Tuesday, November 30, 2010

[Dispatches] 23 June 1808

Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B., to Major General Hill .

' Dublin Castle, 23rd June, 1808

My Dear Hill,

' I rejoice extremely at the prospect I have before me of serving again with you, and I hope that we shall have more to do than we had on the last occasion on which we were together.

' I propose to leave town for Cork as soon as I shall receive my instructions from London. I understand that every thing has sailed from England which is to go with us; and the horses belonging to the Irish commissariat will be at Cork, I hope, before the transports shall have arrived, in which they are to be embarked. Let me hear from you if you learn any thing respecting them. The dragoons are to come direct from England to the rendezvous, and will not detain us at Cork.

' I enclose a list of the names of the officers appointed to be Deputy Assistant Adjutants and Quarter Masters General. Major Arbuthnot will probably be in Dublin this day, and I shall send him to Cork immediately, and you will put him in charge of the Adjutant General's department. You will put the senior of the list of Assistant Deputy Quarter Masters General in charge of that department, and give him the enclosed return of camp equipage and stores embarked in the Grinfield transport. I had understood that I was to have had stores of this description for 8000 men; and I shall be obliged to you, if you will desire the head of the Quarter Master General's department to inquire whether there are in the transport any more camp equipage stores besides those contained in the enclosed return.

'I beg you to arrange for the embarkation of the Deputy Assistant Adjutants General, and the Deputy Assistant Quarter Masters General: probably they and the Commissaries had best go in the horse ships

' I understand there is a vessel at Cork to carry 36 horses for the officers, besides those intended for the commissariat horses; and I shall be obliged to you if you will desire that spare room may be kept for my horses, and those of my aides de camp, which will arrive at Cork in a day or two.

' There remains nothing now but to brigade the troops, which may be a convenience for the present, and give us the assistance of the General Officers in the different arrangements which may be necessary on board the transports. But what we shall do now can only be temporary, as the whole corps must necessarily be new modelled when we join General Spencer. The Veteran battalion must be put out of the question, as that corps must go into the garrison of Gibraltar.

' The corps might be brigaded as follows:-The 95th and the 5th bats. of the 60th; the '5th, 9th, and 38th; the 40th, 71st, and 91st. You will alter this arrangement, if the corps belonging to your brigade are not put together, and you will put such (if all the corps of your brigade are not embarked for this service) corps as you please with the 9th. Let General Fane then command the Light Brigade; General Craufurd the Highlanders; and General Ferguson, who belongs to Spencer's corps, that brigade which has been, and will hereafter be yours. The Veteran battalion to report to General Fane, until it shall be otherwise disposed of.

' Pray let me hear from you, and acquaint me with all your wants, and whether I can do any thing for you here. You will readily believe that I have plenty to do, in closing a government in such a manner as that I may give it up, and taking the command of a corps for service; but I shall not fail to attend to whatever you may write to me.

' Believe me, my dear Hill, &c.

Some game ideas from this dispatch:
  • The Dragoons will meet at the rendezvous (presumably Portugal, a good start to a Dragoon-based Duty and Honour campaign - traveling to Portugal).
  • A ship for Wellesley's horses as well as officers' horses (that screams to me an adventure for Beat to Quarters).
  • Information on the brigades of the army (useful information for the flavor of the game).

Monday, November 29, 2010

[Vids] The Thin Man

The Thin Man is a classic 1934 black and white movie based on Dashiell Hammett's novel. Starring the suave William Powell as Nick Charles and the beautiful Myrna Loy as Nora Charles, it recounts the screwball adventures of the wealthy couple as they solve a mystery with the help of their wire-haired fox terrier Asta.

Nick is a former police detective and Nora is a rich debutante who wants her currently-retired detective husband to solve mysteries while he's just fine spending her money and drinking. The dialog is snappy and the style is perfect for anyone interested in the era. The movie has a nightclub scene (a prerequisite for movies made in this era) as well as a dinner party at the end where the villain is exposed.

I'm a big fan of the Thin Man series (an additional 5 movies were made with Powell and Loy in the title roles and I own them all) and recommend these movies for the screwball comedy and sophisticated feel of the 1930s and 40s.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

[Savage Colonial Gothic] Adventure, the first

December, 2012.

Conrad Waxman is a college student at NYU and Rutgers (Newark). He sees a man at an Amerind anthropology presentation at MOMA who gives him the creeps. Throughout the talk, the creepy man keeps looking at him. Walking home, he notices he's being followed and diverts to his friend Bob Peabody's lab, 3 blocks away from his SoHo loft. Bob is a fellow history buff and re-enactor and has Conrad's kit.

Bob tells Conrad he made a breakthrough in 'temporal studies' and can send stuff back in time/space. At least it has worked with some test items, including a small white mouse! A horrific magical beast, a Wendigo, attacks the lab by smashing through the security glass, ripping out bars, and coming in through window. The creepy guy from the presentation is guiding the Wendigo, shouting at Waxman, "At last, after so long, you're finally mine!" Bob shoots the monster with a flintlock pistol and pushes Conrad towards the basement, grabbing equipment, including Conrad's kit, on the way.

Barring the lab door and setting controls on a strange machine and pushing Conrad into it, Bob starts loading his rifle. The Wendigo breaks through security door to basement, takes the rifle from Bob and shoves it through him. Bob's dead body is thrown onto the controls of the machine right as it activates.

June 17, 1775

Ezekiel Theodore Hollinsworth III and Samuel Picket are watching the battle of Bunker Hill from a distance. The two are cousins, with Samuel the older at 26 to Ezekiels 20. They hear a thunderclap overhead and turn around just in time to see Conrad Waxman fall on his ass behind them. Samuel goes to help the man up as Ezekiel looks around the sky for the thunder clouds.

They all get acquainted, then Samuel and Ezekiel notice that the battle turns against the Americans as they run out of ammunition. They both agree that it's time to leave as the militia withdraws. Ezekiel witnesses General Warren being killed in the fourth Red Coat wave of the assault. As they leave, they encounter a squad of British Regulars along the main path and run off the trail into the woods, getting shot at but escape with no injuries.

Things start quickly not adding up with Ezekiel and Samuel about Waxman, such as the strange clothes, the Jansport mountain hiking back pack, and the iPod that accidentally comes on when they're running from the Redcoats. The weak and transparent excuses on Waxman's part does not help.

A few miles later they come to a copse of trees, and Waxman is encouraged to change into some less conspicuous garb. Some commentary on his Rutgers sweatshirt and his "Historians do it in the stacks!" t-shirt takes place , as well as inspection of some of his items, most notably a coin with the date 1978 on it and a fine Colonial Officer's jacket that hasn't been put in use yet.

