Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Mechanics of Fighting part 2 ranged weapons

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about combat again. A few weeks ago I wrote about using melee weapons in combat. Today we will talk about ranged weapons, which means guns, bow & arrows, etc.

So, lets say you are in Deadwood. One of the local toughs has challenged you to a fight, what do you do? If you know how set up a gesture tied to an Fkey for the draw and holser animations.
Once you have the Fkey set up go into mouselook and when your ready, hit the Fkey. Presto, your guns are out and ready to fire. This is how many are able to beat you to the draw. Many times though I will use the weapons hud to draw and holster with. Its really a matter of preference, but if you want an edge, set up the gesture. Also set your graphics to low to help reduce lag.

Now where to aim? In real life combat you aim for the body. Forget what you saw on TV and the movies. No one ever shot a gun out of someone's hand, and if they did it was by accident. In real life, if you do shoot a mans gun out of his hand several things may and likely will happen,
1) the mans gun hand will be shattered
2) you have just pissed the man off royally and he pulls a knife and rushes you or pulls a backup gun with his other hand.
I mention this because JF had an opponent in DW who shot him, but did not totally disable him. JF proceeded to shoot him down. The guy wasn't happy because he said he was rping that he was shooting my gun out of my hand. Well, as you know that was god modding on his part which I explained and since we try to emulate rl, trying to shoot my gun out of my hand is just plain stupid.
But you say, this is Second Life, not Real Life. Yep, your right and the rules are different. When in combat with a ranged weapon, aim for the head. Not the name tag, like you would in melee combat, the head. Thats just the way the physics work in Deadwood and in DCS sims. I have no knowledge if this works the same in CCS or other combat systems, though my thought is that it works the same.

One more thing you need to know about ranged combat. Movement is life! Thing about it, it is much harder to hit a moving target. Be random in your movement. If you go in a straight line or are predictable in your patterns, you will be full of lead in no time.

Now just a few thoughts about weapons. If at all possible buy the best weapons you can afford. Just make sure they meet the requirements of whatever sim you are playing in. I will say this, my character Jonah, used Caed Aldwych's freebie SAA in combat and defeated an experienced fighter who had a really nice weapon. So, the most expensive gun does not guarentee a win.

Lastly, the bane of all rp sims, LAG!! Lag can be your friend, but is usually your enemy. I have had battles where I thought I was doing great, then all of a sudden I get hit 8 times in rapid fire. the culprit? LAG. Folks lag happens, if you lose a fight, laugh it off and go with it. Its just a game and your not really hurt. Your character is not really dead, unless you wish it so.

I hope you find this helpful and Happy Fighting!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

JF Kanto in Deadwood 2.0

Many of you may remember JF in Deadwood 1.0. His story was, he had been a killer for hire who got sick of what he was doing and turned a new leaf. He became a dedicated lawman, Town Councilman and devoted Husband and Father. He had a hard edge to him, but was generally level headed and quite affable.

JF 2.0: JF when he arrives in Deadwood is 32 years old. He was born in north eastern Tennessee, close to the Kentucky, Virginia borders. JF grew up on a farm and was, by all accounts a good farmer. When he turned 18 he enlisted in the Confederate Army and by 1864 was a member of Mosbys 43rd Battallion. When he returned home from the war he found his home in ruins, his family gone. He and (Aintgotnoname)Larsson team up and head west to try to make something of themselves. However both men are still young and full of beans. They soon find that a life of crime suits them just fine.

JF makes his money by doing whatever he is paid to do. Someone needs a herd rustled, a house burnt, the occasional killing, JF has no problems with any of that. Both he and Larsson are hot tempered and quick to take offence. Larsson, for reasons known only to him likes to beat on any woman he takes to his bed. JF has an eye for the ladies too, but is not given to beating them.
JF and Larsson have come to Deadwood, because to their way of thinking if money is being made then there are enemies being made. Which means business opportunities for JF and Larsson.

Starting again

Hello Everyone,

I have decided not to close this blog and to start posting again. I thought about my reasons for and against maintaining the blog. In the end, it came down to my being a bit stupid to think about closing this. Yeah, you read right, stupid. I believe myself to be fairly well read, level headed and somewhat intelligent. But like all humans, I sometimes do not think things out real well and make rash statements or actions that just were not real smart (read stupid).

So, I will be posting somethings in here and will try to be a bit more regular.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The end, maybe

Good Morning Everyone,

I will not be posting on here for a while. In fact I am considering shutting down this blog, but have not yet made up my mind as of yet. The reasons? Well, there are several.

This particular blog is called BlackJacks Ruminations and was mostly about Jack and the rp in Deadwood. However, Jack is not going to be around for a while. For reasons that I will keep to myself, I have decided Jack needs a break. Will this typist continue to play in Deadwood? I don't know. I love Deadwood! The owners and all the players there are great people. I have not found better rp anywhere in SL.

As for my other characters, Ezra, JF, and Carlton will all be on hiatus.

I am not going to say good bye here, just so long and happy trails to you all.

BlackJack Landar

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Mechanics of Fighting Part I Melee

First, let me preface this with a statement: I do not claim to be the worlds greatest fighter. I have however had some success in melee and ranged combat. With that being said, here are some of my thoughts on the issue of actually fighting using meters. I decided to write this because it has taken me a long time to learn some of the ins and outs of combat. I was fortunate in having some really great fighters give me some tips. Thank you, to all who have shared their knowledge with me.

Let us assume that you have given a combat challenge to somebody. Are you going to use free form/text style combat or are you going to use meter combat? If you plan to do text style combat, then make sure you IM your opponent first, otherwise, you might find yourself laying on the ground with your meter reading you are dead while you are still typing out that you are drawing your pistol with lightening speed. So, let us assume that you are going to use meter fighting. The way many meters work is on collision. An object, for example, a bullet, makes contact with your meter. The meter detects the collision and registers the result as damage/reduced health, etc. That is a quick and dirty explanation of meters and how they work for combat.

Lets look at melee combat first. Melee combat is using your fists, knife, sword, broken bottle, etc.....You are up close and personal with your opponent. One of the first things you want to do is go into preferences and reduce your graphic quality. This will help reduce lag and make you slightly faster. If it is dark and you are new to melee combat, set your environmental control to midday. This way you will be able to see what you are trying to hit. If you are in a dcs, ccs, etc sim set your avatar to run. In Deadwood, I suggest you do not set to run. Some may disagree with me on this, but, in Deadwood, running really reduces your stamina and you can find yourself suddenly collapsed because your stam went to zero, yet your health is still good.

Now, pull your weapon or activate your fist weapon and go into mouselook. Fighting in mouselook is the best way to fight as you can move more easily and have better control of your avatar. Now lets look at a boxing match in Deadwood. Jack has climbed into the ring and activated his fist weapon. Pressing the left mouse button will raise your fists and allow you to swing when you hit the arrow buttons. The bell rings....what do you do? Some charge for the center of the ring and slug it out head to head. Exciting and fun to watch. This can work really well too. Another thing to try to do though is slip around behind your opponent. If he is facing away from you, he can't hit you, while you can hit him. Keep an eye on your health meter, if you are losing badly back away, move to the side, anything to keep from getting hit.

In DCS2 you have a few more options due to the fact that in most sims you have powers that you can use depending on your race. So lets say Wolfbane is about to fight a vampire. The first thing I do is hit my frenzy power, this gives me a "buff", which means it gives me more health and stamina, meaning I can take more damage. With DCS meters always set your avatar to run. Movement is life in any fight whether it is melee or ranged. So, I have hit my frenzy power, then I hit my regeneration button. Lycans in most sims heal quickly anyways, but this accelerates the process. I have drawn my sword and we attack. Now I hit him with my maul power. this is a ranged power that will do 20 points of damage to a target up to 15 meters away. As soon as I hit that, I hit mouselook and jump. thats right jump. Now, some sims forbid jumping so check before you use this tactic. Jumping is great for getting in behind an opponent and getting in a few quick swipes. The other thing jumping is useful for is, if you lose sight of our opponent you can jump up and look down to spot him. That way you can keep track of him. A couple of other helpful hints. Set your dcs powers up as gestures activated by an F key. this way if you take damage you can hit your regeneration button and gain some health back. You can also use your ranged power as well.
Does all this mean you will win each and every melee fight you are in? Nope. Many things play a part, for instance, lag can hit you and slow you down, the other guy has a better weapon then you do or he is just a better fighter. As I said, I am not the best fighter in SL. There are some really fantastic melee fighters out there. I do ok, I win some, I lose some. Even the best fighters lose. If you do, take it with good grace. Its just a game folks. You were not really hurt and your character is still alive. yeah, yeah, it says your dead on the meter, but guess what? It aint permanent!! So have fun

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Combat and how to do it in RolePlay

As many of you already know, Deadwood sim has been featured in Second Life's Destination Guide. The admin team has been dealing with a lot of new folks who have no idea whatsoever on how to role play. We have had the run of people running around nude or so close to it doesnt matter, their noobie dangly bits exposed for God and everybody to see...well, you get the idea. So the admins in Deadwood have been talking about how can we help new folks get into the rp with a minimum of time and a maximum of useful information. Not so easy as it seems. But never let it be said that the Deadwood admins backed away from a challenge. I will be posting some ideas on how to roleplay combat in Deadwood. These ideas will be applicable to other rp sims.

