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Roger Burgess
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Roger Burgess

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Neptune Station - Undersea Science Station map is complete!

This is an undersea dome complex structure, consisting of domes on top and sublevels beneath them, eventually cut into the seamount the station sits upon, many of the levels are at least partially embedded in quarried rock.

This map is usable in a modern/near or far future sci-fi game. Enjoy!
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Roger Burgess

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Minion Cards!
Minions show up in game for a few rounds and then disappear.  They should not be as complex as villains or the PCs.  So, simplified stats make a lot of sense.

They have ONE attribute, a CV value that covers OCV/DCV, Body & Stun for those minons who need it, a line for skills, a bit of space for powers/equipment and 3 hit boxen for getting whacked by heroes.

Christopher Meid's profile photoRoger Burgess's profile photoJason Packer's profile photo
I'd probably have some dedicated attributes like DEX for initiative, but more than anything would expand the Skills/Powers sections to allow for more space for things like martial maneuvers, gadgets or the like in short form (damage done, defenses granted, that sort of thing).
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I'd like to point out that it's not quite as bad for the nation's economy as the wonderful Mr. Thompson points out.

In his time, yes.

In an era of (Nixonian) fiat currency, it just adds, somewhat significantly, to the National economy.

The points about the MID being too powerful are still spot on though. 
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h/t: the inestimable +Ben Gerber 
I love nature shows like this. The natural world is so beautiful! 
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I protest! I'm entirely estimable! 

Or... wait. No. Never mind. 
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#virtualization So, need to virtualize some imaging infrastructure with essentially zero budget.  The question becomes then, ease of use vs. power and adaptability.

Do I install VMware ESXi with the very, very limited free license (no HA, no vMotion, no VMM server) but that is easy to use?


Do I install XenServer, which is vastly more powerful:  High Availability, XenMotion and XenServer are available for no cost, but has a larger learning curve because I've never used it?

I'm leaning to Xen, it's not a horrifically complex setup so I can pretty easily recover from mistakes... but with ESXi I could finish the 'project' in under an hour...

Max Lambertini's profile photoRoger Burgess's profile photo
I'm definitely going to hit the limits hard and fast.  The inability to move vms from one host to the other kinda kills the main benefit of virtualization for me.... that's frustrating just thinking about: server dies, vms are essentially stuck on it until I can get the server up and running again.

Xen it is.  
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Math is fun!
The 290 theorem

Manjul Bhargava is another of this year's Fields medalists.  He works on number theory, which in its simplest form is the study of integers:

 ..., -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ...

So when I say 'number' in this post, I'll always mean one of these!

When Bhargava was a grad student at Princeton, he read a book on number theory by the famous mathematician Gauss.  Gauss was interested in quadratic forms, which are things like this:

x² + 3xy + y²

or this

-3x² + y² + 4xz + yz - 7z²

Gauss was mainly interested in quadratic forms with two variables, but it's also fun to think about more variables.

I can hand you a quadratic form and ask: what numbers can you get if you plug in any numbers you want for the variables?

Start with something really easy.  For this one

you can only get the perfect squares

0, 1, 4, 9, 16, ...

But what about this one?

x² + y²

Can you find numbers x and y that make x² + y² = 100?  How about x² + y² = 99?  Remember, I'm using 'numbers' to mean numbers like these:

 ..., -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ...

And what about this quadratic form?

w² + x² + y² + z²

It's a famous fact that for this one, you can get any positive number by plugging in numbers for w, x, y and z. 

What about this?

x² + y² + z²

Now you can't get every positive number.   Do you see why?

We say a quadratic form is positive definite if whenever you plug numbers into it, you get something positive - unless all those numbers were zero.  For example,

x² + y² + z²

is positive definite, but

x² + y² - z²

is not. 

Okay, now you're ready.  Here's something amazing that Manjul Bhargava proved with +Jonathan Hanke in 2005.

Here's how to tell if you can get every positive number by plugging in numbers for the variables in a positive definite quadratic form.  It's enough to check that you can get every number from 1 to 290.

