marcus 2013

Dragonfly

Saw this in Kensington Gardens London yesterday, in the Italian water gardens at Lancaster gate

Later - reliably informed this is a damselfly, not a dragonfly. Thought it looked a bit small. My bad.

Dragonfly on floating leaf

Full sized image here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/49946034782/in/album-72157714489528968/

Not quite as sharp as I would like since the lens had slight fungus - I was testing it before selling it. Sigma 75-300 AF APO on Nikon D70



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marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle repeat - Designers, Dragons, and More

This is a straight repeat of one of the more interesting bundles - books about the history of the hobby. I might as well repeat what I said last time:

This is slightly different - a collection of books about the history of the role-playing hobby. It's fascinating reading if you're into the games or work in the field, but you can't really use the material for anything; I suspect that the audience is relatively small. It's a repeat of an offer from 2015:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Designers2020

"If there's one thing the "old school" revival has taught us, it's that history is important to gamers. This January 2015 offer (previously revived in February 2017) explores our hobby's origins and high points.

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

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's pandemic-related charity, Heart to Heart International. Heart to Heart is delivering medical equipment to health care workers on the front lines in the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

  • Designers & Dragons: The '70s (retail price $10): The first volume in Shannon Appelcline's history of RPG publishers (now supported by the Designers & Dragons Patreon campaign). This debut installment covers Dungeons & Dragons, the turbulent history of TSR, and the first generation of RPGs. Foreword by Greg Stafford.
  • Family Games: The 100 Best (retail $10): A hundred famed designers review and discuss their favorite games: Blokus, Can't Stop, Gloom, Kill Dr. Lucky, Prince Valiant, and dozens more.
  • 40 Years of Gen Con (retail $15): We can't go to Gen Con this year (sigh!), but we can still enjoy this photo-filled anecdotal reminiscence, compiled by Robin D. Laws, of the hobby's leading US convention. It's the best four decades in gaming!

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get this revival's entire Bonus Collection with four more ebooks worth an additional $40:

  • Hobby Games: The 100 Best (retail $10): From Amber Diceless Roleplaying to Wiz-War, a hundred leading designers praise their favorites.
  • Designers & Dragons: The '80s (retail $10): GURPS, West End, Palladium, Champions, and much more. Foreword by Cyberpunk designer Mike Pondsmith.
  • Designers & Dragons: The '90s (retail $10): World of Darkness, Wizards of the Coast, Warhammer 40K, Atlas Games, and more. Foreword by Peter Adkison, founder of Wizards and owner of Gen Con.
  • Designers & Dragons: The '00s (retail $10): D20, Pathfinder, the indies, and more. Foreword by Paizo Publishing founder Lisa Stevens.

Last time I said - I'll be downloading it all, but I don't have to pay - if you do you may be less keen. I don't really see any reason to change that.

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marcus 2013

Fanfic: Harry Potter and the Half-God Prince - part 25

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

Collapse )

I think this is the longest chapter so far, about 4.4 thousand words plus end notes, so there are probably typos etc. Comments please before I post to archives.

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marcus 2013

Need a chemical price from 1996-7

Does anyone have any old scientific catalogues around?

For my Harry Potter story it would be useful to know how much magnesium ribbon and other forms of magnesium cost in 1996-7. This isn't even slightly vital, and I can easily write around it, but if anyone does happen to know it would be useful.
marcus 2013

Another two RPG bundle offers - Fate of the Norns

This is a fantasy role playing system based on Norse myth

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/FateOfTheNorns
"This Fate of the Norns Bundle features Pendelhaven's Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok FRPG of epic Viking action in the Twilight of the Gods. The sun and moon have disappeared, devoured by the wolves Skoll and Hati. Fimbulwinter envelops the worlds of the cosmic tree Yggdrasil. Aesir and giants prepare for war. Mankind has descended into anarchy. In this Age of the Sword, new heroes arise who command the power to shape the outcome of Ragnarok.

