Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interpeting the Apocalypse is a Multi-Million Dollar Business

And I'm sick of it.

Interpreting the Apocalypse of Saint John, and the prophecies of the Hopi Indians, Nostradamus, etc. is a Multi-Million Dollar Business because they can scare people and put fear of the end in their hearts (excuse my French!).  People have been made paranoid about the end of the next Year.


Well, as a person who studies the End Times, I can say that the dollar will pass away -- there has been reliable people who have said that the management techniques of a few companies have crept their way into the U.S. Treasury Department.  And the dollar will pass away.

But really, interpreting the Apocalypse so you can scare people and have them glued to their sets?  Are you nuts?  Are you absolutely nuts?  Why would you even consider putting fear into people's hearts?  Because it's Sensationalism?

Yahusua Ha'Massiach (Jesus the Messiah) said that if we are prepared, we will not fear.  Preparing is understanding what is going to happen and make preparations for the end.  Yahusua said that he will do away with the Heathens that currently infest Israel, and there are so many Heathens it takes something like a Supervolcanic eruption (Yellowstone) or a Nuclear blast (Nuclear War) to clear the Heathen out of Israel (USA).

Preparations for the first is nearly impossible.  Preparations for the second is much more possible.  You build a Fallout Shelter near your home and you get into it, to shelter yourself from the Fallout of a Nuclear Explosion.  You also need to get out of the cities and head into the country, since the cities are nuclear targets.

Your shelter should have about 40 ft. of material in order to stop gamma rays, essentially gravel, on all sides of your shelter -- especially the top.   You need a commode.  You need food and water storage for at least six months to a year, and you need sleeping quarters.  You will also need an electric generator to generate your own electricity and have a refridgerator and a freezer to keep some foods nice and cold (especially meats).

Here are some interesting signs coming after Nuclear War:

* The poles will flip, causing our own personal magnetic alignments to also flip as the poles flip.  This has the nasty side effect of stealing energy from our bodies; thus weak men will die.

* A planet will appear at our North Pole.  This planet is carrying one 1/3 of the Host of Israel.  Our kin will come down from the planet in vehicles built to protect them from Synchrotronic Radiation.  Then this same planet will perform a "docking manuever" with our own, causing a World Wide Earthquake.

* the Salt Lake Valley will be cleansed of fallout, and be baptized in Fire (Nuclear fire) and Water (water up from the ground during an earlier Earthquake).  The place will be made habitable for humans again -- as many fruits and vegetables can be planted there and they will flourish.

but you don't have to take my word for it.  In this era where hollywood capitalizes on making you sorely afraid for the end of the next year (December 21, 2012); you can gain reliable information on what is exactly going to happen and how to prepare for it by foremost reading the bible and looking up the Parowan Prophet's website.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Running a Science Fiction Campaign

Oooh!  My favorite subject!

Running a Science Fiction campaign can be really fun if you find the right combination for you and your players.  Since I'm all about freedom, my favorites are basically Space Opera games.  My favorite setting of the whole bunch is Selling the Moon, Wholesale! with possibly a military campaign set during the Long Night (see Gene Rodinberry's Andromeda for an example) running second and an Exploration game running third (Star Trek, Buck Rogers).

I want to talk about Selling the Moon, Wholesale setup first.  This campaign offers the best freedom for you and your players in my mind.  There are a huge amount of media that represents this setting, and most of them are computer games.

The best known examples of this type of campaign that come to my mind include Wing Commander: Privateer, Microsoft's Freelancer, and Elite.

Wing Commander: Privateer

Wing Commander: Privateer is the successor of the game Elite. It's probably the best example of what to do in a campaign setting such as this.  Privateer  allows the player to really play in an expansive universe that immerses you in an expansive universe (although its only relegated to the Gemini Sector -- a sector built around the Gemini constellation in the Zodiac).   There is essentially three paths opened to you: you can be a free trader, a mercenary, or a smuggler.  What is best about the game is it's openness.

What does Selling the Moon, Wholesale offer you and your players?

