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Chuck Durfee


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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Investigative Spends to win at Poker yes!! I spend Intimidation to bluff that I have a good hand.
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Chuck Durfee

Critical Success  - 
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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Thanks, James.
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Chuck Durfee

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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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Chuck Durfee

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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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Chuck Durfee

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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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Chuck Durfee

Settings, Worlds, Rules  - 
The more I read Diaspora, the more I like it. I think it would be quite easy to use the Core rules for many of the pieces. I'm tempted to try it before playing the game as written, something I'd normally not do.

To those of you with play experience, are there aspects of the setting where its Spirit of the Century adaptation fit the setting better than the streamlined mechanical updates represented in Core?
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We are all grognards. :)
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Chuck Durfee

Hero to Hero  - 
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.
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Sorry about that, I've since also posted it on my blog: .
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Chuck Durfee

TCS: The Company  - 
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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If someone does, by all means simply post a new entry allowing this section for comments. 
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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.
I think it's safe to say that this all male group will make it to the end..i actually think this was their best performance yet and they seem to have the aud...
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I love a Capella, and didn't know this show was back on! 
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Chuck Durfee

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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.
Experience. Sharing, expandability & usability like never before. Coherence. To personalise for volume, kind and attributes. Bridge. The gap between the Physical & the Virtual World. How. It's made possible with graphene. Reddot Design 2013 Award Winner. ©2013 Aditi Singh & Parag Anand, ...
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I agree, it would be much more useful in reverse. But more than a printer, I want a medium that I can go back and forth with -- smart paper
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Chuck Durfee

Discussion  - 
I recently posted about some trials and tribulations at work while getting a scaled agile framework delivery team to gel. I though it might be of interest and spark some discussion.
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Thank you, those are good observations! In general, I'm impressed. SAFe does offer a prescriptive way to run a multi-team agile project. This implementation has some deficiencies, as you pointed out.

The lack of an SA is one of the key items I identified too. Also, there was some political pressure to launch this project eight weeks ago and things like incomplete high-level requirements and lack of CI support are consequences of that decision.
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Software team lead, architect, agile coach
Grassroots agile transformation, agile coaching, enterprise web applications, C#, ASP.NET MVC, ReST
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The neon tapir: software shaper, value maker. Casting his eerie glow upon agile software delivery, roleplaying, and life with seven teen and
Father of seven, husband, son, brother. Bend computers to my will for a living. Lifelong learner, enterprise web application developer, agile coach, MBA student, taekwon-do black belt. Writer, board gamer, roleplayer, photographer, science fictionado, hiker, cook, sketcher, polyglot, geocacher. Native Denverite, erstwhile Portlander.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
The food is excellent, but past the first couple of months, we've had subpar wait staff. We used to go quite frequently, but at this point, we often drive further and avoid them.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
I have mixed feelings about Black and Read, mostly positive. On the one hand, they have an incredible selection and excellent prices. They sell a mix of new and used merchandise. I go most often to visit their large wall of board games, but they have a broad selection of used books, tabletop roleplaying games, videos and audio media as well that outshines anyone in the metro area. My only reservation about the place -- and it's a big one -- is that it is that their inventory does not begin to fit in the space and it has become a maze of encumbered aisleways and jumbled shelves -- a condition the staff does not seem motivated to remedy. Thus, I need to be in the right mindset to visit. If you have plenty of time to browse and soak in the musty smell of old books while metal music from the far side of the store competes with the lilting Celtic harp CD on your side as you rifle through boxes for books, this is the place for you.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Total Escape Games has managed to build the quintessential game store experience in Broomfield. They have a fair-sized retail section, with a tasteful selection of games ranging from mainstream, indie to avant garde. They have equal space dedicated to miniatures and supplies. The back half of the store is devoted to gaming space -- it would be easy to hold a tournament there. It's clean, the prices fair, the staff and patrons are invited. What's not to like?
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
7 reviews
I've eaten here a few times now with my wife. The food is good and the service is quick. I'd recommend them as a pre-play dinner restaurant.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
My family and I have had several items here. No one dish excels, but the food is consistently good and there's rarely a wait. I'd recommend them.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Love the doctors, the high-tech approach, and the support staff. My top choice.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago