Sunday, April 30, 2017

GURPS Reprint Bundle

This has been extended at fan request till May 7!
The W23 page lists the items
Get your hands on our limited-time GURPS Bundle featuring formerly out-of-print GURPS products. In this bundle, you will receive eight softcover GURPS titles: MagicHigh-TechBio-TechUltra-TechThaumatologyInfinite WorldsMysteries, and Spaceships. In addition, if you pre-order during the limited window, you will also receive free hardcover copies of GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns and GURPS Basic Set: Characters.
The pre-order window is from April 27th to May 7th only. After the pre-order window is closed, shipments will be processed and mailed within 2-4 weeks.
Note Advertising copy as they wrote it better than I would.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Senator Warren on Bill Maher

Here is a link to the YouTube clip
A good interview that does not pull punches, including ones to the Democrats.
For those who cant recall she is right 1935 to 1980 where among Americas best years, especially for the middle class.

Friday, April 28, 2017

An Open Letter to President Trump

Dear Mr. President,

It is no secret that I am not a fan, however if the president suffers in office America suffers.  In the spirit of helping America above all else I want to offer you my opinions and advice.

Do not get Impeached

It is the belief of many Americans you are violating the law and your oath of office, using the presidency to line your pockets, and colluded with foreign governments. Some want you impeached right now, others are holding off hoping you will abide by your campaign promises.
Your greatest risk is that you have not expanded your approval beyond your base, and the rest of those who voted for you voted you in as an anti-establishment or outsider president because they believed you would really drain the swamp.
Your personal attacks and efforts have alienated almost every Democrat and some Republicans in Congress and this is where your greatest danger lies.  
  • Republicans will have Vice President Mike Pence to take over if you are impeached. He is conservative and more of a party man so they will like him more than you.
  • The Optics of impeaching your own parties President look bad so republicans will want to hold off as long as they can.  However as soon as a majority of the party feel that legislative losses and backlash against your actions risks them losing seats they will turn on you like jackals.
  • Low popularity makes you vulnerable and also harder for you to accomplish the things you want. To protect yourself you need to raise your popularity above 50%, if you can get and maintain that rating they will be afraid and probably unable to impeach you.
  • Work with the Democrats,  Senators Sanders and Warren are the most popular figures in politics t this time. You and your base will not agree with everything they stand for, however a lot of your campaign promises line up with their goals.  If you can work with them you will gain bi-partisan support for your legislative agenda and dramatically increase your popularity.

Fulfill Your Campaign Promises

  • The Border Wall:A real physical wall will cost billions of dollars that America cannot afford. Fiscal Conservatives will fight you because of that. Progressives and Liberals will fight you because they feel it is racist and Un-American. Social Conservatives will be the only group supporting it and some of them are also Fiscal Conservatives so that base will be diluted. Once you start taking peoples land away through Imminent Domain to build that wall you will lose even more support.  My recommendation? Do not build a wall.  Build watch towers like the forestry department uses or even lighthouse like buildings in more urban or high profile areas. this will cost far less and do a better job of increasing border security than a physical wall. It will allow you to hire more ICE agents (job growth) and can avoid the problem of taking way people land or sections where a  wall is especially expensive because of the terrain.
  • Imagine the image of a beautiful watch tower that uses surveillance drones to guard a large area. It will even please defense contractors.
  • Tax Reform:  OK We understand you want to pay less taxes.  However lowering your taxes by increasing the National debt will cripple you politically. remember you want to avoid impeachment and Mike Pence will not pull a Gerald Ford and pardon you. Be more subtle about lining your pockets.
  • Health Care: This is your biggest make or break issue.  However as you are finding out it is a very tough one. You promised to cover everyone and fro far less than they are paying now.  If you could deliver on that promise almost everything else would be forgiven and your popularity would soar! However no insurance based system will do that.  Cut out the middleman and work with Senator Sanders on Medicare for all. If it is budget neutral or even better budget positive you will win over many conservatives and anyone who votes for it will be reelected and those who vote against it will not.
  • Great Jobs! The problem with manufacturing and mining jobs is that automation is a bigger threat than foreign labor. We need to invest in industries that will grow over time and give the middle class more spending money so they can buy more products.  That raises the GDP which makes your millionaire and billionaire buddies wealthier as well.  Think about it if more Americans can invest in stock your hedge fund managers will make more money, people buying homes or condos helps those in real estate, restaurants benefit with more people going out, etc.
  • Raise the Minimum Wage: You may not like the idea but think about it and talk with knowledgeable people who run states where it happened. If you do this it will make you extremely popular, especially if you do it at least a year before an election so people have time to feel the effects. Increased wages means more tax money so it lowers the National Debt. They also increase spending far more than tax cuts so will make your numbers look great.
  • Infrastructure Spending: Avoid short term jobs that raise the National Debt.  If they create permanent jobs and build on new technology to make America the leaders in an industry that is far better for all of us.
  • Environmental Issues: Remember global warming raising sea levels directly puts many of your valuable properties at risk. America already spent most of the money to get ahead of the Paris accords, bailing out just lets other companies off the hook and lets them take a leadership role. The Solutions Project is one option that could be used to increase job growth, promote American leadership in energy growth and increase national security and energy independence.  Remember even as America needs to spend less on energy and buys less coal, gas or oil we can still sell it to the rest of the world. Failing to invest in these companies will mean we are eventually buying this technology from other countries instead of us selling to them.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Trump Tax plan and what it means

