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Saturday, November 15th, 2008
3:03 pm
I stole this from desalete because it interested me. Also, it was the same year (2002), a year I remember hating in music, so this was a good experiment.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Go to http://popculturemadness.com/Music, and find the greatest hits for the year you turned 18. (on the left-hand side)
2. Select at least the first 40.
3. Bold the ones you like.
4. Strike out the ones you hate.
5. Italicize the ones you are familiar with but neither like nor hate.
6. Leave the ones you don't know as is.

1. A Moment Like This - Kelly Clarkson
2. Hot In Herre - Nelly
3. Complicated - Avril Lavigne
4. Girlfriend - N Sync & Nelly
5. Sk8er Boi - Avril Lavigne
6. Can't Fight The Moonlight - LeAnn Rimes
7. Dirrty - Christina Aguilera
8. A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton
9. Heaven - DJ Sammy
10. Gimme The Light - Sean Paul
11. The World's Greatest - R Kelly
12. Jenny From The Block - Jennifer Lopez Featuring Jadakiss & Styles
13. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) - Toby Keith
14. Goodbye To You - Michelle Branch
15. Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
16. The Game Of Love - Santana Featuring Michelle Branch
17. Young'n (Holla Back) - Fabolous
18. She Hates Me - Puddle Of Mudd
19. Starry Eyed Surprise - Oakenfold Featuring Shifty Shellshock
20. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
21. Say I Yi Yi - Ying Yang Twins
22. Just A Friend 2002 - Mario
23. Hey Baby - No Doubt and Bounty Killer
24. Work It - Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott
25. U Don't Have To Call - Usher
26. Without Me - Eminem (edited)
27. Rapture (Tastes So Sweet) -iio
28. Hero - Chad Kroeger Featuring Josey Scott
29. Oops (Oh My) - Tweet
30. Cleanin' Out My Closet - Eminem (edited)
31. Who's Your Daddy - Toby Keith
32. Gotta Get Thru This - Daniel Bedingfield
33. A Woman's Worth - Alicia Keys
34. In The End - Linkin Park
35. Ain't It Funny - Jennifer Lopez & Ja Rule
36. Luv U Better - LL Cool J
37. Gangsta Lovin - Eve and Alicia Keys
38. Lose Yourself - Eminem
39. Hella Good - No Doubt
40. I Need A Girl (part 1) - P. Diddy, Usher and Loon
41. Always On Time - Ja Rule and Ashanti
42. What's Luv? - Fat Joe and Ashanti
43. Escape - Enrique Iglesias
44. My Sacrifice - Creed
45. Underneath It All - No Doubt and Lady Saw
46. My Neck My Back - Khia
47. Underneath Your Clothes - Shakira
48. Disease - Matchbox Twenty
49. A Little Less Conversation - Elvis vs JXL
50. Foolish - Ashanti
51. Pass The Courvoisier Part II - Busta Rhymes with Diddy & Pharrell
52. Days Go By - Dirty Vegas
53. Rollout (My Business) - Ludacris
54. Don't Let Me Get Me - Pink
55. Stole - Kelly Rowland
56. 7 Days - Craig David
57. Take Ya Home - Lil Bow Wow
58. Objection (Tango) - Shakira
59. The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
60. Just Like A Pill - Pink
61. Down Ass Chick - Ja Rule
62. Dilemma - Nelly & Kelly Rowland
63. Youth Of The Nation - P.O.D.
64. All You Wanted - Michelle Branch
65. Where Are You Going - Dave Matthews Band
66. Happy - Ashanti
67. Feel It Boy - Beenie Man
68. Still Fly - Big Tymers
69. The Ketchup Song - Las Ketchup
70. I Need A Girl (part 2) - P. Diddy, Usher and Loon
71. Roc The Mic - Beanie Sigel & Freeway
72. No Such Thing - John Mayer
73. Here To Stay - Korn
74. Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake
75. Overprotected - Britney Spears

What a crappy year. I'm actually kinda surprised I knew everything in that top 75, but I had some e-friends that were pretty big into terrible music and I had to listen to most of these via TeamSpeak. Plus, you know, I was still half-interested in MuchMusic at that point.

So, I decided to take a look at the year of my birth to see how it compared, and I liked far more songs.

Go figure.

Also, EVERYONE GO GET THE LEFT 4 DEAD DEMO AND LET'S GO KILL SOME ZOMBIES LOLOL

:: 1 star of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Thursday, October 30th, 2008
9:47 pm - Hi.
I just wanted to let you know that absolutely nothing exciting has happened in my life in the last six months.

