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2010-08-05 Why Blog

Over on the RSS blog Once More Unto The Breach! the author asks: why did you start your blogs? I answered:

I got myself a website when I started running a play by email game back in 1994 or 1995. That was before Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Netscape: Mosaic was the browser and Geocities was the web service provider people used. I started the site because I wanted to build trust between myself and my players. Much later I discovered wikis and started writing on Meatball Wiki. Again, the question of trusting people, real names versus weirdo nicknames, etc. came up. We derided blogs as the inferior solution to wikis. Some of us started maintaining a “diary page” on which we posted stuff that didn’t belong onto a real wiki page. I moved my own homepage from Geocities to a real wiki. And as I kept updating my diary page I started realizing that what I was in fact doing was keeping a blog. I finally decided to go all the way and do “real” blogging on my wiki. The main point has remained the same: build trust between myself and the people I want to interact with online, whether it is Free Software I am contributing to, people I game with, family I want to keep in touch with, or ideas I wanted to write down for my future self.

There’s a bit more information on the AlexSchroeder page. :)

I guess if the point is building trust, then a mix of all sorts of topics is appropriate. It shows that I am a real person. The drawback is that people only interested in a single topic can’t just subscribe to the entire feed. They need to focus on a tag or category.

I hope it works as intended. :)

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2010-08-10 Podcast Update

It has been about five months since my last podcast list, I guess I’m a month early. Some more things have changed. I’ve noticed that I’m shying away from podcasts with episodes reaching two hours. I remember that the Order 66 podcast had such long episodes. There’s really no rational argument for it, after all I don’t listen to podcasts for hours. I do it while shopping, walking, doing the laundry, doing the dishes, cooking, that kind of stuff. Therefore I never listen to entire episodes: I start in the middle of some episode, switch to other podcasts while I do my no-brainer stuff and stop it in in the middle of an episode if I have to do other stuff. And yet. It’s a bit harder for me to press play on a two hour episode. And therefore these episodes just start accumulating until I unsubscribe.

With that out of the way, here’s what I’m listening to, and a one liner.

  • The Canon Puncture Show – I still like the show and listening to the show inspired me to two blog posts: 2010-07-21 Canon Puncture Game Advocate for OD&D, 2010-06-29 Indie Campaigns. heart
  • ChroniclesNew! A Podcast about Pathfinder RPG products; I often wonder how you can you call co-hosts by their Internet nicknames: Azmyth, Steel_Wind, are you sure? I’m interested in reviews of Pathfinder modules since I’m a subscriber but never read them hoping that somebody else will run them for me eventually. This podcast has a player and a gamemaster section. I listen to both because I can’t stop. At least now I have some spoilers and can pick one of the reviewed modules if I need any. green
  • Fear the Boot – I’m not sure what attracts me to the podcast; in terms of roleplaying advice, I don’t always agree, Dan is long-winded and likes to hear himself talk, but the mix of different people and opinions matters, I think. The banter is good, and thus I often listen to this podcast first. It’s good entertainment. ok
  • Green Ronin Publishing Podcast – When was the last time they published an episode? I want to know more about Dragon Age. What I had heard made it seem like a new old school product. I’m not into the setting itself. Anyway. Episodes, where are you. question
  • The History of Rome – I listen to a bunch of episodes at a time once every month or two. Pure history goodness! star
  • In Our Time – science, philosophy and history on BBC4; still the best! star
  • Material World – science on BBC4; not so sure about this one – episodes are a bit short on good background information, I think. Needs more meat! Do you know of alternatives? yellow
  • Norman Centuries – more history, yay! star
  • Roll For Initiative – I’m still listening to this AD&D 1st ed podcast; sound quality issues and the lengthy actual play segments introducing new monsters are tedious, but it’s good to get some perspective. How do they play, what modules do they play, what treasure do they hand out, what monsters do they use. I’m curious. green
  • RPG Circus – an interesting mix of topics; I feel that sound has improved but sometimes audio issues persist. I feel bad for not sending more audio comments since they love them so much. green
  • Save or DieNew! Another old school podcast sharing a host with the Roll For Initiative podcast. This one is about “classic” D&D and the subtitle mentions the old boxed sets. I like it so far! green
  • Sounds! – I keep the episodes around and change their media type from podcast to music. Now I can have good radio anytime I want. Ignore the Swiss German hosts if you don’t speak the language. The music’s good and eclectic, independent rock and electronica stuff, weird folk and other hard to classify stuff. star
  • Tales of an Old School GamerNew! I just subscribed to this one. More old school D&D! The increasing number of dedicated podcasts makes me think that the OSR is alive and kicking. Then again, Wizards of the Coast might be embracing an edition agnostic approach that emphasizes the brand instead of the product. Think D&D Essentials vs. Mentzer Red Box D&D. In terms of brand, it’s all good. Anyway, old school stuff. I’m interested.
  • Thinking Allowed – social science on BBC4 green
  • The Voice of the Revolution – news about indie games that I don’t play ;) green
  • 2d6 Feet in a Random Direction – still love them; episodes come out rarely star
  • 3.5 Private Sanctuary – I thought they had disappeared but realized a few weeks ago that they had silently dropped the feed I was subscribed to; now that everything is fixed again, I’m listening! It’s D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder RPG, game master and rules advice; look at Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast if you need more Pathfinder goodness. star

