ThatFanficGuy's recent activity

  1. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    What helped me get over a lot of that – not everything, but a lot of what would a year ago bury me in a bullshit conversation – was recognizing which ideas aren't essential to me. It was a part of...

    What helped me get over a lot of that – not everything, but a lot of what would a year ago bury me in a bullshit conversation – was recognizing which ideas aren't essential to me. It was a part of my process of self-discovery: the path of paying attention to and recognizing which elements spark my interest implies a lot of sieving.

    I'm defined by my creativity; by my curiosity about the world and its people; by the way I choose to engage with language and speech... The core aspects of my being. I'm not defined by sports teams, or nationality, or how others choose to live their lives, even if I share some form of ties with them. I'm not defined by the way I speak – which, in a roundabout way, means I only speak in a way that I'd feel content with, which is more meaningful and satisfactory to me. And so on.

    This topic is more complex than what could fit in a couple of paragraphs of a forum comment, and the above is not a definitive solution. I do, however, think that sharing one example of coming to head with an issue could illuminate it for those who yet haven't. Maybe this would end up shedding some light on making things a little easier for oneself, one person at a time.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    I've observed over however long I've been actively engaging in online conversations that there are several topics that appear to bring about the same – or at least similar – argumentativeness,...

    Perhaps it's the underlying conversation that's at issue and politics just happens to pull us all in that direction for some reason.

    I've observed over however long I've been actively engaging in online conversations that there are several topics that appear to bring about the same – or at least similar – argumentativeness, polarity, and tribalism. As far as I'm aware, those are, broadly speaking: politics, religion, sports, language. (You can go deeper if you want to: consoles vs. PC, this game vs. that game etc.)

    I think the reason all these act along the same lines is because they're inherently bound to our identities, most of the time, for most of the people. We fight not just to be right on a subject matter: we fight to be right about ourselves. If someone questions something we feel deeply connected to, in our eyes, they question who we are, and questioning parts of our existence is a terrifying prospect.

    Ackowledging that... well, I don't know if it would lead to a better solution. Perhaps there isn't a solution as such: existential self-preservation isn't exactly a problem. Perhaps what we need is to acknowledge our imperfections and keep moving.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Ultimate Writer: an open digital typewriter in ~tech

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    I believe you're mistaken: the URL of the post links to the post itself, rather than (as one might assume from the slug) the series of separate posts under the tag ultimate-writer.

    I believe you're mistaken: the URL of the post links to the post itself, rather than (as one might assume from the slug) the series of separate posts under the tag ultimate-writer.

  4. Comment on What are your favorite fun/happy facts? in ~talk

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    Speaking of amusing: bananas are radioactive. Blew my mind when I first found out that one of my favorite fruits has a healthy-but-non-zero amount of a radioactive isotope.

    Speaking of amusing: bananas are radioactive. Blew my mind when I first found out that one of my favorite fruits has a healthy-but-non-zero amount of a radioactive isotope.

    5 votes
  5. Combat-less TTRPGs with stat depletion?

    Combat appears to be an important facet of most RPG systems out there, including ones embedded into the games themselves. Seems fair to say that most RPGs have combat as a major, dedicated part of...

    Combat appears to be an important facet of most RPG systems out there, including ones embedded into the games themselves. Seems fair to say that most RPGs have combat as a major, dedicated part of their gameplay: stats like weapon damage and armor resistance are tracked and augmented by enhancements and skills; there are special game states and (for videogame RPGs) controls that separate combat from non-combat; combat serves as one of the major sources of XP for character growth.

    There's probably a good few examples out there of games that tried something different that I haven't even heard about. Disco Elysium does "combat" through skill checks in the few instances that it does tackle physical encounters. Griftlands uses card-based actions for both combat and social encounters, each having their own separate decks and "health" values.

    What I've been looking for was the kind of a system that doesn't take combat for a special game state. A system where the simulation extends to assimilate combat as just... a thing that happens because you're in danger – or looking to be the danger.

    To understand where I'm going with the next bit, you should know a couple of things about Frontiers.

    Frontiers is an episodic story about a group of friends playing a homebrew from-first-principles tabletop RPG system. The system, so far titled Frontiers RPG 'cause I'm very original, deals away with or reimagines much of the classic RPG trope library.

