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Steam Gentleman & Adventurer

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funny things one discovers on old cd's [16/10/12]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

well i was clearing out my desk a few days ago and found an old cd i had forgotten about, the files it contained were many and varied but on folder leapt out at me, it was named Thulrandir, seems its been at the bottom of the draw for a while (probably about 5 years).

what it contained was a heap of notes, the file for the red book of thornwood, some pics, random stuff on magic, theories and in character letters and a number of fics we wrote IC.

one of them stood out because the title was "dream", i didn't remember it so i opened it up and had a read. all i can say is it after all this time i still teared up a bit, but it did make me smile. for old times sake i hope you enjoy

till next time
chin chin

DreamCollapse )

2 HowlHowls Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

good day :) [13/10/12]
[ mood | geeky ]

Ne Cede Malis :)

for those in the know ;)

1 HowlHowls Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

[ mood | mellow ]

Hello again, yes its been a while but i'm back

lots happened over the last few months, chrono larp, new changeling old school world of darkness game starting on Friday, the royal dirigible corps NZ hard at work, and of course plans for aether con and Armageddon.

so much building on the cards right now, though luckily i have most of the immediate done, now i have one sword to make for teonn, a set of armour and of course the ongoing steampunk space suit.

So now I have a few minutes to look at projects and stuff and have a few new ideas. the latest has been a chronicle using laws of the wild west, where the players form the basis of the town of absolution in the middle of the western frontier, seeking to stop the weird stuff threatening everything, keep the rail barons from eating up all the land, dealing with the gold rush and of course the ongoing troubles with the native locals. the setting despite some peoples view it was a joke is surprisingly rich for detail and plot elements that its almost begging to be written up in my imagination. also the players will not be limited to just werewolves, the other bete are also an option as are kinfolk and mortal characters. so there is a lot of opportunity for cross over.

so next few days i'll be writing up details about the township itself, the surrounding countryside, and of course the various groups and their stances on ongoing issues. I have missed white wolf games and this one looks like a great way to get back into it (beauty of \all this is i can use the same info for a tabletop game as well as a larp).

speaking of larps, i have finally come out of semi retirement, i say semi because i have been playing nexus, chrono continuum and jade empire over the last couple of years (nexus started this year) to keep my hand in as it were, but early i attended chimera for the first time for the whole week since 2009. I didn't play the flag ship mainly because the game really didn't grab me, but getting out there again and having a blast with the other games felt really good, and i'm pleased to say the old wolf hasn't lost it ;) on tyhat note the blood brothers (our group) has been accepted to play teonn this year so look out for more stories in the near future O:)

speaking of teonn i noted for the first time in NZ larps a game has introduced resurrection, it will be interesting to see how this affects the gaming style of players, (i did note that its a ritual of the ALL, a deity not too popular with elementals and others in the game, so getting it done for you might be tricky, but we shall see how people manage). this will add a new dynamic to the game, but the long term effects will remain to be seen. funnily enough i was wondering when it would be introduced into a major larp here in nz.

so yeah, still alive, still kicking and still building.

till next time
chin chin

2 HowlHowls Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

Morning and the making of history [05/07/12]
[ mood | calm ]

More a couple of notes than an actual reflection on things.
I got up this morning and after doing my usual chores discovered that history had been made not once but twice today.

Firstly the discovery (of 99.999% certainty) of the elusive Higgs Boson, what this means for the world at large is yet to be determined but another piece of our universe has finally begun to be understood.

Secondly The comic great Eric Sykes has passed away, something that has me reflecting on his many television appearances most especially the 1979 classic film "the plank"

so today we find something new, and we lose something great,
farewell Eric and thank you.

till next time
chin chin

Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

Forgotten silver [02/07/12]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

Funny how going out and buying a set of dvds gets you thinking.
I bought the series children of fire mountain a while back and finally managed to sit down and watch the whole thing.
have to say it was a powerful blast of memories and did take me a while to calm down again after watching it, but it did remind me of something.

It seems somehow nz tv has lost that naive innocence that made it what it was, compared to contemporary series all i see now is clones of overseas drama's or shock value. I also note that much of the content (not all i grant) is more aimed at the overseas audience rather than homegrown.

I understand the natir of the business beast, after all we all have to eat etc, but it is something of a shame that we often ignore the rich background we have in our amazing country from which we could draw many great drama's.

also it seems that due to the lack of knowledge in years past about the means we take for granted these days in storage mediums many classics of our tv past will never see the light of day again, unless agreements with those that worked on them about the royalties from dvd sales can be ironed out.

but hey maybe one day we can all enjoy such classics as
children of fire mountain
under the mountain
hunters gold
gather your dreams
and of course close to home.

i think they would give a lot of youngsters a valuable glimpse of what life was like back in the late 70's-1990 here in good old Godzone.

till next time
chin chin

2 HowlHowls Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

old school 40k thoughts. [08/06/12]
[ mood | amused ]

spent part of the morning trawling the interwebs looking for old school rogue trader, warhammer 40000 stuff. especially the old army lists.
its been an idea of mine for a while to go back to the first edition regardless of the rules muck ups and inconsistencies and just get on with playing a campaign i could enjoy. I have even managed to find most of the old articles from white dwarf magazine, though i am missing two for vehicle builds notably the spartan terminator transport and the sabre tank hunter.