This time of the year is when This Just In…From Gen Con! goes on air again. I remain subscribed during the year so I won’t miss it next year. :)

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Comments on 2010-08-10 Podcast Update

Alex, thank you for the list. I haven’t been listening to many podcasts, but plan to download a few of the ones you’ve mentioned.

Tim Shorts 2010-08-10 16:19 UTC


Excellent. What helped me get into podcast listening was learning which activities were simple enough for me to understand people talking at the same time. There’s always the temptation to start reading as i listen when I have nothing else to do, but that never works. I need to be doing something simple and physical while listening.

AlexSchroeder 2010-08-10 18:05 UTC

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2010-08-11 Eels

I just bought some more Eels CDs. Damn it. I didn’t want to give the music industry any more money because they are going to use it to harass customers in court and lobby our governments to give us crappy copyright law. Some of these albums were on sale and cheaper than on iTunes, though.

I guess that last year I really enjoyed Belle & Sebastian and Flogging Molly. Maybe I should listen in to some of Isobel Campbell’s projects since she left Belle & Sebastian.

This year seems to be the year of Eels and Cocorosie.

eels - beautiful freak CHF9.90
eels - electro-shock blues CHF9.90
eels - souljacker CHF19.90
eels - blinking lights - jewelcase CHF29.90
eels - live at town hall CHF9.90
eels - useless trinkets: b-sides, rarities…CHF43.90
eels - tomorrow morning CHF21.90

Update: Wow, on the subject of music. I listend to a lot of The Gaslight Anthem this spring when I got a copy of The '59 Sound from a friend (sharing is legal amongst close friends here in Switzerland). As I read the Wikipedia page, I discover that the record was produced by Ted Hutt – who turns out to be was the original guitar player and one of the founding members for Flogging Molly! What a cool link between two excellent bands. I should check out what else he’s up to!

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Comments on 2010-08-11 Eels

I didn’t know Eels yet, but Cocorosie is great. To find similar music with a CC license, try http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/eels

– Samuel 2010-08-12 06:38 UTC


Thanks. I didn’t know about Jamendo.

AlexSchroeder 2010-08-12 07:23 UTC

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2010-08-12 Facebook Question

I’m posting as “Alex Schröder” on Facebook. I created a page called “Rollenspiel Zürich” (Roleplayin Zurich). When I comment or post on that page, Facebook calls me “Rollenspiel Zürich” instead of “Alex Schröder”. That’s creepy. How can I fix this? Must I really log out, create a new account just to create the page, and then return as Alex and transfer ownership somehow before I can comment using my real name?

