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Jeff's Gameblog
Thursday, 6 May 2004

In the shower this morning I did some thinking about my large variant project. I think the pawn of king will promote to a Prince, a non-royal which moves as a King plus Alibaba. Another way to think of the Prince in this version would be as an Alfil + Dabbabh + Ferz + Wazir.

The wizard's towers will have two special rules: 1) placing your king in the enemies tower draws the game and 2) occupying both enemy towers with you own wizards wins the game.

Posted by jrients at 10:24 AM CDT

Crap! I totally forgot to mention that Dave invited Pat and I to a Tacos & LAN party on the evening of the 22nd. That's pretty cool of Dave. I'm going to try to arrange things so I can go. I may be pretty bad at modern videogames (heck, I wasn't even that good back in the day) but it still sounds like a lot of fun. And I've heard that Dave makes some kickass tacos. Arriba!

Posted by jrients at 10:07 AM CDT

Another item I submitted went up over at chessvariants.com, this time a 'preset' for Game Courier, the Chess Variant Pages online game system. With this new preset avaiable people will be able to play Oblong Chess 44 online. After seeing my attempt to code the preset succeeded I immediately challenged Erez Schatz, the author of Oblong 44, to a game. Hopefully I will get a response soon. I also whipped up a preset for my game SpaceWarp44. With luck, this preset will allow my variant to be judged in the Main Category of the 44 squares contest.

There are plenty of other variants I'd like to do presets for, notably Enochian Chess. I'm pretty sure Game Courier would only support 2-handed play, but that's better than nothing.

Posted by jrients at 9:53 AM CDT

Last night was another stirring session of Dave Hoover's Savage Worlds campaign "Avatars". I am really enjoying Dave's game. Loren brought in a new character, Myron the Mystic, to replace his ranger Artemis (R.I.P.). I think Myron is going to work out better, as far as getting along with the rest of the party goes. Plotwise we are in a tight jam at the moment. Lars, the uncle of Little Jonny (Ray's kid PC) is being held as a hostage by some Twisted (a race of Quasimodos). We only have a few days to bring them our old enemy the bandit leader Gor. We tracked his sorry ass back to the city of Braunshae only to discover that he's being shielded by his dad, a high-ranking Champion of Justice! My character also had a bit of a breakthrough with Rongo the Warrior. My guy no longer considers Rongo a complete psycho.

I'm looking forward to next session, but man we gotta bust Gor. Otherwise Lars is a goner and I just might burst from the frustration!

Posted by jrients at 9:47 AM CDT
Wednesday, 5 May 2004
A Century of Adventure
Would you call a collection of at least 10 sessions about the same family a campaign? What if between each session you advanced the timeline a decade? What if you used several different game systems?

1880's Boot Hill, Victorian Cthulhu
1890's Boot Hill, Victorian Cthulhu
1900's ?
1910's Dawn Patrol
1920's Cthulhu, Gangbusters
1930's Cthulhu, Gangbusters, Sniper
1940's Sniper
1950's GURPS Atomic Horror
1960's Recon
1970's Recon
1980's James Bond 007

GURPS Atomic Horror is a bit of a stretch.

Posted by jrients at 4:09 PM CDT
Tuesday, 4 May 2004

I'm now about a third of the way through Martin Gilbert's The First World War. I can only assume less stuff happens towards the end of the war, because I've only made it to fall 1915 so far! Gilbert does a good job of combining a broad overview of the war with quick looks at individual persons who helped shape it. I'm curious to maybe read a biography of Winston Churchill at some point in the future. I'd also like to read more about the Turkish war hero Mustafa Kemal.

I've started work on yet another entry for chessvariants.com. This time I'm doing a little write-up for 4th Dimension, a game that originated in England but was released in the states by my old friend TSR. I'm also continuing my work on a new entry for the star trek millenium archive.

I'm thinking about adding James Bond 007 to my collection of vintage games. Between the supplements and the modules the line is a little bigger than I normally like to tackle, but the subject matter is near and dear. My usual sources recommend skipping a few of the products: Goldfinger II, A View To A Kill, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Also, there's little point in getting the original boxed set; the rulebook is the only key item it contains. Eliminating those four items leaves me with the following list:

James Bond 007 rulebook
Q Manual
Gamemaster Pack
For Your Information
Thrilling Locations
Dr. No
You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice II: Back of Beyond
The Man With The Golden Gun
Live And Let Die (considered to be the best of the adventures)

There's also the Assault Game, which replays an assault on the bad guy's fortress as a wargame.

Posted by jrients at 9:49 PM CDT

I'm putting together a working list of "castmembers" for my Jack the Ripper scenario. PCs and NPCs will be drawn from this list. From this list I can see at least 6 factions that might be involved in the situation:

the Street People
the Literati
the Vigilance Committee
the Authorities
the Russian Agents
the Occultists

Some figures would overlap, creating interesting dynamics. Francis Thompson was both a poet and a bum, for example. In my plot the Russians might be on the tale of Nicholas Vassily, who may have committed Ripper-like crimes in Paris. In my version of events he also stirred up trouble in a city of the Russian Empire.

Posted by jrients at 4:41 PM CDT
Monday, 3 May 2004

Well, the Enochian chess article is all zipped up and shipped out. I got in such a hurry to finally get the files off to chessvariants.com that I accidentally originated the email from my wife's account. Good thing I signed it. I wonder if anyone will notice that an email signed "Jeff" came from an address "amy@blahblah"?

Posted by jrients at 7:23 PM CDT

Well, the Enochian chess essay is completed. All that remains is for me to successfully zip and transmit the whole puppy to chessvariants.com. The data is on a new, currently uncorrupted disk. I should be able to submit the essay tonight, assuming the zip software I just downloaded works as claimed. Unfortunately, the qeue at chessvariants is backed up right now, presumably with 44 squares contest material. My Knight Chase submission isn't even up yet.

Posted by jrients at 11:08 AM CDT
Sunday, 2 May 2004

I've not got a hundred pages of The First World War under my belt. Apparently, the seeds of animosity between France and Germany were sown in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 & 1871. I may have to read a book on that conflict soon. Who knows, maybe the Franco-Prussian War fits my criteria for a "small war", a conflict of scope that I can wrap my non-grognard brain around. (Other small wars of interest to me are the Falklands War of 1982 and some sci-fi conflicts: FASATrek's Four Years War, Traveller's Fourth Frontier War, and BattleTech's Capellan-Supremacy War.) The bigger wars I can only readily grasp tiny slices of, WWI's air combats or the Battle of Jutland, or perhaps WWII's 1st Alamein (the last may only qualify as small as presented by Lou Coatney).

I sat down today to write up a new charsheet for my D&D character, Endrin Greencloak, only to discover I had already done the work several months back and forgot about it. I should post some details of Endrin and the campaign. Anyhoo, in lieu of the charavter work I scanned in a new piece for Star Trek Star Ship Tactical Combat Simulator Millenium Update and Archive. Cleaning up the image so it looks good takes some time, so it may be a week or two before I can get the vessel submitted. In the meantime I am committed to finishing the Enochian chess project tomorrow or Tuesday and continuing the preliminary research on the Jack the Ripper project.

Posted by jrients at 8:46 PM CDT

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