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On Sunday I picked up more photographic stuff at another car boot sale, one of which was this thing, which I initially thought looked interesting but got a bit dubious about, especially when I found out that the photo conversion software is hideously expensive. But when I checked it turned out that CEX still buy them, and for about £16 more than I paid for it if you take part exchange rather than cash. They also offered an Eos 500D at one of the local branches at a price I could afford, especially with that thrown in for part exchange... Cue visit to local CEX store, and purchase of the body (with three batteries and a charger) for a bit over £100.

I went to the park and took some test pictures today using my 18-55 zoom, unfortunately not in very nice conditions, it was very overcast, and was a little disappointed; they don't feel notably better than I was getting with the 300D, and in general were not particularly sharp. But the metadata shows that they were all fairly low speed and wide aperture, which does tend to have that effect. I've since tried with the 50mm lens I got, and in program mode rather than full auto mode, and got much better results, especially with flash. I'm not going to post anything today because they're much better pictures of e.g. the mass of computer cables hanging on hooks on my work-room door, random books, etc.

My feeling at the moment is that it's working, but I really need to up my game on selecting appropriate camera settings, it's less forgiving than the 300D or my old Nikon. I may also want to look at a better zoom, but I already knew that. I really hope that the weather's better tomorrow, and I can get out and give it another try.



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Following on from the Vampire anniversary bundle earlier this year, it's time to get furry. Werewolf? There, wolf!

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Werewolf20

"This all-new offer, a follow-up to the successful May 2017 Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary, presents the 20th Anniversary Edition from Onyx Path Publishing of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the RPG of savage horror originally published in 1992 by White Wolf. Werewolf's animist eco-warriors rage against powerful corporations and spiritual evils that poison the world. Imbued with power from the spirits of Earth and Moon, these doomed heroes vow to sell their lives dearly. They can't win, but they won't give up.

Onyx Path launched the W20 project with a high-profile October 2012 Kickstarter campaign that funded a gorgeous new incarnation. The massive new rulebook presents all the Garou Tribes and other wereraces (including the three lost Tribes), hordes of antagonists, long lists of Gifts and fetishes, and extensive full-color artwork. The Anniversary Edition also updates the setting and lightly updates the 2000 Apocalypse Revised rules (presented in our two February 2016 Werewolf offers). Like Onyx Path's other anniversary volumes, W20 is a love letter to Werewolf fans who for decades have loyally stuck by their game. This bargain-priced collection includes the corebook, many supplements, and everything you need for a complete chronicle of sacred struggle against Apocalypse.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the International Wolf Center.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all three titles in our Garou Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete full-color 555-page Werewolf 20th Anniversary corebook and the W20 update of the essential Changing Breeds player's guide, as well as the beautiful Art of the Changing Breeds illustration book.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Storyteller Collection with five more titles worth an additional $50, including Rage Across the World (retail price $13), Umbra: The Velvet Shadow (retail $15), the Storytelling Adventure System scenario Skinner (retail $7), Kinfolk: A Breed Apart (retail $13), and the W20 Storyteller Screen (retail $2)."

At least one more title will be added after launch. "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."

As I've mentioned before, I tend to regard myself as a bit "horrored out" where RPGs are concerned, not really interested in running or playing them. Werewolf would probably not be my first choice if I did want to play again, it requires too much commitment to the World of Darkness setting and the ability to play a character who is (a) ridiculously powerful and (b) agonizing about it, which has rarely been my idea of fun. But if you like that sort of game, this is a pretty good offer! As usual I have to stress that your mileage may, of course, vary.
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The Notting Hill carnival is being its usual self - not so noisy around here since we're now further away from the procession area, but still inside the zone where traffic is not allowed, so lots of people in the road outside.

I had to go out to the shops earlier and the police have put heavy steel barriers across the road at the junction of Queensway and Westbourne Park Road, presumably to prevent a truck attack. Queensway was really crowded, not quite bad enough to trigger my phobias but close, and due to the street closures affecting deliveries nobody had any toilet paper at a reasonable price - fortunately one of the stores just outside the zone did. It's not the first thing you think of when there's something like a carnival, but I suspect that someone in Superdrug will be getting a bollocking for failing to stock up beforehand.

So far I haven't heard of anything too bad happening - most of the medical emergencies have apparently been down to the heat, it's a very warm day, rather than violence. No doubt there will be a few incidents, but hopefully it'll go down as a success.
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 Slightly weird - some sealed IBM VXAtape X23 230 meter 80/160/320gb data cartridges. These seem to be staggeringly expensive e.g. £30+ for a similar specification catridge (not IBM) from Misco, but I suspect they go a long time between orders, ditto the people on eBay who are asking £100 and up. I think I'm going to try £7.50 each, does that seem fair? Anyone got any current info on this?

later - on closer examination five are sealed, one is a cleaning tape and one isn't sealed. I think I'll try selling them as a job lot, otherwise it gets too complicated. I think £39.99 is about right - It's cheap by the usual pricing of these tapes, and I'll still make a good profit.

Update - these have already sold, so I could have probably gone a bit higher. Never mind, I'm making a good profit. One to watch out for in future, I suppose, but like a lot of these things it'll probably be a one-off.
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Now listed on eBay - and I was able to test that everything apart from the card slot works by taking a photo with it tethered to a computer to bypass the need to save in the camera, which would be great if the software wasn't ludicrously expensive and I actually wanted to take every picture with the camera plugged in...

I've already had one bid, with 9 days 23 hours to go, so hopefully it'll earn some money.

Once I've sold this and the Sony and have a bit of cash I'll look at getting a good Canon body and a good macro zoom, and selling off my Nikon gear as I get Canon equivalents. I'll be keeping the D50 body, I think, if only to test lenses, since they don't sell for much these days.

An Eos 400D would actually suit me reasonably well, in terms of performance and resolution etc., but since I've got to sell this one I might as well think about alternatives - preferably with SD cards rather than CF considering how prone CF is to damage. What's around second hand at the moment that gives 10 megapixel or better performance and won't break the bank?

later - looks like the 450D is very similar but slightly higher resolution and uses SD cards, the 500D is bit of a price hike but adds live preview which could be quite useful. Anyone know anything against either of them?
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The Eos 400D is not going to be fixed professionally - I'm being quoted more than double the price of one second-hand from CEX.

Accordingly I'm going to sell it on ebay as is and hope it ends up earning some money. The Sony has already passed what I paid for it with a week to go, so fingers crossed it will do well too.
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Ars Magica is probably the definitive game of medieval magic - one of these offers is a repeat, the other is all new:

Ars Magica 5 Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ArsMagica5-2017

"The Bundle of Holding and Ars Magica go way back. We offered the current (Fifth) edition of the Ars Magica rulebook in our August 2013 Bundle of the Ages, a collection of historical RPGs, and in March 2014 we presented a collection of vintage ArM supplements that supported the earlier Fourth Edition (1996-2004). We admire Ars Magica hugely and regard it as one of the field's seminal designs. It was a harbinger of the acclaim awaiting both its designers, Jonathan Tweet and Mark Rein-Hagen. We're proud to revive this large assortment from August 2014 supporting the current edition, which is widely regarded as the finest yet. (This is the third revival of this offer; the two previous revivals were May 2015 and February 2016. This third revival is a first, so to speak -- we've never revived the same offer three times.) The new companion collection of supplements, ArM5 Wizards & Power, has lots of additional material to expand any Mythic Europe saga. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$125. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Ars Magica Fifth Edition: The complete, current 240-page rulebook.
  • Covenants (retail $15): The essential guide to help players improve the homes of their magi.
  • Houses of Hermes: True Lineages (retail $12): A detailed treatise on four powerful Houses of the Order of Hermes.
  • Apprentices (retail $7): Become a young student of the Art of Magic.
  • The Living Covenant: As a convenience to our customers, we present over two dozen free characters and setting files from the Atlas Games website, collected here in one handy 42-page booklet.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Storyguide's Collection with five more titles worth an additional $70:
  • Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults and Societates(retail $15 each): The second and third treatises on the Hermetic Houses.
  • The Lion and the Lily (retail $15): The Normandy Tribunal sourcebook about the many active covenants in densely populated northern France.
  • The Broken Covenant of Calebais (retail $10): The first-ever ArM adventure, originally written by Mark Rein-Hagen and Jonathan Tweet, now updated for the current edition.
  • Tales of Mythic Europe: Nine short adventures that push your saga to the limits of Mythic Europe.

