Archive for the ‘Accross the Web’ Category

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Dark Future Ahead 26 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

22 April, 2018

How will the future be dark?  Join me in reviewing some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my trips into the world matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A humorous look at living off the grid: How I went dark in Australia’s surveillance state for 2 years.

Tesla S sans armorInternational Armoring has upgraded the defenses of a Tesla Model S for their security and environmentally conscious customers.

While Battelle upgrades and fortifies conventional pickup trucks and SUVs for use by the spooks and special forces.  Amazing that they can conceal so much armor and equipment in a vehicle.

This seems like the sort of place you would need to find someone among Hawaii’s last outlaw hippies.

Perhaps they can move into 3D-printed houses?  Icon builds a house in Austin at SXSW in under a day as proof of concept.

A slight tangent but worth thinking about, the increasing gender fluidity of names.  Worthwhile pondering for character names in the future.

There is a massive complex in China that produces six billion cockroaches a year!  They are used in medicine and as animal feed.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?

Notes: Photo “Tesla Model S 85D” by Werner Bayer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 


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Dark Future Ahead 25 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

11 February, 2018

Is the future dystopian or just dark?  Join me in reviewing some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my expeditions into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A look at how climate change is opening the arctic to exploration, and exploitation, and the machines that will allow such to happen.

AfroPunk Rocks!There are many kinds of punk, take a look at the AfroPunk scene, now taking place in Africa!  Lots of interesting energy and exciting visual styles there.

Interested in options for housing?  What about living units made from concrete water pipers?  Not portable (at 22 tons each) but sturdy and easily to stack into a structure.

To circumvent restrictive software locks on their ability to repair their own tractors and agricultural equipment, American farmers are hacking their John Deere equipment!  Sticking it to the man, go farmers.

A mutant crawfish that effectively clones itself is overrunning European waterways, sure seem future dystopian to me.

This is how China expands into a country, would a megacorporation be much different?

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?

Image “AFROPUNK (commissioned work) 2006” by CHRISTOPHER DOMBRES is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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History Resources for your Game [2]

9 December, 2017

A variety of interesting articles and sites about history I have found recently and wish to share:

Ever wonder what the medieval Europeans called their pets?  Well, wonder no longer!  Certainly an interesting snipped of history.

Travel times from England in 1914 (before the war, obviously) measured in blocks of days.  Very interesting and thought provoking and this is an era of steam ship and railways.  With horses and wind powered ships, it it going to take even longer.

International Station

Canfranc

And opened just after the Great War was the “Titanic of the Mountains”, the Canfranc railroad station linking France and Spain was massive and became at center of espionage during the Second World War and falls into disrepair in the 1970, but is being restored now.  Seems like the sort of place to inspire adventures.

There is a surviving secret pagan temple under Rome and you can now visit it.  Apparently built by a wealthy Roman family who were followers of Neopythagoreanism.

How easy it is to fight in Victorian dress?  One brave author tries to find out.

Any news of a historical nature catch your eye lately?

Notes: Photo By WikiPrisma (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Dark Future Ahead 24 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

4 December, 2017

As you start a new week, let us look to the future and share some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my expeditions into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A supervillain's deightWhat better vehicle for a evil corporate CEO or power player than a private submarine?  Yes, Migaloo Private Submersible Yachts can provide what you are looking for!  Along with customized artificial islands!  Not that they have actually built either yet, but the are both technically possible and make great setting for an adventure.

The army is looking into replacing its heavy lift helicopters with tilt-rotor aircraft that fly further and faster like the Bell V-280 Valor.  Helicopters may be becoming a thing of the past at least for the military.

Troubled by pesky drones?  Use a laser-armed Polaris MRZR ATV to burn them from the sky!  Constructed by Raytheon from commercially available technologies assembled into a usable package.

Grow plants to trap carbon, brilliant idea, who would want to stop it?

A mission gone right or gone very wrong?  Missing Russian helicopter found in Norway Arctic sea.

And more anti-surveillance tech for you urban punks under the eye of the Man.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?


