26 Apr

Facebook is shit, o2 arena and London was fun, had a bad week

IMHO Facebook is pointless shit full of viral crap that promises something and delivers nothing. Avoid. I have just deactivated my Facebook account. I can’t delete it and my friends can’t see that I am inactive (interesting twist eh?) but at least I never will get anything from that cesspool of tat again. [Do I sound cross?]

I have had some good productive chats about a route to market for Gwenthia. My chief wish is the get books into FLGS and get some people enjoying all the hard work of the Design Mechanism. I suspect that the world has legs but I think we also have to conclude that it might be a one-shot wonder, so hard choices need to be made on what to leave in or take out.

I am 75% through laying out the Exodus Matrix as our first ‘all in one’ playable scenario using just the core RuneQuest book. I am about 50% thorugh writing a classic ‘underground’ adventure in the same style. I want to finish them before Continuum, have them printed and sold to create some buzz, and then put them on rpgnow as pdfs.

Work is busy so I have only been able to feed back on the latest draft of Wordplay and not start to tackle the Secret Agent Man theme.

We saw Cirque de Soleil at the o2 arena (formerly the Millenium Dome) last Saturday. Great venue, always knew London could make good use of it. Show was okay but maybe not as ‘groundbreaking’ as all that. Was basically a melange of french graphic novels, pink floyd and a lot of weed. IMHO of course.

My steroid dose went down last week and 7 days later, this Tuesday, I crashed. Could bearly get out of bed I was so tired and unfocused. Looks like below 20mg a day I don’t work. 🙁 I changed my dose back and was fine by Friday.

I now have shedloads of work to catch up on.


BTW.. my tests have all been deleted.. Jane knows what I mean.

15 Apr


Here it is: a free True20 licence (like d20 or RuneQuest or Traveller) and a revised edition of the rules, combining the Companion with the original rulesbook. Very nice.


Now I am rather in love with playing Talislanta and therefore the Omni system right now, but anytime soon I just know I am going to go all True20. It’s a lovely clean, lean, roleplaying game that keeps enough of the d20/D&D system but leaves out all the deadwood. If Wizards had released this as D&D 3e, I’d be still playing it now..

06 Apr

Veg Bed

I have built my veg bed in the blizzard and carted 2 tonne of topsoil. Jiggered beyond belief.

04 Apr


Well I have committed myself to building my raised vegetable bed this Sunday. I now have 4 tonnes of topsoil and mushroom compost on my drive! If it rains before Sunday it could all get horrible so I have sent Ann to buy a very large plastic sheet! 4 tonnes is more than I need for the bed, that’s 2 tonnes I think, but I need to layer a good 15cm onto the flower beds at the back so that is what the extra is for.

Wish me luck!

02 Apr


I watched Stardust the other day and having read the novel by Neil Gaiman I was unsure if I’d like it. I did! As charming and sweet as the novel, slightly different, both as lovely and uplifting as each other. Nice.

27 Mar


I am watching ‘Tales of Earthsea‘, the latest Studio Ghibli film based on some part of the Ursula K LeGuin books. I loved the books, they opened the doors to non-Tolkien fantasy in a much better way than Moorcock. Sad to say, 60 minutes in and I suspect this as duff a film as the IMDB reviews suggest and LeGuin hints herself on her webpages. It wasn’t made by Hayao Miyazaki and isn’t patch on other masterpieces such as Nausicaa, Laputa or Kiki’s Delivery Service. Very sad.

Over the last week I have realised that there is no way I can afford to heat my greenhouse, save to stop the frost. I have moved all the seedlings and propagation indoors. I have created and planted a bulb area in my borders, and realised that my problem is that we have no topsoil. Since I am building my raised beds soon and they will need topsoil, I shall order extra and layer it onto the back beds. I have fertilised my raspberries, planted rhubarb plants, popped in a blueberry and potted on my tomatoes and fuschias. I’ll need to get my veg. bed sorted soon so I can plant out cabbages and lettuces in a fortnight or so.

I have been working all week, and although my boss is very keen that I do not travel too far, I think I need to get out and start my wider job soon.

Gaming wise there is no sign of the promised Traveller game so I think I may run some Gwenthia on Tuesdays now we have a full ruleset to playtest. I have a planned Talislanta game next Thursday with my son and his friends, I shall run Scent of the Beast. I have found the pretty rare Sub-Men Rising campaign by robin-d-laws. Maybe I’ll get to run it all! I am implementing the more restricted magic rules from Codex Magicus to throttle back magic a little and give a reason to wizards to track down spells and artefacts. It looks like darransims may run some HeroQuest Tekumel at Continuum and that would be awesome.. I hope he knows how popular it will be..

19 Mar


Well I do have a diagnosis although, as with many rare and odd medical cases, it is not a 100% nailed-down with certainty. I have (and appear to still have) neurosarcoidosis.

Neurosarcoidosis (sometimes shortened to neurosarcoid) refers to sarcoidosis, a condition of unknown cause featuring granulomas in various tissues, involving the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It can have many manifestations, but abnormalities of the cranial nerves (a group of twelve nerves supplying the head and neck area) are the most common. It may develop acutely, subacutely, and chronically. Approximately 5-10% of people with sarcoidosis of other organs (e.g. lung) develop central nervous system involvement. Only 1% of people with sarcoidosis will have neurosarcoidosis alone without involvement of any other organs. Diagnosis can be difficult, with no test apart from biopsy being completely reliable. Treatment is with immunosuppression.[1] The first case of sarcoidosis involving the nervous system was reported in 1948.[2] – Wikipedia, All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

It seems that reducing the steroid dose to 10mg a day has allowed various symptoms to return, my eyes, or more accurately the muscle around my eyes, don’t work properly and ache all day. On the higher dose they worked fine until 4-5pm. My face has also started to ‘freeze’ or ‘spasm’ intermittently.

So, we are increasing the dose back to 20mg a day for 2 weeks, 15mg for 2 weeks, 10mg a day for 2 weeks and some more MRI scans of my brain and spine in the meantime.

17 Mar

Open Source Alternatives

You know what you want to do.. you know which commercial software does it.. but some fool (maybe you or maybe a ‘Linux’ or ‘OS X’ friend) has got you on an operating system that doesn’t run it, or you don’t want to shell out more money..

What you need is free open source software.. but it’s all crap innit?

No! Much of it is brilliant, so what this site does is map a commercial programme you may know with the FOSS alternatives: so I want iMovie.. this will suggest Kino or various others..

This is a great resource and worth keeping whatever operating system you run to be able to save money, avoid piracy and support FOSS:


Oh and while I am at it, a site just for OS X freeware software:


09 Mar

Talislanta Gaming Weekend

We had our second gaming weekend session. Simon stayed over last night and today we played my first ever Talislanta game. I have adored Talislanta for years and years and (according to Simon and Graham) wittered about it but never run it. It’s been something I have been a little unsure of letting people see since it is so cosmopolitan and alien and a little silly.. and everyone loved the setting, the system, I managed to ft the whole scenario in and everyone had FUN! FUN is our objective and so success all round.

I am SO happy!