We do not have a lot of details yet as the entire plan seems to be one paper.
I am all for simplyfing the tax code and cleaning up the deductions seems to make sense.
Lowering the top tax rate to 35% from 39% is ok as well.
The trouble is that many of the wealthy including President Trump will be paying less than that because of the pass through loophole.
I have two core issues with this plan.
A) It is designed to beneift the very wealthy.  Under the plan they will pay less than most middle income Americans.  That does not seem fair to me.
B) The massive taxcuts along with extra spending will skyrocket the national debt.  What Republicans claim is that by giving tax breaks to corporations they will invest more money so the economy will grow.  This is wrong and history has proven its wrong Under President Reagan and President Bush.
Supply side economics just does not work this way.  What we need is increased  consumer spending.
As more people buy stuff companies make more money so they need to buy more raw materials and hire more people.  Those people than have more money to spend and things just keep getting better.
This is why whenever a state raises the minimum wage the local economy grows and even though businesses are paying more for employees they still make more profits.  Because people with money will spend it and the more people have more money the more spending you see.

The solution is really really simple and obvious.

Lets say you lower taxes to save one million.
One person who saves a million will invest most of and possibly buy a few luxury goods.
Give that same tax break to 1000 people who save $1000 each and they will hopefully use some of it to save or pay bills but they are far more likely to spend a significant amount of that.
Even better that money is spread around among many restaurants, stores, maybe cars or vacations, etc.

A Surplus of Executive Orders

So President Trump who complained during the election of how many Executive Orders Presidnet Obama did has now exceed that of ANY prior president in thier first 100 days for the last 72 years according to CNN.

He just signed his 28th! in less than 100 days which is more than anyone else EVER.
Not trusting any single news source I quickly found the following.
Nov 20 2014 so wont include all of President Obamas orders per Year.
Note that only those Presidents who exceed this amount on a year by year comparison were war time presidents.
The Daily Dot
The Primary source Other articles quote this source but it is a little harder to read so I included the above.
We also have seen him spend a record number of taxpayer dollars in domestic travel, mostly for his weekend golfing and his wife and son not wanting to live in the White House.

Net Neutrality is a Free Speech issue

This article by CNN on the latest activity regarding Net neutrality lacks details but I recommend calling your legislature and letting them know how you feel.
The basic idea is that your internet provider can decide what you see on the internet based on how much they pay them.  So larger companies can afford to pay more for better access and smaller independent business or individuals will not pay as much so those sites will be harder to reach.

If we had a large choice (say 5 or more) home internet providers this might be acceptable, however most Americans have 1 or 2 provider choices so its pretty much a monopoly.  This is why President Obama tried to treat home internet providers as utilities like our water and power.  The current congress however prefers to treat them as regular service  providers, more like cell phones so feel they should have little or no regulation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Talking Points: Free Market Policies

Republicans tend to support a so called Free Market and Democrats tend to over regulate. The free market idea is laudable but only works if there is a real choice and no penalty or stick for not using the service. However, left to free reign companies will often do whatever they can to improve their bottom line and often are more concerned with the short term than the long term. Publicly traded companies tend to have a shorter attention span than private companies who are not beholden to stock holders. Regulation is important to curb abuses where that bottom line benefits at the expense of non customers.  Customers if there is a choice can vote with their dollar.  However in cases of pollution, employee abuse, public safety or where the government is the customer regulation is important. 

Republican Judge takes a stand for Integrity

Republican Judge J. Douglas McCullough of North Carolina resigned early in protest of a corrupt state legislature. After the people of NC elected a Democratic Governor the Republican legislature has worked very hard to curb or eliminate his powers.
One of thier actions was to lower the Court membership so that the governor could not appoint new judges who would soon be forced to retire due to term limits.
This judge resigned early because he felt that was wrong and did not want his legacy to be just another notch in the parties corruption.
Sources (note that these are geenrally Democrat leaning sources as Republican sources would nto want to advertise this)...
Occupy Democrats
Think Progress
US News
Raw Story

Monday, April 24, 2017

John Kasich interview on Trevor Noah

I like this guy,
Republican or Democrat we need more with that attitude of cooperation and backbone.

Voter Suppression and Party Bullying

The two party system needs to go and not be officially supported. Independents should have an easier time getting on the ballots. Gerrymandering needs to be addressed as well.  Republicans claim they are for a free market environment yet the current situation is the opposite of that. I realize this is a tough sell but Republicans tend to do better with moderates and leftists splitting their vote. Honestly do you feel good knowing that people or so disgusted they choose not to vote because they feel it does not matter?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Anti-Establishment Movement.

A lot of political leaders do not seem to understand what is going on in America.
Democrats are blaming the email scandal and the media talking about it too much.
Republicans are saying its a mandate to kill the EPA, civil services and deregulate everything including Wall Street and the Banking industry.
President Trump says it means no one cares about his taxes.

The real thing that just happened is the same thing that has been happening for  about 20 years, probably longer.
President Obama was elected as a Change president.
The Tea Party was founded as a change and backlash against the republican party and their perceived failures.
President Trump was voted in over Hillary Clinton because she was viewed as the establishment.
Justice Democrats were formed as a backlash to the establishment Democrats.
Since the election we have seen a record number of protests, from Marches to record setting Town Halls and the politicians who avoid them.  My Senator James Lankford to his credit showed up for his.
The last election stirred up the anger that was simmering to a fever pitch and it does not seem to be abating.  Will it last until the midterm and presidential elections?

