/int/ – No shittings during wörktime
„There is no place like home“

Currently at Radio Ernstiwan:

Hail Odin! by Christenklatscher666


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No. 37402 Systemkontra
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We're back since the old one is on systemkontra now.

This thread is for discussing tabletop gaming, though experience shows that it's mostly been tabletop RPG discussion in various forms ranging from play experience, rules discussion and design talk. We currently have a game group ongoing, based out of a discord server here: https://discord.gg/ZGmpJe9 feel free to drop in. We actually play on most Saturdays at 0600 Zulu.

What are you lot up to in this field lately?
No. 37403 Kontra
Oh and as for tomorrow, I presume that the two regulars are still in? It's mostly going to be discussing the next game and getting the housekeeping out of the way, which coincidentally makes it an ideal time to join our group as a new player if you were holding out.
No. 37447
Just a reminder that the Saturday discord session is live. I'm going to start properly at half past (0630Z) to allow people to filter in. If you're interested in joining in at this timeslot on the regular, now's the time to jump in.
No. 37457
Ah shit. I'm sorry, I thought this saturday was off for some reason. Maybe I misunderstood what you said in discord. Feel free to pick any other day of the week for a replacement session.
No. 37458
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It's all good mate. We handled some other shit. We think that for the next game we're gonna run some Knave, try some fantasy to mix it up a bit.

It's a really simple system designed to be playable by literal children, so don't fret about the new ruleset.

We can set you up in a flash next time. We'll probably talk some more tomorrow. If we do end up having a chat, I'll make another post here so that if you're around you can drop in. If not, we'll just do it next week.
No. 37462
Alright, I just had a quick read about Knave and it sounds rad.
I'm on board and I'll try to be there tomorrow. Any time planned for the
No. 37464
Nah, no time planned. It's more of an informal thing where we'll just start talking at some point than a meeting that we've set up.
No. 37494
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So I got the updated Dark Stars pdf today from the kickstarter I backed. This is essentially Bodycount's big brother. Same setting, but considerably more rules heavy. Don't know when the hard copies of the books will start coming through yet.

First up, the book has been cleaned up a bit. Most of the editing errors in the first run are gone, which is a big relief and some things have been reworded to be a little clearer. This is excellent since the first rulebook was sometimes bordering on guesswork. The cover to me is a slight downgrade. It's 99% the same, but the text block at the bottom wasn't there before and the cleaner cover looked nicer. Minor gripes but I'll say it anyway. Inside, they cleaned up the contents, this was a big one where some editing errors existed previously.

The introduction to the setting is expanded somewhat, but I still think that it's a little forced at times because it tries to fit everything about the setting into the two pages instead of just the big pieces. The background generator remains there, and is actually very good for generating space cyberpunk characters. It's very powerful but it's something that I wouldn't want to use at the table since it generates a bit too much backstory for my liking. It's easy to strip down though and at that point it's a lot better.

The character creation is reworded to make more sense, since the class system is a bit odd compared to many other rule sets. It's again a bit complex, but makes up for it with power. The way the game works means that an AI player character works very differently to a human one despite using the same rules. They are not just small, cosmetic differences like you see a lot of the time.

The core d100 mechanic remains simple and explained on two pages, this is great. I like it a lot. It can be a bit fiddly if your players aren't bothering to pull their weight and remember how to use their character sheets (from experience there) but with people who are actually trying I don't forsee any issues. Combat is interesting. Initiative is rolled by dice pool based on an initiative attribute, and then the totals are noted, with characters able to act every 5 sections of time. It adds a big advantage to seizing the initiative which feels quite elegant. You also have hit location which can cripple or kill depending on where you're hit, which may make getting cybernetics not only a nice thing, but a priority to restore full functionality, and it might not be cheap, necessitating risky corporate raids or whatever. Again, an elegant mechanic that reinforces the themes effectively. Vehicles are similar with a few tweaks.

Hacking is something I'm not feeling. It's better than it used to be but it's still convoluted and falls into the trap that a lot of games do where a hacker just ends up playing a different game on their turns, and doubles the workload. If I had someone wanting to be a hacker, I'd be making them do far more of their own rules work than the others because it really is something of a subgame. The big advantage though that they've done well is that all forms of combat take place in the one game area, and while it creates complexity, it's also the mechanic that allows for the very interesting gameplay of AI characters who function as software rather than as characters in the usual sense.

There's a small but robust system for mental ailments if you're wanting to do horror games, or if your PCs find themselves in a warzone in horrific conditions, it is also capable of breaking them. A nice touch. The rest is equipment and setting information which has been expanded and cleared up a bit, nothing super notable if you haven't used the old book.

Overall it's a solid update that adds a lot more clarity to the rules that were previously worded less than ideally. I'm looking forward to my print copy and the expansions. I'm going to go somewhere between 3.5 and 4/5. There's a lot to like but the bits that drag it down a bit like hacking are both pretty weighty and also tied pretty tightly to what makes it good, so are hard to modify.
No. 37497
Alright, we sat down and created my character. Lots of fun, really. I'm going to play a deceitful yet serene beggar with flowery speech and luxurious hair in rancid clothes. The athletic body might be a bit in contrast to my poor strength and dexterity, though :-DDD
No. 37739
Alright lads, posting this as a reminder that tomorrow, Saturday the 8th is game time, starting at 0600Z. If something comes up and you can't make it, it's no stress. Shit happens.
No. 37755
It's going to be very difficult for me to make it at 600Z, I'll try to be there around 700Z but no promises. Sorry guys.
No. 37765
All good my man. It's a non-issue.
No. 37995
Thought I'd get in early this time and see if Saturday 0600Z is happening this week or if we're looking at doing it another day.
No. 38007
I plan to be there.
No. 38010
No. 38255
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No. 38284
Sorry guys but I won't be there tomorrow. I've got an exam next week and am
already lagging behind, so the next 5 days will be nothing but studying for me.
I could go on another adventure on friday earliest.
No. 38286
All good. Brick has got something happening too. I was thinking of postponing it anyway.
No. 38513
Just a heads up that I won't be able to make it tomorrow. If you guys were wanting to play this week, I can do sunday however.
No. 38519
Sunday is a better match than saturday for me as well. I'll be there.
No. 38524
Sounds good. I may be slightly hungover but I'll be in a fit enough state to run the game.
No. 38605
Are we "go" for today (in about 1 hour)?
No. 38607
Oh. Yeah. Was just having a nap before we started. Can push back to 0700Z if it works better.
No. 38608
Regular time is best for me, I'll be there in 20 minutes.
No. 38644
I got a surprise coming up tomorrow for those who enjoy product reviews. It'll be an expansion of this review here >>37494

Today I got the first lot of Dark Stars physical product from the kickstarter. That is the initial run of the Core Rules (I opted in to get the spare copy as a beater for lending to players or whatever, even though it was rejected for build quality reasons). They also sent out the hardcover version of Off the Rack, essentially a book of goodies to buy. Big ticket items like vehicles and starships, combat drones and extravagant medical insurance plans or bioengineered gadgets etc. This one is to my knowledge the final build of that book.

What'll be interesting here is that I have got both currently existing print versions of those products. There's a third of the core book which is the full-quality final production run but it's not been sent out yet. Finally, there was an extra surprise in there. So Morgan Lean, the guy behind this game did do a fantasy game called Legend Quest. Generic as hell name that says nothing, but flipping through it, I am quite pleasantly surprised. I'll go into more detail in the full post but let's just say that it is pretty usable which is actually a bigger compliment than you might think in the indie RPG world.
No. 38694
Please, do go on. I admit I'm not good at actively partaking in discussions lately, but my interest for reading posts like yours is still there and I would like to read your review here.

Btw, something I've wanted to ask before: Have you seen Dan Harmons live roleplaying show? HarmonQuest it is called and I can say that at the time I honestly enjoyed watching these people create their shared adventure.
No. 38696
First bit is written up but it's short. Nothing special. Just recharging my phone for some comparison photos.

Then I'll make a post about Legend Quest because it's one of those moments where you open a book and get wowed by the thought that went into the product design.
No. 38697
Also no. I don't really watch actual plays. One reason is that I find RPGs a lot more fun to actually work with than they are to watch but also I like to just stick a podcast on in the background.

It isn't a gameplay podcast, but something that might interest you if you like reading me ramble about game design is a podcast called Helmets and Halberds by a Swiss guy by the name of Alex Schroeder. He basically just goes section by section through his personal retroclone and breaks down why it is the way it is.
No. 38704
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I dunno how well these will come out because they're off my phone but in both cases, left is new, right is old. The colours look darker in the new one but the colours are also richer and look less flat. Both books here show the stylised approach to art I will refer to later.
No. 38705
So first up I'll look at the two Dark Stars books. As I said, to my knowledge, Off the Rack is the final product and the Core Rules are the rejected version.

First up the Core Rules. I've already addressed the rules in the first review I did of the pdf so I won't reiterate that here. In comparison to the old print on demand version there are advantages and disadvantages. I'll start negative and finish positively. The new book is stitched instead of glued like the POD version. This makes it easier to read, and more importantly use at the table because it sits flat where the glued binding does not. However the stitched binding doesn't feel particularly durable, the cover seeming like it's barely holding on to the pages. I'm sure it's tougher than it seems but it's fairly easy to see why this production run was rejected here. Furthermore the pages have a bit of bleedthrough where they've been folded a bit off. For a beater table copy to pass around to players and lend out, it's fine.

On the positive side, as I said, the book sits flat, which makes usability better. The colours are also more vibrant which makes it more pleasant to look at, and the paper inside is a nice thick glossy paper and not the (nice not not great) paper that the POD version uses.

The Off the Rack hardcover is similar-ish save for finish. Off the Rack was a POD softcover that had some editing issues. A couple of repeated passages and shit like that. The new version seems to have eliminated it, and added some new vehicles and art to boot. Furthermore, it's now a stitch bound hardcover. The cover seems tightly fixed to the pages and thus the book feels very solidly built. Like the core rules, the art is much more vibrant than it was previously, though like Dark Stars in general, it does suffer from being an indie RPG, where consistency of art is not always there. I'd have loved for all of the art to be in the very stylised manner like on the cover, and exists in a lot of the art but it isn't all like that probably due to budget constraints. It's understandable and I give it a pass because of the small studio creating it.

In terms of content for Off the Rack, it's weighted towards the higher end stuff that's either restricted by virtue of being heavy military equipment like tanks, or in terms of it being more of a boutique item than you would typically associate with a Cyberpunk setting's bread and butter mean streets. It also has more detail on ships both commercial and military as well as more mundane things like Medical Insurance that can be used as an elegant way of enforcing genre conventions. Since Dark Stars makes it quite easy to lose limbs to heavy damage, making replacements obscenely expensive makes engaging with the corporations in a grey manner, being a consumer but also actively hostile to them an interesting gameplay choice. There are also different levels where if you are rich enough, they might even refrain from throwing you out of the clinic before your injury is healed, and you get a certain amount of freebie genetic modifications per year. It's not a thick book, but it certainly does add a lot of flavour to the glitzy side of Cyberpunk for this setting.

Mostly just a little look at the physical products here rather than anything about mechanics but if the quality of Off the Rack is indicative of what's to come, then I'm impressed. Next time I'll post about the third book that came.
No. 38709 Kontra
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Oh yeah, and this got posted on their facebook. Looking noice. There's also a big adventure book at a similar level of development, but no cover yet. Also a Corporations book in the works but I dunno when that'll get done. The campaign is a little confusing because I don't know if the adventure book is considered an expansion or if Off the Rack wasn't considered because it was already completed. I backed it for the Base Game Hardcover, and I quote, 'All three hardcover expansion books'. Thing is that including Off the Rack makes four expansions. If it turns out I can only get one of either Colonisation and Corporations, I'll probably pick up the other at extra cost. It's not a perfect system but it's fun and perhaps more importantly, made in straya.
No. 38726
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Review to follow. Again, phone photos are all I got.
No. 38727
Alright, Legend Quest. It's by the same people who created Dark Stars and Bodycount and you can see the influences. There are some similar design choices in particular with Bodycount that I like a lot and manage to do similar things without feeling just like a reskin. Overall I'd consider it a pretty good introductory ruleset that suffers from there being better ones out there. It's also a book where a lot of thought went into page layout and text design for usability. On to the review proper.

One of the first things that I really like is that it straight up tells the GM to give only something of a shit about the rules, and explicitly tells them to modify them as they see fit as an almost expectation. While it's common knowledge, it is worded here much more firmly than a lot of games do which is cool to see. They also give a few little details about how they designed the game, and it's intended to be high power high fantasy where they know there are busted combinations and players are encouraged to use them since the mechanic allows enemies to scale indefinitely if required, meaning that while average joes will fall by the dozen to the heroes, the big bads and their lieutenants can still probably put up a good fight.

Mechanics wise it is very similar to Bodycount, but doesn't use generic mooks with a single stat like Bodycount does. The similarities between the systems would make it exceptionally easy to port the mechanic over, but it's not rules as written. Character creation is pretty much identical save for a few tweaks to equipment since it now uses money instead of fiat. There are also some more skills, as well as races and classes. I don't mind this change since it doesn't add too much complexity really. Races and classes are more about generating the starting boosts you get since they simply determine what talent trees you get your starting talents in, so a rogue starts off with more rogue talents but is free to spec elsewhere as they develop.

The game is also designed around a randomly generated hexcrawl which is neat. Even if I never run this game, there are some nice random tables here. Funny thing about the basic setting is that it's fairly generic European style fantasy. It gets the job done and that's all that's really needed. Especially for a game designed for a sandbox since you'll be filling it with your own shit anyway, so the less that's there to work around the easier your life will be. It's a common misconception that kitchen sink fantasy is played purely straight all the time. Most of the time it's there so that you aren't having to do mental gymnastics to do whatever it is you're trying to do with the material.

That's the big thing that sets this game apart for me. Usability is king. They've put a lot of work into making the game easy to use at the table. The pages are clean with nicely spaced text that is larger than most books which makes it considerably easier to quickly find something you need in a hurry. Plus you can glance down at a page and not need to squint past art or whatever. Furthermore, the art has been chosen (since a lot of it is stock art) to look consistent. A little touch but one that adds a lot of classiness to the game and makes it feel less like a garage project. It's also unintrusive which is a big plus too.

A lot of the issues in Bodycount do raise their head again here. It's not a system that does many things well. It does action/thriller movies well. It can be difficult to really (conventionally) threaten a player once they get some progression under their belt, but considering that the game's intent is for extremely powerful characters going forth to become legends, I think that just like in Bodycount it's working as intended to abide by genre tropes. I can respect that and while it's not my game style, it may be someone's.

