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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 25th, 2017 07:19 pm)
This is one I know virtually nothing about, apart from a friend's opinion that it isn't very playable. There are two offers, one a repeat from 2014, the other new material.


Numenera Bundle

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera-2017

"This offer revives (for a second time) our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the science-fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future. This bundle, the second revival of our May 2014 offer (previously revived in December 2014), collects the Numenera core rulebook and the supplements published in the line's first year or so. For this new resurrection we have an all-new companion, the Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery, with many recent supplements -- including one based on the Torment computer game.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$70. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $25) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 418-page Numenera core rulebook, the Gamemaster Screen, and Cypher Collection 1.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $18.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $45:
  • Player's Guide (retail $8): The character creation rules and basic mechanics from the Numenera corebook -- a great guide for new players.
  • Ninth World Bestiary (retail $15): More than 130 lavishly illustrated and wildly imaginative creatures and characters in the Ninth World.
  • The Devil's Spine (retail $10): Three adventures in a hard-driving frame story. The terrifying devil's spine graft will claim a life, and the clock is ticking.
  • Vortex (retail $6): Monte Cook's original Gen Con 2013 Numenera launch scenario -- an ideal campaign kickoff in a mysterious temple like nothing the Ninth World has ever seen.
  • In Strange Aeons (retail $3): Incorporate cosmic horror -- the terror of unfathomable reaches of both space and time, and of incomprehensible weirdness -- into your Numenera games.
  • Artifacts and Oddities Collection 1 (retail $3): This companion to the Cypher collection presents 30 new devices and a hundred oddball phenomena to spice up your game.

Numenera Bundle +2

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Numenera2

This Numenera Bundle +2 - Ninth World Discovery presents many recent supplements for the line, including an ebook inspired by the inXile Entertainment computer game Torment: Tides of Numenera.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these offers' designated charity, Human Rights Watch.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $47) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Numenera Character Options, the Ninth World Guidebook, the Technology Compendium, and the two Maps of the Ninth World collections.
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $58:
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera -- The Explorer's Guide (retail $15): Numenera inspired the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment. This 160-page book presents the computer game's setting, the region of Greater Garravia.
  • Into the Deep and Into the Night (retail $15 each): Two sourcebooks that present new frontiers in the ocean and the sky. Includes The Nightcraft (retail $3).
  • Weird Discoveries (retail $10): Ten instant adventures you can run in an evening with minimal prep.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased this offer automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.

Numenera resources




This looks very pretty, but you have to wonder about the idea that the human race and human civilization, or something like it to this extent, will survive a billion years, and then survive in a manner that basically resembles a fantasy role playing game, with bits of lost technology etc. replacing magic. My own first impression unfortunately bears out my friend's opinion - it's pretty, but it'd be a sod to run.

Having said that, there's some very good fiction out there using similar settings - Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time and Vance's Dying Earth are obvious examples, as is Hodgson's The Night Land. It might be possible to do something with them, I'm just not convinced that this is the way to do it.

But as usual, your mileage is likely to vary.

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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 25th, 2017 11:31 am)
If anyone has tried to phone me at home over the last few days, there's currently a bad fault on the line and it's almost impossible to understand what people are saying or recognise voices - as evinced by a couple of totally incomprehensible answering machine messages. BT say it ought to be fixed tomorrow.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to be causing internet problems so far.

Update - now fixed, sooner than expected.


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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:35 pm)
A plaque I found in a car boot sale (US="Swap meet") today.



Ignoring the slightly dodgy use of photographic terms, it occurs to me that we're already living in a world where a large percentage of photographers have no idea what a negative is...
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:27 pm)
Five years ago I had a disagreement with a friend over whether this article was being overly pessimistic about augmented reality and whether we'd have "hard" AR soon.

Five years later, and this is the state of the art:


Which is, I totally admit, a very neat tech demo. But it's not "there" yet. The FOV is too small, and you can see the real world through it. Although, to be fair, most of the time the real world isn't _that_ distracting, you're definitely not going to be able to "see Victorian gas lamps in place of normal lights" or "have a real Coke can that you want to turn into an AR Pepsi can by drawing a Pepsi logo over the Coke logo".

Ah well, I'll make a note to come back in five years time and see where we are then!
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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:14 am)
Don't usually get up early on Sundays, but today I was making breakfast at nine, looked out of the kitchen window and saw this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_A4_4488_Union_of_South_Africa

Needless to say I did not have a camera handy... It was hauling several carriages and for some reason there was a diesel engine at the tail end of the train, I suspect to provide a backup if it broke down or ran out of coal or something. I'm guessing that the summer steam excursions in and out of Paddington have started again - and it turns out to be The Cathedrals Express, on the route Paddington-Westbury-Yeovil Pen Mill, Weymouth-Southampton-Paddington

http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t17/t0723d.htm

Unfortunately it's £100+ per seat, I suppose worth it if you're a steam enthusiast but I made enough long steam journeys in my childhood to satisfy me, I think.
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([personal profile] original_aj Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:08 pm)
So I'm watching the Tour coverage on ITV4, and therefore having to endure ad breaks for a change. On comes a McDonalds ad which is soundtracked with the Buzzcocks' "What Do I Get?" - not surprisingly they don't play the "Nothing at all" line!
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 21st, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 20th, 2017 01:46 pm)
When I saw that it had won the 2017 Spiel des Jahres I took a look at Kingdomino. On discovering that it was only £15, and that games could be played in about 15 minutes I decided to pick up a copy.

