January 14th, 2007

distributed postmodern agitprop

Holy shit ... Google gets cooler every day

While writing the above post, I did some quick Google research for the origins of the D&D magic system ... only to discover a surprising quirk of their search engine.

Check out this Google search for "dungeons dragons." Notice anything odd?

... Notice how the context highlighting matches the input phrase dungeons dragons to the page phrase D&D? (Based on my prior search, this is true even for pages on which the words "dungeons" and "dragons" don't appear.)

Maybe I wasn't forward-thinking enough when I created DWIM for the TTU setting. Earth web searches might get there yet, magic or no.
geekier than thou

"Well, then, it's a good thing one of us is a rock star!"

Among the other pursuits 2006 brought into my life was roleplaying. After several years of not being able to find a gaming group for love or money, I met a great bunch of folks through Pagan Coffee Night at the downstairs bookstore, and joined their ongoing Mage: The Ascension campaign. Yay!

Mage can be a tough game to play if you're not used to it (and an even tougher game to GM). This is because the core of the game is the magic system, which bears no resemblance to the nerfed Vance lists of AD&D. You can do anything, assuming sufficient skill in the appropriate field. Do you want to make yards and meters an equivalent measurement of distance around you, cause your Widget to turn purple in the presence of titanium, and automatically set all mimes within sight on fire? Space 3, Matter 2, and Forces 4 should be all you need.

I mention this only as background ... because, due to that flexibility, Mage also produces the most outstanding gaming quips.

Two of our mages were in a stolen helicopter that was running out of fuel, and they didn't want to land it to address the problem. No big deal; one of them has Matter-3 and thus can convert between similar chemicals. I pointed out that there were any number of objects in the helicopter that could be thus transformed into jet fuel, including but not limited to plastics --

Bax: "... and hell, if you don't want to rip up the seats for plastic, any hydrocarbon will do. Wad up your polyester shirt and stuff it into the gas tank --"

Justin: "Sorry, this plane don't run on disco."

Damn, but I've missed gaming. ]B=8D