The build quality is also high. A couple of editing errors aside, the hardcover is solid and not flopping about, and the stitched binding once again adds that little extra bit of usability at the table. I think that's the big thing to take away here. A lot of what gets me excited about this game is that it's beautifully put together as a product. The rules themselves are fine and I do enjoy Bodycount and will probably enjoy this. However, the thing that makes Legend Quest special is how the usability of the book in play seems to have taken far more importance than fancy aesthetics which is something that a lot of people in the industry could learn from, even the big dogs.
No. 38756
Some shit's come up tomorrow and I'll have to run the game on Sunday again if that works for you guys, assuming you feel up to playing this week at all. Sorry about being off two weeks in a row.
No. 38760
>dat British guy ogling the Chinese girl
>colonisation source book
Fucking lol I wonder how fully intentional that was
No. 38762
63 kB, 960 × 537
It probably wasn't intentional, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were. These guys know how to have a laugh at the expense of 'muh realism'. Case in point, this is official artwork from the game.
No. 38763
It won't work for me this week at all, sorry. I won't be home until thursday, I think.
No. 38764
All good my man. I'll just do some other shit. Still ironing out some kinks in an adventure I'm working on so I'll probably do that instead.
No. 40266
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No. 40423
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Alright, so something I've been waiting for has just recently come out. Satana Station, an official splatbook for Machinations of the Space Princess. I picked it up and have run a couple of sessions with it and have a feel for how it plays.

I'll start with the short version. It's evocative and full of fun ideas, but for a product designed around a location there isn't much detail on the meta level (how the place is laid out) and it hurts the playability of the book as written if you are looking for a plug and play product. Long version is a little more complex and will follow now.


So for starters, the context of the game. MotSP styles itself as a mix of vices in space. It's the kind of game where mercs hang out in hooters, and snorting space cocaine off of a three-titted whore isn't going to raise an eyebrow. On the other side you've also got space westerns, plain old space opera and all that too. It's got a lot of Heavy Metal/2000AD DNA in it too. Example here is that the first piece of art in the book proper is a topless waitress.

The first section describes in broad strokes the area you're playing in, the Remilitarised Zone. You get a brief description of Satana Station's metaplot, and maybe a dozen or so planets in the Zone with plot hooks. Following that you get some alien races native to the area (this is not as big a thing as it might sound since the race system in Machinations is pick n mix to begin with). After that, certain elements of Satana Station's location and some of its elements like the AI and how it's constructed are explored in a bit more depth.

After that, you get a bunch of little locations presented as vignettes. They are numbered 1-100 which is something I'll come back to. You also get random encounters and a pile of NPCs, with some ship designs at the end. It's a decent amount of content that comes in at around 150 pages.

The downside is as I said in the short version, that it's not really a location. It's a bunch of ideas for a location but it's not really given to you in an assembled form. Satana Station is described broadly in a certain way but in terms of actual play, there is no layout given, and spatial relationships between all of these things aren't apparent. If you want to run this book, you need to do the work to make it yours. This is further supported by the fact that locations are numbered. I guess you could take a hex map and make a crawl by rolling up several locations from the list (using d100), and then just dropping a party in, or use the ideas that you like to build your own station as you see fit. This is, in spite of the fact that it's designed to be easy to randomise, a strike against it to me because even though what's there is usually pretty good and gives you decent hooks or things to play around with, it's not ready to go out of the book, and typically when you use premade material, it's so that you don't need to do the work yourself and just run something fun and decently made.

Also if the cover and game it's made for don't make it abundantly obvious, if you aren't into something that asks you to get your mind in the gutter, then it's not going to be of any use to you. Even if you do like that kind of thing, you'd have to run it by your players and be comfortable with broaching the subject with them.

Not sure how to rate it. I do like a lot of the content but it's really lacking in the out of the book usability. Maybe a safe 3/5. Decent to pretty good locations and hooks let down by the lack of anything that's immediately playable out of the book in terms of adventure for something that is explicitly designed as an adventure location.
No. 40485
Okay, I recognized you by the style of writing, I think... why are you in Romania? Are you actually doing your trip through Jurop right now? Or am I mistaken and you aren't the Aussie at all?
No. 40501
I'm the Aussie. Due to lockdown I'm doing a lot of jolly sea captaining so I'm VPN'd up. Sometimes I forget to turn it off before posting.
No. 40502
Also, now that things are coming together with paying my bills, I think I can start up gaming again soon. Going to have to do a different day because my other group moved to Saturday since then, but I think our schedules were pretty open to begin with.
No. 40591
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One of the things that has always bugged the shit out of me is that Tzeentch is depicted as a retarded fucking bird for some reason. Like why? Why the actual fuck would they even do that? It's inexplicable. Meanwhile Nurgle is depicted as a fat guy with stag horns because...again fucking why? Do elk spread black death or something? Or cyclopses which I mean at least I guess it still looks rather chaos-y but it's split just so completely fucking stupid when quite clearly if any god of chaos is going to get a bird, it is Nurgle. perhaps this really is the true form of Nurgle and it's some sort of obtuse plot for Tzeentch to have fooled everyone into believing he looks like Nurgle to conceal his true form while convincing everyone else that Nurgle actually looks like the average /tg/ poster instead
No. 40606
Birds are culturally associated to visions of the future and omens, etc. Think Odin's association with crows or a plural of Raven being a conspiracy.
Corpses bloat and stags are associated in the British isles with old forest and pagan mysticism. I guess this might be different in America because of Skinwalkers.

That, and the Chaos Gods are associated with the 4 elements because when you get down to it Warhammer is pretty basic in lore. Nurgle has to be Earth because he's an elemental representation of life, Tzeentch has to be wind because he's constantly changing and shaping the world.

I looked into the antlers and disease and ended up reading about CWD before bed. Fuck that.
No. 40617
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Nonse prions are a fabulous before bed read. I was reading about them when I was a wee lad. Which come to think of it probably says a lot about me that I was reading about BSE and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease before hitting puberty.

Semi related but I've decided this is the most lurid picture I've seen all week. Suffering for your work and helping others, passion, just bruising from general duty is absolutely Citizen.

So what's your favorite prion? I think mine may be CJD but Kuru comes in a close second, probably for the means of transmission that brought it to popular Western consciousness.
No. 40618
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Birds were also used for omens in Rome, most famously the Sacred Chickens, and had state-religious positions called Augurs and sometimes Auspices whose job was in good part watching birds for omens.
No. 40626
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Better example of cruising for a bruising for the job.
No. 40628
You're very much a John Henry kind of a man aren't you
No. 40630
Nah mate, Joe Hill. I do like John Henry though. My parents were both in the factory in certain capacities, and I move in working class circles that get no respect. Mostly I'm just getting tired of the healthcare narrative around here. You'd be forgiven for thinking that being in that industry makes you a first class citizen in my country right now. How well do you think the ones making all the gear are getting treated on their lines? I guarantee it isn't as well as the nurses and doctors, and they won't get any of the thanks neither. I kind of want to do a labour movement adventure in Gangbusters tbh.

No. 40631 Kontra
Also, normally I'd be happy that they're getting publicity, a victory for one is a victory for all, but they're not showing solidarity themselves, but are just eating it up when they've got a perfect platform with this attention to raise these issues as a class wide problem. I have a workmate who has had his dominant hand out of action for 6 months (couldn't even close it fully) due to work and it's not an isolated case, but nobody gives a shit.
No. 40632
Class character of dogtors is a little different. In USA a substantial minority are petite bourgeois themselves. And the ones employed by hospitals are so well paid that, although they are technically selling their labor, they don't have much in the way of common interest with sparkies or plumbers.

One thing I do kind of appreciate is that people are showing a little more appreciation for grocery store workers in view of the pandemic, but it's not as if they can eat applause. The least we could do is give cashiers and shelf stockers considerable hazard pay and healthcare coverage.
No. 40633 Kontra
More talking about nurses. Doctors are all six figure salaries here. Anyway, kontra for off topic.
No. 40634 Kontra
Doctors make six figure salaries in Romania? that can't be right
No. 40635
I wouldn't call nurses that. Believe me I dated one. Nurses are just as apt to be stripping on the side to get by. Hell one thing not getting publicity is the hospitals particularly in Chicago were ordering nurses not to wear any PPE while the arrogant useless bloodsucking fucks that ran the hospitals were walking around their offices in respirators. Trust me RNs themselves are one of us.

>labour movement
You have my axe. And my hammer and sickle :-DDD
No. 40636
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See further up. There is an occasional Romanian poster, but most of them are actually me.

We were using chemicals corrosive enough to eat through steel every day in our kitchen, but we weren't supplied with safety glasses, gloves or masks. Pretty sure I might as well have taken up smoking with how much that vapour has probably damaged my lungs :-DDDDD

Also, it'd be a pretty sweet game tbh. Gangbusters is all about the Roaring 20s with Prohibition, Mob Violence and all that good shit, but then you add in Labour unrest, strikes and strikebreaking, and the seedy side of both, and you start to get a very cool adventure background.
No. 40795
Uh, not today for me, sorry. But next week I'd be game again. Then with a little reminder of where we were last, please, I seem to have lost my magic tome of rpg-notes somewhere...
No. 40796
I think we were lost in the ancient ruins of moon people, drawing incorrect maps, and stopped upon discovering a room with a waterfall and reflecting pool, which, while probably pretty, didn't have our objective.
No. 40800
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Yeah, you're right about where you were roughly. The waterfall was technically outside but basically correct.

Also, if we do end up playing, I'd have to do it on a different day from Saturday. That day has been eaten up by other things. I'm largely free otherwise though so if you lot figure out what day works for both of you, I can make it work too.
No. 40801
Basically any day is fine for me in theory, though there are factors outside my control... the next semestre is supposed to start on monday but students are not allowed to gather at the uni, so everything has to be done online but so far (2 days before the supposed start of all courses) I have not received a single mail detailling the process for any of the four courses I am subscribed to. So yeah, I won't be able to tell you how I'll have time with any guarantee until... sometime next week (maybe?).
No. 40802 Kontra
Also, that is one impressively cozy painting.
No. 40808
All good. Tell us when you know.
No. 41033
Story time: Every single course failed to deliver in the first week. End of story.

So let's just do this whenever, I'm free every day except mondays.
No. 41036
Alright then, so we're on for any day other than Monday and Saturday. What about you, Brick? You have any preferences?
No. 41057
Any day is fine for me.
Although, lately I haven't been able to get any quiet time due to quarantine. Everyone's at home, and I've become a personal assistant to my mom' who's been tasked with recording video lessons for the school.

Just give me the day and I'll make time for it I guess.
No. 41078
Alright then, how does Friday night sound for now? that gives me some time to get my shit back together before we play, and we can fine-tune days for next time then.
No. 41087
Oh that actually seems kinda comfy, recording video lessens with your mom. Obviously awkward and annoying at times but also homey in a way that some people would love to have.

Did I ever mention that I taught my mom to rip CDs to (almost EAC-log-perfect) Flac instead of using iTunes to buy everything again? Also, she's using Linux for 5 years now thanks to me. For some reason I feels slightly proud of that.

I am okay with friday. 6:00Z again?
No. 41088
Yeah 0600Z sounds good for me too.

Also that feel when more computer illiterate than Germanball's mum.
No. 41216
Alright lads, just a reminder that tomorrow we've got our session lined up for 0600Z. If that's no longer going to work just let me know ahead of time.
No. 41261 Kontra
i kinda feel like shit lately
maybe we could do sunday instead?
No. 41264
I can do that. No problems.

You're actually busy smashing kapital on International Workers Day aren't you, gommie? :-DDD
No. 41293
Oh good, I came here asking for the same because I woke up feeling ill.

Get well soon, mate.
No. 41294
1,6 MB, 2354 × 1835
Things worked out well then.

I've also got a treat coming up in the next few months. I've got another zine that just got kickstarted to show you guys. It's pretty great, for one of those weird as hell arthaus games which is themed all around black metal and/or satanism.

Downside to OSR zines is that they are sometimes hard to get your hands on physical copies of (I'd like to get physicals of The Undercroft, but most of the early ones are impossible to find), so getting in on a brand new one is a good time. Pretty hyped to share this one with the thread when it comes.
No. 41363
So just a reminder that we're currently on for tomorrow, but if you still feel bad, I'm more than happy to call it off. I value the lads feeling good and having a good time far higher than any amount of gaming time postponed.
No. 41365
I'm feeling fine now, probably can make it for tomorrow. The last few days were the peak of the depressive cycle when I start having literal body malfunctions, once that's over, it's basically ok for a few more weeks.
Although, I may have lost my discord account and need to make a new one, so a new invite link might be required.

Dang, that artwork is sick as hell. Looks like something scribbled in ms paint, but the bold color choice and strong aesthetic makes it work.
No. 41369
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1,1 MB, 1296 × 971
1,7 MB, 796 × 949
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That's good. I remember the time you're talking about. Just wanted to see if we were still go. I think the link in OP is a permanent link anyway. I'll double check tomorrow and if it's not, I'll post a new one.

Regarding artwork, yeah. Mörk Borg has fucking sweet aesthetics, check out this shit from the rulebook. It reminds me a bit of Scrap's work on Veins of the Earth (pic 4). Arthaus OSR is not always my cup of tea in terms of content, but their sense of aesthetics are peak.
No. 41420
tfw alone in discord with diceparser-bot. I suddenly feel much younger, reminds me of the time before I had a life with responsibilities :-DDD
No. 41423
Hold on, am I actually an hour early here?
No. 41425
Yep, you are.
I might be 10-15 minutes late, I have some chores to do.
also, still need that invite link if possible. If not, I'm going to have to scour my burner emails to find my old login.
No. 41426
I'll probably be 5 minutes late or so. Got to fix a couple of things around the house before we start.


It says that it has an infinite expiry date, so it should still be active. Hit us up if it's a no-go.
No. 41511
514 kB, 1031 × 1337
I'm gonna embark on a journey outside my usual comfort zone. I've decided to look into Pathfinder 2e because I've heard interesting things about it. It's very much a product of the new school, but I don't necessarily dislike new school design, I'm just often left questioning whether all of the mechanics listed really needed to be there. I'm someone who is not opposed to crunch if the crunch does something interesting. If your crunch is boring, then I'll call it bloat.

