April 18ths Forgotten Hero

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:17 am
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"By April 18, 1775, the Sons of Liberty were in quite the quandary. British soldiers were traveling the countryside confiscating the colonists’ weapons, so they needed a way to alert the Minutemen that their arrival was imminent, giving them time to hide their firearms."

Pulling & His Lanterns Of Liberty (History Youtube Video)

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Article : Internet Explorer exploit lets hackers steal your data even if you never use it

"Security researcher John Page has discovered a new security flaw that allows hackers to steal Windows users’ data thanks to Internet Explorer. The craziest part: Windows users don’t ever even have to open the now-obsolete web browser for malicious actors to use the exploit. It just needs to exist on their computer."
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Measles outbreak kills more than 1,200 in Madagascar

That's this month. Because only 58% of the population there is Vaccinated. You need 95% vaccination to prevent epidemic events. They are not vaccinated due to lack of resources and medical staff to handle the sheer volume of response needed.

Anti-Vaxers in the USA, UK, Canada etc are EVIL and are risking the lives of their children and their neighbors children and everyone else's children where they live. Most of the people trying to prevent vaccination are only alive because THEY were themselves vaccinated as children under the force of law.


They are believing lies and misinformation being spread by Russian troll farms and the alt-right who believe that they cull the herd of "inferior races" and persons they consider genetically weak, just like the fascists of WW2 did (which included murdering the sick in their own hospitals at the start of the war).

Where Is The Methane Going???

Apr. 11th, 2019 09:17 am
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Mars methane hunt comes up empty, flummoxing scientists

"A spacecraft that was supposed to solve the mystery of methane on Mars has instead compounded scientists’ confusion. The European–Russian Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which began looking for the gas last year, has yet to find any whiffs of it in Mars’s atmosphere, says a study published on 10 April in Nature."

Black Holes Bombs & Energy Engines

Apr. 11th, 2019 08:49 am
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April TTRPG Maker questions 4-7

Apr. 10th, 2019 06:14 am
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4. Favorite type of game scenario?
I'm not sure how to answer this. What types of story scenarios would I write if I were producing adventures and the like?

I find myself most interested in character studies and stories that highlight personalities and the differences therein. I'm drawn toward stories that deal with characters who are in the process of being corrupted or are tempted toward corruption - basically someone who has to make some decisions that may not be good but they're doing them for what they think are good motives. I suppose I could sum that up as "success at a cost." I don't think I want to go to the extreme of pyrrhic victories in all cases but I suppose that would happen at times too.

I think the storymaking device that I am most interested in is how competing internal purposes shape who people are and influence their behavior. That's kind of a high-level view of everything that I just wrote but is perhaps the most succinct way to put it. Tragic flaws would be a good, obvious example. Stuff like the fall of a paladin. Seeing someone who is burning themselves up inside trying to be good pushed to an extreme where they make a bad choice and then it's all the dominoes falling behind that.

I don't know how to make this stuff into a gameable scenario, per se, though.

5. Character or worldbuilding?
Both. My answer to #4 would make you think character is king. And for me it is definitely very important. But characters exist because they live in a world, and they help to define that world. So it's not really a question of either-or, but rather that they have an interdependent nature. Worldbuilding, whether it happens on the fly or is in a prepackaged format, is still very important.

Worldbuilding helps to define what sorts of characters are possible and make sense. There's room to open up more space for different kinds of characters but they can only make sense as an organic development by the march of worldbuilding into new directions that make sense in the context of what has already happened. I would say in this respect that for me the future can't happen without the past. So-called progress is just chaos if it isn't contextualized as an outgrowth of tradition. Progress isn't bad, but it has to make sense. If it comes out of nowhere then it's inconsistent and it leaves the reader/viewer/game player wondering what else is inconsistent. A surprise is one thing, but something that makes no sense in the context of its dwelling place is no good.

6. Long or short ttrpg texts?
Sometimes long is good, but I am typically in favor of shorter stuff. Longer typically means one of two things in my mind: (1) lots of setting material or (2) lots of crunch, or possibly both at once.

Setting material is fine if it's optional, but it can feel like a waste if it's merely optional and you don't use it. Lots of crunch isn't inherently good. I like rules because they help me feel grounded, consistent, and in control, but too much of them are stifling. They start demanding system mastery, which means that more demands are put on all the players, including the GM, and those who don't grasp them as well are at a disadvantage if there's any sort of competition or way to gain advantage over another player, leaving someone behind.

You might say that in a functional group this shouldn't be an issue, but I think it's possible even in a functional group for people to act on their preferences and playstyles and causes issues from that when they conflict with their fellow players. Someone who is in the game as a game is going to want to win, for example, and those who are there for story or character or whatever are going to be less inclined to push the game elements.

A lot of setting material can be a different kind of system mastery because now you not only need to know the game rules but now you also need to know the setting rules. And some people aren't going to want to engage with that kind of stuff or they are going to prefer to create their own settings because they have more fun doing that and feel more of a sense of ownership in doing so.

7. How to increase accessibility?
I haven't released a project widely yet so I haven't had to consider this in particular. But I am not unaware of some of the potential issues. At least the option for large print in books should be available, whether digital or printed. I don't know what methods or tech are available for screen reading but I know there are some techniques out there so when considering this question I would probably consult some people who have actually worked on projects and found ways to demonstrably improve accessibility. I haven't heard of a lot of audiobooks in terms of RPGs but that seems like an option unless it's cost-prohibitive.

I suspect people either don't consider this question much or aren't operating at an economy of scale where they can afford to do a lot so finding ways to do these things affordably is also a thing to think about.

April TTRPG Maker questions 1-3

Apr. 10th, 2019 06:09 am
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1. Introduce yourself.
I have been involved with roleplaying for about 30 years, starting out with a ranger that I played in AD&D as a youngster. Numerous times, especially over the past 5 years or so, I have tried to hack together some design stuff with varying levels of incompleteness. I have a great fondness for cats and I am a longtime fan of Rammstein. I have consumed a fair amount of anime in my time but in the past few years that interest has mutated more toward Asian dramas and web novels. Outside of these interests, I have deal with a lot of health problems over the years, many neurological in nature. As I got older, my health has declined so I made an attempt to change my diet and get in a little bit more of physical activity than I had before. I have written about all these topics in some form or other.

2. Describe your work.
None of my design work has reached a complete state. That being said, I started work on Google Plus writing out various thoughts and ideas for a post-apocalyptic game centered around facing the threats that giant monsters present. It was most directly influenced by the anime Attack on Titan. It began as a potential OSR hack and then I thought it might work best, later, as something hacked from Dungeon World, Torchbearer, or Into the Odd.

I have also made some other drafts in incomplete states, including a sword and sorcery write-up drawing inspiration from The Riddle of Steel in some respects and also Burning Wheel, mostly in regard to things like the Passions and conflict systems.

I made some attempts to also develop a play by post system that was ultimately inspired by both Blades in the Dark and Burning Wheel with perhaps some ideas that originated elsewhere too. When I decided that it would be difficult to do something PbP like that after some work, I decided it would be better to just write that up as an RPG if I am going to work further on it.

I wrote up a skeleton setting with attached rules bits for D&D-likes that is a post-human space fantasy setting. I never decided on a specific focus for the rules bits of that but I think I was leaning toward 13th Age as the ballpark.

I also do a lot of play these days on PbP spaces, so I am frequently tinkering with the constraints of those systems and trying to find ways to hack in mechanics I enjoy or think are useful from tabletop RPGs.

3. Key to your making process.
I don’t know that I have any particular method or philosophy that is overt to me. The way my mind works with anything creative often feels like a black box. I put some inspirational material in, whatever the topic is, and then some time later, if there’s anything good I can come up with, it sort of emerges out of the darkness. In terms of design specifically, I feel often like I am doing some Frankenstein work, taking bits and pieces from here and there and trying to mash them together without letting the seams show too obviously.
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I've been meaning to write this for a while. I had written about these topics online for a while but I'm sure only a limited readership were able to access them. So I'm going to do as brief a summary (that's funny, coming from me) as I can to get anyone who doesn't know what's up on board with where I am today.

In October 2017 or thereabouts, I made the decision to start the ketogenic diet. Someone in my family had done it before and had some success with it. A few friends had had great success with it. I'd looked into it and wanted to try it for a while since I heard about it. I was carrying around too much weight so the weight loss part was attractive, but I'd also had a history of various neurological issues and the ketogenic diet came into effect over a century ago specifically to treat neurological issues, or epilepsy to be precise. (Doctors learned that children who suffered from epilepsy would see relief from it while fasting, and they later discovered that a therapeutic diet could be achieved that created a similar effect.)

Read more... )
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Long term Study of 55 Million Men & Women Finds Height Increases Cancer Risk

“To our knowledge, this is the largest study performed on linkage between height and cancer including both women and men,” said Dr Emelie Benyi, a PhD student at Karolinska Institutet who led the study."

different heights different risk
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Article : Baffin Island Secret

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200 Year Old Mystery Of the Revolution Solved

"Pulaski is revered as the father of American cavalry. He came to America of his own volition to fight in the War of Independence. One of the Revolution’s great heroes, he was a loner. A very private person, he was extremely driven and difficult with people. (It’s one reason Washington simply ended up giving Pulaski his own legion, most of whom were Europeans.) Both superiors and subordinates considered him imperious. He was brave in battle to the point of recklessness. Detractors called him a loose cannon. Short and thin, pacing and speaking quickly, he lacked interest in women or drinking.

And he harbored a secret that lay unknown for more than 200 years, until an Arizona State University bioarchaeologist and a colleague discovered the truth."
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