Tag Archives: LiveJournal

Imported post from LJ

Hill 936 aka “Bak Bon Dzhow Hill”

Okay, so I may at some point soon post a proper write up with all kinds of interesting discussions of props, favourite bits, setting discussion and all kinds of other things. But for now I wanted to post something short.

Thank you to all the Proper Refs from the rigging and sapper crews respectively (i.e. those doing the temple and those out doing the trail, although there was a huge overlap) and also the players, you guys were amazing :)

And that out of the way I invite everyone involved to each make a two pronged comment. Firstly I want to know your favourite moment of the event, and also I’m interested in your least-favourite moment too. What did we win at? What did we fail at?

If you don’t want to post in comment feel free to mail me, post in the facebook group for Hill 936 or you know post proper feedback to and

Soylent Green is exceptionally well made

Okay so the trick I find to getting people back into macro-blogging seems to be to keep posting and also commenting on other peoples stuff, to get involved in all kinds of random back and forth chit-chat. I sometimes enter this paralysis of blogging because I go “Well item X isn’t really big enough to write about, so I’ll just post a 2 liner on facebook” and “Item Y isn’t really big enough so I’ll retweet the link I saw it at and not really write about it”.

But that way lies madness! (and micro-blogging, which I like for daily chit-chat but I like to see it balanced with longer writings by people and general catchups).

Anyway, so I thought I’d actually write some useful stuff. Well not useful but longer than just “Oh for fucks sake [politician] why are you allowed to make laws when you say [fucking stupid thing]”.

Warning! Soylent Green is SPOILERS!

I am the ghost of memes past

“Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don’t blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don’t blog about, but you’d like to hear about, and I’ll write a post about it.”

I dare you, and then post the meme yourself. If you can’t think of anything to ask me about, just post it on your own blog. (last asked in 2009)

Other Things: Weird Fiction and Clark Ashton Smith

Anyway, in order to try and keep up the momentum of updating the good old LJ I thought I’d post about other things I’ve been getting up to, instead of just grousing about one thing in my life thats pissing me off lately.

So recently I’ve been doing prop making for Hill 936, which seems to be going okay (fingers crossed), I’ve also been reading an awful lot of really random stuff. Mostly I’ve been going through the two volumes of short stories – Out of Space and Time written by Clark Ashton Smith that gifted me with a while back, and it must be said I’m enjoying reading it for the first time in much the same way I enjoyed reading a lot of Lovecrafts work when I was younger.

I can see the stuff that other people have nicked from this, and I can see more of the back and forth between him and HPL, but also I’m just enjoying reading this weird fiction where I have no idea what’s coming next :) And that’s something to really appreciate. Quite often when I read HPL inspired work I can sort of guess where they’re going with it, because they want to stay within Lovecraft’s framework. However reading Smith is good because he’s much fresher to me and hence the stories still have that feeling where I’m reading them and just about any damn thing can happen

In particular volume 2 opens with The Last Hieroglyph, which (despite some rather overt racism) is a fantastic tale featuring all kinds of wierdness, reading like some kind of strange trip. It’s not a complicated tale, and some of the others beat it for style, I just quite like the ending, the sheer strangeness of it was really rather nice :)

Things to do in Denver when you’re locked out of your machine.

So there I was, suddenly remembering that I was supposed to do a job to unlock a door tomorrow. And I was at home. And our shitty ticketing system runs on Windows only with no good web interface (checked that first) and the only Windows box with the client is my VM at work.

“Shit” thinks I.

But wait! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Behold x11vnc!

Basically I did this to log into my work box and start it up:

$ ssh -t -L 5900:localhost:5900 workbox.example.com 'x11vnc -localhost  -display :0'

Then this to connect to that, which opened my actual xorg desktop at work, while it was still running over ssh:

$ vncviewer localhost:0

Then nipped over to the VMware player, found the keyboard mapping wouldn’t let me input my password to log onto the damn thing, so poked the VM to enable its remote access (VNC) on port 5901 and then did this from the home box:

$ vncviewer workbox.example.com:1

And Roberts your fathers brother, access to the grumpy VM and from there the ticketing system to remember the times.

De Profundis: Michaelmas Term 2011, In and out of LURPs

Well I’ve been pondering how to start up a good De Profundis (available from circle7 here), the letter-writing game of personal subtle psychodrama, and after a few attempts it hit me that I should just pitch it at LURPs, so heres a first draft, so looking for feedback on my pitch before I stick it on the LURPs forum.

