Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Dream/Magic tier

The Data/Magic tier


The Data/Magic tier is a subspacial dynamic quasiplane sandwiched between the DataBranes and the MagicBranes which permeates the warped eight dimensional model of Narcosian spacetime according to the rules of Hoffman MechanicsWhile it's true purpose or reason is unknown to most scholars it's primary common use has been to serve as information storage/retrieval, personal connectivity and FtE (Faster than Ether) communications. This D/Mt layer is only accessible in the presence of intelligent beings, and some argue that this tier is in fact created by the the introduction of higher order thought into non localized fields. 

Prior to the advent of D/Mt-Ego Translator Symbiotes D/Mt interactivity was only known to a few Narcomages in the Mosaic Data Mesh Area. In the modern day however these implants are so ubiquitous that not having one is unusual. Those that do not have an implant will sometimes carry Personal Computational Playback unit which will allow the user to access information and communications from the D/Mt sphere.

Primary Uses:

Personal, Public and Private Area Networks.

InterPlanetary, InterStellar, and InterGalactic Communications

Brane Hacking (Dimensional Travel) and FtE Navigation

EgoStimulant, NarcoTheorem and Branedance Programming

Ego Hacking and NarcoPuppetry

PharmEcology of the DataSphere

Aurincola (+Ryan Good)
It is suspected that the Aurincola dream nettles are in fact low frequency high bandwidth D/Mt packets which are unique to each specimen.

Hallucinatory Intelligence (H.I.)
The H.I. are a mystery, sometimes empathic and sometimes terrifying. No one has sufficiently studied them to ascertain their origin, but the prevailing theories state they are either organic byproducts of D/Mt manipulation, EgoStates of those lost in D/Mt space or Simply Extradimensional Beings. A few fringe thinkers believe that all of these are true. Whatever they are, H.I. will only be found in D/Mt space.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Your Metal is Weak

I see a lot of folks bringing up metal for their atmospheric choices when discussing horror or evil in their games. For that purpose metal just doesn't work for me. Not to say, of course, that metal is bad or that I don't like it but for the purposes of feeling the horror I just don't get into it.

The garish corpsepaint, the screams of the guitars and the caveman grunting lyrics about vomiting baby parts doesn't frighten me or cause me any sense of unease. If anything it makes me laugh, black comedy intended to offset the terror. It might work for a splatterpunk movie or something Eli Roth would produce, but not if you really want to unsettle people. 

I know peoples tastes are subjective, but in my case this is so much more immersive and when people hear it they react to it. I like to play this kind of stuff at work so I can judge the reactions of my customers. When I play metal they ignore it completely.

I saved the best for last, but then, I am biased.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wm Blake's Proverbs of Hell

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. 
Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead. 
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. 
Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. 
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence. 
The cut worm forgives the plow. 
Dip him in the river who loves water. 
A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. 
He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. 
Eternity is in love with the productions of time. 
The busy bee has no time for sorrow. 
The hours of folly are measur’d by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure. 
All wholsom food is caught without a net or a trap. 
Bring out number weight & measure in a year of dearth. 
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings. 
A dead body, revenges not injuries. 
The most sublime act is to set another before you. 
If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise. 
Folly is the cloke of knavery. Shame is Prides cloke. 
Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion. 
The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The nakedness of woman is the work of God. 
Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps. 
The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man. 
The fox condemns the trap, not himself. 
Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth. 
Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep. 
The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship. 
The selfish smiling fool, & the sullen frowning fool, shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod. 
What is now proved was once, only imagin’d. 
The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit: watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits. 
The cistern contains; the fountain overflows. 
One thought, fills immensity. 
Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you. 
Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth. 
The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow. 
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion. 
Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. 
He who has suffer’d you to impose on him knows you. 
As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers. 
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction. 
Expect poison from the standing water. 
You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough. 
Listen to the fools reproach! it is a kingly title! 
The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth. 
The weak in courage is strong in cunning. 
The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey. 
The thankful reciever bears a plentiful harvest. 
If others had not been foolish, we should be so. 
The soul of sweet delight, can never be defil’d. 
When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius, lift up thy head! 
As the catterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys. 
To create a little flower is the labour of ages. 
Damn, braces: Bless relaxes. 
The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest. 
Prayers plow not! Praises reap not! Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not! 
The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands & feet Proportion. 
As the air to a bird of the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible. 
The crow wish’d every thing was black, the owl, that every thing was white. 
Exuberance is Beauty. 
If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning. 
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement are roads of Genius. 
Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires. 
Where man is not nature is barren. 
Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ’d. 
Enough! or Too much!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

RPGaDay 31 "Favorite game"

Jesus, what a question. Asking me what my favorite game is like trying to get an answer when you ask what my favorite album is. I can't say all of them because there are a lot of games that suck...

