Thursday, December 31, 2009

Google Blogger Suggestions, Wherefore Art Thou?

I seem to be unable to find where I can make suggestions to Blogger concerning functionality.

My beef is thus—I have comment moderation turned on. This means that when you place a comment on my blog, I have to say, "yeah, that's okay to say on my blog," before it is visible to the general public.

On the page where I read and approve or decline comments it only lists the comments. It does not tell me what post to which the comment is linked. So, a lot of the time, the meaning of the comment is lost, and occasionally it's difficult to tell if it is SPAM or not.

By default the only way to find what post a comment is linked to, is to go back and see if you can find the comment. The only way I've found around this, is to enable comment notification e-mails. The e-mail that tells me a comment has been posted, tells me what post the comment is linked to; what I can't seem to fathom is why that is not the case on the comment moderation page.

I've wanted to tell Google about this for a few months now, but every time I try to find the place to give feedback, I find it elusive as a snipe.

Can someone enlighten me?

Need Help Making A Resolutiuon?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Generally I don't like the stuff; but I apparently do Like Cinnamon Buns, Cinnamon Bears, and Cinnamon Bear Flavored Salt Water Taffy.

—Oh and those cinnamon roasted almonds.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Unexplained Juxtapostion

I don't understand this phenomenon exactly, but It came to my attention again today, so I thought I'd see if people had any insight.

My job is Desktop Support. I answer the call when someone is having a problem with their computer. I help my co-workers when they are having trouble with their computers—regardless of the issue. I've been doing this type of work for about seven years. There are two categories of people I help. People I like to help, and People I don't like to help.

This has been focused into higher contrast due to the nature of my current position. For the past two years I have been off the phone. I am in an office environment, and so I have a lot of repeat customers. Some of them I enjoy helping and some of them I do not, and I can't quite put my finger on the difference.

I thought it might be that some of them actually try to help themselves, and try to learn and grow in their computer prowess. I thought that they were the people I didn't mind helping and those that acted as though they were completely helpless were the people I couldn't stand to help; but then I realized there are a handful of people that are completely helpless that I don't mind helping at all.

I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm just judging individuals based on their own apparent merits. Does this make me a judgmental person? I treat them all equally. I help them all. I'm friendly. But I find that with some people, when I get an e-mail indicating they have an issue, or they walk over to ask me a question—I groan a little inside.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Role Playing With a Three Year Old

When I was putting her to bed the other night, she asked for a story.

This is not unusual. She Desperately wants to delay bedtime. I will only read her a book at bedtime if she's been fast and gotten ready on time. If it's past bedtime due to dawdling, I tell her that we'll have to read a book at another time.

Well she was actually a good fifteen minutes early, so a story was definitely in order. I started to tease her by making up a story (she doesn't always like that for some reason)—"Once upon a time..."

But she interrupted me, and surprised me by saying, "Nooo, a Story with Dice!"

I grabbed the top die in her giant tube of Plush Dice (a d10) and handed it to her.

She was wearing her new Buzz Light-year Footie Jammies and so I told a Buzz Light-year story wherein Buzz was attempting to escape from the neighbors house and trying to get home. Unlike previous foray's into the wonderful world of Dice Story, she was a little lack luster in creativity. I'm wondering if that is due to the fact that I was using a character she knows from a movie. Though she generally gets very creative with her "mini-figs" most of which are from movies she knows; so, I don't know what it was—I think that mostly she wanted a reason to toss a die around (That's My Girl!) and read to me the numbers (because she recognizes the numbers now).

I was roughly using Savage Worlds rules (4 as a Target Number) and she was rolling very, very well.

Dicey Christmas

New Orange and Green Dice For My Wife.

My Second Daughter's First Dice—
As you can see she takes her gaming very seriously. As you cannot see (Because My Timing is Bad) She gets Absolute Joy from throwing the dice.

How Deep?—Two Hundred Feet! That's Like a 20 Storey Building!!