Combat! How does it happen? What do I do so I can commit mayhem and not get warned or banned for it?

Entering into Combat / Giving combat warnings

Your character is sitting in the Cricket Saloon, when a man walks in. During the course of time, this stranger looks over at you and makes some comments about your dubious parentage. What do you do? Lets look at the wrong way first.

Leaning against the bar Jack Landar sips his whiskey, his eyes flitting from person to person noting each one. Joe Smith turns to Jack, "You bastard, I was talking to that whore first." Jack Landar slams his fist into Joe Smith's jaw knocking him unconcious.

Several problems with this, Jack did not give any combat warning, and he god modded Joe by not giving him a chance to react to the punch he threw.

A better way...

Leaning against the bar Jack Landar sips his whiskey. Joe Smith takes a spot at the bar and turns to Jack, "You bastard, I was talking to that whore first." Jack smirks, "Bastard am I? I am going to teach you what a bastard can do." Jack pulls his fist back and throws a punch towards Joe's jaw.

Here Jack gives the combat warning by what he says and what he does. He also gives Joe the opportunity to react to his punch.

The use of rp warnings should of course be applied to meter fighting as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wolfbane's Travels

Hello Everyone,

Recently Deadwood has been quiet and when that happens I usually go pull Wolfbane out for a romp around Dark City. But I believe the same late spring/early summer stuff (graduations, parties and just really nice weather) is pulling people away from SL temporarily. Wolf was just sitting around in a nearly deserted Dark City about a week ago, when he got an IM from Crow Runner. Many of you know her from Deadwood. I had turned her onto Dark City and she repaid the favor by turning me onto Sentinel Mountains.

Sentinel Mountains is a new sim owned by Justinian Diavolo and Freya Kirax. The sim is set in 1420 and for its theme that of the Roman Empire with a mix of the World of Darkness and Anita Blake novels blended in for good measure. We have a number of races to choose from. Lycanthrope's (werewolve are not the only type of lycan, there are werebears, weretigers, wereswans, wererats, etc.), Vampires, Orcs (which includes goblin,hobgoblin, orcs), Drow, Elves,
and Dragons.

The top pic is the Temple of Luna.

The builds in the sim are quite good and some are massive. The keep pictured below is where the Dark Lord (Justinian) will rule the lands. The sim is primarily made up of Lycanthropes at the moment but there are other creatures. I have met two Merfolk , a dragon and a goblin. No vampires yet, but I look for some to come. Actually we need vampires and other dark creatures for the Lycans to fight. Because no matter what Hollywood tells you, werewolves are not evil creatures. They were created by Luna to protect the human race from the dark spirits, primarily, vampires. But hey, when has Hollywood ever got anything right?

The Dark Lords Keep

So if you find yourself with some time on your hands or are looking for a new place to play, come visit Sentinel Mountains.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jack in Great Bend, Ks.

September 1872 Indian Territory

Jack knelt down just below the ridgeline of the hill, few trees and brush helping to breakup the outline of him and his horse. As Jack surveyed his back trail, he saw the men who had been chasing him for three days. He had worn out his welcome in the Texas panhandle when the buyer of the cattle he had rustled gotten greedy and began to try to renegotiate the price of the herd. An argument had ensued and the man went for his gun. Jack had not beaten the man to the draw, but the fellow's first bullet had missed. Jack took steady aim and put two rounds in the man's chest.

Having ridden up into Indian Territory, Jack had thought the three men would have given up the chase, but this little posse was like a dog with a bone. They were not about to give it up. "Well Jack, only one thing left for you to do." With those words Jack took his bedroll and unwrapped the double barrel shotgun. Kneeling down he checked to make sure both barrels were loaded. Pulling his pistol from its holster, Jack laid it on a rock next to his knee.

The three men rode along slowly looking for any sign. They moved to within 20 yards and Jack fired a barrel at the lead man. The horse reared and took off at a dead run. Immediately Jack fired the other barrel in the general direction of the other two. Dropping the shotgun Jack grabbed his pistol and fired two quick shots at his pursuers. Both men dug their heels into their horses to get out of range. Jack watched as the men rode hard and fast after their companion. Jack reloaded all his weapons then slowly, his eyes flicking here and there to watch for a return of the posse, he moved to the trail and saw some blood. Which ones were hit and how bad, he had no idea, but with wounded to tend to, he had bought himself time. Remounting his horse, Jack kicked it into a trot and rode north.

May 1873 Great Bend Kansas

Jack walked into the Town Marshalls office, which was empty of furnishings save for a table, two chairs and a heating stove. A man sat at the table, a coffee mug and a hat with a red star drawn on it sitting at the edge of the table. Looking up at Jack he said, "I'm Marshall Gainsford. What can I do for you?" Jack pushed his hat back off his forehead as he replied, "I'm Jack Landar. The hotel manager said you might have need of a deputy." Gainsford studied Jack for a moment, "That your willing to do the job says a lot. You have any experience as a peace officer?" "No sir", Jack said, "I don't, but I'm willing to learn." Gainsford nodded once, "Alright, get yourself some red paint and draw a red star on your hat. We don't have any badges. I reckon you could cut one out of tin can, but I find this works just as well."

July 1873 Great Bend Kansas

The sound of a gunshot followed by several more shattered the night air. Jack took off at a run in the direction of the shot and coming up to the Long Horn saloon, he saw 5 men one of whom, a cowboy from the look of him,was sitting in the street, blood oozing from a wound in his leg. The other two cowboys were holding pistols leveled at two buffalo hunters, who in turn had their own weapons leveled at the cowboys. Jack leveled his shotgun in the general direction of all 5 men. "Drop your guns boys. Do it, do it now." One of the hunters turned toward Jack, "Stay outta this deputy. We're gonna teach the goddamn Texans they can't come round here and order everbody around." Jacks eyes narrowed, "Bill Carter, you just settle yourself down. Now all of you drop your guns on ground right now." All 5 men looked one to another then at Jack and the big barrels of the 12 gauge shotgun pointed in their direction. Slowly they all laid their weapons down. "Thats better", Jack nodded to a man who was watching from saloon door. "Jim, you come on out here and pick up these weapons. Now you 5 start walking down the street, I'm going to let you all cool off in the jail. Just so you know, anyone tries to run, I'm going to start shooting and this scatter gun will get the runner and several of the rest of you." With their heads down the 5 began trudgng down the street.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Setting up a character (Lycan)

Hello Everyone,

Thought I would take a bit of time today and share a bit more about Wolfbane Footpad, my lycan character. It took a while, but I finally have all of the avies I need for this character. Thats right, multiple avies. Wolfbane has three forms, human, wolf, and garou.

Wolfbane's garou or battle form. The avie is from TRUAM

The pictures above show Wolfbane's garou form. This is the form he takes on the full moon or when he loses control and loses his temper. The avie as noted above comes from TRUAM. It includes full werewolf AO, growling and howling sound effects and a DCS2 weapon. All of that at only 2400Ls is a pretty good deal.

This is Wolfbanes wolf or Quadruped form. Avie by Werehouse.

Wolfbane's Quadruped form is a wolf, but not just a regular wolf. Think Twilight size wolves, it is as tall as most human avatars. This avie is the Dire Wolf from Werehouse and in my view makes for the best quad form for lycans. Of all of the avies, this is my favorite. Its expensive at 3000L, but I am having a blast with it. I was able to get a DCS2 and a Spellfire beast claws weapon for him, so he is not totally defenseless. The DCS2 claws are not enhanced, but, hey he can still fight now and is not defenseless.