However, it's good to look outside your usual wheelhouse, so I figure that I may as well give it a swing. Acquired a pdf of the core rules and will now study them. I'll report back later with results. This one might be particularly interesting to those who would like to get into RPGs at the moment because it is one of the big dogs. I believe it is the second largest seller on the market right now, so after breaking it down it sounds interesting to you, it should be pretty trivial to find a game, even online.
No. 41532
Alright, not feeling it. I can see why it's appealing. I can see that it's actually got some clever twists on PF1 that make it less of a clusterfuck but it still fills a niche that I just don't find particularly interesting. Character creation is really not my jam. Those who have read my thoughts on gaming know that I value mechanical simplicity and a more grounded power level to fantasy superheroics. PF2 is a big step towards simplifying PF1 but it's still designed for that high power adventure style. The first big thing that raised an eyebrow for me was that the basic way of generating attributes is insanely generous. Everything starts at 10 and is then modified by racial and background bonuses and maluses. This creates very powerful characters with big ability scores in most cases. There are options for randomly generating them, but even then they say to use 4d6k3 (roll 4 keep 3) which is again pretty generous.

Classes are again just not the way I personally like classes to function. I like Classes to be niche protection that enable you to have a wheelhouse where you have distinct advantages but you are not the only one capable of doing that thing. In the case of PF2, it sometimes feels like classes exist to give you a wheelhouse that no other class can touch, which to me encourages the cancerous mindset of 'every man an island' instead of teamwork. Starting power levels are also way too high for my liking, and I've never been a fan of cantrips which still abound, even as racial bonuses into characters that have no real business having spells.

I'm willing to flex a bit on that if it's done in an interesting way, like most rules. But in this case it reads more as 'stuff to do' rather than an interesting take on an idea. Compare something like a Fey-Touched Gnome in PF2 which can just take a cantrip no matter their class, essentially being a part of a build, to the Elf of Dolmenwood, a Racial Class which includes fae magic but the entire class is built around the assumptions of a fae in the mortal realm with the boons and banes that brings. Plus it has prerequisites so nobody can just pick it unless they've got some good ability scores.

The mechanical spine is simple but like its predecessor just codifies too much instead of trusting a GM to be able to just make a game function. I understand why it's like that, people nowadays like their rules tight, and complain about 'vague' rules instead of seeing them as a feature like the OSR school of design does.

It's definitely better than PF1 in my eyes, but it's a long way from where I stand in terms of what I find engaging gameplay. There doesn't feel like much risk because characters start so powerful, and the codification of everything, including mundane matters makes it feel bloated on the rule side. As I've said before, bloat is only a thing when the rules aren't interesting. I can see the appeal, but the target audience is not someone with my tastes.
No. 41594
hol up, is the game now officially scheduled for sundays or what?
No. 41598
I figured it was. I can still do today if you wanted to though. I should be able to finish my prep in a couple of hours.
No. 41599
Hey man, you've expressed an idea I've had as a vague feeling for some time now but never as a conscious thought; thanks.
I'm talking about the "every man an island" vs. teamwork.
It's something that has lead to me disliking various viya RPGs in the past without me able to pinpoint what exactly.
On the other hand, a system where characters start differently but could just overlap or travel the same exact path due to development if you want to (though often the defaul paths are mostly separate to ensure skill-diverstiy for players who don't care for spread-sheet-planning) felt much more "free" to me. As in: I am better able to express the roles I am meaning to play in this role-playing game.
A good example of this where balance was well achieved was Divinity: Original Sin (as well as Divinity II).
Sadly this game has a bad side, something that I consider the worst in RPGs of any kind: Near-Inifite inventory + monetary-economic treatment of items. About half the time I spent in Divnity was standing around and managing my inventory for economic value or alternatively feeling unsatistfied with my progress due to missed oportunities. It ruined gameplay enough for me that I eventually stopped playing; even though I honestly enjoyed the characters, story and especially the fighting and dialogue aspects of gameplay.

Shit no, I am not prepared. Sorry, was assuming sunday as well.
No. 41602
546 kB, 724 × 1024
Glad you liked it. It's something that I've come across a lot just from running games. There are advantages to the island style characters. If you're going for that kind of game, often described as fantasy superheroics it works well because superheroes have their thing that nobody else can do.

For my games, I use classes as things that guide play rather than limit it. You have niche protection because nobody outside of your class is going to be able to do what you do to the same level, but at the same time the game doesn't turn into "you can do something cool while everyone else stands around with their finger up their arse" which is just kind of boring.

I'm torn on classless. In theory it's a very cool idea and enables some interesting gameplay changes. It's why I use Knave for our current setting, it doesn't really play the same way if we use any of the default rulesets (OD&D, AD&D, BECMI). It's downside is that players need to respect their niches or it is too easy to step on each others' toes. Knave plays best when you have jacks of all trades masters of one, which is similar to how classes work in the second category of this post.

I think talking of video games is a good choice here too, because for example Skyrim is an excellent example of the best and worst aspects of classless gameplay. Ignoring the difficulty issues and the weird world setup and general jank. It actually has a novel, fairly interesting idea.
>Adventurers by their nature have to be a certain level of tough, smart and agile to even survive the wilderness.
With this, it does away with the traditional sacred cattle of ability scores, and the idea that wizards must be frail and so on. Tough but weak wizard is as playable as weak but powerful wizard. I don't think it's entirely necessary in all cases to remove this aspect, but I welcome new takes that don't just do what those in the past did. It then posits that one's actions are what define the direction of play rather than one's class. A martial character and a stealthy character can both be archers, so let the player decide how that is going to work.

On the other hand, it's also very easy to have a bland character with no real identity because you can simply be good at everything. It requires more player buy-in to be successful than either hard classes or soft classes.
This post partially inspired by an article in a zine I read recently about converting the spirit of Skyrim's mechanics to BRP

I'm so sorry you had to read this autism.
No. 41604
No worries, I enjoyed this post. Also, I'm used to much worse levels of autism on wildly less interesting stuff; having studied CS for 999 semesters.
No. 41606
That's okay because I kinda feel not ok today either. Not too bad, but I think I ate something bad yesterday, woke up with only 3 hours of sleep from mad acid reflux, and generally feel a bit crappy now.

Don't drink kefir if it tastes kinda funny lads, even if you kinda like the taste because you're from a culture that consumes fermented dairy stuff all the time. not all bacteria make your food taste good, some of them make you sick.
No. 41613
Man, I read this incorrectly since you posted it and it only just now stuck out that it wasn't that kefir tasted weird, but that specific kefir tasted weird. Yeah, not drinking sour dairy is generally a good idea :-DDD
No. 41669
Hey guys, sorry but I won't be there tomorrow. Started feeling ill today and it's not getting better towards the evening. So I'm going to sleep in tomorrow and hope all is well again come monday.
No. 41689
All good. If you still want to hang out and talk shop for a bit though brick, feel free.
No. 41800
11 kB, 463 × 201
Decided to take another stickybeak on their facebook because they don't post everyhting on kickstarter.

Fuggen noice. Feels good man. Expect a review.
No. 41978
Just doing a last-ish minute check to see if you lot are still on for today.

It's all good if you aren't, so no pressure. Just want to see where I stand with deciding what my evening is going to look like.
No. 41979
Sorry, I didn't reven realise it's sunday. Just woke up and have the rest of the day planned as "learning for the upcomming exam".
No. 41980
All good mate.
No. 42257
So, I don't think I'll be able to play tomorrow, I'm terribly sorry but the upcoming exam is eating up pretty much all my free time while regular classes take the non-free time :<
No. 42259
Dang it.

Maybe me and aussie can do a brainstorming session, or do a solo game. Or we could restart the atomic space cowboy thing, since I'm out of depression, and we have approx a few weeks to capitalize on my lucid time :-D
No. 42277
It's all good mate. Real life before elfgames every time.

Yeah, show up if you like. I'll find us something to do.
No. 42567
So, I'm game for tomorrow, though I am a bit confused about the time. I'm UTC+1 here, so 6:00Z should be 7am for me, right? Unless Zulu doesn't include summer-adjustment.
I guess I'll try to be there 7am local time based on my ntp synchronized clock, which sais this right now:

> Local time: Sat 2020-05-30 22:15:16 CEST
> Universal time: Sat 2020-05-30 20:15:16 UTC
> RTC time: Sat 2020-05-30 20:15:16
> Time zone: Europe/Amsterdam (CEST, +0200)
No. 42590
I use military time as shorthand for Universal times that don't change for summer times, daylight savings etc.

So 0600Z is equivalent to 0700A for Germany, 1200F for Eastern Kazakhstan and 1600K for me. So if you have something showing pure UTC, those are what you're looking for.
No. 42597
Dark Stars Colonisation has been put in the post. I think that Tales From the Block is with it too, since neither of those have pdf versions yet which explains why they said the latter was finished but I haven't seen hide nor hair of it. The final print quality version of the core rules are also currently at the printers, so they shouldn't be far off neither.

Feels good man.
No. 42599
shidd guys, me and moms have to go to the city and buy some household stuff. I won't be able to make it today.
No. 42600
No wukkas. I'll probably go run some errands too then :-D
No. 42601
You know, it's actually not that hard to get this right, but I might just have
a trauma from having to deal with clock_gettime(2), gettimeofday(2),
strptime(3) and strftime(3) in a project:


Time is just... an unsolved problem in programming to this day, as dumb as that
sounds. And now, whenever I need to convert between timezones my mind just goes
blank and refuses to even try.
To give you an idea of the potential headaches time can cause for a developer
of lower level system stuff I will name one of several things that caught me
off guard:

>In your code, you should not assume that a minute is longer than a second

There are a bunch more of those pitfalls that can do your head in but this one
I remember vividly from having been fucked by it.
The short explanation is: As soon as people start to virtualize operating
systems within other operating systems all your guarantees go out the window.

Sorry for textwalling, I am not yet fully awake :-DDD
No. 42602
I still dun get id :-DDD

Weird code things may do your head in, but you computer eggheads do my head in :-DDD
No. 42788
So a couple of days ago, I got the Dark Stars Colonisation PDF, referenced here >>38709. Would you be more interested in a review of it with an addon post later about the physical aspects, or should I just wait and do it all at once?

Also, don't know what's happening with Tales From the Block. It's finished but they haven't sent out the PDFs yet, and I know they haven't missed me by accident because they haven't put it on drivethru yet, and they didn't release the Colonisation PDF until the backers had their copies. Maybe they're waiting for print proofs to come through and send both digital and hard copy out at the same time.
No. 42898
2,5 MB, 2592 × 4608
Played Car Wars with my housemates tonight. Was fun. Got knocked out early but my sister ended up winning after her boyfriend lost control of his car and went into a tumble.

Sister drove a Luxury Sedan with machine guns and flamethrowers. Her boyfriend was a Station Wagon with a laser turret and I was a large hatchback with an anti-tank gun and three machine guns in the passenger seat.

Was ebin. Also confirming that we're still good for tomorrow?
No. 42899 Kontra
that's pretty cool looking, actually.
No. 42900
Car Wars is great. It's a little bit autistic, but it creates great gameplay because of that since crazy and memorable shit can emerge from play without being overly abstracted, like the turnaround of the dominant player going from kicking butt to flipping across the arena in the space of 1 second of game time. I play Car Wars Classic myself which are slightly modified vintage rules but they funded a 6th Edition around the New Year which is a much more modern experience.
No. 42907
I'm in tomorrow, how about you guys?
No. 42908
i'm reddy freddy
No. 42915 Kontra
Let's see if I get the timing right this time :D
No. 43033
What was the name again of the thing we're playing next? Darkstars is the overarching system, right?
No. 43040
Dark Stars. This should be close enough to work for you but I haven't used the playtest kit myself. Either way it costs nothing so might as well take a stickybeak.
No. 43041
No. 43060
Sorry guys, I got distracted yesterday and forgot about the pdfs.
Here they are, got them through a throwaway account.
No. 43061
Cheers mate, don't make it too throwaway though, that's what? Ballpark $30 worth of goods there IIRC, no point tossing it in the trash after one download. Drivethru is a bit of a pain and is something of a cancer because of their de facto near monopoly, but they do provide a useful tool for accumulating a bunch of random heartbreakers over time and storing them as a bookshelf you can access.

Just a heads up to anyone else who downloads that file though. Don't go dumping it all over the place and jacking it up for us.
No. 43062
I usually save even throwaway accounts into my password/account manager, so it's ok.
They're throwaway in the sense that the name and email field are random garbage rather than being connected to any of my personal stuff.
No. 43063
Ah. Fair enough. We just use different terminology then. If the rules aren't crystal clear, don't worry. They are written by someone very familiar with a certain type of gaming, and has a lot of assumed knowledge and "figure it out" attitude. Were it a bigger project, I'd call it bad but this is pretty obviously designed by grogs for grogs so it gets a pass. It actually has its origins in Cyberpunk 2020 falling apart under too many hacks and houserules.
No. 43064
Why thank you very much. I hope to find some time to read at least some of it come sunday.
No. 43245
I'm not going to be at home tomorrow morning, so I won't be able to join you.

Besides, I haven't gotten far enough in the book to even create a char. Hopefully I'll have more time during the week.
No. 43249
I was thinking we could just keep playing knave while familiarizing ourselves with dark stars, but this is fine too. It's quite a lot of reading and mechanics for a beginner player.

if aussie's up, we could hang tomorrow talking shop
No. 43263
No worries germoney.

I'll be around. I'll explain the game if you like, it's actually simplicity itself at its core. Chuck d100 and get under your skill+bonus. Most of the other rules are not really applicable in the early game and most affect what rolls are made instead of using different rolls themselves.
No. 43264
I'll probably be an hour or so late, since I'm just now going to bed, but I'll show.
No. 43265
All breezy.
No. 43473
307 kB, 1000 × 1308
Just going to confirm if we're good for tomorrow? Probably won't get to actually playing, but character generation should be fine, and then helping with any rules questions.

On that subject, we're starting a new game again, so if someone wanted to play, 0600Z is our time. Next game is BRP-inspired (so d%) cyberpunk.
No. 43474
Yeah dude, I'm up.
No. 43476
I'll try. I realy want to be there and I have some circumstances to fight, but I certainly am going to try. Biggest problem is that I'm not at home (again) and have to arrange myself not to be disturbed for a few hours. We'll see how this goes. For the rest of today though I am going on a field trip to a place showing off the living conditions of germanic and celtic tribes with re-built huts and farms, which I am actually pretty excited about.
No. 43477
82 kB, 957 × 211
I was there :-DDD

Also, found this in the Mörk Borg rulebook. Seems like your Electric Wizard comment was pretty spot-on.

Yeah, no worries. If you can't make it, we can figure out something to do. We had a good time using the discord streaming function today. That does sound ebin. Take pictures. First Mobius and now this. I feel like sometimes I live vicariously through your IWOs.
No. 43510
Eh, sorry guys but it's "family breakfast" and I can't really evade it.
No. 43514
It's all good my man. We ended up talking for a bit, and then it was 7 hours later.
No. 43716
Just making a reminder that tomorrow we're set to go for our first Dark Stars session. Having an idea of what kind of game you'd like to see would be nice but not mandatory, I say that because the game is very much a toolbox that does freelancing with a cheap ship as well as the gangland shit that we experienced with Bodycount, so a preferred style of game can certainly be achieved and not just an 'out of the box' tone.

Going to bed now, but 0600Z is late afternoon for me so I'll see any responses in plenty of time tomorrow morning local.
No. 43718
I'll be there and I try to look into the PDFs for at least two hours beforehand about character creation. For some reason time really has been slipping away these past two weeks.

I'd generally enjoy some Firefly-type of adventure where a semi-fixed crew has loosely-connected missions in the "wild west of space".

Alternatively something exploratory with a sense of mystery where the environment is as much a character as the players. For example Brick and me are investigating the stereotypical SOS call to find a seemingly dead ship floating way off course.

But those are really just ideas of someone who is not familiar with the universe and I might be way off.

Also, I assume the first session would mostly be character creation, right?
No. 43758
74 kB, 1079 × 1079
Yeah, both of those things can be done. The setting itself leaves plenty of blank bits to fill in for yourself, and besides that I run a version of the default setting that's tweaked to my personal taste anyway, from tongue in cheek space opera with cyberpunk backdrop to something more cyberpunk cold war in space. Fuck the bolis, death to the slaves of RAW (rulebook/rules as written)!.
No. 43816
34 kB, 324 × 222
So as part of my prep, I just want to know how soon you guys are thinking you are going to want to delve into the hacking facet of the game? If you intend sooner rather than later, I just need to make some appropriate content is all. Dark Stars is not particularly well written with regards to exactly how it functions but if you understand it as a mix of Cyberpunk 2020 (2e) with BRP-based mechanics for further versatility (as I've said, Dark Stars comes from Cyberpunk 2020 failing to really function when the creator's campaign started getting too big for its britches), then you can actually read the hacking chapter in the Cyberpunk 2020 pdf and get a good idea of how the system functions. The file is trivial to find so just use your search engine of choice if you're interested. I recommend it for reading anyway. It's an excellent source of inspiration on how to set your style just right for this kind of game.

Also, Germany, I'm just going to fix up a couple of values that miscalculated on your sheet, but overall you were 99% correct. Will try and post the result later today.
No. 43817 Kontra
176 kB, 795 × 1124
Yeah, so you were only slightly off. Fixed up your totals for HP, FP and Bulk.
No. 43939
154 kB, 2344 × 2933
I made a 'character sheet' of sorts for computers in the future. This is used not only for hacking, but also as the basis for an AI character*, so some of it will be more useful than others. Don't worry if it doesn't make immediate sense, if you guys end up needing to use it, I'll explain it in more detail. It's a lot less intimidating than it looks.

*my final interpretation of this is still not fully formed because other official material (rather infuriatingly) doesn't always match up with the core rulebook regarding AI, and they don't like explaining their train of thought, it's very much reliant on creative reading of the rules and thus falls more into art than science, I get the feeling that it's not intended as a possibility, much like it wasn't intended in CP2020 but the way the mechanical space works is too tempting

What follows is just more monologue about the game:

Got to say, while I do like Dark Stars and am looking forward to running it, I don't think it'll replace Cyberpunk itself for me anytime soon, especially with Cyberpunk Red coming out and de-jankifying the 2020 rules while being similar enough that it'd be easy to drop out of the 2040s and put the old school material back in. Maybe at some point when it comes out, I'll run it for you guys. I'd have run 2020 this time, but:
1) I wanted to try the new rules that I'd kickstarted, and if they turn out to be hot garbage then I crossed it off of my list of systems that I want to run at some point

2)2020 is pretty great and in many ways is less jank than Dark Stars but it's still a rather detailed system that started the trend of having overly involved hacking systems that create subgames and while their system is easier to comprehend than the one in Dark Stars, it's a lot more unwieldy in play.
No. 43943
Oh, I'm rather hyped about CP2077 and that has naturally made me curious about the pnp. Don't know anything about the lore or universe yet and if you're willing to run a few CP sessions before 2077 comes out I'd be in.

I've played (and loved) two of the three Shadowrun games, also a great setting. I've read part of the GM guide a few years back becaue my flat mate had it lying around in the bathroom, but I honestly don't remember any of it. If you ever want to run those I'd be interested as well.
No. 43944
118 kB, 600 × 480
2020 is retro and defined the cyberpunk genre for RPGs. Playing 2020 is about embracing the 80s future that never was.

The new version that's coming out is Cyberpunk Red which is set in the mid 2030s through 2040s and is a period not unlike Corporate America today. Instead of multinational megacorporations, the government has regained a lot of control from the corporations using the the 4th Corporate War as pretense, and the megacorps have devolved into powerful regional or national companies instead, they don't have the same power but they are a lot more vicious because of it. The world is also a lot less connected than it was because the war knocked a lot of infrastructure out, and the following depression meant it never got rebuilt, so netrunners now have to actually be somewhere to hack it instead of just spoofing the LDL and joining the job from another continent (a cool system but the root of the problems with the old hacking rules). Add to all this the fact that large parts of cities are still in ruins from the war and you have a very different feel to normal cyberpunk. Almost like a post civil war African country. 2077 is a return to form. The corps are back in business and the good times of the roaring 2020s are starting to return. I haven't been super impressed with the choice of aesthetic so far (call me a nostalgic grog but Night City is where the 80s never stopped, CD Projekt's vision of it is way too modern), but yeah it does look pretty fun.

Shadowrun never interested me in quite the same way. High tech low life doesn't mingle all that well with magic to me.
No. 43949
>Shadowrun never interested me in quite the same way. High tech low life doesn't mingle all that well with magic to me.

I thought the exact same way while reading the GM guide on the loo, but that seems to have been a lack of seeing the potential. The PC games (I've played Dragonfall and Hong Kong) have opened my eyes dramatically since they played like a bunch of successive adventures lead by an absolute expert in the lore and game system. Everything integrated extremely well in those games and there was a special something about meeting a ghoul in the sewers who was hunted by high tech neighbourhood patrols while at the same time being cared for by a cybernetics doc who regularly has spare bodyparts. And the entire thing about shamans and deckers being on opposite side of a spectrum, thus unable to really understand each others perspective (losing "humanity" by adding cyberware vs. embracing the spirits by maximising the connection to your natural body) provided lots of interesting conflict across story and gameplay. I don't want to spoil it here but if you are curious you should look for a gameplay video or some such about the background story quest for the character "Glory" in SR Dragonfall. It delves into mutilating your body with cyberware for reasons that may be free will decision making or may be reactions to a trauma and how hard it is to find any truth.

It might well be that the pnp isn't great but the games were lead by excellent storytellers far surpassing what most pnp sessions can be.

>2077 is a return to form. The corps are back in business and the good times of the roaring 2020s are starting to return. I haven't been super impressed with the choice of aesthetic so far (call me a nostalgic grog but Night City is where the 80s never stopped, CD Projekt's vision of it is way too modern), but yeah it does look pretty fun.

How much have you seen? The first footage looked way off for most people because it was sunny daylight. Later videos showed the city at night, different districts and even the mad-max-styled outskirts around Night City.
I really wasn't sure about the first footage but the more recent stuff hit the spot for me. It is much closer to Ghost in the Shell from 95 than to any other cyberpunk I know. There isn't much 80s retro-futurism in it, though, except for the look of the cars and some clothing, though.
But unlike the Deus Ex reboots CP2077 didn't forget about the punk in Cyberpunk. And I don't mean haircuts, I mean bravery in design.
No. 43950
237 kB, 686 × 862
Fair enough. Maybe I do need more exposure for it to really sit with me. It's still down my list though. Maybe I'll give those games a shot at some point.

>How much have you seen? The first footage looked way off for most people because it was sunny daylight. Later videos showed the city at night, different districts and even the mad-max-styled outskirts around Night City.
I only really saw the early stuff. Not really followed it recently beyond knowing it comes out around the time of my birthday so I might pick it up for myself. I just hope they get that attitude right because it's the best part of the Cyberpunk brand. I really don't need to see any 'good guy' bullcrap, you know?
No. 44027
Confirming that tomorrow is still go?

I believe that next week is no-go since Brick is heading out on the Sunday, but I can do a different day at the same time so long as it isn't Saturday (fortnightly irl game) if you still wanted a session that week. Don't worry about my end if it's earlier in the week, I'm still trying to find work, so I got plenty of time to make content while I wait for the rejection letters :-DDDDD
No. 44030
Oh, I want to point out that for me every day except wednesday works for me.

And yes, tomorrow still stands.
No. 44034
587 kB, 696 × 700
349 kB, 619 × 458
141 kB, 299 × 453
Coolio. Will knock out further details when/if it becomes relevant.

Also going to post some choice as fug art from the UK splatbook for 2020 because it's ebun. The UK is really underrepresented in Cyberpunk, considering that it's also breddy much the birthplace of Punk as an actual thing one would think it'd turn up more. The Class-Based Society(tm) also works well as a theme. The sourcebook itself is just okay at the end of the day but the aesthetics are great. Less overt corporate control and more martial law under a corporate-backed monarch.
No. 44045
So uh, would it be possible to move the session from sunday to tuesday? I could be there tomorrow, but only for about an hour. I completely forgot that I was supposed to meed with people tomorrow to work out details on a project for uni...
No. 44046
We might actually leave wednesday or thursday (more likely), so that's under question.

But tuesday is definitely possible for me.
No. 44056
Can do. No wukkas. I can do other things.

Keep us apprised of the situation.
No. 44066
Thank you guys, it's really good to know I didn't ruin your fun by pulling out last minute.
No. 44067
336 kB, 1342 × 770
I'm a pretty adaptable person. I can entertain myself pretty easily. Brick got an evening of being on the piss out of it, we were chatting at the arse end of his night/my waking up this morning.

Posting some relatively recent OC of mine.
No. 44128
Tomorrow is Tuesday. Assuming that people are still good for the postponed session?
No. 44130
I'm game.
No. 44137
14 kB, 291 × 433
Yeah, I'll likely make it.
The trip to alakol is going to be delayed and possibly not happen at all. The weather's been real funky the last week, cold and rainy, and looking at the forecast, the whole of july is going to be like that, with only short periods of semi-sunny weather.
It's both good and bad. I prefer colder weather, fuck heat and humidity. On the other hand, we might miss out on the trip.

Like it says in the book, we are blessed and cursed.
No. 44187
1,0 MB, 867 × 679
Generated the first system that we were talking about using. Sorry again for lack of content today.

Vuur - Red Giant
42AU Sytem Radius
Very ancient system. Plentiful resources, most already claimed. +50% to prospecting. 90% chance that anything found is claimed.
3 Planets

Orbital Distance: Close to Sun
Size: Jupiter-sized
Composition: Liquid Hydrogen core, strong magnetic field.
Moons: None
Planet Type: Captured Gas Giant
Atmosphere: Superheated Hydrogen
Tectonics: None
Ecosystems: None

Orbital Distance: Habitable zone
Size: Larger than Earth,
Composition: Iron Core, water. Average magnetic field.
Moons: Maan (Small rock. Inert, no atmosphere)
Planet Type: Desert planet, equatorial savannah
Atmosphere: Earthlike
Tectonics: Average, prehistoric supervolcano (Nuwe Kilimanjaro)
Ecosystems: Desert & Savannah, carbon-based, no sapient life.
Tuiste Pygmy Antelope: Herd herbivore. Dog sized. Visible-spectrum sight. Keen hearing and scent. Good eating, but tough.
Bliksem: Lone scavenger. Mouse sized. Keen IR-spectrum sight, keen scent, average hearing. Steals small bits of food and odd trinkets to decorate its nest.
Boskat: Ambush carnivore. Lion sized. Keen hearing and scent. Visible-spectrum sight, keen scent and hearing. Large lion-like animal. Lays complex ambushes with pack.2 Asteroid Belts (1 with ice)
Capital: Tortuga, UNAF Jurisdiction
Population: 2.5M Humans, 50,000 Kruth (Mostly associated with AUR Happy Store)

Asteroid Belt:
Contains plentiful ice. Some radioactive isotopes.

Large Asteroid. Ore refinery owned by Bhavini-Rosatom. Small port of call for asteroid miners.

Klein Rooi:
Orbital Distance: Distant
Size: Mercury Sized
Composition: Iron, radioactive core, Earthlike magnetic field
Moons: None
Planet Type: Barren
Atmosphere: Dangerously Corrosive
Tectonics: Stable
Ecosystems: None
No. 44330
1,3 MB, 844 × 1191
Just confirming Sunday this week?

Decided to turn my sound off posts into random content posting too. So here are some fun trv kvlt RPG tools for Mörk Borg that some might enjoy. The latter one still has that new software smell. Also note the absolutely ebun domain name. Guy knows what the fuck is up.


No. 44380
I'm sorry but what exactly are we to do with these? I'm afraid I'm a little lost on the homework.

I'm prepared, but maybe it's not such a good idea if one of us has corona. I imagine it's hard to find motivation and concentration.
In any case, I hope the brick's going to be fine.
No. 44390
Believe it or not I feel mostly fine. Just slight weakness. Certainly not even close to how bad a regular flu feels.

The only problem is that I can't taste or smell anything at all, which is strange and confusing.
No. 44405
Aight cool. Don't worry about that other post germoney, it's just a demonstration of the Dark Stars system generation tools.
No. 44583
So, I will probably not make it this comming sunday. An exam sneaked up on me and I've got to learn over the weekend.

Maybe, just maybe, I can make it, but don't count on it.
No. 44588
That's all good my man. Nail your real life shit first and foremost. Elfgames can always wait. If Brick is around and wants to do something, then we'll find something to do, even if it's just have a chat.
No. 44589 Kontra
Oh and of course, I remain unemployed, so postponing the game to a time later in the week more convenient for you guys works on my end.
No. 44591
Today evening I'm heading out with my family for a week, so not sure if I'll be able to participate.
Unless I take a laptop and all of my login info with me. But I kinda wanted to disconnect and shut off my brain for a while, so I dunno.

I'll write later in the week if I decide to go ahead and do a session.
No. 44592
Hey man, no pressure. Chilling the fuck out at the beach seems like a pretty deece way to spend the week. Enjoy yourself. If anything, it all lines up pretty good. Your trip and Germany's exam happening at the same time. I'll just throw down some more SMW grinding. I got back to 50/50 on shell jumps tonight, but I'll need to do better than that to play through the JUMP series again.
No. 44753
15 kB, 553 × 244
Oh shid, this was in my inbox this morning. N O I C E
No. 44820
Alright, I'll be there on sunday, ready and motivated. Got that exam behind me and nothing planned for the next 3 days.

So are these the same as the PDFs you already got but in proper print?
No. 44821
90 kB, 640 × 960
Nice. We'll see what happens, Brick may still be knackered from his trip. I wouldn't blame him if he was, travel always fucks me up :-D

>So are these the same as the PDFs you already got but in proper print?
Yeah, though I got two printings already :-DDD (see: >>38704)
First one is old print on demand, so the text is less edited (yes, it's even more opaque than it is now :-DDD) and the print quality itself is less great. Matte paper, glued binding. The second one I have is the updated book, which is marginally more usable, albeit still the garbage fire of editing that the rulebook is.

It's the product of an earlier test run of printing that didn't come out as they wanted it to. It's got glossy paper and a proper binding but the build quality is not amazing (which is why it was rejected as the final production). They gave the option for people who ordered hard copies to get the extra book for free if they wanted it. I took the option since its a chart-heavy game and having multiple books for people to reference at the table can speed things up.

This printing is the final version that has a proper binding with good materials and build quality. It'll still be the fundamentally flawed nonsense that Dark Stars is, and I'd still recommend against a purchase because of its editing and presentation issues (it needs a new edition, not a tweaked update printing tbh), but as I've said in our sessions, despite its multitude of flaws, I have much love for this game.
No. 44822 Kontra
821 kB, 984 × 629
Also, noticed this today while trying to work on a houserule for running hours since there is no metric given except when there is, and it isn't always consistent. I dunno if it's intentional, but I had a sensible chuckle anyway. I believe it's a reference to the Stryker, the real life 8-wheeled AFV which is also capable of 8-9 man loads, has command variants and versions with automatic grenade launchers on the roof, and also received criticism from some for its rather light armour protection.

Houserule is by the way going to be on a case-by-case basis if not outright defined. So your ship, a Falcon Dropship has a running time of 4 according to the book, which I'm interpreting as 4 days (even a heavy power armour suit can run for 24 hours, so a small aircraft should be able to run for longer than that. However, what I'm doing is allowing for engineering skill to offset it a bit without mitigating the range of a vehicle being a factor. So first up is that you can run the vehicle up to its running time. To make it go for another day requires you to pass a relevant skill check, usually a relevant engineering field. To get a second day past your running time is engineering check at -10%, then -20% and so on, but other modifiers may come into play.

This makes travel in a ship designed as a shuttle and air-cav vehicle something that needs planning to get around. You either park on a ship designed for long-haul travel, and pay their transit fare, or you stock up on spare power cells to extend something's lifespan by 120 hours (5 days). So your ship can travel 20AU in 10 days, which means it takes just shy of 3 weeks to travel from the centre of the system you're in right now to the warp points at the edge. That's not a big deal with your current trip since I'm putting the orbit of Tuiste at 1AU, (bigger sun, so drier than Earth), and the asteroid you're going to is about 5AU out. Since your rate of travel is 2AU/day, you can make the trip of 4AU in 2 days, which is within your 4 days of safe travel. Still, figured I'd drop the houserule so that you guys are aware of it for future planning. While it may put a damper on interstellar adventures in the short term, remember that what you've got right now is a shitbox piece of military surplus that you guys got on credit while just out of prison. Actual ships can make those journeys, but they're a tad beyond the reach of starting characters. Plus I figure it best to start with real limitations so that when you do get into the big leagues and get yourselves a Prime GPV-101 (the workhorse of UN space), the newfound freedom hits you like a sack of bricks.
No. 44823 Kontra
23 kB, 345 × 199
Fuck, meant to post this image first, it's the thing I was talking about in the first part of the post.
No. 44844
Oh, yeah, I'll most likely be there.
I had a nice rest.

The only problem might be that I bought some sleeping pills to deal with my insomnia, and I haven't calibrated the dosage yet. I took too much yesterday and ended up sleeping til 2 PM. It was good sleep, but a bit too long, and made me feel groggy afterwards.

I'll take a smaller dose tonight, and go to bed earlier, and hopefully I'll be ready by noon.
No. 44855
Alright, I'll be there and we'll see if you turn up or not. Have a good night.
No. 44856 Kontra
Looking pretty bad tbh.
The mania is powering through the pills, I might need to up the dosage at the risk of oversleeping or being too fucked up in the morning.

If I don't turn up by 12:30, pack it up.
No. 44870
I missed this post earlier, but good to know. This scenario of staring out with a taste of what's possible (shorter routes) and a goal to strive for (better ship with long range travel) feels like a pretty natural progression that should lead to good pacing. That's something I've disliked about the bioware games like KotOR and Mass Effect where you start out locked in one place, then get the one ship and are able to travel everywhere at once. Seems like a design flaw and not like "freedom" due to all the issues it creates with a coherent story as well as a fucked up difficulty curve.
No. 45071
Did I miss something or will there be no game today?
No. 45072
Oh shit. Forgot all about it. I'll be 15-20 minutes. Just in the car back from the pub right now.
No. 45076
Ah sorry guys, I overslept by about 4 hours today. We can move the session to monday or tuesday if you like.
No. 45077
Tuesday is probably best for me, dunno if that's interesting to anybody else. I'm pretty easy though.
No. 45122
I could do wednesday as well if that fits better for you. Otherwise I'll be there tomorrow, though a bit later than usual because I have to get some stuff from the market first thing in the morning (because I've run out of everything and need something for breakfast :-DDD).
No. 45137
Yeah, today will be fine, even if you're a bit late.
No. 45138
I will be a bit late, too, had to go to a fruit and veggie market, standing at the bus station
No. 45139
You guys have a separate market for fruit and vegetables?

I'll be there in a few minutes btw, just need to switch to some clean clothes.
No. 45142
There's fruit and veggies at the supermarkets, but also family run produce tents where it's often cheaper and fresher. Also small meat markets where they also sell kumis and Kurt and shubat
No. 45279
Shit mangs, I've slept for about one hour now. It has cooled "down" to 25C and I've been keeping all windows open for two hours and it's starting to feel okay. Gonna close the windows now because the temperature is rising again and I'll try to get some more sleep now before it hits the 40C again like yesterday. My brain is mush, no chance I'll be of any use today, sorry.
No. 45280
All good. If you don't feel like playing, it lets brick have his sleep too :-D
No. 45286
>average yearly sunlight USA vs average yearly sunlight Europe.tiff
Honestly I should not be in this godforsaken land. The world is brutal, and cruel, and dark...except that it's so terrible I don't even have the sweet mercy of darkness here. I consider here to be totally uninhabitable in the summer except at night and a bunch of complete morons disputing climate change solely for muh quarterly profits are all but gauranteeing that everything south of Canada is rendered unfit for human habitation.
No. 45427
This weekend's game is off sorry. I'm going camping this weekend, so I'll probably not be back in time and if I am, I'll be knackered.
No. 45428
Well good for you, congratulations. Camping on the Australia must be wild.
No. 45430
Nah, we're just going out to one of my sisters' friends places, they own a bunch of land a few hours out, so we're going to sleep out in the bush there. It's not proper wilderness or nothing. Kangaroos and such, and an emu once but nothing serious.
No. 45585
So the first of my Dark Stars kickstarter books arrived this morning, the core rules. Unfortunately, it seems that the pandemic fucked things up a bit and they didn't want the project to fall into limbo. While the other book I currently have from earlier in the campaign (Off the Rack) came in from a proper printer with nice glossy paper and shit, the new core book seems to have fallen back into POD. This is fine, I was kind of hoping for the material quality of the QC-failing version combined with a better build quality but a revised POD is serviceable. It's not necessarily a bad print, just not as glorious as it could have been. I am however now the proud owner of three (3) Dark Stars core rulebooks, including the rare test printing :-D

I also backed the OSE Advanced Fantasy kickstarter with a lower tier that's fairly cheap and is going to get me the two new supplements (I already have the first two). It's an interesting concept of merging some of the open-ended nature and extra options of 1e with the simplicity and focus on lower-level play of B/X which is the base OSE experience.

That's all of my RPG news for now. Kind of wish I could spread the love more into my love of tabletop wargaming of various kinds but I'm not in with the local grogs, and I can't get the normies I live with interested in pushing chits or army mens across historically accurate battlefields, no matter how much I want to. The complete inability to really play, makes purchasing wargames less of a viable investment than RPGs which is a much easier sell to most people (and I still enjoy them).
No. 45770
Sorry for any inconvenience. Gonna have to cancel today as well. Got to handle some car shit since I'm likely to buy the one I seen today.
No. 45781
It's all fine man, I was planning to cancel as well because of an upcoming exam... it really feels like I'm doing this alot, but this is the final exam for the semester now. Also, I plan on finally getting a mic so we may be able to chat a little more efficiently in the future. Not a promise though, we'll see what my budget sais.
No. 45782
No hassles man. I always say that real life comes before elfgames and army mens. If you got exams, then that's time better spent than playing dorky games of pretend with randos on the internet :-DDD

Als ob, I just use an off brand desk mic I got at the office shop. Cost me $20 or so. It's not a great mic but it does the job. They have lots of options in stock nowadays because of all the video conferencing people are doing.
No. 45803
Yeah no I don't buy soon-to-be plastic trash. Nothing that breaks after a year or is of such poor quality that I will want to replace it. If I buy something, I buy exactly one of it for the next 20 years or so.

The mic I'm looking at is around 90 Euros with plausible, positive reviews.
No. 45804
The desktop mic I'm using was $5 when I bought it 6 years ago and it's just a plastic tube with a cheap diaphragm at the end. Still werks :-DDD.
No. 45909
6,1 MB, 4608 × 3456
Figured I may as well post this. Still got one more book to come but it is still being written, so this is all that's out right now.

I'll admit that for all its flaws, the visual appeal of these books when you look at them is quite high. Nice colours.
No. 46104
Okay, exam is over, I should have time again next sunday.
No. 46123
Sounds good. Hope your exam went well.
No. 46468
I hope so, too :-DD

Anyway, I'm game for today and I'm checking in to see if I got the timing right this time: It's in about 3 hours, right?
No. 46469
Yeah, we'll see what happens RE: Brick's readiness but yeah, just shy of 3 hours as I type this. Probably go on the shorter side if that's cool since I want to catch a bit of the radio discord session at 1000CET. Probably use most of the session to reacquaint ourselves as to where we're at and figure out where we're going since we haven't played in a wee bit anyway.
No. 46471
Alright, cool. I'll do some work in the mean time but I'll be there.
No. 46546
Alright, RE: the thing I was talking about before.

The last few weeks have impressed upon me the usefulness of having a contingency plan for our gaming group. To that end, I'm starting to put together some stuff for an alternate game. I'm reading Scarlet Heroes right now which is a game for 1 player and 1 gm designed for compatibility with old school content (a vast majority of stuff I got).

I don't mind it so far, so I figure I may as well put together some shit for it based on my notebook so that if someone can't make it, and the other still wants to play we have something in place that doesn't require another person.
No. 46624
Another route would be to be more flexible with the date. I won't be there today and next sunday because on both days I'll be sitting in a train. And the coming week is reserved for holiday. But after that I could play any day of the week, not just sundays. As far as I understand that's the same for both of you, so why wait an entire week when one meeting fails?
No. 46625
True. Whatever works for you guys. Just also planning ahead since I'm trying to find work at the moment and thus my schedule may not always be this open.
No. 46908
1,8 MB, 1337 × 964
Hey, you guys, I'm back from vacation.

Among other things, I visited Haithabu, an open air museum and historical recreation of a viking town that was the largest trade port of Europe at the time. I did talk to a boat builder there who was basically doing state-funded larping but with actual boat building skills and research involved. He was repairing a boat with which they travelled to Kiel to Malmö, a historically imporant route, proving credibility of the technique used for building their boat.

They had a board game on display that was found at the archeological dig site just next to the museum: Hnefatafl [1]. Also various dice were found. And as part of their research and funding the archeologists were crafting these with the same tools that were found at the dig site, using the same materials, for selling to people like me. These are made of wood and nacre.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafl_games
No. 46909 Kontra
No. 46910
Noice. I got a set of wooden dice too but they're not as fancy. Kind of cool though, got them years ago as a birthday gift. Really nice handmade ones numbered by brass tacks. They look nice. Wooden dice have a very pleasant roll to them tbh. They don't have the 'oomph' of heavier ones but there's something very soothing about how they feel.
No. 46916
>I visited Haithabu, an open air museum and historical recreation of a viking town that was the largest trade port of Europe at the time
I don't really know much about Vikings, but this sounds like a very doubtful statement to say the least.
No. 46929
Maybe not the largest, but would have been one of the big ones. There's probably some relative ratio that you can use where the population to traffic is super high tbh. It was one of the main trade ports in the area and worked in both the North and Baltic seas, in a region that is known for its seafaring after all.
No. 46931
We're talking about the years 800-900 btw. I should have made a photo of the text in the museum to make sure I don't misremember, though.

Since this is the time frame around Charlemagnes restructuring of Europe, it might very well be that none of the coastal cities in the mediterranean (which are the usual suspects for largest trade port) were on a high note and the title falls to an entirely different place.

Also, don't underestimate how far the Vikings were travelling for trade, they did visit north africa and turkey at the time via the ocean while travelling the Volga into eastern Europe and established Nowogorod and Kiev as initial trade centers to bridge the way to the near east. And Hedeby/Haithabu was the point where swedish, norwegian and danish vikings traded their spoils after the raids.
Oh and also the expansion of the church to scandinavia lead to several trade agreements between the italic world and the north.

