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Subject:Weird thought
Time:10:30 am
Probably well-known to filkers - you can substitute "Great Cthulhu" for "Hallelujah" in quite a few tunes. E.g. “Hallelujah” by Rufus Wainwright, the song heard at one point in Shrek. You'd need to change the rest of the verses to fit, of course... Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2162490.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 19
Time:11:09 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XIX: Imperil Your SoulCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2162251.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Linux recommendations? Making Windows 10 like Windows 7?
Time:05:15 pm
Assuming that plans don't change, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 next year. Since I really don't like the Windows 10 UI, and I'm guessing that most of my elderly software will have problems with Windows 10, I'm thinking again about switching to Linux. I've tried it before and ran into too many problems, but this time I have a 3GHz machine with 8GB RAM and a spare 500gb or so of disk space, which may make things a little simpler, so I was wondering if anyone has recommendations for a Linux that will run well and has a good Windows 7 style UI. Good support for scanners, printers, and cameras would be a plus.

Alternatively, is there a way to set up Windows 10 to be as much like Windows 7 as possible, and is the upgrade program any good?

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2161971.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another short-time RPG bundle offer - Song of Ice and Fire - 4 days only
Time:11:45 pm
This is the same bundle that ran last month, relaunched for a few days in the runup to the last episodes of Game of Thrones.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SIFRP2

"This revival launched Friday, May 17, and runs through 10PM Eastern US time (GMT -4) Monday, May 20 -- the day after the Game of Thrones series finale.

With HBO's Game of Thrones series ending, this timely revival brings back (for a brief four-day run) last month's offer featuring A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, the official RPG from Green Ronin Publishing based on the bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. Designed by Robert J. Schwalb (Shadow of the Demon Lord), SIFRP (2012) focuses not just on characters but on noble houses that wage war and stage intrigues in the great game where you win or you die.

(If you missed last month's offer, you can learn lots more about SIFRP from the original run's entry on the official Bundle of Holding blog, Beyond the Bundle.)

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 designated by Green Ronin Publishing co-owner Chris Pramas, the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The total retail value of the titles in this revival is US$142. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $72) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying core rulebook in both its Game of Thrones Edition (retail price $20) and its Pocket Edition optimized for tablet use (retail $14), as well as the Campaign Guide (retail $20) and Chronicle Starter (retail $13) and the introductory adventure Wedding Knight (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 $70, including the Night's Watch sourcebook (retail $18); the full-length chronicle Dragon's Hoard (retail $19); three Chronicle System rules supplements -- Out of Strife, Prosperity (new Holdings), Spark to Powder (gunpowder rules), and Chronicle of Sorcery -- and three creature guides: Woodland Creatures, Mountain Terrors, and Desert Threats.


This looked a pretty good deal last month, and I think it still is. But as usual I have to make it clear I don't have to pay for this stuff if I want it, if you do your mileage may vary.
Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2161664.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - World's Largest Bundle
Time:10:18 pm
This is a collection of material for old-style dungeon bashing fantasy campaigns, some of which has been in previous offers:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/AlderacD20

"This new collection has the whimsical name "The World's Largest Bundle" because it includes The World's Largest Dungeon and World's Largest City, A peerless 900-page megadungeon published by Alderac Entertainment, The World's Largest Dungeon (2006) has 1,600 encounters -- a d20 System-based dungeon crawl that can entertain for years. The City (published 2007), with its quarter-million humans, dwarves, elves, humanoids, and (ahem) others, fits smoothly in most fantasy campaign worlds. And this offer adds Alderac's stunning 400-page Ultimate Toolbox, plus comprehensive d20 System treatises like War, Empire, Gods, Relics, Dungeons, and Dragons for a total of over 4,000 pages of fantasy gaming material.

(These are .PDF image scans of the original hardcopy supplements (2001-2007) with OCR (optical character recognition) applied. Text is clear and copiable. The text of World's Largest City is light; the rest have dark, crisp text.)

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$147. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all nine titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $72) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Ultimate Toolbox (previously in our November 2017 Worldbuilder's Toolkit 5), the d20 sourcebooks Empire, War, Mercenaries, Gods, Magic, and Relics, and the scenario collections Adventure I and Adventure II.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $75, including The World's Largest Dungeon (retail price $40), World's Largest City (retail $20), and a catchy pairing of two more d20 sourcebooks: Dungeons and Dragons.


This isn't something I particularly want, but it would have been of great interest in my early years as a GM, and you appear to be getting a hell of a lot for your money. Recommended with all usual caveats.
Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2161439.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Donations in memorium
Time:04:52 pm
If you want to donate to Cancer Research in memory of Jack Cohen there's a page for it here:

https://www.justgiving.com/Drjackcohen

Gift aid will be added automatically for U.K. Taxpayers.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2161193.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Dr. Jack Cohen (1933-2019)
Time:08:49 pm
Doctor Jack Cohen, biologist and SF author, died yesterday. He's probably best known outside the academic community for the Science of Discworld books, and also gave scientific advice to a lot of other SF authors including Anne McCaffrey, Niven and Pournelle, etc., me (for the Flatland RPG I wrote especially) and many others.He'd been in a hospice for some time, and his death wasn't unexpected.

He'll really be missed from the British SF scene.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cohen_(scientist)
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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Savage Worlds
Time:08:48 pm
Two offers for Savage Worlds, one of the better SF RPGs

The Last Parsec

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/LastParsec

"This is one of two offers now in progress featuring space-opera settings for Pinnacle Entertainment's Savage Worlds RPG. This Last Parsec Bundle presents Pinnacle's high-spirited galactic backdrop for JumpCorp interstellar exploration teams at the starry frontiers of Known Space in the 30th Century. The other offer, Seven Worlds Bundle, presents the Intellistories Savage Worlds epic campaign of the fall of Humanity in 2217.

