Friday, March 30, 2018

Fiction Friday - Maggie-Ann Blackgoo Bristleweed

Background and Origin: “Mab,” as she prefers to be called, arrived in Earth from Geos a few years ago. She came by conventional FTL spacecraft, rather than the more obvious portal-gate from a medieval fantasy world, but that's probably one of the less enigmatic things about her.

Her place of birth was Wraicrolis, a small city, a fairly civilized place. By sheer chance, the city happens to be located on a large plain, near several mineral mines, and just a bit upstream from a natural ocean gulf. A century ago, give or take, a great battle between the gods leveled the area, turning the ground into a kind of natural concrete - infertile for crops, but just right for growing a spaceport for the galactic community that wanted to welcome Geos into the fold.

Mab and her sister were raised by neighbors, after her parents were called to service by their guild, and never returned.

She has the following siblings:
  • An older sister that still lives with her childhood caretakers. After an industrial accident, Se’len is a bit of an idiot savant. There is no one better in all of Wraicrolis at starship engine repair, and her employer commands high prices for her time. When she’s modding an engine, Se’len comes alive, and can even speak in full sentences, vocalizing a deep education and grasp of the most minute trivia of the smallest part of an engine, even what planet and the corporate politics that lead to production of one design over another. Without an engine around, though, she is like a dull-witted child, barely aware of her environment, who likes to scribble in her picture books.
Mab has experienced the following important events:
  • She found that she had an adopted older sister that she never knew she had;
  • Her long-term relationship ended when her partner broke up with her without reason;
  • Long and grueling travel gave her greater stamina, and a Dragon Pact, granting her magical power. The Dragon knows where Mab is, but she hopes 17.3 light years is too far away for the Dragon to call in the debt;
  • A crash disaster swept at the spaceport forced her to find a home elsewhere;
  • She made an enemy, a supernatural creature of some kind. She completely ignores the other. They have ties to the criminal world or the black market. The rivalry grew into something stronger;
  • She made an enemy, someone that worked for her. Thunderdome! They are a somewhat important local figure. Racial, religious or political bias caused the rift;
  • She obtained a pet, a supernatural creature of some kind, but had to leave it behind;
  • She made a friend, someone she worked with regularly. They have military connections.
  • A personal grudge held by a local military figure forced her to flee to a new region.
Combat Tactics: She activates her eldritch shield, then hurls lightning. Her lightning stroke allows her to aim at the space her target is standing in, thus increasing her effective accuracy. Targets that get too close get the enervation pulse. It isn't necessarily powerful, but it can affect many targets, and even one or two pulses can really disrupt the damage curve of bricks and martial artists.

She enjoys channeling the power of the Dragon for flashy bursts, and thinks of combat largely as “powerful offense wins.” She views Dragon Stamina and Elemental Resistance as utility magic, but their persistent nature disturbs her, as she feels the constant energy presence, and feels like the Dragon is watching her. She rarely has these two latter abilities prepared, unless specifically expecting to need them.

Personality Traits: Helpful, courageous, aggressive. Mab likes to make a difference, and has no qualms being assertive about it.

Quote: “To deny the evil in one's heart is to constrain it, and let fester like kimchee, until it explodes. Better, by far, to acknowledge it, own it, tame it and control how and when it trespasses on the world.”

Appearance: 5’3”, 112 lbs., waist length black hair, brown eyes. She favors rags and doesn't care about clothing at all. She has wild, unkempt hair. She has distinctive scars and tattoos. She has one of her old toys that she keeps with her at all times as a keepsake.

Powers: She has an academic study of magic, but lacks the necessary “spark” to channel it herself. It's not obvious, and she doesn't advertise it, but she has a magic tattoo that lets her channel magical power. The tattoo represents a pact she negotiated with an ancient dragon, allowing her to tap the dragon's power, which her skill allows her to shape and channel.

Geos is a mixed culture of magic and technology. She is familiar with both, and able to figure out new technological devices and magical artifacts quickly.

Notes: Model unknown. Character by I. A. Riley, March, 2018.

Her Mind Control is enough to make most targets forget what they were doing for just a minute or two. It lasts just long enough to leave most humans confused about the last few minutes, even once their memory returns, because by that point new stimulus and assumptions have filled in the gaps, and now they have contradictory assumptions and beliefs about what happened in those few minutes.

The memory fog used Inventing Points instead of Arsenal, mostly due to the sheer cost in CP. I really wanted an effect like this, since she is precisely the type who prefers her privacy and would be happy if people forgot she was ever there.

I wanted her to have a mix of offensive, defensive, movement, and utility powers. I had fun visualizing the powers I wanted, and then mucking about with the different mechanics to see what I could work out.

Inspired by a G+ post.
Need to tell Fern Kali it is ready :)

Maggie-Ann Blackgoo Bristleweed - Mighty Protectors

Strength 10 (Carrying Capacity 78 lbs., Basic HTH d4)
Endurance 18 (Save 12, Heal 2.8)
Agility 14 (Save 11)
Intelligence 24 (Save 13)
Cool 24 (Save 13, Initiative 2d6)

Hit Points 20
Power 96
Physical Defense 2 (8)
Mental Defense 4
Move 14
Inventing Points 27
Wealth d4
Luck 12-
Weight x lbs.
Total Cost 90 + 80 - 20 = 150

Arsenal: Magical Abilities, 4×25 CP slots, 6 options (30 CP)
Durability: Hit Points +5 (5 CP)
Energy: Power +30 (15 CP)
Experience Levels: Attack +0, Defense +1, Skills +1 (5 CP)
Heightened Attack: Damage +1 all attacks (2.5 CP)
Heightened Cool: Bright, CL +12, IN +8 (included above)
Heightened Expertise: Attack +1 all attacks (2.5 CP)
Arcane Skills - Inventing: Add +15 Inventing Points (15 CP)
Luck: Luck +2 (5 CP)

Arsenal Options (Choose 4)
  1. Lightning Stroke - Electrical Bolt: Damage d8+d10, Range 36”, PR=4 (12.5), Modifiers: Area Effect (1” dia.) (+2.5), Arsenal (-2.5), Reduced PR (+12.5) (25 aCP)
  2. Summon Magic Carpet - Flight: Acceleration 16, Top Speed 64, PR=4/hour (10), Area Effect (1” dia., Moves With Self) (+7.5), Arsenal (-10), Fast Acceleration 2 (+5), PR instead of Charges (+0), Reduced PR (+12.5) (25 aCP)
  3. Eldritch Shield - Shield: Physical Defense +6, Breakpoint +6, PR=1/use (10), Modifiers: Arsenal (-12.5), Innate (+2.5), PR instead of Charges (+0), Reduced PR (+20), Parry Bonus +2 (+5) (25 aCP)
  4. Enervation Pulse - Siphon: Damage 2d6 Entropy Strength loss, PR=1 (15), Modifiers: Area Effect (5” dia., Offset) (+10), Armor Piercing (2 points) (+2.5), Arsenal (-12.5), PR instead of Charges (+0), Reduced PR (+20), Suppress (-10) (25 aCP)
  5. Dragon Stamina - Regeneration: Heal 1 hit point per round of rest (17.5), cannot regenerate magic damage (-2.5), Modifiers: Arsenal (-12.5), Increased Charges (unlimited) (+22.5) (25 aCP)
  6. Elemental Resistance - Adaptation: Electromagnetics, High Temperatures, Low Temperatures, Poison, Venom, PR=2 per hour (20), Modifiers: Arsenal (-12.5), PR instead of Charges (+0), Reduced PR (+17.5) (25 aCP)

Gear Pool/Inventions/Power Stunts
Memory Fog - Mind Control: Save @ -4, Range 24”, PR=8 (15), Modifiers: Area Effect (5” dia., Vaporous) (+7.5), Duration (2 rounds between recovery saves) (+2.5), Immunity (+2.5), Reduced Range (-2.5), ‘Silent' Mind Control (+5), Single Command (“Forget Recent Memories”) (-5) (25 iCP)

TBD (-10 CP)
Diminished Senses (Imperceptive): She can be a bit hyper-focused, and fail to notice things, suffering -3 on all Perception checks (-10)

Combat Summary
Initiative: 2d6 (avg 7)
Unarmed: Attack 14-, Damage d4+1 (avg 3.5)
Lightning Stroke: Attack 15- (AE), Damage 2d10 (avg 11)
Memory Fog: Attack 17- (AE), Effect Save @ -5
Enervation Pulse: Attack 15- (AE), Damage 2d6+1 (AP2)


Document Copyright (C) 2018 by Icarus Anne Riley. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Mighty Protectors and the Monkey House Games logo are trademarks owned by Monkey House Games, ©2017 Monkey House Games. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Gun owners give gun owners a bad rep

Um, yeah.  So, first the meme is full of shit, and clearly constructed for a particular Kool-Aid drunk audience.  I pulled this from a G+ thread, which I am totally unclear how it came up on my feed, anyway, but there you go.

