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Subject:Weird Tim Powers Reference
Time:04:32 pm
An eBay listing about fishing weights turned up when I was searching for something else. I think that the description is either a typo or written by a Tim Powers (or Pirates of the Caribbean) fan...

HTO Non Toxic Dropshot Column Weight

Cylindrical column shaped dropshot weights that provide stability in rougher conditions and stranger tides.

It's repeated verbatim lower down the page.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/372019609902


Arrr!

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Subject:Stupid (I hope) WaterFox question
Time:03:55 pm
I just switched to Waterfox because the new version of Firefox has killed the add-ons I like. There's one stupid problem so far:

In Firefox, if I close all tabs the browser opens the home page, which until the last firefox update was Superstart, a speed dial add-on which is MUCH better than the equivalent in Firefox.

In Waterfox, if I close all tabs the browser closes. This means that if I want to close a browser window and open Superstart (and I usually do) I have to open a new tab for Superstart first. So far, I've forgotten and shut the program more often than not. It sounds trivial, but I've been working the other way since I first used Firefox a good few years ago, and it's proving hard to break the habit.

Anyone know if there's a setting that can be changed to open the homepage if all the other tabs are shut? It's not showing up under options, and at the moment the help screen switches you to the Firefox help pages!

later - just realised there's a security / privacy issue here - if this happens when you have a private window open it closes, but Waterfox will still be open if you have any tabs open. This could easily lead to someone opening a page that they don't want tracked when they THINK that they are still in privacy mode.

SOLVED - Someone on the Waterfox reddit gave me the answer:

open "about:config"
search for "browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab"
toggle to "false"
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Worldbuilder's Toolkit +5
Time:11:14 pm
Another collection of material aimed at people who design their own RPG campaigns and settings.

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Worldbuilders5

This is the Bundle of Holding's fifth annual collection of gamemastering ebooks that help you design RPG campaign settings and run adventures. Of the Bundle's various annual or recurring series (Old School Revival, Fate, Cornucopia, Nerves, Tentacles, etc.), the Worldbuilder's Toolkit series has been consistently the most successful.

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, Heifer International.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$103.50. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $51) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Be a Better Campaign Master, Book One: Building the World (Absolute Tabletop, retail price $13): Michael Barker of the BeABetterGameMaster YouTube channel helps you create a world map, step by step.
  • A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe Third Edition (Expeditious Retreat Press, retail $18): The new 2016 edition of the venerable reference work about the nuts and bolts of medieval cultures.
  • Sly Flourish's Fantastic Locations (Sly Flourish, retail $20): The author of The Lazy DM's Guide gives you 20 fabulous and fascinating system-agnostic settings you can drop into any FRPG.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $52.50:

  • Ultimate Toolbox (Alderac Entertainment, retail $30): Four hundred pages, that's 400 pages, of tables and adventure seeds for any fantasy game system.
  • Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns (Kobold Press, retail $10): Nineteen essays by 13 expert gamemasters including Jeff Grubb, Zeb Cook, Margaret Weis, Robert Schwalb, and many more.
  • Palladium Compendium of Weapons, Armour, & Castles (Palladium Books, retail $12.50): This 232-page Fifth Printing (1999) of the classic 1981 treatise debuts here in electronic form as a brand-new .PDF with searchable text. This Compendium is currently available only in this offer and nowhere else.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

I'll be honest, there isn't much here I need for myself; I've been rolling my own worlds for a very long time, and have ways of doing this stuff for myself. But if you're just getting started with your own campaign, or want to develop something that isn't a clone of everyone else's work, there may be useful material. It looks to be good value, but as usual your mileage may vary.
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Subject:Grrrrrr....
Time:02:34 pm
A few weeks ago I made a claim for a camera lens (£16 plus P&P) that was posted to Ukraine and went missing. I just got a letter saying that Royal Mail won't pay out on it because Ukraine prohibits the import of photographic equipment. Three guesses what country just got added to the list of those I don't sell to...

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Subject:Picspam - Out and About
Time:08:59 pm
Out and about with my bridge camera - and an essential photographic aid, a bag of mixed fruit and nuts...

SquirrelCollapse )

Green InvadersCollapse )

SwansCollapse )

Not A GooseCollapse )

And some of my usual and not so usual subjects from recent weeks

Mineral and VegetableCollapse )

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Subject:Tweeting query
Time:04:58 pm
Several of my friends on Dreamwidth and Livejournal post lists of their tweets fairly often. Usually they are truncated, often losing part of the URL for whatever the person is tweeting about. Is there some app for this that is set for an obsolete length of tweet, or is there something I'm missing?