Game: De Profundis – Letters from the Abyss
Title: Ghosts of the Lune

I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey towards the heart of mystery and mythology. There is a game that’s widely talked about and rarely played, that game is De Profundis – Letters from the Abyss, a freeform correspondence horror RPG. My aim is to start up a modern day game set in Lancaster (at least initially) in which the players will be playing characters associated with the town. These can be students (either fictional versions of themselves or entirely fictional characters) and staff from the University or those who live and work in town.

This review gives quite a good overview of the game, which is available from circle7 here both as paper and PDF.

The goal of the game is to establish a good mythos flavoured atmosphere. The setting will be Lancaster now so starting to enter the autumnal rainy season, the days drawing in, new students arriving, strange things slowly starting. So you may be a physicist plumbing the strange associations between maths and folklore or a musical student who understands the associations between music and the mythos, or an avid dreamer in search of strange cities or an artist with unusual links to your macabre subjects, someone investigating their family history, someone corresponding with a person involved in horrid alien threat or anything else you can dream up (even mysterious vagrants can get mail access at the library in town). What I’m aiming to establish is much like the original paper-letter based version, that you set aside a little time to get into character, open up your mail and interact with all the other strange people, trading myths and rumours and trying to make sense of what’s going on.


The theme that’s being aimed for in this game is broadly speaking “cthulhu mythos”, which means the body of horror work by H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert W. Chambers and all the way down to modern day works like Charlie Stross’s Laundry series. Large collections of this work is available online (see for example Wikisource: H.P. Lovecraft) the primary themes of which are (off the top of my head) cosmic horror, body horror, alienation, dreams, alien corruption of the self, magic and alien technology and the merger of history/mythology and the inhuman/alien. If you want to mix in more modern sources (e.g. the urban horror of Kult, Hellraiser, Slender Man, etc) feel free, but keep in mind the stark uncaring nature of the Universe.


The background will be that Dr. Jasper K. Penwortham (Religious Studies department, Lancaster University) has just published his substantial work: “Ghosts of the Lune: Some Observations On the Folklore of the Lower Lune Valley and Surroundings, 1847 – 2009” and will be giving a public reading.

Additionally its the autumn, the winds and rain are coming in more regularly over the bay and another batch of fresh students has just arrived to grace the halls and spine of that famous institution Lancaster University.

Game Mechanics

The mechanism of the game is to establish a circle of characters who will write to each other over email and discuss strange goings on in their lives and odd things they’ve noticed. There is no GM, although I aim to work as some kind of coordinator, helping people meet up and connect characters into the whole general mess.

Essentially its a freeform play by mail mythos RPG, so you will be sitting down in front of your email account in character and reading and writing email in character. The hope is that players will help each other with the goal of building something larger than the sum of its parts, of creating atmosphere and weaving together actual events and places on campus, in town and around the surrounding area to try and link the whole thing in, to discover the mythos in everyday life and give it that living vibrant horrible atmosphere :)

There is a ghosts-of-the-lune group to coordinate OOC and IC interaction (i.e. somewhere to post notices of in-game actions that will have an effect on town, like people putting up fliers or getting arrested) and for people to register as playing, to link them OOC with their characters, and also to say what their character is known for, and where their email address is published (i.e. plot hooks for how other people get in touch with them).

Also I ask that people please set up a fresh email account to send and receive mail from for their character to avoid confusion, and if people want to post the very occasional prop via physical mail then that would also be interesting. Please don’t just appear in game without letting everyone else know you’ll be participating, also please don’t mail people who aren’t playing from your IC account (unless maybe you’re trying to do some research and you’ve talked to them ahead of time) as I don’t want to be snarked at for causing people to get time wasted by a game their not in.

Please remember that while you may experience Azathoth descending to destroy the world and everything in it, since everyone else is likely to be alive then they may just think you’re a fruitloop whose hallucinating, however feel free to experience this if you want your character to burst, although I’m not sure how you’d send the email about it :) Please follow the normal rules of freeform gaming, you can’t enforce something on someone elses character, merely suggest what your own is doing, no bloody twinky powergaming.

In order to avoid people either going quiet or getting flooded I’m going to ask that the following minimums be respected:
Minimum: 1 email per week sent out
Maximum: 1 email sent to any character per day
Run time: During Michaelmas Term 2011 (at the end of which I guess it’ll naturally continue if the players are enjoying themselves)

Hows that sound? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Should I try and start up some kind of overall theme or flavour? Or is that a good or bad idea?

(Edit Added a title (ta Jez :) to try and hook people in with some flavour of the local area, yes titling it after a supposed academic paper fits the theme

Edit 2: Posted! Ahoy!)