Tuesday, November 30, 2010


They are no dragonborn, but RawArt does have a wonderful imagination.  With this pose, I had to inject a little S4 into V4 to make it work.  The pose as originally intended works best for mermen and mermaids.

Hands up if you like Stephanie 4. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Handsome and Sampson Dossiers

I figured I should produce stats for Handsome and Sampson.  Using these two characters in your game, you have to remember their idiosyncrasies when used in a 4e campaign.  And against other characters.  They are typically "henchmen" for your boss and will work well in an Eberron campaign or any other steampunk campaign were the Queen is Queen of the British Empire.

 Eberron: Handsome d'Cannith
Handsome is Handsome not because he is handsome but because he works with his hands.  He builds gadgets, machines, and contraptions.  All of his fighting ability is tied to his gadgets, machines, and contraptions.  He doesn't use his powers unless absolutely necessary.  When he does use his powers, they come to him in a Flash -- like Chuck Bartowski in "Chuck."  There is a 20% chance he'll flash and use a power when he is in a desperate situation.  Healing surges also come in a Flash like in "Chuck."  But he usually surges off camera.

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Hair Color: Dark Brown, short
Eyes: Brown
Steampunk Style: Fedora, dark glasses, yellow bow tie, black dress shirt, white dress coat, white pants, white dress shoes, gadgets.
Eberron Style: White robe, dark glasses, black shirt, khaki pants, gadgets, white sandals.
Personality: Helpful, inventive, and loyal to his boss.
Alignment: (Neutral) Good.

4th Ed. Stats
Level 3 Artificer (Eberron Player's Guide)
Role: Follower (Leader)
Stats:  St 9, Dex 14, Con 11, Int. 16, Wis 14, Cha 12
Hp: 28, Healing Surges: 1 (flashes off camera)
AC: 12 (+2 dex) Defenses: Reflex +3
Weapon Proficiency: Gadgets, Vehicles
Armor Proficiency: Cloth
Trained Skills: Arcana, Insight, Inventing, Knowledge (House Cannith) (note: in a Steampunk game, replace two skills with skills acceptable for a steampunk campaign).
Powers:  All at-will, encounter, and daily powers are the result of a Chuck styled flash.  They have a 20% chance of occuring during any encounter with him (roll 1d20, on a result of 1 to 5, he flashes and uses an Artificer power).  Utility Powers are a part of his character and he doesn't need to flash to use them.
at Will: Aggravating Force
Encounter Power: Lightning Sphere
Daily Power: Obedient Servant
Utility Power: Use Magic Item

Notable Weapons:
Color Spray Bazooka (low level): This gadget fires a color spray of brilliance 3 times/encounter.
Flame-thrower (mid-level): This gadget throws a gout of flame comparable to fire burst 3 times/encounter.
Plasma Cannon (High level): This gadget releases an electrical discharge comparable to a lightning sigil 3 times/encounter.

Steam Tank
Built by Handsome, the steam tank has a top speed of 45 miles per hour and has 230 hit points.  Its hull is reinforced steel (steel plating, AC 15).  The Steam Tank is capable of shooting shells that can penetrate Mithril armor plating on other vehicles, but not Adamantine/Adamantium.  The tank is a prototype so it's barrel only offers +0 to hit.  In Eberron, the Engine is powered by a bound Air Elemental.  The shells explode as a Wizard's fireball and the tank carries 5 of them per encounter.

Eberron: Sampson
Sampson is impossibly strong, but he hides his muscles under his clothes.  He fights barehanded and doesn't use weapons.  Like Handsome, his powers come to him in a Chuck-styled flash -- usually when his life is in danger.  Also like Handsome, he flashes 20% of the time.  He has healing surges, but he surges subsconsciously.  He also surges off camera.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240 lbs (3% body fat)
Hair: Light brown, short.
Eyes: Baby blue
Steampunk Style: Fedora, dark glasses, pink bow tie, black dress shirt, white dress coat, white pants, white dress shoes.
Eberron Style: Chain shirt, Chain Helmet, white sandals, white cape.
Personality: Vain, Helpful, loyal to his boss, has a Teutonic accent.
Alignment: Lawful Good

