Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I appreciate the thoughts. I know that a lot of people have worse problems in the gut, but after 37 years of struggling with different stomach weaknesses I get frustrated.

Sue is tending to me and trying to make me stay still and eat carefully. I find that Yogurt (My favorite is Stonyfield Whole Milk, but there are several Varieties that taste good.) calms the system nicely. To four heaping Tablespoons of Yogurt I add one tablespoon of ground flax (To keep the system going, so to speak) and a teaspoon of jam (usually Bilberry as it helps vision). I do that 3-4 times a day.

Once I had a doctor tell me that the "flora and Fauna" of my gut was not adapting to "modern crafted" foods I started moving to organics. Now that I am on them the stomach problems are not constant. That means that when they strike it is unusual and I am not used to the pain the way I used to be. So now I find myself doubling over when the pain spasms hit when before I would have just gritted my teeth and went on. I am just not used to it.

It also means that whenever I let the commercial foods slip into the diet because it is convenient, or I'm at Cons, holidays or just plain lazy, the gut pains strike.

Since most people have not had a problem adapting to the new additives and chemicals in the food, it is difficult for them to understand when I say I can't eat at a family get-together. Sometimes they even get insulted. It makes for a good excuse to eat some of that yummy commercial food, but I have to stop that.

The best side effect of the organic plan is that I have lost 56 pounds since I headed this way. Admittedly that is only 20 pounds a year, but with the looming government health regulations, we all need to slim down to stay out of trouble. (Yea, I can smell those well meaning weight fascists coming towards us. Why is it that the government always wants to regulate the wrong things?)

I better quit NOW. My paranoia says to keep my mouth shut.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It has Returned, not good.

My gut infection has reared its ugly head again. The blood and pus is running through, but it should not be in me anyway.

As some of you know all too well, stomach problems are no fun. I'm afraid that it is ultimatley my own fault that it is back. I have let a number of noxious comerrcial foods to return to my diet.

The result is that I am temporarily out of action as movement is causing me dizziness, and other less attractive reactions.

I will be able to fix this as long as I eat very carefully and just clear the system and the mind.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Core Game Stats Talk

Defense is the targets basic ability to deflect damage from physical, mental and magic damage. The character's card Defense is subtracted from all damage that targets Health Points. Additional Defense for specific types of damage, such as physical, spells, warp or od, comes from equipment worn, active spells and the powers and skills of the character. The attacking items, spells etc. may have special rules relating to Defense on them and they would supersede the General Defense rule here.

The maximum Defense that may be applied to any single damage dealing attack is 10. Even if equipment, spells and Powers give a greater number, Defense is capped at 10.

NOTE: This is different than the DS system. First, it is designed to be simpler in that it seperates DEF from outside items and the cards basic DEF. Second, it applies across the board to all damage, simplifying the use. Third, because it is used universally it will be smaller. Natural DEF will rarely go beyond 3. Fourth, DEF is capped at 10. This is essentially a way to keep danger in every encounter, no matter the characters experience and the characters value. It also gives everyone a chance to help, no matter how inexperienced they are.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Comic

I have posted the Accommodations comic on Sue's website. There is a link on the Master Links page and, of course, It is right here.

This is a new format/layout for a comic we have had up before. Sue is working on comics again and we are working out the format to publish it on line with.

We had a good game sunday night. The characters have discovered an area with "dirty" Valarians. The dirty Valarians are being lead by a Pylos Agent. They now know that the problem goes up the ladder, so no help there. The local Mentor and War Master are with the Pylos/Black Bane team. Their only allies so far are a couple of Valarians who have been waiting for help, marauding orc raiders and the agents of the Necromancer Dyson Brickwall. The local elethay temple is headed by a secret Jikadell Priestess working for Black Bane. One of the acolytes is a Jikadell agent for Dyson Brickwall and is an aide to the characters. All very confusing. If it were not for a heroic blocking move by Iesha, a character would have died. She took the hit that would have finished Tank.