Wolfbane's human form. Avie by TRUAM

Those of you who knew BlackJack in Deadwood 1.0 will remember this avatar shape and skin. For my lycans human form I wanted something that would project a tough as nails, no nonsense warrior. I most definetely did not want to look like a pretty boy. This avatar from TRUAM is perfect for that purpose. Just look at that mug! Plus he is pretty big in his human form too.

This was just me being a bit indulgent today. If any of you ever want to get an animal avatar, do visit the Werehouse as they have a full line of anthro, quad and dire sized quads available. The animations and sounds that come with them make it a great deal.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

RP Etiquitte

On the Deadwood forum, one of our players had asked about whether it was bad form to approach people engaged in rp.

This got me to thinking it would be good to have a list of basic Role Play rules of etiquette. I am listing below, my thoughts and the thoughts of others from research I have done on this subject.

1. Never use typing shortcuts such as lol, cyu, btw, afk. That’s lazy roleplay. It takes you maybe 2 to 3 seconds longer to just type the whole thing out.

2. Never speak out of character. In many roleplay communities, it is common to use double parenthesis (()) to indicate you are speaking out of character. For example ((I have to run to the store, be back in a few)). However, for the seasoned roleplayer, it is a terrible distraction from the RP and unnecessary. Out of character comments or discussions should be kept in private instant messages or stated in such a way that is still in character. For example...*Jack Landar pulls out his pocket watch and frowns* "If you will please excuse me, I am late for an appointment."

3. Don’t “poof” out in front of people. If you have to leave the roleplay you are in, make your exit posts then walk away from the other players you are involved with before you teleport out.

4. Don’t “poof” in, in front of people. If someone would like to teleport you to their location, stop to ask first where they are. A sudden, unannounced arrival could interfere greatly with roleplay that may be taking place.

5. Don’t teleport in reinforcements. If you find yourself in a conflict of some sort and you’re thinking " I could really use some friends right about now to back me up.” You best hope they come strolling by on their own. It is extremely bad form to instant message friends to ask for help or to start teleporting them in. In many cases, it’s a quick way to have yourself permanently banned from an RP sim!

6. Stay away from “godmoding”. This is a common term among roleplayers, along with “metagaming” to describe when someone determines the resulting actions of another player or the outcome of roleplay before it is appropriate. For example: *Jack Landar pulls his pistol and fires a single well aimed round right between Unlucky Lou's eyes, killing him instantly.* In this case, Unlucky Lou didn’t even get a chance to take part in the roleplay before he was determined dead. Jack Landar should have been more patient and allowed a response from the man. For example: *Jack Landar pulls his pistol and fires at Unlucky Lou.* * Unlucky Lou staggers as the bullet grazes his skull*…and so on. Roleplay is interactive. No one player gets to decide the course of action or outcome for every player.

7. Stay away from public disputes. If you disagree with the outcome of roleplay, the method of roleplay or the roleplaying habits of another player, take it to instant messages. Do not, under any circumstances, create a spectacle. Public, out of character squabbles are the true sign of a novice, or bad roleplayer.

8. Bring in the Administrator. No matter what you try to do, you cannot reach a resolution for the dispute you are involved in. What should you do? Call in a Gamemaster, Moderator or Administrator to help resolve it. A majority of the roleplay sims will have this “feature” for disputes that cannot reach conclusion between the players. Hopefully always someone who is well versed on the rules and can be an unbiased decision maker. Sometimes, they may choose to nullify the line of roleplay from a certain point completely to keep the peace. Other times they may rule in your favor, or the favor of another. Regardless of the outcome, their word is final. Take it and move on!

9. Excuse yourself with class. Is the wife calling you to dinner? Did one of your kids just spill a glass of juice down your sock? Don’t panic….the roleplay can wait. But as a courtesy, don’t leave the roleplayers hanging either. A brief instant message will suffice explaining your need to run quickly….or even in the midst of roleplay “Far in the distance I see the curl of dark smoke rise from the area that is my home. With great alarm I take off running towards it, waving a hasty goodbye to my fellow subjects!

• Be creative with your roleplay. Close your eyes for a moment and lose yourself in your character. What would he or she do? How would they respond? What would they think? If someone drops to their knees and proposes marriage to your character, would she run? Would she gladly accept? Would she laugh? Don’t be afraid to take that moment to truly live your character.

• Don’t over-flower. Don’t litter your roleplay with giant, ten cent words or overlong paragraphs. Beautiful language is a definite advantage in this medium of roleplay but you can be descriptive and creative without inducing yawns from those playing with you. People roleplay to interact, keep your posts as brief as possible.

• Don’t under-flower. It can be difficult at times to know what is too much or not enough. While you don’t want to bore other roleplayers with big, extravagant posts, you don’t want to turn them off with “one-hit wonders” either. For example, you have just met the Queen of the Realm. She extends her hand to you in greeting. Do you “Shakes Queens hand.”? Or do you “Takes the delicate hand of the Queen and gently kisses it in respect."

• Follow through. If you start a line of roleplay, finish that line of roleplay. Don’t leave it dangling out there particularly if you have involved others. There is nothing wrong with writing out a storyline. Have a starting point and the general direction you would like to see it go. Some say to include how you would like it to end as well. I would encourage you not to worry about the ending. This will let the story go how and where the characters decide without any undue constraints.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jack's Journal

April 26, 1876

Journal, I have a few minutes to spare before heading to Mr. Runningbear and Miss Bertrands store. On Friday evening past, Lillian and I met for supper in order to cement the appearence of social decorum that will be necessary for the Badger game to succeed.

I must say Journal, Lillian did look absolutely lovely. She complained that it was ugly, but It showed off her assets quite well without being scandalous. The green color of the dress also complimented her fiery red hair. We went to the new cafe run by a Negress who calls herself Auntie Bluebird. She served us a course of pork chops and butter beans. It was without a doubt the best repast I have enjoyed in many a day. The service was good, though the waitress, a Celestial was the most skittish person I have ever met.

The conversation began well. However, when I asked Auntie if there were a minister in the camp, Lillian took that exact moment to choke on a bean. I thought to help her, but Auntie Bluebird rushed to the rescue and with a few smart slaps to the back was able to expel the bean from Lillian. Unfortunately the bean landed on my new shirt, leaving a stain which I doubt will come out. Our conversation after that was civil but hardly congenial as we took to sniping at each other using words of love that was tinged with sarcasm.

I shall have to apologize to her for this. Though the woman can be infuriating, she is invaluable to the scheme. Also, I find her company quite pleasant, except when we take to sniping at each other. We are much alike in out temperaments and we must be careful that we do not take to killing each other, at least not in a public forum. We must do better at convincing the population of the Camp that we are an innocent couple who are looking to be married......

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jack's Journal

Sitting down at the table, Jack dipped the tip of his pen into the ink jar. Taking a moment to compose his thoughts, he begins to write:

April 18, 1876 Deadwood Camp

It has been several months since I have put pen to paper. When last I wrote, I was still in Kansas working as a Deputy Marshall. There were rumors that the cattle drives would no longer be coming our and the Town Fathers in their dubious wisdom, saw fit to release me from my duties. I had determined to leave for the gold rush in the Black Hills, so I was not overly angered.

I arrived in Deadwood Camp several weeks ago. The camp is wide open and lawless, which suits me quite well. Already the whores, whiskey peddlers and cardsharks have arrived, along with some more or less honest store keepers. Where ever there is gold or silver it is these who come first to fleece the miners of their riches. With some careful thought and planning I too will help in the fleecing.

To that end, I decided that I must be viewed as an upright citizen. One who is viewed as helping the weak and less fortunate. A few days after my arrival in Deadwood, I happened into a store owned by Mahalia Bertrand and Meriweather Runningbear. Mr. Runningbear is a tall, stawart fellow who appears quite capable of taking care of himself. Miss Bertrand on the other hand is not quite so capable. She is an attractive woman, but labors under the false conclusion that her fellow members of humanity share her sense of honsesty, fairness and integrity. Fortunately for her Mr. Runningbear does not suffer from this malady. After a very pleasant discussion between the three of us, Mr. Runningbear hired me. Ostensibly to help Miss Bertrand around the store, but in actuality to make sure she has some measure of protection while he is away mining. I, of course, leaped at the chance. It was easy to tell that these two would become pillars of the new community and it would behoove me to have friends in high places.

