Tag Archives: Shadowrun

No RPG this week and other stuff

There is a standing joke that the most difficult part of running an adult RPG group is getting everyone there at the same time a.k.a. scheduling. And we have one member of the group participating in a 3 day Magic the Gathering tournament who just happens to be the GM who’s running things… So no game today. Actually we would be playing this evening because one of the other members has a Sunday morning shift for some reason (he works for a bank?) and another member uses the morning and early afternoon to be with their Significant Other.

This is the game that my character is an AU version of myself, or as close as the game mechanics will let me, because some of the stuff I have done IRL would break the game mechanics. The specific instance I’m referring to is when I got hit with the truck. Now there is the possibility my character could survive that, but the player’s guide puts it outside human limits, not just by a little but a lot given the speed the truck was going when I was hit. I would have to be something with the Body stat of a Dragon but looked like a Human, and I’m not sure that exists in game. Or it could be that I have Natural Armor of some kind in the game. See my backstory page (link at top of this page).

Since we weren’t going to be playing I decided that maybe this would be a good day to go back to church since they don’t start until 1300, but when I got out of bed that idea was quickly vetoed by sharp pains in the bottoms of my feet, as I evidently Did Something my feet didn’t like. I have no idea what that might have been, but I have no doubts I Did It, because the evidence is there. It must have been something I did before I put my shoes on, which means it could have been almost anything. Or it could be just accumulated wear and tear coming back to bite me. See the previous paragraph for an example of “wear and tear” I have accumulated. And speaking of painful feet mine are getting cold and I need to lie down and get my feet under a blanket, so I think I should do that now.7

Things have been down at the Casa

That’s not an emotional evaluation, it’s a description of the state of my laptop since Saturday night. Since I was a Windows help desk operator for about a year before I got killed and another 4 months actively after my demise, I thought I would just boot into safe mode and fix whatever SNAFU had locked up my computer at the windows splash screen and get things back in operation. Unfortunately that didn’t work as the three methods for putting my laptop running Win10 into safe mode suggested by the manufacturer all did the same thing: Diddly.

So I kept looking up methods to unlock Win10 on my phone because I couldn’t look them up on my locked-up computer. Near as I can figure out two or more background programs got themselves into a race situation sometime between the splash screen (which was an NZ beach this time, very nice to look at for a few seconds but annoying for three days part of one day, a night, all day the next day, another night, and part of the next day) and pulling up the login screen. The thing that makes me think it was a race was trying to see what was running in background by doing the classic End Program move also known as the Three Finger Salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del) caused the login screen to appear. Yay!

I had over 400 new e-mails in 5 folders, including 2 time-sensitive work e-mails that luckily enough I answered in time. Not by much, but in time.

I just got caught up a few minutes before opening the Edit Post page here at WoaB the Blog. But I wasn’t staring at the Comatose Computer the entire time. Mrs. the Poet managed to drop in for a few minutes between visiting her relatives in Upstate NY and babysitting the grandson in the western half of the Metromess so we finally ate the beans and rice I made before her flight home was cancelled by rain parking over LGA for 18 hours, starting just before her flight was supposed to board, until early the next morning. And we had a RPG session playing Shadowrun scheduled for Sunday afternoon and I didn’t have to swim there this time, unlike the previous time when we had wind and rain of biblical proportions and half-trees were floating down the streets while floodwaters assaulted my knees but did not breach the perimeter at the top of my calves while I sought refuge on higher ground. And only a tiny part of that statement was hyperbole, see the post from June where I described the tiny tornado I got caught in that was the center of the downburst passing directly over me. Anyway, the team is under a curse from an artifact with a protective spirit that has to be exorcised every full moon at a cost of 10000 NuYen or my character gets killed repeatedly because my inability to stay dead makes the spirit extremely angry at me specifically for things above and beyond the initial curse. So the current run arc is us trying to get the artifact back to where it’s supposed to be so that some other schmucks can try to steal it and get cursed. Our curse will go away when the artifact is returned. To do this we need to enter two different countries, the first where the artifact is now, and the second where the artifact is supposed to be (not where we stole it from).

But before we do that we have to make a run that will get us access to transportation to the two locations which is where we are now. We have been tracking a Magic Raccoon that likes to steal Shinies, and has stolen an invention from a snack food company that Doesn’t Work Right and could possibly Destroy All Life On Earth (again) if a baked good is placed inside. And it isn’t Bigger Than a Breadbox, or Smaller Than a Breadbox, it is the exact same size as a breadbox, and I’m the only one in the group who knows how big a breadbox is… Yay I’m an antique! Anywho, we have the Thing That Could Destroy Life On Earth with a dead fish inside courtesy the Bandit (the in-game name for the Magic Raccoon) and we are going to return it to the company that invented it so they can fix it so it will make them metric buttloads of money we can destroy it in Mount Doom and they will give us access to a company plane that will allow us to travel without having to go through Customs so we can bring in our usual assortment of murder devices. And that was where the session ended after we fought a non-lethal battle with a 30 pound Magic Raccoon with spells and opposable thumbs and short, sharp, claws that like to rip through SynthSkin covering my character’s prosthetic arm. Fortunately it’s somewhat self-repairing in spite of being the wrong color, so I will be at 100% come next session.

