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When life gives you #LongCovid, make LongCovidade™

When the plague came, it killed mostly the old. The children seemed unaffected at first.

But then they had lung problems - enough to cause them to lose interest in outdoor pursuits. Sports virtually disappeared for a generation (although virtual sports thrived) as young people took up gaming, reading, and other interests.

They grew up, and had children of their own. The new generation rebelled against their parents by going outdoors. Old balls, frisbees, skateboards, and skis - all were used, but the games were forgotten, so they made up their own. No leagues, no money, few rules, but lots of fun.

#microfiction #plague #covid #sports #writing
 
When life gives you #LongCovid, make LongCovidade™

When the plague came, it killed mostly the old. The children seemed unaffected at first.

But then they had lung problems - enough to cause them to lose interest in outdoor pursuits. Sports virtually disappeared for a generation (although virtual sports thrived) as young people took up gaming, reading, and other interests.

They grew up, and had children of their own. The new generation rebelled against their parents by going outdoors. Old balls, frisbees, skateboards, and skis - all were used, but the games were forgotten, so they made up their own. No leagues, no money, few rules, but lots of fun.

#microfiction #plague #covid #sports #writing
 
Vetting

The alien ship entered the solar system, heading towards Earth. As communication improved, it was understood the three passengers were ill and hoping humans could treat them.

A small delegation would be sent spaceward to meet them. Two spots were reserved for doctors. A top pathologist was chosen. The space agency were interviewing surgeons for the second position, no luck so far.

‘There’s one more.’

A woman confidently entered. ‘Hi, I’m Dr Mehra, veterinary surgeon.’

There were giggles.

‘A vet? These aren’t animals.’

‘I’ve operated on seventeen different species, including mammals, birds and reptiles.'

‘Welcome aboard, Dr Mehra.’

Note: My dogdog had major surgery last week, and she is slowly recovering. I've been thinking about veterinarians. I realised that in scifi films when they meet aliens, they have doctors study them or perform autopsies, never vets. Given vets have experience with a variety of very different animals, they'd probably have a lot to offer. Of course, if your aliens are humanoid so they can be easily played by actors, that's another matter...

#microfiction #aliens #SciFi #writing-and-writers #writing #veterinarian #vet
 
Vetting

The alien ship entered the solar system, heading towards Earth. As communication improved, it was understood the three passengers were ill and hoping humans could treat them.

A small delegation would be sent spaceward to meet them. Two spots were reserved for doctors. A top pathologist was chosen. The space agency were interviewing surgeons for the second position, no luck so far.

‘There’s one more.’

A woman confidently entered. ‘Hi, I’m Dr Mehra, veterinary surgeon.’

There were giggles.

‘A vet? These aren’t animals.’

‘I’ve operated on seventeen different species, including mammals, birds and reptiles.'

‘Welcome aboard, Dr Mehra.’

Note: My dogdog had major surgery last week, and she is slowly recovering. I've been thinking about veterinarians. I realised that in scifi films when they meet aliens, they have doctors study them or perform autopsies, never vets. Given vets have experience with a variety of very different animals, they'd probably have a lot to offer. Of course, if your aliens are humanoid so they can be easily played by actors, that's another matter...

#microfiction #aliens #SciFi #writing-and-writers #writing #veterinarian #vet
 
Thank you Thimbleful Thursday for the prompt Thin Air for a 300-word microfiction. I took up the challenge, the result is here.

He seemed to appear out of nowhere.

The high society scene was not easy to penetrate or navigate, and most socialites in the city were born and raised in aristocracy – or at least wealth. Yet the slender, tall man slipped in to their ranks. He was modest and unassuming, mostly speaking only when spoken too.

They first noticed him at the great winter ball, where he charmed the Duchess with five simple words. May I have this dance? That, and an elegant waltz. He disappeared like Cinderella before the evening was over.

This was no fairytale, however, and he was easily traced. The Duchess soon found out he had recently inherited a successful printing and bookbinding business. He had wisely sold it for an impressive sum; reading was all the rage, but that might not last. He had not been noticed before as his bourgeoisie background made him a nobody in her world. Not marriage material for her, but perhaps for someone of lesser title; still, she had enjoyed his company.

The Duchess invited him to soirée a few days later, and soon it was as if he’d always moved in their circles. He was a quick learner, and naturally polite, avoiding any major faux pas. His manners soon matched theirs, yet he was hard to miss, a thin heir among the plump socialites.

In the following weeks, a certain Lord and an unrelated Baroness separately took romantic interest in the young man, although neither would disclose any details. He seemed to be in the company of one or the other after that, whenever there was cause to be seen.

But then he vanished, as quickly as he had appeared. His absence was noted at the summer ball, and no one saw him again. Except for the Lord, who arranged a rendezvous, only to report back, He said he was bored of us.

#microfiction #writing #stories
 
Thank you Thimbleful Thursday for the prompt Thin Air for a 300-word microfiction. I took up the challenge, the result is here.

He seemed to appear out of nowhere.

The high society scene was not easy to penetrate or navigate, and most socialites in the city were born and raised in aristocracy – or at least wealth. Yet the slender, tall man slipped in to their ranks. He was modest and unassuming, mostly speaking only when spoken too.

They first noticed him at the great winter ball, where he charmed the Duchess with five simple words. May I have this dance? That, and an elegant waltz. He disappeared like Cinderella before the evening was over.

This was no fairytale, however, and he was easily traced. The Duchess soon found out he had recently inherited a successful printing and bookbinding business. He had wisely sold it for an impressive sum; reading was all the rage, but that might not last. He had not been noticed before as his bourgeoisie background made him a nobody in her world. Not marriage material for her, but perhaps for someone of lesser title; still, she had enjoyed his company.

The Duchess invited him to soirée a few days later, and soon it was as if he’d always moved in their circles. He was a quick learner, and naturally polite, avoiding any major faux pas. His manners soon matched theirs, yet he was hard to miss, a thin heir among the plump socialites.

In the following weeks, a certain Lord and an unrelated Baroness separately took romantic interest in the young man, although neither would disclose any details. He seemed to be in the company of one or the other after that, whenever there was cause to be seen.

But then he vanished, as quickly as he had appeared. His absence was noted at the summer ball, and no one saw him again. Except for the Lord, who arranged a rendezvous, only to report back, He said he was bored of us.

#microfiction #writing #stories
 
The meteorite crashed to earth not a hundred miles from our institute. A lucky break, as we got there before other research teams and took a generous number of rocky samples.

Soon Professor Meeks was analysing them in the lab. She called us in a few hours later.

“This is amazing! There is alien DNA on these rock. Seriously, this can’t be from an earth-based organism.”

“Did you handle the rocks?” I asked.

“Yes, of course.”

“Professor, could it be your own DNA that you spotted?”

“Oh yes. I forget sometimes that I wasn’t born here.”

#microfiction #writing #SciFi #stories
 
The meteorite crashed to earth not a hundred miles from our institute. A lucky break, as we got there before other research teams and took a generous number of rocky samples.

Soon Professor Meeks was analysing them in the lab. She called us in a few hours later.

“This is amazing! There is alien DNA on these rock. Seriously, this can’t be from an earth-based organism.”

“Did you handle the rocks?” I asked.

“Yes, of course.”

“Professor, could it be your own DNA that you spotted?”

“Oh yes. I forget sometimes that I wasn’t born here.”

#microfiction #writing #SciFi #stories
 
The Western Milky Way quiz was a challenge, but somehow we won. Two-headed Zavvazz was amazing with their perfect knowledge of music in dozens of worlds.

"Here are your prrrizes, divide them as you see fit," trilled the blue-skinned emcee. "This vial is unicorn's urine, a salve for injuries in every species. And this one is Sleegg extract, legal tender throughout the nebula. Careful, this last one is hot - liquid gold. We have an array of moulds, if you like."

I was dumbfounded.

"Is something wrong?" asked the emcee.

"No, it's just... at home, liquid prizes means a pitcher of beer."

#microfiction #SciFi #writing
 
The Western Milky Way quiz was a challenge, but somehow we won. Two-headed Zavvazz was amazing with their perfect knowledge of music in dozens of worlds.

"Here are your prrrizes, divide them as you see fit," trilled the blue-skinned emcee. "This vial is unicorn's urine, a salve for injuries in every species. And this one is Sleegg extract, legal tender throughout the nebula. Careful, this last one is hot - liquid gold. We have an array of moulds, if you like."

I was dumbfounded.

"Is something wrong?" asked the emcee.

"No, it's just... at home, liquid prizes means a pitcher of beer."

#microfiction #SciFi #writing
 
More books have resulted from somebody’s need to write than from anybody’s need to read.
Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots, #3273

\#quotation #quote #book #compulsion #history #particular #poetry #universal #writing
More notes and sourcing on WIST:
Pot-Shots, #3273
 
More books have resulted from somebody’s need to write than from anybody’s need to read.
Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots, #3273

\#quotation #quote #book #compulsion #history #particular #poetry #universal #writing
More notes and sourcing on WIST:
Pot-Shots, #3273
 
Hey everyone,
I’m #newhere. I’m interested in #android, all things #aws (studying for Solution Architect Associate), #linux, and #writing, and I'm a #GPlusrefugee.

Curious what I can find and learn here. I'm not always the most chatty one but be worried when I start talking about my books. I wrote quite a lot of them... #fantasy #scifi #steampunk
 
A Farewell to Hemingway....

