Sunday, October 28, 2007


Well...after a tough week, the wedding went off well. Levi and Sarah are married. It was a really long day. I got adopted by one of the groomsman's parents. Really awesome cool folks BTW.

Got pretty toasted at the rehearsal dinner. Folks forget that I really don't have a "filter" per se. I am pretty much who I am. I tend to avoid sugarcoating things and tend towards brutal honesty over political correctness (doesn't mean I'm a dick or anything, just that I say what's on my mind, regardless of popularity). I helped get everyone seated after an hour wait, and freebie appetizers and free beer. Everyone assumed I went and chewed someone out. Quite the contrary...I was very nice and asked if it would be possible to be compensated for the hour of lateness with some appetizers.
[* on a separate aside, you can tell a LOT about people from how they treat service personnel. I never see the need to be mean to people. Be nice to people and you'll usually get what you want...especially when you're a 6'6" beast like me ;). Seriously though, Be assertive, or be nice, but reading a waiter the riot act really never accomplishes anything but make YOU look like an asshole.]

Katie's sick with the funk. Cold/Flu stuff.

I need to sit down tonight and work on some art for a buddy of mine. I haven't had a moment's peace to do it until now. Katie's working on Tank Assembly...and I'm working on some Sci-Fi pulpy goodness.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Game stuff...

Not a lot of time for game stuff lately. At least since last week.

Played a big game of 40k Apocalypse. 12k per side. About 4200 points per person, x3 per side. Good game. Mech Tau are still devastating as are largely Mech Eldar...Eldar Titans are gods on the battlefield. We got annihilated as if weren't even there. Need to come up with a better plan.

Been assembling a Armored Tank Company for the last week. Mostly done. They'll be cool once we're done with it.

Any hobby expenditures are on hold until the vehicle situation is resolved.

High Elves are coming really soon, and hopefully the car will be out of the shop by then!


So I'm back at it again. Smaller outfit. MUCH less pay. But folks seem much more focused on simply getting the job done. None of the big-time corporate bullshit. I think my lack of political skills won't hurt me as bad here.

Essentially doing coordination for network technicians and the sites they work at. Some troubleshooting; lightweight stuff. Mostly so far making sure the folks driving out to the site have exactly what they need before they go out.

Everyone seems pretty squared away, and for the most part friendly. Definitely feels like a small office, kind of a "team" environment which is night and day different from some places I've worked. I hope it's a good solid fit for both the company and myself. Compensation be damned. I figure piece of mind and not hating your job is worth money.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I just got canned...

It's okay. I had sent an email to my supervisor regarding some issues I had with certain policies at work. Some things they were deciding were really bad. Okay, so it's an account management team, and the supervisor isn't involved AT ALL, and the five other people in the team have NO IT BACKGROUND AT-ALL...they've simply been with the company for 15-30 years (not making this up) to decide for themselves what policy is.

For example they decided that when accounts go inactive after 90 days, and people call in to log in, and they are locked simply have them re-register as new users instead of simply turning the account back on after calling them back to verify employment.

This requires them to re-register, create new user ids and then it comes through the system and whoever does "new user callbacks" (ME) calls and verifies employment.

Both ways require the same steps in employment verification. One requires the team to do it at the time, and the user is able to get on the system in as soon as a couple minutes. The other requires a whole lot more hassle, and pawning off the work on someone else (ME). Not to mention the creation of a LOT of extra accounts and a LOT of extra hassle as the user then has to wait at the least one business day, usually more to get online.

Policies are made by the old-timers awaiting Union Pensions who are simply lazy instead of by people who have a concern for customer service.

There's a dozen other things like this, but I won't go in to it. It's all similar.

The standard answer in this team is "no, we can't do that" even when they can, they just don't want to.

So I emailed my supe. I'm not in these meetings anyhow. I man the phones by myself for their two hour meetings, crushed and alone. No problem. I politely explained that coming from eight years of professional IT experience, there is a way these things are done, and a way they aren't done...and things are being handled badly.

I can't bring the issue to the team, they don't even talk to me. I'm the young kid and simply put...a temp.
My function there was simply to be there so they had coverage on the phones for meetings, coverage for vacations, coverage for all the crap they didn't want to do. No problem.

So I emailed the consulting firm and let them know that my contract is up in two weeks, and I'm not interested in extending it.

Today I worked through the day and got pulled in to a meeting.

They decided to let me go now.

So as of 4pm CST, I'm unemployed again.

I've got an interview in the morning and I didn't want to be there anyhow.
It's not a total loss. I'm glad to be free of such an unethical company.
I just feel like they stole my thunder.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My first big worry...

How many folks are going to try and build ultra killer lists for apocalypse?

Instead of simply taking all the stuff you got, try and balance it out so it's a fun game for many guys will start buying 40 carnefexes just so they can field it?

How many guys are going to get in to the spirit f the game, and how many will play to the letter of it?

Game System...

So I'm tinkering around with designing a simple game system to go with my End of Days game. This is due to some of my friends saying I should do it and my saying I could do it.

