Tag Archives: RPG Group

RPG Group yesterday

With this group we spend more time planning than doing, but because we spend so much time planning there usually isn’t much that needs to be done. Last night’s Shadowrun session was a good example of that. We were going up against a force 12 spirit that cursed us for moving a magical artifact a few runs back, and has caused loss of life (mine) or destruction of materiel (everybody else) for the party, so it had to be destroyed because it was created as a guardian for that magical artifact and can’t be negotiated out of doing what it was created for. So the potions we got from the previous run were not “Curse-be-gone” but actually a way of merging the astral and physical planes for a short period so that we could pull the spirit physically into our reality where we could shoot it.

The way that worked was to find a confined space with walls and sturdy doors that would confine the spirit within the area of effect of the spell released when the vial containing the potion was smashed on the floor. Otherwise the spirit could just wander away and we couldn’t hurt it, but it could still hurt us. So I moved the vehicles out of the garage under the house and we set up our ambush there, the garage having walls of reinforced concrete several feet thick and a bunker-strong outer door and inner door to prevent unsavory people from getting into the house through the garage, which would make it good enough to confine most embodied spirits who were below god-level strong. So after selecting ammunition that would do great damage to the spirit but not have a large enough area of effect (for fragmentation ammo, I had to just use slugs for both the grenade launcher and the Cybershot because other ammunition had too large a blast radius to use in the garage) we activated the potion to trap the curse spirit in the garage. And in less than a full round of initiative the curse spirit was no more. Seriously, I was fourth in initiative and I never got a chance to fire a round because of how well we selected ammo and weapons, that and a little dice karma wiped a force 12 spirit in less than one initiative pass.

Now we have to return the Pink Purse Poodle to the rich bitch we swiped her from a few runs ago. I’m trying to get the party to use the animal rescue in the back to get her to come to us and retrieve her dog. The tentative plan is to have the party member with the highest charisma stat “working” for the animal rescue when Ms. Rich Bitch comes to get her dog from the rescue, because I have the charisma needed to seduce orc and troll women, but that’s about as far as I can push it. Even in the 6th world, healing powers and plastic surgery can only do so much when you lead with your face into deadly situations. The plan so far is after the ransom is confirmed Ms. Rich Bitch gets a call the next morning saying her dog was identified as hers during a routine scan for ID chips, and she could either get it herself or send a pre-identified minion to pick it up. The alternative would be to use the regular employee and just tell them the story we want them to know so there is no need for anyone on our side of the transaction to be untruthful.

So that was my night last night, how was yours?

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OK change in plans

There was a problem with scheduling at the Lab Rat Keeper so I’m here and not there today. I have a new appointment same day and time next week, and this will be a fasting draw, meaning I get up and take my pill with water and don’t have anything to eat until after noon and nothing to eat after midnight the day before. Now ordinarily this would not be a problem but I eat a snack about 0200 so that I’m not famished as a bear in Spring when I get up. So I will be consciously monitoring my mood so as to not to bite anyone’s head off.

We are having game tomorrow instead of Sunday because there were multiple schedule conflicts on Sunday and everyone can make it on Thursday. And after I post this I’m going to get my toes done because they need it something awful because it has been a few months since the last time. Seriously they are starting to hurt again because the nails are that long. So another shower to make sure I smell nice after lunch and off to the nail spa for shorter toenails.

Game yesterday, my character died again

This time I woke up in a coffin at my viewing. I knew this would happen when the other party member just left my body lying in the dog run for the dog part of the animal and people rescue at the compound.

Explanation of the situation. We heisted the Pink Purse Poodle (official breed name for a poodle the size smaller than teacup with naturally pink hair) and had to have someone take care of the pupper until we could manage the transfer to the Johnson, so I brought it to my place where there is a registered animal rescue in case someone was tracking the ID chip. I put the dog into the fenced dog run so he could use the facility instead of making a puddle in the house, and as he was doing his business I heard lots of barking and growling. As I investigated the noise I saw what appeared to be a calico house cat roughly the size of a large tiger in the dog run. This creature is called a Talis Cat, and is a magically enlarged house cat with an appetite to match the size. Some people keep these as pets in the DFW Sprawl, and this was either one of those running loose, or a stray. I was still loaded up with 3 gel rounds and one lethal slug in my arm gun and managed to get 2 gel rounds on target against the Talis Cat before it got to me, and pretty much took me out in one attack. I had a very bad defense roll and it went through my entire damage pool and 4 ticks into overflow in the single attack, which is DEAD for most characters but not for The Old Man. This time I woke up in a coffin at the viewing because I was out in front of the house and when the party came to get the poodle for the Johnson to deliver for the client they just left my body for the neighbors to find. The Old Man is a beloved neighborhood figure and seeing me in that condition they naturally assumed I was Permanently Dead because there are tales of my surviving things that would kill a normal being but this was obviously not something I could live through. So, I woke up still missing some bits and regenerating them, including my implanted cat eye bioware (because bioware doesn’t need to be recharged to keep working). So I’m partially blind until I finish growing the new eyes (and the rest of my face), and announced to the people paying respects “I’m not dead yet! Don’t you people watch Monty Python? I was pining for the fjords.” Which caused the mourners great consternation except for those who watched the Monty Python marathon my character puts on for Halloween, they laughed.

So, anyway, The Old Man is currently growing back the bits the Talis Cat chewed up to ripped out while the rest of the group delivers the poodle to the Johnson and back to the person we dognapped it from so it could be used as a living spy device. The original plan was for me as head of the dog rescue to deliver the pupper as having gotten the address from the ID chip when we scanned the dog after it showed up looking for food/ got dropped at the delivery entrance/ whatever wild story we could think of. But since I was still not in condition to leave the house, that plan got scotched.

Incidentally Team Ruff beat Team Fluff in the Puppy Bowl, and there was some kind of a football game at the same time, some kind of a Superb Owl thing.

And I have yammered on enough.

No game yesterday because reasons

Well game didn’t happen again this week because one critical player needs brain meds and his insurance company did the prior approval bullshit on him and he hasn’t had his meds in about a week and as a result has difficulty following conversations and formulating plans. Or as he himself put it “It’s like walking in a fog”. Since I’m still trying to keep this a PG-13 rated blog I won’t repeat what I said about the insurance company execs that came up with this process, except that “practicing medicine without actually having contact with the patient” came up a few times between graphic depictions of medieval forms of execution where death was the sweet relief from the rest of the execution.

We had a great lunch, and shared the second Giant Reese’s Cup. The hostess prepared a ton of fried rice with tilapia, and vegetables, but I neglected to get a picture of that.
8 Oz (227 g) of sugar overload

Because the GM was bored and didn’t have anything to distract her the two former boyfriends got our eyebrows “done” with tweezers, well eyebrow changed to eyebrows in my case. The monobrow that extended from forehead to the tip of my nose was subdivided into housing lots by plucking a street down the middle. In not as colorful terms where I used to have one eyebrow and a hairy nose I now have two eyebrows and a bald nose. I’m not showing that in case my bi-eyebrowed doppelgänger reads my blog and wants to make an angry comment about how he looked better and I should quit copying him 😈. [Sheldon Cooper] Kidding of course, he’s never left a comment about either of our looks. [/Sheldon Cooper]

On another front I need to contact my bank about doing a temporary increase on my debit card to infinity so it doesn’t get declined when I go pay my taxes. That would be embarrassing to say the least. Since the one tax office is closed until next Monday that errand will probably have to wait until Friday, so I can get everything dome at once.

And I really need to get some practice time with the new model-building tools so this seems like a good time to take a break. I know I write fascinating prose 😹 but I will return tomorrow.

I got stuff and some people won stuff and we ate good stuff at the RPG group holiday party

And that basically covers the event. Our DM also makes jewelry and chain mail on the side so everybody got a D20 in a chain mail basket on a chain as a pendant. I handed out scratch cards from the Texas Lottery and one guy won $40, so that worked out well. I’ll take a picture of my D20 and post it next time.

We had a gourmet mac and cheese for lunch, and leftover desserts from another party that included key lime merengue pie and baby pecan pies masquerading as cookies. Then we sat down around the game table and didn’t talk about games of any kind, including the one we were playing.

Breaking News: My hands are still borked

Well, hand singular, as the right hand still functions within tolerances. And that is a call back to how my business partner and I used to greet each other when we were in the same room instead of just the same country. “How ya doin’?” “Functioning within design tolerances if not design specifications. How about you?”

Yesterday we role-played the barbecue with the orcs and trolls and hangers-on, with much karma and contact points accrued. I got mine because you don’t give away 4 tons of real meat to starving people used living on soy and bugs without someone appreciating you for it, and the rest of the party because of whatever the inverse of guilt-by-association is, maybe halo effect? Anywho they got level one group contacts with one loyalty, I got level 3 with 3 loyalty. Mine are not quite take-a-bullet, but high enough. I have access to most of the gang activity on the east side of the DFW Sprawl and most of the rest of the sprawl, with multiple “favors” owed, because I. Take. Care. Of. People. They’re just Different-looking People. Which is just like I am IRL, easiest role-playing I ever did.

Now we are going to make a run where we steal a dog so it can be bugged and record the owner’s activities 24/7 by a third party hacking the dog’s RFID chip. And yes I know that can’t happen in this world, but this is Shadowrun with tech that interfaces prosthetic genitals to relay real sexual pleasure so of course the ID chip can be hacked into an audio-visual listening device. The hard part will be making sure the dog is awake and looking in the desired direction when something of interest to our employers is taking place, but that’s their problem, not ours. Ours is just to grab the dog from the owner’s purse and deliver it to the employer, then return it without getting caught. I’m going to suggest that on the return we claim we found it wandering the street near Casa de El Poeta and saved it from being somebody’s dinner and when we scanned the ID chip we found out who owned it. And if I bring it back I think it would be more likely to be believed, because I would be in my Benevolent Philanthropist role, not my Runner role.

And that pretty much covers the weekend for me, how are you?

I must be getting old

I’m getting old, I can feel it. I get tired easier, things hurt that didn’t hurt before, and I take longer to recover from doing things. Yesterday I did the walk to the RPG session, and I had some issues with the legs getting tired on the way, then today I woke up and the legs were stiff and didn’t work right, which put the kibosh on my plans to get a jump on paying the property taxes. Also I’m getting something annoying from my dent, a weakness and tingling sensation radiating from the dent down the trap on the right side to the deltoid and up through the cervical muscles I don’t know the names for any more. Basically the muscle the dent formed in and the two adjacent muscles are acting up and it feels like there is a nerve involved someway. I knew back when the tumor was removed there was at least one nerve trapped in it that was damaged during removal, but the amount of damage wasn’t related to me at the time. I keep talking about how terrible it is to get old, because I also know how terrible it is to not get old (well more boring than terrible, but you get the point).

So this is like a cascade effect from two sources. The one source was the hip damage I got at the exercise and meditation class before Dad died that got better but never really all the way better, my range of motion never really recovered, and because of that I need a step-through frame to get on a bike. The other source was the tumor I called Chris Christie, because it was a useless lump of fat that mainly got in the way. Somehow it did something to the nerves going to the trapezius muscle and to the other muscles on either side, but only on the right side of my body. Both contributed to my decline in stamina. One because most of the aerobic exercise I have been doing was on bicycles, and the other because I use my cane in my right hand and anything that affects my right shoulder also affects my walking because I no longer have the strength to catch myself with my cane. The result is I’m feeling a lot older than I should.

Speaking of the RPG group, yesterday was not so much a game session as an administrative session, getting stats cleared up, karma points totaled up, money straightened out, stuff like that. Shadowrun requires more of that than D&D does, so every so often between runs we have a mini session to get all that cleared up, and as we had one player who had to be present for First Night celebrations for Hanukkah (or Chanukah if that’s the spelling you prefer) so he had to be in temple before sundown which is much earlier than we normally shut down on Sunday so not enough time for a game session but plenty for the administrative BS that has to get done that we have been ignoring lately. So, the barbecue is getting set up, my character is buying mesquite and apple wood for the smokers and roughly 4 tons of pork and KillDeer has to be thawed and smoked in about a week. In game most of that meat is going to get frozen again for the food pantry but about a ton will be eaten during the party. And part of the administrative things we had to take care of was the karma points and street cred this event was going to add to my stats. And as it turns out a ton of karma points but not much street cred. That’s a rules thing but in game we are going to go with there is not much of a connection between my good works which gets reported under my real name and what I do as a runner which gets spread around by my street name of The Old Man. Not many people connect Opus the philanthropist to The Old Man the Shadowrunner. And in game the pork is from my hobby/training for running gig as a feral hog disposal specialist. The feral hog population is a real problem in the DFW area because for some reason magic and feral hogs get along like peanut butter and jelly, resulting in damages like you would not believe and bounties like you would not believe, but my character does it mostly for the meat and the shooting practice. The money and most of the meat go into keeping the food pantry running. At some point the barbecue is going to be a thing in game, I’m hoping as a place where the rest of the group can develop contacts in the Orc and Troll gangs that meet to negotiate during the feast. In game my house is neutral territory where fighting is prohibited and poor people can get food when things are tighter than usual and children are protected from any feuds while they are in my compound (see my backstory, link at the top). The Basic Rule is there are no gangs, no orcs, no trolls, no humans, no elves, just people, in my compound. And I. Help. People. And if you can’t abide by that you have to leave the compound. And in-game things are working out so far.