I feel immersed in Hemingway after 3 evenings of documentary (Ken Burns, "Hemingway", on PBS television). I know the program cannot (easily) be seen outside the U.S., but I just found a little article which should be accessible, just a little taste of Finca Vigia, with just a little taste of history and biography:

At Home in Cuba with Ernest Hemingway


I was curious about the artwork he collected, and when I saw this article with photos ("Hey! I know that place!") I was happy to learn some of it. The big painting in his dining room is La ferme (The Farm) by Joan Miró . Perfect for here, no?

Link above leads to the article (which may or may not pop up on pora* I've learned!) And here is another sample of Hemingway's art collection, a plate by Picasso in his office.




More images of Finca Vigia and Cuba ( #myphotos ) at: http://www.fenichel.com/cuba/hemingway

Complete 6-hour documentary - "Hemingway" by Ken Burns et al - is (limited to U.S. thus far) @ https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/hemingway/

#hemingway #writers #literature #FincaVigia #Cuba #Fenfotos #art #history #ErnestHemingway #KenBurns #writing
At Home in Cuba with Ernest Hemingway
 

HEMINGWAY…


A very good biography, good-bad-ugly, of “the greatest American writer since Mark Twain” and more, Ernest Hemingway…
PBS (US television) tonight.




Checking it out, I see this is a repeat - and the whole film - 3 parts by Ken Burns - is streaming now, online via PBS....
I am a fan! The big "HEMINGWAY" link above leads to some of my photography at Hemingway's beloved Finca Vigia, in Cuba.

#hemingway #literature #writers #writing #myphotos #fenfotos #cuba #FincaVigia #ErnestHemingway
 
I was scheduled to do some more #writing yesterday on my book. But since I wasn't really feeling it (curse this seasonal depression for lingering), I jotted down a bunch of notes instead. I had just finished watching a docuseries on Heaven's Gate the other night that was part of my research (it's on HBO Max, if interested). So there's that. #amwriting

Image/Photo
 

Character a Day 2021: Dungeon Crawl Classics – Day 3

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-dungeon-crawl-classics-day-3

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

TL;DR



This is definitely a hail back to older ages, and some things I discarded even then. I suppose the fast character creation is a nod to the funnel that the characters have to go through- why waste time on a character that probably won't survive. But it's a lot different than the qualities I look for in a character creation system.

On to the system itself, since I'd never seen it- the dice chain is a novel idea, at least on paper. Basically, you have the dice ordered from smallest to largest, and though there are modifiers, when they become high enough, you promote to the next die in the chain. So if I was rolling a d20 to attack, and had enough modifiers, I'd roll a d24 instead. That brings me to the problem- I had a hard time telling the difference between some of the dice, so I think it would get to be a bit much in play.

But even more to deal with- the tables. There are tables for everything. That's an exaggeration, but not by much. I really don't know how you'd deal with that in play. I guess a good screen would help, but with so many spells having tables, there's no way to fit them all on a screen.

Reading a bit more about the funnel, I'm not sure there's a way to solo it. I'm also not sure that I'd ever actually run it, though I might play in it. The material is awesome, but not so sure about the system.

Final Build



Name: Alin Bexley

Strength: 11 (+0)
Agility: 14 (+1) Ref: +1
Stamina: 13 (+1) Fort: +1
Personality: 15 (+1) Will: +1
Intelligence: 17 (+2) Languages: Common, Dwarven, Elven
Luck: 14 (+1) Bountiful Harvest: Hit Points

Hit Points: 4
Wealth: 38 Copper
Experience: 0 XP
Occupation: Outlaw (Shortsword, Leather Armor)
Alignment: Neutral
Equipment: Flint & Steel
 

Character a Day 2021: Dungeon Crawl Classics – Day 2

From https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-dungeon-crawl-classics-day-2

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

Name, race, and gender are three of the things I can pick... but I'll generate them randomly, coming up with Alin Bexley, Human Female. I'm not generating a background for a character that is possibly throw away.

Step 1: Generate Stats



Going oldschool- 3d6 in order of stat. And I see that this character will definitely be a sacrifice to the funnel, as all of the character's luck went into the stats.

Strength: 11 (+0)
Agility: 14 (+1)
Stamina: 13 (+1)
Personality: 15 (+1)
Intelligence: 17 (+2)
Luck: 14 (+1)

Step 2: Roll on Luck Table



Luck roll – d30 –> 25 = Bountiful Harvest: Hit Points

I think this means that she gets to add her Stamina bonus to her hit points each level, but I don't see it explained anywhere.

Step 3: Other Stats



Hitpoints – 1d3 –> 3 + 1 = 4.
Wealth – 5d12 –> 38 cp
Occupation – d100 –> 82 = Outlaw.
That gives me a shortsword and leather armor.
Random Item – d24 –> 8 = Flint & Steel
Alignment – Neutral (Again a pick, but might as well go for the middle)
Languages – Common +2 more (Int mod). Dwarven and Elven

Step 4: Record Saves



Ref +1, Fort +1, Will +1
 

Character a Day 2021: Dungeon Crawl Classics – Day 1

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-dungeon-crawl-classics-day-1

#rpg #Tabletop #writing #characteraday

Introduction



I just picked up Dungeon Crawl Classics as an add-on for the Empire of the East Kickstarter. I've never played it, but heard a lot about it, so considering that I wanted to get Empire of the East for background information, along with Lankhmar, I figured I might as well get the base game too.

From first glance, it's a lot different than other games that I've played- a lot of it is random. And not just in a 'roll your stats and class' kind of random way- but a 'default character creation is to create many characters and send them through a funnel' kind of way.

This one, I think is going to be a bit different because of that- I'm going into this not knowing what the end character will look like. I'm just going to create a character for the funnel, and see how it turns out.

I have an idea if I like the game, I might run some for myself solo just to see how it turns out.
 

Character a Day 2021: Waste World – Day 3

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-waste-world-day-3

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

TL;DR



The character turned out exactly the way that I'd envisioned him. However, this is one of those cases where you revisit an older game that you played when you were younger, and realize why it's on the shelf. It definitely has some serious 90s aesthetics in the crunch. However, I will say that you can't put all of these in the same box; the section on description, personality traits, and story hooks were additions that really help flesh out the character and put him into the world he inhabits.

Final Build



Name: Takeshita Yoshimi
Occupation: Ronin
Metrozone: Shogunate

Background



Takeshita was a loyal servant, and he was loyal for loyalties sake. Not because he was a great warrior, though he was. Not because his family was pre-eminent in the Toro clan, though it was. Not because his own star was on the rise after a glorious death bringing down a plot by the Kobara clan, though it was apparent. Only on his second incarnation, his name was spoken in tones with the great samurai of old, and he was stationed far above his age. But then it all came tumbling down. Not because of anything he'd done. It turns out that even though he was too high profile a target, his father was not. He knows that his father's shame was manufactured, but it was within his Overlord's right to force his father to commit seppuku, plunging his own blade into his karma chip- bringing real and lasting death. Takeshita was supposed to do the same, and in going to the great void, it would have restored his family's honor. But the Overlord instead came for his family, not allowing him to do so. Takeshita fought back, but in the end was captured, along with his mother, sister, and brother. The Emperor himself stepped in, sparing Takeshita of a dishonorable death in favor of banishment and Ronin status. But he would not overturn the ruling, and so his family and all of his father's wealth was taken by the Overlord. On that day, Takeshita found out that his loyalty had its limits, and vowed to tear down all that he'd helped to build up.

Physical Description



Wiry, with a runner's build, Tak is graceful in motion. He's tall by Shogunate standards, standing at 180cm, and weighs 70 kg, with every inch of his upper torso and arms tattooed in a gorgeous painting of a tiger stalking through a fantastical background. He keeps his black hair messy- he used to keep it perfectly coiffed, but since his queue was cut at his banishment, he hasn't worried overmuch about it. With his glittering black eyes, he'd be handsome if his features weren't so haunted. He was allowed to keep his armor, so he is well kitted for a Ronin, though he's painted it muted colors as he's not allowed to fly Toro colors, though his mask still bears the image a proud tiger, betraying his origins.

Personality Traits



He borders on obsession with three tasks: finding out how and by who his father was betrayed, finding and freeing his family, and taking down the corrupt overlord that he knows had something to do with his fall. He's still unsure of the Emperor, and teeters between cursing and thanking him for the burden that lies on his shoulders. He seems serene, and holds a tight rein on his emotions, but when stirred out of that, the emotions that simmer beneath the surface become like a raging fire, burning any that come close. Because of this, he walks the line between suicidal and determined, depending on how heavy the burden lays on his shoulders. In those few times he finds peace, he is introspective and gracious, but soon enough, the memory returns to ruin any semblance of a normal life he might reach for.

Story Hooks



There is the obvious of the corrupt overlord, finding his family, and finding out how his father was betrayed. Less obvious is why the Emperor spared him and those few friends sympathetic to his fall. There is also the House of Tremontaine in Hydra- during his height, he was the cause of their fall when he foiled an incursion of their experimentation in the badlands. They've not been able to directly strike at him because of the simmering cold war between the City-States. However, he's not under the protection of the Shogunate anymore, so is at risk.