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Comments on 2010-08-12 Facebook Question

Well, Facebook pages are intended as somewhat official channel for companies, products and so on. So it makes sense that the “employees” of that company will post as the company. But it get’s worse (for you): even if you create a second account… as far as I know you can not transfer ownership of a page. You can only add additional admins, but not remove the initial creator. At least that’s my experience with the DokuWiki facebook page. You probably want a facebook group, not a page.

Andreas Gohr 2010-08-12 13:52 UTC


Gaaah! I already have a Facebook Group and I don’t like it. For no apparent reason, Pages are better supported than Groups – eg. the iPhone Facebook App only supports pages, not groups.

Thanks for the confirmation of my fears, though. :-/

AlexSchroeder 2010-08-12 13:56 UTC

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2010-08-12 Last.fm

Apparently I started “scrobbling” for LastFM on Sep 5, 2004; that’s how long I’ve been submitting summaries of music I listen to. Here is a summary of the all-time best:

Last.fm

Funny. A lot of black and white pictures! :)

Anyway. I’m not sure what to do. Last time I checked, there was no Pandora service in Switzerland because of copyright issues. Boooooh! :{ sucks

But in addition to that, I might listen to music at a desktop while working, but at home, when I’m living my daily life, the computer is often switched off and the stereo is out of reach of the wireless network. So even if there was an iPhone app (is there?) it wouldn’t work. I have to physically carry the iPod with 80G of music to the stereo and plug it in. That works. And it precludes me using strange and wonderful online services. That’s why I’m not paying $3/month for Last.fm, I guess. There’s no opportunity to listen to the Last.fm radio. Then again… Perhaps if there was an iPhone app, and it’d work over the wireless network, I might change my wireless setup in order to enjoy it. ;)

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Comments on 2010-08-12 Last.fm

Uhm. There is an last.fm iphone app. Well at least in the German Appstore. And it works great even over 3G.

Andreas Gohr 2010-08-13 04:58 UTC


Hm. When I search for “last.fm” or “last fm” I don’t get any official looking result. :(

Currently available in [1]:

  • Deutschland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Hm… Loosing all the meta-data I have on Last.fm… But Grooveshark for $3/mo? I just started their 30 day trial period.

AlexSchroeder 2010-08-13 10:17 UTC

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2010-08-12 Some One Page Dungeons I Liked

Remember the One Page Dungeon Contest 2010? I hear that the “Codex” with the best entries of the One Page Dungeon Contest 2009 was on sale at GenCon? I wonder if the guys responsible for that are interested in producing a nice book for the 2010 contest. I should get in touch with ChattyDM. :)

Update: Phil says he doesn’t want to do it. Oh noes! Anybody else who wants to give it a try? You need to find somebody to do layout, organize an artist that does a cover (unless you want to stick to the simple black on white logo on the cover), do the PDF, find a publisher like Tabletop Adventures or figure out how POD services like Lulu work, raise some money (or sponsor it yourself), etc. It’s a neat little project!

Or figure out how to do it on Lulu? I’d rather have somebody else do it, to be honest.

Anyway, back to the my favorite entries – the ones I had nominated myself.

warning Spoilers! warning Spoilers! warning Spoilers! warning – this includes any players in my Alder King campaign where these dungeons might show up

Raid on Black Goat Wood by Shane Mangus – The first thing to note is that it has a very nice, simple, clear and beautiful map. It isn’t complicated or complex. There’s only one entry into the dungeon, and not a lot of choice involved. Thus, the adventure is basically a number of random encounters followed by the discovery of an Old One – a “Dark Mother”. There is no obvious way to fight it. Its continued presence can have a long lasting effect on your campaign. It’s going in mine! sardonic

Dungeon From A Distant Star by Stuart Robertson – A classic genre-crossing dungeon involving an alien spaceship. This dungeon also features vegepygmies and thus places itself firmly in the tradition of Expedition to Barrier Peaks. I think I will place it and last year’s The Omenous Portent of the Highlands Meteor by Tim Hensley in my campaign. What’s better than two crashed spaceships? Two crashed spaceships! One was in pursuit of the other, or spare parts from one can used to fix the other? Again, the map is clean and beautiful. Using hexes inside the ship and squares outside the ship is a nice move.

