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August 2018
Aug 23: Jedi Night - 7:30 PM PDT
Aug 23: Jedi Night: Mahara Kesh - 7:30 PM PST
Aug 25: Port of Call: Aaand... Sold!


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Media Gallery / Re: Squiggly's artsy things and worldbuilding
« Last post by SquigglyV on Today at 10:56:03 AM »

Al-Jarrah Assault Chariot

(Unshielded version that is easier to see)

Chariots are heavily armed and armoured combat vehicles used across the galaxy for frontline combat, indirect fire support, and everything in between. Most modern chariots use lev engines for propulsion, allowing them great mobility over all terrain and in any weather conditions.

The Al-Jarrah Assault Chariot is a 9 meter long beast equipped with hardlight shield projectors and thick adamantine plating, making it immensely difficult to destroy from the front. It straddles the line between a battle chariot and an infantry fighting vehicle, having dedicated transport space for up to six infantry in the rear alongside its weaponry. Its turret is designed to fit a number of different armaments from light particle culverins to heavy plasma mortars.

Outside Realm / Re: Video Game OST Appreciation Thread
« Last post by SquigglyV on 08/19/18, 08:26:42 PM »
World of Tanks got new music and it's really good! Each map has an assortment of tracks for the intro, combat, etc.

I like how they incorporated stuff like air raid sirens, trains, engines, and such into some of the tracks. It's also neat that they repurposed some older melodies from folk and classical music to fit the location.

Cliff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0obWwX6Uk4

Airfield: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZbTV1QwVWw

Paris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9f1s38ZDrs

Ensk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBTJMDmv2wM

Himmelsdorf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLhI4PzNFj8

Prokhorovka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dZgxRlMa7E
Outside Realm / Re: recoveringgeek's All-Purpose Star Wars thread
« Last post by Seraphie on 08/19/18, 08:05:40 PM »
Would Jaade have kept a memento that he might still have after all these years, from the barge he flew into a building? >.>
Outside Realm / Re: recoveringgeek's All-Purpose Star Wars thread
« Last post by Niarra on 08/19/18, 07:38:53 PM »
I love this kind of stuff. I ran a Saga Edition campaign (two groups in parallel story content, for a total of 10 players and 12 PCs) that lasted... oh geez, something like four years? Five? There was a truly enormous amount of game canon that got laid down there. It was set approximately 2000 BBY, and I've reverse-engineered a lot of it into my SWTOR RP, so I am definitely a proponent of blending RP worlds if it means you end up with a richer GM hoard to mine from. That quintessential sense of "timelessness" that is fairly unique to SW means that it never feels weird to be bridging "thousands of years" and still making things feasible or relevant. (All thanks to Obi-Wan's "for over a thousand generations" line.  :aww:)

Here are a couple things I can imagine Kettur left behind that might make for interesting nuggets:

 :lightside: A datapad, datachip, or buried computer/terminal entry in which a sophisticated translation and decryption program is stored, or at minimum the beginnings of one that could be further fleshed out by an able techie. He started writing this to decrypt/translate Iokathi ciphers, but the program itself wouldn't need to reference anything Iokath related (if you didn't want to get that specific); it could just be an all-purpose universal translation/decryption program that could be used for slicing or vocoder-programming purposes.

 :lightside: Kettur used a lot of drones. For the most part in public he treated them with a tinkerer's idle sort of affection, but in private that affection was more sincere. (Get your minds out of the gutter!!) Though the drones were fairly simple in his time, with limited heuristics, and the relationship certainly wasn't at the level of a beloved R2 style astromech, he was nonetheless fond of his little creations, and they were upgraded far beyond normal drones. One of these could certainly have survived aboard the ship in a powered down mode. If you wanted to take that a step further... limited heuristics is still some heuristics, and it could be that after a couple thousand years with no one to reprogram, wipe, or command it, one of these little drones has evolved as much personality, purpose, or quirks as you would like it to. For sure any drone of Kettur's would have been programmed to be particularly good at surveillance, and some ability to create distractions for its owner (all the better to slip into some area undetected).

