31 August 2009

Traveller Campain Notes: part the first

Well, my gaming group (Puente's Paladins) is on board to start up a game of Traveller (Mongoose style), while our regular GM recharges his batteries of creative juice as a player. Yours truly will take the reigns of GM-hood and hopefully I won't screw up too badly. There were voices in the group that wanted to play Ulot's fantasy trip(tm) (using Anima) instead, but since a good part of our group was recruited as Serenity players, they were hoping to continue in the SF vein.

So here's a quick introduction to the Galaxy of Fire and the Third Imperium of Man (pro-Imperial historians writing during the golden days of the Pax Humana count the Roman Empire as the first Imperium and the Holy Roman Empire as the second).

Alright you Space Dogs, listen up! Here's how it was...


Considered the 100 year's madness. A time of general chaos and disorder, the movements of peoples and the burning of cities. Out of the chaos, and the ashes of the old order, arises the Alliance. The Alliance brings law, order, and prosperity with only one demand; all fission and fusion weapons belong to the Alliance. Scientists discover what they think is a crashed space-craft at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. The news media runs with the story but it is eventually forgotten.


The Alliance become a true one world government and is now called the Earth Alliance. Fusion power, anti-gravity, nano-scale machines, and other advanced technologies become practical for the first time. The Earth Alliance begins exploring, exploiting, and settling the Solar System on a mass scale (the money is considered stimulative spending to energize destroyed economies and and the effort a collective project to unite mankind). Obviously extra-terrestrial ruins are found on Mars, Ganymede. Arkham Institute scientists rework Heim Theory to include poly-dimensional non-euclidean mathematics and test a working faster than light propulsion system.


An artifact is found on Pluto that baffles scientists for decades. Eventually an archaeologist and expert on extinct languages determines the writing on the artifact to be related to certain languages of the Ponape peoples of Polynesia. Eventually scientists manage to activate the jump gate opening up the wider galaxy. Combined with Heimdall Space-Time Warp drive the Jump Gates leads to a rush to explore the 'Final Frontier'.


First Contact War: Initial encounters with the Khai Dominion turn violent, leading to a multi-decade vicious war for survival. Just when it became obvious the alien foe had learned of Terra's location and were advancing towards it, shocking news ends the war. The Khai are members of a Galactic Council which stops the war (mostly out of factional politics, lest the Khai faction wax too powerful). Negotiations are long and tortuous but the errors of both sides are revealed and public amends are made. The Earth Alliance joins the Galactic Council as an associate species under the patronage of the Elder-Yith faction. Mankind spreads throughout the Orion Spur of the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. Friends are made, like the Ae-Shi and the Gnophkek, and enemies like the Ayayig, Migoul Pirates, and the aquatic Dagon. Human Psions appear for the first time.


Mankind is a rising power in the Galaxy, provoking awe and jealousy in equal measure. It becomes obvious to all that Humans are on a fast track to full Council Membership, with a seat and a vote, in a matter of a few brief centuries, unheard of. Events in the mid-Century cast doubts on this inevitability however. One man is at the center of everything; Captain Phillip Magnus Sherridan-Windsor, Commander of Byzantium Nine, a critical Star-Fort at the edge of Human Space and a trade hub in orbit around Epsilon Erridani. Phillip and his allies would both expose and thwart the design of a rogue Khai Inquisitor (agents of the Council, autonomous and deniable) to awaken slumbering terror. At the same time as Sherridan is saving the Galaxy and becoming the first Human Inquisitor, the Earth Alliance is falling under a shadow. A power mad vice president arranges for his superior to be assassinated and assumes dictatorial powers; beginning a reign of bloody terror. President-for-life Clark is only brought down when Admiral Sherridan overthrows him in a lighting fast civil war and counter-coup. The Alliance Navy hails Sherridan as Imperator and he crowns himself, thus inaugurating the Imperium.


The Human Imperium waxes strong and virile under the guidance of the Sherridan-Windsor dynasty. Now with a full council seat Mankind is truly a power astride the stars. New worlds are settled, grow, and found colonies of their own. The center of Imperial power shifts to Terra Nova, whith Old Terra remaining as a cultural and economic powerhouse. This veritable golden age of growth, discovery, advancement and achievement is soon referred to as the Pax Humana. Humanity begin to upset the old balances of power and ancient assumptions. Although still not as technological advanced as the Elders, Man is advancing at a rapid pace and beginning to question assumption older than the species itself. Many of the younger races flock to Humanity's banner, basking in the reflected glory that a youngling race can do so much.