And IRL right now I’m having a Really Bad Neck Day, it is never a good neck day but today I have a really restricted range of motion and lots of pain at the limits. I think I have about 60 ° left and maybe 45° right horizontally and I can barely get my head all the way up. So at some point I will probably have to have a lie down with either my phone or tablet because I can’t read sitting up.

I think world peace is only marginally more difficult than scheduling an RPG

Well, I was supposed to be playing Shadowrun about now, but another player got called in on her day off, so I’m pecking at the keyboard and trying to maintain low enough levels of blood in my caffeinestream (yes I have caffeine with blood in it instead of the other way around) instead of slashing my way through monsters and solving puzzles.
But we have rescheduled for Friday it looks like right now, with Thursday as the alternate if we can’t get Friday to work.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this dungeon crawl so we can get back to DFW and solve some things we left undone, and I can spend some karma points on kicking my skills up and maybe getting more contacts. Right now my skills are what would be max for character creation, but I have enough accumulated karma points to raise one or two another point and get some points in skills like Observe, and probably Negotiate. I have already maxed out my levels in Badass, which does help in negotiation rolls, but actually having that as a skill would be an asset as well. Right now my character uses his money and willingness to spend it on making people’s lives better as his primary negotiating tool.

And speaking of spending money helping people I really need to finish setting up the Solstice Barbecue and Pig Roast or I’m going to have about a hundred angry trolls and about the same number of orcs standing around the house expecting to be fed and no meat cooked for them. And I have to finish this Run and get back to DFW from Egypt if I want to do that. In game this is an annual event that I have been doing for decades now, and a big part of why the gang wars in Garland don’t get fought in my neighborhood. We have a DMZ of sorts for several blocks around the house, and there is a Pax Opus on people going in and out to use the food pantry, or the homeless shelter in the basement. That’s what most of my running fees go to, and a good chunk of my TI retirement in-game. In-game I’m almost-rich from all the times I got killed but didn’t stay dead and sued the person who killed me, and got a fvckton of money from TI for keeping them from getting taken over by a much larger corp, which I wasn’t supposed to survive but guess who can’t stay dead in-game? 👿

On the Mini Sprint-T I’m going with the SBC and the 700R4 transmission because that is the most complete engine and transmission combination I have and also the most likely to be installed as a crate combination should I get the money. Also, I don’t have a 1/25 scale Subaru to stuff in there. The Subie is actually cheaper and the same power as the SBC not to mention hundreds of pounds lighter, but Not Generally Available outside a kit, so no Subaru engine. 😛

Negative campaign ads just make me want to shoot all of them

Seriously, the politicking this year makes me want to just go out and kill every one of them. I’m just reaching the limits of my endurance and tolerance for my fellow-man. But there is a huge gap between want and do. So if you read about some political rally blown up with a mini nuke, I don’t have the money to buy the parts to do it. Nor the supply chain to get the parts even if I had the money. Nor the foggiest notion of where to look. So if it happens, I didn’t do it. I have been thinking about building other things, mostly.

Now what I have been thinking about when I’m not thinking about using WMD to level the political playing field has been another A-Mod build using the Predator 670cc V Twin from Harbor Freight and a “torque converter” CVT. The great thing about this is the engine and torque converter are right at 100 pounds together, and all the CVT needs to survive the 22 HP V-Twin is an upgraded aftermarket belt and adjusting the engagement speed via weights and springs. I can hang this in front of the right rear tire and move the driver left of center to balance the car and stay under the 900 pound minimum weight leaving room to ballast up and adjust the front-to-rear balance and also keep the CG low.

