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About VoShay

  • Birthday February 14

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    Gaming, League of Legends, Game R&D, Sim Games, Forum Games
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    Starving Student
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VoShay's Achievements

  1. VoShay

    Nova Drift

    Engineer for lyfe. Engineer builds are where I am. Its Asteroids meets Hades, Rogue Legacy et. al by way of Geometry Wars art. It's worth more than 8 bucks.
  2. We have a weighted blanket and use it most nights. It's pretty nice- has helped with sleeping through the night more easily.
  3. Esteemed isn't the word I would have chosen.... But it may indeed be your turn to shibe, dear reader, should you attend this game.
  4. What is Anarchism's answer to Centralized and/or Imbalanced Power? Ineffectually or not, many systems of government offer answers to Power(and those answers can be manipulated or corrupted), but I don't know what Anarchism answer is. If there is a Jeff Bezos or Immortan Joe, I have no idea how Anarchism deals with it meaningfully.
  5. IDK if I'll buy it day of release but I couldn't possibly pass it up.
  6. I've been playing or running (more the latter than former) Tabletop RPGs for twenty years now, and I've developed a lot of opinions. As I was discussing these opinions recently, I realized I was, in many ways, effectively writing blog posts. So I decided to start sharing them here. Please comment and critique as you like since I do like discussing ideas. #1: The Problem at the heart of simulationist gaming (Context: Discussing the problem of how D&D is an ‘Action-Oriented’ game where players decide what mechanical course they take and then make the fiction fit it, vs. other games where the fiction can be first and the player/GM activates the mechanic in response) Let’s look at this through the lens of a session. In that session, the party has a known objective, that requires multiple steps to succeed at, and they have multiple ways to attempt those steps. We can also consider this from the perspective of multiple systems but I am using D&D. Let’s start with the objective. The party is seeking the location of an artifact. The person they *know* has the location is the owner of an inn and tavern with connections to the underworld. They need to find some way to have the owner divulge that information. They need to do that or find some other method to get the information. This brings a few obvious, broad ways to do this: 1) The party could look over their resources, make a plan, and attempt to make it happen. 2) The party could set up the pieces of a plan, then attempt to pull it off. 3) The party could kick in the door and roll with the punches, trying to be nimble on their feet (This is not specifically violence, just lack of planning). Let’s start with the lens of D&D, specifically 5e but not only (the problem in this paragraph is far worse back in 3.5). In the first idea, the party looks at their resources- They look at their spells, their abilities, their items, their good skills; the obvious place to look for ways to resolve the problem. They discuss various ways to combine these actions, of which many of them have dozens potentially (all proficient skills, potentially relevant items, abilities, and spells), and usually don’t think much beyond using them in obvious, or laterally proficient ways (Using an endless decanter of water in a variety of ways that involve *lots of water* are all potentially creative, lateral solutions, but they are about using the endless decant of water as a thing that produces lots of water). They come to these ideas either before the attempt, or at an unexpected problem. No matter how they go about it, they start from the solution (I can cast charm person, I have goggles of darkvision, I have x) on the piece of paper, and then work backwards to make it a thing their character does. This feels like a flexible adventure game or a puzzle game to me. In Fate, the party consults about 10 things per player- their top 3 skills, their 3 middle skills, their 3-5 stunts if they choose to do that. With a much smaller range of abilities, players often lean instead into their character and go ‘how would Bob go about this’ in a way many D&D players don’t get the chance to really think about, or under-consider. In PbtA, you can’t really do this long-form planning well, because the nature of the game is *incredibly* fluid. Second go- they attempt to put stuff into play. D&D isn’t super great at this (most of the abilities are pointed at solutions for right now- Banishment gets rid of a bad guy for a minute, sure charm person lasts up to an hour at least, but then fly lasts 10 minutes- none of this is setting up the Han Solo Prison Bust from Star Wars so to speak). Players may, after consulting a dozen or more abilities per sheet, drop this idea and go to the first or last idea. If they instead pursue this idea, *my experience in D&D but not necessarily the norm* is that the following problems can crop up: 1. The GM may be inflexible to allow a lateral approach to the *entire* obstacle course because it will invalidate a lot of prep and may in fact require completely winging it or redoing said prep mid-session (or ending session earlier to go do that prep before next). 2. The GM may intentionally or unintentionally punish this attempt by treating failed rolls for unexpected actions to say, charm guards or discover information with closing off all unintended paths/ramping up the difficulty of the final encounter. Since D&D is a resource management sim, taking risky maneuvers to essentially roll a wheel of fortune weighted against you feels *really bad*. 