===For Those Not In My Gaming Group===
===Possible Zombie Run Spoilers Ahead===

Zombie Run is Still going on, and we actually had a great game the day after Christmas. I expected no one (except my wife of course) and I got four players, and it was good group.

I worry about Brandon running the game off the rails. Mostly because I like the prepared material that is laid out in the Zombie Run Book; but also because of the ramifications of running the game off the rails. I could see the plan that Brandon was formulating—and frankly, If I let him take it that way, I could sense a Total Party Kill. I don't really want that.

I always think of a better way to railroad the party when it's too late. In game, I handled it clumsily. After the fact I realized that the answer was right in front of me and I missed it. They mentioned the library project that the city was working on, I could have shoehorned that in a little better. Oh Well. Hindsight I guess.

What I did for this session was an elaborate map exploration activity. The Zombie Run book has a lot of maps in it. but they aren't really suitable for printing to scale. So in the past I have printed the maps on a large format printer. This time I wanted to do something a little different. I didn't want to reveal the map all at once. So I printed it in pieces and as they explored the map I stuck them to the table using sticky-tack. I was meticulous in the manner in which I placed the pieces as well. If a hallway turned a corner, I didn't place the hallway down all at once. I had separate pieces for what was visible at the time. It was a little time consuming, but I think most of the players enjoyed it.

I admit to not ending the evening at 11 like I normally would do. Although there was some fun troubleshooting, decision making (they weren't really sure they wanted to go down that massive elevator shaft they discovered on the first floor—it was awfully deep), and exploration—there had not been an encounter. Just when I thought that they would skip the barracks, they barreled in. I admit that I botched the storytelling at this point as well because I forgot to wake the Zombies up when I was supposed to.

My wife cracks me up every time we have an encounter. I think she remembers the beginning of the Adventure vividly—back before any of them had decent weapons or skills to use such weapons. At this point, the only way I'm going to cause a character death with these Zombie is if I overwhelm them with numbers. When the encounter started, my wife desperately wanted to undo the opening of the door she opened—but when it got down to brass tacks she was the last one to jump in the hummer, she just had to run back and shoot a couple more before retreating to relative safety.

I should probably read the rulebook through again. There were some rules questions, and I just didn't want to take the time to check last night. Brandon was correct about holding action into the next round—but I can't find anything in the book that says one mini per square when using a grid.

I remembered that when we were playing the mall I certainly had multiple zombies in a square, I had decided that four would fit. Then in the previous session when I had zombies trying to beat down a door to reach a Spy (a spy our resilient survivors were trying to extract from enemy territory) I wasn't thinking about it and I had one zombie per square; after the fact when I was reflecting upon the session I realized that the zombies were unable to beat down the door as a result of one zombie per square. So I was going to move zombies in a manner that placed more than one zombie in a square and Brandon made up a rule (or rather—probably remembered a rule from some other game) about one fig per square. I relented—but I think I should have played the Game Master card in this case.

They still haven't explored the entire facility—so next session will pick up where we left off. I'm going to print a map of what they have explored thus far and then glue explored rooms to the map.

What I learned:

I need to instill into the players a sense of trust in me (as far as my rules knowledge goes) so that when a rule question arises, I can just make a ruling and we can go on. Even if I'm wrong, if we can avoid Rules Discussions and just continue with a ruling and keep things going, that would be the Ideal way to play in my mind.

One more thing. I brought up the fact that we will be playing Deadlands Reloaded after Zombie Run has come to an end. Brandon plans to buy Deadlands Reloaded. I asked him to not read the Marshall's (Game Master's) Section and he pretty much refused, and plans to read it. He says he can play like he hasn't read it—but honestly, the more I think about this, the more it bothers me. I really don't want him to read that section. I know he has Game Mastering in his blood, but I really want the secrets to be secrets. The Marshall's Section in Deadlands Reloaded is more than just Mechanics like in other Games and Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition. It's probably 95% Setting Information. There are things about the world of Deadlands that Most folks don't know, and I really don't want players knowing that information.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 
—Luke 2: 1–20

And it came to pass that in this year there was one Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla, and began to preach unto the people.

