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12:47 AM
2 hours later…
2:36 AM
Copying for future use:
Can you expand your question, please? I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Titles, while useful summaries for questions, do not actually serve as the question itself. — Brian Ballsun-Stanton 8 mins ago
Ugh why does Doctor Who: Legacy have to be mobile only? D:
It seems so neat
Or at least worth playing
As opposed to like every other DW game ever.
2:49 AM
The singularity I'm looking forward to is when programs can run on whatever OS you happen to have.
that might be a while
@BESW That's now. The problem is lazy developers.
(I say so, as one such lazy developer)
Unless you mean the same executable, in which case...
5 mins ago, by trogdor
that might be a while
3:13 AM
yeah, my point isn't that it is too hard
but developers can be lazy, or greedy, or whatever other thing
otherwise it prolly wouldn't take to long to figure out
3:28 AM
I am working on a virtual table top application.
As of tonight, I have reached a milestone:
A perfectly functional map editor with save/load functionality!
[wonders how the Fate Looms app is coming along...]
@RavenDreamer What's your app's focus?
3:45 AM
@BESW Personal use.
Previously I had been using it to run my homebrew RPG.
But I had essentially "Hardcoded" in the maps.
Now I've tweaked my tool so that I don't have to translate pixels to map pieces! I just load a file and off we go!
4:13 AM
Q: How to remember all the rules?

Emmanuel CaradecDo you have tricks or techniques to remember all the rules to the games you're playing? I would like to run my first game as a gamemaster, but I'm struggling with remembering all the feats and competency rules.

should this actually have the gm-techniques and new-gm tags? This is a problem for anyone around the table.
I think the tags are valid. A player's strategies might be very different.
@BESW alright :)
Generally a GM is expected to know the rules best and be the arbiter of them.
[pulls d20 Star Wars off the shelf and flips through GM section]
> You need to know how to play the game. As long as you know the rules, the game can move along, and the players can simply focus on their characters and how they react to what happens in the game. Have players tell you what they want their characters to do and translate those decisions into game terms for them. (SWd20 Revised Core Rulebook, p240, emphasis not mine)
So... yeah, and are quite reasonable for this question.
(I've never played d20 Star Wars; I picked up a couple of manuals from a friend who was leaving island.)
4:26 AM
@BESW thank you for the origin of owlbear & others link. The whole thing's very endearing.
@Magician Yes, isn't it, though?
@BESW the Fairy Nuff looks up from her eggnog-induced hangover, and appears to fall back asleep before her head has even reached the apex.
@Metamaterialgirl [wave]
@Metamaterialgirl Had a lovely wide-ranging chat with KitFox over in the Hotel earlier today.
4:32 AM
I got distracted by being invited to a new Pathfinder game. Anything I should check back in for?
There's a bit about the Bahá'í Faith, so maybe.
Dem archives're handy. Can check it out when I'm more awake and my reading speed's back up.
More about Parkinsons and lytico-bodig and falling down the stairs, though.
Heck, specific to certain generations of certain villages on Guam, mostly.
4:35 AM
Whoa. Guam has area-specific neural diseases? That's hardcore.
^Even more so.
Some kind of food or water thing?
For a while it was blamed on eating fanihi, fruit bat.
But the current theory is that it's from eating fadang, the nuts of a certain kind of cycad.
(reading your source)
But yeah, still no actual solid conclusion on what caused it.
Since it's not as common as it used to be, it may never be understood.
4:38 AM
Well, there's that at least. (The being less common, not the 'may never be understood').
Hey folks.
Also hey @lisardggY.
Hey @AlexP and @lisardggY
Making up an oread ranger for a possible Pathfinder game next week.
What's happening here on this cold, cold morning?
4:40 AM
@Metamaterialgirl Oread like a type of nymph?
@AlexP Earth-elemental-blooded human or dwarf.
But yes, basically.
Short, stony, lots of earth-oriented feats and attributes.
Setting is a dwarven kingdom, so character races that fit into the hallways are a good thing.
@Metamaterialgirl When creating characters, not enough thought is usually given to architecture.