3. Every time you try to creatively solve a problem outside of the now, it’s a discussion/debate/argument/disagreement with the DM(and/or party) because D&D doesn’t have mechanics tech like Fate (aspects) to store long-term narrative information (you flipped this guards and can use them in x way) nor does it embrace fiction first of PbtA where the game doesn’t care really and the GM can just roll with the punch and have the guards or anything) do whatever makes sense to the table with like, 0-6 words that have rules baggage and 0-6 words of flavor. 4. D&D functions a lot like law (due to its open world and simulationist nature) such that while everyone is working from the same set of laws (the DMG/PHB), and there are ‘constitutional scholars’ (@SageAdvice), each judge has absolute authority in their jurisdiction. So when the judge makes precedent, it has wide repercussions, and the hardest place to make lasting, good judgements in things that linger vs the now. This is very different from Fate or PbtA, where the mechanical undergirding create a very specific, robust skeleton of how narrative and mechanics interact then leaves all the fiction in the hands of the players or GM respectively. Third, we **kick down that damn door and let the dice lie how they lie.** In D&D, this often leads to combat not because of the players but because of the system- the most robust tools for dealing with a problem lie in the very defined, very rich combat area. A Fighter has 4 proficient skills (and strong mechanical reasons to not have good stats in any of the best stats for skill use) and often not 1 ability (or spell, or item) that address non-combat action. If they want to do anything based off who their character is *in system,* it’s got to go to combat. On the other end, the biggest promise of the caster is to ‘have a spell for that.’ Drop a grease or a web or a charm person or a banishment and instantly solve the problem of now. So when they go room by room, the group is often encouraged to fall back on the specific actions they have, and use them, which is often combat and often the menu on their sheet. This is especially true when the results of the actions are poorly or confusingly defined. Looking back at that fighter, no matter how much the player wanted that fighter to be particularly charming, even if they put a +3 in CHA and proficiency in Persuasion, the fighter has the following issues: 1. They don’t stand out from other people who care as much as them or more about Persuasion. Whereas their choice to be a fighter makes them stand out in combat noticeably. 2. Their commitment to this idea has narrow results- the fighter now is almost or as good as other players in rolling the persuasion skill, the use of which is defined broadly in the PHB/DMG as ‘talking to someone and getting them to like you/agree with you/do what you want.’ You can’t change how persuasion works, what it works on, what it grants you mechanically, in any way in DnD, especially as not a skill monkey. 3. Persuasion is good is a very narrow space to have all possible mechanical definition of ‘Friendly person people tend to trust.’ (or any other kind of charmer) 4. The fighter has no way to know what rolling persuasion at a specific npc is going to look like. In other systems, the dimensions of the roll are far clearer. If you just go through the door and figure things out as you go in other systems, you have flashbacks in Blades, you have aspects, negotiations, etc. in Fate, and you have ‘see what happens while being a fan’ in PbtA to guide the players through doing whatever they really *want* to do in that room. In D&D, you often fail the persuasion check and then roll initiative. The entire lens of the game is through how to use all the toys on the piece of paper to deal with what is in front of you now. The absence of the massive number of narrow, usually combat toys and the well-defined flexibility of what toys do exist allow far more space to focus on the narrative and be the character- when you get to a spot to roll dice, you’ll negotiate the dice and stakes and then do it in PbtA, Fate, Blades, etc. This difference between staring down the barrel of a very obvious menu system (D&D) and looking at a very limited set of choices (Fate, PbtA) is where the significant difference in Action vs. Check comes to me, for these systems.
  7. 1. I have played older versions of vampire, so everything was pretty comfortable for me. 2. Fantasy grounds took some getting used to, and I still feel like I don’t know how to use half of it, but I feel comfortable as a player and think the tools are pretty solid. 3. I felt your style and play was substantive. Characters felt lived in and textured, and the interactions felt believable and interesting. 4. I felt like you paid close attention to player safety and handled everything superbly. Not a single comment to give besides great job. 5. Run more vampire. 😁
  8. Is soldering a high-difficulty skill or something relatively simple to learn/hard to master? Soldering is a mechanical/chemical process involving the use of a solder ( a metal alloy), and a flux (a chemical solution) to create a small joint. You may think of it as tiny welding (though it is a different process than welding). The most important thing about soldering is to understand what is happening, prepare properly for what you are going to do, and then to perform the task quickly (but without haste). Solder can sometimes be forgiving depending on the material/job you are doing, but you need to have a clear picture of what you are attempting before you do it. Basic jobs can be learned how to do well enough for home hobbying with some videos, guides, and practice in an afternoon. Doing precise, masterful work is the work of years of practice. The kind of soldering you are talking about-replacing a connection on a circuit board- is relatively straightforward and doable by someone new to soldering. I would suggest practicing with it just to understand how it works before attempting however, as you can easily damage your keyboard irreparably if you make a major mistake. Do you have any recommendations for a budget-friendly starter kit for