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Unsocial Media 2 – The Legend of Curly’s Gold


It’s been 30 days since I decided to fast from social media. I didn’t abstain as I would have liked due to my use of it for social gathers but I didn’t post daily (or even weekly) to Facebook. I unfollowed everyone on my friends list and unsubscribed to any group that I had not actively participated in.

It is a joy. I took me about a week to not look everyday to see what new info wasn’t going to show up. Took a few more days to figure out what to do with my time. I wasn’t spending my nights reading over peoples constant complaining about the life they themselves chose. “News” that was fake but they were too lazy to check before posting. Preaching about their faith they love but don’t truly follow because they can’t give up bacon. The nonstop barrage of meaningless crap people post to seem funny or pious or happy being alone or happy being in the relationship they are in.

e.g.  Post #1 “Today I will not be around negative people” Post #2 “Fuck the haters” (this second one seems negative) or

Post #1 “Kicked him to the curb! I don’t need a man to be happy. The single life for me” Post #2 a week later “Found a real man. He is so perfect, we are moving in together”

Now I myself was a contributor to this. I bitched endlessly about whatever was annoying me. I thought it was cathartic. It wasn’t. It was making me angrier and angrier. I wasn’t helping myself with these I was just spouting vile. And thanks to Facebook’s “On this day” I discovered I was repeating myself!

So did I take this time to work on Nexus? Nope. I used my time to spend with family and friends. I talked on the phone, sometimes for hours. I texted people and had actual private conversations. I played games with friends. I cooked. I played Zelda. I had long conversations in the kitchen with my wife.

I enjoyed my life.

I didn’t watch what others were doing and either get angry at them or jealous of them. I just didn’t care. I focused on my own and I feel better for it.

Will I stay off of Facebook? I don’t know. I hope so. Maybe use it to share photos of my family for people who don’t get to see them as much as they’d like.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I have a newly modded Commodore 64 to play Might and Magic on.

TaTa

J

 

P.S. Next post will be Nexus game related. I have run a couple of sessions with the Cortex+ rules and am liking its new direction.

 

 

 

 

 

Unsocial Media and the Letting go of the familiar D20


Last Saturday I ran my first Into the Nexus game using the Cortex+ system. It was kind of nerve wracking. I have been working on this game for so long in the familiar D20 system that I was worried it wouldn’t go well or that my players wouldn’t be able to enjoy themselves as much. My fears were unfounded. It was a great night of gaming. I made some notes and will have to make some adjustments but I think this system will really work for the game. We had craziness abound and the the complication/opportunity mechanic adds some real depth and unpredictability to the story without it being as random and unruly as the D20 mechanics could be. Being able to add a D8 complication of Warrant for Arrest to each players dice pool is much cleaner than just having tons more encounters and fights that just take up the gameplay.

I think my favorite part of the Cortex+ conversion has been the Talents. No longer bound to tons of unnecessary math that feats and skills of D20 can yield, I was able to add some really fun and entertaining Talents for each of the Archetypes and some good generic ones that anyone can use. I was able to crank out 10 pages of Talents in about 3 hours and my players really enjoyed using them in game play.

One issue, and I hesitate to use the word “downside” , but it is kind of sad for me is that the dice pool mechanic does not lend itself to larger groups. I need to set a cap on players and I’m not used to having to do that. It will take some getting used to but I feel I will get a more robust game experience if I don’t have more that 6 players.  This will cause me to make some adjustments for the Con but I have some great GM’s that help me so I don’t think it will cause too many problems.

I ran a very small test mission after character creation and it went longer than expected but I fell that was due to too many players and some people still figuring out how to use the dice pool mechanic. I will adjust accordingly for the next session and see if the flow improves.

Lastly.

Monica Valentinelli, author of the Firefly RPG, wrote in her blog about taking the month of September off of social media (Facebook and Twitter) to focus on her creative works. I have been letting that idea rattle around in my head the last few days and I feel it is a really good idea. I am not a huge Twitter user but I do sometimes get lost in the mindlessness of Facebook. I feel my time would be better spent doing…almost anything. Facebook has devolved into a bunch of angry whining and protestations (without actually doing anything about it). I am guilty of it myself and have been finding myself more and more angry about something someone posted. Angry to the point of it ruining my day because of the shear stupidity of it.

I don’t need that in my life. I am a curmudgeon to begin with. I don’t that particular fire fueled. So, For the month of September I will not access Twitter at all and my Facebook will only be used for my game page and game related posts. I have unfollowed all of my friends and groups so my newsfeed is blank. I was going to deactivate the account to just have my wife change my password and not give it to me until a friend of mine reminded me that we only talk on Facebook Messenger. So I will keep the account active for that purpose and Nexus related material. My friends have my phone number, they know how to find me. I don’t need to spend my days yelling at gun nuts and people who take that toupee’d Presidential candidate seriously. My hope is that this will let me focus my time and needs on more creative pursuits.

My game needs to be finished…and that Commodore 64 won’t be modding itself.

Ta for now.

J

 

Gen Con 2015 – Debriefing


Back from Gen Con and fully decompressed. This year was an odd year for my Nexus games. It was the first year I ran with the Death Gate stuff removed and using all my own creations. It felt odd to not say “Based on the works of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman”. Better or worse, these were all my own doing.

Night 1

Slave Ship

This year we had fire. Last year no fire magickas. No fire meant no real action for almost 3 hours. This year, 8th person to act set the control ropes on fire.