From the outside the characters look like rogue valarians teamed with Dyson Brickwall against the Elethay temple and local Valarians. If they fail to get evidence they will be branded as rogues and booted.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Next Stat: Ranged

The Ranged stat is intended to reflect the effectiveness of the character with missle type weapons ranging from slings, bows, javelins, beer mugs, blasters and slug throwers. The Ranged stat would be added to all ranged attacks.

The card stats will be primarily for combat and what you add to the character will be the role-playing skills.

Most role-playing bonuses will be in the cards/skills that the character adds.

Special situation contest rolls will have there own section in the rules. We can collect the questions from you guys and then do a list of "if this, then roll this"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Stat Talking: Melee

Melee as a Stat. Melee is intended to represent the characters skill bonus in melee combat. It may be strength or natural skill that is used to do damage in melee combat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Card Value

Ongoing Game notes, look below if this does not make sense by itself.

The Card Value may be in terms of Card Points (CP), Experience (EX), or monetary (GP).

Card points means it can be used by/added to a character or Cast member. When used by a Cast member it is also the EX Value.

Experience value is the points awarded for encountering the card during play. This is usually found on a Cast Member, Location or Trap. We use encountering to express that surviving can teach as much as winning.

GP. Gold is the basic monetary unit in the system, although it could be Credits etc. These are things you buy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wildly Meandering Mind

I am slowly expanding the "stuff" I am covering here. The idea that I post my thoughts means that I post what I'm thinking about. If you get confused by the range of topics, well, thats where my mind seems to have travelled.

Since I am having trouble getting back to the Mark's Mysteries podcast I have started putting up links to interesting podcasts on that blog. At least it is one less thing for here.

I have been very slowly working on the Susan Van Camp core rules system for RPG's. We actually have three games we would really like to do, but we need a simple format to pour them into. (Prismatics, Three Worlds, Questing are Alpha titles.)

The starting point is to create a set of characteristics that can be easily explained to new people and will cover fantasy, science fiction and other genres. What we have so far is on the card sample you are about to look at. I'll go into more details as I go along. I may need to create a blog just for covering the progress on the core rules.


Well then, Have a good one all!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Everything is fine in Flint

Well, saturday off started fine, then it headed downhill.

We had a chinese lunch at a place called Hong Kong Buffet in Flint. The service was good, the people were nice. OK, thats the high point. The buffet had a good selection, reasonable price, fresh food and rather bland taste. The Buffet was just OK. What you do not want to do is order off the menu. Sue ordered Almond Boneless Chicken. What she got was bland and did not even resemble Almond Boneless Chicken. Sue did not eat it and complained. They said they would just charge for the buffet. When we got the bill, it was not that way.
My feeling: Find somewhere else to try. Buffet average, service good, menu poor. I did find three glowing reviews of this place on-line. I do not know where those people ate, maybe the restaurant has gone downhill since those reviews.

We had rain all day saturday, 5 inches in all. I headed down the basement to be sure our dehumidifier was running. I found water, and not water I wanted. We bailed out a 100 gallons of water and called for sewer help. We moved out all of our equipment out of the basement and now the house is a mess. It is going to take a couple of days to get things in shape around here. The worst part is that it is still frakkin raining. Tonight it is supposed to rain. What a surprise. At least our sewer is working now.

Sue is down at the Flint Farmers Market selling today, so I'm on clean-up duty and I'm scheduled to get the new art pages for Sue's website done. With all of the copyright silliness going on I am having to tag every piece of artwork with a creative common license. For most we are using Non-commercial, attribution, no change copyright. That means people can use the images for personal use, but they have to attribute the work to Sue. I have about 130 pieces ready to go, now I need to make the pages.

Well, off to work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughts meandering about

Each day in my life is slightly different. If I approach it with care I can, over time, change the course of my life. Wish me luck on that one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Something Different RSS Feeds, What they do.

I am in a position of needing/wanting to keep track of what is being written by our community on our sites and the comments that you make. I am going to go through and show how I made "shortcuts" for keeping track of blogs. I know this is simple for some people, but I really haven't seen a "starter" description of RSS anywhere. If I had, I might have been using it a lot sooner.

