Category Archives: General Geekness

Two Years And Counting

I almost forgot that today is the second anniversary of Strange Stones! I certainly haven’t been posting at the pace I started out at, but I also haven’t managed to give up completely. So I’ll call it a victory and keep on keepin’ on.

I would be remiss in noting this anniversary without extending hearty thanks to all my loyal readers. You dudes & dudettes make this something worth doing and I’m glad I’ve gotten to know some of you by way of this exercise in geeky self-indulgence.

Also, I haven’t given up the idea of trying to run some kind of game or another online with you fine folks. I just haven’t had the time I’d like to have to really delve into that kind of thing. Soon, though, I should. And then you’ll all be in trouble. Muhaha.

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Shameless eBay Auction Plug: Battledroids!

BattledroidsHowdy, everyone. It occurred to me this morning that some of y’all might be interested in (or know someone who would be) this eBay auction I’ve got up for a very cherry copy of the original Battledroids boxed set.

If you’re not familiar with Battledroids, it’s the original version of Battletech, that Macross-esque miniatures wargame that FASA used to produce back in the olden days. When they first released the game it was indeed called “Battledroids” but then a certain purveyor of science fiction films got all chippy with them over the use of the word “droid” and forced them to change the name to Battletech. So this is something of a rarity.

If you’re one of the StrangeStonesHeads and you wind up winning this auction, let me know. It would please me to know this set was going to a good home.

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SOPA/PIPA and the OSR

(cross-posted to a bunch of forums)

Hey folks. I try not to mix my politics with my gaming, but this is something I think we all need to be thinking about. The proposed SOPA & PIPA legislation seems like bad stuff, and I’ve especially been thinking about how it could impact OSR games, blogs, and so on. If you’re not familiar with this stuff, there’s a good primer on the topics here: http://www.copyblogger.com/sopa/

As I interpret this stuff, it could very well kill just about everything that’s been great, is great, and could still be great about the OSR. If this junk had been in place when OSRIC, LL, S&W and the other retroclones had been just getting started, it’s entirely possible that all of these things would have been nipped in the bud. And that would have been a tragedy.

So please take a few moments to educate yourself on these proposed laws and, if you’re so inclined, contact your elected representatives to let them know how you feel. A lot of great work has already been done by folks around the internet to put an end to this madness. But there’s more to be done.

Also, if you run a blog or other site, please consider joining in with Reddit’s blackout planned for 1/18/12. Full details here: http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/stopped-they-must-be-on-this-all.html

I’ll definitely be taking StrangeStones.com dark that day, but I don’t think that making a statement to all four of my readers is enough. If a huge swath of the OSR and other geek blogs took part, though, it might actually add up to something.

Oh, and for the record, I am 100% against piracy and IP theft and all of that. I’ve had my own pirates and thieves to deal with in various parts of my disparate artistic & other pursuits. I just happen to think that these particular approaches to the problems are draconian, stupid, ineffectual and downright dangerous.

That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for your time.

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Naming Fictional Chinese Provinces

Gianni is at it again! This time he’s provided a set of tables for generating names for fitional Chinese-esque provinces. The man knows his stuff and is awesome for sharing his knowledge with the rest of us geeks who, let’s be honest, would probably throw a couple of random Chinese-sounding syllables together and wind up naming a province “Dog Excrement.” Or something even worse. Go check it out if you’re interested!

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Naming Fictional Chinese Cities

the celestial empire for brpHey! In case you missed it, a very nice guide to naming fictional Chinese cities has been posted over at The Celestial Empire.

If I’m not mistaken, the blog in question is operated by Gianni Vacca, the author of the book that’s also named The Celestial Empire, which is an awesome resource for (and I quote) “Roleplaying in Imperial China” for Basic RolePlaying. So you can rest assured that the semi-random name generation won’t leave you stuck with names that people who actually speak Mandarin (or maybe it’s Cantonese? I admit to being a clueless gweilo* here) won’t laugh at or be offended by.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pay a visit to that noodle house in Ningzhou! The Celestial Empire blog has lots of other neat stuff to look at, too. So stop there along your journey.

*Why is it that so many derogatory terms for white people start with “G”? Gweilo. Gaijin. Gringo. Gorey. Gurra. It’s odd.

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Recovering From A Hack

No, this isn’t about healing in RPGs. This is about the fact that Strange Stones got hacked a while back and I think I’ve just finished fixing everything. You probably hadn’t noticed, because it was a hack that was designed not to be noticed. But everything should be back to the way I want it to be. I’m actually only mentioning this so that if something seems amiss (like links that aren’t working, etc.) you’ll know what’s up.

So, if you do happen to see something that’s not behaving properly, let me know and I’ll get it fixed. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy whatever it is you happen to enjoy about my humble little blog. Cheers!

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2012 Gaming Plans Update

Well bugger. I just found out that one of the guys I game with is running Castle Amber (or at least a variation thereof) for a group I’ve been taking a break from. So that pretty much takes good ol’ X2 off the table for me in 2012. Alas and alack. But that’s ok – it just helps me focus a bit. Against The Giants, here I come 🙂

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(My Dreams Of) Gaming Plans For 2012 (Because You Care)

So the Thanksgiving game happened. It was a WWII commando raid using a Mini Six/D6 Adventure mashup and it was a blast. But I’m not here to talk about it. Not right now, anyway. I’m gunning to do that a little later on, when I’m ready to post the materials I put together for the game. Nope, instead I’m here to talk about what I’m hoping to run next.

First up, sometime during the Winter Solstice Holidays break, I’m hoping to pull off a BASH game for a friend, his 13 year old son, and maybe a few other folks. I’m currently thinking Golden Age/WWII supers kicking fascist ass in Europe. But the ideas are swirling and unformed at this point, so who knows what (if anything) will ultimately come to pass?

After that, I’m pondering a few possibilities:

  • Some kind of hard(-ish) SciFi using good ol’ Classic Traveller and some Stars Without Number action
  • Labyrinth Lord/AEC romps through either the Against The Giants series or maybe Castle Amber, The Lost City, or some other classic modules
  • A BRP– (or possibly BoL-) based, Mythic Russia-fueled, Russian fantasy game
  • A Mini Six (with add-ons from Open D6) or Mercenaries, Spies, And Private Eyes 80s-style espionage game
  • A Call of Cthulhu Dreamlands miniseries (probably not until the CoC game I’m playing in wraps up, though)
  • A BRP/Renaissance (or maybe Tunnels & Trolls or Honor + Intrigue) black powder fantasy adventure
  • Droids. Seriously. Either with the original rules (unlikely) or with something else (D6, maybe?)

just to name a few (in no particular order). All of this is subject to change (i.e., my whims and interests) and player buy-in, of course.

That’s Great And All, But What About Giving Us Some Sweet Gaming Content, Pao?

Yeah, I know. My content output has absolutely tanked of late (and, honestly, not-so-late). I’m struggling with that, really. Part of me wants to be cranking out stuff like I had been, but another part just isn’t inclined to spend the time on it. So it’s not quite burnout, per se. It’s more a case of conflicting interests and such. So to answer the question that I asked on no one in particular’s behalf, “Reply hazy. Try again later.”

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Testing the new toy…

So I got lucky and landed on of those firesale priced HP TouchPads.  I know, I’m a jerk.  Anyway, there’s a nice WordPress app for it and I thought I’d try it out  this will never replace my mac for content creation, but it is kinda cool.

I should probably go write something real for the blog now 😉

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