And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name. And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day. Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born. And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you. 
And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven. And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life. And behold, thus hath the Lord commanded me, by his angel, that I should come and tell this thing unto you; yea, he hath commanded that I should prophesy these things unto you; yea, he hath said unto me: Cry unto this people, repent and prepare the way of the Lord. 
And now, because I am a Lamanite, and have spoken unto you the words which the Lord hath commanded me, and because it was hard against you, ye are angry with me and do seek to destroy me, and have cast me out from among you. And ye shall hear my words, for, for this intent have I come up upon the walls of this city, that ye might hear and know of the judgments of God which do await you because of your iniquities, and also that ye might know the conditions of repentance; And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name. And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits. 
—Helaman 13:2, 14:2–13

And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people. But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite. And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain. And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass. But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet. Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful. And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers. 
And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying: Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.
And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came. And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand. And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth. For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets. And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word. 
—3 Nephi 1:4–21
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. 
—Matthew 2:1–12

Monday, December 14, 2009

Engineer Graffiti

This appeared on the wall of a stall where I work.

Enhanced to show detail.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Natalie Portman will Star in and Produce: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Podcasts I Listen To—As Requested

For a long time the only "Podcast" I listened to, was Coast to Coast AM. Which really isn't a Podcast, since it is a syndicated Radio program, and to download the "Podcast" requires a subscription.

I really got into listening to Podcasts because of P. On an online Social Network—not Facebook (I'm still resisting Facebook)—I reconnected with P, someone I knew in High School. Funny thing, in High School I wouldn't Necessarily say that P and I were friends, we knew each other and had some classes together, but that was it. I find it somewhat odd that we weren't better friends back then, we were and continue to enjoy a lot of the same interests...

That observation, in and of itself, is another post entirely.

P and I had a nice casual conversation about Tabletop Role Playing Games, and he told me that he satiates the lack of opportunity to play more often, by listening to podcasts about gaming and recommended one called: Fear the Boot.

The funny thing about all this, is the reason I listen to so many podcasts. It can be summed up in two things. Savage Worlds and Board Games.

In one of the Earlier Shows of Fear the Boot, one of the Hosts was very enthusiastic about a Role Playing Game called Savage Worlds. His Enthusiasm transferred to me, and now I run a Game twice a month.

When I was getting into Savage World, I wanted to find out everything I could about the System and its associated settings. I found a Podcast called: The Game's the Thing. (The Website Sucks, and I have a Love Hate Relationship with the Podcast because of the hosts)

As much as Ron and Veronica annoy me, they have the best information about Savage Worlds so I listen to The Game's the Thing.

It was downhill from there. Fear the Boot shortly after I started listening joined a network of Podcasts about gaming called Pulp Gamer. (Pulp, as in the stuff that becomes Cardboard and Paper...the stuff Board Games are printed on)

Shortly after I caught up on the shows for Fear the Boot—The Game's the Thing also joined the Pulp Gamer Media Network.

I noticed that a lot of shows on the Pulp Gamer Network talked extensively about Board Games, and since we play a lot of Board Games (that is to say non-traditional board games—i.e. mostly not published by Hasbro and Subsidiaries) at our house and I like hearing about the New Shiny in the world of board games I started trying out the different Podcasts at the network.

I should mention that I have a little thing inside me, that makes me want to devour things in their entirety. I could not just listen to these podcasts in their current state as I would a live broadcast show. Since the Libraries of the Show go back to the beginning (for the most part) I have this thing inside me that compels me to start at the beginning.

I now listen to the Following parts of the Pulp Gamer Network:

Fear the Boot—Advice on Playing and Running Role Playing Games

The Game's the Thing—Information about Board and Role Playing Games particularly Savage Worlds

Pulp Gamer out of Character—Members of the Pulp Gamer Network talk about various game related topics.

