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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Most Dreaded Duty of All

I'm on telephone standby jury duty.  New York State doesn't have blanket excusals from jury duty these days for certain professions, and my number literally is up.

I escaped today, and I'm not needed tomorrow, but I'm 150 names away, and they grabbed about 700 for tomorrow, so I figure I'm going on Wednesday at the very least, longer if I get picked (and I have a habit of getting picked)

The jury pool rooms have free wireless now (I confirmed that with my phone a few months ago).  So now I'm busy putting together a bag of reading material:

Maximum PC
Mac Life
Some recent Pathfinders
Loading up my iPad with some PDFs to review

I'm sure I'll be bloggin' from the jury pool as I wait.  JoetheLawyer probably
does this crap for a living ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tales of the Blue Knight - June 6

Tenkar peered through the spyglass at the dimly lit  street below.  He kept his body bladed, so that the window curtain would partially obscure his presence from the curious.  The room next to him was filled with the noise of young romance, but that was little if any distraction.

"Male Hobbit" he signed with his right hand.
"Tan leather coat." 
"Right hand". 

Most of the buyers would take the clack with their right hand and hold onto it for dear life.  Others would push it deep in a pocket, possibly ashamed of their addiction.

His message was read by the two uniformed watchmen below.  They casually yet quickly made their way within view of the buyer.  They would follow him for a block or two before making the pinch.  Even at this late hour of night, there was enough foot traffic to make the sight of them fairly common.

That's the sixth buyer we picked of tonight.  Will the Sarge give us the order to grab the dealer, or is this going to be just another exercise in numbers for the Watch Commander to show the City Council?

This precinct in the city had more then its share of crime, much of it driven by the pursuit of illegal narcotics.  Many of the addicts committed petty crimes to fuel their addiction, and the dealers and suppliers frequently turned violent on their rivals.  It took Tenkar some real effort to remember that over 90% of the population, while poor, was law abiding and generally good folk living in a bad situation.  He grew up in this city, but not in a neighborhood like this.

"Ten, give the signal.  Grab the dealer.  We have enough bodies pinched tonight to make this one stick."  Tenkar's hands were still passing the words on as the sergeant went downstairs to oversee the ending of the night's operations.

Hopefully the perps we pinched will allow the Cleric on staff to cure their addiction, but even then more then half will be right back.  Apparently the Gods can only cure the body, not the mind.

Game Rules
(just a tad more harsh then real life)

Clack - Highly addictive narcotic.  Cheap to get started with. 
Save vs Poison with each use until failed save, at which point addiction sets in.  Once addicted, the drug must be used daily.  If unable to pay for the clack, character in question will steal / kill for clack / money for clack.

Within 2 weeks of addiction, CHA and CON drops 1 point.  It drops another point each following week, until a maximum loss of 8 points is reached.  At this point, 1 HP is lost per week permanently.  Upon reaching 1 HP left, save vs. poison each week or death.

Cure disease will cure the physical addiction and restore all lost attribute points / HP at a rate of 1 per day (just one casting is needed, the body needs time to heal).  A save vs spells (WIS bonus applies) must be made to be able to fight of the mental / emotional addiction

(with thanks and blame to scottsz)

Weekend Buybacks for June 6th

Yep, some more goodies to be found.  This weeks weekend offerings only number 2, but we had some freebies mid week, and a 20% discount yesterday... besides, these two have a nice page count.

This week's freebies are from Vajra Enterprises.  Both are playable versions of their respective games, but they lack options available in the full product.  Still, for a try and (possibly) but later, they are very good options to take a peek at.

Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition -  Fates Worse Than Death is a game of violence, fear and hope on the streets of New York City in 2080 -  The Spare Change Edition only has character creation options and setting information for creating and playing characters who are street people.  As usual, I find free products are ripe for ripping and stealing for other games even if I don't use them as printed.  241 pages.

Tibet the Role Playing Game: Monastic Edition  - Tibet is a game of war, intrigue, magic and mysticism in 1959 Tibet. The Monastic Edition only has character creation options and setting information for creating and playing characters who are monks. 169 pages.  There is enough here to help you decide if the game is to your liking or not.  Both are way more then a quickstart, yet less the a full package.

That's all for now.  Cranking away some other writing.

Oh, and received my 5 copies of Dark Dungeons in paperback from Lulu.  Little surprise for the seasonal gathering of my old gaming group.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

RPGNow Specials for June

Sometimes you get thrown a curve ball.  Sometimes the curve ball is a sweet one.  This is a sweet one ;)

OneBookShelf / RPGNow / DriveThruRPG has supplied certain bloggers with a discount code to give to their readers.  I happen to be lucky enough to be one of those bloggers.  (Even luckier that I heard about the program in the first place).  The code for June is:


It's worth 20% off all products from the following list of publishers. It's good for one month from today (actually, yesterday), with unlimited uses (but only three per customer).

