My Worldcon Schedule

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:56 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
 On two panels, one on gaming, the other on fanfic. The first is well within my area of expertise, the other is something I can probably talk about though I tend not to write it.

Horror in Roleplaying Games

Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, 101c (Messukeskus)

Roleplaying games can be all about amosphere. Does dice rolling take away from the horrific feeling? What tips players and game masters have for making sure the players are immersed in the game? In short: how to scare the pants off your players!

Marcus Rowland, David Damerell, Terilee007 (M)


Genderswapping in Fan Fiction

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00, 206 (Messukeskus)

Genderswapping happens quite often in fan fiction and very often it can offer something new to the readers and even reveal aspects of the original work the reader would not have thought about otherwise. The panelists discuss the difficulties in genderswapping in fan fiction and why they like to read and write about genderswapped characters.

Hanne Martelius, Marcus Rowland, Arwen Grune

 

 

Two more RPG Bundle offers - Numenara

Jul. 25th, 2017 07:19 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
This is one I know virtually nothing about, apart from a friend's opinion that it isn't very playable. There are two offers, one a repeat from 2014, the other new material.


Numenera Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera-2017

"This offer revives (for a second time) our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the science-fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future. This bundle, the second revival of our May 2014 offer (previously revived in December 2014), collects the Numenera core rulebook and the supplements published in the line's first year or so. For this new resurrection we have an all-new companion, the Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery, with many recent supplements -- including one based on the Torment computer game.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$70. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $25) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 418-page Numenera core rulebook, the Gamemaster Screen, and Cypher Collection 1.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $45:
  • Player's Guide (retail $8): The character creation rules and basic mechanics from the Numenera corebook -- a great guide for new players.
  • Ninth World Bestiary (retail $15): More than 130 lavishly illustrated and wildly imaginative creatures and characters in the Ninth World.
  • The Devil's Spine (retail $10): Three adventures in a hard-driving frame story. The terrifying devil's spine graft will claim a life, and the clock is ticking.
  • Vortex (retail $6): Monte Cook's original Gen Con 2013 Numenera launch scenario -- an ideal campaign kickoff in a mysterious temple like nothing the Ninth World has ever seen.
  • In Strange Aeons (retail $3): Incorporate cosmic horror -- the terror of unfathomable reaches of both space and time, and of incomprehensible weirdness -- into your Numenera games.
  • Artifacts and Oddities Collection 1 (retail $3): This companion to the Cypher collection presents 30 new devices and a hundred oddball phenomena to spice up your game.

Numenera Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera2

This Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery presents many recent supplements for the line, including an ebook inspired by the inXile Entertainment computer game Torment: Tides of Numenera.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Numenera Character Options, the Ninth World Guidebook, the Technology Compendium, and the two Maps of the Ninth World collections.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $58:
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera -- The Explorer's Guide (retail $15): Numenera inspired the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment. This 160-page book presents the computer game's setting, the region of Greater Garravia.
  • Into the Deep and Into the Night (retail $15 each): Two sourcebooks that present new frontiers in the ocean and the sky. Includes The Nightcraft (retail $3).
  • Weird Discoveries (retail $10): Ten instant adventures you can run in an evening with minimal prep.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased this offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Numenera resources




This looks very pretty, but you have to wonder about the idea that the human race and human civilization, or something like it to this extent, will survive a billion years, and then survive in a manner that basically resembles a fantasy role playing game, with bits of lost technology etc. replacing magic. My own first impression unfortunately bears out my friend's opinion - it's pretty, but it'd be a sod to run.

Having said that, there's some very good fiction out there using similar settings - Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time and Vance's Dying Earth are obvious examples, as is Hodgson's The Night Land. It might be possible to do something with them, I'm just not convinced that this is the way to do it.

But as usual, your mileage is likely to vary.

Phone woes

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:31 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
If anyone has tried to phone me at home over the last few days, there's currently a bad fault on the line and it's almost impossible to understand what people are saying or recognise voices - as evinced by a couple of totally incomprehensible answering machine messages. BT say it ought to be fixed tomorrow.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to be causing internet problems so far.

Update - now fixed, sooner than expected.


Negative? What Negative?

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:35 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
A plaque I found in a car boot sale (US="Swap meet") today.



Ignoring the slightly dodgy use of photographic terms, it occurs to me that we're already living in a world where a large percentage of photographers have no idea what a negative is...

Steaming ahead

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:14 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
Don't usually get up early on Sundays, but today I was making breakfast at nine, looked out of the kitchen window and saw this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_A4_4488_Union_of_South_Africa

Needless to say I did not have a camera handy... It was hauling several carriages and for some reason there was a diesel engine at the tail end of the train, I suspect to provide a backup if it broke down or ran out of coal or something. I'm guessing that the summer steam excursions in and out of Paddington have started again - and it turns out to be The Cathedrals Express, on the route Paddington-Westbury-Yeovil Pen Mill, Weymouth-Southampton-Paddington

http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t17/t0723d.htm

Unfortunately it's £100+ per seat, I suppose worth it if you're a steam enthusiast but I made enough long steam journeys in my childhood to satisfy me, I think.

The Great Repeal Bill...

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:24 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
 ...seems to be an attempt to weaken most of Britain's human rights protection. There's a petition against it here:

https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/save-our-rights

spread the word.

gacked from [personal profile] history_monk 


Yongnuo 50mm f1.8

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:23 am
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[personal profile] ffutures
Picked up one of these lenses for my Canon a few days ago, took it out to the park and took some test photos on Tuesday. I think it's actually pretty good, and considering I got it for £30 I'm very pleased. One picture of berries is a bit out of focus, I think I simply got closer than the minimum for the lens without noticing, the rest are OK. Gallery here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZyx37y

I'm beginning to think more seriously about switching to Canon as my main system, but I'd want a better camera body, say 12 megapixels or better. The other thing I'd want to add is a longer zoom with some macro capability, the only other lens I've currently got is an 18-55. Whereas my most used Nikon lens is a 28-300 Tamron with macro capability. Any recommendations?

Another RPG bundle offer - Rifts

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:34 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
This is one I'm fairly sure I'm not interested in, but it's supporting Doctors Without Borders and tastes do differ:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Rifts

Kevin Siembieda's Rifts® is set on a future Earth shattered by countless otherworldly invasions. This all-new collection, the debut of Palladium Books in the Bundle of Holding, is a well-rounded set of complete .PDF ebooks that give players and Game Masters everything they need for a campaign of mind-blowing, dimension-spanning adventure across a transformed North America.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$82.50. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 384-page Rifts® Ultimate Edition™ (retail price $20), plus the Rifts® Primer (retail $3), Rifts® Sourcebook One™ Revised Edition (retail $10.50), and the Game Master Kit with useful play aids and pregenerated characters (retail $5).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more supplements worth an additional $44, including three World Books -- Juicer Uprising™ (retail $10.50), Psyscape™ (retail $10.50), and New West™ (retail $12.50) -- and the location supplement MercTown™ (retail $10.50).

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


I'll be honest - I own some of this system in dead tree format but I was never really that interested in the setting, and found it a bit rules-heavy. Having said that, it's one of the first true multi-genre RPG systems, and its take on putting the genres together is unusual, although not one I'd really want to run. As usual your mileage may vary.
 


13th Doctor is Jodie Whittaker

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:11 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
Well, count nobody entirely surprised by this, after the Master = Missy thing of the last couple of series - The next Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker, an actress I know little about:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40624288

Let's hope the plots improve a little.

Now I feel REALLY stupid...

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:28 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
Suddenly thought of rebooting my iPhone, and immediately the phone network is working again, not a problem with Freedompop at all. I'm obviously an idiot - all I can say is that my previous mobile phones (nice dumb ones) never had this problem....
jedibuttercup: (ardeth bey)
[personal profile] jedibuttercup
T; Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor canon-divergent AU; Rick/Evy/Ardeth, 5600 words. For [community profile] not_primetime.

It was a nice place to visit, but it was a really good thing they weren't actually planning to stay there. (Or: four scenes from a more than ordinarily adventurous marriage.).

Here's to Retirement

(Linked @ the AO3 Not Prime Time archive; written for [personal profile] dreamiflame)

Freedompop again

Jul. 13th, 2017 11:06 pm
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[personal profile] ffutures
A while back I was fairly positive about Freedompop's free service. Unfortunately the last few days have been less than impressive; I'm getting no service, on my mobile or my separate mobile WiFi hub's SIM. And there is nothing on their site to explain what's happening.

I really don't want to start paying for cell service, but in case things don't improve - I make one or two calls and texts a month and use around 50-100mb of data. Is there a paid service for lower usage in the UK that won't break the bank?
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