A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Friday, December 29, 2006

New tag: Food

Found some delicious recipes... I intend to give them a shot soonish, perhaps the Bavaria Rouladen this very weekend!

1. Wienerschnitzel/Schweineschnitzel

4 thin boneless pork chops or veal chops
1/2 c. oil (I use olive oil)
3/4 c. fine bread crumbs
2 eggs
salt & pepper
2 lemons
Preparation Time: less than 10 mins.

Heat the oil in a large skillet at medium high heat. Place each chop between two sheets of plastic and pound with the smooth side of a meat tenderizer until thin (1/4" - 3/8"). Beat the two eggs in a bowl that is wide enough to dip the meat into. Spread the bread crumbs onto a plate or flat surface. Take each cutlet, season with salt and pepper and dip both sides of meat into eggs to coat. Then coat the entire cutlet with the bread crumbs. Place in hot oil and cook on both sides until golden brown. It only takes about 1-2 minutes per side. Serve each cutlet with half a lemon on the side. Some people go ahead and squeeze the lemon onto the schnitzel before serving. I prefer to squeeze the lemon juice onto the meat just before I eat it. I prefer to serve with half a lemon, rather than wedges, because it is not as messy when you squeeze it. (Which you would appreciate if you have paper cut)!
** Some people serve this with a fried egg placed on top of the schnitzel.
# of Servings: 4


2. Frikadellen

1 Brötchen or you may substitute it with 2 slices of white bread
2 onions
1 pound of hamburger meat
1 egg
salt, pepper, paprika to taste
2 ounces of fat or oil
Soak the roll or bread in cold water. Peel the onion and dice it fine. Squeeze out the bread and add it along with the onion to the hamburger meat. Add the egg, season with the spices to taste. With wet hands form meat patties. Heat the oil or fat and fry the meat patties from both sides, about 10 minutes or until meat is done.


3. Roast Pork Loin in Beer Sauce

For marinade:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup honey
3 cups beer (not dark), preferably German
a 3 1/2-pound boneless pork loin, tied (3 to 3 1/2 inches wide)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
a beurre manié, made by rubbing together 1 tablespoon
softened unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Make marinade:
In a large saucepan stir together marinade ingredients. Bring marinade just to a boil, stirring (marinade will rise and foam), and remove pan from heat. In a blender purée marinade in 2 batches, transferring it as puréed to bowl. Cool marinade to
room temperature and spoon off any remaining foam.
In a large heavy resealable plastic bag combine pork and marinade and seal bag,
pressing out any excess air. Put bag in a baking pan and marinate pork, chilled,
turning bag once or twice, at least 8 hours and up to 24. Let pork in marinade
come to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Transfer marinade to a saucepan
and bring just to a boil.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a flameproof
roasting pan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and
brown pork on all sides. Roast pork in middle of oven, basting frequently with
some marinade, until a meat thermometer registers 155°F. for slightly pink meat, 1
to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer pork to a cutting board, reserving juices in roasting pan
and discarding string, and let stand, covered loosely with foil, about 15 minutes.
While pork is standing, skim and discard fat from pan and add remaining marinade. Deglaze roasting pan over moderately high heat, scraping up brown bits. Bring sauce just to a boil and strain through a fine sieve into another
saucepan. Bring sauce to a simmer and whisk in beurre manié, bit by bit, whisking until sauce is combined well and thickened slightly.
Serve pork, sliced, with sauce.


4. Bavaria Rouladen
6 Slices Inside Top Round
German style Mustard
12 Slices Raw Bacon
18-24 Dill Pickle Slices
18-24 Carrot Slices
1-2 Large Onions - Diced up.
1 Large Family Size Cream of Mushroom Soup

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Lay out flat the thin sliced Top Round onto cutting board.
(Top Inside Round can be sliced ahead at 1/8th to 1/4th inch thickness - a little thinner is better than a little thicker.)
"Butter" the meat slices with your favorite mustard -preferably a good quality German-style mustard.
Place 2 strips of raw bacon on meat slices.
Place 3 to 5 slices of dill pickle and 3 to 5 carrot slices - placed every other one - onto raw bacon slices.
Sprinkle with lots of diced raw onion.
Fresh parsley and mushrooms are optional to taste.
Roll up meat and place in a covered baking pan.
4-6 robust rouladen should be covered with a large family size can of Cream of Mushroom soup - do NOT add water or milk.
Bake in oven for approximately 45 to 65 minutes - test middle rouladen rolls after about 40 to 45 minutes by poking with a fork. . .if the juice runs clear the meat should be done - if the juices still look a bit red please cook a little longer.
A longer piece of tin-foil can be substituted for baking dish cover - just be sure to "tent" the foil in the middle so that the soup has room to heat thoroughly and does not stick to the foil. As the Cream of Mushroom bakes down it thickens and mixes with the natural juices of the meat and makes just a wonderful tasting gravy!
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes prior to serving. . . this gives the soup time to thicken a bit more and allows the rouladen to firm up a bit!
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Rouladen can be served with dumplings, wide egg noodles, red cabbage and a fresh salad.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Game Resolution

Games that I absolutely must organize and run in 2007:

· A new World of Darkness Werewolf game.

· A Shadow of Yesterday game: ideas include Wushu/Martial Arts Wire-work inspired setting; Sword and Sorcerery fantasy setting; Pirates of the Caribbean setting; a modern-day organized crime setting; spy setting- somewhere in the neighborhood of james bond or mission impossible

· A Riddle of Steel game, set in semi-historic dark ages britain or scandinavia; or perhaps in the Midnight campaign setting

· A Burning Wheel test game - cause I bought it and havent even managed to read through it fully, its supposed to be a fantastic game

· A Sorcerer game or games

movie wrapup

I've crossed these movies off of my list:

Little Miss Sunshine
A Scanner Darkly
Night at the Museum

I saw Little Miss Sunshine over the holiday, which was fantastic. I also saw A Scanner Darkly, which was not on my previously-made-list, though I had kinda meant to see it when it came out. It was pretty good, and I did like the filming/animation style. I'm crossing Night at the Museum off of my list, not because I saw it, but because I am now less inclined to see it. Based on the feedback I'm getting, it might be a rental eventually, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Oh, and I'm adding one to my list:


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

cant play in crazy-land

So I recently admitted to having started playing Medievia again.

Now I'm think I'm done, again.

Two reasons: one is easy- I'm flaky and move quickly from interest to interest.

Two is that vryce (the guy who owns and runs medievia) is fucking crazy.

How crazy?

This crazy:

[part 1] http://slithytoves.sytes.net/~jerm/vryce122106.txt

[part 2 ]http://www.medievia.com/flawed.html

He's just bonkers. If you want to save some time and some eye rolling, the first part is his 'journal' on medievia, in which he talks about a paper he wrote called 'flawed', and goes on to describe how he was in a bad way before he sat down and wrote it and was 'enlightened', and now how torn up he is that he thinks he cant/shouldnt share it with the world/medievia, and how he'd love it if people would let him know what they think he should do, and if they want to read his paper. Part 2 is his paper. I'll share some gems from them:

My heroes are Jesus, Galileo, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr, and we may as well throw in president Bill Clinton. The words of Jesus have affected me more than any of the others but if you take them all as a whole you can discover the meaning of life.
I was always interested in religions and God, and probably always spent too much of my free time learning about religions, quantum mechanics, biology, etc. After 911 it became too much for me. I became a hermit to the real world and my search for answers got worse. I started obsessing about physics, space-time, God, and Medievia, and how they relate.
The answers that have become clear to me are in some ways as mystical as many religions, but the answers are built on pure logic.
This is a logical journey in search for God. During the search we will only go where self evident logic points us. We will use science to see if the theory matches reality. We will look at God from a purely logical standpoint from Gods perspective as well as our perspective. We will look at the fabric of space and time, consciousness, and what would first be needed before they could logically exist. We will simply search for God as best as we can, using logic, reality, and gut instinct to guide us.
I am also a scientist, an observer who keeps up to date in all of the latest leaps of undeniable logic, true science about the real reality as we see it. I am a science junky and consider myself well versed in every field of science, the history of every field of science; physics, quantum theory, biology, you name it.

Oh geez, I'm just gonna be copy/pasting the whole thing. Its just insane.

Oh.. then there's the Diku issue. I'd almost convinced myself that I could swallow sending money in to the guy in exchange for donation items, or building on the mud, but gak!

Resolving to

So I'm working on resolutions for the new year a little early.

