Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Year of the Apocalypse

322 days ago I started a painting project. I didn't have any time for a new project, so I decided I'd get up at 6am, three days a week, and paint for an hour. I figured it would take me three months. Now, almost a year later, it's done.

The image was created using Google maps satellite imagery as a guide.
The initial layer was set down using watercolors to mark out the neighborhoods, roads, areas of vegetation, and ruins.

Once the basic colors were laid out, I used ink pens to add the detail level. This is a technique I've used before.

But this time I added an additional step between the watercolor and the pen where I deepened the shadows and major features before adding the ink. This gave the picture a lot more depth, but is also why it took 8 months longer than expected.

You can view the full final Full size Seattle Postapocalypse image on my Flickr account.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Uli's Twixtophonic

What is this thing even? No time to ask. If I'm going to get another blog post out this week, then I need to do it now!

When you play Uli's Twixtophonic, roll +CHA. On a 10+, one monster has to dance, instead of whatever it was going to do. On a 7-9, it dances, but can do whatever else it wants, provided it does it in the context of the dance. Bards can identify this instrument on sight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quest Track: Annihilate the Ambergris

I always find the quest tracks in MMOs really weird and a bit offputting. Why do monsters come in night graduated flavors? Why do the townspeople always want them slaughtered for weird body parts? I just can't get behind that.

"Hey Kid, you wanna earn some coin? Some strange creatures are scaring miners up by Blogsnot Reach. So why don't you go up there and bring me back five Advisor Ambergris ears and I'll give you these Tattered Boots."

"But I'm a Beach Elf. I can only wear sandals."

"You want a job or not!? Now go up there and kill some Ambergris!"

"Fine, fine."

(this is an Advisor Ambergris:)

"Good job kid, but now I'm making Ambergris soup. I need eight Elder Ambergris eyes to finish the job."

"Ambergris eyes? Are you serious?"

"You going to do it or not?"

"Alright, I'll go get your damn eyes."

"Nice job kid, but now the boss Ambergris is mad. You gotta climb up to Smatterlock Peak and kill the Cosmis Ambergris."

"What the hell is up with you man? What have you got against the Ambergris anyway?"

"I just don't like them is all."
Moves for Ambergisi:
- Summon further Ambergisi
- Taunt you with the secrets they keep
- Carry messages up (or down) the cosmic hierachy

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

What do you Think? Too Much?

Drop Ships is a pretty powerful and important card in Race for the Galaxy. It's one of the best ways to rapidly boost military in the game. But what if Drop Ships' cost was played in Victory Points? How many points should it cost?

Yolub shb'Nauth Ul: cosmic power
Instinct: To collect valuable souls
  • Offer power at a cost
  • Make alliances or change sides capriciously
  • Exact a cost in blood

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spew out Something Previously Absorbed

The Gods of Cubes are a thorny matter, theologically speaking. Does "cube", as some philosophers would have, partake of the divine in the very abstract perfection of its cube-ness? Or are cubes so by emanation from some immortal and godlike uber-cube itself? Of is cube-ness a mere accident of shape as the Dishevelists maintain? Some gods, notably the forbidden Drolb, are demonstrably cubical, but does that make them Cube Gods?

The God Cube

HP 20, Armor (special), Attack: 1d4+4 area, messy The God Cube takes only 1 HP of damage from any attack, no matter how powerful. Moves:
- Irradiate an area
- Absorb something, temporarily taking on its powers and attributes
- Spew out something previously absorbed

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Wallet Ranger Bonus!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Imagining the End of the World is a Great Idea

Today's Seattle Stranger has an excellent article by Jonathan Golob about how to imagine the world ending, It's Time to Freak out about Climate Change". As I am a strong advocate for the positive effects of imagining your neighborhood as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I recommend giving it a read.

Jonathan's idea, as I get it, is something like this: if you can't imagine your world devastated by climate change, you're not really ready to start doing something about it. The Seattle Post Apocalyptic Map Project isn't specifically about climate change specifically, but about existential threats in general: financial meltdown, collapse of the food distribution system, war, global terror, gang violence, cynicism, and the breakdown of the social fabric.

Dealing with these horrors is a process of the imagination. First you imagine what could happen. That's the exercise that gets your imagination in shape. Then you imagine what we might do instead. We're role-playing gamers, so our imaginations are already in shape. We've got a leg up.

In news, the post-apocalyptic map is now better than 2/3 done. I'm on pace to finish it at the end of this month. Then it will hang in the Seattle Google offices for a month as part of a show there. After that, I'll be looking for a public venue to hang it. And I'm thinking about a way to make it accessible to more people as a poster, folding map, PDF etc.

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Wallet Ranger

Hard times make for unwelcome changes. The Eastboon Rangers never were much as rangers go, but they were rangers none the less, and they clung to that proudly, even as the forests were cut for wood against the winter cold and the deer, the bears, and finally even the squirrels were hunted won, slaughtered, and eaten, and their pelts sold for copper pennies the sprawling markets and industrial townships that replaced the forests. The rangers are still there, though now they turn their skills to a different trade. Keep a close eye on your wallet in Eastboon. Wallet Ranger HP 6, Armor 1, dmg 4 (dirk) Moves: Get their hands on yer wallet Make use of the terrain Melt into the background

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Backpack Gnome Bonus Round


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Backpack Gnome

Backpack gnomes are typically found living in backpacks and backpack-dense areas. They are alternately hailed as pests and boons byadventurers. A backpack gnome porter acts similarly to a human porter of level 1-3, but will never flee due to a morale failure. A Backpack Gnome may still otherwise leave a PCs employ normally if they feel they are treated badly. They will typically refuse dangerous duty, unless the duty pertains directly to the carrying of backpacks. Backpack Gnomes will often opt to take their pay in the form of interesting knicknacks and gewgaws purloined from the load carried, possibly without consulting the proper owner. Backpack Gnome characters always gain +1 armor when carrying a backpack, and an additional +1 when inside a backpack.

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