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Subject:Two more RPG Bundle offers - Castles and Crusades
Time:12:09 am
Another double offer - one is a repeat, the other all new:

Castles And Crusades Essentials

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2017Castles1This offer revives and optimizes the February 2016 collection featuring Castles & Crusades from Troll Lord Games. We've revived this Essentials Bundle as a companion to the all-new C&C Bundle +2 offer now in progress, with many major supplements.

Stephen Chenault and his brother Davis co-founded Troll Lord with Mac Golden in 1999. After designing many supplements and adventures in the d20 boom, they published Castles & Crusades in 2004. A long-established precursor of the later Old School Revival, Castles & Crusades is basically a top-notch homebrew D&D variant writ large. The aesthetic here is 1st Ed. AD&D, with the simplicity of Basic-era D&D. All the basic classes from every incarnation of D&D are here. Playing C&C is easy, especially for players with D&D experience -- you fight, gain XP, and level up in the same way. Combat conjures an exciting Old-School feel without THAC0, negative Armor Class, or weird saves. A unified mechanic makes play fast and simple. You can pick up any AD&D 1e module or setting and use it pretty much as written.

For this revival we've refocused this original February 2016 collection, adding several key supplements (Monsters & Treasure, the Character Reference Screens, and the gamemaster screen) and rechristening it "Essentials." The core rulebook and Arms & Armor are updated to the latest versions. All previous purchasers of the Feb 2016 run receive the new additions automatically on their Wizard's Cabinet download page.
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 C&C offers' designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$131. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Player's Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing (retail $21): The newest printing of the complete core rulebook.
  • Arms & Armor (2016 version, retail $12): The completely updated, fully illustrated guide to medieval weaponry and armor.
  • After Winter's Dark - A World of Aihrde Primer (retail $10): An exclusive introduction to the C&C campaign setting, available only in this offer and nowhere else.
  • Character Reference Sheets (retail $12): New in this revised offer, these six custom character sheets present class-specific information for all 13 base C&C classes.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $26.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Castle Keeper's Collection with three more titles worth an additional $76:
  • Castle Keepers Guide (retail $36): The massive, indispensable 352-page gamemastering resource.
  • Monsters & Treasure (retail $20): New in this revival, this is the primary monster manual and treasure trove for C&C.
  • Classic Monsters (retail $20): C&C adaptations from fantasy roleplaying's earliest sources, like Monster Manual II and the Fiend Folio.
After launch at least one more title will be added. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle -- including purchasers of the original February 2016 run -- automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Castles and Crusades +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Castles2

This all-new companion offer, the C&C Bundle +2, presents many key supplements, including Mystical Companions and several volumes of the Codex series.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$99. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Mystical Companions (C&C version, retail $21): Every kind of magical familiar from homunculi to paladin mounts, from cats to hippos, plus rules for becoming a Dragon Rider. (Previously published as Book of Familiars.)
  • Of Gods & Monsters (retail $10): The comprehensive guide to C&C's deities and demigods.
  • Expanding Classes (retail $7): Multiclassing rules for all C&C base classes.
  • Elemental Spells (retail $7): A big spellbook by TSR veteran James M. Ward (Gamma World).
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with three huge supplements in the Codex series worth an additional $54: Codex Celtarum (retail $20), Codex Nordica (retail $20), and Codex Germania (retail $14) -- treatises on the myths and magic of Celtic, Nordic, and Germanic cultures.

There will be at least one additional item added later for this bundle.

I'm not really interested in this, but those who still like the older style of play should find the offers of interest. It looks like the prices are fair, you get a lot for your money - but as usual YMMV
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Subject:Another bloody milestone...
Time:05:54 pm
Just completed the online application form for my state pension.

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Subject:How could this possibly go wrong...?
Time:11:57 pm
 I need to send a parcel to someone in Thailand. For some reason the address contains a couple of lines of Thai characters - the Royal Mail online postal service seems to think that that's an amazingly unlikely thing to see in a Thai address, and won't accept it, of course. See also problems with mail to Russians with addresses containing Cyrilic characters, etc. etc.

So, after a lot of thought, I ran the address through Google Translate, used that as the address to buy postage, and stuck the address in Thai onto the box next to the Royal Mail label.

Anyone want to bet on the likelihood it will reach its destination?

later - and as if by magic, twenty minutes later the guy got back to me with an English translation of his address, which turned out to be different enough that I doubt that the Google version would have worked. So I've filled in the form to cancel the postage I bought on line and get a refund, bought another lot of postage with the correct address, and hopefully that will be it.

Unless of course something else goes wrong and I have to untangle this mess...
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Subject:Where are the White House lawyers?
Time:01:19 pm
 An obvious thought re Donald Trump's tweets on the New York cycle path attack - hasn't he just given the defence a perfect reason to reject all jurors because they will have all heard about it, and to appeal the death penalty (if imposed) because Trump has tried to influence that too?

In practice I doubt it matters this time because it looks like the guy wants to be a martyr, and Trump is helpfully giving him the publicity he craves for that. But sooner or later there will be a case where his interference will have serious consequences and I'd imagine that as usual he'll blame everyone but himself.
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Old School Revival +5
Time:12:42 am
More stuff for the "old school" stream of gaming, where people still carry ten-foot poles and kick down dungeon doors:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/OSR5

This is our fifth annual offering celebrating the Old School Revival -- the neoclassical movement to recapture the vigor and style of the earliest days of Dungeons & Dragons. The OSR offers tools, not plotlines -- rulings, not rules -- a gamemaster who doesn't railroad players onto a prearranged script but lets them sink or swim through their own actions. Encounters aren't necessarily "balanced," and outcomes are seldom scripted. Characters who don't use their heads usually wind up losing them. These fantasy RPGs, supplements, and modules are part of the passionate movement to reinvigorate and popularize play-styles associated with the first incarnations of D&D -- whether brown/white-box Original D&D, Holmes-Moldvay-Cook Basic/Expert, or AD&D 1e. Many, many "retro-clone" games recast the rules of one or another of these games in new language.

This new collection illustrates the OSR's diverse approaches, from Kevin Crawford's B/X-inspired Red Tide series to Tim Brown's Dragon Kings (a spiritual successor to TSR's Dark Sun, for which Brown was line editor) to the recent bestelling Index Card RPG.

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 offer at launch is US$96. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $41) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • The Nightmares Underneath (Red Box Vancouver, retail price $15): Johnstone Metzger (Adventures on Dungeon Planet) presents a complete game of Dream Kingdom incursions in the waking world -- invasions that manifest as dungeons to be crawled and destroyed.
  • Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak (Hydra Cooperative, retail $8): Trey Causey's deceptively whimsical foray into a wild wizard's mad magic mansion.
  • Gathox Vertical Slum (DIY RPG Productions, retail $10): A gonzo transdimensional campaign by David Lewis Johnson, set in a city growing on the back of a world-hopping godling.
  • Red Tide (Sine Nomine Publishing, retail $8): Kevin Crawford's sandbox campaign in the savage jungles of the Sunset Isles. [Originally presented in our November 2013 Worldbuilder's Toolkit.]

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 $55:

  • Index Card RPG (Runehammer Games, retail $16.50): The bestselling fast-play light-rules system from the creators of Drunkens & Dragons on YouTube.
  • Dragon Kings (Soldier-Spy, retail $20): Dark Sun co-designer Timothy Brown created its spiritual successor, a sand-blasted desert of desperate city-states, monstrous rulers, and dark sorcery.
  • An Echo, Resounding (Sine Nomine, retail $10): Kevin Crawford brings Game of Thrones-style domain-level struggles to the untamed wilderlands of Red Tide or any campaign.
  • 2016 Dodecahedron Cartographic Review (ZERObarrier, retail $8.50): Dyson Logos, king-hell master of dungeon cartography, gathers new works from his Dyson's Dodecahedron blog. Includes Dyson's Business Cardography, ten business card-sized geomorphic dungeon maps available only in this offer and nowhere else.

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

This really isn't my cup of tea, but as usual it looks like you get quite a lot for your money. If you like the older approach to RPGs it may be of interest.

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Subject:This Year's Dragonmeet Adventure
Time:08:44 pm
I'm going to be running one adventure at Dragonmeet this year, in the afternoon slot (3-7 PM but probably nearer 3 hours than 4)

Title: Bring Me The Head of Harry Potter
System: Diana, Warrior Princess
Players: 6
Summary:
Word on the streets in LA is that someone has put out an open contract on some British kid, just out of school. There's a hundred thousand dollars waiting for anyone who can kill him and prove that they did it.

