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Old 01-02-2019, 09:08 AM   #21
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Default Re: Airboats/Fanboats/Aerosleds and GURPS

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I think they're a familiarity of Motorboat.
Yes, my very limited experience of a few hours says that they work a lot like a boat with an outboard motor (i.e. you have limited thrust vectoring even at zero speed), but being shallow draft they're prone to "skid" sideways if you push them too hard. Motorboat with a familiarity penalty sounds right to me.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:19 AM   #22
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In this thread, I'll be asking forumites for advice, opinions and assistance with all sorts of things. For instance, I'll need help to portray the Gulf Coast of the United States accurately, never mind the Caribbean islands (I've visited neither place as yet).

You haven't asked for this yet, but as a word to the wise, different Caribbean countries are shockingly different, and the distances between them can get very large. Even language groupings can be deceptive. The Jamacian and Trini dialects have some similarities, but they don't translate back and forth at all.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:41 AM   #23
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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You haven't asked for this yet, but as a word to the wise, different Caribbean countries are shockingly different, and the distances between them can get very large. Even language groupings can be deceptive. The Jamacian and Trini dialects have some similarities, but they don't translate back and forth at all.
What Caribbean languages have a default between them, even if only Native to Broken?

I tend to allow such a default if speaking or reading one language fluently grants any kind of useful head start on learning the other, to make it less expensive in terms of points to model real people who not only speak their own language, but can get by in a lot of neighboring languages, which is more the rule than the exception in the world as a whole, for all that Anglophones are prone to monolingualism.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:00 AM   #24
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
What Caribbean languages have a default between them, even if only Native to Broken?

I tend to allow such a default if speaking or reading one language fluently grants any kind of useful head start on learning the other, to make it less expensive in terms of points to model real people who not only speak their own language, but can get by in a lot of neighboring languages, which is more the rule than the exception in the world as a whole, for all that Anglophones are prone to monolingualism.
I can only speak to the nations I or good friends have experience with (Guyana, Trinidad, St. Vincent, Jamaica, Grand Caiman, and Suriname). You'll need to find other sources on french and Spanish derived languages, and I don't have any special knowledge about Belize, the Bahamas, or even the Virgin islands.

Grand Caiman pretty much uses international English. I'd recommend using Jamaican Creole and East Caribbean Creole English, defaulting to each other at accented. International English* should default to them at accented, but start out at broken for the first few weeks as a familiarity penalty. Taki Taki (from suriname) is its own thing, I wouldn't default it to anything else at higher than broken, but I'd try to make it easy to learn**. Not sure where st. Vincent french Patois fits in, but it doesn't default to english. I can't speak to how pure or common Suriname Dutch is. Many English West Indians can vary the strength of their dialect intentionally. None of these dialects can be bought written (except maybe Taki-Taki. Not sure about that).

*No Idea if that's the correct term or not.

**basically all of Suriname speaks Taki Taki, which is very opaque if you're not experienced with it, but easy for speakers of many different languages to learn. Its not a terribly large language, with a vocabulary of around 500 words. Yes, they're proud of speaking what they claim is the world's smallest language.

Caribbean peoples have a history of inventing languages specifically to hide communication from Europeans. St. Vincent french Patois and Taki Taki both have this kind of history. Taki Taki became the main language, while St. Vincent french Patois is dying out. Look out for others, I only know a few parts of the Caribbean, and its big and diverse, which was the point of my first post.

These dialects co-exist alongside international english, of course, and many nominally english west Indians can speak and understand international english just fine, but many can't, or struggle with it.

While East Caribbean Creoles are mostly interchangeable, they still have strong accents and you can determine where people come from by listening to them. Reiterating the original point, Each nation has its own accent and its own attitudes, geography, and architecture. Some nations are close to each other, but its worth checking, because each nation feels different.

I hope this helps!
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:34 AM   #25
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

One PC is a graduate student of anthropology, studying folklore and comparative mythology, with her PhD studies now focusing on the folklore and stories in communities of Caribbean immigrants in the US. She's at Rice University in Houston and background-wise will have been working with whichever Caribbean community that is most conveniently close, i.e. fieldwork in a suburb of Houston or at most a nearby city, rather than in Florida, New York, Boston or the Carbbean itself. Well, maybe a couple of trips to Caribbean islands, but more visits of up to a month each than the extended anthropological field study she may need to finish her degree.

She's a generational genius talent as an occultist, comparative mythologist, linguist and demonologist, but I haven't finished determining exactly what Caribbean languages she ought to know.

