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16  Announcements / News / Re: Best creature for someone else's setting [Contest] on: January 02, 2012, 07:42:16 PM
Now *this* is one of the best contest ideas I've seen in a very long time (anywhere) - I like that it requires looking at and contributing to other settings.
17  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: The reall "Jabberwocky"; translated from the original Thieves' Cant on: December 20, 2011, 04:36:30 PM
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! I chose hold-out later in it's original sense - what you "hold out" when you're supposed to be handing over your weapons or the day's take or whatever - which is, by its nature, hidden. I had originally started to go with "poisoned" but then considered it over-kill once I worked the "One, two!. . ." line. I may well change it back though. Massive over-kill really isn't out of place and the "hero" might well have poisoned his blade as a contingency, not knowing what opportunity might arise.

Coming soon, the music video - performed in-character by Geofferson Grace (NPC song-mage who sounds an awful lot like Bob Dylan and talks in Cant - even when you finally learn to understand the mumbling, you still can't understand him. . .) with sub-titles of course!
18  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: The reall "Jabberwocky"; translated from the original Thieves' Cant on: December 18, 2011, 07:39:07 PM
LD, thanks. I wrote it - the Gygax' book was want inspired the idea.
19  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: The reall "Jabberwocky"; translated from the original Thieves' Cant on: December 17, 2011, 03:27:47 PM
Fun thoughts to play with. If I were writing such a reference I probably would have used stuff like this for inspiration - not precisely a reverse-engineering process but the effect would be the same. I'm actually considering going through Alice. . . and giving the other poems the same treatment. Gygax suggested using the terms in play which can certainly enhance the game atmosphere but the lexicon of historic cant which he used is huge and would take GMs and players a long time to attain any degree of fluency in its use.  For gaming purposes using the poems would provide an easier cant to remember since the material is familiar to most and would serve as mnemonics devices.

Lewis Carrol as a thief is suggestive. Since he was a mathematician it would be historically plausible for him to have worked secretly as a cryptographer, though far more likely for the government than for any sort of organized crime. Either way, I smell an NPC. . .
20  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / The reall "Jabberwocky"; translated from the original Thieves' Cant on: December 15, 2011, 10:31:00 PM
I was digging though Gygax's The Canting Crew on the bus home last night, (an excellent semi-generic resource on Renaissance organized crime and its FRP adaptation,) and while browsing the comprehensive (English-Cant/Cant-English) dictionary of (slightly augmented) historical slang noted that "cove" (rogue) rhymes with "tove" (Jabberwocky) and "slithey tove" and most of the rest sounded an awful lot like Thieves' Cant. As I simply couldn't resist, today I give you what Jabberwocky really means:

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves                   It was a perfect set-up, and the agile burglers
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;                   Jumped and climbed the hidden wall.
All mimsy were the borogoves,                      Unsuspecting were their victims,
And the mome raths outgrabe.                      And the watch too far away to help.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son                  “Watch out for undercover bounty-hunters Lieutenant,
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!        That speak (our slang) to lie, that stab you in the back and turn you in!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun                   Keep an eye out for paid informants and avoid (working in the districts of)
The frumious Bandersnatch!"                        A beadle who won't take bribes!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;                   He stashed a hidden dagger in his sleeve;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—         And looked all night for signs of a traitor—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,                  So he took up watch in the (shadow) lee of the chimney,
And stood awhile in thought.                         And waited there in ambush.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,                  And, while he lay, alert, in wait,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,              The thief-taker, looking around for watchers,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,          Snuck quickly up through the roof(er)'s access hatch
And burbled as it came!                                And flashed a lantern signal as he did!

One, two! One, two! And through and through   He stabbed him in each kidney, then cut his throat,
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!               His hold-out knife moved too fast to see!
He left it dead, and with its head                    He stripped the body of valuables, and with proof of the treachery
He went galumphing back.                             Ran full-sprint to the rendezvous point.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?              “So, have you taken care of the bounty-hunter?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!                 Then claim your reward, trusted lieutenant!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"                      It's about fucking time! The bastard! Got him!”
He chortled in his joy.                                    He vented his vengeful hatred.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves                    It was a perfect set-up, and the agile burglers
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;                     Jumped and climbed the hidden wall.
All mimsy were the borogoves,                        Unsuspecting was his victim,
And the mome raths outgrabe.                        And the watch too far away to help.
21  Campaign Creation / Roleplaying / Re: Interest Check : GURPS Learning Game on: December 14, 2011, 02:27:05 AM

Nerevarine D!