The Last Parsec originated in three notionally linked campaign books Pinnacle published to support the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion. Though the books' shared background was merely sketched, fans asked for "the setting book," which Pinnacle dutifully provided in its September 2014 Kickstarter campaign. The line's success spawned a June 2018 "booster" campaign presenting the setting's space prison of Irongate.

Open-ended and modular, with no complicated backstories nor canonical history, The Last Parsec may remind you of Farscape or the recent Netflix remake of Lost in Space. Above all, it's a loving homage to TSR's fondly remembered Star Frontiers -- a loosely defined galactic society where characters zoom all over the universe on every kind of mission. Player characters can be humans, cat people, walking plants, precognitive Serrans (space elves), dome-headed robots, four-armed Kalian swordsmen, or any of five more races, working together for JumpCorp as bounty hunters, explorers, merchants, security, diplomats, mercenaries, salvagers, entertainers, surveyors, scientists, engineers, or spies. JumpCorp employs everybody, sends them everywhere, and asks them to do everything. Is JumpCorp good or bad? honest or corrupt? sinister or benevolent? The answer is yes -- it's whatever your story needs.

(And if you're wondering, the term "the last parsec" has no great significance in the setting. It's a slang expression of loyalty: "I'm with you to the last parsec, and beyond.")

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 of these two offers (after gateway fees) goes to their designated charity, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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 Player Collection (retail value $39) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Last Parsec core setting book, the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion, The Last Parsec Archetypes, and the JumpCorp Requisition Kit, as well as the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition core rulebook -- everything you need to start your JumpCorp career.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Game Master Collection with eleven more titles worth an additional $68, including the campaign settings Leviathan, Eris Beta-V, and Scientorium; four poster-size ship maps suitable for The Last Parsec or any space-opera setting (Dropship, Freighter, Pirate Ship, and Research Ship); the introductory adventure Omariss Death Worm; two sets of Last Parsec print-and-fold Figure Flats miniatures (Explorers of Deep Space and Terrors of Deep Space); and The Last Parsec GM Screen Inserts."


Seven Worlds

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SevenWorlds

"This is the second of two offers now in progress featuring science-fiction starfaring for Pinnacle Entertainment's Savage Worlds. The first offer, The Last Parsec Bundle, includes the indispensable Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion required for this offer, the Seven Worlds Bundle.

Seven Worlds by Luis Enrique Torres is set in the year 2217. Humanity has colonized the nearest star systems. In the Seven Worlds campaign, a world-shattering epic on the scale of Battlestar Galactica or The Expanse, you become the unlikely heroes who try to avert the fall of Humanity. Fighting edge-of-your-seat, scientifically accurate space battles using the easy and quick Savage Worlds rules, you'll traverse known space from edge to edge and beyond. View and navigate the setting's 3D digital starmap, coded in VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language), as a free download from SevenWorldsRPG.com. This bargain-priced offer gives you the entire Seven Worlds line, including all seven campaign modules.

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 these two offers' designated charity, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$112. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all eight titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $46) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the full-color 216-page Seven Worlds Setting Guide; the first installment of the epic campaign, Rumors of War; and the Seven Worlds GM Screen, as well as five full-color Battle Maps.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with sixteen more titles worth an additional $66, including the rest of the Seven Worlds Campaign modules (2: Divided We Fall, 3: Into the Fire, 4: Broken Circle, 5: Chrysalis, 6: Exodus, and 7: Endgame) plus ten more Battle Maps. Designed for the Seven Worlds campaign, all the maps in this offer show generic locations (corridors, docking bays, etc.) you can reuse in any space adventure."


Savage Worlds is a popular system, and between them these offers should give a lot of scope for running adventures. The price is pretty good, and both campaigns look reasonably playable. Even if you prefer another game system, they should work reasonably well as a source of ideas. Recommended, with the usual reminder that I'm not paying for this stuff if I want it so my perception may be warped slightly; if you do your mileage may vary.
Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2160773.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another RPG Bundle Offer - Neoclassical Geek Revival
Time:11:07 pm
This is one that doesn't really interest me much, since it's designed for old-style dungeon bashing, though with a new and apparently improved set of game mechanics, character classes, etc. No comments at the end since I'm working on my iPad which really doesn't like the entry screen Dreamwidth uses - my feeling is that it's really looking for an audience that isn't me, and since I don't run old-style dungeon-bashing adventure the clever mechanics etc. are wasted on me. As usual there appears to be reasonably good value for money if you like this sort of thing.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Neoclassical

"Canadian designer Zzarchov Kowolski made his rep with innovative adventures for Old School Revival RPGs, such as Thulian Echoes and Scenic Dunnsmouth for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Zzarchov also publishes his own OSR-inspired game, Neoclassical Geek Revival ("Geek," not "Greek"!).

Neoclassical Geek Revival is a take on classic FRPGs to the extent that none of the original mechanics survive. Like Dungeon World after it, NGR presents unusual mechanics for class, conflict, stealth, magic, and experience that maintain the Old School vibe but deliver a highly individual experience. For instance, wizards have the power of Degeneracy. Their delirium-spawned insights grant them spellcasting bonuses according to whether they're Eccentric, Withered, Corrupted, or Doomed. Bards have no rogue powers nor magic; they just talk. But they can reshape the campaign world through oration and leadership, and use razor-sharp wit to cause deep psychological scars. Warriors get "trademark items" that grant presence bonuses in combat, and rogues get parkour-style movement. Multi-classing is easy, and characters can dual-class as Fools, fish-out-of-water non-adventurers who get luck modifiers. There are many other unusual touches.

Last October a player in Zzarchov's own NGR game, Dan D., analyzed the game on his blog, I Failed My Save. One highlight: "Every facet of NGR awards XP in a slightly different way that de-emphasizes combat while still promoting risk-taking. A great example is that you get increasing XP for each new room in a dungeon you explore. As you deplete your resources, that next room could be worth 450 XP now, or zero XP once you come back to the dungeon a second time. That's because that room will then be your first new room, whereas it's the tenth new room this time around. That sort of press-your-luck enticement is embedded in NGR (and Zzarchov's GM style, for the record). It puts a heavy risk-versus-reward ball in the players' court at all times, and it's when they are faced with real, meaningful choices that players get invested in the game."

