Omakase Amzn

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays 2012 (and new 2013) from JP!

Just a quick hello and holiday message from JP, the genius and senior researcher and writer and owner of Abstruse Decapod.

If you don't want to watch the rather poor quality webcam video, it's just me saying hi and happy holidays and have a better new year in 2013! -JP

Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: Rasslin' Strategy Card Game (1990)

This is a review of the pro wrestling "card game" Rasslin' Strategy from 1990 by Mike Besky. What do a 90s wrestling card game that requires you to watch wrestling and Burt Reynolds have in common? Find out in this titillating episode!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 10 Random Wrestling Name, Wrestler, Move Generator

These new toys for Abstruse Decapod will generate random pro wrestling maneuvers, moves and holds, from both authentic collections as well as creating new and exciting moves using a sophisticated sports-entertainment maneuver-logic algorithm. Just refresh the page for more!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Medieval and Modern Acre Equivalents

I've been  going through documents and websites, trying to reconcile the different values I've seen given for measurements of land, both historically and within different areas of the same place, such as the formula that a hide of land might contain 30-160 acres. I know there is a lot of variability to acres and hides and what they consisted of, but for game purpose, I've created this table that allows you to compare not only historical measurements but also some modern ones from various cultures.

One of the common formulas is "120 Old Acres = 30 Modern Acres". But which "Old Acre"? I'm still not entirely clear, but this should help, though I'm pretty sure I'm going to wind up just fudging for anything I do, and picking a modern acre total that I feel is fitting, probably 40 acres.

Any thoughts for anyone else out there? Clarifications? Questions?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tabletop Tools: Inspiration Pad Pro 3 Free Download

 I've been organizing pdfs and articles i have on writing better adventures and such, to
help me find and focus on all my works of that kind, with the proper references, to get this Inspiration Pad generator thing to work better. It went south when i tried to do too much in the same generator, especially with me not being super-familiar with its scripting, so i'm going to separate them out and go one step at a time - baby steps.

If you haven't seen Inspiration Pad, it's an awesome free (also a pay version) application you can download that lets you easily make random generators out of simple text files, some of them quite sophisticated - most useful for tabletop role playing games (at least for me).

Inspiration Pad Pro 3:

They've got a character sheet designer and fractal mapper and other tools gamers might find helpful.

NBOS also has some neat online generators, which look to have been created with Inspiration Pad Pro, and the results put up on their site as examples.

I hope to be able to make random villains of my own choosing for RPG systems that I can't find that sort of thing for. Maybe random hazards, etc. The possibilities are almost endless!

Green Dragon Adventure: Casual Online RPG Starting Soon!

The Green Dragon Adventure site now has a blog, which potentially could prove to be a "value-added" feature to the main GDA site, with possibly artwork, creative writing, tips and other discussions related to his game, as well as possibly RPGs in general. If you haven't checked it out yet, I urge you to take a look at Green Dragon Adventure's blog and the main site, which will be starting a new game perfect for casual "tabletop" and forum-like RPGers who don't have the luxury of being able to do hours-long online gaming, but can visit regularly at times of their own choosing, to make the "command decisions" for their characters, to engage in adventure!

Green Dragon Adventure

Greed Dragon Adventure Blog:

Greed Dragon Adventure Main Site (sign up to play!):

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TubesDub: Real GB Heck House Vampire LARP

This is an audio re-dub of the Real Ghostbusters animated series episode "Heck House", using animated artwork/video developed by Columbia Pictures and DiC and audio by me.

The guys are invited to play a Vampire the Masquerade, New World of Darkness LARP at a haunted house.

This video may include descriptions or language of a rmature/adult/not-safe-for-work nature and is not recommended for younger viewers.

Please feel free to leave comments and share/like/recommend the video, and I'll try to respond! Have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Thoughts on a Post at RPG.NET about Counter-Intuitive Lessons from Video Games

I was just at RPG.NET and found a topic with some interesting points, posted originally by forum member Lugaru, and I'd like to duplicate my thoughts here, paraphrasing his points:

Gamer cries of "that's not realistic" are really cries of "that's not authentic/intuitive".

I personally like the refinement of the "realistic" issue into "authentic", which only means "authentic to what we expect", not necessarily what is. This is a fine point and the reason you can have arguments about whether zombies "realistically" be killed with head shots or not, or if you can dive away from a 20 foot diameter fireball with no damage. It's not whether it really happens in real life, but whether we can generally agree, "Okay, that makes sense".

Overpowered isn't as bad as repetitive
"Playing Superman is by definition, overpowered. If players can use their overwhelming superpowers to immediately defeat any threat, that is a flaw in game design (or at least GMing).

I would note that this is true, but, having an overpowered or all-applicable tool to deal with almost everything, does tend to LEAD to repetitiveness, so while one may not equal the other, there is a strong correlation that could nearly be a direct evolution, making both almost equally worthy of being on guard against.

