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Todd Zircher
Have starship. Will travel.
Have starship. Will travel.

Given that G+ is going dark before we get chatty here, I figure now is the time to talk about alternate community hosts.

Over that last few months, I've been using and evaluating several hosts and by far I like MeWe the best. Its got events, posts for long term use, a chat page, and generally does all that I want. Back when it was first suggested to the G+ exodus group, there was concerns. But, those have turned out to be unfounded. The only obnoxious thing has been some bots which can either be blocked if the group is public or filtered if the members need to be approved before joining.

The other solution that I favor is opening up a sub Reddit. r/RPGdesign does host some Game Chef chatter and announcements. But, I think a dedicated section would better serve the community. It's not personally my favorite, but it is serviceable as a platform. Anything else has generated either too little adoption or lacks the features that I think are needed for the community.


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[cross posted from the forum] Just for fun, here's the first pass at a UW/FBH Vessel generator.

It's very random with only a light amount of rules bending to make it a minimal coding effort. [Things like holding off on the switching upgrade due to complexity.] I have a thing for random tables and the 'challenge' of making the pieces work. Feedback is always welcome. Thinking about features like toggle to make FTL mandatory and stuff like that.

A couple of examples...
Grav-Flyer - Sky Vessel. Fast moving plane/grav-tank, propelled by gravity engines.
Must keep moving. Can land and take off on prepared surfaces (landing strips). Low stability,
can be destabilized by harsh weather and environmental dangers. Will crash if gravity engines fail.
Tier I vessel has 1 section.

Upgrade 1
Upgrade 2
Cargo Bay
Upgrade 3
Two reactors without other systems to use them? Oh, this is an emergency relief vessel that flies to areas damaged by hurricanes and other natural disasters. It brings medical supplies and provides electrical power.

---------------- ---
Starship - Space Vessel. Operates in vacuum, can enter and exit planetary atmospheres.
Tier I-II can land on any surface, Tier III-IV can land on prepared surfaces (landing pads).
Tier V+ count landings as crash landings. Vulnerable to hull breaches (decompression).
Type IV vessel has 4 sections. [helm, engineering, unassigned1, unassigned2]

Upgrade 1
Life Support
Upgrade 2
Upgrade 3
Upgrade 4
Upgrade 5
Upgrade 6
Artificial Gravity
Upgrade 7
Upgrade 8
Artillery Design:
Optimal Range: Distant, Very Distant.
Breaching, Penetrating, Detonation, Armored, Sustained.
Upgrade 9
Upgrade 10
Upgrade 11
Upgrade 12
Interplanetary orbital bombardment gunship designed with lots of black spiky bits to make it look as dangerous as it is. With shields, armor, and boosters, it is hard to take out. On board are two automated munitions factories to keep the artillery supplied with ammo.

[cross posting from the forum] Rules Question...
In FBH under Vessels, it specifies which upgrades require reactors. But, under reactors, it also mentions shields. Is this a situation where both are right? Can you have shields without reactors? Can a crewman that assigns a reactor to shields either boost or replenish them after they are damaged?

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Free papercraft for a clever girl (or other mount.)
Papercraft Mounts
Papercraft Mounts

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Heh, I forgot who was talking about it, but the topic was displaying hex grids in HTML (and via a table, I think.) Any, that problem solving bug would not let it go. So, if that was you or you're just curious about such things, here's some samples of ways to do vertical hex grids.
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One of my New Year's Resolutions is the Seven Decks/Seven Genres challenge. To that end, I need to find seven games to play. (Okay, I've got an ever-loving crap-ton of games to play, but bear with me for a sec.) For Sci-fi, I'm going with the Cepheus Engine and my No GM's Sky setting. For Fantasy, I'm going with John Reiher's Into The Chasm.

So, here's my silly idea, what games would you like to see some solo play for? That includes TTwR playsets (John and I both have made a bunch and I can make a custom playset if there is a fan request that sounds interesting.) That also includes play testing unpublished games and hacks for you game designers out there.

The decks that I need to match games with are Age of Sail, Horror, Steampunk, Demon Hunters, and Basic (which is its own wildcard.) Any thoughts or suggestions from the community?