 :lightside: If you are looking to gift the party with any pieces of gear, the most unique/remarkable of Kettur's that might have been left behind are: a stealth field generator, a nice array of slicing spikes, armor with whatever stealth upgrades your rules system allows/uses, and a variety of explosives. Blasters too, of course, but there were more interesting blasters to be had (Rath's or Jaade's, for example).

 :lightside: In the event you ever want to point to any long-lost SIS safe houses whose ruins might yet be found in future adventures, you could always say something in Kettur's gear includes data on the locations of the safe houses he still knew about after leaving the service. (Character verisimilitude can be bent for plot hooks. Sure, realistically he would have kept that stuff just in his head and not written down, but the compromise could always be he encrypted that datapad so you'd have to slice it first.)

And if you ever want the extra mile of some long-ago adventurer's personal logs for the players to find and read, I'd be happy to whip some of those up if time allows.
Outside Realm / Re: recoveringgeek's All-Purpose Star Wars thread
« Last post by blingdenston on 08/19/18, 07:18:44 PM »
The only thing of Pehn Qardaak's that would be on that ship would be his shuttle, if you stole it again.

Rancem Rath, however, lived on it and rented space. Things that might survive:
- A set of trophies stasis-sealed in a pitted old transparisteel case: a lurker claw, a preserved Nautolan tentacle, a chunk of a durasteel breastplate imprinted with a Weequay gang marking, and an old Sith warmask (in the Malak/Malgus style).
- An articulated dummy-arm with a half-complete wrist-launcher on it: a high-capacity minimissile launcher on top, a laser-tube on the bottom, a grapnel launcher on the right side, and a single vibro-claw on the left side.
- An ancient copy of the Bounty Hunter's Handbook written in archaic High Galactic, with notes in an unreadable shorthand in the margins,
- An old data-tape containing a hologram of a Khommite and diagrams of an ancient Khommite cloning facility, similar to Spaarti Creations' cloning tech,
- An archaic Chagrian nutritional-content tester.
Outside Realm / Re: recoveringgeek's All-Purpose Star Wars thread
« Last post by recoveringgeek on 08/19/18, 02:25:47 PM »
So this year I decided it was time to sit the chair once more.

It was time for recoveringgeek to run a tabletop Star Wars Campaign.

Our table had used Star Wars Saga Edition before, and it worked well enough, but the d20 Feat bloat/combat nonsense kept getting in the way of my storytelling. Then a couple years later, I ran a couple sessions using d6 Star Wars by West End Games. d6 for me is like putting on an old pair of gloves that fit perfectly but are worn through in places. It wasn't the right time for me to run a Campaign, and d6 is missing an extra layer of crunch that my table prefers.

So this time we settled on Savage! Worlds. While there isn't any official support of course, there are several fan-written iterations, many of which take inspiration from the d6 materials. More importantly, I started this Campaign right as the SWTOR creative well was really drying up for many of us, and we'd all just endured our impressions and opinions of The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

So the timing was perfect, as crafting my own story was the balm I needed to refresh my love of Star Wars, rather than waiting for another Creator to do the heavy lifting for me. Now I'm asking you, the Community, to participate too, in your own small way, by posting your reply here.

