Tag Archives: Role Playing Games

I did stuff now I can write about stuff

OK first and foremost I finally installed the bushings in the spindles. I spent hours pounding on that last bushing, but I finally got it (mostly) in place.
See the brassy looking stuff? That's a bushing

Now the fun part is going to be honing those bushings until the kingpin just barely falls into them when I carefully insert it from the top. Actually it should be falls from the top smoothly through the bottom, but let’s not be looking for miracles here. If it lines up so the kingpin rotates in both bushings at the same time I will be satisfied. I was just thinking maybe I should have made a few quick passes with the hone on the kingpin holes in the spindles but hindsight is better than 20/20. That reminds me, I need to hang on to my 2020 party shades when the time gets here. I finally had to resort to my 8 pound engineering hammer to brute force the bushing in place, where the other 3 finessed in using the 32 oz. ball peen hammer, thereby confirming the adage “If at first it doesn’t fit, get a bigger hammer!”

I think I mentioned a while back I was playing Shadowrun as a repaired and idealized version of my future self (age 129). The main difference is when they fitted my cyberlegs I requested they be proportioned like the Vitruvian Man.The Ideal proportions for the Human Male
So my character is now 6’7″ instead of 5’8″. (My neck got fixed while I was in traction for the hips to heal, too) I have a shotgun/slug gun in my left arm, and I can swap out a 4 round internal magazine for a 16 round external replaceable magazine in less than 5 minutes, and reload with a spare magazine in 2 seconds. The arm gun fires 20mm slugs or flechette rounds in-game. If I was to have such a thing IRL I would use a Military Buckshot load of 00 and 4 Buckshot, because 1) flechette rounds have lousy terminal ballistics and 2) flechettes tear up the barrel, even in a cup wad. Don’t believe me? Search YouTube for Taofledermaus flechette and look what carefully loaded flechette loads did to his gun.It ain’t pretty.

And I have to get up semi-early tomorrow to start honing those bushings, so time to post and shut down for the night.

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Happy first day of Kwannza!

I don’t know if any of my readers celebrate this one, but if you do have a good one. I hope my UK readers had a good Boxing Day, all two of you. And I hope everyone got what they needed or wanted for Xmas.

I got the gift of caffeine this year as everyone either gave me gift cards to Starbucks or actual bags of Starbucks coffee. The in-laws sent checks, some of which will be used to buy raw stock for the hot rod project. Since my glasses have been falling apart I suspect that new glasses will come first. And I now have enough $$ loaded into my Starbucks phone app to keep me caffeinated for at least a month.

And sometime today I need to go on the shortest walk possible that will still let me get as many check-ins as possible on that phone app that pays me money. I’m less than 2000 points away from a $5 Amazon card and I want to get it before 12/31 and get my 2016 total over $100. I have been over-doing the walks lately and I need to stop or taper a bit to allow recovery. Seriously getting the extra 65 points is not worth the damage of walking nearly 5 miles a day compared to less than 4 for the full 25 check-ins or just over 2 for 19 check-ins. I’m wearing out my shoes and my feet, but I’m doing wonders for my heart and depression.

All of my other money-making gigs are shut down today because Xmas was on a Sunday this year, so it’s kinda quiet for a Monday.

And to close on a somber note, one of the players in my RPG group died last week and we are trying to determine the fate of the character he played. One option is he gets filthy rich scamming one of the corps and they can’t do anything about it without destroying themselves in the process, another option is he saves the character he loves but dies in the process, the third option is he turns evil and becomes an NPC villain. My personal choice is a lot of option 1 with a dash of option 2 minus the death. Ideally in saving the person he actually cares about he becomes filthy rich. Tentative title “Operation Plot Hole”.

And that’s all I got for today, I have a visit to the Lab Rat Keeper set for tomorrow morning and a trip to the bank for depositing Xmas checks.

Happy Holidays, Opus the Unkillable Poet

PLaying D&D 5th edition, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

The RPG group has moved into the world of D&D 5th edition from 3.5 (there was no 4th edition, in spite of the books of some other RPG saying they were D&D 4th, and anyone who says otherwise is a tool of the mass misinformation machine). To give the new version the best possible test we all played either the same type of character, or the closest thing to the same kind of character in 5th that we played in 3.5, so I played a warlock, again. We had a druid, a paladin, a barbarian, and my warlock.

Notes on warlock building in 5th. There are 9 variations of the build, with three different sources of power and 3 different paths to that power within the source. There is one source and path that results in a moderately powerful combat magic user, who also has access to healing spells. This seems to be the best-rounded form to kick butt in battle and then fix broken butts after combat has ceased. This is also something I wanted for at least the last couple of years as we have had sessions without a healer, and they don’t end well, so I want to make sure every party I adventure with has a healer of some kind even if I have to be that healer.

All we had with our first session was a first-level party which like any other first-level party was pretty weak. There was some dice karma involved, but basically we liked the play action of 5th edition. Combat was streamlined with the use of “advantage” and “disadvantage” instead of having multiple adjustments to AC based on cover and concealment as in 3.5. So the way that works is when your target is obscured or behind cover you are disadvantaged, and you make two attack rolls with the lowest one counting as your actual attack. If you are working from surprise or a sneak attack then you take the higher of the two attack rolls for your actual attack. Again this works much better than the complicated tables of adjustments to AC for when the person making the attack has advantages over the attacked.

One of the problems we had with our party in yesterday’s session was the person playing our paladin playing “lawful good” as “lawful stupid” and killing the lawful evil NPC who was spying on the target of our mission for several days before we got there and more than happy to show off and tell us everything he had discovered had the paladin not killed him first.

And again tonight I am going to end that public spell to return the intentions of the guy that tried to kill me by focussing a reflection spell with my hat. The guy died back in 2002, so the spell has been just churning out energy to no effect ever since then. I will be starting a new spell by dedicating a new hat to the creation of real, high quality (CROW Manual) bicycle infrastructure here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Pictures to follow.

We had the hats soaked in lamp oil before placing them on the fire.
Burn, baby, burn!

A few minutes after placing them on the fire.feel that energy getting shunted to good use!

After the rest of service was done, energy safely dispersed.Go and harm ye none.

And that’s all I got today.

PSA, Opus the Poet

My Warlock is starting over on a Wreck-Free Sunday

After a disastrous game session last time, it was decided that we had too many new players who did not know how to play their characters and we needed to start over with a new quest and level 1 characters. Since I had the only remaining character that had survived the entire 3 years the previous campaign had been going on I was allowed to reset my character to zero and raise my worst stat to maximum. Since my low Wisdom stat (9) had nearly gotten my character killed in several encounters because I was constantly blowing spot, listen, and search checks I took the opportunity to buff out my character a bit. I also rebalanced my skills points to enhance my spellcraft and use magic device rolls with the idea of eventually getting really good at making magical items when I hit a high enough level to do so. My character class can make magical items that cast spells if I get a high enough score on a “use magical item” roll even if I can’t do the spell myself (as an invocation), which means I will be able to heal party members as well as blow shit up.

Anywho, the story on my new character is he’s the son of my old character after he got really high-level and set up a Warlock’s Keep and married better than himself. After discovering that his only son (out of a number of daughters) was also afflicted with the Mark of DisNee and a warlock of humor Sparrow trains him somewhat and sends him to an outlying village to protect it from monsters. By using the range effect of the Eldritch Blast he manages to not get killed while keeping monsters at bay or outright killing some. This gets him noticed, and the local monarch decides to recruit him to a quest… Unlike his father who could summon noisy items when it was funny this Minion of DisNee can summon oversized mallets to hit people over the head when they are stupid and it’s funny to do so. This causes no more injury than an open-handed slap and is just a way of pointing out that a fellow party member is acting stupid. It can also be used to startle enemies when the party has initiative, or to deliver the final blow as an enemy is dispatched.

On another front I mentioned yesterday I was going to have to get a new cell phone. Unfortunately I was unable to get my contacts transferred from the old phone to the new one, and couldn’t remember the PIN to keep my old number when I bought the new phone, so now I have a new phone and a new number and none of my old contacts. Bummer, dudes! 😉

And I’m getting tired of looking at this computer now.