4th Ed. Stats:
Level 3 Fighter
Role:  Follower (Defender)
Abilities: Str 30, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 13
Hp: 30 Defenses: Fort +15
Weapon Proficiency: Boxing (Unarmed Strike +15)
Armor Proficiency: Cloth, leather, hide, chainmail, scale; light shield, heavy shield
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance

Powers: All utility, encounter, and daily exploits are activated by a Chuck like "flash" which has a 20% chance of occurring. Sampson may use his at-will exploits at any time.
At-Will Powers: Sure Strike
Encounter Power: Crushing Blow
Daily Power: Comeback Strike
Utility Power: Unstoppable

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Problem with the Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is becoming more speculative every day.  Big Bang Supporters won't take no for an answer to their theory.  They are becoming more and more religious everyday when something is presented to them that says otherwise.  Lately, it has become a case where Man argues with God as to what the Universe should be.  Or even better, Man dictates to God how the Universe should be like.  However, God hasn't gotten the message as Nature, in all it's Majesty, cannot appreciate the perfect beauty of our equations.

Halton Arp has been excommunicated and banished to Germany by the American scientific community.  Arp had discovered some irregularities with quasars.  They had high redshifts, which would mean that they are further away from the Earth.  However, Arp discovered that the Quasars are actually connected to the galaxy they were around, and that ejection had taken place.  He even said that creation takes place in the center of galaxies.  This was a stunning blow to the Big Bang Theory, since it flied in the face of Expansion of the universe.  As a result, the scientists involved wouldn't accept such thoughts.  In fact, one of them said that the paper exceeds his imagination.  A dangerous phrase to say, since humans are supposed to have unlimited imaginations.  After all, take a look at game players -- they have very active imaginations.

Also, Wallace Thornhill and David Talbott are presenting a theory of the Universe that includes Electromagnetism as the dominate force.  They are presenting their findings in a series of videos and books published on Youtube and through Mikamar Publishing.  They contend that the strange symbols in our sky are compared to manifestations of plasma and electric discharge in our ancient skies.  The body of their work is called "Thunderbolts of the Gods", the "Electric Universe", and "Symbols of an Alien Sky."

The data they present is based on laboratory experiments and not on esoteric theory.  While Arp's data is presented on pure observation.  So, what is the layman to do?  Not being trained as a scientist, he's stuck between two opinions.  What should he do?  Research the questions as best he can to test the conclusions of both parties to see if the Universe acts more one way than the other.  That's all the layman can do.

The problem with the Big Bang is simple.  It's a theory that has holes in it.  Exotic matter (Black Holes, Neutron Stars, Dark Matter) and exotic energy (Dark Energy) are suppositions that are used to hold up the theory.  Even though computer models are used to prove the theory, that's all they are are computer models.  They aren't evidence on how things should be -- they just present a model of what you think is.

For me, the Big Bang Theory is in question.  I don't think it is something someone with any intelligence should persue and uphold -- especially with these new observations and experiments show. I believe that as more evidence about the Universe shows up, the Big Bang Theory will be abandoned for a "Steady State theory" or a "Dynamic Steady State" theory.

God only knows what the final outcome will be.  But at some time, Man will stop dictating to God how the creation of the Universe and how it works aught to be.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

4th Edition D&D Essentials out of the Box

Or . . . I am not having fun but my players are.

The game is different, yes DIFFERENT, from regular D&D.  Uhm, what I did was ignore the rules considering miniatures.  But everything about the has changed in the playtest, and the best way to learn the game is to actually JUMP in and DM it.  Strangely, a rules lawyer is nice to have with a DM whose willing to try out the system.

Okay, I don't like 4th Edition.  That's all I've got to say on the matter.  I ~don't~ like it.  Maybe it was my lack of preparation, but I quickly made up some stock characters to throw at the PCs.  The way I run things, I tend to run with a lot of improvisation, and you can't do improv on this game and look successful to your peers.

