marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Cyberpunk

The Humble Bundle people are doing an offer on the old R. Talsorian Cyberpunk game - not really very interested since I already own most of it in dead trees, but others may want to take a look. A couple of supplements that were licensed from other authors, most notably Hardwired based on the novel by Walter John Williams, are not included. It was mostly originally published in the eighties and early nineties and set in the far-off dystopian years 2013-2020, and there are one or two tiny differences between the game and real world, but never mind... It does include the first part of Cyberpunk Red, a reboot of the setting released earlier this year and set in 2075.


https://www.humblebundle.com/books/cyberpunk-r-talsorian-books

Most of this is a fairly old system, and a bit clunky by modern standards, but has some interesting ideas and support material. I haven't seen Cyberpunk Red yet, but a lot of it isn't available yet, and I'm more inclined to wait until it is.

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marcus 2013

Another two RPG bundle offers - Symbaroum

Two offers for the Swedish RPG Symbaroum - one a repeat, the other all new:

Symbaroum

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2020Symbaroum

This is one of two offers now in progress featuring Symbaroum, the dark fantasy RPG of primeval danger. This revived August 2018 Symbaroum Bundle has the core rulebook and early supplements; if you're new to the game, start here. The all-new companion offer, Symbaroum Settings, adds recent sourcebooks and adventures.

In 2015 the Swedish design team Järnringen (now part of Free League, publisher of the ALIEN RPG, Coriolis, Mutant: Year Zero, Vaesen, and many more) created Symbaroum. Inspired by the films Princess Mononoke and Pan's Labyrinth and the Witcher computer games, Symbaroum conjures the foreboding forest of Davokar, a rich setting of ancient ruins and barbarian clans, Iron Pact elven wardens and Blight Beasts, princes and rogues, treasure and corruption, all beautifully illustrated in full color -- check the spectacular Imgur gallery.

This bargain-priced revival of English-language .PDF ebooks includes the complete rules, supplements, adventures, game aids, and artwork -- everything you need to explore the depths of Davokar. 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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase of these two Symbaroum offers (after gateway fees) goes to their pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$99. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all five titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the full-color 264-page Symbaroum Core Rulebook (retail price $19), the Advanced Player's Guide (retail $15), the Abilities & Powers reference cards (retail $7), and Adventure Pack 1 with two introductory scenarios (retail $4).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $51, including The Mark of the Beast (retail $8) and Tomb of Dying Dreams (retail $10), two "landscapes" (scenarios) that complete the adventure begun in the Core Rulebook; Thistle Hold - Wrath of the Warden (retail $15), the launch of the seven-part Throne of Thorns campaign; the Symbaroum Game Master's Screen (retail $5); and the glorious art book The Art of Symbaroum (retail $13).


Symbaroum Settings

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SymbaroumSettings

This is one of two offers now in progress featuring Symbaroum, the dark fantasy RPG of primeval danger. This Symbaroum Settings Bundle is a new companion to our revived August 2018 Symbaroum Bundle now in progress. If you're new to the game, start there.

This new Settings offer adds recent sourcebooks and adventures, most of them funded in Kickstarter campaigns in March 2017 (Karvosti), October 2017 (Monster Codex), April 2018 (Yndaros), and March 2019 (Symbar). These location sourcebooks continue the epic Throne of Thorns campaign begun in the rulebook and the early supplement Thistle Hold (part of our revived August 2018 Symbaroum Bundle). Hunt for treasures, lost wisdom, and glory -- visit barbarian clans to trade or to plunder their treasures -- intrigue with princes, guilds or rebellious refugees in the capital city of Yndaros -- face Arch Trolls, Blight Beasts, and undead warlords. But tread carefully and don't disturb the ruins of old, lest Davokar's deeps awaken.

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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase of these two Symbaroum offers (after gateway fees) goes to their pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$112. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all six titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Karvosti - The Witch Hammer (retail price $15), a location sourcebook with the second part of the Throne of Thorns campaign, plus its appendix Hidden Treasures of Davokar (retail $2) and the free scenario Grey Wade Crossing; a sourcebook about the region's capital city, Yndaros - The Darkest Star (retail $15), plus its related supplements City Adventures (retail $4) and Secrets of Yndaros (retail $2); and Adventure Pack 2 (retail $10).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $27.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $64, including the setting book about the wildest and darkest parts of Davokar, Symbar - Mother of Darkness (retail price $20), plus its dedicated play aids Davokar Game Master's Screen (retail $5), Davokar & Symbar Hexagon Map (retail $2), and Ruins of Symbar (retail $2); the Symbaroum Monster Codex (retail $18) plus its Adventure Locations (retail $4); and Adventure Pack 3 (retail $13).



