Monday, February 23, 2004

Excelsis vignette: Retrieve and Exit

“Object retrieved. Leaving the room.” Vesper declared as she started to leave the room. Shift of movement at the edge of her vision.

“Sho, the room has a stone demon inside. Vesper’s going to need help.” Devon pointed out the obvious fact after some last minute research based on Vesper’s video feed.

“That’s just great. Reynard. Gregor. We have a hostile. Back-up and cover Vesper’s exit as well as Victoria.” Sho picked up an assault rifle, equipped with high-powered scope and underslung grenade launcher. Devon have picked up his weapon as well as they both exited the van. Each of the members of Excelsis softly called a brief prayer to their patron saints.

“Getting overconfident again, huh Vesper?” Victoria was on her way out as soon as the situation was broadcast over their team frequency. She’s well away from the mansion after announcing that she's taking a break from a round of singing for the party inside it.

“Not my fault. The intel was half-baked at the last second. I need to get out and leave this stony, ugly pursuer of mine.” Vesper quickly exitted the ventilation duct and onto the roof of the building. An inhuman growl echoed through the duct.

“About time some action we will see.” Gregor got into position and pulled out his twin autopistols.

“This party’s really getting started now.” Reynard mused from a sniper position and noted the rush of dogs and guards as the alarm is sounded.

Sounds of weapon fire echoed in the night air. Screams and exclamations of the mansion’s guests also abound as they try to vacate the premises.

Minutes later after the alarm was sounded, Victoria made it back to the van without incident on her exit. She's dressed in a stunning evening dress that went with her role as a torchlight singer inside the mansion earlier. Devon and Sho waited outside with weapons drawn for the welcome they’ll be giving to Vesper’s pursuer.

Reynard and Gregor made it back to the van as well and seeing Vesper brought up the rear while a large growling form of rock chased after her. Teammates fired weapons at the pursuing form.

They have faith in themselves to get the job done. Whether it be humans or demons and other strangeness.

Just a routine flow of the mission for ones working in Excelsis.

Author note: My friend Vinnie checked an earlier draft of the above mentioned piece. I admitted it was a bit truncated due to the urgent rush of getting it up. The earlier version I showed him has a better flow of things. I'll be putting an improved version of this Excelsis story as soon as I complete it and have it edited by Vinnie.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Silver Bullets

Had a rather interesting and intriguing Saturday. The afternoon was much okay with the usual visit to Vinnie's shop in Megamall. It was the evening that got a rather exciting turn with a role-playing session, GMed by Dean and it was done in 3 acts. Too bad it was short-lived session given how much dialogue and outtakes went into it. It it were done into a movie, it would have its commentary and outtake section for the laughs. I also liked how organic and mushy the handling of the session went. No stats, no number crunching. Just pure storytelling. The stuff which makes RPing as to what it supposed to be. Something I did before back in 3rd year high-school.

I was a bit overwhelmed at the start and at some points of the dialogue since subject matter involved, especially Act III's scene which I would call "Conversations with Samael and Seraphim" was kinda deep for me to formulate a response. The 1st act would read off like your run-of-the-mill horror movie startup but when Act II started up and ended, the players involved felt the sentiments of thinking "Do we have to go back to being those helpless students? We liked being the way cool operators of Excelsis." Act III was a rather mind-bending twist of getting into a debate with the Serpent, mentioned in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament. Player-wise, I had a distinctly niggling sensation that the entire lynchpin to the Serpent's plan is of the choice, the initiation of it and not the resolution or the end-result of it would be the key to liberating it from its captivity.

The Act II aspects were pretty much the stuff of a high-budget production with SFX to outdo the Matrix in my view. I mean its pretty way cool to having superhuman abilities powered by faith then that done by Neo for sure. The matter of the Excelsis team's Saint-based abilites powered by faith harkens me back when I collected all the issues of St. George from the Shadowline Comics made under Marvel. I pretty liked Michael Devlin as the current Knight of St. George

The RP session that night all in all was fun and memorable. Carl's character protrayal of Keisha was definitely one of the highlights of the session, especially with Keisha talking to Samael. Vinnie's character Anton was pretty much into the lengthy debate aspect of it which was quite interesting to see from either perspective as player or character. This session I've been a part of has made me see how much away I was from what I've been in high school and a bit of the college RP days. I can sum it up that such a great session would be done with a innovative or compelling story, players backing up characters as best they can put in the portrayal and of course, the power of imagination working through it.

