The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'role-playing'
Synergon ("Where dreams come to die") is a role-playing game based around the soul-crushing tedium of a large corporate workplace. Players create employee characters, who belong to one of several departments, such as Accounting, Legal, Marketing or IT, each with special attack/defense abilities. Non-player characters one interacts with are known as "frenemies", and may attack one in various ways. Throughout the game, employees exercise a variety of abilities, including Acting Productive, Accusation Of Incompetence, Call Meeting, Twitter Gossip and Crawl Under Desk. Notably absent is whatever business function the company ostensibly performs; that remains a McGuffin, irrelevant to the petty politicking and small-stakes trench warfare that actually takes place. Some excerpts from the materials:
Alignment: Some employees are nicer than others, but there’s really only one alignment here. It’s called the do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-it-to-5p.m. alignment. Call it “neutral,” for short. Of course, we all feel a little lawful or evil from time to time, but the urges come and go.
Day: Made up of 8 soul-sucking hours. A night of prime-time TV is able to put employees into torpor deep enough that it basically hits the “reset button” in the brain. Each employee chooses 1 status to eliminate at EOD regardless of how many hours or days of the effect are left. At EOD, employees regenerate 10% of maximum MP and 15% of maximum AP.And here is some context:
Synergon is supposed to simulate BLARPing. LARPers (or Live Action Role Players) are a group of people who get together to act out roles, usually in a vaguely medieval or fantasy setting. You may know them as those-guys-that-hit-each-other-with-foam-swords. BLARPers, on the other hand, are Business Live Action Role Players, and they play make believe every day in the office.
The comparison between LARPers and business people quickly becomes apparent when considering how many people in the business world are just making things up as they go along. They often don’t have any expertise in the area they’re responsible for, but they feel that the right amount of zeal and showmanship can make up for any deficiency. You know the ones; they’re in every office, acting, not working. They don’t know what they’re talking about, they just know they’ve heard all the words before.
A long thread of stories about creepy people met in role-playing games; these range from those with a slight problem with reality (i.e., those who believe they really are elves or vampires or powerful sorcerers or that the Necronomicon is real; which is not too unlike religious fundamentalists, but I digress) to psychos who insisted on bringing weapons with them at all times, people who turned out to be child molesters or similar, people who insisted on taking games in peculiar directions, the disturbed, those whose lack of social skills included not knowing that certain bodily functions were inappropriate in company, and various of Cat Piss Man's brothers and sisters. (via MeFi)
Sex advice from roleplayers; in this case, "roleplayers" being not the people in the trenchcoats and faded size-XXL fantasy-art T-shirts you see throwing oddly-shaped dice in university buildings one night a week, but those who dress up as anime characters.
Q: What characters and costumes should never be brought into sex?
Chris: Anything with a lot of armor or spikes. Anything that takes fifteen minutes to get out of.
Carrie: Children and tentacle monsters.
Q: A man in his late twenties hasn't had a lot of sexual experience and it's starting to cause performance anxiety. Should he bring it up with his partner?
It's not uncommon. A lot of guys over twenty or even thirty can be virgins. That's a common thing I see.
(via gizmodo, of all places)
Make your own jokes: The Book of Erotic Fantasy, a Dungeons and Dragons rulebook covering the role-playing of sex (as in by rolling dice and matching against character statistics), has hit the market. Judging from these reviews, they seem to have done their market research well, putting in something (from the SuicideGirls-style vampyrotica photos to extensive sections on fetishes to character species designed to appeal to the furry crowd) for every type of nervert, with the possible exception of hentai fiends (though maybe the reviewer just missed the bit about rolling to remove a sailor suit using tentacles or something). (via jwz)
Steve Jackson Games (the Texan role-playing publisher best known for bringing out the Illuminati card game and having been raided by the Secret Service) are bringing out a new role-playing game exploring the effects of technology and social trends on culture and what it means to be human. Scenario books included in the Transhuman Space game will cover issues such as the emergence of a totalitarian intellectual-property dystopia, memetic engineering and colonisation of the solar system, as well as standbys such as what claim to personhood things like AIs have. There's more information here. (via worldchanging)
Blogger and former teenage role-player Rory weighs in on copy-protected pseudo-CDs comparing them to an anti-photocopying trick used by a RPG company in the 1980s:
But publishers in the early '80s saw the advent of cheap plain-paper photocopying as the End Times, and some of them took measures to prevent it. The most memorable was the Tangerine Game. It wasn't actually called the Tangerine Game; this was a game with a manual printed on tangerine-coloured paper. Which photocopies as a sheet of solid black. This masterstroke was, unfortunately, self-defeating. Tangerine paper is incredibly hard to read, and rules that can't be photocopied are hard to share with friendsthe same friends you want to play the game with. So we never bought or played the Tangerine Game, and now I can't even remember its name.
MORTAL BODIES SLAY EACH OTHER, as they are taught to do by EVIL STUPID EDUCATORS!!!! THE MORTAL BODY CAUSES PAIN. Red White or Green characters can have double-sided combat winnings. Pain and suffering exist to be on Earth. You cannot suffer in other dimensions. Teachers, scholars, learners, they all are to say that your body is real. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Your body is a trap. Life Points measures your animal-sexing body. Life points are based upon a perfect math or your arm would be too short to wipe your butt.
Evil school traps ascending minds to plunder natural resources! It is up to you to free minds, STARTING WITH YOUR OWN STUPID ONE. School is in forest. Characters are attacked by wild warthogs. ROLL TO DAMAGE! Ascended minds are discovered to be just dead brains in jars. Dead stupid brains have gold and magic items.
This week's Onion has some good pieces, such as God Finally Gives Shout-Out Back To All His Niggaz, and Plan To Get Laid At DragonCon 2001 Fails,
"I imagined some girl and I talking about the new Lord Of The Rings movie," Melcher said. "Then I could say, 'Oh, I have the trailer on my laptop back in my hotel room if you want to see it."
Though a distinct minority, some females were present at DragonCon. "There was this one girl dressed up like Black Canary. She had the boots and the fishnet stockings and everything," Melcher said. "I couldn't really talk to her, though, because there was a pretty dense crowd of guys around her at all times."
not to mention this gem: Oh, Girls Are No Good At Genocide.
The Khmer Rouge picked Pol Pot because they knew he'd be good at murder and torture and all that other boy stuff. A girl probably would have planted flowers in the killing fields.