In the address window of the browser you will see an "RSS" button at the far right of the screen. When you click on that (RSS) button it takes you to a text page. You want to bookmark that page. Your browser will now put a number behind the bookmark telling you how many new posts are on the page when you start the browser.

I have put a folder on my bookmarks bar to put these in. When I start up the folder carries the number of new posts in it telling me there is new stuff to read.

Many of the pages also allow you to use an RSS feed on the comments as well. Really useful on the dsbeta board. I could not find an easy way to bookmark the RSS comments, so the following works on blogger but not live journal.

Start by looking at the info in the address window when you are looking at the RSS feed page for Mark's Daily Thoughts. It looks like:

To get the comments feed you need to delete the (posts/default?alt=rss) part of the address. Type in (comments/default) instead. You end up with the following in the address bar:

Once it is typed in the address bar, you "click" on return and you will be on the RSS feed for the comments of the page. Bookmark that page and name it something like "Mark's Daily Comments". You can now quickly see what new comments have been posted by me and what new comments have been added.

The comments tracking works on Blogger. I have not found a way to do that on Live Journal, but if anyone knows that one, I, and others, would like to know it.


A little Slow

I'm going a little slow. For some reason I have a headache that keeps coming back.

Sunday nights game went well. The party split up and are scouring the village of Wellsville in search of a spy and her network. In the process they are finding problems in the villages society that don't seem to match their views of what an Elethay/Valarian village should be like. Something is wrong in Wellsville that may be deeper than just a spy.

As you can see from the link above, I know have an Amazon store. I'll be adding "stuff" to it as I go along. If you have suggestions as too which way I should take it, let me know.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Morning

It has been raining here for three nights in a row. It has an effect on my allergies and joints which I do Not appreciate. Slows me down. I tried a Feverview pill this morning for the headache. It seems to be helping. I find trying different things works better. I think the body gets used to a single pain killer and starts ignoring it.

I really want to break out more time to work on a new simpler game using the same system. Dragon Storm has become an advanced game system. Nothing wrong with that, it just shows it is flexible. We need a simpler game to get people started. They can move upward to DS if they want.

My biggest problem is that there is a lot of projects that Sue and I want to do and I'm having trouble prioritizing them. I seem to skip from one to another as soon as I get a little tired of one, I move to another. Not the best way to complete anything.

Well, Trouble is giving me bathroom eyes. When a 17 1/2 year old dog wants something, he gets it. He still has those puppy eyes. He may not move well anymore, but he has not forgotten a single trick.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Working with Sue today.

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day off, but Sue and I started talking and pretty soon we were both back to work.

I added a new blog for covering cons. The idea is that our players can help us, and themselves by digging up con information and passing it on to the community. I took the time to add a long link list on the page to get people to all of our resources. I have to put in a tip of the hat here to pixiejorge for her Pentacon info. Thanks!

The new market is moving along now. I need to make commentary for every frakkin' card as we go along. The work will go faster now because Tonya is helping out. I set up the a page that I could use as a template to make pages. She is doing the detailed work of making the pages work. She has already sent back the first two Universal pages and I uploaded them. My thanks to her as well.

The talks we had here covered a lot of territory. We have decided to move forward with several projects. We will be doing them as a series of interlinked projects. What that means is the we are working on a new game/comic/podcast/set of blogs/demo arrangements etc. all at once. The Prismatic Circle Wizards hint in the Wizard background card on the DS beta page is a hint as to one of the games we are working on.

So, That is it for todays general information.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Many Projects on the Plate

I have a series of projects I need to be working on and I am rather poor at rating them by importance.

Print special order art, update etsy, update e-bay, DS market work, SVC website, DS website, DS podcast, MM podcast, creature book, check my RSS feeds for updates (gotta keep an eye on you...), twitter, ghoul article, vampire article, new game 1, new game 2, set mission 01 for print, get new DS cards to Sue for art, e-mails, blog, get new cards on dsbeta, edit ds beta cards, learn something new, convention updates.

Well, I need to get started. I think I'll start by checking up on DS Flunkie...