Monthly Archives: September 2006

Agon Wrocksoars

I finally sat down to read Agon tonight.  Daniel said I’d like it.

He wasn’t lying.  I was completly sold after the introduction.  I must play this.  I must buy this.  I must pwn others.

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Say Yes, Or Pay the Price

If you’re familiar with indie theory, you’ve heard the phrase ‘say yes, or roll the dice.’  (Its derivative of one of the principles in Nobilis, which is as a GM to never flat out say no; ask how, ask why, or say yes, but don’t say no.  It’s come into its own in Dogs in the Vinyard as a principle that’s all grown up.)

So in Shattered Vistas, I’ve got twin mechanisms for Task and Conflict resolution.  The Task is interesting, because the GM gets an initial pool for free, and has to buy extra dice.  So if you want a lock to be hard to pick, you have to pay extra dice (out of your limited resources) to give the PCs a harder time getting around it.  I think this is pretty novel.

So then, I’m going one step further: if you, as a GM, force the PCs to roll for a task, they can force you to spend at least one of your dice to make it more difficult.  Use your GM powers of calling for rolls too often, and you’ll find that the players bleed you out of dice and roll over your important antagonists later.

Stat Names

I feel like I’m pulling a White Wolf.

Let me back up:  Shattered Vistas has a stat called Gusto.  It’s had it since the original design, when I had a more traditional initiative mechanic and decided I wanted it to be based on how active your character was, not on any physical attribute.  In one of those rounds of changes where I went from nine stats to six, it got kept as the Spiritual active stat, although it didn’t quite fit there.

They say if a design is problematic, kill what you love about it the most.  That’s probably an overstatement in most parts, but Gusto was holding me back, because I wanted it to be in the game, but it didn’t really fit.  So the name is gone.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out what the hell I should call the active/passive spiritual stats.  Something invovling ‘essence’ ‘spirit’ ‘anima’ etc. is fine, although bland and nondescriptive, and arbitrary.

Going with the whole Eastern-Sanskrit-Hindi-Buddhist trappings of the cosmology, I turn to Hindi for words for soul, and as it happens, they have a couple.  So I get Jiva for the active soul, and Atman for the passive part.  They work, but I wonder if they’ll just be confusing and feel out of place.  Who knows, maybe I’ll end up changing them again.

What is the Shattered Vistas?

Crossposted across the internet.

What is Shattered Vistas?

Shattered Vistas is a game about life.  Life that sucks hard and is an uphill battle, possibly filled with eldritch horrors and ninjas.

In Shattered Vistas, reality is *broken*.  The world’s ended, it’s up to you to clean up the mess, or at least hold things off as long as you can.  The Vistas are a dark place, and they get a little worse every day.

As a hero, you go into dungeons, kill things, and take their stuff.  But its more than that.  The things that you fight are bound into the fate of the world.  The more you confront monsters in dark caves, the more you confront intrinsic laws that govern life and bind everyone into misery.  Can you throw everything away for the sake of others?

As a player, you have hardcore resource management options.  Think the hidden combat orders of Burning Wheel or Diplomacy combined with blind bidding and lists of kewl powers.  Also buckets of dice.  I love me some rolling of buckets of dice.

Two questions:

Does this appeal to you?

Is there anything that seems particularly problematic?

I’ve Become One of *Those* People

If you find yourself coming into pet ownership, let me warn you:

That Way Lies Madness.

Luckily, you’re in good company.

You know those people who completely dote over their animals and identify with them on a really weird m(p)aternal level (its usually women, but I know at least two men who do this).  They say things like, “Oh Munkie!, come out an meet your mama’s friends,” and stuff like that.

I’ve become one of those people.  I always thought that they were way, way, off the deep end, and incredibly pathetic that they equated pet ownership with parenthood.  But as a first time pet owner (I’ve had pets as a kid, and family pets, but this is different!  She’s *my* baby!)  I have totally succumbed to this.  I didn’t think I was going to, but it’s snuck up on me, you know?  I also write about my cat on my blog, and sometimes when I’m at work or outside and I’m just thinking about my cat- she’s not even there or anything- I’ll get really happy and say her name out loud.  (This is usually followed by feeling really stupid and looking around to see if anyone heard me.)

Anyway, I’ve gotten Munkie! to be willing to go inside the kitty carrier:  catnip did the trick, and she hung out in there for a little while.  Hopefully I can get her accomodated to it, and then have an easier vet time (and a fun kitty hidey-hole.)

Battlestar Gallactica

On Season 2.5, “Ressurection.”

Spoilers ahoy.  Real discussion in comments.

Random Thought

Do deaf-mutes with Tourette’s randomly go around flipping people the finger?

Games Survey

Heya all, here’s a little survey I’m doing.  The answer can be any game, board, card, roleplaying computer, or whatever.  Feel free to post your answers here.

Question One:

What are some of your favorite games for strategic play?  Please list 5-10.

Question Two:

What are some of your favoritie games for tactical play?  Please list 5-10

Question Three:

What are your favorite game mechanics from any game?  Once again, please list 5-10.

Feel free to elaborate on the why’s and the how’s, if you like.

My Kitty Loves Me!

Ok, a happy kitty post after yesterday’s sad kitty post.  Munkie! is once again bothering me in my sleep, which is so adorable.

I got some supplies today, and took apart the cat carrier and cleaned it so it doesn’t smell like pee.  (I wouldn’t want to be locked in a cubicle that reeked of pee, so I can’t really blame her.)  I got her a scratching post, which she sniffed, rubbed against, and then went back to scratching the walls.  And I got her catnip, which made her go absolutely nuts.  She was willing to eat it out of the taken-apart cat carrier, so that’s a start.

Worried For My Kitty

Munkie! was supposed to get spayed today.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get her into the kitty-carrier and over to the vet, so we had to cancel and reschedule for next week.

I feel like I tried too hard to get her in and scared her.  I was able to get her out from under the bed by tossing some string around, but later even that didn’t work.  So I resigned in defeat.  Usually when I’m sleeping, Munkie! tries to snuggle with me or clean out my ears with her tounge.  Last night she didn’t; I think she was mad at me 😦

I’m sad because I was just trying to help my kitty, and I love her to bits, and I made her scared.  I feel like I failed, and if she goes into heat in the next week and gets cervical cancer (or whatever) and dies, it’ll be my fault.  I’m probably blowing things out of proportion, but I just want my kitty to be happy.