In fact, it's enough to get these numbers:

1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, 37, 42, 58, 93, 110, 145, 203, 290.


This is just one of many things Bhargava has done.  Most are a bit harder to explain, but I described one here:

It's about 'elliptic curves', another really popular topic in number theory. 

And in fact, the 290 theorem I just explained is secretly about elliptic curves!  As usual in number theory, the statement of a theorem may sound simple, cute, and pointless... but the proof reveals a very different world, and that's what really matters. 

Here's a nice explanation of the proof:

• Yong Suk Moon, Universal quadratic forms and the 15-theorem and 290-theorem,

The original paper is here:

• Manjul Bhargava and Jonathan Hanke, Universal quadratic forms and the 290-Theorem, to appear in Inventiones Mathematicae

There's a lot left to do.  For example, Jonathan Rouse tried to show that a positive definite quadratic form gives all  odd positive numbers if gives the odd numbers from 1 up to 451... but he only succeeded in showing this assuming something called the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis!  Proving this is an extremely hard problem in its own right.

• Jonathan Rouse, Quadratic forms representing all odd positive integers,

#spnetwork arxiv:1111.0979  #fieldsmedal   #numbertheory   #spnetwork  
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Roger Burgess

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Classes of Minds gone from CC: So I found the Convert 6e 'toons to CC 'toons document, and from reading the text it says to use the Limited Power Limitation, but doesn't really provide any other guidelines, so I came up with my own, just in case someone wants to use them:

Conversion from Classes of Minds (assumes a standard, humanocentric Supers game):
Limited Power
Human Minds ONLY (-1/2, Power loses about a third's effectiveness)
Alien Minds ONLY (-1 1/2, Power loses about two-third's effectiveness)
Animal Minds ONLY (-1, Power loses about half its effectiveness)
Machine Minds ONLY (-1/2, Power loses about a third's effectiveness)
NOT Human Minds (-1/2, Power loses about a third's effectiveness)
NOT Alien Minds (-0, Power is not significantly limited)
NOT Animal Minds (-1/4, Power loses about a quarter's effectiveness)
NOT Machine minds (-1/2, Power loses about a third's effectiveness)

Note: the numbers do NOT add up; this is deliberate.  Being able to affect ONLY human minds is very different from being able to affect EVERYTHING BUT human minds.

Me? I'm sticking with the simplicity of the 5pt Adder for adding classes of minds.
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I have been thinking about how this should work in our StarHero (80% human) campaign.  The common non-human races would be 3 to 5 minus to the "effect roll" but machine or animal would require the adder to attempt contact.

Your chart would work well for converting most of the superhero campaigns I have played in to Hero6.     
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Roger Burgess

Discussion  - 
Question: Now that "Classes of Minds" is no longer in 6e rules, how does one model Mind Control (or other, similar powers), Only vs. Machines?  A -0 limitation?
Shane Harsch's profile photoJason Packer's profile photoScott Baker's profile photoRoger Burgess's profile photo
I'm thinking of it like a combination of Mr. Fantastic and Batman: He always seems to be able to cobble up the right robot for the job just in time. 

Grab some wiring out of the wall, "Hey! this bench would make a good shield for my Defensebot", grabs cellphone from random passerby..."Mind if I borrow this for a bit?": car computers and cell phones make for great control chips, &ct. 

Don't want it to be painful for him to 'come up with' something, but want to play off the OIF limitation by sticking him in the wilderness or on barren planets or empty warehouses or out in the ocean and stuff.  If he's on a city street or on a spaceship he shouldn't be significantly limited.  I might even grant extra build points if he's especially creative about what he uses.  Eventually, he may just buy off the OIF and they can be 'packed away' inside his Android torso or something.

How 'realistic' it is isn't too much of a concern, I mean, he's an alien robot who's been sent (against his will) to go defend meat-bags from themselves.  Realism just crawled into the corner and shot itself.  He can summon robots when he needs them and he builds them (inhumanly quickly) out of available materials... how?  Who knows?  It just happens and takes him about a phase to do it.
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Roger Burgess

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4 per Sheet Minion Cards.  Slightly more room for powers, added a DEX and END stat.