Also, his rifle is very much an excellent piece, better made and worth a lot more than either of their firearms and he fobs off an explanation on that as the rifle was a bequest from his father. Once he is reclothed they go into the Natick Tavern for a pint or two, see Sally the Busty Barmaid and get some nice garlic sausages.

While Waxman goes to the privy, the iPod chirps up again with Judas Priest "Breaking the Law", followed by Billy Idol "I Don't Need a Gun." Ezekiel and Samuel think it may be a snuff box with a man's soul trapped in it. A rather rough and evil-looking villain notices the music from the bar and Samuel and Ezekiel close ranks quickly under his watchful gaze.

The party leaves just before twilight, and in the darkening evening, they're followed by two men, one a very large man and the other the fellow from the bar. Samuel asks Waxman if his rifle is loaded and proceeds to load it for him as they walk along. Just before a sharp bend to the right in the road a lantern flares - a signal to the footpads behind them.

The party break for the woods on the right, inside the corner with the footpads behind in hot pursuit as the accomplice ahead with the lantern fires a pistol shot, missing.

As soon as they get into the treeline, a fourth assassin fires a musket at almost point-blank range at Samuel . He returns fire, taking off the top of the shooter's head. Ezekiel turns and shoots the larger of the two who followed from the tavern and kills him right dead. The fellow in front of the group drops his musket and swings a tomahawk at Waxman, who manages not to die.

Ezekiel calls to Samuel to take Waxman's rifle, as he's unsure of Waxman's ability to get the job done, but Samuel calls to Waxman and says "can you do it?" Waxman takes down the fourth bandit. Yet another footpad makes a break for it and tries to run, as Ezekiel starts reloading. Samuel drops his rifle, draws knife and tomahawk and pursues him. He trips, and is caught by Samuel. Waxman follows while Ezekiel finishes loading his gun and then catches up with Samuel.

In the dark woods, it's thought that the robber threw something away, so, to the obvious upset of Samuel and the amazement of Waxman, Ezekiel conjors up a magical light using MAGIC as Waxman draws his Maglight from his pack. The third assailant (the one with the pistol) has run away by this time and no-one ever saw what he looked like. The remaining assailant is interrogated, and his discarded small cannon-barrel pistol is found, he recognizes Waxman's Maglight with a few words , and is extremely and unforgivably profane with Samuel , who strikes him with the tomahawk handle into unconsciousness.

Samuel strips the man and As Samuel searches him, he finds an object about 3 inches long embedded under the skin of his left arm. At about the time he realizes the object is there, he feels it give way under his rough grasp and the assailant disappears in a thunderclap, much like the one that was heard that heralded Waxman's appearance.

This freaks out Ezekiel and Samuel. Samuel is faced with a disappeared man, a cousin who can do magic and a stranger with weird demons in a snuff-box and is very upset. Ezekiel says to Waxman "We're going to have a talk later and you're going to start telling the truth" with a calm cocking back of the musket hammer. Nobody says much after that.

Finally that night, they get to Ezekiel's room over the print shop in Acton. Samuel drinks Ezekiel's skunking ale from the morning.

Thus this episode ends.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

[Characters] Piotr Ryoku, Star Fleet Ensign

My friend GM recently ran a Kirk era, just post-Abrams reboot Savage Worlds game of Star Trek. Here is the PC I ran. The first session, I got the "Karma Thief" card (from the Savage Worlds Adventure Deck).

Piotr Ryoku is an recently busted-down ensign in Star Fleet after a contentious relationship with his last captain. He's been newly assigned to the U.S.S. Arbiter (NCC-D103) but a bad reputation spreads faster than the truth. So far his job is shuttle pilot and he has performed it with competence, if not distinction.

Agility d8 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d4
Pace 6 Parry 6 Toughness 3 Charisma -0-

Hindrances: Small, Bad Reputation (difficult officer), Quirk

Edges: Ambidextrous, Two-Fisted, Level-Headed, Ace, Quick

Skills: Throwing d8, Pilot d8+2, Fighting d8, Repair d4, Shooting d8, Driving d4+2, Survival d4.

Equipment: Dagger (STR+d4), Derringer (2d6, Shots: 2), Flash Grenade, Phaser (1-3d6).

Friday, November 26, 2010

[Resources] Stuck in the Ice

The HMS Investigator was a 422 ton ship lost during the McClure Arctic Expedition (1850-1854). Purchased by the Royal Navy in Feburary 1848, it underwent modifications for the Arctic at Blackwall Yard by strengthening her with steel plating and planking. Additionally, a modern stove, Sylvester's Warming Apparatus, was installed to warm the entire ship in the harsh conditions.

During the expedition, she was trapped in the ice for three years and was finally abandoned in June 1853. Another ship, the HMS Resolute (the wood from which the US President's desk is made), found the Investigator a year later and reported that, while still trapped by the ice, she was in fair condition even though she had taken in water at some point.

The Royal Navy received an official account of the expedition from Captain McClure and an unofficial account was published in 1857, written by the ship surgeon.

The native peoples of the area, the Inuit, have stories about the Investigator, since it was a treasure trove of material for them, from copper and iron to wood, for about 40 years. According to a 1910 account "one year she had still been on the beach and the next year she was gone without a trace." One expedition in 1915 couldn't find what was left of the ship.

Due to the difficulty reaching the location, it wasn't until July 2010, over 150 years later, that the wreckage was finally found in Mercy Bay. The remains were found within 15 minutes of starting the sonar scan, with the ship sitting upright under 8 yards of silt. Although scientists are not going to raise the remains, there are plans to investigate the ship with an underwater camera.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, "dungeons" don't often come floating on water, trapped in ice, do they? Maybe your next game will have one of them, then.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Taking a break from Atomic Thursday to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

(The scene above could use a few radioactive zombies, though ....)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[Characters] Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial PC#6

The final PC from the Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial is the dual-wielding, pistol-packin' fry cook!

Savage Worlds:

Fry Cook (WC)
Novice + 20 XP = Seasoned
Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d8
Pace 6 Parry Toughness Charisma -0-

Hindrances: Enemy.

Edges: Two-fisted, Ambidextrous, Nerves of Steel, Rock and Roll!

Skills: Shooting d10, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Intimidation d6, Guts d6, Tracking d4.

Equipment: fry cook clothes.
2x Colt .45 pistols (12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF1, 4#, shots: 7, AP1, Semi-auto), no extra magazines.
Colt Commando with scope (12/24/48, 2d8, RoF3, 5.5#, shots: 30, AP2, Auto, 3RB), 3 extra magazines.

Microlite20 Modern:

Fry Cook
STR 14 (+2), DEX 13 (+1), MIND 12 (+1)
Strong Hero, Level 3, HP 29
Blue collar background
Melee: +5, Missile: +4
Physical +7, Subterfuge +5*, Knowledge +5*, Communication +5*
* includes human bonus (+1 to all skill rolls)

Equipment: fry cook clothes.
2x Colt .45 pistols (2d6, RoF S, shots: 7 box), no extra magazines.
Colt Commando with scope (2d8, RoF S or A, shots: 30 box), 3 extra magazines.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[Dispatches] 21 June 1808

' Lieut. gen. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.' ' Commander in Chief. Viscount Castlereagh, Secretary of State, to Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.

' Downing Street, 21st June, 1808.

Dear Sir,

' Our accounts from Cadiz are bad; no disposition there or in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar to move; General Spencer returning to Gibraltar: the proceedings, however, in the northern provinces, were not then known It is material to know the effect produced by that effort which may be hourly expected.

' The Cabinet are desirous of postponing, till they hear again, their final decision on your instructions, being unwilling you should get too far to the southward' whilst the spirit of exertion appears to reside more to the northward.

' Hitherto no time, in fact, has been lost, as your equipment cannot be assembled at Cork for some days. The arms and cavalry transports are not yet got to Portsmouth, and it is better to bring the whole together, than to trust to junctions on the coast of Spain.

' You will have the goodness to order the transports to be kept fully victualled whilst in port, that you may carry with you a full supply.

I am, &c.

A few ideas based on this dispatch:
  • Cadiz, in the south of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, was the traditional port of the Spanish Navy and successfully resisted the French Invasion ("special forces" style action, possibly?)
  • Gibraltar, an English territory since 1704 and important Royal Navy port, was also threatened during the Peninsular Campaign (a good base for naval actions).
  • Arms and cavalry traveling to Portsmouth, Hampshire (an opportunity for "flashback" style adventures for a game session).
  • Transport ships waiting in Cork to travel to Spain (another naval adventure on the way to the front).

Monday, November 22, 2010

[Characters] Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial PC#5

The 5th PC from the Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial is Jimmy Kimmel, aka "Proud Noob".

Savage Worlds:

Jimmy Kimmel (WC)
Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d4
Pace 6 Parry 4 Toughness 4 Charisma +2

Hindrances: Enemy.

Edges: Charismatic.

Skills: Shooting d4, Fighting d4, Persuasion d8, Taunt d8, Notice d6, Guts d4, Survival d6, Lockpicking d6.

Equipment: street clothes.
"Proud Noob" RPG-16 (24/48/96, 4d8, RoF1, shots: 1, Medium burst template, snapfire).

Microlite20 Modern:

Jimmy Kimmel
STR 12 (+1), DEX 12 (+1), MIND 12 (+1)
Charismatic Hero, Level 1, HP 15
Celebrity background
Melee: +2, Missile: +2
Physical +2*, Subterfuge +2*, Knowledge +2*, Communication +5*
* includes human bonus (+1 to all skill rolls)

Equipment: street clothes.
"Proud Noob" RPG-16 (6d8, RoF S, shots: 1), 3 extra grenades.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

[Monsters] Nosferatu!

I had this monster planned for my Savage Colonial Gothic game but improved on it since reading the recent Grognardia Retro-Clone version post.

Count Orlok is a traditional Nosferatu Vampire. I suggest that GMs watch both the original movie and the 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire to demonstrate how to play this powerful NPC.

Count Orlok (Wild Card)
Agility d8 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d12+2 Vigor d12
Pace 6 Parry 8 Toughness 10 Charisma -4

Hindrances: Weakness (Fire, Running Water, Garlic, Reflection, Holy Symbols and Water, Sunlight, Stake through the Heart, Invitation Only).

Edges: Undead (+2 to recover from Shaken, +2 to toughness), Fear (-2 to Guts rolls), Invulnerability (except to Weaknesses), Sire (can create vampires from drained opponents, 50% chance), Feed (Vigor roll -2 or gain Fatigue level for each feeding, recovery takes 1d6+1 days per Fatigue level), Summon (10d10 rats or 3d6 wolves), Charm (as Puppet power), Transform (to mist, bat or wolf), Miasma (area around vampire becomes unhealthy, starts at 1 mile radius and grows 1 mile each day to maximum 12 miles radius, -2 to rolls to resist disease or curses for all occupants in area).

Skills: Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Notice d8, Guts d8, Shooting d6, Throwing d6.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

[Resources] Knight's Tour

The Knight's Tour is as old as chess itself. It's a math problem: can the Knight traverse the board only touching each square once? With 64 squares, the possibilities are immense (over 26 trillion closed tours).

What does this have to do with gaming, you might ask? Well, very famous people, from Benjamin Franklin to Leonhard Euler, fiddled with the Knight's Tour. It could be part of a modern spy game, or a Revolutionary War Masonic mystery, the key to solving a Nazi threat during WWII, a pulp-era world trotting expedition to find the true world-destroying copy of the Sanskrit poem Kavyalankara or even incorporated into a magical Mathemancy game.

Friday, November 19, 2010

[Characters] Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial PC#4

Basketball star Kobe Bryant is the 4th PC for the Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial.

Savage Worlds:

Kobe Bryant (WC)
Novice + 40XP = Veteran
Agility d10 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d6
Pace 8 Parry 6 Toughness 5 Charisma -0-

Hindrances: Enemy.

Edges: Quick, Connections, Acrobat, Fleet-Footed, Rich, Filthy Rich, Trademark Weapon (Colt Commando with "Mamba").

Skills: Shooting d10, Fighting d8, Throwing d10, Knowledge (Sports) d6, Streetwise d4, Survival d4.

Equipment: street clothes.
Colt Commando with scope (12/24/48, 2d8, RoF3, 5.5#, shots: 30, AP2, Auto, 3RB).
"Mamba" M203 Grenade Launcher (24/48/96, 4d8, RoF1, shots: 1, Medium burst template, snapfire), 3 extra magazines, 5 extra 40mm grenades.

