Sunday, September 8, 2019

Mo's Irish Pub - Milwaukee

I don't get out as much as I used to, so a bus iness trip is a great chance to write something.

Mo's Irish Pub in Milwaukee is a block from my hotel. It's got all the pub features,  which is good for extroverts like me who enjoy  loud music.

The wood tables and floor are creature comforts. I see a pool table and video game area, and a stage for the love music and karaoke (it's Sunday evening right now, so the stage is empty).



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tim's Kitchen, Orting, WA

At Tim's Kitchen in Orting, they don't muck about with sissy little hot chocolate mugs.



We've been here maybe a dozen times over the years, and always enjoyed it. It's good "country" comfort food. In additiom to the classic steak, liver and fried veggie options, they have an excellent selection of chicken dinners and chicken sandwiches for those of us who can't eat beef.

Monday, February 4, 2019

If you ever need to go to Northwest Medical Specialties, in Federal Way, then understand that for some stupid reason, many GPS systems (including Google Maps on my T-Mobile Android phone)


MP: Adaptation Again - "True Adaptation"

I've been looking back at my notes and never quite been happy with my MP conversion notes for VnV's Adaptation power.

The VnV power covers a lot of ground. And provides narrative immunity to some powerful environmental factors that MP doesn't account for, e.g. surviving inside a sun.  A strength of VnV has always been that open-ended flexibility for player and GM to interpret powers at any scale they want, e.g. to say that Adaptation does allow survival in the crushing pressures and staggering heat at the heart of a star.

Adaptation: This is the ability to resist the effects of hostile environments: vacuum,  poisonous atmospheres, high gravity, the insides of suns, etc. At a power cost of one per hour, the character can survive and resist the effects of hostile environments. Adaptation is also usable as a defense: each time it is used as the character’s defense against any attack, one power point must be expended (see 3.2). Adaptation activates automatically at no action or movement cost whenever needed.

Looking over the VnV Combat Table, Adaptation completely shuts down most energy powers, and even provides some small measure of protection against the Godfather of assault powers, Power Blast.

So, here is what I'm now thinking of as "The Literal Interpretation" of the written VnV text.

Adaptation: Asphyxiation, Disease, Electromagnetic, Gravity, High Pressure, High Temperature, Low Pressure, Low Temperature, Poison, Radiation, Sonic, Venom, Vibration (60 CP)
Invulnerability: Biochemical, Energy (40 CP)


Artist Cris Alex
Model unclear

Monday, January 28, 2019

MP: Can't Hold Back

The MP Limitation "Can't Hold Back" has a dual function:
1) to limit the control the character has over a power that can be turned on or off, and
2) to represent a power that can never be turned off, because it is an integral aspect of the character.

This post is about the latter.
For example, the Hulk's growth can't be turned off, because his huge size is simply part of his state.  I mean, a Size Change-suppressed Hulk is a green guy who looks silly and is absolutely not the Hulk.

Ergo "Can't Hold Back (Always On)" is both a limitation and an advantage. Now, this doesn't change the cost, at all, because there are lots of times when a Huge Giant would benefit from being able to turn off the power, but can't, even though it's nice the power can't be suppressed.

That is to say, that "Always On" is a subset of "Can't Hold Back," with the additional qualifier that "Can't Ever Turn Off," and also "Can't Be Suppressed," and "No Change to Cost."


Model unknown. I found the picture on Pinterest.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tacoma Wright Park

A beautiful sunny day here in Tacoma's Wright Park.

Tacoma is such an amazing hot mess of cultural diversity, with gentrified areas adjoining the projects andtwo blocks later it flips again, and century-old buildings next to ones built yesterday.

The park is far from full, but I see pretty much every ethnic group, and a half-dozen cultures I can identify, so who knows how many I can't.

There's even an Amish-looking dude open-carrying his sidearm and two extra clips.

Like I said: wondrous diversity.


VnV - Weird Dreams Potato Oblivion

Another one of those things from 1999, originally posted on the WebRPG VnV forum.  I'm not sure I even want to give this an introduction, other than that. :-)


Speaking of weird dreams. I had one recently. The setting was something like the Shadowrun universe without the cyberpunk (magic + corporate dystopian state). Apparently, some squatters had managed to eck out some turf and were trying to live peaceably. Then some gangers came and tried to evict them forcefully (mostly, the gang was just showing off their power). Somewhere in there, our reluctant hero became protective and was trying to keep everyone safe by telling them where to go, how to hide, how to resist where the could, etc., etc.

Then our hero made a wrong turn and came to face with the gang leader. (The leader and his cronies had been striding arrogantly through the chaos spreading FUD). Faced leader to leader, the gang leader conjured his most devastating spell (see below) to demonstrate how truly futile resistance was (and because he wanted to show off). This is when our hero discovered his own powers. Everyone (including our hero) was startled when the animated spell object simply returned to normal and fell limply from the sky. Naturally, the gang leader (having to save face) tried again. This time, our hero had a bit more understanding and a few seconds later the animated object turned upon its summoner and his cronies obliterating them completely and demoralizing the villains who then fled the scene in a panic.

Magical Spells / Psionics / Mutant Power: By spending one action per turn, the character can automatically duplicate and take control of any magical or psionic energy released into the environment within (I+C)/5 inches of himself. The character gains the ability to use the power in the future, just as if he was the original user (using his own Level, Attributes, etc.). The character does not understand the power, however, and can never really improve or modify it beyond very tight restrictions (certain powers are more flexible than others). Note, the character does not gain the full power of the original user, merely the power demonstrated. For example, if someone broadcast thoughts to the character, the character could duplicate thought casting (and in this case block the thought caster by shutting down the power) but would not be able to read thoughts until someone tried to read his mind. Note also that the energy must be “released into the environment”, which typically does not occur in contact-based powers (where the energy moves directly from attacker to victim) nor does it relate to abilities inherent to an object (he could not affect a magical sword for example).


Potato Oblivion: This terrible spell is nearly impossible to master and anyone who does is therefore granted significant respect. Through fell magicks, the caster can take an ordinary bag (typically empty potato chip bag after which the spell is named) and animate it. The animated bag expands as it flies around until it is the size of a small car. Anyone passing through the opening of the bag (typically as it swoops into him, engulfing him), is never seen again. It does not have great range, but it is hard to dodge.