Velth, City of Traitors by Corwin Riddle – A small collection of buildings being the remnants of a cursed underground city suspended from by colossal stone chains above an abyss… How can this not be cool? In addition to the undead citizens we get some classic underground creatures: dark dwarves, dark elves, giant spiders, goblins, trolls, and mindflayers. Yay! The map looks nice and organic. If I think too much about the visuals I get confused, however. Are these buildings on a stone disk? What is preventing characters from walking across the surface? The nice part is that the map offers alternate routes for the intrepid explorers to reach their goal – a “powerful magical weapon” that you need to incorporate into your campaign somehow. Done!

The Sage’s Keep by Darcy Stratton – The party in my campaign is going to be visiting a sage or two. This adventure is about a naga impersonating a sage sending heroes on dangerous missions to retrieve a magic item it would like to get. Imprisoned sage, kobolds, ogres, gelatinous cubes, a tower that can be entered from above or through the main entrance. I like it. Excellent setup.

Hoping to write more impressions in the days to come. :)

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Comments on 2010-08-12 Some One Page Dungeons I Liked

Glad to hear you might use The Omenous Portent of the Highlands Meteor! I keep meaning to write up a broader expansion for it with the entire thing stated out for LL and I keep forgetting about it.

tim 2010-08-12 15:20 UTC

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2010-08-13 Domain Names

Wow… I just realized that I am paying for ten domain names!

  • alexschroeder.ch → a domain for myself, should I decide to migrate my private pages from emacswiki.org (should I have used kensanata.name instead?)
  • arabisch-lernen.org → Essam Mohsen, my former Arabic teacher
  • campaignwiki.org → Campaign Wiki, wikis for your roleplaying campaigns
  • communitywiki.org → Community Wiki, a wiki about a nebulous collection of ideas
  • emacswiki.org → EmacsWiki, a wiki for the best editor out there ;) – and my private pages, my dad’s blog, and some other minor stuff
  • flying-carpet.ch → a secondary domain for my wife, unused
  • move-to-be-moved.net → Moni, a friend
  • oddmuse.org → Oddmuse, a wiki for the best wiki software out there ;)
  • orientalisch.info → Claudia, my wife <3 <3 <3
  • spielabende.ch → Spielabende (board game meetups in Zürich)

That’s… a lot!

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2010-08-15 Copy and Paste Inkscape Problem

Copying and pasting in Inkscape creates pixellated images instead of copying the vector objects:

Starting with XQuartz 2.3.2, X11 has some functionality to exchange the content of the clipboard with OS X. But it currently does not know how to deal with vector images so it just captures the screen, i.e. creates a bitmap copy, and then pastes that. You need to deactivate this functionality in X11 preferences > Pasteboard: uncheck “Update Pasteboard when CLIPBOARD changes”.

Phew!! 😊

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2010-08-18 OerliCon

Dieses Wochenende ist es wieder so weit: Das kleine Rollenspielertreffen der Region Zürich findet in Dietikon statt. Ich habe mich mal für Dogs in the Vinyard und Barbarians of Lemuria angemeldet.