Microlite20 Modern:

Kobe Bryant
STR 16 (+3), DEX 17 (+3), MIND 12 (+1)
Strong Hero, Level 6, HP 34
Athlete background
Melee: +9, Missile: +9
Physical +11*, Subterfuge +8*, Knowledge +8*, Communication +8*
* includes human bonus (+1 to all skill rolls)

Equipment: street clothes.
Colt Commando with scope (2d8, RoF S or A, shots: 30 box).
"Mamba" M203 Grenade Launcher (4d8, RoF s, shots: 1), 3 extra magazines, 5 extra 40mm grenades.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

[Aftermath!] GURPS Operation Morpheus, Session 3, Part 1

Session Three: Part 1: "S.O.S." (March 29 - 31, 2104)

Important People: James (S), Bill (X), Bob (E), Alexis (C),

Important NPCs: Miles Dayton, Rich Johnson, Amanda Hayes, John Ritter, Andy Smith, Reactor Controller at Anderson Stuart Bunker, Steve Miller, IT Lead at Anderson Stuart Bunker, Robbie the PolRob, Nasdaq the Robot, various SecRobs, PolRob #1 and PolRob #2.

While James and Bill man the Physics Building Security Station, Bob and Alexis, with Nasdaq, start the Main University Reactor. This process (the strtupseqnce.doc file contains 12 steps) will take several days. Since the start-up sequence powers the Reactor Control area and part of the Security Station, the phone system is working between these two locations as well as to other powered buildings (like Anderson Stuart).

Bob begins the start-up and James reports in to Anderson Stuart, giving them the skinny on what is going on and also the Groups respective phone numbers. Over the next 48 hours, Bob runs through the first 7 steps on the list and proceeds to step 8.

A few hours after starting step 8, Alexis is on duty while Bob is taking a nap. Alexis fails to notice the warning light on the power console while she is looking through the now-powered up Mainframe Computer. Suddenly, a blaring alarm starts, waking up Bob and an automated voice says "DANGER! REACTOR SITUATION! APPROXIMATELY 10 MINUTES TO COMPLETE CONTAINMENT FAILURE! DANGER!" A clock on the wall starts counting down from 10 minutes as a nearby wall radiometer starts clicking higher REMs.

Meanwhile in the Security Station, James and Bill hear noises in the hallway. James remembers that the SecRobs haven't been around for about 12 hours and wonders if the noises are them. James gives Miles from Group A a call on the radio, asking if his Group is in the Physics Building. Miles says no but asks if Group B needs backup. James says yes. Miles says they'll be over there pronto.

James and Bill prepare for company. Bill flips over the heavy wooden desk, pushes it to cover the doorway and draws his pistol. James readies his M16 and opens the security door, taking a quick look outside. Down the hall, sounds of an emergency alarm drift up the stairwell from the Reactor Area. Also from down the hall, James and Bill hear electronic voices saying things like "Hello Citizen! Report suspicious behavior to your local police!" and "Hi! I'm your friendly neighborhood Police Robot!" James sees two PolRobs walking down the hall towards the Security Station. Both are fully armed (M16s and Glock 17s) as well as armored in police riot gear. One is also carrying a sword.

PolRob #1 spots James and opens fire, while exclaiming "Be a good neighbor - Report all drug dealers in your neighborhood!" James returns fire and ducks back into the room while PolRob #2 launches a tear gas grenade in front of the security door as it says "Do not play with matches - Report all those who do to your local police and fire districts." Bill buttons up his helmet gas filter while James fires again at the PolRobs.

Meanwhile, down in the Reactor Control Room, Bob is trying to get the situation in hand. Realizing that he has no idea what to do, he calls over to Anderson Stuart Bunker, loudly demanding, over the Emergency Alarm, to talk to someone in the Bunker Reactor group. Alexis rushes to the Mainframe Computer room and tries a few things on the newly started computer to try to assist Bob.

As tear gas drifts into the Security Station, James buttons up his helmet gas filter as well and steps back from the doorway, M16 at the ready. PolRob #2 launches a fragmentation grenade just outside the doorway, loudly stating "Do not litter! Be a good Citizen!" The grenade explodes but James and Bill are not injured by the grenade.

Bob finally gets Andy the Anderson Stuart Reactor Tech on the phone. Amidst the Emergency Alarm, as the REM counter is going slowly up and the timer is fast counting down, Andy has Bob tell him what he did. Bob reads off the list from the strtupseqnce.doc file. Bob realizes that no one in Group B had anyone at Anderson Stuart check out the authenticity of the strtupseqnce.doc file and Andy tells him that step 8 and 9 are reversed!

PolRob #1 steps around the doorway into the Security Station saying "Only you can prevent forest fires! Be a good Citizen and don't pollute!" as James opens up with his M16 into PolRob #1's head. PolRob #1 stops functioning, but remains standing. From the hallway, James and Bill hear PolRob #2 state "When in danger, exit burning buildings! Assist your local fire department by moving out of the way of emergency vehicles."

Alexis runs a similar diagnostic program that she ran at Anderson Stuart before she realizes that the diagnostic program is actually a Trojan Horse program that allows someone outside the Physics Building to control the Physics Mainframe! Jumping up from the Reactor Controls, Alexis runs to the Mainframe room. Andy asks Bob if the Mainframe is up, because it is necessary to control the Reactor.

PolRob #2 steps in front of the doorway, says "DARE to keep kids off drugs! Assist your local authorities in times of crisis!" and opens fire with it's M16 at Bill. Bill takes several rounds in the chest, but his military grade armor protects him from injury. Bill leaps the table and closes with PolRob #2, causing the robot to drop his M16 in the struggle. PolRob #2 jabs at Bill with his built-in Stun Gun fist!

Andy tells Bob that he needs to enter the small door to the Reactor Control Valves from the Control Room. Bob rushes to the Security Station to get a Radiation Suit. While he's quickly getting dressed, Andy walks him through what he has to do to, telling him that he shouldn't have to go farther than 30 yards to the Control Valves and warning him to get out as fast as possible. Bob, with his Geiger Counter and radiation badge and Key Cards ready, steps through the security door into the corridor to the Control Valves.

Bill is fighting in close quarters with PolRob #2 and manages to get ahold of it's wrist, preventing the Stun Gun fist from connecting with him. James drops his M16, quick-draws his pistol and jumps on PolRob #2's back. PolRob #2 states "Comply with all orders from Police personnel! We're here for your safety and protection!" and fires his built-in taser weapon into Bill, stunning him.

Alexis rushes into the Mainframe Computer room and tries to stop the diagnostic/Trojan Horse program from completing. When she fails to stop the program, Alexis tries to smash the Mainframe with a chair but is stopped by Nasdaq who informs her not to damage University property. Bob runs down the access tunnel to the Control Valves.

