Sunday, October 19, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The first roll is to identify who is lurking or hunting nearby. Besides the creatures lairing closest, this monster will be the first responder to noises made, magic emanations, and tracks made by the PCs. The second for a monster or group that has passed this way but is not an active threat. This info is just to prime you so you can think in background about suitable hints and signs, and in the case of the active monster, what's the right moment and approach for a dramatic entry.
4 - the PCs find a sign of the presence that the inactive monster has passed this way or is in the neighborhood. This could be things like tracks, scat, dried blood, dropped possessions, dried up bits of a victim/meal, shed hair or skin, or a faint and distant noise. Initiating tracking on the basis of this sign should be difficult or impossible, but the PCs get some hint of what they might face and maybe tension ratchets up a little. It's probably a red herring if acted on. Reroll now for the next inactive monster to be hinted at the next 4 rolled.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Started with a cave entrance and the beginning of a Dwarven Forge dungeon, and my daughter sat down and laid out the rest of the dungeon behind the door from the pile of pieces for her own amusement. I'll go with her dungeon design, though I'll be adding some monsters, since she only had the little Cthulhu statues that were in the bag of DF pieces.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
In case we need to deal with this again or somebody else bumps into it...Situation:
Having just completed manual testing on a branch of our Proposals application that moves it from Rails 3.2 to 4.0.9, with other gems upgraded. Ruby is still on 1.9.3 in this project, with Ruby upgrade probably next on the list before dealing with remaining deprecations to lift Rails into the 4.1s or 4.2s. I merged the Rails4 branch into the dev branch and pushed, which means for us that as a deployment candidate, it starts getting run by the Jenkins continuous integration server. All the tests were succeeding there except for a set that had to do with file uploads using Paperclip. Paperclip and its dependencies from the Gemfile.lock:
activemodel (>= 3.0.0)
activesupport (>= 3.0.0)
cocaine (~> 0.5.3)
climate_control (>= 0.0.3, < 1.0)
Representative error (43 more like it, testing various things about attachments):
[1000D [?25l [31m1229/1464: 1.2k/1.4k, 83%, 2.4/s, elapsed: 00:05:54, ETA: 00:01:39 sh: file: No such file or directory [31mERROR [0m SupportingFileTest#test_supporting_file_passes_validation_with_unique_filename (0.07s) [K Errno::EINVAL: Invalid argument - setenv /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/climate_control-0.0.3/lib/climate_control/modifier.rb:57:in `=' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/climate_control-0.0.3/lib/climate_control/modifier.rb:57:in `block in revert_changed_keys' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/climate_control-0.0.3/lib/climate_control/modifier.rb:56:in `each' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/climate_control-0.0.3/lib/climate_control/modifier.rb:56:in `revert_changed_keys' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/climate_control-0.0.3/lib/climate_control/modifier.rb:17:in `process' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/climate_control-0.0.3/lib/climate_control.rb:6:in `modify' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/cocaine-0.5.4/lib/cocaine/command_line/runners/process_runner.rb:44:in `with_modified_environment' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/cocaine-0.5.4/lib/cocaine/command_line/runners/process_runner.rb:21:in `call' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/cocaine-0.5.4/lib/cocaine/command_line.rb:122:in `execute' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/cocaine-0.5.4/lib/cocaine/command_line.rb:79:in `run' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/helpers.rb:31:in `run' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/file_command_content_type_detector.rb:18:in `type_from_file_command' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/file_command_content_type_detector.rb:10:in `detect' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/content_type_detector.rb:61:in `type_from_file_command' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/content_type_detector.rb:57:in `block in calculated_type_matches' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/content_type_detector.rb:57:in `select' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/content_type_detector.rb:57:in `calculated_type_matches' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/content_type_detector.rb:33:in `detect' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/io_adapters/file_adapter.rb:14:in `cache_current_values' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/io_adapters/file_adapter.rb:5:in `initialize' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/io_adapters/registry.rb:29:in `new' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/io_adapters/registry.rb:29:in `for' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/attachment.rb:98:in `assign' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/vendor/ruby/1.9.1/gems/paperclip-4.1.1/lib/paperclip/has_attached_file.rb:66:in `block in define_setter' /scratch/rails/.hudson/jobs/wip_bb/workspace/test/unit/file_attachments/supporting_file_test.rb:14:in `setup'
Reading the trace and inspection of code around the error did not get me too far. Standard rake test from the workspace directory worked correctly, so it had something to do with Jenkins or its configuration.
Insertion of debug "puts" statements showed that the problem in climate_control revert_changed_keys where it was restoring potentially changed enviroment variables cropped up against an environment variable at the head of the array of keys, that had the key of "", which setenv behind ENV= could not handle. So where does the weird empty string key come from? This env var had PATH-like contents, but a lot at a level that appeared to be for Jenkins and not for our application. When we looked at the environment variables listing from the most recent Jenkins build of the app, it showed up at the head of the list, above the _ one. Looking at the environment variables lists for earlier runs it does not show up. So apparently it is there for Jenkins and only displays for the most recent run. Got Jenkins to run green again by hacking the vendored climate_control gem (bundle install --path vendor is a build step before running tests).
