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Pre-game chat - rocket science and why Kenya is the best place to build an Orbital Railgun

GM: Evacuated Launch Facility.
Me: Just call it the BFG and be done with it. Everyone else will.

GM: Where were we?
Gillert: We were fishing with a wizard and a kobold on a string.

GM: Pass me the critical hit deck. We'll need the big one because it's Muskie rolling.
Zin's player: .... Fuck You.
GM: Past Participation Predicts Piss-Poor Performance.
Zin's player: *rolls, headdesks*
Harshal: So, Zin, just how badly have you fucked us?

Zin's failure to take out the magical alarm bell doesn't screw us completely, because the rest of us were already swinging in.

GM: You assumed Zin would succeed in taking out the bell?
Ys: Actually we assumed he would fail - which is why we're all going in at the same time.

Harshal soon learns the difficulties associated with being the only party member in the room without darkvision, trying to stab somebody in a dark room, and stabs the mattress instead of the Shoanti investigator.

Tannis: 'Die! ... this guy is made of straw'
Ys: Attacking the strawman :D

GM: So, the only one not bloodied is the Shoanti sorceress.
Gillert: Whoops.

The sorceress rolls under one of the beds, and uses Ray of Enfeeblement on Ys.

Ys: Bitch! Right, step back, draw out an Acid Flask, and make her eat it.

The Shoanti investigators defend themselves against a surprise attack by superior numbers with the success usually limited to PCs. And then the door to the room opens.

GM: Open/Close - it's a wonderful cantrip.
Gillert: Logic dictates they're going to make a run for it.
GM: What have we said about logic?
Ys: It only allows you to be wrong with authority.

GM: The Shoanti scout realises Harshal is no threat and rummages in his pack for a sword. Harshal gets an attack of opportunity.
Harshal: *rolls and headdesks*
GM: And now the scout has a sword. And because it's funny, the Sorceress hits Zin with another Ray of Enfeeblement.
Zin: *falls over and flails helplessly under the weight of all the gear he's trying to carry*

Tannis: Godammit Harshal kill that Scout!
Harshal OOC: ..... did you just just say my name? Mid-op?
Tannis: .... uh...

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Star Wars - The F Troop Getting In Deep

GM: So, who remembers what happened last time?
Fakybe: An astromech who belonged to us, and a bunch of droids we brought into the system, hijacked a ship we owned, with the aid of a friend of ours, and we managed to enable their escape by opening fire on an Imperial pilot.
Fendri: Who was flying another of our ships.
GM: And you're going to claim complete innocence?
Fakybe: Naturally.

GM: After the grim interrogation and beatdown, the Imperials are still highly suspicious, and want to assign the Imperial pilot you shot up to accompany you as you try and track down the rogue droids. If looks could kill, or she had Force powers, you'd be dead.

Lt. Marelle the Pilot: You didn't even fire at their ship!
Fakybe: They were out of range.
Marelle: *growls*

Fakybe: I'd quite like to know what your lot were doing to all those droids, if they could hijack a freighter.
Marelle: I wasn't teaching them anything, I'm a test pilot!
Fakybe: Riiiiiiight

We 'follow' the droids to the pirate's system. After all we placed a mythical tracking beacon on the freighter since it was our salvage. And our original plan was that the droids would hold off on resupplying at the ex-pirate base until after we'd 'checked' it.

Fakybe: This would be a lot easier if we still had an astromech.
Fendri: Funny that.

We don't have any luck scanning the system for the droids (or anybody that might have pursued us here). We don't even have to fake our failure. But we double-check to keep up appearences, and find another ship already scanning the asteroids... and then the frigate full of Imperials emerges from hyperspace. Which might have something to do with the astromech and the hyperspace beacon we find in the cargo hold. Evidently the Imperials don't trust us as far as they can spit us. The droid R3-KT claims it was ordered to infiltrate the Deniable Plausibility by the Imperials, so they could track us. We act with appropriate suspicion, and contact the Imperial frigate to report the discovery - after all, it might be another rogue droid. They say they'll get back to us. Forvuk prepares to take a vibro-axe to the beacon.

Fakybe: We could also drift closer to that other ship, do a spacewalk, and attach the beacon to them.
Forvuk: *halts mid-swing* Cool! Let's do that.

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#1199-1203 - Wongan Hills Orchids

#1199 - Prasophyllum gracile - Little Laughing Leek Orchid
image

In moss beds on Christmas Rock. Also grows on sand, peaty sandy clay, in coastal swamps and sandhills, and winter-wet areas. 

Leek Orchids get their name from the hollow leaves, and vary in size of this one, up to the King Leek Orchid, which can be 1.5 meters tall. Most of the other 25 species require a hot burn to trigger flowering, but the Little Leek is an exception. Found in much of the SW, but in the drier parts of the state limited to areas that get extra water - such as granite outcrops like Christmas Rock.

Leek Orchid flowers are strongly scented, and resemble and come out at the same time as the Grass Trees flower - they may be mimicking the grass trees, but I’m not sure what benefit they’d derive from doing so, other that perhaps attracting pollinators that expect a rich feed, and then don’t get one.



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#1180 - Borya constricta - Resurrection Plant

A small, very spiky plant that grows on outcrops of granite, drying out to a bright orange in the drier seasons, but turning green again come the winter rains. It was interesting to see the flowerheads on this trip, since I had no idea they were held so far above the rest of the plant, nor that they were even spikier than the rest of it.

Dingo Rock, near Wongan Hills



#1181 - Cuscuta sp. - Dodder

AKA strangle tare, scaldweed, beggarweed, lady’s laces, fireweed, wizard’s net, devil’s guts, devil’s hair, devil’s ringlet, goldthread, hailweed, hairweed, hellbine, love vine, pull-down, strangleweed, angel hair, and witch’s hair.  A parasitic plant that was doing a good job of strangling every weed on the stretch of footpath between the Wongan Hills Hotel and the Christmas Rock Reserve.

There’s some 100 to 170 known species of these Convolvulaceae, most of them yellow, orange, or red, since chlorophyll is hardly a priority for them when their entire existence revolves around vampirising every plant within reach. And reach they do - Dodder seedling grow towards the nearest green plants by following chemical clues. Once they reach it, they drive specialised structures called haustoria into the plant’s vascular system, and the original root attached to the ground dies off. From then on the dodder is reliant on the host, or multiple hosts, as it reaches over to parasitise all the other plants nearby too.

Not surprisingly, this can be a serious problem in agriculture, not least because plant diseases can spread from host to host along the network of dodder tendrils.

Interestingly enough, tomato plants have a range of defences against dodder, including chemicals produced when the dodder tries to attach, and the hairs on the stems that somehow prevent the haustoria from attaching.



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Rogue One

Rogue One was a quite satisfying movie (apart from one or two very minor quibbles). I especially liked the air of near-total despair through the movie, given the title of Ep.4 - A New Hope.
Well, that certainly caused me to doubletake - a kid, ten or eleven or so, carrying a pair of giant, bean-bag sized stuffed breasts down the highway at Brunswick.
In which a group of outer scumbags have burgled and murdered their way into positions of increasing wealth and influence. In most respects this makes them no different to any other D&D or Pathfinder party, but in one respect we differ. We're fully aware that we're scumbags.

Harshal: We'll have to put the kobold in charge of the warehouse security.
Zin: Wait, what?
Harshal: 'These premises are protected by Underlord Security - Trespassers will be decapitated'
Ys: 'Trespassers will be eaten'
Zin: I don't eat people.
GM: No, but you are short - so the whirling blades will all be at human neck height.
Gillert: But the rest of us are human-sized!
Harshal: Ah, but we're not trespassers.

Gillert: We should install an escape route.
Tannis: Why, do you think we will fail?
Harshal: No, the escape route for Gillert, on the day he thinks he can actually get away without us hunting him down. *pats our pet poet-mage's shoulder companionably*
GM: Or when he decides the reward for handing you in is actually worth it.

GM: Gillert HAS been a moderating influence on you all.
Ys: Just as well, since I've seen how you react when I start muttering 'Bored, bored, bored' to myself.
GM: That's because your solution to boredom is sticking a foot and a half of steel through somebody.
Harshal: And if she's really bored she makes sure the point doesn't stick out the other side.

Tannis: Do you know how a cockatrice is made?
Harshal: When a Mummy Cockatrice and a Daddy Cockatrice love each other very much-

Gillert: I'm not finding any information on repairing damaged buildings.
GM: First you build it.
Harshal: Build it, and they will come.
Ys: That's only true of brothels.

Zin: I need a barracks.
GM: I think you mean Bunks.
Zin: Oh, right - I'm housing some workers, not building an army. Yet.
Tannis: Our main problem is that to getting to our new warehouse people have to come through Undertown. Which isn't as bad as people think, although I'll admit the population of criminals has gone up by five.

Tannis suggests we hire the local delinquents to cause trouble, then hire same delinquents as a security force.

Tannis: We need to claim that there's a problem, prove that existing precautions are inadequate, and then solve the problem. That we made.
GM: Why do I get the impression that this is going to be an "Ellipsis, Profit!" Situation?

Gillert: How do we get away with all this when 'Detect Evil' exists?
Tannis: We won't show up until we're Level 4.
Harshal: We need to be evil AND a threat.

Tannis: And as an added bonus they'll be a whole bunch of undefended businesses. Which we can rob.
Ys: Why rob when you can run a protection racket?
GM: The Watch have been overtaxed by the looting during the plague.
Gillert: We did one job!
GM: It wasn't JUST you.

GM: Harshal! There is a knock on your door.
Harshal: Quick, hide the evidence!

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Edge City - Go West, Young Man

In which Team Quadrant, Edge City's latest superhero team, are trying to stop an undead sheriff, one Phillip Graves, from murdering his way through the Voodoo Crew with a pair on antique revolvers. Apparently he was the last victim of the Tombstone Kid, another Horror/Western crossover. We don't know how he's up and about again, but he seems highly pissed about something. It might have something to do with a Gate the Voodoo Crew representative mentioned while Hero Shrew was gorging himself on a free Creole meal.

Hardlight's player: Are we missing anybody?
GM: No. Quadrant is four people.
Flux's player: Four people and an owl.
GM: Bubo is the bases DNPC.
Flux's player: I still count him as part of the team.
GM: Bubo is his own mechanism.

Somebody finally explains to Hero Shrew why the name Phillip Graves is funny. It takes a while. Still, we have plenty of time to spend waiting for Graves to show up again. Of course, we have no idea how to take the revenant Graves down - he's certainly not attached to his ectoplasmic body, and his remains are still in the mausoleum, and we don't know what fetter is holding him to the mortal plane. We hear shooting, and screams, and it's Graves, and Fireflash swoops down to interpose herself in the line of fire, and yells "STOP!".

Graves actually flinches.

Hero Shrew tries to takes Grave's guns away (he might put somebody's eyes out) and is quite put out when Graves disperses into shadow and reappears elsewhere.

Hero Shrew: That's cheating!

Graves reappears and shoots Fireflash twice in the back.

Fireflash: There's a reason I had my shield up.

Although given how much hurt she suffers, it's just as well she DID have her shields up. But we do manage to get enough hits on him to knock him sort of unconscious, and we get a good look at this strange figure.

GM: This guy had a skull for a head, and an ectoplasmic body - 90s shit.

Hero Shrew: I think we ought to call in the proper authorities to contain him. Who's the proper authorities to contain a guy with an ectoplasmic body?
Fireflash: I can check-
Hero Shrew: The Ghostbusters!
Flux: OK, limiting ourselves to the real for a moment-
Hero Shrew: You mean the Ghostbusters aren't real????

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Another mystery to me

\

These were growing all through the burnt out hillsides in Yalgorup N.P., near the road. Anybody recognise them? more photos here

Tags:

*slump*

Recall the worklist for today? I started off with a flat battery, so the office mechanic had to come out and give me a jump start. But the battery wasn't just flat, it was dead, since it conked out again at the third job and jump starting it failed to work. They had to send somebody down from the office, via a battery supplier, and when he got there the battery was twice the size of the existing one. We managed to get it into the space with some wrangling. All this, of course, completely fucked any chance of getting the morning's jobs done on time, and in two cases, getting them done at all.




And on Monday they want me to work my area, the Baldivis/Wellard area, AND a job down in the SW. Fucking joy.

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