Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Like DRM? (Score 1) 448

by Sasayaki (#47832037) Attached to: Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Do you think that if the Republicans (or any other political party) were in power, this mess would have never happened?

If your answer is an affirmative, unconditional yes, you're probably not thinking rationally. The Republicans started this whole mess after all. The Democrats continued it. Both are bad, neither is blameless. To believe otherwise is to be an unthinking automaton.

Comment: Re:Can a little guy publish successful PNP RPG tod (Score 4, Informative) 203

by Sasayaki (#47709515) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Are you kidding? Today is the absolutely best time to be an indie game system developer, ever.

Back in the day, the only way you could get your stuff into the hands of the players was brick-and-mortar stores, word of mouth, or occasionally mail-order systems in magazines and stuff. That was it.

These days, there's so many online distribution points like DriveThruRPG, Amazon's KDP, iTunes, Google Play, etc that getting your game out there is easy. Just write your game system, publish it on any/all of the above, and bam. There you have it -- distribution, complete. Almost all these retailers allow discounting, promotions, bundling, etc. The amount of promotion tools available is staggering.

You can set your price, including as low as $0.99 for most retailers. If your idea is really good (and you're good at marketing) you can use Kickstarter or Indie GoGo or any other service to bootstrap a little funding. You can create and publish video promotions for free on YouTube. You can get a website for free, or very minimal cost, and run ads on it to bring in a little extra income.

You have total control over the distribution process. You might choose, for example, to make your core rules set available for free, and then charge for supplements. You can make it OGL if you want, or licence it how you want. You can write and publish electronic tools to help run games. You can even create your own game worlds, adventures, or whatever.

And the best thing is? All the tools you need are available for free or for staggeringly low cost. LibreOffice is your free word processing suite, although I recommend you drop $40 on Scrivener (it's like sex, except I'm having it). GIMP can do covers and basic image work well enough, but again, I'd suggest dropping $40 on Photoshop Elements. On DriveThruRPG you can get gaming stock art, templates, images and all kinds of art beautification your heart could desire, all extremely cheaply. When that fails you, there's ShutterStock, iStockphoto, or any number of stock image websites. Failing that: ask artists on DeviantArt to draw exactly what you want. $200-$500 will get you a sweet digital painting from an awesome artist, which is a good investment for something like your Core Rule Book.

We are living in the publishing future.

Comment: It all comes down to the OGL (Score 5, Interesting) 203

by Sasayaki (#47709393) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Long time d20 (and variants) player here. Not as long as some, but long enough to have played 2nd Edition when it was still current.

IMHO, 5th Edition's success will come down to their acceptance of the OGL (Open Gaming Licence), which we will discover in the coming days. All signs point to no, but Wizards might surprise us yet.

For those who don't know, the OGL was introduced in the 3rd edition (and continued its minor update, v3.5) of D&D. It was truly revolutionary. The OGL not only permitted players to redistribute the base rule system as they wished, including publishing it online for free almost in its entirety, but empowered players, writers, and campaign masters to edit, change and adapt the rules as they saw fit -- and publish those changes, as long as they too were under the OGL. It's open source for gaming systems.

One of the leading benefits of this was the publication of "Adventure Paths". As the OGL did not cover game worlds, only the mechanics and rules of the game, any writer or publishing company with a solid working knowledge of the game could create, publish, and distribute (freely or for profit) their own adventures, rules variations, optional mechanics, and thousands of various changes. One of the leading companies was Paizo, who specialized in publishing these so-called Adventure Paths. They were not the only ones. For example, I personally published a Pathfinder flavoured novel about a kobold, "Ren of Atikala", set in the original world of Drathari (oblig. plug: Using the OGL, I am able to legally use, alter, and draw inspiration from the rules and mechanics of OGL-licensed publications and create original works.

As I said earlier, it's open-source for gaming systems.

