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kristof65

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Everything posted by kristof65

  1. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I have to admit it that I came to the idea in a roundabout fashion - it didn't just occur to me to do it that way. Back in 89 I had a campaign end, so my best friend took over DMing duties to give me a rest, and while playing in his campaign, I was inspired to write a follow up campaign. Wrote this whole campaign that included all these prophecies that were very specific to the PCs and current world situation. But after his campaign ended, another player took up the mantle, and after that we wound up playing tabletop minis games almost exclusively for awhile. Then my best friend hired a new employee whom, it turned out, was looking for a new role-playing group. He knew I still had this campaign on the back burner, and the two of them had me start a new group. But I had a problem - I had written the campaign for a specific group of PCs, half of whom weren't going to be in this new group. Plus the new group had a couple more players than the old group. So I added a bunch more prophecies on the fly, and started the campaign. The first time the players misinterpreted one of the prophecies, I was irritated as heck. But the second time they did, it made a connection to a bunch of the ones they hadn't even seen yet that was WAY better than my idea, so I threw out most of my playbook, and from that point on, ran with what their ideas inspired. After I moved, I ran the next campaign that way with all new players, and it worked even better. I haven't done one for awhile, and this seems like a good fit for this group of kids. At first I didn't get this. Then I just realized - you're referring to video games where NPCs that give quests to PCs often have a symbol above their head, aren't you? (not a big video game player) Assuming I'm right, I think I have to do that now.
  2. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    The last D&D game session I've been running for the High School/Junior High kids in the school was yesterday. The kids were disappointed that it was over. Especially because I won't be able to pick it up again next year. The school librarian who had been running the Gaming club is leaving the school for a better job. I'm being "promoted" - no other teacher is willing to take on the club all year, so I'm stepping up to do that next year, which means I won't be able to DM for the D&D kids AND run the rest of the club. My son and one of the other players asked me if we could continue the game as a home game - I said sure, but not with the variable number and often too many kids we had as part of the game club. So they've assembled a group of kids, and we start playing in a couple of weeks at our house. This should be interesting. I decided to run yet another prophecy based campaign. So I'm currently in the process of writing prophecies that say things like "Half shall be the Swords of Dusk, Half shall be the Swords of Dawn" and "The Children shall mark the Swords". Each of these phrases has 1 or 2 keywords that identify people, places or things. My goal is to write 144 of these seemingly random phrases, and then hand out 4-6 of them each game session. The hard part is coming up with my keywords, especially the ones for people. They have to be descriptive enough so that players will go "Hey that's PC (or NPC)" after they see several phrases, but generic enough that they're not always obvious on first sight. They also have to be generic enough that should a player leave and a new player join, and that there is at least one for every PC or that they can apply to multiple PCs. By the time I'm done, I won't know most of them are supposed to mean, which is by design. I learned the first time I did this (back in the 90s), that my players often have far better interpretations of my phrases than what I originally envisioned. Which makes it a lot easier to write them, to be honest.
  3. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I've made into voir dire twice now. The first time I was really trying to be excused, because it was inconvenient. It was a real estate fraud case, and we had our condo listed for sale by a realtor in the same building as one of the realtors involved in the case. No go - ended upon that trial for a week, but glad I did. Learned a lot. Second time I was the first person excused. Prosecutor didn't like it when he asked me what I would assume if I saw him stumbling around in the hallway, would I think he is drunk and I said "no, because I don't know anything about you, you might have an illness or medical condition."
  4. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I concur - CO's was definitely better than what I experienced in CA. In CA, I ended up sitting in the jury pool room all day, only to finally be sent home later in the day. Or worse, the couple times where I had to call in the night before, only to be told "call in again tomorrow." In CO, the time I got seated on the jury, I knew I was going to be on it by noon. The other time, I was home before lunch, after being dismissed by the prosecutor. Still waiting to see what it's like here in IA. We moved to a relatively small county, so I am expecting that I'll get called more often than I did elsewhere, but two years in, and still no summons. (Hmm...maybe I shouldn't have said that.)
