Jeff is reclaiming his unique digital identity with a sense of clarity.

role playing

probably not much roleplaying…

Probably won’t post about pen and paper roleplaying much here anymore. Last Saturday I donated my role playing book collection to the public library since we are working on un-cluttering our lives a bit. I did read some here and there in the books up until they were gone, but haven’t really utilized them to do real live roleplaying events as a player or game master for many years, so it’s time to move on. There were about 5 or so boxes full of rpg books including Palladium Books like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Beyond the Supernatural, Heroes Unlimited, etc. as well as a lot of Old World of Darkness books from White Wolf and various other oddball games like a few gurps books. The full collection used to take up about 3 library shelves that were about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep that literally went from one end of the book shelf to the other with no space in between and some books piled sideways on top just to make it all fit in there. Not having to haul all those books around any more literally has taken a heavy weight off of my shoulders that I’ve been carrying around for about 20 years now.

In the donation were also a few of my last books on computer programming since I just don’t have the time or the left brain to really get in to that too much like I used to try to do when I picked up the books. This was the last of my programming book collection since about 2 years ago we did another big donation like this that had just about twice as many books in it.

I did keep a few books on html and web design since those actually do have some uses for me still.


Acting/Roleplaying/Theater/Game Design Character Questions. Characters with character.

Found this list of questions in one of my old sketchbooks and decided to post it here since these are very important questions.

It’s vitally important that characters have character. Knowing the answer to just these sort of questions as a game designer, role playing game master, storyteller, etc. is very, very, very important. These are the kinds of questions actors ask themselves when preparing to take on a role and are the type of questions anyone involved in any art form that involves characters should be asking themselves.

http://mastermesh.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/questions1.jpg

http://mastermesh.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/questions2.jpg

How old?
Origin in Feeling toward others, society, organizations of note?

What is your concept of beauty?

What is your concept of fear?

Has your character encounters either ????

is characters goals, fears, hopes, aspirations?

dreams?

where?

Who?

What?

How?

When?

Why?

Talismans?

Artifacts?

Occupation? (or former occupation?)

Feelings towards… ?

physical = height? weight? shape? form, physique? eye color? hair color? skin color?

deformities?

Love(s)? Lovers? Sexuality? Sexual?

Dark Side?

Hobbies?

Religion?

Faithfulness?

Strength of will?

Age?

Intellect/physique meets background?

Purpose?

Reasons? (for being? for being in a certain place, etc.)?

Friends?

Enemies?

Allies?

Acquaintances?

Former Lives?

Birthday?

Birthday sign?

Name?.. and true name?

History?

Mentor(s)?

When and how did important dreams meet your life?

Name enemies you have met, not met?

Quests?

True Form (and it’s looks?) (physically and spiritually, etc.)

Who do you serve – people, self, country, a master, a religion, a gut feeling, a dream, a wife, a husband, kid, etc.?

Ever been to battle?

Ever been to a library?

Ever killed someone?

Ever graduate – from where?

Work experience?

Riches?

What do you value (as your riches, goals, etc.)?

Motives – ulterior, true, false?

Beliefs – myths, truths, half knowledges, lies, afterlife(s)?

Angered by _________?

Turned on by ________?

Virgin?

Origins unknown – history unknown?

Mentally deformed?

Hallucinate?

Drunkard?

Hippie?

Anal accountant type?

Archetypes?!?

How do you have fun?

Hangouts? With who?

Make a living by ___________?

Past Life ideas? — Reborn, death, life? Immortality?

Immortality as a goal?

Experience?

Practice?, etc. etc.

(I could go on forever with more questions)…

Build character. Characters that have character are far better then those with no character.


fantasy stuff… role playing… virtual reality… art – back to the basics

I’ve been kicked out of Entropia Universe a few days now since Vista went kaput on my computer and I don’t have a restore cd that works. I hate HP for not putting the restore cd in the box when they ship it out and rely on a hard drive restore that may or may not work when you need it… and then they want you to pay them lots of cash to buy a restore cd that may or may not work since their blasted hardware is junk that relies on partitions on a hard drive that might get corrupted someday (which happened to me I think)…

I am trying to figure out a way to make Entropia Universe work under Linux, but it’s not promising. I got the installer to work fine under Wine, but now need to install Direct X on wine and a few other things, and even then, it still might not work.

In the mean time I’ve been reading some of my old art books, studying some old drawing books more, and also reading a lot of old role playing books and things. Future posts will probably have more scans of my drawings and paintings, but might also have some other more philisophical thoughts, thoughts on role playing, stage lighting, animation, and a number of other things. Being offline in the virtual reality I spend so much time in has started to get me ‘back to the basics’ on a variety of trains of thoughts that I had several years ago and wanted to follow through back then but didn’t because I got too distracted with this other “virtual world”… I enjoy fictional worlds as a means of escaping reality sometimes – but it’s very easy to take it overboard with a super hyper imagination and make that false reality in to your over-arching real reality sometimes… Its something we all do on some level – people think about their soap operas while they work… or maybe their comic books… maybe something else. We all have hobbies, and most of us don’t have the ultimate job that keeps our attention that we love so much that we never think of anything else — anyways, I’m getting back to the basics mentally and physically on a lot of various levels at the moment…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapism

German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere “daydreaming” or “escapism” from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an “immature, but honest substitute for revolution”.


http://camstudio.org/

http://camstudio.org/ – Cam Studio is a FREE screen recording device. It can actually be used to do program tutorials too where you record your own voice. 3d Buzz has been using something like this for a long time. I only recently started using it to capture Entropia Universe stuff. I might use it for other stuff at some point in time, maybe even doing some tutorials about Entropia Universe.

If you get serious in to using it, you will probably want to get Virtualdub – a Free movie editing software. Make sure to use compression settings if you do use it though since uncompressed video in Virtualdub is usually full of a lot of unnecessary bloat. http://www.virtualdub.org/

A lot of people use FRAPS to do this sort of stuff, but FRAPS is mainly aimed at gaming only, so is not that great for general video work, and also it’s not free (unless you like seeing a watermark)


Now Open – Delta Discounts – Calypso’s TRUE Bargain Shop – Omegaton West Habitat, Delta Tower, Booth # 3

Now Open – Delta Discounts – Calypso’s TRUE Bargain Shop – Omegaton West Habitat, Delta Tower, Booth # 3. This new shop is located just around the corner from the Lost Library Blueprint Consignment Shop. You can read more about it over at http://www.entropiaforum.com/forums/shops/183542-delta-discounts-calypsos-true-bargain-shop-omegaton-west-habitat-delta-tower-booth-3-a.html#post2358473


Converting stuff from one pen and paper rpg game system to another – World of Darkness and Palladium Books

Converting Characters, Powers, etc. from one gaming fantasy world in to another is not usually too difficult because most stats in most games are fairly similar on some level. Usually there is a roll done to check if some action is successful or not. If it is successful, there sometimes is another roll to determine what actually happens, or how successful the success was. The different gaming systems have different ways of doing that – some use D20s, some use D10s, some use D6s, and some actions, especially those that are skill based instead of against a particular player character or non-player character, are based on on a percentage, usually determined by two D10s are rolled, and one counts as the 10s part of the % and the other counts as the ones part of the %. A roll of 9 and 9 would be 99%. A roll of 0 and one would be 1% unless the one was in the tens slot, in which case it would be a 10%. On skill checks like that, the Game Master, or some pre-planned skill check base is used to determine if the roll is over the amount needed to successfully do whatever it is that the character is trying to do.

Since everything in all gaming systems is based on a check for success of failure, it’s usually just a matter of comparing the two systems you are trying to convert to or from against one another to see in what way you can play with the numbers to get to the average and go from there in all conversions.

For instance, World of Darkness games are usually based on dots that make up attributes or skills. 5 dots is usually considered about the highest humanly possible attribute. 10 dots is considered about as powerful as god in whatever skill that it is that those points are in. In that system, each dot represents a 10 sided dice that is rolled to check against some number, usually determined by the books or the game master – oops, I mean “story teller.”

In other books like Palladiumbooks Rifts, Hereoes Unlimited, etc. Most non-combat actions are based on skill checks that are % based, and most combat actions are based on the roll of a D20 to determine if a hit, punch, or power that is used successfully hits. That is sometimes contested by another characters roll of a D20 for defensive actions such as parrying, dodging, etc. If no defensive moves are used, the attackers D20 roll is usually contested against the other character’s armor, which has an armor rating… Rolls above the armor’s rating does damage to the character inside of the armor. Rolls below that do damage to the armor itself, unless the armor is a special armor such as a mutant’s metal power that gives them a high armor rating, in which case a roll below the armor rating usually does no damage. A roll of a “natural 20” or 90% or more is typically a super success, usually doing twice as much damage, or making the successful check against a skill super successful. For instance, you checked against your lockpick skill to open a bank vault – a roll of 95% when you just needed a 70% might mean you got in, no alarms went off, and there is actually the keys to a lamberghini parked outside that has no alarm system sitting on the floor of the vault. A roll of 1 or 2% is usually a miserable failure – so in the same situation, that would result in a full swat team showing up, the alarm going off, and you broke your lockpick and got your fingerprints all over the place.

I have played both of those game systems and loved them and successfully integrated them by simply thinking about how the dot system works vs the % system and the D20 system. Different people doing different conversions might come up with other conversions, but what I typically came up with was that 5 dots = 99% or so, so each dot = about 20% for skill checks… and on average, one dot = +3 in d20 rolls, giving 5 dots +15 advantage on all d20 rolls, which is really just about the best most powers and things can give you in the Palliadium world.

Now go put all those vampires, werewolves, mummies, wraiths, and things in to your Rifts or Heroes Unlimited Campaign to add a whole bunch of new layers of complexity to the world… or go the other way and put some of those nearly unkillable vampires from Heroes Unlimited up against the Camarilla of Chicago or the Sabbat of New York City, etc. Perhaps a new vampire hunter is an invulnerable mutant with supersonic speed. Maybe a demigod from Rifts World Books have found a rift in to the World of Darkness and have decided to take on the eternal mummies or maybe even Caine and Lilith one on one. There’s literally unlimited potential to bring your heroes unlimited opportunities for role playing.

In a future post I might put in some rules about converting to and from other game systems.