Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Really Hate Cilantro

I'm OK with the fact that lots of people like disgusting things, like onions. I've pretty much figured out that I'm a Super Taster because I can definitely taste things that no one else can. Onions are the worst. They typically make me puke, especially when they're fresh. When they're stewed down to a cellulous blob, they're practically not onions any more. So I'm OK with that. But cilantro, fuck you. One little speck ruins my food. I really don't get what you're "loving" about cilantro. The best I can describe is it tastes like what I imagine alkaline in batteries taste like. It's metallic and overpowering. It doesn't make me puke, like onions, but it still ruins my food. People chop it up like parsley, so it's pretty much impossible to get every bit. But it only takes a tiny bit to ruin my food. 

What the hell are you tasting when you eat cilantro? I taste corroded metal dipped in sulfuric acid.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Google Plus...

So I finally got a Google+ account. Typically I'm an early adopter or beta tester, I got crap  like Gmail, Google Wave, and a bunch of other Google crap before most people. I was kind of bugged when others were getting Plus before I did, but when everyone started saying that "it's like Eff-book", I stopped being too annoyed. I ditched Eff-book and My_what's-its_Space for a reason. 

Now I never did have a problem with Blogs, I have a ton. I had blogs when they were called Personal Websites, and I had to rewrite (i.e. cut & paste) code everytime I wanted to update the page. I did that until I was able to get some cgi-bin access, and then I was able to use some scripts to do the very same shit that *diaryland* and *livejournal* did when they first came out, and what Blogger/Blogspot and Wordpress do now. So I wonder how effective this Google+ will be as a Blog engine replacement. As much as people are addicted and trapped in Eff-book, people still blog. I know some people were using Myspace for blogging, and I'm sure people were starting to use Eff-book for blogging too. But Blogs never died. I bet you can thank RSS feeders for adding new life to that segment of the internet worlds.

So I'm wondering if Google+ will pull in my RSS feeds and mix it in with Buzz and/or Twitter and throw in Stream Posts on top of it. Or is that not the point? At this moment I don't see the point of Google+'s Stream. Especially if it's just _another_ Google Buzz. I'd rather keep that shit separate.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quick and Dirty Ability Checks (D&D house-rule) #OSR #ODND #DCCRPG

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of skill checks. It's crunch in my ice-cream that I don't like. One of the things that differentiate, to me, "modern" and "old-school" is how a simple thing like a search is attempted. A d20 roll is just not engaging or interesting to me. It created a bad habit in gaming, "I search the room," rolls a d20. It encourages impatient players, who just want to cut to the chase (or Encounters with a capital E.) That is not D&D that I want to play. So I had to figure out what to do when it comes to what most players habitually do, search this, climb that, open this, get around that. In my attempt to engage the players. I have been encouraging my players to be deliberate about their actions, how they do it and how long they are willing to try it. I've been trying out My Quick and Dirty Ability Checks for S&W and DCC and it's been working really well. The first trick is to determine if a roll is necessary at all. Then if it is, then determine the difficulty. Then determine if an element of luck (or fate?!) is involved.
It works like this. The Players describe how and what their character are doing. If it's not life or death, or at the very least dangerous for someone, then go ahead let them do it. Pretty simple. But if there is a chance of failure, I use these magic numbers based on difficulty and compare it to an appropriate Ability Score:
  • EASY: LESS than 6 fails.
  • ROUTINE: LESS than 9 fails.
  • MODERATE: LESS than 13 fails.
  • HARD: LESS than 16 fails.
  • IMPOSSIBLE: LESS than 19 fails.
You'll notice there is direct correlation with those numbers and ability modifiers, but I wanted to use actual scores for the checks. So if a character wants to pry open a standard door, I'll deem it being HARD and ask for their strength. If they're strong enough, it opens. No rolling, just deliberate actions from the players and outcomes based solely on GM's discretion.
If there is an element of luck and/or danger, only then do some dice come in play. I roll an appropriate number of d6s, and compare the totals to ability scores:
  • EASY: 1d6
  • ROUTINE: 2d6
  • MODERATE: 3d6
  • HARD: 4d6
The bell curve is intentional. If the total is equal-to or more than their ability score, it is a failure. (Higher the better for the DM!) This works excellently for group checks. If the group is sneaking past some Unamed Spawn from Hell's Ending (Hard!) I'd roll 4d6 (only once!) and compare it to the PCs Ability Scores. Let's say I roll a 15, I'd then ask if anyone has a Dex (or Agility) of 15 or less? If someone does, they get spotted.
Another example came into play last week when a group of PCs were climbing out of a steep tunnel that had been greased but had knotted ropes. Since there was an element of danger (Routine), I rolled 2d6. I rolled a 6. Everyone with 6 or less slips, those that failed their save fell. Two died from the damage, one didn't. Quick and Dirty.
Putting the dice in the hands of DM does two things, it forces the players to be creative and role-play and the DM has more discretion on success or failure. Don't add or subtract ability modifiers, they're already factored in. Do factor in circumstances and Class/Monster Abilites by increasing or decreasing the difficulty. Sneaking past some sleepy Gate Guard would be ROUTINE, while sneaking past The Multi-eyed Crawling Eye of Oblivion would be HARD if not IMPOSSIBLE.