Plane Speaking

Way back before some of you were born the late Gary Gygax introduced us to something he got from Stephen R. Marsh, who in turn got it from Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society. The premise is that what we know of as reality is actually a multivarious thing. What we think of as reality is just the physical plane, and that there are others besides it. For Dungeons and Dragons Gygax named it The Wheel, then later adopted it for Dangerous Journeys.

In the center is the physical, or Prime Material. Though they are most often represented as being outside the center the Ethereal (mental) and Astral (spiritual) planes are actually blended in with the Prime Material, though they remain in some sense separate.

Other planes include the Elemental, the Divine, and the Abyssal. For the most part the Elemental Planes are thought to correspond with Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, though you could think of them as being Gaseous, Solid, Plasma, and Liquid instead. In the case of the elements you may want to think of them as embodying the qualities of gas, solid, plasma, and liquid. So that an Earth Elemental could exhibit the qualities of Earth, even in the form of an elephant or, for that matter, a garden slug. A shark can be seen as having the nature of water, and so a water elemental.

At present our science sees only the Physical Plane, though there are times when the others seem to peep through. We think of thought as a physical phenomenon, but there are aspects of thought that don’t quite fit into what we call physicality. The same with feelings and understanding, which may have much in common with the spiritual (Astral) plane.

And then there are times when some things seem to arise from below, or come down from above.

Of course this all assumes that reality is a two dimensional circle. More likely it is three dimensional sphere, and that there are planes and the like out there on the horizontal instead of the vertical. Though assigning what is the vertical what the horizontal is most likely not possible from our vantage point. As far as I can tell our Solar System would appear to be tilted sort of slightly off the vertical where our galaxy is concerned, and that our galaxy is somewhat tilted. We ever get to and pass the boundary of the universe we may well find ourselves ascending or descending into and through a higher or lower plane.

I come up with stuff like this because I’ve learned we know nothing really, and that what is out there could make us cringe with the apparent impossibility. For remember that Infinity can have no limitations. That is Infinity’s limitation.

I’m Fretting

Got things to do and at the moment my body wants me to lie down and snooze. Thing is, I can’t. I’ve got Roxane coming over to take my laundry and get it done, then I have my shrink to visit. He, I hope, can get me a referral to an urologist. Maybe even the one I’ve seen before. And then I have drugs to pickup from the pharmacy. For an autistic like me this is a tad too much.

But eventually, I hope, it means I’ll be feeling better and able to do more. Now to give Roxane a call and find out when she can make it over.

Why

I’ll tell you why I use the classical editor instead of Gutenberg, it’s just simpler for what I want.

 

I want to blog. I don’t want to build pages or any of that crap. In addition, I can get my posts put into columns much easier using a plugin with the CE than by using the mal -coded crap available through Gutenberg.

Now if we could just get somebody to integrate those Gutenberg plugins with the classical editor.

 

Raising Questions

Boy, does this.

We have ideas, and we have some conclusions, but overall what we have here is a mystery. Actually, at least two, for with two nucleons merging with each other on rare occasion we likely have a new sort of particle, one composed of 6 quarks instead of the usual three. And a 6 quark body made stable by the conditions in a nucleus.

What do we call it? A super hadron? A meta hadron maybe. And what are it’s properties. What are the differences between a standard iron atom and one with one or more super hadrons? And how do you designate them?

And where they do exist in a nucleus what do they make possible? Could they be a source of a force or forces beyond the electromagnetic?

This raises questions as it answers one. That my friends is science.

Presentation

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series On RPGs

Recently I’ve learned that Mark Rein-Hagen (Ars Magica and Vampire: The Masquerade) has a pair of new projects underway. The first is Lostlorn, a setting on a flat world much like the world of Greyhawk, and other being Fangknight, which is to be a guide to life and adventure on the world of Lostlorn, focusing on a specific area and aspect of that world. That gave me an idea.

The setting is Tales of the Wolf-Folk Sea, a project I started a long time ago and really need to get back to. Tales was roughed out using The World Builders Guide from the old TSR, and got it’s name from a long and narrow sea once dominated by a race of lycanthropes known as the Wolf Folk. North of their now long abandoned cities are mountains, and north of those mountains are what is now known as the Unicorn Plains.

