Friday, August 7, 2020

I wish I can finish my Homebrew Alternate Cepheus Engine to run Pandemic Philippines

I like running modern-day settings. I want to run 2021 near the "end" of the pandemic. I try to run simulate the Philippines: with its corruptions, the vilification of the poor, cycle of poverty and abuse, sex trafficking if the Players go there, the good nature and hospitality of the people, the trolls and the paid thugs, the police violence, the opportunities and markets that need the skills and cunning, the Oligarchs, Syndicates, and Organizations that mix biz, pleasure, and then ambition, misinformation, culture, and ideals. 

The goal is let people go around and explore areas they are afraid of, to risk-averse for, and to find courage and the forces that push society and conditions towards their consequences. 

I consider it "fun". Fun that I don't have to pay the consequences of really doing the right and hard thing. Seeing all the ways I or the players can fail as they can see things think things through, Or see them get caught up in the emotions and passions of a cause that hopes to fix or change things. 

These games help me I see an Action and see all the Technical DEBT of an action. I get more familiar with how I'm surprised. I learned to anticipate the Twist, those moments we choose to be decisive and allow ourselves to focus on one thing - to brace for the threats we chose not to tackle with our scarce attention. 

I like it with the Flaws, which get less hopeless as I get the mental practice of tackling them. The work needed to make things change and improve makes me less anxious or fearful of the future. Even the disappointments and the failures become nuance as I happen to learn one new way things don't work. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Stress is where Heroism can be better viewed. Stress Mechanics

Because of the Stress Mechanic (its like HP but the Stress doesn't go away so quickly without coping mechanisms like Vices and Habits; unified Conditions see 200425 GITB Quick Combat - Combat Mechanics,), I can now impose some tangible costs for very SMALL spaces and very difficult and frustrating equipment. 

the way I handled Load (Level of Effort), Stress, and Wounds is a Single Track of Penalties: 0, -1, -3, -7 and -10 and one of the 4 Modifiers to a Roll (so players don't get overwhelmed by the number of factors). 

I don't know yet how, but the NASA data on the crew would be my baseline. Noting that NASA crew is the exceptional or Elites and PCs fall under lower levels unless the GM sets it to more heroic competence levels. This means PCs require more maintenance and not as stable (no psych evaluation and filtering). 

It also helps that I have a Level of Effort aka Burden or Load Mechanic for operating Space Suits. The Time and Motion of Operating a Space Suit (like Space welders) and the physical toll even if in Zero G reminds me of Rapid Changes in Temperature exhausting the Body which leads to the superstition of Rain Causing sickness - that rapid changes in temperature exhausts the body because the body will switch gears and have to recalibrate itself (as it will always try to maintain equilibrium). It is the exhaustion that causes a weakened immune response and not the "rain" which leads to adequate rest and managing the transition to reduce the exhaustion. 

Interestingly it was discussed in the chapter of Embodied Emotions has started talking about Proprioception (I'm currently listening to Boosting your Emotional Intelligence by Jason M. Satterfield and a lot of CBT and Mindfulness studies seem to give me Ideas how to simplify my Management of all these factors: physical, energy levels, and stress). 200510 Cepheus Engine Variant Rules


Title: Stress is where Heroism can be better viewed. 

You explain to your Kids that Courage is Overcoming Fear. Then you reflect on that statement and where that saying leads oneself. Does that mean Virtue is overcoming Internal Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities? Is the Heroism found in overcoming the Physical Obstacle or the Internal obstacle? Is it heroic to overcome prejudice, intolerance, engendered bad behavior, and biases? When you think about the Economic vs Moral decision -what is $2 to a person who has nothing vs yourself, vs the moral/ethical act of providing aid - there is a disconnect between the Economic Decision (measuring the Physical Obstacle) vs the Ethical Decision (overcoming the Bias, prejudice, internal weakness). 

In an interview Jim Dinnigan (Who I never heard of until last night when Jay Duggar sent me the link and I listed to this while looking him up in Wikipedia) noted that Wargaming allowed them to Simulate and Model the situation so as to Systematically review Alternatives and review the Forces. Breaking the GAME, disrupting the prevailing forces in a situation is what we always look for when the Forces are against us. When it is to our advantage, we look at how the Opposite party can disrupt our advantage. The Change of Perspective lead to More information, and Actionable information to affect outcomes. 