Selber werde ich etwas Labyrinth Lord leiten:

One Page Dungeons D&D alter Schule aus den 80er JahrenAlex Schröder Ohne Einschränkung 3-9 Freitag 18:30-21:00 / Lückenfüller
Ich habe eine Reihe von Beiträgen zum 1-Seiten Dungeon Wettbewerb (One Page Dungeon Contest) dabei und eine Art D&D “light” – Labyrinth Lord imitiert die D&D Regeln von 1980: die Basic und Expert Ausgaben von Moldvay, Cook und Marsh. Die Idee ist schnell Charaktere zu machen und dann eine Stunde oder zwei einen kleinen Dungeon zu erkunden.

Hierfür werde ich ein paar Blätter und Dinger mit nehmen:

  1. ein paar der Gewinner des One Page Dungeon Contest 2009 & 2010
  2. die Herr der Labyrinthe Regeln; eine Kopie der Seiten mit der Angriffstabelle, den Rettungswurftabellen und der Zaubersprüche – was man halt des öfteren nachschlägt
  3. meine Kurzregeln zum Charakterhintergrund und zur Anfangsausrüstung (siehe den ursprünglichen Blog Eintrag und die nachgereichte PDF Datei)
  4. die Kurzregeln zum Anheuern von Gefolgsleuten von “Kiltedyaksman”
  5. das Übersichtsblatt für den Gruppenbesitz von “Telecanter”
  6. eine Übersicht der Sprüche (Labyrinth Lord™ Magic-User and Elf Spells Quick Reference aus unbekannter Quelle (man sollte auf allen PDFs eine URL oder wenigstens den Namen des Verfassers finden können)
  7. die Labyrinth Lord Monsterkarten von Jonathan Chappell
  8. meine drei Zauberbücher für Anfänger

Je älter ich werde um so komischer finde ich, wenn die Autoren unter einem Pseudonym auftreten. :)

Und das Übliche natürlich nicht vergessen:

  1. Würfel
  2. Bleistifte
  3. Spitzer
  4. Radiergummies
  5. Spielleiterschirm
  6. Notizpapier
  7. Jacke
  8. Schal (falls es kalt wird, haha)
  9. Flyers (damit man meine Runde findet)

Update: Lab Lord kam zum Einsatz! Wir haben Arendt's Old Peculiar gespielt. ok

Desweiteren war Charaktererschaffung mit “3d6 in order” und Würfeln auf den Tabellen zu Charakterhintergrund und Anfangsausrüstung sehr populär. Die Zauberbücher haben den Magiern auch gefallen. Keiner hat einen Kleriker gespielt. :)

Selber fand ich die Monsterkarten super. Alle wichtigen Monster sind drauf.

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2010-08-20 Zauberbücher für Anfänger

Hmja, wie führe ich Labyrinth Lord am einfachsten auf einem Con ein? Schnell einen Charakter gemacht und los… Aber die Zaubersprüche sind ein Problem. Ewig weiss der Spieler nicht, was sie machen. Auch so Kurzübersichten mit einer Zeile pro Spruch sind oft verwirrend, weil der Spieler von den vielen Sprüchen ja dann doch nur einen oder zwei kann. Die Lösung? Ein Blatt mit dem Starter-Zauberbuch. Hier mal drei Optionen:

Klar könnte der Kleriker eigentlich aus mehr Sprüchen wählen. Aber ich habe halt einfach die drei oder vier wichtigsten ausgewählt. Mit der Zeit könnte man so für jede Magier-Schule und für jeden kirchlichen Orden eine Liste der bekannten (im Falle von Magiern) oder beliebten (im Falle von Klerikern) Sprüche zusammenstellen.

Die Sprüche sind übrigens zum Teil vereinfacht. Bei den Vereinfachungen habe ich mich von Rogers extrem kurzen Spruchbeschreibungen (siehe Schluss) inspirieren lassen.

Das möchte ich eigentlich auch in meine langfristige Kampagnen einfliessen lassen. Als junger Elf, Zauberlehrling oder Ministrant einer Kirche ;) kriegt man mit den ersten Sprüchen automatisch eine Beziehung zur Organisation. Wer der Organisation treu bleibt, wird auch in die Geheimnisse der höheren Sprüche eingeweiht. Damit ist auch automatisch klar, an wen sich der Magier wenden muss, wenn er einen bestimmten Spruch von jemandem lernen will.

