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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Advanced Fighting Fantasy
Time:06:04 pm
This is a fantasy RPG based on the series that began with The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and subsequent adventure books. Probably not my cup of tea, but it supports a very worth cause, Yorkshire Air Ambulance:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/FightingFantasy

This offer features the Arion Games tabletop fantasy roleplaying game based on the phenomenally popular Fighting Fantasy gamebooks by Steve Jackson (the British one) and Ian Livingstone. Originally published in 1989 as Dungeoneer and several expansions, now available in a handsome 2011 Second Edition, Advanced Fighting Fantasy is a complete RPG set in the classic Fighting Fantasy world, with a fast and adaptable system ideal for beginners and well suited to long-term campaigns. (For more about AFF and the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, see the links below.)

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity selected by Arion Games publisher Graham Bottley, the Yorkshire (UK) Air Ambulance. "In the area where I live it is a literal life saver," says Graham. "I very nearly needed it myself a couple of years ago, but it could not fly at night at that time. In the United Kingdom, these services are funded only by charities, and because there is a reasonable chance I may need it again, it is the main charity I support!"

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$88. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Advanced Fighting Fantasy Second Edition (retail price $14): Graham (Maelstrom) Bottley's completely rewritten RPG (2011) that revises and reorganizes Marc Gascoigne's original 1989 rules and adds lots of new material.
  • Heroes Companion (retail $9): Mass battle rules, loads of new magical styles, wilderness creation, organizations, hirelings, and more.
  • The Sorcery Spell Book (retail $6): The AFF version of the grimoire from Steve Jackson's four-book Sorcery! gamebook series (1983-85).
  • Out of the Pit (retail $11): The original, indispensable monster book with 250 loathsome creatures.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles (retail value $48):

  • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (retail $7): A full-length RPG scenario based on the first and most famous Fighting Fantasy gamebook.
  • Titan (retail $11): A 128-page sourcebook about the Fighting Fantasy world. Discover Titan's history, kingdoms, and great powers. Includes the Titan Map (retail $3).
  • Beyond the Pit (retail $12): Another 250 dangerous and intriguing denizens of Titan.
  • Blacksand (retail $11): The City of Thieves, Port Blacksand, is home to rogues and pirates, and a destination for the bravest Heroes. This sourcebook includes rules for Firepowder weapons, naval sorcery and sailing. Includes the Blacksand Map (retail $4).

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Fighting Fantasy resources

As I said, this probably isn't my cup of tea, but it does look like you get a reasonable amount for your money, and a reasonably fun game world. But as usual YMMV.

And it's probably time for me to ask again if people mind these turning up on their friends page?


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Subject:Two reminders...
Time:12:43 am
British Summer Time starts tonight - Clocks go forward an hour at 1 AM Sunday.

And UK postal prices rose at midnight - I've just had to go through all of my ebay listings and change postal prices, because I thought it wasn't happening until the end of the month!

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Subject:Pre-modified iMac G4 on eBay UK
Time:08:09 pm
Not my cup of tea, but if anyone wants a 20" iMac G4 that is already part converted for a fast processor board or usable as a monitor someone has one for sale on ebay UK. The main problem I can see is that it looks like he's discarded the drive cradle, which might be a problem if you actually want a DVD drive.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-iMac-G4-20-Modified-could-contain-Intel-NUC-for-Hackintosh-/152475845756

Needless to say I accept no responsibility for this whatever, if it's borked in some way you're on your own!

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Traveller 20
Time:06:10 pm
This is another RPG bundle offer, this time focusing on a D20 version of the classic SF RPG Traveller. It looks like you get a lot of material, but if you're already into the setting you may own a lot of it already for one or another of the innumerable versions of the rules:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Traveller20

For decades Traveller designer Marc W. Miller has licensed many publishers to create new material and even new rules systems for Traveller. From 2002 to 2009, licensee QuikLink Interactive adapted Traveller to the D20 System as Traveller20 (T20) and supported it with extensive source material usable with both T20 and Classic Traveller. Most of these supplements describe the official T20 setting, the Gateway Domain (four sectors at the Trailing edge of the Third Imperium galactic empire) in the "Golden Age" (circa Imperial year 993, about a century before Classic Traveller). This collection gathers much of the T20 line: the core rulebook (and the D20 System Reference Document SRD-3), the player's handbook, vehicle and equipment guides, starship deck plans, and lots of setting material. It's everything you need for a complete campaign in the Gateway Domain using the Traveller20 or Classic Traveller rules.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders. (By request of Far Future Enterprises, the DriveThruRPG versions of these files are inobtrusively watermarked.)

