Once In A Blue Moon

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About Once In A Blue Moon

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  1. Once In A Blue Moon

    Looking For an Editor

  2. Once In A Blue Moon

    Gaming Those OST of your childhood

    I played what was probably far too much Red Alert 2 when I was younger. A fair bit of the original Red Alert and Tiberian Sun as well, but RA2 had the most memorable music. Also, honourable mention to Rome Total War:
  3. Once In A Blue Moon

    Do you think Daybreaker will ever make a return?

    The thing is, the full statement is: "You are not real, and you will never exist again!" That seems like a fairly clear cut statement that Daybreaker does not (and will not) exist, and would be an odd statement to make if she had existed in the past (as with Nightmare Moon.) A statement of intent rather than an absolute truth when it comes to the future, so the possibility exists, but I think that it wouldn't be very good writing for Daybreaker to turn up again. In terms of flaws, I take the view that a weak and ineffectual Celestia is far more plausible than a tyrannical or genocidal Celestia. There is a rather good example of this in (minor spoiler)
  4. Once In A Blue Moon

    RPG Rants

    I agree with some of the sentiment around the first point - certainly in a game centred around head bashing, not having the stats to bash heads in (the hypothetical all-3 statline in D&D, for example) can be annoying. I have played a few characters in similar positions though, and I will say that there is an interesting challenge in finding solutions without rolling when you know that you won't win a head-on conflict*. I don't like point-buy systems though, as it tends to produce stat lines that are so very predictable - paladins always have 18 charisma + racial bonus (probably one that gives a +2 in charisma), so on and so fourth, and I see random rolls as the lesser evil. That's partially a matter of taste, I suppose. Now, there is one rather nifty method I heard of a little while ago that gives randomised stats whilst also ensuring that all characters have an 'equal' statline. It also requires a symmetrical distribution (which the standard D&D 5th edition doesn't have - although as the 4d6 discard lowest is designed to avoid low-statline characters through sheer weight of probability, you could probably switch it to a 3d6 per attribute and then use this system) and it also requires an even number of attributes (though that can be worked around.) What you do is you roll half of the attributes, then for each value take the equally probable value from the opposite side of the distribution curve. For 2d6, for example, the mean is 7. That means that if you roll a 7, a 9 and a 6 then the additional numbers you generate are 7 (from 7), 5 (from 9) and 8 (from 6.) Using this method, you are guaranteed to get an average of 7 but the results are still random - kind of nifty, really. Now, it will produce a more limited range of outcomes but that kind of shows it as it is - the half-way house between no randomness in generation and complete randomness in generation; I find that it's generally best used for games with more attributes, or that have a greater range of attributes. As to maps, I think that stating that you can't do combat well without one is untrue. As a counterexample, the Skyward Steel naval combat expansion for Stars Without Number has really good ship-to-ship combat, with crew-members manning stations and choosing which actions they take to buff their ship or debuff their opponents. The system doesn't use a maps as they aren't considered necessary for the system - the focus is on the crew's choices on board. You could try and throw in Homeworld-style positioning combat, but that would add rather a lot more work. This extends to many other systems - as a rule of thumb combat should be as complex as it needs to be, but adding more can make the system worse by slowing it down without adding enough benefit. I agree that in a lot of cases, such as D&D, a map can add a lot - but that is system- and situation-dependent^ rather than an absolute statement. To put it into a more abstract sense, I propose that one should add physical dimensions to combat when motion in that dimension has sufficient benefit (in terms of improved gameplay) for the cost involved (the cost being complexity.) Quite when that is varies by group. For some situations, one dimension might be enough (a chase, for example, where the only real measure is distance from the target) whilst squad-based tactics appreciate two or even three. Whilst the idea of a four-dimensional combat, in which characters move through their timeline (say) and you can mess with cause and effect, sound really fun, I can't imagine how you would implement that in a practical manner on a tabletop (a good idea for a computer game, perhaps, because computers can handle a lot of complex systems without bothering the players with them.) *probably my favourite was a 40k Only War campaign vs the Tau. Smart missiles, pulse rifles and railguns made combat a really nasty business for our squishy guardsmen, but a variety of tricks and clever ideas allowed us to achieve our mission regardless. ^a good example is Legend of the Five Rings, which has a very interesting duelling system where a map is completely unnecessary, but it still has quite good depth to it (it's all about choosing when to strike.)
  5. Once In A Blue Moon