Except rage. Rage is pretty exciting.

:: befriend a SoD ::

Friday, August 22nd, 2008
10:01 am - Warhammer Online
Played this in closed beta, and with the NDA lifted, I can give some commentary.

I don't really have time to put a detailed review together, but the short version would be:

* Interface is like WoW.
* Lore is awesome.
* Mechanics are closer to WoW than DAoC, but the design behind them feels more like DAoC than WoW.
* Public Quests are brilliant.
* RvR (PvP) is awesome. The larger-scale mechanics of it are like a very refined DAoC design, and the way you can PvP from level 1 effectively is great. The fact that PvE whores also have an effect on the realm war is fantastic.
* There is a ridiculous amount of content.

I was apparently playing in the most hastily designed realm pairing (elves/dark elves), and things looked awesome. I look forward to seeing the polish of the others.

Also, there is a new cinematic trailer that just came out, and it's fantastic.

:: befriend a SoD ::

Thursday, August 7th, 2008
5:43 pm - Hmm.
I'm kinda bored at night lately. Might be time to start writing boring RPG nostalgia stories!

I may post something nobody cares about tonight.

P.S. Rob The Prez-O-Dent is hilarious. It's on YouTube somewhere.

:: befriend a SoD ::

Thursday, July 31st, 2008
12:37 am - What I Want In A D20 Future Game
So on my walk tonight I was thinking about stuff, and a list of things I would want for a d20 Future game popped into my head.

That list is provided here, although it may fluctuate as I think of more bullshit I don't want.

Setting

  • The setting would preferably be a fairly standard science-fiction setting.

  • The progress level should be PL 7 or PL 8, depending on whether or not interstellar travel is permitted.

  • The setting should not contain any alien races -- at least to start. If they exist, they should be on the fringe.

  • Ideally, the setting would be one at peace time, or if there's a conflict, it would be a fair distance away from our starting location.



Mechanics/Party/Gear

  • Character generation should be limited to human, 4d6, reroll ones, drop the lowest.

  • The party should start out at level five; presumably, we grouped up at level three and have travelled together for two levels of whatever the hell we've been doing. This allows us to have assumed friendships and an understanding of each others' abilities.

  • If you have a background plot hook, keep it fucking hidden.

  • Characters should be specialists in their field, but everyone should have Personal Firearms Proficiency, unless they're an unarmed combat specialist. Of course, if we're a party focused around combat encounters, we should be beefier.

  • Characters should have some form of loyalty, even if we're all motivated by the dollar. Less backstabbing, more flanking together.

  • The Wealth system should be ditched; starting cash could be determined by determining wealth as normal, adding, say, ten, and converting that to a cash amount based on that stupid table with purchase DCs. Item costs should be converted and eyeballed to fit somewhere within their old wealth value.

  • If travel is solely in-system, the party should likely not have a ship. If there is inter-stellar travel, the party should have one ship, and everyone should have a part in it financially. Most sci-fi parties didn't have fifty bajillion ships, including three capital class ships, right from the start. If we can afford a big enough ship, people can get fighters if they want. Heck, maybe we'll have to by a used or flawed ship.

  • Future Tech is a no. Anything in that should be adventure rewards. Even the mundane shit.

  • Ammunition needs to be tracked.

  • Advancement should be at a decent pace. No faster than every second session, no slower than once a month. That's enough to keep everyone excited about a level-up if building our empire isn't progressing fast enough.



Plot

  • Whatever we decide to do as a career, adventure design should stick to that. If we decide we want to trade goods to start (my preference), that's what we should do. If we want to raid asteroid belts for wrecked ships, that's what we should do. This should remain the way it is, with little twists (oh noes contraband/pirates for cargo, space monstars and creepy mindfucks for abandoned ships), for a few levels, since we start at level five.

  • If a player has a background plot hook, keep it fucking hidden. We don't want to know on the first session that player X was secretly trained by elves and may have elf lineage, or that player Y's father is some crazy bajillionth level monk who strikes down waves of superior enemies with a wave of his fist. Not right away, anyway.

  • Don't involve us in any conspiracy or wartime bullshit unless we actively seek it out through our actions. Ferrying cargo and stopping to inspect an abandoned ship shouldn't have us suddenly hunted by the Illuminati -- not at fifth level. If we encounter a pirate and kill him, he shouldn't be the seventh son of the seventh son of a Space Yakuza Warlord, who spend the rest of the campaign hunting us down for revenge -- again, not at fifth level.

