Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Travel weather for MadCon

Warm & clear down here. 30% chance of storms in Chi-town for the connecting flight, and a 40% chance in Madison. Nice & cool over the weekend, and more rain chances for everywhere on the flights back. Last time I went to a convention up there, there were serious storms over Chicago & our flight got diverted wide over the lake before coming back around to land. Major pucker-factor as this was just after 9/11, and the pilots never did tell us why we flew on past the airport & city...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

News of the dull

No real excuse for not having updated this in so long. Once I get my upcoming GURPS game rolling, I'm going to get back to my series on post-apoc gaming.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Survivalist characters

Since I've been intermittently posting on post-apocalypse game settings, let me go on a bit about survivalist character types. I'll be speaking GURPS, but you should be able to port this to any other applicable gaming system. This post will be the "Good Guys", with the "Bad Guys" coming in a future post.

The Gummer

Broke into the wrong God damn rec room, didn't ya you bastard!

This is the default which everyone thinks of when you say "Survivalist". Named for the Patron Saint of preparedness, Bert Gummer from Tremors. They tend to have average gun skills for a player character (but a wider assortment of the skills), plus Armoury (Small Arms) for Full Auto conversions, Demolition & Chemistry along with Scrounging for using "a few household chemicals in the proper proportions." NBC Suit & Survival: NBC for dealing with the after effects of The Bomb, and usually the Survival skill suitable for the local climate. Wealth and Independent Income are useful to pay for the "Food for five years, a thousand gallons of gas, air filtration, water filtration, Geiger counter. Bomb shelter!" and, of course, the wall full o' guns. A Sense of Duty of his friends and a Quirk or mild Odious Personal Habit of mistrusting the government rounds things out.

The EDCer

You need a what? Sure, I've got something around here that'll do the trick...

EDC is short for "Every Day Carry". Whatever the situation, he's probably got a gadget which will serve the purpose. There's two ways of handling this guy. For the detail oriented, you can always just list everything the dude is carrying out in their possessions. The character point based version would have a few levels of Gizmo with a 40% limitation of "Can Only Be Used For Mundane Equipment" to represent, say 3 meters of duct tape wrapped around a business card, a tube of superglue in a crush-proof container, a disposable space blanket, a pre-paid phone card, a folding titanium spork, or what have you just when it's needed most, and leaving only the big items actually listed on the sheet. It doesn't have to be the exact tool needed, just so long as it's something that will serve. ("No, no tape measure, but my multi-tool has a ruler and I've got a spool of paracord. I'll just put a knot every six inches and that should be good enough for what we need...") A likely reputation amongst co-workers and friends will be that they're the one to find when something needs fixing, and a good Odious Personal Habit is that they will carry their gear everywhere they go. At his wedding, his cummerbund will have more tools than Batman's utility belt and his bowtie will probably be made out of paracord. Just in case.

The Back-To-Basics

Don't prep so you can survive the collapse. Prep so you don't even notice the collapse...

It'll be a bit hard to work them into the game as a PC, unless it actually is an End Of The World game, but they can make for an interesting helpful NPC, and even a fun red herring. These are the folks who're preparing for the collapse by learning how to make do without all the modern conveniences. Basically, give them the appropriate rural, craft, and mechanical skills for Tech Levels 5 and 6. (roughly the Colonial Era through WWII for non-GURPS speakers) As for the red herring bit, picture the confusion of a PC who has passed out in the boondocks due to wounds or weather exposure, and comes to in a building which looks like something out of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou... This also works for folks who're part of historical re-enactment and Living History goups. Just roll the Tech Level of the skills back further and possibly add melee weapon Sport forms for the SCA types.

The Woods Walker

There is no bad weather. There's only inadequate clothing.

Named for a well-respected poster on the Zombie Squad forums, this archetype would be a Ranger in a swords and sorcery game. Hiking, Navigation (Land), Knot Tying, and Survival for their home climate at high levels. In a cinematic setting, they'd have very high Tracking and Guns (Rifle), and maybe even Zen Marksmanship.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Open letter to spammers

If you're going to keep sending me emails from January 18, 2038, could you include something useful, like say next week's Powerball numbers, or the biggest sports upsets of the next five years? Just a thought...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You all wake up in cell with no idea how you got there...

Only slightly less hackneyed than "You all meet in a tavern..." for a campaign start. It's used mainly to annoy the folks who go into great detail about the specific gear with which their character is equipped. ("My character carries an Springfield GI Model 1911A1 with Trijicon sights, a 20 lb recoil spring, full-length guide rod, Swinson trigger, Wilson beaver-tail grip safety, damascus steel commander-style from STI, and a Gunsite lo-ride safety." "Actually, Bob, your character is wearing the same prison rags as everyone else, and isn't packing so much as an improvised shiv. You have no idea how you got here.") While discussing this at the start of a friend's Star Wars game recently, Jason said, "Yeah, you notice it's never 'You wake up at, say, a fancy dinner party...'" This started the gears turning in my head, and got a terrified reaction from my buddy D when I said, "You know, that'd be the perfect start if I ever run a GURPS: Illuminati game." Think about it. Your characters are typical Joe or Sarah Sixpacks who suddenly wake to find themselves in tuxes or ball gowns and domino masks in very swank digs and a bunch of similarly attired folks and the casual conversation around them involves things like, "Yes, we'll be discussing the Reptoid situation with Mr. Johnson after the ritual. "His" work on the web has been nearly effective as his previous jazz guitar playing in advancing their cause, don't you think? And talk about hiding in plain sight!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Omnivore's One Hundred

Omnivore's One Hundred

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (if alligator counts)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (Or any other bowl, for that matter)
33. Salted lassi (Sounds good, though)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo (Dude! I'm from New Orleans! Of course I've eaten gumbo!)
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (Only half that price, alas...)
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (Via Kaopectate)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (All of the above, actually...)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (But I do make a decent Eggs Sardou)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (No, but I'm going to have to try it)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

63%, assuming half credit on two of them, and some of the ones I've missed are on account of having not heard of them before.