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Electronic Elasticity

Friday, July 29, 2005

Mage the Awakening Update. Concept work.

Mage the Awakening: My Concept of 'Cabal'

When the most recent iteration of White-wolf's magic system masterpiece arrives in stores in late august, I will be, as I have said, running a game of it. Today, as I sit in my cubicle attempting to look interested in pushing around incessant piles of bureaucratic drivel, I gave myself a bit of time (hah! 'bit') to think about the precise nature of the game I am going to run.

Why are you posting this crap here Lanky?
As good a spot as any, besides it passes the time and makes me feel productive in some fashion. And I can type it up in notepad, thus making it appear legitimate! keke.

The Chronicle Name: " The _______ Cabal"
I have not given a name to the group of players yet (the cabal) because they will be doing it themselves in the first few sessions and the name they choose will dictate a large chunk of the resulting story lines and flavour. But I can shed light on why I chose to run a big game like this, and why I chose to specifically have the players in a cabal together.

From a storyteller's point of view: the cabal mechanic:
1. Gives the players a reason to know each other in some fashion before play begins.
2. Provides a framework for their interaction: a mage social unit as opposed to a "normal" one.
3. Provides me with an easy, powerful way to tie the players together and create group co-hesion. Since the fate of each cabalist will become irrevocably, magically and socially intertwined with each other one, they will act in some concerted fashion together or likely get destroyed by the world.
4. Provides me with a solid, straightforward way to determine social and physical difficulty of the main encounters.
5. Allows me to easily and seamlessly tie the group's social unit to the other nearby mage social systems, they are either legitimate in their eyes or rogue.
6. Provides a simple framework for the story opening, characters can write out a "normal human" backstory, we can choose as a group to go thrugh each awakening in session 1 or 2 (by choose, I mean, uh, each player will be going through their awakening in the first few sessions).. and then the cabal framework can be overlaid onto that beginning, meaning that the players dont have to come up with silly justifiations about how they know each other. Perhaps they did know each other in their human lives, perhaps not.
7. Gives the players the leeway they need for character generation. The characters dont all have to be from any given country, locaton, city... They will all be brought to the location of the chronicle by a specific set of conditions relating to their awakening, and then tied into the story from there.

By the way I also found an excellent place for character sheets.http://www.menchhofer.com/chris/He has a ton of excellent ones. Several are even interactive.

Monday, July 25, 2005

This Space for Rent

Ever had one of those times where you are walking
unbroken pace and lost intent
alone yet softly talking
the day's ambition is long since spent?
And music here, within your ear
Leaves a message: "This space for Rent"

It feels so timeless
self-absorbed, mindless
The senses make no dent

A cocoon, a shield
that the mind wields
which keeps all feelings pent

That leaves just walking
softly, talking
the stride unbroken yet
an inner voice is masking choice
it keeps the pace you set

Ever had one of those times where you are walking
unbroken pace and firm intent
a cacophony of voices talking
A driving purpose that wont relent?
But music here, within your ear
Leaves a message: "This space for Rent"

Thursday, July 21, 2005

WoW Follow Up Number One

This is a big issue to me. An issue revolving around a computer game, yes, but it affects much more than just my carpal tunnel syndrome.

Im a social nerd, and World of Warcraft is a social computer game. I derive the majority of my fun from the complex social interactions that occur in the WoW Virtual World.

However. Im a Social person too. And I have amazing friends in real life that I want to remain friends with, and I had to canvas everyone to understand what I need to think about.

So its real life and its virtual life.
My real life friends are of far vaster importance to me than my online friends.

Therefore: Real Life > Virtual life.

But I have been slacking. Going about things the wrong way.
Ive been letting Virtual life = Social life.

Thats wrong. To me, anyways. Virtual life != Social life at all.

Playing World of Warcraft the way I do has changed my lifestyle, no doubt about it. But the point remains that my amazing relationships with house awesome, and floor 7 and the boys over at the wizards tower and so on, need to be more important. Especially House Awesome! Because they see me the most, we are together the most, We live together! And when you live with your friends, you cant take them for granted as I have been, in many ways, doing.

I doubt I will play World of Warcraft a lot less. But my priorites have undergone some serious scrutiny, and a second draft will have WoW time much lower on the list.


MMO Musings

I have recently wondered how the people I know percieve my World of Warcraft gaming. Is he obsessed? Anti-Social? Is the game consuming all of his time? Is he part of some virtual cult? Cup of Punch anyone?

So I did a little self-examining and came away with several interesting conclusions:

About World of Warcraft:
- Time intensive.
- Easily played to the exclusion of all other games.
- Incredibly Time intensive at high levels.

About Me playing World of Warcraft:
- It (by and large) replaces Television and movies in my "stare at a screen" repertoire. More so than other games did.
- I dont feel like a raging addict, but I play the game basically everyday for several hours.
- I always put my social life first, but as we know, my social life is sporadic, albeit awesome.

About why I play World of Warcraft so much:
- My other non-physical interests and hobbies seem to indicate a general nerdliness (Magic, Pen and paper RPGS, fantasy books)
- I enjoy it. Alot. Still. (heck, still as much as when I first bought the game)
- The Physical interests I have suffer from lack of availability, and annoying work hours during the summer.

And yet, Im not blind. I see what people think about my gaming "addiction" and ultimately that opinion bothers me more than any self analysis I do. Mainly because self-analysis is inherently biased, and it seems like I still have my priorities in the right order...

For those few crazy people who actually read this weblog, what are your thoughts? Is Lanky addicted to World of warcraft, and knowingly, willingly perpetuating a sad state of affairs? Or is it just another game he plays? One he happens to pay alot more for and play more of?


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Toronto: The Man. The Weekend. The Legend.

Ah, Toronto! A city, one like many others. It just happened to contain tons of awesome for a weekend (July 15 to 18).
  • Girlfriend.
  • Girlfriend's family and friends.
  • Excellent Club containing Girlfriend and Friends.
  • Me (Awesome, clearly)
  • Fringe Festival Plays. The Monologues were especially good.
  • Shopping. Nurd style: Bought World of Darkness Core book. Magic Cards.
  • Food. yup. Italian eatery: Balsamic Vinegrette Reduction with a house white wine and candles. A restuarant that specialized in desserts: Strawberry cheesecake.
    Ice Cream. Coffee. Bagel. Baaagel. French Toast. Egg. Cucumber! Tomato! Freeeee! Most of it anyways. Gawd what did I do to deserve such bounty?
  • A pub rooftop, a beer, conversations, a rock at 1 am in the muggy morning.

Good Times.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wednesday was Terrible

Wow, I havent been in that kind of funk since I came back from 'Nam.
What a shitty shitty mood I was in. Plus Headache. Minus humour about it. Bah.

I wasnt in the mood for anything yesterday...work, Rifts, being awake....
And in retrospect I think it was just the culmination of some shit Ive been thinking about recently. Plus I felt lonely and House Awesome felt bereft.

Altogether, a bad cauldron.

In any case, funk defeated. Its thursday, Im amazingly sexy, and the weekend is coming!


Monday, July 11, 2005

I Blinked and I Missed My Weekend

It went by that fast. Mostly due to all the sleeping and lazing around that I did. Im heading off to Toronto on the friday of this week with my girlfriend. Methinks it will be a good time. I wonder if Toronto still has those Mooses that I used to sexually harass back in high school drama class...

Apparently they are still around... good.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Having an Orgasm is Good for the Grey Matter

Wired News article. here.
It also details the work on pleasure drugs for women, and the most likely reasons why some people enjoy sex more or less in general (these reasons are social, according to research).
Interesting reading.

Mage: The Awakening Preview Module

Gloria Mundi, found in .pdf format here.
If you are interested in running it with me, let me know, it comes with everything necessary to run the scenario, I dont even need a world of darkness rulebook to do it.

If you are going to play in it, stop reading when it tells you to though. Much better that way.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Mage: The Awakening

When the end of the summer arrives and the school year begins once more, a happy coincidence shall occur. I will have a buttload of free time at wierd hours again (I basically have a bunch now, but...that aside), I will get to sleep in (!), and White Wolf will release Mage: The Awakening.

I am already on their forums snooping around and getting the goods. This blog is going to play host to my brainstorming ideas for the campaign I am going to run. I already have some points about it that may be of interest, and I will be redirecting people here for more information about the campaign as I develop it.
  • The game setting will focus on a Cabal of mages. This is a tough choice and I am going to need players who can roleplay in a larger group. Probably 6 players. (gah!) That also means that social and combat encounters will likely require the teamwork of most of the group to defeat. Such is the nature of a Cabal, each member is irrevocably bound in chains of fate to the group.
  • What that means is that I either have to streamline / integrate roleplay and combat somewhat, or every player would have to be on the ball, lest massive amounts of time be wasted. I prefer a lil from both columns, and with alot of work on my part I think it could be pulled off. The group would also have to like each other (I think?) so hopefully that will work out too.
  • The game will be city based, and probably one of the cities fleshed out in the World of Darkness core rulebook (which I will be buying). Most likely in the United States, although players should definitely not confine themselves to that country for character generation.
  • Right now I am only buying the awakening and the core book. What that means is I will likely design the campaign for mage society interacting with human society, and rare encounters with, oh say, Vampires or the Foresaken (werewolves).

I will post an ongoing list of interested players once I get them, you can e-mail me or comment in the blog (which is basically an email anyways ^^) and I will put your name on this list. The game is a long way off so this is not a commitment of any kind, just a list of people that I will update as new things develop.


Monday, July 04, 2005

On Canada Day Weekend.

Altogether an enjoyable experience! Some amazing fireworks, some quality time with friends and girlfriend (she gets her own category!) and some relaxation. My 4th and M.I.A housemate Trey came home with some buddies for the weekend. They brought a texas mickey of Canadian Club Reserve whiskey. wagh... and as far as I know, the four of them almost finished it.

Another housemate of mine left on sunday for military training. Rummy is lost to me for two months now. Alas. This leaves only two of Team Awesome residing in the House: myself, and Rodney the Yam (Henceforth known as Yams, observing the laws of nicknames).

Sunday was also a day of cleaning, and I got most of what needed to be done. Our bathrooms are still quoting Shakespeare though...