Between 3rd edition and v3.5, this was the state of D&D for almost 8 years, until June of 2008, when D&D 4th Edition was released. Unfortunately, D&D 4th Edition used a different version of the OGL, which was much more restrictive in what it permitted players, authors, and creators to edit, change, and redistribute (IIRC, it was essentially, "you may only reprint the *name* of the rule, and then reference the Player's Handbook", which meant if you were playing Star Wars you had to look up Power Attack in the D&D Player's Handbook... ugh).

Because of this change, and the simplifications made to the rules system which were often disfavourably compared to a video game, many players took a distinct, sight-unseen dislike to 4th Edition.

This restrictive change to the OGL also strongly disinsentivised Paizo from publishing Adventure Paths. After some internal discussion, it was decided that 4th Edition was not for them, and released a revised version of v3.5 of Dungeons and Dragons, known as the Pathfinder RPG (sometimes informally referred to by the player base as D&D v3.75), specifically intended to be backwards compatible with v3.5 of Dungeons and Dragons material. It was published shortly after 4th Edition's debut.

For many reasons -- a feeling that v3.5 was "good enough", Paizo's open-beta policy and staunch support of the OGL even for expansion books, and for viewing companies such as Green Ronin as allies rather than competitors -- Pathfinder has flourished in the wake of the relatively-poorly received 4th edition and is now a common staple at Roleplaying conventions and tabletop gaming communities, where previously only Dungeons and Dragons was played.

D&D Next seems, to me, to be squarely aimed directly at bringing Pathfinder converts back into the fold, promising to address some of the issues in both 4th Edition and Pathfinder, by providing a linearly scaling advancement, reducing preparation time for Game Masters, and simplifying many poorly thought out and complicated legacy rules which most players will admit probably need to go.

For me, though, D&D Next will live or die the same death 4th Edition did, based on its acceptance of OGL. Gamers typically play the most popular gaming system, even if it's not necessarily the best. If 5th Edition doesn't have a full OGL, then irrespective of what it does wrong or what it does right, Pathfinder (and the huge-mongous amount of compatible 3rd party expansions, modifications, and adventures) will just crush it.

Paizo knows this, though, and I think they're afraid. They recently announced Pathfinder Unchained, a variant (but still, in many ways, compatible and familiar) reworking of many base classes to free them of "legacy cruft". Clearly, this change is a counter-point to 5th Edition, and Paizo's platform of "small, incremental change" has worked well for them in the past... but the first OGL version of Dungeons and Dragons is now 14 years old and there is a feeling, in some corners, that a true revolution is needed.

It is clear that the future is currently in flux, and on the year of Dungeons and Dragons's 40th birthday I can't help but shake a distinct feeling that, for Wizards of the Coast, D&D Next will either be the product that restores Dungeons and Dragons to its former glory as the undisputed champion of tabletop roleplaying systems, or the anchor that drags the brand down to a final, well earned resting place in the annals of roleplaying history.

The 5th Edition organised play campaign seems interesting, though.

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 4, Interesting) 667

by Sasayaki (#47498143) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

FatLittleMonkey is correct, the Ukraine has many Buk SAM systems. The one that allegedly shot down MH-17, however, appears at the present time to be a Russian-supplied and crewed loaner to the separatists they are backing.

Not that a Ukrainian error of identification would have been any more or less tragic, although it's less plausible since the separatists are not operating any air assets that I'm aware of so the Ukrainians are much more likely to be very conservative with regard to their anti-air grid.

It's important to note: At this stage it is clear that neither the Russians, nor the separatists, intended to shoot down a civilian airliner. They were targeting military assets. That point should be remembered. It's not like Putin's on his dark throne, cackling away at all of this. In fact I suspect he's currently having his men find and quietly dispose of whoever ordered the missile launch.

