A friend posted this article earlier today on his Facebook page and I have enough personal interest in the subject and the idea occurs often enough in my own inventions, business projects, and writings that I thought I would comment here on the Launch Port.
The iron could have been inserted later, but my general supposition is that Iron, and possibly even Steel development occurred long before what is historically accounted, in certain isolated areas or as a result of individual experiments by certain particularly gifted smiths.
The “Ages” we attribute to history are really just generalizations on wide-spread (what we would call today industrial and/or historical) development. History implies within the very term that there must be an historical record of a thing, and that this record must be available for recognition and study. Without an historical record of some kind there is no history, but whether any particular thing actually exited or not sans an historical record, that is an entirely separate matter…
Monthly Archives: July 2014
This is a list of my Gaming Campaign Types. These are the types of Campaigns I develop for my various games. It can be applied to any type of game, from RPGs to Alternative Reality to Video Game Scripts.
You might also find it a useful guide-typology for your campaigns, games, and game designs. Or even for your fictional works and writings. If you have another type of Game Campaign you’d like to list then please feel free to do in the comments section.
GAMING CAMPAIGN TYPES
Alternative History Game
War or Wargame Campaign (Offensive Warfare)
Invasion Campaign (Defensive War)
Ethnic Cleansing Campaign (Genocide)
Personal or Character Driven Campaign
Achievement Campaign – first one ever to do it, or one of few to ever do it
Law and Order Campaign
Academic or Scholarly or Research Campaign
Transferable Skills Campaign – relate game to real world interest of players
Status (Kingmaker) Campaign – where one of more players seek power, status, wealth, or influence
Legacy Campaign – fulfilling a personal or family legacy
Occultic Campaign – hidden or secret knowledge
Clash of Forces Campaign – clash between opposing groups, powers, interests, or parties
Nemesis Campaign – campaign against your nemeses
Magic or Change in the Nature of Magic Campaign, also called an Arcane Campaign
Nature or Environmental Change Campaign
Fate Campaign – one or more party members has a particular Fate to fulfill
Scientific or Technological or Invention Campaign, also called a Progress Campaign – where some scientific, technological, magical (a new spell or device or artifact is created), or invented machine, device, artifact, or discovery threatens to fundamentally transform or alter the world
Relical Campaign – involving some ancient and powerful relic, artifact, or ancient device
Disaster or Catastrophe Campaign
Discovery or Exploration Campaign – discovery of some new area of the world, or of some ancient yet unknown/little known section of the world
Heroism and/or Self-Sacrifice Campaign
Disintegration Campaign – slow disintegration of a structure or system or government or a nation
Rebirth or Renaissance Campaign
New Race or Species – discovery of a new race or species
I went to see Hercules this afternoon. I needed a little work break and since I was already ahead of schedule I decided to relax and go see the film.
I thought about writing up a standard movie review and posting that, but after seeing the film I decided against that approach and idea.
First of all let me say this in regards to the film; it was nothing like I expected.
I had expected a rather simple-minded and plodding-plotted ass-kicking action film. And it certainly had its moments of fine action sequences. From the previews, and knowing nothing of the graphic novel(s) on which it is based (I purposely avoided reading them to be ignorant of the storyline), I had expected an upgraded and far more upscale Conan type of movie with Hercules serving as the mythologized version of Conan as the super-strong monster-slaying, justice-inflicting hero.
It certainly started out that way, as a slightly upscale version of that last (horrible) Conan film.
But it quickly evolved into something else that I did not expect at all and so I was confused by the first 20 minutes or so of the film. After that things began to solidify and I began to perceive the direction in which it was moving.
After the film was over (and I had originally expected little more than an exciting and hopefully enjoyable diversionary entertainment) I was actually left thinking. Not by the obvious and overt and easy to read statements of the film, or the rewriting of Herculean mythology in an attempt to make him into a modern man, but of the fact that Hercules and his entourage were all perfectly modern men by their very nature. Modern men who had to overcome their own modernity to become worthwhile people.