Characteristics



DX ST IN PW MR CC LF
+3 +1 0 0 5 100 15

Advantages



Ambidextrous, Karmachip (Disabled), Lightsleep, Charismatic

Disadvantages



Ronin, Samurai Code of Honor: Total, Obsession: Hatred of Katsunosuki Hiraka, Hunted: House Tremontaine

Skills



Acrobatics +2, Blade +3, Climbing +2, Dodge +3, Driving (Skimmer, Wheeled) +1, Forceblade +4, Martial Arts +3, Quick Draw (Force Blade, Blade) +4, Handgun +3, Ride (Horse) +3, Stealth +1, Swimming +1, Awareness +2, City Lore (Shogunate) +1, Courtier +2, Intimindate +1, Leadership +1, Lore (Tactics) +2, Navigator +1, Survival +1

Special Abilities



Way of the Tiger
–> Techniques: Tiger Strike +1, Tiger Spring +2, Tiger Claw +1, Claw Swipe +1
–> Bugei: Tiger Roar, Blazing Tiger Spring

Equipment



Medium Ceramic Armor (AR:6)
2 Force Blades
Blaster Pistol
Heavy Horse with Dermal Armor (AR:1)
 

Character a Day 2021: Waste World – Day 2

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-waste-world-day-2

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

Build



Step 1: Concept



Shogunate, Former Toro Ronin

Step 2: Physical Description



Wiry, with a runner's build, Tak is graceful in motion. He's tall by Shogunate standards, standing at 180cm, and weighs 70 kg, with every inch of his upper torso and arms tattooed in a gorgeous painting of a tiger stalking through a fantastical background. He keeps his black hair messy- he used to keep it perfectly coiffed, but since his queue was cut at his banishment, he hasn't worried overmuch about it. With his glittering black eyes, he'd be handsome if his features weren't so haunted. He was allowed to keep his armor, so he is well kitted for a Ronin, though he's painted it muted colors as he's not allowed to fly Toro colors, though his mask still bears the image a proud tiger, betraying his origins.

Step 3: Choose Personality Traits



He borders on obsession with three tasks: finding out how and by who his father was betrayed, finding and freeing his family, and taking down the corrupt overlord that he knows had something to do with his fall. He's still unsure of the Emperor, and teeters between cursing and thanking him for the burden that lies on his shoulders. He seems serene, and holds a tight rein on his emotions, but when stirred out of that, the emotions that simmer beneath the surface become like a raging fire, burning any that come close. Because of this, he walks the line between suicidal and determined, depending on how heavy the burden lays on his shoulders. In those few times he finds peace, he is introspective and gracious, but soon enough, the memory returns to ruin any semblance of a normal life he might reach for.

Step 4: Story Hooks



There is the obvious of the corrupt overlord, finding his family, and finding out how his father was betrayed. Less obvious is why the Emperor spared him and those few friends sympathetic to his fall. There is also the House of Tremontaine in Hydra- during his height, he was the cause of their fall when he foiled an incursion of their experimentation in the badlands. They've not been able to directly strike at him because of the simmering cold war between the City-States. However, he's not under the protection of the Shogunate anymore, so is at risk.

The next steps are where we spend character points. I'll go with 150 points.

Step 5: Characteristics



I'm remembering now that this game is a bit more chart heavy that I normally like. Stats are rated from -3 – +5 with 0 being average. I'll make him faster, and a bit stronger.

Dexterity (DX): +3 (60)
Strength (ST): +1 (10)
Intelligence (IN): 0 (0)
Power (PW): 0 (0)

Total Characteristics: 70

Step 6: Special Characteristics



Your base Characteristics help determine your special characteristics, though you can increase them within limits. I'm just going to give him increased life to fuel his Bugei abilities.

Movement Rate (MR): 5
Carry Capacity (CC): 100 kg
Life Force (LF): 15 (6)

Total Special Characteristics: 6

Step 6: Advantages



Pretty standard fare here- spend points on advantages. I'm figuring that even at his worst, he still has the regal bearing that made people follow him. He'll also practice Niten Ichi-ryū, so ambidexterity helps there. He has a Karmachip and is on his second life- though the Lords of Karma will judge him harshly if he goes before them now, so that's 0 points. He also sleeps lightly.

Ambidextrous (10)
Karmachip, Disabled (0)
Lightsleep (5)
Charismatic (10)

Total Advantages: 25

Step 7: Disadvantages



He is, of course, a Ronin, but still follows Samurai principles. He's obsessed with the Overlord that ruined his life, and is hunted by House Tremontaine, even if not fiercely.

Ronin (-5)
Samurai Code of Honor: Total (-30)
Obsession: Hatred of Katsunosuki Hiraka (-30)
Hunted: House Tremontaine (-15)

Total Disadvantages: -80

Step 8: Skills



This is where the tables get really annoying, as they are a lot like GURPS buy tables, with cumulative costs per level based on complexity of skills.

Acrobatics +2 (7)
Blade +3 (10)
Climbing +2 (3)
Dodge +3 (16)
Driving (Skimmer, Wheeled) +1 (3+2=5)
Forceblade +4 (11)
Martial Arts +3 (10)
Quick Draw (Force Blade, Blade) +4 (11+2=13)
Handgun +3 (6)
Ride (Horse) +3 (6)
Stealth +1 (1)
Swimming +1 (1)
Awareness +2 (4)
City Lore (Shogunate) +1 (1)
Courtier +1 (4)
Intimidate +1 (1)
Leadership +1 (1)
Lore (Tactics) +2 (3)
Navigator +1 (1)
Survival +1 (1)

Total Skills: 107

Step 9: Special Abilities



He will of course have the Tau, Way of the Tiger, and all of the skills, and the Bugei for Tiger Roar (Kiai shout) and Blazing Tiger Spring (Iaido).

Way of the Tiger (5)
Tiger Strike +1 (1)
Tiger Spring +2 (4)
Tiger Claw +1 (1)
Claw Swipe +1 (1)
Tiger Roar(5)
Blazing Tiger Spring (5)

Total Special Skills: 22

Step 10: Equipment



Medium Ceramic Armor (AR:6)
2 Force Blades
Blaster Pistol
Heavy Horse with Dermal Armor (AR:1)
 

Character a Day 2021: Waste World – Day 1

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-waste-world-day-1

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

Introduction



Taking a break from the experiments for my campaign, I decided to make a character for an old Forgotten RPG – Waste World. This is a 90s RPG designed by Bill King, and is gonzo along the lines of Rifts or that sort of game. In a dark future, five great countries prepare for the final war. Each has its own flavor- from the aerialist nation of Ikarus, to the bio-engineered Hydra, they're over the top representations of a particular point of view. The character that I will make will be from the Shogunate (because of course there are cybernetic Samurai and Ninja), which actually doesn't take me too far outside of the Transhuman theme, as the Samurai are reincarnated via Karma Chips.




Waste World and the Supplements

Name: Takeshita Yoshimi
Clan: Toro

Background



Takeshita was a loyal servant, and he was loyal for loyalties sake. Not because he was a great warrior, though he was. Not because his family was pre-eminent in the Toro clan, though it was. Not because his own star was on the rise after a glorious death bringing down a plot by the Kobara clan, though it was apparent. Only on his second incarnation, his name was spoken in tones with the great samurai of old, and he was stationed far above his age. But then it all came tumbling down. Not because of anything he'd done. It turns out that even though he was too high profile a target, his father was not. He knows that his father's shame was manufactured, but it was within his Overlord's right to force his father to commit seppuku, plunging his own blade into his karma chip- bringing real and lasting death. Takeshita was supposed to do the same, and in going to the great void, it would have restored his family's honor. But the Overlord instead came for his family, not allowing him to do so. Takeshita fought back, but in the end was captured, along with his mother, sister, and brother. The Emperor himself stepped in, sparing Takeshita of a dishonorable death in favor of banishment and Ronin status. But he would not overturn the ruling, and so his family and all of his father's wealth was taken by the Overlord. On that day, Takeshita found out that his loyalty had its limits, and vowed to tear down all that he'd helped to build up.
 

Night's Black Agents – Solo Ops – Day 3

from https://write.as/chuckdee/nights-black-agents-solo-ops-day-3

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

TL;DR



I know that One-to-One as a system addresses a lot of the problems that I have with Gumshoe through Challenges, Pushes, and Contacts. However, the character creation seems to fall a bit short. The only real decisions to be made are what mastery edges to obtain (and those for the most part go away when used), and what additional investigative abilities to get. I like a bit more customization in my systems. What I learned from this process is that I want to take some of the concepts of Gumshoe and hack them into another system.

Final Character



Name: Rhys Morales
Pushes: 3

Background



Growing up in Brixton wasn't easy for anyone, and that was doubly so for Rhys. He lived with only his mother, his father dead when he was a young boy. He barely remembered those days, other than the fact that the coast of Spain was a lot better than his life in London. Though his mother tried to shelter him, he knew that they were always skating the line between being on the streets and having a place of their head, and some nights, the eating was spare. Though his mother always made sure they had something in their bellies, she sometimes went hungry. Seeing how hard she worked, he knew it wasn't right for them to be that bad off, so he decided to do something about it.

Only a lad himself, he took to the streets to find his own hustle, settling on communication. Running for the gangs, but never in them, he sold pagers and mobiles to the dealers, and sometimes ran a package or two. It was a dangerous game he played- not wanting to join a gang, he wasn't covered by any of them. That time gave him a healthy dislike for gangs and people that preyed on the weak. When the cellular company caught wind of his source's scam and cut the lines earlier than they were supposed to, he realized he needed to get out, and decided to go for the armed forces. He couldn't get in because of his record, and didn't know what he was going to do. It turns out he didn't have to find out- the special services kept their eye out for promising candidates that had darker pasts, and he was tapped for them. Not having any other options, he accepted the offer.