Using Wing Commander: Privateer as a model, this model offers both the GM and the Players Dungeons and Dragons styled like scripting and running.  The game is made up of three separate elements that ensure player freedom.  They include:

* Random Encounters among space lanes.
* Small missions brokered by Independents, the Mercenaries Guild and the Merchants Guild
* Fixer missions.

Random Encounters

Although not in vogue among the RPGA, a Random Encounter system is great for Selling the Moon Wholesale because you can use Random encounters to set up your players with a bit of randomess against any NPC factions you have working in your universe.  Like pirates, retroes, or enemy Space Nations (like the Kilrathi [space cats] or the Magog [space orcs] for example).

 Small Missions

Small missions are GM created missions that usually don't need anything beyond an objective and random encounters.  They can be written down on 3x5 cards with stats for spaceships and who is flying them.  They can also include generated star systems for planets or drifts you can visit.  Small missions are brokered by organizations through your Merchants Guild, your Mercenary's Guild, or a concourse kiosk.

Fixer Missions

Fixer Missions are full blown adventures -- written by you or published.  They are brokered by NPCs, and provide you with a true plot and campaign scripting within your universe.  Some examples are the old SpaceMaster Modules from ICE or the old modules from Star Frontiers.  Even Gamma World modules may work with some rewriting.  The Old Privateer game had a main campaign, find out how to destroy the egg that has been plaguing shipping lanes.  While this strung people along, as a GM you don't have to string your players along in a campaign such as this.

Choosing your Game System

The Choice of a Game System is pretty important when running a game.  You need a good game system that will provide fun for you and your players.  Published game systems include:

  1. Traveler
  2. SpaceMaster: Privateers
  3. Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game
  4. Star Wars Saga
  5. GURPS
  6. Star Frontiers
  7. Alternity
  8. d20 Future
  9. Big Eyes, Small Mouth 
  10. BESM d20
Of the games above, I tend to make a mishmash.  I use GURPS: Space and LUG's Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game for my Gamemaster advice, and SpaceMaster: Privateers as my system of choice.  The latter is crunchy enough to handle both Space Opera and Hard SF settings.   While the earlier provides some Good Advice!  The old LUG Trek game has the best advice on making system settings (called sectors), while GURPS Space provides some good all around advice.

That is just my set up, you can use whatever game you enjoy for you and your players.

Choice of Setting

So what is left is choosing a setting.  From Star Trek to Privateer to Andromeda to Blue Planet there are a lot of published settings you can use.  Even Space 1899 and Space 1999 are not impossible!  Lets use Privateer as an example.

The game starts you out in the Gemini Sector, in the Troy system.  The Troy system has a terraformed planet (Troy 3, I think -- known as Helen), and two Mining Bases (Hector and Achilles) with jump points to the Pollux, War, Regallis, Pender's Star, and Pyrannees systems.

you allow the players to either create their own ship, or give them a Taurus scout ship (note, if they create their own Hyperyacht, do not give them starting money!).   You also can start them on Helen (which is a Garden planet) or one of the mining bases.

On a base in Privateer, the players have access to the concourse -- which provides offices to the Mercenaries Guild, the Merchant's Guild, a ship dealer, a commodity exchange, a bar, and a mission kiosk.  As GM, on certain bases, you can expand the concourse to include a mini mall in which players an buy new clothes and food for their ship (maybe even get a food replicator).

The mission kiosk is where you can dispense your "mini" missions, and the Commodity Exchange is where the players can buy commodities to buy and sell on the open (and black) markets.