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Superstitions in and of the the Sea of Stars

26 October, 2017

A last minute inclusion for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, the theme of which is Superstitions and hosted by of Dice and Dragons.

The Sea of Stars is vast with many unique, mixing and often contradictory traditions and beliefs.

Here are a selection of superstitions from across the lands:

The Moon signals change

Seeing the Moon indicates change is comingThe Moon, as the last free god, has gone quite mad and when she is seen smiling in the sky, there is usually mischief and chaos afoot.

Since the death of the gods, it is ill-luck to speak the names of the gods.  By the modern era, most of the names of the gods have been lost and in the rare cases they are referred to, it is by their aspect (the Warrior, the Law Lords, Prince of Mercenaries and so on).  Now, this superstition may have less to do with the metaphysics of the death of the gods and more that many dragons actively rooted out believers in the aftermath of the Sundering.

Speaking the Empress’ title attract her gaze.  As the Empress is known just by her title it is intimately associated with her being, she does has a personal name but it is not widely known and even less used.  Most people refer to her obliquely, “the Highest Queen”, “The Great Ruler”, and such like.  The Imperial Breaucracy and the Draconic Houses do not subscribe to this superstition as a rule.

Destiny is written in the Stars.  Many in the Sea of Stars follow their horoscopes and seek advice from astrologers, this is not necessarily wrong.

Dragons will not eat X and rubbing yourself in X (or the fat/oil of X) will keep you from being attacked by them.  This in one of the sillier ones and occasionally surfaces when a group decide to oppose a dragon.  What X is varies from place to place and usually has to do with the eating habits and preferences of the local dragon.

Drinking dragon’s blood will give you magical powers.  This one is not entirely wrong, though dragon’s blood is more of an enhancer for existing magic, especially for wielder of natural magic.  Though the real challenge is getting it.

If a dragon’s shadow passes over you, your death is near. This one is self-explanatory I would think.

It is good luck to make a Visse laugh.  This may be just getting on the good side of someone who is likely to be a member of the bureaucracy or there may be more to it than that.  In any case, the Visse are delightful when they are amused.

Notes: Photo by “a dancing cresent moon” by Seán A. O’Hara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Ada Lovelace Day – Cleopatra the Alchemist

10 October, 2017

Cleopatra the AlchemistToday is Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating the contribution of women to the sciences, technology and knowledge.

As is my wont on ALD, I choose to highlight notable women of ideas of the Ancient World (see my 2011 and 2012 contributions) and today is no exception:

Cleopatra the Alchemist

Considered one of the finest alchemist of her time, roughly the 3rd Century CE, and was said to one of the four women alchemists who had mastered the philosopher’s stone and were capable of changing base metals to gold.

Alchemical secretsSadly, not much beyond that is know of her, there is a single page of symbolic notes she is believed to have written.  But the school of alchemy that she was attached to was well known as using advanced technology, she is associated with the early use or even invention of the alembic, used for distilling (and still used for distilling alcohol).

Notes: Images from Wikimedia Commons (seal) and Wikimedia Common (symbols) both are in the Public Domain.  You can read more about Cleopatra at Wikipedia.

Today’s magic item is inspired by her.

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Dark Future Ahead 23 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

29 September, 2017

As you head into the weekend, time to share some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my expeditions into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

A discussion of the rapidly increasing use of weaponized drones, quite interesting.

OA-X in actionBut for now, the US Air Force is sticking with piloted planes, but they are testing the final two competitors for the OA-X light attack plane contract under actual war flying conditions.  Sounds like a short campaign to me.

A look at how the regions of the US actually break up into greater metro areas.  Which megaplex are you closest to?

The business of lab growing meats, with an emphasis on test-tube tuna.  Lots of opportunities here for theft of recipes and sabotage.  But lab grown fish seems like it will be viable before the replacement for farm animals.

A news team visits the ruins of an abandoned Soviet bioweapons lab, with an emphasis on how difficult it is to kill anthrax spores.  Very worrying but some great setting ideas.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?

Notes: OA-X photo edited from U.S. Air Force Photo by Ethan D. Wagner. Used without permission.

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