Archive for June, 2011

World Creation II: Wrapping Up

30 Jun

Alright, time to wrap up this World Creation series. I know I haven’t gone into the jungle tribes much, but that’s mostly by design. My conception was that there would be hundreds of little ones as opposed to a few really big ones, and thus, going over anything besides general trends (which I think I did satisfactorily with the last entry) would be time-consuming and ultimately pointless. With my sensibilities, the focus of this setting really lies with the technologists in the mountains. The tribes don’t change much—or rather, they change and mutate and die out so quickly none of those things are extraordinary—so in my view, they tend not to be as interesting as a monolithic force that is undergoing a sort of unprecedented philosophical schism.

Anyway, point is, I’ve done about all I need to as far as getting this setting off the ground goes. All that’s left is to come up with some names for things, develop one or two specific characters, and maybe get a sense for some of what’s out in the jungle.

I will call the settlement of the valley dwellers Oreb, derived from the name of their mother-god, Orebes. Their primary away-camp further down the river is named Derabii, which in their language means, “dangerous/bold opportunity.”

The current de facto leader of the Orebians is the elder Eb, an old man who is credited with the invention of the steam engine. He is widely regarded because of this, and is charismatic besides, but is not an exceptional leader. He is often content to let others settle disputes between themselves. It is only his revered status that causes so much public opinion to depend upon his words.

The leader of the miner-priests—called the Tingedi–is a man named Pul. Pul was the one who discovered Oreb’s most lucrative iron mine thirty-five years ago, an act which has garnered him a healthy degree of respect. He is a staunch opponent of rogue miners, calling them disrespectful and unhallowed, and accusing them of cheapening the mountain’s greatest gift.

The leader of the trailblazers is a woman named Isma. Isma is known among the community for being one of the three inventors of a kind of grapeshot cannon that’s ideal against unarmored raiders—ideal in the sense that it discourages survivors from ever attacking the Orebians again. Isma utilized the social capital this device earned her to attract support for several ambitious expeditions. She believes that the Orebian society is a utopian society, and that their destiny is to one day leave the bosom of the mountain and spread throughout the entire world. She believes that Orebes can be found not just in the rocks and valleys, but in every useful plant, animal, and mineral. She will not rest until she has personally surveyed as much of it as possible.

Now, one thing I mentioned in post one and never did follow up on: turns out that Isma isn’t quite right. There is something out there in the jungle, some supernatural force—but it’s not Orebes. There is a dark sapience out there in the foliage, some powerful, living entity that saturates every living thing. It leads hunters to their dooms, spreads disease amongst settlers, and drives predatory animals into frenzies. Whatever it is, it likes suffering, especially human suffering. Some tribals claim that whatever it is has revealed itself to them—the form it took was almost human, something like a human sculpted from grey clay by someone who had only seen a person once or twice before. The eyes of the thing were perfectly round orbs dotted with black pupils, the mouth was a single slit, the nose was a round lump, the ears were strange cones. It wore a shapeless robe without color or texture. Some say the thing caused a stabbing pain in their heads before disappearing; others say the thing spoke to them, asked them their name, or even offered them power. For this reason, the god-thing is sometimes called The Giftgiver. As for those who accept the gift: there are some who wander the jungle, eyes rimmed red and hung with heavy lids, mouth twisted up eternal rage and horror, muscles taut and unrelaxing, attacking their fellow man with savage force while mumbling inarticulate apologies through rigid lips. These men are stronger than most, and hard to kill, and some seem to wander the jungle long after they may have died from natural causes.

Couple more map locations: there are two evil places in the jungle, and the first is a simple pool of water. Tribals refuse to venture near it for any reason, and every tribe has a different tale meant to discourage people from approaching it. Some say touching the water causes the skin to rot away, others say the pool is full of creatures that tear apart the flesh to drink human blood—some say the water is the sacred property of The Giftgiver, and any contact with it will bring a horrible curse upon any who allowed this contact to take place. The pool is called The Sore because rare, nearby plants shed particles onto the water that give it the appearance of a cracked red sore.

There is another place associated with The Giftgiver. This place is called The Blister, and it is a crack in the earth, dark and deep and overgrown with poison vines. Unlike The Sore, which most refuse to approach, The Blister has many tribes situated near it. This is because it is an auspicious hunting ground; this, in turn, is because animals come from miles around to fatally hurl themselves into the crag. These animals are generally small herbivores, but larger creatures and even larger carnivores have been seen plummeting to their deaths. Brave men who have explored the crag have reported that it leads down about fifty feet onto sharp rocks, but is otherwise insignificant. Inevitably, these men are later found broken at The Blister’s base. The Blister draws its name from an old legend, passed down orally from tribe to tribe, which has as its base the notion that The Blister was a literal blister formed on the world’s back that burst open and let loose the reeking pus of evil.

And that seems to be just about it. I’ll do a wrapup thing later that’s just coming up with random little details to add flavor, but I’d say the World is about where I want it. Now, obviously, if I were writing a story/writing an RPG in this setting, I would have to come up with additional events and persons, but I’m happy with how the basic idea has been rendered. All in all, a successful exercise.

Now, to never use any of this stuff for anything.

 

Mappenstance

29 Jun

Full World Creation’s been put of a bit. I thought I’d give you the map now, though. Explanation of the names will be included with the full post.

Also: my petition to increase the viewer cap of the stream was denied for some reason, so it’ll still be 50 people max for today’s Hitmas (5:00 PST). However! I’ll be FRAPS recording the run to upload it in good quality for later.

 
 

JvR: Saints Row 2 Finale

28 Jun

Made a mistake in yesterday’s schedule. Tomorrow night is teh World Creation finale; tonight is the Saints Row 2 finale. And yes, it’s basically just the game slowly becoming glitched out the backside until we give up.

(As usual, video may not be uploaded when posted)

 

Site Probably Isn’t Screwed Forever; Hitmas 2

27 Jun

I think it’s safe to say that this website is doomed to an infinite spiral of malaise, self-destruction, and imploding hardware. It’s safe to say this because so far the exact opposite of my predictions have come true, so if I say this, the site will probably prosper. Except, now that I’ve predicted that, it won’t. But now it will. But…okay, hold on, let me get this straight.

Site’s doomed.

Moving on. Tomorrow’s the last World Creation, and after that, I’m paying for the sins of the Spoiler Warning crew by running another Hitmas Wednesday-Friday. And yes, I put in the paperwork to get the stream limit increased. Stay tuned for more info/guest commentators. Also: new series announced soon.

In the meantime, here’s something else I worked up for the Santa Alma campaign: character creation documents. Cookies to anyone who can identify where the Aspect rules come from without googling it.

(Note: on paper, the races look unbalanced–and they are a little. But you have to keep in mind that I’ve designed the races to be more or less balanced for the campaign I, specifically, am running. Where I know exactly how much being vulnerable to silver and being a werewolf, even in human form is a handicap. And goblins are straight from the Monster Manual, except the weird folklore stuff I threw in there.)

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Site’s Back, Jack

23 Jun

Hey, here’s a friendly heads up: the site will be down for a brief period as of two or three days ago. Fair warning and all that.

Yeah, due to circumstances beyond the control of God and Man, the site was down for a couple days. I am pleased to report it is now exactly as functional as it ever has been, and will continue to be so for the forseeable future.

Since the site has been down, I have posted an additional JaR, which I will provide below.

Stay tuned for more content coming up. Glad to be ambulatory once again.

 
 

Burnt Offerings

20 Jun

Right, here’s the score. I’ve carved up the remaining JaR footage into bite-sized chunks of about fifteen minutes each. These I will be uploading every day of the week until I run out, at which point…I dunno. Hopefully something will have been figured out. Anyway, look forward to the first one appearing below within a half hour of this post launching:

But that’s not all I’ve got for you. As promised, a look at what I’ve been working on.

To stave off the boredom of sporadic summer classes, I’ve been working on an RPG campaign setting I’m going to be running with some cronies of mine in the months to come. My goal was to create an interesting, supernaturally-themed modern setting that didn’t have to take itself 100% seriously, but wasn’t ruled by slapstick Kobolds Ate My Baby! comedy either. The result is Santa Alma, a city that runs like someone mixed vampires, goblins, and werewolves into Pulp Fiction (or Saints Row 2, for that matter). It’s a chaotic mess of bizarre gangs and terrifying supernatural elements that’s part scary, part dramatic, part goofy. So far, I’m pretty proud with how it’s turning out.

Thing is, I wanted the players to have a sense of the setting and major figures before they began. The campaign will be pretty free-form–I’ll get a sense of what the players want to do, then prepare for the direction I think they’re heading in–and that kind of deal always works best when the players know something about the territory they’re venturing into. So I decided to bite the bullet and compile a wiki. It’s already 50 pages, and it’ll probably be significantly more before I’m done, but there you go.

It’s not done–the stuff I’ve finished isn’t even finalized, and I may go back and retool parts before I open player registration–but the basic shape has been knocked out. There’s even pictures for some stuff. Feel free to poke around–although for obvious reasons I’d prefer if you didn’t make any edits. If you spot a glaring typo, feel free to point it out in the comments. A couple things that are currently conspicuously absent that I am planning to implement:

1.) Spellchecking

2.) A unified categories system

3.) Homebrew rules

4.) Maps of the city showing where the different parts are in relation to each other, and where each gang is set up

I’ll get to most of these within a week. The rest I can work out as I go.

 

JvR: Saints Row 2, Episode 6

19 Jun

Heads up: last couple times that cretin Jibar and I have set down to record, things went kinda screwy. Screwy as in quests go wrong, laws are broken, boundaries are crossed, and there’s a decent chunk of footage that’s just…missing. Don’t worry, you definitely won’t miss any vital context probably. Just, watch the video.

Also, this video is pretty damn long. The next one will be up tomorrow,  and may well be the final Saints Row 2 episode of all time. Also going up tomorrow: the secret project. Stay tuned, viewerpeoples.

<HERP; LINK REMOVED>

(As usual, I’m throwing this up there while the vid is still uploading, so if you just rolled in and the video’s not up yet, cool your jets to a frosty low and check back in a couple hours. Keep in mind, longer video means longer upload time.)

EDIT: Okay, the upload speed is kind of dragging, here. It might not upload before  have to leave tomorrow. In which case, I’ll post an update and throw a bone of some kind.

EDIT 2: Six hours and not even halfway. This is abnormally slow, even taking into account the video size. I’d let it finish anyway, but I pack this machine up in a few minutes, so I’ll have to post the videos up tonight. I’ll throw them up around the same time as the project.

 

Happy Dearth Bay Moo Tea

16 Jun

365 Experience Gained: Level Up!

New Level: 20

Score So Far:

Websites Started: 0001

Tacos Eaten: 6216

Hobospies: 0017

Videogames Played: 9999

Novels Written: 0001

Girlfriends Had: 0000

NEW ABILITY UNLOCKED: Remotely Disrupt Jibar’s Bowels

NEW QUEST: Get through two more years of academia.

NEW QUEST: Start another damn text LP or something.

NEW QUEST: Write another book.

NEW QUEST: Floss teeth.

 

The Second Day of Hitmas

14 Jun

Just a reminder to all you fine folks out there: yesterday’s packed Hitman stream, which can be viewed and reviewed here (bear with the first few seconds of calibrations) was not the end! We’ve got another episode rarin’ up today. At 4:00 PM PST, I am going to hit further men, and they are going to try to hit me back. Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned!

I said there’d be the regular content this week, and I did mean it, but part of the reason I’m front-loading this week’s content with Hitman streams is because I’ve been working on a rather large something that needs to be done by the end of the week. On the plus side, this is totally going to be the sort of thing you guys can enjoy. Fans of World Creation will be especially tickled. Here’s a preview:

Yeah. That’s Grigori Rasputin. That’s pretty much checkmate right there.

 

The Hitmans to Come

11 Jun

Buckle up, you classy hi-rollers you, because in addition to this week’s regularly scheduled content–excluding the Thursday stream, for reasons that will hopefully become apparent presently–I’m puttin’ on no less than three Hitman shows. Each will be at least thirty, and quite possibly more, minutes of man-chokin’, neck-snappin’, clown-suit-wearin’, ass-cappin’, silent-assassin’ action. Live thrills! Live chills! Live outbursts of muted profanity! Live snakes! Possibly! Probably! Probably not!

Tune in at these times:

Monday, 4:00 PST
Tuesday, 4:00 PST
Wednesday, 4:00 PST

    Not on TV! Not on the radio! Only at www.livestream.com/chocolatehammer!

    Can’t make one? Can’t make any of them? That’s okay too! You can catch the recording at the same hit-channel as the live stream itself.