Friday, December 26, 2008

The Truth is Out There



As part of my research for a new pulp sci-fi Swords & Wizardry setting entitled Anacreon Zeta, I've been watching lots of UFOlogy videos. Judge for yourself if I've been watching too many of them - I certainly feel like I've lost some Sanity Points.

Richard Hoagland, a former consultant on the space program for NBC, is best known for the Face on Mars and other photographic anomalies. Here he talks about both Mars and the Moon.

Project Camelot Interviews Richard Hoagland
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

John Lear is an ex-test pilot and Air America man who has been doing the UFO circuit for a while. Probably best known for his relationship to the Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar. Lear comes off a lot like that uncle of yours who has some rather off-the-wall ideas (air on the moon) and wants to tell you over Christmas dinner.

Project Camelot Interviews John Lear: Flying into the Sun

Project Camelot John Lear Tells All
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Dan Burisch has a very intersting story to tell. He claims to have been working as a microbiologist for Majestic 12 since the 80s. The story gets a lot more interesting from there - stargates and time travelling humans from the far future.

Project Camelot Dan Burisch Interview

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This lecture concerns Dr. Burisch's more recent independent research in microbiology which also has some very anomalous results - revivication and mutation of dead cells!

Dan Burisch Cal-State Lecture
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Secret Space 1 & 2 are two documentaries from the UFOlogist Chris Everard. A decent overview of the more recent (90s onward) trends in the field.

Secret Space 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Secret Space 2

Dan Ackroyd has been a long time believer in the UFO phenomenon, and has experienced and seen some things himself. This video features Dan and the ufologist David Sereda discussing several NASA space shuttle videos that purport to show UFOs in action.

Dan Ackroyd Unplugged on UFOs

This documentary covers much of the same material, with interviews with several other leading UFOlogists.

Black Box UFO Secrets Revealed

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

These two documentaries feature Dan Ackroyd and David Sereda. Several pieces of NASA footage are dissected and examined with surprisingly convincing results.

Evidence: The Case for NASA UFOs Part 1

Evidence: The Case for NASA UFOs Part 2

This is an unaired documentary about Roswell that features interviews with many of the people involved from the incident in the 40s onwards.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

In Search of Ancient Astronauts with Rod Serling was the beginning of the In Search Of series. Originally released in the early 70s, this documentary covers the Eric von Daaniken hypothesis later popularized in the 90s by Graham Hancock and others.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This video has footage from Russian sources and commentary, including a Russian alien autopsy vid.

Russian UFO Secrets
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Finally, a speech by Phil Schneider detailing his experiences working at Area 51. Shortly after this speech, Schneider was found dead in his hotel room under very suspicious circumstances. Read what you want into that.

Phil Schneider Speech
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Superior Scribbler Award



Shiro, one my sparring partners over at the RPGsite has nominated me to be a Superior Scribbler. Lest my furiously pounding ego get the best of me, let me just say thanks!

Now, on to the rules of the game, as it were:

- Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
- Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
- Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
- Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (scroll down). That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
- Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

So, my nominations in no particular order -

The Delver's Dungeon: Author, adventurer, old school headmaster and friend.

Elliot Wilen's RPG theory/design/philosophy journal: Crunchy analysis, with snacks!

The Generator Blog: Random is Good. This much random is better!

Zhodani Base: The jump point into the best Classic Traveller content imaginable

Crit or Cruddy: Middle-aged gamer dad - just might be my twin brother.

Sci Fi City Blocks II



Another spot of editing today, and a new pdf of the Science Fiction City Blocks. I've reformatted the tables, and added a few more along with some artwork. Grab the free pdf, and start building your city of the future today.

Scifi City Blocks.pdf

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Weird Science Mark II

After cleaning up a few proofreading mistakes and adding a page of mad inventions, here's Mark II. I'll let RedPriest explain how it works in practice:

Muahahahahaha!!!!!

I've done it! I've done it! Well... I've almost done it!!! At last, I've developed the world's... nay.. THE GALAXY's!! first Microsopic Visor Siege Device!!! Muahahahaha!! Again, I say.. muahahahaha!!

