Thursday, October 28, 2004

C.S.R. - Combat Service Replacement (Intro)

With the advent of call centers in the late 90's, it spawned a whole new area of service which carries over and evolved into the 23rd Century. Though the rate of technology have skyrocketed due to newer discoveries, newer products also comes along customer service/support companies that handle the bulk of the calls from customers with problems.

By the 23rd century, the usual touchpoints of phone, email, max and chat are now superseded enough with the extremely information dense period many orders more since the introduction of the Internet. This particular web of information and communication requires a different breed of customer service representative. They are called C-Reps or in more common street parlance, CREPS or Creeps, Creeper to more on the polite side of it. A Creeper's job is a high-paying one but has a lot of drawbacks like stress-prone situations, irregular schedules, nil social life and other things that never change since the earlier days of call-centers.

Creepers are now fully immersed into the region of Data-Comm space on account that customers in the 23rd Century are tech-savvy and more technophilic than before. Creepers are now like a blend of customer service rep, cyberspace operator, technician and corporate hacker. The thing about creepers though is that they have to be connected physically into Data-Comm with a Direct Neural Interface and their physical bodies are put into those fancier version of coffin hotel rooms with a lot more computers and life-support equipment while they do the job.

Being a creeper has high-rewards yet carries a high level of risk like potential brain damage or worse, death due to major feedback caused by offensive programs and protocols instigated by irate cyber-customers with that above-average know-how than the average consumer.

This is a story of one Creeper who'll be changed because of the job and moreso the world fashioned by the dictates of a high-speed lifestyle and high technology. [More to follow when I have time.]

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Romancing the Everstone

Bought this interesting RPG sourcebook "Everstone: Blood Legacy" back in September prior to my departure from my last call center job. I read a bit of the talk of this particular sourcebook for BESM d20 and decided to get it since it had an intriguing setting.

The main draw as I see it in this sourcebook was the innovative use of rune magicks to produce magical items and more so in the creation of larger and more sophisticated mechanisms like the War Golem and flying rune-vehicles. Floating islands powered by massive rune-engines also populate the landscape in this RPG sourcebook's setting.

It was kinda familiar territory in techno-magicks since I have a lot of Rifts sourcebooks in my gaming library. The setting and its innovation with rune-magicks merits a lot of potential in a more positive direction as to creating a more techno-magick styled future if a imaginative GM puts his/her mind to it. I mean it has a lot of potential to work a lot of magick in this one.

Currently it reads much of a usual fantasy fare with a touch more techno-magick than expected for such in its genre. I would like to see more examples that best illustrate this to full effect. War golems brings me to mind of Calibretto of "Battle-Chasers" fame though the comic series has yet to see the light of day as a continuing series.

I have yet to fully assess in terms of rules integration since d20 games usually require the use of AD&D staples like Player Handbook and ad infinitum books to get a good startup on this game. I see it as the usual problem with d20 setting games as opposed to other games with integral rule sets to use straight of the shelf.

Setting wise, its good and has a lot of potential. System wise, it'll be a while before I can fully assimilate and understand how this d20 system works. It'll just be a matter of time for me to acquire it and master it.

Reeling from The Authority

Recently acquired (About more than two weeks ago.) this hefty-priced RPG book, The Authority RP and Resource Book, after hearing a lot of buzz regarding this. Read it as much I can from cover to cover, mostly reading the inside track regarding The Authority in terms of its characters, its tech, the concepts and all that stuff how it relevant in making such a character and operating in its setting. I am rather impressed as other owners of this RPG book have acquired and made reviews of. It has very good production values, also which merits it long awaited release date since they have to consult and negotiate with DC Comics proper.

The rules set that's used in this RPG is based on Guardians of Order pre-existing system, the Tri-Stat system, which is the very system that operates Big Eyes Small Mouth anime RPG and Silver Age Sentinels superhero RPG. It makes perfects sense since the scope of action and imagery in Authority warrants not much use of a crunchy system to emulate this since its touted to be of "widescreen" magnitude where excessive reality modelling would bog down gameplay.

The game's design and production staff also including one person who did assist in the workings of the Wildstorms CCG. (*Reminisces the acquisition of such CCGs though its now in a state of disarray thanks to niece and her peer problems that time while blogwriter was in Seattle.*) Too bad no characters of Authority made it to appear in the CCG that time, though Stormwatch would be cool to look into when sourcebook comes out for it hopefully.

The game is pretty much all set to go for starting players and GMs though it would be much better for it with people who are familiar with the Authority setting by reading the comics proper or other works of Warren Ellis for better ideas (Global Frequency anyone? ;) ).

The blend of the Authority setting and the simplicity of the Tri-Stat system makes it a very good mix to use. Of course other pre-existing superhero RPGs would do a good job at emulating though it would require some ceiling to break and more so with the number crunching called for than usual.

I'll wrap my brain some more around this book until then. Next time.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Loose Ends and Being in the Residence of Evil...

Accessing at an Internet Cafe for starters here. Needed to kill some time before moseying back into my former workplace to get some long-delayed clearance work done. I was a bit busy recovering from the entire call center while looking for another job. The only slight detail I forgot to recall was that most of the people I need to get the signatures done are basically nocturnal types thanks to the nature of a call center work enviroment.

That's the reason why I had to kill some time until its time for me to go back in there and get some signatures done. I had no recourse but to watch another round of "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" here in Glorietta 4.

I pretty much liked watching the 1st movie, but the second movie had a lot more to show. Fans of the videogame franchise would immediately recognize Jill Valentine, played by Sienna Guillory, and the Nemesis creature. Some of the familiar scene pieces are there, Nemesis chasing Alice through the RPD station (From RE:Nemesis game), the Hong Kong cinema inspired scene where Alice drops her gun to catch it and shoot 3 corporate goons (wherein it was done by Claire in RE: Code Veronica).

The movie was pretty much a popcorn muncher kind of movie as well as meritting a "check-your-brain-at-door" bit since what is to be expected from a movie based on a console game franchise that shows use of firearms and heavy weapons, zombie people and dogs, unleashed bioweapons and an evil megacorporation behind it all?

I have completed playing RE 1 to 3 and yet to continue on with RE: Code Veronica given the difficulty of inventory management, especially ammunition in the game. I'll probably get back to that when I have time, since I'm pretty much tied up with Star Ocean: Till The End of Time, which I have to concept mine for some ideas that may be relevant to my friend, Vin's Twilight Empires' universe.

All this thought on looking for other employment opportunities as well as settling things with my prior employer are pretty serious things to do and consider at our age and time now. This world we live in now has gotten so complicated and complex for its own good. That's how I see it. Or is it just me? I leave at that until I dredge up something new to post here. Next time.