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[PUBLIC] 7-Topic Meme - The Cover Story
October 2013
Tue, Apr. 17th, 2012 09:26 am
[PUBLIC] 7-Topic Meme

In an effort to get more content here, I asked darkoni42 to provide me with seven topics to talk about. I believe the rules of this meme obligate me to pay these topics forward on request, but I expect everyone who reads this and is likely to participate has already gotten a goodly set of topics for themselves.

So, without further ado,

What make a Giant Robot into a Death Machine?

Generally speaking, a battery of anti-personnel weaponry. Given advances in pilot emergency escape technologies, and the wide-spread embracing of these technologies both by pilots and quartermasters, the probability of a pilot dying from the destruction of his vehicle is quite low; Giant Robot-on-Giant Robot combat usually has a casualty rate of around 3%.

The same can not be said of Giant Robot-on-Infantry. While anti-Mech weaponry tends to be ineffective against infantry formations on a tactical scale, properly equipped with an array of anti-infantry options, a Giant Robot can easy get its average death-per-second rate up to 3 or 4, sometimes with spikes into the low double-digits.

What is the most destinations you have traveled to before coming home?

I believe that would have been the first year my company had a TechEd conference, in New Orleans. I had two clients to do the week before and the week after the weekend conference, so I hit five cities (New Orleans being the third) between returning home.

Wiring a larp for sound

Not advisable. For Cold Flash, we needed a fairly advanced set of props, including a phone system connecting the four rooms that the LARP took place in. We didn't have a wireless phone capability, so I had to run phone cable between the rooms. Fortunately, the building we were in (Shiffman) had a drop ceiling, so I was able to go down to Home Depot and buy a few hundred feet of CAT3 cable, and run it from room to room through the ceilings. This involved me roleplaying "plant services guy" in my coveralls to dissuade anybody not with the event from asking me what the hell I thought I was doing, and to stop that right now.

It helped greatly that I had re-wired my mother's house in 1999, which taught me a great deal about how land-line phones worked, and how to power them. I didn't have the capability to stand up a PBX server on-site, so I just patched the cables to each location with a 9V battery on each line to give the power to transmit the sound. The problem with this, of course, is that 9 volts won't ring the phones (probably for the best given I didn't have a way to make them stop ringing when they weren't being called), so the players had to leave the phones off the hooks and yell into them to get somebody's attention.

Not ideal.

All told, it took about six or seven manhours of effort to set up on the site, and another one or two to strike. It made for a very memorable experience, but I think I'll handle it differently next time.


I presume this is guest hosting, not web hosting. If I'm mistaken, I trust somebody will correct me.

For me, hosting is a pretty simple proposition; there are a number of rules to follow to ensure the creature-comforts of your guests, and some basic steps will anticipate their needs while they are present.

First, the baseline is Water In, Water Out (WIWO). Regardless of the reason for or the length of the hosting, always have drinks available for guests, and a bathroom for them to use. That is the base level you really can't drop below.

Second, seating. For large parties, this is often something that can be compromised, as many people will be standing, but for small gatherings or gatherings in which there is some activity (gaming, movies, etc) always make sure there is adequate seating for everybody. Also, the floor doesn't count -- we're not getting any younger, and while some people have no problem with sitting on the floor, that is not a safe assumption.

Third, food. This is pretty simple; there should always be some kind of snack immediately available or easily delivered on less than five minute's notice. Ideally this is something light that doesn't conflict with any dietary restrictions of your guests. Starches like bread or brownies often work will, as well as bagged candies. Anything with nuts is a bad idea.

In addition, every five to six hours, there should be a meal. Meal times are 0800-0900, 1200-1300, and 1800-1900; events held during these hours should always plan to feed to the guests. Normally this should be at the host's expense, but for impromptu gatherings or for custom food orders to restaurants by the guests, having each guest pay for themselves is acceptable; if a guest needs food but cannot pay for themselves, it is the host's obligation to find a way to provide for that guest.

Finally, it is the host's responsibility to deal with any interference from the outside world while the event is underway; this includes dealing with food deliveries, arrange cabs, and handling any complaints from neighbors or (in extreme cases) the police.

Individual events also have their own requirements (making sure that movies are ready and queued for movie nights, that gameboards are already setup for hosting specific board games, making sure dishes are clean for group meal preparation, etc.) but these are the general rules for hosting I try to abide by.

Most fearless character you have played.

Outside of gag-ordered characters, I'd probably have to go with HP Lovecraft in Miskatonic Class Reunion 2000. I still have a clear memory of leading half the game into battle against the forces of madness armed with nothing more than a dustbin to defend myself with.

Favorite Board Game

Phew. That's a hard one; I usually just play what I feel like playing. I usually find this is overwhelmingly balanced by the people I'm playing with, but when I think about what I really look forward to playing each gaming weekend, I think I have to say Wealth of Nations. I love economic games, I love games where each player can adopt a strategy that interacts with other players in a symbiotic way, and I love commerce. Container probably comes in a close second.

Please explain why your other answer was wrong ... or impossible topics

Well, Giant Robots are just silly -- their tactical and mechanical properties could always been radically outperformed by other vehicles more cheaply and effectively. Until the war on the Giant Staircase World, they are impractical.

I've interpreted the second question to my choosing; the true answer if "destination" is a building is during my exile to the Netherlands; there I visited several hundred places before returning home.

What we did with Cold Flash was extremely silly: never try it. It failed so many parameters as to be embarrassing.

My entry on Hosting did not include several basic requirements, like power, light, and heat. Even in the Dark Ages, guests would leave a Lord's hall if he could not keep them warm, give them light to see by, and an outlet to charge their cell-phones.

In truth, my most fearless character was [MESSAGE REDACTED BY ORDER OF DAN DITURSI]

And finally, BSG, duh.

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Current Location: Waltham, MA
Current Mood: accomplished


Tue, Apr. 17th, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)

Not everyone has. :)

Can I have seven topics? :D

Robert Bronzite
Tue, Apr. 17th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)

Excellent. I am interested in what you have to say on the following topics, and I don't feel like I need to pitch underhanded to you in this medium.

1. Negotiating Co-Habitation in a Poly Living Space
2. Maintaining Neutrality as a Storyteller/GM/DM
3. LARP and Gaming as a Vector for Forming New Relationships
4. The Differentiation Between Character and Player
5. Nemeses
6. Making Life Meaningful
7. The Importance of Physicality in Non-Sexual Contexts

ReplyThread Parent
Princess M.
Tue, Apr. 17th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)

You played H.P. Lovecraft? That sounds awesome in every way. Possibly even maddeningly awesome.