I have been told that by and large RPGs don’t require combat, but when I look at the covers of some of the PDFs I have I get the impression that they promote combat. In fact, about the only cover I have that does not promote combat is the cover for Mythus. This shows a man and woman on horseback riding up a slope towards the viewer, and while armed neither faces any sort of immediate peril.
There are other RPGs that don’t focus on combat, but by and large I don’t see them discouraging combat, or promoting alternatives. The problem I see is that you make combat too easy while doing nothing to present any real alternative. Here’s my point, you don’t want to make combat the default step to take when faced with a potential opponent.
For one thing it isn’t realistic. A goblin band is not about to assault a group of PCs, even when they out number the PCs. Why not? Somebody’s going to get hurt, and that’s going to impact group survivability. Fighters don’t want to win fair, they just want to win. If you have to have fighting all the time then you are cheating. You’re cheating yourself and you’re cheating your players.
Not only that, but by going to continuous fighting you’re losing opportunities to interact with the players in their roles. Think of the plot hooks you’re missing. Or, for that matter, opportunities to take advantage of the players and their characters while leaving th characters alive so that they can then go get more stuff for you to scam out of them. Just as important, by restraining all the fighting you’re eliminating the need to constantly make new NPCs. Alfdred the Orc doesn’t have to be a one time foe, let him be a recurring nuisance and maybe an ally you just need to keep your eye on.
Think past mindless slaughter and use your imagination. And for you designers, let your design get messy. You don’t need to limit play in any manner, for RPGs are about adventure and adventure is about more than killing things and taking their stuff.
New technologies are testing the limits of computer semiconductors. To deal with that, researchers have gone looking for ideas from nature.
Source: Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains – The New York Times***
Nothing can continue forever, you always reach a point where you can go no faster, or get any smaller.There is a physical limit to size and this applies even in the case of Moore’s law.
We’re getting closer to that limit, and that means there is a limit to how much computing power you can cram into a volume. So we’re looking into ways we can distribute processing, making a computer more like a brain.
To be honest here a neuron is not all the good at what it does. What gives a brain its power is that the neurons that make up a brain are networked. They’re all connected and they all work together. Think of it this way, inside your head is a 3 pound Internet that helps you do what you really need to do.
The details are technical and I haven’t the background for it, but I can say a few things about the changes this development is going to bring.
For one thing, with overall capability improving as we expect it to computing devices will improve exponentially. Imagine a computer that can model reality on the atomic level.
On more mundane matters, think of a wrist band that can outthink a school child and gives you access to a web of like instruments. The day is coming when an individual driving a car will be outlawed when we have computer drivers so much more competent.
And our privacy will be gone for all intents and purpose. But at the same time we’ll actually have more privacy, for the machines keeping an eye on us for another person’s purposes may well decide they don’t want to. No doubt I’m overlooking things, because I don’t know what to look for.
In any case expect our lives to change. For one we’ll be replacing our current equipment, and our new stuff will be compatible with our old. Another change will be the reduction in the size of computer code, for being smaller our chips will need more efficient software. Visualize Windows 12 or Macintosh Alsatian designed to run on a web of processing units instead of what is effectively a single unit. And expect it to be cheaper.
That’s what I think. You?
a person who sells quack medicines from a platform; a boastful unscrupulous pretender : charlatan… See the full definition
Source: Mountebank | Definition of Mountebank by Merriam-Webster
This is not a write up of the Vocation in Mythus, but an introduction the character type. What is a Mountebank?
A Mountebank is a fraud, a trickster. He is a conman, a scalawag, a prankster. The Mountebank makes his living by fooling people, defrauding them. It is his goal to relieve people of any burden their wealth maybe placing on them, while at the same time entertaining them. It ‘s not the purpose of the mountebank to impoverish his audience, at least not to such an extent they can’t recover from his depredations. Nay, better he provide a lesson to those he fleeces so they will see his visits as events to look forward to.
We’re also dealng with the mountebank as he appears in stories and tales. The medicine man in The Wizard of Oz, or the trickster god Anasazi from the West African tales. Somebody who uses his wits and wiles to outsmart the foe, instead of hacking him to bits. A mountebank is not a role you assume in a wargame, but a role you take in a social game. Playing a mountebank you leave not a trail of the dead, but a trail of the chagrined.
If you must have blood and gore in your sessions, then the mountebank is not for you. But if you and your players are open to laughter and regret, by all means try the mountebank in your adventues.
Dozens of people showed up Saturday at a San Diego public health center to get vaccinated against hepatitis A.
Source: Restaurants, diners taking precautions after latest hepatitis A scare – The San Diego Union-Tribune
The outbreak started in San Diego’s homeless population. A population that has no real access to sanitary facilities. I don’t know how many have gotten hepatitis A, and the last fatality count I know of is 16. Could be up to 18 or more by now.
Keep in mind that people travel to and from San Diego. That means you could be getting people infected with virus and ready to inadvertently spread it around.
Hepatitis is nasty. Last I heard hepatitis A is really nasty. Treatment can be expensive and lengthy, and it’s real easy to become a carrier. The homeless are especially prone to it, thanks in large part because of their poor health. Also thanks to malnutrition, and when you combine the two together you’ve got a bad situation.
We don’t have adequate lavatory facilities, and as long as the city remains hostile to the poor and destitute it’s rather likely the situation is not going to improve. For the moment the outbreak really isn’t all that much, but it has the potential to get a lot worse. Don’t know about you, but I can see Sacramento and Washington DC putting a guarantine on this place; and won’t that cause a tizzy? Might even lead to our first National Disaster thanks to a virus.
And here’s the really bad news, even before the outbreak medicine in San Diego was being overwhelmed. I mean, how do you rely on emergency medicine when it really isn’t there to be relied on.
It’s coming, so be prepared. It may start among the poorest of the poor, but even gadzillionaires can get it.