Money in Politics, Buying a Politician

We used to have a fairly effective Two Party system.
The concept is a bit old fashioned and is the same opposition theory that most of our legal system is based on.  However the idea of two people or groups fighting and the winner deciders the results only works if both sides have integrity and are really competing for the best interests of the ones they work for.  As one side gets too powerful the other side counters and we have a rough balance.
Republicans Support Corporate America and the wealthy while the Democrats support the poor and middle class.  That has changed however and Citizens Untied was a big part of that.
Republicans and Democrats now both support the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of the individual and lower income classes.
Democrats have since shortly before the time of Bill Clinton have moved to the big money side of things and thus are essentially "Republican Lite" They still talk like they support middle class and working poor but their actions prove they do not.
Republicans still support the wealthy and corporations and this IS important. Corporations are an essential part of America and over regulating them can cripple their effectiveness in the world market and healthy corporations can provide jobs and help the economy as well as provide services we want.

However we need that counter to keep corporations honest.  We can not let them pollute our air and water, engage in unfair labor practices or not pay their fair share.
The current system is one sided and needs to change.
We must take big money out of politics and prove to politicians that they can not win an election with money alone.
President Trump promised to drain the swamp.  So far we have not seen any action on that front.
America voted for Anti-establishment policies in voting for President Obama and President Trump.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Talking Points: Health Care

This is the current hot topic for much of America and the issue is not going away.  Democrats lost a lot of seats because it did not go far enough to resolve peoples issues. Republicans (especially the Freedom Caucus and Conservatives) seem to think people want to go back to the old system.  This is not true.
·         People want quality Health Care that is also affordable.
·         Insurance based solutions cannot achieve this as they are trying to make money by paying as little as possible while charging as much as the market or laws allow. This does not make them evil, its just good business. However what is good for an insurance company is often bad for the patient and the doctor.
·         With Republicans in charge of the Legislative and Executive Branch whatever happens will be on them.  Blaming any failure on Obama Care or Democrats will not pass the sniff test. For Republicans not to take the same backlash the Democrats did they need to come up with something that the majority of Americans like and prefer.
·         The last effort would have wound up costing millions of Americans more for less and I doubt the CBO not even take all factors into account. For example medical costs would significantly increase because of the extra overhead. Minimum standard and mandated plans let medical providers know in general what would and would not be covered. Removing those will add to their workload as they have to work harder to determine what will or will not be covered.
·         Single Payer is gaining popular support and though I opposed it in the past I feel it is the only way forward. The VA health system and Medicare are examples of how it can work.  As a disabled vet with a service related disability in Oklahoma I have found the VA system good enough, though it has gotten worse after going to TriCare.
·         The preponderance of evidence indicates health care costs are significantly lowered for everyone as the purpose of the overhead switches from Insurance goals of how not to pay to Medical Providers goals of how best to help and Government goals of how best not to waste.
·         Repeal then Replace is not a winning option. The Republican Party had 7 years to come up with a plan and still failed to sell it to their own membership when they had a chance. How do you expect anyone to seriously believe you can come up with something in a year if you repeal first? It would wind up being a rush job so compromised and sloppy it makes no one happy. The backlash would be worse than anything you have yet seen.
·         The Affordable Care Act was not what President Oblama wanted, it is what he got after a year of compromise with both parties and lobbyists. It is dangerous to gamble your career and American lives that the Republican party can do better while still keeping insurance companies involved.
·         Raise income tax to pay for it. Sell it as “Now that medicare your paying for covers everyone, including you”.  Also this will remove the insurance payment most people see in their paycheck and lower out of pocket medical expenses such as co-pays and deductibles. The net effect on wages should be pretty close and as Health Care costs go down it should be better.
·         Promote that this lowers business costs and does not hamper small business from growing for fear of having to take on the added expenses of health Care.  Also healthier employees are more productive which is good for everyone.
·         Finally, keep Health Savings Accounts and allow them to roll over so Americans can use that for elective care, deductibles, or anything not covered.

·         Opposing arguments? Insurance companies and Big Pharma will oppose this. Some will oppose it saying government can’t run it well: Counter Argument: If government cannot run it well then they are incompetent and should not be running the country.  Some Conservatives say it should be a Free market thing: Counter Argument: Free market is based on competition and the idea that if you provide the best service or product at the best price you will thrive. That is laudable but only works when people have a choice, including the option to not purchase the product or service.  Medical care is not so optional and those who choose not to use it cost tax payers and health care providers when thy default on payments.  We have more medical based bankruptcies than any other reason which is a sign we have a real problem.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Oklahoma should push for nonrenewable energy

This wont be popular with some Oklahoman's but here me out.  Because its a win for every Oklahoman.
We have some of the best energy companies around and by expanding their roles or new companies investing in renewable energy solutions we have a chance to get off oil and gas for our own energy needs.
As long as it lasts we can always sell the oil or gas to others so that is not a threat to our oil and gas industry.  However as many know the price varies and we see lay offs and rehires in the energy industry over and over again as prices fluctuate.  That is not job security, nor is it smart business to have all your eggs in one basket.
Also we know there is a limited supply of these fuels and as it gets harder to dig them up they get more expensive.  Eventually if we stick with that as our primary industry we will eventually wind up like Detroit when the steel ran out.
Boom than Bust is simply shortsighted and not a smart plan.
the Solutions Project shows what we can do for ourselves.
That project would result in over 46,000 new construction jobs and over 20,000 operations jobs.
It lowers our health costs by 5.4 BILLION and saves 600 lives per year once complete.
It saves $17,699 per person per year in utility and health care savings once complete.

And imagine if Oklahoma companies were the most experienced in Wind power. Those companies and their employees could make money helping other states or countries build wind farms.
It is probably too late to be a solar energy leader but maybe we can do it with wind.