Shadows grow long and wheels turn within wheels, the golden age turns ashen as suspicions grow amongst the stars. Something is amiss in the black; ships disappear and colonies go silent. Trade is disrupted and voices and hands are raised against each other;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Gomorrah to be born?

24 August 2009

22 August 2009

Holy shit! Awesome.

Holy crap, this looks awesome. I've never really gotten into an MMORPG before, but his just might be the one.

17 August 2009

Well, duh!

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

14 August 2009

Hooah Code Talkers!

Happy Navajo Code Talkers Day everyone! Drink one for the Dineh Badasses.

11 August 2009

Geeze, ya think?

My Political Views
I am a right moderate social authoritarian
Right: 3.74, Authoritarian: 2.98

Political Spectrum Quiz

Funny how gay marriage-no, legal pot-yes, capital punishment-yes, obscenely sacrilegious art-no puts me that far into the 'authoritarian' camp. My stance on most of these is really more nuanced than the answers to the questions allowed. But if all I have is for or against...

It all becomes clear...

...why Games Workshop does what it does the way it does. Maybe not the way the 30 yr. old gorgnards want it to, but GW already has their money.

"My name is Dave and I have been a buyer and user of your products for many years. During this time I have made many comments to friends and other gamers about the terrible business practices of your company and how there are many improvements that can be made. However recent events have caused me to change my opinion."

full text behind title link...

06 August 2009

Dragonfly: Episode I

The continuing adventures of the MRV (merchant registry vehicle) Din Sua Bah (Dinosaur Bob) as recollected and adapted from the tabletop adventures of a crew playing Serenity the roleplaying game.

Dramatis Personae:
Yuri Leonid Spassky: Captain of the Din Sua Bah, ex Russian Mafia trouble-shooter.
Justinian Edumton Bartholomew Stuart III, esquire: Ace pilot, gambler, gun-fighter, duelist, womanizer, and morphine addict.
Senior Chief 'Stunty' Ryan: Diminutive ship's Engineer and intuitive mechanic, served with JEB in the war.
Dr. Hex: Ship's Medical Officer, former Independent Army Special Forces combat medic.
Kat: Public Relations, former IASF scout-sniper, served with Dr. Hex in the war.

The Din Sua Bah, an ancient and weathered Dragonfly class mid-bulk transport is floating through the inky black of space, on course for the terraformed moon known as Whitefall. Inside, the crew is cleaning up, the entire ship looks like it was shaken upside down by a giant, and everything loose went flying. In the cockpit JEB glaces behind him as the Captain enters the cramped space, looked out of sorts.

"Did you see that? Ah shaved three hours of flight time with that slingshot about Persephone"

"And next time, you give crew more notice when you pull hot pilot shit!" Yuri says icily before he slaps his over-dressed upper class twit pilot on the lop side of his thick head.

"Ah thought the gravy would hold up better, how old is this ship anyway?'

"One hour, you give crew one hour notice next time!"

"One hour, aye sah!"

"Good, we can still charge customer for full flight time and pocket difference, just don't break ship!"

Yuri glares at his pilot until JEB mumbles his apologies and busies himself with checking his sensors and flight plan.

"Now I go and check tractors, farm-boys on Whitefall all very eager for tractors, pay much money!"

The tractors in question were rusty second or third hand models from used lots on Beleraphon, along with boxes of spare parts, and drums of fuel and hydraulic fluid. Cleverly hidden inside the shipment were several thousand pounds of small arms, ammunition, and explosives. Someone was buying enough for a small army, and the simmering cold war between Whitefall's major ranchers was about to get hot. He dragooned his dwarf and the shooty lady into doing the heavy shifting, making sure things were ready for the inevitable customs inspection. He wasn't sure about this crew, his old crew had... left suddenly and this one had fallen together a little too easily. Maybe someone was pulling strings, and would want a favor in return. The thought made Yuri nervous and a nervous Yuri was a paranoid Yuri.

The ships intercom crackled and JEBs much chastised voice drawled out, "Captain, we're being hailed by an Alliance Patrol Cruiser, they want us to heave to and prepare for inspection."

