Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today was like pulling teeth ... oh wait - it WAS!

I went to the dentist today (Dr. Meadows - excellent dentist) and this is what Corn Nuts does to your molars. I had to have mine extracted. Pain, pain, pain...
This is my left bottom back molar next to where my wisdom teeth used to be. Don't be shy - click on it for gruesome detail (you know you want to...)
This was the reason it had to be extracted. Corn nuts! Keeping oral surgeons busy for over two dozen years!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I got a NOOK! (and I love it)

Things I LOVE about my NOOK:
1. It supports PDFs.
2. It can be transported across the Sahara Desert via camel before it runs out of battery juice.
3. Did I say it supports PDFs?
4. It's light in my hand
5. With just a slight touch I can turn a page and read in bed without having a bookshelf next to my bed now

Things I will NOT miss:
1. Having to lick my fingers turning tree-killing methods of information transfer (books made from wood pulp)
2. Having to make sure I have a book mark in the right place
3. The book I am reading falling and the book mark knocked out of place
4. Oh yeah, a book shelf FULL of books!

And here are some pictures of NOOKIE (I named it that)







Sunday, July 17, 2011

Travelers game and an old game you might remember!

It seems to me that more kids are more and more indulging in immediate gratification activities. I feel sorry for them for several reasons. Taking your childhood a little slower means that you have time for your brain to form proper memories that will serve to comfort you later in life. Another reason to limit immediate gratification is when you turn 18 the world will stop catering to you as you were a child. It will be a harsh transition. Learning early on that immediate gratification comes at a cost is essential for a well adjusted adult. Some people never grow out of childhood, taking each day as an opportunity to indulge in hedonistic activities and not caring for other's needs.
I used to play board games. One comes to mind by the name of Axis and Allies. It took hours, if not days to play. We had fun playing it and had many conversations while playing it. We took it slow and in doing so I don't really remember the game playing as I remember spending quality time with my friends and getting to know them. In sharp contrast, playing some video game online with people you hardly know does not qualify as 'making TRUE friends'. You log off and go to bed, sometimes at 4:00am in the morning and fall asleep with an empty feeling.
You see that deep need to connect to people on a close proximity level, in my opinion, is essential in good mental health.
That's all I will say about that.
Hopefully this weekend (This next Saturday) I will try out that adventure in Travelers with my gaming group. I find Travelers more open ended with not so many restricting rules or a rule for every little thing (like Dungeons & Dragons has become). You travel to planets, discover new places, new people, puzzles, and other interesting and thought provoking activities. Leaving the dice to the GM mostly keeps the players on edge and the dice rolling is kept to a minimum. In fact, combat is kept to a minimum so that exploration and problem solving yields rewards and violence is a means to defend oneself and as a last resort. I tire of a Role Playing Game claiming to take you to new worlds and places when 50% of the book is dedicated to combat. In effect, a true RPG is not a RTS, MMO or FPS - it's a many person project to create a sort of novelette, a unique work of fiction where everyone participates in it's creation. As many have said, it's a role playing game not a roll playing one...

You remember this game? I do. My brother and I used to play it all the time until High School. Apparently they polished it and you can see the new one here on bleaseworld's blog.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I usually don't talk politics but...

I had to say something about leaders that lie. Once a man lies to you he is capable of manipulating you. Not that he cares for you one way or the other but you are now a tool for him to exploit. Truth is a commodity that is precious and I would rather have the truth than a billion dollars. In 100 years which one will mean more?
Presidents that lie to their people are no better than a loved one you know lying to you about something extremely important. They are supposed to be in the watchtower watching over our safety. Instead I smell intrigue, unrighteous control and power-playing with people's lives.
I heard a very wise man say once that once a man gets power (or so he supposes) he immediately exercises in a way that is not true to the order of the universe. Curtailing freedoms for short term gains is a major issue that can turn a government into a chaotic mess of bloodshed and horror. I feel there is a conspiracy to control people compulsory through technology somehow and it's in the works, churning away under our very feet. We feel the vibrations of control but as that frog that is slowly being boiled, we too are being boiled not in plain water, but water that tastes sweet. The evil plans of men will not be at the point of a gun but at the sweet siren song that they can make your life better if only you ignore your conscience.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Random Skills Needed in a Traveler's Adventure!

[Revised 18Aug2011 by Toltrin]
Random Skills Needed in a Traveler's Adventure!
First roll on this table (d100%)

d100%  Random Skill Needed to Progress
01 - 02 Admin
03 - 04 Advocate
05 - 06 Astrogation
07 - 08 Animals, riding
09 - 10 Animals, veterinary
11 - 12 Animals, training
13 - 14 Animals, farming
15 - 16 Athletics, co-ordination
17 - 18 Athletics, Endurance
19 - 20 Athletics, Strength
21 - 22 Athletics, Flying
23 - 24 Broker
25 - 26 Carouse
27 - 28 Combat (see table 2)
29 - 30 Comms
31 - 32 Computers
33 - 34 Deception
35 - 36 Diplomat
37 - 38 Education (see table 4)
39 - 40 Engineer, M-drive
41 - 42 Engineer, J-drive
43 - 44 Engineer, electronics
45 - 46 Engineer, life support
47 - 48 Engineer, power plant
49 - 50 Explosives
51 - 52 Gambler
53 - 54 Investigate
55 - 56 Mechanic
57 - 58 Medic
59 - 60 Navigation
61 - 62 Persuade
63 - 64 Physical Sciences, physics
65 - 66 Physical Sciences, chemistry
67 - 68 Physical Sciences, electronics
69 - 70 Recon
71 - 72 Remote Operations
73 - 74 Seafarer, sail
75 - 76 Seafarer, submarine
77 - 78 Seafarer, ocean ships (large ships)
79 - 80 Seafarer, motorboats (small craft)
81 - 82 Sensors
83 - 84 Social Skills needed (see table 3)
85 - 86 Stealth
87 - 88 Steward
89 - 90 Streetwise
91 - 92 Survival
93 - 94 Travelling Skill (see table 1)
95 - 96 Vacc Suit
97 - 98 Zer-G
99 - 100 Jack of all Trades, GM's choice
THEN Roll on the appropriate tables if rolled for a table (see below)

