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Robert Tharp
Worked at Juniper Networks
Attended California Maritime Academy
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Robert Tharp

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Hmm, dynamic rating system for tabletop games. Arduin is down at 192 in the list... time to show some love ;-) http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/greatest-pen-and-paper-rpg_s-v1?format=GRID&action=tab&type=list
The greatest pen and paper RPGs (or role-playing games) don't require any kind of fancy technology. No, these RPGs are much more like traditional board games. When in doubt, go for the classics, like RuneQuest, Traveller and the perennially popular Dungeons & Dragons. This list includes a lot of favorites, but it isn't complete, so feel free to add the pen and paper/tabletop RPGs that you love playing the most, too. Vote up the best, vote down th...
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Craig Lytton's profile photoMourn Storm's profile photoRichard Kohl's profile photo
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Did my part
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Don't Forget Dept. - The NPS owns a big share of the issue for the crappy contract they wrote to transfer from Curry Company to Delaware North. There was a ton of political shenanigans to force Curry Co to give up the contract because 'Murica and we shouldn't let foreign-owned companies continue running a National park BS. So instead we have American corporate BS.
http://articles.latimes.com/.../mn-41470_1_delaware-north
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Gee, you thought the FBI was telling the truth about 'it's just this once' for a backdoor request? Looks like it's just the tip of the iceberg. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160223/07015733683/list-12-other-cases-where-doj-has-demanded-apple-help-it-hack-into-iphones.shtml
In our last post we noted that while FBI Director James Comey insists that it wasn't trying to set a precedent, and this move was just about getting access to a single phone, law enforcement around the country was eagerly lining up behind the FBI...
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Robert Tharp

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For a change of subject, how many other GM's are running games with remote players? Not remote as in play by mail or asynchronous online turns, what I'm interested in discussing is a mixed group with some of the players outside the room.

I'll start off sharing what I've researched / used / experimented with so far. The online environments like Roll20 look to be useful for the remote players but it means everyone at the table also needs a laptop or tablet. I've discounted that method for two reasons. First, I think it detracts from focus as players start opening other windows or apps and don't 'cross-talk' as much in character - they're distracted. Second, with a complex world and binders of background I'm not interested in re-creating it all in a tool where I may have to buy components and storage to make stuff work correctly. I may build a couple of test dungeons for when 'line of sight' is a critical element, but most city and large scale adventures are way too much work to digitize. If I were starting from scratch it might be different :-)

At the moment I have 2 to 4 players remote and 6 local. We're using Google Hangouts and Google Drive for support materials. Camera and teleconference input in the room is a Logitech BCC950 (HD camera and teleconference grade microphone/speaker, about $200). I have my laptop in the conference with mic / speakers muted and chat window open, while one of the players 'drives' the Logitech from another laptop and monitors the chat window for me. That way if remote players want to send a note or get a word in edgewise the monitor can help them be heard. So far the Logitech audio quality is good, but we're going to mount it to a microphone stand with a weighted base to reduce camera twitch whenever someone bumps the table.

I pre-scan location sketches, monster sketches, maps, and treasure lists to a non-shared folder before the game. Then create a folder in the shared space with the gameday date in it's name. Players can check the specific game folder for pre-game info (copies of letters, telegrams, etc. or as I announce I've moved maps and new info into the share. Sounds complex, actually works pretty well).

We'll be adding a second focusable HD 'down' camera that's pointed at the table center for ad-hoc miniatures use or older large maps. Google Hangouts is fairly easy to switch camera input, but the non-focusable low res camera was too indistinct.

Things we've learned - group politeness and remembering the remote players need to talk too. With good audio, poor video can be tolerated. Bad audio makes the game too frustrating for the remote players, and slows down the game for recaps of what happened in the room.

Waiting for - code in either Hangouts or another free conference tool that supports camera movement from the remote end. The BCC950 has the capability, but there's a lack of easy to use code.

Hope this helps if anyone is considering remote players. I'd also love to hear any low-cost or creative solutions we may have missed, we're evolving our set-up as we go on.
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I saw a Ocuclus Rift demo that simulated a few players sitting around a table pushing mini's on a battlemat. Once that is up-and-running and looks good, I'll give on-line playng a shot.
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+Andy Action - as requested, here's a flat version of the binder.
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I meant the contents given in the original folder - you mentioned Arduin quick rules or something similar?
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Thought I'd share a bit of rare Arduin merchandise, a limited run of binders made up just before the last Grim-Con. IIRC there were 117 made from the discussion I had with Jim M.
Between myself and two friends we bought 11, I have 3 still in my archives.

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+Robert Tharp - this is stellar, thanks for posting!!
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Found a new feature on Mac OS El Capitan (10.11.5) tonight - on reboot the new permissions management system can glitch and make CD's and external drive volumes unreadable or 'play music only'. The Disk Utility is approaching uselessness as it can't rebuild volume permissions, etc.on demand. Why would you, the system is perfect/Perfect/pErfect... So load up on a maintenance tool like ONYX that still allows permissions rebuild at command. Fixed the issue this time, we'll see what future improvements break.
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Boosting signal

Chris Newman had a handmade costume stolen in San Jose, California. Please, if you see any sign or hear anything, please let him know!

It's an awesome Anubis Stargate replica.

Chris on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/makellan


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Robert Tharp

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Black Sabbath 'The End' @ San Jose - great show! 
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Hi +Andy Action - here is another rarity, three program guides for GrimCon III, IV, and V as well as a well used AG 1. Managed to have Dave sign the AG 1 after it had been well loved. Thought my copy of the limited Battle factor pamphlet was in the box I opened, but no luck. It's around somewhere as I've seen it in the last couple years.
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GimCon III pamphlet scan was poster here, no? If not, I reposted on the Arduin Grimoire Facebook group.
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Fun comic, hope it comes back stronger!
So at this point I should probably go ahead and own up to the fact I just can’t continue the comic anymore right now. Those of you who’ve been following my posts for a while now …
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Steam punk octopus ;-)
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Work
Occupation
Project Manager and Trouble Wrangler
Skills
Wiki Community Manager, Project Management, Research, Issue Resolution
Employment
  • Juniper Networks
    Sr. Technical Writer, 2013 - 2014
    Community Manager, Technical Writer and Project Manager
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Unit 44
Story
Tagline
It's the journey, not the destination, that enlightens.
Introduction
Project Manager, Woodworker, Game Designer and Gentleman Adventurer!
Education
  • California Maritime Academy
    Marine Engineering
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Robert Tharp's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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After many years of fantastic service I wish Vic the best in retirement and hope the crew moves on to equally awesome shops. I was a bit shocked to find he'd closed down completely on July 31st, but thanks for wonderful past service!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Listening to California Guitar Trio with good food ;-)
Food: Very GoodDecor: GoodService: Very Good
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
Great basic menu. Not fancy, more comfort food style. Consistant broth.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
4 reviews
Map
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Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago