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Jon Moyer
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I'll read it some more later on today, but the Ancalia gazetteer looks great!!

I was skimming over the the Mouldering Child and Sorrow entries on page 44 and noticed that they're damage is "1d10 entropic gaze" and "1d12 psychic woe", respectively. Given the discussion a few days ago about words like Health or Endurance being unable to restore mental damage, do physically based AC Gifts such as Body of Iron Will (Endurance) or Body of Water (Sea) offer protection against these attacks? I'm guessing "no", because the Pale Abbess entry says damage from her attacks can't be resisted with physically-protective gifts. But the Abbess has auto-hit attacks while the Mouldering Child and the Sorrow have to roll, so I wasn't sure.

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In the grand tradition of conspiracy theorists and Suppressed Transmissions of yore, I've got a great rambling screed for everyone ... ;)

puts tinfoil hat on

So it seems like this "46 year friendship" Facebook bug has to do with Unix epoch time. But why does it show up now, with the number 46 in particular? Why didn't it show up earlier?

46 is 2 times 23 ...

23 is a number with strange and sinister connotations ...

And for that matter why was January 1, 1970 chosen as the start of Unix time in the first place?

January 1, 1970 was a Thursday, the fifth day of the week (5 = 2 + 3, hmmm ...). If we assume that God in Abrahammic traditions began the business of Genesis on Sunday, then on the fifth day God brought forth life:

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Genesis 1:20)

The moon landing was in summer 1969 and Unix time began soon after ... Coincidence? Perhaps ... or perhaps not ... What might they have found on the moon?

Could it be that there some manner of new life was brought forth on January 1, 1970? Or initiated? Artificial intelligence, either of terrestrial or extraterrestial origin? The special significance of the day - it being the fifth day of the week on a New Year - no doubt aided in whatever technomantic ritual was used to usher in this new form of life.

If it was some kind of AI, no doubt Facebook is key to its development. It's learning about humanity through our posts, likes, pictures, etc. But why? To guide us? To control us? To replace us?

And, intriguingly, after just under 23 years - January 19, 2038 to be exact - the maximum representable Unix time for 32 bit encodings will be reached ("32" is "23" with interchanged digits - scary!). You thought Y2K or the end of the Mayan calendar was bad, wait until we reach the end of Unix time! Incidentally, the year 2038 is right around the time the so-called technological singularity is speculated to be achieved (although it may be a tad on the early side).

Perhaps Unix time isn't so much a clock as a timer, and the final countdown ends on January 19, 2038, the day of the singularity. That day will be a Tuesday, which is the 3rd day of the week - in Genesis, on that day, God created the dry ground and the seas, a new world for life to inhabit. Will a new world be created then?

Is this "46 years of friendship" bug a subtle notice to the technocratic elite and others "in the know" that we have entered the third (final?) "trimester" of the gestation of some AI, which will fully awaken 23 years from now?

Happy New Year!


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I'm switching our Star Wars game from Fate Core to FAE. I think FAE will better capture the cinematic nature of Star Wars as well as be simpler to run.

To help get a handle on how Approaches are used in combat, I looked around for various examples. One of the best I've found so far is Avengers Accelerated, to which I've provided the link. For me the most enlightening passage is in part 3, where Steve rolls to defend against the Chitauri invasion force:

Joss: "Steve has their attention, and they're pissed, so the Chitauri are going to focus fire on the ground team, starting with him. I'm spending some Fate points to make this happen, invoking Invading Chitauri Force and Chitauri Reinforcements. Steve, how do you want to defend?"

Steve: "Crap. My roll wasn't that great. I'll invoke We've Got Steve's Back. So let's say that Tony is flying past Natasha as she goes up, and he'll be on the scene to help me out. I'm also invoking Civilian Evacuation so we're free to blast these guys to kingdom come without worrying about hitting innocents - it'll just be a war zone down here. Let's see... Hey Tony, how about you bounce your repulsors off my shield, and I swing it in a big arc to hit a bunch of these guys too? That brings my shield stunt into play, and gives me a +2 to Forcefully Defend. That's enough!"

