mithriltabby: Ancient Roman icosahedral die (Game)
2011-07-21 02:07 pm
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Escaped gaming meme: High-Tech Treasure Drops

In a gaming setting with at least slightly-ahead-of-future technology, everyone has personal infotech, including the bad guys. And when the player characters defeat them, they can still act through preprogrammed incentives.

One of the obvious ones for mercenaries is to have their gear detect defeat in combat and pop up bounties for the defeated mercenary to be delivered to competent medical care. The value would need to compete with the value to the victor of “kill the bad guys and take their stuff” (or sell them into slavery or killing them and harvesting their organs or whatever amoral profiteering the players can come up with). This also creates a rational in-game incentive for characters to rush to the sides of people who were, moments ago, trying to kill them, and performing first aid and packing them into ambulances.

It’s also an amusing way to play with the traditional “treasure drop” phenomenon, dating back to original Dungeons and Dragons, where monsters would be carrying treasure that it would make no sense for them to have. (“Where does it keep that stuff? Why would it keep that stuff?!?”) The offered ransom might be in hard credit, or in particular goods, or an interesting item that might itself be a new plot hook.

mithriltabby: Ancient Roman icosahedral die (Game)
2010-08-01 11:00 pm
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Escaped gaming meme: Hybrids

The basic idea behind the Seas of Chaos campaign was to have an in-game excuse to rip off any fantasy setting (whether novel or comic book or video game) that we wanted. When I sat down to browse the D&D 3rd edition books for ideas, I noticed that they had really gone overboard on all the hybrid characters; there were rules not just for half-elves and half-orcs, but half-dragons, half-demons, you name it. And that gave me an idea for a plot theme...

A background thread from a recent storyline )
mithriltabby: Dragon and Buddha boogying (Boogie)
2009-08-02 10:47 pm

When the scope of a domestic task is daunting...

...I look for a natural partition point for breaking it up into manageable sizes. One of them is my own time: for instance, I may decide to allot two hours to accomplish whatever I can in a particular effort, and whatever gets done, gets done. Another is external constraints: if the garbage bin or the yard waste bin are full, it’s time to stop cleaning the garage or the yard for now. (It’s pretty easy to keep the garage from accumulating clutter faster than 1 bin per week. In some seasons, the yard is a bit more challenging.)

obsessivewoman and I filled both bins today and took a trip to the recycling center. I’m calling the day a success.

mithriltabby: Flashing biohazard symbol over a donkey-elephant chimera (Politics)
2009-07-31 01:13 pm

Repair California’s town hall went well

When I initially heard about Repair California’s plans for a constitutional convention for California, I was skeptical: the backers were a business group, and our political process is sufficiently screwed up that a no-holds-barred convention with lots of special interests weighing in could screw things up even more than they already are. I was pleased by the town hall meeting today; the people there were talking sense and pointing out that California’s problems have been building for decades, and are not just the result of the recent downturn. To fix the problems in Sacramento, we need to do more than just repeal the 2/3 rule for passing a budget; we need to fix the system so we aren’t deadlocked between the “loony left” and “radical right” (as one speaker put it).

The plan is to keep the issues addressed by the convention limited (to avoid special interests getting a gravy train hardwired into the constitution), and to select delegates through a random process comparable to jury selection (with some different filters— not mandatory, and with more reasonable compensation) and provide them with access to experts, opportunities for feedback from their home communities, and plenty of time to deliberate with lots of visibility. They had Larry Stone (the Santa Clara County Assessor), Liz Kniss (the Santa Clara County Supervisor), and Richard S. Gordon (the San Mateo County Supervisor) speaking, as well as representatives from Courage Campaign and Common Cause, and the New America Foundation. (The latter group have a Reform California web site.)

I didn’t even have to bring up my favorite electoral reform causes; various speakers brought up clean elections, instant-runoff voting, and proportional representation. (I went to the mike to give people the URLs to the California Clean Money Campaign and Californians for Electoral Reform, since they weren’t in a high-tech setting where I could just tweet them to an overhead screen.

mithriltabby: Dragon and Buddha boogying (Boogie)
2009-06-18 07:12 pm
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New online presence

I’ve created a Twitter account, mostly to add one more data point to annoy Internet censors in Iran. I’ve hooked the tweet stream up to my Facebook account.

Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] firecat, I now have a DreamWidth account. It’s currently just a placeholder in case of a migration from LiveJournal. (I’m crossposting from DreamWidth right now; mithriltabby is slothman.)

As to the new appellation “mithriltabby”, I’ve been using it for increased uniqueness, since it seems I’m not the only Slothman or Catslaugh out there. To stake my claim on the name, this time I nabbed the vanity domain, which I’m using as my new home page.