PSA, Opus

A rushed post before I let my Warlock6 loose against the monsters, and the Feed

Yep, it’s RPG day again, when I set my crafty and smart Warlock6 against hordes of monsters with the rest of my party. I’m useful because I have a weapon that can be used at all ranges from melee up to 250 feet and that can be used at least once per round of combat (more with special bonuses) and is effective as a touch weapon that bypasses any armor the victim is wearing (not natural armor like the scales of a dragon). In short I can deal damage at will against any enemy facing the party at a far enough distance to keep the party safe against the majority of monsters. Other humanoids, well that’s a different story, but my character can still get in some licks at everything from hand-to-hand distances on up, it’s just that humanoids can also have ranged attacks to return fire. And shortly I will be leveling up to get even more attack bonuses and more damage dice…

Up first is another one from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike since before I started doing this blog. St. Augustine bicyclist critically injured in hit-and-run Hit-from-behind in the bike lane and left for dead by a driver mistaking the bike lane for a turn lane, got to be either a drunk or stoned driver. Use the protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Good news from CO. Cyclist Injured By Hit & Run Driver Near CSU Expected To Recover

More coverage about the drunk driver that hit 3 cyclists, a parked car and knocked a building off its foundation in ME. Maine man indicted in bicyclist’s death and Biddeford Man Indicted in Bicyclist’s Death

South (way south) of the border hit-from-behind wreck. Cyclist Killed On Northern Highway Protocols to avoid or mitigate damages, and even this country could afford to get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Unusual ped-on-bike wreck in the UK. Eastbourne cyclist injured in bike rage incident I don’t know the area but I do know that there are sidewalks (pavements) that are shared as MUP in the area, that are poorly marked as such. If the pedestrian did not know the pavement was shared then it appears the local press has incited violence against cyclists again.

And we get Infrastructure! news from GA. Bicyclists vs cars: Who’s at fault? Uhh, isn’t that usually determined by trained investigators at every wreck? (not really)

And from CA. Karen Kefauver, Spin City: Bicycling shouldn’t be a death sentence Too many drivers not paying attention to the road, too many cyclists not visible to drivers no matter how many blinky lights they use or how many acres of stomach-churning neon vomit green they wear because drivers aren’t paying attention to the roads.

And those are all the links about bicycles that gave me fits today. Time to go play and take my mind off of bicycles and infrastructure.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

A Wreck-free post on my Death Day

Twelve years ago this morning at 0119 I was hit by a man driving a white pickup truck. That much I know from what I remember of before and immediately after the wreck. What I know from what I learned later is the white pickup was a city vehicle and the driver had made a u-turn to get on my side of the road and pretty much floored it to hit me as fast as he could, and that this was the same driver of a white pickup truck that shouted at me to “get off the fucking road” before I got hit.

I have recounted my injuries in brief and at length in other posts in this blog, in fact there are 2 pages devoted to those injuries, one serious and one humorous. I have also waxed at length about the consequences of those injuries, so that is why I’m not talking about them here. They hurt, they still hurt from time to time, and they changed my life. That is enough about my injuries.

On the runup to this day I was confronted by a large number of coincidences from other people whose lives have been changed by motor vehicle wrecks. Their stories are very similar to mine in most respects, differing only in details that revolve around the different injuries they we got. The hospital stays were very similar, the painful PT was very similar, and the psychological recovery was very similar. Then I started getting stories about soldiers wounded in battle, and saw the same thing from them, down to the problems of recovering from brain injury, and the stigma of not being able to think the same as before the injury because brain injuries normally don’t leave scars. You can’t look at someone and say, “I should be careful with them as they have a damaged brain.”

What I wanted to emphasize in today’s post is that life is for living. Living is not eking out survival but in experiencing as much as you can. In some religions it is said that God created man that He might experience His Creation, others state pretty much the same thing about sentience, we exist that the Universe might experience Itself. All I Know is I am here to live my life to the best of my abilities, to experience as much Life as I can before I can’t any more. Tonight I’m going to a party to celebrate the fact that “I’m not dead, yet” and have my Warlock6 kick some ass fighting political corruption in whatever the name is of the town we are in at the moment, a three-way struggle between the Royals, the Priests, and the Mage Guild. As a magic user my character tends towards supporting the Mages but as I have a Good alignment (Chaotic Good, but still Good) I am ambivalent about all the parties involved in the confrontation. My deity is one that likes to puncture the dignity of the officious and the pompous because that is funny, so the other two parties in the conflict are both “fair game” from those teachings. Also my party (in-game party, not the party IRL to celebrate not being dead) has 3 stage props from one of our performances, the Exploding Radish. I was tending the garden of magical vegetables when the bard came to keep me up to date on the news of the party so I pulled 3 ripe radishes for her. These are the equivalent of a “flash-bang” stage prop and are (mostly) harmless but might be useful as a distraction at some point in the future.

So, anyway, I’m going to go to my party in a bit. Y’all kick back and have a cold one of your preference for me, and remember to kiss your significant others, hug your kids, and remember that live is for living. Tomorrow I’m going to attend my grandson’s first birthday, which as Mrs. the Poet points out is something else I managed to live long enough to experience. I’ll be back Monday (yes I work on holidays).