I'm posting my rough texts here for easy access so i can pick up and tinker with it from anywhere with internet access.

As many may have noticed, it borrows heavily from a few sources: The Old WoD system and SR4 as well as Savage Worlds and a few others systems I like. The intent is to make a quick easy system.

Game System v.1

Game System v1:

The game system is built upon a couple basic mechanics:
Dice Pools comprised of attribute dice and skill dice, rolled to determine the number of successes. The standard Target Number is Five (5).
For simple actions, rolls are unnecessary. For standard actions only one success is needed. For more complex actions two or more successes may be needed.

When rolling dice, the result of a Six (6) “explodes”, allowing further re-rolls.

Keep track of the number of Ones (1) you roll! If you roll more ones than success, the action fails. If you roll no successes, and roll two or more ones, those ones mean a critical failure, fumble or botch!

There are three main portions of a character;
Attributes which define the physical and mental potentials of a character.
Skills which define what a character knows or can do… these are usually learned.
Abilities which are special talents which further define the character.


Basic Attributes:
Attributes range from one to six and represent the number of dice rolled to achieve a success in any given circumstance.

In character creation all basic attributes are purchased with build points.
For attributes the following examples explain what the numbers mean:

One (1)
An attribute of one is considered underdeveloped. Possibly a child or young adult. Maybe old or infirm.

Two (2)
An attribute of two is low-average. Possibly someone who rarely uses the attribute or is recovering from an injury.

Three (3)
An attribute of three is average.

Four (4)
An attribute of four is well trained, possibly using that attribute on a daily basis.

Five (5)
An attribute of five indicates superior abilities based on this attribute. This character is likely superior to most people he knows in this area.

Six (6)
An attribute of six is exceptional. World-class. Maximum human potential.

Brawn- This is a measure of physical strength. Lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling power. Usually depicted visually as big muscles.

Health- This is how healthy, sturdy, hardy and generally resistant to harm a character is.

Agility- This is basic hand-eye coordination, reflexes, quickness, dexterity and reaction time, all rolled in to one.

Smarts- This is cognitive ability. Reasoning. The ability to memorize and correlate data.

Common Sense- This is should be self-explanatory. This is the practical application side of smarts…Often learned through life, experience and hard-knocks.

Feelings- Empathy, intuition, hairs standing up on the back of your neck…this is your sixth sense.

Derived Attributes:

Charm- This is the average of Common Sense and Feelings. This attribute determines how smooth you are socially, usually a combination of situational awareness and being able to read people.

Looks- This is automatically a Three (3) unless altered by an Ability (with a positive or negative adjustment). May be purchased with build points.

Perception- This is a catch-all for any sort of sensory perception. This is purchased with build points.

Willpower- Strength of will, the character’s ability to resist compulsion. Guts. Spirit. Inner-Fortitude. Whatever you want to call it. This is purchased with build points.

Taint- This is a measure of the loss of your humanity through interaction with toxic environments, mutations, illness, arcane powers and other forces vying for the souls of men in these latter days. This starts at zero and builds to six at which point the PC becomes an NPC and is removed from play.

Skills are usually gained through training, though sometimes they come naturally or through another sort of learning called The School Of Hard Knocks. Either way, they define what a character knows, what they’ve learned and what they can or can’t do.

In play, skills are rated from Zero (0) which is Untrained to Six (6) which is Exceptional and the maximum human potential. Ratings also equate to the number of dice this skill adds to the Dice Pool.

The skills in this system are very broad in definition and few in number. While this may seem limiting let me explain how it is used.

For example, Athletics is a skill. It encompasses running, jumping, climbing, acrobatics, gymnastics and everything that could possibly fall under “Athletics”. Depending on how it is used, or what is being attempted is going to determine which Attribute goes with it to create the Dice Pool.

For Swimming, Athletics may be Brawn-based in order to catch the kid slipping downstream…but may be Health-based when trying to swim underwater a long ways.

Skills can be used many different ways, with many different combinations of attributes depending on the situation. The determination of which attribute to link to will be determined collaboratively between the narration of both the GM and Player, with the GM being the final arbiter.

Each skill will be labeled either Physical or Mental depending on which type of attribute is appropriate at the time. This will narrow it down for the GM and Player to decide which attribute would work best in the given situation.

Skill List:

Active Skills
Athletics (physical) - This encompasses running, jumping, climbing, acrobatics, gymnastics, swimming etc.

Stealth (physical) - This covers sneaking, hiding, and otherwise trying to remain obfuscated…in any setting.

Ranged Combat (physical) – From thrown weapons to shooting a bow to firing a rifle…this is combat outside of arm’s reach.

Close Combat (physical) – Anything from wrestling, to fisticuffs, to sword and knife-fights.

Dodge (physical) – This is the general skill for getting out of the way of anything.

Pilot (varies) – This is a catch-all skill for piloting anything from a motorcycle, to a pickup, to a dump truck, to a 747 jumbo jet. [Note: this could vary greatly. Pilot + Smarts to get the vehicle started, then maybe Pilot + Agility to keep it on the road.]