The Game Kennel—Brief overviews about different Games.

Family Night—Like the Game Kennel, but geared toward Family Games.

Game On! With Cody and John—Reviews of Games and some Gaming News (Extremely Professional From The Beginning—most podcasts are a little rough in the first episodes as they figure out who they are—The Website is also Very Professional)

Pulp Gamer Inside Track—Interviews with people in the Game Industry

Pulp Gamer Special Presentations—I think this is stuff they did that doesn't fit into any of the other podcasts.

The D6 Generation—Gaming News, Detailed...Very Detailed Reviews of Games—Geared Particularly toward Tabletop War Gaming (a type of gaming I'm not really in to, but I find I have to keep listening because they increasingly do cover other topics) If you try this one out, the show starts with a parody of the McGlaughlin Group that can be a little jarring the first time you hear it, in fact I turned it off the first time I listened to it, because there was no way I was going to listen to that for 3 hours (also I has Scouts in the Car) But it's generally only about five minutes—and has become one of my favorite segments of the show.

They're pretty much all about gaming. I'm caught up on all of them from the beginning, except The D6 Generation—it's a three to four hour show so it's taking me much longer to catch up than the others did. I'm on episode thirty-eight of forty-five.

Also, Ron and Veronica have a new podcast, and as much as they annoy me, and as much as I think the theme song is pretty lame—I'm going to listen to every episode, because it is exclusively about Savage Worlds. Smiling Jack's Bar and Grill.

I don't get why the hosts that annoy me the most are the ones that get all the interviews with the Savage Worlds people, and talk the most about Savage Worlds, and get all the good scoops on Savage Worlds. As much as they annoy me, they have the content that is most interesting to me.

I also listen to the Dungeons and Dragons podcast when they put out series of shows that are recordings of Dungeons and Dragons sessions; Dungeon Mastered by Chris Perkins from Research and Development at Wizards of the Coast, and played by Mike and Jerry of Penny Arcade (a Webcomic), Scott Kurtz of PVP (another Webcomic), and now Wil Wheaton famous geek. —This Podcast contains some strong Language, it's not for everyone, I just started listening because I was curious about 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons.

Speaking of Wil Wheaton, I recently started listening to Memories of the Futurecast. I don't recall how I found it, but here's the skinny. Wil Wheaton played Ensign Wesley Crusher on Star Trek the Next Generation. He recently wrote a book, Memories of the Future, about his memories of being on the cast. He does some readings from the book in Memories of the Futurecast—really interesting if you were a fan of the show. —Again, there's some language in this one. He does some other podcasts as well, but I haven't listened yet.

I've wanted to start listening to some other Podcasts, but I have to catch up to the ones I'm listening to currently first.

What Podcasts do You listen to?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Supers Companion

The Savage Worlds Supers Companion Should Be Available in print April 2010. I'll be putting money aside for this.

Expanding the Possibilities of Necessary Evil, or trying to run your own Supers Campaign with Savage Worlds.

Google Wave Invitations

I have some now.

Brandon, I sent you one. It can take a couple of days.

What a Commute

Generally I take the Bus.

Today, I was more than happy to take the bus. With the Snow accumulating like that, and the roads generally not clean, I was glad that I didn't have to drive.

I bundled up. I walked to the Bus Stop.

When the podcast I was listening to ended, it signaled that the Bus was indeed late—not surprising considering the weather and traffic situation. However I was getting cold, and I could not see a bus approaching that was perhaps the one I take. So I went back to the corner and crossed in two directions and looked up the road—I had a better view from this location. I thought I saw my bus coming, and I could definitely see the bus for my alternate route coming. I walked back to the stop (that's crossing the street in two directions again)—but what I thought was my bus, was a School Bus. So I crossed the street (in two directions) again and waited at the other stop.

Making a left hand turn was taking so long that I crossed the street six times and still made the alternate bus.