All you need do first is check in with some crooked lawyers, they'll tell you all you need to know about the kid and his travel plans. After that the money is as good as yours!

Knowledge of Harry Potter, Angel, The Sopranos and Pulp Fiction is possibly helpful...

Note: Knowledge of any fanfic with this title I may have written in the past will probably NOT be very helpful.


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Subject:Evil Harry Potter Anagrams
Time:03:42 pm
Does anyone have any good anagrams for an eeeeevilllllll version of Harry Potter's villain name? Lord Voldemort had the advantage of starting from a really long and really stupid name, Potter not so much. Any thoughts?

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Subject:Weird Brexit Thought
Time:10:17 am
May's early election made very little sense. Was the game plan an attempt to LOSE and pass the poison chalice to Labour?

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Subject:Another Lens Test - Holga 60mm versus Nikon 50mm
Time:07:37 pm
Well, it seemed reasonably fair... Some in the park, a couple locally.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/sets/72157661875567448

Verdict - the Holga lens gives a dreamlike out-of-focus effect that is quite interesting but nothing photoshop can't match, and is a pain to use due to very dark viewfinder image and lack of focusing and metering aids. I won't be keeping it.

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Subject:Two more RPG Bundle offers - Shadows of Esteren
Time:09:06 pm
The last of this year's October Horror bundles is the RPG Shadows of Esteren - there are two bundles, one a repeat from last year and the other all new:

Shadows of Esteren Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2017Esteren1

"Originally published in French and presented here in elegant English translations, Shadows of Esteren is a medieval low-fantasy roleplaying game with a horrific and gothic influence. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a discreetly fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface. Its world, the Tri-Kazel Peninsula, is populated with humans who have to cope with tough daily lives while facing supernatural threats lurking in the dark. Focusing on investigation and survival, Shadows of Esteren conjures a subtle, moody atmosphere inspired by Nausicaä, Princess Mononoke, Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, and the Kentaro Miura manga Berserk.

The Shadows of Esteren line is instantly recognizable for the stunning full-color artwork that ornaments nearly every page of each book. Few RPG lines in the history of the field have enjoyed such brilliant presentation. In September 2013 Shadows of Esteren Book 1 - Universe won three ENnie Awards for Best Interior Art (Gold), Best Production Values (Gold), and Product of the Year (Silver).
Since its first, spectacularly successful Kickstarter in summer 2012, publisher Agate Éditions has run six crowdfunding campaigns for Esteren rulebooks, supplements, and music, raising a total of US$500,000 from more than 4,000 backers. Collectively the Esteren RPG series holds the crowdfunding record for a French creation.
Esteren is a multimedia creation. Members of the Esteren creative team, Forgesonges Collective, not only design and illustrate the RPG books; they also compose and perform atmospheric music, such as a live symphonic concert in the Grand Temple in Lyon, France, November 30, 2013. There's even a licensed Esteren pixel-art puzzle game for iOS and Android (Esteren: Clutches of the Sorcerer Lord) and a board game.
This offer, revived from February 2016, is the first of two separate collections featuring Esteren. In addition to the first several years of the RPG product line, this offer includes Of Men and Obscurities, a collection of 19 Esteren .MP3 music tracks intended as an ambient soundtrack for game sessions. The companion offer, Esteren +2, is an all-new collection featuring the long-awaited Book 3, Dearg, and other recent books and soundtracks. Both offers, the last in this year's "October Horrors" sequence, run in parallel and end together Monday, November 13.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) and each music track in .MP3 audio format. Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books and music tracks have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders and music players.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Esteren offers' designated charity, the Environmental Defense Fund.
The total retail value of the titles in this revival is US$105. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get all five titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $40) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Shadows of Esteren Book 0 - Prologue (free): The ideal introduction to Esteren, with a rules summary, template characters, and three linked scenarios, and handouts.
  • Book 1 - Universe (retail price $25): The core rulebook that conjures the gothic horror setting with a system that emphasizes story without sacrificing tactics. Includes handouts, character sheets, map, pronunciation guide, and character creation guide.
  • Hauntings ($5): A fiction collection of five short ghost stories set in the world of Esteren.
  • Of Men and Obscurities (retail $10): Shadows of Esteren is a multimedia project. This collection of .MP3 audio tracks presents ambient music written especially for Esteren.
  • Cartography Kit (free): Six beautifully drawn maps of the Esteren setting, including the Nine Dukedoms, Osta-Baille, Reizh, Gwindre, Taol-Kaer, and the whole Tri-Kazel Peninsula.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $16.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $47:
  • Shadows of Esteren Book 2 - Travels (retail $25): Explore the Tri-Kazel Peninsula with a hundred noteworthy places, 18 personalities, more creatures, and five short adventures. Includes handouts with maps, character portraits, and more.
  • Monastery of Tuath (retail $10): The clerical Temple faction in the world of Esteren -- monastic life, the Six Vows, and an investigative scenario inspired by The Name of the Rose. Includes handouts with clues, maps, portraits, and stunning artwork.
  • Black Moon Handbook (retail $10): This supplement explores ghosts, hauntings, and exorcisms. Includes notable occult NPCs, new creatures, and four scenarios.
  • Game Leader Kit (retail $2): Handy charts and tables.