Here is the change to the gem that fixed it:
climate_control(v0.0.3)/lib/climate_control/modifier.rb line 56:
(@original_env.keys - keys_changed_by_block).each do |key|changed to
(@original_env.keys - [""] - keys_changed_by_block).each do |key|
Thanks to David Hays who paired with me on sorting this one out.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I'll aim to do something with it for upcoming conventions, and start running some sessions, probably on Sundays in person or on Roll20.
For a bit of graphics in my Wall'oText, here is a tiny dungeon I don't think I've posted yet. I like the experiment with the stairs but it's a bit out of place on this map, and a candidate for digital erasure.
Monday, September 8, 2014
The inspiration was a desire to make the stonework I was wrapping around my outlines as part of making it prettier matter more by putting texture and intrusive shapes into the rooms and corridors, so there would be built in tactical nooks and crannies for thieves and stealthy monsters to hide in on otherwise plain walls, etc.
Pencil in guidelines against a straight edge. On the third one I used a rolling ruler that could double as a compass for curves. Break up the simple grid by doing two or three of grids at angles, a stray extra guideline at an off angle, a spray of radii out from a point, or some arcs.
Mostly running along grid lines draw chains of stones. Vary size and shape both in runs and patterns to maintain visual interest. Wiggle off the lines, and occasionally meander a diagonal or curve for more interest. I used a 0.3 Staedtler Pigment Liner for these. Have started also experimenting with the 0.1 for stonework.
Do some minimal stippling to show what is solid. I used the Staedtler 0.1 for this.
Erase the guidelines with a good white artist's eraser.
These were done on a big pad of Canson 1557 Drawing paper.
It is a surprisingly easy style to do and goes pretty quickly since the stippling is so little it kind of makes up for doing the chains of stones instead of simple lines. It it both pretty forgiving of minor goofs and the slower pace of making a line as a chain of stones puts me in a contemplative mood for where the lines should go, and there is an inherent roughness to the resulting stonework so I don't find myself regretting a misplaced line as often as with more conventional draw the outline and then stone + stipple or hatch around it.
All three will get further detailing when I stock them. For now they are missing doors, floor textures, statues, objects, etc. I like them as is, since they have such a ruin look to them. Kind of an archaeological sketch vibe, Put in a few ways to go from one level to the another and they'll make a nice midsized dungeon.
I'll probably stock them for D&D 5E. Also thinking about making some 2.5D terrain pieces that would fit together to depict parts of these for miniatures.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The games we played:
Gone a Viking - Spades with Norse Gods and points accumulated in trade goods that can be taxed by the Jarl to change it up. Fun.
Comrade Koba - A game kind of like Guillotine, even darker and funnier, with Stalin's purges of rivals as the theme.
Barbarians of Lemuria - Saturday night after dinner until about one - this was the highlight of the con for me. I volunteered to run just before dinner. Had the options of either D&D 5e Phandelver, or BoL off the cuff. BoL got a rousing yes from Martin, who I had run in it once before, so we went with that. Prep time consisted of some mulling it over during dinner. It was improv game of BoL for 8: both Jims, Barry, Zoe, Kira, Martin, Pete, and Julie.
Fleeing a burning caravan destroyed by savages on a jungle road, our intrepid adventurers had a grueling escape through the jungle and encountered ghostly spirits and the Apemen of the Lost City of Qar, ending in a battle with the terrible duck headed dinosaur that had terrorized the ape men. BoL proved its merit as a game to run with minimal prep. I had run one previous adventure in Qar, so I had an idea of how I wanted the city to be, but no notes, and only the Mythic playtest rules on my tablet. Up front I knew I wanted to get them into Qar and use the Apemen and one of the temples at the center of the city as foci of the adventure. Possibly with the Blood cult in the Temple like the previous time, possibly something else, which is how it played out with just a bit of foreshadowing about the cult at the end, in case there is a next time. The rest was call and response and weaving in their ideas. I figure there are three or four big structures at the center of the city and the Ziggurat this time is a different one from the Temple last time, so they must have approached from a different side of the city to it to be the dominant building seen at the center. The game came off very well and everyone seemed to be having fun.
BoL is an excellent light system for winging it. Offhand I can think of three play aids that would help: the campaign map (Martin pulled it off the web using his iPad, since I didn't have my Legendary book along and the playtest rules I was running are text only), careers list and names lists for making NPCs and for places, assuming the book is not to hand and running from PDF, and a tropes checklist to spur ideas that might answer "What's next?".
Serenissima - Sunday morning, was very sleepy, handed off my position during turn 2 to Cyrus who had shown up a bit late, introducing him to the rules by co-playing most of the turn, and wished him well.
Nuclear War - Sunday - a couple of hands of Nuke War were about right for my reduced capacity.
I missed the epic double map Formula De game that was getting under way as I headed off home.