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Alex Greene

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Alex Greene last won the day on December 31 2016

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About Alex Greene

  • Rank
    Last Son of tumblr
  • Birthday 06/30/1963

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  • Interests
    Last Son of tumblr.


  • RPG Biography
    Fan of Mythras, Traveller, White Wolf's World of Darkness and Legend. Author of articles for Traveller and World of Darkness.
  • Current games
    Mythras, Traveller
  • Location
    Wrexham, North Wales, UK
  • Blurb
    Author of: Hunter: the Vigil; Night Stalkers; World of Darkness: Dogs of War; "The Thing In The Pit" in Signs & Portents; Traveller: Cosmopolite; Castrobancla, the City of Aliens.

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  1. That was how the first timelapse photography was invented.
  2. Something in the walls of the cells could block any sort of powers which reach through it, or restrict the ability of magic to work at range. One possible idea is a sorcery spell, Enchant (Prison), which enchants a room, turning it into a cell which stops all magic. One way of setting it up is runes in the walls, door, floor and ceiling which conveys the Neutralising Chaos feature (The Sacred Text, p. 275). It's a permanent effect, so it could be fuelled by the magicians themselves - every two Magic Points they regain, the cell drains them of one, and they wake up short one Magic Point every day, no matter how high their POW. A component of the runes which make up the prison enchantment is a fatigue level's worth of blood from a convict condemned to death. This replaces the permanent Magic Points cost. Of course, nothing prevents the sorcerer from using their mundane skills (Lockpicking, Mechanisms, Influence, Insight, BRAWN (with or without Enhance STR, which could still work, since it operates entirely on the caster) to break out - everyone assumes that the mage is probably going to try to think of spells to escape first, and forget that a bedspring could be turned into a lockpick, or hinges forced, or a lock prevented from closing by a tiny chip of stone picked up from the prison yard ...
  3. Larry was also writer of the episode of The Real Ghostbusters "Collect Call of Cthulhu," and lead designer and author of Masks of Nyarlathotep. This post is from Kenneth Hite. Yes, I have Kenneth Hite on my Facebook f'list. Kenneth Hite on Larry DiTillio's Death
  4. So JMS of Murder, She Wrote fame just posted this Facebook post on the death of Lawrence "Larry" DiTillio, who wrote Ringworld along with the late Lynn Willis. JMS' Facebook post
  5. It might look something like The Dispossessed and similar books by Ursula K LeGuin. And the Guardian article could well be wrong. It's people with a punk attitude disrupting the status quo who got change to happen. Only they don't always wear pink mohawks. Sometimes they look like a little old lady riding a bus and refusing to get up to let a white privileged man sit in her chair. The solution is not to "get privileged," as suggested (and as a hypnotist, boy am I familiar with the power of suggestion). The solution is to challenge the privileged, to disrupt, and to create the changes that the privileged cannot stop. Cyberpunk stories only look like tragedies because they're written that way. The punk attitude does lay the groundwork for change. It is disruptive, and powerful, and it can find its way to hurting the rich and powerful in places where they cannot stop to scratch. Point being, even if the punks are obliterated, dying on their feet rather than living on their knees, the damage is done. The rich and powerful are no longer unassailable; no longer invulnerable. And that may be the point of cyberpunk - to show the weaknesses of those impersonal sweeping powers. To show that maybe dogma is wrong, that the corporations are not gods, and that the earth does indeed move.
  6. I'm altering my social media profiles to read "Last Son of tumblr," at least until December 17th 2018. Possibly for a time after that.