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?

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. 😛

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.

Interesting RPG group session yesterday

Yesterday’s RPG session almost didn’t happen, because my back was acting up and because grocery day got postponed because of my ride getting an invite to participate in a play test of the next edition of Magic the Gathering card game. So after getting groceries I was asked to log into the Discord server to participate remotely.

But first, groceries. I picked up a whole bunch of frozen things for keeping cool, store brand obviously, because I need something to cool me off and I don’t have ice cube trays to make my own cheaper. I got the store brand popsicles, and ottr pops, and also a gallon of the store brand ice cream. If I don’t get crazy there should still be some left when Mrs. the Poet gets back from Upstate NY. I also got a coupon for 3 free 2 liter store brand soft drinks. I also picked up a couple more cans of veggies for mixing with my ramen noodles for a more authentic ramen experience. If you don’t know how that works, it’s easy. Just drain a 14-16 oz. can of veggies into a measuring cup and add enough water to get the 2 cups needed to cook a typical package of ramen noodles. pour the veggies over the noodles before adding the liquid, bring to a brisk boil for 3 minutes then add the flavor packet and maybe a little soy sauce, and voila, dinner. I really enjoy a hard boiled egg on the side, too.

And now the game. The mission was invasive species control in a large park. A predator called KillDeer (not to be confused with the bird that does not have the “Deer” capitalized) was decimating the deer population of a park outside Ft. Worth, to the point that the park rangers decided to call runners to “take care of it”. As described by the GM, KillDeer are essentially carnivorous deer, and the two are very difficult to differentiate from each other. The two primary visual differences are the antlers on KillDeer have needle-sharp tines, and the lower jaw is larger with carnivore dentition and the lips open further back like a dog or wolf. They hunt in packs like wolves and they aren’t picky about prey, opportunistically attacking anything remotely edible by their standards.

Since they also scavenge carcasses we “borrowed” a small hog carcass from the Solstice Bar-b-que my character holds as a peace meeting for the orc and troll gangs whose territories converge at my house. But that’s a different plot line, along with the bit that I have a side gig collecting the bounties on feral hogs and keep the kills except for the parts required to prove the bounty, so I currently have about 3 tons of pork in the freezer waiting for this shindig. So one big pig would hardly be missed. We planned on setting up a blind downwind of the bait and shooting the KillDeer when they approached the dead pig. That didn’t work because the pig was still mostly frozen and not very smelly and not attractive to the KillDeer or any other scavengers. So we used our astral plane sensing person to locate animals and they were about 5 miles from our camp. So we went to where the animals were in hopes that at least some were KillDeer. On the way to the place where our astral sensor detected animals we came on a fresh kill, an unfortunate hiker who was still twitching as the KillDeer ate his head. So still alive, but not for much longer and not that we had a chance to save him. Since we had been walking upwind and not making much noise the KillDeer had not been alerted to our existence yet. The idea was we would do the same thing with these KillDeer as my character does with feral hogs, kill them, remove the bounty parts, then add the rest to the big bar-b-que in a couple of weeks. So our mage cast invisibility on me and I took my katana up as close to the pack as I could, about 10 feet. Then our mage launched a stun attack against the pack from cover and I would rush the pack and slit as many deer throats as possible and get back out without getting attacked. I got two, but not deep enough to kill instantly. It slowed them up, but the rest of the pack managed to cut off my escape route and started trying to eat me. Long story short, I blew completely through my damage pool and deep into overflow. Technically dead, but because my character is The Old Man and lived through The Crash as well as what I lived through before the start of the game, I can’t die dead. I die and depending on the damage I regain consciousness a few seconds to several hours later. When I caught the grenade in the Battle of Central Expressway I was really messed up with both legs removed immediately and my left arm was too damaged to save. That’s why my character has two artificial legs and an artificial arm that has a shotgun inside. But anyway, I died there but was semi-conscious by the time help arrived so I got the repair parts I needed. This one was much longer, about 5 hours. I don’t know if this time was so long because my character is 117 years old in-game now, and was only about 80 during the Battle of Central Expressway. Anyway, the fact that I self-resurrect is only known by the people who were in the team that went on the KillDeer hunt.

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.

Making your life fit in a game

I spent the afternoon trying to create a playable character out of my life experiences. Let’s just say I’m going to be a Street Samurai who will be very hard to take down after we calculated what it would take to survive all the times I have taken hits from trucks, I’m on the high end of what would be a troll body, but I’m still human. But the real good part is in the game I will have new legs, new eyes, and my brain damage will get fixed. Even though it’s all a fantasy, the thought of actually having a body that works…

I will be taking my Army combat training with me in the game, and also using my prosthetics as enhancements to do what my body never could IRL.

And I just fell asleep and faceplanted right into the keyboard, because I was getting up way early to get to the game session, 0930 when I don’t even get to sleep until about 0500. So I’m going to bed now.
THUD

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

Long time no blog.

I know I haven’t written anything in a while. There are reasons for that. First of all there has been a slow-motion train wreck going on in my Twitter feed because of the fuzzy Jack-o’-Lantern pretending to run for President. Second I got a bit behind in my e-mail and even doing more than 300 a day I’m still looking at nearly 1000 unread messages. Do you know how long it takes to get through 300 new emails in one day? And to compound that I have to stop and leave the house for a couple of hours every day so that I can maximize my returns on my phone game that pays me money, because it’s a lot more work now than it used to be. I’m still making the same amount of money every week, but I have to get out every day and max my checkins to do it.

Also on the “leave the house” list was grocery shopping, twice. Once was our regular day and again yesterday as one of my side gigs paid off $100 for several months’ of “a few seconds a day” work. The kicker on this one is I have to get paid in the form of a gift card that can only be used in a few places, otherwise it becomes taxable income that I would lose a major chunk of in the form of SS taxes. So there is only one store that sells food on the approved list…

And today I spent some time away from the house playing someone else’s character in a Shadowrun game. This time I was playing a 5’2″ 90 lb. Chinese girl decker and the character sheet said she was abrasive and cold with a chip on her shoulder. We were on a Zombie hunt, and also had to kill a vampire and rescue a werewolf from the corporate lab that created the zombies in an effort to have slaves that did not need to be paid because they were legally dead. Unfortunately zombies are unable to follow even simple directions so the project was in the process of getting shut down when the zombies and the vampire they were using to create them escaped into the lab. They managed to get the doors to the outside locked, but only had until sundown to clean things up before the vampire could let himself and the zombies out. Our Street Samurai took out most of the zombies, my decker took out a few, and the technomancer managed to get into the weapons side of the security system and take out the vampire and the rest of the zombies. We rescued the scientist/werewolf we were also supposed to rescue. My character disdained the males in the party to make a pass on the lady werewolf…

It was a good thing I have a Shadowrun dice roller on my phone because I would have needed a bucket to bring the d6 I would have had to have to make some of my attack and saving rolls. My dice app goes to 99 d6.

Last week we went on a 5 day camping trip in Southeastern TX, near Flatonia. This was memorable for two reasons: Mrs. the Poet went camping with me, and we both tripped and fell down a lot in the dark. I dislocated the other collarbone and bruised my other hip from the previous fall off the bicycle, and Mrs. the Poet skinned her knees and hands again. We also had about 9 times as much meat at meals as we are used to eating as “p'” people (too impoverished to buy a vowel). One of the big problems we both had was getting off the ground after getting out of “bed”. Another bed-related problem was Mrs. the Poet did not believe me when I told her to pack lots of blankets for sleeping and just packed the one that did not even cover us completely that we use to keep our feet warm in the winter. We still had a great time anyway.

Off on another tangent, my full-scale T-bucket project just took a major change in direction. I had the engine and transmission from a running Chrysler minivan practically dumped in my lap for barely over scrap value. Plusses: we are talking really cheap engine and transmission for less than the core charge for a transmission on the previous version, this will take almost 200 pounds off the total weight of the car, moving engine behind passenger compartment leaves a flat floor with plenty of foot room, computer controlled transmission simplifies setting up mechanical portions of the controls; just a floor lever with 4 detents and two paddle switches on the steering wheel. Minuses: Engine makes 160 HP in stock form, both the engine and transmission are on the far side of 200K miles, both are computer controlled and need aftermarket computers to make them work in the T-bucket, most of the car needs to be redesigned to make a FWD engine and transaxle work driving the rear wheels behind the passenger compartment, FWD brakes don’t have e-brakes so e-brakes need to be adapted to one end or the other, almost all of the car weight will be on back wheels making sorting braking and handling dicey.

The prospect of going mid-engine on my T-bucket has really got me inspired again, ditto the prospect of getting the project moving towards completion some time before I die. The Mini Sprint-T project has all the parts I can’t make on my own and will continue as it was before with the SBC and the LS7 engines.

And that kinda gets you somewhat caught up on activities at Casa de El Poeta.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet.