Thursday, January 31, 2019

Daily Disney?

This past weekend the subject of Walt Disney World came up while I was with a group of friends and they asked me how often I could go there. My answer was, "If I lived down there, every damn day." They were puzzled, so I thought I should sit down and explain why there is such an attraction there.

First of all, there are the childhood memories. I'll never be able to ride 20,000 Under The Sea again, but finding the Nautilus images around that area of Fantasyland brings back the fascination I had with the ride. We only went twice when I was a kid, but The Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center left their mark on me.

Secondly, there's just SO MUCH to see. I've been there 6 times in my life and there are things that I haven't been able to search out. I don't mean any of the attractions or restaurants, but the little things that the Imagineers worked in. I just want to wander around Liberty Square or Echo Lake with no deadline, no "we only have X days to get it all done." If I could, I'd take my time and see it all.

Third, there are the special events that I've never seen. We went to Star Wars: Galactic Nights the last time we were there, but we've never been able to make Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party or Very Merry Christmas Party. Yes, they're "extra ticketed events", but with Kira in school we can't go while living up here.

Finally, nothing stays the same. WDW is always growing and changing. Trying to see all the new stuff while visiting old favorites on a vacation trip once every 3 years is just not realistic. If we had the option to go as often as we wanted, we could all be up to date on everything.

Yes, it's a dream to be able to be at the parks whenever we want to go but, as the song says, "Tomorrow is just a dream away."

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Thursday, January 24, 2019


In yet another follow-up post, one of the things that I've seen more than once on Live PD is the concept of a "Traveler" or "Sovereign Citizen". Here's an example:

Now I tend towards libertarian thinking, in that if what you do doesn't harm, or have the potential to harm, someone else then have at it. That's a lot different than these people, though. "I don't like it, so I'm not going to do it and the law doesn't apply to me because of that" is just stupid, especially where driving is concerned.

Not wanting a driver's license is fine, and I know at least one person who doesn't have one and won't get one. However, if you don't have a license, you aren't allowed to operate a motor vehicle. The license indicates not only that you are trained to operate said vehicle, but that you're continually able to do so properly. That's why those that can't have their driving privilege, and it is a privilege and not a right, suspended.

The fact that the officers dealing with this kind of thing can stay as calm as they do is amazing. I don't think I could take that level of stupid every day without losing my mind.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

What'cha gonna do when they come for you?

I'm old enough to remember one of the first "reality" shows on Fox, which followed the men and women of law enforcement. Of course I'm talking about COPS.

As the son of a former Police Officer, this was "must see TV" in our house. It was, of course, edited to give you the most bang for your half-hour buck, but it became it's own cottage industry. The show has lasted for 31 seasons (starting in 1989) and over 1,000 episodes.

The next generation of this type of show started three years ago on the A&E network. (Aside: Does anyone else remember when A&E stood for Arts & Entertainment?) This show is Live PD and does what COPS did, but ... wait for it ... LIVE! That's right, you can ride along with officers on Friday and Saturday nights and see the kinds of things they have to deal with.

One thing that struck me while watching Live PD, which we can now do with an Amazon Fire Stick and Hulu with Live TV, is just how much stupid there is in the country. People driving on a suspended license, others running from the cops over an infraction that would have just gotten them a ticket, and, worst of all, people that tell the officers how to do their job! That's right, there are those out there that tell the police, "You're not going to arrest me." That's right up there with telling them that you pay their salary.

If you have any interest in law enforcement and just what these men and women have to deal with, try and catch either the main Live PD show or the "Police Patrol" spin-off, which gives you certain incidents from the show but continuously. Be warned, though, it's a bit of a rabbit hole.

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Module vs World Creation

Last week I mentioned using a module when I run my Marvel Superheroes FASERIP game (which you can listen to over on the Class 1000 podcast). I thought that I should expound on why I chose that.

The main reason that I'm running a module is that I'm rusty. I've run games in the recent past, but I haven't run a FASERIP game in over 20 years. So I thought that it would be a good way for me to ease into the system again. This way the villains, plot, Karma awards, pretty much everything is laid out for me. That doesn't mean that a GM running said module is on autopilot (especially not with the players I have), but it does make things a bit easier since I know where things are going.

Then there's the fact that Classic Marvel Forever exists. This site has EVERYTHING I could want to run my game, and part of that are the adventure modules. The one that I'm running is something that I don't remember ever coming across, and even if I did I wouldn't remember the particulars. The fact that it's the first part of a trilogy helps quite a bit as well, since I can keep the story going if everyone is having as good a time as I am.

For those systems that I'm more comfortable with, I have no problem creating worlds of my own, even just using the published material as a starting point. That can allow me to be more creative, but I do need that solid foundation of being familiar with the rules as a starting point. I don't think I've ever created a full campaign world from scratch, though. The best that I've ever done is base my world on something else.

What about the GM's out there? Do you prefer modules, world building, or some kind of hybrid?

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Thursday, January 3, 2019


I've done quite a bit of tabletop role-playing in my life and one of the things that gets on my nerves is "Railroading". For those not familiar with the term, it means a set of situations where the Game Master gives the Players a single option and will not allow any other possibilities. In many instances, this can be handled effectively without making the Players, who are controlling the heroes of the story, feel like they have no agency. Playing around with their suggestions and throwing up barriers works, especially if the GM handles it with good humor.

Several instances of Railroading occur when playing through a module, which is a pre-written adventure. In most of those, there are a few options but only one correct one. The game that I'm running for the Class 1000 podcast is like this, which has certain events in a certain order. I try to work with the players, though, to make sure they feel engaged.

The major issue is with GM's that create their own story and they have such a great idea that the players just HAVE to go this way. Again, this can be handled effectively, but when the GM doesn't even give the possibility of other ways to handle the plot, it causes the players to get frustrated. This leads to a game that is completely against the point of playing. It's supposed to be FUN, but taking away the free will of the characters involved sucks all of the fun out of the experience, meaning that the game will fold sooner rather than later.

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