James manages to get PolRob #2's helmet off and shoots it in the head with his pistol. Uneffected, PolRob #2 disentangles it's Stun Gun fist from Bill and stuns James with it, saying "The Police are public servants, serving the public good! Assist them in all their endeavors!" Things are looking mighty grim for our heroes!

Bob reaches the Control Valves and only makes one small mistake from Andy's instructions. Quickly recovering, he corrects his mistake then runs like hell out of that radioactive hellhole! Bob enters the Control Room as the control gauges go from Red to Green, the REM meter drops, the Emergency Alarms stop, and the timer stops counting down. Only scant minutes to spare! Meanwhile, Alexis dives behind the Mainframe to unplug it and stop the Trojan Horse from working.

Miles and Group A tackle PolRob #2, bringing the whole lot of them down to the ground in a heap. Within a few minutes, Bill and James are recovering and Group A has disassembled PolRob #2, amidst electronic cries of "Report anyone who is driving impaired to your local police!" and "Don't steal from others! That's wrong and it's against the law, too!" and "Violence is not the answer! Stay away from fights and any gang activity!"

Andy assures Bob that the Mainframe must be operational to control the Reactor. Bob finds Alexis in the Mainframe room and stops her from disconnecting the Mainframe. Alexis tells Bob about the Trojan Horse and tries to find the Ethernet connections to cut the Mainframe off of the rest of the Uni. Bob returns to the Control Room and Andy walks him through several more procedures to assure the Reactor will operate correctly.

Alexis calls Anderson Stuart and talks to Steve Miller, the IT lead, warning him about the Trojan Horse program. Anderson Stuart is in a uproar about this and many calls back and forth to Alexis are made.

In the Security Office, James, Bill, and Team A (Miles, Rich, Amanda and John) rest from their encounter with the PolRobs. A group of SecRobs pass by the Security Office on their normal patrols.

James, Bill, Alexis and Bob all let each other know what has happened in the last few minutes:

* the attack of the PolRobs ("We need bigger and better guns!" says James)
* the Reactor situation ("Someone switched the procedure around!" says Bob)
* the Trojan Horse program ("We've got to disconnect the Physics Mainframe from the rest of the University!" says Alexis), and
* getting shot at close range with an M16 ("Ow!" says Bill).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

[Characters] Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial PC#3

The third PC for the Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial is the bald concierge with the AK-47! And he's a good concierge, you can tell, even in the middle of a fire-fight, he's willing to take a call and serve a hotel patron.

Savage Worlds:

Concierge with the AK-47 (WC)
Novice + 30 XP = Seasoned
Agility d8 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d8
Pace 6 Parry 5 Toughness 7 Charisma -0-

Hindrance: Enemy.

Edge: Brawny, Luck, Great Luck, Level-Headed, Combat Reflexes.

Skills: Shooting d10, Fighting d6, Streetwise d8, Throwing d6, Guts d4, Climbing d4, Intimidation d4.

Equipment: Grey 3-piece business suit, blue tie, leather shoes, name tag, cell phone.
AK-47 (24/48/96, 2d8+1, RoF3, 10#, shots: 30, AP2, Auto), 3 extra magazines.

Microlite20 Modern:

Concierge with the AK-47
STR 15 (+2), DEX 13 (+1), MIND 13 (+1)
Strong Hero, Level 4, HP
White collar background
Melee: +6, Missile: +5
Physical +7*, Subterfuge +6*, Knowledge +7*, Communication +7*
* includes human bonus (+1 to all skill rolls)

Equipment: Grey 3-piece business suit, blue tie, leather shoes, name tag, cell phone.
AK-47 (2d8, RoF S or A, shots: 30 box), 3 extra magazines.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

[Dispatches] 14 June 1808

His Royal Highness the Commander in Chief to Lieut. General the Hon. Sir A. Wellesley, K.B.

'Horse Guards, 14th June, 1808.


'His Majesty having been graciously pleased to appoint you to the command of a detachment of his army, to be employed upon a particular service, I have to desire that you will be pleased to take the earliest opportunity to assume the command of this force, and carry into effect such instructions as you may receive from his Majesty's ministers.

' The force, which his Majesty has been pleased to place under your command, consists of the following corps:-

With Major General Spencer
Royal Artillery.
Royal Staff Corps. Detachment
29th Foot.
*32nd Foot lst Battalion
*50th Foot 1st Battalion
*82nd Foot 1st Battalion
To proceed from Cork
*5th Foot 1st Battalion
*9th Foot 1st battalion
*38th Foot 1st Battalion
*40th Foot 1st Battalion
60th Foot 5th Battalion
*71st Foot 1st Battalion
*91st Foot 1st Battalion
95th four companies
4th Royal Vet.Battalion

And the staff appointed to this force is composed as follows - Major General Spencer, Major General Hill, Major General Ferguson, Brig. General Nightingall, Brig. General Fane, Brig. General Catlin Craufurd.

'On all subjects relating to your command, you will be pleased to correspond with me, and you will regularly communicate to me all military transactions, in which you may be engaged, reporting to me all vacancies that may occur in the troops under your command; and as the power of appointing to commissions is not vested in you, you will be pleased to recommend to me such officers as may appear to you most deserving of promotion, stating the special reasons, where such recommendations are not in the usual channel of seniority.

' As the regiments marked thus ( *), under your command, have second battalions attached to them, and which remain in this country, it is necessary that I should acquaint you, that the first battalions under your orders being, composed exclusively of the senior officers of their respective ranks, such vacancies as may occur therein, by promotion or casualty, must unavoidably be supplied by officers from the second battalions, who will be ordered immediately to join, on such vacancies being made known to me.

'Should you have occasion to recommend any gentlemen for an ensigncy, you will be pleased to make known his address, in order that, if his Majesty should be pleased to confirm the recommendation, he may be directed to join the corps immediately on his appointment.

' You will transmit, monthly, returns of the troops under your command, to the Secretary at War, and to the Adjutant General, for my information; and you will strictly adhere to his Majesty's regulations, in regard to the pay, clothing, and appointments of the troops; and your special attention must necessarily be directed to their discipline, and to the interior economy of the different corps, which is so essential, not only to the comfort of the soldier, but to the preservation of his health, under every change of climate to which he may be exposed.

' Under the head of pay, I have to direct your attention to the instructions of the Paymasters General to their deputy, respecting the usual stoppages being deducted from the pay of the several Staff officers, and to which you are requested to give the most punctual attention.