Behavior and Cognition are the same, imagine what Jim Dunnigan was talking about but the battlefield for your attention and your behavior. To be able to MODEL the forces that affect your behavior and to disrupt these forces with levers and mechanical advantage. 

After Jon Oliver's lesson on how we teach history (I'm more studied in Filipino and Chinese and Roman History but his video is TRUE to Filipino and Chinese history; instead of race in Filipino history how the Poor has been used and vilified) the BIASES and false dichotomies/equivalencies that surround it is a ready example of Overcoming Internal Conflicts, not to remove conflicts but accept and make sense of them (example: Humans are capable of incredible compassion and love; while capable of cruelty and evil beyond comprehension - that cognitive dissonance is healthy and actually true to a degree).  

The thing about any good intention, action plan, and self improvement through Games is that these are tiny changes that can be easily disregarded and belittled. But over time allows us to shape our behavior and our gamer mindset. We seek to understand and play, I realized Gaming is emotionally ENGAGING with something I otherwise would not care for. Learning science, math, business, and all these things because I want to play or test these forces in a theoretical model gives me hope that the hobby is a wholistic way of self-improvement. echoing the domain: game in the brain. 


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

TL9 Habitats, Vacc Tape, and Repair Wraps.

Stuff that I find frustrating when I'm prepping for our Traveller Game. After Delta-V and Seveneves I realized that versatility and emergency resources: like the collapsible tanks and emergency life support really need to be detailed. These books make me think in preparation, fail rates, and of course the kind of problems that doesn't require violence yet still exemplifies the human spirit. 

This is inspired by the Trashcan bags used in the Seveneves to improvise protection for the "Scouts" in Seveneves. Of course, give people time to develop polymers, manufacturing techniques, and production of this. 

This makes sense even in a TL9 setting of a TL10 setting where Laws regarding providing AID in space would mean that Ships would carry Extra Life Support 

TL9 Vacc Tape $20 for 0.2kg for 10m  is essential. Also the Vacc Tape Dispenser $5 to be able to use it quickly. Any modifier for how fast it needs to be applied.
TL9 Repair Wraps $80 for 0.5kg for 10m would be essential. Repair Wrap dispenser for $20 would also allow the character to apply it quickly. 

200510 Cepheus Engine Variant Rules

NameDescriptionNotesFactor (dtons)WtUnit Cost
0.5-man Pressured HabitatAn air tight polymer habitat that inflates into a Cuboid (2.5m high, 2.3m x 2.3m). Contains 1 man-week of atmosphere and supplies. Designed for Vacuum or up to 1 atm (atmosphere of pressure) and for up to 1.2G forces. occupies 1 cubic meter when packed/stored. Space assumes enough to not move around much for an occupant. Protection-2can be used to convert vacuum cargo space.0.0725.0 kg$1,000.00
1-man Life-Support Systems.Air and Water Scrubbers, Filters, Recyclers good for 1 manweek. Can hold 1 cubic meter of water and 1 cubic meter of Air. Occupies 1x1m and 2m high.needed at per person.0.1425.0 kg$1,000.00
1-man Portable AirlockAn airtight steel structure Cuboid (2.5m high, 2.3m x 2.3m). Contains 1 man-week of atmosphere and supplies. Designed for Vacuum or up to 1 atm (atmosphere of pressure) and for up to 1.2G forces. occupies 4 cubic meter when packed/stored. Protection-10needed to go with the Habitats.0.2950.0 kg$5,000.00
1-man Portable FresherAn air tight polymer structure Cuboid (2.3m high, 2m x 2m). Contains air-water processing equipment, sanitation, and washing. Designed for Vacuum or up to 1 atm (atmosphere of pressure) and for up to 1.2G forces. occupies 2 cubic meter when packed/stored. Protection-5needed at 1 per 4 people.0.1450.0 kg$5,000.00
1-man Pressured HabitatAn air tight polymer habitat that inflates into a Cuboid (2.5m high, 3.3m x 3.3m). Contains 1 man-week of atmosphere and supplies. Designed for Vacuum or up to 1 atm (atmosphere of pressure) and for up to 1.2G forces. occupies 2 cubic meter when packed/stored. Protection-2can be used to convert vacuum cargo space0.1450.0 kg$2,000.00
2-man Pressure HabitatAn air tight polymer habitat that inflates into a Cuboid (2.5m high, 4.7m x 4.7m). Contains 1 man-week of atmosphere and supplies. Designed for Vacuum or up to 1 atm (atmosphere of pressure) and for up to 1.2G forces. occupies 4 cubic meter when packed/stored.can be used to convert vacuum cargo space0.29100.0 kg$4,000.00
5-man Pressure HabitatAn air tight polymer habitat that inflates into a Cuboid (2.5m high, 7.4m x 7.4m) divided into 4 air-tight that takes 30-seconds to access (opening and closing). Contains 1 man-week of atmosphere and supplies. Designed for Vacuum or up to 1 atm (atmosphere of pressure) and for up to 1.2G forces. occupies 28 cubic meter when packed/stored. Protection-2can be used to convert vacuum cargo space2.00500.0 kg$10,000.00

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Trying to Understand T5, for much sophisticated minds (not mine)

I'm really frustrated at Traveller 5 armor making. The Armor Making Form does not line up with the Design Instructions. 
Example. it says 
Deliberate Design
The deliberate design process begins with a blank Armor Fillform. In each step, the Chart Number indicates the Armor Chart from which the information is selected.
  • But then it starts with Chart 4 in the form. Also, there is no Space where to put Chart 3 information in the Form. 
  • Chart 4 does readily have a Space where you can Put ITEM stats on it. 
  • Then I realize  I don't know what to put in Chart 3. I want to make an Exoskeleton do I have to put an Armor? Lets just ignore Chart 3. 
  • Let's just figure out a way to Put Item: Unit and the Specifications. Then Apply Labor and Basic. Figured out as much as:
    • Stage: Basic (TL0; Mass*1.3,Ar-5, Ca-5, Fl-5, Ra-5, So-5, Ps0, In-5, Se-5, 0.7*Cr).
    • Descriptor: Labor (TL-1, Mass*0.7, Ins*6, Se*6, Cr*4) 
    • Burden. None
    • Type; Unit (TL9, 200KG; Ar2, Ca2, Fl2, Ra2, So2, Ps1, In2, Se2, 60KCr; Str*10, Dex-2, Legged, 2-skill).
    • Unit. Comms7?, Sensors3?, Controls1?, Power3(Days)
    • What I have seems like TL8 Exe Skeleton, but I'm after having a TL9 one. 168KCr and182Kg. I don't know how to tweak the TL to be 9, or ways to make it practical. Like something a Working Class character can afford for his manual labor.
Traveller has been designed for people who can do all the iterations in their heads, viewing all the processes and possibilities. 

My rule of thumb for designing a Process for work is How Often I have to go back and forth between pages. Right now I have to Keep Several Pages Up. I have a 21" screen SPLIT into 2, and my 15" screen Split into to JUST FOR THIS. You'll notice it with my work (inserted). I try to tackle the subject matter in the Statement Sized Pages (because I imagine the person may want to access it conveniently on their phone so its Statement sized  8x5.5. 



If I encountered Traveller in HS I would feel defeated unless one of my teachers took the time to teach me to step by step. When I teach my son, I simplify each step and elaborate it with a story. Even when he can't remember 8 x 7, I remind him he knows 8 x 8 (he knows this from Minecraft) and can figure it out. Melchior was able to comprehend GURPS 3rd edition in HS and I only had the courage to read it in College.

I could understand Gurps Vehicles. How you create a Power armor was having the Volume and Surface area of a Human Body and then some fudging about How many inches over that Surface area equated to a Volume you can use for stuff. 

A volume like Armor = 4-10mm of Scifi Armor. Volume for Robot Muscles and Computers. 
One of the AWESOME things about GURPS is that you see the TEDIOUS breakdown of the calculation of a Power Armor. So All I needed to do was take that template and rework it. More armor, More sensors, More stuff of what I wanted.   

This geometry and very light physics calculation was easy. GURPS had steps - Oh my god the STEPS were consistent because they showed you Sample Calculations. Want to make a Roman Penteconter here it is! Ok wanna make it a Trireme! Wanna make a Byzantine Kourasores,  add Sails, change the profile, Etc... 

It was fun, it made me realize I just needed to research the density of the fabric and get the weight of my clothes and I can Guestimate my Surface Area. It was awesome to be TAUGHT to think like that. 

What GURPS did was they just got some basic measurements and extrapolated - Chain mail had this kind of Weight and Thickness per Square meter. This much Chainmail = 50lbs. Rings of 2mm moved 5mm had this much Mass change and weighed XYZ more. 

Its really painful in the Eyes. He didn't use alternating colors so my eyes get easily confused if I blinked and started looking at the wrong row. He didn't keep it human Readable with commas and points (sorry I get confused if I'm looking at 6-5 digits or 4 digits). One of the lessons in my studies into ERPs is that A lot of what ERPS do is make it HUMAN READABLE. People can INPUT into a table but its PAINFUL when you do that 6-8 hours a day. Maybe 1 out of 20people can do it. But you have the other 20 people who would feel serious discomfort with a really bad layout. It is for people with capabilities far from my own.  

Its sad that I have to alternate colors, break up tables with summaries, create flow charts, retell my story again and again and change it when people don't understand. Design my work so that people who are like me, simple, can follow and can CORRECT me. It's not a bad thing to make stuff for simple people like me. Or soften the grade of sophistication when dealing with science and advance math with people like me. I guess I see the dilemma -a genius can see the work of a genius. You want to attract geniuses, to be able to polish the genius. That makes sense. Why entertain the lowest common denominator? The effort is disproportionate to the returns. 

This is one of my frustrations with GURPS, its not accessible. It's WAY more accessible than T5 but I was hoping it can be more accessible like Dungeon World Accessible.

Key principles Take Away.

  • How much data the Reader has to Memorize or Master before understanding any Process. 
    • If you are able to think in Flow Charts or Visualizations of a Process: Inputs > Process > Outputs as well as Steps - How complicated is your Flow chart? 
    • If you say something is a Process - a BOX, how many Inputs do you need? How many references do you need? How many Judgements do you Need? 
    • While QREBS was not needed to be understood and some of the Armor protections were self-evident - someone had to tell me that QREBS was optional.
  • Lets say that there is no Memorization needed, How often the READER has to reference the pages? How can they Reference the Pages? Do they need it side by side? 
    • Why would someone need the data side by side? Is the data made up greater than 2 factors. Example Every Descriptor, Type, Stage, etc... was made up of greater than 2 Factors.
    • Do you index? Do you use heading and refer back to Headings/ Do you use account codes (term in PMBOK aka numbered bullets like 2.4.5.7 etc... or A.ii.b).6. ) Can someone Find exactly what piece of information supports or Input to create the next piece of information?  
  • What is the SEQUENCE of the process? Do you clearly state what is first, second and third? Do you explain optional or purposes of steps? 
    • Do you provide alternative steps? Like just figuring out Weight or TL or Cost? 
    • Do you provide EXAMPLES!!! Where can you find the examples? Do you INDEX?
  • Does it explain Design Intent? Is there a summary of the framework? 


Monday, July 27, 2020

Learning through Play is normal

I struggle with some guilt being able to afford to learn through TRPGs and tinkering with IT. Learning through the structure of schools and classic or traditional education: Lectures, Route-memorization, Drills, and Exams I believe is the Outlier, despite the propagation of the method. 

Game in the Brain reflecting on the 12+ years of its existence and how I developed as a professional, as well as the community of Gamers, and tutoring my son gave me the conclusion of the following conflicts. 

  • Learning through Play is normal and not a recreational luxury. In fact I propose that it is an equally valid way to learn.  
    • That everyone will do many different things and different ways to learn something or exercise their thinking. Many gamers build worlds, programs, write or tell stories, immerse in worlds and stories. They happen to learn a valuable or technically relevant skill here. 
  • That our motivations cannot be dictated! You cannot tell a person to like X or Y. You cannot force them or one's self to like or love something. Why or How we like things is a complex and irrational but natural part of being human. 
So as I write this, I always find myself reflecting on Systems and Processes. That an Engaging System is really just a GAME. That as I try to mentally diagram these processes I learn that everyone will approach learning differently and what developed from them is closer to what holds their interest - what they understand of themselves. That the engaging system, the GAME, is their understanding of themselves and pursuing their likes, adjusting and compromising their behavior, and comprehending the information and feedback they experience. 

That people cannot just be expected to act on "science" or "reason", and that their development happens as outcome of being engaged. That everyone is engaged and not engaged in life at any moment. That that's all not bad or good, but the nature of things and people. 

So much that luck and chance play a part - that I only need to push my memory and look at the times I feel disengaged that I can understand the time and place of things. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Quick Combat Update - Fixed the Load Out Generator

200413 Quick Combat - Weapons and Armor
  1. Added Quantities. I completely forgot to Make the Quantities column. So there was no way to put Multiple days of Rations. Fixed
  2. Reorganized the naming Convention. Name + Grade. Grade coming from PMBOK which better describes how much better or worse is the item. Because Qualities are better in describing specifications and other elements of an item. Its easier to expend since I can use formulas for the Grades + Name and make various adjustments. 
  3. Weapons Master Sheet (Using Query). 
  4. Created Adaptive Tables for Ranged and Shields. So that when I add more Grades and make rule changes Its easier to apply them to the whole table since it uses formulas. 
  5. ARMOR02 is now Loadout because what was just a Armor Piece Checkbox Sheet evolved to be the Checkbox sheet for the total Loadout. 

I should really finish the Sample Characters. I'm just going to go through with the system as is. Then review the characters. 

A common practice here in the Philippines and probably in previous times was that Employers would Equip personnel but deduct it from the Salary. I remember one of the books mentioned it long ago. So Auxiliary would be equipped with 100 silvers of equipment and it would be taken out of pay and people just accepted that, unlike now where there are laws and it can be subject to abuse. I'm sure it was subject to abuse. There was some debt slavery with the capital given out to lower classes. 

Status StatModWealth MultiplierSalary Cap (monthly, 25 days a month)Assets
0 to 1-50.10$2.50$50.00Marginalized
2 to 3-40.20$5.00$100.00
4 to 5-30.30$7.50$150.00
6 to 7-20.40$10.00$200.00
8 to 9-10.70$17.50$350.00Raider/Auxiliary
10 to 1101.00$25.00$500.00Mercenary
12 to 1311.50$37.50$750.00
14 to 1522.30$57.50$1,150.00Legionnaire
16 to 1733.40$85.00$1,700.00Guardsman
18 to 1945.10$127.50$2,550.00Sergeant
20 to 2157.60$190.00$3,800.00
22 to 23611.40$285.00$5,700.00
24 to 25717.10$427.50$8,550.00
26 to 27825.60$640.00$12,800.00Esquire
28 to 29938.40$960.00$19,200.00
30 to 311057.70$1,442.50$28,850.00Knight
32 to 331186.50$2,162.50$43,250.00
34 to 3512129.70$3,242.50$64,850.00Banneret

Computer Gaming Post. Insurgency and getting back to fitness and games.

It was funny last night in Insurgency - some really loud (Probably drunk, you can never be sure who people claim to be) Brazilian named GUSTO joined us. He was singing and using Counter Strike Global Offensive Tactics in Insurgency. He insisted on a bolt action sniper rifle, the M40, in a game where the Bots use swarm tactics, and there is no range as it is street to street fighting. It was very difficult to use such tactics. Even when I was already using a FAL 7.62x51 AP rounds and it still takes 2 shots to down (200ms tends to make me miss head shots more difficult). 3000J shots as compared to 5.56 at 1500J shots. 

I realize that I end up using the M16 because the reload time is faster which matters a lot on a bot swarm. I I've stopped using Autofire, A rhythm of adjusting for recoil and shooting again is a good habit.  

I started using a script that used the Long Distance Models (1/10 to 1/5 the polys/faces of the models used in the game; that made things look almost like CS:Source so that I can play with the guys. If my PC is not doing the "server" role i notice it had FPS of 70s. But if I run a game locally, so my PC handles the bots and more of the graphics, then my FPS is 40s. 

The wife was giving my son a pep talk about how he should act more mature when playing with his Titos (uncles, my Airsoft Team). Wilz was "baby sitting" my son during the game which I was really grateful for. I had to log out to let my son play because he was throwing a tantrum - so much like me at his age. 

Still I'm spotting bad habits of overextending, and having no displacement strategy. Having a 2-3 stage retreat strategy (extending to the threat area to shoot, and knowing when to pull back in redoubts). Bad habits... wish I could teach my son! lolz.. gen 2 of CTO. 

Also bad habit of no Ally Awareness, I think that is as bad if not worse as bad habits go. Getting too "kill focused" over being aware of my allies and their objectives is bad.  If you ask me at any given time: where are my allies and I cannot answer with enough information to join up or aid them then I failed. 

Its funny learning to deal with the 90° vision arc and the 30° to 15° calmly is hard. A lot of mindfulness comes into play. 

I hope with the treadmill being there I can return to some of the Conditioning levels I had prior to the pandemic. Working towards the 10lbs weight belt and then hope to get back to 14lb Weight vest.