  5. @izzylobo I don't know when you were planning on shipping the Inarah box, but I'll be gone for the next five days, so please don't ship it to arrive before the 28th. I don't expect that was going to be an issue, but I just realized I should give you a heads up.
  6. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    So I get Krisub or Kriway. Yeah, no. I'm going to go with @Cranky Dog and wish that adventurer an early retirement. So I looked into this a few years back (ok, a decade or so), and it seems it's a change over time as well as regional. At first the USPS started off with the door slots or door boxes in the towns and cities or PO Boxes at the post office. Not sure when they started rural delivery and boxes there - that wasn't part of my focus. In the booming of the US suburbs after WW2, they moved to more motor carriers and putting the box down by the curb for effeciency sake. For a long time, each home got it's own box. They've since moved away from that, and most new neighborhoods that have been going in for the last couple of decades now get a series of group lock boxes, generally covering 8-20 homes.
  7. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    A couple of years ago, I suggested that my client adopt a similar system. I suggested putting half the commission in escrow for the warranty period, which is one year, with service issues being paid partially out of that. . Sales howled about that, and obviously, it didn't happen. that's not a bad idea. I'm not so much worried about premature failures - it's likely I'll be going up to help install it, so I know it will be done right. It's the hassle it's going to be when something does go wrong. There is something about small town car wash owners wanting all the fancy bells and whistles and custom stuff, then getting all huffy when service takes extra time not only because of distance, but because of all the extra complexity their system has. We rarely have big city sites asking for custom stuff.
  8. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I've been doing that for the entire time I've dealt with this client. They know better than me. TBH, the engineer is pretty good, and can get most custom things to work. The problem is that the custom stuff generally requires programming the equipment a couple of times to get it tweaked right. This would be less of a problem if the site didn't insist on the fancy equipment. With the more reliable stuff, I can send out a couple of hand held programmers that are simple - plug them into the ISP port on the board, push a red button - teller updated. With the fancy stuff, it requires a laptop computer, and two different types of programming cables, and someone who can operate Windows well enough. Thanks to Google maps, I've already scoped it out. It pretty much looks like the town I live in, only further away from conveniences - same rural farmland, fewer rolling hills. The hotel websites make them look good, but I've been deceived before. I scoped out trying to fly in - but the time you figure in all the travel time associated with flying, connections and renting a car, it's a 6.5 hr journey by plane (if everything goes right) and a 7.25 hour journey if I just drive. Since my contract stipulates I get paid the IRS's mileage rate for any travel, I'm definitely driving - the 45 minutes I'll save isn't worth it.
  9. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I'm pretty sure that I'm experiencing what will later be an "I told you so" moment. I certainly hope I'm wrong, but 20 years of experience is screaming I won't be. Distributor rep comes to me last year needing help with a quote for a site that is in another state from her. She was approached by a wash manufacturer selling to the site looking for help with some of the site's special requirements. She has experience with a bunch of equipment, which is why they went to her. She recommends my client's equipment. She and I discuss these requirements as well as the fact that we'll have to service a site that is 12 hours away from her, and 8 hours away from me in a small town of 5k people with no big cities nearby. We figure out the equipment mix which is able to do what they want, but is also the most reliable and easiest to maintain pieces of equipment my client makes. Deal goes forward last month, they pay their deposit - every thing is looking fine. New site owners go to car wash trade show, go to my client's booth, and see all the fancy and flashy new equipment, get mad that we didn't "sell them the good stuff" (for significantly more money, I might add.) And then they talk to the engineer, who promises he can do some custom programming the distributor and I already ruled out. The sale is still going through the distributor, so that's not a problem, but she and I are upset because we're sure we'll be the ones bearing the brunt of any dissatisfaction that the customer experiences because they're 8 hours away from anyone qualified to work on their equipment, and they've chosen the most complicated (and thus prone to issues) equipment my client manufactures. I expressed my concerns to my client, and all they can see is a sale that is going to be $40-50k more than what I originally helped the dist quote, not the back end support that will eat all that up.
  10. kristof65