There are some interesting things about the Privateer universe.  There are a couple of base types the players can fly too:
  • Agriculture planets
  • Mining Bases
  • Refinery bases
  • Pleasure Planets
  • Pirate bases
  • New Constantinople (the Capitol)
  • Perry (Military Base)
  • New Detroit (Refinery and Manufacturing center)
  • Oxford (University planet)
And there are factions.
  • Militia -- citizen Space police.
  • Confed -- Galactic Confederation Military (Earth controlled, of course)
  • Retros -- The Church of Man, a bunch of religious fanatics that want to take away your electric razor.
  • Pirates -- yes, you know who these are.
  • Bounty hunters -- the Competition in the Mercenary market, these citizens are space Vigilantes.
  • Merchants -- Your competition in the Merchant market
  • The Kilrathi -- Humanoid cats which are more like D&D Hobgoblins with their own politics and agenda.  Do not think of them as orcs . . . that's for the Magog.  The Confederation is at war with the Kilrathi.

Plus there are a bunch of NPCs you can lift from the game.  

There is a lot you can do, and I hope I gave you a lot of good ideas.  If you enjoy science fiction gaming, the sky is literally the limit since there is a whole goldmine out there just waiting for you to explore!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Galatea Cover

It's one of those times you find a use for the DAZ Girl. :D

Galatea Cover Art by ~Atlantean6 on deviantART

Now available as prints!  This work will possibly grace the cover of the Galatea Campaign Setting.  Oh, and the little halfling is the Girl 4.  The Barbarian is a She Freak 4, and the wizard a Hiro 4.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daz and Poser artists are Real Artists

People who use DAZ Studio and Poser are Artists in every sense of the word. Well, if you look at them from the point of view of Photographers instead of people who painstakingly build their own 3D models using metablobs and primitives (and rig them).

don't get me wrong! The artists over at the CG Society are extremely good at what they do! Lighting, Texturing, bump maps, normal maps, Displacements, shaders, all of it! However, DAZ Studio and Poser are low cost 3D programs that allow the common person to work with 3D and express himself.

Both DAZ Studio and Poser shine best when they are treated as photography studios instead of the full package like Vue and Cinema 4D. A DAZ Studio Artist is like a Photographer. We use lighting and camera position as our main weapons of choice in which to express ourselves (I, myself, may be getting Cinema 4D one of these days -- Mental Ray sounds like a good plugin).

The idea of putting down a DAZ or Poser Artist because we make "Poser Plates" is not a good thing to do, since the versatility of both programs allows us to make art faster and cheeper. We can make one page of a 3D comic in the better part of a day using props and actors made by other people. While the people at the CG Society feel that they have to build all of it themselves -- a process that can take weeks or months.

Spending the time to build the actors yourself is not very efficient. In fine art, it's all well and good. However when you have a deadline to meet on a 3D comic, sometimes you need to sacrifice fine 3D Art and go with ready made models. In this case, it's best to just concentrate on using lighting, Z-depth layers, and camera positions.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Galatea and the Book of Advanced Magic

The World of Galatea would be a wonderful place if it used d20 Advanced Magic as well as the Magical Girl model of magic that 4e uses.  Although I don't agree with the Gamist direction that 4e has taken, it would be nice if 5th Edition would take the Roleplayer direction and the people at WoTC understood that they don't have control of D&D content, but they have control over how they contained it.

Branding is every thing, but branding content as your own is the wrong thing to do (such as hoarding Yaun-ti and Mind Flayers, for example).

Greywulf once asked about having Anthropomorphic races in 4e.  Well, Greywulf, I present to you the rules for Beastmen from d20 Slayers that could be converted into a 4e race.

OGL Section 15:
Slayers d20 Copyright (c) 2004 by Guardians of Order, inc.; Authors David Lyons, Michelle Lyons, Anthony Ragen

To be fair, the World of Galatea is based on a Men vs. Orcs scenario.  Yeah, it has elves, trolls, and stuff.  But it can also have beastmen.  :)

Anyway, the world using those rules will allow spellslingers to be spellslingers.  If I wanted just magical girls and boys, though, I would set up Galatea to use BESM d20 -- allow only the Magical Girl class to produce magic and not use the Dynamic Sorcerer class -- and set up a 4th Edition version of the world.