The mention of this blog's title was attributed to prior discourse with Dean and Vinnie prior to the late evening's RP session involving the matter of high-fantasy. I'll not dig into the nitty-gritty of the matter of the state of high-fantasy and the literary quality associated with it. The interesting kernel of the discussion was Dean's mention of the silver bullet. Silver bullet, Golden BB, whatever magic element projectile it may be, can be defined as something that would be like an intense creative investment of sorts that would make the project in question worthwhile from its creation to its final production, regardless of the outcome that can affect the creator's view as long as the said creator in question is satisfied with the project and what it comprised of. It is very much something that can make a written work a good one or just a run-of-the-mill hack job given the level of creative investment put into it. Of course, such ammunition in question is rather finite but possibly replenishable as one goes through the experiences of life for certain that would create and shape more ammunition to use in future endeavors that would call for it.

All in all it was a rather interesting Saturday. The conversations and the role-playing session involved makes it a memorable one.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Not-so maudlin over the weekend

Valentine's Day has come and gone over the recent weekend. If there was an equivalent for a Scrooge like in Christmas, then there may be an equivalent for Valentine's and I usually be like that for such an occasion while everyone else have someone to fawn and get cozy with. Years ago, it would be easier to shut myself in my room for the day and listen to music from Erasure and Belinda Carlisle for the duration but that changed when my niece lives here with us. It was a wonderful moment when my bro and his wife brought their son to the house. My mom was delighted to take care of her new grandson and it was a great feeling to see a new face added to the family.

Regardless of that, it still made me dig up my CDs to listen to the familiar songs to pass away the month of February for the duration or when other music catches my fancy. I would be listening to Erasure songs: Leave Me To Bleed, My Heart So Blue, Spiralling, Victim of Love and Belinda Carlisle songs: Vision of You, A Woman and A Man and Always Breaking My Heart. But that didn't happen in one day. I probably be listening to some of them for the rest of the month. At least this year's Valentine's Day isn't a total downer for me. I will proceed to more cheerier topics next time.

Friday, February 13, 2004


Toys are something for a child to play with. These can vary from material objects to small animals. In the case of adults it encompasses to mechanisms or machines, including other people in some twisted sense of ownership to them.

I mention the word toy is that it is more concerned with the RPG or game setting regarding the so-called toys in that area. It generally encompass weapons, armor, vehicles and mecha to point out. It has become something as a material pleasure of sorts to be in the presence of objects that represent a number of virtues or qualities. Of course, utility can be considered as one obvious quality.

I speak of this on recently perusing a copy of the "Out of The Vaults" technology sourcebook for the latest incarnation of Gamma World under the D20 system. Since this newest incarnation of the game has shifted the focus on the outdated concept of post-atomic mayhem, it deals more with the nanotech and biotech consequences which mutated the landscape of a war-torn Earth.

Toys of note have stayed the same for some while others no longer exist. The infamous Black Ray weapons are still there. Laser weaponry is still de rigeur in this setting. The fusion rifle is also present though its illustration in the book reminds one more of a more stylized proton pack of Ghostbusters' fame. Mark V and VII rifles of the current version are now plasma discharging weapons replacing the older incarnation idea of force-field breaking sonic blasters. High-end and high-tech armor has been more relegated to sleek and nano-driven/constructed suits compared to the more old hardtech constructed varieties of Powered Armor: Energized Armor, Inertia Armor, Powered Alloyed Plate, Powered Assault Armor, Powered Attack Armor, Powered Plate Armor and Powered Scout Armor. Above mentioned armor types may have built-in weapons. Atomic Power Cells not included. Medical supplies in that book are different from what I know. No more days of subsisting on Sustenance doses when food supplies are scarce but the current incarnation Universal Cooker makes up the lack of it in a way. A lot of stuff has been changed or no longer presented since the newer trends dictated in the world of sci-fi and real science plus political correctness of today's times.

