The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker


| December 20, 2013

Young children shouldn’t watch TV… but I don’t see any reason why they can’t listen to it.

So, Firefly.

Boys first Firefly

Boys first Firefly


| December 19, 2008

Lizzy got me a Serenity Christmas Ornament for the tree.

I also managed to score:

  • Most of the Dark*Matter books for Alternity. (4 books, $15, shipped)
  • More StarDrive campaign stuff for Alternity. (3 books, $13, shipped).

Got to love ebay.

The real sad thing is that these books are GOOD, but the product line was killed by WotC, who then went to printing those really horribly smudgy glossy books.

More on Serenity RPG

| September 10, 2007

I looked up the Shadowrun rules again, and apparently I had forgotten that on skill tests you roll skill + linked attribute. Given that, Serenity's system doesn't seem all that different, except for the “mix and match” aspect, which is easily cured with a house rule. (You roll the appropriate attribute rather than the linked attribute). Furthermore, you can play the same game of having cars have their own dexterity, and you roll car dexterity + driver's driving skill rather than driver's dexterity + driver's driving skill + handling modifier of the car (some adjusting of TN's might be necessary here, but it's doubtful. After all, if a guy's dexterity is 4, his skill is 3, and the car's handling is -2, it's 5 dice. Well, if the car's agility is 2 and his skill is 3, it's skill 5 dice. Now, if his dexterity was originally higher, then he's at a disadvantage, but I think it's more realistic this way).

Also, Shadowrun uses an opposed ranged combat system as well, so that is not unique to Serenity.

Finally, I don't like the way Serenity handles damage when in combat as well as Shadowrun does. The main deal here is, with Shadowrun, damage is either stun or physical, not both (or rather, rarely both). Depending on damage, you get bad modifiers applied. When your stun or physical damage is full, you pass out. With Serenity, the to-hit success is used to determine a mix of wounds (physical) and stun damage, then the damage of the weapon is added on top of it (this is one type, stun or physical). These are checked off on the damage chart. You get some penalties if your physical damage gets to halfway. Also, if your physical and stun equals your life points, you roll to see if you pass out. This requires more counting than I care to make.

On a Shadorun-only note, I'm house-ruling burst fire weapons to not have a recoil penalty for your first burst (much like semiauto weapons do), because applying recoil to the first burst is not really realistic. The second burst, however, is at normal recoil pentalty.

Serenity RPG as generic system?

| September 5, 2007

So, I have to say that initial impressions of the Serenity RPG are good. I like the flexibility of the “roll appropriate attribute + skill” approach (which is not completely unlike the old Pinnacle system used in Deadlands). One interesting aspect is that all combat is an opposed roll – you roll attack, your opponent rolls defense – high roll wins. This is not unusual for melee combat, but is interesting for ranged combat.

I'm still reading the rules, but it seems like it should play quickly (a nice feature of D20), and yet be reasonably gritty and realistic (like Shadowrun). Anyway, I'll most more impressions as they come.

(Oh, and I'm sick, so this is kind of rambly.. I know this.).

Serenity and Supernatural

| October 2, 2005

Serenity was excellent. I shall refrain from serious discussion until next Monday, giving everyone a chance to see it and not have any spoilers.

I finally watched the Supernatural episode that was TiVo-ed like 2 weeks ago (the Wendigo one). I don't see what the big deal is. The acting was half-rate, the whole thing shot in overly contrasted amber hues, and the storyline was a that of a horror movie compressed into an hour. Hopefully, it will improve, but if it still sucks by the end of this season, I'll probably stop watching.

FireFly update

| September 30, 2005

It looks like tentatively Sunday at 1PM at Millbury.

Does this fit with folks?

Should we just meet there, or meet someplace closer (my house? Burrillville middle school?) and carpool from there?


| September 27, 2005

Liz and I are probably going to catch a matinee of Serenity this weekend.

Any of you hooligans want to come with / meet us there?

We have no firm plans, right now; I'm just throwing it out to gauge interest.


| September 13, 2005

Why did Firefly get cancelled? It's like the best show. Almost as good as Battlestar Galactica…