Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Fallout 4 Build, Part 1

I manage my Fallout 4 mods with Nexus Mod Manager, Currently, I have 256 Mods active, which map to 251 plugins. Some of these plugins are actually multiple plugins grouped together using FO4edit. It's a little messy when you look at the load order, but it means more room for other plugins.


Crafting Workbenches is what the modding community used to build weapons, armor, etc. in-game for much of Fallout 4's modding history, because we didn't have the Contraptions Workshop. Contraptions Workshop makes the process a little more "honest" maybe, but Crafting Workbenches was there when we needed it. And a lot of other mods include patches so that their items can be made at a workbench instead of just in the catch-all "Utility" section of the Chemistry Station.

Of the mods which click into Crafting Workbenches, Craftable Armor Size is pretty keen: it allows you to change pieces of armor from Light, to Sturdy, to Heavy, depending on your needs. A related mod, Custom Combat Armor (or Craftable Custom Combat Armor as it appears on my mod list) allows one to add paint jobs, textures, and other features, above and beyond the coloration that comes with each of the various armor options.

Worsin's Immersive Power Armor Garage provides 106 paint styles for all of the armors, with the added benefit of splitting the bonuses from the vanilla paint jobs. The paint jobs are shiny, as if the Lone Wanderer was decorating and maintaining their Power Armor suit(s) like cherry racing cars. It even supports Legendary Modifications, another mod I use, which allows one to apply one's own Legendary effects to weapons, armor, and even Power Armor pieces (and one can determine, during installation, how easy or hard that should be). The Power Armor Garage has been around for a long time, and though it hasn't been updated in awhile, it hasn't really needed it: the paint jobs from "Far Harbor" and "Contraptions Workshop" work just fine, and another modder was kind enough to patch the mod so that the Tesla Armor from "Automatron" also gets the paint options. But best of all, the Power Armor Garage lets you build up a special Advanced version of each type of Power Armor, that holds multiple enhancements for each piece. Repairing this is a challenge though: you have to craft component parts individually, as opposed to throwing Aluminum, Steel, Adhesive, etc. at the problem. The mod uses a lot of plugins, so I recently combined them in FO4edit to reduce the plugins count.

And now: radio mods. The fist mod I ever really installed was More Where That Came From, which bolstered the Diamond City playlist with another 111 songs. Note: this required the modders to curtail some of the DJ's song-specific commentary, so folks generally advise one to wait until one has heard all of Travis' patter for each song before loading this mod. "Skeeter!" Anyway, that stuff goes away, so do hold off.

Second up is Old World Radio - Boston, which has 21 stations, almost all of which have their own DJ (many of whom are impressions of celebrities, such as Bobcat Goldthwait, Morgan Freeman, and Christopher Walken). The DJs have their own stories and situations that they discuss between songs, and they are very entertaining. There's even a station with old nuclear war emergency training tapes.

Last but not least: WRVR, which expands on the existing WRVR locale, and adds an entertaining new companion, DJ Casey Kessler, fully voiced by the mod author. The station has some nice music, a stab at a radio play, and amusing commentary by the DJ. Still a WIP, but so are many other mods. This one is worthwhile in its current state.

And with that, I close for now. More mods later!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BigBadCon 2015: let us LARP!

Big Bad Con successfully raised the funds it needs to run again in 2015! We are continuing our LARP circuit this year, and we hope to have many great games. The most important ingredient is you!

I'm encouraging people to submit LARPs of varying sizes: the staff has been doing an amazing job fitting games into the schedule, and I'd like folks to feel comfortable experimenting with smaller games as well as exploring games with more collaboration between GMs and players.

If you want to play with us in 2015, we would love to have you.

If you have a new LARP, or one that hasn't been played locally, or which hasn't been run in a long time (or in certain cases, games which work well as repeats), we would love to host you!

Please visit our site, follow us on Twitter, G+, and FaceBook, sign up for updates, and submit your games!