PSA, Opus

Waiting on my Death Day celebration, and the Feed

I’m a little excited about tomorrow, it being the 11th anniversary of the day I died, and they are including celebration of that in the Full Moon service. Not the dying part, the part that “I got better“[/Monty Python]. I will call Coyote to come join the celebration of Life (Coyote never seems to be far from my life anyway, might as well invite Him to the party), and then we will drum and dance around the fire. I don’t have any Zombie Chow to serve at this one, cash is a scarce resource around here, but I’m told that Coyote and I will get to share a cold one at the circle. One of the things I’m going to request of Coyote is that since I have become “an idiot magnet” to quote a Richardson PD officer from 12 years ago, that I also attract people that can do something about the idiots I attract on the roads. IOW when someone drives on the sidewalk to pass me, or other such dangerous and illegal acts, that there be a concerned LEO there with the ability to capture and punish the idiots. I want the idiots to get what they deserve for putting my life and the lives of others in danger, and otherwise risking my and other’s safety. Since I can’t get away from them it seems only fair that they should have to watch out for me and my “angels”. Catch the one batch to make room to catch the next batch, until there are no more idiots to catch or I die of old age. Either one is fine by me as long as I don’t get hit by any of the idiots, or the idiots don’t actually hit anyone else.

Up first is a link that popped up yesterday right after (less than 30 minutes) I posted yesterday. Bicyclist hit by pumpkin thrown from car in Carlisle I think the pumpkin chunker was disappointed last year when his pumpkin patch was judged insincere . This does not fall into the category of things a cyclist can avoid, as with any thrown object.

Another bicycle wreck in PA from the same paper. Bicyclist injured in crash with car in Carlisle This is why you don’t ride salmon, why you don’t ride without brakes, why you don’t ride without your brain… Seriously, this has to be the stupidest surviving cyclist I have ever read about. note the emphasis on surviving, I have read about cyclists that really did more stupid things than this cyclist, but none of them lived…

A story I never thought I would get to see, the driver that ran over 2 cyclists on a tandem bike southwest of Austin is going to trial for their deaths. Man Who Killed Couple on Bicycle on Trial This is the guy that ran off the road twice before hitting the couple riding on the shoulder of the highway from behind at 65 MPH in a 60 zone.I don’t know what his problem was but he had no business being on the road in that condition. I hope they get him and throw the whole frelling library at him. This guy ran down 2 people because he couldn’t be bothered to keep his vehicle on the road or travel at a legal speed. The fact that he left tracks from running off the road all the way past the shoulder twice shows just how dangerous he was that day. If he wasn’t under the influence of intoxicating drugs then he needs to go to jail for a few years and never be allowed to drive a motor vehicle ever again for the rest of his miserable life. And if his life is not miserable enough I can change that for him. I am really mad that it took more than 3 years to bring this guy to trial, I hope he spends at least that long in prison for killing these people and leaving their daughter an orphan.

A kid in CT is killed riding his bike. Juvenile killed after being hit by car in North Haven while riding bike And the headline is almost as long as the article. Nothing about the mode of the wreck or the location in the link I was reading (I hope that changes). Just a vague reference to a several square mile neighborhood near New Haven. And the word that the kid was riding a bicycle when he was hit.

From MI a cyclist is attacked twice with a deadly weapon. Bicyclist shot, killed after traffic dispute, prosecutors consider charges From the description of the vehicle direction of travel and other movements this was a right hook that they tried to blame on the cyclist running the pedestrian signal, when the pedestrian signal means as much to the cyclist as it did to the driver, nothing. Intersection protocols to avoid the initial wreck, infrastructure to prevent it. I don’t know what to do about drivers that pack heat in addition to the weapon of mass destruction they drive. More Motorist who shot Taylor bicyclist in road rage incident released

Another CA cyclist is hit-from-behind and left to die. Norco bicyclist killed in Rancho CucamongaThe Norco man was wearing a helmet.” Then he shouldn’t have died, right? I mean that little thin shell of EPS and thin skin of ABS plastics over the cyclist’s fragile skull and brain should have protected him from all harm, right. I mean bicycle safety begins and ends with wearing a helmet, from most of the “safety” articles I read on the web. So why did this man die in spite of wearing a helmet?