No one tried to put them out.

No one.

Turn 4 they broke, sending the ship on an uncontrolled course that caused 19 people to reflex every single turn. It just got worse from there. Long story short (too late) After woken Ancients, Exploding water casks, All the barrel roles, Flipped ships, resurrected magickas, a slave who had a panic attack every time they saw ice, and they saw it a lot, about 50% of the crew survived. It was a great event of fun and chaos.

Night Two.

Darkmore

Here I would normally give a synopsis of the all the craziness but I can’t. We split into two groups and mine was the tame one. Too many Pathfinder purists who didn’t get the system. Not their fault at all just not what they expected so they didn’t know how to change what they knew. The final battle while fun was mired with complaining and further statements of just not getting it. Now this is on me, my game is about chaos and balance and the fight between the two. This seemingly random environment causes havoc with game players who need a constant number to hit and a constant way to get there. My best friend hates my system because his magic doesn’t work all the time and he thinks it should.

While good gaming sessions make me feel good and I’m always happy when they go well, a “not as good” session teaches me so much more. I’ve come to realize that my strength is as a storyteller. A spinner of yarns as it were. So while a d20 system can cater to the story, it isn’t the main focus of d20. The interactions are. How many +1’s and skill bonuses can I add to my roll. While this is good for hack, slash, and burn game play. I think Nexus is not about that.

So…. I have begun researching alternate systems. I was doing game demos for Margaret Weis this weekend as well and while showing people the Cortex+ system in Firefly I was able to see how it could be used with my magic system (Let’s be honest, it is the reason that most people play). I know Cortex Plus pretty well and think it might be my best option. I also played my first Fate based game this weekend and I enjoyed it, though it doesn’t cater to my magic like Cortex+ can. Cam Banks is making a game which is a combination of the two and is open source and I would love to see how I might be able to use that.

Exciting developments in the game I started in 1993 as a way to play Death Gate in 2nd edition D&D.

Stay Tuned

Ta

J

The Heralds. Bringers of Balance


The Herald’s, being a secret and closed organization (All things that yield positive results), refuse to discuss their origins. Legend has it, however, that they were founded by a group of human monks who worshiped the Magicka’s ability to Bring Forth the Possibilities. They believed that these Magicka were deities who could bring Balance to the world.

All that changed after Perfection.

The remnants of those monks banded together with their faith reformed and redefined. They knew what brought True Balance

Death. (Queue dramatic eyebrows)

We were all Balanced, all equal,  in death. Only males are allowed to enter the order, as women bring life and therefore upset the Balance.

Over the years, the Heralds have changed from the worshipers of the
True Balance

to the bringers of it.

Herald Description

Magicka – Reality is what you make it.


The Magicka are the most respected and feared group of people on Hybris. They control the world around them by tapping into the power of the possibilities.
These masters of the alternate realities follow one of the four elemental disciplines; Earth (Terra), Fire (Sol), Air (Vadra), Water (Vatten). Each Magicka’s mentality is vastly different depending on their discipline.

Vatten Magicka: Usually are pacifists, specializing in healing and life restoration. These are the most revered but also the most feared of the Magicka. For they can’t create life, they can only move it.

Vadra Magicka: Masters of the mind. They are most often the advisers to power. They practice their art with the manipulation of the people and what people need. You see what they want you to see.

Terra Magicka: Are one with the land and beast. Unable to see the Wave without physical connection these magicka are the toughest and most virile of the magicka. Usually employed as trainers and tamers of dragons, they have an almost symbiotic relationship with the natural world and the creatures it contains.

Sol Magicka:. Blinded by the power of raw evocation, these Magicka are the most reviled. They have no thought of the consequences of their Magick and the chaos it can cause.  They are impatient to the subtle requirements of the other disciplines. They are masters of destruction and are highly aware of it.

Majicka Description

Bring on the Carpel Tunnel.


 

Downside of making your own game.

 

No character generator.

 

I have 50 players at Gencon this year. 50 character sheets that must be filled out by hand. I love doing it but there will be hand cramps by the end of the day.
20150717_093545

Character Class- Ayans – The Correctors


Ayans. (The Correctors)

An isolated group of elven magicka, the Ayans can also tap into the alternate possibilities. These magicka however use their abilities to “correct” what others have made “wrong”. They seek out magickas from all the races and undo their work. It makes little difference to the Ayans if the magic yielded positive or negative results. This makes them very powerful in some regards and downright annoying in others.

 

Ayan-Description Fire

Character Class – Island Walker


 

The Island walkers, or Walkers (the capital letter makes them more mysterious).

 There are those that need social interaction to thrive in society. Then there are the Walkers who just wants you to go away. These lone individuals live mostly on the outer islands, deep inside Raiu.  Never at home in the cities or villages of the “civilized”, the Walker makes their home in the wild. They are masters of using what is at hand and what they find.  Due to their almost feral nature, wild beasts either ignore them or in some cases help them.

They are the very embodiment of “How nature says, ‘Do Not Touch'”
Walker-Description

Goog’ell’s New Job


So as a result of my different direction I have updated the story of Into the Nexus. This is just a first telling from the journals of Goog’ell. A rebellious monk of the order of Heralds.

Hybris, A history

It is a small snippet of the world you will be entering playing Into the Nexus.

Ta ta for now

J

 

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