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16  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Repeat List on: January 25, 2015, 09:06:42 AM
Sadly my slightly moribund Nephos setting is a bit more 1850s than 1750s.
You might like the Lord Darcy series - where technology has advanced to steam engines and the beginnings of electricity... in the 1970s.

One of the two main characters is a forensic sorcerer - specializing in medical examination.

Garret's reasoning was that the development of technology would be slowed by the advancement of magic - purely because the same kind of people were working on each. If Watt is working on spells to determine pressure then he is not spending time working on a steam engine.

And there were folks that did both.

I have an easier time with a divided effort slowing advancement.

In the real world it was the Church and state that tried to prevent the advancement of science - in particular the development of the crossbow. (Worked about as well as trying to tell the tide to retreat.)

On the flip side, the Pope of the time of Galileo was a Copernican himself - Galileo was not tried for trying to prove that the Earth goes around the Sun but... well, mostly for being a jerk. He wrote a work putting the Pope's words into the mouth of a character called The Simpleton.  Roll Eyes

Changing the charges to heresy was actually a way of letting him live - heresy is a crime of intent, and can be recanted.
17  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Repeat List on: January 23, 2015, 05:49:39 PM
Because in most settings, magic is the province of a specialised elite and their allies who have no interest in either enabling the plebs with access reliable 'technology' that would threaten their elevated status or else trap themselves in the workcycle of manufacturing.
Except for the fact that people in the real world tried to expand on the horizons of both - Sir Isaac Newton being a prime example (Newton studied magic (the nonexistence of magic not withstanding), and also invented the shot tower - which sped up the production of balls for blackpowder weapons....)

Hell... the witchcraft scare was well into the age of the gun.

Guns show up in the stories of the Grimm brothers.

So, not at all an effective argument.

The Auld Grump
18  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Repeat List on: January 23, 2015, 09:41:31 AM
I go through burts of listening to music either from earlier times or inspired by those times (yes, this includes steampunk).

Sometimes it is the 1700s.... Over the Hills and Far Away - the John Tam version from the Sharpe's Rifles series of movies.

I wish that I could talk more folks into trying a 1750s fantasy game.... I like blackpowder in my fantasy.

The Auld Grump
19  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Reaperwatch 2015 on: January 14, 2015, 10:52:52 AM
Wargames creator John Hill has passed away - the designer that brought us Squad Leader and Johnny Reb. Sad I know folks that still play Johnny Reb on a regular basis - it was not all that long ago that the third edition came out.

I mostly remember him from back in the Avalon Hill days.

The Auld Grump
20  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e on: January 08, 2015, 02:37:48 PM
For me, what sums up the attraction of Eberron is the phrase 'battle on top of a speeding lightening rail'.  Grin

Film noir style D&D adventures are another big draw.

The Auld Grump
21  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e on: January 08, 2015, 10:59:46 AM
You aren't alone in not liking the Realms....

On the other hand, I liked Eberron a great deal... after dismissing it because of the overhyped marketing....

5e... just isn't grabbing me. I don't hate it like I did 4e, but it just doesn't seem to do anything better than other games on the market.

Maybe there just needs to be more stuff out for it?

The Auld Grump - there's actually a long list of games that I like less than 5e. 5e is pretty much just in the middle of the pack.
22  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e on: January 08, 2015, 09:11:50 AM
Two of the three D&D 5e games by folks that I know have returned to running Pathfinder.

The third has begun a Serenity game.

A fourth, that was thinking about running 5e, decided to run a Cyclopedia game instead.

Not looking good for D&D at this point, at least locally.

The Auld Grump
23  Community / Off-Topic / Re: KickStarter thread on: November 15, 2014, 02:47:51 PM
Mantic has a Kickstarter for the second edition of Kings of War.

Kings of War has become my go to game for fantasy wargaming - the rules are simple and consistent, and the armies are much better balanced than a certain other fantasy mass combat game.

And you can get the rules and most of the army lists for free.

I have played a game of 4000 points in just over an hour - very little by way of rules arguing. (And that quibbles about who could see what and when.)

This... is going to be expensive... not so much for the game as for the addons....

The Auld Grump
24  Community / Off-Topic / Please Tell Me This Isn't About What I Think It's About on: November 04, 2014, 05:03:10 PM
A Poo Transplant?!!!

The Auld Grump
25  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Golden Oldies: Classic Film & TV thread on: October 29, 2014, 09:45:37 AM
That said, however stuffed as the boxes might have been there wasn't a shortage of troops, supplies, or officers willing to back that choice. If the fix was in, it was a popular fix all same.
There were constant shortages of troops and supplies in the south.  All they really had going for them were their generals.
I had an history professor that maintained that at least two of the Confederate states had more volunteers in the Army of the Republic than they did in the Confederate army.

Not total number of soldiers, mind, simply the volunteers.

That there was that great a separation between the the leadership of those states and the hard scrabble farmers and miners that made up the majority of their populations. It was the monied land owners that wanted secession and the right to own other human beings as property.

