Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Hyperloop stuff: A few thoughts

Hyperloop: the good, the bad, the ugly
Hyperloop, if you get past the disaster scenario of a severed pipe resulting in one pod after the next smacking into the break at five hundred miles an hour until those further back go full stop only to find they are trapped in a coffin from which there is no escape, then yes it is useful, but only if it is free mass transit. Imagine last Vegas evolving into adult Disneyland. A total policed entertainment precinct where crime doesn't happen. That means removing the resident population. So the residential support cities become Phoenix, San Diego, and Fresno. Workers could live in these cities and travel to Vegas. At thirty dollars a one way ticket thats four hours work at minimum wage. If on the other hand hyperloop had a trillion dollars in a bank account operating off interest to maintain itself as a free service, then workers could go to work by hyperloop at no cost to themselves or tax payers. The social and economic costs would be reduced. Hyperloop is still a box that absorbs biological hazards from previous travellers and passes them to the next and sacrificing the health of the worker caste is why the us economy crashes.

Sure billionaires might own their own hyperloop 'limo' and Companies might have their own pod so Google or KFC can send a bunch of workers out to deal with a problem, but that implies a different hyperloop train terminal than a 'loop'. It implies a thousand pod capacity shelf racking pod station where technicians can rotate out pods for maintenance without disrupting use. It means you can go get in a pod and wait a few minutes before your pod is loaded for transit.

If this turns out to be a billionaires toy propped up by taxpayers dollars then death to elon musk!

Yes...very expensive.

free stuff: An idea for a memorial to the civilian victims of war

Something nice and sensible with a giant bell.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Dungeon Mastery: generating dungeons...

Oddly enough I design maps, whether campaign maps, villages, or dungeons, in various ways myself.

Random Dungeons

  • Method A: begin with the entrance corridor. Roll 1d6. Results of 1-5 are dead end rooms accessible off the corridor. 5 or 6 is a choke (a room with another exit to a new region of the dungeon). Roll up rooms connected to this hallway area until a six result occurs - you then start with a new hallway region beyond the choke. The five result choke is simply an alternate choke (allowing some minor choke networking associated with the hallway region) to result six which is a major region separator.
  • Method B: decide the number of rooms in the dungeon. Roll 1d6 for each to determine the degree of interconnectivity (1-6 directions of connection: north, south, East, West, up, down). Connect rooms with upward links to those with downward links, East to west, north's to Souths.
  • Method C: roll 3d6 to determine dungeon room position in x,y,z axis and then number them. Then determine the interconnectivity of you might have cave 1 linked to cave 20 directly by a narrow Crawl way that slides down from dungeon level 1 from dungeon level 5.

All three call for a basic network of Encounter connectivity which is then developed further.

I then apply a theme to it. If it's caves the walls are rough and there will be little to no stonework. Links are more likely to be vertical.

Random Villages

  1. Hand full of d6s.
  2. Roll on paper.
  3. Location is Hut.
  4. Number is family members.
  5. Draw a map.
  6. Note NPC's by name.

What do you prefer?

Monday, 25 January 2016

Dungeon Mastery: doomsday book part 1

Resources, whether food, fuel or otherwise yield rates can vary. The best medieval estates of France yielded 91%-93% of what was achievable while medieval France enjoyed an average yield of 35.5%. This led to colossal inequality and starvation. So you understand where finest estates in medieval France produced 92% of 36 bushels of wheat per acre, volcanicaly rich soil in 1950s New Zealand produced 80 bushels of wheat an acre under mechanised harvest.


Art: why was it you left home?

Decided to revisit that little village we all started at.
There it is...same as when you left it...mostly...and you can pop over to the castle on the hill and slaughter the bandit lord and his army of thugs taxing your loved ones into an early grave.

Free Stuff: An idea for a compressed air driven quad

Basically a giant skate board with handlebars and saddle with wheel hubs driven by air from a compressor.

The future must be fun.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Dungeon Mastery: weights, measures and that bloody firkin...

When you tell the players that their character's, having overcome the bandits, have discovered their chief escaping with a couple of small barrels in a rowboat it's probably important to know the boat will probably sink because two firkin of the king's coin silver weighs collectivly short of half a ton (1000lb). Accuracy (or the lack of) is the curse of every dungeon master.
No! Your fighter can't carry that firkin of five hundred pounds of coin silver!
Coming from one of those metric countries, a lack of metric made Dungeons & Dragons an exercise in education:

  • How much is in a barrel?
  • How many stone blocks are on a heavy cart being pulled by an oxen?
  • How many acres are in a fifty six square mile map hex?

Here are a bunch of weights, measures, and stuff you might find useful.

So now your dwarves can measure everything in link and chain...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Going Space: the search for Exoplanets around Proxima Centauri begins

The palereddot project is the verification of the existence of exoplanets around Proxima Centauri. It will take a few years but hopefully they will find worlds to explore/colonize around the star closest to our own (apart from the one in the Dyson sphere that no one has noticed). Basically years of data suggest there is a planet there, but this project will analyse the data in order to verify the result.

Unless someone works out how to build that jump engine Proxima Centauri is pretty much 'the only solar system' to which we will be sending our multi-generational colony ship.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Some Stuff: Possum vs. Python

In the middle of the night a possum meets a python and they both decide not to bother fighting to the death...


I was surprised at the outcome.

Friday, 15 January 2016

It's aliens: KIC 8462852 strikes back

A while back I suggested that the reason KIC 8462852 was fluctuating was because big rocks were passing by. A bunch of astronomers came to the same a similar conclusion suggesting comets. They were wrong. Dimming of the star has been traced back to astronomical data in 1890 and would apparently show that the star faded 20% over the last hundred or so years. The astronomer has run the numbers and made an Unexpected Conclusion.

"...calculated that it would require 648,000 comets, each 200 kilometres wide..."
So apparently it would require an obscenely great number of very large things to be passing the star.

While I would suggest that it is possible that this is the case, A cloud of hydrogen from an exploded star could be passing this star providing increased consistent dimming over time as hydrogen builds between us and the star at a constant rate. But how does this explain the large object variation in the dimming? It's explained by planets passing through the hydrogen flow. These planets and star collect hydrogen leaving shadows of reduced hydrogen in the hydrogen flow.

Worst case scenario: 648,000 objects two hundred kilometre wide are passing a star, and are headed our way. Don't you hate it when they have more death stars than you?

So a colossal hydrogen flow headed our way equals extinction level event. Our own planet will suffocate as hydrogen turns to water with air, meanwhile the sun will transmit heat more efficiently through the hydrogen choking the solar system. On Venus the hydrogen will cook with the CO2 atmosphere creating long chain hydrocarbons and the beginnings of life.
We now need to know:

  • Is it a hydrogen cloud?
  • How long do we have until it gets here?
  • How fast is it travelling?
  • How big an area does it occupy?

Thursday, 14 January 2016

To quote a poet: The rubaiyat

Thank you Omar Khayyam for poetry on government, wine, and women.

Dungeon Mastery: sci-fi weapons

An interesting Scifi-weapon informational discloses the energy of various weapons in scifi measured in joules. Now we can look at damage charts for these things. Given the bone club used in 2001 space oddessy is a hundred and twenty joules we can likely convert energy to hitpoints damage at 1hp per 100 joules. That gives us a heavy bone club (2d6), s-mart's top of the line 'boom stick' (6d6), and the halo sword (15d6). Sounds about right so here is a chart:

Now some guy from the future can yell to the rock throwing crowd: 'this is my boom stick!'

Monday, 11 January 2016

Dungeon Mastery: build a setting from three pieces of art

Art will always be a significant contributor to roleplay games (fantasy and scifi).


Three interesting pieces of art I have had floating around for a while now.