Okay. Well,it's only a prototype. And, it needs an enormous amount of power.. say.. oh.. on the order of 2.42 gigawatts of power generated by 7.7 × 10-19 m subsonic wavelengths, and it still breaks down ... a lot. But!!! But, it can be constructed quickly .. well, quickly enough for a microscopic visor anyway.. from ordinary household items!!!

Okay.. okay .. there was this one setback .. nay.. NAY.. it is a FEATURE! During Prototype Test 1.1.3.4.5.A-zed, the visor didn't just knock down the test-target wall.. it ATOMISIZED it!!!! Now.. if I could only recreate that event.


Here's the new link: WEIRD SCIENCE.pdf

Enjoy, and make sure to send me your prototypes wrapped in brown paper, marked Dangerous! Do Not Open, and always with a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope inside.

Weird Science - Random Gadgets & Strange Machines



Kellri's Weird Science is a short pdf compatible with all science-fiction and pulp roleplaying games. Inside you'll find a complete system for creating oddball inventions from death ray projectors to time machines. Also included is a system for handling player or NPC research, with all of the breakthroughs and pitfalls you expect. So, what are you waiting for? Download the article, grab some dice and a pad of paper, and start your career as a mad scientist today!

WEIRD SCIENCE.pdf

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gene Weigel's Dungeon



Alright, boys & girls...put on your Viking helmet, roll a fatty, put the Red Bull on ice and prepare to go DEEP! Chain-smoking Ron Jeremy-lookalike madman Gene Weigel has a big six-part dollop of old-school gold up on the Tube. Forget about all those genteel reviews, ass-kissing celebrity gamer vids, live LARPing tomfoolery, and 3tard fanboy frippery...this is the shit you've REALLY been waiting for, even if you didn't think so at first. This is not a documentary, or a simple filmed play session - this is a vision of gamer heaven - you need never grow up or grow old, you just start smoking, drinking, and flipping the bird a whole lot more.

Yeah...it's Against the Giants. And you gotta approach it like you would some avant-garde Japanese movie or maybe a high weirdness Subgenius thing. Geek Zen. These guys have refined their cheetoism down to the point where actually doing something recognizable as roleplaying is no longer necessary to keep that old gestalt engine humming at Warp 8. And atmosphere! ...it's like a cross between the vault in LOST, the basement in Silence of the Lambs, and the first place you ever got high AND heard Black Sabbath. Oh, and it's got some bizarre music choices - Sex Pistols karaoke into classic country into classical... By the Gawds, this is Hackmaster come to life!

For those about to rock...I salute you. I'd salute Gene too, but he already rocks. Me? You can find me drinking mead in Weigel's Valhalla.

Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part I
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part II
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part III
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part IV
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part V
Gene Weigel's Dungeon Part VI

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scifi/Cyberpunk Random Urban Blocks



After a thought-provoking post on the RPGsite and in the glow of my new Christmas tree, I put together a quick set of universal tables for randomly building city blocks. With a little work, they should serve equally well with most science fiction, science fantasy, or cyberpunk RPGs. Populating the blocks is up to you, depending on what your campaign style is. If you want a rough-and-tumble gang-controlled sprawl, take a look at my Wild in the Streets.pdf for some suggestions. Anyways, enjoy and comments are welcome!

Scifi Urban Blocks.pdf

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fantasy Random Terrain Generation



An off-the-cuff terrain generation system. Not tested, but food for thought. Feel free to suggest changes.

1) Start with a 36 x36 hex campaign map with minimal detail. Divide that into 6 x 6 hex areas we'll call subsectors.
2) First rough in any sea coasts, large mountain ranges or other pre-defined features.
3) Roll on the following table to fill in additional general features.

