Archive for the ‘Accross the Web’ Category

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History Resources for your Game [3]

4 October, 2019

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

Gamers will be pleased to learn that dice and games of chance have been with us a long time, the Romans even used dice towers to ensure randomness of the roll!

A canal in Amsterdam was drained as part of a construction project and they cataloged and photographed it all.  You can delve below the surface and see what they found by the date it was lost here.

Fish Pond in Hawai'iAquaculture, that is, the controlled raising of seafood, is not a new thing.  The Hawaiian have been doing it for centuries and they recently set about restoring one of the fishponds, very interesting and a good idea of what clever people can do even with limited technology.

In the late 19th and early 20th Century, railway work was so dangerous that the companies retained their own railway doctors who pioneered early trauma surgery.  Seems like a great background for a character to me.

A fascinating article about travel in the Ancient Greek World, which is full of useful information and ideas.

California City was designed to be a massive metropolis but it never happened.  Now there are just echoes and roads to nowhere.  Seems like a great place to visit or the seed for an alternate history.

Have you found any intriguing or fascinating history you would like to share?  If so, please do!

Notes: Image of the Hawaii fishpond from Atlas Obscura and used without permission.

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Dark Future Ahead 28 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

29 September, 2019

Energy VaultHow will the latest technological advances be used to advance the plutocracy?  Join me in reviewing some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my many trips into the matrix.  Enjoy the news:

Raytheon, that big defense contractor, is working on drone defenses for the US military working with various sorts of directed energy weapons, such as lasers and microwaves.

The Chinese Government is backing a Belt and Road Initiative, a new Silk Road, to build transportation and economic links from Asia to Europe and Africa, some of the giant machine used to build it are impressive in size and productivity.

A Swiss company, Energy Vault, has a design using cranes and concrete blocks to store energy.  If nothing else, it would be a great place to have a fight going on.

More ways to avoid facial recognition technology, some useful, others less so.

There are many ways to grow food inside using artificial light, LEDs are proving to be extremely flexible in such applications.  Who knows what harvest may come from such technologies?

For plants grown in the traditional methods, they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to diseases and other blights in our interconnected world.  Perhaps ironically, viruses may provide the best way to introduces defenses into plants to fight these dangers.

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

Notes: To my surprise, it has been nearly a year since my last Dark Future Ahead . . .

Image from Energy Vault and used without permission.

 

 

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Creative Sunday – Howard Brandon and Shaintar

9 June, 2019

Shaintar QuickStartAnother in an irregular series of posts, where I highlight some of the awesome creative things being done out in the world.  Today, we have:

Howard Brandon

Howard has been a friend of mine for many a year, he has played in several of my campaigns and I have played in a few of his.  For quite a while now, he has been the public face of the fantasy world Shaintar, powered by Savage Worlds, and its Organized Play branch (originally called Justice and Light, though I am not sure of the name of the current incarnation).

To go with the new version of Savage Worlds (the Adventure Edition), Savage Mojo, the current owners of Shaintar, have released a Shaintar JumpStart adventure, written by Howard, along with a set of pre-generated characters, if you want to give this fantasy world a try.

If you want to see some of the other work Howard has been doing for Shaintar setting, take a look here, he has been very busy.  He also has organized a mini-convention in his hometown of Madison, GA, which he hopes will grow into something bigger.

Notes: It has been a while since I did one of these so time to bring them back.  Howard deserves more recognition for all of his hard work on the Shaintar setting.

Also the links are affiliate links which will earn me a pittance if you purchase anything through them.

 

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Making Magic Wondrous – February RPG Blog Carnival Wrap Up

28 February, 2019

Magic is ColorfulAs is the way of February, it comes to a close quickly and with it, February 2019’s RPG Blog Carnival on Making Magic Wondrous comes to an end (though late submissions are always welcome).

The introductory article is here.  And I wrote a supporting piece, Everyday Magic in the Sea of Stars.

Contributions:

Roll4Net brings us the 3 Laws of Magic, showing how magic can work in a world.  And it is supported by the 3 Laws of Enchantment as well.

The Library of Legends uses an eponymously named article to look at magic items and gives advice I strongly agree with (I removed Detect Magic from the Sea of Stars years ago).

Codex Anathema looks at The Color of Magic to see what Magic: the Gathering can suggest to designing magic systems for RPGs.

Campaign Mastery, who is hosting March’s Carnival, contributed the math heavy but intriguing The Language Of Magic: A Sense of Wonder for the Feb 2019 Blog Carnival.

Thank you all for your words and thoughts!

Notes: Photo is “colour drops” by friedwater is licensed under CC by 2.0.

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June RPG Blog Carnival – “Why do I love RPGs? Why do I love GMing?”

30 June, 2018

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is on a the wonderful theme of “Why do you love RPGs? Why do you love GMing?” hosted by Campaign Mastery.

I have been a gamer for most of my life, it is my primary and favorite hobby, starting way back in 1977 at the age of ten when my mother pointed out that the library in Eugene, Oregon, where I lived at the time, had a wargaming club on Saturdays.  It was there I first encountered D&D and I was immediately hooked.  Over the years I have watched the hobby grow from a closet obsession of people on the fringe, survive a “Satanic Panic” where good-meaning but mean-spirited people tried to stamp out the hobby, to watching the lexicon of our hobby (and our title “gamers”) snatched from us by the video game industry and now the rise of RPGs as a spectator sport over various internet platforms.  What a long strange trip it has been, but oh, so much fun.

What do I like and love about RPGs?  The freedom to do and be what you can imagine and do it all in the company of friends.  You get to have adventures, many of which will become fun stories of heroism and chaos in retrospect, from the safety of your (or your friend’s) home or other friendly meeting place.  I enjoy the chance to see other worlds through the eyes of imaginary people, and sometime playing around with rules systems too, but mostly it is the joint adventuring and story-telling that I find fun.

What do I like and love about GMing?  Much the same as for being a player.  But this time instead of being an actor or co-author, I get to be the primary author or director.  I set the stage for the game to play out on, with the input of the other players, and we have a great adventure together.  When it all works right, it is quite magical, and when it just works, it is still fun.

There is more I could write, but that is the essence and I want to get it in before the deadline.

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Dark Future Ahead 27 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

14 June, 2018

Which new technology will go horribly wrong?  Join me in reviewing some inspiration for cyberpunk gaming culled from my many trips into the worldnet.  Enjoy the news:

Go see the full sized oneHurricane Electric Internet Services has a lovely visualization of the global internet backbone.  Very visually pleasing and interesting.

The Australian Defense Force used a DroneGun (really an anti-drone gun) to disable drones around the ASEAN summit.  Here is more information on DroneShield the company that makes the DroneGun.

Just in time?  As the US Army is starting to assign microscout drones to its units.  It will be interesting to see how tactics evolve using tools like this.  More information on the Black Hornet drone direct from it manufacturer.

We can now watch the evolution of language in real time.  Be on fleek for the future.

A company is retrofitting cargo containers into mobile hydroponic farms.  What would you do if you stole one of these instead of your intended target?  More information on the company, Local Roots, behind them.

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

Notes: Image from Hurricane Electric Internet Services but do go look at the full sized one.

 

 

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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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