Defaulting from her native English is preferable, if only to make her rapid acquisition of fluency in several Caribbean, languages, creoles, patoises or dialects mosy plausible, but I think the character will have known at least some French before getting interested in the Caribbean, and she might well know also one or more of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or German. From earlier studies, also reads, with various degrees of fluency, a surprising number of esoteric languages, including Vulgate Latin, Koine Greek, Biblical Aramaic and Hebrew. This might or might not include archaic dialects of French, German and other languages likely to be required, beside Latin, to read dusty old tomes of demonology.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:40 PM   #26
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Default Gaming for Occultists and Monster Hunters

Dr. Alfred L. Lapointe, the UT Austin educated librarian aboard the Penemue, and his part-time assistant, Alice Talbot (PC), are both serious gamers, fantasy geeks and the sort of people who spend hours poring over obscure books in order to model an Abyssinian monopod in a game. They belong to different generations, with Dr. Lapointe being an undergraduate at UT Austin 1984-1988, while Alice was born around 1994* and therefore most likely an undergraduate at UC Berkley from 2012-2016, though I admit that the player hasn't chosen a birthdate yet and so the exact time she started college could vary by a year or so.

Because Alice is currently avoiding her parents and the closest thing to a family that Dr. Lapointe has are the owner and crew of the Penemue, they both spent Christmas on the yacht, with billionaire J.R. Kessler and a few of his most devoted staff.

Oh, and fellow PCs Edward Alvin Smith and Lucien Lacoste, both of whom have permanent quarters aboard the Penemue, for reasons that boil down to clinical paranoia and an obsessive devotion to the monster hunting work they plan to carry out while based on the yacht. Well, Lucien Lacoste actually went to visit his father and grandmother over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as different family on Boxing Day, but the rest of Christmas vacation he was on the Penemue and he plans to spend New Year's on the yacht.

To make a long story short, Dr. Lapointe and Ms. Talbot have some kind of RPG campaign going. I'll go over the list of crew on the Penemue and find out whom else they've roped in to play with them, but they'll find someone. Suggestions for names, backgrounds and descriptions of hard-bitten former Coast Guard, Navy or other military SOF men who are also gamers are welcome.

And, because former NOPD detective Lucien Lacoste (PC) also turns out to have played D&D in high school, in between being a high school wrestling champion and considering a vocation as a Jesuit priest, they'll want him to join their gaming group and probably scheduled a game on the 27th of December, the day he was expected back to Galveston.

Now, what RPG should Dr. Lapointe and Ms. Talbot be playing and what should their campaign be about?

Remember, occult, esoteric and horrifying Wainscot urban fantasy, modern secret magic and tactical monster hunting is their daily life. They are not playing any kind of game where the themes include a serious treatment of the occult and esoteric in the modern day. That being said, the game might well include real mythological elements of some sort, as both of them are huge geeks of the Ken Hite school of eclectic reading, but they should not be set in the real world of today and, ideally, be one or more of fairly lighthearted, parodic, pulpish or set in a classic fantasy world.

What would be a good game for them to be playing?

And some themes or incidents of their campaign to drop into background descriptions?

*Shudder, the year my baby sister was born.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:21 PM   #27
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Default Re: Gaming for Occultists and Monster Hunters

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Dr. Alfred L. Lapointe, the UT Austin educated librarian aboard the Penemue, and his part-time assistant, Alice Talbot (PC), are both serious gamers, fantasy geeks and the sort of people who spend hours poring over obscure books in order to model an Abyssinian monopod in a game. They belong to different generations, with Dr. Lapointe being an undergraduate at UT Austin 1984-1988, while Alice was born around 1994* and therefore most likely an undergraduate at UC Berkley from 2012-2016, though I admit that the player hasn't chosen a birthdate yet and so the exact time she started college could vary by a year or so.

Because Alice is currently avoiding her parents and the closest thing to a family that Dr. Lapointe has are the owner and crew of the Penemue, they both spent Christmas on the yacht, with billionaire J.R. Kessler and a few of his most devoted staff.

Oh, and fellow PCs Edward Alvin Smith and Lucien Lacoste, both of whom have permanent quarters aboard the Penemue, for reasons that boil down to clinical paranoia and an obsessive devotion to the monster hunting work they plan to carry out while based on the yacht. Well, Lucien Lacoste actually went to visit his father and grandmother over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as different family on Boxing Day, but the rest of Christmas vacation he was on the Penemue and he plans to spend New Year's on the yacht.

To make a long story short, Dr. Lapointe and Ms. Talbot have some kind of RPG campaign going. I'll go over the list of crew on the Penemue and find out whom else they've roped in to play with them, but they'll find someone. Suggestions for names, backgrounds and descriptions of hard-bitten former Coast Guard, Navy or other military SOF men who are also gamers are welcome.

And, because former NOPD detective Lucien Lacoste (PC) also turns out to have played D&D in high school, in between being a high school wrestling champion and considering a vocation as a Jesuit priest, they'll want him to join their gaming group and probably scheduled a game on the 27th of December, the day he was expected back to Galveston.

Now, what RPG should Dr. Lapointe and Ms. Talbot be playing and what should their campaign be about?

Remember, occult, esoteric and horrifying Wainscot urban fantasy, modern secret magic and tactical monster hunting is their daily life. They are not playing any kind of game where the themes include a serious treatment of the occult and esoteric in the modern day. That being said, the game might well include real mythological elements of some sort, as both of them are huge geeks of the Ken Hite school of eclectic reading, but they should not be set in the real world of today and, ideally, be one or more of fairly lighthearted, parodic, pulpish or set in a classic fantasy world.

What would be a good game for them to be playing?

And some themes or incidents of their campaign to drop into background descriptions?

*Shudder, the year my baby sister was born.
Glorantha, obviously. Or, let's be honest, they just play beer & pretzels D&D. Maybe they've got a long-running campaign that's incorporated a bunch of classic modules and seen many characters come and go... or they're old school WFRP players.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:42 PM   #28
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Default Re: Gaming for Occultists and Monster Hunters

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Glorantha, obviously. Or, let's be honest, they just play beer & pretzels D&D. Maybe they've got a long-running campaign that's incorporated a bunch of classic modules and seen many characters come and go... or they're old school WFRP players.
Hmmm... those are nice suggestions.

Dr. Lapointe has been associated with Kessler and his retinue of sailors, scholars, servants and security specialists for decades, but Ms. Talbot is fairly new, having only moved to Houston around 2016-2017, when she transfered to Rice University.

I still haven't named or fleshed out the entire crew of the Penemue, so I don't know who else might be a part of their gaming group and for how long they've been playing. I'm absolutely taking suggestions for names, descrptions and quick backgrounds of characters who could take on the roles left unfilled in my list in the first post. Including a suggestion about their relationship with Dr. Lapointe and possible status as a gamer would be awesome.

I find myself leaning toward the Chief Engineer being a gamer, maybe. Or the medical doctor aboard (Dr. Lapointe has a PhD in English Literature). In either case, they would play characters utterly different from their personalities and roles aboard and resent any attempt to have them play up a stereotype that fits their profession, e.g. the stocky, hard-drinking Chief Engineer refuses to play any kind of dwarf, gnome, smith, gadgeteer or magical craftsman, having a fondness for slender elven mage-thieves, assassins or fencers. Or the equivalent for any RPG system eventually selected.

The doctor will not play clerics and a running joke is someone calling out at him: "Damnit, [name], you're a doctor, not a [completely different character concept, e.g. arcane archer, beastmaster, Jedi, battlerager, etc.]!"

I note that a new RuneQuest edition was published a couple of months ago, making it very plausible that Dr. Lapointe has by now assimilated the new edition rules and is excited to start a new campaign in a setting he used to love back in the day. Maybe they usually play Pathfinder, D&D 5e, Munchkin, Kobolds Ate My Baby and Hackmaster (each player having particular favourites), but Dr. Lapointe pushing them for a more serious campaign this time, for nostalgic reasons.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:54 AM   #29
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Default 'Hippie' Names That Continued into the 1980s and 1990s

Addressing an entirely different thing in my campaign, I'm looking for names for some characters born around the mid-80s and later. Some of them, at least, will have been born to parents who were, in their younger years, hippies or at least people who were exposed to hippy culture, influenced by it and grew up listening to the music.

Like, say, a child born in 1985 to parents who were academics at UC Berkeley and who had belonged to, like, all the hippy-dippy sub-cultures who wanted the Age of Aquarius to endure through disco and Reagan.

I'm familiar with a number of hilarious hippy names, but mostly these tend to be associated with children born in the 60s and early 70s, not ones born to aging hippies, who must surely have found new fashions in literature, music and, therefore, popular names. Surely, for example, LOTR names were not en vogue, even among UC Berkeley academics, in Reagan's second term?

I need the character to be ashamed of his name and for it to be extremely idealistic, but guaranteed to make a child suffer merciless teasing.

What were trending pop culture things at UC Berkeley in the 80s that might have convinced aging hippies to name their child after them?
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:34 PM   #30
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

I can't speak for Berkeley specifically, which may well have been ahead of the curve, but the new age movement in the 80s was big on things like Tibetan gurus*, crystal healing, reincarnation, meditation, incense etc. Of course, this is still true to a large extent.

As you know, pseudosciences tend to latch onto real science and rework them into the mythos. Chaos theory was popular science in the 80s, as was A Brief History of Time. I believe that profoundly misinterpreting quantum mechanics was a later innovation in the field (pioneered into pop culture by the fraudster Deepak Chopra).

I'd go with Acquarius, Rainbow, Dolphin or Lobsang myself.

* For example, a British plumber called Cyril Hoskin published a series of bestselling books 'authored' by a Tibetan called Lobsang Rampa.

EDIT

"Bodhisattva" is a good one, that reeks of portentousness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva

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