I do have to say that I'm no expert on Vikings myself, only repeating from memory what I've learned over the years. So expect a hundred inaccuracies in what I say.
No. 46936
So, are we playing tomorrow? I guess I'll be there and see.
No. 46939
Yeah I'll be there. Sure as fuck slept enough. Worst come worst, I can probably work a solo adventure out.
No. 46942 Kontra
So Brick is feeling crook and probably won't make it. If you want to show up and hang out, or still want to try a solo session or something, feel free but the usual thing is probably not happening.
No. 47084
<SpongebobNarrator>Won Wik Laa-terr</SpongebobNarrator>

How are things now, you lazy sods? I actually did manage to look into this thread every day to see if there are news.
Also, the mic is ordered and I'm waiting for confirmation that the shop received my monies.
No. 47085
Fug. I forgot all about it. Out of town so won't be able to make it.
No. 47086
No sweat, I can always do something productive off of my terribly long TODO-list... (yay)

But do tell when you two are ready anytime during the week.
No. 47109
Does Thursday the 8th at the normal time work for you? I got some stuff to do beforehand, both for this game and for other stuff, so giving myself a couple of days to fix that seems best. If you prefer another day, do tell though.
No. 47116
Thursday is fine, the usual time was 8:00 in the morning for me the last time we played, but I'd prefer a bit earlier if that's okay with you guys. Between 6 and 7 would be good. This would be 4-5Z due to summer time, I think.
No. 47117
Cool with me. That just bumps it down to 2PM or so. A real non-issue. That's late morning for brick, so I assume it's good for him too.
No. 47149
So then, I'll just be there around 4:30Z tomorrow and see if you guys are with me. The mic hasn't arrived yet though, so I'll be typing.
No. 47153
I know I'll be there. I'll post in the server so that Brick sees it even if he doesn't come onto EC tonight.
No. 47379
So on Friday I'm housesitting for a week on the other side of town. I should have internet but I'll keep you guys updated if I don't have any for running a game on Sunday/some other day.
No. 47410
Alright, the promised update is here: I got internet, will be able to run a game sometime this week. Is there any particular day you guys would prefer? I can happily shift the game across from Sunday to some other time if you like?
No. 47419
Not sure about sunday yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to a game. I'll keep you updated once I know more about my schedule.
No. 47437
84 kB, 640 × 433
Sounds good. Game might be (even) more janky than normal since the setup here that I've got is a bit weird. Since I use a TV as a monitor at home, I don't have a cable that connects my computer to the monitors available here (they need actual PC cables and not spare HDMI cables I had laying around at the time). So I'm sitting at the other side of the room from a widescreen telly. I have EC zoomed to 220% for it to be comfortable to use for an idea of how that works in practice. So I'm not going to have the same information density that I normally have (and even then I manage to screw up more than I really should). Just making sure I'm open about the situation. It should still be a passable experience. Last session felt bad to me because I had been in the shit both busy and stressed the past few weeks, so I didn't have half the prep done that I should have, and in my eyes it showed.

Pic not really related to this topic, but I felt like posting it. Sue me.
No. 47463
Today won't work for me since we are going to have visitors at around 11:00 and there are some things that really could use a good cleaning before we leave anyone into this appartement, so I'll be busy :D

Tomorrow might be okay, though I cannot promise that I'll have my mic ready at this point. I've got it here, it's working, but I'm in the middle of understanding and configuring my audio setup and my "from-the-ground-up" approach means I don't have the mixer set up and thus the mic works together with some select software like mpd, but no sound in the browser for example. I can revert that in a second if I want to have it all working as before, but that's the Jenga-tower-config I had by default before and it doesn't include a mic.

Once I'm done reading through the documentation of ALSA as well as getting more background knowledge about the things I'm configuring here (already have the ladspa plugin for real-time dynamics compression and gain for the mic, which required me to dive deeper into audio engineering than I've been before) I will have a stable thing that I actually understand. Until then, it's either no mic but otherwise working setup that I don't understand, or properly configured mic but no sound mixing yet :-DDDD

In contrast to popular believe, this is not a Linux-kind-of-problem but rather the causation of people like me being obsessive about understanding the technology they use and as a result not being able to use (or be used by) "default operating systems"
No. 47465
Alright. I'm good for tomorrow, and assuming that Brick is as well, then we've got a slot sorted.
No. 47471
Crap, monday won't work, I'm truly sorry. How is tuesday for you guys?
No. 47482
I'm free all week mang. So long as it's at normal times. Been sleeping early, long and poorly so endurance from mid afternoon into evening is about as good as I can muster right now.

Will be better once I get back to my own bed.
No. 47719
1,9 MB, 4320 × 2160
So, I'm progressing steadily enough with the current adventure for our game, but I just need some input here, when it comes to nicking the stuff from the data vault, do you prefer to raid it (as a commando team type deal, may incl. the need for mercenaries) or would you prefer something where you are looking to get it quietly? (would still probably require a broader skillset than what you got)

I ask because I don't want to push this back too long, and while I've largely finished the data vault itself, contextualising it enough for all comers would take a lot longer than just figuring out what you had in mind and prepping what was going to be strictly required.
No. 47738
I generally prefer a quiet hackerman scenario, but have no idea how this would playout in the Dark Stars scenario. How would hacking be different from physical combat given the rules? Also, quiet can mean stealth without hacking as well, which would also be completely fine and likely simpler to pull off unless the rulebook has hacking covered in detail.

The gist of it fo me is: What works and how well does it work? I also don't want to stand between the brick and a good brawl if he wants one, just don't count on me surviving a fight proper :D
No. 47739
Alright, I'll work on a proper breakdown of how I use the hacking rules in this game. They are quite involved though, so no simpler than combat, just different. They are not just skill checks though, they are an adaptation of the CP2020 rules if you wanted to find something that'll be structurally very similar to read or watch a video on in the meantime.

I'm pretty sure that I've got some self made player aids and crap for it to help explain too.

Will aim to get that up tonight.
No. 47751
154 kB, 2344 × 2933
Alright, late follow up because a storm knocked out my power last night.

Hacking in Dark Stars is conceptually simple but mechanically fairly complex. I'll try and keep it simple but it's not the nature of the beast. There's a reason that this system's ancestor, CP2020 is often trashed for its hacking system being overcomplex.

So, Pic 1 represents a kind of 'standard' sheet for a computer used for hacking. First up is the Memory section. This is just how much data you can store on it. This is deliberately abstracted as Memory Units (MU) because gaminess comes before total simulationism in this section, so even though a 'realistic' amount of MU would be in the hundreds if not thousands, for gameplay purposes it's stripped right back. In a small computer, ranging from tablet-sized to small laptop you are looking at between 2-10 MUs.

How Memory is used is that programs and data or whatever else take up 1MU for each 10 points of Program Strength (which I will get to). So small, portable computers are limited in the strength of programs they can carry, as well as in the variety that they can carry. Likewise, they can run short on room for data if they take too many programs.

Across from there we have the statlines. Main CPU is your computer's statline, but in certain circumstances there will exist a co-processor. This is common in things like robots where there will be the robotic brain that runs the program/AI and a co-processor that runs the operating system for the robot body. In most computers, this won't come up. I just put it there for the sake of having a multipurpose sheet.

That out of the way, the statline is as follows.

PS: Program Strength. This is the HP of the program, as well as a determining factor in its size in MUs and the potency of its effect. The PS is also added to your skill roll when determining whether you successfully run it or not. Finally, data can be transferred at a rate of 1MU per PS per action. For example, using a PS 1 computer to transfer a 2MU data package would take two actions.

WS: Wall Strength. Basically an extra ablative firewall that you need to break down before you start chipping away at a program's PS. It's the simplest part, not much to say about it.

MU: Memory Units. As spoken about above, this is the size of the memory available to the computer.

SI: Starting Initiative. Basically modifies the player's SI when making actions using the computer in question. They give a mechanic for calculating it, but it's lost in translation from the author's notes to the final book. I think I get it though, but it's a bit beyond the scope of this post.

So that's the statline. Final section is the Program Capacity. What this is, is a tracker for your ability to run programs. The rules state that a program can run on any CPU that has enough PS to contain the PS of that program. So a PS 5 computer cannot run a PS 6 program.

The one exception to this is the Operating System. This is a very large program that can be up to PS 100 while taking up only 1 MU. It can also run programs off of itself. It's more efficient but in very small computers can take up too much of the very limited space. However, an OS is also the only way you're going to be able to run very high PS programs in 99% of cases.

I hope that gives you an idea of how it works at least. It's a lot easier to grasp once it's seen in movement and it took a long time for me to really 'click' with it. Once again, if you want further clarification, an explanation of the CP2020 hacking system would go a long way since going back over it is what actually made this one finally fit together for me.
No. 47757
I don't want to sound like a smug cunt but this doesn't sound too complicated. You explained it well enough and I'd say I fully understand it.

Personally, I'd implement hacking mechanics rather differently with fewer components that simply interact in a complex way. But I'd also have different character attributes to go along with it…

For one thing, I'd have a section of "cognitive" skills for characters made up of C1) memory, C2) focus and C3) concentration, that are combined with physical attributes like P1) strength, P2) muscle control and P3) agility. (Social skills, or example would be a third category that I haven't fully worked out yet, but would include S1) storytelling, S2) detachment, S3) ???)

And in hacking, you'd use the cognitive skills to operate a terminal (any kind of interfacing device) that has only one main set of stats to represent the universal law of information theory: processing power vs. storage (which is actually a trait of the physical universality of spatial vs. temporal dimensions (as far as I understand)). It would be no problem to have a low power terminal as long as it's got access to the net/cyberspace/matrix/whatever because if you have the money or other resources you will simply get servers that you connect to with your terminal that will do all of your storage and processing and then it's simply a question of how good the connection to the net is at the current location.

Sorry for textwalling, I'm avoiding work atm :D
No. 47758
I suppose it's pretty hit or miss as to how intuitive it is, but I assure you that it's a lot worse if you try to interpret it from the book :-D

I do quite like your proposed system for its simplicity. If Dark Stars has one glaring flaw apart from its clarity of writing (or lack thereof), it's that its got a godawful amount of bookkeeping. It's a very different beast compared to something like B/X where the bookkeeping is offset by the mechanical simplicity of the game. When you need bookkeeping for meaningful gameplay and to keep track of mechanical interactions, you start moving into nightmare territory. Having something that makes more sense in real world terms would be ebin too, kind of like our discussion on range bands last time.

On the other hand, it's also perfectly possible to use a PCM (cassette sized computer as per the rulebook) to run a remote operation program for an actual computer somewhere else, and use its power to handle your business (with some latency represented as an SI malus). Network shenanigans are pretty limitless with this system because it's sort of defining in-game laws of physics that you work within rather than simply being a way of parsing probability. This is the greatest strength of Dark Stars across the board, actually. The way that everything exists in a single mechanical zone. The game especially shines once you start getting into the more unique stuff because of this since there aren't always any rules to give things unique behaviour, but rather their unique properties come about as a result of what mechanical interactions they cause.

For example, a drone runs off of a vehicle operation program in its computer. There are in fact then several ways you could approach disabling it. You could go for just frying the program with conventional attack programs of your own, you could encrypt the program so that its computer could no longer access it, you could just delete the program after gaining control of the computer, or replace it with your own version with the IFF codes flipped. The sky's the limit because the mechanics don't describe what is done, merely how it's done. In that sense, the current system is very versatile in a way that a simpler one simply wouldn't be.

I don't mind walls of text. Tbh, this is a system that lends itself to them anyway :-DDD
No. 47980
Just going to call it for this week, I won't make it. I can feel the mental health bender coming on, and not the nice kind. Probably out of action for the next few days.
No. 47981
Consider this the equivalent of "get well soon" for problems in the heda.

Also, I wouldn't have had time on sunday anyway.
No. 48235
Forgot to post earlier. I'm good this weekend if you guys are. I'll be around at 0600Z anyway, if you want to play this week. If people are busy/feel like ans shit, I totally get it though :-D
No. 48296
Shit mang, the semester started and my entire week was chock full of stuff so when the weekend came I just turned off the 'puter and spent some time playing boardgames with my gf. Completely forgot about all things on the internet.

on topic: We did try to play Netrunner, but after 30 minutes of fighting with the rules I remembered why I haven't played this game in years and we instead settled for some German-tier boardgames:

No. 48297
41 kB, 500 × 423
All good. Brick ended up checking out anyway since he had a big day.

Netrunner was a fine game, but definitely on the 'too obnoxious to teach' side of things. Also one of my main wishes for the LCG genre would be for them to introduce something you could cube with a single, affordable purchase. Half the time, the setup falls into two categories, either you've already got decks put together, at which point most of the box is useless or it's slow and annoying to set up because there isn't really any gameplay to making decks (such as in a draft), just picking good cards.

Haven't played the first but Carcassonne is fun, played it again earlier in the year actually. Most of my board gaming right now is waiting for shit to blow over a bit here so that I can find a group of boomer grogs to wargame with, and have an excuse to expand my pitiful physical collection. I've tried going to a game store's 'wargaming day' and basically got told that they couldn't spare a table for something that wasn't 40k. Truly the worst timeline.
No. 48325
We've been playing a lot of boardgames lateley, starting easy with Scrabble and then transitioning to the settlers card game,
Druidenwaltzer and Carcassonne.

And you know, while playing this thing I couldn't help but think of how to re-create these games as video games with online multiplayer. Carcasonne can be played with 2 but it's more fun if you are at least 3. This is a two-person-household and currently it's a bit tricky to have people come over to visit and play games. So I thought Carcasonne should be a rather good choice for an online multiplayer game that everyone can play on any hardware. But the really cool part was for me to think about how implementing helpers that make much of the rule-learning obsolete. There is so much room for neat little tricks here, but at the same time I was realizing that many of the things that video games do can take away from the fun. Example: Highlighting where a piece can be put on the board - seems like a cool trick to decrease the learning curve, right? But now that I was sitting over our completely bonkers Carcasonne landscape, I realized that so much engagement comes from searching not just the best place to put my piece, but generally searching for any place I could put it. A side effect of which is that I was being much more observant of the board in general and I had developed a more "intimate" knowledge of the geography. Meanwhile, in video games, any such hud that helps you find all possible places to put things inevitably falls into the category of "little dotted line"-syndrome [1] that I have found annoying for at least 7-8 years now.

I'm rambling, but I figure you of all people find such thoughts interesting :-DDD

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzOCkXsyIqo
No. 48327
Yeah for sure, I can certainly respect the position of retaining the board gamey parts of a game that is a port of a board game. Part of the player skill in Carcassonne is the understanding of the map, and taking away from that in any way is to diminish from the game fidelity.

Will watch that video in a bit, and get back to you on my thoughts regarding it.

By the way, if you are interested at some point this week, I'm going to do a proper delve into the Cyberpunk Red rulebook that just came out. Could stream the pdf on the server and go over it in real time. Could be fun. Give us a heads up if you are interested.
No. 48330
Oh man I would love to partake in that, but from today until friday I am completely swamped with uni from 9:00 to 18:00 o'clock.
No. 48331
670 kB, 1366 × 726
Alright, my thoughts regarding that video are as follows.

In principle I agree. I think the guy approached the subject tastefully (no sneering at 'modern gaming' when addressing the trend he dislikes). I think he missed a couple of notworthy things here and there but caught a few good points.

I'll start with the good ones. I agree that a glowing trail can get in the way of immersion. You're also correct in assuming that I'd find this something interesting because it's a common problem with designing stuff for games, where I design in an old-school fashion with very 'think yourself out of it' situations over dice rolls. That said, I do disagree that it's something pursued simply for accessibility. For example, despite it's flaws, his example of The Witcher 3's navigation in many cases simply replaces the need to use the map every time you come to a fork in the road. I think that it needed to be toned down, not necessarily removed. I'd also add that The Witcher 3 was one of the few games I've played with the kino feature of optional aids. People bitch and moan about the Witcher Senses mechanic just being 'press button to follow line' without knowing that in most cases it's optional and there exists a physical trail of breadcrumbs to follow if you really pay attention (seen it in a couple of games now and it's one of my favourite little features to show up with new titles).