Just like there is a lot of music that sucks

So that being said I do have my favorites and I will list them by genre. 

For the "Hard" Sci Fi category I elect Eclipse Phase. I'm really digging Eclipse Phase. A Lot. It's definitely one of my faves. 

When I think of Horror I think of this obviously...

Fantasy? Dungeon World hands down.

Supers? Man I loved this game, wish I still had a hardcopy.

Generic System? With a Hat Tip to Fudge...

This list could go on and on. If I had to pick one game that has shaped who I am today though, I'd be remiss if I didn't say Cyberpunk 2020.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

RPGaDay 30 "Most Rare Game"

I hadn't been in Austin all that long, moving here in '99. My soon to be wife and I took a trip to the mall, can't remember why but we needed to get something from there. Clothes I assume, but my memory sucks.

Tucked away in a corner of the mall was a little gaming shop I didn't know was there, this was my first time in after all, wish i could remember the name of it. I made a quick in to take a look around didn't see anything I was overly interested in and left. We did our shopping and went to leave, passing by the shop again.

I glanced in again to see the game stores sole worker putting a game on the shelf that I had only heard about from online conversations. It was spoken of as a rarity that only went out to a few shops.

I walked in with my girl in tow and picked it up, walked a bit while looking at it. What I'm about to say may be regarded as heresy among my friends but I never really got into Dune as a series of books. The movie rocked my world though and I wanted to emulate that.

I put it down eventually because I was broke and didn't have the money to spend on it. I ended up with it though because my girlfriend was awesome and she saw how much I wanted it. Sometimes I consider selling it because I know I can make a bit of cash off it, but really? I keep it around because I love my wife and she bought this for me.

Not sure of the rarity of this item, but I only know less than a handful of people with it, but I have this.

One of those "Totally unplayable" games like Human Occupied Landfill.

and of course my Kult 2nd edition rulebook is a hard find too...

So is an unbroken copy of SLA Industries 1st edition.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

RPGaDay 29 "Most Memorable Encounter"

This fucking guy,  right here. 

We all know what this bastard is right? Old smoke and flame himself. A goddamned Balrog. Not sure what our GM was thinking, a bunch of mid level MERP characters traipsing through some anonymous dwarven ruin for some reason. Mind you we had to skip a bunch of BS so we could get in a good lunch hour session during school. 

So through this ruin we wandered, every day at lunch, killing off whatever random shit was thrown our way. A few orcs here, a goblin there. Giant Spiders gave us a bit of trouble but we overcame no worse off than we'd started. GM took it easy on us at first, but as the lunch hours ticked away and we'd suffered very little at the hands of his planned encounters he'd started to get angry. Not a good trait for a GM, but we knew how he was...

Anyway, so after one his clever plots fell to shit at our deft heroics (With the help of some terrible dice rolling on his part), he'd muttered out loud "Goddamnit". He paused for a moment as if considering the outcome of his future outburst. "THAT IS BULLSHIT" He wailed as the experimental d100 went flying against the wall of the classroom we used, shattering into pieces.

Breaking his proud little die made him angrier, our muffled laughter didn't help either.

We started looting our latest conquest when suddenly Scott (The GM) says to us "You smell smoke and fire coming from around a bend in the hallway and can see flickering shadows against the wall." We all looked at each other and decided to look for some cover, but only after we finished looting the bodies.

The illusion that this was just a number of Orcs carrying torches was quickly dispelled when we started to feel the heat from ahead, still around the corner, whatever it was made the floor shake.

Adventurer or not, I looked for an exit, back the way we came. The same hallway as our demonic looking enemy was in. We were a bit dismayed when it came into the room. We were on the far side when he started describing the creature, almost verbatim from the book. Didn't take us long to figure out that he'd tossed a Balrog in here, just to kill us.  

We'd planned on making a run for it, Davids character shot an arrow at it, doing absolutely nothing except drawing its ire. 

As it attacked Davids character in a brutal fashion I took the opportunity to bolt the fuck out. The others didn't hesitate to follow. 

The puddle of gore that was once an Elf didn't keep it distracted for long, it began to catch up to us as we made for escape. A Dwarf with an axe and a Dunedain with a sword was all that was between me and that frightfully scary thing.

I had a longsword and a crossbow, the dwarf fell soon after and my other party member and I knew we were doomed so we stood to face the beast. As a joke I leveled my crossbow at the thing, rolled my dice and let loose a bolt at it.

"Critical hit!!" Scott just shook his head, no way were we getting out of this with one little crit.

Rolling the dice to consulting the puncture chart I roll another 100! the chart returns with:

"Strike Through Eye. Dies Instantly. A Real Eye Full" My fellow players roared with delight as I'd single handedly killed off the big bad with one shot. Scott vowed never to run this stupid game again and as far as I know, he never did. He'd argue, years later, that it wasn't a legal kill because the bolt would have turned to ash before it hit. I told him he held on to things too long.

Looking back on it, I'm sure that if we'd followed the rules to the letter, that kill wouldn't have occurred, but man was it awesome.

RPGaDay 28 "Scariest Game"

I bet you were expecting yet another picture of Kult sitting here didn't you?

Nope, not this time. I've never gotten a chance to actually play Kult, so instead I will say it was a mashed up World Of Darkness campaign my friend John was running at one time. (Who, coincidentally also ran the craziest fucking game of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - After the Bomb)

Good Times.

This particular episode I wasn't playing a vampire (because vampires are lame) or any of the "normal monsters" in the WoD line up. I was playing a character named Alex Darkhorse Human Sorcerer.

I can't say I was scared so much as mentally disturbed by Johns description of the antagonist I was (powerlessly) facing. In this story it was a WoDized version of Baphomet who was draped in the skins of unborn children. We never got a chance to finish that game, I can't imagine things ended well for Alex, but it's one I will never forget. John is a consummate Storyteller

Thanks Buddy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

RPGaDay 27 "New Edition"

Good ol' Bobby Brown... whatever happened to that guy? A lot of fucked upness in that guys life. I never really listened to New Edition personally, my hair style wouldn't allow it...

Wait, what?

Oh, New Game Edition? okay okay..

I have totally given up on the game I really want to see a new edition of, and most anyone who knows me will know what game it is.

Duh, right?

Since that isn't going to happen with my lifetime, however, I will have to rely on Dave Allsop to complete his Magnum Opus edition of...

Baring that, I hear Mike Pondsmith is "Brainstorming" an updated Cyberpunk for us CPGeeks, V3 didn't go off too well because edition wars... I liked it enough, even if the art was... yeah.

Please Mike, I'm begging you, make this happen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RPGaDay 26 "Coolest Character Sheet"

Besides this one?

Seriously, this shit is the bomb.

Okay Seriously?

Yeah, it is. It's simple and effective and gives you what you need right up front. No BS.

Cause this kinda shit scares the crap out of me..

Monday, August 25, 2014

RPGaDay 25 "Game no one wants to play"

My current group is fairly new to me (And for some, new to gaming as well) so I can't really say what they do and don't want to play. I'm pretty sure that out of all of us though I have the largest collection of games and they have only seen a few of those as options.

So with all that in mind I'm going to list some games that haven't gotten a fair share of play, yet.

At the top of the list is Brad Murray's Hollowpoint

I'm currently using Brads "Diaspora" FATE rules to accentuate my ongoing FATE based Eclipse Phase/Cyberpunk game and after reading Hollowpoint I think it'd be a great ride.

On a similar note:

I'd like to play this someday, but honestly the system is terrible, so I'll stick to the aforementioned Hollowpoint.

Jason Blair's Wyrd Is Bond

One of those games that has sadly sat on my shelf for years. I even did a small hack for it at one point where I replaced the "Gang Culture" mages into "Industrial Culture" mages. Genesis P Orridge and Ogre as your spiritual masters anyone?

I'd like a chance to play 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars, especially for quick one shots

A little less indie but still fun looking would be Cosmic Patrol from Catalyst games.

Burning Empires (Burning Wheel)

Mouse Guard (Also Burning Wheel)

Last but not least is Magpie Games and Our Last Best Hope

Sunday, August 24, 2014

RPGaDay 24 "Most Complex System"

I saw many entries that confused with the most Intellectual Game entry from Day 07. I did not make this mistake. (I cheated and read ahead). I've already read a few doozies tonight already, Twilight 2000, Hero, even Synnibarr and RoleMaster.

I don't own any of those. I have my own nightmares to contend with, thank you.

A lot of people are giving SLA Industries crap for being complex I hear. Combat can be a pain in the ass, but I wouldn't call it the most complex game. The Ebb, yeah I agree it needs a revised ruleset to clear all that up.

Pretty much any game with rules for hacking and netrunning, lets not discuss adding drones and rigging and magic and shit.. god...

Even as easy as I found the core system inside Cyberpunk 2020, the netrunning was a real pain, especially in realtime.

I think the win, however, goes to also one of my favorite games of all time. This game gives you the detailed SF setting on top of  a load of realistic data, STL space travel that takes days and months and a Ti Graphing Calculator to figure out timeframes.

