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John Faludi
Today is only yesterday's tomorrow.
Today is only yesterday's tomorrow.
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Leviathan question (if this is in the book, I've only just started reading v8):

Do the leviathan hunters actually kill leviathans (like whaling ships in the Dishonored franchise) or do they just capture them and drain off their blood and then let them go?

If they're just blooded, are there actual whales to hunt in the sea?

I ask because I'm looking at Duskwall having some form of whaling-style economy besides just collecting leviathan blood (bones & teeth for scrimshaw, blubber reduced to oil for lamps, ambergris, etc.).

I'm looking to start a Blades group once V8 drops (next Monday! Yay!) but a few of my friends have asked for a game mechanics primer. I've recommended the RollPlay YouTube video series, but a few of them don't have the time to listen and would prefer to read something. I've taken a stab at writing something up using V7.1, but I'd appreciate it if you fine folks that have been playing longer than I have could give it a sanity check (I'll post it in the first comment - apologies for the length, but I wanted to be thorough). Thanks!

I’ve seen a few posts by people that have an issue with the idea of a world of eternal night. I admit that I have the same problem of envisioning a near-totally sunless world - even though I’m able (and willing) to do weird things in my games like having the world be flat and allowing the players to sail over the waterfall at the edge of it.

Therefore, I’ve come up with an idea for this alternate universe of the Shattered Isles and why it is the way I've envisioned it to be, but I decided to add a little bit of fun in-game reasoning if my future players ever ask.

[From the correspondence between Professor Anna Lucia Skalicky and His Honorable Lordship O. A. Capron on her work The Great Cataclysm: Enigmatic Cause, Incontrovertible Effects, Volume 1]

Professor,

In regards to your last letter, Sir Edvard van der Bos and I are close friends. I regard him as one of my dearest colleagues, but the subject of your question is something we strongly disagree upon. His hypothesis of multiple universes is intriguing, but strains belief. The thought that there are different planes of reality and that the Cataclysm may have had differing effects in said planes – such as his suggestion that the sun may not have shattered and could still be whole but merely snuffed out (remaining a dim ember in the sky) or that the Cataclysm may never have occurred at all – seems preposterous. Until documented evidence can be obtained, this is nothing more than a flight of fancy (though I will grant, an inventive one). Unfortunately, as your inquiry can attest to, the notion has gained a modicum of popularity in his university. This has caused several promising young students to squander their scholarly ingenuity in seeking to prove his theory. Even worse, it has encouraged a few to imagine developing a method to travel between his proposed universes. This belief has caused no small amount of strain in our relationship and with all due respect, I would prefer not to discuss it further. I strongly advise you to put the concept out of your mind. Your keen intellect is far too valuable to waste pondering such frivolity.

As specified in your work, you state that the pieces of the sun orbit in such a fashion that the shards drift closely together through the sky and only rarely line up to give the appearance of what it once was. To quote directly from Chapter 2: Cosmology of the Heavens (page 45 at the beginning at the third paragraph), “The fragments align in a Total Solar Convergence to provide what was once full daylight only a few times a year – approximately every 172 days. However, even though a total convergence may happen about 2-5 times a year, not many people get to see them. At any singular place, a Total Solar Convergence can be seen on average once every 360 years.” I found your assessment of the infrequency of such convergences remarkable. I have seen several of what you have deemed ‘Near Convergences’ and, like everyone else, I have enjoyed the day’s revels when such copious amounts of light have streamed down from the sky. However, I had not considered that there could be periods where the shards align such that it would be brighter than a hundred chandeliers in a banquet hall. In truth, such a concept inspired me to do some research of my own.

My investigation discovered that the last time Duskvol has seen a Total Solar Convergence was over three hundred years ago. However, within the same text, I read that Irondale had seen one within the past century and Kethrys had seen one just a scant three decades ago. I found this information in the Treatise on Gardening with Alchemical Solar Simulators by Samuel Brackenrig, which I did not see in your citations list. While this is not surprising given the subject matter and the rarity of copies of the treatise, the effects of the Cataclysm on sustainable food growth (which you only reference briefly in Volume 1) have been relatively well documented. Please let me know if you would like me to have a copy drafted. I would happily give one to you (at absolutely no expense, of course) if you intend to go into the subject further in Volume 2. Dare I ask if you have an estimate on the publication date?

As to your other proposal, I heartily accept and look forward to finally having the opportunity to meet you in person. I can arrange for your arrival at the villa at your earliest convenience.

Ever your devoted reader,

Magistrate Osbern Anchetil Capron

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Christmas has come early in Minnesota.  :)  You guys in +Campaign Coins are awesome!
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2014-12-06
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While thinking about True Names, I've got some questions I'd like opinions on:

1) Humans often leave their True Names lying around their houses on envelopes, letters, and glow-boxes (computer screens).  What about married people that change their last name?  Does their True Name stay their birth name or change to their married name?  Does it depend on their level of commitment to the relationship?

2) In casting spells, the text often states that you whisper your True Name just before invoking the magic.  If someone is nearby, do you think there is a chance for them to catch it (or part of it) with Notice? #Cats   #SecretsOfCats  

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Just in time for Christmas!  :)
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Dear Evil Hat,
Thank you for being amazing and awesome.
Sincerely,
All Your Devoted Fans

(p.s. I just got my Core and FAE PDFs and they look incredible!)

A few years ago when I discovered the Fate system, I ran a short-lived Diaspora campaign.  For the most part everyone enjoyed the game.  There was only one point of contention.

Ships in Diaspora are treated as their own character with their own fate points, but player character crew would use their own skills when manning the stations (piloting, gunning, etc.).  My players HATED that the ship had a set number of fate points and that they couldn't use their own character’s fate points during space battles to modify their skill rolls.

I agreed to a point, but I also saw it as a balance issue.  Yes, the PCs are supposed to be heroic, but if you had one NPC ship with only 3 fate points going up against the PC’s ship with however many numerous fate points all the characters had combined (rather than a set number like 5) the NPCs would never stand a chance.

In the end, nobody was happy with how the ship to fate point exchange worked and the campaign fell to the wayside.

I’m interested in working out a way to make starships (or mechs or other vehicles) work so that the players are happy using them and I’m happy challenging them.

Side Note: I’m also interested in ideas about the dynamics between large (battleship-sized) ships and small (fighter-sized) ships.

References for general setting styles and ship combat would be Cowboy Bebop and/or EVE Online.

So many friends are entrenched in Facebook.. It would be nice if they'd give G+ a try and see just how much better it is. Sadly, we all resist change.

I think over my small adventures
My fears
Those small ones that seemed so big,
for all the vital things
I had to get and to reach
And yet there is only one great thing
The only thing
To live to see the great day that dawns
and the light that fills the world.
- Old Inuit Song
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