GURPS Skill modifiers

There are a lot of modifiers that can be applied to skill rolls.  This article tries to list the location of most of them. Remember to check skill entries as well for they often have specific modifiers.  Once you have used them a few times it is pretty easy to eyeball them during a game and come rather close if you dont want to take the time to look them up.

General skill modifiers

  • Climbing (p. B349)
  • Culture (p. B23) Social skills.
  • Different Gravity (p. B350)
  • Equipment Modifiers (p. B345)
  • Familiarity Penalties (p. B169)
  • Geographical and Temporal Scope (p. B176)
  • Influence Rolls (p. B359)
  • Language (p. B23)
  • Long Tasks (p. B346)
  • Physiology Modifiers (p. B181) All medical skills
  • Planet Types (p. B180) For Biology, Geography (Physical), Geology, Meteorology.
  • Sense Rolls (p. B358)
  • Success Rolls (p. B347)
  • Swimming (p. B354)
  • Tech-Level Modifiers (p. B168)
  • Task Difficulty Modifiers (p. B345)
  • Time Spent (p. B346)
  • Will Rolls and Fright Checks (p. B360-361)

Skill Contests

  • Quick Contests (p. B348) Rules for a fast competition between opposing people.
  • Regular Contests (p. B349) More involved competition.

2 new books added to GURPS Print on Demand!

GURPS Print on Demand just added two moe books.
GURPS Mysteries which contains good ideas for running and playing in a Mystery or Detective type campaign.
GURPS Spaceships which is the first in a series that has fairly simple rules for building spaceships.
Later books focus on particular types such as merchants, fighters, mecha, carriers, exploration craft, etc or oddball stuff like Divergent Technology.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

GURPS Player Advice

So your new to GURPS and going to be playing in a game but not sure what you need to know?
All those choices look intimidating?
Than this page is for you!

The first thing to know is that GURPS is a toolkit and lets a GM build any setting in any genre they way.  That requires a lot of overhead for the game system to provide everyone with anything they want.  However for any given game you only need a fraction of the available material (Skip magic if your playing SciFi, Skip guns if playing typical fantasy, etc) and you as the player need even less than the GM.  The core rules are in this free 32 page PDF called GURPS Lite (available in multiple languages) and even they include stuff you wont need for every game.

The Basics

GURPS has only 4 primary attributes DX, HT, IQ and ST with some secondary ones like Move and HP based off those. A skill is based off one of those attributes but may use another in specific situations.  For example Gins (pistol) is DX based to shoot someone, but your GM may ask you to roll against IQ instead to recognize a specific model or figure out something about your gun.
To succeed at a task you roll below your effective skill on 3d6.  Shooting someone may take penalties because of range or darkness but get bonuses from a good sight, proper bracing or even taking your time.  You the player do not need to remember these mods, that is the GMs job.  Just ask what your mods are to evaluate your chances.


Points spent on a skill represent training and experience at it. Most skills default to another skill or an attribute.  This allows you to at least try something without any training, though your not as likely to do well as if you had training.  Anyone can Jump or run for example but a trained athlete knows how to be better at it. Any modern person can drive a car but if you have training and experience your better able to handle tough situations like ice on the roads or avoid accidents because you have learned what to watch for.
There are a LOT of skills in GURPS because it is designed to work in any setting.  However only some of the skills will be available in any specific game and only some important to you, based on what you want to do.  There is an offical free PDF that lists skills by category.  It is a great help in choosing which ones you want.  Also some games use templates which are kind of like charecter classes and have a short list to pick from.


Combat can be fairly simple or complex depending on what the group wants.
Basically you roll to attack using your weapon skill (including unarmed combat skills) and your opponent rolls to defend and if you succeed and they fail you hit.  Then roll damage and subtract thier DR (Damage Resistance) from any armor they have.
Each Turn (about 1 second long) you choose a maneuver ( I recommend Combat cards to remember them for your first few games) which boils down to Move, Attack, Defend, or Prepare (Concentrate and Ready) or some combination of those.  Not all games will bother with the full range of options but they make for more intereting tactical choices
The same with Hit Locations or bleeding rules, not every game will use them but if you want them they are available.  There are many special swtiches or options a GM may allow but as aplayer you dont really need to worry about all that, just waht the Gm wants to use.  For example he may use Mook rules that make it easy to take out minor foes like ninja hordes or stormtrooper marksmanship.
The point is all the options add flavor and choices but increase what you may need to remember so are OPTIONAL and not required.

Town Halls

With Congress on Recess a lot of people are making their views known to their local politicians.
The Town Hall site will help you find out when and where your local town hall is going to be.
Unfortunately many Republicans have stopped having them or are going to teletown halls so they can control things better and avoid listening to opposing views.
It is important that you remember who was willing to listen to you and who tried to hide or ignore you.  Despite what people like Rep. Markwayne Mullin  say to deride their constituents or people who avoid holding town halls at all they are supposed to work for you, not the lobbyists.

Money in politics invites corruption but remember that while it can buy a politician it cant buy a vote, at least not directly.  Advertising is just another sales pitch.
If Americans remember what their politician rally did and not just the campaign promises and vote we can take America back and leave a better country for our children.