@lisardggY Then you'll love this bit--one of the players is considering being a half-giant psionicist.
@Metamaterialgirl That's nasty, since the very source of his power - his precious, precious brain - will get bumped repeatedly on solid rock.
4:45 AM
I told him 'So, you'll just be floating around in the meditation pose, then?'
If he hovers so his arse is an inch off the floor, he might manage it.
That doesn't sound like a great plan.
O'course, I don't actually imagine that constant floatiness is likely to come with the psionicist class.
Maybe he can just sit on a wheely board and the rest of us will tug him around like a toy duck on a string. A big duck.
Or go with some sort of Psychometabolism power to shrink himself. Or something. I never really read up on psionics since 2e.
@lisardggY Ditto. The last time I paid attention was the 2nd ed. Dark Sun expansion.
Why is a half-giant living with dwarves underground, anyway/
4:51 AM
This reminds me of plans to put a dwarven defender on a Tenser's floating disk...
The GM (!) suggested a cultural youth exchange program.
@AlexP My favorite answer to "why is that character doing a thing which doesn't make sense?" is "Because a friend asked him to."
@BESW That one works in real life, too!
Works for PCs and NPCs alike.
@Metamaterialgirl Exactly!
When in doubt, that friend was asked by another friend. It's friends all the way down. ;)
4:52 AM
In games that focus on logic and practical efficiency so much (like D&D tends to), it's easy to forget that people often do really stupid things because they like other people.
@AlexP But yeah, the idea apparently is that the locals are on peaceful terms with some stone giants, but need to do a little bit of mild hostage taking to keep everyone peaceful. So youth exchange.
@Metamaterialgirl A fairly traditional approach.
@Magician Yep. Plenty of historical precedent.
And @BESW, this is awesome.
@Metamaterialgirl Vlad the Impaler spent time in Istanbul because of that tradition.
4:55 AM
Didn't mellow him out much, did it?
He spent the rest of his life defending his homeland from invasion by the Turks.
He was the kind of leader who will defend to the death his right to be the only one who makes his subjects miserable.
Also a trope with plenty of historical precedent, alas.
His time in Istanbul gave him insight into the Muslim culture that was unusual for most men in his position at the time.
4:57 AM
too much to count
Interesting. The Dracula tie-in started earlier than I thought.
"Skazanie o Drakule voevode" was written in the late 1400's.
The idea of a sinner becoming a revenant is a pretty old one.
But what do you mean, "the Dracula tie-in"?
One of his titles in life was "Dracula." That's where Bram Stoker got the name.
The point at which Vlad Tepes, in legend and story, became the source for the legendary Dracula. Right. And I didn't know that.
I don't have the source t hand, but before he found a book about Vlad's life and lineage Stoker was going to call his villain something like "Lord Wampyr." Because subtle.
5:03 AM
I... ah, I'm a massive vampire geek.
Ah? So do you dig the Romanian version of the legend then?
Which Romanian version?
The 'Vlad was a big damn hero' version.
My focus is mostly on English-language vampire pop culture dating from Polidori on, but that means I'm at least passingly familiar with the major folk lore and history, too.
@Metamaterialgirl To his people, he was.
@BESW Right. So it looks like his legend became one of a hero who got called in when corruption needed to be rooted out with blood and fire.
5:05 AM
He was kind to his people unless they opposed him, which was stupid to do anyway because he was the only thing standing in the way of the oncoming heathen armies which were flooding over their neighboring kingdoms.
Opposition to his nation's safety, from within or without, was met with swift violence and cruel irony.
Wiki possibly-sketchy exerpt from Slavonic Tales:
And he hated evil in his country so much that, if anyone committed some harm, theft or robbery or a lie or an injustice, none of those remained alive. Even if he was a great boyar or a priest or a monk or an ordinary man, or even if he had a great fortune, he couldn't pay himself from death.
He ate lunch in the shade of the impaled bodies of criminals and traitors, kept up on the poles on which they'd died.
A good source for the whole blood-drinker meme.
When one of his advisors complained about the stench, Vlad had the man impaled on a higher stake, so he wouldn't have to smell the other victims.