Another thing that I disagree with is that markers in themselves destroy immersion and exploration. I would disagree. Earlier this year I played Horizon Zero Dawn when it came to PC. That game's treatment of the environment was very skillfully crafted. Yes it used markers, but the gameplay loop was designed in such a way that you were heavily incentivised to interact with the world while moving to your next goal. In many ways this kind of thing is more interesting to me than simply going from point to point. When I have a distinct goal to reach, I can gauge progress and such, and a marker gives a constant feel of progress which is spiced up by the hunting and gathering you do on your journey to it.

I don't think that the problem is necessarily the dotted line. I think he addressed the heart of the problem with his bit on 'Hidden Quests'. If you make the world itself an interesting mechanic, then it is worthwhile to engage with it. This actually entends more broadly than just navigation. Consider something like a wargame. In pic related, I know exactly what points on the map are considered objectives, and I never need to 'discover' them. While this kind of amounts to a 'quest marker' for this genre, it also shapes the gameplay and is not just a crutch. So I think that calling it the dotted line syndrome is a misnomer. I think the issue is that the mechanic is something that exasperates problems which exist in the environment design and gameplay loop integration for a game.

On the topic of Carcassonne, my opinion hasn't changed from above though, I still see it as a matter of player skill rather than excessive guidance in that hypothetical.
No. 48332
It's all good my man. I can wait until you're free. I'm not really in any rush. It's just something I thought I'd toss out.
No. 48358
>I'd also add that The Witcher 3 was one of the few games I've played with the kino feature of optional aids. People bitch and moan about the Witcher Senses mechanic just being 'press button to follow line' without knowing that in most cases it's optional and there exists a physical trail of breadcrumbs to follow if you really pay attention (seen it in a couple of games now and it's one of my favourite little features to show up with new titles).

Good point. Interesting how we applied the topic of the video to different aspects of the game. I'm re-playing W3 currently and my biggest gripe with the game is how the markers on the (mini)map are absolutely essential to complete many quests. A perfect example is Jenny 'o the Woods, where you can absolutely not tell from the dialogue or the quest description where you need to go. It literally sais "Outside the Village" and a suggestion is made that one woman you need to talk to has seen the wraith because she lives at the border of the village. So I play without minimap, almost no hud except for Geralts state icons and meters and the enemies health bar. And based on the dialogue and that description, I started to search outside the village beyond where that woman was living. Until, after 5 minutes of fruitless wandering I opened the map to find that the quest marker is indeed outside the village, but on the exact opposite of where that woman lived. How could she have seen the wraith from there? (I hope I'm remembering this correctly, maybe it wasn't the exact opposite, but far enough)

I agree that you can see a lot of effort in the game to make it playable without helpers, but this is one of the missing pieces that actually make it impossible to avoid the quest markers.

>Earlier this year I played Horizon Zero Dawn [...] When I have a distinct goal to reach, I can gauge progress and such, and a marker gives a constant feel of progress which is spiced up by the hunting and gathering you do on your journey to it.

Ah yes, I found that this part of Horizon was surprisingly well done. I've played it on the PS4 and there was one thing about the hud that bothered me immensely - which might not apply to the PC version: You have a hundred little knobs to tweak the hud, but no way to disable the on-screen quest marker. This seems more like a bug than anything, becase why would you be able to turn off your health bar but not the quest marker? Still, the game was mostly playable without HUD and it's one of the things I found good about a game that I disliked overall.

One game I must mention now is Jedi Fallen Order. I'm playing it right now and this game passes the test with grendeur. The world is interesting enough to encourage exploration, but not as open as Witcher 3. It's closer to Metroid Prime or Bioshock 1 in terms of of world design; it's not afraid to be gamey rather than realistic in how enemies and save points are placed and how you can navigate around. But then it makes the story and world so engaging that you can spend 45 minutes solving a puzzle with no enemies in sight yet you never feel like the action is missing because understanding the environment is engaging enough to capture you fully. And this game has only two types of hints:

  1. Some objects slightly shine either blue or red if you look at them directly to signal that you either can or can't yet manipulate them with the force
  2. If you open the map, it's a holographic projection infront of the player that leaves you in game-time while looking at it (eg. the game isn't paused). And on this map you have a visual indicator of what is yet unexplored and an easy-to-ignore marker of where you want to eventually go but with no help on how to get there.
It feels like Tomb Raider II in it's exploring and even the harshness of punishment for rushing into things without first observing the evironment. At the same time, when you are destroyed by enemies, it can feel unfair but only because you are actually too weak in obvious ways and you know what went wrong, rather than being plain unfair for the sake of being hard. And this applies both to the puzzles and the fights.

I would say that Fallen Order is a semi-close second place in world design of the last decase in gaming for me. First place is God of War (2018).
That is not to say that Witcher 3 doesn't have good world design, in fact W3 might be my favourite game of the 2010s overall, but it's simply too large to be perfect in any one aspect, if you get what I mean.
No. 48359
Yeah, I definitely understand your point with TW3. The game had a lot of stuff but too much uninteresting stuff. And yeah, the line is definitely an issue with many quests, but I would reiterate that I think that it's a quest design problem exasperated by the dotted line and not stemming from the line itself.
No. 48365
>but I would reiterate that I think that it's a quest design problem exasperated by the dotted line and not stemming from the line itself.

I completely agree. It's a two-fold problem though in that the line may help without taking too much away if the quest design is well done, but once the line is there, you can start to slack off with the quest design because the line gives you leeway (is that the right word?). And with some games, most prominently the Ubisandboxes like Assassins Creed, the UI has become the main game and playing the game without the UI has neither been tested nor is it possible anymore. This is the terminal state of the problem where the presence of the UI helpers is not an aside but relied on during all of the game development.

In Witcher 3 I can see how it came to be: The game is huge, has an astounding amount of content, hundreds of quests, that all had to be designed while the technology wasn't yet fully developed. It's a cascade: The engine is in development, thus the world designers are very limited for a large part of the development time, thus the game world isn't built to completion while the quests are written, thus it's easy to loose some information between the writing of the quest, the recording of dialogue and the placement of elements in the world. After all, the world designers were a different team from the quest desigerns and communication in large teams is non-trivial.

I hope they've learned from it and improved upon these things in Cyberpunk (which I will play some time in the future when it's running on Linux... only took 4 years for W3 to run on Linux but now it's running better than on Windows).
No. 48366
Well, being an idealist, I'd like to chime in with the opinion that a game should strive to closely match the platonic ideal of itself. In a game with objective markers, there are two things that do the same job: the game environment and the compass. One of those should go, in order to make a "purer" game.
I don't think "the more the better" applies to art. You can make a piece of art worse by adding things to it. Even inconsequential things, or even mildly good things. Adding things reduces the concentration of ideas a piece of art has, so the benefit of the addition should outweigh the cost of "diluting" the work by that thing being there.

There's also something about "fallback" mechanics or elements in art that betray a kind of artistic cowardice. Not being daring enough to fully commit to the more difficult, but also the more interesting element, and leaving yourself room for failure. It sort of makes you go "eh".
No. 48378
Yeah. That's really my main complaint with any description of a game's failings that pigeonhole the problem. Often the perceived failure is actually a stress fracture from issues building up all over the place.

The game relied on these lines because the quests were not always as clear as they could have been, or maybe the other way around, but I think labelling it as 'dotted line syndrome' misses the nuance of the mechanical space it exists in. Kind of like how when I talk about old-school RPGs, I talk about resource management within the ecosystem of an adventure and not just something good in itself. When the gameplay loop is not set up to make resource management interesting, then doing it is boring paperwork that adds nothing, and handwaving it is probably the better option. To me, that would be like calling it the 'Resource Management Syndrome', missing the underlying issues.

I think you're probably right that communication problems were at the heart of this one. It does often feel a bit weirdly rushed in this respect.

All this said, I'm also probably not the best one for offering opinions on this because I'm one of those people who has a high tolerance for gamey bullshit before my immersion is broken.

I certainly understand everyone's point here, and even agree to an extent. Again, it's probably just me having said high tolerance for gamey bullshit.
No. 48381
>but I think labelling it as 'dotted line syndrome' misses the nuance of the mechanical space it exists in.

I see, now I get your point. In fact, now I can see where I missed it in your previous post. Thanks for rephrasing that part so that my morning-brain could catch up :D

My man, I used to think exactly as radical. Your post makes me feel like I've betrayed my own idealism because I've now realised how much compromise has slipped into my design principles.

On the other hand, I often find myself to be too radical in the eyes of others when talking about game design, so I can't have strayed too far in the wrong direction :DDD
No. 48385
Tbh that's all "theoretical" in that I recognize too types of enjoyment one can derive from art. The cerebral and the affect. What I said applies to the former.
I think it's perfectly reasonable to enjoy something that has superfluous qualities, by ignoring such qualities, if they are sufficiently decoupled. I do that all the time.

Slay the spire is a good example. It has a "daily challenge" game mode where it gives you randomized modifiers that pretty much break the game. It's a bit entertaining to try from time to time, but can be easily ignored as well.

I think that's one of the interesting things about video games, you can pick your own subset of the game to play. Unlike "linear" art forms, where superfluous elements are impossible to ignore.

That changes a bit if you are playing super-competitively, as in, trying to win 100%. Then you use every tool available, and if that tool makes the game worse, then yeah, that sucks. I've always liked games where there's a very tightly balanced "high level" mode of play, but there are still superfluous, but "fun" elements available at more casual levels of play, that don't effect the high level.
No. 48417
I'll be hanging out on the discord tomorrow at 0600Z (0700 Germany Time). If you are wanting to play, turn up. If you don't, I'm sure I can find something to do.
No. 48420
I could be there on monday, but sunday is turning into a problem day for me lately.
No. 48426
That's fine. I'll talk to Brick tomorrow and see what's happening. Moving into triple figures of applications but still no job bites in this economy so I've still got plenty of free time, so if Sunday don't work no more, I at least, am quite happy to shift.
No. 48475
So something came up and I'm going to be out this arvo. I'll try and sort out a new timeslot for our game this evening.l since Sunday is becoming less available.
No. 48476
No problem. Have fun with whatever you're doing now.
No. 48503
So, what days work for you Germany? I know that Sunday doesn't work well for you these days, but which days are still good for you since you're back at your studies.

I'm good anytime this week except tomorrow, and I think Brick is good later in the week. If last week was anything to go by, Friday and Saturday are better for you? Is that correct?
No. 48508
Nah, I got lectures each morning tuesday to friday, so the days that work for me are monday and saturday. And don't worry about me getting up too early, anything from 5:30 onwards goes.
No. 48511
Alrighty. Noted them away. Will get back to you as soon as I have updates. Currently thinking Saturday is good, but will have to confirm with brick.
No. 48600
So we're looking at Monday at 0600Z/UTC. That seems to be the day that works best for everyone this time. Whether that holds up or not, we'll see but we're back in the game :-D
No. 48602
Ack, I'll be there.
No. 49130
66 kB, 600 × 800
In the interest of not dumping it on someone literally overnight, going to have to postpone this week. Know it's a pain since we just started again, but Brick landed a job starting Monday, so that timeslot is out, and I'm not prepared for tomorrow (danger of playing indie games, short notice can cancel games due to lack of premade slot-in content).

Sorry for the inconvenience.
No. 49219
Okay mate, since I have a work meeting on tuesday and then uni every morning for the rest of the week, my next slot would be saturday morning. How's that sound for you guys?
No. 49221
Saturday works for me. Just spoke with Brick and he's finding out his weekly schedule tomorrow, so expect a result sometime in the next couple of days.
No. 49274
I think Saturday will be fine.
Boss man said we don't work on Saturdays.
No. 49276
Congrats for getting a job. It seems like I'm going to be the one without a job come January. But I've already written an application for a new one.
No. 49277 Kontra
Thanks. But my main problem with jobs has been keeping them :-DDD
No. 49334
5,2 MB, 4608 × 3456
Got a few days to myself, so I cracked out a space-intensive game for myself since I don't get the opportunity often. Only got a really basic playbook for solitaire. Might seem strange but it's pretty common and runs on the honour system (when the chart tells me to make an enemy attack, I make them present good attacks at my weak spots).
No. 49338
Don't forget to eat and take a shower once a day.

Also, I've gotten a heads-up that currently the Cyberpunk rulebooks are very cheap in the humble store (together with a bunch of other ones that look interesting enough):

No. 49339
237 kB, 686 × 862
Tbh, as much as I love that game, it's a relic and the core book should be at a $5 bracket at most. The game is really dated, and pretty janky. It's a great book to mine for inspiration, and it describes cyberpunk play better than most books (including talking about how to aggressively defend your squat from rival punks and the pigs both) by actually capturing the mindset. Posted this before, but some of the boxed text in the book is great for setting the tone.

They're also still on the trove I think if you wanted to just 'acquire' them, as is honestly thematically appropriate :-DDDDDDDDD
No. 49381
101 kB, 1116 × 794
By the way, I'm still working on it, considering whether to add district breaks with colour codes to designate checkpoints and such, but for now, this is the city map for the game. Got bullet points for the different zones but those work better conversationally than posted in text, so I'll go over them on Saturday. Just figured that I may as well share it now.
No. 49382 Kontra
Games are for faggy nerds
No. 49384
17 kB, 290 × 350
An awful lot of American men watch young men slap each other on the butt while throwing balls and waving bats around, it's true. All these boomers obsessed with muh sports teams are extreme homosexuals.
No. 49388
Dunno, baseball always seemed to me simply autistic rather than gay (not as autistic as cricket, but still). Murrican football, on the other hand, is one huge metaphor for a gay gangbang. XDDDDDDDD
No. 49417
sounds like no game tomorrow morning. Well, I'll be there and see if you guys are around. No problem if not, we can always find a new date.
No. 49418
That was yesterday evening.
I feel better today, and probably going to feel better tomorrow. So it's ok.
No. 49430
I'm going to be a bit late today sorry. Have to drive my sister to some christmas party around 1600 local (our start time). Shouldn't take too long though.
No. 49431 Kontra
Okay good, then you won't notice that I'll be 15 minutes late as well :-DDD
No. 49530
79 kB, 595 × 792
I’ve been playing tabletop RPGs for something like a decade now and have been DM for half that time. And for the moment, I made my games with only two rule sets. The old BECMI edition of D&D and one ultra simplistic made by a family member that take place in a retro futuristic commie world where space colonization happens.
I’m thinking about using new rules now because my players have captured the basics of RPG well enough to start having fun in more complicated stuff. And also I’m finally getting bored of the mechanics. Don’t want to play the fifth edition because I feel one of my assburger players who read the rule book will try to only play the game as if it was an Excel table and I don’t want him to do that, it’s unfunny.
Do you have any good, simplistic rules to recommend?
No. 49541
You could try AD&D if you did want something meatier. 1e is closer to the design philosophy of BECMI (I dont really bother with anything other than BX personally though). 2e is a more modern design, where TSR started to morph the game further away from its wargaming roots. Without supplements its a pretty classy set of rules though.

