The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Ho-lee crap

| November 30, 2008

Okay, so I'm reading 4E, like I said. While I'll play it, I think that some of the criticism of it is valid. It is very boardgame-y, and I'm not sure about the classes, and so forth.

So, I took the opportunity to score a set of the 3rd ed core books (PHB, MM, DMG) off ebay for $15, shipped.

I also noticed that Paizo seems to have the rights to be selling PDFs of first and second edition products.

And then I saw pathfinder. Apparently, the fine folks at Paizo have taken the OGL content and decided that it can be improved continued. I like this idea.

Oh, and apparently, they have the rights to sell the Alternity back catalog as PDFs, which is also very nice.

Of course, I scored the Alternity PHB, Gamemaster's Guide, plus a pile of other sourcebooks for like $50.

I love compuermachines. Nothing goes out of print.

Of course, my printer is running about 7 years old, and has maybe 50k pages through it, and is making a godawful whining noise. So, I need me one of these.. and the duplexing unit doesn't hurt when printing books.

Impressions on 4e

| November 26, 2008

(prompted by who asked about it here)

Well, I kind of of have mixed feelings about it. (Bear in mind, I'm only about 1/3rd of the way through).

I'm find with the “new” races and classes (bear in mind, the last time I played a lot of D&D was 2nd ed, and even then, that wasn't much). I mean, some of them strike me as kind of silly (ooh, there's elves and FAIRY elves.. wank wank.. but whatever), and there's similar differences in the classes. Ultimately, it's a big “whatever” and doesn't bother me much.

The core mechanic seems to largely be the same as 3rd ed (d20 + modifiers).

They got rid of the bard, which is good. While I like good bards in real life, and don't mind NPC bards and minstrels to sing the tales of our deeds in game, PC bards singing inspiring songs always were a little lame.

The skill list is a lot smaller, and the feat list is still bloody huge, which has always bugged me about 3rd edition – there's a bzillion feats, and it's annoying trying to keep track of them all.

I'm not too keen on being able to rejigger your characters being codified in the rules. I mean, it was always up to the GM to let you do that, but to have the rules say “if this isn't working out how you planned, drop the feat and learn another when you level up” is just kind of lame.

I do like the reworking of spells and powers to be based on frequency, rather than number. So, even if there is nothing else a wizard can do, he can still shoot magic missiles rather than having to sleep before he can shoot some more.

I'm kind of on the fence as to the paragon paths (11th – 20th level) and epic destinies (21st – 30th level). Of course, I haven't played many high level characters, so I don't really know how the two play out.

Home sick

| November 25, 2008

I'm home sick so am taking it easy. My 4E boxed set came in, so I've been reading that. The fantasy stuff is growing on me in my old age. Might be time to read some fantasy books. Anyone is welcome to suggest stuff which is decent.

Also, I found OSRIC, which is a redo of the first ed AD&D rules, stripping out copyrighted stuff and just using the base algorithms.

I also found Calls for Cthulhu, which is kind of cute.

New LJ Icon

| November 15, 2008

Socks needed some time on the intertubes.

Updated the album, with new pics starting here.

Pulled from <lj comm="techsupport">

| November 14, 2008

I love kitties.

Fire apparatus safety

| November 14, 2008

This is what NOT to do.


| November 13, 2008

This was too cute to not repost.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Which reminds me, I took some more pictures of the (rapidly growing) kittens which I should post.

Oh, and our upstairs furniture arrived, so I now have a nice place upstairs to read.


| November 12, 2008

I was wondering why I wasn't getting as much spam today.

Oh, and the old SMB vulnerability got fixed. Too bad, I missed being able to punt NT4 (and possibly later) machines off the network when they'd voluntarily give up their IP when you tried to use it, and then you could collect all their clients' plaintext equivalent passwords.

The racist origins of gun control

| November 12, 2008

This should come as little surprise to those of you who have had this conversation with me, but Mr. Tahmassebi does a better job than I could..


  • The ownership of arms has always been tied to citizenship. The right to vote, hold office, and own guns is inextricably tied to citizenship in this country. Indeed, denying citizenship was often tied to “well, we can't let them vote or own guns, so we can't let them be citizens”.

  • In the South, gun control was used to disarm freed slaves for persecution by the KKK

  • In the North (specifically New York), gun control was used to disarm Southern and Eastern European immigrants – namely, the undesirable Italian immigrants.

  • In all regions, it was useful to keep labor and agrarian unions and reformers disarmed, lest the cause trouble.

Kind of funny that gun control is a Democratic agenda item, isn't it?

Dirtside II

| November 11, 2008

So, I'm poking around with making DSII units, and I'm having a heck of a problem – I can't represent vehicles which actually exist.

Example – the T-90 MBT.

It is size 3. Logic? Well, Russian tanks are smaller than US tanks, and size 3 is “most main battle tanks”. So, we'll make the really large tanks (most US, British and German) size 4. Okay, fair enough. Then we give it:

HVC/4 (125mm main gun) in full traverse turret 2 APSW (because it has 2) 1 GMS/L (because the 125mm main gun can shoot laser guided anti-tank missiles) 1 Local Air Defense (LAD) because one of the APSW's is actually in a AA mount, which can shoot at ground or air targets.

At this point you are out of room.

Of course, this does count the same gun twice, but there is no provision in the rules to avoid this.

I've run into similar problems with light scout tanks (class 2) mounting a main gun + 3 machineguns etc.

Thus, I've decided to bend the rules and ignore the points. After all: (1) I'm playing solitaire games anyway (2) War isn't usually fair anyway