Here's what I'm working on resolving to do:

1. To quit quit quit quit quit biting my fingers

2. To successfully organize and run multiple TSOY games

3. To work toward running a couple other games, perhaps as one-shots or short story arcs, including Riddle of Steel, Werewolf, Sorcerer

4. To achieve conversational fluency in Spanish

5. To pick the guitar back up and do some learnin'

6. To strive to be a better husband, friend, etc.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


We wish you a merry Solstice,
We wish you a merry Solstice.
We wish you a merry Solstice,
And a happy new year!

movies on my list!

So there are a number of movies coming out that I really want to catch, and I will list them here, because I like lists :) (turns out this list includes movies that are out now, or have already come out and I missed, that I want to see)

Pan's Labyrinthe
Children of Men
Flags of our Fathers
Letters from Iwo Jima
The Good German
The Good Shepherd
Little Miss Sunshine
Spider Man 3
Night at the Museum
In Pursuit of Happyness
Curse of the Golden Flower
Notes on a Scandal

And my list got longer as I made it. Anyway.

what kind of tower?

Call me unpatriotic, whatever.

I think "Freedom Tower" is a stupid, ineffective and rather ironic name for a building.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

slaves and consumers

Y'know, its a half formed thought, but that doesn't stop me from sharing it.

My friend Dave touched on it here, and that, combined with part of an interview I caught on NPR, got me thinking about how not only do we working americans make ourselves slaves to our corporate masters*, but then we turn around and pay too much of our hard earned money to buy the cheap crappy products that someone else's corporate master has churned out.

I'm no economist, not by a long shot, but it seems to me that we're seeing more and more of The Big (Or Medium) Corporation, paying its employees as little as it can possibly get away with, and even less when it outsources jobs, and, as I mentioned above, cranking out low quality goods and services to sell to us for too much money.

Now I'm thinking of a poorly drawn cartoons about a dog locked into a continuous cycle of producing waste, then consuming it, then producing it, then consuming it, ad nauseum, can you see it as well?

Oh.. I remember what the NPR interview was about. It was a newly elected senator talking about trying to stop letting Big Business legislate. Corporations seem to, in this day and age, have the ability to create legislation which either protects them or adds to their profit, or both. And by protects them, I mean from things like (and I'm making this up, but..) employees suing them when they've been discriminated against.

We've got consumerism on steroids, and Big Business seemingly running the whole show.

* broad generalization of course. I like my job, and get paid okay for it, but still..

yet more email

A few choice bits of the email under the cut below:

"We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of
a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades
votes for 'sittin at home' checks."

"In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about
48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems

North Dakota News

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the western part of
North Dakota state after a snowstorm.


Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic
event--- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" ---
with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH
that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds
of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of
communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.


George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.
No one even uttered an expletive on TV.

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit - or report on this category 5
snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill Orally, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No
Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Streisand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck driver s pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments
delivered it to the snowbound families.

Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of
a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades
votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this
early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

"In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about
48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems
ev aporate."

It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a

*** Update! ***
I just looked again, and would you believe the header indicating the source, or one of the forward sources of this email is:

From: Huggins, Patrick [mailto:Patrick.Huggins@dhs.gov]

How about that folks. Your Department Of Homeland Security at work.

fun from email land

This popped into my inbox this morning.

It will be interesting to see who responds!
I told this guy that I could find 300 people who believe in God before he could find 300 people who do not believe in God.

Do Believe In God

10) Kristin
15) Sarah T
17) Brenda Kay
18) Darla
19) Alan
20) Annette
21) Gisela
22) Clarence
23) Bonnie
24) Dave
25) Jim
26) Trudie
27) Estelle
28) Den nis
29) Kathy
30) Gerry
31) Jill
32) Gloria
33) Brandy
34) Colby
35) Jeff
36.) Janet
37.) Laura
38) Dollie
42) Dana L. (not the same Dana from bef ore either)
43) Rebecca
44) Toni
45)Mike Stephens
46)Rodney W.Meeks
47)Desmond Trichell
48)Erlene Trichell
53) Felecia
54) Rhonda
55) Lori
57. Tim
58. Liza
59. Barry
60. Josh
61. Tyler
62. Noah
63. Nicole
64. Justin
65. Toni
66. Maurice
67. Donna
68. Lynn
69. Annie
70. Brian
71. Cindy
72. Robert
73. Elaine S.
74. Beth B.
75. Jessica S
76. Sarah
77. Shelly
78. Ashlee
79. Stefanie Nicole Miller
80. Amanda
81. Barbara
82. Brenda
83. Sharon P.
84. Charlotte H.
85. Linda
86. John S. 87. Zoey D.
88. Amy B.
89. Barry B.

90. A.Berrier
91. Beth P.

92. Charlie P.
93. Carrie D.

94. Seth W.
95. Missy W.
96. Dana C.
97. Jen ny H.
98. Hope G.
99. Jen nifer
100. Jon
101. Scott
102. Dennis
103. Chris
104. Linda
106 & 107 Don & Jan
108 Joy
109.Ken Larson,
110.Scott Larson
111. Ginny Larson
112 Kathy McGahee
113.Maria Wallace
114.Sandy Kohn
115. Krista Johnson
116. Judy Allen
117. Bob Allen
118. Lee Quick
119. Connie A
120. Cheryl M
121 Linda R
122 Norma L
123 Carol W

Do NOT Believe In God

If you believe in God, please copy and paste this (it keeps it cleaner than just forwarding) onto a blank e-mail form (leaving off the headers), add your name, and send it to your friends and family.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

tag cloud

I wish I could make livejournal do a tag cloud like this:

note to self: saleslogix

Note to self:

Saleslogix client version 7 on SQL 2000 does not like running on 2003 Terminal Server :(

Monday, December 18, 2006

email from the boss

The owner of the company sent this today to all employees.

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a "Holiday".
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!

Link roundup

I'm going to start using del.icio.us, I believe.

Meanwhile, for your enjoyment:

Most Dangerous Roads in the World
(link taken from Bluesnews)

Samantha Bee on Al-Jazeera English
(link taken from Bluesnews)

Bad Ass Beats
(link taken from Legomancer)

Verizon can't count.
(link taken from Legomancer)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

christmas shopping and stuff

Did I mention that we own another cat? We've named it Zoe. It was a rescue.

We of course waited until the 11th hour, and so went out amidst the terrible traffic and the short-sleeve weather to do our christmas shopping. How funny, firefox2 tells me that 'christmas' is misspelled. Maybe its the lower case c. which I now refuse to capitalize because I'm cranky. That reminds of the dusting off of the War on Christmas. You know, its the time of year when all of the atheists and muslims and all the other people who hate christianity get together in secret meetings and petition Hallmark to be sure not to mention christmas at all. Its all "Seasons Greetings" and "Happy Holidays" around here! Ahhhh, if only you were as persecuted as you claim to be. That's a misstatement, I dont have any desire for christians to be persecuted, I just wish they'd stop griping about whats written on some holiday greeting cards. Well, and I wish they'd shut up about gay marriage. And abortion. And stop trying to fully integrate our government and the church.. Now I'm ranting. Anywho...

What else.... medievia! I've been playing again, and am grinding levels. It has generated an interesting (to me) internal debate. I see myself spending (and having spent) countless hours in something which, if someone were to flip a switch, it would all go away. And so I wonder if in 50 years I'll look back and ask myself, "What did you accomplish?" And I wonder if I'll have a bunch of "I hero'd on medievia, and I had an awesome clan on WoW, and yada yada yada", all non-tangible stuff. All things that leave nothing behind to show for it. Or do they? Is it good enough that its just entertainment? Do I need to be a better human and stop watching television and playing Medieval Total War and start working with Habitat for Humanity? Anyway, I'm mildly tormented by it, but I'm sure it'll pass. More XP, please.

Krissi got some fantastic tattooing done. She had a japanese Kanji symbol done on her back years and years ago, and she's toyed with the idea of adding something to it. Well she has done so, and some friends were generous enough to help make it happen, financially speaking.

At work, I've been in slow, slow, slow progress of moving from a windows workstation environment, setup as a simple workgroup with a Novell fireserver.. to a full on Windows 2003 domain. its a slow and slightly painful process, cause it feels like its a project involving me, 1,000 golf balls, and a tub of water. Oh, and I'm upgrading our SalesLogix database to v7.

What else.... I'm kinda hitting a little of everything here, looks like. I found second life. Its really really neat. But... I dont know what its for :P That's a silly statement, cause its not entirely true, I just dont know if it holds anything for me I suppose, but I'd encourage everyone log on and check it out. Hey, its free.

Oh, I want to read the Rule of Four sometime.

Did I mention that Regina Spektor rocks?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How we totally fucked this thing up

I'm referring to our "Global War on Terror", or more specifically, the (civil) war we've got going on in Iraq.

The Saudis have pledged support for the Sunni tribes in Iraq, in the event of an "actual" civil war, if there is no American presence there [source]. This is to counter the threat of an Iranian and Shi'a political/military victory in Iraq.