Renewable Energy

There is a great website called The Solutions Project that goes over specific plans to make the USA energy independent and get the whole world on renewable energy.
It is really amazing how fast and cheaply this could be done.
Of course the gas and oil companies are opposed but it is not like they have to be nor is it only up to them.  Companies that invest in renewable energy are creating new jobs and making money (Solar for example is growing fast) despite those fighting them. Those in the oil, gas and coal industry are vulnerable to losing their jobs to improved automation and every time the price goes down.
We need something with a more long term approach and value for America.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A 2012 YouTube  video explaining Single Payer  Worth listening to if you have questions.
Another one, this  guy is politically active and has a progressive agenda but he explains things in a less academic way so is an easier listen.
And a more recent one from March 30

The main thing is insurance based Health Care is not working.
Americans pay significantly more for Health Care than other developed countries.  A lot of that is Administration and Bureaucracy the Insurance Companies put in to increase their profits.
Remember they are businesses and in it to make a profit.  So anytime they can avoid paying they will and they have set up a lot to do that.  For Americans that means less care at increased cost.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

GURPS Overview post

With over 300 books and more coming out all the time getting started in GURPS can be overwhelming.  As stated the main purpose of this blog is to help with that issue.
The first thing to remember is that GURPS is modular and designed from the ground up to be that way.  You do not need or often want to use all the books in a given campaign so choose what is best for your goals.
At its core GURPS is a very easy game to play, roll 3d6 and if it is at or below your effective skill you succeed and if above that you failed.
Anything more than that is really just gravy and icing on the cake.
You can get very detailed or just 'roll and shout!' and let the GM just guess.  You may even choose both styles for the same game based on how important the task is to the game.

In considering a game all these choices can be intimidating but lets break it down into digestible pieces.

Choose the genre or sub-genre.

Most game systems choose this for you as they are built around a specific genre or setting.  Since GURPS is designed to support any genre you will have to decide this for yourself.
Choose realistic, cinematic or over the top.
  • Some Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Hardboiled detective, Hard Sci Fi, Martial Arts, Mystery, Pulp, Romance, Space Opera, Western
  • Realistic:Most TV and Movie Westerns, Mash
  • Cinematic: MacGyver, The A Team, Kung Fu the tv series, Street Supers.
  • Over The Top: Wuxia movies, Dragon Ball series, Super heroes, 
  • GURPS Books suggestions by Genre offers specific suggestions by genre
  • GURPS Settings lists most of the published settings. Use one, mine several for ideas to make your own setting or just see what has already been done.

Choose Your Style

A GM needs to decide and declare their gaming style so that the players know what to expect.  Remember everyone is at the table to have fun and surprises better be pleasant rather than yank the rug out from under the players. This page lists some things that may help you. GURPS GM Tips

Game Resources

  • GURPS Combat Material lists books focused on combat.  All you really need is GURPS Basic set to handle combat in any setting or genre.  However sometimes you want more depth and a martial arts game would benefit from the extra detail of say GURPS Martial Arts ot GURPS Technical Grappling, playing a realsitic military game would beenfit from GURPS Tactical Shooting and a game based on say John Wick would beneift from GURPS Gun Fu.
  • GURPS Magic Systems support a variety of ways to do magic. You could play a modern day secret magic setting, fireball slinging wizards, subtle magic that may not even be real, or epic world changing magic.  All can be done in GURPS and so there are a number of books that help you no matter what your goal is.
  • GURPS Social Material: GURPS treats social interactions as simple role-playing with minimal game support (roll against a skill when in doubt) or detailed rules suitable for a social intrigue or political game between kings or politicians.  Again its not can I do this in GURPS but what level of detail you want to get into..
  • GURPS Monsters, NPCs and things that make life interesting!
  • GURPS Equipment Books

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Why and How America Lost the 2016 Election

A lot of people wonder and have various thoughts on what happened.  Some even think they won the election.
I am however of the opinion that no one acually won, insteads ome people did not lose as badly as others.
Some saw it as a contest between Globalists vs. Nationalists vs. Tribalists
A lot of people have been talking about these things lately and I recently read yet another person who felt Trump won because of the hated he stirred up.
While I do agree the anger and hatred where a major component of  the Trump victory I really dont feel it was mostly so called nationalism, or as the author that inspired this post called it tribalism that was the key.  Certainly it played a part however.

And Hillary Clinton recently came out of seclusion and yet again made it clear the Democrats still have not learned the lesson.
First some definitions....

Terminology: Globalism  Defined by Webster

The idea is that the world is one place and we all need to work together or at least understand and keep others in mind.  Progressives and Liberals tend to favor this ideology as does Christian doctrine. While you may not get along with everyone you do need to be aware of them and should help them. As a pragmatic view it is also important not to isolate yourselves or ignore everyone else as that will weaken you.

Terminology: Nationalism  Defined by Webster

Basically my country right or wrong.  Work for your country first and always and forget about everyone else.  The extreme views of this are isolationism and it is favored by many conservatives.

Terminology: Tribalism  Defined by Webster

My group first and last.  This view is shared by the more extreme conservatives and racial or other bigots.  They often pretend to be nationalists but in reality it is not their country they favor or support but the subsection of their own group.  White males for example.

As you can see going farther up the line from Tribalism to Nationalism, to Globalism is more humanism and higher levels of morality or essentially being a decent human being.
While it may not be the so called humane or "good" thing to do some understanding of the selfishness of the lower tiers is understandable. Self sacrificing or putting others needs before your own may make it harder for you to succeed.  So each of us must find our own balance.

Trump did not win because of Nationalism, it should have been obvious to anyone he was not running for the betterment of ALL of America.  He made that perfectly clear in his speeches, instead he ran on a Tribalism platform and that did indeed attract many racists, misogynists, and other "deplorables".

This leads us to the last of the ever popular labels.


