The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Gameenk stuff

| September 27, 2008

  • My copy of D20 Call of Cthulhu came in. Rawk. Of course, since I tend to read multiple things at a time (and gaming books are no different), my nightstand (I usually read in bed) has Monte Cook's World of Darkness, D20 Call of Cthulhu (written by Monte Cook and John Tynes), octaNe, and a variety of Wushu stuff.

  • I painted minis tonight. Socks stepped on my palette and I grabbed her so that she wouldn't get it all over. However, while trying to wipe it off, she decided to paint my shirt. So, I've got streaky paw prints across the front of my shirt. (It's okay, it had a bleached out spot on it anyway).


| September 26, 2008

Hat tip to

Recipe. Awesome food. Can be recycled into pulled pork sandwiches too (just add BBQ sauce).


| September 25, 2008

This analysis of the current financial situation (and how we got here) has been pretty much reposted all over the place, and I'm going to repost it here, because I think it is good.

Here is what Ron Paul has to say about it as well


| September 20, 2008

Been busy.

There's not much progress on the gaming front. Folks were initially interested, but for the most part, weren't interested enough to join the mailing list which I'm using to coordinate the game. Of course, these things can't be pushed, so I'm just going to let it ride. Whatever happens, happens.

I did, however, score a copy of D20 Call of Cthulhu, which is my favorite generic D20 rules set.

The garden is mostly winding down. The frost is seeing to the end of the tomatoes. I'm also helping out the in-laws. See, they've been focusing on getting the garage done before the snow flies, so they've kind of been leaving their garden by the wayside. I've been grabbing their tomatoes and corn and jarring and freezing it, respectively. Tomorrow will likely see the end of that, as the frost is moving in. The last thing to come up will be potatoes, and there is no rush on that.

The kittens are now all spayed and neutered. They came through it just fine, and are behaving as if nothing happend – though Socks smells like hippies. See, she stayed overnight at the vets for observation (their standard procedure) and got a complementary bath in the morning. They must have used some patchouli shampoo, because she reeks of it.

Liz and I finished our hunting safety class. Liz already had taken it about 15 years ago, but her dad lost the certificate. It doesn't matter for New York state, because they have it all computerized – you can get your hunting license online. The problem is that when you go out of state, you need to show the safety certificate in order to get a license in that state. A New York license doesn't count.

So, we took the class together. 10 hours of a mix of common sense and stuff I already know (in some cases, better than the instructors..) Still, we got to follow a fake blood trail, and that was cool, because that's the stuff I don't know – how to actually hunt. Luckily, I'll go out with Liz and her Dad and will learn stuff. However, except for rabbits, I probably won't do any of that this year. The freezer is full and anything more would just be wasteful.

I also will likely join the range, as it is only about 5 minutes away. they have an indoor range, and while they don't allow rapid fire indoors, they do allow use of jacketed ammo, which is the real health concern.

I also got one of those funky adjustable ladders which can climb stairs, be a stepladder, or be an extension ladder. Should come in handy, and it's better than the kind of rickety old wooden ladder that I've been using.

D20 Modern

| September 9, 2008

Regarding this post, I am slightly less interested in the Modern rules mentioned therein. Basically, they kind of fleshed out some of the classes and things, but they are incomplete, just being rules and character classes. You need the SRD to play. So, if I need the SRD, I might as well just use the Modern SRD (as PDF thanks to a kindly soul) to disseminate to my players, and use my D20 Core Rulebook which has some extra stuff not on the SRD, but is rather hard to come by nowadays.

Of course, I'd have to use my armor fix:

Revised Armor Rule

Armor no longer adds to the AC. Instead, armor reduces damage. When hit, the attacker rolls damage as normal. However, the defender rolls Xd4, where X is the number you would normally get as an armor bonus. This includes special situations where the armor value is reduced because of the ammunition being fired, such as if the armor says ”this is +4 against most stuff but +1 against AP bullets”, this would mean that you would roll 1d4. This armor roll is subtracted from the damage roll. Any remaining damage is then subtracted from the target’s hit points. If the armor roll is greater than the damage roll, then no damage is done.

(Because armor should reduce damage, not make you harder to hit)

The pledge of allegience

| September 9, 2008

I fixed it:

I pledge allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America, one nation by mutual consent, with liberty and justice for all.

Hat tip to for this thread where an earlier version of this was posted.

Played with some games last night

| September 5, 2008

I installed: freeciv, freecol, boswars, warzone2100 and lincity-ng from the repositories. Impressions:

  • FreeCiv works but CivCTP is more fun
  • FreeCol works but CivCTP is more fun
  • Boswars works, but Starcraft is more fun
  • Warzone2100 works and is good
  • Lincity-ng works. Jury is still out on it vs. Simcity 3000 Unlimited.

Also, I got sc3000 working off the following:

basically, grab the zipfile and stick it someplace. The sound is still funky though, and I didn't fix that.

Oh, and some months ago, I got doom3 running. You need to install the ia32 compatibility libraries, and then do: export LIBGL_DRIVERS_PATH=/usr/lib32/dri before you run it.


| September 2, 2008

Note: I wrote this late at night, and reading it now I realize that it was largely incoherent. So, I've rewritten it

As I blogged about before, I'm looking more closely at online gaming tools, given that all the leads I've gotten on games are about an hour away. MapTool and OpenRPG seem to be the two better ones. Voice will likely be done with a TeamSpeak server or over Skype. I'm still shaking this out, but I'm curious if anyone might be interested in giving this a whirl with a small campaign. In rough strokes:

  • Spirit of the Century
  • After the Rise (Zombie Horror Survival rules variant)

Any one interested can drop me an email. The software is free, you'll just need a microphone or something to talk into.

Evaluating both OpenRPG and MapTools, I think I like MapTools better. Originally, the networking didn't work, but this is apparently, a 32 bit vs. 64 bit Java thing. There is a thread about it here. Installed the a 32 bit JVM and it worked fine.

Looking at TeamSpeak vs Skype, Skype seems a little easier to use, but the conference call capabilities of it limit the number of folks who can connect. Still, it's likely enough people (all the docs I can find say 5) that it is not an issue. It also won't kill my bandwidth like running a TeamSpeak server is likely to do. Still, it's not set in stone – depends on what my players want.

Also, this is kind of just a “pilot” – a short little story arc done in a quick system. I'm batting around a few other ideas for campaigns, but my current favorite is something inspired by the Dark Tower. Gunslingers roaming mid-world trying to keep the peace, etc. Rules would likely either be Savage Worlds (probably influenced by Deadlands:Reloaded) or Spirit of the Century, depending on how much combat vs. story folks want.

Or, for something completely different (and, admittedly coming full circle), I'd run D20 Modern again. See, the thing is, despite all the complaints I had about it (armor should not make you harder to it) it was fun. It was quick and easy to run, played simply, and was easy to improvise. Unfortunately, with the release of 4th ed, D20 modern books are going to be harder to come by. However, I found this. What? Core rules? Free? Compatible with all the D20 modern stuff I already bought? Sweet!

Also, I found some map resources which might be of interest to folks, even if you're just printing them out or whatnot: