Apophenia Evolved

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Code 2 - Greatest Desire

Blood. Blood strained the otherwise white pants like a Roastank blot.

“Come out come out wherever you are.” The sing-song voice drifted closer and closer.

“I’m growing tired of this.” Came the second voice. Bright blinding light filled the dark alley and Rhett was forced to scrambled away, knocking over a garbage can as he went.

Rhett shivered and adjusted the glove on his hand again, his projector was warm to the touch. He couldn’t stop shaking, he could see the outline of his approaching death. He held his breath and huddled in the corner. The fear was worse this time, this time he had been confident and sure of his victory. This was supposed to have been easy, his opponent was supposed to have been a beginner, his opponent was supposed to have been alone.

Rhett waited as the shadows of his opponents passed by him. He continued to hold his breath, second after second, until he was sure that they were gone. He slipped from his hiding stop with a measure of relief. He twitched momentarily when he heard a snap. It took a moment for him to realize that it was because he had stepped on something.

The fear still hadn’t left him, he could still feel it permeating through his bones. He wanted to run, to escape, more then he had ever before wanted to in his life. Yet, he couldn’t, he had to win. He could still remember the haunting voice of the man who had given him his projector. It has been a moonless night then too.


“The power to change, the power to grant your greatest desire.” The man was tall, bearded, and dressed in black just like Rhett had been. Rhett didn’t even look up from that he was kneeling in front of.

“There is no amount power that could quench the loneliness that I feel.” His voice cracked as he spoke, tears still streaming down his cheeks. Rhett didn’t think that he would ever stop crying.

The bearded man took out something wrapping in a piece of cloth from the back at his hip. He unwrapped it slowly before setting the glove on the grave in front of Rhett. The stone embedded in the glove shimmer in the darkness. “No human power is capable of that. To free yourself you must become more then human. Then the serpent will grant your greatest desire. Look up, can’t you see it?”

Rhett raised his head and looked up at the dark sky. Even in the darkness he could see it, a light in the sky. He stared, uncertain is what he was seeing could possible be real, “What is that?”

“That is paradise.”


There was the faint tinkle of glass as Rhett broke a window. He lifted his leg and stepped inside of the dark building. The building belong to a college, so it should probably be abandoned during the night. Rhett sure hoped so. He hobbled down the hallway wincing every time he used his wounded leg. He needed to think of a plan, so way to defeat his opponents. Hey with two of them he didn’t know what he could do, if only he had an ally too.

His projector glowed slightly in the darkness. Rhett lifted it up and looked at it. Is that possible? Could his projector really give him an ally? Then the grow died and Rhett as left standing in the darkness. Of course it would be impossible for it to be able to give him an ally.

Rhett began climbing up the stairs of the building. Maybe if he fought them on the roof then he might be able to beat both of them. As he climbed the last couple of stairs he felt faint and heaved for breath. He could still feel the moisture of his own blood on his leg and he wondered how much blood he had lost.
He stepped out onto the roof. He stepped over toward the rail and collapsed. Now all he needed to do was wait for his two opponents to arrive. It was then that he noticed her, she was sitting on the floor in one of the dark corners of the roof.

The woman was just sitting there staring at the sky.

Ignoring his wound Rhett rushed over to the woman, “You need to get out of here right now!”

Thi stared back at him with a blank look on her face, “Why?”

Rhett began stuttering, he couldn’t just explain the he was going to fight some people here is probably only a few minutes. “It is going to be dangerous here, if you don’t leave now then you could die.” Said Rhett, it was the best explanation that he thought he could give her.

“Maybe it would be better if I died.” Said Thi in the same empty voice that she had used before.

Rhett stood there dumbly for a second, however when he was about to respond he hear a voice from behind him say, “Found You.” He spun to see two figures stepping out onto the roof. Rhett to feel his blood drain away.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

iTunes App Store and Book Updates

There has been a lot of talk recently about the tablet that Apple may or may not be releasing on Jan 27th. One of the things that is speculated to be on the tablet is digital books which can be purchased like apps and music can be now. However I'm not here to speculate over what features the tablet might have, (others are doing a fine job of that) I just wanted to make a comment about benefits that digital books can have over physical ones.

One of the benefits of the App Store is what when the developer finds some bugs they can submit a patch and then the user can painlessly update their copy of the application. If digital books were sold through iTunes then they could be capable of doing the same thing. If there were errors in the text then when the author discovered them they could submit and update and all the users would then have a corrected version of the book.

Also is the books could have extras then the author would be able to submit other writings and information after the book is in the market. This would even book more useful in technical (or manuals) books which authors often try to release quickly after the product is released. Then they could add to the book and fix errors that are pointed out to them by their reader.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What do I want in a Roleplaying Game?

One of the questions I have continually thought about is what I want a roleplaying game to be like. What are the optimal features that I imagine in the "Hypothetical Favorite RPG"?

Non-binary success

After the players roll the dice is isn't just one of them succeeds and the other fails.

Wagers from Houses of the Blooded

Arbitrary Character Elements

Your character should have things about them that give them mechanical bonuses which are character based and can be almost anything that the player wants.

Aspects from Spirit of the Century

Fortes from Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies

Dogs in the Vineyard

Rewards for attempting difficult tasks

Very difficult rolls should have some benefit to the player. Higher difficulties should have some reason the player does not want to avoid them and try for easier rolls.

Advancement in Burning Wheel

Player involvement in narration

The players should have some ability to narrate and add things to the story. These are things that are beyond just their character's ability to interact.

Wagers from Houses of the Blooded

Goal driven characters

It shouldn't just be the GM telling players where to go. The players should also have input on the flow of the plot and what they want to happen.

Beliefs from Burning Wheel

Characters of differing skill levels

There are many stories where the hero is trained by his more skilled colleges. I want there to be both weak and strong characters in a group and not have the players feel like it was unfair.


I'll add other things I want in a game as well as more examples as I think of them.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Question Based Advancement

A recent post over at The Harping Monkey talked about characters and the fact that good characters are based around a question. I thought that was interested and decided that it would be interesting if the character questions went on the character sheet, sort of like the character concept.

However I didn't want it to just sit on the character sheet, forgotten like the character's eye color. To fix that there needed to be mechanic that dealt with the question. What if the question tied into character advancement? What if whenever there was a question about the character that got answers then the character got some sort of advancement.

My current idea is what whenever this happens the player gets to change something about his character to reflect the answer. For example, if you where playing Spirit of the Century then it would allow the player to change one of his character's aspect or swap two skills on his pyramid. Answering Questions seemed to subjective to use to grant people extra experience but it seemed to be a great way to let the player tweak his character.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Falsie the Pseudo-Science Girl

Sometimes something just catches your eye and you suddenly become a fan. While browsing the iTunes Store I just happened to run across Falsie the Pseudo-Science Girl. I immediately purchased the album and listened to it, but the thing that sold me was Falsie. Something about being the Pseudo-Science Girl appealed the geek in me. I'm a bit of an amateur skeptic so that might have been one of the reasons, or maybe it was just the giant wrench.

Falsie the Pseudo-Science Girl.png

I'll give thanks to MOSAIC.WAV for creating the album and Falsie. She managed to make my day better, I hope that she can do the same for you.