photopin cc

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monstrarium: Origins

When I decided to focus my theme on playable monsters, I knew that I needed to simplify the Phoenix ruleset. I had already been targeting faster play, but the "attitude" I wanted this endeavor to have required even simpler mechanics.

Origins became a big target for that steamlining. This is a design journal on my approach.

Created Ones
photo credit: Devlin Thompson via photopin cc

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lord British Strikes Again

The latest kickstarter bonanza? Richard Garriott, aka Lord British, is spawning a new game called Shroud of the Avatar. The game is supposed to herald back to the Ultima approach of computer gaming, where there is more story than level grind.

I'm not saying you should go fund this, that's your business. I want to talk about my own experiences with Lord British.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Phoenix: Monstrarium

Ever wanted to play a werewolf? A gremlin? A small wooden boy with a wretched temper?

That's what my latest efforts have been focused on. I have significantly chopped down the Phoenix RPG ruleset and focused on flavor. That flavor is a heady combination of foul cheese and fried monster brains. Pairs nicely with a winter merlot.

Initial playtesting will focus on the first six origins: Created One, Faery, Gremlin, Monster Hunter, Werewolf, and Witch.

Can't wait to see how my players react.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Get Rich Quick!

Need some extra cash for that Sword +3, +5 vs torch-wielding-mobs? Here's a few ideas to help you get started.

  1. Trip over an aurumvorax corpse.
  2. Pegasus Whisperer.
  3. Catch a Leprechaun.
  4. Transmute Wood into Steel. On a forest.
  5. Tax the Royal Treasury, on behalf of a "higher power".
  6. Convince farmers they need "protection".
  7. "You have been chosen as the Wizard's new apprentice! He just needs 10gp to get the documents in order. I'm heading that way now, I can give it to him if you like?"
  8. Open a 10-foot pole shop in front of the local dungeon. No refunds.
  9. "No, there's no record of any gremlins on that land."
  10. Dragon-raid crashing: "I can't believe it ate your parents! By the way, I have this IOU they gave me twenty years ago..."

OK - not this leprechaun.
photo credit: San Diego Shooter via photopin cc

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