Home

Journal

Random writings. Newest first. Rough and unpolished. Probably forever.

Index

  1. Double RPS
  2. The Elevator
  3. The Future Tomes
  4. Ideas
  5. Desolate Settings
  6. Is ethics absurd?
  7. The Magician
  8. Terminal
  9. Black Planet

A 2-handed rock-paper-scissors game I made up with my siblings long ago. Don't know if something like this already exists.

Double RPS

A 2-handed rock-paper-scissors game I made up with my siblings long ago. Don't know if something like this already exists.

Basically, each hand plays its own game simultaneously. Your left vs. their right, vice versa. If a hand is beat, it is removed from the game. If one player has 2 hands left and the other only has 1, then that 1 hand faces the 2 hands simultaneously. This means that it would need to either beat both hands, or tie both hands, or beat one and tie the other.

DRPS “strategies”: If you have 2 hands but they only have 1, then you shouldn't use different symbols for each.

General RPS “strategies”: Younger kids like to start with scissors for some reason, so start with rock. People don't like to make the same move twice, and they don't expect you to either.

The Elevator

I jolted awake. It was deep in the night. It was quiet - what had stirred me? I had to piss. I climbed out of bed and made my way to the bathroom on our floor. I tried to stay tired, but the harsh lights forced me wide awake.

Finished, I stepped into the hall, but stopped. I heard a faint bell ringing, a repetetive ding! over and over again. Curious, and unnerved at the otherwise dead silence of my floor, I crept down the hall towards the source.

As I crept closer it grew louder and louder, more and more frantic, yet all the while bound to its repetitive rhythm. I turned the corner - it stopped - before me was the elevator, it's doors open. The silence of the floor was even more unnerving now. At once a cold terror began to grip my heart.

The Future Tomes

2022-04-28

The Future Tomes are 7 great texts, each towering in size, gifted to humanity in its earliest years. Each text is encrypted, except for the first. The key is the answer to a difficult question given in the previous book. Brute force is not an option.

Each book contains a wealth of information that progresses humanity and adds to our technological sophistication.

Each book contains a hidden question. Finding and answering it is an effort that encompasses the entire species and spans hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Once each answer is found, the next book is unlocked and a new age begins.

Discovering the answer to each new question is proof of humanity's maturity. In this way, our progress is steered and checked by the great questions.

Ideas

Started 2022-04-25

Inspired by Jackomix's Game Ideas Page

[VISUAL] An art book where each page has doorways to other pages. Works like a visual choose-your-own-adventure book. You can also go to adjacent pages sometimes. The doorways can be in any style, but should have the page number marked on it or nearby.

[PLANETCRAWL] Intersystem planetary warfare. On paper. The GM tracks the stats of everyone. Each other player represents a species, with a homeworld planet.

[WASTES] A singleplayer gridcrawl with an ASCII terminal aesthetic. Possibly has robust procedural generation to make each playthrough different. Should be able to run on cheap office materials.

[CHSS] A chesslike videogame without a grid. Some piece movements have some wiggle-room, such as the knight or pawn. Touch to capture. Played in real-time.

[VIRTUE] TTRPG about gods and mythology. Each character stat is a position on a scale of a virtue to a vice. Fight god(s). Team up to pull a heist on the hell-train. Stab your allies in the back. Could have religion/cult simulator mechanics. Maybe your power is based on how many people believe in your existence?

[HATESIM] Is it possible to make a simulation model of human "political" interactions? Stuff like fake news, internal biases, cognitive dissonance, mob mentality, the Overton Window, etc. Everything would be an abstraction, but in a way that allows similar behavior to emerge.

[GRIMOIRE] A versus game that uses a physical zine format. Each player has 1 or more spellbooks/grimoires in the form of an 8 page zine. Each page can have a number of runes arranged in certain structures. The player is free to decorate their books. Gameplay involves using synergies between runes to cast spells. Not sure how it'll actually work. I envision it as an art thing as well as a game.

[STREETVIEW] A horror game from the perspective of google maps street view. Many different areas. No humans. Should be offputting and uneasy. Not really liminal or anything. Lots of ambience. Mostly places are pristine and sunny, and would be relaxing if something wasn't off. Maybe you could even find your in-game house, and if you look out the window you'd see a shadowy figure where the streetview is.

[LOGS] A "game" where you slowly uncover a sinister plot by reading various internal documents. Lots of meeting minutes, presentations, scanned papers, faxes, email/chat logs, etc. Less of a game and more just interactive fiction, although you can't actually influence the story.

[SCROLLMAZE] Webpage with a path that starts at the top and meanders around. In the center of the screen is your character. You use the scrollbars to scroll the background, "moving" the character around. If you move off the path you die.

[GARGJAM] 2-part jam. First, everyone collectively designs an ARG. Then, it becomes a game jam where everyone is assigned a piece of an ARG and must incorporate it or hide it (within reason) into their game.

Desolate Settings

2022-04-21

How would you run a TTRPG in a desolate and empty wasteland?