There are some really nice games from these publishers.  Damn, now I really need to work on a review of Starblazers from Cubicle 7.

I also have some freebies to reward individual readers with.  I'm going to need to think on this one.  Should be fun.

Back later with the weekend's buybacks, but in the meantime enjoy the 20% savings ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Irregular Thoughts

Or is it just thoughts on an irregular column?

I'm thinking of writing some Tales of the Blue Knight as an irregular column for this blog. Kinda my work experiences mixed with my gaming experiences and life observations in general. I'm learning after a year of doing this i'm a bit more focused when I can stick to a general theme. We'll see how I do over the weekend ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Thought About Free...

Earlier this week, a valid point was raised about the cost of "Free".  Would I want someone to do my job, law enforcement, for free?  People already do.

Steven Seagal - Lawman - Reserve Officer with full police powers.  I've never watched the show, but he's doing it.

NYC doesn't give arrest power to it volunteers.  NYPD Auxiliary Police Officers serve more as eyes and ears, as well as a visible deterrent to crime.  Their job is probably more thankless then mine. Later tonight I need to pick my son up from the Police Academy... he's taking his first class to be an Auxiliary Police Officer.  God bless him.

I got into this line of work partially because I was taking every civil service / utility company test I could find.  I wanted a union job, just like my father.  I was also looking for something a bit more rewarding, emotionally and economically, then retail sales.  I was tired of being inside 8 hrs a day.  I wanted to be outside and get paid for it.

I was also the geek that tended towards playing Paladins in his early AD&D days.  Being a cop kinda puts you in that Paladin / Knight in Shining Armor role - at least until you put the domestic abuser in cuffs and now his girlfriend is attacking you because, despite the black eye and loose teeth, you weren't supposed to do that.
It plays out like a great roleplaying game, with twists and turns and the need for creative solutions thought up on the spur of the moment.

If someone wants to do my job, or aspects of my job, for free, God bless them and keep them safe.  There's more then enough crime and abuse and problems to go around.

One day I'll have to relate some stories about how my experience playing D&D helped me solve problems on the streets of the South Bronx ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Hour at the Tavern June 2

So, my plan was to pimp Starblazers with a short review, but that will wait a day or so. Instead, Fantasy Flight Games has been busy pimping out their Warhammer 40k RPG lines with some free offerings in June. I'm not a huge fan of quickstart rules in general... most leave me unsatisfied, even uninterested in the product they are intended to showcase. Not so the case with FFGs latest quickstarts. Nice flavor and decent introductions to the rules in question. (Of course, I have both Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader in hardcover... even played in a FG2 campaign of Dark Heresy for the better part of a year).

Anyhow, lets see the latest offerings:

Dark Heresy Edge of Darkness - Quickstart - 48 page long Dark Heresy introduction. Nice presentation and decent adventure. But I'm biased - WFRP and 40kRP settings are some of my favorites. The fiction is generally good too.

Dark Heresy Salvation Demands Sacrifice - 8 page supplement, it offers 3 new radical careers for your Dark Heresy game. Of course, it requires the Radical's Handbook, which I don't own and isnt mentioned on the download page. If I thought I was going to be playing in a Dark Heresy game in the near future I'd think of picking it up.

Rogue Trader Forsaken Bounty - Quickstart - 24 page long introduction to Rogue Trader. The included adventure is about 10 pages long. Between the 2 quickstarts you should have a decent idea if you like the system and the setting. Cool cover art ;)

Rogue Trader Dark Frontier - 12 page sequel adventure to the quickstart.

Rogue Trader Epoch Koronus - 13 pages of game history / timeline. You either love this stuff or you hate it.

Rogue Trader Drydock - 7 pages - more like 4 pages on ship design, 1 page on ship combat. Handy reference if needed, but little more

K, that's it for tonight. Some nice free samples from a very well produced and written sci-fi line (with heavy fantasy overtones). Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Creative Mountain Games $1 Sale

If you, like me, never brought your gaming out of the 3.5 era, this sale might just be for you.  Creative Mountain Games has put just about their whole RPGNow catalog on sale for a buck.

My favorite, which I've owned for years and can't say enough about, is the SRD 3.5 Revised (Full) Bundle.  It's a very convenient way to carry your 3.5e rules, and 3500 pages for a buck is a steal. 

The Favorites Bundle is also a buck.  It includes a low level adventure, some small source books, a tile generator and a dwellings generator.  

Really, you can't go wrong even if you are just into Old School Rules.  Everyone needs a SRD to call their own ;)

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