The thing is, the stock characters came out of Nadia: the Secret of Blue Water.  One of my players made the rival to her character, and all I can see is Grandis Granva from Nadia.  So I gave her two henchmen.

Grandis Granva as Kyli

Handsome and Sampson.  Handsome is an Artificer and his true combat ability lies in his ability to construct Steampunk machines, gadgets (like his Color Spray Bazooka), and other things.  Sampson is -- well -- STRONG!  Impossibly strong, about as strong as Hercules (see my notes on how Hercules and Sampson might be the same).  Sampson relies on his strength, while Handsome relies on his inventiveness.

It kinda sucked.

Number one: the game doesn't have a way to explain how inventions are invented, how they are constructed, and how they work.

Number two: A STRONG guy doesn't have a chance against the PCs.  At level 1, the PCs are over powered, so I need to stat these people out so I know what their exploits are (yep, their underpowered).  Handsome still relies on machines, so if he has to deal with someone without his machines or gadgets, he generally and rudely tells them to leave.

I.e. the players had fun, I didn't.  The game kind of flies in the face of improv.  I can't improv without making an NPC stat so that the NPC will be up to par to the PCs.  It's kind of a let down, really.  You basically had to do the same with 3.x and Pathfinder, but at least you can get away with the improv. 

The Best parts of the game were:

Handsome's Color Spray Bazooka.  I thought of a fire ball throwing bazooka but changed it to throw a spray of dazzling colors.  Color Spray isn't a Wizard or Artificer power.

Handsome's tank, the Kyli, driving at the same speed as an Orien Lightning Rail and blowing a hole in the side of one of the Lightning Rail coaches.  Oh, and the fact that it's steam engine can generate AC electric power to power the tank.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for:

* Anne, my dead girlfriend.  She gives me something to strive for.
* Katrina -- my present girlfriend.
* My cousin Melinda: for being her best friend.
* T. Harv Eker
* Joe Vitale
* Iron Crown Enterprises
* My cousin Eric, who is probably thankful for me.
* Nudism.
* The guy who does the Nude Toons.
* Love.
* For my knowledge.
* For the scriptures.

And . . .

I am grateful to the Son of Man who gave his life so that we could be absolved of the Fall. :)

Another Obligatory Render

This time of an orc female.  Not everyone of them has to be hard bodied.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Obligatory Naked Elves Render

In my adventure I'm writing, the Gray Wolf Tribe has contact with mountain wild elves that has totally gone native.  In other words, they are a clan of naked elves.  Why they did it?  No one hopes to fully understand the minds of the elves.

Actually, in truth, the body is good and wonderful and our compulsiveness to cover up the body even though the Son of Man had atoned for us and gotten rid of the effects of the Fall is completely in comprehensive.  The Father meant for his Children to be nudists.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adventure to be 4th Edition?

Anyone want to see an official conversion of the current adventure I'm working on to 4th edition?

Since it's going to be open sourced, wouldn't it be better if you converted it yourself?

If you want to see the adventure I'm working on: Blood Challenge, to be statted for 4e; then there's something you've got to know.  It's a character development piece for an orc character.  Which means it follows the orc PC's character and develops him or her quite closely.  It has heavy RP elements, however don't worry, you'll get to beat people up and take their stuff. *har har*.  If you want to see it statted for 4e by me . . .stand up and be counted and write your approval on the blog.  If not, then go ahead and write your approval anyhow.  And Greywulf, the tribe in question is the Grey Wolf tribe.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Interesting Question Posited on Wired

This question has to do with COICA, or CLOACA, depending on who you talk to.  Actually, it had nothing to do with it.  It had to do with Hollywood.  The question he asked is this:

"Ever wonder why music costs the same regardless of the artist? Ever wonder why movies cost the same regardless of how popular or how much demand there is to see them? These industries certainly are not milk or gas. They are more like other commodities like clothing and cars where demand sets the price. So why are these items in the entertainment industry priced the same?
Could it be price fixing? Will Congress investigate whether these industries are involved in price fixing? Whether movie houses are pressured by Hollywood to charge the same price for every movie no matter if the movie stinks or is a blockbuster?
Funny how that works, isn’t it?"
-- by BenFlorida

Hmmm, could it be that Hollywood is actually running a cartel and fixing prices?  If so, then the Internet hurts them more than anything.  Could Copyright could have been perverted to support a Monopoly system than the artist?