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Heifer International.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$159. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all fourteen titles in our Player's Collection (retail value $73) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Traveller's Guidebook (retail price $10): The player's handbook for Traveller20, with character creation and combat rules. Includes the complete D20 System Reference Document SRD-3.
  • Four Traveller's Aide guides: TA1 Personal Weapons of Charted Space (retail $7) and three vehicle guides (retail $7 each, total retail $21) -- TA3 On the Ground, TA6 Against Gravity, TA8 Through the Waves. These compendia of weaponry and vehicles include game statistics for both Traveller20 and Classic Traveller.
  • Revelation Station (retail $7): A small orbital waystation that serves as an ideal base for player characters travelling the jump routes.
  • Eight sets of starship deck plans: Scout/Courier (Type S) (retail $7) and Golden Age Ships 1-7 (retail $3 each, total retail $21) -- a comprehensive collection of game maps for many kinds of civilian spacecraft travelling the Imperium.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Referee's Collection with ten more titles (retail value $86):
  • Traveller's Handbook (retail $20): The complete three-volume Traveller20 D20-based core rules set, with all the Guidebook content plus worldbuilding rules, campaign advice, and lots more. Includes many useful forms and sector maps.
  • Gateway to Destiny (retail $10): A large campaign supplement set in the official Traveller20 setting, the Domain of Gateway, four sectors on the Trailing edge of the Imperium.
  • Linkworlds Cluster and Traveller20 Referee Screen (total retail $14): A 48-page mini-campaign in the Gateway Domain, plus useful reference charts.
  • The Sydymic Outworlds Cluster (retail $7): A deeper look at six worlds in the Gateway Domain. Includes "The Mahkahraik," an expanded description of one of the cluster's minor races.
  • Two Traveller's Aide starship guides: TA7 Fighting Ships and TA9 Fighting Ships of the Solomani (retail $7 apiece) describe the military vessels travellers meet in the Gateway and beyond.
  • Epic Adventures 1-3: EPIC-1 Stoner Express, EPIC-2 Into the Glimmer Drift, and EPIC-3 Chimera (retail $7 apiece) -- a trio of missions in the Glimmerdrift Reaches for the hapless crew of the scout ship Broadside of a Barn.
At least one more title will be added at some point after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Overall this looks like a reasonably good offer, with a lot of material on an area of space that isn't covered in much detail by other versions of the game. But as usual I have to point out that I get this material free if I want it, your mileage may vary.

The press release for this offer also included some useful links for Traveller referees etc. which may be of interest even if you have no interest in Traveller 20.
I haven't checked these sites, but there may be some useful resources out there.
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Subject:Squirrel Extravaganza... and a Boy Wonder
Time:07:19 pm
Went to the park to take some squirrel photos, and finally managed to remember to bribe the little buggers with a bag of cashews...

photosCollapse )

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Subject:Hugo Nominations
Time:10:23 am
Just put in my Hugo nominations - not going to bore you with the complete list but some I think are worth considering:

Person of Interest Season 5 for best long form drama
Person of Interest episode 6,741 for best short form drama
The Nightmare Stacks is this year's eligible Stross novel, and it makes the Laundry series as a whole eligible for best series
And The Howard/O'Brien Relate Counseling Session Transcripts - Part 1 by Stross is eligible for best short.


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Subject:Guardians of the Galaxy II trailers
Time:10:03 pm

All of the trailers in one vid - looks like fun and lots of baby Groot:

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Subject:An interesting discovery
Time:06:15 pm
I haven't posted about boot fair stuff for a couple of weeks because nothing especially interesting has come up - a couple of calculators, other odds and ends but nothing especially wonderful.

