Taedium Edax Rerum

If there’s a bright center of the Internet, you’re on the blog that it’s farthest from.

Heroic Sacrifice

Posted by Doug on June 24, 2009

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working intermittently on writing up a rules document for a second (or ninth, depending on how you’re counting) version of the Mecha Monogatari RPG. One of the concepts I’ve borrowed from the Bliss Stage RPG is that of character ownership, an understated concept that resonates with what I want the Mecha Monogatari RPG to be (a cooperative storytelling game with randomized task resolution).

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Death of Two Boxes

Posted by Yamane Ishi on June 17, 2009

Ok so here’s the story.  Way back when, launch day for the Xbox 360, I drove my arse thirty something miles to pick up my preordered Xbox-o-fun.  So I suffered through the dull launch line up and hearing about the “Red Ring of Death”, mine ran fine. The months dragged on much better games came out and I bought what I was interested in both crap and damn good titles. Then it happened, I got the dreaded ring…and then it went away. Cool I though, I got lucky. Yeah I don’t think so skippy, last October it finally happened. The ring of death killed my beloved Xbox. Oh well I had been looking at the new elite systems anyway so I bought one off Amazon, saved $60 too.  So after buying Gears of War 2 and playing co-op split screen with Doug I decided that I would look into getting the old launch system repaired. So I went online and filled out the form and had them send me a box to ship it off in. I sent it off and within a week they sent me a referb at no cost to me even though the warranty had expired two years ago. Cool I thought as I sent the referb home with Doug. For the next couple of weeks I bugged him to buy Gears and get on live which he did and we had fun beating Horde with just the two of us. So it’s been a few months since then and I’m setting in my chair playing [Prototype], good game, and the screen goes all weird on me. I can only describe it as the matrix code without the scrolling. Crap…I cycle power…Crap!!…it still there. I unplug the system and plug it back in…cool normal again. NOT…so it seems to go away after I unplug the system or let it set awhile. So I swap cables just to see and what does it do? It gives me the E47 message…great… So I go online again and fill at the form but this time I’m prepared, I got a box so I just print off the shipping label. What is really funny is that it died Saturday and I just sent it off today and I got the new Ghostbusters game in the mail yesterday….. Now I have to wait at least a week to play it. Oh well at least I don’t have to pay for this repair either; and even if I did I would.

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Imperator Tempestatium, Prologue

Posted by Doug on June 10, 2009

And so, as if I did not have nearly enough projects on my plate, I trade a small, short-term project for a large, long-term one…my cup overfloweth, and yet I continue to pour…

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The Mecha Monogatari Second Edition, Playtest Report #1

Posted by Doug on June 1, 2009

Two significant issues presented themselves in the first playtest of the Mecha Monogatari RPG.

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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, “Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody”

Posted by Doug on May 28, 2009

Almost three years after the end of the original season’s run, they’ve finally gotten around to making and releasing a second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  I’m not complaining.  As much as I like the series, I think that getting oversaturated with it would kill the charm.  That being said…

Haruhi S2 01 (2) Haruhi S2 01 (3)

Time travel.  It’s a staple of science fiction, and can be done rather well (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) or really…not so well (examples of this aren’t worth mentioning, so I won’t).  Since it has been established that one of the characters in Haruhi is a time-traveler (Mikuru) and another considered such acts trivial (Yuki), it was only a matter of…uh…it was inevitable that the long-suffering Kyon would be sent back three years to help the cute junior-high version of Haruhi commit one of the misdemeanors Taniguchi, Kunikida, and Kyon had mentioned back in the very first episode.

Haruhi S2 01 (4) Haruhi S2 01 (5)

Only one thing was missing in this first episode: Tsuruya.  Then again, she’s really just a secondary character, so it would have been surprising to see her.  From what I hear, in later story arcs, she plays a much larger role…

Haruhi S2 01 (6) Haruhi S2 01 (7)

More and more, I’m of the opinion that the individual who really controls the universe and can destroy and re-create it subconsciously is not Haruhi, but Kyon.  This hypothesis isn’t original to me, but it makes sense, especially when events in the later light novels are taken into account.  Haruhi didn’t just choose Kyon, Kyon wanted Haruhi to exist—and through a convoluted sequence of events, caused her to exist—so she could choose him.

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Shichinin no Nezumikishi, Part III

Posted by Doug on May 25, 2009

Part three of my series of short vignettes of the history of the Seven Gray Knights:

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Shichinin no Nezumikishi, Part II

Posted by Doug on May 22, 2009

Part two of my series of short vignettes of the history of the Seven Gray Knights:

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Shichinin no Nezumikishi, Part I

Posted by Doug on May 19, 2009

I’ve been working on a thorough write-up for my revamped Mecha Monogatari RPG system, which will draw heavily from the ruleset, language, and design of the Fourth Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG.  It’s not a straight conversion, as I am doing away with the core concepts of class and level and even of experience points in favor of a more fluid system.

Part of the style of the write-up is a series of short stories that will appear at the beginning and end of each chapter, bookending the description of the game mechanics and helping to set the mood of the game world.  The short stories will focus around a legendary group of titan pilots from the “past” generation (as compared to the generation of Seki & Company): the Shichinin no Nezumikishi, or in English the “Seven Gray Knights.”

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Designing the Mecha Monogatari RPG

Posted by Doug on May 16, 2009

What follows is a series of thoughts and design ideas for the new version of the Mecha Monogatari RPG that I am currently working on.  The gameplay mechanics are still nebulous, so don’t be surprised if very little of this makes much sense.

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Heroics Writ Small

Posted by Doug on May 13, 2009

Off and on over the last week, I’ve been playing—for lack of a better word—the Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures Facebook app.  The “gameplay” is simple (almost to the point of being nonexistent): you pick your character, name it, and then send it out on adventures.  In each adventure, there are between six and fifteen encounters, during which one of your character’s skills will be tested by generating a more-or-less random number between 1 and 20, adding whatever relevent modifiers your character has, and then comparing that to a target number.  If the target number is met or exceeded, you succeed in the encounter, and gain a good chunk of experience, gold, and sometimes an item; if not, you fail in the encounter, you take a significant amount of damage, gain a little experience and a little gold, and rarely an item.  Once you start an adventure, the only control you have is over when your character uses the potions they have (if they have potions).  There is no strategy, no tactics; if you have friends who are also playing, they can “buff” your character (giving a bonus on the tests).  It’s like a slightly more sophisticated version of Progress Quest.

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