Once a law is perverted by those it is supposed to protect, it can no longer function as a just and moral law.

Character Creating in 4th Edition, Paul Jaquays' Style

First things first, there is something I don't like about 4th Edition that makes creating characters extremely limited.  Apparently, the dearth listing of skills.  We ran into this when we created characters using Paul Jaquay's "Heroes of Legend" book to create some very detailed characters.  The players started rolling some really unusual skills in 4th Edition. 

One of these happened to be Gourmet Cooking.  How would gourmet cooking fit in 4th Edition D&D?  Well, it doesn't.  There's no skill for it.  So, we invented all sorts of skills to cover the unusual skill set.  Skills such as inventing.  D&D 4e is extremely limited, apparently when you create characters with "Heroes of Legend" for 4th Edition, you run into something that sucks.

  • Lack of skills
  • Class specific powers
  • Lack of customizability

Being limited by the books, one of my players complained about me not allowing the assassin.  I had a big beef with that.  Because in Rolemaster (Fantasy Roleplaying and the Standard System) an Assassin is represented by choosing skills -- usually for a Magent, Rogue, or Thief.  When you try to create interesting characters, 4th Edition creates some walls with its design philosophy.  As a GM, I had to make some house rules on the spot.  Right now, it's expanding the skill set to accommodate usual skill choices.  And this is the first time I'm getting ready to play 4th Edition as the DM.

The Game comes with some frustrations.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Past Adventure makes for published adventures

Returning into an Adventure I ran two weeks ago, I realized it could make for a published adventure.  The adventures of an orc and his pals explores orc culture in ways people don't realize.

* Basic premise: This adventure only works if one of the players is an orc.  Ran as a character development piece, the PCs journey to an orc village because the orc's father is sick.  Also the orc's father's authority is challenged by Jubal the Ugly One because he has taken Dian the Beautiful -- the daughter of a powerful family.  The PC must win back his father's honor and Dian by a blood challenge -- a fight to first blood.

When I ran the adventure, the players had a good time.  Expanded into an adventure, it could be liked by orc lovers and those who play the Horde in the World of Warcraft MMORPG.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Review of the Eberron Player's Guide

Byline: It still misses that Old Dungeons and Dragons magic.

The Eberron Player's Guide misses that old Dungeons and Dragons magic.  It suffers from the same writing style as the 4th Edition PHB 1, but not nearly so much.  There are several things changed that I don't agree with cannonically. Having the original Eberron Campaign Setting (and still in GOOD CONDITION!) there was some significant changes made to this edition.  Plus, Keith Baker wasn't listed as a writer, so I wonder if he had any input at all.

That being said, I don't think you need the DM's Guide at all if you have the original setting except for the monsters (Karnnathi Zombies, Skeletons, Dolgaunts, and so forth).  You can get most of the changes from the Player's Guide. The first chapter, Life in Eberron explains what Eberron is like today and yesterday.  This chapter introduces you to the basics of the setting. Bringing back some of that old magic.  It goes and explains the world of Eberron.  From Khorvaire and Sarlona; to Aerenal, Argonessen, Xendrik, and Everice.

It then explains the planes and how they work.  what life is like across Khorvaire,  how the governments work, what everyday life is like, how money works, and the languages work.  It's also how naming works.  They also talk about the gods and their alignment, and the other religions and how they work. It also goes into the current age, and the calendar.   Then all the other items of Eberron is presented towards the player's point of view.

The Races chapter goes into the individual races.  From changelings, to Kalashtar, to the Warforged; each of these are presented in the same format you see in PHB 1.  What a tragedy.  But each are described in detail (note, though, the Races of Eberron book for 3e goes into far more detail about these races).  Two of them haven't changed much to their 3e counterparts.  That would be the Warforged and the Changelings.  The Kalashtar, however, had an enormous change.  They are granted the bastion of Mental Clarity power.  They still have inborn telepathy -- but it's treated as a language.  IF you want to play Kalashtar to their greatest effect, buy a copy of PHB3 and the Psionics expansion book.  The only race that isn't presented is the Shifters in this section.  What's wrong, Wizards?  Can't you reprint the Shifters from PHB 2?

