Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Grognard, n.

GROG-nard or gron-YAR?

Considering the most profound statement ever uttered by a student of the French language (not me, I prefer the Germanic languages) was, “The French swallow to many consonants,” I’m going with gron-YAR.

What?

A Grognard is a grumbler. Napoleon referred to old veterans as grognards. More popularly used in English as slang for “old school” gamers. Gamers that remember when elf was a class, that Avalon Hill made the best armor tactical games, or know of, and have read, James F. Dunnigan

Posted by caffeinated at 8:43 AM in nerdery

Monday, 21 January 2008

Cloverfield Review

J.J. Abrams.

Bad Robot Productions

The Abram’s legacy includes hits like Alias,Lost, and soon to be released, Star Trek (which I saw a teaser for).

So Cloverfield

Good. Very tense and no soundtrack. You get the feeling, just a feeling, that you are watching a lost, then found video—of five friends thrust into an alien godzilla nightmare—being played in a dark and smoke-filled room somewhere deep beneath the Pentagon, or Area 51, or some other skunkwork-esque bunker while shadowy men, maybe women, take notes of the events being shown.

It is a good movie. You are drawn into the mystery, then the revelation, of the monster. The archetypical destruction of cement and steel by a large monster is well done. You believe it. The debris, dust, sparks, fire, water, brown outs put the viewer in the experience.

The movie lost me when the monster spawned smaller monsters. The smaller monsters would fall from the creature when it was hit by a missile or tank round. They bit. The bite had a mysterious side-effect... “We have a bite!” could be heard screamed by an Army medic when one of the heroes, bitten in a subway tunnel, didn't feel well; bleeding from the eyes, she was dragged off by medics and men in blue containment suits to a MASH tent, only to see her chest explode in silhouette.

The heroes now faced the chance that these smaller monsters could be their death.

Aside from this minor annoyance to the story…go see Cloverfield. It is good.

Posted by caffeinated at 6:08 PM in nerdery

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Session dump

The players met today and some good roleplaying was had.

I was late to the this week's host because of wife, errands for said wife, and traffic. No hard feelings to said wife, but I don't like being late. Aside from aforementioned temporal deficit disorder, I tend, when I'm going to be social, toward being too early.

All aside, the session was down a scheduled player. The regulars players where there, but a hoped for third was absent without notice.

It was all roleplaying today. I got off to a rocky start, my synapse misfiring and I couldn't find words for some of the descriptions I had in my mind. It got better as I got comfortable. I injected some new story lines, and followed up on some older ones, tying in the opening campaign stories into current action. The players really have a lot of questions about what is going on around them.

I think the player's enjoyed it. From spending the night in the Elven quarter of Altdorf, to wondering exactly who they escorted into Aldorf and through customs, to the unwanted attention of the provenance of a found warhammer, a tainted map, gray cloaked followers, and new associates in the Ancient Initiatic and Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar.

Okay, maybe this post is boring to those that don't play WFRP. Or play RPGs.

Did I tell you I installed Fedora 8 in a VM tonight?

I am a geek.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:32 PM in d10

Friday, 18 January 2008

WFRP tomorrow

Tonight I'm prepping a session of WFRP for the afternoon.

I have not been to good with updating my player blog, or this blog for that matter. So much going on. I've stretched myself a bit thin with various projects, but getting some grip on it at the same time. Some blame to my wife for all of the various "chores and lists" she can develop.

A couple of preparatory artifacts for the session are scribbled in my game notebook. Particularly nice is a "house rule" I intend on introducing, Whymme's Pursuit. This is a great mechanic for chases and races in game play. You really should check it out. Easily adaptable to other systems as well.

My player's arrived in Altdorf in the last session. I have some ideas for developing this environment for the game. Of much help is Magnus Seter's Aldorf map. A layered PDF with a wealth of canon and non-canon information on Altdorf, Imperial Capital. The dedication to detail in this fan work is amazing.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:46 PM in d10

Saturday, 12 January 2008

My Woot!

I'm selling my dev workstation, moving to an all VM, all the time, state of mind.

It's your woot! on eBay… Lenovo 3000 J110 Win XP Pro Pentium D

Posted by caffeinated at 8:11 PM in nerdery

Friday, 11 January 2008

Stardust, with a dash of heaven and hell

I'm a big fan of the sleeper hit Stardust.

Those familiar with Stardust well know well that the seven known “heirs to the Stormhold bloodline” are present, at various stages of the movie as they are murdered by each other or by witches, as ghosts.

In the final scene, the “last surviving heir of the Stormhold bloodline” releases the ghosts from their earth bound "purgatory." As they are translated to light, pulled from the earth to their judgement, six brothers become bright white dots and ascend, while one, Septimus, becomes a single red dot, decending... into hell! Bwahahahahahah.

A funny detail some of you might have missed. ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 7:50 PM in nerdery

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Larry Elmore galleries online

Larry Elmore is an art hero of mine from “back in the day.”

A cover of a book, or game supplement, with the “Elmore” signature in the corner was good as sold. His work was evocative of high fantasy and adventure.

Check out his website at LarryElmore.com.

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Posted by tstone at 6:10 PM in nerdery

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Time behaves very specifically

Try as I might, I could not have flubbed last night's Happy New Year message more classically.

The New Year's hour is 12/31 @ 12:59:59. Not, 1/1 12:59:59. D'oh!

So a slightly belated Happy New Year!

“Why classically?” you ask. Well, seven, or eight, years ago I went to CA to visit my, then future, wife. I had a return ticket to GA that was a “red-eye.” Well, I didn't pay attention to the detail of hour and day. I'll make up the date and time for this recall, but let's say it read 7/4 @ 12:15 a.m. I read this, for whatever reason, as the night of 7/4. Not as: "the plane will depart in the first fifteen minutes of 7/4." This was pre-9/11 and it was much easier to switch up tickets then. The ticket agent quickly got me on the flight leaving 7/5 @ 12:15 a.m.

I seem to have precedent for this confusion. The moral of this story? Don't make plans with me that fall on the temporal divisions of night and day. I might arrive a day early or a day late.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:59 AM in kaffehaus