Since I'm more interested in making a world in which anime producers would see it as something based off the Slayers and Record of Lodoss War and not based off of Card Captor Sakura or Sakura Wars, or even -- dare I say it -- SAILOR MOON.  :)

I want the player who plays a wizard in Galatea to feel like they are spellcasting in a western fantasy environment. 

New Shop open on Zazzle

I opened a shop relating to my work on an online comic that I have going on So  The Comic is pretty much going to move to Web comics nation as well as being printed on so it can reach a wider audience.

The comic, called the "Natural Life" is based on the premise of the "Bare Pit" following the same themes (Nudists or Naturists have adventures) but handles other themes that couldn't be handled in the Bare Pit such as gender confusion.

Yes, this means that products will appear here on my blog relating to that comic.  As my Fantasy stuff grows, I'll be able to put up a store based on that too (Zazzle seems to have better promotion tools than Cafe Press).

Look for a personalized gift at Zazzle.

My Fantasy Store will sell official containers for the Fantasy content I've been producing.  Such as shirts, pins, stickers, and other merchandise.  A store that will support content containers based off of my D&D World can be very successful for it's fans.

The reason why I'm doing this is to support a Free Market for content. To copy Nina Paley from Question

  • Make it very easy for people to donate to you. Remember, if your work is good, some percentage of your audience will want to support you.

  • Sell containers, not content (see Understanding Free Content for more).
    For example, the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire sells DVDs, t-shirts, pins, stickers, and other merchandise. It also makes clear exactly what percentage of the money is going to the artist — people want to know this! While some of the items sold are utilitarian (a DVD is a more convenient way to have the movie), many of them occupy the grey area between utility and "karma value": people purchase them because they want to show their appreciation of the work to others, and they know that their purchase benefits the artist. (Think of why people who go to a concert will buy the band's CD there, even when they know they can download all the songs online for free. It's the same thing.) Don't worry about someone else setting up a store; you're the artist, people want the stuff to come straight from the source, and in any case you have first-mover advantage.

  •  Encourage commercial activity around the work, and give people a clear route to include the artist on the proceeds.
    For example, people hold screenings of Sita Sings the Blues and charge admission. Often, they'll send Nina Paley a percentage of the proceeds — even though they don't have to do it, they do. Again, people want to support artists. All artists have to do is make it clear that they're on the audience's side, and audiences will reward them for it.

  • License your endorsement.
    If you are an artist, your reputation travels with your work, and grows with your work's. That reputation cannot be replicated and cannot be diluted — it's a natural monopoly, so use it!
    Tell distributors they can claim to be endorsed by you, the artist, as long as they share a certain percentage of revenue with you. Given a choice between two distributors, one that is clearly sharing profits with the artist and one that is not, people will choose the former. Distributors know that, and in any case they want artists to succeed too. (Another way to say it is: middlemen perform a valuable service, but they perform it better without a monopoly.)

  • Encourage the audience to get involved: the people who do get involved will really appreciate it, and even those who don't will sense that there's something interesting going on.
    For example, the subtitles on the commercial DVDs of Sita Sings the Blues were done by volunteers who coordinated on a wiki.

  • Encourage remixture and re-use — it will only help spread the word about your work.
    Some of our favorite examples: a fashion line and this truly stunning film-as-print re-use from Bill Cheswick.

Imagine if D&D worked off this model entirely (the OGL and GSL already do this on some level)!  Wizards of the Coast would be a container provider for the game, but other artists can produce their own containers for D&D content and derived content.  People could sell their own D&D derived shirts, pins, stickers, and so on.

That would be an awesome world. And remember, there is nothing wrong with Merchandising!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Furry Fandom and it's Pornography

Normally, I'd be posting on my own blog about how I've been traversing the waters of the Furry fandom.  However, it would be hypocritical about posting about pornography since I, myself, am guilty of creating Pornography at times on this site and on others.  So, to lessen the stigma of being a porn artist, I thought I'd post my thoughts here.

As a nudist, I often encountered pornography.  In fact, early in my twenties and late in my teens I encountered it often before I was a nudist.  Every day, in fact, I encountered pornography.  The reason was clear, I was avoiding it as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator at the time counseled us to do (yes, I'm officially, a Mormon).  Oh boy, was I avoiding it!  As a result, I came into contact with just about every type of pornography you can imagine.

So, to deal with it, I had to come to terms as to what I actually desired.  The manifestation of that desire was looking up nudism.  Pow!  Nudity didn't have to be all about sex! Or Attraction!  Or any thing base as it is.  After browsing Christian sites, I learned that the body is good and sex itself, is good too.  Then I learned that my ideas about God is screwed up.  I am guilty of making God in my image (A violation of the Second Commandment) and I seriously questioned the LDS faith.  Is the Church of Latter-day Saints the true Church now?  Or is it not? Note: my question was answered about two years ago when I found the Parowan Prophet's site; I'm convinced that the Church is true because the Son of Man desires to punish us Mormons extremely harshly for being "a disobedient bride," fortunately he sent a prophet to warn those who would listen as to what he was going to do. I'm not surprised that the prophet was rejected.  Most Mormons don't know their own doctrine and don't believe Him or follow his commandments and want their leaders to tell them what they want to hear -- that all is well in Zion, Zion prospereth, and how to attain perfection in this life.  While the Son of Man seethes with anger at his Chosen People -- the Mormons and everyone who lives in America.

I came to the conclusion that the Church is still true even though its leaders and some (or most?  I'll stick with some) aren't.  The church is perfect, the people in it aren't.  So back to Pornography and my nudism.

If you notice my work here, I am doing a comic.  Since everyone expected it to be spicy from the beginning I seriously questioned spicing it.  Isn't there enough pornography -- pictures of people having sex -- on So Furry already?  I came to the conclusion that I was right and rebelled, making a porn comic into a clean one simply by changing it's focus.  I chose to focus on "Nude is not Rude!"  instead of focusing on "Nude invites sex."

So, to the true Antagonist.  This comic is inspired by "The Bare Pit" by Noodtoonist (his first name is Stephen) (  The plan was to finish up the storyline in So Furry and move the comic to Web Comics Nation.  I'm questioning that plan.  The problem is, I'd be abandoning them and they would be left one (or two) clean comic(s) about nudism on a site that has a lot of porn comics. 

Although I don't consider myself to be a furry, I really can't do that.  So I'm continuing to publish my 3D comic there. I still need an Antagonist, though.  The person that hinders the people's natural right to be nude in the comic (it's in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  Having thought about it, this Antagonist would be anti-nude because he thought that Nudism invited sexuality (he's also self righteous and works for the Textile industry by making clothes, he would also be anti-furrydom for much of the same reasons).  Thinking about his roots as a character, I put up his species to a vote.

I figured that if he were a "furry," it would even the playing field.  And voting they are!  So far, Fox is the one in the running.  Oh, as to my feelings about the Furry Fandom, with what I've seen on VCL and so furry, I frankly don't blame the world for isolating the fandom.  Some of the adult stuff is actually very bad, and very shocking. Frankly, there is consequences to our actions, and isolation and ridicule is one of them.

I wanted to post here to see where I can build bridges between the fandom and the mundanes.  Quite frankly, I really don't see how I can.  But I'm going to do it.  It's not really fair for the fandom to separate themselves, or the mundanes to separate you.  The fandom exists in its current form -- and I can't help but think if the Country was chock full of nudists (say, about 1 in 10 Americans were nudists who went nude or bare chested and bare breasted in public) they wouldn't have too much of a problem being accepted.

Although I bet that most of the depictions of sex on that site wouldn't exist (I'd say about 75% of the adult stuff on So Furry wouldn't have been made) because of their quality, I'd pretty much say that sex wouldn't have the stigma that it does have and people would welcome pictures of people having sex -- furry or otherwise.

But we don't live in a "perfect world" yet.  Although, I'd say that the furry fandom is a reaction -- a Reaction to the hypocritical prudery that Americans believe in.  Not the best reaction -- American nudism is that -- but a reaction none the less.  People hate the furry fandom because it exposes them as hypocrites (it's not just the Bestiality -- but the hypocrisy).  The fandom is a symptom, really.  A symptom of how bad our society has gotten in its attitude towards sex, the body, and other things I can't identify.  To become a pure nation and a pure land again, we Americans have to learn how to accept others as who they are and stop being inquitious and thinking of ourselves as separate from others.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book of Advanced Magic

is basically done.  I need to add some information on the spellcasting classes in Pathfinder and add a few spells (from Atlas Games' Occult Lore!) in order to make it complete.  I also added some feats from the d20 SRD that is basically forgotten.  These feats include:

These Feats are basically forgotten.  They aren't included in Pathfinder or the APG, for some reason.  But they are in the d20 SRD (geeze, I sound like Carl Sagan) and shouldn't be forgotten.   Each metamagic feat is capable of doing to spells that are different than maximizing them or widening them. :)

The spells I'm adding from Occult Lore are the elemental spells I worked on for the book.  They are perfect for Sorcerers of the Elemental Bloodline and not necessarily Wizards. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Expanding the Book of Advanced Magic?

I had an idea.

Why not just expand the Book of Advanced Magic into a Campaign Setting?  *shrugs*  What an idea.

Lets see: Races.

Core Races -

* Beastmen

* Humans

* Elves

* Orcs . . .

Oh, what the hell.  I just put in the Campaign Setting I've been working on for years. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More On The Book of Advanced Magic

Having added some important tables, I'm working on adding the various spells in the book of d20 Advanced Magic to the Book of Advanced Magic.  Since all of the spells in the Pathfinder RPG are the spells in the d20 System (with some minor changes -- the infamous Wish has you giving up carbon valued at 25,000 gp (and/or another material component valued over 10,000 gp) in order to work).

Once the spells are done, it's ready to be alpha tested. Note, there is buzz on the Wizards D&D forums of converting this system to 4e (I started the buzz).  I can provide a hard, and fast, and unbalanced way of converting the system -- just put the system in, with its spells, and use Energy Points.

Every spellcaster and prayer sayer would get an amount of energy points equal to his Constitution Score plus +1d6 and run with it.  Not perfect, but its going to take a brave soul to actually convert ALL of the powers to this system and every class has to get Energy points.

Not something I'm going to do, because 4e isn't worth DMing if I can't do everything I want to do with 4e.  Yeah, Greywulf, I can hear you say, "it isn't so."  But you try to be faithful to your inspirations with the system.

I hate levels in 4e.  The system can be broken, but players will be upset.

Anyway, it will be ready to be alpha tested as a Word Document.  Remember, I'm keeping the system intact.  Every spell is going to keep it's original difficulty class with the options of replicating Low, High, and Over The Top fantasy worlds.

Edit:  How can I be impressive with English if I type mispelled words? :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Slayers

From the serious and dramatic of D&Disms, we go into the comedic of D&Disms.  The Slayers is an Anime that is a send up of Dungeons and Dragons.  Honestly, with the dramatic Dungeons and Dragons cartoon in the mid 1980s and the Record of Lodoss War anime series we D&D gamers need something to help us laugh at our favorite game.

Just like the famous video where the player says: "Are there any girls there?" The Slayers  pretty much takes it over the top and combines silly slapstick humor with dangerous situations in a good formula.  The series follows the adventures of Lina Inverse and her companions as they find adventure and misadvanture in a D&D World, and fight and cast spells in over the top situations.

It's hard not to laugh at the exploits of the Slayers.  Especially if you play Dungeons and Dragons.  Even when people fail their spell checks for casting a spell, the results can be humorous.  If you are a serious Dungeons and Dragons player and you can't handle people criticizing the official 4th Edition from WotC, then you need a break and you need to watch The Slayers.  You need to laugh at your favorite game and realize that those who criticize the 4th Edition of the game have their feelings to vent. 