Ars Magica 5 Wizards and Power Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/ArM5WizardsPower

"This all-new companion offer presents all four Realms of Power supplements about the sources of magic in Mythic Europe, along with several sourcebooks about the Hermetic Tribunals in various regions from the Rhineland to Transylvania.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two offers' designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first Realms of Power book (Magic) and two Tribunals -- Against the Dark (Transylvania) and The Sundered Eagle (Theban).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $60,, including Guardians of the Forests (about the Rhine Tribunal, first of them all) and the remaining three Realms of Power books: The Divine, The Infernal, and Faerie.

At least one title will be added after launch: When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased that offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Ars Magica resources

Learn much more about Ars Magica Fifth Edition and get free downloads at the Atlas Games website. The Project Redcap wiki is the best starting point for fan resources. And check this RPG.net forum thread, "Let's Read Ars Magica Fifth Edition," and this RPG.net forum post by user cj.23 listing ArM resources. (That last one is in a topic called "Ars Magica Bundle of Holding -- do I want it?" You can answer that for yourself.)

 


If you're taken up the previous Ars Magica offer the Wizards and Power bundle is something you're likely to want. If not, I'd suggest trying Ars Magica first, then going for Wizards and Power if you find it useful. They're both running until September 11th so there's a little time to decide if you like it, but remember that prices will probably rise.

I'm not going to download this stuff because I don't really play fantasy RPGs any more, but if I did Ars Magica would be high on my list of possible systems, and the pricing looks pretty good. But as usual your mileage may vary.

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The little Fujitsu bridge camera really was dead, fortunately it's old enough that I was able to get the same model on eBay for £21 including postage - it even had a 2gb card in it. I've put the dead one on ebay at £2.99, there may be someone who wants to have a try at fixing it. The last lot of dead digital cameras I sold earned a few quid. Update - someone has bid on it, so I'll get at least £2.99

The Eos 400D I got works except that it doesn't accept memory cards, which makes it fairly useless. It looks like at least one pin at the bottom of the card slot is bent and flattened, and the procedure for getting inside it to fix that looks to be horribly complicated. I've asked a repairer for a quote but I suspect that it might well be more than the cost of a working 400D on eBay. Fortunately I shouldn't lose money on the purchase, because even a dead 400D sells for £20 or so, and because one of the lenses I bought with it, which I initially thought was fairly naff, turned out to be extremely rare and sold for £55 last night. If the buyer eventually gets round to paying me I ought to be quids in. Update - now paid.

In related news I've decided to sell on the Sony Nex 5 camera I got at a car boot a few months ago - it was interesting, but it isn't designed to be used the same way as an SLR or a fake SLR like the bridge camera and my reflexes are all wrong for it. That's on eBay now, along with some lens converters I bought for it but never got round to using. It's a shame in a way because it's really a better camera than the Fujitsu or the Eos 400D with higher resolution, HD video, and more bells and whistles, but I'd sooner use a camera that I like than own one that's better but just sits on the shelf. Update - forgot to say that the reason I'm selling this now is that eBay gave me a "maximum £1 seller's fees" extended weekend, so it seemed like a good time to do it. I was also hoping to sell another iMac G4, but the wifi card seems to have died and I won't be able to get it fixed before the offer ends.

All of the stuff I'm selling is here

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/marcusrowland0/m.html



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Esoterrorists is a game I've looked at and found quite interesting, from some excellent designers, but have never run:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Esoterror2017