Though he's been able to provide for his mom and brother, he still wonders if he was given the choice again if he'd accept...

Investigative Abilities



Bullshit Detector, Charm, Cryptography, Electronic Surveillance, Forensic Pathology, Human Terrain, Intimidation, Military Science, Notice, Reassurance, Research, Streetwise, Urban Survival, Tradecraft, Traffic Analysis

General Abilities



Athletics: 2, Conceal: 2, Cool: 2, Cover: 2, Driving: 2, Evasion: 2, Fighting: 2, Filch: 2, Infiltration: 2, Mechanics: 2, Medic: 2, Network: 2, Preparedness: 2, Sense Trouble: 2, Shooting: 2, Surveillance: 2

Mastery Edges



Unstoppable, Ice Cold, You Never Knew Me
 

Night's Black Agents – Solo Ops – Day 2

from https://write.as/chuckdee/nights-black-agents-solo-ops-day-2

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

Build



Step 1: Pushes



Begin with 3 Pushes

Step 2: Investigative Abilities



Record standard Investigator investigative abilities

Bullshit Detector, Charm, Intimidation, Notice, Reassurance, Research, Streetwise, Urban Survival, Tradecraft

Step 3: Additional Investigative Abilities



Choose 6 additional investigative abilities

Considering him to have received intelligence training, I choose skills that would have arisen through that.

Cryptography, Electronic Surveillance, Forensic Pathology, Human Terrain, Military Science, Traffic Analysis

Step 4: General Abilities



Record all General Abilities at 2 dice.

Athletics, Conceal, Cool, Cover, Driving, Evasion, Fighting, Filch, Infiltration, Mechanics, Medic, Network, Preparedness, Sense Trouble, Shooting, Surveillance

Step 5: Mastery Edges



Choose 3 Mastery Edges

Unstoppable – I figure that Rhys pushes past any difficulties because of his background

Ice Cold – Same as the above

You Never Knew Me – because of his background he doesn't trust most people, and prepares for their betrayal.
 

Night's Black Agents – Solo Ops – Day 1

from https://write.as/chuckdee/nights-black-agents-solo-ops-day-1

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

Name: Rhys Morales

Background



Growing up in Brixton wasn't easy for anyone, and that was doubly so for Rhys. He lived with only his mother, his father dead when he was a young boy. He barely remembered those days, other than the fact that the coast of Spain was a lot better than his life in London. Though his mother tried to shelter him, he knew that they were always skating the line between being on the streets and having a place of their head, and some nights, the eating was spare. Though his mother always made sure they had something in their bellies, she sometimes went hungry. Seeing how hard she worked, he knew it wasn't right for them to be that bad off, so he decided to do something about it.

Only a lad himself, he took to the streets to find his own hustle, settling on communication. Running for the gangs, but never in them, he sold pagers and mobiles to the dealers, and sometimes ran a package or two. It was a dangerous game he played- not wanting to join a gang, he wasn't covered by any of them. That time gave him a healthy dislike for gangs and people that preyed on the weak. When the cellular company caught wind of his source's scam and cut the lines earlier than they were supposed to, he realized he needed to get out, and decided to go for the armed forces. He couldn't get in because of his record, and didn't know what he was going to do. It turns out he didn't have to find out- the special services kept their eye out for promising candidates that had darker pasts, and he was tapped for them. Not having any other options, he accepted the offer.

Though he's been able to provide for his mom and brother, he still wonders if he was given the choice again if he'd accept...
 

Character a Day 2021: Ashen Stars – Day 3

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-ashen-stars-day-3

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

TL;DR



Making this character made me remember the one downfall I've seen in Gumshoe- everything is based off of what the character knows, rather than who the character is. I'll follow up with one-to-one, which addresses that in small ways and see if this changes my mind about using it for the campaign. I will also say that making a character is second only to Altered Carbon in annoyances from layout.

Final Character



Name: Kira Ivanov
Species: Human
Ability: Dauntless
Drive: Something to Prove
Warpside: Strategic Coordinator
Groundside: Security

Background



Kira grew up in a mixed-race household – her mother was Balla and her father Human. They seemed to have the perfect marriage, and she was raised in an environment of love and understanding, learning about both sides of her heritage. That was, until 7 years ago. Her father was called up to the local militia, dying in the conflict. After the war, mixed-race pairings became verboten, and being on a human planet, her mother suffered discrimination. She lost not just her husband, but her community. As Kira appeared for the most part human, her mother sent her off as soon as possible so she wouldn't be touched by it. Though she understood why, this still hurt her deeply, and the love and acceptance that she'd grown up with was buried underneath a hard exterior she developed as a mean of surviving the pain.

Investigative Abilities



Cop Talk: 2, Interrogation: 2, Evidence Collection: 2, Kinetics: 1, Forensic Psychology: 2, History, Combine: 1, Law: 2, Linguistics: 1, Bullshit Detector: 3, Downside: 3, Intimidation: 1, Respect: 2, Reassurance: 1, Forensic Engineering: 1, Explosive Devices: 1, Bio Signatures: 1, Bureaucracy: 1, Inspiration: 1

General Abilities



Athletics: 8, Naval Tactics: 8, Scuffling: 8, Sense Trouble: 7, Shooting: 7, Surveillance: 7, Ground Craft: 5, Health: 5, Helm Control: 3, Infiltration: 4, Medic: 2, Preparedness: 6, Battle Console: 3, Shuttle Craft: 2

Tech Enhancements



Amper
Internal Headset
Motobooster
Mr. Gray
Regenerate
Disruption Pistol
 

Character a Day 2021: Ashen Stars – Day 2

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-ashen-stars-day-2

#rpg #gaming #writing #characteraday

Name: Kira Ivanov

Step 1: Choose Species



I wanted to choose a mixed race, but decided instead of hacking together something (an option in the system), I'd just go for human dominant for simplicity's sake.

Suitable Drives: Any Non-Unique
Unique Drives: None.
Species-Specific Abilities: None
Cybernetic Compatibilities: None
Cybernetic Clashes: None
Viroware Affinities: None
Viroware Susceptibilities: None
Special: Dauntless

Step 2: Assign Crew Packages



Warpside: Strategic Coordinator

General: Athletics: 4, Naval Tactics: 6, Scuffling: 4, Sense Trouble: 4, Shooting: 4

Groundside: Security

Investigative: Cop Talk: 1, Interrogation: 1, Evidence Collection: 1, Kinetics: 1
General: Athletics: 4, Scuffling: 4, Sense Trouble: 4, Shooting: 4, Surveillance: 4

Step 3: Choose Investigative Abilities



For all crew member figures, I'm going to go with 3 crew. This gives 28 Investigative Build Points. The crew package has 4 build points required, leaving me with 24.

Forensic Psychology: 2, Cop Talk: +1, Interrogation: +1, Evidence Collection: +1, History, Combine: 1, Law: 2, Linguistics: 1, Bullshit Detector: 3, Downside: 3, Intimidation: 1, Respect: 2, Reassurance: 1, Forensic Engineering: 1, Explosive Devices: 1, Bio Signatures: 1, Bureaucracy: 1, Inspiration: 1

Step 4: Choose General Abilities



Each player gets 75 General Build Points, and my packages account for 40, leaving 35.

Shooting: +3, Naval Tactics: +2, Ground Craft: 5, Health: 5, Helm Control: 3, Infiltration: 4, Medic: 2, Preparedness: 6, Battle Console: 3, Shuttle Craft: 2.

Step 5: Choose Drive



Though she'd deny it if questioned on the point, Kira has something to prove- that half-breeds are not a mistake.

Step 6: Choose Ship



We'll skip this portion, without a crew.

Step 7: Choose Tech Enhancements



With three players, she'd get a budget of 84/3 = 28.

Amper
Internal Headset
Motobooster
Mr. Gray
Regenerate
Disruption Pistol
 

Character a Day 2021: Ashen Stars – Day 1

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-ashen-stars-day-1

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

My other option for my transhuman game is Gumshoe. I'm going to have to hack a lot if I choose this option, but I figured I'd make up a character in the baseline systems that I plan to hack first. This one is using Ashen Stars. It has a lot of the sci-fi elements I'm looking for, though it couldn't really be considered transhumanist. It does, however, have uplifts, so it touches on the themes.

Name: Kira Ivanov
Race: Human

Background

Kira grew up in a mixed-race household – her mother was Balla and her father Human. They seemed to have the perfect marriage, and she was raised in an environment of love and understanding, learning about both sides of her heritage. That was, until 7 years ago. Her father was called up to the local militia, dying in the conflict. After the war, mixed-race pairings became verboten, and being on a human planet, her mother suffered discrimination. She lost not just her husband, but her community. As Kira appeared for the most part human, her mother sent her off as soon as possible so she wouldn't be touched by it. Though she understood why, this still hurt her deeply, and the love and acceptance that she'd grown up with was buried underneath a hard exterior she developed as a mean of surviving the pain.
 

Character a Day 2021: GURPS Transhuman Space – Day 3

From: https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-gurps-transhuman-space-day-3

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

TL;DR



Having played GURPS for several years, I knew that it would be more than capable of making whatever I needed. I did this more as an exercise in seeing the character prospects from a different perspective, and because I'll be using material from GURPS Transhuman Space for my campaign.