I remember how before the war, there was a little flash cartoon that purported to show how the war in Iraq would go.. it started with a US invasion, followed by escalations of conflict with Iran and Syria, then the involvement of Saudi Arabia, and on and on.. Its just funny to see it coming closer to being the truth. And by "funny" I mean god damn scary and just fucked up.


Continuing my writeups of the games that I have my attention focused on, here's Sorcerer.

Sorcerer [wiki], labeled "An intense role-playing game" is created by Ron Edwards, one of the founders of The Forge [wiki].

Before I even get into the mechanics of this game, let me first address what is probably the biggest concept of the game: demons.

In this game, you play a mortal human person who has the knowledge and the will to bring into this world Things That Are Not Meant To Be. The game is very clear that it is meant to be run that you are not summoning up nice faeries and things, what you are doing is pretty damned wicked. But then it leaves it up to you to figure out what it is exactly that you're summoning up. The game takes a pretty generic stance on it, calling them Demons, without really making statements on whether you're summoning up demon's from the Christian Hell or what. It does however encourage you to sit down with your players and figure out what kind of game you're running. The 'things' that the text calls demons can be: demons from the Judao-Christian Hell, the souls of the dead, spirits of animals and nature, internal demons (mental illness) given form by pure determination and fucked-up-ness, jinn and ifrit, terrible AI, or strange alien forces.

You create a character by splitting 10 points among Stamina, Will and Lore. Stamina is all things physical, Will is all things mental, and Lore is all things sorcerer. You get a Humanity attribute that is similar to Humanity from WoD. You get a Cover which is rather a career like Detective or College Professor or Career Criminal, that provides you with an income but also a quick and easy 'skill' type thing. If you're a Lawyer and want to go do some research on something, you're going to succeed based on your Cover, or perhaps roll some dice. Think of it as a really really broad skill, under which falls everything that might reasonably be a part of that job. You take a Price, which is a measure of how much you've already given up thanks to your dark art. Its any number of things, but is mechanically translated into a small penalty in some situations. You take a Telltale, which is just a 'tell', something that gives you away as a sorcerer to other sorcerers. Then you create a starting demon. Demon creation works similiar to creation of your character, there are stats like Stamina, Will, Lore, as well as Power, also abilities that the demon confers, the Desire of the demon, and the Need of the demon. Then you create a kicker for your character, and you're off and running. I'd wager that chargen would take a novice group between 15 and 30 minutes, maybe running longer if they're really chatty. Chargen here needs to be a group activity, otherwise you're going to have problems later on.

Tests remind me of a weird combination of Donjon and World of Darkness. Its comparative dice pools. If you have Detective Cover of 4, and want to use it to interrogate someone, you have a pool of 4 dice. Oh - the system states that you can use whatever size dice you want, as long as, of course, you're all using the same size dice. The size of dice used has a subtle effect on how the game works. Anyway, the system uses d10s as examples, and that seems a good size of dice to use. So you have your pool of 4 dice, which will be lowered or raised, the system is very strong about rewarding players for role playing things, and encourages dice bonuses for this type of stuff. You roll your 4 (or so) dice against my dice pool. My dice pool will either be decided by an opposing party's pool, like for the person being interrogated, there might be some kind of resistance roll, and I'll roll that number of dice. But if its against something that might not have a pool like that, there's difficulty that basically equates to... if its a task that's not notably difficult, or that advances the story, there is no resistance, it succeeds.... if its somewhat difficult though, the GM can roll a single dice in resistance, more difficult? half the players pool, so two.. even more difficult? equal to the players' pool, or even more than the players pool. Sorry - the mechanic you're looking for is high dice. You get 10, 8, 3, 3. I get um two dice and end up with 5, 1. You have two dice higher than my highest roll (10, 8 > 5). You succeed by two, which you can use on a subsequent related task. Or say you rolled 8, 6, 6, 4, I rolled 8, 2, 1. You get three successes- our 8's cancel and you do the math from there (6, 6, 4 > 2, 1).

Sorcerer is a single small hardback book, 141 pages, but its full of good stuff.

[Note: I wrote this up back on 8/1/06, and left it hidden, cause I didnt think I was finished with it.. it may still need some work, but it looks okay, so I'm putting it out there.]