"Revived from November 2015, this collection features The Esoterrorists by Robin D. Laws (Feng Shui, HeroQuest, Hillfolk) from Pelgrane Press. As an investigator for the benevolent secret conspiracy Ordo Veritatis, you defend modern-day reality against a loose network of occult terrorists, the Esoterrorists, who try to weaken the protective Membrane and summon Unremitting Horrors from the Outer Dark. The Esoterrorists was the first RPG to use Robin's GUMSHOE System (seen in Trail of Cthulhu, Night's Black Agents, and many other RPGs of detection and mystery).
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders and music players.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Pelgrane Press co-owner Simon Rogers, Cancer Research UK.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$106. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get all four titles in our Player's Collection (retail value $44) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • The Esoterrorists 2nd Edition (retail price $15): The original GUMSHOE System investigative game of sinister occult conspiracies. We also include The Esoterrorists 1st Edition (retail $9), because Pelgrane gave it to us so why not?
  • The Esoterror Factbook (retail $15): An indispensable reference for assets, protocols, psychogeography, Membrane permeability, and Techno-Macho Utterances.
  • Dissonance - Music for Esoterrorists (retail $5): Four atmospheric tracks by composer James Semple encompassing suspense, action, and horror for The Esoterrorists or any modern mystery game. Includes the music that introduces the ENnie-winning podcast Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Gamemaster's Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $62:
  • The Esoterror Summoning Guide (retail $10): The Ordo Veritatis summarizes what it knows of the enemy's world-threatening methods.
  • Book of Unremitting Horror (GUMSHOE version, retail $15): A boundary-crossing collection of truly disturbing modern monsters.
  • Albion's Ransom: Little Girl Lost (retail $9) and Worm of Sixty Winters (retail $9): A complete two-part campaign of battle against a climate catastrophe in northern England.
  • The Love of Money (retail $10): A full-length campaign investigating Esoterrorist funding sources, and what they're doing with all that rhodium.
  • Profane Miracles (retail $5): Leonard (Fate Core) Balsera's fast-paced investigation of a millionaire supposedly raised from the dead.
  • Six Packed (retail $4): A gruesome revenge killing in a London slaughterhouse leads to a terrible threat from the Outer Dark.
There's going to be at least one item added after launch: When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."

This is a fun system and I think it's pretty good value - but as usual (especially when I recommend things) I have to point out that I get this stuff free if I want it, your opinion may differ.
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Didn't get to the Dead Dog in the end - there was a huge crowd waiting outside when I got to the hotel where it was being held and I got the impression it was going to be very crowded if I ever got inside. Ended up going into town for a meal with friends. At which point, wanting to take a couple of pictures of the architecture of Helsinki Station, I discovered that my little Fujitsu bridge camera appears to be dead. I could have used my iPhone but for some reason it never occurred to me, so I've ended up with no photos of Helsinki. I hope it's just bad batteries, charging them now and crossing my fingers, but I've a feeling it's more serious.

My flight home turned out to be an hour earlier than I thought so there wasn't really time to do any sightseeing today - plus the most direct route to the airport was the station near the convention centre so I didn't need to go back to Helsinki station anyway. For Dublin in 2019 I really must add a couple of days one side or another of the con to do some proper touristy things.

Got home about five to the usual pile of mail - unfortunately the battery for the Eos 400D I got hasn't arrived, so I can't test it yet. But everything else is OK so far, I had a pretty good time, and given the total cost of the con (and food at the convention centre) the dead camera (if it is) is about two extra meals worth of annoyance rather than a huge disaster.

later - forgot to mention something announced at the closing ceremony: the predicted membership was around 3000, in line with previous worldcons in non-English speaking countries. Instead they got a hell of a lot more - I think they said 5800 plus, the second biggest membership ever. The reason for the initial confusion with room sizes was that all of the arrangements were made with the lower figure in mind, most of the excess signed up in the last couple of weeks before the con.

I have no idea what caused this, but they did handle it reasonably well once the initial panic was over.
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Another good day at the con, they seem to have got their act together on putting programs into rooms that are large enough to hold them.

Heard at the end of the first panel that Dublin has won the 2019 bid, as expected, so should be headed over there in about two years. Some fun guests including Diane Duane and Steve Jackson.

And both of my program appearances went well, including the fanfic one that worried me a bit. Tomorrow's the last day, but I want to stay for the dead dog party in the evening so won't head home until Monday afternoon. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see the sights a bit before I go.

Hugos

Aug. 11th, 2017 07:27 pm
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 Waiting for the Hugo award ceremony to start. No wifi in this hall so will post from my phone if I can. I'll add the winners as announced as comments on Dreamwidth. Live journal users should read them on Dreamwidth.

later - read the full list here: http://file770.com/?p=36918
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 The con committee seems to have underestimated attending membership a bit - someone said by about a third, which is a half kiloton or so of fans. A lot of the rooms are too small for the numbers wanting to use them. They've also used one hour programme slots with no time for movement factored in, so panels end up at 45-50 minutes and begin and end with huge crowds around the entrances. They're also relying on people using on line resources to keep track of room changes, which is a bit of a pain if you're not in the habit of checking. Nevertheless I'm enjoying myself, and I've got to most of the items I wanted, or found fun alternatives. And they've got a lot of things right, e.g. Free bus and tram travel throughout the con.