Final Character



Background



Lena Denkova wanted to be a law enforcement officer all her life. It was her family profession, and she'd dreamed about it her entire life. Her father, uncle, and brother had filled her head with tales of their cases. When she finally got her shot, it was different than what she expected, but she adapted. She was good at her work, and very adept at identifying people by characteristics and behaviors rather than appearance. This made her a natural in the AIC (AI/Informorph Crime) Division, and she closed more cases than any other detective of her age. This obsession with her job was at the expense of her personal life, and she made few friends and more than her share of enemies. She was framed for taking money and killing a perp in her custody- a ludicrous charge that any that knew her would know was beyond the pale for her. She knew others that took money for 'favors' and took liberties with the line of the law, but it was abhorrent to her. Seeing how quickly her fellow officers believed the charges against her made her wish she'd followed her conscience when she saw the transgressions of her peers.

But it was too late for regrets- the trumped up charges would have resulted in taking her offline for centuries, if not her own RD. She needed time to figure out what happened. Though she felt like she was in a corner, she found out that she had friends that she didn't know she had, and one of them gave her the space she needed. Putting her sleeve in storage, she cast off-world to the frontiers into a clean sleeve. This would give her the chance to make her way back to the core- eventually- and solve her crime. She just had to hope her disappearance was clean enough so she wouldn't be tracked by someone as skilled as her in finding ego-jumpers. In the meantime, she had to make the money to migrate back to the core without raising an suspicions. And the only thing she knew was law- so she became an ego hunter, chasing down bounties in the badlands.

Character



Name: Lena Denkova
Character Points: 300 pts
Character Type: Bounty Hunter

Attributes

[h2]ST 11 (10) HP 11 (00) Speed 6.25
DX 14 (40) Per 15 (15) Move 6
IQ 12 (20) Will 12 (00) BL 24
HT 11 (10) FP 11 (00) DMG 1d-1/1d+1

Total Attributes: 95

[h2]Advantages



Combat Reflexes (15)
Bioshell (41)
Ghost Mind Emulation (17)

Total Advantages: 73

Disadvantages



Secret: Death (-30)
Code of Honor: Police (-15)
Obsession: Prove her Innocence (-10)

Total Disadvantages: -55

Quirks



Sensitive about being called a liar -1
Always inclined to help those in need -1
Stays away from drugs and drink -1

Skills



Acrobatics (DX/Hard) – 14 (4)
Acting (IQ/Average) – 10 (1)
Area Knowledge (Core/US/Chicago) (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Area Knowledge (Antliae VI) (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Armory/TL11 (Small Arms) (IQ/Average) – 11 (1)
Beam Weapons/TL11 (Pistol/Laser) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Body Language (Per/Average) – 16 (4)
Carousing (HT/Easy) – 11 (1)
Climbing (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Computer Operations (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Criminology (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Current Affairs/TL (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Detect Lies (Per/Hard) – 15 (4)
Diplomacy (IQ/Hard) – 10 (1)
Driving/TL11 (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Fast Draw (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
First Aid/TL11 (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Forensics/TL11 (IQ/Hard) – 11 (2)
Guns/TL11 (Pistol) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Guns/TL11 (Shotgun) (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Guns/TL11 (Rifle) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Interrogation (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Intimidation (Will/Average) – 11 (1)
Judo (DX/Hard) – 16 (12)
Jumping (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Karate (DX/Hard) – 14 (4)
Knot Tying (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Law (IQ/Hard) – 10 (1)
Leadership (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Lockpicking/TL11 (IQ/Average) – 11 (1)
Melee Weapon (Knife) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Navigation/TL11 (IQ/Average) – 11 (1)
Observation (Per/Average) – 15 (2)
Research/TL11 (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Riding (Horse) (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Running (HT/Average) – 11 (2)
Search (Per/Average) – 15 (2)
Shadowing (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Stealth (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Streetwise (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Survival (Per/Average) – 14 (1)
Swimming (HT/Easy) – 12 (2)
Thrown Weapons (Knife) (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Tracking (Per/Average) – 15 (2)
Urban Survival (Per/Average) – 14 (2)

Total Skills: 90

Cybernetics



Accelerated Reflexes: 1 (85)
Damage Control: Hard to Kill (5)
Optic Readout (5)
Neural HUD (5)

Total Cybernetics: 100
 

Character a Day 2021: GURPS Transhuman Space – Day 2

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-gurps-transhuman-space-day-2

#rpg #gaming #writing #characteraday

Being familiar with GURPS, this should be more straightforward than the others. I figure to start with cinematic levels – 300 points should do.

Attributes



Given her predilection for Ego Hunting, I want her Perception to be high, and her Dexterity. IQ will come next, with HT and ST a bit above average.

ST 11 (10) HP 11 (00) Speed 6.25
DX 14 (40) Per 15 (15) Move 6
IQ 12 (20) Will 12 (00) BL 24
HT 11 (10) FP 11 (00) DMG 1d-1/1d+1

Total Attributes: 95

Advantages



Combat Reflexes (15) is always nice, and going along with the idea to make this a bit closer to the idea of Stacks and Shells, give her a Bioshell (41) and Ghost Mind Emulation (17)

Total Advantages: 73

Disadvantages



Her secret might mean death and might not- but the extra points could be made up with reputation if she wasn't put to death. (-30). At heart, she still carries herself as if she was on the force (-15), and she's obsessed with proving her innocence (-10)

Total Disadvantages: -55

Quirks



She values her word, so is sensitive about being called a liar. She's always inclined to help those in need, and she stays away from drugs and drink, as she finds that they fog up her capabilities.

Total Quirks: -3

Skills



Picking skills, I keep in mind that she can handle herself on the frontier, and is skilled at picking up on minute body language and detecting lies.

Acrobatics (DX/Hard) – 14 (4)
Acting (IQ/Average) – 10 (1)
Area Knowledge (Core/US/Chicago) (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Area Knowledge (Antliae VI) (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Armory/TL11 (Small Arms) (IQ/Average) – 11 (1)
Beam Weapons/TL11 (Pistol/Laser) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Body Language (Per/Average) – 16 (4)
Carousing (HT/Easy) – 11 (1)
Climbing (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Computer Operations (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Criminology (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Current Affairs/TL (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Detect Lies (Per/Hard) – 15 (4)
Diplomacy (IQ/Hard) – 10 (1)
Driving/TL11 (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Fast Draw (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
First Aid/TL11 (IQ/Easy) – 12 (1)
Forensics/TL11 (IQ/Hard) – 11 (2)
Guns/TL11 (Pistol) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Guns/TL11 (Shotgun) (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Guns/TL11 (Rifle) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Interrogation (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Intimidation (Will/Average) – 11 (1)
Judo (DX/Hard) – 16 (12)
Jumping (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Karate (DX/Hard) – 14 (4)
Knot Tying (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Law (IQ/Hard) – 10 (1)
Leadership (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Lockpicking/TL11 (IQ/Average) – 11 (1)
Melee Weapon (Knife) (DX/Easy) – 15 (2)
Navigation/TL11 (IQ/Average) – 11 (1)
Observation (Per/Average) – 15 (2)
Research/TL11 (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Riding (Horse) (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Running (HT/Average) – 11 (2)
Search (Per/Average) – 15 (2)
Shadowing (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Stealth (DX/Average) – 14 (2)
Streetwise (IQ/Average) – 12 (2)
Survival (Per/Average) – 14 (1)
Swimming (HT/Easy) – 12 (2)
Thrown Weapons (Knife) (DX/Easy) – 14 (1)
Tracking (Per/Average) – 15 (2)
Urban Survival (Per/Average) – 14 (2)

Total Skills: 90

Cybernetics



Some enhancements to her shell will round things out.

Accelerated Reflexes: 1 (85)
Damage Control: Hard to Kill (5)
Optic Readout (5)
Neural HUD (5)

Total Cybernetics: 100
 

Character a Day 2021: GURPS Transhuman Space – Day 1

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-gurps-transhuman-space-day-1

#rpg #tabletop #writing #characteraday

So this one is a bit different. GURPS Transhuman Space is a great treatment of Transhumanism, but it was written a bit before some of the concepts I want to use, so I'm going to have to hack it a bit. But I've never played GURPS un-hacked, so it's pretty much business as usual.

Background



For this character, I'm going with an Ego Hunter. I want her to be ex-LEO. Some scandal or her own conscience is the reason that she's no longer that. I want her on the run, so if it's her conscience, it will have to be that she was getting ready to testify and is on the run. I don't like that too much, so scandal it is.

She's not in her original sleeve (GURPS Transhuman concentrates a lot on Uplifts rather than Ego in a Sleeve, so that's the change that I'm going to have to incorporate), but in a borrowed one on the frontiers of space. She's on her own out there, and has little resources, so is trying to get enough money to get back to the core and solve her own case to restore her reputation.
 

Character a Day 2021: Eclipse Phase: Transhumanity's Fate – Day 3

From https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-eclipse-phase-transhumanitys-fate-day-3

#rpg #gaming #writing #characteraday

TL;DR



Transhumanity's Fate is a great adaptation of Eclipse Phase to Fate Core; it allows you to use the concepts of Fate Core without losing the feel of Eclipse Phase.

