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Showing posts from August, 2012

The Place Where Black Stars Hang

Here's a random colony generator, for those times when you just have to violate human biology in a new and exciting place.

[A] [B] on a [C]. It is under the control of [D], and currently facing a threat from [E]. 

A — Quality
1: Failed, seemingly-empty
2: Violently divided
3: Understaffed
4: Ramshackle
5: Fully-functional
6: Overtaxed

B — Function
1: Mining colony (Examples: gas-mining balloons, seismic power station, mobile helium-3 extractor, unusually non-automated labyritnth deep in the planet's crust)
2: Industrial colony (Examples: raw-material refinery, semi-automated factory, repair facility with massive drydocks, bio-manufacturing centre, junk/salvage processing centre)
3: Agricultural colony (Examples: vat-farms, luddite primitives, oxygen farm)
4: Settlement (Examples: terraforming homesteader community, refugee camp, splinter sect, mutant colony, crash survivor camp, squat)
5: Outpost (Examples: listening post, expedition base, refueling station, isolated laboratory)
6: Forti…

Risable Pursuits

Procrastination is the mother of invention, and I'm never more inventive than when what I should be doing is what I'd normally do to procrastinate. Therefore, here's some unplaytested, probably horrible, very likely subconsciously plagiarized rules for Risus: The Anything Game.

These adjustments are of the 'serious Risus' sort, the kind which slightly disincentivizes Hairdresser vs. Sorceror combats and other symptoms of the High Gonzo Mode in favour of an action or "pulp" mode (whatever that means these days).

All of these variants are based on the big important variant.

The One Risus Errybody Variant: Instead of adding the total dice together to compare against a difficulty, a roll is counted as a success if any of the numbers on the die match. In combat, the winner is the one with the largest number of matching numbers, including multiple sets of matches (e.g. two 2s and two 3s all count as four matches).

If the number of matching dice is a tie, then…

By These Strange Lights

"Tempus Fugit/Max" is probably the best, most pristine example of the X-Files mythology episodes. Unlike most of the other mythology episodes (especially the pilot), it manages to hang the mythology elements on an physical, forensic and answerable mystery—What happened to the plane?—and letting the mythology elements—abductions, MUFON weirdos, sinister government operatives, crashed ufos, recovered alien technology, incredulous locals—interact in and around it. That the key mystery is intricate enough to support the episode without the mythology is essential. If you took the military's cover story at face value, it would make complex enough premise for a Law and Order episode. The actual work of collecting and analyzing the evidence provides suspense which is eventually released, instead of cascading into an increasingly sprawling web of never-answered sub-mysteries, something no individual player can really keep straight.