Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy Gary Gygax Day!


Calidar & Game Mechanics

In a campaign world designed without a set of rules from a specific role-playing game, there lies a challenge in describing creatures, spells, and game effects so that everyone can understand and easily express them in their chosen system. Today’s article should give a clear idea of the direction I am taking with CC1 "Beyond the Skies." Some of Calidar’s generic system shown below is abstracted, leaving referees at liberty to interpret my intent in ways that best suit their purposes. The remainder is generally expressed as percentile ranges that can be easily switched back to the chosen game’s desired values. A score expressed here as 50% clearly indicates a mid-range value, so it becomes easy to understand what the actual score should be on a 1-20 basis in the intended game. 100% indicates the top end of a range, and 1% its lowest value. Here are definitions and suggestions on how to handle basis game mechanics.

Die Rolls: A variety of dice commonly used in hobby gaming are often referred to in this book. For example: a d6 is a common six-sided die, 3d20 refers to three 20-sided polyhedral dice, a d% is a (percentile) roll of two d10s, one expressing single digits and the other showing tens. Other dice include d4, d8, and d12.

Career Paths: These refer to the heroes’ prevailing occupations, such as being wizards, priors, rogues, or warriors of various types. The assumption is that heroes progress along these career paths, gaining specialized proficiencies and becoming more powerful as they advance. Use the closest analogy in the chosen game system.

Life Force:LF” refers to the extent of a hero’s career advancement or to the relative vitality of a monster. This rating impacts directly odds of heroes and monsters performing successful attacks. It should be assumed in this book that attack abilities and the amount of inflicted damage are consistent with a creature’s Life Force. A numeral is added to express how far along their career paths heroes have progressed, or how tough monsters are. This number is a percentage of the maximum range used to measure a character’s career or a monster’s vitality, rounded down, depending on the chosen game system. For example: for a warrior whose career is measured in increments ranging from 1 to 36, an “LF3” means 3% of 36, or just about “1” (that is: [36/100] x 3 = 1). Under the same conditions, an “LF1” monster could be a small pest, while a mighty dragon might be better described as “LF70.”

Friday, July 10, 2015

Shame on Wallpart.com Updated 7/30/15

These people are thieves. 

They reprint in poster format images people find on the internet -- for profit and without permission. It is a clear violation of copyright laws (despite what they claim).  This illicit business needs to stop immediately. I'm appealing to all fans, artists, and publishers, indies or otherwise, to join the :: Change.org :: campaign against this practice.  If you happen to be one of those people supporting their business, first off "shame on you as well for aiding and abetting," and be advised that what they sell is taken straight from the internet, which means documents are most likely produced from low resolution files.  Also be aware they ship their garbage from China, which costs more than the posters themselves. 

Do you *really* want to trust criminals with your credit card info? 

Please share this article as much as possible, with artists you know.  Thanks!

Update: July 11th, 2015

I contacted a group called :: Piracy Solution :: about Wallpart:com, and chatted with Kelley Manley working there.  He stated that his group is prepared to address the issue (such as handling dmca requests) on a pro bono basis as a service to the art community. You can contact him at info [@] piracysolution [.] com.  If you are an artist and you can see your art showing up on Wallpart:com, you may want to follow this route.  Be sure to save a screen shot of search results showing your art being sold there, without your permission.  I am not personally involved with or related to this group; I am merely forwarding the information. 
Kelly has given me written permission to post this information publicly.

Update: July 13th, 2015

I found this site in the UK that goes even further than my article in their accusations.  You might want to have a look.  Click here. Meanwhile the petition against this site as reached 25,816 signatures as of this morning. Thanks for your support.  Please do pass the word!

Update: July 25th, 2015

I received a good deal of information from Alma Soto (Mamasoto) today (see attached G+ comments). In short, he's confirmed the illicit nature of that site.  I'd found out earlier that its business was being routed through a Russian site, and that the risks of phishing there were very high--in other words avoid that site.  Here is what he suggested: "Just contact the ICANN, attn. Alena Keirstead, the ICANN Registrar for the support team of http://www.INTERNET.bs Corp. You can send her your info, links of violation, proof links of the work and screenshots to show them what these guys are doing so they can stop them. The more they get hit with this information the better and faster we may see some action (. . .)"
The email address :: abuse (at) internet (dot) bs ::

Update: July 30th, 2015

Here's more information.  The offending web site is really more about phishing.  It targets professional photographers.  A good article was recently published about this (click here).  Here's an excerpt: "This contact form is the whole purpose of the Poster Shop's website.  The contact form is a phishing platform that is used to spam the user and potentially infect their computer with malware and who knows what other nasty adware and spyware.  (...)"   Whatever you do, run your anti-malware/spyware apps to clean your computer after visiting that site.