When the original bundle was offered I said "I really don't know what to say about this one - it's not really one I want to play, and I get the impression that it's a fairly old-school system (lots of different dice types, character classes, races etc.) which isn't my preferred way to game. The setting appears to be Nordic gloom with a side helping of darkness, crawling chaos, etc. The map has lots of mountains along one edge and a lot of forest, curiously reminiscent of certain fantasy sources. The art is very pretty, if you like gloom and trees. I think it's OK value if you like that sort of thing, it just isn't even slightly my cup of tea."

If you've already bought Symbaroum and liked it you'll probably want the Settings bundle. If you didn't previously try it but want to take a look the original bundle looks like a reasonably good deal, and if you do enjoy it the settings offer also looks to be reasonably priced. Both offers run to December 7th so you've got time to make up your mind.

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marcus 2013

It's complicated...

The Questionable Content cast list has been updated since the last time I looked at it:

https://www.questionablecontent.net/cast.php

and now features a link to a chart of all of the relationships seen in the comic which is, as they say, complicated...

https://www.questionablecontent.net/cast/castchart.jpg

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marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Starfinder Empires

A bundle of third party adventures etc. for Starfinder, the SF/Fantasy version of the popular Pathfinder rules, best summed up as D&D... in... Spaaaaaaaace!


https://bundleofholding.com/presents/StarfinderEmpires

This offer features third-party supplements compatible with the Starfinder space-fantasy RPG from Paizo Publishing. Starfinder is a spacefaring version of Pathfinder, with classes, races, magic and monsters transmogrified from their Golarion origins, and with new systems for high technology, starship travel, and space combat. Starfinder inherits Pathfinder's Open Game License, and indie publishers -- notably Rogue Genius Games, Legendary Games, and Fat Goblin Games, the three represented in this all-new offer -- have supported the game with a galaxy of supplements and sourcebooks that enhance any Starfinder campaign with new planets, aliens, starships, robots, monsters, magic, and adventures.

(These third-party supplements require Paizo Publishing's Starfinder core rulebook, which is not included in this offer. Paizo's website offers several free Starfinder quickstart adventures.)

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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$138. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $66) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Rogue Genius Starfarer's Companion rules expansion (retail price $20); Legendary's 450-page Alien Bestiary (retail $30), with nearly 300 monsters both classic and new; Fat Goblin's Alien Evolution: Cosmic Race Guidebook (retail $10), with two dozen playable alien races; and the introductory adventure Blood Space and Moon Dust (retail $6).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $72, including the Star Empires Compendium (retail $25), which lets you found and run your own stellar empire in the mode of Legendary's Ultimate Kingdom series; the Advanced Skill Guide (retail $20); Service Bots and Synthetic Companions (retail $7); three Blood Space Gazetteers (The Solar Court, Tor, Ulo) set in the Xa-Osoro System introduced in Blood Space and Moon Dust ($5 each, total retail $15); and Pirates of the Starstream (retail $5), a campaign sourcebook set in the buccaneer haven of 8-Pieces Port.


I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the system, or of its source, Pathfinder - they're OK, but use things like character classes that go back to the beginnings of role playing and feel a little clunky today. Basically, if you like Starfinder and already own the rules this is probably a good deal. If not, bear in mind that the rules currently cost around $40-$60 depending on the set you buy, and think fairly carefully before buying add-ons for a game you don't own.

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marcus 2013

So farewell then...?

OK, it appears that Trump has lost at 290-214 electoral votes (the BBC puts it at 273-214), although some of those look a bit iffy to me. I'll believe it when he cedes - or stages a coup or something...

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marcus 2013

Fanfiction Net problems

Something appears to be badly wrong with fanfiction.net - it looks like posting stopped working some time on Saturday. Or rather, stories appeared to post but anything added since then isn't appearing, so there are a lot of stories where the last chapter gives an error message, or has vanished again with the story showing as recently updated.

Looking at the latest page for really busy fandoms like e.g. Harry Potter shows the results - the most recent story showing on the first page was posted on the 30th - there's one story above it, showing as last updated on May 30th. What I think happened with that one is that it was actually updated after the problem started to occur, but the update isn't showing.