Hopefully things will improve as the con continues, but I think it'll be a success provided nothing goes catastrophically wrong.
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Bash is a superhero RPG I've been vaguely aware of for a while - basically, it's an attempt to write a superhero RPG that emphasises simple character generation rather than the complex procedures of most games in this genre. Supplements cover fantasy, SF, and other fun stuff:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/BASH

"This collection features the BASH! RPG of fast and simple action from Basic Action Games. With BASH! (Basic Action Super Heroes), you can create characters and run four-color superheroic adventures within minutes. Easy to teach to novices and younger players, BASH! also works great for fantasy and spaceopera. The rulebooks and supplements in this bargain-priced collection permit any kind of action-packed adventure.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$84. Customers who pay just US$8.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $32) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including all three core BASH! rulebooks -- the Ultimate Edition of superheroic action, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi -- and the introductory superhero adventure To Stand Together.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with no less than thirteen more titles worth an additional $52, including nine Awesome Powers collections, with hundreds of power and dozens of ready-to-player heroes and villains; Crook Book #1 and Comic Character Cavalcade #1-2, with scads more characters; and the Watchmen-like street-level superhero adventure Five Minutes to Midnight. The whole offer gives you every major book in the BASH! line -- plenty to let your heroes fight through a whole Golden, Silver, or Iron Age of comic-book action.

At least one more title will be added later -  When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


Pros, as far as I can see, are that it really is fairly easy to design a character, and the material in the bundle does give you a lot of stuff for any type of superhero game. Cons, characters seem to come out looking a little less 'polished" than in other systems. And my impression (without having played it) is that it won't play much faster than any other superhero RPG, which has always been one of the problems of this genre. Apart from that it looks OK, but the design isn't exactly inspired - the art in the first book is lowish resolution bitmapped graphics, but I can live with that; later books are better in that respect. I think it could do with a little attention from a better layout artist, but that's true of a LOT of RPGs.

This is one I'm certainly going to look at, and I think it's good value for money. Having said that, most people who play superhero games are probably already wedded to one or another system - Champions, GURPS Supers, and the rest - and may not want to try another, so it's probably aimed primarily at newcomers to the genre. If that doesn't apply to you it may be another story.
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A few days ago I posted about thinking of getting a better Canon body, and swapping my main system.

And as if by magic, today's car boot sale bargain was £25 worth of old photographic stuff, mostly fairly naff lenses and converters... but including an Eos 400D body that appears to be in reasonable condition. I don't know for sure at this stage because there is no battery, but I've ordered one with a USB charger and should have it after Worldcon.

Worst comes to the worst, I can probably sell it on as non-working and make a small profit. But if it works well I will think a lot more seriously about switching to the Canon side of the Force.
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This is another I won't be downloading, Palladium's fantasy RPG from 1984, very much an old-school product of its time, with rules for everything and a generic setting I found instantly forgettable. There may be more to it than I remember, I only looked at the game book and one or two of the supplements, but life's really too short... Having said that, it may be of interest if you happen to like the system or want to revive an old campaign, and don't want to go looking for the dead trees:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/PalladiumFRPG

"This offer presents the 1984 Revised Edition of The Palladium Role-Playing Game, Kevin Siembieda's vintage FRPG from Palladium Books. This bargain-priced collection presents a wide range of rulebooks and supplements using the Palladium rules system that also powers the Rifts® RPG. Several of these books include early work by the late Erick Wujcik, later well known for his After the Bomb and Amber Diceless Roleplaying games.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity selected by Palladium Books, the American Red Cross.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$97. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $49.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including The Palladium Role-Playing Game core rulebook Revised Edition (retail price $12.50), Game Master Kit (retail $5), and Game Shield (retail $4.50), plus Book VI: Island at the Edge of the World (retail $10.50), the early adventure The Arms of Nargash-Tor (retail $5), and two sets of Paper Miniatures (retail $6 each, total $12) with standup figures for every Occupational Character Class.

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $48.50 that vastly expand the range of characters, the world, and the scope for adventure: Book II: Old Ones (retail $12.50), Book III: Adventures on the High Seas (retail $12.50), Book IV: Adventures in the Northern Wilderness (retail $8), Book V: 'Further' Adventures in the Northern Wilderness (retail $5), and Book VII: Yin-Sloth Jungles (retail $10.50).

