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About fmitchell

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 25, 1965 (48)
Badges and Icons
My Icon:
GM
Location
City:
Richardson
State:
Texas
Zipcode:
75080
Country:
USA
Willing to Travel:
50 miles
Availability
LFG/LFP:
LFG
Availability (Days):
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday
Availability (Times):
Afternoons, Evenings
Desired Gaming Frequency:
Weekly - Once per week
Gaming Preferences
Player/GM:
Either
Preferred Genres:
Dark Future, Fantasy, Horror, Modern, Science Fiction / Futuristic, Space Opera
Favorite RPGs:
BRP, Call of Cthulhu, D6, FATE, GURPS, HeroQuest, PDQ
Gaming Worlds:
Mostly homebrew, maybe Glorantha or non-medieval fantasy
Preferred Playing Style:
75% Roleplaying / 25% Combat
Ideal Group Size:
Medium Groups (Between 4 and 6 players)
Online RPGs?:
Yes
About Me
Biography:
Played: AD&D, d20, D&D 4e, Ars Magica, Barbarians of Lemuria, Grimm, Hero System, RuneQuest (2nd ed), Spirit of the Century, The Fantasy Trip, Traveller. GMed: Basic Role-Playing, GURPS, one-shots in TFT, AD&D, CoC, PDQ, LotFP.

Interested in GMing or Playing: Basic Role-Playing, Barbarians of Lemuria/the Aftermath, Call of Cthulhu, Grimm, GURPS 4e, HeroQuest, LotFP, PDQ, RuneQuest II (Mongoose), Spirit of the Century, Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies, Traveller, Unknown Armies. Might also play any moderately rules-light game.

Signature


"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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Last Activity
Yesterday 07:59 AM
Join Date
09-17-2006
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View fmitchell's Blog

Recent Entries

Another Weird Idea: Sixgun and Planet

by fmitchell on 05-26-2014 at 12:29 PM
For those of you who don't know what "sword and planet" is, it's science fiction in which our lone Earthling hero is thrown onto an alien planet with generally low technology and must fight to survive. Examples include Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom series (A Princess on Mars, etc.) and some of Jack Vance's work (particularly the Planet of Adventure series). The excuse for swords being the weapon of choice varies from decaying cultures to alien oppressors.

Recently I've

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Updated 05-26-2014 at 12:50 PM by fmitchell

Categories
Abstract Musings

"Always Chaotic Evil" Considered Stupid

by fmitchell on 01-26-2014 at 01:10 AM
(Originally posted on Google+, for some inexplicable reason.)

Just to toss out a topic (or possibly sweaty dynamite) ... what's the general opinion on "evil races" in games? By which I mean entire intelligent species whose sole purpose is essentially to kill/enslave/annoy humans.

As one might gather, I'm not a fan. My first problem is that real-world societies have attributed two-dimensional malice to their enemies far too often, with tragic results, and

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Categories
Abstract Musings

Rules as Interfaces Redux

by fmitchell on 01-09-2014 at 12:28 PM
Yesterday I babbled about viewing RPG rules as an interface between players and GMs, similar to a GUI or API in computer programs. In this view, the game rules, like GUIs or APIs, are most useful when they avoid unnecessary clutter and complexity.

One other interesting consequence of this analogy is that, like interfaces, rules have to be stable in order to be useful. This applies both to official versions of the rules and house rules.

For example, in every version

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Categories
Abstract Musings

Rules as Interfaces

by fmitchell on 01-08-2014 at 07:38 PM
Reading Numernera and a few other rule sets reminded me of a (not terribly original) idea that popped in my head ages ago: rules are the interface between players and GM.

By "interface" I'm thinking of programming interfaces in object-oriented design, but the analogy works just as well with Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs) in applications like Excel, Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) in any window-keyboard-mouse desktop application, a Web site's interface of forms and

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Updated 01-09-2014 at 12:29 PM by fmitchell

Categories
Abstract Musings

Numenera Stream-of-Consciousness Quasi-Review

by fmitchell on 12-28-2013 at 11:10 AM
So far I've read the Player's Guide and skipped through the core book. I'm not sure whether I like Numenera or not.

The central mechanics are pretty cool:

  • The system requires only three dice: a d20, a d6, and a d100. (OK, a d100 is two dice unless one is brave/stupid enough to use a Zocchihedron.)
  • Every challenge -- from combat to a steep climb to a seduction -- has a Rating from 0 to 10. 0 is trivial, an automatic success; 10 is nigh-impossible. To beat

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