Am schönsten ist es dann, wenn man auch die Regel neuerer D&D Varianten ignoriert, welche allen Magiern automatisch zwei neue Sprüche beim Stufenanstieg ermöglicht. Nein! Alle Sprüche müssen von irgendwo abgeschrieben oder gelernt werden. Das ist dann auch automatisch eine Quelle neuer Abenteuer und Questen. Passt mir ausgezeichnet.

Eine weitere Verfeinerung ist die strenge Interpretation der Moldvay Regeln: Sprüche können nicht von Schriftrollen oder fremden Zauberbüchern abgeschrieben werden. Neue Sprüche kann man nur von anderen Elfen oder Magier lernen, oder selber erforschen, wie P. Armstrong in seinem Artikel B/X Magic-User Spellbooks schreibt. Nun werden die Abenteuer und Questen noch interessanter, weil man lebende Meister finden und überzeugen muss. :)

Die Artikelserie B/X is My Favorite von P. Armstrong finde ich übrigens total gut. Dort fand ich dann nochmal den Hinweis auf die genannte Regelinterpretation.

Noch ein guter Link zum Thema feste Spruchlisten: Im Moment bin ich ganz fasziniert von der Idee, die Zaubersprüche nach Farben aufzutrennen. Zum Thema gibt es eine einfache Zuordnungstabelle von Lord Kilgore und eine Revision aller bestehenden Sprüche von Roger the GS. Letzterer Link ist einfach der Ausgangspunkt der Serie. Ab dann weiter über die Tags “Magic” oder “Spells”. Ich nehme an, dass hieraus noch ein PDF entstehen wird.

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2010-08-22 One Page Dungeons Used

I’ve started using a few more entries from the One Page Dungeon Contest. I have placed a few in my Sunday game and run one at a local convention.

  • Arendt's Old Peculiar by Antti Hulkkonen. I’ve run this dungeon at the convention. We used Labyrinth Lord rules, my Character Creation Shortcuts and the Monster Cards by Jonathan Chappell. Character creation and equipment was super easy. Players got to chose between fighter, magic-user and cleric, so we ended up with four fighters and three magic-users. All of them on first level. The adventure involves a visit to bar run inside a building built in front of an old dwarf mine. The law-abiding former city guard attacked the eleven goblins guarding the bridge for spitting and lost his right hand (yay for Trollsmyth’s Death and Dismemberment table). The party finally escaped with 300 gold each through the well. It was a tight 2½h game including setting up the table and character generation. Loved it!
  • Darcy Stratton – The Sage’s Tower. In my Sunday game the party has traveled for a week to reach Finduler’s Observatory, where the famous botanist Finduler was going to help them lift the curse of Dryad love from Kishan and Deirdre (much to her chagrin). It turns out that the botanist’s garden is overgrown with weeds, the employs ogre guards, he knows little about plants, and the halfling himself hides behind a veil. But the information he hands out seems good enough. The party suspects that he’s gone but they’re ready to cooperate with the veiled sage.
  • Corwin Riddle – City of Traitors. One of the rewards the veiled sage offered to the party in addition to handing out several other missions was the location of a sunken city ripe with plunder. The party descended a sink hole, followed the water, and ended up at the bridge. Our 5th level goblin bard decides to go and explore the bridge on his own, befriends the dark elf guards, and buys some black poison and a dark elf masterwork assassin’s dagger, does some smalltalk, and retreats. The party is then attacked by giant bats that try to carry off the kobold sorceror-monk, but they fend them off and leave again. The veiled one had promised a city to loot, not a guarded city to loot. They want to return another day.