At least one more title will be added later. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


I'm really not very interested, but as usual YMMV.

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Gacked from [personal profile] nelc - What the Doctor Who titles would be like as performed by Tangerine Dream. Interesting...

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 On two panels, one on gaming, the other on fanfic. The first is well within my area of expertise, the other is something I can probably talk about though I tend not to write it.

Horror in Roleplaying Games

Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, 101c (Messukeskus)

Roleplaying games can be all about amosphere. Does dice rolling take away from the horrific feeling? What tips players and game masters have for making sure the players are immersed in the game? In short: how to scare the pants off your players!

Marcus Rowland, David Damerell, Terilee007 (M)


Genderswapping in Fan Fiction

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00, 206 (Messukeskus)

Genderswapping happens quite often in fan fiction and very often it can offer something new to the readers and even reveal aspects of the original work the reader would not have thought about otherwise. The panelists discuss the difficulties in genderswapping in fan fiction and why they like to read and write about genderswapped characters.

Hanne Martelius, Marcus Rowland, Arwen Grune

 

 

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This is one I know virtually nothing about, apart from a friend's opinion that it isn't very playable. There are two offers, one a repeat from 2014, the other new material.


Numenera Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera-2017

"This offer revives (for a second time) our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the science-fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future. This bundle, the second revival of our May 2014 offer (previously revived in December 2014), collects the Numenera core rulebook and the supplements published in the line's first year or so. For this new resurrection we have an all-new companion, the Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery, with many recent supplements -- including one based on the Torment computer game.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$70. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $25) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 418-page Numenera core rulebook, the Gamemaster Screen, and Cypher Collection 1.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $45:
  • Player's Guide (retail $8): The character creation rules and basic mechanics from the Numenera corebook -- a great guide for new players.
  • Ninth World Bestiary (retail $15): More than 130 lavishly illustrated and wildly imaginative creatures and characters in the Ninth World.
  • The Devil's Spine (retail $10): Three adventures in a hard-driving frame story. The terrifying devil's spine graft will claim a life, and the clock is ticking.
  • Vortex (retail $6): Monte Cook's original Gen Con 2013 Numenera launch scenario -- an ideal campaign kickoff in a mysterious temple like nothing the Ninth World has ever seen.
  • In Strange Aeons (retail $3): Incorporate cosmic horror -- the terror of unfathomable reaches of both space and time, and of incomprehensible weirdness -- into your Numenera games.
  • Artifacts and Oddities Collection 1 (retail $3): This companion to the Cypher collection presents 30 new devices and a hundred oddball phenomena to spice up your game.

Numenera Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera2

This Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery presents many recent supplements for the line, including an ebook inspired by the inXile Entertainment computer game Torment: Tides of Numenera.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Numenera Character Options, the Ninth World Guidebook, the Technology Compendium, and the two Maps of the Ninth World collections.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $58:
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera -- The Explorer's Guide (retail $15): Numenera inspired the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment. This 160-page book presents the computer game's setting, the region of Greater Garravia.
  • Into the Deep and Into the Night (retail $15 each): Two sourcebooks that present new frontiers in the ocean and the sky. Includes The Nightcraft (retail $3).
  • Weird Discoveries (retail $10): Ten instant adventures you can run in an evening with minimal prep.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased this offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Numenera resources




This looks very pretty, but you have to wonder about the idea that the human race and human civilization, or something like it to this extent, will survive a billion years, and then survive in a manner that basically resembles a fantasy role playing game, with bits of lost technology etc. replacing magic. My own first impression unfortunately bears out my friend's opinion - it's pretty, but it'd be a sod to run.

Having said that, there's some very good fiction out there using similar settings - Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time and Vance's Dying Earth are obvious examples, as is Hodgson's The Night Land. It might be possible to do something with them, I'm just not convinced that this is the way to do it.

But as usual, your mileage is likely to vary.

Phone woes

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:31 am
ffutures: (Default)
If anyone has tried to phone me at home over the last few days, there's currently a bad fault on the line and it's almost impossible to understand what people are saying or recognise voices - as evinced by a couple of totally incomprehensible answering machine messages. BT say it ought to be fixed tomorrow.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to be causing internet problems so far.

Update - now fixed, sooner than expected.


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