    Black Forest Cake

    Hmm, I'll have to give that a go at some point. Thank you for sharing it.
  6. Once In A Blue Moon

    Critique Wanted Critique and Help on my OC

    I think the issue with Leroy is that it doesn't really seem to match the style of MLP names, which are usually made up of adjectives, nouns and verbs. Blues fits in nicely though. Glancing at your username, the idea of Saline Blues, or possibly Saline Blue, could work - although I don't know how well that fits in with their personality. The statistician in me loves the idea of Binomial Blues, which kind of fits with their backstory. I suppose the question is 'What does having a voice speaker mean for the character?' Why do they have it, does it have a meaningful impact on their life and is it necessary? Moving on to the technical side, Equestria strikes me as the kind of place that would have a magical solution to that sort of thing - so a spell of voice amplification / vocalisation rather than a technological solution. Obviously if the OC is intended for another setting then a piece of tech bolted to their throat might be more fitting (Shadowrun springs to mind.) Am I correct in reading the final section as 'they joined the Royal Guard, but after the apparent deaths of their parents they went AWOL and are now a crime-fighting vigilante'? A little editing would be good, but for the most part it works. One question relating to it is what are the consequences of them leaving their post to look for their parents / fight crime? Compassionate leave would be granted under those circumstances, but from the way it's written it looks like that wasn't what happened. As they were in training, they would most likely just be booted off the course with little in the way of further consequences, but if they had passed that and were posted somewhere then they could be facing very severe consequences.
  7. Once In A Blue Moon

    Military/Government terms for magic users

    There's a sci-fi roleplaying game I'm quite fond of called Stars Without Number, where there are people who posses what are effectively magical talents. The technical name given to the affliction they suffer from (usually fatal without training) is called "Metadimensional Extroversion Syndrome", or MES for short. In Shadowrun, a dsytopian cyberpunk roleplaying game, those that have any form of magical talent are referred to as 'Awakened'. There was also a tongue-in-cheek idea I saw a little while ago called Tactical Breach Wizards, where you have a magical SWAT team and clear out rooms full of armed hostiles:
  8. Once In A Blue Moon

    Objective analysis: [also] Can knowledge to do evil cause more good or evil?

    Surely the issue with only using your own knowledge is that it will produce conclusions that are in line with your method of thinking and assembling facts - which undermines the objectivity requirement. Trivially, I know that some of the things I believe to be true are in fact false, so consulting other sources can help identify these incorrect statements when coming to a conclusion. As an example, look at the worked example: I understand the final statement to be incorrect - the claim that having more charlatans about making each of them individually weaker doesn't fit with the 'survival of the fittest' model. Rather, if the resource (people to be scammed) is finite^ then competition will result in the most able charlatans being able to stay in the market whilst the less able are driven out of it. The point to take away from this is that if you increase the supply of potential charlatans but keep the limit on the number of charlatans fixed then those that 'survive' will be a better fit for their environment - i.e. better at scamming. Looking at the conclusion you appeared to come to, the consensus"" that I am aware of is that some information should be controlled - knowledge of how to manufacture explosives, for example, is generally prohibited knowledge for individuals (needless to say, the advent of the internet made that a touch more challenging) whilst the knowledge of how to produce, support and deploy nuclear weapons is very carefully guarded by the governments possessing it. As such, I do not believe that your conclusion that knowledge being freely available being a net positive is true in all cases. I don't deny that a lot of conclusions and decisions are made quickly and based solely on one's own knowledge, and usually that isn't an issue (in the grand scheme of things, choosing what to have for dinner is a fairly inconsequential decision*) but conclusions and decision-making of any significance should always be subjected to input from other viewpoints, and ideally should be formulated into a testable hypothesis. Being able to consider the information available is a useful skill, but as you are always working with an imperfect data set you should be exceptionally careful about claiming objectivity (indeed, exactly what constitutes 'objectivity' is itself slightly tricky as there are different definitions that are not always made clear when the word is used.) ^which is true, but assuming that the existing charlatans are fully exploiting it is not true ""I defer to consensus as I only have limited knowledge of information management, and so assume that the consensus has been considered and tested and so is correct in this instance - there is a place (indeed, there is a need) for radical thought to challenge the consensus view, but not from me in this specific instance as I lack the knowledge to do so *although setting a policy on what you should generally be having for dinner is perhaps worthy of more thought.
  9. Once In A Blue Moon

    Post A Quote From Your Day, Without Any Context.