  • Plotfucking should not happen until at least level seven or eight, but preferably after level ten.

  • Again, don't rope us into any wartime bullshit. If a conflict breaks out, and we happen to be nearby, but don't get involved, leave it be. Don't hound us with it relentlessly. In three levels, we may decide we want to trade arms or smuggle supplies to one side or the other.

  • On a related note, guards shouldn't have ESP, and enemies shouldn't be beyond our means. If we're law enforcement, we should be hunting low-level ordinaries at level five. If we're smugglers, and we're trying to carry something that's easily concealed due to size/quality past a low profile checkpoint, the guards shouldn't be psychic. Unless we're smuggling into a psychic empire, but don't put any of those in either.

  • If you decide to incorporate a universe-ending evil, acknowledge that we may not want to stop it and may report it so that other heroic NPCs can deal with it. We may, again, support them in ancilliary quests, but we may not want to save the day right away.

  • The big bad can be "mindless" Borg-like enemies, but I would rather there's some 'human' element to them, in that we may at least be convinced to aid their cause if the bullshit is layered on thick enough and we all blow at Sense Motive (or have shitty Will saves). I would also prefer no ancient societies come back to wreak havoc, no crazy generic cults, no "LOL CAPTURED MINDSLAVE GL HF" crap, and no "oh their technology is PL OVER 9000!!!!!!!! WHAT OVER 9000!!?!??!?!" crap either.
  • On a related note, none of that shit should happen until level ten when we're finally something above high-level ordinaries. Neither should cheap deaths, character transformations (omg you went into a room and something was glowing ding you're a level 1 acolyte), paranormal encounters, or M. Night Shyamamamamamalan twists.

  • Also on a related note, if at that point you decide you want to plotfuck someone due to background, I feel that level ten is fair game.

  • Whatever we decide to do, don't force us onto another 'career path'. Drop things that might entice us, but don't railroad us. Or spacerail us. Or whatever the fuck you want to call it.


current mood: annoyed

:: 2 stars of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
12:38 pm - Rock Band 2
Okay, so it's a given that the only things I ever post here about are Rock Band related, and that's because I don't D&D or play Magic or do any of that anymore really, and I don't really need to share the fun work-related drama that is actually not very dramatic for me.

Anyway, the full setlist for Rock Band 2 was announced, and it is pretty much sex, especially considering you can also port over all of the DLC and most of the tracks from the original.

http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/888/888781p1.html

For reference, bold is the shit I fistpumped for.