Population: 1184 (96% Dwarf, 2% Human, 1% Elf, 1% Other).
Area: 500 square miles
Symbol: A green pennant with a black web

History: Indismar began as a small trading post extracting iron from the mountains. This continued for four hundred and seventy three years, the dwarf population eventually finding themselves owned by merchants thanks to crippling debts.
In the calender year ten twenty-three a dwarf prophet foresaw destruction. While those in the mines would be safe, those shackled to the oars of their owner's galley ships were forced to revolt and flee to the safety of the mines. The tidal wave claimed the rulers of Indismar and the population of the city perished leaving the dwarves in the mines. When the waters retreated the dwarves emerged to claim their prize only to discover an elder horror now levitate above the grand plaza in the ruined city. While the Wood-beast appeared dormant the dwarves avoided the ruins and reclaimed the port. They work around their unwanted house guest.
Indismar has since become the economic centre of a mercantile network. The previously quiet dwarves have proven to be skilled Merchants.

The Ruins: adventurers explore the ruins for the wealth and secrets of the dead. Great wealth is to be had plundering the ruins, but there are reports that some adventurers are gathering beneath the Wood-beast at the heart of the ruins.

The Wood-beast: since the coming of the Wood-beast wizards have found magic to be unemployable in Indismar. Some think this is tied to the presence of the Wood-beast, others think it also the cause of the tidal wave that liberated the dwarves and a major influence on the rise of dwarves mercantile ambitions. Just what the Wood-beast is and what will happen when it awakens has many concerned.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Free stuff: a thought on an interstellar probe

Three dee print the space craft in a super zeppelin (32 billion cubic feet of hydrogen can lift a million tons - part of which would be the super zeppelin and three dee printer) on the edge of the atmosphere and drop launch. Sounds like a plan.

Dark Sciences: bead cores, lightning in a volcanic eruption, and an intergalactic web

You have likely seen lightning in the cloud of a volcanic eruption. It's because magnetic fields pass through metals in the cloud and are as a consequence not straight fields. They break and weave through particles creating small potentials of reverse magnetic polarisation and these allow electric potentials in the spaces...

Now I'm going to suggest that the odd Web of interconnectivity between galaxies are magnetic field condensate. How we would use that for intergalactic travel if I'm some how right is anyone's guess.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Black Appendix: turning thirty years of dungeon mastering into a tome

This year I will begin getting down as much of my dungeon master notes as possible. They are currently scattered across a dozen notebooks.

Board games: space industries-age of discovery





What didn't make it in the game

There are two cards that won't be included in this game.

  • Huracan is an interstellar survey probe created by the Dyson sphere makers. 
  • Valiant is an interstellar transport.
Basically interstellar colonization involved following a line of Sunmakers to the next star system providing artificial suns where interstellar colony ships could find warmth along the way.


Dungeon Mastery: building on a geographic dictionary

 I like to suggest that when groups of words share a phonetic, they originate from a factual subgroup that can be used to map the past.

We find the Domain of Tanah...located on a Cape so it's part of something larger. A human clan occupies unforested highlands and shares the Cape with Halfling Primitives.
The Indonesian word for clock is djam so these Halfling Primitives are connected to the sphere of time.

The djam clock: An artefact of time.
At Any time, anywhere in the domain of Tanah a Halfling can stick a stick in the ground and draw on the djam clock to make use of any spell of the sphere of time. There is a price. The Halfling ages one year for every spell level used. A Halfling could burn through their life...drawing on the djam clock. The humans know nothing of the djam clock thinking the temporal powers of the Halflings a primitive magic that ages them.

The forested Highlands were Neanderthal Territory but they have vanished.

Here we have a regional setting with Halflings (Barbarians) and humans (Barbarians). It can of course be built on...

Education tools: toph flash cards

A slight variation from my usual game stuff, but here is toph as a set of flashcards so you can teach the kids at the finger painting level.