Zzarchov publishes a well-rounded line of sandbox-style Neoclassical Geek Revival scenarios and toolkits. Each scenario includes statistics for both NGR and for generic Old-School D&D retroclones. His lively conversational writing makes each book a pleasure to read. This offer presents three versions of the NGR rulebook and most of the support line for a bargain price.

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 is US$89. Customers who pay just US$5.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Neoclassical Geek Revivalrulebook (in three separate versions illustrated by Dyson LogosAlex Mayo, and Scrap Princess), the 1st-level adventure The Temple of Lies, the handy play aids Hark! A Wizard! and Rampaging Monsters, and two remarkable scenarios from our November 2015 Old School Revival 3 offer: The Gem Prison of Zardax and The Gnomes of Levnec.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $15.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $51, including City of Tears (a desert-themed dungeon and campaign setting); Under the Waterless Sea (the siege of an undersea city burned to the ground -- rather, to the ocean floor); and the holiday adventure Down in Yon Forest, plus the play aids Lost in the Wilderness (wilderness encounters) and The Price of Evil (use a pack of cards to generate a haunted house).  Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2160495.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Stupid question that seems quite difficult to research...
Time:01:15 am
When did Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess first air in the UK?

Hercules was made from 1995 onward and I think it was shown in the UK in 1996 or so, but I'm far from sure, and can't seem to find the information so far. Anybody know?


update 28th april - Thanks to everyone who commented - it looks like both were shown on Sky from September 1996 onward. The uk terrestrial launch on Channel 5 (which is where I first saw it) can't have been earlier than March 1997, since that's when Channel 5 first aired.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2160219.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Fiasco
Time:07:40 pm
Another game I don't know very well, designed for the crime caper genre and quick play without a lot of preparation:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Fiasco

Fiasco (2009) throws you into cinematic tales of small-time capers gone calamitously wrong -- films like Blood Simple, Fargo, Burn After Reading, and A Simple Plan. It's like making your own Coen brothers movie, in about the same amount of time it'd take to watch one. During a game you engineer and play out stupid, disastrous situations, usually at the intersection of greed, fear, and lust. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. Things won't go well, to put it mildly, and in the end everything will burn in a glorious bonfire of jealousy and recrimination.

Fiasco is a landmark of modern indie RPG design. With its relationship-centered character generation, shared narrative control, tightly scripted format, and no-prep two-hour playtime, Fiasco popularized the story-game approach sometimes characterized as "sad things on index cards." Unlike the big-dreaming losers (more politely, "ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control") who populate dozens of its playsets, the game enjoyed immediate, long-lasting success, and it made a star of creator Jason Morningstar. This bargain-priced Fiasco and More offer presents both Fiasco and The Fiasco Companion, lots of playsets, and many of Jason's live-action freeform games published by Bully Pulpit Games.

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 designated by Fiasco designer Jason Morningstar, the Mines Advisory Group.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$86. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $42) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Fiasco rulebook (2009), plus the card-based Civil War RPG Carolina Death Crawl; the live-action game Radioactive Bison (which Jason wrote for patrons of the Bully Pulpit d.rip crowdfunding campaign); the freeforms The Climb and Out of Dodge (both previously in our May 2014 American Freeform offer); and the Dungeon World scenario When War Came to Colgur (another d.rip patron reward). And as a convenience to this offer's customers, Fiasco designer Jason Morningstar has curated Jason's Favorite Fiascos, a special collection of seven free playsets that haven't yet been collected anywhere.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $19.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $44, including The Fiasco Companion, the Fiasco playset collections Run, Fools, Run and American Disasters (previously in the November 2013 Indie Cornucopia), and the freeform games Winterhorn and The Skeletons.

 

Fiasco resources


I've taken a quick look and this appears to be a very playable system with a lot of the features I like - it's mainly orientated toward collaborative story-telling, not complex rules, it's fast-playing, and it's a genre that isn't already served by dozens of other systems; there are a few around, but most of them are aimed at successful criminals, not the "how the hell did this go so wrong?" failures it emulates. There are dozens of film quotes from films like Fargo and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and it's a game that even low-impulse-control idiots are unlikely to ruin since most of the characters are likely to be low-impulse-control idiots...

Recommended!

Later - belatedly remember playing this at a con a few years ago and really enjoying it. Definitely recommended!

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2159984.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Problems with pictures
Time:08:04 am
Several people seem to be having problems with pictures posted to Dreamwidth coming out too huge, wider than the screen.

My fix for this is to start off with small versions of the pictures, e.g. 800x600, which Flickr etc will readily do.

But if you insist on starting off with something huge the fix is to edit the HTML for the picture insertion and add width="95%". This makes the picture take up 95% of the width of the reader's blog page. It does NOT do anything about file size, loading speed or bandwidth, however, which is why using smaller pictures is a better fix. Or do both, of course!

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Subject:It's The End of the World As We Know It...
Time:06:59 am
I have a vague idea for a doomsday machine for the Harry Potter universe, based on the self-replicating bludgers I used in the last couple of chapters of my story.

I want to work out how long it takes for them to cover the earth given travel at around 60 mph, random paths, and doubling in numbers every few seconds. My feeling is that this ends up working like the destruction of Jupiter in 2010: Odyssey 2 - you get so many that the mass collapses as a black hole - but my maths really isn't good enough; do they spread out and blanket the world first, or does the implosion happen while they're still over the UK? Obviously it depends on things like their mass (20 to 150lb depending on your source), replication rate, etc., and how many times they double before replication errors creep in. Let's assume that it's Voldemort casting the spell and aiming to maximise muggle casualties, so spelled to target cars, trucks, trains, aircraft etc.

Any thoughts?