What kind of game are you looking to run? I can give much better answers with some ideas of how you want the game to flow, and what (if any) setting gimmicks you want.
No. 50005
17,5 MB, 266 pages
DSA 5 is much easier than the older editions.
No. 50089
But it has some weaknesses. The DSA4 got the balance between feeling powerful and vulnerable very right. In combat you were able to pull off high risk actions that could result in great reward.

That got totally lost with DSA5. It now feels unexciting as DnD with its high hit points and meaningless actions.

DSA4 was also not perfect in terms of combat, but it could have been fixed easily. Still it is way ahead of DSA5.
No. 50117
I love old school tabletop art but I have no one to play the games with
No. 50190
Some relevant info for our current group.

  1. Is this Saturday good for you guys? Or should I kick it back again?
  2. Considering a much more open, episodic format to our gaming in the future. That is that you may have new or recurring characters from various games, but the flow of play will be more around single adventures rather than campaigns. Think of our game of Bodycount how it was self-contained, but instead of riding into the sunset and ending it, we played some other adventures, maybe a fantasy one, or whatever and then come back to a new 'episode' in the Bodycount game that is effectively standalone. If you want to bring your old guy back, go ahead but if not, roll up a new one.
I do like our current game, but I just get the feeling that shorter games are going to be easier to handle with the online tools that we've got. It also lets me dabble with a bunch of different ideas and mechanics instead of having to go all-in on the tone of one game for an entire campaign.

Does that sound good? Genuine question. It's just a developed thought at the moment, and I'm not really in the business of jacking up the group's fun if you guys prefer campaign play.

Run it then. Game mastering is held up like this arcane art, but people learned it back then with way fewer resources than exist today.

I'll put out my offer again that there are openings in our current group, but the timezone thing is pretty rigid at this point because we're already ranging from Germany to Australia.
No. 50195 Kontra
5,7 MB, 4608 × 3456
Also, I can't remember if I ever did a review of this game, don't think I did, so I'll write one up tonight. Been working on some stuff for it recently so it's in my mind again.
No. 50197
So MSPE is an interesting beast. It has its roots in an early reaction to D&D, Tunnels & Trolls which was made because the creator wanted something less wargamey. This might not actually seem like something I might not like, but the game actually holds up because it holds the same spirit, just lightening the rules up.

MSPE was a later development of T&T which was initially playtested as 'Tunnels & Thompsons'. Their vision was to make something that could handle adventures from the Victorian era to the modern day. Despite the name being a full phrase, the book is self-described as being more three different games using the same set of rules, and your Noir Detective characters should not really be taking part in mercenary adventures and so on.

The rules are built around a 2d6+attribute+skills core vs a target number. The easy difficulty is at 20 and increases in increments of 5. Skills work in a leveled way rather than being things to check in themselves. Skills can be single things like language knowledge or tiered. In the end though, you apply the level of appropriate skills to the roll. For example, let's say you have an attribute of 12, and two appropriate skills. One is level 1 and the other is level 2. Your effective attribute is 15 (12+3 levels of skill). Then you'd roll the 2d6, add it to the 15 and see if it meets the target number. It sounds convoluted but it's pretty quick in play.

Major complications come from attribute damage, so a wounded character naturally becomes less capable. Combat itself uses a table to account for distance and action of attacker and defender, and works pretty well for making quick calls on how to modify complex combat actions. It's a fun enough system, and does the job well by keeping danger very much at the front of your mind, but also giving you plenty of tools to overcome it with a quick wit, the essence of pulp really. If it sounds a little familiar, the original Wasteland game was using a modified form of it (dunno if the sequels do).

Anyway, I've got all 3 editions. The original Blade Publishing print, the Sleuth Publishing second edition and the newest Flying Buffalo combined edition. The old ones didn't age well because they were low-quality newsprint manufacture. The combined edition is a much higher quality hardcover. The differences are minor, the first two being differentiated only by accompanying material. The 3rd edition is again the same, just with a few extra pages of rules and side material, so if you are just wanting one version, the newest is the way to go.

I'm currently working on an interwar Egypt adventure based on the likes of The Mummy, Raiders of the Lost Ark and so on. Got to mix it a bit with T&T but since the systems are very similar, it's not too bad.
No. 50234
>Is this Saturday good for you guys? Or should I kick it back again?

I think so, yes.

>I do like our current game, but I just get the feeling that shorter games are going to be easier to handle with the online tools that we've got.

Ditto, I think for multi-session campaigns it would be somewhat necessary that we A) meet regularly and without long pauses and B) actually use the time to play instead of chatting :-DDD

>Does that sound good?

Yes. It's what we were doing with knave and that worked rather well, I think.

On the other hand, I think a mixture would be best, where each adventure can stand on its own but there is a larger story that shines through every now and then, but only very simple pieces that are easy to remember even after 5 months because they can essentially be summed up on a napkin. Kind of like The Mandalorian, where the story about baby Yoda is about 5 sentences in summary but it's spread across something like 16 episodes that each have their own small story that just happens to overlap with the bigger picture every now and then.
No. 50258
Yeah, I agree that some context would be used between adventures. I think a lot of it is just me hitting the brick wall of running against my GM practice of contained games over full campaigns, combined with a system that I've not run a huge amount of and which isn't the most user friendly on any front (much love, Dark Stars, but you're janky as fuck).

This short form of the game also lets me indulge in stuff that's on my bookshelf that I intend to try at some point but never have the opportunity to, so we also get to experience a larger variety of adventures.
No. 50351
I won't make it, guys, I'm terribly sorry. Woke up with a bad headache and will go back to sleep now.
No. 50352
All breezy man. Get better.
No. 50484
I will play a Hügelzwerg. Geode by profession.
No. 50547
4,8 MB, 4608 × 3456
4,2 MB, 4608 × 3456
So something I backed a while ago arrived. It's an adventure so not standalone, but it's a really well-made product so I feel like doing it anyway. It came with a couple of mini dungeons for Best Left Buried too and I'll maybe touch on them also.
No. 50548
1,1 MB, 1753 × 2485
328 kB, 560 × 794
The Stygian Library by Emmy Allen is an adventure of sorts. There's certainly an argument that it's not, and it's a convincing argument that I largely agree with. I'd rather consider it an adventure generator, with adventure in this case referring to a dungeon type adventure.

The setup is that there exists a kind of extradimensional space in which exists a kind of weird library full of all the knowledge in the universe. Getting there requires a lot of books in one spot, be large enough to have unseen areas, and have someone die there. At which point a door will appear which will grant access.

The gimmick is one the the Author has used in another adventure of theirs, The Gardens of Ynn. That gimmick is that there is no predefined location, but rather the place is intended to be generated during play with random tables. This is why I buy into the argment of it being an adventure generator rather than an adventure in itself. It runs as a pointcrawl rather than a traditional dungeon crawl, with new areas being spawned off of existing ones if you venture forth from them. To generate an area you roll a location table which describes the scenery, a details table to give extra goodies, and a random events table to shake things up. The GM then quickly turns those prompts into something usable. The logic behind this is that it's reusable, captures the feeling of a strange extradimensional space, and preserves the exploratory feeling for the GM as well as the players. The 'depth' of the party, or distance from the entrance is added to rolls, making the weirder stuff only show up deeper in the library while the more benign is close to the entrance. There's also a progress mechanic which tracks the search for whatever information you're looking for in the stacks.

The author rightfully recommends reading the book a couple of times before even trying to run it, and that makes a lot of sense. I've used books with investments like this in the past and they can be really excellent. That said, for a single adventure site, it feels like a lot of work. Especially compared to something like The Night Wolf Inn by Anthony Huso which is not only an adventure site in itself, but can act as a fun base camp of sorts for further adventuring.

The stuff that is in the book though is really cool. I'm familiar with the author's style since we've talked quite a bit over the years on the internet. This one facet of their work really appeals to me, and that is this sort of weird, abstract and mildly unsettling/creepy whimsy that is dark without being overt or edgy about it.

Presentation wise, it's knocked it out of the park. The book is beautifully made, as expected of Soul Muppet. The black cover with silver foil writing and cover picture is striking to look at. Inside, the text is large, bold and clear. The paper is thick with a textured feeling, feeling very high quality, it's all in a pale grey which makes it easy on the eyes too. The art is very stylised and stark black+white. It captures the feeling excellently. It's laid out in an very usable way while remaining visually distinct, which I can very much get behind.

It's certainly interesting to look at and I'm glad to have backed it. Is it something that I can see myself using? Yes. Perhaps not the intended way, but rolling ahead of time for the sake of having better notes and such, with more interesting traps and treasure seems like something I can put to work.

Don't think I've got the words left for the mini dungeons. In a word, they're fine. Okay little pickup games for when you've got nothing else and need something for a one-shot. Shouldn't be compared to proper dungeons though.
No. 50549
Also, I'm going to be reading the new Dark Stars errata tonight, and will try and have my thoughts out later as well. Quick glance looks like a very fucking promising improvement to one of the most poorly written parts of the rulebook, hacking.
No. 50554
Alright, the Dark Stars errata. Didn't expect this to happen but here we are. First things first, this is a first impression. A few hours to digest it don't make for a final verdict.

So that first impression is 'jank'. The creators of Dark Stars have managed to bring their trademark lack of clarity to a document meant to add clarity. It's only through interpretation that you can start to see where they're going. They also acknowledge something I've suspected for a long time. They intend this subsystem to be largely optional.

So first up, we've got some new stuff. What's here is good. To understand them though, you need a crash course in the Dark Stars concept of software. So a piece of software (or program as it's called in book) consists of two things. A statline and an effect. The statline is how it interacts within the unified mechanical space that is the source of the system's greatness and it's jankiness. The stats let it interface with other parts of the game seamlessly and haven't changed. The second part, effect, is a system that uses mechanical tags to determine the result of successful uses. Rather than a spell though, think of it more like a 'payload' because rather than a single effect, it will set off a bunch of mechanical tags at once, or even act as a persistent subroutine that runs programs off of itself. We've been given two new 'tags' then. One of them is Overcharge which is a way to simulate overclocking something like a computer, a shunt drive, a railgun etc. using the computer side of the device instead of engineering. It's not a staple effect, but it's a useful one with some interesting uses. The second one is Tackle, which is for if you're using old style Cyberpunk 2nd edition running where you've actually got something akin to a dungeon crawl going on. It stops the target from moving until destroyed. Again, niche but interesting.

The most useful thing in terms of software is the attached list of premade programs that are all priced out and given effects and such. This is a much needed addition for a GM just for the sake of having resources at hand for this kind of thing. Nothing kills a game like this quite like the workload of being rules dense with no help from the writers.

This actually carries across to hardware too. The actual computers themselves have been better organised, and are generally much more user friendly on this chart than they have been in the past. There's also now a simple system for upgrading hardware, so you can fiddle with stuff on the aftermarket if you like without too much fear of things getting wonky. Nice touch.

I'm going to be nitpicky here, but this is something that happens a lot. Editing is again a problem. Item descriptions reference things that aren't properly explained, or that don't match up with the given stats, which makes an already confusing system even more so.

Their section titled clarifications helps a lot with stuff on the side that didn't make much sense in the past such as attacking the runner themselves, what's the NetWatch setup like etc. They clarified some stuff to do with programs and running over multiple turns, but again it all bogs down in weird writing and poor editing again which muddies it a bit (there's an implied subsystem for parallel processors acting different to single big boy processors, but it's never actually touched on directly). The best thing that they added was a way to just ignore the whole hacking system and rework it. I dunno how well it'd work in practice, I'd have to fiddle with it and see how it looks in motion but it could be something I use going forward.

So my impression overall is a useful but deeply flawed set of errata and rules clarifications. They don't change my opinion of the game from its firm love-hate relationship status. If anything, it's become entrenched.
No. 50826
481 kB, 420 × 605
Are we on for tomorrow or are we busy?

To make this post a bit more worth something, Stockholm Kartell is putting out another Mörk Borg zine in the same series as the last one talked about here >>41294

Should be noice. The game is very stylish, and pretty good for one-shot games rather than long-term play (not just campaigns, the games are very focused on a certain experience to the point that they lack the depth to stay interesting over many consecutive games). Reminds me a little bit of Best Left Buried in that respect. That said, the content in these zines is pretty transferable to other games.
No. 50827
780 kB, 2550 × 3506
No. 50828
2d6 chart for something to do with water?
t. recognises the odd word of Russian
No. 50862
Aw shit mang, I completely forgot.

I wouldn't have had time anyway, but I could've at least told you. I've got a new job and there is the end-of-semestre crunch and something else that have added up to a completely fucked up weekend schedule. I am 90% certain that I can make it next saturday, or even wednesday or friday if you guys want to play sooner.
No. 50864
Drink water.
Stop drinking water 40 minutes beforehand. Eat without drinking. Wait 2-3 hours. Start drinking water.
Stop drinking water 40 minutes beforehand. Eat without drinking. Wait 5-7 hours [there is a mistake in noun form here, should be "часов" instead of "часа"]. Start drinking water.
Stop drinking water 40 minutes beforehand. Eat without drinking. Wait 9-12 hours [again, the same mistake]. Start drinking water.

Looks like some instruction to give up the habit of drinking water. Dunno if it has anything to do with tabletop games.
No. 50870
It's all good. Shit happens and we all forget about crap. Saturday probably the best still since brick works during the week now.

That is very odd. Thanks for translation.
No. 51002
Going to bed now, but just posting a reminder that tomorrow we were having a game. If you can't make it for whatever reason, just post it here or on the server, I'll see them in the morning. Otherwise, the usual 0600Z time stands.

There is zero pressue if you've got even slightly more important shit to do though. I got plenty of stuff I can do otherwise.
No. 51006
I think I'll be there.
It's hard to say right now, but I'm currently in a "slightly fucked up" state, rather than "have to put conscious and deliberate effort into turning around in my bed because my leg is sore" state, so that's looking good for 12 hours from now.
Fingers crossed lol.
No. 51012 Kontra
Very inconvenient timing to have a comedown.
It's 1 AM here and I'm wide awake.
I don't think I can make it, sorry guys.
If I do, consider it a miracle.
No. 51014
I'll be there to see if a miracle happens. And if not then that's okay, no pressure.
No. 51025
I'll be there too. I got a few things that we can work out Mano a Mano besides. One advantage of such an autosomal system I guess.
No. 78527 Kontra