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2010-08-24 Wiki-cong

We are Internet
We are Teledandys
We are Jellyfish
We are isomorphic
We are the wiki-cong
We are in your computer networks, leaking bits and bytes of your government secrets!
– from Do not let the Pentagon turn internets into Wikistan!

Don’t forget to tune into The Juice Media which does the YouTube thing. :)

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2010-08-27 RPG Fragen und Antworten auf Englisch

Mit dem RPG Stackexchange ist ein Website in die öffentliche Beta Phase gegangen, der sich vor allem auf Fragen und Antworten spezialisiert.

Benutzer können Fragen stellen, Antworten geben und für oder gegen Fragen und Antworten stimmen, die Fragen mit Schlagwörtern versehen, die Antworten einer Frage auf einer Wiki Seite zusammenfassen, und so weiter. Mit der Zeit sammeln die Benutzer Punkte, welche ihren Ruf repräsentieren. Gewisse Funktionen sind nur für Benutzer ab einer gewissen Punktezahl freigeschalten. Selber darf ich mit meinen läppischen hundert Punkten also keine Wiki Seiten eröffnen oder andere Fragen bearbeiten. Dafür braucht es nämlich tausend Punkte. Ausserdem gibt es für fast alle Tätigkeiten eine Form von Abzeichen, und diese auch wiederum in den Ausführungen Bronze, Silber und – vermutlich – Gold (habe nämlich nur Bronze und Silber erhalten, haha). Auf alle Fälle sehr spielerisch und flott gehalten. Es macht irgendwie Spass, sich durch die neuen oder heissen Fragen zu klicken, diese hoch oder runter zu wählen, die passenden Antworten hochzuwählen, und ab und zu selber seinen Senf dazu zu geben. ok

Und natürlich sind Fragen und Antworten nur Englisch. :'(

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Comments on 2010-08-27 RPG Fragen und Antworten auf Englisch

cool link.

– Marco 2010-08-27 11:41 UTC

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2010-08-28 Apple Airport Grumbling

Thought of everything. Got iPhone. Got iPad. Got charger. Got Airport Express for wireless network. Used it. Loved it. Came back to the hotel room, tried to use iPad, got network error. Rebooted router and tried to reconnect. The fucker had forgotten the password!

Using the iPhone to rant, at the moment. Will try to look for the password somewhere online. Stupid me for using a non-trivial password. Stupid Apple for not including a web interface. And no app to do it from the iPhone as far as I know.

Update: Thank you friends who come over and use their laptops at my place. They can send the network password to my iPhone. 😊

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2010-08-29 Mitspieler in Zürich gesucht

Hallo allerseits! Ich suche noch eine Mitspielerin oder einen Mitspieler für meine Sonntagskampagne. Wir spielen diverse, oft nachaktive Wesen inklusive Schattenelfen, Zwerge, Gnome, Kobolde und Goblins, die ursprünglich mal als Agenten des Erlkönigs in einem Urwald angefangen haben. Es ging gegen Holzfäller und kriegerische Echsen, unter die Erde und hin und her auf der Suche nach Verbündeten.

Wir spielen mit den D&D 3.5 Regeln ohne Erweiterungsbücher und mit ein paar Hausregeln. Die Charaktere beschränken sich auf die Stufen 1-9. Ab Stufe zehn wird man zum Nichtspielercharakter und nur noch selten aktiviert. Viele Spieler führen noch einen Zweitcharakter. Weil also Charaktere verschiedener Stufen miteinander reisen, und einige der wichtigen Nichtspielercharaktere ehemalige Spielercharaktere sind, nenne ich es ein Generationenspiel. Was man sich in den ersten neun Stufen erarbeitet, das hat man. Wer in dieser Zeit nichts erreicht, bleibt halt einfach ein Streuner und Wanderer.