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Subject:Humble Bundle - 3D printable dungeon accessories
Time:08:29 pm
No use to me, don't have a 3D printer, but maybe someone is interested? 3D printable dungeon accessories, monsters, etc.

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/3d-printable-dungeons

Some of it looks very good, but of course it all depends on the quality of the printer.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2159230.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 18
Time:03:15 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XVIII: Puffskeins, Pumpkins and PotionsCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.

Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2158860.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Another RPG Bundle Offer - Song of Ice and Fire
Time:06:24 pm
Yes, it's a Game of Thrones RPG - I'll add comments later, at the moment I'm working on my iPad which really doesn't like to work with large amounts of text on a Dreamwidth entry...

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/GameOfThrones

"With Season 8 of HBO's Game of Thrones series just starting, this timely all-new offer presents A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, the official RPG from Green Ronin Publishing based on the bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. Designed by Robert J. Schwalb (Shadow of the Demon Lord), SIFRP (2012) focuses not just on characters but on noble houses that wage war and stage intrigues in the great game where you win or you die.

In the land of Westeros seasons last for years, not months, and family histories go back thousands of years to the Age of Heroes. Ancestral weapons may be worth more than a lordling's only daughter, and castles may have flown a score of banners in their storied histories. Magic lives mostly in myths and faded dreams. The learned maesters say it died out a lifetime ago, with the last of the dragons, but others say it still exists among the maegi and warlocks of the exotic eastern lands.

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplayingdraws on material from the novels A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance With Dragons to conjure a sweeping epic of war, political power, and survival in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. SIFRP is about Machiavellian court politics, family alliances and enmities, the rise and fall of kingdoms, and the clash of armies, but it is also about honor and duty, love and loss, family, leadership -- about tournaments, murders, conspiracies, prophecies, dreams, war, great victories, and terrible defeats. It's about knights, both false and true -- and it's about dragons.

In SIFRP's Chronicle System, characters have abilities like Cunning, Deception, Fighting, Status, Warfare, and Will. Each is ranked from 1 (Deficient) to 7 (Paragon), representing the number of six-sided dice you roll in task resolution. Specialties add bonus dice, and characters may use Destiny Points to invest in advantages that grant further bonuses. If you know the novels, you won't be surprised that characters can also have Drawbacks, such as Bastard Born, Craven, Dwarf, Eunuch, Inept, Lascivious, Maimed, Reviled, and Supreme Arrogance. Optionally you can use Archetypes like Anointed Knight, Godsworn, Hedge Knight, Maester, or Noble.

In the default campaign approach, all the player characters are heirs or retainers in the same noble household in one of the realms of Westeros, like the North, the Westerlands, King's Landing, the Iron Islands, or Dorne. You randomly generate your house's defense, influence, lands, law, wealth, and historical deeds and crimes that shape the house's identity. (Defeat! Descent! Treachery! Madness! Doom!) These determine the resources your group can draw on. By your actions in the great game of thrones, your house thrives or dies.

In ability tests you aim to exceed a target number set by the Narrator or, in combat, your opponent's Defense. The margin by which you beat the difficulty number determines your degree of success or the damage you inflict. Given the lethality of the source material -- the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones show 2,339 onscreen deaths -- combat is surprisingly forgiving: If you're defeated, you may die, but you might instead be maimed, ransomed, or "take the black" and join the Night's Watch on the Wall. The rulebook does recommend creating several characters per player.

A detailed Intrigue system lends depth to political machinations, provocations, and seductions. Participants use techniques like Bargain, Incite, Intimidate, and Taunt, and Actions like Fast Talk, Manipulate, Mollify, and Shield of Reputation, to gain influence over the opponent. Influence in excess of the opponent's Disposition Rating reduces Composure and may increase Frustration. The Intrigue system feels very, uhh, Varys-ian, or maybe Cersei-an. Littlefinger-y. And the whole game feels like Seasons 1 through 8 of your own personal song of ice and fire.

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) will be donated to the charity designated by Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing, the Union of Concerned Scientsts.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$142. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $72) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying core rulebook in both its Game of Thrones Edition (retail price $20) and its Pocket Edition optimized for tablet use (retail $14), as well as the Campaign Guide (retail $20) and Chronicle Starter (retail $13) and the introductory adventure Wedding Knight (retail $5).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with eight more supplements and scenarios worth an additional $70, including the Night's Watchsourcebook (retail $18); the full-length chronicle Dragon's Hoard (retail $19); three Chronicle System rules supplements -- Out of Strife, Prosperity (new Holdings), Spark to Powder (gunpowder rules), and Chronicle of Sorcery -- and three creature guides: Woodland Creatures, Mountain Terrors, and Desert Threats.

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Subject:Another Two RPG Bundle Offers - Rifts Essentials and Phase World
Time:09:19 pm
Two offers this time - a re-release of the Rifts bundle of 2017, and an all-new bundle for Phase World, the space-opera subset of Rifts.

Rifts Essentials

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/RiftsEssentials2019

"This is our second revival of the July 2017 Rifts Essentials offer featuring Kevin Siembieda's Rifts from Palladium Books. This revival has an all-new companion, the Phase World® Bundle, featuring the cross-dimensional space opera setting for Rifts.

Rifts is set on a future Earth shattered by countless otherworldly invasions. This Essentials collection gives players and Game Masters the core books for a campaign of mind-blowing, dimension-spanning adventure.

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 payment for these two Rifts offers (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Palladium Books, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

As before, the total retail value of the titles in this revived offer is US$79. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $33.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 384-page Rifts Ultimate Edition™ (retail price $20), plus the Rifts Primer (retail $3) and Rifts Sourcebook One™ Revised Edition (retail $10.50).

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 three more titles worth an additional $32, including the Game Master Guide (retail $13.50), a 360-page equipment collection; the Book of Magic™ (retail $13.50); and the Game Master Kit (retail $5) with useful play aids and pregenerated characters.