Ride (physical) – This is stay on the back of a vehicle or animal without falling off and breaking your neck in the effort.

Etiquette (mental) – This is the skill to allow someone act appropriately to the situation or circumstance.

Perform (varies) – This could be acting, singing, juggling, dancing, oration, etc.

Manipulate (varies) – This is an extremely broad skill which encompasses negotiation, intimidation, fast-talk, or otherwise schmoozing to influence people one way or another.

Tech (varies) – This skill includes all sorts of technical skills including building, repairing as well as lock-picking. This can also be used to speak/understand technical jargon.

Concentrate (varies) – This is the skill to focus all your attention to one area, one action, or even multi-task.

Investigate (mental) - This is a skill that covers research, and gathering information.

Survival (varies) – This encompasses survival in all sorts of terrain and climates as well as hunting and foraging as well as tracking.

Knowledge Skills
Knowledge (Smarts) - Unlike the rest of the skills, this one is unique as it is always based on Smarts, yet is not a single skill. Knowledge as a skill needs to be coupled with a topic…like Knowledge Science, or Knowledge Math or Knowledge 20th Century Comics. Each one is a separate skill.

Been busy...

Put in my two-weeks notice today.
Explained to the consulting firm that I'm not interested in extending my contract. I sent this in an email to the consultant services supervisor yesterday from my home email.

When I got to work today, I had an email waiting from yesterday saying that the firm wanted to extend me for a year. Heh. Ironic huh.

Anyhow, I'm not extending.
Not interested in staying at this company.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

End of Days: Campaign Setting for Savage Worlds


2020- After decades of tension between the United States and the European Union over issues ranging from oil rights to war in the Balkans and political tampering in Africa, the United States is ejected from the United Nations and NATO. The US stands alone.

2021- An outbreak of the Avian Flu rips through Mexico City and within weeks hops the border to the US. Hundreds die in a month.

2022-Within six months outbreaks of the Avian Flu spread to every major metropolitan area on the planet. The virus mutates and in the first year the death rate is in the millions. The plague has returned.

2023- Various cures spring up in the US, UK and in the EU, but none are effective for more than alleviating symptoms. Riots and social breakdowns are rampant across the world. The military forces of every nation are used to maintain order. The Avian Flu subsides within a year.

2025- In the face of rumors of grievous civil rights violations in Africa, Asia as well as South America the forces of the North Atlantic Trade organization, including the newly readmitted US send military forces to help police the areas in direst need.

2026- In an act of unprecedented terrorism, dirty bombs go off in Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Athens, Moscow and Sydney…all the same day. This is called Black Monday.

2027- As nobody claimed the attack, western forces threatened violence against nations of the various Middle Eastern nations, and soon, military forces were engaged again in the deserts of the Mid-East. Seizing the oilfields of the Middle East as well as in Alaska, Canada and in the arctic, Terrorists trigger the largest single largest series of oil spills and explosions in history, jeopardizing the fossil fuel production for the entire world.

2027 to 2030- While the world warred over fossil fuels, the Avian Flue returned with a vengeance. Mutated, stronger and even more deadly, somehow altered by the effects of the “Dirty Bombs” earlier in the year…The Plague returned…with a vengeance.

The details of the next several years are sketchy at best.

The Mutated Bird Flu was devastating. The largest metropolitan centers were hit first and hit hardest. Hospitals, already crowded turned away the sick by the truckload and emergency services weren’t able to even put a dent in the vast numbers of the infirm.

Basic social services broke down world wide. Governments, unable to keep up with the sick, and breaking down internally from its own sick employees lost control. Chaos reigned. Soon there was nobody to contain the riots, nobody to keep the lights on, or process food, manufacture tools and the world simply ground to a halt as humanity fed on itself.

Fast forward a hundred years.

The great cities of the world are now overgrown and deserted by man.

Mankind itself nearly didn’t survive to this point, and may not survive the coming years either.

There are no central governments anymore, only scattered bands of humans struggling to survive in the wild.

The icons of the technological age are everywhere, broken, disused, and unable to get the parts or fuel needed to keep it running. This is a new Dark Age.

This is a Post Apocalyptic setting for the Savage Worlds System,

Mankind is recovering from the brink of extinction. Think of a cross between The Road Warrior and The Postman.

Most items are bartered though some areas use coinage. Paper money is all but worthless. Man survives in small colonies of farmers, ranchers and a small number of tradesmen. Soldiers and warriors protect and raid settlements.

Paths in to the wild are dangerous. Predators lurk: beasts as well as men.

Firearms are rare and prized. Ammunition is harder to come by.

Fossil-fueled vehicles are even rarer, there’s no more oil production or refineries. Most electrical production plants are beyond repair. Batteries are a highly valued commodity.

Cities can’t sustain life, no safe food, no clean water. They are often walled off dead-zones. Often places like these had nuclear reactors which have long since gone critical from lack of maintenance and support creating massive irradiated or poisoned areas and waterways.

Strange cults have sprung up all over. Some humans have begun showing strange almost supernatural abilities even beyond death.

Welcome to the End Times…