Friday, September 27, 2019

Reality Trip

The hard drive on my computer at home decided to die. It was not even 8 years old. Being an all in one sort of thing and being a few years old, rather than replace the drive I am going PC shopping this weekend. Need to bump up the specs a bit more as I still use Visual Studio and several graphics programs that would benefit (8GB works but it could be better). So 16GB, at least an I7 of recent vintage, and an SSD for at least the boot drive with maybe an additional SATA drive for slower storage. And I will get better about backups - last one was at least 6 months ago. And supposedly I am an IT person (well, I am a developer, and all my source code is safe up in Github, so there is a back up!)

Good news is most of my stuff I save on-line. Not even sure what is on that hard drive, but I'll probably pull it from the machine and maybe get an enclosure to get access to it if possible.

Bad news is I have to reinstall everything, including Heaven & Earth, the 20+ year old Traveller software that still worked for me running in XP service pack 3 compatibility, And i need to find the installers for the various planet generation software, Campaign Cartographer, all those fun things.

So my already spotty updates may be spottier as I really don't think I'll find what I want this weekend, and even if I do, there will be hours spent reinstalling software and configuring the system to work the way I want it to.

So, digging through my on-line storage, here are some images of Krim, a high tech world in the League of Independent Worlds. Sadly, the color mapping was one of the things on that hard drive - that program can use color maps, so I took the Mars mapping and added some additional layers for a more interesting color. But I do have all the seeds for the various planets saved online I think - each planet has its own directory with everything related to that planet stored there.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Fantasy Trip Pantheon

Resurrecting some old notes (as in 35+ year old notes - somehow I managed to hold on to a lot of handwritten, drawn and typed stuff from the halcyon college days!).  The pantheon of my fantasy world with a bit of stuff added to see if I can work with it.

There are 5 primary gods and goddesses, who between them only have eight gods and goddesses of the next level. I would think there may be a bunch more gods and goddesses, demi-gods and demi-goddesses that are not listed. Sort of an open-game world: establish the big structures and everyone can fill in things as they want.

And apparently various races are more directly connected to the gods and goddesses. Not to say that there is 100% compliance, but at a guess, if you worship "your" god you may get better results. Not really sure what I was thinking at the time.

The big five are Tionna, God of All Living Things. While that covers a lot of ground, we'll just go with that. His wife or consort is Blizria, Goddess of All Demons. A ying-yang of the celestial world perhaps. Blizria was also attached to Slamia, God of Might. Guess a burley, he-man of a god. Monta is God of the Elments, and married to Alamia, Goddess of the Earth. I imagine a hippy god couple here...

Tionna and Blizria have two children: Tona, Goddess of the Lesser Creatures. Druids tend to pray to her a lot. Tinma is the God of Plants, and apparently female warlocks have an affinity with him.

Blizria and Slamia also have two children, Bizmia, Goddess of Fire. Demons and imps really like her. Her sister is Blaon (and I have a typo in the document below), and is goddess of lightening. Ogres and giants dig her.

Monta and Alamia have four children: Mim, God of Rain. Dwarves are apparently attuned to Mim. Maion is the God of Wind, and Elves appear to be attached to that particular god. Miniatria is Goddess of Air (and how that differs from wind exactly is a celestial question!), and is favored by pixies and fairies. Aronius is Goddess of the Land and the Centaurs truly believe in her.

Now - the race/creature affinity grew out of which miniatures I had at the time (and still have). So that is part of the explanation.

I'll have to write up more aspects of the gods and goddesses as well - I think the next adventure I get to DM, that avatar from a previous post may belong to Mim or  one of his progeny, and it may be his temple or grove that has been messed with in some way.  Maybe throw in some of the other things I keep getting: deck of silly things has some good treasures, and the Delayed Game blasts also have some really fun things. I need to make the adventures more fun and out there. I tend towards the conservative in gaming it seems, and really need to learn to let go.

Pear Farm

Here is where our Fantasy Trip adventure had their mushroom adventure. Decided there may be more in the woods and forests round the tiny farmstead/village. After rolling up the avatar a few days ago, I've stuck it in the fork in the road and added the Temple of the Grove. I'll see about writing up my old pantheon today or tomorrow.

I don't think I ever played TFT much back in college, it was mostly D&D with the main group, and Traveller with the sub-group. Traveller I liked as it was in the vein of proto-Traveller and a lot simpler, and anything could go. My primary character ended up with a 200 ton Scout ship with an artificial intelligence, a short range transporter system and the eternity chip (Merchants and Merchandise: expensive but would repair your ship), a deadly speeder designed with Striker and really based on the Blade Runner cars. That ship was TL 17 for some things: the AI was a true AI and of course transporters are way up there. And, due to an accident, both legs were bionic, giving him endurance F. Not sure I would allow a lot of that until a LOT of playing had gone on now.  And of course, I was reading a lot of the Well Worlds series so that character's name was Nathan Brazil. Interestingly, Jack Chalker, the author, I believe lived in Norfolk at the time, and I was going to Old Dominion University. I believe he showed up for various local cons, but I could well be misremembering.

My point being both games were fairly straightforward and simple in mechanics. It was only later that Traveller got significantly more complicated (and T5 is significantly more complicated!) Probably why I've backed the Fantasy Trip so much: rules are pretty straightforward and easy for anyone to pick up. I'll have those game aids for combat when the Decks of Destiny show up, and most of that is also on the DM screen and various other places.

Not really happy with this map: I had some issues with the layers getting wonky and the affects being odd. But I wanted a smaller 25x10 mile map and the overland maps are all 1000 miles wide...