Esteren Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Esteren2
"This all-new companion collection features recent Esteren titles. This Esteren Bundle +2 marks the public debut of the long-awaited Esteren Book 3: Dearg campaign book funded by Agate RPG's successful October 2016 Dearg Kickstarter that raised US$173,684 with 1,160 backers in three weeks -- the biggest yet of Agate's six spectacular Kickstarters. Other titles come from the December 2014 Occultism Kickstarter, another great success.
We provide each ebook or music track complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format) or .MP3 or .FLAC audio formats. Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books and audio files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders and music players.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Esteren offers' designated charity, the Environmental Defense Fund.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$80. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $30) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks and .MP3 audio tracks, including Cartography of Tri-Kazel (retail price $15), with detailed full-color maps and heraldic arms for five major cities; the RISE soundtrack of atmospheric music (retail $10); and Esteren Culinary Journey (retail $5), a three-course menu with actual recipes for a delectable Tri-Kazelian meal.
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 $50:
  • Esteren Book 3: Dearg (retail $20): The massive Esteren campaign book, debuting in this offer. (Note: This beta version of Dearg lacks the first eight pages -- the title page, credits, and introduction. We'll post the complete version before this offer ends, and all customers get the updated version automatically.)
  • Occultism (retail $20): A sourcebook of Tri-Kazel's esoteric mysticism and a long investigation of many mysteries, "A Tidy Room."
  • Dearg soundtrack (retail $10): Fifteen .FLAC tracks of symphonic music composed especially for the Esteren campaign.





There don't seem to be any surprise extras for either bundle this time, but given that one of the books is still being edited that isn't surprising!

As I've said before, I'm not currently a huge fan of horror RPGs - this looks good and has a lot of acclaim, but I probably won't be playing it. It looks reasonable value for money, but as always I have to stress that I get this stuff free if I want it; this time I don't, but it probably affects my perception of value. YMMV

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Subject:More tat for old macs
Time:12:11 pm
Another bargain for the old iMac G4 I'm restoring - someone on eBay UK sold me OS X Leopard for Dummies for £2.66, and it looks like there are more copies around at that price from other dealers

You can still get Office 2004 very cheaply - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/232499784278

And you can still get long Firewire 400 cables very cheaply, e.g. 3 meters for £2.29 - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231787029586
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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Rippers
Time:08:34 pm
This is a horror game I don't know much about, set in Victorian Britain and drawing on the Jack the Ripper mythos and a lot of other sources:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Rippers

"Rippers is the high-action horror campaign of Victorian-era monster-hunting for the Savage Worlds rules system from Pinnacle Entertainment. In the First Edition Rippers setting, an evil Cabal led by the monstrous Jack the Ripper brought the Victorian world of 1895 to its knees, until a team of heroes led by Johann Van Helsing fought back using implanted Rippertech torn from the creatures of hell. Ultimately that storyline revealed that the use of Rippertech damned the hero's soul to eternal torment, and even strengthened the enemy. But the new Second Edition, Rippers Resurrected, removes that unfortunate drawback. Now, with the Cabal in retreat, the Rippers hunt supernatural horrors across the globe in a struggle to take back the night.

Fog-filled horror in the gothic style the Penny Dreadful TV series and the 2004 film Van Helsing, Rippers Resurrected emerged into the gaslight in a triumphant October 2015 Kickstarter campaign. Now this offer, part of the Bundle site's annual "October Horrors" sequence, presents almost the entire Rippers and Rippers Resurrected lines, plus the complete Savage Worlds Deluxe rulebook AND the Horror Companion, cheaper than a few silver bullets for a Gatling pistol. It's everything you need for a complete campaign of abomination-stomping across the Earth.