LOL...*coughs* I mean, how horrible!
A bit rough on an advisor who hadn't done anything else but complain though.
Assuming he wasn't secretly a lobbyist on the side or something.
5:09 AM
When muslim ambassadorial party refused to remove their turbans in his presence because it was against their faith, he said that he understood and wished to help them honor their religious laws.
Hoo boy.
So he ordered their turbans nailed to their heads.
I was going to guess 'he made sure that the stakes went all the way up through the turbans', but that works too.
"Dracula" means "son of the Dragon." His father was the Dragon, "Dracul."
There's also the whole Order of Dragon.
5:11 AM
@Magician ?
checking Oh, I see.
Vlad and his father were members a chivalric order reserved for royalty.
I ran a brief game in the time period. One of the rival NPCs had been revealed to have a ring from the order. It took PCs some time to research what it meant. Then they very carefully chose not to piss off that NPC.
Logical, for a society whose founding statement includes "crush the pernicious deeds of the...perfidious Enemy"
No dispensing Justice, or upholding the Common Good, nope, just crushing. Lots of crushing.
5:18 AM
My favorite moment from that game, though, was when the PCs had walked into a town, only to find it closed down under suspicions of plague in the morning. There was a lot of bravado: "We'll blast those guardsmen." Then people started saying a holy man was coming to cleanse the plague, with a regiment of soldiers to protect him. "We'll blast those soldiers." Finally, it was revealed the holy man's name is Tomas. Tomas Torquemada. "Lets see if we can bribe someone with a boat."
Good thing your players are at least somewhat versed in history.
It's the sort of name that doesn't require knowing much of history :)
hrrngh :( I'm probably close to starting an edit war on that star wars d20 question, if we aren't already in the state of having one
I think SSD was probably the tipping point on that one.
@Magician Eh, kids these days don't know from famous torturers.
5:21 AM
@BESW that could be the case, and i might not push it further, except the information was there until I came along
and I really, really do not like the idea of it not at least having for context, since that's what all the answers are responding in the context of anyway.
and that's the context it had for about 3 years
@Metamaterialgirl Hah. I chose to set the game in 1476 very carefully. So many famous people around that command instant respect at a drop of a name.
@Magician Heh. But the kinds of famous people!
I admit I'd want to take Anthony Crowley's approach and just sleep through the 1400's.
Our Ars Magica game is slowly inching towards the 1400's, actually. Though if we get there, we might consider winding back the clock for the next campaign, since it's getting a little out of scope for the game.
@lisardggY How long in game years were you playing?
The campaign is starting its fifth iteration, with jumps of between 10 and 50 years between iterations. We started in the early 13th century, and the new one is starting in 1350.
5:27 AM
@Metamaterialgirl Oh, there are (relatively) nice ones, too. Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo Medici...
The game itself took quite a few years too, especially since Ars Magica puts such focus on spending seasons at a time in the lab.
2013 is totally the year I've given up secondary-world fantasy settings in favor of weird-historical fantasy. You get a lot of interesting stuff and detail "for free," and the setting tends to challenge your prejudices much more powerfully than a purely fictional world does.
@AlexP Oh? How so? The challenging-prejudices thing, I mean.
A fictional world has to allegorize before it deconstructs.
In order for your real-world prejudices to be challenged by a fantasy setting you have to translate the setting's prejudices into their real-world parallels.
This is a powerful tool because it lets us discuss sensitive topics that would be too uncomfortable to talk about openly, but it can also dull the impact.
@Metamaterialgirl So, I think when we construct settings from scratch, it's easy to load them with our own expectations. Not purposefully, necessarily. But, for example, it's easy to build a setting where slavery is a problem to be solved.
Which is not how slavery works in ancient and medieval cultures.
5:34 AM
Ah, got it.
In a historic setting it's easier to convey the scope of a cultural phenomenon to the players, and the difficulty they would face in trying to change it for real. True.
@AlexP a possible weird-historical fantasy catalyst: the Black Bird of Chernobyl
@JonathanHobbs [blink] Tell me more. [settles chin on hands]
Or it's easy to invent a setting where people value "freedom" in a very 20th-century neoliberal way.