After boarding the alternate route, I continued to watch in the other direction, and I never did see the Bus that I take.

Two and a half hours after I left the house, I finally made it to the light rail station. The wait there was only about eight minutes, but when the train arrived it was only two cars and it was packed. I've never seen it that packed. Then we picked up more and more people. Then I realized that I was on the wrong route and had to hop off and wait for the next train. The snow was wreaking havoc with one of the doors on the train, it would close—but not enough to let the driver leave. Which had caused a delay at three stations, so when I got off to catch the right route, it was literally right behind us.

So three hours and fifteen minutes after I left the house, I walked in the doors at my place of employment. I'm still glad that I didn't have to drive.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Perhaps the Trick is to Not Expect Anyone to Come??

I started running Savage Worlds when my wife went out of town. Due to reconnecting with P and some online conversations about Gaming. I had started listening to a Gaming Podcast, and one of the Hosts had been raving about Savage Worlds. My interest was piqued enough to pick the book up, and I had been dying to play. I decided that my wife being out of town was the perfect way to get some people to come over and give it a shot.

Since Savage Worlds is a Generic system, I still had to decide what kind of game to run. I had decided to run a Zombie Survival game and the Tuesday before the Scheduled game, Pinnacle Re-released the adventure module Zombie Run updated for the current revision of the Savage Worlds Rule Set. I thought that it would be easier to run an established story rather than come up with something of my own, since I had never run a game before. Add to that the fact that it was on sale I purchased it.

Mostly I had in mind more of a One Shot adventure. Little did I know, Zombie run was not a One Shot. So here I am, seven months later still running the campaign adventure. Things seem to have fallen off a little as of late, and if there's one thing I know, it's that the Holiday season can kill a campaign.

So, this weeks game was supposed to take place next week—I forgot that we had a Birthday Party to attend next week. So in a desperate bid of last minuteness I updated the invitation to indicate that everyone was invited this weekend to play.

I think one of the things that has kept the campaign alive, is the fact that I've invited so many people to play. The initial invite that I sent out was for seven people. Three Attended. At this point there are eighteen people that are invited. I've never had more than five attend a session. Session to session it's different people. I explain what happened last time, and we always assume everyone is there—but only the people that make the session are kept track of in any given situation.

The last two sessions took place despite the fact that one session was the week of Thanksgiving, and the other session was scheduled a week earlier than normal at short notice.

Maybe the trick is to just not expect anyone to show up. . .

OK probably not (if you don't expect anything out of people, they will live up to your expectations), but that's how the last two sessions have played out for me. I want to remain consistent and not let this thing die on the vine so even though I don't really expect people to come—I plan to run a session. I have one more session that has, I-don't-expect-anyone-to-show-up status. It falls on the day after Christmas. For those of you that are players. It promises to be a good one. If you thought the maps that we've played on before were great. You haven't had an experience like the one I have planned. It is going to be Legen....wait for it....DARY!

So this weeks session went well. We had some scavenging, and zombies did indeed show up. Then there was the extraction of a spy—and plenty of Zombies for flavor. I think that as far as mechanics go, this session was the smoothest. Now I just need to start describing things a little better—spin a yarn as they say.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Transiberian Orchestra DLC

DLC is Downloadable Content for those not in the know.

I propose that there needs to be a Transiberian Orchestra Guitar Hero, or Rock Band, or Band Hero; or if they aren't willing to make a fully Christmas themed game, just offer it up as downloadable content. I was listening to some Transiberian Orchestra last night, and thought again about how easy it would be to get me to spend money on such a thing.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

You Will Do As I Command

Because I'm Very Persuasive—the fortune cookie told me so.

I hate fortune cookies that don't have a fortune. They just aren't as fun. You Will believe me, the cookie told me so.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Okay, I've had some time to play with Wave.

I think the Industry Buzzwords are confusing what the actual product does; add to that the lingo that Google has labeled the parts of Wave with and it's no wonder that I had no idea what it was. I don't think it's very intuitive as a result.