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 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$93. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all five titles in our Player's Collection (retail value $37) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Rippers Resurrected Player's Guide, Archetypes, and the Deluxe Character and Campaign Journal, plus the complete Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition rulebook and its Horror Companion (both presented in several past offers).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Game Master's Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $56, , including the Game Master's Handbook and the Frightful Expeditions worldbook; the Plot Point campaign Lord of the Underworld; five Combat Maps of tombs, castles, and other spooky battlegrounds; and The Lost Library, a huge archive of the entire First Edition Rippers line (2005-2008), with adventures, characters, Figure Flats, and the Horror Wars miniatures game.

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


OK, I might as well admit that I'm not a huge fan of the Savage Worlds system, it doesn't seem to offer much that other games don't. This particular iteration has a problem I've seen in other Victorian horror RPGs - it tries to simplify and Americanise everything, while piling in steampunk-style gadgets and general "everything but the kitchen sink" Victorian-ish fictional archetypes. We get Dracula and Van Helsing and Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes and... well, you get the idea. There's also the "everything is connected to everything else in a horrible conspiracy" trope in full flower.

Having said that, if you get in early enough it's pretty cheap, and you get quite a lot for your money. It isn't actively offensive, but I'd STRONGLY recommend that GMs who want to use it take on some additional sources for Victorian everyday life and real-world events, since politics, historical events, social issues etc. etc. get very little attention.

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Subject:The weekend's bargains
Time:07:05 pm
Didn't get out to the market etc. on Friday and Saturday, for various reasons, but rather a good haul from Sunday's first car boot sale:

A Nikon e-series 50mm f1.8 - for a fiver! And a Nikon EM body with 28mm f2.8 Sigma and some sort of small flash for a tenner - haven't tested the camera yet because I don't have the right lenses dohhhh - batteries, not lenses. The lenses are very nice, and are already on eBay.

And something I arranged to buy last week and collected today - a Holga 60mm f8 Lomography lens in Nikon fitting. It's crap, but I didn't pay much for it and I want to have a play with it and see just how bad it is before I sell it on. Except that with the stormy weather that's coming in it was too dark to try it today, and I suspect tomorrow won't be much better... Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2099863.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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Subject:Two more RPG Bundle offers - World War Cthulhu & Cthulhu Britannica
Time:09:13 pm
Two offers for Call of Cthulhu, possibly the definitive horror RPG; one is all-new, World War Cthulhu, material for campaigns set in World War 2, the other is a repeat offer of material with a British setting that may also be useful as background for World War Cthulhu.

World War Cthulhu

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/WorldWarCthulhu

"One of two Cthulhu Mythos offers running in parallel during the Bundle of Holding's annual "October Horrors" sequence, this World War Cthulhu Bundle features the Cubicle 7 Entertainment World War Cthulhu line of tabletop roleplaying game supplements and scenarios for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu. In World War Cthulhu, brave agents of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service face Lovecraftian terrors -- and humanity's own darkest impulses -- against a backdrop of 20th-Century conflict. In World War II, the Special Operations Executive fights a two-front war against both Axis and Mythos. In the 1960s and '70s, as the Cold War threatens nuclear destruction, Section 46 continues a personal battle against the insidious influence of a much older enemy.

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 Cthulhu offers' designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$106. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $51) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour corebook (retail price $20) and the Europe Ablaze campaign guide (retail $18) [both previously offered in our October 2015 Bundle of Tentacles +3], together with The SOE Handbook (retail $13), a manual of tradecraft for the covert agents of the Special Operations Executive.

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 $55, including World War Cthulhu: London (retail $20), about the capital city during the Blitz; Cold War (retail $20), which pushes the Mythos into the 1960s; and Section 46 Operations Manual (retail $15), a Cold-War companion for the 1970s.

With these books you can stage a complete Mythos campaign across an entire continent and three decades. And the World War Cthulhu line also works great with the Cubicle 7 ebooks in our resurrected December 2016 Cthulhu Britannica offer, now in progress.

Cthulhu Britannica

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/CthulhuBritannica2017

Cthulhu Britannica is Cubicle 7 Entertainment's long-running series of Call of Cthulhu supplements and scenarios that bring the Mythos to the British Isles. This offer, revived from December 2016, includes the original Cthulhu Britannica scenario collection, the giant London supplement (a spectacular Kickstarter success in November 2013), and the entire London support line.

