Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Duckman

  • Rank
  • Birthday 12/17/1970
  1. Random Thought Thread

    You must have been very well behaved, Pax. I know *lots* of parents who use a Shopping Cart as means of restraint when a child is running the aisles picking up every shiny that catches their fancy. Most just figure the drop is enough threat that they don't have to put a roof or lid on the cart.
  2. Axanar

    Make no mistake... The company has every opportunity to adapt and provide multiple products. Don't mistake the choice by many companies *not* to produce something as a case of their inability (legal or logistically) to do so. Microsoft could very easily support older versions of their software but they choose not to. Paramount could very easily license and profit from the immense amounts of fanfic out there but they choose not to. There's risk to opening up and allowing all that stuff as diversity comes with its own problems whether it is support logistics or something like the X-files universe which is so fragmented as to be impossible to tie back into a coherent whole. This is a conscious choice by the owners of the IP. It's not one that I think is smart but since I have no interest in being a CEO I am not going to change things that way. The only way I have of interacting with this system is to vote with my $s. It's easy for me to look at products out there and point out examples where being good to your fans has been beneficial (e.g. Supernatural, who actually give a nod to their fanfic every once in a while) vs. IPs that have been closely controlled to the point of stifling (e.g. Star Wars). I have a clear opinion what is the best approach for fiction IPs. Programming is different in terms of requiring support mechanisms and so I understand why Microsoft retires products rather than try to continue to support them. Regardless, in the end it is a company making a choice and if you don't like the choice that they are making then your only option is to vote with your feet. No different from you choices in purchasing gasoline or groceries or watching football games.
  3. Axanar

    Well, here's the deal... Copyright allows the owner of the property to control how it is accessed and, where relevant, produced. Originally this was about profitability and it has, over time, expanded to include product image and production quality. These all make sense and as someone who produces material that is copyrighted I totally support the use of the law in this context. Unfortunately, this does not give the consumer any leverage when a product goes in a direction that they don't like. For example, those of us who hate Windows 10 do not have any legal right to take a copy of Windows 7 and offer it as an alternative to the new Microsoft product (even if it is what people want). It doesn't matter whether we're doing this for profit or not. We also do not have the right to build a clone of Windows 7 and market it as such although we could market it independently under a completely different brand, name and logo. When it comes to intellectual property like Start Trek, there is no difference. We can all argue about whether or not it is good for the franchise or is morally right or not but the truth is that this has nothing to do with the legal reality. And while we can vote with our feet or our money, in the end if CBS and Paramount decide to go this route then you've got two options... Walk away from the product or give in to whatever the company has planned. Paramount is banking on not only the need but also their ability to pull in a whole new era of followers for the product with the new series. I won't be one of them, but as the holder of the copyright, it is their choice to make. Fanfic has never been protected. It's just been ignored or even encouraged (e.g. Supernatural). Worse, what a company ignores today, they can just as easily take notice of tomorrow and you still have no legal justification to stop them.
  4. Guns of Icarus - free

    I so want Guns of Icarus to be a good, fun game but it really only works if you have a team of four to man the ship instead of relying on AI for it. That said, it's a lot of fun when it works for you.
  5. Destiny 2

    Anyone playing? I'm on PC which has finally released, yay! Enjoying it. Don't do console games so I gave the original a miss. Playing with a bunch of guys from a Discord server that I hang out on (bunch of coders and techies) so I am not pushing to get ahead of folks or anything. Just finished Io and came back to Earth last night.
  6. Tom Petty

    I've always had a soft spot for "Don't Come Around Here No More". But I will admit that aside from that and Refugee Full Moon Fever has most of my favorites.
  7. Random Thought Thread

    So, I went through this trying to make the conversion to the Mexican Pharma system. Aleve is Naproxen Sodium. Over the counter it is a 220mg tablet/capsule with instructions to take one pill per dose (2 for the initial dose if symptoms are bad). Mexico offers 200, 220 and 550mg packaging. Note, that one of the side effects of Naproxen can be migraines, often experienced at particularly high doses. And for a conversation about drugs, this conversation is not nearly random enough for this thread. Is it better to be top dog on the losing team or hind-teat on the winning team?
  8. Tom Petty