This is really where most of the people who voted for him land.  I think few people believed he was less corrupt than Hillary Clinton, and he never gave specific plans for bringing back jobs or growing the economy so few should have really thought he was going to be better there.
No what he tapped into was the growing anger and resentment of our representatives in office.
He ran on a platform of getting money and corruption out of politics (Drain the swamp) and as an outsider.
I did not believe he ever intended to do anything other than make himself richer but others did.
However ask yourselves why you or people you know voted for him.  
  • Did he get votes because he was racist? Yes. 
  • Did some vote for him because they thought he would "Drain the Swamp"? Yes.
  • Did some vote for him because they thought he would bring back manufacturing, mining and drilling jobs? Yes
  • Did some vote for him because they thought he was a good businessman? yes.
  • Did some vote for him because he would do tax reform? Yes.
Now all or most of those reasons were not rational if you thought about it.  America was founded on immigration so hating that is hating America itself, No rich white elitist is going to get corruption out of politics as its runs against his own self interest, Manufacturing, mining, etc jobs are shrinking not just due to cheap overseas labor but to automation and no one can turn that clock back, He declared Bankruptcy more than 6 times! Obviously he is no good businessman. Tax reform? this is a guy who refused to show his taxes and declared he has been under audit, no reason to believe he would or could make taxes better for the average American.

Now some people believed him on one or more of those points anyhow but I really do not believe the majority of the country was simply that stupid.
So why did he win?  Anti-Establishment.  He ran as an outsider and people hoped even if they did not believe he would be different.  They KNEW Hillary and the Democrats would be more of he same but maybe, just maybe he would be different.
I think they were fools but I do understand and respect that hope for better.  However as time goes on and each new tweet, blame the other guy for my mistake, the distractions, the pending war with North Korea and Syria (possibly Russia and China), putting wealthy bankers (you know the ones we had to bail out that led to the recession under George Bush) in charge of the economy, anti-education or environment and corporation over people judges and other staffers PROVES he is putting America last and far behind his own self interests.
Republicans took his win as a mandate and justification for their activities so they will strip government down, raise taxes for people to help corporations and continue raking in big donor money,
Democrats will continue blaming Russia, the Media and Progressives like Bernie Sanders for their loss.  Instead of realizing they were all attack focused and though they had policies they did not promote them to people.  They will blame everyone else rather than look what they need to change.
Both parties are horribly wrong.
People did not vote for Republicans they voted against the establishment.  Politicians who do not see that will find themselves struggling next election.  Republicans have a plan for that, by decreasing voter turnout and making it harder for people to vote they know they can offset some of that anger,.

Get out and VOTE

However if we really want change we need to make it happen ourselves.  Get out and vote, we have seen massive rallies and protests at town halls and other events.  We must keep the pressure on but it will do little good if we do not have a vast majority of the country get out and vote.
We still have a democracy so we still have a chance but it is up to everyone to act before we lose it forever.
One big change is getting money out of politics.  We must overturn things like Citizens United that lets corporations buy politicians.  Money buys advertising but it does not directly buy votes.  If you can ignore the fancy ads and empty promises and instead do some research (not just one news site either look for opposing sits to help sort through the propaganda).  talk with people openly and figure out plans.  If you stay at home your vote is for things to remain the same.  You have given up.
Even if you do not win each time you must keep fighting and moving forward or surrender and simply take what is coming.

Chalice World setting: People of the River

Made a few minor update to various GURPS Book reference pages.
I also put up and edited  The People of the River for my Chalice World setting.
The Chalice world is kind of like a disk with the Great river in between the center where the World Tree is and the outer lands where most of civilization is.
So the People of the River are really living in a large ocean.
Merfolk, Sentient dolphins and Chelone (Giant sea turtles who are shaman) comprise the bulk of the races, though sea elves (Rhoane) who can turn into seals, fishmen and others do exist.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Started posting the Chalice World.  This is a High Fantasy setting I made and have been tweeking for about 20 years now.  The original concept was kind of a ghost ring world orbiting an almost dead sun.
Now its much more lively and is a Chalice resting on a turtle.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Syria Attack

This airstrike was probably the hardest thing President Trump has done so far.
Mostly he seems to have support, though some of his supporters have objected and withdrawing thier support.
I feel what he did violated American Law but the Republican Congress seems to mostly ok with letting that go but asking him to consult next time.
The trouble is of course waiting too long weakens such an action.  Punishment must be swift or it loses much of its impact.
This was a very moderated response, a specific attack on one base with a warning to Russia and hence Syria to clear out troops.
Some on the Right object as they are nationalists and want to ignore the rest of the world.  Some also say it was not Syria but Russia that was behind the chemical attack that prompted this.
Some on the Left object because they think its probably part of a conspiracy with Russia.
It is possible that Russia set this up to distract from the investigation and provide leverage with the Sanction talks.  Personally I doubt this however, though I acknowledge it is weird Al Assad did this now.  Also a bit odd no crater charges were used so the runway damage seems pretty minimal.
However the timing with regards to North Korea is probably a positive.
Though I have called my Senator to remind him again to please watch for President trump starting a war to change the narrative.

Overall I think it was a good thing, we will have to see.

Updates To Lantern Guild (Chalice World setting)

Updates made to Lantern Guild and added Black Lantern (water) page

  • Lantern Guild Added description and details of the magic systems used.  See the bottom of the page.  Also linked to the Black Lantern Guild page
  • Black Lanterns Added a page describing these water mages which includes several Path rituals.
Uploaded each of the following pages.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Nuclear option invoked

The Senate decided to become the House of Representatives today.
Now we will no longer have moderate SCOTUS, it will shift from right to left staying on the extremes with each new nominee.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Lantern Guild

The oldest and largest guild of casters in the human lands is the Lantern Guild.
The Lantern is the iconic symbol as it represents the light in the darkness and leading people down the paths of civilization. It relies on Affinity and Book/Path magic, though a few members also practice other systems.
It is composed of several sub guilds organized along certain professional lines and each is represented with its own lantern symbol.
  • Black Lanterns; Affinities: Fishing, Ice, Magic, Sailors, Ships, Water
  • Blue Lanterns AKA The Communications Guild; Affinities: Communication, Empathy, Magic, Mind Control, Sound
  • Brass Lanterns; Affinities: Fire, Hearth, Magic, Smithing
  • Brown Lanterns; Affinities: Animal, Hunting, Magic
  • Green Lanterns; Affinities: Agriculture, Magic, Plant, Wood
  • Gold Lanterns AKA The Society of Enchanters; Affinities: Enchantment, Magic
  • Grey Lanterns; Affinities: Air, Magic, Weather
  • Iron Lanterns; Affinities: Magic, Protection, Warning
  • Orange Lanterns; Affinities: Crafts, Magic
  • Red Lanterns; Affinities: Body, Deception, Entertainment, Illusion, Magic, Sound
  • Shadow Lanterns; Affinities: Magic, Necromancy, Spirit
  • Silver Lanterns; Affinities: Knowledge, Magic
  • Violet Lanterns; Affinities: Body, Healing, Magic
  • Yellow Lanterns; Affinities: Earth, Food, Magic
  • White Lanterns; Affinities: Darkness, Light, Magic
  • Winged Lanterns; Affinities: Gate, Magic, Movement, Travel
Lantern Guild Political Information
Each Lantern Guild is run under it’s own guidelines and rules but all work with a common charter. They meet once every ten years for a High Council meeting where the highest representatives discuss the interests of the Guild and how to further them. This is a big event and many come from all over the world to participate and learn what the other chapters are doing. The Guild is the most widely recognized human and dwarven secular magic organization and has great influence. Technically it has no authority over anyone but it’s members. It is still consulted in many magical matters and is considered the legal default Guild in most provinces and kingdoms. The politically most powerful Lantern Guilds are the Blue, Green, Red, and White Lanterns but this may vary in some locations where a specific Guild helps the areas major needs.

General Charter

1. The purpose of the Lantern Guild and its chapters is to promote the economic potential and advancement of its members.
2. Members are listed on the rolls by rank and circle and senior members are responsible for junior members and have increasing responsibility to the Guild. Dues are based on rank.
3. Each chapter house will be registered with the Guild headquarters and all chapter houses are expected to keep current on other houses and current events as affects the Guild.
4. Hospitality. All chapters will make basic services available to members in good standing with the Lanterns Guild no matter what chapter or member guild they belong to. Basic Services include but are not limited to basic sleeping and personal gear storage, local information, study room and employment notices.

Lanterns Guild Rank general guidelines and information

Rank –1 (-5 points) Duty *All the time (-10) [-15]
The lowest of the low. This rank is reserved for applicants who cannot afford formal apprenticeships. They are assigned many of the lowest tasks in the guild in order to build up enough guild credit to pay for their training. They are expected to live in the guild halls and be on call day and night to meet the demands of the guild.
Rank 0 (0) Claim to Hospitality (5) [5]
The standard apprenticeship rank. At this level you are undergoing training, typically in a formal situation under a specific teacher. Some, undergo this training on the road traveling from town to town but they are not allowed to sell their skills in magic. At this level the variation in training is quite large and you have some who have yet to learn their first ritual and others who have mastered many but are reluctant to apply for more senior rank. This is the first level at which your Aura is marked by the guild to show your membership and rank. Note that above this rank the character must be a member in good standing for at least as many years as the rank to which they hold. So rank 1 requires at least a year membership while rank 4 requires at least 4 years membership.
Rank 1 (5) Duty Occasional <9 (0) [5] Dues $25/month plus commission fees
At this rank the guild member has passed tests ensuring competency with at least 5 different spells in the College belonging to the Guild (10 spells for Gold Lanterns). Members may sell their services through the guild with the guild getting 10% of the pay for brokering and administrative related fees. Members who are on the road are encouraged to pay in advance but are typically placed in good standing when they come back to Civilization and pay their back dues. If they are caught practicing thier magic for pay while not in good standing or on a waiver they are penalized heavily with fines, duties or even forfeiture of guild membership.
Rank 2 (10) Duty <12 (-5) [5] Dues $50/month plus commission fees and 10 hours a week unpaid service.
Members at this are the meat and bread of a guild and spend their time assigning tasks to apprentices, gathering and posting guild related news on the boards, brokering and interacting with the other organizations in the area. They must pass a test demonstrating competency at administration and at least 10 spells in the College belonging to the guild with share strength among them.
Rank 3 (15) Duty <9 (0) [15] Dues $75/month plus commission fees and at least 10 hours a month paid service.
Members at this rank may be teachers and must pass proficiency tests demonstrating the abilities of Rank 2 plus mastery of at least two spells (Skill 15+).
Rank 4 (20) Duties as required, Status 1+ (5), Rep+2 local guild members (3+) [28]+ Dues $100/month, plus
This is the rank of the typical chapter guild master. Often this rank comes with a salaried position that more then covers the dues. The Single College Enchantment spell is required at mastery level (15+) to achieve this rank as well as mastery of administrative skills.
Rank 5 (25) Status 2+ (10) Rep+1 all Lanterns (5) [40] Dues $200/month plus commissions
The most senior rank all but the rarest members achieve. At this point the member is pretty independent and either in charge of a large guild chapter or reports to one. Besides the skills and spells required by the lower ranks mastery of economics and merchant skills are required as well as some competency with diplomacy.
Rank 6 (30) Status 3+ (15) Rep+1 any mage or magical scholar(5). [50] Dues $250/month
To achieve this rank the member must have researched a new college spell as determined by the guild leaders or led the enchantment of a particularly famous and noteworthy magic item or permanent spell that reflects the guild directly. This rank is awarded in a special ceremony by the High Council at the High Councils festival of Lanterns held once every ten years. It is a great honor rarely achieved. Note that at this level and above commission fees are not paid unless guild resources are used in the spell casting or its preparation.
Rank 7 (35) Status 4+ (20) Rep +2 any mage of Civilization (10) [65] Dues $500/month
This is the senior ranking of a guild and only one exists for each lantern guild.