Let's see how we did... New Year's Resolutions 2018

Table Top Gaming and RPGs
1. Play/Run a new RPG.
+ Yeah, actually got several done including Maschine Zeit and Trollbabe.
2. Play/Run an ancient game (thinking of a microgame like WarpWar or Rivits.)
+ Barbarian Prince, released in 1981
3. Create a new oracle, perhaps something Tarot based.
+ Created Four Houses in Amber for the Amber Diceless RPG.
4. Participate in Game Chef 2018.
-/+ Played with several ideas, but nothing struck my fancy. So, participated but did not complete.
5. Participate in Solo Gamer Appreciation Month, #SGAM2018
+ Knocked that one out of the park in spades.
6. Play test someone's game.
+ Play tested Lonesome West with Dan Brown
7. Create more content for Tangent Zero on DTRPG.
+ Updated the look and navigation of almost every page and added links to my actual plays and stuff. Submitted NGS and FHiA to DTRPG. Updated MapGen, HexGen, and Zero Dice.
8. Create/Enhance a web toy for table top gaming.
+ Added optional card rotation and a basic card list to Zero Tarot.
9. Do something crazy stupid like make a Tarot deck.
- Not even close.
10. Add the major arcana of said deck to Zero Tarot.
- A non-starter due to #9

Game Programming / 3D Models / Paper craft:
1. Create a web based dungeon explorer.
+ created a Derelict Generator, not the direction intended but I liked the results
2. Create HymenopTerra as electronic game.
-/+ this gets a pass because I'm re-writing the game
3. Participate in NaGaDemon 2018.
+ created It's not my Fortune!
4. Create Flick Tanks.
-/+ strange tangent, helped another designer with Flick Fleets and got a laser cut game prototype for my efforts.
5. Create a new DAT Builder with overlays.
- Negative on that.
6. Create 3d spaceship and mecha for Tarot project.
- Didn't do a lot of 3d art this year
7. Participate in a game jam.
- Just couldn't get the time and mood going for that
8. Complete Traveller project.
+ Added explorer mode to MapGen
9. Create 3d deck plans.
+ mainly a plus, I did create the plans but did not complete the 3d exploded view I wanted for the papercraft
10. Work on a new papercraft project.
- didn't finish the 3d break down into individual printable parts

Over all, a pretty good completion rate considering all the other side projects and difficulties that I had this year.

Here's how the 2019 list is shaping up. I won seven Game Master Apprentice decks in SGAM2018. So, I challenged myself to play seven games in seven genres to 'pay back' and share with the solo gaming community.

Table Top Gaming
1. NaGaDeMon 2019
2. SGAM 2019
3. Game Chef 2019
4. GMA – Basic
5. GMA – Sci-fi
6. GMA – Age of Sail
7. GMA – Fantasy (Into the Chasm)
8. GMA – Horror
9. GMA – Steampunk
10. GMA – Demon Hunters

Programming and Art
1. Port Fire on the Suns Battle Engine to VB.NET
2. Art, re-write, and layout for HymenopTerra
3. Post HymenopTerra to DTRPG
4. Art and layout for INMF
5. Post It's not my Fortune! to DTRPG
6. Create custom domino deck for The Trouble with Rose
7. Finish the 3d deckplans for the NGS scout ship
8. Start the wargame project (design and engine)
9. Art for the wargame project
10. Start the d12 sci-fi challenge

Of course, that's not counting side projects like more web toys for my site. Yeah, it's crazy, but these lists do help me stay focused. Otherwise, I'll just play the living daylights out of Warframe. :-)
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This is one of those derp moments. I wrote a neat little RPG for Game Chef and fleshed if out to be a nice game that actually has some fans out there, but I somehow failed to see its solo potential until recently. Here's my play through of The Trouble with Rose using the Ghost/Echo/Rose playset.

You can get TTwR for free here:

You can also get extra playsets created by John Reiher here:

It's super easy to create playsets for TTwR. As the author, I'd love to see more playsets and actual plays.

Because I love my web toys, especially those that might come in handy for solo play, here's Karl Sheer's Derelict Generator. (My page also has an affiliate free link to the PDF on DTRPG.)

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Here's the SGAM2018 Story Seeds PDF, please let me know if I need to fix anything.
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