#rpgaday – Day 4 – Most recent RPG purchase

Demon: the Descent – Heirs to Hell. Having backed the Demon Kickstarter, I thought I’d also pick up a copy of Heirs to Hell – and it was rather cheap on DriveThruRPG.

Well, that was rather short and sweet.

I think Demon: the Descent might be the most recent system I’ve picked up as well, rather than just a supplement… Nope! I lie. The most recent RPG I’ve “purchased” is Timewatch, a game about time travel with intelligent time-travelling velociraptors.

I say “purchased” because as with many things these days, I acquire them through Kickstarter.

#rpgaday – Day 3 – First RPG purchased

Strangely enough, given my previous post, it’d be a Fighting Fantasy book. I strongly remember it being Ian Livingstone, but not what book it was.

Orpheus by White WolfGoing back to the idea of proper RPGs, it’s a little trickier. I’m not sure which I bought first – Orpheus or Witchcraft.

I suspect it was Orpheus, as Witchcraft was out of print, and I had to order it from America. Admittedly, that may still mean I bought Witchcraft first, but Orpheus was almost certainly in my hands first.

I now own all of Orpheus, including the short stories book. It’s one of the only games I own in its entirety – may in fact be the only game. I’ve only skimmed some of the later books in the vain hope that someday I might get to play in a proper campaign and knowing all the metaplot would spoil things a bit.

#rpgaday – Day 2 – First game gamemastered

The first game I properly ran was a Witchcraft game. It didn’t go so well, didn’t even really go anywhere. I think we managed a couple of sessions at best before it fell apart – something that seems a common trait in my games when I’m feeling down.

Vampire: the Requiem by White WolfThe next game was a Vampire: the Requiem game as I recall – that actually went on for a while. The bit that stands out there was the ghouled cat called Twinky who ended up being better than most of the characters in a fight – when she could be bothered to take part. Rule 1 of ghouling – never let them know they can do it without you. Okay, so I was bending the rules with letting a cat do it independently, but it amused the players no end.

World of Darkness: Asylum by White WolfThen there was the old World of Darkness game that was actually a feint into a new World of Darkness game – the Apocalypse was changed by a cabal of mages who cast a ritual to remake the world in their image – setting themselves up as the Exarchs and removing everyone else’s memories. For some reason, the players could recall who they’d been, but had lost their abilities; they were just mortals stuck in an insane asylum. In the Old World, they’d been vampires and werewolves, and now they were just human. One of them found Malkovian in the asylum basement and got themselves ghouled – nowhere near as powerful as the vampire they’d once been, but still useful. With that, they managed to break out of the asylum and escape into the real world. Things didn’t go too far after that, but I thought the concept worked rather well.

#rpgaday – Day 1 – first RPG played

I figured I’d join in on the #rpgaday theme for the month. The first topic is the first RPG you played.

That I can remember? One of Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy books. I don’t remember which one, but I’ve probably still got it somewhere…

Of course, if you’re meaning a true RPG, it was a modified version of the West End Games Star Wars system as part of the Imperial Order (a Star Wars gaming fan-club that had a roleplaying wing at the time – Warbird Wing for life).

Witchcraft RPG by Eden StudiosThe first RPG I actually played around a tabletop was Witchcraft. I joined a¬†game in first year, and that was an interesting game. The first of two PCs named Pyro (after the MegaTokyo character, but with actual fire abilities like the Marvel one). The second Pyro was in the Orpheus game I also played in first year. They died within a week of each other as I recall. My notes on what they could do were quite extensive – I’d handwritten out all of the relevant rules text into notebooks with coloured tabs to keep it all organised; I never do that any more.

So that’s a brief look into where my roleplaying habit started.

Old sayings

There are two phrases I said in university that stick out in my mind even now. One of them is behind the naming of this website as I noted on the about page.

The other went something along the lines of “I code in 8 dimensions”. I said while I was trying to figure out a tricky iteration loop, to try and describe the visual mindset I get into when I’m “in the zone” with something. I don’t know why I said 8 dimensions, but it seemed apt at the time.

I still kind of think that I think differently from other people. That I visualise things much differently. Not that anyone really thinks alike, but I think my mental processes are quite a bit different from what is considered the norm. I can’t simply turn my mind off – something which troubles me occasionally – it doesn’t relax.

It comes into my roleplaying as well – I get times when I’m not just pretending to be someone else, it’s more like I assume their personality. I don’t need to think about what they would do or say, I just do it – even if that’s at odds to something I would normally consider saying or doing. It’s a natural process – something I couldn’t analyse if I tried, and after having a couple of roleplaying characters make comments in my mind on something I’ve seen outside of a game, I have tried somewhat. Times like that (and like this) that I wonder if I have a mild form of schizophrenia.

