Ong's Hat: An early Internet conspiracy theory, ARG, and persistent rumor long after its creator revealed it was all an elaborate prank https://gizmodo.com/ongs-hat-the-early-internet-conspiracy-game-that-got-t-1832229488
I feel this pressure a lot in the RPG design sphere, and I don't think it's healthy or good.
ICYMI, my game "Deeds, not Words" (about the English suffragettes, although it really can be used for almost any activist group) is available for free at:
The couple of playtests I've had have gone really well and I'm happy enough with it to publish the first version on DriveThruRPG (as soon as I get the cover from the artist). See also the game's page on RPGGeek:
If you read it or play it, please give feedback!
This Person Does Not Exist: https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/
This is: A) a creepy glimpse into our AI driven future where every form of evidence can be faked and the world looks more and more like Philip K Dick's worst nightmares
and B) a great source of character portraits for PCs and NPCs in modern day RPGs. You're guaranteed to not accidentally use a person who turns out to be a minor celebrity or a notorious serial killer or something, because these people don't exist.
Wait, why did this fantasy novel about an assassin on the run suddenly become an explanation of the 2008 financial crisis?
Especially when the book was written in 1993?
(I guess it's about the savings and loan collapse, then, but it's not like anyone in the financial industry has ever learned a lesson from past mistakes.)
As closed social media sites never have our best interests at heart, sometimes we have to move homes on the internet, and we can fall out of touch with people as we go elsewhere.
Maybe a layer of indirection can save the day. Point people at your page on https://wheretofind.me/ and they can find you no matter what sites you're using these days. It's like a calling card for your social media presence.
We are committed to ethical and privacy-first design. Hold us accountable.
big weird papier-mâché head Show more
Today's weird mystery: A coworker found this 3 foot tall papier-mâché (I think) head of... somebody. No one in the office knows who it could be.
Somebody though the looked like Michael Dukakis. But if so, the head would have to be like 30 years old. I don't think it is quite that old. Another person guessed it was the head of UPMC, but no photo I could find looked close.
No one knows why this head was in our office, or when it was made, or who made it.
The whole "Oooh! Libraries are OBSOLETE, the world is DIGITAL now!" thing bugs me for four reasons.
(1) You know a lot of people actually like books that you can hold in your hand, right? And that there exist large numbers of books that ONLY exist in that format and haven't been digitized yet?
(2) Libraries have often been the centers of digitization efforts. Yes, you can find ancient papyri online. This is largely because of efforts like the one at the papyrology department at the University of Michigan library. The same is true of a bunch of other things.
(3) A lot of people have a library involved in their digital explorations, whether using machinery and connections AT the library because all they have is a phone, say, and perhaps a heavily metered connection, to access subscription only databases and archives, and to get help with research.
(4) They provide nuclei for community interaction, often around topics that improve people's relationship with knowledge.
I'm supposed to start a new PC in a D&D game this weekend. I have a few character ideas, but I can't decide which to play. So help me decide, internet. Should I play...
--A spy that forged a pact with a sword entity that visits him in dreams?
--A blue collar halfling druid, who's just adventuring as an everyday job?
--An alien alchemist seeking immortality through any means necessary?
--Some other thing you suggest?
#OpenLibrary is a free open online catalogue of every book ever published, edited by users and run by the Internet Archive:
Members can download public domain books, borrow copyrighted books, edit entries and create lists to share.
And the PCs are great. A starship engineer, raised in a hyperdrive cult but now exiled for heresy. A cyborg sent into the universe as a living probe, never able to return home. A genetically engineered perfect human with a cyborg dog and a knack for finding things. An amoral archaeologist seeking g ancient technology. And a mysterious stranger who can sing forgotten dirges to put people to sleep.
Last night we played the first session of a science fiction hack of Swords Without Master (Stars Without Master? Space Without Master?) and it was great so far. We have an interesting setting where half the sapient species ascended into a Singularity state, turned into energy beings and apparently left the galaxy. And the survivors left behind don't understand all the tech from the before. So the PCs are going to be scavenging pre-Rapture tech and try to get it to work to resell it.
Nearly every game where you draw a card (and put it in your hand) at the beginning of your turn can be improved by simply moving the "draw a card" step to the end of the turn instead.
That means that players can be looking at their hand and thinking during other people's turns, instead of doing all their planning while it is their turn. So, faster turns, less downtime, more player engagement.
The King Machine is a cool game. And today only, you can purchase it for less than the typical price. https://www.rpgnow.com/product/253064/The-King-Machine?affiliate_id=35459
...so the PCs start to investigate the source of these weird items. Or maybe some crazy occultists come looking for them, trying to find items that were returned to Amazon by mistake.
And the constant flow of discarded capitalist garbage as a thematic undertone to the entire campaign. What weird things do people buy online? What do they return, and why? Who wants to buy this crap after it has been returned?
This is an article on people liquidating returned Amazon merchandise.
But I want it to be the groundwork for an Unknown Armies campaign.
The PCs are just a couple normal people, looking to make some money in the hidden underbelly of internet capitalism. But then pallets they purchase start having weirder and weirder stuff in them. Bizarre items that shouldn't exist. Items with weird magic effects. Maybe things that are obviously illegal or impossible to exist.
Would you like to be involved with Games on Demand at Origins game convention this year?
Origins is my favorite convention, in part because of the pleasant experience with Games on Demand each year. If you want to run or play some weird indie RPGs and larps, you should come join us.
A Mastodon instance for tabletop gamers.