% dice Roads or Water
--------------------------
01-10 No Road or Water
11-15 Major Road
16-20 Underground Cave/Sinkhole
21-60 River/Stream
60-65 Drover's or Hunter's Paths
65-79 Marsh
80-84 Badlands or broken lands
85-95 Road & Stream
96-00 Road & Marsh

1d4 Direction
-------------------------
1 N-S or S-N
2 E-W or W-E
3 NW-SE or SE-NW
4 NE-SW or SW-NE

NOTE: The roads and streams should be linked up with adjacent subsectors, so GM discretion in marking the map is required.

4) Roll for the presence of settlements in the subsector. Place as you prefer.

% dice Typical Settlements
------------------------------------------
01-15 None
16-45 1 Village
46-65 2 Villages
66-80 1 Town
81-00 1 Village, 1 Town
95-00 1 City

Note: If you prefer, assess a 5-10% chance the settlement is in fact, ruined, uninhabited or serving as a lair.

5) Roll to determine if there are any special sites.

Frequency
--------------------------
Wilderness - 1d4 rolls per subsector
Civilized - 1d6 rolls per subsector

% dice Special Sites
--------------------------
01-65 None
66-75 Lair
01-25 Subterranean Dungeon/Caverns
26-00 Surface Encampment/Settlement
76-80 Fortification (Tower/Castle)
01-50 Subterranean Dungeon
51-85 Surface Fort/Castle
86-00 Aerial/Undersea Structure
81-85 Shrine or Sacred Site
01-25 Druidic Circle/Leyline/Sacred Grove
26-46 School or Monastery
47-00 Temple or Shrine
85-86 Inn/Tavern/Caravanserai/Oasis
87-93 School or Monastery or Training Grounds
01-25 School
26-46 Monastery
47-00 Training Grounds
94-99 Tomb or Cemetary
00 Extra-Planar Gate or Portal

6) Locate or place the special sites and settlements you have just generated for the section. As each subsector is 6x6, roll 1d6 for both x and y coordinates. Again, you should exercise discretion or forego the random placement altogether.

7) Check for major inhabitants of the subsector. Attach them to generated settlements/lairs at your discretion

1d6 Habitation Status
--------------------------
1-2 Inhabited (roll below)
3-6 Uninhabited

% dice Inhabitants
--------------------------
01-34 Humanoids
35-84 Humans
85-95 Demihumans
95-00 Non-human Monsters (roll again below)

% dice Monsters
--------------------------
01-15 Giants
16-20 Inimical (Gith, Mindflayers, etc.)
21-30 Lycanthropes
31-45 Undead
46-60 Giant animals/insects
61-70 Fey
71-80 Aerial/Elemental
81-90 Aquatic creatures
91-00 Prehistoric/Dinosaurs

8) For additional details of any of the above sites, features or groups refer to the JG Wilderlands tables, CDD 4 or the DMG.

Final Note: Start with some random data and then delve deeper. Ideally, you should use this method to fill in areas around your own more detailed, handcrafted sites or to spur your own creativity. The dice are not a replacement for common sense and the tables are limited where you are not.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

HPL, CAS, and REH on the Tube


H. P. Lovecraft by Bruce Timm

Last night I came across this fine BBC audio documentary about HPL. There's no video, just a slideshow, but the documentary is pretty comprehensive and has interviews with several of the leading HPL scholars like Joshi et. al.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

And here's a student film of HPL's The Thing on the Doorstep

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Here's Robert E. Howard's Texas

Then and Now

And excerpts from a biography of REH

Part 1
Part 2

A reading of a couple of Clark Ashton Smith's poems
Cats in Winter Sunlight
Ashes of Sunset

Finally, a slideshow of Weird Tales covers

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gamma World - Random Settlement Generation



Today I have a series of 10 formatted random tables for the GM to use when fleshing out anything from a small encampment to an Ancient installation. It works together nicely with the Settlement Record Sheet also available for download here. This pdf is part of my DeEvolution Series for 1st & 2nd edition Gamma World, although it is equally useable with Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future. To create a settlement, simply roll as directed on each table from #1-#10. As always, if you're unhappy with the results, just roll again. It's your game. Enjoy!

GW_SettlementsGen.pdf

NOTE: Broken link/Corrupted file fixed (12/3/08) Thanks Ken!