1. AC/DC “Let There Be Rock” 1970s
2. AFI “Girl’s Gone Grey” 2000’s
3. Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” 1990’s
4. Alice in Chains “Man in the Box” 1990’s
5.. Allman Brothers “Ramblin’ Man” 1970’s
6. Avenged Sevenfold “Almost Easy” 2000’s
7. Bad Company “Shooting Star” 1970’s
8. Beastie Boys “So Whatcha Want” 1990’s
9. Beck “E-Pro” 2000’s
10. Bikini Kill “Rebel Girl” 1990’s
11. Billy Idol “White Wedding Pt. I” 1980’s
12. Blondie “One Way or Another” 1970’s
13. Bob Dylan “Tangled Up in Blue” 1970’s
14. Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer” 1980’s
15. Cheap Trick “Hello There” 1970’s
16. Devo “Uncontrollable Urge” 1980’s
17. Dinosaur Jr. “Feel the Pain” 1990’s
18. Disturbed “Down with the Sickness” 2000’s
19. Dream Theater “Panic Attack” 2000’s
20. Duran Duran “Hungry Like the Wolf” 1980’s
21. Elvis Costello “Pump It Up” 1970’s
22. Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way” 1970’s
23. Foo Fighters “Everlong” 1990’s
24. Guns N’ Roses “Shackler’s Revenge” 2000’s
25. Interpol “PDA” 2000’s
26. Jane’s Addiction “Mountain Song” 1980’s
27. Jethro Tull “Aqualung” 1970’s
28. Jimmy Eat World “The Middle” 2000’s
29. Joan Jett “Bad Reputation” 1980’s
30. Journey “Anyway You Want It” 1970’s
31. Judas Priest “Painkiller” 1990’s
32. Kansas “Carry On Wayward Son” 1970’s
33. L7 “Pretend We’re Dead” 1990’s
34. Lacuna Coil “Our Truth” 2000’s
35. Linkin Park “One Step Closer” 2000’s
36. Lit “My Own Worst Enemy” 1990’s
37. Lush “De-Luxe” 1990’s
38. Mastodon “Colony of Birchmen” 2000’s
39. Megadeth “Peace Sells” 1980’s
40. Metallica “Battery” 1980’s
41. Mighty Mighty Bosstones “Where’d You Go” 1990’s
42. Modest Mouse “Float On” 2000’s
43. Motorhead “Ace of Spades” 1980’s
44. Nirvana “Drain You” 1990’s
45. Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky” 1960’s
46. Panic at the Disco “Nine in the Afternoon” 2000’s
47. Paramore “That’s What You Get” 2000’s
48. Pearl Jam “Alive” 1990’s
49. Presidents of the USA “Lump” 1990’s
50. Rage Against the Machine “Testify” 1990’s
51. Ratt “Round & Round” 1980’s
52. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away” 1990’s
53. Rise Against “Give it All” 2000’s
54. Rush “The Trees” 1970’s
55. Silversun Pickups “Lazy Eye” 2000’s
56. Smashing Pumpkins “Today” 1990’s
57. Social Distortion “I Was Wrong” 1990’s
58. Sonic Youth “Teenage Riot” 1980’s
59. Soundgarden “Spoonman” 1990’s
60. Squeeze “Cool for Cats” 1970’s
61. Steely Dan “Bodhisattva” 1970’s
62. Steve Miller Band “Rock’n Me” 1970’s
63. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” 1980’s
64. System of a Down “Chop Suey” 2000’s
65. Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” 1970’s
66. Tenacious D “Master Exploder” 2000’s
67. Testament “Souls of Black” 1990’s
68. The Donnas “New Kid in School” 2000’s
69. The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat” 1980’s
70. The Grateful Dead “Alabama Getaway” 1980’s
71. The Guess Who “American Woman” 1970’s
72. The Muffs “Kids in America” 1990’s
73. The Offspring “Come Out & Play (Keep ‘em Separated)” 1990’s
74. The Replacements “Alex Chilton” 1980’s
75. The Who “Pinball Wizard” 1960’s
Bonus Artist Bonus Song Title Decade
76. Abnormality “Visions” 2000’s
77. Anarchy Club “Get Clean” 2000’s
78. Bang Camaro “Night Lies” 2000’s
79. Breaking Wheel “Shoulder to the Plow” 2000’s
80. The Libyans “Neighborhood” 2000’s
81. The Main Drag “A Jagged Gorgeous Winter” 2000’s
82. Speck “Conventional Lover” 2000’s
83. The Sterns “Supreme Girl” 2000’s
84. That Handsome Devil “Rob the Prez-O-Dent” 2000’s

THE TREES! AQUALUNG! AC/DC!

Most of the stuff I didn't immediately fist-pump for is pretty win, although I want to recommend you all check out Visions by Abnormality.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=89045741

I laughed so hard at the song, the band's description of their sound, and the fact that it's a female vocalist.

current mood: excited

:: 1 star of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Friday, May 23rd, 2008
10:47 pm - Oh yes.
Devo coming to Rock Band.

Nice.

:: befriend a SoD ::

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
9:23 am - OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Screaming!~

Screaming for vengeance!~

current mood: bored

:: befriend a SoD ::

Thursday, April 17th, 2008
9:44 am - Anger!
You know, I can deal with 'catch 'em all' style elements in video games. Get all the skulls, get all the hidden packages, and so forth.

Usually, I just ignore them, or wait until I finish the rest of the game and pick up an FAQ to track them all down.

But the sick son of a bitch who decided to give you radar to find them in No More Heroes?

Yeah, fuck you, buddy.

current mood: angry

:: befriend a SoD ::

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
8:13 pm - oman
So, the good news? European 'exclusive' Rock Band tracks will be North American DLC.

The bad news? I get to hear my friends try and sing in German and French.

Oh boy.

current mood: amused

:: befriend a SoD ::

Monday, April 7th, 2008
11:28 pm - "Tempest was giving essay answers arguing essentially how the questions were culturally biased."
Ah, Mirkwood.

http://img525.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iwaspopularlw7.jpg

:: 2 stars of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Sunday, March 30th, 2008
9:37 pm - So yeah.
Pretty bored.

current mood: bored

:: befriend a SoD ::

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
9:31 am - Yeaaaaaaaah.
I finished Green Grass & High Tides last night on Expert drums.

The feeling is slowly returning to my leg and right hand.