electronic soldering? I'm not familiar with some of the brands for the starter kits I see on amazon- the kit linked (and many of the kits) have nearly everything you can ever need, often of budget quality, and you probably won't touch half the kit on this particular job. If you are interested in a budget kit in general, I would perhaps suggest this- https://www.amazon.com/ANBES-Soldering-Iron-Kit-Electronics/dp/B06XZ31W3M/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=soldering+kit&qid=1592777276&s=hi&sr=1-5 The brand I always stood by in the shop was Weller though. Building your own kit is going to cost a bit more, but you can avoid things you don't really need, or get better versions of those things for cheaper. Out of everything in the above kit though, the soldering iron itself is probably the thing that is most 'budget.' If you get into doing your own solder repair at home more often, I'd be happy to help you upgrade it piecemeal. Regardless, the kit does not contain flux, so don't forget that either- its necessary. Is it important to get a soldering iron with precise temperature setting VS just on/off? Precise temperature setting is more of an extra feature than a necessary feature outside some very specific uses. The hotter the iron, the faster the metal melts. If its not hot enough, the job is very hard to do. If its way too hot, its very hard to do. The typical temperature setting though (Around 650F) for a one temperature unit is fine for most standard electronics work. Do you have any advice other than what the article instructs? The article is very narrow in its focus, which can be an issue in that you aren't learning much about soldering in general. Here's a reasonable article to introduce everything about soldering more generally, to use in tandem- https://www.makerspaces.com/how-to-solder/ I strongly suggest that you read that article, perhaps watch a youtube video, and play with the solder in a well-ventilated area. Take the included wires and solder a few pieces together, and then desolder them, rinse and repeat. Just to get a feel for how it works. What type of switches should I buy that closely resemble the Razer green (very clicky and with a noticeable button pressing feel)? No comment I'm not a switch bro. Is this a good project to learn soldering on, or should I do something more basic first to practice? I think this is a reasonable first project after the above practice and tutorial work. The skills required to perform this work aren't particularly difficult, but you need to practice some and understand the process before you just dive in to do this work specifically.
  9. "How I came to this lifestyle, what path?" He twisted his mouth up in a thoughtful pose as he stared through Legoless for a moment, transported to someplace hundreds of miles and tens of years from here. "10,000 years ago, the world was created. This plane of existence, in the parlance of the educated. But there are others like it, as well. Many planes, many worlds. The Gods created this work, but many cared not for the work. The planes of elements lie in chaos. Others are mere playthings for powers that cannot or should not be understood. But this world was made for us. The Elf, The Tortle, The Human, The Dwarf, on and on and on. Yet this massive world for all of us sentient being is among the least balanced, Young Elf." Titian leans forward and takes up a discarded stick, drawing a complex design into it- his order's view of the dance of planes in the multiverse. "At the center of this delicate balance, in my tradition, we are told the material plane rests upon the Karmic Mirror." Titian stops for a moment, and glances up at the Elf, before a small smile erupts from his lips. "I suppose one should mention Karma, before we get to the next part." "Karma is the... energy of action. If you had a board balanced on the edge of a wall, this would give the board energy- for the board could be caused to fall if it became unbalanced. Energy is there. If you placed a stone upon the board, depending on where the stone is, the board can be caused to tip and fall, yes? This is the result of that action, of that energy- this is Karma. Karma can be both good and bad. Good actions accumulate good results. The being who is compassionate, who protects, who defends, who is honest and true- they accumulate good energy and good action and together this pushes one towards a good life- just as inexorably as the stone would cause the board to fall." Titian frowns slightly and looks away towards where they had last been, toward's the town of the Deacon. "Bad karma, naturally, follows along this same line." He seems to tear up for a moment, lost in reflection, before he continues. He steadies his breathing after a moment. "Sometimes the greatest villain begins the path with but a small injustice, so small as to be thought of as nothing more than the selfishness of children. But from this injustice arise others, and by the time it becomes obvious to all, even the villain, the Karmic burden is near impossible to counteract. At least in this life." Titian falls silent for another long moment. He stares without seeing down the road, to the south. The silence draws out to uncomfortably long before he blinks again. "There I am, lost in the past. My greatest weakness. Forgive me Legoless." He furrows his brow a moment. "Pardon an old tortle, but where was I again?"
  10. I expected a lot more given I played from 2010 to 2017 regularly and for several of those years 'religiously.' Go me.
  11. Telepathy is a spell that lasts 24 hours, so basically its all-day no concentration mind to mind conversation with one other creature, which is pretty cool. Getting that without Attunement is dope, but likely not as dope as the Helm.
  12. Technically, this has to be a stated property and many/most armors and weapons don't require attunement unlike wondrous items (rings, amulets, etc).
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