Hercules was indeed a “modern man” for a reason I shall not mention (to avoid spoilers – but it had nothing to do with him being a mercenary) but that was perfectly explained by the ending lines and post-film animations. Yet otherwise (or on the other hand) Hercules was a lion-skin wearing, war-club wielding (an ancient weapon and motif) throwback to an age of chivalry. Or the Greek version of pre-chivalry. And in many respects this is the very Hercules of actual mythology. People tend to forget that Hercules is this lion-skin wearing beast-killer who is also driven so mad by a petty and vindictive and vain goddess that he becomes a killer-beast. So the lion skin serves much the same function as sack-cloth and ashes to the ancient Prophet. Yet when not driven mad by Hera or hounded by monsters Herakles is the very model of Greek Chivalry and self-sacrifice and heroism. Or in any case as close as the Greeks ever got to the ideal on a personal level. For Hercules is almost the polar opposite of Achilles, the semi-divine who would be considered a god by setting loose his own Furies in war for personal glory, whereas Hercules is the demi-god who wishes to overthrow the misguided and often pathetic tyranny of the gods themselves, and by so doing end the typical Greek ideal of glory. This is shown in the ceiling mural scene near the beginning of the film. Hercules does not aspire to be a god, he aspires to overthrow the gods.
So the more I thought on this the more interesting the film became. Not because of the overt clues about Hercules modernity (such as Hercules wearing the head of the lion as a prop that could not possibly be the real head of the Nemean lion), but because of the underlying and prophetic mythological ones.
But the Thracians were also perfectly modern men, but in a manner much easier to recognize. Easily shaped and molded they immediately fell under the sway and vassalism of whomever claimed political power. Despite the fact of who obviously was most concerned with their welfare and despite the fact of who trained and developed them, they bent the knee immediately to any and every tyrant who gave them orders. They were easily “enthralled,” in the way modern men are usually easily enthralled, be they Germans under Nazis, or more recent modern men completely passive and subservient to their elected governments.
Rather than rising in revolt against the obvious tyrant all they could or would do was fall in line with whoever sought to command or control them.
In this respect Hercules was very much an essay on modern men, on how easily and passively they bend the knee to that tyrant who dares to command them.
So in both those respects the more I think upon the film the better I like it.
But it was not what I expected to see or hear, at all, when I first walked into the theater.
It was not an action and adventure entertainment dressed in ancient Greek garb, but rather a more subtle and political exposition on both the cynicism and perceptions of modern men and on their inherent weaknesses of character and nature dressed in the garb of Greek mythology.
And in that respect I thoroughly enjoyed it.
That might seem a strange review for such a film, but in many ways it was a very strange film.
The Elements of a Great Quest – I think that real Quests are very rare in our society, for a number of societal and cultural reasons, and things that are really just minor accomplishments are these days mislabeled as Quests. When in fact they are not Quests at all.
(Or put another way, modern man has developed a totally different definition, and a much more anemic one in my opinion, of “the Quest” than those definitions used in earlier ages to describe a real Quest.)
This then struck me as an extremely interesting article.
On the rim of the Biblical world, in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia to the northwest of Mount Ararat, rises the river Kura. It winds its way into the Kartlian plateau becoming muddy and green, coursing past the ancient stone city of Mtskheta with its eleventh century cathedral, where the mighty river Aragvi…
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The Development of Artefact, Relic, and Treasure Design in RPGs is, in my opinion, central and fundamental to the creation of a Great Game:
What the Bard knows…
I wandered long to tell the tale of heroes in this world
I sang, I feasted, spoke my verse, drank and danced for Earls
In courts and castles did I roam but never kept a’ Count
Of just how many women wooed or knights I did unmount
I traveled nights without a moon in forests deep and dim
While Warlocks of their secret charms I often learned to skim
Monstrous ruins did I scour to find what harm lay tombed
Did I this upon the hour heavy cloaked in gloom
Great Wizards I did put at ease with my flute and lyre
Men at War I roused to fight before the glowing fire
Thieves did think them craftily the cunning criminal
Until I mastered them in guile to leave them stript and dull
Priests befriended, merchant’s aid, the King’s own counselor
Old Keeps razed and Dukes a’scorned by every art…
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Since this is Batman’s Birthday I thought I’d post this to the Tome and Tomb as well.
