Saturday, December 17, 2005

Saturday's Project du Jour (Or, How to make sure you never misplace your sheet!)

So, today's work is to finish a little thingy on vampires that i've been working on for a few days, Transcribe notes from my little black book into some sort of useable form, make some notes on Cranks to come, send out a few character specific emails and a couple of other things. I'll come back and talk about them in a minute...

Lately, there has been an embarrassment of riches in terms of good games to play. My good friend Dave Vest has been running a Demon: The Fallen game that has going strong for months now and it just keeps getting better as i go. I think the other players feel the same. This game runs on a saturday when the Requiem larp is running

The Requiem larp is going through it's usual cycle of disruption for right around the holidays and for those who are also still students, Finals and all that shit. Also, we have a session that falls on Christmas day. Still. I am hopeful that it gets back to getting stronger after the holidays. The stoic psychopath character that i found oddly hard to play has been moved to the background and now i'm playing a Daeva Invictus who is very social and charming. Something of an 180° turn for me. Still it gives me an opportunity to lean into certain strengths and put them at the use of the ST and the story.

Clayton Oliver is running a neat game called the "The Project" Which features a multi-jurisdictional government task force that has been tapped to handle supernatural and Alien threats. It's very X-files, only with a LOT more shooting and car chases. He's using Unisystem, which i must confess i know exactly bupkus about, but Clayton has this ability to make it easy for someone to play in his game without knowing dick about how the system works. It makes me want to revise my opinions about needing players who understand what they can do under the rules. I get to play the FBI psychologist and hostage negotiator Dr. Walter Lockridge and so far we've encountered Greys, Vampires, pesky Indian gaurdian spirits and some boats with haunted metal that were causing bridges to phase out and kill more people. Did I mention it's neat?

Thursdays are for Empire City. Andy Davis is running a Spycraft 2.0 game which features a motley group of cops assigned to a task force in the most rundown and corrupt imaginary city in California. Think "Wanted" crossed with "Miami Vice" with a dash of "Wiseguy" thrown in for good measure.
I play Detective Sergeant Roger Pentonvale, former head of Metro's Special Intellgence Division. I am also known to those who have reason to fear as "Automatic Karma" In real life I am a dumpy guy who can just barely qualify for field work, have few friends, and no real social life. But on the Intarweb, I am Batman, El Cid, and Kung Fu Jesus all rolled into one.
Spycraft 2.0 is another game that i know exactly dick about, but Andy has the same ability to just know what dice i need to roll in order to know what to do. Of course, I'm an active player as opposed to a passive one, so I'll ask lots of questions and say, "Well, can i do THIS?" and i think that's what makes it work.
This an extremely fun game, even if it has classes, and levels, and a character sheet that makes my head bleed. Kudos!

As a result, I have a number of Character Sheets. Sadly, there are times when my room becomes the Bermuda Triangle of Character Sheets (Anybody see "The Triangle" on Sci-Fi channel? Rock!) So my BIG project for today is to go into the secret bit of my T.I. Webpages and post a character sheet in some form of cobbled together HTML so that my sheets are available at any web-capable computer and printable from same.

Here is where I rave for a bit:
Oh Lord Jobs, I have been a faithful servant. I have spread the word about Macintosh far and wide. I have given of my time and of my limited cash. I ask only that you release a new version of Claris Home Page. It is the easiest web page maker in the world and is thus an empowering technology, much like this here blog thingy. I am sure that if you build a spanking new version for the G5 that many will come. Scale it's learning curve so that as a person learns more about web design they can start dicking around with CSS and other crap like that. I am a poor and humble servant and do not know how to use Macromedia's DreamWeaver. I wouldn't know a style sheet if it ran up, and nibbled on my naughty bits.

That said, while I love my CHP, it's getting long in the tooth. And i fear that designing the Spycraft sheet might in fact kill me.

Ah well. The quote that best suits this situation is this:
"If you would like a complete list of all the ways that technology has failed to make human life easier, please press 3."

Sono Finito


At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....As a gamemaster, I went to computerized character sheets back around 1985, forcing others to upgrade similarly or look un-hip! And it was sort of a cost/time nightmare, as word-processors of that time could only have one document loaded in memory at a time, and a printed page every five minutes was considered fast!

.....Back in the mid-80s, though, we had nasty compatibility problems. I had a Commodore 128, another player had an Apple IIe, another an Atari (yes, they made computers!), and the rich kid had an IBM with a HUGE 20 meg hard drive! None of us could share documents. When I finally ditched my Commodore, wanted the most standard thing available, and that was Windows 95/Microsoft Word. Since then, I've pulled all my hair out and lost a few sanity points, but shoddy Windows has FORCED me to be a lot more tech-savvy! Funny thing now is that Microsoft pretty much has it fixed now, with properly patched WindowsXP, and I think they'll have a lot of trouble convincing folks to buy the next version...

.....Now, the defacto standard is MSWord document character sheets, although my ref in a long-running D&D game prints them to .pdf, which filters out hidden print (where he lists cursed items, etc.). With the advent of the internet, we just email each other .zip packs of documents/character sheets, and it forces each player to print their own, thus sharing costs!

.....Those little USB thumb-drives are convenient for transporting copies of one's gaming files. Unless there are extensive graphics in your stuff, even the tininest drive will be plenty! A local office store around these parts was recently selling 128 meg thumbdrives for $9...



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