The whole purpose of GURPS is to be easily adaptable. It can be used for anything.
<giggle> I would say rather "very adaptable" - relative ease can be a very broad variable, because, yes, it can do anything. On the plus side there however, ease is very much a matter of choice - basically a question of how complex you want to make it. You can stick with the Basic Set (2 core books for character gen and campaign play - not quite a PH and DMG - players should have both) and keep it pretty rules light - esp. since you'll be ignoring at least some of the rules even in that. (Mostly the Character book - abilities applying to a genre you're not playing simply don't matter). Adding a couple of expansion products regarding facets that are significant to your game (magic, combat, modern intelligence ops and/or military equipment, space ships, etc.) won't necessarily tip the scale to rules-heavy but it can get very easy over time to want to include a bunch of things because SJGames nearly always does a stellar job of developing them - as much as may be applicable their research is of the highest standard.

Difficulty can arise, though not necessarily as a negative, in that it can also handle complicated material - perhaps even creating a conversion that outdoes the original. If say, Macross really appeals but too much of the published game rules left you asking "WTF?" or simply didn't address/couldn't handle things you or your gaming group would really like to see included, converting to GURPS can be the best way to fix it. Because it's really just a krunch tool-box however, it's weakness is in representing strongly atmospheric setting/genre elements - especially where many rely on a different fundamental rules structure to achieve some affects. the 3d6 bell curve creates a different spectrum of success/fail chance than re-roll sixes or tens and adding them to the previous die roll and/or comparing the number of successes by opposing actions. It could probably do a satisfying Shadowrun conversion, (though I've always enjoyed the game as written from 3rd ed. on,) but I would not really want to try to convert L5R's character stat structure and how that is used by many action tests to GURPS. for instance, I really can't think of a way to make playing an Iaijutsu duel with GURPS feel like it does in L5R. If it can be done I believe the mechanical gymnastics necessary to do so would be an inferior system in terms of smoothness and ease of play to simulate the same build-up and intensity (and almost certainly require some house-rule modification of canon). Deeper atmosphere (Call of Cthulhu, WoD and other, extra dark and creepy games are most often cited) is usually best achieved by harsher limitations on rules permitted rather than expansion of them and still leaves the matter ultimately to the skill of the GM to convey.

Even more than usual, personal mileage may very widely. The GURPS forum doubtless includes people who will declare (with well supported arguments) pretty much the opposite regarding any or all cases I've suggested here. It's that freakin' flexible! Needless to say, it is my system of choice for Panisadore (eventually I'll edit my wiki material to reflect the conversion from it's DnD 3.5 origins) and my choices of options leans toward the more complex. For now many character possibilities, such as psionic abilities, are only dealt with in the general sense of how they would fit within the setting, passing over specific krunch until a player declares they want to play such a character or I decide I really want an NPC to use them. It is crucial to consider at the beginning what will and won't be fun for the group and ensure that that yardstick remains close to hand whenever considering any further modifications.
22  Announcements / News / Re: New User Titles on: December 13, 2011, 01:12:32 PM

Señor Leetz

I'm curious to see how she can top prostitutes.

I really think you should rephrase that. I mean, I'd like to watch too but I wouldn't go saying so where she can read it! Oh, wait, damn. . .
23  Announcements / News / Re: New User Titles on: December 09, 2011, 09:23:34 PM


I modified Steerpike's list, because he had some things that were freshwater, and thus not Sea Life!

Mermaid  (Merman?  Merperson?  Merindividual?)
Sea Serpent
Jormungandr (not sure on this one, since it's Unique, not a kind)

The Zaratan may not be the biggest, but it's a nice analogy for world-building or something blah blah turtle is best.