    Raise your hand if it's snowing

    One of the reasons we moved here was because I was making that drive 6-8 times a year for work anyway. Last year only had to do one round trip, this year this will be my second trip. Nobody else in my CO family better graduate, die, get married or otherwise require me at a celebration or event there this year!
  11. kristof65

    Raise your hand if it's snowing

    Same here - it was low 90s one day. I hope this weekend is nice in CO. Supposed to attend my nephew's graduation in Bailey on Saturday - leaving Thursday night to drive out.
  12. kristof65

    Raise your hand if it's snowing

    I've been talking to people in Denver, Calgary and Edmonton over the last two days - seems like Edmonton is warmer than Denver right now, despite being over 1200 miles north. Calgary seems to be on par with us here in Iowa. This is where I get to return all the jibes that friends and family gave me about how cold Iowa was in Jan/Feb vs Denver at the time.
  13. kristof65

    Getting To Know You — May 2019

    From start to finish - maybe 6 to a rough tabletop standard. But a number of years ago, I did paint a large portion of a GW WFB Lizardman army from start to finish in 2 days. It was around 40 lizardmen and 80 skinks to tabletop standard. I had taken a "Paint that Army" class on a Saturday at GhengisCon, and was so motivated by the class, I blew off the rest of the con, went home, and just started furiously painting with my new found techniques and skills. I have come to hate lightning. I'm not afraid of it (though I do respect it), but in the last two decades I've seen it do enormous amounts of damage to electronics equipment, usually causing my affected customers panic and stress.
  14. kristof65

    Reapermini New Site Layout

    This morning it's showing this: Same search, same device.
  15. kristof65

    Reapermini New Site Layout

    I know that the new site has growing pains, and will eventually get back on track, but the search feature is returning some really weird results at times: This was searching for "wizard" after the term Elf Wizard failed to find the figure I was looking for (77068 Anirion Elf Wizard)
  16. kristof65

    ReaperCon 2019 Ribbons

    Some people would say fewer Buglips in the world is a bonus. But not me, never me. I have some Sky Pirate ribbons left from last year, but sadly , will not be attending this year. I'm considering how to give out some of them "remotely" so I can attend in spirit.
  17. Looking good. I find it ironic that you're using wooden dowels to pin together a plastic model of being that is essentially supposed to be made of wood.
  18. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I spent the last two weeks dreading a credit card merchant setup I had to do today for a customer. Everything about the agent I was dealing with was giving me red flags that I was going to have problems, because the platform they wanted to use gives a lot of agents problems getting set up right for the equipment I work on. And guess what? I was wrong. Not just wrong, but like he got it right first try, where as even most good agents take a second try to get it right. In other news, I'm happy with my son for finally getting off his butt and managing to get his crap ton of missing science assignments turned in.
  19. As well we should be. Sadly, most people just start screaming "fraud!" rather than considering why things failed. And of course, the natural tendency for people to attempt to CYA themselves to avoid looking bad doesn't help. That's likely where a lot of things push the line from incompetence into fraud. I don't want any creator to push themselves into committing fraud just to avoid admitting failure. And yet, the way most people react, I completely understand why so many seem to head down that path.
  20. So I'm backing a KS project by a creator that was supposed to start fulfillment a couple months ago, but they haven't even sent the rules to print. I've been OK with the delays, as they've been open on communications. But they recently announced that they're launching another KS project soon, and this irritates me. I honestly think that for most companies, it's a terrible idea to launch a new Kickstarter when you aren't even close to delivering on a previous one. Wondering how you all feel about that?
  21. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    It's very observable in home building - you see the framing, siding and roofs go on, and then the house just "sits there" while all sorts of work goes on inside that we can't see from the outside. So who gets the littering ticket?
  22. Agreed. I generally feel that most of the bad in the world is related more to incompetence and over optimism than true maliciousness, and that definitely applies to Kickstarter as well. But even if that's the case, there are people who don't deal with their own failure well. That's what many of these KS issues look like to me, especially when it's related to cascading failures from the same creator over multiple projects - a lot of "this time we'll get it right AND fix the issues from the previous one!" without learning anything (or as much as they need to). After awhile, that looks to be as much of a scam as a true scam.
  23. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I have to admit I was pretty impressed, too. Even better was having the customer be forthcoming as to what happened, instead of being sneaky. I can't give him a break on this, but I will definitely remember his honesty here the next time I can give him a break. It sucks when that happens. But part of being a good DM is recognizing when you've screwed up and let your players down. If you don't do it before then, start the next session off with an "I'm sorry, I blew it, let's talk about what you saw, and how we can prevent it again." It might be tough to hear their feedback, but it will build trust and empathy in the group. Congratulations! Oh god, don't let my daughter know about those! Seriously - she's always complaining that regular post notes "aren't sticky enough" I always found the last 10% seems like 90% of the work, at least when you're still staring at it.
  24. Thanks. I knew there would be a lot, and i didn't want to add to the stack with what amounts to a virtual "Are we there yet?" from the back seat. I figured asking here would be helpful for everyone else as well. Since I handle US returns for my Canadian client and know how freaking frustrating it can be, I do try to make sure to follow a companies instructions to the letter, but I went back and reviewed my original email just to make sure I did this time as well, so I think I'm good there.
  25. kristof65

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I think they're actually the same pitch. The programmer's connector plug is wider on the outsides - I think that plug could fit in there offset no issues, with just 10 pins connected. I can see how the mistake could be made - I'm baffled at how this particular customer made it and it how it hasn't happened before now, though.
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