Triple Self Portrait

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Triple Self Portrait
Pastel on Paper
© 1999, Jeff Thomann

This drawing was created in Missouri Hall at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. It was done for a drawing class. I was in to ‘role playing’ a little at the time. The figures in the background were playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I was halfway playing that too.. Needless to say the gaming group was not too happy that I was drawing while they were actively sitting around the table, lol. That was about my extent in role playing D&D. I never could get too much in to it. I hated that all of their books were so expensive and usually hard back while Palliadium books were usually 20 bucks or less and soft back, so much cheaper. That, and I just liked the whole playing in modern environment vs the old medieval ideas in D&D…

as far as the cracked mirror/split mirror idea goes, it’s something that’s a theme in some of my self portraits. It’s a visual metaphor that has a lot of different meaning.

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http://piratesfootlocker.tk/

http://piratesfootlocker.tk/ – Mr. Pirate’s Foot Locker is a website that lists the trading rates for Mike Pirate Vic, a full time trader in Entropia Universe. Mike has fairly good rates, and updates the rates regularly.

Maria’s Blog 4/18/2010

Over the weekend Maria bought a few QR 100 blueprints, and also outright bought some blueprints from both with high qr and low qr from a crafter that was doing consignment deals in Maria’s Shop, Delta Discounts. Maria has started to craft a little now too.

I used Bob the Builder’s website http://www.candyman.se/pe/bobthebuilder/v2/ as a guide to help me figure out which blueprints to buy with high qr. I’m focusing on low cost materials to skill upon. Basic Auxillary Socket is what I’m crafting tonight. The ingredients for it are 1 lysterium ingot, and 2 oil. That is the same cost as standard dampers, but dampers are only TT food, like Basic Filers. I can sell Basic Aux. Socket in the shop, even though the markup on it is low… and also can sell whatever residue I get from it.

Before now, my high qr crafting was mainly filters and dampers, which is costly and not good since it’s all TT food, that is useless for any other thing in game, even though it is listed as a component – it’s not a component of anything. Aux sockets are a component of something..

A long time ago I had the dream of Maria skilling up on longblades and crafting to eventually become a longblade engineer. Right now, she’s up to level 2 in that profession… She can’t hunt much these days because slow computer graphics card gives her lag… but crafting machines don’t need fast graphics cards since no one is around much, and speed does not matter as much as with hunting… so hunted up til now, but now the focus on skilling side of things will be in crafting… When not doing that, I’ll be continuing to buy stuff as cheaply as possible and selling it in the shop, as I have been up til now.

If you ever get in to crafting in Entropia Universe, it’s costly but tools like Candyman’s site can help you figure things out a bit. Right now Maria only has a hundful of qr 100 blueprints, but they are the ones that are use cheap ingredients so that she can get lots of skills cheaply. She also has a LOT of blueprints in various books from the blueprint consignment deals she’s been doing with the shop, so she’s well on her way to becoming one of Entropia Universe’s best crafters in a few years. The shop ownership is only the first of many long term goals. The blueprint collection is part two of that. Now it’s time to build some skills in crafting!

p.s. I really love auto-crafting in Entropia Universe since it lets me type posts like this while also doing something in game. Very nice being able to multi-task.

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.

Fellow Artist – Chris Mast

Chris is the webmaster for the popular gaming website http://www.merqurycity.com/

I’ve known Chris since high school. He and I were on the high school newspaper staff together at Boonville High School way back in the day (16 years ago, geesh, I feel old now). Back then, Chris lived one and a half blocks away. Chris, Chris’s brother, Sam, my brother, Danny, a few other close friends, and I used to play many video games and pen and paper role playing games together. The main games that we played were Heroes Unlimited, Beyond the Supernatural, Ninja and Superspies, Rifts, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT – no longer in publication since the Copyright and Trademark owners dumbed the TMNT down and made it in to a kid’s cartoon instead of the gritty, urban ninja comic it originally was intended to be). In my college days, we even played a few games of Nightbane, and a weird role playing world that I created using Palldium Books game system with modified versions of World of Darkness characters on occasion. (I won’t publish the conversion rules here in this post, but might in a future post – they are fairly simple).

I have many fond memories of role playing with Chris. Him and I used to take turns being the Game Master. Role Playing is one interest of mine that got me interested in taking up theater in college. Chris was one of the grooms men in my wedding. I keep in pretty close contact with him and see him about once or twice a year most years nowadays. He’s a very talented artist, and with two bachelor degrees behind his name, is about as well rounded of an artist as there can be.

Chris’s portfolio website is http://www.chrisjmast.com/.