Say you were running a citycrawl, the polar opposite of a wasteland. The setting is filled with content. Everywhere you look, there's something.

Wastelands are empty. Travelling through emptiness would be boring, so let's cut that out. Now we're left with only the interesting bits, and it becomes a sort of point-crawl.

Another way to run a wasteland would be to make travel more interesting. Hexcrawls already do this, but they need different types of terrain/biomes in order to describe position. To the north are fog-shrouded mountains, the east is rolling plains, the coastline to the south, and black forest on the west. Without terrain, there isn't much to differentiate different intermediate locations unless you put landmarks and features everywhere.

I think the main thing is that the setting shouldn't actually be empty. It can look and sound empty, but it shouldn't feel empty. Rather, it should feel empty through descriptions and flavor, but be just as mechanically full as any other hexcrawl.

Is ethics absurd?

2022-04-21

We could use an existing system of rules (either given by God, or otherwise arbitrarily determined) to determine what's right or wrong. In this case, we'd better be ready to accept the rulings, even if they conflict with our intuitions. No system exists that fully satisfies all of our moral intuitions.

We could instead choose a system of rules based on our own intuitions. We would basically be ruling based on our own intuitions, with extra steps. However, not everyone has the same intuitions. This ends up being disguised moral relativism.

Ok, so what if we really don't like moral relativism? If we go the first route, we need to decide on a system to use. This system will not always agree with our moral intuitions, but we need to follow it anyways. Which system we choose is arbitrary, but what practical aspects might we consider?

We either arbitrarily choose a system to follow, or choose one based on our moral intuitions. But, because our moral intuitions can be different, we won't agree on which system to follow. A system that agrees with all of our moral intuitions would basically be a form of moral relativism, although maybe much more convoluted and impractical. On the other hand, if we arbitrarily choose a system to follow, we will have a bad time because it will not always agree with our moral intuitions. This makes me think that ethics is absurd and that moral relativism is really how we act in practice. A more practical route would be to analyze our moral relativism in practice rather than discussing rule systems.

The Magician

The Magician raised his flute to his lips and played a haunting tune, it's shrill notes piercing the night air. At once, the City of Glass shattered.

The spirits of the four winds, ever hungry, descended upon the sandy corpse of the city and swept its remains across the land.

The Magician turned and pocketed his flute.

Long, long ago, before men walked the world, before life had touched the land, The Magician had helped the gods plan reality. Unbeknownst to them, however, he had inscribed a secret symbol unto the very foundations of the world. The symbol, present now in every being and place in the world, was the source of his power.

This secret symbol is The Magician's great secret. With knowledge of it, one can travel to any place and time, seemingly at will.

Even today, the gods do not know his great secret, though they perpetually hunt him for it.

The Magician has lived many lifetimes. When he grows old and frail, he transports himself to a secret location to meet with his past self. Here, he gifts himself all of his memories and knowledge, before dying peacefully. His past self then becomes his new self.

Unfortunately, through many generations of stealing his past self from the past, time has become unstable.

Enraged at his trick, the gods branded The Magician a divine outlaw - any man who knowingly helped or harbored him would suffer the wrath of the gods.

Terminal

With a soft click, Ezra popped open the terminal's security pad. Just behind, there was a square debug port. Under normal circumstances, it would have been disabled, but the last maintenance crew had left it open. All to plan.

Ezra snaked a cable over to the port, and powered on his deck. A premade script took care of the terminal's security system, and the system was his.

Ezra popped the system's memory cassette and made a copy of it with his dual cassette player, before reinserting it. The copy, he would keep for later. Carefully, he disconnected the cable, reattached the keypad, and rebooted the system. ALL WELL flashed across the screen.

Black Planet

Beneath the black sky, beyond the ancient oak, below the arched ruin, it stood. The oasis itself, once lush, now dust, was encircled by miles of flat wasteland. Damp, black, sand stretched to the horizon, where set two dying suns.

In the center of the oasis was a single ivory pillar. Suspended above, a single perfect drop of water, suspended in time.

Briefly, there was a shudder. A shock. Light. And then there was light, emanating with incomprehensible force and power, like water under pressure finally escaping its valve. Tears of light, tears of white, and a towering beacon driving deep into the sky. An electrified rush fills the desert wastes. The mountainous rocks in the distance are bleached white, their faces seared of a millenia of darkness.

A hulking metal thing, a wretched thing, rusted by milleneae of isolation, shuffles across the wastes. It crawls, inch by inch, towards the distant oasis, towards the beacon of light.

A hulking metal thing, a wretched thing, rusted by milleneae of isolation, shuffles beneath the black sky, beyond the ancient oak, below the arched ruin. It stands, hunched, in front of the ivory pillar.

With a quiet whirr, the thing reaches an appendage deep inside itself, presenting a black engraved obsidian box. It opens the box atop the pillar, releasing a single perfect drop of water, suspended in time.

In the distant horizon, the dying sun sets.

In the final day of the final sun, every oasis crumbles. The arch reduces to dust, the ancient oak withers. They have failed to ignite the light, and once again the world grows black.