Yesterday, however, someone had a couple of unused sets of USB-powered speakers for 50p each, so I bought both and made an interesting discovery - the actual speakers in them appear to be more or less identical to those in the old Harman Kardon round speakers for iMac G4. And although I don't have the keenest possible ear, there appeared to be very little difference in sound quality. I suspect that what difference there is comes largely from resonance etc. in the speaker housing, that lovely thick perspex HK used.

This prompts the thought that it might be possible to take old sets of iMac speakers that are dead, yank out the speakers, and put in the guts of some USB speakers instead. You'd end up with a hybrid that looked right, more or less, but used the headphone socket and a USB port instead of the special speaker port of the G4. This might be a fun retro add-on for a more modern computer. Currently I only have one set of the HK speakers and they work, so I won't be trying this, but I offer it as a thought to anyone who has these speakers and is considering dumping them because they're dead, or they no longer own an iMac G4.

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Subject:History repeats itself...
Time:09:07 pm
After an aeon of just over five weeks my washing machine has gone wrong again.

Pump this time, I think.

I am never buying Hotpoint again.

UPDATE - Amazingly, I called this morning and the engineer turned up at 1 PM and (pause to knock wood) fixed it. One thing that amused me (and usually does whenever I see a new engineer) is that he blamed the previous guy for the problem. I suspect that the next guy will blame him, and so forth...

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Subject:Anniversary...
Time:12:20 am
I forgot to commemorate a very important anniversary yesterday. But hope this makes up for it...

buffy anniversary


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Subject:Diana: Warrior Princess Map
Time:09:13 pm
I think I forgot to upload the map I used for my D:WP session at Dragonmeet in December:

Low-res versionRead more...Collapse )

PDF

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Subject:That one time at Game Camp...
Time:04:02 pm
Received an email that might be of interest to anyone in the UK interested in games and game design etc.

GameCamp 9
6th May 2017
London South Bank University

GameCamp is back once more! London's unique unconference dedicated to all aspects of gaming culture is returning on 6th May 2017.

EarlyBird tickets are now on sale. Be sure to grab them before they run out!

As usual the unconference is dependant on its community to post sessions on the Big Board and drive the unique discussions and fun activities that make GameCamp such a joy. As a past attendee we hope you'll be able to join in :)

We also invite people to bring along games to demo or other things to exhibit or add to the atmosphere - just get in touch at committee@gamecamp.org.uk if you'd like to bring along something big or small.

Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gamecamp-9-tickets-32481926316?mc_eid=77bde612db&mc_cid=b1760204b3

I've been to a couple of these - not sure why not more - and they've been fun and the lunch included in the price was pretty good. Maybe I'll see some of you there.

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Subject:Fanwork meme
Time:10:03 am
Gacked from [personal profile] minim_calibre:

Name a character I do some kind of creative work about, and I will tell you the five(ish) things I think are fundamental to understanding them.

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Subject:Another RPG Bundle Offer - Space: 1889 (Ubiquity edition)
Time:06:05 pm
This is one that interests me for fairly obvious reasons - one of the driving forces behind Forgotten Futures was my experiences writing for the original Space 1889 RPG. The Ubiquity version uses a different and hopefully better rules set, and has some new material didn't accompany the original game:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Space1889


"Originally published by GDW in 1988, Space: 1889 is a proto-steampunk science fantasy RPG that sends your ether flyer to the swamps of Venus and the ancient canals of Mars for civilized adventures out of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and H. Rider Haggard. GDW and its licensees produced a dozen Space: 1889 RPG supplements (all still available as scanned .PDFs from Heliograph, Inc.), miniatures and computer games, audio dramas (two of them still available from Who North America), and, later, three series of ebook novels from Untreed Reads.

This offer features the new Clockwork Publishing edition of Space: 1889, licensed by designer Frank Chadwick and funded by a successful July 2013 Kickstarter campaign. The Clockwork edition uses the easy and fast-playing Ubiquity rules system created for Hollow Earth Expedition (featured in our December 2015 Ubiquity Bundle).