Over the years one thing that i have noted is the game suffered alot from supplementitis, it got so bad that at tournaments we used to joke it would be easier if every player turned up with their army and books and their stack of white dwarf magazines. the player with the biggest stack wins. it also saw the rise of specialist units outweighing the basic troops to the point that no one would use them.

sadly that trend appears to be even more reinforced today than it was then, nearly every army has customised rules and units, that mean the player with the latest codex and uber cyber nun and her power armoured weefledog wins. from a marketing point of view it made sense, reinvent the game and repeat the trend, new models, new books, old stuff repackaged. more sales.

which brings me to the thoughts of the day, seems the cheese factor is the game now, no one uses tactics or plays out battle scenarios, it is all about the win. at least that last part hasn't really changed, but the manner of doing so has. in a way the current rules aren't even the same game any more, it kind of lost a lot when the old guard left GW one by one leaving mr preistly as the sole guardian of their legacy, and as expected he expunged as much of it as he could (witness the loss of the squats even though they still rate as one of the most popular armies ever) and the introduction of new fluff material that utterly rewrites the game. in a way playing rogue trader 4ok no longer constitutes playing their game, they are that different.

however what bugs me is the plethora of fan based materials that are nothing but cheddar, taking the elites of what suits them from various lists and cramming them into a cleverly packaged booklet as if it were official. something i have also noted in other gaming systems besides wargaming too, and its brought me to a conclusion, just because it's new does not mean it's better.

Ironically one thing i have noted at tournaments and 4ok in general, that hasn't changed over the years is the cheating techniques,
1- the magical moving model, during your turn the model is either out of line of sight or is out of range, and thus cannot be shot at that turn. however when your opponent gets his turn the model suddenly has line of sight, and has mysteriously teleported that crucial inch and a half to get the range, saw it in 1994, saw it again recently in 2008.

2- the annoying kibbitzing friend, this is a classic, the opponent has a friend who has come along to watch, and usually can't keep his mouth shut. this guy asks dumb questions during critical calculations in your turn, or while his friend is making his moves during his turn, he is distracting, annoying, and covering fro his mate while he pulls a few small fast ones on the gaming table, worst one i ever saw tried this on me while his mate moved two units, he swapped them to different sides of the table in the hopes i wouldn't notice his valuable heavy unit was no longer in the same position and had bee replaced by some throw away troops he could afford to lose. sadly for him i am not colour blind, his heavy unit was in white while his grunts were green :P

3- mathematical mumbling, this occurs during calculations, and some how if used correctly with the right ammount of barely audible utterings can make 2+2 = 7, best solution i found was to do the math for him on a piece of paper with a calculator, out of fairness i did my own the same way where he could see them.

the classic of all this is i have seen all three used by one person who made a staggering fail in judgement, he was battling my ex girlfriend and assumed since she was a girl she didnt know anything about the game, who just so happens knew he rules 8 times better than i do, and she royally kicked his butt ;) i have never seen a 13 year old so red before in my life.

any how what this diatribe of matters wargaming is getting to is that i have revealuated a lot of things with the thought that old is not necessarily wrong, and that i can revisit these hobbies and do what i want, after all, its practically new stuff now to the next crop of gamers, even if the system is older than them in some cases. Thus i am going to retry to get a rouge trader campaign going again, the fact it can also tell a story like a rpg is a bonus, unlike the current games which are just about kicking butt and taking names. it makes having all the extra background actually worth having.

so three cheers i say for old and true, after all
old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance everytime ;)

till next time chin chin

Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

voyage 17 [03/05/12]
[ mood | curious ]

Well here we are again looking at the time of year when 38 years ago i came to this country.
The research into the past has had to take a back seat to more immediate concerns but lately i have been taking a look at my notes and starting to follow up on some contacts.

Immigration of course has been the one that made matters difficult and i have sent off another email explaining that the information i requested was about requirements for immigration in 1974 and not a specific persons case. since they insisted that they could not release any information without written permission of the person involved due to the privacy act i had to mail them back explaining I AM the person in question.

very soon i am planning a road trip to revisit many of the places i went through during my first journey across New Zealand. starting at my home town in te aroha and working back to the international terminal in wellington. I have noted that the terminal has changed a lot but the overall area is much the same as i remember it. the idea being to gather photo's of the places as they are today and locate ones of what it was like when i first arrived. the second part naturally being harder than the first.

sadly Chandris shipping have not been forthcoming at all, having ignored all my emails concerning their old passenger assets, so i may simply have to let that pass and try my best to put together the details from recollection and what small notes i have managed to get.

next step for today is to contact the waikato times directly about the news article 30 years on where are they now my father filed with them when he worked as a sub editor. for some reason my father is disinclined to give me a copy of his article, and the research notes. in this instance i will have to settle for the article as it was published. hopefully will hear back from them soon.