Now Journal, I wish to write briefly about Lillian. Lil is a striking red head, easily able to turn the head of any man. She is, of course, a soiled dove. I had engaged her services and the woman tried to brain me. Fortunately for me I have a bit of a hard head. Though the force of the blow drove me to my knees, I was able to wrest away the jug that she had used on me. My first thought was to kill the whore then and there, but, after a moments consideration I decided to broach the subject of her going into partnership with me. I needed an attractive woman who could play a convincing part for a confidence game that I wished to employ.

I explained to her about how the badger game is worked. Basically, we find a mark who has money and values his reputation. Lil would play a seductive innocent, who would lure the mark to her bed. Just as they are getting into a comprising situation, I would burst in as the outraged husband. After some suitable theatrics, we would then let the mark know how much gold it would take to keep our mouths shut.

I have asked her to refrain from doing any further whoring and to obtain some respectable clothing. We need to establish our cover as a respectable couple.

I must put pen aside for now Journal. Miss Bertrand requires my help in moving some crates.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dark City and Wolfbane

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, my alt Wolfbane, plays in Dark City. Wolfbane is now a full member of the Perigord pack. He was promoted to full membership on Wednesday evening. Lycans normally run in packs and have various ranks. The ranks of the Perigord are as follows:

Initiate: The lowest rank. At this stage, the lycan is not yet a full member of the pack. He is watched to see how he comports himself. If a pack member is attacked, does he or she leap to battle with fangs bared? or do they hold back or even run off? It is during this period that the prospect will be judged as to their worthiness. Not all who apply are chosen.

Omega: The Omega is a full member of the pack. He or she has proven themselves in battle and shown their loyalty to the pack.

Bolverk: The Bolverk and the Omega are similar in rank. The difference is, the Bolverk is specifically charged with protecting the packs den and the leaders of the pack. They may also be used to mete out discipline that the leaders do not wish to perform personally.

Irraka: The Irraka's are charged with watching over the Initiates. It is the Irraka's task to watch over their Initiates, to protect them and correct them when necessary. The Irraka can act as the pack leader when no one of higher rank is available.

Cahalaith: The Cahalaith is a shaman. Normally they also keep the histories of the Pack and are responsible for making sure the Pack learns and keeps the ways of Luna. Almost without exception the Cahalaith has at least some magical ability, which they attribute to Luna.

Freki: The Freki is second in command of the Pack. They are charged with overseeing the pack in the absence of the Ulfric.

Ulfric and Lupa: The Ulfric is the leader of the Pack. His word is law. The Lupa is the Ulfrics mate. She can act as a leader of the Pack in the absence of the Ulfric or the Freki.

There was an incident in Dark City which has effected the lycans more than the others. An ArchAngel named Malach, supposedly was sent by God to kill the citizens of Dark City and destroy the City. All the citizens came together to battle the ArchAngel. Demon, Neko, Vampire and Lycan fought side by side to stop him. We stopped him in battle, but Malach was not done with us. He flew into space and using all of his power, shattered the moon and sent a piece of it toward the City. This has had the various races come together again to try to find a way to stop the chunk of moon. The shattering of the moon also had some strange results on the lycans. Each being affected in different ways. Some cannot transform to their Garou form at all, some can manage a partial change, a couple of the females are in constant heat, some are filled with rage and must be kept an eye on so they do not precipitate a war when everyone must work together.

Wolfbane was changed as well. He is now heavily muscled, with the full physical strength of the Garou form, his ears are large and pointed almost wolfish and he is bald. One other thing that happened was he now has access to some force that he attributes to Luna. He can use this force as a healing force or as a weapon, sending out a blast of energy. Wolfbane has yet to learn to fully control it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BlackJack in Deadwood 2.0

My friend and fellow blogger Marrant Vita were talking the other day about how our characters change once they get into the roleplay. I have found this to be true with BlackJack. His personality is changing from what I had originally envisioned. My thought was BlackJack or Jack as he calls himself now, would be a villianous sort with an icy stare and the look of a hardened killer. However, he is not turning out quite that way. BlackJack will still be a bad guy. But I am finding in him a bit of tenderness that was missing from the BlackJack of DW 1.0. As you may remember that fellow had no compassion or tenderness in him, except for his immediate family. There were a few people he respected and even liked, Dio, Clay, Daisy...but, if he had a logical reason to kill them, he would have. This BlackJack, is not quite so cold and calculating. Jack Landar is an Army deserter, cattle rustler, bank robber, con man and sometime law man. That being said, he is a fairly likable guy, someone you would share a beer with or play a game of cards with.

I brought Black in a bit earlier than planned. It was a spur of the moment decision and I am glad I did it. He is already laying the foundation to allow him to pursue less than honorable pursuits later. How is he doing this you ask? He is building relationships. He happened to wander into the store that Meriwether Runningbear and Mahalia Bertrand are running, looking for some tinned peaches and bottle of whiskey. (Jack likes to eat the peaches then pour some whiskey into the syrup for a drink.) While talking Meri had looked Jack over and decided Jack would be a good one to help protect Miss Bertrand, though Miss Bertrand believes he is there just to help around the store. Jack took the job and is finding that he truly likes this couple. They are both good, decent people, just the sort that a man with a nefarious turn to him needs. Because when suspicion comes upon you, a man really wants respectable friends to vouch for him.

So will Jack become a villian? Yes, no mistake on that, though he will have his own sense of honor and loyalty to those he considers his friends.

Monday, March 29, 2010

To be a Lycan in Dark City

Hello Everyone,

Some of you know that I have an alt that I use in Dark City. This fellows name is Wolfbane Footpad and he is a lycan. For those who are not into horror/sci if, a lycan in most cases is a werewolf. Yep, like in the the Anita Blake novels and Twilight New Moon. Wolfbane has three forms, human, quadruped wolf and garou which is the typical wolfman type that would find in UnderWorld: Rise of the Lycans. I really like Wolf as he is somewhat like the original BlackJack, without being a mass killer. Well, except during the full moon, then you come near him at your peril. Wolf is currently an initiate in the Perigord, which is the name of the Lycan Pack in Dark City. As an initiate Wolf is considered part of the pack, but on a trial basis. He is watched to see how he acts and reacts, does he defend the Pack or is he, as Dio would say, a feckless idiot. Fortunately he is not feckless.

Coming into a new sim is never easy. People, being people, are not always very outgoing and actually can be quite clannish. You really find that in sims like Dark City where you have different races (lycans, vampires, demons, nekos, etc). These various races are all set against the other, except to make alliances of convenience. So breaking into the rp can be a bit of a problem. When I first sent Wolfbane, he was pretty much ignored by most in the sim. Then I got smart and applied to join the lycan group. They took Wolf in and he got the opportunity to join in the monthly full moon hunt. But still most others in the sim would still ignore Wolf. So what to do? Get a major confrontation going.

There was another new lycan in the Pack, a female named LadySnow Fang. In her rp storyline she is mated to a demon. The Pack is not at all friendly with the demons, so her mating with one was frowned upon. Wolf decided to pursue LadySnow and persuade her to leave her demon lover and become his mate. As you can imagine her lover was not happy and her father even less so. The situation becomes even more complex when Wolf is accused of raping LadySnow. This resulted in a fight of three demons against Wolfbane, which was played out in RP rather than meter. Wolfbane of course lost that fight as one lycan could not hope to defeat three demons. Though all three were wounded, a lycan is not to be trifled with :) . Now I mentioned that Wolf was charged with rape. That was not true, and when confronted by the pack Ulfric LadySnow admitted that no rape occurred. The conflict is not over yet. The residents of the City have been taking sides in this, either congratulating him for being an honorable warrior or threatening Wolf for hurting friend and family.

The result of this RP storyline, which is still ongoing as Wolf was ambushed last night, was exactly what the typist wanted. Namely opening the doors to the sim and having some fun. Which after all is the whole point of Second Life for me.

You will hear more about Wolfbane Footpad in the future. I am planning on writing a short story based on the rp there soon....

Oh by the way, we are in the full moon right now and the lycans will have transformed into their beast forms. So if you are looking for something to do over the next couple nights come over to Dark City and put on your DCS2 meter. The citizens of the city will need all the help they can get to stop the rampaging wolves!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What to do while waiting for the Deadwood Reset

Hello Everyone,

As many of you know the Deadwood reset is fast approaching. The date of the big fire that will mark the last chance to rp in the old Deadwood has not been set yet, but will be announced soon. For details on the reset, please see posts from my friends and fellow bloggers, Dio Kuhrs Ephemeral Frontiers and Marrant Vita's, Marrant Vita's Victorian Needs and Astolat Dufaux's The Victorian Closet.