Reading through the latest incarnation of that new book made me dig up my old copy of the game and draw my comparisons on the tech. It was a good stroll through memory lane in gaming for that one. Next time. *Marches back into the doghouse. Servos within a well-used suit of Powered Assault Armor moves him effortlessly towards the doghouse.*

Sunday, February 08, 2004

By air or by sea

Just following a similiar tack from my friend Vinnie's blog about his wierd science post. It was something I came across on a random search on google with regards to weapons tech. I stumbled across on this website called Deep Angel. Its an interesting site loaded with CG Image candy. The site was about the premise of future navies using supercavitation subs. Supercavitation occurs when an object moving though water reaches speeds in excess of 100 knots (110mph). If the object has a correctly shaped ‘cavitator’ on its nose, a bubble of air starts to form around the object... This extends to cover the entire object, and hence the object is no longer moving through water, but through air, which creates but a fraction of the friction. Supercavitation was discovered by Russian scientists when they first tested it on the "Squall" supercavitation torpedo back in the 1970's. This weapon technically tips over the known ideas relating to submarine warfare given that a supercavitation or supercav torpedo is many times faster than conventional torpedoes and gives the firing sub a longer threat range.

The website's content is pretty slow in content update but the current content so far is pretty good. The site has a section outlining the matter of a supercav submersible aircraft carrier and the use of supercav sub fighters. The mention of supercav sub-fighters and glossing over the text, made me remember plenty the old workhouse of a sub-fighter in XCOM 2: Terror From The Deep, the Barracuda sub-fighter. It also reminded me well enough the Spectre sub-fighters used in SeaQuest:DSV 2030 Tv show. CG graphics with underwater scenes are pretty great to watch, especially Blue Sub 6 in an episode where the Blue Fleet HQ was attacked by the mutants, most of the attack scenes were done in CG, courtesy of Gonzo. A non-CG reference to underwater vehicle shows would by Gerry Anderson's Stingray. Yep, the same guy responsible for Thunderbirds, Mysterons from Mars and Capt Scarlet. Too bad, I never considered such concept to be used in the old campaign days in high school. I never thought it be so cool in such an enviroment. Some of sub-fighters models in Deep Angel are capable of flying through the air to degree. The only thing lacking in the site is the kind of weapon systems to be deployed and used in the so-called Supercav age of this future navy.

Anyways, it was a fun look at that site. I guess an aquatic planet may be part of the travel destinations from the Twilight Empire sidestory Blaqueguard may prove interesting. :)

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Back to Normal Blog Ops

About time that temporary comment script error have gone away. *Cues in Monty Python segment from the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie with the phrase "..and there was much rejoicing." *Wooden unenthusiatic "Yay" heard.* Blog operations can now resume. I'll post a new entry soonest since I'm tired from today but a forthcoming blog entry the next day will make up for it. *Yawns and go back into doghouse after waving nighty-night and bye-bye.*

Friday, February 06, 2004

Technical Problem

*Sounds of drilling, hammers banging and miscellaneous working sounds in background.* Darnit. Blog's futzing up since yesterday. Will look into it and hope it stabilizes.

*Minutes later.* Isolated the problem. Its my comment script and the server it is calling to is having errors or server related problems. Had to disable the comment function until it functionally again. If worst case happens, I have to replace it with new code from some other comment providing site.

Talk about tech breakdowns here. :(

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


Not much thought preoccupying my mind right now to fill any new entries at a consistent pace. Things here at home were rather..interesting. My mom's back after a weeklong stay at my brother's place to tend to his firstborn until they can handle things themselves and the health of the baby boy is satisfactory, which it was thankfully. The temporary absence of my mom kinda affects things in my freedom of movement ability here to leave the house. Its a security concern basically while another matter is the housekeeping thing. Such changes happen in a home.

Still websurfing and checking emails so far. Currently playing Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (FO:BOS for short)on PS2. This game is shrouded in controversy by the franchise being distorted by its parent company, Interplay. The Fallout games, Fallout 1 and 2 were pretty solid RPG games in a no-longer realized post atomic holocaust setting. Fallout Tactics follows similiarly like 1 and 2 but more of a tactical kind of game. This latest game is entirely distanced a bit from the established universe that is loved by its supporting fans. FO:BOS majorly irked the loyal fans of the series for its being a water-downed rushed game that is also a vehicle for advertising a trendy drink rich in caffeine.

Despite the cries of outrage, I played with the game just for enjoying it as it is, a game. The mention of game companies laying off personnel and shutting down its associated studios is pretty much a prevalent corporate thing. Even in the case of Wizards of The Coast for shuffling and shutting down the arm connected to the Legend of The Five Rings RPG and gets assimilated into AD&D as a setting. Quite a sad turn of events, all the downsizing of companies with creative people sacrifices said creativity to turn out an impressive product. Anyways, I'll better attend to adventuring back into the wasteland and eliminate some mutant ghouls and such. *Wanders away from the doghouse. Sounds of inhuman screams, laser fire and pistol fire surround the air.*