' You wild be vested with the usual powers of convening General Courts Martial, upon which subject 1 have to observe that, as great inconvenience has arisen to the service from officers commanding on foreign stations having permitted prisoners to return to England prior to the proceedings and opinion of the Court Martial having been submitted to the King, I have to request that, in all cases, where any person whatever may be tried by a General Court Martial, and where your powers are not sufficient to enable you to decide finally upon the proceedings, opinion, and sentence of the Court, that you do not permit the prisoner to return to England until his Majesty's commands shall have been duly communicated to you through the proper channel for that purpose.

' I have likewise to acquaint you, that as many General Officers, from the best motives, have taken upon themselves to commute sentences of capital punishment to transportation for a term of years, or for life, when it is found that no such power is delegated by his Majesty, and, consequently, that the whole of the proceedings may be thereby rendered nugatory, it will be necessary that your particular attention should be given to the powers granted to you by his Majesty's warrant on this subject, in order to prevent you from inadvertently falling into a similar irregularity.

' It is particularly desirable that the officer, and the head of the Quarter Master General's staff, should be directed to keep a Journal, or other memorandum, descriptive of the movements of the troops, and occurrences in which they are: engaged; as also, that he should take and collect plans of the harbours, positions, or fortified places, in which the troops may be, for the purpose of being transmitted to me and lodged in the military depôt.

' In all points where any question or doubt may arise, and in which you may be desirous of receiving further and more specific instructions, you will always find me ready to pay the earliest attention to your representations.

I am, &c.

I haven't had any posts on Duty and Honour lately so I figured to start anew with a category detailing the dispatches between Wellington and various people during the Napoleonic Wars, in anticipation to returning to this excellent game.

Hopefully, they will engender some ideas for adventures in an overall Duty and Honour (or extend into a Beat to Quarters) campaign.

This is the first dispatch available and it presents us with a number of interesting items:

  • The forces under Wellington's command,
  • His senior officers,
  • A requirement that commissions are not under his authority to grant,
  • A request for regular reports as well as payment rules, and
  • Rules on court martials.

These bits of information can be used during the game to improve the background, sprinkling in information that will add to the authenticity as well as fun of the game. Heck, even reading out these dispatches at the beginning of each session could add to it.

So be on the lookout for further Dispatches.

I am, &c.

Monday, November 15, 2010

[Characters] Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial PC#2

Continuing with the Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial, here's PC #2: a smiling young woman with a shotgun and good door discipline.

Savage Worlds:

Smiling Shotgun Girl (WC)
Novice + 10 XP
Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Pace 6 Parry 5 Toughness 5 Charisma -0-

Hindrances: Enemy, Bad Sight.

Edges: Common Bond, Hard to Kill.

Skills: Shooting d6, Fighting d6, Knowledge (Battle) d4, Driving d6, Intimidation d4, Persuasion d6, Taunt d6, Healing d6, Repair d6.

Equipment: street clothes.
Shotgun (pump action, 12ga, 12/24/48, 1-3d6, RoF1, 8#, shots: 6, see SWEX notes), extra ammo (including slugs and buckshot).

Microlite20 Modern:

Smiling Shotgun Girl
STR 10 (-), DEX 12 (+1), MIND 14 (+2)
Smart Hero, Level 2, HP 16
Student background
Melee: +2, Missile: +3
Physical +3*, Subterfuge +3*, Knowledge +6*, Communication +3*
* includes human bonus (+1 to all skill rolls)

Equipment: street clothes.
Shotgun (2d8, RoF S, shots: 6 int), extra ammo (including slugs and buckshot).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

[Game Groups] The Red Box Network

UPDATED 11/15: The Red Box Network are (currently) SIX groups of gamers that stretch from New York to Vancouver, B.C., and from Texas to Calgary, AB, with Philly and Niagara, Ont. in between, all with the desire to play the 1981 "Red Box" Erol Otis Cover D&D (considered the 8th printing and 2nd edition of the basic game according to that excellent D&D online resource Acaeum.com).

Started in 2008 by gamers in New York to pay respect to the recently passed Gary Gygax (1), the Red Box Network grew to include 3 chapters in Canada, 1 in Pennsylvania and 1 in Texas. If you are nearby one of these chapters, they game at least once a month (check their schedule).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

[Blogs] The Mule Abides - Mad, Mad Dungeon

One of the August posts on The Mule Abides deals with the after-effects of the PCs party entering the local dungeon. In his post, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Dungeon, Eric Minton gives you a d20-based table to see what changes occur during the space between the PCs leaving the dungeon and re-entering the dungeon.

It's a great read and includes different levels of NPCs that can change the face of the dungeon, from peasants to more experienced adventurers. Do they survive and actually find loot or do their bodies remain undiscovered in the depths of the unknown? Only the table knows!

Friday, November 12, 2010

[Characters] Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial PC#1

Destination Unknown had a link to the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial.

I really enjoyed it and thought it showed the various types of people that game (one guy, however, didn't like it). Even though I don't play video games, I can see the sentiment in RPGs.

As I was watching the spot, I thought "who are these people and what would they be like in an RPG?" Hence the following six PCs, for both Savage Worlds and Microlite20 systems, from the Call of Duty: Black Ops TV commercial.

Here's the first: a young woman in a business suit and high-heels, with a Colt Commando, calmly walking in the open, ready to fight.

Savage Worlds:

Business woman with a Colt Commando (WC)
Novice + 20 XP = Seasoned
Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Pace 6 Parry 6 Toughness 5 Charisma +2

Hindrances: Enemy.

Edges: Attractive, Danger Sense, Steady Hands, Quick, Marksman.

Skills: Shooting d8, Fighting d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Stealth d6, Notice d6+2, Guts d6, Taunt d4.

Equipment: Business suit, high heel shoes (no negative modifier to unstable platform due to Steady Hands), purse.
Colt Commando with scope (12/24/48, 2d8, RoF3, 5.5#, shots: 30, AP2, Auto, 3RB), 3 extra magazines.