Many of our regulars in Deadwood are very busy with getting ready for the reset. Some are doing building, making items for the sim and/or their businesses. Some are researching and preparing their new characters.

I have found myself in a bit of a quandry as to what to do with my time. My characters for the new Deadwood are ready to go. I have been working with the building thing and while I have not given up on it. I am fast coming to the conclusion that my first impression of my building skills were correct, in other words I am hopless when it comes to building. And thats ok. I very much doubt I am alone in this and there need to be folks like me out there to buy the great stuff that others build.

But back to my original question of what to do with my time? Actually, I have been doing a couple things. I have been bouncing around visiting other Sim's. Some of them have some really great ideas for role play. Unfortunately, a lot of them are more geared toward combat, then any meaningful role play. But again that's OK, I do love combat and have had some great times swinging sword and claw at the enemy. Yeah, you saw right, claw. I do have a one other alt, who I use as a lycan in some of these Sim's.

The other thing I am doing is writing. I have finally made the plunge and started my very first novel. Whats it about? Wellllll.....let me just say its a western. Do I plan to get it published? Of course I plan to. Will it? I dunno.....I have heard that getting published is really hard. I would surmise that to be true. But I am an optimistic sort, so I am happily researching and writing away. What will I do if it doesn't get published? Write another book.....If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Maybe that will be about a lycan...hmmmm.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The life and times of Jack Landar

A bit of background for this story. This is the introduction for BlackJack Landar for the Deadwood reset.

May 5, 1844, Chillecothe, Ohio

Reverend Joseph Landar heard the sharp cry of a baby and a smile spread over his face. He knelt beside his chair and gave a short prayer of thanks. Moving to the door of the bedroom, he knocked before opening the door. The midwife looked, wiping a sweat from her brow with her sleeve, "Pastor Landar, come in and greet your son." Joseph smiled and looking down at his newborn son resting in his mothers arms, said, "We will call him Jack."

September 15, 1861, Columbus, Ohio

Jack took his place in line to enlist in the 2nd Ohio Infantry Volunteer Regiment. He had left the farm just outside of the little village of Grove City, where he had grown up and with his cousin Bill Gant made the short trip to Camp Dennison in Columbus in order to enlist in the Union Army. At 18 Jack was 5 feet 8 inches, 160 lbs. with dark hair. He was of sturdy build like many other young men who grew up working on a farm.

After signing his name, Jack looked around and spied his cousin who had accompanied him. Bill Gant was easy to spot, standing 6 feet and weighing 200 pounds, he was one of the bigger men around. No sooner had they started toward them than several sergeants began to yell, curse, and push the newly enlisted men into a semblance of a line and moved them off.

November 25, 1863 Missionary Ridge

Bill Gant nudged his cousin as they waited for the order to form ranks and begin the move up the mountain. "Jack, just in case I don't make it, give this to my parents." Jack took the proffered package with a nod of his head. Jack did not try to tell Bill he would live to see the end of the war, let alone this battle. They had both seen too many men die around them, they having escaped harm only by chance or Providence.

Jack stood near the center of the line as his commanding officer gave the order to advance. As they moved up the toward the crest of the ridge, he could hear the howls of the Rebel yell. As often as he had heard it, it still sent shivers down his spine. Then came the puffs of smoke and the bang of the muskets from the Rebel positions. Men began to scream, holes appeared in the line. Jack heard the officers encouraging the men to keep moving.

Bill caught Jacks eye. Jack smiled and started to say something when he heard a wet smacking sound. Bill Gant stopped in his tracks, a confused look on his face. Then he crumpled to the ground a pool of blood began form on the ground. "NOOO", Jack screamed. He dropped down by his cousin to try to help him. The captain came running up, "Landar, you stupid son of a bitch, get up and back in line." Jack stumbled back into the line, firing his weapon and reloading, moving ever closer to the top of the ridge.

The battle was was won. The Confederate forces had been routed. While the others celebrated the victory or more to the point having survived the battle, Jack sat in his tent. His mood somber, Jack made up his mind that this was the last fight of the war for him. At morning roll call, Jack Landar's name went unanswered.

August 1870, Texas Panhandle

Four men sat astride their horses, watching the herd of cattle with several men riding slowly around them keeping the herd from straying. "Jack, you figger them other fellers are ready yet?" Jack Landar raised his head to meet the gaze of the man who had spoken. "I tell you what Jake, if they are not ready, they will regret it for the rest of their short miserable lives" With a last look around Jack spoke again, "Everyone remember what they are supposed to do?" No one answered him and smiled slightly, "Alright, lets go get those cows. When we sell them we will all be rich men." Jack pulled his bandanna up to cover his face, then pulling his scatter gun and a flick of the reigns he headed toward the herd.

December 1875, Great Bend, Kansas

The night air was cold as the deputy made his rounds. Making his way down the street, he saw the glow of lamp light in a cafe and headed for it. Opening the door, the deputy looked around and saw only the proprietor, "O'Malley you Irish son of a bitch, get me a coffee if you will." The big round faced man turned, pushing a lock of red hair out of his eyes, "Jack Landar, you good for nothin piece o' shit." Both men grinned, Jack leaned his shotgun against the counter and sat down. "A bit cold out there tonight Lad." Jack nodded as he sipped the coffee, "Yeah, cold and quiet as a tomb. I think I have had enough of this place, from what I hear the cattlemen aren't going to be coming this way again." O'Malley nodded, "Aye, I hear the same. Been thinkin on movin over to Dodge. Where you thinkin on headin to Jack?" Jack replied, "I think I will head for the Black Hills. I'm no prospector, but, I can be resourceful when it comes to making money." Both men laughed as O'Malley refilled his cup.

Friday, February 19, 2010

To build or not to build...apologies to Wm. S.

Hello Everyone,

I am doing some thinking out loud here...well....typed....ah hell you know what I mean...

I have noted in some past posts that I am somewhat lacking in building skills. However, I have decided to try my hand at this once again. This time I was a bit smarter about it. I downloaded some 3d modeling software and have been going over tutorials. Now a lot of folks say you should go to classes to learn how to build. There is a lot of sense in that. However, I do not have the time to sit in a class in second life. I sometimes, more often then not, have to log due to RL demands. So reading articles and watching video tutorials are going to be my main means of learning.

Why am I going to learn to do this? Mostly because, it just makes sense. Most everyone I know has at least some building skills and turns out some very good items. I don't know that I will ever be as skilled as some, but it would be nice to put together something that others find useful.

What will I build? Now there is a good question. Being as I am gun hound in both SL and RL, I will likely try my hand at that. However, building a gun is a ways down the road. I will start with something a bit easier, like maybe a 1 prim chair/table/etc. Eventually I will progress to more complex projects, but I have found that in most things you have to learn how to walk before you can run.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roleplay, some more thoughts

Hey Everyone,

My alt Ezra had the honor of showing some new folks around Deadwood a few nights ago. I had met several of these folks when playing in other sims. I think they had a good time, but they were a bit skittish on one issue.

The people I toured were para's. Now most of you know what I mean here, but to avoid any confusion, para equals paragrapher. In Deadwood, most of us post one sentence, sometimes two. Paragraphers are just that, they normally post a paragraph at a time going into great detail about what they are doing, thinking, etc. They were afraid that their style of rping would be frowned on and/or, they would be shunned. I don't believe that any of the regulars in Deadwood would be so rude.

Is one preferable or better than the other? In my humble opinion, No. It is personal preference. I use one line posting for several reasons. First, thats the way I was taught when I first started rping. Two, while I can type, i am far from being the fastest out there.
Paras give a lot of detail about what is happening in their post. The problem that comes in is if the person is a slow typist, you have people standing around for a minute or more while someone posts. While in a sim that has primarily paras, this is not a huge problem as the regulars expect some time to elapse between posts. In a sim that is primarily one liners, people will continue their conversations and the para can find themselves falling behind in the conversation, unless they are very fast typists.