"OK, make it last another few minutes!"

"How?" JEB thought to himself, then grinned. He summoned up his best, thickest drawl, "Ahh Terrible, this is MRV Din Sua Bah, Ahm having some trouble with the hydraulics in the port engine pod, going to have to compensate and killing my delta vee is going to take a bit longer than anticipated" JEB grinned, between the accent and the non-standard banter just figuring out the transmission would delay the purple bellies in the other ship.

Half an hour later three Alliance Federal Officers were standing in the Bob's cargo hold going over the tractors and crates. They looked a little green, since JEB had managed to convince the Terrible that they had to shuttle over, the main docking collar was 'busted'. Two were obviously going through the motions, but the third was poking his nose around like he smelled something. Yuri watched that one through slitted eyes.

"Captain Spassky, what is this?" The man, Jefferson was what his name-plate said, beckoned over the captain.

"What is what?" Yuri gave it his best impenetrable east-blok trade patois. He spoke very good, unaccented standard Anglic, but rarely. As he leaned over to look inside the engine compartment of one of the tractors, at what was obviously the receiver of a auto-rifle attached to the frame of the machine and covered, sloppily, in engine grease he put his arm around the agent. "I don't see anything!" Yuri grabbed the Fed and slammed his head into the side of the tractor, and then injected a syringe of fast acting sleep agent. Standing up he made beckoning motions at the other feds, "Help, this one fall down!"

"What happened?"

"I don't know, he fall over, hit his head on tractor, not wake up!"

"What the...?"

"No worries, I have doctor!" Turning to the intercom, Yuri pockets the syringe and mashes the all call button. "Doctor!, hurry, bring something for Fed!"

A few minutes later Dr. Hex, a nondescript figure with plain face and wearing unremarkable field utilities carrying a big bag with a red cross on it comes pounding down the stairs. "Were is he?"

"Over here!"

Hex runs over to the stricken Fed, glancing at his captain as he does so. Yuri shakes his slightly, and then points to the fallen man. "Hit head, fall down, won't wake, something must be wrong!"

Hex runs through some simple diagnostics, shining lights, taking pulse and pressure, doing witch-doctory things. Then he gives the man a shot saying, "Looks like he passed out and hit his head, can't say why, but he needs to get to proper facilities fast."

"Alright, we're out of here, Captain here's your stamp for inspection, now get of my sky."

"Ok, have good day!"

Later, as the ship was preparing for landing, Yuri asked his doctor "What did you give him?"

"A dose of insulin, he'll come up as diabetic on the scan, that'll explain the fainting, probably end his career though."

"Good, one less purple belly to worry about. Let's get this deal done, I got a funny feeling about this run."

...to be continued.

04 August 2009

You Scored as Tactician

You're probably a military buff who wants to have the chance to think through complex problems. You want the rules, and your GM's interpretation of them, to match up what happens in the real world or at least be consistant. You want challenging yet logical obstacles to overcome.


Method Actor




Power Gamer

Casual Gamer


01 August 2009


I've been playing Mount & Blade for a week now and I'm still as excited as when I won my first battle. Its an addictive experience (like any good game) that will leave you saying, 'just a little longer' at 4:00 in the morning. What we have here is a loose simulation of medieval warfare from the ground up. You start as a free-lance knight bachelor in the fictional dark age country of Calradia, which is divided into petty princedoms and constantly at war. This is sandbox open-play at some of its finest; who needs a meta-plot when the world is your oyster? The game is an engaging mix of stat driven and twitch driven first or third person combat (I prefer third, sword fighting seems easier when I can judge distances better) using WASD keys and the mouse (which can control your direction of power of swing).

The combat swings between wild, frentic mass melees, wild horse chases, grinding siege battles, and more personal and nuanced tournament and arena battles, and even assinations. Play takes place in a living world constantly in flux as lords war with each other, smashing armies, taking castles, and intrigue. Become a vassal, go rogue, fight for coin, fight for honor, I'm only scratching the surface here. Your character improves both stats and skills though an experience point and level system, and he can find and recruit 'companions' that are basicaly NPC minions that also gain levels, filling holes in your skill development, and providing banter for those slow moments.

Rating: 4 out of 5 trilling noises. Doc_Savage approved.

Download the demo, do it now!!