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) and each audio track as an .MP3 file. Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders, tablets, and music players.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$80. Customers who pay just US$6.95 get both titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $35), including Clockwork Publishing's complete 260-page Space: 1889 rulebook (retail price $25) and composer Ralf Kurtsiefer's complete soundtrack Music of the Ether (retail $10), with 18 DRM-free .MP3 audio tracks of atmospheric music for Space: 1889 game sessions.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $16.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles (retail value $45):

  • Marvels of Mars (retail $10): A two-fold sourcebook spotlighting the lost technologies of the ancients as well as the monsters that fight to survive in the unforgiving red sands.
  • Venus (retail $20): A big planetary sourcebook full of jungles, swamps, lizard-men, dinosaurs, and colonial zeppelins.
  • Space: 1889 Gamemaster's Screen and NPC Booklet (retail $10): Useful charts and tables, plus a 32-page booklet of nonplayer characters for every situation.
  • London Bridge Has Fallen Down (retail $5): A search for a missing scientist's ether flyer leads to the oldest city of Mars, and then deep into the Isidis Desert in search of the Empire's best-kept secret.

At least one more title will be added at some point after the launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


I'll be very interested in seeing this - Space 1889 really needed a drastic overhaul, and this sounds like it might be what was needed. I'm certainly going to be downloading stuff. Whether or not I actually need it is another question - if I was to run Space 1889 tomorrow I'd use Forgotten Futures rules, back before Forgotten Futures I ran quite a few sessions with Call of Cthulhu rules. I'd imagine others are using Victoriana rules, GURPS, etc. For the most part I suspect I'll be more interested in the adventures and source material than the rules, but it'll be interesting to see if the rules fill in some of the gaps of the original game. At a first glance everything looks very good, with a lot of illustrations and fun stuff. It looks like you get a lot for your money, but as usual I have to point out that I'm not buying this stuff - if you have to pay for it your mileage may vary.

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Subject:Woke up this morning...
Time:09:47 am
 ...with two quotes in my head.

"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks"
and
"That's no moon..."

 
I suspect that there is a crossover fanfic or fan-vid idea in there somewhere, but not one I think I'm going to write. If anyone else wants to, please feel free, but as usual a credit would be nice.


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Subject:Ebay problem uploading photos
Time:08:16 pm
Is anyone else having huge problems uploading photos for eBay UK listings today?


Much later - after several HOURS I started getting error messages saying there was a problem at eBay's end. It seriously took them that long to notice and start to do something about it?
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Subject:Today's Portobello Road Bargain
Time:03:45 pm
 I wasn't going to go out today because I have a bad cold, but I had to go to the post office so ended up in Portobello Road where the find of the day was (drum roll...) yet another Apple USB Mighty Mouse, which was priced at £2 but I ended up getting it for £1.70 because I'd run out of change and the seller couldn't break a £20 note. A bit grubby but ought to clean up well, and works perfectly. Provided I can avoid dripping snot all over it...

Also received the drives and battery for the next G4 upgrade, so I'll bung them in tonight and install Leopard since I won't be going out. Ah, the excitement of it all...
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Designers, Dragons, and More
Time:06:05 pm
This is slightly different - a collection of books about the history of the role-playing hobby. It's fascinating reading if you're into the games or work in the field, but you can't really use the material for anything; I suspect that the audience is relatively small. It's a repeat of an offer from 2015:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Designers2017

"If there's one thing the "old school" revival has taught us, it's that history is important to gamers. This collection explores our hobby's origins and high points.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$75. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $35) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Designers & Dragons: The '70s (retail value $10): The first volume in Shannon Appelcline's newly expanded four-volume history of RPG publishers, covering Dungeons & Dragons, the turbulent history of TSR, and the first generation of RPGs. Foreword by Greg Stafford.
  • Family Games: The 100 Best (retail $10): A hundred famed designers choose their favorite games: Blokus, Can't Stop, Gloom, Kill Dr. Lucky, Prince Valiant, and dozens more.
  • 40 Years of Gen Con (retail $15): Robin D. Laws presents a photo-filled anecdotal reminiscence of the hobby's leading US convention.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles (retail value $40):

