Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reading Terminal Space...

If you (yes, you) haven't heard, there's this new (old) science fiction/science fantasy RPG called Terminal Space. Where X-plorers couldn't, Terminal Space has quite captured my imagination. It's neat, but not in a lego-bricks-glued-together sort of way.

It's not perfect, however. Consider the following table in the Underworld and Wilderness Adventures (yes, I know) section:

Roll d100 Amount of inhabitants
01 – 10 None – station abandoned
11 – 20 None – all inhabitants are dead
21 – 30 Dozens
31 – 45 Several hundred
46 – 65 Several thousands
66 – 70 Dozens of thousands
71 – 85 Tens of thousands
86 – 95 Hundreds of thousands
96 – 00 Several million

At a glance, I can see several things wrong with it. Several million people floating around space in a metal box? That's no moon, that's a choking and aspiration hazard. It's also a bit lacking in granularity in places. Here's what I think it should have read:

Roll d100 Amount of inhabitants
01 – 10 None – station abandoned
11 – 20 None – all inhabitants are dead (d6 – 1: plague 2: hull breach 3: executive decision 4: radiation 5: sanitary malfunction (it happens) 6: xenomorph)
21 – 25 One (propably insane)
26 – 35 A handful (definitely insane)
36 – 45 Dozens
46 – 65 Several hundred
66 – 80 Several thousands
81 – 90 Dozens of thousands (hot bunking)
91 – 95 Hundreds of thousands (at eachother's throats)
96 – 00 Several million (in cryostasis, waiting for terraforming to finish/forming a neural net for the TechnoCore)

There, all better now.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A late response to an interesting post...

Fairy Tale Spell Names

The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs

This incantation summons the eponymous devil to the arms of the sorcerer that called it. The demon takes the form of a disfigured and bloated infant with the face of an old man, bald save for three gold strands growing from the top of its wrinkly head. Its powers, described in most manuscripts containing the spell, work thus: when cradled in the arms of the sorcerer, pulling out a hair and pointing at a person or calling them by name forces the devil to attack the indicated person. The demon first attempts to make eye-contact with its victim, paralysing it. Even if countermeasures are taken against looking it in the eye, the demon will launch itself through the air at its target and proceeds to chew off its unfortunate victim's face. An unparalysed target can attempt to cast it off. The table below indicates which part the devil will gnaw on first and the odds of doing so:
Shoulder, 25%
Ear, 20%
Nose, 20%
Lips, 15%
Eye, 10%
Throat, 10%

The devil with the three golden hairs will return to the arms of its master when its quarry is dead or when properly called back by the sorcerer, so long as it still has hairs on its head. Once all three hairs are removed, the demon will not follow any more orders.

And, as an encore:

Go I Know Not Whither and Fetch I Know Not What

This spell compels its victim to go to a certain place and find a certain thing before returning to the magician that cast the spell. However, neither the sorcerer nor his enchanted subject know which place or which thing, until the subject reaches the place, at which point he is incapable of leaving until he finds the thing, which he is incapable of relinquishing until he returns to the magician. No person can be subject to more than one such quest.

"I have fetched you the wooden spoon of a toothless beggar living on the streets of distant Constantinople. Now tremble as I cast upon thee the same terrible curse! Ogae Inae Owknae Otnae--"
"I'm afraid I'll have to decline your most generous offer."
"--Etchfae, what?"
"How did you think I came across the incantation? It doesn't work more than once, you know. Would you like a bowl of soup with that spoon?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

What this blog is about, or: Why badgers?

Beats me. It's a blog. It's mine. I'm not very good at introductory pieces, so I think I'll just not bother this time.