On a related note, my search for Edward Hedley has drawn yet another blank, I know he attended Te Poi primary school but can find no record of him at all at any colleges or high schools in the area, Matamata college were very helpful and assured me his sister attended but had no record of him being there, they did suggest my old college in Te Aroha but i know for a fact he was not a student there. Te Poi primary was and still is my only link to finding out where he went. part of my road trip will see me take a detour from Te Aroha out to Te poi to visit the school.

It has taken a lot longer to reach this stage than i anticipated, the lack of records is typical of the pre internet period, and due to time many of the institutions and businesses related to this case have either changed or disappeared. It has been a frustrating venture at times, but i am hoping that with new insight and renewed zeal for the task i might yet gather what i need and then can sot down and write the story of the journey, the trials of emigrating and the outcome.

Tomorrow i visit the Auckland library and get a membership, so i can examine the publications archive for copies of the listener from may thru to July 1974, amusing though it would be to see what was on TV back then, i am in fact looking for specific adverts related to the assisted passage scheme. I will also try the Sunday star times (hopefully they have an archive of the Sunday news from around that time as well).

I am also adding a side project to my research, a little remembered tv series from 1977 called radio Waves, a soap/drama set at a radio station in Auckland, that my father starred in as Maurice Judd radio editor. the reason for this renewed interest and desire to continue the search is due to the fact my parents finally got round to scanning off one of the cast T shirts they were given at the series end. i take this as a sign that things are moving in a new direction (yeah me looking for omens go figure).

also next month it will be exactly 38 years since i arrived, perhaps this time i might actually do something to celebrate that, its been a long time since we did.

till next time
Chin chin.

2 HowlHowls Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

meditations in the mushroom patch [09/03/12]
[ mood | indescribable ]

Well its that time again when i sit back and try to make sense of things.

So far this year has been alright with regard to steampunking, we have been busy since December with events and Victorian picnics, the filming of Immrams dignity music video and of course several battles with the Alf's imperial army, a day out for my birthday and battle-cry. this year we have managed to add to that a day trip to howick village and preparations for the Alex the kid video and aethercon. with aethercon wellington and aether and iron coming up. We also have the first air kraken photo competition set up with the winner getting their pic in the steam punk calendar for 2013, which was a nice surprise on behalf of the calender committee as we hadn't managed to come up with anything like that ourselves.

so steampunk is going well.

Larping consists of the occasional jade empire game, nexus and the upcoming chrono game. so its been quiet on that front for a while now. I do have plans for a new game later in the year if i can get hold of the materials i need, I have been deliberately quiet about that, mainly cos i want to make sure i have everything i needed before going loud so to speak.

Gaming has been busier though, I have run a successful dark heresy game at the AMERICA club night on Tuesdays and am looking at what to run next. Funny thing is i have been looking through some of my old school games and think palladium fantasy might be a go. A lot of people are more familiar with the new world of darkness and thus aren't as interested in playing an old world game, so might have to look around for another group to run the Giovanni chronicle again. Or i could do witch-fire it was a popular enough game though i would like to get a few newer people just to change the dynamics a bit. so options are there but I am leaning more toward palladium, who knows maybe the younger crowd might actually like it.

Which does bring me to one part of the down of late, "look i so old to young eyes?" its been more noticeable of late since i turned 47, its only been three months but some how i have shifted from the slightly older guy people hang out with to the OLD man in the corner. not sure what that's about but it has made me feel isolated. cut off also springs to mind.

Also its been three years since i split up with my last GF, kind of funny in a way, despite what some of my friends think of my so called charm abilities, i have been alone that entire time.

and that seems to be the state of things, cut off and alone, sure i admit alot of that is by choice, I know i have offended a great many people over the last couple of years in some circles, and that meant dropping out of things i enjoy doing. no point in continuing to piss people off by being present when one has managed to wear out ones welcome through their own stupid actions, still it doesn't cover my entire life. there are some places where i have definitely NOT done this yet some how i still feel shunted aside, or perhaps left to one side might be a better way of describing it.

then of course the ongoing mission to find a job, hell i have lost count of the applications, half of which never got answered, only four interviews, and the rest come back with the usual "there were many excellent applicants for this position and we regret to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful at this time" and these are for jobs i am well qualified for.

so a mixed bag start to the first quarter, even my steam punk projects are on hold, since i can;t seem to justify wasting the time when i have more immediate concerns like getting a job on my mind.

to be honest i am starting to feel the pressure a bit, its like i can hear the clock ticking away, kind of funny really, up until this year its never been a worry.

well heres hoping the second quarter of this year is more benevolent.
till next time
chin chin.

6 HowlHowls Howl at the Moon Memories Edit

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