  • Hobby Games: The 100 Best (retail $10): From Amber Diceless Roleplaying to Wiz-War, a hundred leading designers praise their favorites.
  • Designers & Dragons: The '80s (retail $10): GURPS, West End, Palladium, Champions, and much more. Foreword by Cyberpunk designer Mike Pondsmith.
  • Designers & Dragons: The '90s (retail $10): World of Darkness, Wizards of the Coast, Warhammer 40K, Atlas Games, and more. Foreword by Peter Adkison, founder of Wizards and owner of Gen Con.
  • Designers & Dragons: The '00s (retail $10): D20, Pathfinder, the indies, and (yes) Evil Hat. Foreword by Paizo Publishing founder Lisa Stevens.
I'll be downloading it all, but I don't have to pay - if you do you may be less keen.

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Subject:Today's boot fair and charity shop stuff
Time:10:03 pm
Another Mac USB keyboard (the big white plastic type) and Mighty Mouse
Some odd Apple connectors, a couple of DVI to VGA and an iPhone to VGA one which doesn't seem to work unless I'm doing something wrong.
A x2, 2.5, 3 teleconverter, M42 screw. Total cost £12, hopefully profitable.

and (from a charity shop) a story-telling game I've never heard of before called Never Ending Stories. Seems to be aimed at kids but should be playable by anyone, and has some rules that feel a bit like Once Upon a Time plus a map-building mechanic with hexagonal tiles.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/8674/never-ending-stories

Doesn't appear to be based on the book or film by Michael Ende, but interesting. And only cost £1.50

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Subject:New Article on Web Site
Time:11:41 pm
I've been wanting to post this for ages, but couldn't because H.G. Wells is one of the authors and was still in European copyright until the end of 2016. Then I forgot in January, for which many apologies:

The English House of the Future from The Strand Magazine December 1903: No author credited for the first section, though various architects are quoted at length, the end section is by H. G. Wells.

http://forgottenfutures.com/library/futurehouse/house.htm

A scene from a future London with cars and airships. Title "A return to the severe Greek style at Ludgate Hill"

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Battletech RPG
Time:11:44 pm
OK, if you like giant mechs this is probably for you, but I suspect that most of my friends who are into giant mechs already have most of the stuff here:

   http://bundleofholding.com/presents/BattleTechClassic

"BattleTech
is a space opera set in the 31st Century, a future where humanity has spread to the stars and spawned titanic interstellar empires. Each nation in this factional, militarized universe controls hundreds of worlds spanning a thousand light years. Against a backdrop of Machiavellian politics, armies of BattleMechs, "tanks on legs," clash across the colonized planets of the Inner Sphere. Mercenaries are the wild card that can tip the balance in combat. Running the razor's edge between legend and destruction, MechWarriors possess the necessary skills and luck to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Initially published in 1984 as a FASA board game, BattleTech has become a multimedia franchise, with novels, computer games, toys, miniatures, and a roleplaying version that has gone through several editions from diverse publishers. This offer features the 2006 Classic BattleTech RPG from Catalyst Game Labs (originally published by FASA in 1999 as MechWarrior Third Edition).

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$106.50. Customers who pay just US$11.95 get all four titles in our Warrior's Collection (retail value $51) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Classic BattleTech RPG rulebook from 2006 (retail price $18; originally published in 1999 as MechWarrior Third Edition) and three Field Manuals: Mercenaries (Revised), Crusader Clans, and Warden Clans (retail $11 apiece).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get our entire Gamemaster's Collection with five more titles (retail value $55.50) drawn from all three editions of the MechWarrior / Classic BattleTech RPG support line:

  • Interstellar Players (retail $18): The hidden organizations and societies that secretly influence interstellar events.
  • Sourcebooks for three of the great Successor Houses of the Inner Sphere: Kurita (The Draconis Combine) (retail $7.50), Marik (The Free Worlds League) (retail $15), and Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) (retail $7.50).
  • Periphery First Edition (retail $7.50): The many small and unorganized yet pivotal kingdoms and alliances at the fringe of the Inner Sphere.