    "I suppose a marriage that ends in murder would generally be considered unsuccessful."
  10. Once In A Blue Moon

    News Boy Scouts Of America No Longer Just For Boys

    It sounds like a reasonable change - all the orgnisations I've been involved in have been open to boys and girls, and even if afterwards the membership still only has a small proportion from the non-traditional demographic*, I'd still say it's worth it. I'd observe that complaints about it being unfair on boys should be directed at the Girl Scouts rather than at the Boy Scouts. *such as myself in the girl-dominated Pony Club, or girls in the boy-dominated Cadets
  11. Once In A Blue Moon

    General Cars are just not the same as they were in the past.

    I think that kind of depends on what you're looking for in a car. Safety, performance and fuel efficiency have both vastly improved*, and there are plenty of gadgets that have an excellent impact on quality of life. If all you want from a car is to go from A to B with the minimum of fuss then things have vastly improved. Not all of them - there are plenty of budget cars that don't have... well, the basic version of my car doesn't even have electric windows or air conditioning. And I was curious about the new automatic breaking system that they've got, only to discover that's it's only available on the (really expensive) electric version^. Unless you count ABS or power steering a fancy gadgets, if you don't want tech then there isn't any. The thing is, those old cars are still around - and long past their warranty, so you can fix and tweak and do whatever you like so long as it stays road-legal. And if there is a demand for that kind of vehicle then companies will make them again - as you say, companies are after a profit, so if they can make money from 'tributes', 'homages' and 'classics' then they will. *for the cost involved, in vehicles where they're trying to achieve that - all the usual caveats. ^now that is an autonomous robotic transporting capsule - sadly one that is rather out of reach of my budget.
  12. From Marks and Recreation:

    "The point is that Rumble is a mad pony who must be stopped."

    Why do I immediately think of an Apocalypse Now scenario where Scootaloo is sent to hunt down Rumble and the Blank Flanks?

  13. Once In A Blue Moon

    What if Starlight Initially Won?

    I suspect that Celestia would eventually notice the absence of her former student and Starlight's plans would still be undone. One potential difference would be if Starlight then proceeded to take vengeance against Celestia using the time spell rather than going after Twilight. If we assume that the crystal map would still use Twilight to intervene then the season finale would be similar in premise if not in content - potentially seeing Starlight interfere in events throughout Celestia's lifespan (who knows how many thousands of years of history.) Whilst seeing more of Celestia's past would be interesting, I think that the alternative outcomes presented in the finale are more interesting due to their relevance.
  14. commission__soarindash_space_marines_by_

    1. Once In A Blue Moon

      Once In A Blue Moon

      That was... unexpected. And I feel that only one response is appropriate:

  15. Once In A Blue Moon

    To Boldly Go...

    The second mission went even worse. With only enough resources* to clone one of the deceased team members, Twilight was chosen to be recreated - it was felt that her hacking skills contributed more than Applejack's combat ability. Soon into the mission, Dash was grabbed by a mob of hostiles and dragged away - and if only she had never been seen again. Twilight was taken soon after, abandoned by the team as they fled the horde. Rarity and Fluttershy were cornered. The sheer volume of firepower the team had put out had grievously damaged the ship's integrity, so with the horde bearing down on them and no prospect of escape, they blew open one of the bulkheads. The pressure change ripped the ship apart, ending the mission. If they were lucky, they were blasted into space before the horrific remains of the crippled ship's crew reached them... So, a fun game. Pity I'm not very good at it - or it's just really hard. This was an especially bad run though - I usually get to the third mission (of four) before things fall apart so dramatically. *I thought that it cost 2000 to clone, not 3000, so I made the mistake of going shopping first and only saving 4000. Whoops.