Geek Argument Wars

The other day I started a thread on the Wizards of the Coast Message boards looking for more melee weapons for my d20 Future/BESM d20 campaign. I got some really cool replies but at some point it degraded into an “Average Damage” argument. It seems pretty silly to me because I’m not 100% sure what actual use information like average damage has in a D&D or d20 Modern campaign.

It did give me an idea for a simulator that might be useful in adventure design. Run a few thousand simulated battles through to see who comes out on top most. Might be helpful in basically determining and tweaking the CR of an encounter. Granted it’d be what I called ‘stupid AI’ because it wouldn’t make any real tactical decisions but it could give a nice baseline at how difficult an encounter would be and might give some insight into what tactics a DM could use. I don’t know if I’ll bother to write it, but it might be fun.

Seems like geeks get into really pointless debates about math and stuff and never really take into account stuff like “Does this really matter?”, “Is this information actually relavent and useful?”, and “Can anything useful at all come of this debate?”

I don’t mean like, useful in real life because there’s a lot of highly academic stuff that has no application in real life whatsoever. There’s math stuff that’s really only useful to mathematicians and has no real world application except helping said mathematicians understand other concepts that might or might not have some use in real life. I’m talking about stuff that isn’t really useful to the subject at hand. I mean who CARES what a weapons average damage is because the only thing is proves is that bigger numbers usually mean more damage and smaller numbers mean more consistant damage. You don’t actually need a hundred hit sample to figure that out.

Oh well, geeks do this, stupid but true.




I consider myself a geek, and my geekhood is something I’m very proud of. I’ve recently been calling myself a ‘geek lord’ because of the level of geekiness I have attained over the past several years. I think my credentials speak for themselves, I play D&D every weekend, computer technician, obsessed with video games, write fan fiction, read web comics, and so forth and so on. Of course, obviously, my biggest geek credential is writing this blog about my geek credentials.

Recently I was joking with my brother and ‘revoked’ his geek status. He was not aware of who The Doors were, who their lead singer was or any of the songs they did. I found that somewhat disturbing. What I find even more disturbing is that there are actually a few people out there who take it somewhat seriously when I quit considering them a geek.

This reminded me of an idea I had for a webcomic. I called it something like, “Quest of the Geeklord”. It was about geekiness in general and involved one young man from Chicago’s quest to overthrow the current ruling geek lord and take his throne. He’d have to pass several tests to gain the right of challenge and the whole story was about his misadventures and the ‘cultural differences between geeks’. I had several people rolling in the floor when I told them some of the stories. I think it would have been even funnier as a pseudo radio broadcast.

Anyway, so much for ideas eh?

Clients and their machines…

I’ve got a large somewhat unattractive machine sitting next to me happily installing a clean version of Windows on it. As I think I mentioned in an earlier post it was doing that thing where it starts up, blue screens and then restarts only to repeat the process ad nauseum. Usually I can fix the problem without wiping the hard drive. Microsoft’s fixes are retarded in these cases actually because I haven’t seen a manufacturer yet who installs Recovery Console as a boot option, and so many just send ‘wipe ‘n go’ Setup CDs with their machines.

I hate that because most people don’t back up and the vicious part of it is, you can’t install Recovery Console using Microsoft’s method with those disks because you CAN’T log into Windows.

Also Microsoft’s “redundancies” and “self repair” systems are a huge joke, if they even exist.

What irritated me in this case though was the owner of the machine claims that his version of XP Pro was from a “Microsoft Employee” and was an “early version”. That means I couldn’t actually fix the problem because no kernel32 file in existance was compatible. So I backed everything up I could on it, wiped the drive and started over. I only used backup CD’s to install Windows because I don’t want my originals getting screwed up. Yes I use the client’s CD keys (or occasionally ones from machines that no longer have that version on them) so I’m not doing anything illegal.

Anyway thankfully they didn’t have much on the machine, not that they could have with that ‘old’ version of XP Pro but at least it wasn’t a big deal to work with. I think their network card must be screwed up though because it isn’t functioning. It’s just great!

Oh well I’ll have to do the same thing to this computer soon I think because when I installed a new Windows system on it I forgot to have it wipe the hard drive, which is what I really wanted it to do. I was just too lazy to go back and do it over.

My ‘oldest younger sister’ came in for a visit today. We didn’t talk much. Was good to see her though really. ZB and her were wandering the city looking for people to freak out. I didn’t recognize her voice when she came up so I wasn’t totally sure who it was, I haven’t seen her in well over a year though. I found out that she’s a huge Harry Potter fan now so at least we finally have something in common.

I’m out for the day,


Cold and my fried rice makes people sleepy, very sleepy

Earlier my dad asked if I could make some ‘chicken fried rice’ for my mom and everyone as my mom hadn’t ever had it. Now my idea of “Chicken Fried Rice” is fried rice with deep fried popcorn chicken in it. So I made a BIG skillet full of it. Lots of rice, lots of chicken and all that. So it’s really cold out today for some reason (it was hot yesterday) and the temperature combined with a belly full of fried rice and slightly oily chicken has made everyone but myself around here slip into a near comatose slumber. I may be next.

I live upstairs so I’ve got a little tea candle lit in here to stave off some of the heat. Not that I expect it actually does anything to keep things warm but the little fire makes me *think* it’s doing something, even though it’s really not. I actually managed to nearly burn the house down last year with one of these things. I made a wick out of a paper towel and managed to get the wax hot enough it burned itself. I had to snuff it because nothing was putting in out. I didn’t think to use CO2 on it but I did find out that those covers for CD spindles are great for putting out fires. Just slip it over things and it cuts off the oxygen supply well. If that doesn’t do it then it melts down and smothers it. So they are useful for something!

You can also make some cool ‘Star Wars’ like containers from the spindles and the lids by cutting off the spindle. They seal and stack!

I saw the South Park Warcraft episode earlier today. I thought it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. My brother found it in it’s entirety online somewhere. Still waiting for him to send it to me again. It’s great. It also explains WHY I quit. Not that there were any psychos killing everyone for no reason but because of how horribly tedious the game gets after a while. If they had stuff like that happening in game I’d weigh 900 pounds now because I’d never leave my seat except to eat.

Got an appraiser coming to measure the house tomorrow (maybe). My mom has been going a touch crazy trying to prep the house. Some water damage needed fixed and a few other things. So I’ve been paingint and doing my computer repair stuff today. The last appraiser that came was a total dumbass. He measured every freaking room in the house and asked us to help. He used a big tape measure instead of one of those cool lasar measuring devices they have now. I’d be getting one of them if I were him for inside. He expected total and complete perfection and gave us two hours notice so there was no way we had the house clean. He didn’t have to measure everything either, simple math would have given him all he needed. I hope these ladies are a lot better at it then he was.  They were supposed to come the 17th so we thought we had a lot of time to fix the few things that needed fixing. I guess not!

That kind of ruins the D&D session tonight. Not all bad though because the owner of this computer I’m working on now will hopefully call tonight so I can explain the situation. It’s doing that ‘reboot loop’ thing that happens sometimes when you shut the computer down wrong or use a bad version of Windows XP Professional to upgrade from. Hopefully it isn’t the latter because that pretty well calls for a computer wipe unless he has an OEM version of XP then I can do a repair, I hope. Otherwise I’ll have to back up all his data, wipe, reinstall and then give it back all for $50 and dang it I’m making something off this if it kills me. Fortunately I have practically all the software he does.

Let this be a warning to you all. ALWAYS UPDATE WINDOWS. Had he kept Windows up to date this would not have happened. Sadly he was probably using a pirated copy so he probably COULDN’T keep windows up to date.

Anyway I’m gonna tweak with our house rules for our D&D game. The BESM d20 system for Armor as damage reduction is NOT working well for us. Something with 13 armor is a huge pain to kill. I like the rest of the system though except I think it wasn’t very well thought out now that I’ve played it. Plus villains are harder to create. It doesn’t lend well to hack and slash at all either.

Oh well, I love this setting so let the tweaking commence!


Lamentation for the RPG

It’s been a good long while since I’ve played a decent RPG video game. I’m really kind of missing it.

I just finished Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 and it was pretty good. I did it with minimal cheating too. It’s not that I really NEEDED to cheat but I hate dying ninety times on some of the bosses, only to start over just outside their room and sit through a 2 minute dialogue session and try to remember what choices I made.

It’s a fun game, and if you have the specs to run it I highly suggest you get Knights of the Old Republic 1 too and play it first. It’s a far better game with a much more intriguing and somewhat longer storyline. Knights 2 is shorter, and while the storyline is really neat I was somewhat irritated by all the references to Revan (the main character in Knights 1). It seemed like it was teasing too much and leaving far too many things open and relying too heavily on the story in the first game without connecting it too much.

The game left me craving more though. I searched shortly after finishing the game for “Old Republic” novels. I know there are a few and I am really interested in the setting. To me it’s a much more intriguing era then the “New Jedi Order” storyline that most of them are written in. I guess it’s because you already know what’s going to happen but it’ll be so far in the future whatever happens in the Old Republic may not affect the “current Republic” in the slightest.

I did find a few but honestly it would be cool to see some Revan stories and continue the characters from the games adventures in the ‘dark places’. I hear that’s kinda what is in the works over at Obsidian right now, a continuation of the story.

Revan kicked nine kinds of butt, I seriously want her as a party member. The Exile was ok too, just not as badass.

The biggest problem I have with the game is that, though it does encourage a lot of replay (the game is different if you play not only lightside/darkside but male/female too. There’s four basic variations I’m told from the guides), it’d be nice if you could skip the whole Paragus thing if you’ve beat it once. It takes so long, it’s worse then Tarus in the first game.

I’m hoping to get Final Fantasy 3 for my birthday. It looks really great and I’m literally going to start praying they remake the older Final Fantasy games for the Nintendo DS. I’d like to collect them again like that since I don’t play console games anymore and really don’t have the time to hook the old Playstation/Super Nintendo back up to play ’em (Much less the hundreds of dollars it would take to buy a PS2 and the FF games for it). I’d love to play FFX, anyone got a functional PS2 and FFX, FFX-2, and so forth they’d let me just have? Hahaha.

Heck I’d take the games, a control pad and a decent emulator.

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