Final Character



Name: Delia Kanzaki

Background



Delia never knew her parents, and her only sibling was a fading memory. Left to fend for herself at a young age, she had to quickly learn how to navigate the streets. She saw early on what happened to girls on the street, so she took the androgynous name 'Del', hiding her gender. She learned about the criminal underground doing odd jobs among the other young boys in the 'Bottom', the literal representation of what her neighborhood was- the place where you had fallen as far as you were able to and still be on this side of the dirt. As she grew older, she realized that she would not be able to hide for much longer as her features softened, while the boys she worked alongside grew harder, and ingratiated herself to someone that she thought would protect her, trying to manipulate herself into a place where she would have options. Less than successful, she found herself close to being sold into slavery to one of the many houses, but was instead bought by one of the other oyabun that she worked for on occassion. What he saw in her, she never found out, but he invested a lot of effort and money into seeing her trained, and her sleeve upgraded. Before he could make use of her, she witnessed his death at the hands of interlopers. She tried to intervene, but was overmatched and defeated. Instead of the death that she expected, however, this was the start of her new life. Her oyabun traded in illicit stacks, and a firewall cell had infiltrated his organization in order to bring it down. One of the agents that she'd worked alongside had vouched for her, and she was brought into the cell.

Character



Codename: Intruder
Background: Underclass
Faction: Criminal
Motivations: Find a Tribe, Survival, Stability
High Concept: Talented Infiltrator with a Troubled Past
Trouble: It's Hard to let go of the Past
Aspect: My Body is a Weapon
Aspect: I Have Learned to Adapt
Refresh: 2

Firewall Phases



Phase One: How You Got Noticed



The clan that Delia ran with dealt in black market stacks – the stacks of those abandoned during the TITAN crisis. Some of these were the source of an exigent virus, and Firewall put an agent, Kano Seiji, in place to find out the source of these stacks. Delia became close with the agent, never knowing who he was, and when Firewall extracted him, they forcibly extracted her also.

Phase Two: A Recent Mission



Similar to what Kano Seiji had done, Delia was put in place in a small scavenger gang because the problem of corrupted stacks had arisen again, and they wanted to know if this was truly an xrisk, or was it just a case of bad trips by the people harvesting the Egos. It turned out to be nothing, but it did stir up memories being there.

Phase Three: Crossing Paths



Meeting Kano again brought those same memories of her life before to the forefront. This mission was an active infiltration of a corporate entity to remove data from their possession of a particular gatecrashing exploration. The mission went to spec, but the memories surfaced jeopardized that ending. Kano helped Delia work through her memories in order to get the mission accomplished, and they grew closer as a result.

Phase Four: Crossing Paths Again



Undercover in an underground fighting ring, Delia found herself outed by the hacker she'd been sent to find and silence. One of the fighters, Makov Rizova, stepped in to help her turn the tables on the hacker, finishing her mission. In return, she did what Kano had done for her- extracted Rizova from his forcible indentured servitude in the underground.

Ego



Skills



Great (+4): Fight, Infiltrate
Good (+3): Athletics, Notice
Fair (+2): Shoot, InfoSec, Investigate
Average (+1): Deceive, Cover, Rapport, Will, Somatics

Stunts



By My Hand, Set the World in Motion: Through a combination of speed, dexterity, and uncanny timing, you always have a path forward. In a static environment, this means that you are capable of crazy parkour-like movement to get almost anywhere that could be physically accessed. In a more fluid environment you are impossible to pin down or fence in, as you’ll always find the gap.
Mental Blueprint: You’re highly skilled at visualizing the whole of a target based on just a part of it. When casing a location, you receive a +2 on Infiltration rolls to create an advantage.
Silent Takedown: You're skilled at taking down opponents giving them no chance to respond. When you can surprise an enemy or attack from a place of hiding, with a successful attack, you create a boost. If you succeed with style, you get to invoke that boost for free twice.

Morph



Type: Biomorph, Flat, Augmented
Aspects: 100% pure old-fashioned home-grown, Black market augments
Traits: Essential Biomorph Traits (Cortical Stack, Mesh Inserts)
Stunts: Stealth, Reflex Boosters
Durability: Good (+3)
Stress Boxes: 4
Refresh Cost: 1

Muse



When her Mesh was implanted and her Muse installed, it gave her a sense of security. This was someone that would never leave her, and so she named it Kaneko – her only memory of her brother being his name.

Investigate: Average (+1)
InfoSec: Fair (+2)
Stress Boxes: 2
 

Character a Day 2021: Eclipse Phase: Transhumanity's Fate – Day 2

From: https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-eclipse-phase-transhumanitys-fate-day-2

#rpg #gaming #writing #characteraday

I am very familiar with creating a character in Fate Core, but this seems to blend elements of Fate Core with Eclipse Phase, which is interesting. One thing to note- the references in Transhumanity's Fate are to Eclipse Phase 1st Edition, but they are easily found in the 2nd Edition books.

Name: Delia Kanzaki

Character Concept



The first step is to select a character concept from Eclipse Phase. In 2nd Edition, there's no list of Character Concepts, but I'd assume that they mean Career. For Del, I choose Covert Operator. Similarly for Background and Faction I choose Underclass and Criminal. Motivations, I have to think a bit about. She has real abandonment and trust issues, so I choose Find A Tribe and Stability. For her third, it's the one constant in her life- Survival. It's strange to see that none of these result in any mechanical teeth- they are just to flesh out the character.

Her codename is Intruder, representing the fact that she can get into places, but on another level, it represents the fact that she always feels like an outsider.

Firewall Phases



These are similar to Fate Core, except there are 4 instead of 3. The other interesting thing – no Aspects come out of this, unlike in Fate Core.

Phase One: How You Got Noticed



I already detailed this in her background.

The clan that Delia ran with dealt in black market stacks – the stacks of those abandoned during the TITAN crisis. Some of these were the source of an exigent virus, and Firewall put an agent, Kano Seiji, in place to find out the source of these stacks. Delia became close with the agent, never knowing who he was, and when Firewall extracted him, they forcibly extracted her also.

Phase Two: A Recent Mission



For this phase, I want to show that in a lot of her missions, there's no drama and no excitement. Just the stress of being undercover alone.

Similar to what Kano Seiji had done, Delia was put in place in a small scavenger gang because the problem of corrupted stacks had arisen again, and they wanted to know if this was truly an x-risk, or was it just a case of bad trips by the people harvesting the Egos. It turned out to be nothing, but it did stir up memories being there.

Phase Three: Crossing Paths



This is going to be a bit tricky, as I'm making Del up alone. For the first one, I make the obvious choice of meeting her first contact again.

Meeting Kano again brought those same memories of her life before to the forefront. This mission was an active infiltration of a corporate entity to remove data from their possession of a particular gatecrashing exploration. The mission went to spec, but the memories surfaced jeopardized that ending. Kano helped Delia work through her memories in order to get the mission accomplished, and they grew closer as a result.

Phase Four: Crossing Paths Again



Seeing that a lot of Del's life is patterns and repetition, I choose to lean into that.

Undercover in an underground fighting ring, Delia found herself outed by the hacker she'd been sent to find and silence. One of the fighters, Makov Rizova, stepped in to help her turn the tables on the hacker, finishing her mission. In return, she did what Kano had done for her- extracted Rizova from his forcible indentured servitude in the underground.

Making Ego Aspects



In this phase of character creation, we go through the normal High Concept and Trouble, and add two aspects instead of three.

Her high concept is that she is a Talented Infiltrator from a Troubled Background. Her trouble relates to her trust and abandonment issues, i.e. It's Hard To Let Go of the Past. Her training on the streets and under her Oyabun showed her that My Body Is A Weapon, and because of the difficult circumstances of her upbringing, I Have Learned to Adapt

Skills



There are two options for Skill Pyramids or the option to spend 25 points freely. I choose the Deep Focus Pyramid.

Great (+4): Fight, Infiltrate
Good (+3): Athletics, Notice
Fair (+2): Shoot, InfoSec, Investigate
Average (+1): Deceive, Cover, Rapport, Will, Somatics

Morph



I want her to still be in her natal sleeve, but with upgrades to it. I take a look at the Ghost Sleeve, and take some of the upgrades for the Flat sleeve, paying the price of the Ghost.

Type: Biomorph, Flat, Augmented
Aspects: 100% pure old-fashioned home-grown, Black market augments
Traits: Essential Biomorph Traits (Cortical Stack, Mesh Inserts)
Stunts: Stealth, Reflex Boosters
Durability: Good (+3)
Stress Boxes: 4
Refresh Cost: 1

Stunts



1 Refresh is spent on the Morph, leaving 5. I spend 3 on Ego Stunts, reflecting the fact that she is an agile infiltrator.

By My Hand, Set the World in Motion: Through a combination of speed, dexterity, and uncanny timing, you always have a path forward. In a static environment, this means that you are capable of crazy parkour-like movement to get almost anywhere that could be physically accessed. In a more fluid environment you are impossible to pin down or fence in, as you’ll always find the gap.

Mental Blueprint: You’re highly skilled at visualizing the whole of a target based on just a part of it. When casing a location, you receive a +2 on Infiltration rolls to create an advantage.

Silent Takedown: You're skilled at taking down opponents giving them no chance to respond. When you can surprise an enemy or attack from a place of hiding, with a successful attack, you create a boost. If you succeed with style, you get to invoke that boost for free twice.

This leaves her with 2 Refresh.

Muse



When her Mesh was implanted and her Muse installed, it gave her a sense of security. This was someone that would never leave her, and so she named it Kaneko – her only memory of her brother being his name.

Investigate: Average (+1)
InfoSec: Fair (+2)
Stress Boxes: 2

And with that, Del is done.
 

Character a Day 2021: Eclipse Phase: Transhumanity's Fate – Day 1

From https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-eclipse-phase-transhumanitys-fate-day-1

#rpg #gaming #writing #characteraday

Transhumanity's Fate is an excellent resource for using Eclipse Phase in Fate.
Continuing with the transhuman theme, I wanted to make a character using this, as the game I'll be running will probably be Fate based (though Gumshoe is still in the running).

Character Idea



Name: Delia Kanzaki

Background



Delia never knew her parents, and her only sibling was a fading memory. Left to fend for herself at a young age, she had to quickly learn how to navigate the streets. She saw early on what happened to girls on the street, so she took the androgynous name 'Del', hiding her gender. She learned about the criminal underground doing odd jobs among the other young boys in the 'Bottom', the literal representation of what her neighborhood was- the place where you had fallen as far as you were able to and still be on this side of the dirt. As she grew older, she realized that she would not be able to hide for much longer as her features softened, while the boys she worked alongside grew harder, and ingratiated herself to someone that she thought would protect her, trying to manipulate herself into a place where she would have options. Less than successful, she found herself close to being sold into slavery to one of the many houses, but was instead bought by one of the other oyabun that she worked for on occassion. What he saw in her, she never found out, but he invested a lot of effort and money into seeing her trained, and her sleeve upgraded. Before he could make use of her, she witnessed his death at the hands of interlopers. She tried to intervene, but was overmatched and defeated. Instead of the death that she expected, however, this was the start of her new life. Her oyabun traded in illicit stacks, and a firewall cell had infiltrated his organization in order to bring it down. One of the agents that she'd worked alongside had vouched for her, and she was brought into the cell.
 

Character a Day 2021: Eclipse Phase – Day 3

from https://write.as/chuckdee/character-a-day-2021-eclipse-phase-day-3

#rpg #gaming #writing

TL;DR



This was a lot less painful than others have implied. The math was pretty simple, the rules straightforward. There were a couple of places that I messed up, but they were pretty obvious in retrospect, and easily corrected. I'm pretty sure the character is correctly done, and it is spot on with the background I originally conceived.

Final Character



General Info



Name: Damien Kinnear
Background: Freelancer
Career: Investigator
Interest: Fighter
Faction: Extropian
Aptitude: Thrill-Seeker
Languages: English, Russian, Cantonese, Spanish, Japanese
Current Morph: Remade

Background



Damien Kinnear was a private investigator- he considered himself a good one, able to find things that others overlooked or missed, constructing narratives that led to results for his clients. So, when he received a call from a wealthy client asking him to find a sensitive package, he was not suspicious of the motives behind the ask. Unfortunately (or Fortunately depending on your outlook) his assignment was a smokescreen for a Firewall cell. The person he'd been asked to track down was had been co-opted by a nanovirus, and was actually a ticking timebomb. It was hoped that Kinnear's probing would draw the attention of the entity that had infected him, and indeed it did. But everything went sideways, and the cell had to bring Kinnear in for true. And once you're in, there's no way out.

The threat of the X-Risks, the nature of Firewall- it appealed to Kinnear's sensibilities. The chance to get off Earth? To explore and find things that are threats to the human race? That was tailor made for him. He wasn't an investigator for the money, but the challenge. And this was more of a challenge than anything he'd ever been presented with.

Ego Stats



Aptitudes

Cognition (COG): 20
Intuition (INT): 10
Reflexes (REF): 20
Savvy (SAV): 15
Somatics (SOM): 15
Willpower (WIL): 10

Aptitude Checks

COG: 60
INT: 30
REF: 60
SAV: 45
SOM: 45
WIL: 30

Skills

Athletics: 35
Deceive: 30
Fray: 60
Guns: 60
Infiltrate: 40
Interface: 60
Kinesics: 65
Know (Black Markets): 45
Know (Current Events): 45
Know (Ego Hunting): 75
Know (Investigation): 75
Know (Security Ops): 55
Melee: 55
Perceive: 60
Persuade: 55
Program: 50
Research: 80

Derived Stats

Initiative: 6
Lucidity: 20
Trauma Threshold: 4
Insanity Rating: 10
Flex: 2

Reputation

Underworld: 50
Corporate: 25
Police: 25

Ego Traits

Adaptability: 1
Quickness: 1
Empathy: 2
Resources: 2

Motivations

Personal Career
Exploration
Mental Challenge


Morph Stats



Derived Stats

Wound Threshold: 9
Durability: 45
Death Rating: 68

Pools

Insight: 2
Moxie: 2
Vigor: 2
Flex: 2

Morph Traits

Quickness: 3
Fitness: 3
Pain Tolerance: 2
Toughness: 2
Skill Artifact (Guns): 2
Skill Artifact (Fray): 2

Gear

Anonymizer
Armor Vest (Light)
Fake Ego ID
Medium Pistol Firearm
Smart Clothing
TacNet App
VPN App
 

Levi-Strauss on the Functions of Writing

...The only phenomenon with which writing has always been concomitant is the creation of cities and empires, that is the integration of large numbers of individuals into a political system, and their grading into castes or classes. Such, at any rate, is the typical pattern of development observed from Egypt to China, at the time when first emerged: it seems to have favoured the exploitation of human beings rather than their enlightenment. This exploitation, which made it possible to assemble thousands of workers and force them to carry out exhausting tasks, is a much more likely explanation of the birth of Architecture than the direct link referred to above. ....
https://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-1/levi-strauss-on-the-functions-of-writing

I'm not sure I can agree with CLS's assertion that writing enabled slavery (omitted in the above exerpt), but the notion that writing can communicate across time or across a complex organisation, enabling bureaucracy, is asn interesting onee. There''s a pre-voicing of Arendt's "banality" observation here as well.

#writing #ClaudLeviStrauss #Anthropology #recordkeeping #organisation
 
Hey everyone, I’m #newhere. I’m interested in #independantnews, #music, #reading, #rvliving, #science, and #writing. Thanks for the invite, @Muse!
 

One Day


The hangover was bad, and I needed coffee before the meeting. I got off the bus and looked around. There was a small kiosk I had never tried. Someone was walking away from it carrying a cardboard tray with four coffees, it smelled divine. I hurried over.

“Americano, strong, black, please.”

The strange hooded figure inside nodded, and said in a gravelly, inhuman voice, “One day.”

“One day?” I repeated, wondering what payment app this referred to.

“One day of your life. I’ll give you the coffee you crave, and you will die one day earlier than you would have.”

“What?! Who would trade...”

The vendor gestured for me to step aside with a wave of its... talons, as a woman hurried over.

Ignoring me, she addressed the vendor, “My car keys. Original, please, not the spare.”

“One day.”

She held her hand over a contactless reader until it beeped.

The vendor held out a small basket, from which she retrieved a set of car keys, nodded, and hurried off.

“Wait, the price is one day for whatever I want?”

“For whatever you need.”

“I need to pay my mortgage,” I tried.

“I don’t deal in money,” it said.

I tried to focus. I didn’t get hangovers so easily when I was younger. Hmmm...

“I’d like the health I used to have, before...” I paused, and the vendor waited.

“I’d like the health and constitution I had when I was 22,” I said decisively.

“One day.”

“That’s all? I’ll be as healthy as I was twenty years ago, and it’ll only mean I die one day sooner? No catch?”

It nodded, so I put my hand over the reader, and felt a slight jolt as the reader beeped. I felt vigorous, and my back pain was gone. The hangover was still there, but felt less threatening.

“Bargain,” I said.

“You’ll be back,” said the vendor.

“Never, life’s too short as it is. And youthful health is all I need to enjoy it.”

I began to walk away with a swagger, then stopped. I still really, really wanted some coffee.

#stories #microfiction #writing #coffee
 
It was dark grey, coarse-grained and polished. Probably granite. It was headless and seated on some stylised chair. It had to weigh several tons. Three arms stuck out from the torso. The hands, each holding some symbol he couldn't identify, looked a bit like early, Egyptian sculpture, but the signs that was carved on the arms were not hieroglyphs. They didn't look like any sort of writing he'd seen before. Tolkien's Elfish maybe? It was old. The way the edges of the carved scripture was worn told him so. He wondered if the floor of the apartment could even hold this behemoth.

His friends had told him that she was too wild, too crazy, too promiscuous, too hungry. They had said a lot of things that was not in his new girlfriends favour, their reluctance towards her hard to distinguish from downright resentment.

But all he could think about was how on earth she had managed to get this thing up to the fourth floor.

#writing #stories #microfiction #mywork #friends #girlfriend #wild #crazy #hungry #statue
 

One Day


The hangover was bad, and I needed coffee before the meeting. I got off the bus and looked around. There was a small kiosk I had never tried. Someone was walking away from it carrying a cardboard tray with four coffees, it smelled divine. I hurried over.

“Americano, strong, black, please.”

The strange hooded figure inside nodded, and said in a gravelly, inhuman voice, “One day.”

“One day?” I repeated, wondering what payment app this referred to.

“One day of your life. I’ll give you the coffee you crave, and you will die one day earlier than you would have.”

“What?! Who would trade...”

The vendor gestured for me to step aside with a wave of its... talons, as a woman hurried over.

Ignoring me, she addressed the vendor, “My car keys. Original, please, not the spare.”

“One day.”

She held her hand over a contactless reader until it beeped.

The vendor held out a small basket, from which she retrieved a set of car keys, nodded, and hurried off.

“Wait, the price is one day for whatever I want?”

“For whatever you need.”

“I need to pay my mortgage,” I tried.

“I don’t deal in money,” it said.

I tried to focus. I didn’t get hangovers so easily when I was younger. Hmmm...

“I’d like the health I used to have, before...” I paused, and the vendor waited.