Games are timewasters, but don't waste players' time

"Fetch and collecting quests, mini games and long distance walks in video games pad out  the running time, while tabletop games seem to fall into this same pattern with excessive die rolling (to hit, critical, damage, location, etc). Standard actions that should be expected to be routine shouldn't need a roll at all, such as picking a typical lock or eating well enough while in town, unless there's a monster bearing down on you, a battle is going on, food is scarce, etc."

My main issue here is that an example of "picking a standard lock" is mentioned as something that shouldn't even be rolled for, to keep the game flowing, to avoid doing things that by and large, aren't important until a certain situation arises, yet in Point 1 above, it is considered a given that vehicles run out of gas and guns run out of bullets, which, though not explicitly stated, seems to indicate a pretty prosaic adherence to ammo tracking and bookkeeping, which I personally find the worst violator of game flow, bar none. To me, unless there is a REASON to be making tickmarks while you're just in standard combat or driving from one place to another, that should be turned into some sort of resource roll, to leave the mundanity in the background where it belongs, like itemizing every single envelope, piece of string and iron ration you have.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

TubeDub: Heck House Vampire LARP

The Ghostbusters gang of Egon, Ray, Peter and Winston are visited by a creepy stranger who invites them to play a Live Action Role Play of Vampire the Masquerade. Egon unearths min-max strategies, Peter saves Jessica Alba, Ray has trouble with his zipper and Winston can't believe all the bats. Jeanine just wants a hug.

Friday, December 7, 2012

TubDub: Real Ghosbusters - Duh-ry Farm

This is a goofy and not necessarily all that good little video I did. I took a full episode of the animated "Real Ghostbusters" cartoon, developed by Columbia Pictures Television and DiC, and redubbed it with my own voice with the automatically generated Youtube captions, then added a bit here and there to help fill in some blanks, as my first attempt at this kind of thing. I will probably wind up doing my own 'script" for anything else I do, but this was a first for me, and turned out... well enough, considering what I had to work with. I hope you find it entertaining.

External Link

Monday, December 3, 2012

Top Down RPG World Design, Part III: How To Create Random World Maps With GIMP in 36 Easy Steps

This may not be as vital a post as others, if you aren't interested in visually creating your own world map of landmasses,so I recommend those people look into more interesting avenues of text concerns, such as random name generators, for their continents and settlements, etc.

For those that are interested in a way to create your own overland campaign world maps quickly, easily and for free, the 36 items below are presented in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format that requires no artistic ability (with the exception of one step) or even more than basic familiarity with the GIMP application, which is a free image editing software, similar to Adobe Photoshop, but open source and free - my favorite price.

After you have created your continents or landmasses (and you may wind up doing this multiple times to generate various suitable continents, choosing the best one or two from each instance, to put together in one final world map), the next step will be deciding how and where to arrange your landmasses, and you will find a section addressing this point, directly after the steps given for creating random world maps.

For those that find this tutorial too long or unwieldly to read online, I've turned it into a simple, single PDF document you can download and read on your PC at your leisure. {DOWNLOAD}

I've also uploaded a shorter, simplified version (though it has a few errors) of this tutorial, with the steps reduced to 25, as a Youtube video. {WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO}

Click "Read More" below to get into the full tutorial!

Top-Down RPG World Design Part II: Maps and Continents

Before we begin placing continents, we need to refamiliarize ourselves with the nature and features of maps.

Latitude or meridians are lines or bands that run east-west around the globe. There are generally 12 to 24 segments or squares of latitude on most maps, with the easternmost area of Asia sharing a square with the westernmost part of Alaska, in a wrap-around. The primary line of latitude is the Equator, which is located halfway between the north and south poles, at 0 degrees latitude, dividing the world up into the north and south hemispheres, extending from 0 degrees latitude at the Equator to 90 degrees north latitude at the top of the north pole, and 90 degrees south latitude at the part of the south pole nearest the bottom of the map. The Equator is an abstraction representing the halfway point of the rotation of the Earth on its axis.

Longitude or parallels, are north-south lines or bands from the north to south poles. There are generally 6-12 squares of longitude on most maps, with the "top squares" containing most of the north pole, and the "bottom squares" containing most of the south pole/Antarctica. The primary line of longitude is the Prime Meridian at 0 degrees longitude, dividing the world into west and east hemispheres, extending from 0 degrees longitude to 180 degrees south longitude in the southernmost part of the south pole, and 180 degrees north longitude in the northernmost section of the north pole.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Top-Down RPG World Design, Part I: Planet, Continents

This is Part I of hopefully a lengthy series, posted as I graduate to new levels or sections, of a top-down method of creating a game world, starting at the "top" - the celestial body itself. I'll be using Earth and our solar system as my base examples, so let me put its stats up first.

PLANETDIA (MI)SqMiLand%Land SqMiNumCont