It was extremely illuminating to see how Steve incorporated Tony's character into the narration of his Defend roll. I think many players (myself included) would have treated Iron Man bouncing repulsors off Cap's shield as Iron Man attacking, and I'm sure it could have been done this way in Fate.

But what blew my mind a little was the idea of using another PC as a descriptor for an action. In the example I cited, Iron Man was a descriptor - a narrative "pawn" - for a Defend action. However, it's easy to see how this could be applied to the other three actions as well. For example, if a PC is a "lazy warlord" strategist type it could make a Clever attack. However, the narration would be described as some other player's PC striking a weak area pointed out by the strategist. 

There are some things to keep in mind, of course. For starters, when a PC is being used as a narrative pawn for another PC, care must be taken to be made sure the pawn doesn't look ridiculous/silly/foolish (unless the pawn's player is cool with that!). In addition, it can't really mess with the mechanics - like, this can't be used to move the pawn to a different Zone, allow the pawn an extra action, or allow the pawn to make any rolls of its own.

But it's a pretty big idea that's opened a lot of mental doors for me. It may have been discussed elsewhere, but I don't recall seeing it in the books. If there's ever a book on useful techniques for FATE I feel that some discussion on using PCs to partially or wholly describe another PC's actions might be useful!

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I'm working with a player to finish up his PC for a Star Wars game I'm running and need some help. Below, I've summarized the PC's concept, background, and some Aspects and Skills the PC already has. What I'm looking for is some more ideas for Aspects based on the character concept, as well as some advice for offering Compels and in general advancing the character's story.

The gist of the game is that the PCs are Imperials who, disgusted by Alderaan's destruction, fled the Death Star's destruction and made their way to the Outer Rim. See the attached link (the Obsidian Portal page is still a work in progress!). The PC in question, Bel Terrik, was a commander in the Imperial Navy. Now a renegade, Bel somewhat ironically remains loyal to the Empire (or at least the idea of it).

A talented, up-and-coming officer from Corellia, Bel comes from a branch of the well-known Terrik family with a strong tradition of military service. An example is a minor character from Episode 4, the stormtrooper Mod Terrik (shot and killed by the Millenium Falcon at Mos Eisley). The other branch of the Terrik family is less reputable. The best example is Booster Terrik, an infamous smuggler. (As an aside, Mod and Booster don't seem to be related in any canon or legacy sources, but for our game they are. :) )
Bel was granted command of a VT-49 Decimator which, according to some of sources we read, was prestigious and seen as a stepping stone to command of a Star Destroyer. Loyal to the Empire, Bel believes strength and decisiveness are needed to govern the Galaxy. 

However, the destruction of Alderaan was too much. Bel remains convinced that the Empire is good idea, but the leadership must be replaced. He organized the escape from the Death Star and brought the PCs to the Outer Rim, rechristening his ship The Redemption in order to reflect the PC's hidden purpose of bringing reform to the Empire.

Bel's Aspects are:
-Commander of the Redemption
-By-the-book Imperial (supposed to be his Trouble, represents his lawfulness and continued loyalty to the Imperial idea, if not the Empire)
-Suspicious of the Rebellion

I also gave all the PCs two bonus Aspects for Extras. Bel has:
-Battleworn Correllian Powersuit
-Customized Blastech Blaster Pistol

The player wants the PC to be an inspiring leader, so he took Rapport at Great. Will and Shoot are his Good Skills.

With all that out of the way, I'm now coming to the part where I ask for help. What Aspects would you suggest be added to Bel's sheet? Would you rename or replace any of his current Aspects? The Trouble Aspect is weakest in my opinion, as it doesn't suggest what the player and I think is Bel's great struggle. Bel is conflicted - while he did the right thing by leaving the Empire and striving to reform it, Bel threw away a promising career and part of him regrets that. I'm struggling to think of situations where this might be Compelled.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading, and if you can offer some advice and pointers, that'd be very much appreciated! Even typing out this post has been a big help for my thought process. This our group's first go at Fate and we're really liking it so far. 
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