    One thing that differentiates Frontiers RPG is having 20-some traits for characters, where each trait is an abstracted statistic representative of a character's distinct natural-performance categories. For example:

    • Instrumentation determines how well the character naturally operates simple and complex technology
    • Visual Space determines one's eyesight and, consequently, the ability to model the geometry of an environment or an object in the head (because apparently these things are linked in the human brain)
    • Biomechanics determines how well does one's muscles perform under stress
    • Presence determines the strength of the vibe the character gives off naturally; the vibe itself could be intimidating, commanding, or inspiring, depending on said character

    Traits are tracked on a low scale:

    • −10 is the lowest possible for any living creature with any amount of agency.
    • −5 is the lowest any human could possibly get without outside intervention, and means the person is unable to perform in this area completely.
    • 0 is average human performance.
    • +5 is the best a human being could naturally achieve at their peak.
    • +10 is the epitome of human potential when amplified with hyperadvanced technology or supernatural effects.

    This means that when someone with Presence +1 enters the room, people can't but notice, even if they don't concern themselves too much with the person. When it's someone with Presence +3, however, most will stop what they're doing for a few seconds and pay attention to what the person is doing. Presence +5? The party stops when the person enters the room: they inspire this much awe and respect (or fear, depending on the person). Characters with high Presence naturally make for excellent leaders, teachers, negotiators, and point-makers.

    There are no dice rolls. Each challenge has a difficulty rating on the same scale as traits, which is how the outcomes get determined: either by checking the trait itself or the average of a set of traits (which are sometimes conceptualized into skills and sometimes only exist as checks). For example, if your character's Conditioning (representing physical endurance) is +1 and the challenge is a short jog (difficulty 1), they succeed without a problem.

    What makes this system not entirely deterministic is stat depletion. Each trait value above 0 grants the character 1 point of the trait. These points may be used to assist oneself or another character in a challenge if the challenge is of higher difficulty than their trait would normally allow to automatically succeed in. Points are regained at rest, up to the maximum of trait value points: e.g. Instrumentation 2 grants you maximum of 2 points you can have on your character at any given time.

    What I've been working with for a few months was HP-like stats derived from specific traits:

    • wounds for physical damage, derived from Conditioning
    • willpower for mental stress, derived from Volition
    • stamina for physical performance, derived from Stress Response

    (Having willpower as a stat works because for normal humans, D&D-like adventures would inevitably take their toll. Seeing people suffering may damage the will of a high-Empathy character, but then, everyone would suffer from seeing their loved ones in danger. Seeing a giant fucking monster would certainly make you consider your life choices. Persevering through emotional and mental challenges where your willpower is mechanically limited – a person can only take so much within a limit of time – is an underexplored, underdeveloped field of roleplay, and it fits into the story thematically.)

    This naturally geared itself to combat-as-special-state. Abstracting "health points" only makes sense when the only thing that matters is whether you're able to fight further. To this end, I figured that at a certain level of wounds, all traits would take penalty (to simulate being beaten up and stressed from combat) until such a time when the character receive proper care and rest.

    Lately, however, I came upon a way to streamline the system and make it "wider" (i.e. not just combat/non-combat simulation): use the trait points directly. This approach enables the player by allowing them to use their whole potential in all manners of situations, and have said potential used against them if they're facing a challenge their ability does not allow them to surpass.

    • rather than exchange punches in a bar fight, you can use your Executive Function – your thinking-on-your-feet – to distract your opponent and sucker-punch them while they're looking away
    • in a fistfight, character may use their Coordination to deflect a blow – or two points to direct it in a specific way: for example, to harm their proximous ally
    • before approaching the bench in order to testify, characters may use their Empathy in order to read the room and understand what sort of an appeal would work best
    • seeing an atrocity committed would take a point away from the character's Volition; if they have none left, they may faint, become disstressed (receiving a malus to all checks of a particular nature), or even become catatonic (unable to act coherently until snapped out of it or well-rested)
    • being shot by a scared youth may take a point or two of the character's Conditioning, but because they're still standing, they could use Volition to "not fucking flinch", which gives them a temporary bonus to Presence that they can use to interrogate with greater success or otherwise use the youth's capacities

    This works, at least on the surface, because it reflects the potential traits grant almost exactly. Someone with Conditioning 0 may be able to take a punch, but it would leave them seriously disoriented or may even inflict lasting damage (broken rib, dislocated jaw etc.); meanwhile, another character with Conditioning 4 may be able to get shot with a pistol and still function to a degree. Someone with Inner World +3 should find it little trouble to jot down a short story to tell their children before bed, while someone with Inner World 0 would find it impossible to come up with a logo for their new product even with intense consideration.