So far I've played games with both [personal profile] swampers and [personal profile] danieldwilliam and both of them picked it up quickly and enjoyed playing it.

It's based (surprisingly enough) on the idea behind dominoes - or, at least, the part of dominoes where you have tiles with two ends and need to match them against each other. In this case the different ends are different terrains (grass, mountain, etc), and you score by forming areas of the same terrain*. Each turn you have to make a judgement between going for the tiles that score the highest, versus going for lower-scoring tiles which allow you make the first move the next turn.

I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely taking it on holiday. If you're looking for a filler game then it'll do a great job of that.



*It's a bit more complex than that, but not a lot.
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 20th, 2017 11:24 am)
 ...seems to be an attempt to weaken most of Britain's human rights protection. There's a petition against it here:

https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/save-our-rights

spread the word.

gacked from [personal profile] history_monk 


I posted yesterday about the media using "X defends against accusations" as a way of making you think that there are widespread attacks on them.

47 people clicked through to that post from Facebook. 5 from Twitter.

The 5 from Twitter all did so within an hour of the post going up.

The 47 from Facebook did so over the course of the following 12 hours (19 of them within an hour, but then an ongoing curve downwards).

Which indicates to me that Facebook does a pretty good job of knowing when something is interesting to my friends, and keeping it "active" for a while, whereas Twitter sweeps it away near-instantly, and unless it really grabs people it's gone.

And looking at my overall referrer stats, Facebook gets between three and six times the number of clicks that Twitter does.

(Just had a look at my actual LJ statistics too - yesterday I had 145 readers, of which 100-ish were reading via their friends-page and 45 were going direct to my posts/journal. Sadly I don't get the same info from DW, but Google Analytics tells me that 78 people visited that post on DW.)
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm)
I've seen this twice in the last week - a newspaper talking about the BBC "defending" the new Doctor Who choice against "angry fans". And then this morning the Game of Thrones director "defends" the Ed Sheeran cameo.

And both times I'm left wondering how many people were actually attacking. Was half of the population of Who-dom out attacking this choice? Or was it actually about 1% of them being noisy enough on Twitter that the newspapers could manufacture a story out of it?

Similarly, I suspect that the vast majority of people don't really care if Ed Sheeran pops up for 10 seconds in the show, does a perfectly average acting job for his two lines, and is never seen again. But that's not a story. And the way to make it a story is to not mention how many people are upset at something trivial, and leave things vague enough that it _could_ be the case that half the population of the country are waving pitchforks outside the studios, rather than seven people having a rant on Twitter.
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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 19th, 2017 12:23 am)
Picked up one of these lenses for my Canon a few days ago, took it out to the park and took some test photos on Tuesday. I think it's actually pretty good, and considering I got it for £30 I'm very pleased. One picture of berries is a bit out of focus, I think I simply got closer than the minimum for the lens without noticing, the rest are OK. Gallery here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZyx37y

I'm beginning to think more seriously about switching to Canon as my main system, but I'd want a better camera body, say 12 megapixels or better. The other thing I'd want to add is a longer zoom with some macro capability, the only other lens I've currently got is an 18-55. Whereas my most used Nikon lens is a 28-300 Tamron with macro capability. Any recommendations?
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([personal profile] ffutures Jul. 18th, 2017 06:34 pm)
This is one I'm fairly sure I'm not interested in, but it's supporting Doctors Without Borders and tastes do differ:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Rifts

Kevin Siembieda's Rifts® is set on a future Earth shattered by countless otherworldly invasions. This all-new collection, the debut of Palladium Books in the Bundle of Holding, is a well-rounded set of complete .PDF ebooks that give players and Game Masters everything they need for a campaign of mind-blowing, dimension-spanning adventure across a transformed North America.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Doctors Without Borders.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$82.50. Customers who pay just US$17.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $38.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 384-page Rifts® Ultimate Edition™ (retail price $20), plus the Rifts® Primer (retail $3), Rifts® Sourcebook One™ Revised Edition (retail $10.50), and the Game Master Kit with useful play aids and pregenerated characters (retail $5).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more supplements worth an additional $44, including three World Books -- Juicer Uprising™ (retail $10.50), Psyscape™ (retail $10.50), and New West™ (retail $12.50) -- and the location supplement MercTown™ (retail $10.50).

At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.


I'll be honest - I own some of this system in dead tree format but I was never really that interested in the setting, and found it a bit rules-heavy. Having said that, it's one of the first true multi-genre RPG systems, and its take on putting the genres together is unusual, although not one I'd really want to run. As usual your mileage may vary.
 


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([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 18th, 2017 12:00 pm)
.