GOOD TIMES LOL

current mood: sore

:: befriend a SoD ::

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008
11:48 am - U.S. Politics
I don't know why I always find it so amusing, but I do.

current mood: amused

:: befriend a SoD ::

Friday, March 21st, 2008
10:09 pm - :O
... Okay, Harmonix, I take it all back.

I guess we need to move on to the makeup sex.

current mood: excited

:: befriend a SoD ::

Thursday, March 20th, 2008
2:28 am
Fuck you, Harmonix. Seriously.

current mood: frustrated

:: 1 star of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
2:30 am
I am so bad at Brawl.

Jesus, must shake out the rust.

Motivation to get through all of the console games I have now, tho.

No More Hereoes, Mario Galaxy, Zack and Wiki first.

Then I'll get to the next trio.

I spend too much money on this damn hobby.

current mood: tired

:: 2 stars of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Saturday, February 9th, 2008
1:52 pm - Ah, the glory of the game.
So, this past Thursday I GM'd a d20 Modern game.

(Edit: No, I will not insert an LJ-Cut. I'm a rebel.)

It was sort of impromptu but sort of not. I ran a proposal by the guy that normally runs the game stating that it would be 'fun' sometime to have me run a game in his universe, because everyone seemed interest in me running a game but I'm one of these people who is far too meticulous in their worldbuilding to run a game of their own.

Anyway, I found out on the Monday (night) that I would be running the game on Thursday (afternoon). This gave me preparation windows of late Tuesday night, late Wednesday night, and Thursday morning to attempt to get all of the exposition I needed and prepare encounters and NPCs and whatnot. I was also walking into, for lack of a better word, a clusterfuck.

The initial pitch for the game was a mecha game with occasional bouts of ship-to-ship combat and on-foot adventures. The game, up until that point, has involved conspiracies, a grand total of, er, two? combats (one of which was a three-round mecha combat), and a whole lot of running away -- pretty par for the course for this group.

The last "session" involved the PCs crashing a pair of space ships into a space station of some kind hidden in Jupiter's atmosphere that somehow caused the planet to grow in size (I didn't say it made any sense), destroying an orbital colony and forcing us to get the fuck out of there before shit got crazier. We went through a jumpgate to a colony around Mars, where one of the players bounced his strike cruiser off of the colony (lesson learned: jumpgates should be close to and pointed at space stations). We then docked with and entered the colony for a meeting and then OH NOES PLOT TWIST GIANT ROBOTS SOMEHOW ARE ATTACKING THE SECURE FACILITY AT THE CENTER OF THE COLONY.

A combat ensues. The outcome at the end of that session, which is what I had as a starting point, was one PC hospitalized, one PC jailed and awaiting deportation, two PCs in limbo because they hadn't attended and for whatever reason they didn't make it to the combat scene, one PC inside a facility trying to hunt and kill a sniper, and a PC in a portion of the same facility deep underground being spoken to by ghosts (I didn't say it made any sense).

"Surprise, Tyler! You have two days and change to make this make sense and get the PCs reunited and to Earth."

So, here's the gameplan I quickly cobbled together, along with the bits of plot or required goals that were supposed to be put in play.

* Getting the PCs to Earth once they leave the station is an easy one. The jumpgate is on lockdown because of the events near Jupiter, someone crashing into the colony after exiting, and the mecha attack on the colony (someone had to get the robots there, after all). This means the closest other settlement (and jumpgate) is near Earth, which requires 16.3 days of travel time using the speeds for this progress level. This is perfect, because the GM also requires one day of training per level, and the PCs are due to hit level 13. This gives me a three day buffer with which to have space combat.

* The PC chasing the sniper gets in a fight. I intend to make it challenging. Per the original GM's instructions, if the PC fights in a sound tactical manner, this NPC is to provide him with "clues" (a.k.a. "plot hooks") over the course of the combat. Given that the two are apparently old rivals, my plan is to do this through plenty of back and forth banter as both characters play defensively and talk trash to each other.

* The PC in the hospital (who happens to be the chief inspector, somehow) receives a visit from his boss, the colony's director. This PC has a mission objective to get another PC to Earth. This ties in perfectly with the objective for the mission, so I plan to have the director order this PC to finish the mission in a timely manner. I figure this will be a very simply social encounter. He's already on thin ice because of previous activities, so this is a good motivator, as the PC he is ordered to escort to Earth is...

* The PC arrested and awaiting deportation. Bumping a space colony with your strike cruiser is not going to make you any friends, but having diplomatic immunity because your sidekick is an ambassador from Earth is a perfect way to get your ass to Earth. This guy was just along for the ride, so no prep work was needed.

