Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Classic SciFi TTRPG Roundup

 Thanks to Thomas for the great prompt.

I haven't got on the Starfield bandwagon. Honestly, I'm not even sure I have the hardware to run it. But it certainly has revitalized an interest in space opera and classic scifi pulp in the gaming world.

Personally, I've caught the same bug from playing No Man's Sky lately. I got it for my birthday in June, played the hell out of it for a bit, then went traveling in the Summer. To keep scratching the itch for space exploration NMS gave me, I created the Starfarer setting, and ran a pretty lengthy solo game using a combination of Mythic GM Emulator and RPG Pundit Presents #100: Star Adventurer 

Being able to blast off into space and enjoy some campy Sci-Fi action is definitely on the minds of myself, my gaming group, and a lot of my friends.

That in mind I'm going to talk about some of the classic science fiction role playing games out there if you're looking to scratch that itch and you're not interested in something as new school as Starfinder.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Developing Procedural Campaign Building Tools

 Let me tell you about a ridiculous idea I have.

After running the Starfarer solo game, and through it, generating a pretty detailed science fiction world, I have worked towards making it playable for other people.

Wanting something that would let me run the game at the drop of a hat - mostly of academic curiosity - and to help me refresh my long after feed computer programming skills, I designed a program that procedurally generates  outputs star system's complete with points of interest and  rumor tables. These will soon be detailed enough to give GM's everything that need to run a game at the drop of a hat with me.

Once the data is already generated,  it is pretty easy to extracted the data from my output file, and change it, and rewrite it.

It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to create a set of scripts that would weekly check rumors, prune old ones, replace them with new ones, cycle through cultural events, can't even manage and imaginary market futures site, sports league, and entertainment scene.

Given a few weeks of time hocus on nothing else, I could even have a unique role-playing game built specifically for it that played like something like a strange hybrid of Star Adventurer, Stars Without Number, Mythic, and a table top interpretation of No Man's Sky or Starfinder.... Mixed with a healthy dose of Star Trek and Mass Effect.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Tinkering and Tumult

 It has been a crazy week for me, readers! My youngest son started school, and I am suddenly back on the job market and trying to figure out where my skills can best serve the world after years of being focused on my children full-time. I'm pursuing a lot of different angles as I get back into figuring out what I want to do "when I grow up."

Honestly, getting back into life coaching with focusing on making lifestyle changes to help handle chronic pain might be the best way to put the last year of difficulties to good use... but I can hardly resist the lure of going back into tech.

To that end, I have been using my role-playing creations as a touchstone to working on reviving and updating old skills and developing new ones.

Machine Learning technology has been a big part of that focus. After all, engineering a good prompt and understanding how "AI" processes language is a new, and probably very useful skill. And I have learned a lot about both generating images and content that could be useful for TTRPGs.

I am going to share a bit of my AI experimentation here, and also talk about why I have decided to ditch some of it.