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Dom Mooney's Website

Jul 2007

Qin - The Warring States

Qin RPG cover

As I mentioned on the main blog, I've been reading through Qin: The Warring States, which is a superb Ancient Chinese Wuxia style RPG. I've been really impressed with this, even though in some places the English suffers from being translated. This isn't to the games' detriment though, being more of a stylistic issue as the structure shows its French roots, reading more like a text-book. However, the content is excellent, in both the context of the game engine and the context of the background. Reading the book made me want to play it, which is always a good sign. I think I'd take this over some of the Japanese style games any day.

I recommend this wholeheartedly, and the PDF version is a steal at $10 on RPG Now.

Boys and Toys...

So how do I drive this?

I've added some new pictures onto Flickr, which include the Great Yorkshire Show and Darcey Finta's Christening. I love the one above with Nathan in it. My mum had hired a motobility scooter for the day, as she is in a lot of pain with her knee while she waits for her NHS hospital appointment to replace a large bit of it. (Wow! 3 hip replacements and a knee replacement – My mum is becoming the bionic woman! However, I'd rather she never had to go through any of this because it's put her in a lot of pain.) Nathan sat on her lap and loved the whole experience. He wanted to try and drive it himself, as you can see from the picture.

Nathan struggled a bit for the second week running last night, as he's really started teething now. A week ago he had two teeth erupt, and another three nearly break through properly. He was hurting badly, and for a while the Calpol and Calgel just weren't doing it for him. Fortunately, I think a combination of the painkillers and exhaustion got him to sleep. Last night saw a repeat, with two more teeth arriving. Surreally, these were two additional ones, not the ones that are on the cusp of breaking through. I guess it's a good time for them to be arriving, as I'd rather loose sleep at the weekend than during the week. He's moving steadily into solids now, and just coming out of a variety of pureés. Sometimes the mess is quite impressive.

It's been a good weekend - I've finally managed to start to get some of my less wanted gaming material scheduled to go up onto eBay tonight. If you're interested, have a look at seller ID Cybergoths sometime after 10 o'clock, as I start to clear duplicates and rarely used items. This is a great step forward as it had been something that Jill and I had started onto before Christmas when we were just two and a cat!

Qin RPG cover

I've been reading through Qin: The Warring States, which is a superb Ancient Chinese Wuxia style RPG. The production quality is excellent, and the game system is slick. It's a bit disquieting to find out that the French publisher has somewhat messed up the English language release with virtually no publicity. I don't do Chinese / Japanese Wuxia style stuff (usually), but this has really tempted me. The PDF version is currently 10 US dollars, and well worth checking out. I hope it does better as its reputation spreads, which it seems to be doing now. And if you're wondering what Wuxia is, think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House of Flying Daggers.

Currently feeling: Relaxed
Currently listening to: Spent the afternoon listening to Queen, and singing along with Nathan!
Currently reading: Qin - The Warring States (a Chinese based historical RPG).

A Gaming Desert

I'm kind of feeling like I'm living in a gaming desert at the moment, as every time I try and organise an RPG session the whole thing falls apart at the last minute. Last night I was meant to be running my Savage Worlds game, They Came From Beyond Space, which is a spoof on the old 1950s B-Movies. This was the game that was cancelled back a month ago because of the bad weather from the flood in Sheffield (see post here). Tonight, it was cancelled due to a broken Skype headset and a family commitment. The negative side of me feels like this is never going to happen. I'm certainly getting fed up of preparing for a game and then canceling it at the last moment. Aside from this I've not played a game since Furnace last October, and it's starting to nag at me. Hopefully next time...

I guess on the positive side, I had a lovely day at the Great Yorkshire Show with Jill, Nathan and my parents last week (photos soon) and this Monday saw me playing badminton for the first time in a year. I ached somewhat the next two days. Work isn't at its best at the moment, with a number of set backs. Fortunately, Jill and Nathan keep me sane, especially when he smiles. He's just discovered his fingers. And he's threatening to crawl as he gets more mobile. Could be fun.

Currently feeling: Down/Tired.
Currently listening to: Delerium / Poem
Currently reading: Qin - The Warring States (a Chinese based historical RPG).

Nathan's Food and Drink!

It's been a while (nearly a month) since I last posted any pictures of Nathan onto Flickr. We'll I've corrected that oversight, and you can have a look at the results the usual way (by clicking on the photos themselves or by going via the thumbnails here).

I love food!
This one was while he was enjoying a meal - he's really getting into solid food (well, pureés) now and loves to get it everywhere and throw the spoon around!

Milk or Beer?
This one has Nathan facing a hard choice! Beer or milk?

The other BIG development today is that one of his teeth has finally broken through! Obviously, this makes us an excited and proud mum and dad, but it does mean that he's also in a lot of pain and finding it hard to sleep!

Currently feeling: Wet.
Currently listening to: Maximo Park
Currently reading: The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

Don't go on the new Safari!

Link to Apple's Safari pages.
I stopped using Apple's Safari Web-browser some time ago, not because it performed poorly but because, after a particular security update, it refused to hold the log in details for one of the BBSes that I visit regularly (The Tavern, FWIW). I switched to Camino, which is the Mac-ified version of Firefox that I've mentioned previously. Camino is great, but can be a little sluggish compared to Safari. Anyway, when Apple rolled out Safari 3's beta, I decided to try it again (if only because Jill uses it regularly as well). The package itself is great, but the new version of Webkit knackers a lot of things. If you have any programs that call on web-kit (ie those that have pseudo browser behaviours) avoid this beta. It makes programs hang for no apparent reason. But I guess that's why it's a beta, and why it's confirmed my using Camino as my browser of choice.

Optical Resolutions

I'm having fun with optical media. Well, maybe fun isn't the best way to describe it. I'm rediscovering the joys of optical media. It's been too long since I experienced the pain of just how finicky optical media can be when you're burning it.

I've always tended to buy decent CD-ROMs, on the basis that the cheap and nasty ones tend to become coasters (Yes, Tesco, that's you I'm talking about with a 100% failure rate). As a result, I've tended to use Memorex (which have always worked well) and Verbatim in more recent times. Now, I'm discovering the same issues with DVDs. Memorex and TDK work fine, but I've just tried 3 DVD-R Verbatim disks and they all give error messages. Slot a TDK, the same spec, and the problem returns. I've no idea why, but it's really frustrating, especially when you've got 8 copies of a presentation made and video-ed at work to get done for tomorrow and it takes 9 min per disk to burn...

I've been watching the iPhone bru-ha-hah with interest. Yes, it looks excellent, but it seems to be somewhat limited for my needs. Firstly, all the reports I've seen say it needs iTunes to sync (and I can't have that at work), and secondly, it seems to have some interface quirks that need to be ironed out before it could give any true advantage over my Palm Treo. Silly things like no one-touch dialing, and no full-stop on the basic keyboard page for email and SMS. The touch screen is the way to go (and is why I've rejected getting something sexier to replace my Treo 650), but the whole package matters. I'm guessing I can hang on until 2008 and see what Apple and Palm deliver (as the new Linux based Palm OS is due in 2008). And at that point I'm guessing justifying a £300 phone may be a challenge anyway!