Let's not forget the homegrown awesomeness (in no particular order, save that the last 2 aren't really sea life and the one before them is technically more magically animated than alive):

Sea Worg
Gnomish Ship-Breaker

(See,46911.msg46911.html#msg46911 - I can't find the contest results here, and it doesn't look like the E-zine issue ever got published - Spring 08 is the only one I can find reference to anywhere. Believe it or not, you can still download that one from (!!!) (!!!))
24  Announcements / News / Re: New User Titles on: December 05, 2011, 11:16:27 PM



Superfluous Crow

I'm not much for the actor idea (sorry). Seems a bit opaque and unrelated to the site.
(the last argument might fall a bit short considering our current harlot titles :p )
I don't necessarily think that the actor idea fits well with the site.  Now, fantasy movie titles (or book titles) could be a different matter.

Then I suppose the DnD movie would be the lowest rank.

Nah - there are certainly many worse. Actually, it could be interesting to go against the usual pattern and instead make that the highest rank and work our way down through the really, truly *bad* ones until we get down to "Krull" for a new user's first post. . .
25  Announcements / News / Re: New User Titles on: November 22, 2011, 04:17:21 PM


Let's just call everybody after different species of turtles. Or cabbages. Though on second thought, there probably is not too many cabbage species.

Actually, there are. Crucifers include brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, mustards and cresses, just to name the most common. Quality cabbages could easily cover the spread even narrowing it down to the genus Brassiceae! (Hell, most of the ones I mentioned are actually the same species. . .)
26  Announcements / News / Re: New User Titles on: November 22, 2011, 01:37:38 AM
Actors who have played Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, Dr. Who, Julius Caesar or Jesus over the decades.
27  The Works / The Dragon's Den / GM/Campaign tools for Linux? on: November 01, 2011, 09:24:29 PM
The hard-drive on my laptop started failing last week so I got a friend to rescue my work files and replace the drive along with the OS (he also dropped in some extra RAM he had lying around from an upgrade on his own system) - flushed Windows with the old drive and now have 3X the storage and memory and running Ubuntu (which uses less of both) with all data/media files restored. Now the fun part is finding apps. Most of what I was using before are open source written for Linux and ported to Windows (Open Office, GIMP, etc.) so no big deal but - does anyone know of any decent mapping, GMing, campaign, etc. tools written for Linux?
28  The Works / The Dragon's Den / The CBG Jazz Discussion Club on: June 07, 2011, 04:01:14 PM
Books I recommend - all meaty, clear and well-priced:

Creative Keyboard Present Jazz Piano Scales and Modes, Stefanuk, Misha V. ($14.95) - don't let the title fool you - there's nothing piano specific about it. Comprehensive set of scales in all 12 keys, and then scales by chord in all keys. Simple, handy and straightforward reference.

I particularly likeThe Chord Wheel, The Ultimate Tool for All Musicians, Fleser, Jim ($14.95) - and extremely useful extrapolation and extension of the circle of fifths showing all 7 chord relationships in all keys at a glance.

Jazzology, The Encyclopedia of Jazz Theory for All Musicians, Rawlins, Robert and Bahha, Nor Eddine ($18.95) and
The Path to Jazz Improvisation, De Cosmo, Emile and Laura ($14.99)

All published by Hal Leonard except the scale book from Mel Bay. Hope this is helpful.
29  The Works / The Dragon's Den / The CBG Jazz Discussion Club on: June 06, 2011, 09:47:28 PM
Glad to - I'll post a couple of titles re: jass theory, improv and scales after I get home (don't happen to have them at work this today - I often do. . .) I've found a couple at the local bookstore that are good and reasonably priced.

One other thing - if you don't have one, get a recent release ('97 or later; remastered to correct speed to accurate pitch) of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" and (seriously, deeply) listen to it at least once a day for a couple of months (or more): 2 years = The Duane Allman Method (
30  The Works / The Dragon's Den / The CBG Jazz Discussion Club on: June 06, 2011, 08:14:13 PM
Unless you've blown reeds before it's going to take you a while to develop your embouchure; just focus on your chops and (extended jazz) scales and theory. You'll need to gain some facility at transposing on the fly if you haven't already done so since you're picking up a concert Bb instrument. The works of Masaya Yamaguchi are considered excellent and available on Amazon.
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