Work

This has been a week of preparation: the switch over to Digital Identity is happening soon. We’ve been putting together pull requests for downtime—in which we’ll do the user migration—and for the new configuration.

Books

This week I read:

  • World War Z by Max Brooks

    The book is not much like the film. Or, rather, the film is not much like the book, since the book came first. I think the book was better: the film picks a couple of the stories from the book and expands on them, presenting them in real-time through the eyes of the narrator who travels around; whereas the book comes a decade after the zombie war, and is the accounts of survivors. Also, the film ends with a cure being found, so in the film the whole zombie plague lasts for… a couple of months, at most. Which isn’t very exciting really.

    I found the idea of the virus spreading quickly via black-market organ transplants delightfully creepy, I don’t think I’d seen that done before.

Gaming

This week I’ve been thinking about rumour tables, which are a way of giving information about what’s going on in the world to the players organically. The GM comes up with a numbered list of rumours and, when the characters are out carousing or gathering information or whatever, the GM rolls on this list and presents what the players find. The players then might follow that lead, going straight for it or perhaps looking for more information about that specific topic first.

Simple enough.

The challenge, I’ve found, is coming up with a good list of rumours. I wanted 20 for my Traveller sandbox campaign, and I’ve settled on:

  • No rumour, a random encounter happens!
  • A few “rumour templates”: calls to generate something there and then from tables in the Traveller rulebooks.
  • A few new rumours about things they’re already interested in.
  • But mostly new rumours I’ve prepared to give the players some lore and hooks pointing to things they don’t yet know about.

I’ll see how it goes over the next few sessions. Maybe rumour tables will be the next topic on the RPG blog.

Roleplaying Games

Software Engineering