Was D&D 3.5 anbelangt: Ehrlich gesagt wäre ein klassisches D&D mit deutlich weniger Regeln wie Labyrinth Lord mein Favorit, aber bis jetzt habe ich mich noch nicht durch gerungen. :)

Wir spielen tendenziell in einer sogenannten Sandbox: Spielerziele werden wenn möglich irgendwie eingebaut. Weil wir auch Zweitcharaktere führen und alle Charaktere ab Stufe 10 zu Nichtspielercharakteren werden

Wir haben auch einen Kampagnenwiki: Alder King. Schau dir mal den Spielbericht vom letzten Spielnachmittag an. Früher haben wir viel auf Englisch gespielt und deswegen sind die alten Seiten oft noch auf Englisch. Neuerdings spielen wir allerdings nur noch auf Deutsch.

Wir spielen an zwei Sonntagen pro Monat von 13:00 bis zwischen 17:00 und 19:00. Interessiert? Sende mir eine email!

Sonntag!

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Comments on 2010-08-29 Mitspieler in Zürich gesucht

2010-08-31 Mass Combat

I got the B/X Companion and read through the first half including the Mass Combat chapter. I like it. Much like the M20 Mass Combat rules, units are based on the stats of a single creature. There are some differences, however. I was interested in these differences because we had used the M20 rules for a chapter-ending battle in my beloved Alder King campaign.

  1. Unlike the M20 Combat Scale resulting in ever decreasing efficiency of the unit as it grows, the Companion has no such thing. In an abstract way, every unit member gets to contribute.
  2. Unlike the M20 attack roll, the Companion rules offer a nice table of HD vs AC telling you the percent multiplier for damage done. You roll once for damage, so chance still plays a big role, but it is no longer as random as before. My players will appreciate this.
  3. The Companion rules have lots of info on how to use morale, fleeing, rallying, battle standards, defending you homeland, your home town, numerical superiority, and the like. As we had used D&D 3.5 there were no morale values available and I hadn’t thought of using it. My mistake! Next time, the commander’s charisma will be much more important.
  4. I liked how my rules allowed the dwarven barbarian to charge into the lizard men and do full power-attacks dealing thirty points of damage and more, killing a lot of lizard men. The Companion rules take a different approach. Heroes deal tripple damage when attacking units, large monsters deal 10 points per HD, creatures with immunities multiply damage by five, etc. This has the drawback of abstracting the player character’s attacks away – spells in particular – but it solves the problem of the differing time scale. The rules I had used before were a bit hazy on spell effects at this time scale. The Companion rules abstracts the time scale away and doesn’t talk about spells with area effects. I’m guessing that the spells will always hit, units making no saving throws, and you can cast three spells per clash.

It makes me want to switch from D&D 3.5 to Labyrinth Lord and use these Mass Combat rules!

The only typo or error I saw in a simple reading was one of the examples saying 35% at some point but the formula listing × 0.38 instead. I’m very happy with the text quality. Well done!

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2010-08 Book Club

What: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

On Wikipedia: Henrietta Lacks, HeLa, Rebecca Skloot.

On BoingBoing: Read this: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with lots more links in the comment section!

When: August 18

Where: Aquarium

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Comments on 2010-08 Book Club

You’ll have to let me know how this book is. I read about it recently, and was very curious, especially since I work with human cell lines all the time (not specifically HeLa cells) and I always wonder about the people they came from.

– Adrian 2010-07-09 11:21 UTC


I ended up not finishing the book! Shame on me, I know. The book has chapters on two different plot lines: The discovery and importance of the cell line, and the history of the Lacks family. On the one hand, I appreciate the personal background for the second plot line, but on the other hand I had a hard time liking it. There’s some slavery background, there’s constant racism, there’s the beginning of cancer therapy, disturbing details of a cancer death, terrible poverty, and when the story finally turned towards child molestation, I decided that enough was enough. I was starting to dread the family plot line.

At the bookclub meeting we had a lot of discussion regarding handicapped people and the ethics of organ donation.

AlexSchroeder 2010-08-24 13:28 UTC

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