So why am I expounding at length on this? I believe that when someone comes into your sim and they are using a different style of rp, you should try to include them in whats going on. I have played in sims where para's are the majority. I have found that I make longer posts in that environment, because that is the expectation. The reverse is likely true for paras who come into sims where one liners are dominant. They will shorten their posts, perhaps still longer than most folks, but is that a bad thing?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking for a good time on Friday Night contd

Ezra sat at the table watching several fights while he rested up. Several of Clay's soiled doves walked by, a couple of them smiled at him and Charley. "Ezra, I'm a gonna go ask one of them girls to dance and mebbe take some time fer myself upstairs." Ezra gave a nod, "Don' be takin more'n one with ya tonight Charley. I knows ya only gots money fer one and the Mayor weren't none to pleased with ya the last time ya come up short. Fact is, ifn I hadna come up with the money he was gonna have that big ol security man o his pay ya a visit." Charley glanced over where the hulking form of Martin Ramey stood in a corner and swallowed hard. "No need ta fret Ezra, I aint a gonna do nothin that stupid."

"Alright, is there anyone brave enough to step into the ring?" Clay shouted. Jumping up and climbing into the ring Ezra began to bounce back and forth on the balls of his feet, waiting to see who was going to fight him. He smiled a bit when Silas Acker climbed into the ring. "Are ya ready to commit mayhem?" Clay shouted. Ezra and Silas responded with "Aye".

Clay rang the bell and Ezra charged Silas. Silas let out a scream and began to run around the ring, Ezra right behind him. With a sudden stop and twist, Silas slammed a right fist onto Ezra's chin. With a grunt, Ezra staggered back, "Why you sneaky son of a bitch". Ezra leaped up and both men began to pummel each other. Silas slipped to the side and began to run again. Ezra followed a bit more cautiously. Silas moved at top speed and spun around getting behind Ezra and pounding his kidneys. Ezra backhanded Silas, catching him in the side of the jaw. Both men backed away a bit. Ezra looked at Silas with a bit more respect. The man might be a feckless idiot, but he could fight. Ezra charged again and Silas met him in the middle of the ring. For a full minute the two exchanged blows, until Silas landed a hard left on Ezra's temple. With a groan Ezra dropped.

The next thing Ezra saw was the sight of Daisy Stratten looking into his face with a concerned look. She had a wet, somewhat dirty rag, wiping some of the blood from his face. She smiled when she saw his eyes focus on her. Ezra smiled back and winced, his lip was split and it began to bleed again. It also felt like his jaw was just this side of broken.
Daisy frowned at the wince and sent a scowling look at Silas who was still crowing about his win. With gestures Daisy let Ezra know she wanted him to go upstairs where he could rest up. Ezra nodded and letting Daisy try to support him he walked up the stairs a gleam in his eye. He whispered to himself, "This is how ya has a good time on a Friday night."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Looking for a Good Time on Friday Night

Stepping out of the shack, Ezra shivered at the cold. Pulling his hat down a bit more firmly on his head, Ezra stepped out into the frozen mud that passed for a street and headed for the Gem. He had just turned onto Lee street heading for Main, when he heard a shout behind him. Looking back he saw Charley running to catch up. "Goddammit Charley, ya'll be late to yer own funeral." Charley just grunted and muttered, "Ya can go to hell Ezra. This here is my first day off in 3 weeks and I aim to enjoy it the way I see fit." Ezra gave his friend a good natured punch in the arm, "Charley, ya sleep the whole damn day away an then ya gonna make us late ta the boxin matches. Ya beat all, ya know that?" Charley just lowered his head and said nothing.

Ezra and Charley walked into the Gem and found a seat to wait for the matches to start. Ezra looked around to see who he might have to face. There stood Judge Eun by the stage. He would be hard to beat. Marty, the Gems bouncer stood next to the Mayor. Sitting at a table in the back were several men Ezra had not met before. "Charley, looks like I got my work cut out fer me." Then the bell began to ring and Clays voice cut across the noise of the saloon. "Looks like we have enough to get started. Who wants to be the first to prove they are the toughest in town?" Ezra watched as two of the new comers climbed into the ring. Clay rang the bell again and the fight started.

An hour had gone by and Ezra had just won his first fight against a stranger. Sitting down to rest, he noticed Daisy, the Gems mute prostitute dancing on the stage. Ezra caught her eye and gave her a toothy grin. Daisy was a pretty little brunette, who had lost her voice due to a customer trying to cut her throat. "Ya know Charley, I'm gonna buy me an hour o' her time after I wins the fights tonight." Charley just snorted turning his attention back to the ring.

Ezra climbed into the ring again and saw one of the strangers climbing in as well. Grinning he nodded to the man. His opponent stood a good 5 inches higher then Ezra's 5'7" and likely outweighed him by a good 30 pounds. The stranger looked at Ezra and then laughed, "I'm gonna beat hell outta you little man." Ezra said nothing but the grin disappeared from his face, his lips went thin. When Clay asked if they were ready Ezra merely nodded.

The bell rang and the stranger charged Ezra, throwing a hard left towards his head. With a twist and a step back, Ezra evaded the punch. Again the man launched a wide arcing punch towards Ezra's head, Ezra back peddled and stopped in the center of the ring. The stranger came in more cautiously throwing jabs. Ezra's head snapped back as one of the jabs connected. The big man followed up with a hard right hand to the ribs. Grunting Ezra backed away, making the bigger man follow him. The stranger kept throwing punches backing Ezra toward the corner. The man threw another hard punch towards Ezra's head. Ducking down and moving forward to the left of his opponent, Ezra ended up to the left and slightly behind him. Ezra went to work on the mans kidneys, landing three blows before the stranger could get away. Both men were breathing heavily as the closed again, punches flying. For a full minute the two stood toe to toe, then the bigger man stepped back slightly. Ezra slid past a right hand only to catch a grazing left along his jaw. Staggering back he saw the stranger dip his knees in preparation to leap. As the man began the leap Ezra threw a right to the man's midsection. With a whoosh of expelled air, the stranger dropped to his knees. Ezra followed up with two quick punches to the head and the stranger dropped face first on the mat. Ezra staggered out of the ring and collapsed on the chair next to Charley, his breath coming in wheezes. Charley gave him a quizzical look, "Ya havin fun yet?" Between wheezes Ezra gave him a lopsided grin and replied, ""

to be contd

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On God Modding and other no no's

Hi Everyone,

While playing in a different sim the other day I saw the most egregious display of god moding that I have ever witnessed. Below is a paraphrased version of the rp:

Player 1: "I have heard enough, it is time for you to die," points the barrel of the gun at 2's head and squeezes the trigger sending the bullet into the precise spot between 2's eyes.

Player 2: Stumbles and falls, then with a sigh of disdain digs the bullet out and stands up, "Your bullets cannot kill me. I have the protection of the Satan's left testicle.

Player 1: Reloads pistol with bullets guarenteed to kill anything, whether protected by magic or not. "This will kill you bitch", fires the gun putting the bullet precisely in the same spot as the last.

Player 2: Falls down from the force of the bullet, then stands up, pulling the bullet from deep inside her skull. With a laugh says, "Fool, your bullets cannot kill a diciple of Satan's left testicle.

At this point Player 1 loses it and start going ooc in open chat how everyone in the sim are horrible god moders and do not know how to rp.

This basically the jist of what actually happened. In full view of several gm's.

So, who was right and who was wrong? In my opinion both were. Player 1 fired his gun and told player 2 it hit her between the eyes. That is god moding, you should never tell someone they have been hit and or where they have been hit. Its Player 2s character, they have the right to decide whether they have been hit or not.

Player 2 was just as bad, coming up with a god like spell. Then says it is so strong she can never be hurt. Ummmm, sorry, but no one is invincible. Not even Superman, let alone a low ranked demon.

Yeah, I said demon. I was playing in a sim that has all manner of dark critters. More on that in a bit.

When you rp a fight, you have to give and take. Unfortunately, as I have stated in an earlier post you have folks who cannot stand to lose, so come up with this kind of utter trash as rp. Which is why I like to use meters to resolve combat.

I do not know if the GMs addressed these two or not. I hope so, both of them needed a good swift kick in the grocery sack as my friend Dio would say.

Was everyone in the sim like this? NO! There were some good rpers there. This particular sim is heavy on combat. Mostly melee weapons. And I dearly love a good old round of swinging sword swinging. But again I digress from the main point. *sighs*, comes from getting old I think.