Still, I can face the world.

The Hammershot

I like NERF guns. It’s not a secret. I like modding them too. Not the power mods other people do, but cosmetic ones. The guns just don’t look right in standard colours, though the Zombie Strike range is better than most. Even so, after I was done with my Hammershot, it looked even better than when I got it.

Hammershot
Repainted NERF Hammershot

I disassembled it (surprisingly easy – the internals are more or less one piece which slides right out) before hand-sanding it to get the sheen off it, and grining the logos and warnings off with a Dremel.

Next: painting. Grey plastic primer to give it an even coat to start from. Decuma Grey and Graphite Grey metallic spray paint (from Halfords) was the next step. After that, it’s all hand-painted with a mix of Games Workshop paints. The antique gold colour is a mix of Warlock Bronze, half-dried Shining Gold and a bit of Ironbreaker. The wood effect is Rhinox Hide overlaid with Skrag Brown then drybrushed with Dryad Bark (that took a little experimentation). The wrap I did in Khorne Red with a Carroburg Crimson wash. That strange bronze-silver colour on the lower bar is a mix of Leadbelcher and Warplock Bronze. The last step was to spray it all with a spray lacquer to seal the paint.

I did the sanding down and priming one day, and all the painting another. Possibly rushed it, and you can see the downside of that on the thumb slide (that small bit where the paint has slid off), but I’m very happy with the overall effect.

It received very positive reviews on its first outing at the No Rest for the Wicked Nova Corporation Ascension Day Party on Sunday night.

Conflict Resolution

So, over Christmas, I decided to play around with Bootstrap a bit. For those who don’t know, it’s a collection of CSS and JavaScript designed to make templating websites easier. I had something of a goal in mind: a website for Conflict Resolution.

Conflict Resolution is the company we set up to run No Rest for the Wicked (and other LARPs). I’d registered the domain name when we decided on the company name, but until recently, it just pointed at the No Rest website. Now, it still does (kind of), but I’ve set it up as it’s own site.

It’s actually nothing too impressive. I played around with some of the template suggestions from Bootstrap, found a style on Bootswatch I liked (Yeti) and combined the two until I had something I liked. The harder bit was getting the content right.

I’m quite happy with how it all turned out – now I just need to revamp the No Rest site to match…

And we’re back

Not that I expect anyone to have noticed the absence.

For the first time, I’m now in control of my web hosting. Following a disagreement with my previous web hosts QiQ, I’ve secured a VPS service for my own hosting needs.

It may take me a while to get everything sorted out, but it feels quite good to be able to set things up how I want them – without having to faff around with htaccess scripts that never worked properly.

That said, if you want cheap web hosting, QiQ is a good host to be with. They just weren’t the right fit for me any more.

IE-tan

A long while ago, I came across the OS-tan idea. It’s a very Japanese concept – creating characters based on software. The first version of this I came across is the attached image – various versions of Windows as anime-style characters.

OS-tans
Background, left hand side (clockwise from top left): Windows 98 (in the box), Windows 95 (wearing kimono), Symantec Antivirus (male), Windows 2000 (in front of Symantec), Windows Server 2003 (fish outfit, attacked by black cat), Windows NT (close to usual appearance, but has blue hair and a blue dress), Windows XP (holding her skirt down). Background, right hand side: Windows 3.1 and DOS (neither unusual representation is the “official” os-tan for each[clarification needed]). Foreground: Windows CE (left, fairy in light green outfit with USB wand), Windows ME (right, green hair, levitated by CE). Group image of the OS-tans, used under fair use. Artists: Sorenarini Toshiaki (illustration and finish) background Sore-Aki.
This has been expanded and there are various variants of the idea across the full range of OSes with some other software tagged in for good measure. It’s also no longer a solely Japanese concept as Western artists have picked up their pens as well.

What I find interesting today is that Microsoft has embraced the concept. In their new Asian marketing push (which they’ve also pushed across to their Western customers), they’ve introduced a robot-fighting (robots = androids; Android = Google) ass-kicking heroine (complete with naked transformation sequence). You can check her out in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHTUlF7NA2o

She’s got a Facebook page, with Japanese-style information. She’s got a real life actor that’s at the Asian trade show and her own theme tune. They’ve even given her a background that meshes with the idea that IE used to be slow and clunky but now it’s fast and awesome.

I recommend checking out the video. I don’t recommend the browser. I’m interested in seeing how this alternative marketing campaign works out for Microsoft.