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Not really my cup of tea, but I've seen most of these books at one time or another and you're definitely getting a lot for your money. But as usual I need to stress I'm not going to be paying for this stuff, if you are your mileage may vary.

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Subject:Another weird lens
Time:07:01 pm
..I didn't buy, because the Cash Converters shop I saw it in wanted £100+ and it had internal dust and what might have been slight fungus.

Tair-33, 300mm f4.5 with Kiev 80 mount for 6x6cm SLR. Huge heavy bugger. Annoyingly they didn't have the camera itself, I've always had a soft spot for them.

If anyone actually wants one of these, it's the Cash Converters shop in Kentish Town road - it may be on their web site too. They had no idea what it was at all, just look for Russian Lens and a price a bit over £100

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Subject:Footnote for a game setting I've already written...
Time:11:33 am
I thought of this today - unfortunately I wrote the game setting, the automata part of Forgotten Futures IX, in 2003 and it's a bit late to retro-fit it, especially since the name of an automaton there contradicts it. Maybe someone else can use it for a steampunk book or something, if someone hasn't got there first:

Historically the budget for the first British military steam automata was slipped past the Treasury as purchase of "improved mobile tea urns for field use." When the cost passed £2000 questions were asked in Parliament, and a committee of MPs visited the factory to investigate. The prototype automaton was hastily fitted with a hot water spigot and a punched disk of instructions for making tea. The MPs were delighted and actually suggested that it might be a good idea to teach them to fire guns too, for emergencies.

This incident led to two traditions:
  • All British military automata are built to make tea, if only by having a small electrically-heated pot built in somewhere.
  • British soldiers (and those of many other nations) refer to automata as "urns," "samovars," or the equivalent. Popular automata are often nicknamed "Ernie" in Britain.

Unfortunately the main military automaton in my game was specifically called "Automaton Atkins," Tommy to his squad, so it really doesn't fit in terribly well. But if someone else wants to use this please feel free - some credit would be nice though!



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Subject:More Boot Fair Stuff
Time:09:32 pm
Today was interesting - I got six more of the little USB temperature sensor / recorders, a Nikon SB-25 electronic flash (works but most of the switch labels etc. are all but worn away), an "impossible" gizmo for taking a photo of a smartphone screen onto their polaroid-ish film (seems to work but no film), and a copy of Randall Munroe's "Thing Explainer". Total spent £16 including admission to two sites and a cup of coffee, so I'm well pleased!

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Subject:Internet Archive Update
Time:11:45 am
The White Dwarf stuff has been taken down, apparently because I told Games Workshop and they went corporate on their asses. A shame, in a way, but this material still belongs to GW or individual creators, and some has been recycled in other products from other publishers. Putting it on line could impact sales or make it more difficult to do this.

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Subject:Another games great bites the dust
Time:12:39 am
Loren Wiseman, co-founder of Game Designers Workshop and one of the developers of the SF RPG Traveller and Space 1889, and the near-future RPG Twilight 2000, apparently died on Wednesday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loren_Wiseman

update - apparently he'd been crowd-funding medical treatment for several years due to blood pressure, diabetes, and heart surgery.

update - Wikipedia is now showing his birth date as 1951.

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Subject:Sending a DMCA notice to archive.org?
Time:04:41 pm
Does anyone know who to send DMCA notices to at archive.org? Someone has uploaded White Dwarf issues 1-100 containing quite a lot of my work, among many, many others. I've sent an email to their general contact address, just hope it will do.

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Subject:Video between iPhone and iPad
Time:09:56 pm
I'd like to use my iPhone camera (looking down a microscope) as the source of video and my iPad to receive it via Wifi - I would have thought that Facetime would be the way to do it, but all of the examples I can find on setting it up are for messages between two different user. Any suggestions? Doesn't need to be Facetime if there's a better alternative!