Don't even get me started on keeping track of characters that may exist in multiple morphologies, including an information based simulation which can be backed up and stored in manifold states of experience with possible probable forks or copies which may or may not be willing to reintegrate with the core persona. 


Oh I forgot, it's a fairly simple matter to just jump from one body to another any time you encounter a better suited or more expensive morph. (That doesn't mean you have to leave the body you're in either)

I can handle the core system, it's fairly simple, but character management can be a nightmare of paperwork.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

That Old Worn Out Bitch

Mother Earth

I had once called Eclipse Phase the logical successor to the Cyberpunk legacy but the more I think on it, the more I realize I was wrong.

The Planet Earth as presented  in Eclipse Phase is a discarded wreck, The Fall left our home world in ruins. Other than a handful of survivors clinging to this rock there is no civilization to speak of. In the core setting our cities have been left in smoldering heaps of cement, glass and steel. The streets are guarded by aggressive self replicating nano swarms ready to disassemble you in the blink of an eye and autonomous drones ready to gun anyone down who dares cross the road to get a can of beans. In addition to that there is a huge network of killsats in orbit ready to pick apart anything that tries to make a break for it... going up or down.

The Fall got rid of everyone for the most part, if the people didn't evacuate Earth then they had their egos forcibly uploaded by the rogue TITAN seed AIs right before they zipped out of the solar system.

Even while being a Post Apocalyptic Survival Horror SF setting, it really doesn't seem threatening to me, under it all is a pervasive sense of things that are not Cyberpunk.

Underneath all the terrible things that occurred to humanity during the Fall there is a foundation made of Hope. Transhumanity was nearly wiped out by rogue Super AIs. The Apocalyptic Danger is over. While it cost the race a planet they overcame it and now thrive everyfuckingwhere else in the system and, thanks to gates, beyond.

Transhumanity is virtually immortal, they can upload and download into multiple configurations, synthetic, organic or a mix of the two. Even death is a minor hiccup thanks to backups and cortical stacks. Transhumans have potentially unfettered access to the best technology at the lowest costs, they are super skilled and ultra capable, sometimes they can read minds.

Humanity had a bad time in the past, but a lot has changed. Some could even argue they are better off now than they were in terrestrial times. Add to all that, they have the means to Escape The Situation.

There is nothing wrong with this though, not if you take Eclipse Phase as it is, the setting is lush with detail and ideas. The Cyberpunk style that I enjoy tells me I should say Fuck that Noise. The Fall and the exodus of man makes it too damn easy to forgive humanity for their trespasses. If I start a new Eclipse Phase campaign I'd be tempted to run it as a Cyberpunk setting rather than a transhumanist one.

Random Album Art

This went around for a little while a few years ago. According to Know Your Meme, is was 2008 and 2009. I thought I'd bring it back, afterall It was actually how I got my name for my musical endeavors. I own it that much.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption"


I have come to tell you that you are free. Many ages ago, My consciousness left man, that he might develop himself. I return to find this development approaching completion, but hindered by fear and by misunderstanding.

You have built for yourselves psychic suits of armor, and clad in them, your vision is restricted, your movements are clumsy and painful, your skin is bruised, and your spirit is broiled in the sun.

I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.


RPGaDay 23 "Coolest Looking Product"

This is a tough one for me as I think, in their own way, almost everything I buy is cool looking. I'm not just talking about the art either, I'm talking about the whole design and package.

The Laundry

The Laundry books are sharp, well laid out, good typography and easy to read with great art and writing. I love the design though, it really captures the setting.

SLA Industries

As a friend said to me, this one is almost arousing.

Kult 2nd Edition 

The Core rulebook is gorgeous and creepy, and I love it, in fact I liked pretty much all the 2nd edition books. The Magic Guides were very well done, in full color. Hard to describe without being able to show off the insides.

Beyond the Boundaries

Heart Mind & Soul

Judas Grail


Friday, August 22, 2014

RPGaDay 22 "Best Secondhand Purchase"

I'll admit, I gave up on gaming.

Sold almost everything except my Kult books, my Cyberpunk 2013/20 books and some limited press stuff I knew I'd regret getting rid of. Sadly I'd also lost a lot in the flurry of interstate moves I had undertook at one period. All for a stupid girl.... that's another story.

I'm going to say right off that none of these are the best because for one reason or another I found a game at Half Price books or on Amazon that I had cherished at some point in my life.

Yeah, whatever.

This is from some of the same guys that did Kult, fantastic Fantasy setting.

Noticed that pattern? yeah I didn't get rid of those on purpose.

I already had a copy of this that I'd held onto since it came out, but at that price I had to buy it. (I only paid half the original price)

Last one I bought was this