* The two PCs with non-functioning giant robots are going to be directed to Earth. Somehow. The original GM instructs me that one of these PCs (who is a noble) has been stripped of nobility and is now a wanted woman in her homeland. She is wanted on suspicion of treason and the assassination of a head of state (crashing starships into space stations can do that). The plan as presented is to have a knight from the Church of that state (which is a theocracy) come to arrest her, and pending the defeat of the knight or her running away, sick the covert ops group from this PC's own house on her. The gameplan is to have three knights (of lower level) approach her and ask her to surrender, with the leader challenging her to honorable combat. If she wins or runs, then three stealthy types (also of lower level) attempt to ninja her either alone or amidst the party if the opportunity presents itself. Finally, to get a bit of starship/mecha combat in, on their way to earth, they encounter enemy ships from this same faction (that they vastly overpower) as a temporary speedbump and to buy me time if the game is proceeding at a fast pace. The original plan is to do this after levelling.

* The second PC with the non-functioning robot is also a member of the same faction and in the same bind, but she is safely hidden away somewhere because she is a hacker and had not yet left the cargo bay with her giant robot. So, plausible plan. This theocracy is pretty controlling, so any mecha created in that region has to be constantly verified against a database of authorized pilots. Once these two were stripped of any rank or title, they were stripped of authorization. This explains why they cannot pilot giant robots and during the downtime the hacker PC can 'fix' this problem, which is the 'training' for her level. Problem solved.

So, in brief,

Sniper Fight > Attempted Arrest > Hospital Visit > Escort Prisoner > (Option) Downtime > (Option) Covert Ops Attack > Trip to Earth w/ Downtime > (Option) Starship Battle.

So people show up and we finally started at whatever the hell time we started at.

In my ever present wisdom, I decide to start with the sniper fight. What better way to warm up than a combat where I have to play someone with a personality that I have no idea how to play, right? There's a little trash talk from the NPC to the PC, but the PC doesn't respond. The PC then walks into a trap with a motion-sensitive midnighter grenade (think advanced smoke grenade), before being shot at with a jammer round (disables electronic devices within the square it hits for three rounds). Considering his gameplan revolved around stealthy electronic gadgets and a motion sensor, this was not to his advantage. He then got shot three times with darts filled with muscle relaxant (1d4+1 Dex damage, DC 14 halves effect).

This was probably a poor way to start this battle (i.e. strong), because he then spent forever on his turns before leaving the building through a window and calling for his powered armor and heavy weaponry. By the time he got back and flew way down to the basement for whatever reason, I looked at the clock and noticed an hour had gone by. An hour with almost zero exchange in dialogue and maybe three or four rounds of combat.

It was at this point that I decided it may be a good idea to cut away temporarily (I was expecting the fight to be over one way or the other by this point) and deal with the attempted arrest. So, I advised the two PCs with giant robots that their robots weren't operating indicating invalid authentication codes. One of the players (the player of the PC who was about to get her ass kicked by the police) starting pitching a fit (as expected) about "how could they hack the hacker's robot", after I explained in my problem diagnosis that it was a simple yet time consuming fix that she could fix with about two weeks of idle time. The player was clearly not happen that his character had lost her mecha (because he had previously lost a PC and a spaceship and blah blah blah blah) and seemed pissed off merely seconds in.

So she climbs down and as she's walking away, I have one of the knights call out her name. She doesn't respond, so I have the knight get her attention again. She turns, there's a bit of exposition, a bit of posturing, and an order to surrender with a bit of a "you don't have a choice" tone. So, the player has his character surrender. This catches me a little off guard, considering the number of hints that there was something wrong and sticking around was an option that could be avoided (NPCs were in heavy armor reducing movement, PC was in light armor; NPCs were operating under the orders of the PC's third-in-command operating under the title of head of state, which would imply a ruse or a coup, etc).

Unceremoniously, a neural scrambler was plunked on her head -- and he seemed mad at me about this, completely ignoring the fact that he tried to detain my previous PC (to brainwash him) except he didn't use a neural scrambler and I managed to evade pursuit and cause havoc for quite some time (until another PC intervened to detain me), and his old character (who was the head of the house at the time) bitched out his staff for not using a neural scrambler on the two occasions they had restrained me temporarily, but that's another story for another time -- and she was escorted onto a launch (shuttle), a scene which was observed by the hacker PC.