That doesn't change the fact that the Russians are clearly supplying the separatists with weapons and trained crews, and that in war people die, including people who had no horse in the race at all. Supplying rebels with state-of-the-air medium range anti-aircraft systems is a significant escalation of the previous conflict which has, as we've seen, the potential to cause all kinds of misery for third parties.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 4, Informative) 667

by Sasayaki (#47498119) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

> shot down a Ukrainian fighter

I'm seeing this a lot. Minor point of order: The craft that was shot down was an SU-25 Frogfoot (, which is a ground attack aircraft; the Eastern Bloc equivalent of the A-10 "Warthog" Thunderbolt II (

I agree with the broader point though that it seems clear that whoever was operating the Buk SAM system was aiming for Ukrainian air assets, based on their previous actions, but they dun goofed and shot down a civilian aircraft.

At this particular point in time, it does not seem to be a deliberate action. The fact that the agencies involved (Russia for supplying the expensive, specialist equipment with crew trained in its use; Russian-backed Separatists for ordering the anti-air action) are going to great lengths to attempt to cover up their involvement speaks volumes in support of this conjecture.

Comment: Re:yeah it is a good thing for me (as an author) (Score 1) 87

by Sasayaki (#47472181) Attached to: Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Fellow author here. The problem is, it requires Prime, and the payment is only a borrow. Expect the borrow rate to increase. Of course, that's fine if Amazon increases the pool accordingly; they might treat Kindle Unlimited as a loss-leader and just accept that some people will read 50 books a month and accept the loss, or recoup it on those who buy subscriptions but never read anything.

Prime just isn't worth it for me, because it requires KDP Select, which is essentially Amazon exclusivity. I make about equal amounts between Amazon, Google Play, and Apple. Last month I did particularly well on Google Play and it doubled my Amazon revenue. This month, due to a Bookbub promotion on my best selling novel, Amazon's equal to Google Play + Apple. But that's rare.

Even if Kindle Unlimited takes off and doubles my Amazon sales, I'll still lose money, and exclusivity always makes me nervous. Back in 2012, when I started publishing, I was exclusive and it meant heart-attacks every time Amazon did something messed up like de-activate my product page, or put me in the wrong category, or ranking problems, or whatever.

I might give it a shot with some of my smaller series such as my paranormal romance serial, or my fantasy novel, but I'm not going to put my cash-cow into Amazon exclusivity without something more than Kindle Unlimited behind it.

Comment: Re:Make it $4.99 and epub, not mobi (Score 2) 87

by Sasayaki (#47472157) Attached to: Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Kindle author here (and other platforms too).

The book is genuinely DRM free. The .mobi file format, which is what Amazon uses, is well documented by FOSS projects such as Calibre. You can transcode your DRM free .mobi files into .epub (which is just a .zip with HTML in it), into PDFs, Word documents, even plain text.

All of my books are DRM free for this reason (and many are also free-as-in-beer).

Comment: Re:Now that's what I call... (Score 5, Funny) 55

by Sasayaki (#47446925) Attached to: Walter Munk's Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment

I'm not really sure why this whole thing is offensive.

My Mum had sex. At least once because, you know, I'm here. This much should be clear. And if she wanted to have sex with you too? Well, she's a grown woman, she can do whatever she wants. Hell, I hope that at age 60 I'm still getting some as well, especially from people who are around a third my age.

I mean, really. That's some high grade success there. Having earth-shattering sex with nubile young 20-something's when you're 60. That's hardly an insult.

I love my Mum a lot. I want her to be happy. If that means having all the crazy sex she wants, by all means. She can. I'm not going to judge her.

And another thing... what does that say about you? "Yeah bro, I had intercourse with a 60 year old woman! Fuck yeah!". I mean, by all means, if that's what you're into then whatever mate, go for your life. Some people like that. It's fine. Some people are into having sex with blowup dolls. That's weird but if it's their thing, then I'm cool with it. They tend to brag about it a lot less though.

Honestly, the most offensive thing about that is the waterbed. Those things are a piece of shit.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -- Emerson