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Moving this blog

As I pay less and less attention to facebook and more and more want to establish my own space, I'll be blogging over her at blue collar space instead. Expect more of me than here, but far more self-absorbed.

Diaspora released

Late news, but Livejournal seems to be the last place to go these days anyway. Diaspora is now available for purchase in hardcover from Lulu. It's awesome. Hell, just search for "awesome" on Lulu and up it comes.


Whoever had this idea first is a genius, but his identity seems to be lost. Originally designed for games at conventions, where many players don't know each other, this is a folding character sheet, which lets you display part of the sheet to the rest of the table instead of keeping it all to yourself. Nifty.

In FATE games, however, there's a big chunk of the character sheet that's very valuable for the ref at least to see as well as the player: the Aspects. And so, I give you the folding Diaspora character sheet. Complete with cat.

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Again with the Diaspora?

Yeah you're probably hoping I'll shut up. Too bad.

We've entered the "passionate disagreement about trivia" stage. I had a bit of a laugh today going over detailed arguments and realised I didn't actually give a shit which way it went but was just so engaged in the game that I wanted to see my vision exactly regardless of quality. I think we have that hammered out now -- vision is preserved but there are some refinements that I admit, make a better game. Mostly consistency checks and typos left and some formatting back-and-forth.

We ran a platoon game last night as part of the campaign storyline that's been running for playtesting and it rocked. Cops in riot cars commanded by high tech mind reading commo vans with coilgun turrets engaging striking workers with off-world energy batons for possession of a landing strip for incoming supplies. The player side wound up negotiating a concession rather than lose and so the objective was lost but all three PCs got away to be picked up at the secondary LZ. Each had to take a Severe consequence -- basically the worst level of genuine injury in the game; takes months of game time an a minimum of one complete session to recover. Wonderfully, each player chose a different track for his consequence:

Konstan, owner of the ship and bankroll of the operation, took a severe against his Wealth track (which already has some hits on it, so they don't heal yet) -- apparently he had overinvested in getting those weapons to the workers and now the loan sharks have decided he's a bad risk: bounty hunter time.

Rebekah, leading a group of striking workers into a direct hand-to-hand fight with police, was surrounded by the shrieks of the dying and mutilated and found herself horrified at the reality of up-close warfare. She too a severe on the Composure track and suffered a nervous breakdown.

Mac, a heavyweight brawler also leading troops into battle and at the center of the final engagement right at the LZ when everything went south, took his on the Health track: a shattered knee, threatening his whole leg unless he can get high tech assistance.

So one failure set up the motivations and opposition for at least the next three sessions that I can see. My ass is kicked.

More Diaspora

Oh we are so close. We're in the home stretch -- down to copy editing and last minute tweaks. We've had solid playtest sessions every week for the past while and we've prepped an official web site. Looks like our first salvo will be through Lulu and we should have a sample chapter up at the site Real Soon Now.

Fate for miniatures wargaming

Playing around with using Fate (as stripped for Diaspora) to do platoon scale science fiction miniatures wargaming. I guess this is the Striker to our Traveller.

Post-modernism and the classics

So I'm reading Virgil's Aeneid, or more correctly I'm reading the Translator's Note (my favourite part of most classics) to Frederick Ahl's translation, and something struck me about art.

It seems like artists always knew what we discovered only recently. That is, the much-derided (lol) post-modernist criticism would have been obvious to any prior artist above a certain minimum (and low) complexity. Perhaps the genius (and folly) of post-modernism was only in saying it out loud.

As we're on Virgil, consider it.Collapse )

Gaussian anthropology

Either everything is deeply interrelated or there are ideas whose time has come or, perhaps, I see patterns where there aren't any. I say this because whenever I read two or three interesting things in a row, no matter how diverse, I see ways in which they are saying the same thing. Perhaps I have a gift for synthesis.

But I am betting on pareidolia.Collapse )

Mission versus Event

From an essay under revision here.

When players disagree about how to play a game, the game is disrupted. This is usually easily resolved: the rules define how to play the game, thus reducing the chance of misaligned expectations. However, there is at least one place in role-playing games where "how to play" may be unspoken and, in fact, undiscovered, allowing the clash to become systemic. This is the clash between mission and event.

and then I really get goingCollapse )

Function and Pressure

A snapshot from an idea in development.

Play has several features or functions that drive how play proceeds and derive from game rules and the interests of the players. The purpose of this discussion is to find a theory that describes play and creates a model that can be used as a map — not to find out where we are or where we are going, though these things might be used to invalidate the theory, but rather to find regions of the map that are not yet explored and might drive new game design.

divergent theory rambleCollapse )