+Jason Packer
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So you want to be a SysAdmin?

Here you go. Everything you need to get started running your own systems.

Short linux sysadmin screencasts containing tutorials, tips and tricks. Great for both novice and experienced Sysdmins.
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Damn auto-corrupt! 
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Extreme.. but understandable.
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Roger Burgess

MGPT Derivatives  - 
Transhuman Traveller:

I'm working on a conversion of Eclipse Phase  to Traveller, which is going remarkably well.  EP is a d100 system with a plethora of skills (Add Aptitude+Skill value, roll under), Traveller is a 2d6 system with few, but broad skills (Add Attribute mod + Skill mod, roll 8+).  But in both cases, the Attributes (Aptitudes in EP) add to the skill value when rolling.

One place, however that is tricksy, is the Aptitude Maximum rating on morphs.

In EP every morph, or body, has a limit on how well its brain/body system can perform.  Human baseline is 15 and your basic pod morph has physical and mental 'room' for aptitudes up to 20, while specialized combat morphs and others have a maximum of 40, better than twice as good on a linear scale.

Now, this is fine: you want to take advantage of that 35 INTuition aptitude your Ego has?  Sleeve into a Menton, not a Pleasure Pod.


Given a design goal of The conversion must be 100% backwards compatible with MgT (and to a lesser extent, CT):

How could one go about modeling that in Traveller, where human baseline is 7, physical characteristic max is C (barring the occasional +1 Str from personal improvement tables and avoidance of negative aging rolls)

Options I've come up with:
1. Don't.  Just give morphs bonuses to stats.
Pros: Easy, both mechanically and psychologically: you're never taking away from anyone, a Baseline morph (a Flat in EP parlance) has no bonuses, whereas an expensive Ghost morph gets +2DEX, +1END, +1EDU and +1 to one other stat of the player's choice.
Cons: Morphs limiting your attributes is firmly in the 'rule of awesome' and really should be modeled.

2. Flats have an attribute max of 9, others have higher.
Pros: We now have two degrees of design freedom in creating morphs: attribute max and attribute bonuses.  So, your ego having a Dex of C(12) does you no good when sleeved into a stock synthmorph or flat.  Your +2 bonus is reduced to a +1.  Get a better morph brinker.
Cons: It seems to break backwards compatibility with the rest of MgT.  A poor thug from a backwater TL5 world can have DCC777 as stats and using these rules, it seems that he'd have to be in something other than a Flat or Synthmorph to take advantage of that.

Either exotic morphs are easier to come by even on low TL worlds than would seem plausible or we end up telling GMs to either sleeve everyone in flats unless it's reasonable otherwise (more work!  breaks backwards compatibility because we have to reconfigure stuff) or just ignore it and play as written (breaks verisimilitude, the whole point of the exercise is to let the players be able to make largely correct assumptions on the capabilities of others based on their morph)

3. Some other idea I haven't thought of yet.
Robert Miller's profile photoWilliam Hostman's profile photoRoger Burgess's profile photoBlue Tyson's profile photo
Average of 2D is 7.

With PD tables that number goes up a bit.

With Aging, that number goes down a lot. 
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Have him in circles
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Systems Administration
Contributor to
A Godless Liberal and avid Old School Gamer in the Information Age
I'm a proud father of two beautiful children and lucky husband to my wonderful wife.

Before my recent move to the fine state of Maryland:

I am late of the Board of NARAL Pro-Choice VA

I am a former Director of Communications of Progressive Democrats of America NoVA Chapter

I was the Co-President for the Presence Committee for the Loudoun County Democratic Committee

When I have a few seconds spare time, I like to play OSR style D&D and Munchkin.
Bragging rights
I rescue kittens from trees, puppies from runoff pipes and have saved the world thirteen times - this morning. I'm an international man of mystery who has divined the answer to the question of Life, the Universe and Everything.
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Roger Burgess's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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