Tuesday, March 31, 2015



Monday, March 30, 2015

Vacation Schedule for April

So I'm taking that vacation in April. Renting a car and driving to Kountze, Houma, then back. Might stop in Houston. If you're in those areas and want to spend some time with me while I'm down there, let me know.

STT: Revvik

Revvik is Richard's character. I really liked his concept. Then Richard quit responding to my emails and never showed up to play. Revvik's basically an NPC, now which gives me latitude when it comes to redefining his character.

I'm going to try do to these on Mondays and include links to the Obsidian Portal.

Revvik (Wiki link)
High Concept: Hotshot Vulcan Pilot

Trouble: Where did the Humans go? – Starfleet discourages investigation into why the Humans vanished. In addition, there are thousands of crackpot theories across known space about why it happened. None the less, Revvik still follows up on almost every lead he comes across when it comes to learning about them. This curiosity threatens an already shaky career, but it also makes the junior-grade lieutenant one of Starfleet’s foremost experts on the matter.

Aspect: I know what she can do – As a callow ensign fresh out of The Academy, Revvik was given a plumb assignment on board the museum ship Enterprise, NX-01. While trying an unauthorized sublight slingshot of the ship around a moon, he pushed it to its limits—and beyond. The crash had zero fatalities, but left the ship itself irreparable. The young pilot was reassigned to the ground-based Memory Alpha for the next year. However, Revvik still pushes vessels to their limits and has gained an appreciation for how far outside of specifications they can be driven.
This Aspect and Revvik’s Trouble are both combination troubles/aspects. Both can compel Revvik to do certain actions as well as being invoked by him to help him on certain rolls.

Aspect: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations – In 2400, Revvik gathered an eclectic group of freshmen to perform an Academy tradition in outstanding fashion. Full details can be found at The 2400 Smithsonian Theft. It was the first of many times throughout his career that Revvik demonstrated the ability to find the gifts of those with different skills and backgrounds and use them effectively.

Aspect: “Here’s What Happened, Sir…” – Revvik has a history of getting into hot water with his superiors. There’s no clearer example of this than the away mission to Delta Rana IV as delta shift leader on board the USS Taiwan. There, the six members of the away party were immediately ambushed and cut off from the ship. While there are varying accounts of the subsequent events, it was lieutenant Revvik’s initial debrief of Captain Tavel that diffused concerns over the team’s actions and earned them only a slight rebuke.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

17 to 01: The Naked Time

In which everyone is bad at their jobs. They're just so bad at them.

Contains explicit language and explicit discussion of sex.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Battletech Heaps: The Big Red Die

Whether it's for nostalgia or novelty, Wednesdays are the days that I put up old Battletech house rules I created nigh on 10 years ago. For those of you who aren't familiar with the (in)famous, addictive board game of armored combat, I'll add some context, but know that you should abandon all non-courier fonts, ye who enter here.

The Big Red Die
In Battletech, most weapons just deal a big heap of damage all at once. A class 10 Autocannon (AC/10) will deal, yeah, 10 damage all in once place. That's pretty good. Other weapons, like missiles hit in clusters. 5 is the most common, but there are weapons that deal clusters of 2 or 1.

Example: You're shooting a class 20 Long Range Missile Rack (LRM 20). You roll 2d6 to see if you hit. Then you roll 2D6 and consult a Cluster Hits Table to see how many of your 20 missiles hit. You roll a '7', an average roll, and 12 of your missiles hit.

Cluster Hits Table

   2  3  4  5  6  9 10 12 15 20
2  1  1  1  1  2  3  3  4  5  6
3  1  1  2  2  2  3  3  4  5  6
4  1  1  2  2  3  4  4  5  6  9
5  1  2  2  3  3  5  6  8  9 12
6  1  2  2  3  4  5  6  8  9 12
7  1  2  3  3  4  5  6  8  9 12
8  2  2  3  3  4  5  6  8  9 12
9  2  2  3  4  5  7  8 10 12 16
10 2  3  3  4  5  7  8 10 12 16
11 2  3  4  5  6  9 10 12 15 20
12 2  3  4  5  6  9 10 12 15 20
Numbers courtesy of Sarna's "CBT Tables" page.
Sarna.net is a great resource.

You then roll 2d6 for hit location 3 times, twice for clusters of 5 damage and then once more for a cluster of 2 damage (5 + 5 + 2 = 12).

That's tedious. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Remembering Sphinx's Revelation

So Sphinx's Revelation was a top-notch card in Magic's standard scene for a while. I mean, it's a mythic rare so that should be obvious, but it also let you gain life and draw cards just...whenever.

It rotated out about six months ago, but I just found this touching video, which could honestly apply to any of the cards lost during Magic block rotations.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Star Trek: Season 1 Wrap Up

The Nap of Fate that took me Sunday afternoon marks the end of season one of Star Trek: Taiwan.

I do intend to do a write up or podcast for each of the episodes we did and get into depth on the player characters and non-player characters of the game.

It's been enjoyable for me, but I know that that isn't universal. Long ago, we articulated a few paradigms of our gaming group:

1) If the storyteller doesn't push it, it doesn't get played. We've called off campaigns that everyone liked because the person running it wasn't sure that it was going well.
2) If players don't like a game, its priority drops below other priorities in their lives. They get too busy to play.
3)  Games that run over a longer period of time tend to pick up steam. Familiarity in a game makes it more appealing. Long life leads to long life.

Logically, this means that I am not going to stop Star Trek. You are going to have to tell me to climb off of its corpse and gently whisper to me, "It's dead, Kris" before I call a time of death and run something different*.

That also means that I need to really try to make things better. At the very least I need to ease off of the metaplot. I'd like to get some "feature" episodes together that don't just have a main character, but which feature that character.

But I can't fix what I don't know about. I would like some feedback. Anonymous comments should be enabled below this post. If you would like to play Star Trek some more, but haven't for some reason, let me know what I can fix. What you'd like to look forward to whenever you play. Anything. The only things I really ask is that you mention fixes--however general--for the problems the campaign is having.

*Do not do that now  because I am in a mood to try Battletech again and none of us want that.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Old Axes: I found this while going through my old Battletech stuff

Catalyst Game Labs Projected 1st Quarter 2010 Lineup
BattleTech 25th Anniversary Introductory Box Set [Actual street date: February 2012]
A Time of War: The BattleTech RPG [2010]
Technical Readout: 3060 [2009?]
HexPack: Lakes and Rivers [2010]
Record Sheets: 3060 [2010]
Record Sheets: 3075 [2009]
Historicals: Operation Klondike [2010]
First Strike: BattleCorps Anthology Vol 2 [2010]
Warrior Trilogy: Anniversary Omnibus, Author's Definitive Edition [???]
A Bonfire of Worlds [e-pub 2009 / hardcopy ???]

When this list first came down, I made a joke about how 2011 was going to be a big year for Battletech. In fact, I expected this post to be a bit petty concerning missed deadlines, but credit where credit is due, most of this stuff hit on target or before that.

One exception was the physical novels, but Battletech has had so many publishing issues that I'm shocked they even promised those. The other was a massive 25th Anniversary Boxed Set which is an unequivocal fail, but a minor one considering the reliability for every other product on this list.

I'm just saying that I hate Battletech as much as I love it, but really, for what it's worth...

good job Catalyst Game Labs. BZ.