This weekend, Fluffy had a belt testing and went out town for the entire weekend. She made her belt and is now a Senior Red in Hapkido. That means only three more belts until Black Belt (Junior Deputy, Senior Deputy, and Black). If everything continues as planned, she should hit her black belt right about the time we are planning on moving to Iowa.

As for me, my weekend alternated between frustrating and good.

First the good: gaming was a stitch. I was depressed for the first two hours or so, but I got into the groove and had some fun. People laughed and enjoyed themselves, which was the point. Bunch of magic items got dropped into the player's hands, including some Heartstone Bracers and female-shape plate which uteck is planning on having shaped to fit him. Interesting characters, interesting locations, and a really cool plot we all came up with that I just have to go with. I actually "killed off" about half the party, but no one really died. There was a nasty botch on one roll so instead of killing them for real, I just gave them a little Wyld mutation that I feel adds to the character. And scienceprincess's character got a third eye which I thought was just a cool visual for basically the party's mage.

The rest of the weekend, not so fun: I had an idea of how to produce a better-quality map with a bit of programming. So, what I thought would be a two day effort to get a prototype (just to see if it works) ended up being two days to get just the windows up and running and a big black screen where I should have a beautifully rendered map of Creation or some other fantasy world. In fact, it is quite depressing in the completely lack of "stuff" I wanted to see. I know that it will eventually work, or I hope it will. I'm going to give it a few days to get out of my head and see if the idea is even viable. Basically, I'm trying to write a Google map based system that lets me generate height maps of a fantasy world, then use that to create the height and depth regions of my vector map. In addition, a good quality terrain map would let me create a bas relief map of a fantasy world. Bas relief happens to be my second favorite type of map.

I also finally got feedback on my Scroll of the Lands:
zenbodhi gave a quickly run-through but he didn't have time before doing the things he does for the Good of Education and Community (i.e. volunteer effort for a good cause). Most of the things he found were just stuff I missed, such as balance points which I feel Exalted is missing anyways but I can at least come up with some answers. However, that was the day after someone from The Freedom Stone forum gave me their feedback. It was a good idea, but it is so far away from the canon rules that they couldn't see why I ever bothered. Its hard to write up game rules, more so when you aren't part of the creative team that actually makes it. I'm not a White Wolf writer and, I suspect, I may never be. The feedback I got was good, but there were parts that I had to say I did on purpose. Such as using all 25 attributes instead of 10 (consistency with normal rules), not having the split attributes (consistency with the normal mechanics), and probably the most important, not being able to use the published stats for dominions because I broke too far away from the basic rules of Mandate of Heaven. I know I broke away, mainly because I feel that the MoH rules are so divorced from the pattern of mechanics that they aren't part of the game.

For example: Normal combat uses ticks (1 tick = 1 second) with actions taking 1-6 ticks each. Mass Combat uses long ticks (1 long tick = 1 minute) with actions taking 1-6 long ticks. Social Combat uses long ticks and actions take 1-6 long ticks. Mandate of Heaven rules have everyone taking turns and random events happen every 3 actions of every one's turn. So, which one of these isn't like the other?

So, I had to split away from the basic rules, but it comes with a cost that will prevent a lot of people from using it. I can give rules to convert back and forth, but you can't use the dominion stats direction from the books. So, people won't use it. Well, after getting pinged (damage) a few time, I wonder if anyone would actually use it.

Though, I'm still planning on finishing up a bit more before I give up.

2007-04-17