    Yeah, the problem is that TMZ reported that he was dead as early as 1am the night before. The family confirmation came later but TMZ and their precognitive news brigade beat the actual event by roughly 20 hours.
  9. Tom Petty

    TMZ created the news instead of scooping it. This, among many things, is why I dislike the online paparazzi.
  10. Random Song Thread

    My problem with tapes is that they make vinyl look durable. Too easy to melt, twist, spindle or otherwise mangle a tape. Of course, with the vagabond lifestyle that my wife and I have adopted I am really moving to digital everything. Before we left Seattle I converted everything to digital so that it was more easily portable. At present I have about 17GB of music on my computer here and can move it to my phone and/or car as I desire. It also means that my library of electronica, often only available as a download, doesn't get separated from the rest of my library.. (And to get us back on the music topic)
  11. GURPS.. :D??

    <shrug> Calling True Blood and others a ripoff of World of Darkness is the same as calling World of Darkness a ripoff of Interview with a Vampire. It's a genre and it has been for forty years, at least fifteen more than World of Darkness has been around. What it boils down to is find a core dice mechanic that works for you. Then worry about setting. A good GM can take an appropriate dice system and build their own setting if they need to. The dice system, however, is key to the way your setting works. Fate is a reasonable mechanic. It is good for storytelling, rewards cooperation and makes well rounded characters very workable. The drawback is that there is no fate-point mechanic or open-ended rolling so some things may just be flat-out impossible for a character. Like GURPS, there are a million settings out there for it. The original 7th Sea (d10) system was and still is amazing. Not only does it have an open-ended rolling system but it has one of the most balanced attribute sets I have ever seen. The d20 7th Sea threw out all the good mechanics in the interest of appealing to d20 players which hosed the setting completely by ruining a number of aspects of the setting. The (d10-based) reboot has some interesting ideas but in the end it fails to deliver the experience of the original setting because the attributes are no longer as balanced as they used to be and the new mechanic is not as well balanced as the original. (The reboot does a much better job of delivering the setting than the d20 version did, however). As has been mentioned, RIFTS was an incredible setting with an abysmal rule-set (Kevin Simbieda need both an editor and a stronger group of play-testers). The Hero System is a good idea that refused to ever standardize on anything which is fine for a group you play with a lot but means it should be avoided at all costs at cons because all target numbers were essentially subject to GM interpretation so if you didn't know the GM you had no idea what to expect. It's a very flexible system good for everything from pulps to heroes to sci-fi and everything in between but it can be awfully crunchy and it rewards the person who is going to go online and research different ways to build the same effect within the rules most cheaply. Iron Crown Enterprises had incredible settings but their core mechanics were abysmal. They had great ideas for powers and races and settings and everything from high fantasy to starcraft and hardcore sci-fi but they built a system that made Starfleet Battles look light on tables. Every combat skill, weapon and power had a unique table of effects. It was very easy to maim characters so even non-lethal damage meant that the character was retired... Savage Worlds is another generic system with a number of settings published for it, some of which are pretty good. The problem is that the core dice mechanic is broken. It is an open ended system but the target numbers are built incorrectly which means that the balance is out of whack (e.g. if your target is an 8 you actually have better odds of success with a d6 skill than you do with a d8). It is an open-ended mechanic which is one point in its favor. Recently there is a host of new games which have adopted Fantasy Flight's mantra of "let's make unique dice that force people to spend more money with us". Starwars is an example of such. They generally do ok but they often suffer from the "some things are impossible" syndrome of not being open-ended and not having any kind of fate point system. Some of the settings are pretty good but the dice mechanics are not terribly unique and so there's nothing outstanding about them.
  12. Stitches question

    It dissolves into the blood stream which is filtered.
  13. My wife is blogging about our experience here in Mexico (and the process of getting here and everything) at www.reinventing-melissa.com
  14. Random Song Thread

  15. Eclipse question