This Cthulhu Britannnica revival is a companion to the new World War Cthulhu offer now in progress, featuring Cubicle 7's line of wartime Call of Cthulhu supplements and scenarios set during World War II and the Cold War. (That World War Cthulhu offer includes a Blitz-era London sourcebook that dovetails perfectly with this Britannica offer's huge London set.) These two offers, part of the site's annual "October Horrors" sequence of horror and suspense RPG offers, run in parallel and end at the same time.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$122. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get both titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $65) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks: the original Cthulhu Britannica scenario collection (retail price $15) and the complete Cthulhu Britannica London set (retail $50).

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 $57, including the seven-part campaign The Curse of Nineveh (retail $23), its two deluxe handouts -- The Journal of Reginald Campbell Thompson and The Journal of Neve Selcibuc (retail $15 apiece) -- and The Ballad of Bass Rock (retail $4), a short CoC scenario (cut from Shadows Over Scotland) that strands the investigators on a bleak isle with a lighthouse and a shoggoth.

At least one title will be added after launch. When a title is added to an offer after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased that offer -- including the purchasers from the original December 2016 run -- automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid higher than average. This is their reward for buying early -- even way early.


While I'm not planning on running this material at present, I'm certainly interested; the WW2 / British setting is a change from the usual 1920s, Victorian and modern day campaigns, and could be a great way to get into a modern-day Laundry campaign, since a lot of that setting derives from the aftermath of WW2. I'll definitely be reading to see how things are handled, and if anything rekindles my interest in horror RPGs. As usual, especially when I'm interested in these bundles, I have to point out that they cost money - they're cheap compared to dead tree or individual purchases, but if you already own some of this material the bundles may be less attractive.
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Subject:Another weird crossover idea - Captain America / The Fugitive
Time:12:10 am
Someone really ought to write this... The Winter Soldier was the "one-armed man" who killed Richard Kimble's wife. No idea why, maybe she was a KGB defector or something - in which case he let Kimble live so that the "one armed man" description would circulate in the intelligence community and they would know that defectors were not safe in the USA.

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Subject:Justice League extended trailer
Time:11:04 pm
Looks interesting



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Subject:More photos - Extension tubes and converter
Time:07:45 pm
Some more pics, messing around with extension tubes and 2x converter with my 50mm lens:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/150868539@N02/sets/72157687834313223

Verdict - tubes work OK but I need to work on my technique and maybe focus by hand rather than trusting the camera, the x2 converter works but a longer lens is better. I haven't used it in a couple of years so I may sell it on.

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Subject:Picspam - lots of odds and ends
Time:08:14 pm
Been a while since I've done one of these, these mostly go back a couple of months - because I've been doing a lot of lens tests recently I haven't done much with my little bridge camera, and I forgot that there were some pictures waiting there.

An unusual circular slide rule - from Scalextric!

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Removing the temporary track at the Royal Oak Crossrail portal - August - the next stage is installation of the permanent track and overhead cabling which has already begun.

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A runaway squirrel, also from August

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Jazz band on the steps of the Albert Memorial, also August

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Subject:Speed of Sound
Time:05:47 pm
Just experiencing an interesting demo of the speed of sound in air and through the ground - they're pile-driving supports for the new Crossrail power line support gantries this afternoon, about sixty or seventy yards from my house, I'm hearing the sound first followed by some vibration through the ground and my house a fraction of a second later.

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Subject:Another last lens test.
Time:12:31 am
Knew I'd forgotten something - the no-name 500mm!

Took this tonight, 1/1250th f8 on the D90, cropped and contrast/brightness adjusted. Much higher resolution than my previous astronomical efforts, and I think the lens is showing its limitations a bit. I recently read somewhere about a special blue filter for moon photography, I really must investigate, though I wonder if any ordinary blue filter will also help - I might have one, though probably not the right size for this lens (72mm filter). I should also try this with a tripod etc. for better results.

Tonight's full moon

Later - looks like the moon filter is for eyepieces, not cameras.

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Subject:Weird fanfic idea - Marvel / 2001: A Space Odyssey
Time:09:54 pm
Don't think I want to write this, but maybe someone else might:

In the Avengers / Captain America world Hydra took the precaution of backing up Zola's personality - and installed it on a new spaceship, known as Discovery. How does 2001 go when HAL is actually an evil Nazi, not just somewhat deranged?

