Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Clean Up” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

15 February, 2017

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Twenty Six: Clean Up

Guest Starring: DD, Double Up and ToraIt the viper!

Some of the local student find they can make money working after school working as cleaners, Pink steps in and starts organizing them into Sunnyshine Cleaners.  Hilarity ensues as the cleaners deal with all sorts of ridiculous problems and messes, chocolate sauce spills, mermaids in tubs and so on.  But Pink and the cleaners becomes more and more corporate as they become more successful, to the point where she almost turns her back on her friends . . . but then realizes that friendship is more important than money, even clean money.  Sunnyside Clearer downsize back into nice after school jobs and Pink takes everyone out to ice cream to apologize.

What really happened:

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Welcome Ill omened February, fare thee well January

31 January, 2017

January always seems to go by so quickly and we now move into February.  February gets its name from Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa performed at this time of year.  The Romans considered February an ill-omened month which is why it is only twenty-eight days long.   For this month we return to the theme 0f curses, cursed items, ill-fortune and, perhaps, defenses against such terrible things.  As usual, suggestions, comments and ideas are welcome.

So, what was published on the journal in January, 2017?  Take a look:

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Bad Dogs” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

25 January, 2017

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Twenty Five: Bad Dogs

Guest Starring: Clawz, DD, Double Up and ToraGo team!

The School’s crosstown rivals, the Caninefornia Academy, have been getting more aggressive, starting fights and pulling mean pranks, as both are competing for the prestigious city school sports award.   It turns out the Caninefornians are using drugs supplied by Hippogryph BioLabs, who sponsors the Academy teams, to increase their performance but it is also making them more aggressive and reckless.  While the drugs are not technically cheating, they are unsporting, and the team makes plans to trick the Caninefornians into disqualifying themselves by going too far.  The team lets it be known that they will be building a float for the big game at a “secret location”, which Tora lets slip, the Caninefornians break in and trash the vehicle that would be used for the base of the float . . . which turns out to be the Academy Headmaster’s new SUV.  The worst of the Caninefornians are suspended and the use of ‘performance enhancers’ is stopped.  The School wins the award and they invite the Caninefornians who played fair to join them at their victory party.

What really happened:

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Dark Future Ahead 20 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

14 January, 2017

Let’s jack in and see what the futurewatch brings us this time.

Sailing the sea on a massive container ship, the time-lapse of the port is especially inspiring, but there is a considerable amount of useful information in this fairly short article.

Vanguard RoadsterVanguard is a new company producing a premium motorcycle (in NYC no less).  Now, not only is this a very cyberpunk looking machine. but it was primarily digitally designed.  The Economist has a good article (may require registration) about how the new digital processes allow for small firms to enter markets that have been dominated but the huge vehicle corporations.  Now there is a ton of cyberpunk adventure ideas to exploit from there.

Power from organic waste!  What could go wrong with producing massive amount of methane from organic matter?  Hopefully not much as it is a great way to turn garbage (and less pleasant matter) into electricity.

Feeling lonely?  What about a ‘virtual wife’ to manage your house?  A Japanese company, Vinclu, has developed a hologram linked to an expert management system, who could need more?

And what will your virtual wife have prepared for dinner?  A light article form Gizmodo looks at 8 Foods of the Future, maybe.  Still some good ideas for setting color in a cyberpunk world (“Fried grasshopper anyone?”).

New ways to fix your teeth!  King’s College London is developing a chemical to encourage cells in teeth to heal them.  No more fillings!  If it works.

And the US Department of Defense is looking into spent casting from training ammunition that grows plants!  Guess they are seeking to be more green than olive drab.

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

Note: Photo from Vanguard and used without permission.

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Thoughts on the Suicide Squad movie

12 January, 2017

Suicide SquadI do not get to movie theaters much anymore, so I waited for this to be available on DVD and finally got around to watching Suicide Squad.  I was a fan of the original comic thought I have not followed the series recently.  To my surprise, considering what I had heard about it, it was actually pretty entertaining.  The opening third is slow, laying out too much unnecessary background but once it gets to the action, it starts to come together.  While it is far from perfect (some of my concerns, I will discuss below) it much more than I was expecting and it has some surprisingly effective sequences.  If you like superhero or action movies, you will probably enjoy it.

More thoughts and Concerns (spoilers probably abound):

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Leaving December and the Year MMXVI, Welcome MMXVII

31 December, 2016

JanusJanuary and the New Year and are just around the corner.   Good fortune to all in MMXVII!

January is named after Janus (Ianuarius) the god of doorways, pictured as looking both forward and back.   We will revisit the themes of doorways, transport and travel for January what with moving into the New Year and all.  As usual, if there is something on this theme you would like to see, let me know.

My main goal for 2017 will be to get the Sea of Stars campaign setting finished and out to its backers, really this time.

Looking back over December, 2016, not an entirely quite month:

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Thoughts on Rogue One

28 December, 2016

Rogue One posterFinally got to see Rogue One today, which was a little bittersweet following yesterday’s new of Carrie Fisher’s death.  May the Force be with you, always, Carrie.

Firstly, the spoiler free section: I found Rogue One highly engaging and it served as a solid bridge from the end of the prequel trilogy to the situation at the beginning of A New Hope (or Star Wars as I still think of it).  It definitely shades into war movie and is easily the darkest of all of the movies.

The special effects are magnificent and the action scenes flow nicely.  But action does dominate to the expense of character development, Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) is the only one who gets close to a character arc.  Overall, the cast is solid and we see many cameos of characters from the earlier films, neatly folding Rogue One into its place in continuity.  If you are even a casual fan of the series, it is worth seeing.

Some more complex, and spoilish thoughts, follow:

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