24 Nov

300

I hate 300. I hate it with a passion that all my liberal friends find a little embarrassing and unreasonable. Well I am proud to say that David Brin hates it too, and I’d like you to read with me his blog. This is why I hate 300, I hate Sparta and I hate the adulation of a society that ranks along with the Nazis for sheer evil, but extended over a lot longer time.

Remember that next time you want to emulate the bastards in a rpg..

Roll over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street kids are better than #$%! Spartans

24 Nov

Ubuntu Unity 11.10

Well I installed a trial copy of Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity.

God it really is shit. It's like a moron's interpretation of iOS on a
PC, crippling the hardware with all the ergonomics of a fridge being
used as a car.

It's slow, the interface doesn't seem to actually work properly, there
are no maximise/minimise/close buttons at all, and the launcher is a
pale nod towards the Mac dock.

I tried it at work and the PC just seized up, it is an old P4, but on my
4Gb Duo Core 2.66 at home, it's just about slow, on a good run.

Urgh.

I suppose I had better install Gnome Shell and see if Gnome 3 is any better or I'm going to have to seriously reconsider.

Maybe I'll just go Mac wholly, at least that works, and yes I know it drives Richard mad but as a non coder it's fine.

Xubuntu is still good (that's what I went to on the work PC), and Thunar is almost Nautilus.. just need to fix Dropbox issues.

What a crappy end to a once great friendship.

07 Nov

Low Tech Local Traveller

There is a growing range of 3rd party Traveller that focuses in on a future that is a long way away but in a timeframe that seems more appropriate for the relatively low technology in the Traveller game.

There is Cthonian Stars, which is set in the Solar System in the near future, and has the usual Lovecraftian underlay that seems to be so mired in so many rpgs. It could be a good game and fun if you like that kind of thing, and even if you don’t like the Cthulthu stuff it may be a good source for a gritty game set in our system alone. Here

There is, of course the opus that is/was 2300AD, returning in Traveller format. This is a much wider setting with 32 worlds in 3 ‘Arms’ of space colonised by mankind, and has the opportunity for cyberpunk, interstellar war, and some ideas about biotech that were never fully developed in the last edition. Here

Far from the Home Worlds, the Far Avalon region was for many years an underdeveloped backwater. Now, it may be the only enclave of humans left in the universe. With the inexplicable failure of the Lubeck Conduit, the people of Far Avalon must find their own future. Some seek to build empires, some search for a way home, while others have less obvious plans.

Far Avalon is a region in turmoil, a place where a handful of daring individuals can make a distance. A new order may emerge, or chaos may descend. Perhaps some external threat is about to fall upon the people of Far Avalon… or it may be that the greatest danger comes from within.
Far Avalon is a complete science-fiction game setting created by Martin J Dougherty. It seems to be a system less setting in 3 books, and the last book is the “Traveller system” book. The author has a great rep. in Traveller circles, but this is perhaps the least “imminent” of all the settings. Here

From old friend Tim Bancroft’s Sceaptune Games comes Hyperlite: The Sirius Treaty, forged between the star-faring species to prevent a galaxy-wide war. It had a simple aim: to prevent the deadly, interstellar conflict spiraling out of control. Its intent was more sinister – to constrain and leash the newest species in the galaxy: humanity. But the United Nations of Earth and the Core Worlds of humanity need to expand, need to find new planets to colonise. Resources remain scarce so the conflict still goes on, though in a different guise and monitoried by the ever-vigilant Invigilators, the sinister force set up to enforce the tenets of the Sirius Treaty. Players take the role of UNE Special Forces legionnaires tasked with troubleshooting, exploring new planets, seeking out vital resources and searching for Precursor artefacts. They have all the technology Earth can give them: cranial implants, library jacks, subdermal armour… and they are equipped with the finest swords, shields, bows and armour that the UNE can supply. Here

Finally..

From SPICA, comes a game with a similar scale to 2300AD, but using core Traveller concepts, The Outer Veil: Written by Omer Golan-Joel with Richard Hazlewood, with art by David Redington and Michael Thomas, Outer Veil is a completely new game universe for Traveller, set in 2159 AD in the space around Sol. As mighty as they are in the Core Worlds, the Federated Nations of Humanity government and the Megacorporations cannot act directly on the Frontier, which is a month or more away even for the brand-new Jump 2 couriers. To exert their power to these distant stars, they need you to go there on their behalf and act as their eyes, ears, and hands away from home. The FNH government needs reliable administrators who can think on their feet, loyal military officers to project its force, and determined Justice Commission agents to uphold the law where the colonial authorities cannot.
Written by Omer Golan-Joel with Richard Hazlewood, with art by David Redington and Michael Thomas, Outer Veil is a completely new game universe for Traveller, set in 2159 AD in the space around Sol.
As mighty as they are in the Core Worlds, the Federated Nations of Humanity government and the Megacorporations cannot act directly on the Frontier, which is a month or more away even for the brand-new Jump 2 couriers. To exert their power to these distant stars, they need you to go there on their behalf and act as their eyes, ears, and hands away from home. The FNH government needs reliable administrators who can think on their feet, loyal military officers to project its force, and determined Justice Commission agents to uphold the law where the colonial authorities cannot.Here

So, a huge opportunity, games that are set in just the Solar System, a wholly new setting from Martin Dougherty, games that see mankind just setting out from Sol into galactic space, and one where Man has emerged and been contained by previously existing ancient space faring civilisations.

All very exciting, I have a strong wish to ‘boldly go’..