The professor was from South Carolina, and was of the opinion that Lee should have been hanged, not for the war, but for continuing the war far past the point where the South had no chance of victory.

Revisionist history is a tempting fruit, but one best avoided.

As for whether the South would have been allowed to secede, had they not fired on Fort Sumter... I kind of doubt it, but a small island off of the coast of Maine did de facto secede just a bit before the Civil War - an act not officially recognized by the US government, but recognized by the US Post Office, the Treasury Department (including the Coast Guard), and the draft boards.

Wiscongus remained separate from the US until WWII.... (A patriotic surge because of the war and an aging Postmaster led to the island rejoining the Union.)

Mind you, we are talking about maybe a couple of hundred people here.... Easy enough to ignore.

The Auld Grump - the one attempt by the draft boards to conscript soldiers during the Civil War was driven off by the wives of Wiscongous throwing hot potatoes at the soldiers....
26  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Reaperwatch 2014: Can't be as bad as last year on: October 03, 2014, 04:45:30 PM

Close.  So, very close.  But I'm thinking more Greek letters and fewer inhibitions.

(click to show/hide)

Carefully about generalizing and stereotyping.

While some, heck a lot, live down to it most frat life is pretty much your standard college experience with more bills and an assumption of guilt by administration.

Ian Homeyard
Alpha Phi Rho - Omega Phi, Spring 1998
I have a gay friend that, due to a lack of dorm space, ended up being sent to a frat dorm, despite not being a member of the fraternity.

Despite the fertile ground for inane hijinks he had no problems at all.

By his description, they bent over backwards not to make him uncomfortable.

But that when they hooked him up with blind dates they had lousy taste in men. (Actually, he claimed that they had shown the same taste in choosing boyfriends for him that they showed in picking up girls for themselves. 'This guy's gay, Chris is gay, maybe they'll be friends...')

Folks have learned not to make frat jokes around him.

The Auld Grump - he was a gay accounting student in a frat of jocks.... The gods of farce must have blinked....
27  Community / Fiction and Story Hour / The Wheels Come Off The Interrogation on: September 24, 2014, 04:56:47 PM
On Tuesday I ran the first pure, modern Spycraft game that I have run in years, and had a blast with a scene where one of the PCs got nabbed.

Our hero's world fades to black as he is alone in an elevator.

When he awkes he is strapped to a tilted table, in a room with metal walls.

A few minutes later the one door in the room opens, and in comes a blond man with a dueling scar, dressed in thigh high boots, a corset, shorts, and carrying a riding quirt.

He strikes the agent once across the belly with the quirt, at which point our hero realizes that he has been stripped before being strapped to the table.

Then the man begins to speak....

'Before we begin, Mr. Babbage, I need to know your safeword.'
'Safeword?'
'Ah, new to this, are you?...
Choose a word, easy to remember, quick to say. As soon as you say it, I stop my ministrations, and raise my hands, like this'
*Demonstrates*
'So that you know that I have heard you.'

While I am the one with the lash, you are the one in control.

If you feel dizzy, or short of breath, use the safeword immediately - do not try to brave it out. A panic attack can ruin the experience for both of us.

If you check the cuffs that are securing you to the table you will find a latch that you can reach even with your hands cuffed - it is difficult to reach, if you have a problem reaching it then use the safeword, and I will release you immediately....'

It was about then that our hero realized that there was a camera recording the proceedings....

Fortunately for him, the 'torturer' wasn't part of of the enemy agency, and that the nabbing had been done by one of his allies....

I stole the monologue pretty much entirely from a description of a bondage session...* I had been amused at how reassuring the dominator had been in describing what was going on. And his telling the 'victim' that they were the one in control - that with a word they could stop the whole thing, and that if they were worried they should just stop it immediately.

I then wondered how an Agent might handle the situation, as they realized that what was going on wasn't quite what it appeared to be.

The player managed to both talk his way out of the situation, and have the credit put into a gift certificate for a later date....

There was a fair amount laughter at the table....

The Auld Grump

* Webcomics can lead to strange places... in this case Devil's Panties led to Jenny Everywhere, that led to another webcomic titled Nic Buxom - A webcomic drawn and written by a heavy bottom. Which led to more information than I wanted, actually.... But found useful.
28  Community / Off-Topic / Re: KickStarter thread on: September 21, 2014, 04:07:54 PM
Holy blast from the past, Batman!

That was a great game - I need to send some emails out to folks that I know that still play it, now and again.

The Auld Grump - and always make the sound effects when using a shotgun - you do more damage that way....
29  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Reaperwatch 2014: Can't be as bad as last year on: September 04, 2014, 05:00:07 PM
You are forgetting her role as Dot Matrix in Space Balls. There is room to acknowledge her passing. Sad

The Auld grump
30  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Reaperwatch 2014: Can't be as bad as last year on: August 13, 2014, 07:16:25 PM
we already said wolverine cant name another one.

I'm thinking we're heading into "can't start a thread ever again" territory here.

We shan't enter "burn the witch to save the witch" territory, birthday man. Wink
What if he weighs as much as a duck?

The Auld Grump
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