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Tariq Kamal
Private citizen, nerd, corporate drone.
Private citizen, nerd, corporate drone.


So I've been listening through +Adam Koebel​'s run of Burning Wheel on the +Roll20​ channel, and I found myself fascinated by BW's lifepath character creation system. At the same time, I wanted to look for Fate implementations of a lifepath system... except for some strange reason I ended up finding a lot of sites related to numerology for some reason (although I did find an alternate d20 lifepath mechanic, which was interesting).

What I do want to know, however, are the following:

1. Are there any Fate implementations of lifepath systems?

2. If not, could there be one? I suspect there are issues related to how Fate approaches things from the perspective of the fiction, while lifepath systems are a form of simulation or in-world events. But a consequence of lifepath systems is that characters end up more tied to a setting, taking the load off players in getting into a system in exchange for expending resources navigating the system during character creation. Am I missing something?


So here's a thing I was thinking about:

This came up after thinking about investigation in Fate, and creating advantages. Like, in other RPGs, in some cases your players can ask you a question, you can roll in secret, and then you provide them an answer depending on the result. In some cases, it may have appeared that what the player wanted to do was successful, but in actual fact it wasn't, so the GM provides a misleading answer, only to reveal later on that no, that wasn't the case.

Frankly, that's always bugged me a little, because 1) you have to keep track of stuff like that, and there is little-to-no formal mechanics for that, which means I'll forget, and I totally hate screwing up the notes and forgetting and 2) I really don't want to have secret rolls any more. Hell, radical transparency! Let's go Mark Zuckenberg on the GM-players relationship, except with less selling out players to advertisers.

Yet, at the same time, I want to have that kind of tension of “did I really make it, or was it something that failed without me noticing?” Making all rolls open just… it decreases the tension, I suppose?

So, I was thinking about it, and the answer sort of came up from my experience with computing science — lazy evaluation, or, it's other name, call-by-need. The idea behind this is sort of simple. In some programming languages, like Haskell, you can have a value that you define at first, but you don't figure out the value until you really need it.

It's a great when you have a variable that could technically take forever in theory to calculate all of it, but you only need a subset of the answers in practice, so in a function that takes a long time to complete could just be, in a lazy language, you name the function, and when you need it, you calculate it. You don't try to calculate everything, just what you need.

(It's totally simplified, but here's the Wikipedia article for completionists:

How would it work in Fate? Well, basically, when someone performs an investigation, or basically attempts to Create an Advantage, no rolls, you treat it as it if automatically succeeds, and write the Aspect / Boost on an index card, just the way you'd do it if the player had actually succeeded. Except, maybe you mark it as not yet evaluated in this sense, and maybe you add the modifier (because who wants to remember this?).

When a player wishes to invoke this Aspect or Boost? Then you roll, and you resolve, and you either mark it as confirmed, or you cross it out. And then play continues pretty much as normal.

I honestly don't know what the impact to the game would be, and I suspect there are edge-cases galore with this idea. But it was fun to think about, and I will want to try this out with the next game I'm administering, after telling the players what I wanna do.

Obviously it's too cumbersome with combat, so in that, I want to exclude it, but I'm thinking this works great if I want to use it for research, or preparing for something, or casing a site, or something that takes a long time and would fail silently without the player noticing it. And the best thing about this, neither does the GM! We'll all just can find out whether your research really did pan out, or you were wrong or not.

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Nature is weeeeird
In the category of "really weird things I did not know:" apparently figs and certain wasps have co-evolved into a sort of single organism, with the wasps acting as highly mobile sex organs. It's basically what happens if you take "insects pollinating flowers" to its logical conclusion.

Essentially, a female wasp shows up at a fig, pollen in tow and laden with egs, enters the fig, spreads the pollen around, lays her eggs, and dies. Some of the fig's ovaries are now fertilized by pollen; they develop seeds. Others have wasp eggs; they form a shell around the eggs. Male wasps hatch first; they have no wings, but instead travel around the inside of the fig, fertilize the females (still in their eggs), cut escape hatches for them, and then die. Next the male flowers mature and produce pollen. Next, the female wasps hatch, already fertilized; they get covered in pollen, and fly out, in search of another fig. The wasps which die in the fig get digested by it and turned into more fig.

Which is to say, the wasp's entire life cycle is basically loading up on the parts to make more wasps and more figs, and then finding a fig. 

There are a few variations on this, summarized in . But basically, figs have managed to turn wasps into part of their biology, and can be considered to be part-animal, part-plant. Others instead would say that the figs are eating the wasps, which I suppose is also true, but that really understates the complexity of this relationship.

Apparently this is also enough for some people to consider figs not to be vegan. (cf , although to make it clear I am not endorsing any of the, well, anything on this site; it's just an example of what arguments around the kosher vegan status of the fig look like)

Mostly, this gives me an urge for figs. 

Via @silentkpants on Twitter.

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I asked this question on the Emacs Stack Exchange website, with regards to org-babel's org-src-preserve-indentation variable, and whether I could set this value on a per-buffer or per code-block basis.

Unfortunately, I don't know if this is actually possible, and digging through the docs has netted me with no clearer understanding of the matter right now.

Would anyone have any idea how it would be possible to activate org-src-preserve-indentation only on code-blocks or at most in a per-buffer basis? That would be grand.

Thanks in advance!

Just a note on the Text Expansion facility in your app, I notice that using expansions with backslashes will appear to crash the app being used. I haven't fully tested it, but I was wondering if anyone else experienced this?

Running CM 12.1 on the Google Nexus. And yeah, I'm using the Xposed Framework.

A quick question to both +Fate SRD and the Fate community in general: I know that the Fate SRD site uses Drupal for their CMS, but what's the raw format for the SRD itself?

Furthermore, has anyone translated the Fate books into a lightweight markup format like Markdown or reStructuredText so that it can be easily ported into different formats? Not just PDFs or eBooks, since that's done, but stuff like DocBook, OPML or Org-Mode using stuff like pandoc? I presume it's allowed, since the material is CC-BY.

I'm asking because I'm idly running through some ideas in my head, and one of those things was either to port the documentation into Emacs so that I can use it in conjunction with org-mode note-taking, and the other option was to incorporate it in some way into a chatbot. The framework I was looking at was Hubot (, which has a nice advantage of being able to implement once, and then just make sure that it works with all the adapters.

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We'll be at World Maker Faire New York this Saturday and Sunday. So will Sam Blanchard's amazing SeeMore: part sculpture, part giant 256-Pi parallel computer!

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So here's a thing I want to ask everyone, because the concern has come up in my group: how does one deal with recovery and recuperation in Fate? Specifically, are there ways to speed up the recovery of consequences in a game? I can understand why not stress, because then it'd make Conflicts drag on, but Consequences?

I always gathered that it would either be an Overcome or Create Advantage, but how do you measure success? I can't recall if there are actions that one can do to remove Aspects, which is what Consequences are (aren't they?).

I mean, how would a medic or a doctor stabilize or help someone heal their Wrenched Shoulder? How would a friend or a psychologist help someone overcome their Deep Depression or help their friends regain their Lost Reputation? Obviously some things won't be possible based on the setting, but within that milieu itself, what can your knowledge and expertise on healing help yourself and others?

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so powerful, many modes, vim and emacs such forbidden love. wow.
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