Member benefits and local organizations

1. Chapter houses maintain a library for self study, act as brokerage houses for their members and even provide emergency shelter.
2. Chapter houses come in many varieties but a rating system has been devised and is reasonably adhered to enough to give the traveler a pretty good idea of what to expect.
I.  One Star House
II. Two Star House
III.        Three Star House
IV.        Four Star House
V. Five Star House

3. The learning fees for members in good standing of a house are halved for in house spells. No special fees are charged for in house use and access to the standard library. Members in Good standing of another house are charged $5 a day for use of the library.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

GURPS Magic Systems

A brief high level overview of some GURPS Magic Systems

Magic your thing?
GURPS Basic Set introduces a Spells as skills system that is further fleshed out in GURPS Magic and its supplements. That system dates back to the beginning of GURPS with various updates since.
However magic is something that almost everyone sees differently and no single system can support all the works of fiction and history. So GURPS has several systems to choose from.
Note: When checking out the links below  they lead to a description page, with purchase links on the upper left and related books and Pyramid articles at the bottom.

GURPS Thaumatology

 Expands on the basic GURPS Magic system and adds other systems and many options.
However becasue it covers so  much ground it isleft to expansions to delve deeper.  Luckily some ahve  already come out, both as supplements and as Pyrmiad articles as well as numerous House Rules, many of which are discussed on the forums.
Some of the systems it includes...

  • A discussion on the background and  setting implications of magic and various choices.
  • At least two chapters devoted to GURPS Magic and ways minor and major to tweak it to suit various campaigns.
  • Material magic, including raw materials, Alchemy, and enchanting items.
  • Path and Book Magic which were introduced in GURPS Voodoo the Shadow War and GURPS Castle Falkensten (Both Third Edition) which is a slower but fairly flexible and low to medium powered system.
  • Flexible Magic, including Symbols, Syntactic and Realm magic (The latter introduced in GURPS Mage The Ascension for Third Edition)
  • Magic as Powers


GURPS Magic has its own book, is core to the Dungeon Fantasy line and is supported with numerous Pyramid articles and individual supplements including GURPS  Magic Death Spells and GURPS Magic Plant Spells that expand on the colleges and GURPS Thaumatology: Magical Styles that gives example magical styles to help wizards be more unique. A magic as  skills system that is the original GURPS magic system.  It is strong at low to medium levels, though scales poorly at very high point levels as it becomes overwhelming in power.  Also see GURPS Magical Styles: Dungeon Magic
A powerful and flexible system that can do almost anything given enough time and ability. It isbuilt from a mix of Path and Book Magic and Realm magic with a few other things blended in. It requires a pretty steep buy in but scales dramatically.  At low level supers it becomes epic in power and scope so should be limited or banned for those settings. However it is very effective at Action, Dungeon Fantasy or Monster Hunter levels so is a great mid level system. Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic converts it to Effect Shaping and has worked examples suitable for the DF genre.

Powers based Magic

  • GURPS Powers: Divine Favor is a powers based approach for clerics and priests.
  • GURPS Powers Ups 1: Imbuements shows a way to use powers to enhance weapons or other more mundane gear and abilities. These are expanded in several issues of Pyramid.
  • GURPS Power Ups 5: Impulse Buys supports  more narativist or story based system of magic.
  • GURPS Thaumatology: Chinese Elemental Powers showcases the five elements of Taoism in a Powers format.  Especially good for martial artists it works as a standalone system as well.
  • GURPS Psionic Powers (not magic but a good worked example that is easily used.
  • GURPS Thaumatology: Sorcery Based on Modular abilities this is a versatile system that supports fireball slinging wizards and scales well at any level. Additional: Protection and Warning Spells
  • GURPS Powers: The Weird is more targets at Weird Science but can easily be used for Magic as Powers. Some examples are Demiurgy (Illusions become reality)

Pyramid Magic Index

Two Wrongs do not make a Right

Democrats need to start picking their battles more carefully.
Yes it was wrong and a gross dereliction of duty for Republicans to not vote on SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland..  In doing so republicans betrayed the public trust and that they feel their party is more important than America.
However now the Democrats are doing almost as bad, by at least letting the Gorsuch nomination get to a vote they are ahead in the ethics on this but they should go ahead and vote, not filibuster or try to block with tricks.

With the lowest approval rating of any President ever in the United States within the first hundred days and approval on Congress also slipping every day America has shown it is tired and getting more and more enraged at Partisan politics.
Democrats lost the last election and have been steadily losing state and congressional/senate elections for more than a decade due to anti-establishment anger.  Republicans did not win the last election, Democrats gave it away.
Wake up DNC!
Stop playing corporate and partisan politics and start working for your constituents and you may actually reverse that trend.  While big donor money gets you better advertising people are showing they are paying more attention and a catchy ad wont win over integrity and doing what the voters want.