I'm not saying modern values are bad -- I don't believe that -- but they're, well, comfortable.
As an experiment, I once ran a D&D game that didn't have doorknobs.
Keys, locks, doorhandles, yes. Doorknobs, no.
@AlexP Sure. And ingrained down to the unconscious level in how we relate to the world.
5:37 AM
It was hilarious.
@BESW Hah!
@JonathanHobbs I'm still hoping to hear more about the Black Bird of Chernobyl, though I'm also looking it up.
@BESW There's a decent explanation of it here but I'll summarise:
> Beginning in early April of 1986 the people in and around the little known Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant began to experience a series of strange events revolving around sightings of a mysterious creature described as a large, dark, and headless man with gigantic wings and piercing red eyes. People affected by this phenomena experienced horrific nightmares, threatening phone calls and first hand encounters with the winged beast which became known as the Black Bird of Chernobyl.
@Metamaterialgirl Exactly!
Of course, there was also one of my favorite Call of Cthulhu games, where the the characters spent quite some time looking for 'the guys who stopped the thing at Tunguska'.
Then the Chernobyl disaster happened. The appearance of the Black Bird of Chernobyl began in the days leading up to the disaster. The reactor melted down, and the factory exploded from the steam pressure.
Workers then arrived to put out the fires, not understanding there was a nuclear meltdown happening.
> The workers who survived the initial blast and fire, but would later die of radiation poisoning, claimed to have witnessed what has been described as a large black, bird like creature, with a 20 foot wingspan, gliding through the swirling plumes of irradiated smoke pouring from the reactor.
> No further sightings of the Black Bird of Chernobyl were reported after the Chernobyl Disaster, leaving researchers to speculate just what haunted the workers of the plant during the days leading up to the disaster.
5:41 AM
That's some creepy pasta right there.
Also, though the urban legend states there's sightings of the bird prior to the disaster, no specific person is named as making any of the sightings.
@BESW Hey, Tash!
How is that not just Mothman?
@Metamaterialgirl Nice catch! You get 1/4 Internet.
5:42 AM
I know my Narnia.
@AlexP Looks like the parallel was drawn in the link.
If only those books hadn't been so foamingly Islamophobic... They had some great stuff otherwise.
Q: User cards (?) seem broken for users with many badges

DVKUser cards (not sure what official SE name is) seem to be too small for fitting the info for users with many badges. 2 examples in 1 image: This seems invariant as far as zooming in/out with Ctrl-wheelscroll Firefox 26, didn't try other browsers.

@AlexP Tell me about the Mothman?
@BESW Yeah, the Christian-specific stuff was hammered in pretty hard. I didn't really get just how hard till I was a bit older.
@Metamaterialgirl Christian allegory I'm fine with. Islamophobia and the use of allegory to replace story so that the later books make no sense without the allegory...
@BESW At least Aravis was cool.
5:45 AM
@JonathanHobbs It's a thing that shows up heralding disaster but does nothing by itself. Shaped similar to the bird thing. I think it's mostly an East-Coast US urban legend. There was a movie about it recently-ish?
@JonathanHobbs East Coast US version of Bigfoot/Yeti/Nessie/etc.
@BESW As a kid, the later books registered to me as more pure fairy tale, notably the wish-fulfillment of the second half of The Last Battle. Since the way it was told was very much in the line of other fairy tales I'd read.
'And then things got more and more wonderful, forever and ever.'
@BESW Sounds like a combination of that and Black Bird of Chernobyl business.
And on that note:
It had been disconcerting, to read Narnia books again after learning a bit more about the Bible and the rest, and to see just how much of a reskinned story it really is.
5:48 AM
Also interpretations of the Black Bird of Chernobyl's presence vary from simply being a herald of disaster, to having been the very cause of the Chernobyl reactor melting down.
Since I was already reasonably aware of the Biblical elements it was allegorizing, I didn't get the "ignorant first read" that most people seem to have.
Also this brings us to... Utsuho Reiuji.
Is that... touhou fanart?
