Friday, February 27, 2015

It Would Be Impossible to Explain without a Common Frame of Reference

So Leonard Nimoy just died.

I'd heard that he was taken into the hospital a few days ago. At 83, I imagine that's always pretty serious, but I didn't want to really talk about it. If I lived to be 83 and famous, I wouldn't want people whispering about my trips to the hospital, with my death hanging unspoken above the conversation like a crash at a NASCAR race.

io9 has the best obituary. They have the right blend of biography, relevance, and flattering quotes to make the entire affair as calming and respectable as a funeral. That's the point, after all.

Superficially, I liked Spock because I identified with him. For the same reasons I liked Data and Odo. They were clearly outsiders with a narrow emotional range. Eventually, I came to appreciate the differences between Spock's suppressed emotions and real personality, Data's unique, but very real emotional range, and Odo's hard-shell exterior that should never let him be mistaken for someone who doesn't feel. Good actors slice those thin hairs.

Playing Skyrim with Terry

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Been a little sick and a little busy lately

Sorry for the lack of updates. If I do get ahead of things in the next few days, I'll be getting audio processed first, then working typing up new blogs.

That's the plan anyway.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Hits of 2012

2012 is my favorite year of these. If MCR is never going to be on one of these lists, this is what I'll settle for.

Fun is here with two songs (one of which can make me cry), Starships, Set Fire to the Rain, Titanium, Blow Me One Last Kiss. There are some fine songs on the 2013 & 2014 list, but this one is just solid*.

*Not literally solid. Thanks, Beiber. Getting punched by Michael Madsen helps, but not as much as it could have.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Drinky Skyrim, Part 3

My drunken adventures in the land of Skyrim continue and conclude this week.

For now.

If the HTML5 embedding doesn't work, you can (hopefully) get it here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

17 to 01: The Man Trap

We talk about Kirk's respect for women, Starfleet as a military/academic organization, and the many hobbies of Starfleet officers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Hits of 2013

So I mentioned earlier that I made playlists from previous years.

Now, remembering that I remove plenty of egregious stuff ("Blow"? Seriously? Why don't you try to Grow the fuck up? See what I did there?) I think these lists are an informative survey of music from that year. I hope you enjoy it.

2013 had some pretty good hits. I never even heard "Dope" before I put this list together, but I'm glad I have.

Monday, February 16, 2015

FATE Inspired by Battletech, Part 3

FATE Points & Stunts
So whereas characters have 3 stunts and 3 refresh points they can spend on more stunts, 'mechs have Equipment Points they either spend on 'mech stunts or allocate to specific types of Equipment Points.

Regular FATE points can be spent to invoke 'mech aspects and pay for 'mech stunts. Equipment Points can be spent to do so as well. Some 'mech stunts mention which type of Equipment Points they require (any FATE points will do).  In general though, each type of equipment point can only be used for stunts and aspects related to two skills.

Equipment Points
Structure Points (Simple): Myomer muscles strain, metallic bones fracture, and engine components blister and fry under massive outpourings of energy and radiation. Structure points aren't a certain number of a thing, but how Tonka-fucking-tough this 'mech is and how far past the quoted specs you can push it before it breaks. Structure points can be used for stunts and aspect invocations related to Maneuver and Ruggedness skills.

Ammo Points (Simple): Bullets, drones, and even reserve coolant pods fall under the category of ammunition. Anything that a 'mech stacks up on that it'll use up in the field will work. It's assumed most 'mechs with ammunition-based weapons use those weapons frequently. Ammunition points represent massive outpourings of ammunition or the use of very limited quantities of specialized ammunition. Ammunition points can be used for stunts and aspects related to Electronics and Accuracy.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Drinky Skryim, Part 2

My drunken escapades through Skyrim continue, but I'm sobering up and it's starting to show a bit.

If you can't hear it for some reason, you can download the audio here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

17 to 01: The Corbomite Maneuver

Derek and I don't talk much about "The Corbomite Maneuver," but we do talk about the rules of Star Trek and Kirk's man-meat.

If the HTML5 embedding doesn't work, you can (hopefully) get it here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Country Music 2014

So last week I put up an selection of top hits of 2014.

It's true that the playlist was a narrow selection of the music released on 2014.

In an effort to address that imbalance, I'd like to tender six, or rather one, of country music's top hits from last year.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Houma Movie Club: Phase 12

So Houma Movie Club rolls on. I'm probably going to start recording the audio again and hosting them on the big boy site. The last run was good. Frank and Robot was a solid drama that effectively used supporting characters and robots. Mercenaries was my pick for our best movie. Maniac, Rubber, and Mr. Nobody were all great movies with serious flaws/unappealing elements. None the less, I feel like this might be the best phase since Phase 4.

Anway, Richard has dropped out and Josh and Katie have had obligations lately, so our pickin's for Phase 12 are slim, but of high quality.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Drinky Skyrim 001

Playing Skyrim for the first time and drinking. Definitely has explicit language.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

17 to 01: Where No Man Has Gone Before

My friend Derek and I talk about the second pilot of Star Trek, "Where No Man Has Gone Before." It breaks a lot of new ground in terms of racial and gender representation. Also, Sulu is the head of the ever-important Math Division.

Also, I'm just now realizing that the last episode of Enterprise was called "These Are the Voyages," making the last title of the last series the beginning of Kirk's spiel and the first proper title of the first series the last words of said spiel.

It's a nice bookend from a period in time when Star Trek had become something of a cultural and ouroboros.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

FATE Inspired by Battletech, Part 2

On Monday I covered a FATE system inspired by Battletech. 

Still doin' that.

So right before Skills, Aspects are the most important part of FATE. Like characters, 'mechs have aspects. They have two by default--a high concept and trouble--and more, depending on their tech level.

High Concept - Of course High Concept. "Trash can with an autocannon," "Gauss Rifles with a 'mech attached," or "definitive zombie 'mech," are all good examples. What did the engineers think when they went to the drawing board on this one? What were the generals who ordered it hoping for? What reputation does it have amongst enemies or allies? How does it serve on the battlefield? The answers to all of these questions can make a good high concept for a 10m tall humanoid war machine.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Top Hits of 2014

Every year since 2013, I've assembled a YouTube playlist of the top hits of the previous year. I usually don't share it (for some reason?).

That's not true anymore. Enjoy what the young folks are into these days or at least criticize it knowingly.

Monday, February 02, 2015

FATE Inspired by Battletech, Part 1

So there was a 75% off sale at the local game store. Some of those books were Battletech books. Specifically the closure-inducing "Jihad Hotspots: Terra."

So like a...let's say an "addict" who has what we'll call a "relapse," it got me thinking a lot about Battletech. Now, Battletech is a roleplaying game with an overgrown chapter for combat, which naturally make me think of FATE, a system for telling stories that barely has any combat.

That sounded better in my head.

I wouldn't make a complete transfer of Battletech; none of my friends know or care very much about the setting and Battletech has its own elements that only fit within it (jump jets? what?).

The conceptual heart of FATE are aspects, but the systemic core are the skills. How does a 'mech attack? How does it take a hit? How do you represent electronics skills?