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"I am aware of the condition of neither the city of Albuquerque nor of the Harlem Globetrotters; however, I am displeased with the current state of journalistic integrity, and as such I cannot entrust you with this harpsichord."

And the frightening thing is, in its inexplicable context, it made sense.
niwandajones: (Default)
This entry is aimed straight at the geeks in the house, especially that rarest of crossovers, the gamer who likes Star Wars. All others may wish to avert their eyes.

I was toying with the idea of using FATE to run a Star Wars game. (For those of you who haven't read FATE, do so! It's amazing, and available for free.) I decided that the stunt-style magic system would work best to represent the Force, but then I had to consider how to handle the Dark Side. I wanted the Dark Side to be the quick, easy, but ultimately empty and soul-destroying force that it is in the films; simultaneously very tempting but also leading inevitably to moral degeneration.

So, I'm gonna post what I've come up with behind the cut, for the perusal and comment of my fellow gamers (including some folks who have a better understanding of FATE than anyone else on the planet. ;-) )

Jim's FATE Star Wars )
niwandajones: (Default)
Well, my posting has been erratic at best recently. I'll try to do better, because I believe in my heart of hearts that you people care.

I'll lay partial blame for my silence on the upcoming LSAT. While I'm not taking the thing myself, the October exam's frightening popularity means that I'm at least partially responsible for the preparation of about a score of folks who are. Add on the dozen kids in my SAT class, and it's been a busy couple of weeks.

Regarding those SAT kids: I've come to the conclusion that I can't deal with teaching SAT anymore. I don't have the patience to deal with seventeen-year-olds who are being forced to give up their nights and weekends for extra school. It doesn't pay any more than teaching the folks who choose to prepare for graduate school entrance exams, and it's a hell of a lot more aggravating. Luckily, my next two teaching assignments are a GRE and a GMAT class.

Of course, I've got to teach them tomorrow morning, which pleases me not a whit. But then I get to hang out with my brother-in-law, which is something I've been able to do far too little of these past few months.

Since I find it reasonable to assume that anyone reading this is literate, I have no qualms about making a universal recommendation for S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers. It buckles all the swashes and alternates the histories, and is a damned good yarn all 'round.

Of course, if you still haven't read George R.R. Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire, then I must assume you've given up books for some kind of ascetic reasons anyway, and so to hell with you. Go read A Game of Thrones, dammit. Enlightenment can wait.

Two agenda items upon which comments are most welcome:
1. Figuring out whether I like General Clark for what he believes, in addition to what he is.
2. Figuring out what the hell to do with my life.

Depending on the answers to the above, I may consider volunteering in a political campaign. As I said, comments are welcome.
niwandajones: (Default)
It occurs to me that I really should take this opportunity to do what my family, friends, and thesis advisors have constantly recommended: write, write, write.

As it stands, I'm running the risk of becoming the blogger that simply posts wacky images with little or no original content. Perhaps even worse, I may become some kind of snide post-modernist parody of such a blogger.

I don't want to be that guy.

But, since I'm really stuck for things to write about today, I'm just gonna post something I wrote a few weeks back. It's a vignette I wrote set in the world of Exalted, White Wolf's stunning RPG in which the players portray demigods reincarnated into a world that's moved past them, but needs them all the more for it. Though the people call you Anathema, you're one of the Chosen few who's puissance and drive can truly reshape the world.

Yes, yes, I know that's kinda WW's shtick: "You're really powerful, but everyone hates you, and you can't do anything about anything! ANGST!" But since Exalted drops the last bit -- the characters are encouraged to go around and beat up the setting (or seduce it, or imprison it in a huge crystal mountain) -- it's got a very different feel.

Yes, I realize that nothing I fear becoming could be worse than someone who writes fanfic for ROLE-PLAYING GAMES.

But, fuck it. Here's the vignette.


Sesus Karnak, like any leader of men, had tried to antcipate what his enemy would bring to bear when they finally met in combat. His enemy was Anathema, and so his musings had ranged far and wide: barbarian hordes, behemoths, automatons.

What he had not expected was a simple covered cart, pulled by a single yeddim.

As the cart pulled to a halt in front of the vanguard of Karnak's legion, the Dynast summoned the courage to ride forward. A Child of the Blessed Isle could do no less -- certainly not while backed by such a force of arms.

Half way between his lines and the cart, Karnak stopped and called out, "Have you come to surrender yourself to the Realm's justice?"

The Anathema had moved to the back of the cart. "No," he called back, picking up a golden bow.

Karnak bristled. "Then why have you come?"

The bowman looked at the Dynast silently. And then he pulled back the cover from the cart, revealing arrows. Thousands of arrows, packed into quivers and boxes and sacks, filling the cart from end to end and sprouting from it like a porcupine's quills.

"I've come to kill your army," spoke the Anathema.

And so it was that Sesus Karnak departed from the Threshold, with his legion's dying screams still echoing in his ears.
niwandajones: (Default)
...this could prove interesting.

Of course, I must determine whether this damnable system can be used for free while still producing something which doesn't look like ass.

And whether or not I can get my frightfully clever subtitle to appear.

In any case, I'm positive this won't prove a detriment to my productivity. Positive.

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niwandajones

August 2009

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