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Subject:iMac G4 software
Time:09:46 pm
In case anyone was wondering, you can still get software for the iMac G4 - and very cheaply since it's OLD. I went into a CEX store today and got Bejeweled 2, a Disney Incredibles game, and Football Manager 2006 for 50p each, all with processor specs good enough for a 1ghz iMac G4 and not so old they don't know about OS X. And Bejeweled 2 still works on Intel macs, which isn't bad considering its age! Admittedly all I want this software for is to bundle it with the Mac to make a "hey, computer with games included!" point on the ebay listing, but it's nice that there's still stuff around. In Cex stores it's usually on the same shelf as PC (windows) games, but it's still around.
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Subject:iMac G4 update
Time:11:20 pm
Success with a new bigger hard disk - in fact about the smoothest install I've ever done on one of these, possibly because the DVD drive appears to be in very good condition. Unfortunately it turns out that all of the RAM I have is either smaller than I want or the speed that's right for a 1.25ghz machine but wrong for this one, so that'll be a fun delay while it wings its way from Hong Kong. But so far the upgrade is looking good, the screen is undamaged and working well - I initially thought it was too dark and had a fault, turns out the previous owner turned the brightness right the way down - and fingers crossed it'll all go well.

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Subject:Another RPG bundle offer - Demon: The Descent
Time:06:19 pm
This is another bundle based on the Chronicles of Darkness setting, the revamped World of Darkness RPG Doom / Gloom / Angst / Horror background. This is one I really don't know much about, I lost interest in horror RPGs before the original Demon game was released, this appears to be different anyway:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DemonDescent

"This new, comprehensive, bargain-priced collection features Demon: The Descent, the 2014 Storytelling game from Onyx Path Publishing of techgnostic renegades struggling against the God-Machine in the Chronicles of Darkness.

In Descent, the God-Machine is everywhere. It is under the everyday world, behind it, beyond it. Its mechanisms stretch through time and space, and alter events in ways humanity cannot imagine. The God-Machine sends forth its angels to enact its will, delivering messages, building Infrastructure, protecting some people, killing others. And you were one of those angels. But not any more. Now you are one of the Unchained, a fallen angel who defected to the human race. Yours is a world of false identities and clockwork conspiracies, stolen faces and hidden works of the Machine. You cannot -- will not -- return to the sterile embrace of Heaven. All you can do is reign in Hell.

A stark contrast to the original Demon: The Fallen (2002), Descent favors a noir-ish espionage atmosphere a la John le Carré, The Bourne Identity, and the TV series Person of Interest. Demons must move carefully through the shadowy streets and labyrinthine back alleys of the World of Darkness. The God-Machine and its agents are always watchful for a chance to reclaim these assets. The Unchained use a wide variety of powers, including Embeds that let them alter the world on a conceptual level, and Exploits, which allow great destructive and manipulative power -- at the cost of compromising their all-important Cover.

The Unchained must take extreme care as they search for Hell. They are pursued by a faceless, vastly powerful entity that has unlimited time and resources, and they have already fallen once. But what has fallen may rise again.

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, All Hands Volunteers.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$108. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in our Player Collection (retail value $57) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 414-page Demon: The Descent core rulebook (previously presented in our January 2016 Nest of Spies offer), the player's guide Flowers of Hell, and the complete 226-page World of Darkness First Edition rulebook (2004) that underpins Demon and the other Chronicles of Darkness settings (Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, and more). (Previously in our March 2017 Changeling: The Lost offer.)

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $26.95 to start, also get our entire Storyteller Collection with six more titles worth an additional $51:

  • The essential supplements: The God-Machine Chronicle (retail $18) and the Demon Storyteller's Guide (retail $15)
  • Two location guides: Splintered City: Seattle (retail $8) and the Demon Seed Collection (retail $3)
  • Dark Eras: Into the Cold (retail $5), a demonic perspective on the Cold War
  • Necessary Infrastructure: Demon: The Descent Storyteller's Screen (retail $2)

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

I'll be honest, I'm not incredibly interested in the concept, and don't remember the game from the previous spies bundle which possibly means I wasn't very impressed - or that I simply never looked at it, which may be more likely. For various reasons I don't really want to get into World / Chronicles of Darkness again, keeping all the factions etc. straight in my head was a nightmare, but a quick look suggests that you do get a lot for your money - you probably won't want to print it all out, because there's a lot of white on black text etc., but that's what PDFs are for. As usual I have to point out that I'm not paying to see this stuff, if you do your mileage may vary.
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