kengr: (Default)
A few (sort of) D&D related things.

Long ago, the Sticks & Stones microgame gave me the idea of "Stone Age" D&D. Neolithic would be interesting, though Paleolithic might be workable.

Obviously the classes would be a bit different. Of the basic four (fighter, cleric, mage, thief) fighters wouldn't change a lot. Mostly a matter of fewer armor and weapon choices.

Clerics would pretty much be limited to some sort of shaman. And their spells would likely be more limited

Mages are a trickier fit, and they'd *definitely have their spells more limited.

Thieves would be *way* different, probably more scouts and hunters to keep the "sneak around" skills.

Monsters would still exist, though a lot of them would be more limited just due to the lower populations.

Dwarves require some thought, but other than tech limits, shouldn't be too much of a problem. Halflings aren't a problem. :-)

For the "evil" races, orcs & goblins aren't a big problem. Kobolds probably aren't either.

Elves of all sorts are a problem. Their long lives might be a problem on several levels, and just how much of advantage they'd have both magically and technologically is gong to greatly affect things.

Another fun thought is if you are running several "independent" campaigns, the results of the stone age campaign might show up in the more "usual" period games as myths and legends. :-)

And now for something completely different.

I'm wondering what sort of "properties" a certain infamous puzzle box would have in D&D. What sort of magic folks think it should detect as, whether it detects of evil, as cursed, etc.

I'm thinking specifically of the "Lament Configuration" box from Hellraiser.

What do you folks think?
kengr: (Default)
Since there are some new people reading this, I thought I'd bring up a question I've had before.

I'm looking for a plausible reason why the Pacific Northwest on an alternate Earth would still have the Native tribes in the 20th century. No real European or Asian influences.

Or at least no more than the area had pre-1500 AD.
kengr: (Default)
Got Yet Another Idea, and I want to check if it's workable.

Basically, want someone or ones to find some rocks in a stream. And get surprising results when they run tests (need reasons for them to run the tests, too).

Crystal quartz, rutile, periclase, sapphire, hematite, and some others (need to look up names for other minerals that will be involved, all metal oxides). All of similar size and "well polished".

The surprising results are that the rocks are pure. That is the quartz is SiO2 with nothing else, rutile is TiO2, sapphire is Al2O3, etc. No contaminants, no inclusions, perfect crystal structures.

If they go for *really* fancy testing, there will be more oddities.

Once they get suspicious I'm assuming the same trick used for finding gold deposits will work. That is, keep sampling as you go upstream and hopefulluy the concentration gets higher as you approach the source. And it you suddenly quit finding it, you start check up tributaries or side canyons, right?
kengr: (Default)
Dunno if I'd actually, use this in a story, but I figure that it's an interesting question in its own right.

What affect would being on another planet have on pagan/wiccan practices?

Both other places in the solar system, Mars, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn , etc and colonies on earth-like worlds around other stars.

Lack of the moon, *being* a moon, and in the casae of extra-solar colonies, the very constellations being different would be the merest beginning.

so, anybody have ideas?
kengr: (Default)
Working on a story idea. It's mostly set in a large "household" Somewhere between late medieval and Victorian. Not our history, but should have a fair bit in common.

The "master" is either a really low ranking noble, or just an important merchant or some such. Even a doctor/lawyer/other "profession".

Lots of staff, etc.

What do you call the person in charge of keeping the household running? I'm thinking more of the female staff and "housekeeping type stuff. For now I'm just call her "the Housekeeper".

Important character is a young girl, not a servant, but not exactly family either. Supposedly she's an orphan, and the Master of the house owed her family a great debt (of honor) or some such. Not sure what to call her? "Fosterling " comes to mind, but I think that's more early medieval.

I have reasons for not wanting her to be adopted. At the same time, I see her spending at least some time helping out around the household as directed by the Housekeeper.

But she is also spending time with the Master's wife. And being sent out for some schooling.

So any ideas on what I should refer to her as?
kengr: (Default)
It's been a *lot* of years since high school, and I find myself needing a better idea of what sorts of things they have the kids doing in PE these days. Especially at the start of the year, and at the start of the second semester. Both boys and girls PE.

Heck, I'm not even sure what sports practices would be going on those times of year (Sept/Oct, and Jan/Feb)

So if you have recent experience (either yourself or your kids, let me know. It's for some of the story plotting I'm doing.
kengr: (Default)
If I was to write it, I think I need to make the little booklet *obviously* home produced. I think I'll use spelling errors.

"But how can you be sure that they just haven't changed the spelling wherever these came from?"

"Because they spelled the *same* word two different ways on different pages."


Thinking on the dream, I think the booklet didn't have the "right" number of pages (ie, not 4/8/12 pages) I also don't recall it having staples or glue, but it was "fastened" somehow. I can make that another tech mystery (ie the pages are "fused" seamlessly at the spine).

So we have "home" tech capable of video clips without audio using reflected light and that odd fastening. and cheap mass market throwaway tech that has *emitted* light video with audio.