Several years ago I started writing a Batman script for either a multi-issue storyline, a graphic novel, or possibly as a filmscript treatment. I am not representing this as either a completed work or any kind of official DC script as I never tried to sell it and I’ve rewritten sections of it about 3 times now. I also started it before the NEW 52 events.
This is entirely my own work and it began as an experiment to give me practice at writing both Graphic Novel scripts and screenplay scripts.
I won’t go into any great detail about the overall plot as I still intend to finish it and pitch it, as either a graphic novel script or a screenplay script. If you’d like to take this up as a writing challenge then show us your own Batman script.
Since today is Batman’s Anniversary I thought I’d post…
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Most players do a bad job of both protecting and utilizing their NPCs and followers/hirelings no matter the type of game.
NPC are the bane of many Mana players. “They always die. They don’t do anything. Why are they stuck in the corner?!” The reason is that you, the player, don’t take care of them. Like neglected little Rabites, they are tossed to the Howlers.
One of the easiest ways to boost an NPC is to equip an accessory on them. Check out their stats and see what they need. Squishy mages could use Def, while fighters would enjoy extra Power. The Boy and the Girl are the only permanent NCPs so don’t give anyone anything too expensive.
We Got Spirit
Whenever you get a new Spirit, switch to the NCP and see if they can equip it. Hurray! Another MP battery.
AI Demystified 1: Quit Hogging the Snacks
Under the Stat Menu, there is the NPC. Use it wisely.
The horizontal axis is the Magic-Weapons one. Having the character…
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Reconnecting with gamers from old campaigns is an odd experience. When I meet people I gamed with in the past, the interaction always works as though we saw each other last session – even if years have passed. Recently, I looked up a friend who was a part of my gaming group about eight years ago. The discussion turned to a module we’d written for a local con in 1999, that we’d both lost our copies, and that reconceptualising it would be great.
The result is BK1 Fear Itself, a short adventure for AD&D aimed at character levels 2-4. It has all of the key components mapped out, but has enough leeway that a DM could put their own stamp onto the story. There are some suggestions for scaling the module, and some points left deliberately vague so that your imagination can fill in the blanks.
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Yes they do… and the more creative the hobby and project the better for you and the world.
At any given time, I have a side project running.
It’s often a new blog or a Tumblr or a book or a newsletter. Sometimes I try to design WordPress themes. Other times I try photography. This ethos of new projects and new improvements runs throughout our Buffer team. We love to find ways to grow, excel, and improve through side projects and hobbies.
I have yet to create the next Uber or Gmail–million-dollar and million-user enterprises that began as side projects.
The good news: You don’t have to create a million-dollar company to get your time’s worth from a side project or creative hobby.
Spending your time in this way can make you happier, healthier, and more productive.
The Games of Personal Advancement and Development (G-PADs)- What are the Games of Personal Advancement and Development?
The Games of Personal Advancement and Development (a.k.a. Games of Personal Achievement and Growth are games I have written or am writing which take the most useful aspects of various types of other games many people already play, such as alternative reality games, role-play games, and wargames, etc. and applies the methods and techniques of those types of games to solving Real World Problems or to advancing yourself in the Real World.
Of course not all gaming methods and techniques are useful for Real World Problem Solving or for advancing yourself in the Real World, but many such devices are very useful (with some modification) tools for personal achievement, advancement, growth, and development.