Phase World

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/PhaseWorld

"This all-new Rifts Phase World Bundle is one of two offers now in progress featuring Kevin Siembieda's Rifts RPG from Palladium Books. This is a new companion to the July 2017 Rifts Essentials Bundle, revived (for a second time) and now in progress, with the core rulebook and major supplements.

Phase World is the transdimensional high-tech nexus of three rival space empires known as the Three Galaxies. The Three Galaxies setting encompasses dozens of powerful organizations, thousands of sentient races, and tens of thousands of worlds with advanced technology, psionics, and magic. Starships have speeds measured in light years per hour.

Characters may visit Phase World's leading city, Center, for space exploration, smuggling, bounty hunting, and cosmic adventure. Some seek a powerful artifact, the Cosmic Forge. The Forge can transform ordinary beings into powerful Cosmo-Knights, a Three Galaxies version of a certain Power Ring-wielding superhero corps. Visitors may also encounter Oni Ninja of the Bushi Federation, the Gun Brothers mafia of the Consortium of Civilized Worlds, the hedonistic Paradise Federation, the manipulative Splurgoth kingdoms, nefarious arms dynasty Naruni Enterprises, brutal Hellworlds of the Kreeghor Transgalactic Empire, Solar Leeches, Void Zombies, the world-eating Demon Planet, and the ancient, enigmatic Prometheans. It's a busy place.

Phase World began simply as Rifts Dimension Book™ 2 (1994) by C.J. Carella. Like the alien galactic empires it introduced, Phase World expanded, becoming a distinct subgroup in the sprawling Rifts supplement line -- a space-opera domain with more support books than some of Palladium's independent RPGs. You can play whole Phase World campaigns spanning the Three Galaxies without ever looking back to Rifts Earth. This offer presents the entire Phase World line (sub-line?), plus additional books that let you expand the setting in many directions, for a bargain price.

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 payment for these two Rifts offers (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Palladium Books, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$125. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all five Rifts sourcebooks in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $49.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks: Phase World, Phase World Sourcebook, Three Galaxies, Fleets of the Three Galaxies, and Heroes of the Megaverse.®

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with nine more supplements worth an additional $75.50, including the Megaverse Builder (create your own dimensions!); sourcebooks for the Anvil and Thundercloud Galaxies; the high-tech weapon collection Naruni Wave 2; Skraypers,™ about a superheroic struggle against alien invasion; Dimensional Outbreak, a campaign sourcebook for the demonic invasion of the Three Galaxies; and three issues of The Rifter® magazine with extensive articles about Phase World."


Back in 2017 I said "I'll be honest - I own some of this system in dead tree format but I was never really that interested in the setting, and found it a bit rules-heavy. Having said that, it's one of the first true multi-genre RPG systems, and its take on putting the genres together is unusual, although not one I'd really want to run. As usual your mileage may vary."

Since then the original bundle has been re-released twice. Today I really don't have much to add. Basically, this is a 29 year old system, and one that a lot of GMs thought was pretty clunky even then. Phase World is based on a 25 year old supplement which seems to more or less ditch the multi-genre elements in favour of space opera, most of its supplements date from the 1990s. It's not exactly state of the art. Nevertheless, I know some people will snap it up. But if you're not already a Rifts player I'd strongly recommend going for GURPS Space or Traveller instead; they're not exactly new systems either, but they've been repeatedly updated and refined, and there's a metric shit-ton of material out there for both of them, especially Traveller.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Yeld
Time:09:28 pm
This is a bit of an emergency offer - the creator of the system has had a computer disaster and needs funds in a hurry - it's only going to be running until the 14th, which I think is a shorter time than usual.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Yeld

"Since 2006 Jake Richmond has been designing indie tabletop RPGs inspired by anime and Japanese videogames, such as Tokyo Brain Pop and Classroom Deathmatch. In January 2011 Jake started the webcomic Modest Medusa, about an adorable young hydra who arrives in Jake's home through a magical gateway -- a broken toilet. Over the next eight years the strip revealed Modest's homeland, Yeld, and that in turn brought Jake Richmond back to game design. In July 2016 he and his brother, Nick Smith, Kickstarted an introductory FRPG, The Magical Land of Yeld, to great success.

Though it's not necessarily a children's game -- the core rulebook is 266 pages -- in Yeld all the players play preteens (or, optionally, dogs). The characters ("Friends") find a secret enchanted doorway and cross into Yeld for adventure and exploration. There they join the struggle against the land's evil ruler, the vampire prince Dragul. The Friends also seek seven magical keys that open the portal back to Earth -- but the keys are scattered across the land, protected by the dreaded Hunters from the Crimson Ministry. If the young Friends turn 13 years old before they return home, they're trapped in Yeld forever, and they transform into monsters.

Characters have Strong, Smart, Tough, and Brave attributes (rated as a number of six-sided dice), and a Job like Freelancer, Shepherd, Oathbreaker, Soul Thief, Witch, Witch Hunter, or White or Black Mage. The player specifies the Friend's starting age, chooses a birthday on Yeld's 100-day calendar, and tracks the character's relentless aging toward the fateful 13th.

Fights take place using tokens on an ordinary checkerboard. On your turn you can move a number of spaces equal to your Brave dice, then take one action. Task resolution is an opposed roll of your dice versus the Gamemaster's Challenge dice; higher total wins. An attack is your Strong dice + weapon dice versus the monster's Tough dice + armor dice. Casting a spell is a Smart dice roll against a specified target number. If your action succeeds, the monster loses Tough dice, and you start an Action Chain. The Friend you choose to act next gets a die-roll bonus, and if that roll succeeds, the next Friend in the chain gets a still larger bonus.

Some of Yeld's design features show Jake Richmond's love of Japanese videogames. For instance, if you lose all your Tough dice, you die -- but you can keep playing as a ghost, and your friends can revive you with magic or just by visiting an inn. And you'll detect strong anime/manga inspirations in Jake's illustrations of the Yeld rules systems: clean and precise drawings, with bold outlines, sharply depicted faces, and vibrant colors.