That's not even *close* to "Clarke's law" tech levels. But it's definitely beyond anything we can pull off. It's not beyond what we could *hope* to pull off, but it's not on the "we can't do it, but we're pretty sure how we could do it if our gear was a bit better" or at least it'd be at the ragged edge of that.

Hmm. Just occurred to me that this is sort of equivalent to someone from the 60s running into one of those "record your own message" greeting cards. I don't think they'd believe that the required tech was less than 40 years in their future. At least not at the *cost* implied by being part of an obviously cheap, mass market item.
kengr: (Default)
Okay, I have an idea for a story where somebody (overly stubborn) gets it into his head that it'd be a good idea to drive a tunnel thru the basalt ridge (actually a tall basaltic dike) that divides his land into two chunks.

I've seen such driving on one of the two lane highways out to the coast. Hundred or more feet tall, good chunk of a mile long, and not all that thick.

It's a semi-logical idea. It'd save him a mile or more driving to get a huindred yards or so horizontally.

Except, of course, basalt is tough stuff. Even if he has relevant experience, it's gonna be a bitch driving the tunnel

Anyway, much to his surprise when he (eventually) breaks thru, he'll find that he's not where he expects. The land is pretty much tyhe same. But there are a lot more trees, no roads, and his house/outbuildings aren't there.

I'm looking for something that'll give a definite "we aren't in Kansas anymore" message to him.

Where he is (though it'll take time to work it out is the exact same place he expects. But in a different timeline.One where either Europeans never got to the Americas, or maybe where humans never did.

I'm leaning towards the former, because having local humans to encounter and deal with has its points.

Anyway, any suggestions as to what the big shocker might be? If it was the latter idea, it could be a sabertooth. But for the former one, all I can think of is encountering locals. And I'd rather not have that happen so soon.

Secondary question for the geekier sorts. The "poprtal" to the other timeline is an area uinside the rock formation. Not actually associated with it, it's just there.

I'm trying to come up with ideas about what shape it might be and why. I'm leaning towards a "flat" plane, but it's gotta have edges and a shape. A circle is the most obvious, but I'm wondering if anybody can think of plausible reasons for some other shape.

Shape is important when he tries to enlarge the tunnel.

ETA: location is more or less NW Oregon. West of the Portland Metro Area, and at a guess, halfway between there and the coast. If I can pin down *where* I saw the spectacular formations I'm thinking of, that'll be the location (since I don't have a car, and I'm not positive which highway we were on, going out looking for them isn't an option)

Anyway, feel free to throw out ideas.
kengr: (Default)
I know some of you have kids in high school or are otherwise familiar with kids that age at school.

Since it's been a *long* time since I was in high school, I figured I'd ask for some input as to what's acceptable wear at school. I'm considering having a character in high school wearing some very skimpy, tight shorts or pant (if the shorts aren't acceptable). Just not sure if that'd violate the dress code of most high schools.

Whatever the character winds up in, it's supposed to be skirting the edges of acceptable, and worn to make a point

spoiler )
kengr: (Default)
Ok, in my Morgan story, I'm thinking Morgan needs something to help defend himself. But being a teenager, I'm not sure what's legal.

Anybody know what sort of things are legal for an under 16 to carry? Pepper spray? one of those collapsible batons? Something else?

I'm especially interested if you have any idea about the laws in Oregon or Washington.
kengr: (Default)
Ok, I need input from those of you who had to use the boys locker room in high school. The more recently the better.

Had a concept force itself on me, and I realized that I need other viewpoints to make a scene come out right.

So, it's the first day of the school year, and you are in the locker room for your PE class. And a student with long hair and definite breasts walks in.

What do you do?
kengr: (Default)
For yet another story (I'm working on a large backlog of ideas), I need some info on how things would go at an ER after the parents bring in a young teen with some rather unusual injuries.

I'll have to modify stuff some, since it's set in a universe that has mutants, superheroes, etc. But I want to have some idea of what happens in reality before I try working out how things will deviate from our reality.

The injury involves detached body parts btw.
kengr: (Default)
I've got an idea for a scene in a story. But I'm uncertain about how to make it work.

Basic idea is that a semi-passable crossdresser is out for the evening near a "tranny" bar/club. She sees a friend's kid on the sidewalk and asks where her mother is. Then she goes to lead the kid to mom. Bigots see the "guy in a dress" leading off a kid and jump to the conclusion that it's a child-molester trying to kidnap a kid.

What I'm having trouble with is figuring out how exactly the kid (say 5-7) got away from a mom who is at all responsible long enough to be out on the sidewalk and at least several doors (shops/businesses) away.

Any suggestions? I know kids can move like lightning, especially at that age.

Best I've come up with so far was kid slipping away during a bathroom run.
kengr: (Default)
I know there are several teachers and other folks who work in/around schools on my f-list.

I'm looking for info (anecdotal is fine) on how high schools and junior high/middle schools handle students carrying/using non-prescription meds. Stuiff like aspirin/Midol.

It's for a story I'm working on.

Come to think of it, some idea of what a school nurse might or might not hand out and how said nurse might react to certain claimed symptoms would be useful too (ie what might result in examining the student beyond just taking their temp and what might get a parent called or even a doctor)

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