Later - I've found an app called Epoccam that sends video from the iPhone or iPad to a PC or Mac, that'll do almost as well. There's an annoying on-screen logo on the receiving computer, but it's good enough. But if someone knows something better...

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Subject:A Nice Surprise in Battersea Park
Time:05:51 pm
One of the car boot sales I often go to is in Battersea, a couple of hundred yards from Battersea Park. Usually I take the bus from a stop near the venue, but a couple of weeks ago the indicator said there wouldn't be another bus for ages, so I decided to walk instead, and on impulse cut through the park. Which would be much more fun on a sunny day, but never mind. One edge of the park is by the Thames, and when I got there I found this, which I either didn't know about or had forgotten existed:

big picturesCollapse )

I really must go back in brighter weather and get some better pictures.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Bundle For Two
Time:07:05 pm

This is something I don't know much about - games designed with two players in mind, either a referee with a single player, or two players in a cooperative game with no referee as such. It's tied in to Valentine's Day and only available until next Monday.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/BundleForTwo

"This Valentine offer of two-player RPGs runs for one week only, through Monday, February 20. Each of these RPGs is intended for two players, or for a Gamemaster and one solitary player character. Some of these duets, like the Romance Trilogy from Emily Care Boss, are ideal for an intimate Valentine's Day experience with your significant other. Then again, others emphasize confrontation, rebellion, and horror. (One game has a step in its turn sequence called "Inflict Pain and Suffering.") Maybe these could work for some relationships; we don't judge. The point is, this bargain-priced offer gives you many ways to have fun with just one other player.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.

About half these games have appeared in past Bundle offers. Most of the new games are in our low-priced Starter Collection, which presents five titles (total retail value $37) for just US$7.95:

  • Romance Trilogy (Black and Green Games, retail price $10): Newly updated versions of Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under My Skin, the groundbreaking "Three Quick Games About the Human Heart" by Emily Care Boss.
  • A Single Moment (TAGSessions, retail $8): A life-and-death narrative battle between samurai, and the past events that brought them here. Additional playsets translate the drama to the Wild West, medieval England, and even romantic comedy. Includes Five Single Playsets (Riverhouse Games, retail $1), which adapts the system to new settings.
  • Stories From the Grave (Spectrum Games, retail $10): Anthology-based horror (think EC Comics, The Twilight Zone, and Creepshow) for a GM and one foredoomed protagonist.
  • Mars Colony (TCK Roleplaying, retail $8): A political struggle for the salvation of an isolated outpost. (Originally presented in our September 2013 Indie Treasure Trove.)

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $16.95 to start, also receive our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles (mostly drawn from past offers) worth an additional $57:

  • Scarlet Heroes (Sine Nomine Publishing, retail $15): Both a standalone old-school game and an overlay for your favorite retroclone, Scarlet Heroes lets you run any published fantasy adventure, unaltered, with just one player. From Kevin Crawford, designer of Stars Without Number. (From the November 2014 Old School Revival +2.)
  • Showdown (Dark Omen Games, retail $15): A tense card-based confrontation between longtime enemies where victory always brings great cost. (New in this offer.)
  • Macabre Tales (Spectrum Games, retail $13): A Cthulhu Mythos experience that uses dominoes to create a tense, fiercely accurate simulation of HP Lovecraft's stories. Dominoes not included. (From the October 2014 Bundle of Tentacles +2.)
  • Don't Rest Your Head (Evil Hat, retail $5): An insomniac in Mad City struggles against monsters both real and imagined. (From the October 2013 Bundle of Nerves.)
  • Beast Hunters (Berengad Games, retail $5): Stalk and fight monsters that threaten your people. When you defeat them, use their blood to ink tattoos on your skin and gain their power. (From the March 2014 Fantastic Valor collection.)
At least one more title will be added at some point after the launch: "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."

I'll be taking a look at this but doubt I'll be using them much, it really isn't my style of play - I seem to work better with larger groups. But if you like the idea of one on one play this may be a very interesting offering, and it looks like you get a reasonable amount for the money. As usual I have to add that I don't have to pay for this stuff, if you do your mileage may vary.
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