Microlite20 Modern:

Business woman with a Colt Commando
STR 12 (+1), DEX 15 (+2), MIND 12 (+1)
Smart Hero, Level 3, HP 22
White collar background
Melee: +4, Missile: +5
Physical +5*, Subterfuge +5*, Knowledge +7*, Communication +6*
* includes human bonus (+1 to all skill rolls)

Equipment: Business suit, high heel shoes, purse.
Colt Commando with scope (2d8, RoF S or A, shots: 30 box), 3 extra magazines

Thursday, November 11, 2010

[Aftermath!] GURPS Operation Morpheus, Session 3, The Cut Scenes

Tuesday Night Sessions - GURPS Aftermath! Operation Morpheus Session 3 (October 21, 2003)

Session Three: "Start Me Up" (March 29 - April 1, 2104)

Cut Scene: The Computer System: In a darkened room, a large mainframe computer is working away. On many monitors around the room are images flashing too fast for the human eye. On one monitor is a view of the University defense perimeter. A group of peasants are being forced by gunpoint into the defense perimeter by a group of knights and men-at-arms wearing the heraldry of the Duchy of Sydney. The knights and men-at-arms stay well away from the defense perimeter. The automated defenses efficiently kill the peasants with minimum expenditure of ammunition. Then the defenses open up for a full 60 seconds with full auto fire - 50 caliber machine gun, 20 mm autocannon, and mortar support - on the group of knights and men-at-arms, cutting them down in a violent hail of lead.

Cut Scene: Mount Steele Castle: Duke William asks for the results of several probes into the downtown area. His generals say that no communiqués have come yet. He turns back to the map of Sydney and studies it.

Cut Scene: The Loonies: Again this group of people are acting totally insane. Around their main base, which looks to be like a large hospital building, probably built in the 1980s, are vicious traps, pungi stick pits and other cunning defenses. In the evening, the unknown creatures attack the lunatics, cutting them down, bypassing their defenses and burning their crops and village in an orgy of blood and death. Though the lunatics fight back, with spears, guns and swords, they are overwhelmed and the results of this slaughter is the complete bloody and violent death of each of these crazy people.

Cut Scene: Domain Commune: Representative from the Scouts Commune meet with members of the Domain Council. Scout council members Tim Johnson, Matt Fu and Ken Wilcox speak of trade and defense cooperation with Domain council members Gale Norman, Robert Weale, and Chris Damitio. The recent hostilities with the Duchy of Sydney are also discussed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

[Monsters] A Quick, Large and Angry Dog

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. " -- Mark Twain

While not technically a monster, a large (and fast) dog is still a danger to most people. I used this dog in my Savage Colonial Gothic game to good effect. He's tough, fast and packs a nice bite!

Quick, Large and Angry Dog (Wild Card)

Agility d8 Spirit d6 Smarts d4 (A) Strength d8 Vigor d6
Pace 8 Parry 4 Toughness 7

Edges: Berserk, Alertness, Brawny, Quick, Thick Hide

Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Loyal

Skills: Fighting d8, Tracking d6, Notice d6+2, Stealth d6, Intimidate d6

Bite, Str + d6

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

[Resources] The Tang!

Need a cool floating lair for your super-villain? Want him rich, look sleek and be environmentally conscious? Look no farther than The Tang!

A large luxury yacht, this 60 foot "green energy" catamaran is made of carbon fiber and powered by wind propellers under the sail which turn twin E Motion 18 KW permanent magnet motors, charging 144 volts of Li-ion batteries and (for backup when in the doldrums) twin 22KW diesel generators.

Developed by International Battery and Electric Marine Propulsion, this yacht is currently in testing but will be officially unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2011.

What weapon and security systems and faceless henchmen on board are up to you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

[Alignment] Lawful Evil

Lawful Evil, "Dominator"

A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises.

This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.

Lawful evil is sometimes called "diabolical," because devils are the epitome of lawful evil.

Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

[Auld Lang 'Zine] 1001+1 Nights, Issue #24

Issue #24, One Thousand and One Nights and One Night RPG Campaign Design 'zine

Issue no. 24 of One Thousand and One Nights and One Night Campaign Design 'zine was published in June 2007 (actually published in February 2008) and rounds out the first year of my 'zine. Yay!

This issue is my time travel issue, with a time-related character for Spirit of the Century (which I have yet to use) and a time travel campaign set-up.

Most of the game notes links still work: Spirit of the Century, GURPS Time Travel, Chronomancer and Dr. Who RPG.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

[D20cember] Coming this December

I've decided to do a month of D20 stuff this December. I've found that I've done a lot of Savage Worlds on this blog and have given my Ashford Valley Labyrinth Lord setting (from my 'zine Switching to Guns) the short shrift, so the plan is to do at least 25 posts over the month, with subjects from A to Z, showcasing a bit more of the adventures available in the valley.

If this sounds cool to you and you'd like to help out by contributing to my D20cember, let me know and I'll post your stuff, too, with full attributions! Or feel free to post them on your own blog and be sure to let me know so I can add in the links!

And to my post-apocalyptic fans, please don't worry. The Atomic Thursday posts will keep coming each week, bookended with D20 goodness.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!

Today is Guy Fawkes Day in England, after a fellow and his conspirator friends who tried to blow up the House of Lords in 1605 to kill the King of England, James I, and most of the lords of the land. The history is fascinating, including all the people involved. So much so that I ran a GURPS Elizabethan fantasy game set several years after 1605 where the Big Bad was an undead Guy Fawkes.

November 5th is a festive night in England, with fireworks and bonfires and kids making effigies called "guys" and collecting "a penny for the guy" to buy fireworks. One of my (now former) co-workers from England told me his experiences as a child building his guy and dragging it around the neighborhood to get cash. It was pretty humorous.

Guy Fawkes has appeared a lot in popular culture - movies, songs, literature, video games and even internet memes all have bits and pieces of the Guy mixed in. They've even tested whether the bomb plot would have blown up the building if it had succeeded!

If I was ever going to run a conspiracy-kill-a-king type game, I'd throw in this sort of information.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

[Aftermath!] GURPS Operation Morpheus, Session 2, Part 3

Session Two: Part 3: "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" (March 29, 2104)

Important People: James (S), Bill (X), Bob (E), Alexis (C)

Important NPCs: Robbie the PolRob, Nasdaq the Robot, Miles Dayton, Rich Johnson, Amanda Hayes, John Ritter, and many SecRobs.

The Group decides that the first order of business should be to start the Main University Reactor located in the Physics Building. Printing a hard copy of the start up sequence at strtupseqnce.doc on the Anderson Stuart mainframe computer, the Group collects equipment necessary to succeed on their mission. Figuring that the Physics Building might not have power, they acquire a electrical generator and the necessary fuel. Then, with their equipment loaded into their Land Rover vehicle (including Robbie the PolRob and Nasdaq the Robot), they exit the bunker via the vehicle lift and drive to the Physics Building.