Redemption is an adventure guide set on the Unicorn Plains and focusing on life there with an emphasis on life among the Unicorn Orcs. The orcs being descended from refugees from another world, a world created by John Wick for Legend of the Five Rings. The guide is called Redemption because that is what the orcs are doing, trying to redeem themselves for the betrayal they made back on their old world.

You don’t have to play a Unicorn Orc in Redemption, but keep in mind that should you do you will need to be aware at all times that the orcs are mindful of what their ancestors did and how their behavior currently has an impact on them and their neighbors.

The system I’m planning on using is Dangerous Journeys, with a few changes to account for the setting in general and in particular.

Stats in RPGs

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series On RPGs

Introduction

I’ve been doing some thinking on the matter, this is what’s resulted.

Other RPGs

Now not every RPG uses statistics, some use a description instead. But we like having matters quantified, so we get statistics. Most often this comes in the form of a number range, though in other cases it can be a plus or minus (as in Ars Magica). Furthermore, in all cases but one (that I know about), the middle of the range is accounted the average, with those numbers below it giving a minus to rolls, and those above a plus.

In DJ

Dangerous Journeys is different in that a statistic, no matter how low, amounts to a bonus to an attempt. An ant with a Mental Trait of 6 for instance, can have as much as a 6% chance to remember her immediate surroundings, not that she relies on it.

In addition the range is open ended, with certain parts of the range coming under different classifications.

  1. 1-20: Natural
  2. 21-30 Preternatural
  3. 31-60: Supernatural
  4. 61+: Divine

You’ll note that by my thinking humans can have supernatural Mental and Spiritual Attributes. When you consider what a Mental Mnemonic Power of 40 means for a K/S such as Native Tongue, that sounds supernatural to me. Of course, my definition of supernatural is not necessarily yours.

Further on Stats in DJ

Which leads us to another matter, how many stats do you need?

At the lowest end I’ve seen a few RPGs with just one stat. At the highest end I can recall schemes with as many as 30 or more (though in the case of Aria Role Playing you’re supposed to choose about 6 of them to use.)

With DJ the complaint I keep hearing is that there are supposed to be 27 stats you need to keep track of. Malarky. DJ has three stats you need to be concerned with, these being the Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Traits.

The Categories; Mnemonic and Reasoning for Mental; Muscular and Neural for Physical; and Metaphysical and Psychic for Spiritual; further refine the Traits they are associated with. The Attributes; Capacity, Power, and Speed; each serve to define a Category, giving the player some idea of how good his Persona can be in play. As an example, a Shaman with a Spiritual Trait of 95 can have a STEEP as high as 95 in Mysticism, with 15 of those points coming from his Metaphysical Power of 15.

In short the stats in DJ are integrated

As a matter of fact this sort of thing was tried out in the Player’s Option rules for AD&D 2.5. Each Characteristic was given a pair of sub-Characteristics which served to further define the parent.

Finis

In any case there you have some thinking from me, which will get refined and put into the DJ SRD.

Experimenting

I’m trying  out various shortcode plugins for drop caps

[dropcap size=”220%”]I[/dropcap] am starting to wonder about this.

And what you see just above is not what I typed. We need to automate coding.

Messing With Stuff

Premise

Standard DJ as an attribute known as “Attractiveness”, essentially a measure of just how appealing a Persona is to others. It also has measures such as “Inner Beauty” and “Inner Ugliness”, but I’ve decided that just muddles up matters. So I’ve decided to divide Attractiveness into three Attributes; Appearance, Personality, and Attractiveness.

The Attributes

Appearance: This is what the Persona looks like, ranging from a minimum of 1 (rather grotesque) to 25 (stunning beauty) for humans. A human Persona rolls 2d6+3 for an average of 10

Personality: What the Persona is like in terms of behavior and how he treats others. For a human it can range from 1 (intolerably disagreeable) to 25 (remarkably pleasant). If you like a player may roll 2d6+3 for a basic idea, but keep in mind that in actual play the value will rise or fall depending on the player’s behavior.

Attractiveness: Here we have a measure of just how attractive a Persona is. It is the average of Appearance and Personality and can range from 1 (avoid if you value your life) to 25 (worship and adore) for a human.

Other species will have different limits. In Mythus for example dwarfs and phæ are mostly limited to a maximum Personality of 15, though for different reasons. While in The Abyss the uplifted Sasquatch has a maximum appearance of 12.

End Note

So that’s me having fun with a mechanic.

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