So if you're posting to fanfiction.net, or read stories there, I'd strongly suggest looking for alternatives.

Update, Thursday 00.02 AM, looks like it started working again some time in the last couple of hours, stories are updating.

later - some are, some aren't. REALLY annoying.

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marcus 2013

Another two RPG bundle offers - Worldbuilding

Two offers of material for worldbuilding RPG campaigns - one's a repeat, the other all new:

Toolkit 4

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2020Toolkit4

Originally presented in November 2016, this Worldbuilder's Toolkit 4 revival -- fourth in our popular series featuring gamemastering texts and play aids to enhance RPG sessions -- runs in parallel with the all-new Toolkit 7, the seventh installment in the series.

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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries daily to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$107. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all six titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Kobold Guide to Combat (Kobold Press): Nearly 20 master designers give tips for creating great conflicts.
  • Design for Writers and Roleplayers (Dancing Lights Press): Five full-length treatises by Berin Kinsman on NPCs, alignment, setting design, story structure, and group dynamics -- Building Characters, Group Dynamics, Setting Design, Story Structure, and Understanding Alignment.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $62:

  • Kobold Guide to Magic (Kobold Press, retail $15): Another star-studded collection of essays that make magic mysterious once more.
  • Focal Point (Engine Publishing, retail $12): The seasoned gamemasters from Gnome Stew detail ways to make your gaming sessions extraordinary.
  • How to Run Fast & Exciting Combats (Roleplaying Tips Publishing, retail $20): Johnn Four of RoleplayingTips.com shows you, in detail, exactly how to GM fights in half the time with double the excitement. Includes three bonus titles: The Legendary Combat Swipes Book, ,3 Easy Ways to Add More Story to Combat, and Top 10 Reasons Why Your Combats Are Slow.
  • Four helpful journals from Fat Goblin Games, including the Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal, Adventure Planner, Allies and Adversaries Journal, and Monster Memoir.

Toolkit 7

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Toolkit7

This Worldbuilder's Toolkit 7 is the seventh in the Bundle site's annual (well, mostly) series of gamemastering texts and play aids. Of all the site's series (OSR, Cornucopia, Fate, Tentacles, Nerves, etc.), the Toolkits are the most successful. This installment is one of the strongest in the site's history, with both of Kenneth Hite's Suppressed Transmission collections, two books by Robin D. Laws, two Lazy DM titles from Sly Flourish, and the Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.

In parallel with this new offer, we've also revived the November 2016 Worldbuilder's Toolkit 4, with two more Kobold Guides, Focal Point, five "Design for Writers and Roleplayers" titles from Dancing Lights Press, and more.have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and Canada and to regional response agencies around the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$107. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $42.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Kobold Guide to Gamemastering (Kobold Press, retail $10); The White Box Essays (Gameplaywright, retail price $8); the Compendium of Contemporary Weapons from Palladium Books (retail $10.50); Dungeons for the Master (Dicegeeks, retail $9); and 20 Dungeon Starters for Dungeon World or any FRPG (Lampblack & Brimstone, retail $5).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with eight more titles worth an additional $65, including Kenneth Hite's astonishing Suppressed Transmission: The First Broadcast and The Second Broadcast (Steve Jackson Games, total retail $16); Sly Flourish's Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master (retail $8) plus its accompanying Lazy DM's Workbook (retail $5); Beating the Story by Robin D. Laws (Gameplaywright, retail $8), as well as Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering (Steve Jackson Games, retail $8); and two big troves of ready-to-use dungeon maps from the king-hell dungeon mapper of the Old School, Dyson Logos: Commercial Map Pack 2018 and 2019 (ZEROBarrier, $10 each).


Last time I said (edited slightly)

I'm really not sure how useful this stuff is - probably mainly of interest to someone relatively new to running RPGs and designing their own setting.. both have some interesting material. I think that they're value for money if you need everything, but to be honest you might be better off cherry-picking one item at a time as you need them. I'll be downloading a couple of things but as usual I have to point out that I get freebies; if you don't YMMV.

I think this still applies

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marcus 2013

An unexpected sale.

I listed the weird cable I mentioned in the last post, with a buy it now price of £2.49, thinking I could always accept a slightly lower offer. But someone just paid full price! A bit surprised, I didn't really think many people would want one, but always happy to be proved wrong.