Any rate, beware of god moding when you rp. Even experienced rpers will sometimes forget. If it happens, im the other player and decide what you want to do. Play it over? Go with it? Whatever you decide is fine as long as both agree.

Final thought on this bit of my preaching to the choir is this. If something is not working communicate with the others involved. There is no reason to act like an ass and piss off others. Try not to get mad. Remember, RP is not real!!! it is play, which means it is supposed to be fun. And hey its ok to lose i said before no one can win all the time. So play, have fun and don't take things so dad blasted serious.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A word of thanks

I have been roleplaying in Deadwood since December 2007. When I first landed in Deadwood as JF Kanto, I was a total noob. I had been in SL for about a month and had just been bouncing around not sure what to do or where to go. After doing a search, I found Deadwood. Reading what it said, I thought to myself, "Self, this looks like a place that might be some fun." So I tpd in and after a bit of fumbling around got myself setup and went into town.

The very first character I met was a fellow by the name of Willard Deerhunter. At the time he was a U.S. Deputy Marshall working for Marshall Sand Rau. Willard introduced me to a a few folks and showed me around. I spent the next week, just watching what was going on. One night I wandered into the Bella Union and overheard that they needed a security man. Well, being the shy retiring type that I am, JF jumped right up and said, "I can do that." Taj Nishi hired JF on and introduced him to Lola McGinnis. Now, for those of you who knew JF back when he first came into town, I want to thank you for putting up with me. I had no idea how to rp! But Lola took me under her wing and taught me the basics of rp. How to emote, the difference between ic/ooc, and a host of other things that experienced roleplayers take for granted. I also learned a lot from others in the sim. Diogenes Kuhr, Willard Deerhunter, Salissa Wilder, Taj Nishi, Mahalia Bertrand. All of them played a part in helping me to learn the art of roleplay. So to all of you, I wish to offer my heartfelt thanks for the suggestions, help and the knock in the head when I needed it.

Finally I want to thank Caed Aldwych, Rynn Dryke, and Estwee Vansant for providing such a wonderful place to play. Each of them have done a fantastic job in creating the most authentic old west sim in Second Life. Thank you!

I will leave you all with this, if you are reading this and have not visited Deadwood, I would encourage you to visit. You will not be disappointed.

Blacks Last Day

Hi Everyone,

Well, the last day for BlackJack is fast approaching and all is in readiness for his violent demise. I will be posting a story after his death detailing his last day.

I again want to thank everyone who is helping with this. A couple of things to note. First, I do not like to do scripted rp as a normal course. This one is "somewhat" scripted. Yes, Black will die, there is not doubt about that. We have even set up a nice little twist to this, so please be there if you can. But I digress, as I said this rp is "somewhat" scripted. Certain individuals will be doing certain things. However, I do not want anyone to think they cannot join in on the fun. I don't want this to turn into a scene where a couple of people are rping and everyone is else is just watching. Rather, I would like to see folks get involved in whatever way they see their character reacting to the situation.

Hopefully this will be a fun time for everyone as I bring the story of BlackJack to an end.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ezra Macarthur in Deadwood 2.0

Hello Everyone,

Here we are at the end of January and the reset is just about a month and a half away. The new entry area is looking great. Please see my fellow blogger CiCi Levenque's post in her blog Western Roles, for more info and pics. Also check Diogenes Kuhr's blog Ephemeral Frontier. Both have done great job reporting on the new build.

When Deadwood reopens my character, Ezra Macarthur will be among the first prospectors. Following is some brief information on the new Ezra.

Date of Birth: May 5, 1844 /Age when he hits the gold fields in March 1876 - 31

Place of Birth: Columbus, Ohio

Education: Attended school up to age 10

Career: Farmer, Soldier, Prospector

About Ezra: He grew up on a farm just south of Columbus. He was a hard working young man. He is literate, but just barely so. He never applied himself to his studies, being more content working in the fields. When the war broke out Ezra wanted to join, but his father forbade him. When Ezra reached age 18 in 1862, he joined the Union army. After the war, Ezra returned home but was not satisfied with life on the farm. In 1868, Ezra packed his bags and headed west to make his fortune. He worked in a variety of jobs, drifting from one town to the next. In 1875 he heard of the gold strike in the Black Hills. Gathering his belongings, he headed out to make his fortune again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blacks new look

Above is a pic of Ezra. The poor fellow is not the most handsome guy around. Nor is he very tall. Which are a couple of the reasons I picked this avie. In reality, men in the 1800s were not tall. An average height of about 5'7 or 5'8 would be the norm. A man who stood 6 foot was considered very tall indeed. There were men who did go that high and higher, Gen. Robert E. Lee being an example. But these men would be the exception not the rule.

BlackJack's new avie is again not overly tall, but as you will notice he is much better looking than Ezra. In this form Black will not be physically intimidating as he is in the present incarnation.

Hope you enjoy the photos. By the by, both avatars were made by DarkDharma Dagurre.

Blacks Journal

Seating himself at his desk, Black pulled his journal out of the hidden compartment. Opening the book, Black picked up a pen and dipped it into the ink well. He thought for a moment, then began to write:

January 30, 1879

Journal, I have come across more evidence that Mr. Densmith has become my enemy. Mr. Blitzer Renfold told me last night that Mr. Densmith was looking for a way to frame me for the murder of Jeni Trefusis. Renfold intimated Mr. Densmith was arranging for someone from Chicago to come into town and accuse me of the crime. According to Mr. Renfold, Mr. Densmith was the one who had sent the whore Truly Comes to Deadwood. Miss Comes apparently spent time in prison with Miss Trefusis.

There is one good piece of information that Mr. Renfold revealed. Apparently Mr. Densmith has become very fond of Miss Wilder. I plan to confront Mr. Densmith in the next few days and make it very plain, that if anything should befall me, his precious Miss Wilder will pay the price for it. If this angers him all the better, an angry opponent is one who acts rashly and without thought. I have an acquintance in New York who can make good on my promise for Miss Wilders future.

Black blew on the ink to dry it, then set the Journal back in its compartment. He then took a clean sheet of paper and again began to write:

My Dear Mr. Johnson,

I write to you concerning a business proposition. There is a certain woman in Deadwood, Miss Salissa Wilder, who I want you to pay a visit to if I should meet with an untimely end. I have wired funds to an account that you may draw on after the task is completed. If this meets with your approval, send a wire back saying simply "Deal".

BlackJack Landar

Black folded the letter and after stuffing it into an envelope and placing it in his coat pocket, he headed for the Post Office.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

After Black is gone

With Black about to die, what shall I write about? I asked that question and the answer was, write about Ezra. Ezra? Who the hell is Ezra, you might ask. Ezra is my miner alt. Now I know some folks are real secretive about who their alts are. For me, not so much. As long as the typist remains in the background and out of sight is the important thing. At least for me. To each their own I say.

Any how, for those who have not met him, Ezra Macarthur, in the current Deadwood, is a half breed. His father was a mountain man who took an Arapaho maiden for his wife. They were married after the custom of her people and Ezra's father reckoned that was as good as any. Ezra's family was wiped out by a band of Commanche, when the the family was settling in the Texas panhandle. Ezra has considered himself at war with the Commanche nation ever since. Now don't get the idea that Ezra hates all Indians. Far from it, he spent time in Arapaho camps as he was growing up. Playing their games, hunting with them. Yes, Ezra has a great fondness for all the Indians. Well, except the Commanche.

Inspiration for Ezra, came from watching some of my Deadwood friends play miners, and with the knowledge of the DW reset coming, I figured, what the hell. The avie for Ezra was made by DarkDharma Daguerre. The avie appears in the machinama, Golden Spurs and Silver Bells, as a miner. I have been using Ezra a bit as comic relief, a bit like the Festus Haggen character from Gunsmoke. Like Festus, Ezra can be funny, but he can also be tough and hard as nails. Ask those who have had a few boxing matches with him. Will Ezra survive when Deadwood goes up in fire? Yes, he will. Will he be the same character he portrays now in the new Deadwood? No, will use the same avie and all, but he will be somewhat literate and his backstory will change. Though I have not worked that out yet. Ezra will be on hand when DW reopens to stake a claim for himself. Whether he is successful or not will have to wait for the RP!

The Death of BlackJack Landar, cont'd

Planning for Black's demise is going forward. Barring the vagaries of RL, we plan to play this out on Friday, February 5. Time will be sometime after 5pm SLT.

I shared with Dio last night that, while I am looking forward to the rp, I am really going to miss the current incarnation of BlackJack. But nothing lasts forever and the new BlackJack will arrive in Deadwood sometime in April or May.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Styles of Roleplay Combat

Hey Everyone,

Though I spend most of my time in Deadwood, I do get out to other places from time to time. During my explorations and opportunities to play in various sims, I have been exposed to a number of styles of roleplay.

Let's start with the use of meters. There are many different types of meters that are used in Second Life. DCS2, CCS, Gorean, Spellfire, Deadwood, Cripple Creek...well you get the idea. One of the major uses of the various meters, is to resolve combat. As you take damage in combat the meter reflects that damage and if your meter drops low enough the animation in the meter will force you to fall and be unable to move. At this point, depending on the sim, you may be considered dead and unable to continue playing for a designated length of time. Using meters, IMHO is an excellent way to resolve combat. Some of the meters, for example, DCS2 will track your victories and losses, they do this because sims that use DCS or CCS use XP, short for experience points. When you reach a certain number of XP based on time spent in the sim you can level up. Some sims allow you to purchase powers rather than levels with your XP. Either way, leveling up or purchasing powers with XP, will make you stronger, more agile in combat.

But what if I don't want to use a meter? There are some sims that use no meter or will allow rp'd combat. Problem for me with rp'd combat is unless you determine ahead of time who will win, the fight could go on forever. Especially if you have one or more individuals who cannot stand to lose. The other issue involves the typing abilities of those involved. When rping a fight you have to describe the actions in detail so that others watching can follow whats happening. If one or both are slow typists this can become a very long drawn out affair. Usually those watching in such instances will lose interest and find something else to watch or do. As you can tell by this post rp combat is not my favorite, however, that does not make it wrong or a poor way to resolve a conflict. I have seen some who were masters at rp'd combat. If that is the style you like you should do that. Now, I will rp a combat if someone wants to, it just is not my preference.

One thing I must mention about meter combat. When you visit a sim for the first time do not go in and attack someone out of the blue. Most sims that use meters tell you in their rules you have to rp into combat and rp the results as well. Most of the better known sims insist on that and will boot you without question if you violate that rule.

I would encourage you to try both methods of combat. You never can tell what you might like till you try it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A look inside of BlackJacks thoughts and feelings

I thought it might prove helpful for some who do not know BlackJack Landar well, how his mind and emotions work. Some will read his profile, which states he is a hired killer and immediately think he has no emotions and forms no ties to anyone. That is an unfortunate assumption. BlackJack is a man who does care about some, I repeat, some people. But those people either have to be related to him by blood or have earned his respect.

Now Black is a ruthless killer. When he takes an assignment, he see's it to completion without any undue emotion. The target (person who is to be murdered), is simply that. A target, the job to be done. Black does not take pleasure in killing as some do. In all of his business dealings, whether legitimate or not, he strives to keep emotion out of the equation. To him, emotions and business is illogical and just plain bad business practice.

In Deadwood there are a few people he actually cares for. First is Dio Kuhr, or Miss Dio, as Black always refers to her as. He found in her a woman of strength and ability. He learned of some of her past and his respect for her increased. She had once requested that he not harm anyone whom she cared about. Out of his respect and growing fondness for her he agreed. This did not sit well with Black's employer at the time, but that is a story for another time.

The other two people that Black cares for in Deadwood are Clay Kungler and Daisy Stratton. Black considers Clay to be a kindred spirit, due to Clay's habit of collecting the heads of those he kills. Black is puzzled as to why Clay collects these trophies, but figures it does no harm and perhaps some good. Daisy, who works as a prostitute for Clay. Daisy reminds Black of a girl he had known in his youth. Because of this and that she is connected to Clay, Black has set himself up as a sort of protector. He almost see's her as a sister, though not quite that. Even Black has trouble explaining to himself the relationship between him and Daisy. What he does know is that the man that brings harm to her will pay in blood.

So, as you can see, Black is not some emotionless killing machine. He does have relationships and feelings. I would advise those who meet him to treat him with the same politeness and respect that he shows everyone. Those who become rude to him may well not live to regret it.

The Death of BlackJack Landar, cont'd

The RP leading to BlackJack's demise continues:

Friday night, Black went to the Gem to watch and participate in the fight's. All of the regulars were there as well as some new folks that Black had not met before.

The current boxing champion, Silas Acker and Black squared off in the ring. Now Silas is a character that, after meeting him, you would never forget. Silas is thin and a bit small, he is also a braggart and not to put too fine a point on it, is not the brightest lamp in the house. Silas, whatever his other faults, is an excellent boxer. He and Black fought it out and knocked each other out. Silas struggled to his feet first, retaining his title.

After that fight Black sat back to enjoy the rest of the fights when he was approached by a particularly ugly whore, by the name of Truly Bombastic. She went by the alias of Truly Come when she propositioned Black. A brief description of this creature is in order. Short and heavy with a face that looked like it had taken one too many punches. Five front teeth missing and breath that would knock a buzzard off a manure wagon at twenty paces. For some reason DanteDemon Densmith thought this woman would appeal to Blacks appetite.

Truly tried hard to entice Black into going to her room. Black was trying harder to palm her off on some other hapless soul. Truly then mentioned the name of Jeni. For those who do not know, Jeni Trefusis was a prostitute and companion of Black's former employer Cameo Capalini. Black was ordered to kill Jeni when she and Capalini broke up.
Black ran Truly off at that point. However, Truly was not quite finished, she hooked into Silas and with promises of money and sexual favors, enticed him to lead Black to her rooms where supposedly assassins awaited Black.

Black noted the two together and played along. When they reached the hotel, Black unslung his shotgun and told Truly to go ahead in, Silas having already entered the hotel. Truly screamed and ran. Black then went in to confront Silas. Raising the shotgun to his shoulder Black said, "Silas, you know my reputation." Silas gulped and looked for someplace to run. Black spoke again, "Run Silas, run like the Devil himself is after you." Silas leaped over the stairway banister and ran down the streets screaming, "He's gonna kill me, help. He's gonna kill me."

Heading back to the Gem, Black came across Daisy, the mute prostitute who works for the Gem. She had taken a pool cue and chased Truly into the hills. This endeared her to Black even more.

Stay tuned kiddies, Black's demise is coming soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Builders in Second Life

I really, really admire builders in Second Life. Mostly because I can't build worth a damn. Oh sure I can create prim boxes and shape them a bit. However, when I get done with them the object I am trying to make looks like a piece of rebar that the Hulk decided to make a twistie tie out of.

Some of my fellow bloggers are great builders, Marrant Vita, Astolat Dufaux, Master Glendevon, Addison Leigh. They all have one thing in common I think. The eye of an artist. An artist can look at a canvas, or chunk of marble, well you name whatever material and they will see the object in it. Then they bring that object out. The level of detail that can be found in the items these folks build is truly impressive.

So, to you who create the items that I and many others who are building deficient, my hat is off to you. And I for one want to thank you for the creating the objects that we use as we explore and play in Second Life.

Characters for the Deadwood restart

As you know BlackJack will be returning to Deadwood after the restart. However, he will not be there at the start. Black will come in later, likely when the first wagon train arrives. But what to do? Fortunately, there is another character which will be in Deadwood. His name is Ezra Macarthur and he is a miner/prospector. Currently Ezra is a half breed (white/Indian) miner. In his reincarnation at the restart Ezra will be a prospector. I have not worked out his complete backstory yet. Right now I am thinking he will be a man of indeterminate age, worked in the Comstock strike. I am fairly sure he will be, for the most part, a law abiding citizen. Real life inspiration for Ezra is drawn from the miners/prospectors who dreamed, worked, stole, even murdered for the chance to strike it rich.

BlackJack's backstory for the restart is not set in stone as of yet either. Though, I think he will be one who jumps back and forth on the fence of law and order, though likely being on the wrong side of the fence more often than not. I am currently doing some research on various lawmen and criminals on whom to base the new Black. Maybe someone like Soapy Smith? or Burton Alvord, who was a lawman turned outlaw? Perhaps an amalgamation of both or more indiduals?

I have to say the planning for the restart has proven to be a blast. If the planning is so much fun, just imagine how great the actual rp will be. If any who read this have not been to Deadwood, then I encourage you to go to Second Life, create an account if you do not have one (you can get one free). Then do a search for Deadwood and come visit us. You will find some of the nicest people in SL there.