The Episodes can be watched through Funimation or Hulu.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Record of Lodoss War

If you really want to see a series that is full of D&Disms, and is quite serious about its subject matter, the High Fantasy Anime Record of Lodoss War is perfect for your appetites.  The series chronicles the adventures of Parn, Deedlit, Etoh, Slayne, Woodchuck, and Ghim as they have misadventure after misadventure brought on by the Island of Marmo and Karla the Grey Witch.

The series itself is directly based on Dungeons and Dragons (BECMI or the real 4th Edition) where there is a Fighter (Parn), Cleric (Etoh), Magic-User (Slayn), Thief (Woodchuck) -- all human of course -- and a High Elf (Deedlit) and a Dwarf (Ghim).  The only character missing is a halfling.  As it happened the Dungeon Master of the original Lodoss War campaign came to America looking for inspiration.  He bought the Dungeons and Dragons game and went back to Japan.

He created the world of Lodoss and set his players on a series of adventures that were recounted in the pages of a Japanese Magazine.  The series takes a lot from the Lord of the Rings (are you really surprised?) as Ghim is actually based on Gimli.  The sad part, for Americans, was that the Campaign Setting was pitched to TSR, Inc. but was rejected.  What was America's loss is Japan's gain actually.  The series Dungeon Master wrote a RPG of his own to publish his world with -- called Sword World RPG.  The series was eventually released in America, though, on DVD as an Anime Series and not as an RPG Campaign (along with the series).  A sad thing, really.  After talking about Classic fantasy, I'm bringing up a High Fantasy world.  Now why would you think that?

The Record of Lodoss War and the Slayers, which will be detailed next, along with other anime set in the Western High Fantasy genre; are the inspiration for the Dynamic Spellcasting System.  Like I said before, the Spellcasting System is designed to replicate what you see in these sorts of Anime (and read in books).

It's a tradition now lost in the D&D RPG, since Wizards redesigned the system to take much of the wonder out.  The Powers System -- which doesn't fit High Fantasy at all -- is more of a fit for the Magical Girl genre of Anime.  Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura, and Sakura Wars fit Wizards of the Coast's new incarnation of the game more than Record of Lodoss War and The Slayers now do.  Eh, all in the name of Balance, I guess.

However, the Biggest secret of roleplaying isn't the rules; its the world and then the rules you make up as you go along.  You really don't need D&D to play Adult styled Make-Believe.  Just create a world and play as you go along.  The stuff that Wizards foists on gamers is really unneeded.  There are thousands of RPGs on the Market, and you can always make one up as you go.  The D&D game is just a start -- the idea is to figure out when you're ready to break through and go independent.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Revising BESM d20 Magic

I'm sort of revising d20 Advanced Magic just because I can.  Why, pray tell?  Some people have trouble understanding how the system works.  I don't.  In fact, I playtested it with a group some years ago, and its very balanced in how it works.

d20 Advanced Magic is a spellcasting system that reduces spellcasting in d20 to a DC skill check.  That's pretty much all it does.  Although it does include a lot of math, people who are illiterate in their math skills will stay away from it.  That's okay, there is a system out there that is especially tailored to them.  They can play magical girls and boys using 4th Edition.

A 4th Edition Wizard using the 4th Edition Powers System.

A 4th Edition Wizard using the Dynamic Spellcasting System!

A 4th Edition Sorcerer using the Dynamic Spellcasting System!

What people don't understand is how the paltry bonuses spellcasters get from their magical techniques, invocations, incantations, rituals, foci, and investments can possibly pass the spell DCs; and not suffer drain (non-lethal damage or energy drain) in the process? Note, a wizard casting a spell without these forms are dashing off their spell like a psion dashes off his psionic powers.

The quick answer is, you don't.  But the writers failed to provide examples explaining how their system works to everyone.  So in my revision, I'm providing some needed examples.  The system is for Pathfinder (surprise, surprise) but can work for 4th edition (if the Wizards, Clerics, and Sorcerer PCs are WILLING to be underpowered compared to the Rogue, Psion, Warlock, and Fighter classes -- but they get to use Skill Challenge checks on spellcasting WISH!)  The new book -- The Book of Advanced Magic preserves the system and explains it in simple terms using examples to bolster its case for adoption.

Also, I'll be providing some new feats (Divine Understanding is one of them -- the PC who has the feat understands What they Really Are and gains a +5 bonus to their casting checks.  This feat can only be taken at 1st level or the PC learns the truth about himself somehow [usually through Divine Revelation].  It's opposite - Rational Atheist - provides a penalty of -5 to their casting checks, but provides a bonus for casting Rational, Logical magic [Basically a PC will rationalize a Dragon into a crocodile]).

There are also going to be some new Prestige Classes.  I.e. the Quantum Mage (which requires the PC to have the Divine Understanding feat and have seven ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) and 3 ranks in Knowledge (Religion), and has a +5 spellcasting Bonus).  The Quantum Mage at level 10 gains the Wish and Miracle spells for free and has the Wish spell's DC reduced by 55 (the DC is 101) because he gains perfect Understanding of What He Really Is and can manipulate the Universe according to his will. (Under the usual spellcasting method, he doesn't have to give up the 25,000 gp diamond to cast Wish [Why a diamond?  Diamonds are carbon, people!]).

The whole idea of the revision is to provide players with a better system for spellcasting that is dramatic and fun at the same time! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rick Falvinge steps down from the Swedish Pirate Party

And this is actually a good thing! From a report on

"On January 1st, Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party and its leader for the past five years, stepped down, and Anna Troberg took over the reins.

"This is significant for a few reasons. The Swedish Pirate Party is clearly here to stay — having won seats (yes, that's plural, "seats") in the European Parliament, they are now concentrating on in-country elections. The leadership transition is a sign of stability: Falkvinge recognized that what the party needed now was an organization builder with new ideas, felt he'd done his best work in founding the Party and leading it to its first victories, and moved on. By all accounts Anna Troberg is exactly the right person for the job.

"Rick Falkvinge will now be able to concentrate on political evangelism full time at his English-language site: Falkvinge on Infopolicy. In his words:

"'...I feel there has been a language barrier from the Swedish discussion, which is several years ahead, to the rest of the world. I want to bridge that.'

"This is welcome news, because here in the U.S. we need more of what might be called the 'Swedish School' of copyright reform.

"To the extent that copyright debate here has moved in a positive direction at all, it's been largely through the rhetoric of artistic freedom, so-called "fair use", and worries about gigantic conglomerates holding cultural monopolies. Those are important concerns, but there's another aspect that doesn't get enough attention: strong copyright enforcement inherently means weak civil rights, because to enforce copyright restrictions in an age of networked computers means someone must watch what everyone's downloading. This is what Nina Paley was getting at in her Copyright and Surveillance Minute Meme for the EFF, and it's been a major part of the Swedish Pirate Party's platform since day one — in fact it's essentially why the party was founded in the first place.

"We helped Falkvinge bring that message here on his U.S. West Coast tour in 2007, and it's only become more important since then. Consider that in the name of enforcing publishers' monopoly rights, Amazon had to keep track of what its customers were reading in order to erase books from customer's e-book readers in 2009. That's not an exceptional case, it's a structural inevitability: in the digital age, content monopoly means user surveillance. How else could it be? There is no other way to enforce the monopoly. If you don't want that world either, help us keep a better one.

"We've got Falkvinge on Infopolicy in our right sidebar now. We hope you'll watch the site, as we will be. And if Rick Falkvinge says something that strikes you as overly worried today, please make a note of it, wait a couple of years, and see how it looks then. Chances are he's just a little bit ahead... as he was when he founded the Swedish Pirate Party."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Several Spells of Wonder

I have an idea that could be a good test of the OGL. Copying some spells from the Book, More Magic and Mayhem as wizard spells for use in Pathfinder. The spells are:

Fire Bolt

Shadow Bolt







Just a crazy Idea I had.
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