I was aware of Bible on my first readthrough, I think. But it was at such an early age I had no capacity to critically analyze it and see the similarities.
@shatterspike1 That is touhou fanart.
5:50 AM
This... makes me feel some sort of strange warmth on my chest
@Magician Ditto.
Utsuho Reiuji has a cape that has a vision into the night sky on the inside (and often resembles wings), has a core in her chest, has a control rod for a weapon, and uses nuclear power for her attacks.
Utsuho Reiuji is the Black Bird of Chernobyl. :) (Probably.)
Oh wow, it's sexy Godzilla.
I forget which game she was from... I want to say UFO
Though I will note this about weird-historical: the virtues I mention only work if you're, well, interested in cultural history. You don't necessarily have to be super-well-read or try for "authentic" representation.
5:53 AM
Nope, SA. Guess I'm not really familiar with games past Flower View.
But, like, it's easy to erase women from historical-setting stories if you're just relying on dated gender assumptions and not really aware of some of the finer points of how real societies operated.
Huh. She's literally a 'Hell Raven'.
@shatterspike1 That was her second appearance - her first was apparently Subterranean Animism
(Also, formally, Utsuho is a Hell Raven)
@AlexP Yep. You have to dig past the first layer of most historical writing to get to the chicks.
But there's a big payoff for doing that.
That, arguably, is one you can appreciate outside of gaming, too.
5:56 AM
@Metamaterialgirl As a literature-immersed person, I will attest to this.
@Metamaterialgirl I have Warren Ellis' Crooked Little Vein to thank for introducing to me the term "macroherpetophile", i.e. someone sexually attracted to giant lizards. Namely, Godzilla. And that's not the weirdest thing in the book...
@Metamaterialgirl Whoops, didn't notice you said that! Now I can't delete my post. XD Yes she is
A lot of the most popular authors of the last two hundred years were women, and many of them were publishing under their own names.
Agreed. Was just looking at an example from the quick reading on the Order of the Dragon I was doing--Barbara of Celje, cofounder of the order, gets a minimal blurb.
Poe's The Raven is actually plagiarized from a female poet who was more popular than he was.
5:58 AM
@Magician Wow, and they didn't ever manage to use that term in this article? What a waste.
@Metamaterialgirl RPGnet had a pretty fun "Let's Read" of those.
They're surprisingly varied.
Like, sometimes the protagonists are "cave-people" and sometimes they are modern people in a magic museum and sometimes they are in the future.
And the dinosaurs don't just have cloacal vents, I'm guessing.
Otherwise the covers would have to have more human guys.
Also kinda amusing/head-bashing: trash cut-and-paste porn ebook covers actually have the same problem as high-budget fantasy novels. Namely, the chicks on the cover are way whiter and blonder than the chicks in the books.
@AlexP Was actually considering that issue for a book I'm writing.
@Metamaterialgirl presumably not what the author was interested in in any case
6:02 AM
If I get to the point of wanting a cover on it, I'd probably be willing to go with less realism and commission a webcomic artist, or someone of that kidney, and then have a good chance of getting a character portrayal that is a). slightly more accurate and b). I like.
@Metamaterialgirl I like how you had this link on a stand-by...
Hah! The article stuck in my head, what can I say.
@Metamaterialgirl One of my favorite authors had her husband paint the covers to her novels.
Cool! Which author?
@Metamaterialgirl If I mention a favorite author, there's a 65% chance it's Margery Allingham.
6:06 AM
@BESW Looks like her husband wasn't a half-bad illustrator.
Though I'm guessing which images are first-edition prints.
@Metamaterialgirl There's a pretty nifty site that collects illustrators who don't have the "male gaze"/"erase people of color" problem. I'm trying to find a link for you but I can't...
My dream job would be designing and illustrating novel covers for a small press that gives me time to make sure the cover is accurate to the contents (but not too spoilery).
Cool project goal.
6:08 AM
Hmm, wait, not that one.
A different one.
Well, having more than one around is good, too.
Still, not bad.
Agreed :)
@BESW I'll, um, keep that in mind.
@BESW So you wouldn't mind doing individual commissions? :)
@Metamaterialgirl Not at all! Though I haven't yet had the opportunity to do much with book covers at all...