“I’d like the health and constitution I had when I was 22,” I said decisively.

“One day.”

“That’s all? I’ll be as healthy as I was twenty years ago, and it’ll only mean I die one day sooner? No catch?”

It nodded, so I put my hand over the reader, and felt a slight jolt as the reader beeped. I felt vigorous, and my back pain was gone. The hangover was still there, but felt less threatening.

“Bargain,” I said.

“You’ll be back,” said the vendor.

“Never, life’s too short as it is. And youthful health is all I need to enjoy it.”

I began to walk away with a swagger, then stopped. I still really, really wanted some coffee.

#stories #microfiction #writing #coffee
 

One Day


The hangover was bad, and I needed coffee before the meeting. I got off the bus and looked around. There was a small kiosk I had never tried. Someone was walking away from it carrying a cardboard tray with four coffees, it smelled divine. I hurried over.

“Americano, strong, black, please.”

The strange hooded figure inside nodded, and said in a gravelly, inhuman voice, “One day.”

“One day?” I repeated, wondering what payment app this referred to.

“One day of your life. I’ll give you the coffee you crave, and you will die one day earlier than you would have.”

“What?! Who would trade...”

The vendor gestured for me to step aside with a wave of its... talons, as a woman hurried over.

Ignoring me, she addressed the vendor, “My car keys. Original, please, not the spare.”

“One day.”

She held her hand over a contactless reader until it beeped.

The vendor held out a small basket, from which she retrieved a set of car keys, nodded, and hurried off.

“Wait, the price is one day for whatever I want?”

“For whatever you need.”

“I need to pay my mortgage,” I tried.

“I don’t deal in money,” it said.

I tried to focus. I didn’t get hangovers so easily when I was younger. Hmmm...

“I’d like the health I used to have, before...” I paused, and the vendor waited.

“I’d like the health and constitution I had when I was 22,” I said decisively.

“One day.”

“That’s all? I’ll be as healthy as I was twenty years ago, and it’ll only mean I die one day sooner? No catch?”

It nodded, so I put my hand over the reader, and felt a slight jolt as the reader beeped. I felt vigorous, and my back pain was gone. The hangover was still there, but felt less threatening.

“Bargain,” I said.

“You’ll be back,” said the vendor.

“Never, life’s too short as it is. And youthful health is all I need to enjoy it.”

I began to walk away with a swagger, then stopped. I still really, really wanted some coffee.

#stories #microfiction #writing #coffee
 

One Day


The hangover was bad, and I needed coffee before the meeting. I got off the bus and looked around. There was a small kiosk I had never tried. Someone was walking away from it carrying a cardboard tray with four coffees, it smelled divine. I hurried over.

“Americano, strong, black, please.”

The strange hooded figure inside nodded, and said in a gravelly, inhuman voice, “One day.”

“One day?” I repeated, wondering what payment app this referred to.

“One day of your life. I’ll give you the coffee you crave, and you will die one day earlier than you would have.”

“What?! Who would trade...”

The vendor gestured for me to step aside with a wave of its... talons, as a woman hurried over.

Ignoring me, she addressed the vendor, “My car keys. Original, please, not the spare.”

“One day.”

She held her hand over a contactless reader until it beeped.

The vendor held out a small basket, from which she retrieved a set of car keys, nodded, and hurried off.

“Wait, the price is one day for whatever I want?”

“For whatever you need.”

“I need to pay my mortgage,” I tried.

“I don’t deal in money,” it said.

I tried to focus. I didn’t get hangovers so easily when I was younger. Hmmm...

“I’d like the health I used to have, before...” I paused, and the vendor waited.

“I’d like the health and constitution I had when I was 22,” I said decisively.

“One day.”

“That’s all? I’ll be as healthy as I was twenty years ago, and it’ll only mean I die one day sooner? No catch?”

It nodded, so I put my hand over the reader, and felt a slight jolt as the reader beeped. I felt vigorous, and my back pain was gone. The hangover was still there, but felt less threatening.

“Bargain,” I said.

“You’ll be back,” said the vendor.

“Never, life’s too short as it is. And youthful health is all I need to enjoy it.”

I began to walk away with a swagger, then stopped. I still really, really wanted some coffee.

#stories #microfiction #writing #coffee
 

NaNoWriMo 2020 - Hunting Blind

#NaNoWriMo #Writing #rpg

Illness means that I start out a bit behind, but I'm now 2000+ words into my entry this year.




I'm writing an adventure this year, supplementing it with a long-ish story as I'm sure the adventure itself won't get me to 50k.
 
Image/Photo

SoMe... some... some


Trying to get back on that SoMe mount, riding it over those large, hilly plains of cats, and Trump, and vlogger's voices.

Large dark clouds of weary misanthropy drift towards me from the west while I try to dominate the insane creature beneath me – only a binary saddle between us. Many times I have fallen from that saddle, but this time I am continually being thrown off, by the meme-sprouting beast.

She is large! A mane of indignation, and horns of petty anger grown in rooms of blue light and Coca Cola, cake and sadness. The whole limited horizon of human existence is collected, sorted, and presented in distilled streams flowing from her mouth of exhausted moans. But only through her glistening breast and strong legs will I be able to remain in contact with humanity.

Without her I would be left in the dark woods of solipsist nature, old prints, sun scorched skin and cold, cold sea water.

#random #writing #mywork #drawing #krita
 

Pancake Day


I’m sure it said baking powder

Sunday morning confession: When I’m alone, I don’t bother with a recipe or measurements for pancakes. I mix some egg, flour, milk and a few other bits and bobs, and poor it into the big frying pan. As long as the result is in the omelette – crepe – griddle cake continuum, it’ll taste good.

They sometimes look odd though; once my creation stiffened and curled up at the edges like a Yorkshire pudding, but it was still nice. Was I meant to put in baking powder, I wonder, or maybe it was just too much egg whisking?

Shortening means oil, right?

But since he’s coming to brunch today, I decided to look up the recipe and make proper pancakes. I opened the falling apart cookbook to the stained page with my mother’s recipe. It’s been a while. What’s an ounce when it’s at home? Does shortening mean oil, or any type of fat? I have some margarine. I try to remember how this worked when I was a kid, watching and helping make pancakes, but mostly eating them.

Can I use orange juice instead of milk?

A sudden panic: does he eat dairy? Who knows these days.

An old Jewish secret: you can use orange juice instead of milk, this was done well before soy and other ‘milks’ came on the scene. This served many Jewish housewives well when baking cakes to be eaten after meat meals (they had to be dairy free to keep kosher). Would my new goy-friend understand this?

A bit of cinnamon will spice it up

Mixing cinnamon and sugar was the affordable pancake topping you’d never get away with today. Best leave that one in the past. A bit of cinnamon in the batter will do nicely.

As I fried the pancakes, I remembered the fake maple syrup we had when I was a kid, that was almost all sugar anyhow.

The doorbell rang. He’s early, I complained to myself, hurrying to pull off the dull brown apron.

I hope he doesn’t mind some sugar

“It smells lovely in here,” he said. “I hope you haven’t gone to too much trouble.”

“Not at all.” I feigned graciousness. He looked good enough to eat.

“I brought some orange juice,” he said, opening his satchel. “And prosecco, of course.”

“Thank you,” I was smiling too much. I took them from him as he took off his coat.

“Shoes!” I said, pointing down, as I closed the door behind him.

#story #fiction #writing #pancakes
 

Pancake Day


I’m sure it said baking powder

Sunday morning confession: When I’m alone, I don’t bother with a recipe or measurements for pancakes. I mix some egg, flour, milk and a few other bits and bobs, and poor it into the big frying pan. As long as the result is in the omelette – crepe – griddle cake continuum, it’ll taste good.

They sometimes look odd though; once my creation stiffened and curled up at the edges like a Yorkshire pudding, but it was still nice. Was I meant to put in baking powder, I wonder, or maybe it was just too much egg whisking?

Shortening means oil, right?

But since he’s coming to brunch today, I decided to look up the recipe and make proper pancakes. I opened the falling apart cookbook to the stained page with my mother’s recipe. It’s been a while. What’s an ounce when it’s at home? Does shortening mean oil, or any type of fat? I have some margarine. I try to remember how this worked when I was a kid, watching and helping make pancakes, but mostly eating them.

Can I use orange juice instead of milk?

A sudden panic: does he eat dairy? Who knows these days.

An old Jewish secret: you can use orange juice instead of milk, this was done well before soy and other ‘milks’ came on the scene. This served many Jewish housewives well when baking cakes to be eaten after meat meals (they had to be dairy free to keep kosher). Would my new goy-friend understand this?

A bit of cinnamon will spice it up

Mixing cinnamon and sugar was the affordable pancake topping you’d never get away with today. Best leave that one in the past. A bit of cinnamon in the batter will do nicely.

As I fried the pancakes, I remembered the fake maple syrup we had when I was a kid, that was almost all sugar anyhow.

The doorbell rang. He’s early, I complained to myself, hurrying to pull off the dull brown apron.

I hope he doesn’t mind some sugar

“It smells lovely in here,” he said. “I hope you haven’t gone to too much trouble.”

“Not at all.” I feigned graciousness. He looked good enough to eat.

“I brought some orange juice,” he said, opening his satchel. “And prosecco, of course.”

“Thank you,” I was smiling too much. I took them from him as he took off his coat.

“Shoes!” I said, pointing down, as I closed the door behind him.

#story #fiction #writing #pancakes
 
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