Like the Norse sagas that inspired it, Fate of the Norns has a long history. Originally distributed in the '90s as a free demo .PDF, the game went through three editions (1993, 2002, 2005-6) without ever seeing print. Only with the August 2012 Fate of the Norns Kickstarter campaign did the rules make it onto paper -- and how.

The lavish full-color 20th Anniversary Edition (2013) updates the game's inventive and well-tested Runic Game System (RGS), which replaces dice with "mystic rune stones" based on the Elder Futhark. Your customized Essence bag contains the runes bound to your character's powers and abilities -- red runes (physical traits), blue (mental), and green (spiritual) -- and this bag also doubles as your character's life force (hit points). When the character, or "dweller," takes damage, you remove runes from your bag. You lose access to the powers bound to those runes, so damage feels very real. When your dweller dies, the Valkyries may carry off the character to Valhalla or Glassisvellir. The more dwellers you get into the heavens, the more new features in the game are unlocked for your next dweller. Your "Disir" (afterlife) level carries with you -- you, the player -- through your later Fate of the Norns adventures.

Pendelhaven expanded the Norns line through successive Kickstarters for Denizens of the North (March 2014), Seith and Sword (Feb 2015), and Lords of the Ash (Sept 2015). This all-new Fate of the Norns Bundle presents much of the Fate of the Norns line, including all the rulebooks, adventures, and even fiction, 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 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 leaving 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$165. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get both titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $65) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 369-page Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok core rulebook in its beautiful full-color 20th Anniversary Edition (retail price $30) ; the full-length introductory adventure Fafnir's Treasure (retail $15), which includes a print-and-play set of mystic runes; and the novel-adventure combo Seith and Sword (the adventure) (retail $10) and the full-length book that inspired it, Seith and Sword (the novel) (retail $10). (As a convenience, we also include the free Archetypes Compendium.)

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $100, including the two massive rules expansions and lorebooks, Denizens of the North (retail $30) and a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/215328/Fate-of-the-Norns-Ragnarok-Lords-of-the-Ash" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Lords of the Ash (retail $30); the adventure Dead Man's Blade (retail price $15); and another fiction-scenario pair, Horn of the Kraken (the adventure) (retail $15) and Horn of the Kraken (the novel) (retail $10).

This is a very pretty game, but I was a bit put off by some aspects of its presentation - the actual number of words per page is fairly low, around 400 words on some of the DENSER pages, often much less,. with lots of graphics filling up the space. A friend who has seen it said "A... distinctive art style. Lots of background on mythic Vikingness, lots of rules (buy our runestones!), very little"you are X who do Y".

Unfortunately I tend to agree - I think it has some good ideas, and a lot of information about Norse myth, but the authors don't seem to have grasped the idea of concise presentation. If I wanted to run a campaign with this setting I'd probably look elsewhere, e.g. GURPS Vikings covers some of the background, or go back to translations of the original myth and wing it from there.
marcus 2013

Can't crosspost at present

Livejournal is currently banning me from crossposting - they changed my password because it had apparently been the same one too long, but didn't tell me they'd done it for a few days - during which time I tried to cross-post from Dreamwidth (using the old password) twice. That apparently makes me a spammer in their eyes, and they've temporarily banned me. Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.

If it turns out to be crossposts from Dreamwidth as a whole they're banning this may take much longer to resolve of course. Until then I'll try to remember to post to both sites separately if crossposting doesn't work, but my memory is crap so don't count on it. I'm ffutures there too if you want to check occasionally.
marcus 2013

Another Moon Photo

This time I was trying my 100-500mm zoom on a Micro 4/3 body, which has a sensor about half the size of a 35mm frame so makes objects look larger compared to the frame size. This is the whole frame (reduced in size to fit the page), not cropped.



The full-sized images are here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/49872724307/in/dateposted-public/

Not as sharp as I would like since I was hand-holding the camera.

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