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marcus 2013

Weird Apple cable question

Back when Apple sold equipment with DVI video outputs, one of the cables they sold was a DVI-D male to female lead that was approximately four INCHES long:

weird short video cable.

I've now seen several of these at car boot sales etc., but still have no idea what they were for. My best guess is that it was to send the video output from the computer to some sort of signal converter or splitter box. Anyone know?

later - mystery solved. Found an eBay listing that included the product code 603-8471, it turns out to be for use with Apple's two-port DVI graphics card - their standard DVI plug was a little bit too wide for two to be plugged in side by side, so you used this adapter, whose main feature was a relatively small casing on the male plug.

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marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Kult: Divinity Lost Bundle

This is a setting that has been around since the nineties, with new rules from 2016

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Kult

"This all-new offer presents the entire product line to date from the 2018 Helmgast edition of the acclaimed RPG of contemporary Gnostic horror, Kult. The world around us is a lie, and humanity is trapped in Illusion. By discovering the truth about our prison, our captors, our hidden past, and our Shadow selves, player characters hope to awaken from their induced sleep and take control of a stolen destiny. Funded in a February 2016 Kickstarter campaign, the new Kult: Divinity Lost updates the original 1991 Kult to the present with an entirely new rules set Powered by the Apocalypse. But just as before, death in Kult is only the beginning. Escape your nightmares, strike bargains with demons, and try to stay alive in a world full of pain.

Divinity Lost modifies the Apocalypse Engine, replacing the standard 2d6 roll with 2d10; a result of 15 or more is a complete success, 10-14 success with complications, and 9 or less failure. Playbooks include Academic, Avenger, Broken, Cursed, Deceiver, Fixer, Occultist, Prophet, Ronin, Seeker, and more. Though all player characters share the same set of generic Moves like Act Under Pressure, Keep It Together, and See Through the Illusion, and a Stability score that measures emotional composure, every PC has unique Dark Secrets and pre-established Relations with other PCs. Relations are your key to gaining Stability -- or, all too often, losing it. Your character advances by learning more about the Truth; after 10 Advancements you can become an Enlightened Archetype, which brings "mental illumination and sometimes physical changes."

Divinity Lost dramatically increases the range of Moves the Gamemaster uses to respond to player actions. In addition to 15 Regular Moves like Put Someone in a Bad Spot, Decrease Stability, and the ever-handy Make a Move for a Higher Plane of Existence, the GM also has Moves for Passion (Insight Into the Divine, Become a Victim of Passion), Dream (A Portal is Opened, Attract Dream Prince's Attention), Madness (Distortion of Time and Space, Bodily Changes, Attract Beings), and locale-specific sets of actions for Elysium, Gaia, Metropolis, Inferno, and Underworld. You get a strong sense of Kult GMing duties from the long list of pre-defined, expected Moves like Entrancement of the Soul, Influence of the Death Angels, Out-of-Body Experience, Under the Control of Higher Beings, and (ohhhh, look!) Virgin Births.

Kult has always been, and remains, a game of visceral and psychological horror about madness, sex, brutality, and death. When the original edition arrived in Italy, the Pope reputedly banned it. The rulebook discusses safe words and hand gestures that let players stop a scene. Clearly this game isn't for everyone. But if your players appreciate its themes of human nature and the Shadow within, Kult can produce intense experiences of a kind unlike many horror RPGs.

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 devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Chris Birch of Modiphius Entertainment, Vision Rescue. In Mumbai, India, Vision Rescue feeds and educates slum children and their parents to free them from exploitation and live with dignity.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$106.50. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $51.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Kult: Divinity Lost core rulebook (retail price $32) along with its Gamemaster Screen (retail $10) and the handy Reference Deck (retail $9.50). Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $27.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $55, including the full-length campaign The Black Madonna (retail $20), the collection of seven short scenarios Taroticum and Other Tales (retail $20), and the unsettling Kult: Divinity Lost Tarot Cards (retail price $15), which are used in the title scenario of Taroticum."

There was a vogue for games of this type in the nineties - I'm not quite sure why existential horror was so big, but I'm guessing the millennium may have had something to do with it. For some reason I never got into it in its original form, and the idea of an RPG that needs safe words is possibly one of the reasons why.

Worked out in terms of cost per page this one comes out fairly expensive, and unless you're really into the genre it may be worth thinking carefully before you go for it.

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