Here is a brief run down of the characters and setting, and what follows is my request;
  • Setting: Dantooine
  • Location: An  Imperial mining operation nestled against a small civilian-run outpost, surrounded by farmlands
  • Timeline: 10BBY, during the "Dark Times"

  • Quinton "Quint" Munister - Human male, former Head of Security for a Senator who was "disappeared" when Emperor Palpatine seized control of the Galactic Republic. Quint escaped the security sweep, and has been in hiding ever since. A grizzled, washed-up mechanic with a penchant for slug throwers over blasters.
  • Blake Blackthorn - Female Zeltron, runs the civilian outpost on behalf of her Father, and the Blackthorn Cartel, a minor crime organization with a mix of legitimate and black market ventures.
  • B1S-MK1 (Bismark) - Kaminoan Clone stormtrooper whose Inhibitor Chip malfunctioned during Order 66, and he witnessed his fellow troopers murder their Jedi compatriots during the waning days of the Clone Wars. Has continued to perform as a substandard Stormtrooper ever since, getting demoted down the ranks, and transferred further and further out in forsaken postings, before ending up on mining patrol on Dantooine.
  • Serado - Human male, former Jedi padawan who was separated from his Master during Order 66, and escaped murder at the hands of Darth Vader. Has lived in hiding ever since, eventually finding work as a Cracian Thumper wrangler at a mining outpost on Dantooine. Believes the teachings of the Jedi are a failure, and there must be a third way. (A Gray Jedi)

Near this mining outpost are the ruins of the Jedi Temple. The same Jedi Temple that was razed by orbital bombardment by Darth Malak in the Knights of the Old Republic game. Now in terms of timeline, that event was thousands of years ago, however I hand-waved that and simply referred to it as an Event over a thousand years ago so there can be some semblance of technology still functioning in the temple as dictated by the explanation of [PLOT].

Now by this point the characters are all allied by circumstance and shared hatred of the Empire. They have recently discovered some old maintenance tunnels running out to the temple from some old mining tunnels near their settlement. They haven't ventured to the temple yet, as the Empire has declared the entire area a no-go zone, and patrols the surface area with Imperial Scout Troopers on speeder bikes and Imperial Probe droids.

They want to go explore the temple however, for many reasons, not the least of which is an old timer who referenced the possibility that entire areas of the temple may have survived the orbital bombardment, including libraries, training centres, and even hangar bays.

That's my hook, as the Players want to get a ship and get off Dantooine, taking their new Clone friend with them. It's complicated, and for the most part they are all dirt poor, except for Blake, but her resources - and responsibilities - are tied to the outpost.

So my goal was for them to find a ship in one of the hangars that survived the bombardment, and they would repair it and get it operational so they can use it to escape the Empire. Then I thought, wait a minute, this is my Campaign, and if I want to be self-serving and self-congratulatory, why can't I?

So now the ship is going to the Jaded Dream.

It makes me smile just typing that.

The whole over a thousand years ago bit is to make it easier to hand wave a Gozanti Cruiser still being able to fly (with some repairs) after all that time. Gozanti Cruisers are Old Republic-era vessels, but still in service during the Prequels (You briefly see one in The Phantom Menace.).

Here's my request for the Community;

Some of you have had characters on both sides of the Treaty Line interact with Captain Jaade at one time or another. Another, smaller group of you have found yourselves on board the Jaded Dream from time to time, even if only briefly. Finally, an intimate group of characters have flown with Jaade regularly, by choice or consequence.

If you had a character who ever interacted with Jaade, or flew on the Jaded Dream, what did they leave behind that a group of desperate, motley, ne'er-do-wells would eventually find? What little piece of our collective stories from the past seven years do you want to survive a thousand years later?

Here are some examples and shout-outs, but this list is not exhaustive, so even if I didn't tag you, please post your suggestions if you have them.
@blingdenston - Pehn Qardaak has haunted the corridors of the Jaded Dream many times. That said, Rancem Rath might have left behind armour components, weapons, or even a Bounty Hunter license without an expiry date...
@Niarra - Kettur, the Twi'lek super spy probably had several projects on the go during his time on the 'Dream, never mind any Old Republic intelligence files on various points of interest.
@Iaera - Iaera the Player is off pursuing other interests these days, but on the off chance she ever reads this, I believe she would relish the chance to lock wits with my Gray Jedi player, and convince him of his folly. I had strongly considered a half-completed Datacron labelled the Teachings of Farworlder or something more clever. I would love to know what Iaera would say to an exiled Gray Jedi wannabe. Never mind one or two dusty Jedi artifacts...