That is, until you start a Wave with someone else. Then it all starts to make sense.

What it boils down to is a really advanced chat room.

It feels very old school because you see everyone involved typing in real time (soon to be a feature that can be turned off—so you can finish a thought and then have it available). But then you realize that each of those little chat boxes can be edited by anyone invited, that the text has rudimentary formatting, that you can link sub comments, and that members of the Wave can have a private side chat—and it doesn't seem very old school anymore.

On top of all that there, are all kinds of Gadgets that you can use, and people are writing new gadgets all the time. You can bring in a Google map and mark off areas and label points of interest. You can add a gadget that allows you to scribble a la MS paint. You can add one of many gaming dice gadgets and generate random numbers. You can add a deck of cards that can be manipulated much like a real deck or two or three...You can upload files that everyone can access. You can Create a Poll. You can integrate your social networking of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc.)

It essentially takes the rudimentary and simple concept of a chat, and elevates it to a collaboration tool. I can see it as a very useful and fun tool with which to work.

How Long Will the Batteries Last?

(There may be some small spoilers for Zombie Run)

Savage Worlds Game Night is Falling on all the Holiday Weekends. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.

I read a lot of gaming Blogs and I listen to a number of Gaming Podcasts. One thing I've picked up is that the Holidays are a major destroyer of the regular role playing game. I'm experiencing something different. The Games all around the Holidays are falling apart, but the games that fall on the week of the holiday are working out.

I really enjoy the surprises I get when acting as GM.

This session revolved around the need to shut down the Nuclear Power Plant in Palo Verde. Tiring of keeping track of Allies, I sent the party in by themselves. Storytelling-wise there were others with them. When it came down to putting the figs on the map on the table, it was just the characters.

The control room had two bad guys for every good guy plus one.

My wife is playing a wannabe goth. Her character dresses the part, but her perky meter goes to eleven—and she's always looking for storybook romance.

She did something completely unexpected. She burst into the control room, with the injured engineer on her back, playing the part of confused valley girl. She exploded her persuasion dice and moved the entire room from hostile to helpful and the very people that were there to stop them from shutting down the reactor, ended up fixing the coolant system—leaving the party safe and sound and hidden (save the Perky Goth and Nuclear Engineer).

So the next thing would have been handled better if I was a more experienced GM. There were two planned zombie encounters for the evening's game. The first was just a possibility and the party dodged the zombies when scavenging.

The second was a group of zombies in the radioactive core that would be encountered when they needed to enter the core to repair the coolant system. Except the Perky Goth convinced the Bad Guys to Go into the Core.

I didn't want to just make up what happened in the core, so I started to Roll it out. Playing the part of the Villains and the Zombies. Luckily someone reminded me that I could have the players take on the part of the NPCs for that part of the session. A more experienced GM would have just done that instinctively.

I've heard that advice on the Podcasts and in the Blogs, but I was always a little wary of letting the players control the NPCs. Contextually it worked and was appropriate, I just wish I had come up with it.

Also, Brandon bombed a stealth roll sneaking out. I realized after I told them to roll that I shouldn't have done so, because I wasn't willing to play out the consequences (It was late and time to wrap up the session)—so I let it slide a little and let the Bad Guys hear him, but they didn't see him to pursue him.

So, to summarize what I learned this session.

1) I keep saying this, but it is a constant that never ceases to amaze me. Gamers will solve the problem in amazing ways you never considered, even if the outcome of said action was a small possibility. I knew that they could possibly talk the Bad Guys into Helping rather than hindering, I never expected it to happen—let alone in the manner in which they did so.

2) Lone-wolfing is Bad—if you find yourself in that situation, hand the NPCs over to the players.

3) Only have players roll the dice when you are willing to play out the consequences (Good or Bad). Corollary : if you need things to go a certain way—don't rely on the dice, just tell the story.