At this point we were told that the building we were playing in was closing, so we relocated to the GM's house. This was probably a good thing, as on the walk from the mall to his place I got to rant and bitch a bit and I think that got me more in the right mindset to be running his game. Yeah, I know.

Anyway, we got to his house, and at this point the hacker PC decides she's tired or something and goes to bet and totally bails out on me (AND I KNOW YOU'RE PROBABLY READING THIS RIGHT NOW AND I AM VERY MUCH WELL NOT REALLY ANGRY BUT VERY MUCH E-SHAKING MY FIRST IN FEIGNED RAGE) leaving the rest of the group with absolutely no motivating factor to get on the rescue attempt.

Which is fine, because the rescue attempt can't even happen for a little while because there's still a fight with a sniper that needs to be wrapped up and a guy that's in the hospital for six days and a guy in prison that I need to get to the dock.

So, back to the sniper fight because it's the current part in the story line. Plink plink plink, I'm chargin' my plasma, pew pew pew, I'm chargin' you, pew pew pew, I'm grapplin' you, oh no unarmed electrified damage, escape the grapple and jump through a trap that was originally set to pin the PC but instead provided an impenetrable barrier that the NPC could run away behind, fight over. I pitched him a softball clue but I don't even think he knew that he was supposed to pick up the bat, so that aspect was a total bust. The combat was pretty good if a little bland simply because of the sheer feeling that we were playing a tabletop wargame (which is really what happens when you pit me and this player against each other).

So he gets out, I have my PC get in touch with him and let him know he acquired what he went into the building for, and the BUT I AM LE TIRED OKAY TAKE A NAP AND THEN FIRE ZE MISSILES PC messages him to say that OMGWTFBBQ the noble has been kidnapped.

Anyway, we finally get to deal with the hospitalized PC. Some stuff happens, he gets hassled by the director, he meets up with Hellga the nurse, who enjoys sponge baths and wants to be on American Gladiators, speaks with the PC that spent time fighting the sniper, they both end up deciding to go to Earth. I can't remember but I think at this point there was no real incentive to rescue to the other PC because quite frankly they didn't like her, so I threw in an offer of money for the cop PC and an offer of contact with a mastercrafter for the sniper-hunting PC (with the GM's consent).

They pick up the arrested PC and escort him to my character's ship for 'storage'. They then realize that nobody has a launch to get him docked with his ambassador sidekick's ship (who we are then supposed to escort to Earth), ignoring the fact that the ship he's on is a small ship and can fly inside the strike cruiser's docking bay. At this point I point out once again that the kidnapped/arrest PC is being held in a launch so they could potentially kill two birds with one stone.

Thus begins the elaborate plan to disable the launch, prevent escape, and force the surrender of the occupants. In short, they're going to station a ship in orbit to prevent an escape attempt, then they're going to throw a sapper tag (essentially a big power draining magnet) on top of the shuttle, and then surround it with explosives. Finally, they're going to demand surrender or threaten to blow the whole thing up. While in a docking area with relatively high security due to recent events.

Smooth.

Finally, the cop PC has the brilliant idea of holding inspections for all of the ships in the area due to all of the recent acts of "terrorism". They figure they'll orchestrate an "inspection" and try and find the missing PC, and once the PC is located begin an operation to take them back by force using the aforementioned Plan B.

So, the inspections are set up, and with everyone being all stealthlike, the cop PC asks if he can come in for the inspection. Without hesitation, the knight lets him in, where he sees two knights playing cards and the kidnapped PC staring off blindly into space with a neural scrambler on. Discussion ensues where he explains that he's also been knighted (true), asks what's going on, the knights explain, he asks for proof, they provide proof, he sends it off for verification, and it seems legitimate. So then the sniper-hunting PC comes over.

Oh, I suppose I should give you something to work with. This PC stands around eight feet high and is wearing powered armor, carrying a sapper tag (which is a mecha weapon) on his back and various other pieces of gadgetry.

So, while one knight is talking to the cop and fixing herself a drink, she happens to notice this beast of a man walking over. She whispers to the cop that it appears they might have a problem, at which point he coolly says "Oh, he's part of my team."

Slick.

So the PC walks over and rather casually tosses the sapper tag onto the launch, which immediately begins draining the power. The knight demands the meaning of this, at which point point he says he's owed an honor duel with the detained PC and can't let them leave with her. He's a minor noble, but he doesn't have the authority to override a head of state, so the knight rather coolly informs him that she can't honor his request but will certainly forward the request along and that he may get his honour duel before the trial.