Therefore I have created several games which employ this general gaming model towards self-advancement in the Real World. The intention is to deliver to you, the individual, a model or models whereby you can turn your own personal life situation into a game with the intention not of advancing and developing an imaginary character in some imaginary world, but of advancing and developing yourself in the Real World.
The intent of these games is Self-Achievement and Self-Development. The difference between the Games of Personal Advancement and Development and imaginary games is that the intent is to turn your own life into an enjoyable game (though of course it would in no way be limited to being a “mere game” – the term “game” provides more of a developmental framework rather than a strict definition), to problem solve in the Real World (as opposed to an imaginary or gamed milieu), and to advance yourself, your own capabilities and fortunes, and your own real-life personal Character and Nature rather than advancing the fortunes and capabilities of some wholly imaginary character.
I will be talking more about the four Games of Personal Advancement and Development I am creating and writing in future blog posts, here on the Tome and Tomb, and on my other blogs and websites. When the games become completed and fully developed then I will seek funding to publish and market them, and will then offer the GPADs for sale to the general public.
A lot of people have now forgotten, or simply never knew (because it was before their time), that Dungeons and Dragons began as a character driven fantasy modification upon Tactical Wargames.
I used to play a lot of wargames myself and still write some and still play a few. Including what today might be called LARPing though I have never participated in a LARP, and because the combat and the rest of the “game” is so formalized and regimented I have no desire to do so. (It is actually more like a theatre production to me than either a wargame or even a live-action role play game.) We played free and open combat against each other, fought in pre-arranged “lists” such as at a tournament, or simply hunted each other in the woods until we found and engaged each other.
Then we fought until injuries stopped us, someone yielded, weapons broke, or until exhaustion or a standstill forced us to break and rest.
But I also played a lot of both standard and board wargames and actually I began wargaming as a kid (just as I began sword-fighting as a kid – we made our own weapons and armor) before I ever began playing D&D. So I really enjoyed this short video and the brief overview of the history.
Those old rules books on the basement gaming table also brought back an awful lot of memories and happy times of my childhood.
Enjoy the video.
I’ve been behind this past week because of unforeseen circumstances. But in the future this will be my blog publication schedule and the subjects I will post on.
To boldly go… back to where it all began.
I think I included a blaster from Gamma World because it seemed cool. Then we rolled a bunch of dice and everyone was dead. It was probably one of the worst sessions ever DM’d in the history of humanity. At some point my friend said he had to go do homework just to get away…
Fighters. Mages. Priests. Rogues. These are the primary four character classes in Dungeons & Dragons, and they have served the role-playing game well for over 30 years. But there are many others in addition to these — some awesome, some weird, and some just ridiculous. Here are 24 real D&D specialty classes that should force any player to make a saving throw against shame.
1) Fighting Man
In the original Dungeons & Dragons game, there were three classes: Magic-User, Cleric and Fighting Man. How Gary Gygax came up with “Fighting Man” as opposed to “Fighter” is unknowable. A Fighter is a profession. A Fighting Man is basically a violent drunk. It’s no wonder this class changed names at the first opportunity
This is not a joke. AD&D really gave you the options to willingly play a beggar. Beggars had recommended skills, like “Seamstress/Tailor.” They had to be Chaotic in alignment. It was suggested they take the Inherent Immunity to Cold and Heat traits. This is insane.
and on and on it goes:
An article on Dungeons and Dragons in the Guardian today.
I post it only for it’s total crappery and complete misunderstanding of the game:
“If there’s anything guaranteed to mark you out as a hopeless geek, it’s surely an interest in role-playing games. They are a perfect storm of all the “non-manly” things, a combination of “female” imagination and childish let’s-pretend play with the too-clever-by-half, maths-based dice-rolling and the vague sense that games really should involve men sliding around in mud and grabbing other men’s taut, muscular thighs. Not to mention that role-playing games are co-operative rather than competitive and there’s never really a winner. Just imagine if that were an ethos we taught our children. I shudder to think.”
It is only the Guardian after all folks.