Beyond that, they go into the Core races and the not-so-core races and where they fit in Eberron. What is nice is that they tell you where everyone fits.  And the Dragonborn came from -- you guessed it -- Argonessen and are based in Q'Barra.

So, you get into classes and how they fit in Eberron in Classes.  You get dozens of paragon paths, and epic destinies.  You also get some new feats, equipment, and magic items in Character options along with some new rituals.

The five nations are talked about in The Five Nations chapter.  What is common knowledge about them, and how to work in the five nations and how the PCs relate to them. It also talks about Sharn and what is going on in the Mournland (Cyre).  It also talks about what is going on beyond the Five Nations and Beyond Khorvaire from a player's perspective.  Finally it went into a large amount of backgrounds.


Yeah, I bought it for $29.00 (with added tax).   Was it worth $29.00?  Compared to coming Hyper-inflation . . . YES!  ahem . . . in 1910, I could probably get this for 5 cents, maybe 25 cents.  In 2012, this same book will cost you $80.  Sorry, that's the way it is.

Despite this, I think that I could run a 4e game with is, almost.  I have the original ECS, so I can't run out of plots.  Really.  Well, I guess.  Maybe.  No, definitely.  I don't like 4e, but I like this book.  If you want to run Eberron with 4e, this book is needed.  But if you have the original ECS, it's not worth it to spend the extra 10 just for monster stats.  You're best bet is to extrapolate them from the original 3E book.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creating my own model in Vue

I bought this:

It's Osiris9's NAV 90 Avatar Class transatmospheric assault carrier. I.e. a Space Carrier. Well, I got Bryce and toyed with it to transfer the object into Vue. So far, I was unsuccessful. So I transferred it into DAZ Studio. I was unsuccessful and frustrated. To use the concept in Vue, I have to come up with my own and build it from Vue primitives and metablobs.

So I am starting my research:

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) [Public domain], by United States Navy, from Wikimedia Commons

USSRONALDREAGANgoodshot [Public domain], by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Elizabeth Thompson (Main article, with link to image.), from Wikimedia Commons

CVN-78 aircraft carrier conceptual cutaway view [Public domain], by Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding (http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=36307), from Wikimedia Commons

CVN-78 Artist Image [Public domain], by U.S. Navy (http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=30854), from Wikimedia Commons

Those are U.S. Aircraft Carriers.

Here are the British Aircraft Carriers

PA2 [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], by Rama., from Wikimedia Commons

Pa2 uk [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], by Rama
This version: Anynobody (original File:QECVF.jpg50px), from Wikimedia Commons

The Links I'm using for my research:
1. The U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier official home page at Navy.mil - http://www.navy.mil/navydata/ships/...rs/carriers.asp

2. How Stuff Works -- Aircraft Carriers: http://science.howstuffworks.com/aircraft-carrier.htm

3. Naval Technology.com: the site on Naval technologies: http://www.naval-technology.com

This is going to be an awesome undertaking.  I always wanted to see an Aircraft Carrier, much less modeling them.   Now I get my chance.  The model I bought is for Bryce and only Bryce.  Since I'd rather be working in Vue, here we go. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SpaceMaster New Space update

I've begun to post my Spacemaster campaign on the RPGnet wiki.  Called SpaceMaster: New Space, for lack of a better name.  Writing this took most of the day.   Especially for a game inspired by Microsoft Freelancer and Origin's classic Privateer.

The campaign is fairly different from the above two.  It takes place in 1982, with the associated microcomputer in development (2 to 4 bytes per second).  However, some planets have computers that exceed this limit, but hasn't broken Bode's Law.

Items added today:
Scro, Eldar, the Massachusetts System, and Planet Akihabara in the Honshu System.
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