One thing I’m not going to do is use a steel straight tube axle. After my last post where I either calculated, actually weighed, or weighed “at the catalog” every part in the front suspension for the Sprint-T/TGS2 and discovered I had an absolutely ghastly sprung/unsprung ratio at the front end of the TGS2, I’m going for light weight over “stout” when it comes to front end bits. I’m going back to my composite days and using moldless foam core composite construction to create a flyweight straight tube or double a-arm front suspension. Now if I wasn’t concerned about banging off curbs or potholes I could make an axle you could carry with one hand and still have two or three fingers left over, unlike the 23 pound behemoth I bought for the TGS2 that takes all 5 fingers and careful handling to prevent wrist damage because of the polar moment from its 58″ length. I might do that anyway because it would be easy to make and not super expensive when compared to steel. For this build steel fabrication would be the economic benchmark, because of raw material costs and fabrication costs. And because I have the most experience recently with steel fabrication, that also makes the process my benchmark. At this point my composites experience is about 30 or more years old. I built some parts for the CVCC race car. And if you know what CVCC means you know the car would now be eligible for vintage plates.😁 And this was also the first car I bought new back in 1978…

Everything for this car would have to be built except consumables like tires, wheels, and brakes, plus brake pads. Virtually nothing could be bought “off the shelf”. Even the steering would have to be made because available boxes are too heavy and slow and rack and pinions are either heavy, slow, big or all of the above. What I envision for this build is basically a go-kart with power steering that has the pitman arm on a pivoting shaft connected directly to the steering wheel through an electric assist, with stops mounted to prevent more than about 80° motion in either direction. I see the prototype made from steel, with subsequent versions made from aluminum or composites, or a combination of materials. Get the clearances and motion paths and the places that needed more material worked out first, then build the expensive version from exotic materials, like unobtanium and noweightium. Even the chassis I’m looking at welding up the tub from sheet steel as a mockup then pulling a mold off that and building a composite tub. In fact back in the ’70s I sketched up an idea of laying up composites in a female mold, then injecting expanding foam to make a foam core and also press the laminate together and into the details of the mold, but before I could sell the idea the state of the art passed me by, making the idea interesting but ultimately useless. But getting back to that welded sheet steel tub, if it’s under the minimum weight I’m just going to leave it at that. No sense building an expensive lightweight chassis just to bolt lead in it. Or tungsten because lead is too plebian for a composite chassis. But if it’s floppy and flexible then the foam and fiberglass come out to replace the steel, because I know they are rigid from working on airplanes and other people’s completed airplanes. The process is also used on things like boats and surfboards. It was possible to buy pre-molded cores to apply your own fiberglass skin and make your own surfboard back in the day. but we kids just used the cores as floats…

And 1) I’m starting to wander about the verbal landscape and 2) I have a Shadowrun game later and I need to get up early-ish for it. so this would be a good place to call it a night…

Fixed what I could about my Shadowrun character

We had a break in the RPG group schedule that prevented us from playing, so I took the downtime to take care of stuff I should have but didn’t know how at character creation, specifically my contacts. I worked with the GM from my backstory to establish my guy for guns and armor at the TI armory, José. Basically José and I hang out sometimes and he asks me to evaluate new stuff because my character can shoot anything designed for a single human to carry and shoot, and a few things that are usually permanently emplaced, like weapons that straddle the line between “heavy machine gun” and “light automatic cannon” or the line between “anti-materiel rifle” and “light artillery”. Current examples of that are the M2 heavy machine gun in 15mm instead of .50 cal, and a Polish rifle chambered for 20mm Bofors that is usually set up on a tripod instead of a bipod like the Barrett BMG anti-materiel rifle. Also he has me check out lightweight armor but not as often. Anywho, when I need a new gun or an old one repaired I go see José. José is like everyone else in the game, much younger than I, but because we are both nerds about cars and guns we get along fine. In-game my character is 117 or 119 depending on if we are playing in 2075 or 2077. Right now I’m 117, and a major bad-ass. Also José is trying to talk me into doing a mod to make my CyberShot a belt-fed fully auto shotgun, that I could swap for the 12 round external magazine. As in plug this into my arm and I have even more massive firepower.

We also played a card based RPG that is an evolution of Settlers of Cataan, called Rivals of Cataan. It assigns resources based on resource cards that get advanced depending on a d6 roll, and a second d6 that has events printed in symbols on it instead of pips. I had an extremely luck draw initially and managed to get loads of resources early in the game and then used those resources to basically win the game without trying. That burned just about all the time I had, so we had cold drinks and a snack, then I walked back to the bus stop and came home. I got home just as Mrs. the Poet finished the mashed potatoes, so I didn’t have to wait for dinner, or put it in the microwave to reheat. So another score for today being close to perfect.