@Cordae - I don't know what the Crown Prince may have ever left behind, but I am sorely tempted to have the characters find the coordinates to Erini in the Jaded Dream's aged navicomputer. I wonder what Erini would be doing in the time of the Galactic Empire?
@Orell - I don't know that Shaantil ever spent more than a moment or two on my ship, but certainly Kyri was part of a mission or two. A headstrong healer might have a clue or two waiting to be found.
@Hawking - Leave any breadcrumbs?
@livia - This Chiss may not have agreed with Jaade's temper very often, but she never resented him for it. She walked his landing ramp more than once I seem to recall.
@Lolermelon - I am genuinely afraid to even ask. Be gentle.
@Aylaa - I'm pretty sure Darth Necare set foot on the Jaded Dream once or twice during their brief Vysint smuggling contract. What would a Sith Lord leave lying around in a case of contraband alcohol?
@Colton - Testing, testing, this thing on? What nugget of SmuggCo's history would be found rattling around in one of the 'Dream's storage lockers?

Items, weapons, holo recordings, data files, contraband, hyperspace coordinates, unsolved mysteries, unfinished storylines...  what do you want our Legacy to be a thousand years later?
Outside Realm / Re: recoveringgeek's All-Purpose Star Wars thread
« Last post by recoveringgeek on 08/19/18, 12:21:12 PM »
I have an old friend who's been working at BioWare (Edmonton, not Austin) for the past few years now. He's never been involved with SWTOR, but knows my appreciation and long-time participation with the game.

I'm embarrassed to say he gave me some sweet swag two years ago! I just finally got around to posting it now.

No excuses.

The t-shirt is an XL, and it just fits my 14-year old Youngling, so I passed it on to the next Generation of spacer in my family. However the coin is awesome, and I still have it tucked away for now. When I finish renovating my home office, I intend to display it somehow. It will always bring back my immensely fond memories of this community, even when the game inevitably shuts down sometime in the future.

Events and Occasions / Re: Port of Call: Aaand... Sold!
« Last post by recoveringgeek on 08/17/18, 12:20:59 PM »
Character: Jaade

Auction Lot: pending...
Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« Last post by Niarra on 08/16/18, 02:46:09 PM »
If anyone is going to need keys on an Imp-side character for tonight's Jedi Night (A Night at the Museum), try to let me know before event start time. I know it's not very likely, but just covering all the bases!

Otherwise I'll keep an eye on Republicooc for any requests, and the stronghold will also be publicly listed so if I am not responding to invite requests you can always get there on your own that way. It is a Manaan stronghold and will be listed as "Galactic Museum's Stronghold." Normally I'd say it should be right at or near the very top of the public listing, but since I deliberately left this SH at less than 100% I can't say where it will fall. It will be somewhere on the list at any rate.

Event primer/reminder below!

Scenario #1: A Night At the Museum

A new museum has opened on Manaan, with a focus on the galactic history of the last century. The museum has received high praise for its extensive and well-curated exhibits, and some have praised it for its willingness to explore controversial subjects even while others have criticized it for the same. In addition to its exhibits on worlds that have featured in recent galactic events (such as Voss, Ansion, Ilum, Oricon, and others) there is also a natural history wing, and two highlight exhibits on the galaxy's most prominent Force-using religions: the Jedi and the Sith.

A couple members of the Custodum enclave already visited the museum and reported that among its many replicas in the Force-traditions wing the museum had come into possession of some genuine artifacts which it was unknowingly displaying in the belief that they were harmless recreations - in particular a Jedi holocron, and a sarcophagus in the Sith exhibit, with the latter faulted for having caused a great deal of unease in staff and guests both. It was arranged for both of these artifacts to be removed and replaced with recreations, and that was thought to be the end of the issue - until recently.