@BESW I don't believe I've seen any illustrations you've done.
6:12 AM
@Metamaterialgirl I haven't officially launched it, so pardon the dust and the minimal content, but you can see some of my theatre poster work here.
@BESW Cool!
Theatre posters are challenging because I have exactly two weeks to do the project from start to finish, the costumes/sets/props are usually still in the concept stage, and the director has strong ideas about the content.
@AlexP Though sometimes the male gaze isn't the problem...
Alright, I'm getting sleep-punchy.
6:18 AM
Good night.
Just one more before I hit the sack, in honor of my latest starred comment:
G'night all.
> You can't say something like that and not vanish. It'd be awkward.
At the very least, yell "SMOKE BOMB" and then stand there awkwardly.
...LARP Batman?
Anybody here seen the Aeon Wave premade?
Hrm. @BESW, may I ask you for a favor? I really need icons (preferably vector) for my board game. I've been using ones I've found on the Internets, which was fine for private playtesting, but I want to do a public one as well. All of my artist friends are useless...
6:33 AM
Go on.
What kind of icons, what medium will they be published in, what time frame are we looking at?
There's 12 icons currently in use, for cards and whatnot. All about 8mm x 8mm in size. Basically, I need icons I can use without worrying about attribution, etc (which is to say, that I can attribute to one person). This will be a public playtest that, realistically, not many people will see. But if all goes well, they'll also be used for demonstration to publishers (eveeeentually).
If you give me your gmail, I'll share the current rules doc that has all the icons listed, with current ones shown.
Online use, or physically printed on cards or tokens, or...?
They'll be physically printed on cards and on the board.
Hmm. I'll give you the personal email, if you don't mind.
Shared, thanks
The timeframe is... eh. I'm trying to get back into working on the project. It's not urgent, but I'm going to be redesigning the board, and it'd make a lot of sense to use the new icons.
6:41 AM
The "Skills/Resources/Colony" icons, right?
The one icon I want to change is the defense one. Rather than a shield, it should be a torch. The rest are fairly representative of their meaning, I think.
I'd be inclined to do silhouettes, not full color detail like the ones you've got now.
That's fine. As it's going to be a print-and-play playtest, something that looks well in black&white is a bonus.
I should be able to do that without too much pain.
Thank you! I'd greatly appreciate it.
6:46 AM
Small B&W silhouette icons are something I messed about with a year ago, they were fun.
Playful, serious, sketchy, precise?
Somewhat playful, I guess. The overall tone is not terribly serious.
I was thinking of imitating old-school D&D illustrations style, when the time comes for pictures.
I would like to express how happy I am that someone is concerned about attribution and IP.
I suspect the icons I currently use are in the public domain. But given how randomly I've found them, I don't want to chance it.
Hokay, time to try sautéing Tenderbits in a cast iron pan on a glasstop stove.
...assuming we have Tenderbits. I think we do.
Success! Tenderbits in the back of the cupboard. Vegan fried rice is a go.
7:06 AM
I googled "Tenderbits" and I have to say that Google Images is not where you want to be for that.
It's basically mashed-together wheat, rice, corn, oat, and soy stuffs.
Make brown rice in a rice cooker with Tabasco, Worcestershire, pepper, onion, garlic, and anything else handy that looks good.
Dice and sauté more onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, then add the diced Tender Bits.
Microwave a bag of frozen mixed veggies and mix everything together in a bowl.
If you have fresh veggies like carrots, dice them and add them too (consider adding them to the sauté at the very end, but not for long: fresh veggies should keep their crunch).
Instead of Tender Bits, certain kinds of vegetarian hot dogs or sausages, or well-prepared tofu, can be used instead.
I did find an informational link, but was also reminded that my google searches are, by default, not filtered.
Serve with soy sauce.
(There are fancier ways to make this, but I'm lazy and hungry.)
@Problematic [wave]
7:33 AM
Rule 1b of sautéing: Don't try to use the broken burner.
7:58 AM
time to get back into my fate looms groove. [launches into HTML editing]

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