But, the kicker for me was the comments section.  These are exactly the kind of people I don't feel safe letting them own guns.  

Own a gun, I don't care. Just don't be an asshole about it.

I've found myself repeating this mantra a lot lately. Probably a combo of things, but really it all comes down to Parkland, Florida, and how the GOP in Florida are telling students to shut up, even while making it _easier_ for people to buy guns in Florida. And fucking _President_ Trump (barf in my mouth) is saying teachers should carry guns. 

Only political drunks arm teachers and deny the need to ban assault weapons

Monday, March 26, 2018

The the Day, the Stupid persists

Some days there is so much Stupid to yell at, it hurts, right?

But no one worthy of the gift of energy yelling at them entails, you know?

So, let it go, yeah?

Another day will come, where stupid and worthy meet, and the fingers fly.

It's all good.

Friday, March 23, 2018

A Tattoo of the Planet Saturn. And Exoplanets!

I could totally go for a tattoo of Saturn. I love astronomy. The universe is so fucking awesome.

(model unknown, but don't you just wonder if 
she knew this pic was going to be smeared all over the interwebs?)

Did you know: "As of 8 March 2018, there are 3,743 confirmed planets in 2,796 systems, with 625 systems having more than one planet."

I mean, holy crap, we have so got to get the FTL drive running, so I can see some of them before I die!

Oh, speaking of FTL, I ran across this by total chance ...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Leafy Green Stuff

You know what would taste really good right now?  Brussels sprouts!

- Things I Can't Believe I Actually Said

(image from
(they have a recipe, too, that I'm going to try someday)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"Pull Tab" gambling - sure why not?

So, we have Pull Tabs here in Washington State. I see places, like bars and Roadhouse, advertising them right along with Karaoke and local bands, so I figured it was some kind of entertainment thing, right?

Yeah, maybe. I never quite saw the point of gambling, myself. Except maybe to be amused by the irony of NA tribes getting their -revenge- money back and investing it into things like basic income for tribe members (ha, in 20 years all those educated NA kids are going to "steal jobs" from the white immigrants, haha).

But, it is interesting that there is a strategic value in losing bets, because that means everyone really is closer to the big jackpot. And therefore only a limited number of tickets for each "deal" are produced, and a "deal" might get scrapped early (with actual prize tickets simply being destroyed) if the big prizes get won early and people stop playing that "deal."

That kind of stuff, I do find interesting.
Image from Wikipedia

Monday, March 12, 2018

Musical Monday - Patty Gurdy - What the Hell is a Hurdy Gurdy?

Until recently, I would have sworn that a "Hurdy-Gurdy" was one of those made up noises, like "Razzle Frazzle."

Turns out, the Hurdy-Gurdy is a real thing, and people really play them, and they're kind of cool.  I could totally see my DnD bard picking one up :-)

I really like that Patty explains this weird thing.  It is clear that quite a bit of serious engineering went into designing the Hurdy-Gurdy.  I mean, according to the Wikipedia article, this instrument is over a millennia old!

"The hurdy-gurdy is generally thought to have originated from fiddles in either Europe or the Middle East (e.g., the rebab instrument) some time before the eleventh century A.D.[2] The first recorded reference to fiddles in Europe was in the 9th century by the Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih (d. 911) describing the lira (lūrā) as a typical instrument within the Byzantine Empire."

That is an old design, and very impressive. I mean, I'm sure the design has changed a lot over ten centuries, but the core seems to remain the same - that is, strings, a wheel and keys.

Now, as a historical/political aside for a moment, here in the 21st century, we like to think of Europe and it's descendants (specifically the full-of-itself United States) as the "civilized and industrialized world."  But, go back and read that quote above.  The use of the fiddle in Europe was recorded by the "savages" of the Middle East.  In other words, when the Europeans were still picking their noses and congratulating themselves for being able to shape iron, the Middle East had colleges with scholars who kept records of what the Euro-savages were using to make music.

Speaking of engineering, "The pitches on the organistrum were set according to Pythagorean temperament and the instrument was primarily used in monastic and church settings to accompany choral music."  Who does that?  Especially in the 9th century?

And here is an example of Patty Gurdy actually playing one.  "Sweet Dreams" is a classic song, for a long of reasons, not the least of which is that it has a very recognizable sound.

And, just for comparison, here is the timeless original:

Actually, I find it amusing that the "Who am I to disagree?" line is almost quaint by today's standards where kink is practically vanilla.  Ah, the impact of the Internet in mainstreaming the weird.