For eight years in the punishing webcomics field, thanks to multiple Kickstarters and a Patreon campaign, Jake has managed to make ends meet. But every freelance creator lives a tenuous life, and something as routine as the loss of a nine-year-old computer can make things difficult. This offer, with The Magical Land of Yeld, several other indie RPGs from past Bundle offers, and three Modest Medusa collections, may help Jake navigate this current crisis.

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 very appropriate designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The RCRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying game creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$79. Customers who pay just US$4.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $24) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Modest Medusa Season 1 (retail price $6): The first 100 webcomics collected with artist's notes and bonus artwork. Includes the Modest Medusa coloring book.
  • Tokyo Brain Pop (retail $10): Psychic Japanese schoolgirls at Atarashi High School. [Previously in the December 2013 Super Asian Bundle Blast.]
  • Classroom Deathmatch (retail $7): Stage your own Battle Royale-style hunger games in this high-school game with an unprecedented body count. [Previously in the May 2017 Anime Blast 2.]
  • Sea Dracula Wave 2 (retail $1): It's about animal lawyers who argue their cases by dancing. Deal with it. [Previously in the February 2014 American Freeform offer.]

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $9.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $55:

  • The Magical Land of Yeld (retail $16): Children from our world venture into an enchanted realm -- Modest Medusa's original home. Includes the Friend's Guide & Coloring Book (retail $5) and the Pirates of Yeld comic.
  • Yeld Towns & Territories (retail $5): The first expansion introduces Town Quests, ideal for smaller groups of players.
  • Modest Medusa Seasons 2 and 3 (total retail $12): These two collections bring Jake and Modest to Yeld and introduce the young hydra's fantastic family.
  • The Tulip Academy's Society for Dangerous Gentlemen (retail $7): Wealthy young men at a boarding school live life to the fullest before they must graduate into a secret, ancient organization.
  • Ocean (retail $10): A GM-less survival/mystery story game set in an abandoned underwater research station. [Previously in the October 2013 Bundle of Nerves.]

This is all new to me apart from Classroom Death Match, which I remember as being fun. It's also pretty cheap for a surprising amount of stuff, especially if you go for the bonus collection, and the games have very nice manga-style illustrations. The strip that starts Tokyo Brain Pop is VERY silly... I think it's very good value, especially if you're into manga etc. As usual, as I always try to emphasize, I'm not paying for this stuff, if you do YMMV!
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Subject:Network Switch Recommendations?
Time:10:14 pm
I've been having some network problems at home which I'm pretty sure are down to the 5-port switch in my work room going flaky. At the moment I have the PC connected directly to the lead that usually goes into the switch and haven't had any problems in several hours, with the switch in there I've had problems with my computer, the network printer, and my backup RAID drive. I've tried swapping cables, switching off and on, etc. and nothing has worked for long.

I need to replace this ASAP, especially since I need to use the printer most days, so I want to pick up a switch from e.g. PC World tomorrow. They have TP-Link switches that seem OK for £12.99, everything else is much more expensive - and mostly made by NetGear, the makers of the switch that is giving problems.

So - does anyone know anything horrible about the TP-LINK TL-SG1005D Network Switch - 5 port

It seems to have a lot of positive reviews, about the worse thing I can see is that the casing is plastic which may mean heat problems. I'm prepared to take a chance at that price, unless someone has a good reason not to risk it.

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Subject:Tiny Octopus Fistbump
Time:06:24 pm
My energy provider is Octopus (Hail Hydra!) - they sent out a message today pointing out that they're reducing their prices in line with wholesale energy costs, unlike most of the other providers, which had a ridiculously cute gif on it:

Animated gif of tiny octopus in tin can.

I have no idea of the source for it, and hope they're using it legitimately, but I think it deserves to be shared...

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - EABA
Time:06:10 pm
This is a "useful for any genre" system I've never heard of until today - it looks interesting, but it also looks like it will be a lot of work to get into:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/EABA

"Across four decades EABA designer Greg Porter has sought the grail of Simulation. In the Threefold Model and GNS theory of roleplaying design, Simulationist games seek accurate modeling and consistent fine-grained replication of their setting's interactions; the campaign universe should operate sensibly independent of player concerns.

In 1983 Porter, an old hand with rules-heavy simulations such as GURPS and Car Wars, founded his one-gamer company BTRC ("Blackburg [Virginia] Tactical Research Center") to publish ambitious Simulationist RPGs such as TimeLords. Now living an isolated life atop remote Fork Mountain south of Roanoke, Porter still pursues his 35-year quest in highly individual designs such as Corps and, most recently, EABA ("Ee-buh"). That stands for "End-All, Be-All," a whimsically grandiose name for a thoroughly practical universal rules set.

EABA is a roll-over dice-pool system. Your attributes and skills determine the number of six-sided dice you roll; you total the three highest D6s, trying to beat a specified difficulty number. (The "Larger Than Life" advantage allows your best four rolls, best five, etc.) A Universal Scale relates dice to damage and recovery, mass and size, distance and area, time, money, quantity, and more. Using this one-page chart, you can easily determine most in-game relationships.

The chart also helps you set genre-appropriate baselines for your campaign world. Its default cost levels and "efficiency threshold" adjustments (for super-powers) help ensure characters have equipment and abilities suited to the setting's genre and technology. Once you've set the ground rules, the Universal Scale lets you craft powers, effects, and modifiers. EABA scales smoothly across many power levels, giving a nice range of variation for normals without going overboard for guys who can pick up a tank.

Combat uses an unusual initiative system where combatants bid secretly to see who acts first, and there's an action penalty for rushing. In a round, after you take one major action and one minor action, each additional action incurs a cumulative dice penalty. How much time does a combat round represent? That's EABA's most interesting innovation, a fusion of realism and drama.

"I started thinking about it when I tried to model cool scenes from movies as game turns," Greg Porter explained in a Hardboiled GMshoe online chat in 2014. "You just cannot do it on a second-by-second basis." The rulebook cites the lobby gunfight in The Matrix (1999): "From the first revealing of weapons to the final body falling is about 150 seconds. Even if the time onscreen was divided equally between the two protagonists, in a game with one-second rounds this would take 75 rounds to play, or about three days of your typical gamer wrangling, planning, and arguing. In EABA this entire scene would be seven or eight rounds long."

EABA rounds lengthen as the fight progresses, either as specified on the Universal Chart or to serve the Gamemaster's dramatic needs. The expanding turn scale accentuates the immediate in the early stages of a fight, then the dramatic later on. The first round lasts one second; later rounds double in length, up to 16 minutes at Round 10. Regardless of round length, you still get one major and one minor action -- but each later round grants an increasing "turn mod" bonus, representing your increased time for planning, focus, effort, or supplies spent. This means it's important you draw your gun faster than your opponent, and that can take a single round -- but running around the building, breaking into a car, hotwiring it, and driving it through the wall to surprise the bad guys can also take a single round. For players used to stopping the game for five minutes to plan their next one-second round, EABA's expanding combat turns inherently give their characters time to confer in-game.

EABA's combat system provides plenty of crunch, with rules for cover, opportunity and covering fire, weapon arcs, advanced aiming, special ammo types, explosions (fragmentation and blast), lethal and nonlethal damage, crippling and bleeding, technology level, and much more. The Stuff! equipment supplement adds extensive rules for weapons, vehicles, gadgets, and creatures. If you think it's important in combat, rest assured: It's here.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). BTRC publishes advanced .PDFs with interactive features that enhance tabletop play. The EABA core rulebook .PDF in this offer has a built-in dice roller; its character sheets do calculations automatically; you can generate characters and vehicles with one click; and you can draw and erase on the maps. .PDF readers that support the advanced features include Adobe Reader (desktop), Readdle's PDF Expert (iOS), and Qoppa Software's qPDF Notes (Android).

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by EABA designer Greg Porter, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The RCRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying game creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$135. Customers who pay just US$5.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $57), including the complete EABA v2.01 corebook, the steampunk-Martian-dinosaur extravaganza Verne (and the beautiful Verne Maps set); and the post-scarcity nanotech setting grep.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $16.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more supplements and campaign sourcebooks worth an additional $78:

  • Stuff!: A comprehensive equipment construction set that lets you build anything from a penknife to an orbital bombardment platform.
  • Aethos: Hard-sf space opera, espionage, and political aboard a colossal alien worldship.
  • Agency: Modern magickal intrigue in a campaign where only you are Real, and everyone else is just Scenery. Includes the 1957 companion game that puts you at the heart of the setting's early history.
  • Eschaton: Realistic superheroics in the wake of a sudden event that bestows super-powers on hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.


I might as well admit I'm not a big fan of the simulationist approach to RPGs, I tend to prefer simple rules and an emphasis on character. This looks very well designed and presented, but it's also a huge assemblage of PDFs etc. for each book, with javascript needed for some aspects, and that's a little off-putting to me. I'm certainly going to be looking at this, especially the Verne package, but I doubt I'll be playing it.

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Subject:More long lens photos
Time:11:02 am
More pictures I took with the 100-500mm lens here. It's definitely a keeper. Seems very good for birds etc. if you can get them to stay still long enough to focus the thing.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/albums/72157704242133672

and this is what it looks like at full stretch...

100-500mm lens on camera
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Subject:Another Moon Picture
Time:09:14 pm
I bought a huge Vivitar Nikon-fit manual 100-500mm f5.6-8 at one of the car boot fairs yesterday. I was late getting to bed and noticed it was a nice clear night with a bright moon, so...

Bright three quarter moon

The quality seems to be a little better than the 500mm F8 T-mount lens I normally use as my long lens, so I'm considering switching. Cost me £15 so I'm VERY pleased!

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer repeat - Traveller20
Time:07:41 pm
This is a repeat of a fairly large offer of material for the Traveller universe using the D20 system, first available two years ago. It's set a hundred years before the main Traveller timeline, and in different sectors of the Imperium.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2019Trav20

"This offer revives our popular March 2017 Traveller20 Bundle. 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), supporting 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 revived collection gathers much of the T20 line: the core rulebook (and the d20 System Reference Document SRD-3), 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.

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

The total retail value of the titles in this revived offer at launch is US$173. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all fourteen titles in this offer's Player Collection (retail value $73) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Traveller's Guidebook: 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 and three vehicle guides: 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: 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) and Golden Age Ships 1-7 -- a comprehensive collection of game maps for many kinds of civilian spacecraft travelling the Imperium.

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 Referee Collection with twelve more titles worth an additional $100:

  • Traveller's Handbook: 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: 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: A 48-page mini-campaign in the Gateway Domain, plus useful reference charts.
  • The Sydymic Outworlds Cluster: 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 ship guides: TA7 Fighting Ships and TA9 Fighting Ships of the Solomani 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 -- a trio of missions in the Glimmerdrift Reaches for the hapless crew of the scout ship Broadside of a Barn.
  • TA4 76 Gunmen: Ready-to-run pregenerated characters for every referee in a hurry.
  • EPIC-7 Merc Heaven: Six mercenary tickets (missions) on a wartorn world in the Outworld subsector.

At least one more title will be added later. "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle -- including purchasers of the original March 2017 run -- automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early -- even way early."

Traveller web resources

There are more Traveller pages on the web than worlds in the Gateway Sector. A few starting points:


This is interesting, but given how much Traveller material I already own I didn't make any use of it last time around, and I'm afraid this will probably be true this time too. But if you already use the D20 system this is an excellent way to get into the Traveller universe, at a pretty good price.
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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 17
Time:03:36 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XVII: Performance IssuesCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives.

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Subject:Another eBay problem
Time:09:05 pm
Postage is going up this weekend, which I hadn't noticed. Small changes on UK postage, but 50p and up more on overseas parcels. Have to revise my listings, templates, etc. and will probably lose money on some where there are already bids.