d100%  Travel (Table 1)
01 - 05 Driving, mole vehicle
06 - 15 Driving, tracked vehicle
16 - 30 Driving, wheeled vehicle
30 - 41 Flyer, grav vehicle (hovercraft too)
42 - 47 Flyer, rotor vehicle
48 - 55 Flyer, wing vehicle
56 - 75 Pilot, small craft (up to 100 tons)
76 - 90 Pilot, spacecraft (100-5000 tons)
91 - 100 Pilot, capital ships (5000+ tons)

AND/OR
d100%   Combat (Table 2)
01 - 06 Battle Dress proficiency
07 - 14 Gunner, Turrets
15 - 19 Gunner, Ortillery
20 - 22 Gunner, Screens
22 - 23 Gunner, Capital Weapons
24 - 28 Gun Combat, slug rifle
29 - 33 Gun Combat, slug pistol
34 - 39 Gun Combat, shotgun
40 - 43 Gun Combat, energy rifle
44 - 48 Gun Combat, energy pistol
49 - 53 Heavy Weapons, launchers
54 - 57 Heavy Weapons, man portable artillery
58 - 59 Heavy Weapons, field artillery
60 - 65 Leadership
66 - 77 Melee, unarmed combat
78 - 83 Melee, blade combat
84 - 86 Melee, bludgeon combat
87 - 88 Melee, natural weapon combat
89 - 94 Tactics, military tactics
95 - 100 Tactics, naval tactics

AND/OR
d100% Social (Table 3)
01 - 05 Art, acting
06 - 10 Art, dance
11 - 15 Art, Holography
16 - 20 Art, instrument
21 - 25 Art, scupting
26 - 30 Art, writing
31 - 35 Trade, biologicals
36 - 40 Trade, civil engineering
41 - 45 Trade, space construction
46 - 50 Trade, hydroponics
51 - 55 Trade, polymers
56 - 60 Language, Angelic (English)
61 - 65 Language, Vilani (Vilani, first langauge)
66 - 70 Language, Zdetl (Zhodani)
71 - 75 Language, Oynprith (Droyne)
76 - 80 Language, Hiver
81 - 85 Language, Aslan
86 - 90 Language, K'Kree
91 - 95 Language, Vargr
96 - 100 Langauge, GM chocie
AND/OR
d100%   Education (Table 4)
01 - 10 Life sciences, biology
11 - 15 Life sciences, cybernetics
16 - 20 Life sciences, genetics
21 - 25 Life sciences, psionicology
26 - 35 Social Sciences, archeology
40 - 45 Social Sciences, economics
46 - 50 Social Sciences, history
51 - 55 Social Sciences, linguistics
56 - 65 Social Sciences, philosophy
66 - 75 Social Sciences, psychology
76 - 85 Social Sciences, sophonology
86 - 90 Space Sciences, planetology
91 - 95 Space Sciences, robotics
96 -100 Space Sciences, xenology

THEN Roll on this table to determine the difficulty


d100%   Difficulty Level for skill (Table 5)
01-27  Skill/0 needed or Simple Difficulty (+6)
28-52  Skill/1 needed or Easy Difficulty (+4)
53-70  Skill/2 needed or Routine Difficulty (+2)
71-82  Skill/3 needed or Average Difficulty (+0)
83-90  Skill/4 needed or Difficult Difficulty (-2)
91-96  Skill/5 needed or Very Difficult Difficulty (-4)
97-98  Combined Effort and/or Formidable Difficulty (-6)
100     Impossible (or have GM make is extremely difficult (-8) a large group effort or just plain impossible?)


d100% Expediency (Table 6)
01-03   Immediately (1-6 seconds)
03-08   Momentarily (1-6 minutes)
09-18   Within an hour (10-60 minutes)
19-34   Near Future (1-6 hours)
35-59   Within a day (6-24 hours)
60-73   Near Long Term (10-60 hours)
74-92   Within a week (1-6 days)
83-97   About a month (1-6 weeks)
98-100    Several weeks (2-12 weeks)
The GM may add or subtract a % pertaining to the situation (difficulty of the task, the number of people needed to complete, environmental considerations, ect.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ever wonder what to do with old dice containers?

Why not recycle those clear boxes your dice sets came in? Make them in rollers! I use them to roll stats for a quick traveler character or quick hit die for a monster if I don't have the room to roll.
Here are the photos since a picture with worth a thousand words, here are FOUR thousand words! hehe
There they all are. One contains d100 and a d20. Another contains 12 six-sided dice for a quick travelers trait generation.  Another container contains four six sided dice for quick skill checks. In the last one there are five color coded eight sided dice for pretty much any situation.

My twelve six sided Travelers trait roller.

All from a differing angle.

The size of the roller. These little clear boxes are tough unless you stand on them or
give them to a 6 year old child to play with outside...
This this case you have a 2 STR, 8 Dex, 7 END, 6 INT, 7 EDU, and 5 SOC. I usually take the lowest trait and roll it again, keeping the result (even if it's lower). A character with obvious weaknesses are interesting to role play as they have much to overcome...