A wreck in LA that makes very little sense to me. Police identify cyclist killed in accident If I read this correctly something made the cyclist fall in the intersection and then the driver ran her over, independently of the other wreck. IOW, the driver is claiming that his hitting of the cyclist was not his fault because the cyclist was already down when he got there. HeLLOOO!? Adult human being laying in the street and you can’t see her. Do you not have headlights capable of lighting the road? Anyway to avoid try not to get wrecks as you cross an intersection, intersection protocols might apply here as there may have been a second vehicle involved hit-and-run. To prevent get the infrastructure right, including things like headlights on cars and teaching drivers to not overdrive their headlights.

Another report on the cyclist hit from behind in OH. North Ridgeville native dies when bike struck in Cincinnati Eyewitnesses have posted in the Facebook group Cyclists are Drivers pictures of the remains of the bike impaled on the weapon vehicle. From the pictures I can get there was no way for the cyclist to avoid this wreck as he was not in the middle of the road as first reported but riding the fog line.

A report from NY that makes very little sense. Police ID man hit by car while riding bicycle in Rochester The cyclist made a U-turn in the middle of an intersection? I’m going to assume the writer was not on crack but reporting the actual facts as they were related to him, but this really sounds like the most elaborate SWSS I have ever read. UGH! Anyway to avoid the wreck as it is described intersection protocols apply, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

An apparent ninja cyclist is killed in CO. Cyclist struck, killed by SUV on Wadsworth I looked at the possible scenes in Google Maps (Street View doesn’t work for this box of rocks) and it was about 3/8 of a mile between controlled crossings but there were several intersections where he cyclist could have been trying to cross the road. Most were from parking lot driveways which are uncontrolled but the through traffic always has right of way. Intersection protocols including lights and reflectors to avoid, and get the infrastructure right so a cyclist of any age does not have to cross a 6 lane urban highway to get a cup of coffee or a news paper. But you still need lights and reflectors even with the perfect infrastructure.

A wreck with life-threatening injury in Canuckistan. Cyclist injured in crash I don’t know the mode of the wreck but the bike seems to be in fairly good condition so it was probably a buzz job side-swipe. There was a comment that the cyclist died after the wreck. I couldn’t find any followup to this breaking story link.

Another cyclist is hit in the Great White North. Cyclist seriously injured in Gatineau I’m pretty sure Gatineau is somewhere in Quebec, but don’t hold me to that, it could be a Québécois name for a body part for all I know. This was another breaking story with no followup that I could find.

We finally find out what it takes to get a half-way decent jail term for a surviving cyclist’s wreck in the UK: They have to be a potential Olympic or Paralympic Gold medal, and the driver has the be quantifiably drunk, and also leave the scene. Farmer jailed for hit-and-run on Paralympic cyclist I had a very hard time reading this article as a large black box covered most of the page. I was able to scroll up and down and read the article above or below the box. While the sentence was ludicrous it was still several times more strict than most cyclist deaths in the UK which in most cases amount to 200 hours or so of community service, and maybe a few months ban from driving. Even when the prosecution can prove deliberate actions to kill a cyclist the drivers seldom get a custodial (jail or prison) sentence. This wreck is truly out of the ordinary.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Programming note, there will be no blog posts until Monday. I’m taking the weekend off to celebrate not dying 11 years ago and also Labor Day (and beat my spell checker over the head a few times about how to spell “labor” in the United States). Also I have to leave early Saturday to level up my Warlock to 5th in the RPG we are playing at church, I have a new invocation I have been dying to try, “Eldritch Lesser Pantsing”. It causes the bottom half of any biped’s armor to fall off and remain around his feet for as many rounds as I pass my concentration check, plus a round for each level of the caster so as a “fire and forget” spell I bollux up the recipient for 5 rounds, or I can really make it evil for them as long as I pass my concentration check plus 5 more rounds. This does 2 things to the “victim”. First the victim’s movement is cut in half for medium and smaller characters, by 2/3 for large and giant characters. Second the characters AC is reduced because the spell removes half the armor, and reduces the ability to dodge, because the armor is tangled up around the victim’s feet. The victim can pull up the armor to restore rate of movement but they still get the AC loss as the armor is less effective when just held in the hands than worn properly. Also when the victim is holding up the bottom of the armor he can’t use any two handed weapons because one hand is full of his pants. The spell is cast against the character’s charisma stats, and has a DM discretion to work any time “Rule of Funny” can be invoked. There is a penalty that can be used when the spell isn’t all that funny to go with the DM discretion.

Billed @$0.02, Opus