October 16-18, 2015
http://www.bigbadcon.com
Hilton Oakland Airport
One Hegenberger Road
Oakland, CA 94621
hotel reservations open now.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gaming Music Update

I've updated my music organization schema! I also developed an Excel spreadsheet to help me more easily and consistently tag the MP3 files in my collection, for later searching and reference:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5aCjfAHYXoQYWk5YUhlN2tlTEk/edit?usp=sharing

(note: you will need to allow macros for this to run)

Here are the categories I use - you can modify or add your own if you download the spreadsheet:

Genre
fantasy
future
historical
horror
investigative
modern
pulp/steampunk
scifi
superhero
western


Dresden Files
Club
Dreaming
Nevernever
Summer Court
Winter Court

Locations
bar
boat
camping
castle
city
desert
dock
factory
ocean
outdoors
pub
ruin
rural
ship
snow
space
spaceship
suburban
tavern
urban
vehicle


Source
abyssal
alien
angelic
animal
beast
cars
demonic
magic
monster
people
pirate
radio
water
weather
wildlife


Type
action
adventure
ambient
chase
combat
crowd
environmental
espionage
long track
military
nautical
pastoral
quiet builds
recreation
religious
social
tribal
warfare


Modifiers
dark
dreamscape
dreary
ethereal
gothy
hard
indie
jazzy
lively
lowlife
magic
melodious
music
new age
otherworlds
quiet
romantic
sinister
soft
somber
spooky
storm
tense
windy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gaming Music Organization

I've collected a fair bit of gaming music, to provide ambiance and mood depending on the game I run. I'm not always using my laptop, so I have a number of playlists on an old iPhone-cum-iTouch. I've included movie soundtracks, Celtic music, electronic music, popular tunes, and RPG Background Loops from Plate Mail Games (who is running a followup KickStarter to produce more gaming music and sound effects).

I'm working on just how to sort the tunes. Here are the general categories I use:

Fantasy:
  • Chase
  • Conflict
  • Ethereal
  • Long Tracks
  • Pastoral
  • Quiet
  • Quiet Builds
  • Romantic
  • Sinister
  • Sneaky
  • Somber
  • Spooky
  • Tavern
  • Temple
  • Tense
  • Tribal

Dresden Files:
  • Action
  • Ambient
  • Club
  • Dreaming
  • Goth
  • Hard
  • Indie
  • Jazz Club
  • Lowlife
  • Nevernever
  • Ocean
  • Quiet
  • Quiet Builds
  • Radio
  • Religious
  • Spooky
  • Summer Court
  • Winter Court
  • various cultural subgroups
Background Loops:
  • Environmental
  • Fantasy
  • Historical
  • Horror
  • Modern
  • Ocean
  • Otherworlds
  • Outdoor
  • Pulp and SteamPunk
  • Sci Fi
  • Social
  • Supers
Soundtracks:
  • Dreamscape
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Modern
  • New Age
  • Sci Fi
How would/do you organize any gaming music you might use in your RPGs? Please take my survey below:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simple Gaming Encryption

If you want to spice up a gaming handout, a simple substitution cipher can go a long way towards stumping players for awhile.

This site - Decrypto - can automate the process for you, as well as attempt to solve a cipher you input.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gaming Music

I'm setting up my playlist for my tremulus game, using softrope, a sound mixer designed for gaming application. I'm getting to use many of the sound files I got from the Plate Mail Games Kickstarter. These background loops are about ten minutes long, set up to repeat seamlessly, and cover a wide variety of gaming soundtrack needs!

This thread about how to set up playlists in softrope happens to also include some other good links to gaming soundtrack resources: http://rpggeek.com/thread/657940/using-softrope-for-music-in-rpgs
Note: for the NWN community pack, you can batch rename .bmu files to .mp3 with no problem. So glad I found the DOS command for that!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Gaming

I'll be running a small group through a Halloween session of tremulus this year. I read a first impressions/playtest article about tremulus, and was inspired to figure out tokens of my own to use for Lore and Hard Moves.

After brainstorming a few options, it occurred to me that I could raid my copy of Arkham Horror, the Mythos-themed board game, which includes Clue tokens as well as Elder Sign tokens!

I have acquired some Sculpy, in the hopes of creating custom tokens of my own in the future, but for now, I'll take the easy way out!