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Subject:eBay timing update
Time:07:48 pm
I was right, listing at 5PM today to end at 6 PM on the 31st was the way to do it.

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Subject:Two more RPG bundle offers - Stars Without Number
Time:07:33 pm
Two offers for the "Old-School sandbox SFRPG" Stars Without Number:

Stars Without Number

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/SWN2019

"This revived Stars Without Number Classic Bundle is one of two offers now in progress featuring the Stars Without Number SFRPG from Sine Nomine Publishing by Kevin Crawford (Godbound). Originally presented in October 2013 and revived once before in July 2014, this second revival once again presents the 2011 First Edition rules and early supplements.

Stars Without Number is one of the best, most characteristic examples of the Old School Revival philosophy of "sandbox" setting design. SWN offers toolkits, not plotlines. In a default SWN game there is no "campaign arc" -- just a reasonably detailed background, a group of player characters, and their motivations and ambitions. The campaign is simply what those PCs do to achieve their goals. At the end of each session the GM asks the players what they're planning for next time, then turns to the adventure creation chapter and cooks up a scenario based on their plan. The players bring the goals, and Stars Without Number helps the GM give them ways to accomplish those goals.

Kevin Crawford published the original version of Stars Without Number in 2010 as a popular free .PDF, then an expanded Core Edition with 40+ pages of new material; that corebook is the "Classic" edition offered in this revival. In August 2017 Kevin funded a hugely successful Kickstarter for a Revised SWN; the Revised Edition appears in our new companion offer, More Stars.

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 payment (after gateway fees) for these two Stars Without Number offers will be donated to the charity designated by SWN designer Kevin Crawford, Benzie Food Partners, a food bank serving Kevin's home county in Honor, Michigan.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$69. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $35) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Stars Without Number Classic: The complete original 253-page First Edition rulebook (2011).
  • Skyward Steel: Join the Thousand Lights of the Stellar Navy and embrace both the duties and the terrible freedom of a naval campaign.
  • Hard Light: The first SWN adventure setting. In the radioactive glare of a red giant star, explore the hard-bitten mining outpost of Brightside and ancient asteroid Sky Tombs.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $14.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $34:

  • Suns of Gold: Merchant campaigns and far-flung trade, including trade world tags and guidelines for building your own colony worlds and merchant empires.
  • Engines of Babylon: Create vehicles and low-tech system spaceships for your SWN campaign. This equipment book debuted in this offer's July 2014 revival.
  • Relics of the Lost: A sourcebook of long-dead technology from the Second Wave of human colonization. This supplement debuted in this offer's original October 2013 run.
  • Darkness Visible: Spacefaring espionage campaigns of classified perils, nameless heroes, and secret glory.

 

More Stars

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/MoreSWN

"More Stars is one of two offers now in progress featuring the Stars Without Number SFRPG from Sine Nomine Publishing. This offer, a new companion to the revived October 2013 Stars Without Number Classic Bundle now in progress, presents the complete Deluxe version of the expanded, refined, full-color 2017 Revised Edition rulebook funded in designer Kevin Crawford's spectacular August 2017 Kickstarter campaign. Backward-compatible with all previous SWN supplements, the Revised rulebook adds more character options, hardware, ships, and psionics, plus new world tags, adventure creation tools, and support for sandbox starfaring across the Galaxy of AD 3200.

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 payment (after gateway fees) for these two Stars Without Number offers will be donated to the charity designated by SWN designer Kevin Crawford, Benzie Food Partners, a food bank serving Kevin's home county in Honor, Michigan.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$80. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Stars Without Number Revised Deluxe Edition: The premium full-color 324-page rulebook with 80 pages of bonus content covering transhuman tech, true AIs, mechs, society creation, and even Space Magic.
  • Other Dust: Kevin Crawford's 208-page post-apocalypse sandbox RPG completely compatible with Stars Without Number. Includes the freebies Grandfather's Rain, Cult of the Wraith, and Cult of the Still Lady. (Previously offered in the original October 2013 SWN Classic collection.)
  • SWN Revised GM Screen: A four-panel portrait screen with eight pages of useful reference charts.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $15.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $35, including Starvation Cheap (wars and mercenaries), Dead Names (ancient civilizations), Sixteen Stars (popular sf settings), and Polychrome (cyberpunk).

Stars Without Number resources


I'll be honest, I looked at this and really didn't feel incredibly interested. It's another "Mankind has expanded to the galaxy then things went badly wrong" setting, this time the problem is development of psychic powers, followed by technological dependence on them and (inevitably) things falling apart when psionics goes blooey. Yet another setting where nobody has heard of redundant systems and backup plans, like the Virus in Traveller, Chaos in WfRP, etc. One of these years I'd love to see a setting where mankind expanded to the stars and things went spectacularly RIGHT, but utopias are a sod to GM so I doubt it'll happen any time soon.

As usual, you're getting a lot for your money if you need it; my personal feeling is that I don't, I already have some excellent SF RPGs, but tastes differ and the games I like may not be your cup of tea. Recommended subject to all of the usual provisos.
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Subject:Stupid question
Time:12:32 am
I usually list eBay items for ten days starting on a Thursday evening and ending on Sunday evening, from about 6 PM onward. This is usually simple, but Thursday is the 21st and British Summer Time starts on the 31st. So anything I list on the 21st and 28th will end an hour out from the time it is listed.

Simple question - since I still want items to end about 6 PM, should I start at 5 PM or 7 PM? I'm pretty sure I should start at 5 PM, but if anyone thinks otherwise please let me know in a comment.

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Subject:Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 16
Time:12:56 am
Continuing my Harry Potter / DC crossover, previous parts on any of these archives:

On Fanfiction.net
On Archive of Our Own
On Twisting the Hellmouth

XVI: Bad Master's SecretsCollapse )

Comments please before I post to archives
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