I forget exactly how the dialogue went from here because I'm a little tired, but I do remember that the PCs eventually backed off, promised to come up with a way to remove the sapper tag (because nobody had any depolarization charges or whatever the removal tool is), and essentially abandoned the PC here and took off towards earth.

Really, I'm not sure why they did it. They had drained all power from the ship, which means if a fight broke out they would have no way to send out a distress signal and they were in heavy armor so they wouldn't have been able to run away before being dropped (they were low level). The PCs had (mostly) evacuated the area, except for a couple of ships that were there and unoccupied. The only people there were the PCs and a few of their ships crew members function as "inspectors", and these three NPCs. It would have been a perfect massacre, which is what they had originally wanted to do and what these blood hungry PCs tend to do anyway, but I guess they have a soft spot for people playing cards or something.

At this point the PC's player went on this big rant about how the PC has loyal supporters and if I was a good GM I would find a way to get him back into the action. Now, personally, I would have done so if it was at all plausible, but they were in the middle of a neutral faction's main colony where the only members of the state there are representatives of the church that are hunting her, and that her minions are all the way on -- you guessed it -- Earth.

I really, really wanted to yell out "SUDDENLY GANDALF APPEARS. He charges down with House Astra's boys and scatters all of the knights. You win." and just walk away, but I guess I wasn't yet disgusted with it.

Anyway, they take off and bail out. It's midnight and I need an out, so I throw the easy as piss starship combat encounter at them before the downtime instead of after. As they're traveling, they encounter three ships from this same faction that hail them and indicate that there is a "surprise inspection because of suspected terrorists" or however the cop had worded it earlier, meant to be a total "we're going to fuck your shit up either way" comment. Except the regular GM takes my dialogue (which is all for show before the fireworks) and makes it sound like legitimate banter, until one of the PCs gets the bright idea to radio home base and call for reinforcements. It was the guy in the strike cruiser, so he was told reinforcements would arrive -- in about thirteen days -- and that he has permission to engage.

Except he doesn't. So a combat that should have been over quickly because he has a huge honking ship runs for an hour before I have the enemy big ship just self destruct because he was boxed in by faster ships and I really didn't want to give the GM yet another recurring NPC. This was also a guide into why mecha are effective in starship battles and why NPC-controlled ships get tooled by PC and heroic NPC pilots.

After they blow the shit into millions of pieces and begin salvaging it, I have the launch with the knights and the kidnapped PC fly into range and then slow to a stop. OH WHAT A SMALL WORLD THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE PICKED UP BY THESE GUYS. So the knights surrender, the PCs rescue the other PC (who is probably quitting the game), the sleepy naptime PC is going to get shuttled to Earth by another random trio of NPCs I made up on the fly to answer other PC questions, and everyone got their level.

So in the end, all objectives were accomplished with only minor hurdles. I feel bad about one PC being out of the action for so long, but the rescue attempt was lengthy and slow because of the actions of the other PCs and the initial arrest could have been avoided (the option was there). I feel bad about wasting so much time with the sniper fight, but that one didn't go as planned because there was no talking. It was all business when it was supposed to be a cheesy movie style epic, but I should have probably clarified with the PC that that was my intent for it. My bad.

Otherwise, it went as expected, and in one session we had two combats (with the potential for up to three more) and three or four social encounters, and I effectively performed damage control and got everyone back together and (briefly) focused on the same objective. It was not the ideal scenario I would have wanted to take control in, but I worked with the clay I was given.

I think all in all it was a "decent" game for me to try and get into the swing of things, considering the last game I ran was a one-shot where all of the PCs died to mundane animals.

current mood: pensive

:: 4 stars of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Friday, January 18th, 2008
7:40 pm - Wanted
I need a list of really depressing country songs. They don't necessarily need to make me feel depressed as I'm pretty emotionless, but I need the most my-pickup-is-broken-my-dog-is-dead-and-my-wife-left-me-and-it's-raining kind of stuff you can suggest.


Aaaand... go!

:: 2 stars of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

Sunday, January 13th, 2008
8:14 pm - Bored.
Really slow day at work today and all of the bestest media sites seem to not like our network today.

If anyone happens to be online at 8 PM on a Sunday night and can offer some suggestions for something to keep me from going mental in the next three hours, I'm all ears.

In other news, I find myself wondering why I show up on Thursdays to roleplay when it always seems to be a waste of time -- although it seems to be a waste for different reasons every week. :3

current mood: bored

:: 1 star of destiny :: befriend a SoD ::

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