Populations and other research

Some recent finds:
Building Prestige Classes (Part 1)
Building Prestige Classes (Part 2)
Population Demographics A tighter method of stating out towns
3d6.org A Forgotten Realms (Harper) campaign
Complete Domain Spellbook
6 person party experience forum discussion
Magic Item Reference

Sorcerer variants

The articles are thorough and generally good. (Not so sure about the last; I snagged it to peruse later.)

Get together coordination

Right now, it sounds like we’re thinking hard about getting together for the first session on Saturday, January 8th. The big questions are: can everyone make it, and what time do we want to meet? Does anyone have to leave at a specific time?

Update: Steve has trouble with Saturday nights for at least a few weeks. How does Friday nights, 6:30 to 11 pm (or so) work for everyone?

Top Ten for 2004

Edward Underscore of Obsidian Wings (under political blogs) started a thread Stan LS Memorial Top 10 Lists for 2004: Open Thread that asks a general question:

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when everyone gets to pretend they write for David Letterman and offer their Top Ten lists on their favorite topics. Rather than limit it to movies or events, however, I’m opening up the concept to anything that strikes your fancy. What were your favorite “things” about the past year?

Continue reading “Top Ten for 2004”

IRE #5: Winter Solstice

A twisted Nephandus cabal has been waiting for this moment for a very long time. They’ve managed to gather a huge force that has captured a daughter of Helios, the spirit of the sun. With their bargaining chip, they’re making demands on the spirit– which it can’t resist. Using the bloodline linkage, the Nephandi have already started introducing dark spots that swim about in the sun…

From Blog, Jvstin Style:

Our fifth IRE is another slam dunk, since today is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Today is the Winter Solstice.

So what would I do with the day that allows the least amount of sunlight of the year?

A twisted Nephandus cabal has been waiting for this moment for a very long time. They’ve managed to gather a huge force that has captured a daughter of Helios, the spirit of the sun. With their bargaining chip, they’re making demands on the spirit– which it can’t resist. Using the bloodline linkage, the Nephandi have already started introducing dark spots that swim about in the sun…

This would be interesting; probably very experienced Magi or Technomancers would have to storm a Nephandi labyrinth to save the daughter and get Helios out from under their thumb. Woe to them if his daughter should die in the attempt…

Lunchtime Poll #6: The Great American Novel

For me, there are two significant reasons. First, a novel takes a huge investment of time upfront and may never see the light of day. The second big reason is interaction– I’d rather hang out with friends than write alone.

From Li

I had lunch with Narrative Guy (whom some of you may remember from a previous Lunchtime Poll) a few days ago, and he posed the question “Why are people who are role-playing for the creativity of it not writing novels instead?” Good question, I thought.

I’m going agree with many of the previous commenters- there are two major reasons. First, a novel takes a huge investment of time upfront and may never see the light of day. A game on the other hand is immediate– the adventure you’re musing on today could be Friday’s game– must be Friday’s game if you’re GMing, people will be showing up, and nothing else is coming to mind. You never have to come up with everything (doing so is a recipe for disaster)– either you’ll have opportunities and obstacles thought out (as GM), or you’ll just have your character’s mindset (as a player). When they interact, you get a whole game, from less individual investment.

The second big reason is interaction. I could probably come up with a more satisfying story that the group as a whole does– it’d have one character you could identify with, an actual plot, etc. Unfortunately, writing it wouldn’t involve hanging out with my friends; board gaming might be able to fill the void, but I’d rather hang out more often and do both.

Social Security, Home Values, etc.

Lefties were good at ending fights. An interesting look at the prevalence of violence and the proportion of lefties. Now I know why Eric was so powerful…

Clear Skies Not as bad as we think. That’s good to hear; the way it got so demonized is just depressing though.

For sillyness: Giblet’s practical plan to balance the budget.

Leguin on race & the (really bad) adaptation of Earthsea. Her interview.

An analogy Dad will appreciate: Schools & dentists.

Ampersand summarizes the current status of Roe in a good summary post.

Are we in a Housing Bubble?

Really, you thing social security is the biggest problem? (from Brad DeLong).

IRE #4: Zuider Zee

(from Blog, Jvstin Style)

Our fourth IRE, is a slightly obscure, but important anniversary in history.

On December 14th, 1287, the Zuider Zee sea wall in what is now the Netherlands collapsed. killing 50,000 people. It is the most massive such flood in the history of Holland; the Zuider Zee is one of the most massive projects in the history of engineering.

Thus, this disaster is the theme of this week’s IRE.

I like keeping the components man-made and semi-natural. After reading a thread on the Forge about using DitV for a Valedemar series, I’m quite interested in combining them.

Underneath the palace is (essentially) a heartstone, a device that ties Valedemar together magically. (Think of it as an artificial node, formed by dragging ley lines to the palace). It concentrates power, feeds the vrondi, and does other nifty magical stuff.

Set around the time of the Arrows trilogy, mages have been absent for hundreds of years. The power in the heartstone is building up and going unstable. The PCs are the first new generation of mages, and have to decide what to do. Dismantle the system that powers truth spells? Try some kind of an emergency hearthstone creation/transfer? Repair it? Import an expert on heartstones? If they delay, energy discharges in remote nodes, strange spikes of power interfering in their magics, and a shuddering palace will focus them on the problem.