The Physics Building is only a few blocks away from the Anderson Stuart Building. Looking around the campus, the Group notices several building have been either destroyed or have combat damage or are intact but lack electricity. The Physics Building has some combat damage - a few holes made by 20mm auto-cannon rounds, as well as some machine gun rounds, have damaged a section of the building. Additionally, the Physics Building has no electricity.

The Group park their Land Rover at the loading dock of the building and leave Robbie to guard the vehicle. Entering the building, James takes the lead with the rest of the Group following after, including Nasdaq.

Doing a quick search of the first floor of the Physics Building, they encounter several SecRobs, who challenge the Group with a "Halt Citizen, Present your Authorization." James displays his Silver/2 Military Key Card and the SecRobs say "Carry On" and continue their patrols. Several times the Group encounters SecRobs on patrol and each time are challenged. James displays his Key Card each time and the Group is left alone.

Bob finds a visitor's map of the Physics Building and the Group seeks out the Security Station on the First Floor. There, they find a bunch of SecRobs in a room similar to the First Floor Security Office in the Anderson Stuart Bunker. In addition to the operational SecRobs (which come and go on patrol), there are about five damaged/inoperatable SecRobs, and some police equipment, mostly Riot Shields and a limited amount of ammunition.

Believing that the Main Reactor control room is somewhere below the Physics Building, the Group searches several stairwells, and determine that the one nearest to the loading dock leads to the Main Reactor. They travel down the stairs to Sub-basement One and find an un-powered security door that leads to Sub-basement Two and another to Sub-basement One offices and labs. Also in the stairwell are security domes, which the Group figures contain the camera/laser coax. While Bill and Alexis set up the generator to power the Sub-basement Two security door, James and Bob take apart the nearest two security domes. They remove the camera/laser coax without damaging them because they believe that the soon-to-be booted security program may fire on the Group. Once the generator is up and running, Bill pops open the security door Key Card panel and re-routes the power to the generator.

Bill works on powering the security Key Card panel (with Nasdaq kibitzing over his shoulder) and gets it to work. They open the security door with the Violet/1 Civilian Key Card and then shut the power off when the door is fully open.

Entering the Sub-basement Two stairwell, the Group finds that it contains steps down to another two security doors - one to Sub-basement Three (titled "Main Reactor: Authorized Personnel Only") and another to the Sub-basement Two offices and labs.

Again, while Bill and Alexis set up the generator, James and Bob take apart the nearest two security domes. As Bob is moving equipment down the stairs, he hears a strange skittering noise. He tells James about it and they both pause to listen, but don't hear it any further.

Again, Bill (with Nasdaq kibitzing) powers the security Key Card panel and they open the security door, leaving it open again by shutting off the power.

Continuing down the stairs, the Group enters a long hallway (about 200 yards) that ends in yet another un-powered security door. While they are walking down the hall, several of them hear the skittering sound again and James goes back down the hall to the stairs to find out what it is. He doesn't find anything.

Again, the Group sets up the generator and disables the local security domes. Bill, getting better at it with Nasdaq still kibitzing, opens the door to the Main Reactor room foyer. Three un-powered security doors lead off the foyer: one to "Security," one to "Main Control Room," and the last to "Physics Building Mainframe Computer."

Opening the "Security" door, the Group finds a small armory as well as six un-powered SecRobs (three of which are plugged into wall sockets - Bob unplugs them). Behind the "Physics Building Mainframe Computer" door, they find the Physics Building's Mainframe. And the "Main Control Room" door opens into the Reactor control room. After discussing their plan, James and Bill return to the First Floor Physics Building Security Station, in case starting up the reactor and mainframe cause any security "problems." Bob, Alexis and Nasdaq remain in the Control Room to start the Reactor.

Initial start-up powers the security doors and other systems in the Main Reactor room foyer, as well as the Security office, the Mainframe room and the Main Control Room (and security door power returns to the Security Office).

Bob begins the start-up sequence, following the list from the strtupseqnce.doc file.

End Session Two.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

[Auld Lang 'Zine] 1001+1 Nights, Issue #23

Issue #23, One Thousand and One Nights and One Night RPG Campaign Design 'zine

Issue no. 23 of my One Thousand and One Nights and One Night Campaign Design 'zine was published in February 2008. Nearly a year of issues! I was very excited.

This issue contained my vow to avoid buying games in preparation to my first (and currently only) trip to Gen Con Indy, a bit on a GURPS Harkwood game I ran, an excellent (but now defunct - see below) clip art resource and that old "I'm just playing my character" asshat excuse.

There are still a few of the game note links still operational, including several threads on RPG.net ("No Purchases until GenCon - I so Swear!, Simple Thing #1: "My Guy", "I'm just playing my character") and Steve Jackson Games GURPS Harkwood.

However, the best clip-art resource I have ever found for classic black and white images, Black and White Prints, is not working any longer (it gives a 403 forbidden code). I wish I had had the presence of mind to copy all the good art for the future but I thought the website would be there longer than it was. Oh, well. Maybe someday I'll find these again (hopefully in a CD).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

[Resources] Skylifter!

Australia is the land of big things, and not only things that will kill you dead (see this Badass of the Week). One of the latest big ideas is a piloted dirigible to transport up to 150 tons over 1200 miles. This gas-filled lighter-than-air vehicle, the Skylifter, is a new breed of aircraft.

The theoretical specifications are: 150 ton lift capability, range 1200 miles before refueling is necessary, speed 45 knots (83 kph). The balloon will be 500 feet in diameter and saucer-shaped, the better to navigate through heavy winds. Skylifter is slated to be built within the next three years (by 2014), at least according to their website.

And a September article in the Economist outlines some more info, including the Voith-Schneider propellers (similar to a paddle wheel) that allows motion as well as steering direction, and info on the company's several test versions: Betty, the remote controlled 3 meters diameter dirigible, can lift half a ton. Vikki is 18 meters diameter but is awaiting it's propulsion system before testing. Several other proto-types are in the planning, from Nikki, a 23 meter diameter unmanned model, to Lucy, a 150 meter manned model.

When I first saw this, I imaged two possible fights scenes on top of it: a 1890s Steampunk swordfight and a James Bond-esque final battle with the nefarious would-be world destroying enemy. Tell me that those images didn't pop in your mind when you saw the picture.

Monday, November 1, 2010

[Vids] Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and 2

Over the top, bloodily cartoonish at times but still very fun, Kill Bill: Volume 1 and 2 are excellent vid resources for gamers.

Heck, the Crazy 88s and O-Ren Ishii scenes are worth the time to watch Volume 1. The storyline of "what the Hell happens next" is worth watching Volume 2.

All in all, a great pair of movies of fun revenge.