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

quick, somewhat random gaming thoughts

Last week we played half of a two-shot D&D game. Todd R., our old D&D GM was in town, having moved up to Ohio few months ago. He's apparently in good with the folks at Goodman Games and he is contributing material to them. So he came down with the plan of running a two-shot/two-night adventure. So we got together, a nice crowd of us, though neither Mike or Kenny showed.

It was standard-fare D&D.

Here's my honest thoughts, and let me disclaim that I've gained a rep with my local game crowd as being and Indie game guy, and snooty about games. Yes, I like indie games, and some non-indie games. It is true that for about a year or so now, I've professed varying degrees of non-interest or even disdain for D&D. I'm not trying to be a curmudgeon, or ruin people's gaming excitement, or even to be intentionally snooty and "to-good-for-D&D". I've just found stuff that works better for me. Sure - I think it could work better for almost everybody, if given a chance, but hey, that's just cause I like it a whole lot. ("it" btw is TSOY and a couple other games). Anyway. It was nice to see people and to hang out and play a little. I totally remember the wide-eyed amazement that I had when I played and ran D&D when I was in high school. And I totally am refreshed on all the reasons that I prefer other stuff to D&D. Also, Todd canceled night two, so we only did half of the two-shot, making it a very incomplete one-shot. For the record, we killed a few giant stone golem-type guys, got caught in a room-size fire trap with some fire elemental-type guys, and fought some dogs and a chain-demon of some kind.

Which brings me to my other thoughts on gaming. I'd kicked around the idea of running a D&D game with the 3 core 3.5 books only. I browsed the RPG section in the bookstore the other day, and GEEZ WotC is churning out the books. They're a For-Profit, so hey, I'm not criticizing really.. except that I will say that I flipped through some of the books, and they seem to, taken as a whole, consist of the following: 70% new feats and prestige classes with a few new spells thrown in; 20% old stuff that're just reprinting or consolidating, and 10% cool new interesting stuff. You'll note that I didnt put the 70% feats and prestige classes into the "cool new stuff" category. Anyway, I'm drifting again. A small part of what annoys me about D&D is the hundreds of feats and dozens of prestige classes. Its a tweakers wet dream. Anyway, I dont think 3 book D&D is likely either, as the core mechanic of D&D still does not appeal to me, in any way really.

That did lead me, however to think about running a Riddle of Steel game in the vein of D&D. I like this idea :)
[edit: oh, and I need to remember to argue with Jason that combat in RoS in no more time consuming or complicated than combat in D&D!! =)]

Also, while listening to someone on NPR talk about the latest James Bond movie, I found myself thinking about how TSOY could so easily work for a modern Spy theme'd game. Damn I love TSOY.

Ok, not so quick. But there ya go :)

Friday, December 8, 2006

an admission

Okay, I have a rather embarrassing admission to make. Some of my friends will scoff and sneer derisively at me, and that's okay, I'll sortof deserve it.

I started playing Medievia again.

See.. I hopped on Med way back in '94 from Millsaps college, down in Jackson, MS, when I was hanging out with a buddy. Fast forward a couple of years, when I was at Delta State, I got onto Med and played full time.. much to the detriment of my education. But I met a bunch of cool people, and played on there with Kurt and Anna and Dave. But I played quite a bit, though I was lazy about grinding XP, and so never made it to the upper levels. Eventually I quit playing. Fast forward to now.

I'm totally relearning the game. It's fun, though I dont know how long I'll end up sticking with it.

I'm also relearning mudmaster scripting, which, to be honest, was as much, if not more fun than actually playing medievia.

So there ya go. My big terrible secret.

Friday, December 1, 2006

The line was down....

I keep meaning to do more work related posts.

Here's one:

We have a facility up in rural Indiana. We have a point-to-point T1 that connects that site to our main site, and the users in Indiana connect to the computer systems here to do their work, and we do inter-office calling between phone systems via the T1. So we really rely on it.

A couple of months ago we started having serious problems with it. When the connection went down, our Indiana office was hurtin'. So we made all the phone calls and got people on the case. Eventually it turns out that there's a problem with the phone companies physical lines, so they're going to run some temporary lines until they can fix it. Only we discover that the temporary line that they've run is on the ground. Laid across some disused train tracks, through a couple of yards and a field, as its about a half mile from the carrier's box to our facility. So... every saturday, the connection goes down again with Bob or whoever cuts his grass and our internet connection.

It took like 6 weeks for them to fix this.

Finally they got the stupid cable off the ground and had everything restored, but geez.