  7. I just lost a member of my family on September 24th, then Carlos Ezquerra of 2000 AD on October 1st, and now Greg's passed. I'm finding it hard to process all of this. Greg's death has left me stunned and reeling. Rest easy, Greg. I am sorry we never got a chance to meet.
  8. Agreed. Thanks so much for this discussion. I feel really optimistic for the future of Mythras.
  9. I'm sold on this. I never thought this thread would reach two pages. I honestly thought it'd die a death, zero views, zero replies, sinking to the bottom. It was indeed a weird dream that I'd had, and I'm very interested, in the fullness of time, to see what turns up. And you do realise that if the next book offers social combat rules, I'll buy the book they appear in, sight unseen, virtually on the spot. That's brand loyalty for you.
  10. Physical combat is presented as this entity whose goal is to kill some targets. Adventurers go in, they see the orcs or goblins, they get into slaughter. No quarter given; no quarter expected. It ends with dead and injured everywhere. That's it. The combat is its own sweet thing - kill or be killed. Slaughter, mark off hit points, narrate the cut and thrust, heal the injured afterwards. What if the combat has a purpose beyond "Hey ho, here's the bad guys, let's line up and roll initiative"? The bad guys come up and tell you that they've got a message - don't try and interfere with the Snake Cult operating out of the warehouse district. The combat ensues when they try and emphasise their point with a beatdown. Suddenly, your guys have combat with a purpose - stay alive and respond in kind, possibly even turn the tables on the bad guys and send them scurrying home to their snake temple with a note tied to their behinds reading "You're next" in explosive runes. The bigger picture is that combat with a purpose fits in with the narrative. Not even brute animals fight for no reason at all: they fight to defend their young and their nest, or they attack because they are hungry or pain from an infected wound has addled their brains, or because you are in their territory. Or because they are just plain stubborn and evil, like horses and camels, the evil jerks. Combat is currently presented in many roleplaying games in the style of a video game, where the scene is only completed, and victory is only assured, by the complete extinction of every single bad guy in the scene. But if there is a goal to the combat, it is possible to turn physical combat into a small subset of social combat. Combatants in social combat want something. The other guy, not necessarily a bad guy, wants something else that stops the protagonists getting what they want. If they can get it through charm, through deceit, through magic, through Oratory, through an entertaining interpretive dance routine or simply through trade, then that can be a better approach than going in with swords drawn all the time. And if the protagonists know what their goal is, they can achieve those goals with victory conditions other than complete annihilation of the other party; alternatives such as driving the antagonists off, buying them off, scaring them away, conning them into abandoning their posts or simply asking them nicely. That's where Resistance would come in. Each Resistance point is like one door to open between where things stand now and a victory for your side. Each Resistance point removed represents one more obstacle in the way of what you want removed, and the antagonist brought that much closer to seeing things your way. So it's all about stating what you want, and what you think the antagonists should do, and engaging in social or physical combat to achieve that goal, whether it's "I want to seduce the Duchess and her daughter" or "I want to stop the guard from alerting the castle to my presence, and the best way is to apply Palsy to his head."
  11. Most of you who are still thinking of social combat as being like physical combat, with hit points and damage, are not thinking of the bigger picture. Social combat is about winning a person over, about making them see past the cognitive dissonance of doing something that could be counter to their natures, and getting what you want while ensuring that you give the other guy the bare minimum of what they want. So it is really like a gradual steering of the other guy towards consent, or to a state where they believe that you are telling the truth. So it's not so much "social hit points," maybe, and more "resistance points," which could easily be something like one-tenth your Willpower score. Each net success deducts one Resistance from the opponent. Critical Success, it's two Resistance points and they start to warm up to you. If they win, it's your Resistance that takes a hit; two points, if they score a crit. Special Effects could include Make Good First Impression, Wrap Them Around Your Little Finger and Compel Surrender (requires brandishing some sort of weapon at close range). These could have further effects, such as making your next social skill roll a grade easier, or making theirs a grade harder, and so on. Negotiation: You're trying to secure a deal that allows the nomads access through the lands that have just been bought up by your Rival's House. Your Rival does not want to honour a treaty that has allowed them access along that path for more than six thousand years. Ink on a page is worth more than spit in the hand. You have to win them over, by offering things the nomads can give: they already have their own laws and customs of offering gifts of hides and animal dung (it makes fields fertile) to farmers whose lands they must cross, so this House is no different to any other landowner to them. It doesn't matter that it is personal to you. Securing An Alliance: Your greatest Enemy lies before you, his armies broken and scattered, his resources gone. He awaits the sword stroke that will sever his head from his body, and his soul from all worldly concern. Instead, you offer him back his life. He still doesn't trust you, but he is reminded that the other option is always the sword. Fast Talk: "Honestly, Investigator, they literally just fell through a hole in my roof from the apartment above. I can show you the hole they fell through, and you can see it's fresh. I have never seen those bodies before in my life. And no, I still can't explain why my daggers are sticking out of their chests ... though ... I did get burgled, and my knives got stolen the other day. Would I lie to you?' Obtaining Access To A Grimoire: You know that the Chantry won't let you just walk in and read the Grimoire. They know they won't just let some Zorridan-come-Lately just walk in off the street and look at their greatest secrets. But the Chantry's janitor is always popping in and out of that sanctum sanctorum of theirs to polish the brass, and yes, they sold off the gold ten years ago and it's nothing but brass in there, so how about another drink and we can talk about taking off for the day and letting someone else go in wearing that tabard and work uniform? Here's a full day's pay to sweeten the deal. Make that two .. Seduction: This one, you're going to have to imagine for yourselves, you dirty stopouts.
  12. Internal gyroscopic stabilisation could serve the function of the keel in spacecraft.
  13. Like the combat rules are perfect for solo play, so too would social combat rules serve someone well in a situation where all he had to do was just abstract the process of winning over a crowd, or a stubborn guard and so on. And no, I literally cannot read minds. I just woke up from a dream, in total unawareness that someone else was putting the idea through its paces in real life.
  14. So I woke up this morning imagining that we were going to get a new ruleset in the next iteration of Mythras Imperative, such that every character gains a Social Combat Style to go with the Combat Styles they learn. So somebody could learn Domination by Insinuation (Influence, Oratory) and someone else could practice Pillow Talk (Influence, Seduction) while yet another goes for Charismatically Creative (Sing, Dance, Oratory). Imagine the Special Effects of Social Combat - Compel Surrender, Make Good First Impression, Build Anticipation, Entice, Hypnotise, Terrify, Browbeat. Mic Drop. Wow The Crowds. Wrap Around Your Little Finger. I haven't dreamed of designing a game in ages.
  15. I am wondering about the kind of career which would make Seduction a Professional skill, though, and while there is a glaringly obvious career, I was also thinking of Companions as in Firefly.
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