Museum personnel have reached out to the Custodum enclave (and any other Jedi enclaves known to them) with a request for the enclave to send Jedi scholars to come and review the museum after some exhibits were updated upon receipt of new artifact shipments. A rumor has started to spread like wildfire through the museum staff that the whole place has become haunted, and anxious curators would like some Jedi authority figures to show up, investigate, and put the rumor to rest once and for all.

OOC Event Details: A Night At the Museum will take place in a personal stronghold, so cross-faction access is possible if arranged ahead of time so that I can get you a key, but keep in mind the premise of the adventure is that Jedi folks have been called in to assist. If you want to play someone who was randomly visiting the museum at the time and gets swept up in events you can certainly do so, but please keep in mind that the focus of the adventure (and thus the GM's attention) will be on taking the Jedi team through their mission, so there won't be much wiggle room to accommodate wild-cards that would run counter to that storyline (though they're more than welcome to participate in it).

Start Time and Rules: There will be no rules or rolls for this mini-adventure, just bring your characters and your imagination and your sense of team play. We'll start a little early at 7:00 PM PST, and the first half of the night will be free-form, allowing time for characters to ICly wander the museum in whatever manner they choose, as a group or otherwise. Once everyone has had the opportunity to settle into the scene, the team can begin to take steps toward investigating exhibits and artifacts of their choosing, or engaging in any other method desired to get to the bottom of the mystery.

As with most investigation stories, reveals don't happen until the end, so in the interest of time the investigation phase will begin exactly by the clock at 8:30 PM PST. Not everyone has to actively participate in the investigation phase; you can just keep RPing around the museum if you wish. But those who do want to investigate will coordinate via the Ops group channel.
Grave of the Fireflies
dir. Isao Takahata 高畑 勲 Takahata Isao

Why do fireflies have to die so soon?

Francois Truffaut, the French director and film critic, talked about the difficulty he saw in making a film about the Algerian War, and wars in general...a fear that the excitement of violence makes it impossible to make a film that is anything but pro-war: that merely by showing it, it's ennobled, when war is nothing of the sort.

Grave of the Fireflies is often cited as an anti-war movie, though director Isao Takahata denies such intentions. It's the tale of two siblings, teenage Seita and four-year-old Setsuko, trying to survive as orphans in Japan during the last days of World War II. American air raids, tunnel-blind nationalism, hard-hearted townspeople, and Seita's protective-but-childish decisions threaten them as history turns inevitably towards Japan's surrender.

Takahata stated that his goal was to puncture the air of nobility people living in wartime are often imbued with by their descendants in peacetime, to connect modern viewers with the children of the war to tell a story of isolation from society and the harm it can bring. While I don't, necessarily, think he was prevaricating or eliding anything, I don't think it's possible to watch Grave of the Fireflies and not see a strong anti-war message in it...what violence there is is never exciting, only horrifying...and the end result of all the bombs and battles, advances and retreats depicted in all those other war movies is laid out here: destruction, privation, illness, death.

I'd seen Grave of the Fireflies before, so I knew what was coming...still, I began weeping not even 3 minutes into the film and didn't really stop the entire time. It's a very honest movie...not merely about the horrors of the lifequakes that destroy citizens when their nations go to war, but the tragic consequences of irresponsibility, simple cruelty, and the liminal line between the successful and happy and the failed and dead. I don't know if I can really suggest Grave of the Fireflies to anyone...it's a devastating experience. But I feel compelled to mention it to everyone...it's beautiful and awful and brutal in a way that few other pieces of media manage to be.

I didn't really have the time to write anything but a retrospective on this one this week...to my knowledge, showings of the movie are over for this year. That said, Grave of the Fireflies has just been rereleased by Sentai Filmworks (with an excellent 2012 dub in addition to the original Japanese tracks with subtitles), which you can get on all sorts of platforms (and Blu-Ray) here: http://www.sentaifilmworks.com/catalog/grave-of-the-fireflies


Next month...who leaves the seeds for you to find?
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