Still not done with it but figured I would get something out there today. Seeing as I now somehow have all of 13 followers :)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Fantasy Trip, a side trip with a religious herald

While we've not yet returned to the Fantasy Trip adventure, the group will be heading back to Edge City, probably along with a cart bearing a fair amount of lumber and several peary casks (peary is a drink made of fermented pears. It was the only alcohol served at the inn they were at, what with all the pear trees in the back). I really hope we can continue that adventure: the place where we are at we can add or remove new player characters pretty easily.

Anyway, one of the (far too many) Kickstarters I backed was The Lesser Key to the Celestial  Legion, a sort of do-it-yourself religion book. Finally decided to roll up at least a herald to one of the many religions on Cidri, at least one of the ones in my part of that immense world.  I actually have an entire pantheon from the college days, so will try & get that in here at some point.

So, after rolling on the many interesting tables, the herald that came up is a 6 foot column made of water, with metallic eyes and very long tentacles. It has wolf puppies around it as this is a 1st level herald. Not that TFT actually has levels per se, but going with a low-level herald. The religious symbol for this god or goddess is a stone cross with a plant-encrusted knife planted in the middle of it. There are two religious aspects for this religion: ancestor worship and quiet prayers. Probably to the delight of the players, the sacrifice is wine, mead or ale. The religious texts are painted on linen cloth. There is only 1 celebration a year in the winter, celebrating a martyr's death. Costumes and masks are worn starting at midnight for 3 days in a grove, starting with the 1st full moon of winter. The odd relics are petrified toes of the martyr, which can grant +1d3 save against poison as well as +1d3 for a divine aid check (which I am not sure how that would translate to TFT but we can wing it). The toes are usually in a stone cross and knife reliquary.

So a distinct possibility is for the group to meet this young six foot column of water on the way back to the city, asking for aid perhaps in recovering the petrified toes, or investigating something.

And yes, I do need to get back to Traveller, the primary reason for this blog. But I've been side-tracked a lot lately by various other things. Including dying in yet another attempt at Death Test...

the spiders in the chest actually did 4 points of damage to 1 character. A bad start for the 1st room!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Miniatures Painting

I watched a couple of videos so far, and have started painting minis after a few decades...big difference is back in the day it was enamel paints. Now I am using admittedly cheap acrylics (50 cents a bottle) and some more expensive shaders/inks for post painting.

Some things I think came out well, some not so well. But as I am just starting, practice should hopefully improve what I am doing.

The last few games I've tried to get a mini to represent my character. Sadly, most of our games don't get down to any tactical level for the most part - theater of the mind. Although I had some difficulty with envisioning how all 6 players managed to attack a mimic door in a narrow corridor that was only 5 feet wide... This is why I really like The Fantasy Trip (and why some of my group does not): you need to think tactically a bit more. After some friendly fire hits last game we played, the players were a bit more careful about bows and line of sight!

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Pilot's Guide to the D'Arlee Subsector

Working on the Yontin subsector now, as my solo game will be at Krim whenever I get out of jump space...

Here is my attempt at embedding the PDF. And the link: Pilot's Guide

(edit: I noticed that Chrome, and possibly other browsers, may disable that embedded link)

And just to have an image, here's the J4 map:

Friday, September 06, 2019

Traveller Tracker - test installer

So what I've done is published the app to my OneDrive. I've set that to be a shared directory with a setup in there. I've not tested this yet - need to go to my tablet to see if it works.

At the moment there is not a whole lot to the program (I hate calling things apps. Application is okay, app just seems trivial, even though this is trivial :) ) You can add ship classes and ships. The ships use the ship classes.

So, why push this out? To see if there is any interest other than me plugging away so I don't forget the .Net stuff (work is Filemaker and Rails. Still need to learn Ruby & Rails but I've got too much crap to deal with on that Filemaker system).

So, not even knowing if this will work (if not, I believe my Charter account gives me some web space & I could push to a web site), if anyone wants to try this Windows-only program, here is the link to the installer:

Traveller Tracker installer

Monday, September 02, 2019

Traveller Ship Tracker Progress and Miscellaneous

Making some progress on the basic ship tracker, MK near infinity...The basic class editor is in place, and adding a new ship is in place. What is not yet there is selecting the class for the ship & saving that, and editing existing ships. I've got a button for the class editor list but I am unhappy with that: I'd rather the row act like a button so that clicking that loads the class (and eventually, ship).

Hoping to get those details done soon - while this was a long weekend (Happy Labor Day to those who can celebrate it!) my son was also back from his first week in college. So I've been trying to spend as much time with him as he will allow me to!

Plus I've started painting minis. Some are coming out well, others, well, not so well. I'll try & post pictures at some point. I started with the easy things: some chests. I am really happy with how those turned out - the gold was a base coat of yellow, then a red wash, then a gold dry wash. The wood chests were a base of brown then either a dark brown wash or a light brown wash. The dark wash made the wood look older I think.  The rogues and Paladin, a mixed success. Not entirely sure I like how they turned out but they are better than just plain plastic! And doing some experiments on Zombicide:Invaders xenos. Base coat then a few layers of wash: one is pure dark green, the other two a mix of purple and green. Need to do some additional painting. probably some dry wash of darker green, and we'll see how they come out. I have plenty of those to play with!

I need to get back to the solo play but there is just so much time available to me. Plus I do like to sit back on the days I have off, enjoy my coffee and a book for a spell. I've managed to finish off about 4 books the last week.