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Chuck Durfee
The neon tapir: software shaper, value maker. Casting his eerie glow upon agile software delivery, roleplaying, and life with seven teen and
The neon tapir: software shaper, value maker. Casting his eerie glow upon agile software delivery, roleplaying, and life with seven teen and
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I'm new to GUMSHOE and I have a couple of abilities questions.

I'd like to use Ashen Stars for a scenario set solely in the Star Trek universe, where all the players are members of Starfleet. In such a case, each character has some competency in their job, as well as base training with standard equipment, standard operating procedures and the like. I thought about using a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) ability like Night's Black Agents seems to, but wanted to hear some opinions from more experienced folks.

My second question is how GUMSHOE tackles specialty skills. Let's say our players end up at the Dabo table for some high-stakes action. Would I use the Dabo game as window dressing, and the actual roles would be around what information the players gathered during the game, and if so, does their skill at Dabo come into play at all? Does a player need a skill to say that they are a galaxy-class Dabo player?

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I posted a game experience report of my session this weekend that was motivated by the Feng Shui 2 series on One Shot, and I thought it might be of interest to some of you.

I really appreciated the Critical Success episode about character voices. I'm really looking forward to applying your advice when I next play!

I was also looking over the primary emotions material in Making Comics by Scott McCloud (the Grimace Project puts this in an interactive web app), and I was wondering whether you had any advice about how to portray character emotions -- especially in more complicated situations where characters aren't always being forthright with their feelings.

My attempts at doing this as a gamemaster and player don't come off correctly -- I get feedback that my characters feel flat, that it's not clear how my characters feel and I think it hurts the immersive feel of my game. Any advice?

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I move back the vines to reveal a stone door. I wipe the sweat from my brow and annoy the tsetse flies. I feel along the seams of the door -- nothing. I look for some kind of mechanism, maybe a lever or a pull rope -- no luck.

I looked back at the path, but the rest of the group hadn't made it up the hill yet. I wonder to myself, Drega, why did you agree to go on this quest? I mean, sure, they would never have made it here without my bow, my game, or my tools for finding fresh water. But once we went into the catacombs, made our way into the forgotten city, what then?

It was late afternoon. I wanted to travel here in the darkness, when it was cooler and there were fewer eyes on us. But my orcish jaw made people think I wasn't worth listening to.

My human friends said it was because of my Orcish accent, but the pointing, the shut doors and the distrusting eyes told me it was my orcish build. I got my smarts from my mother, that and her wavy hair. But my orc playmates were quick to point out that I smelt like a human and my sentences were all Nord. 

Neither group turned their nose up at the pelts and steaks I brought when I came down to town, though. In Nature, I was just a skilled hunter.

"Ah, Darkeyes, there you are," he heard one of them say, emerging from the jungle.
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I really liked the way this article presents the role. I wish I'd had it available when I pitched it to the organization.
Enjoyed this article on defining what exactly an agile coach is, with inspiration drawn from the Agile2013 conference in Nashville earlier this year.

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I enjoy a cappella and have been watching the Sing-Off. These guys Home Free have a fantastic bass, and what's more, he has enviable upper range too. It's worth listening to all the way through.

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I think this article is worth bookmarking regardless of whether you encounter it frequently.
I don't have experience with PTSD, but do with panic attacks. These are some good tips and I love the cartoon at the top

Via +Catrina Taylor

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I'm intrigued by the idea of this, but I don't see an immediate application for this in my workflow. I see paper as a tool to refine ideas before I express them digitally, because I find ideas to be more malleable in my handwriting or doodling than in my typing.

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Physician, heal thyself. Good points to ponder for folks looking for employment or employees.
"These truths come from the same source: we attract who we deserve. If your people suck, guess what?"

I love this piece by +Ted Coiné.

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I think +James O'Sullivan had gathered a bunch of useful techniques for using Google+, one of which I'm practicing right now. Are there any you advocate? Are there any missing?
Your Google+ experience is what you make of it

It's been a while since I've written a post about G+ as I try to keep them to a minimum. That said, a friend of mine ( +Rob Grundel ) has recently started using it again after a long break. I want him to benefit from my own learning experiences so I thought I'd write down some of my personal guidelines.

Seek out interesting people

It's not all cat pictures and posts about G+. There's a real opportunity to find people with similar interests, people who inspire you, or those who add an element of fun to your life.

Use the search to help facilitate finding new people.

The people you circle will help define your experience.

Don't be afraid to circle

This isn't like adding a friend on Facebook, the following model is asymmetrical (yes I know Fb has something similar now) and there's no pressure on someone to follow you back. Which leads me to my next point.

Don't feel the need to circle people back

As mentioned above, since the circle model is asymmetrical, there's no pressure to circle back. If someone circles me I will often look at their profile and posts to decide if I want to circle. I'm more likely to circle back someone who interacts with me. It's also ok to uncircle someone who isn't working out for your stream.

Don't just circle people you agree with

There's no point living in an echo chamber. Find people you disagree with because they can help make you better.

Be authentic

There's no point being someone else. Just be yourself and talk from the heart. We're all human. We have our good days and bad. No-one expects you to be perfect.
Share what interests you

This goes with authenticity. Don't share what you think people want to see, as you'll probably be wrong. You don't have to stick to one topic.

Comment often

Interact with people on their posts more than you post yourself. This has helped me open my mind to new ideas and new relationships.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

This is something that I have to do on a regular basis as my confidence ebbs and flows. It's good to take the risk to make yourself vulnerable. I've found this to be one of the most powerful things that I do.

Have fun

It's not all serious business. Show your personality and have fun. Sure there might be people who don't care when I post silly jokes and pictures, but that's what comes with me.

Again, these are my guidelines so I don't expect anyone to adopt them. Hopefully someone will find this useful though. 
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