    What I haven't yet figured out is:

    • how to handle such "shooting above one's head" attempts for trait values lower than 0 (which is encouraged for challenge and roleplay reasons)
    • how to handle situations where all points are depleted and the player still wants to try a difficult thing that's just above their character's level
    • whether players should receive more than one point per level of trait, or even see points granted scale with value (Engineering 3 → 1 + 2 + 3 = 6 points total)

    The system is not perfect, but it's hella interesting, and I'd like to pursue it. If it leads nowhere, at least I explored. What I'm looking for from this topic is review of the concept of stat depletion and its potential implications. Assume that the rest of the system is perfectly viable and feasible unless its parts directly contradict or hamper the system as a whole. What problems can you see with this section? What benefits can one derive from it?

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Recommend FLOSS games in ~games

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    Better yet: it's perfectly moddable! And there's an community doing the efforts, too, including yours truly.

    Better yet: it's perfectly moddable! And there's an community doing the efforts, too, including yours truly.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Updated password a little. Gonna make one more update topic on Tildes once difficulty becomes adjustable, and then just keep going with it on GitHub, so as to not flood the forum with the same thing.

    Updated password a little. Gonna make one more update topic on Tildes once difficulty becomes adjustable, and then just keep going with it on GitHub, so as to not flood the forum with the same thing.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on What are some earworms whose catchiness hasn't worn off for you over time? in ~music

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    The Death and Resurrection Show, by Killing Joke Soviet Connection (GTA IV main theme), by Michael Hunter Growing Old is Getting Old, by Silversun Pickups The Little Things (Wanted OST), by Danny...
    2 votes
  9. Comment on Announcing unverified.email in ~comp

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Is this something you use to verify email subscriptions and such?

    Is this something you use to verify email subscriptions and such?

  10. Comment on password, the typing game, has been updated in ~creative

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    No, it isn't. The original gameplay has a flat difficulty curve. There are several proposals for affecting the difficulty: making difficulty adjustable, having it ramp up over play, and a...

    If it's supposed to get increasingly difficult, it didn't seem that way.

    No, it isn't. The original gameplay has a flat difficulty curve.

    There are several proposals for affecting the difficulty: making difficulty adjustable, having it ramp up over play, and a different mode that may be more difficult.

    Expanding the alphabet for passwords is an interesting idea. What do you think should be included in there? Non-alphanumeric ASCII characters (e.g. /, ,, *) could be interesting.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on password, the typing game, has been updated in ~creative

    ThatFanficGuy
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Not quite: it's a problem common enough that there are dedicated encoding systems to avoid it. I should take a look at distinguishing the keys better. Thanks for letting me know. EDIT: deduplicate...

    Not quite: it's a problem common enough that there are dedicated encoding systems to avoid it.

    I should take a look at distinguishing the keys better. Thanks for letting me know.

    EDIT: deduplicate clause

    2 votes
  12. Comment on password, the typing game, has been updated in ~creative

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    Done. Feel free to check it out.

    but simply not resetting the score until you start typing again would be a great start.

    Done. Feel free to check it out.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Boris Johnson admitted to hospital as COVID-19 symptoms persist in ~news

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    I don't see how that's related to what I said.

    I don't see how that's related to what I said.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on LCH colors in CSS: what, why, and how? in ~comp

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    I think the idea here is not for a general user: it's for a designer who may be developing a design system, where consistency and similar tone are important.

    I think the idea here is not for a general user: it's for a designer who may be developing a design system, where consistency and similar tone are important.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on Boris Johnson admitted to hospital as COVID-19 symptoms persist in ~news

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    For some people, this callousness is something to be learned, not to come by at birth. There are people with big heart out there, ready to extend their hand to everyone.

    For some people, this callousness is something to be learned, not to come by at birth. There are people with big heart out there, ready to extend their hand to everyone.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on password, the typing game, has been updated in ~creative

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    That's a very good point. I'll get to that before next release.

    That's a very good point. I'll get to that before next release.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on Sad state of cross platform GUI frameworks in ~comp

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    Indeed! Sounds interesting. I might give it a shot for a project. Thanks for the link.

    Indeed! Sounds interesting. I might give it a shot for a project. Thanks for the link.

  18. Comment on Boris Johnson admitted to hospital as COVID-19 symptoms persist in ~news

    ThatFanficGuy
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I had the same consideration when Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News, died. People on the forum I was part of at the time celebrated his death, and I couldn't reconcile it with the fact that a...

    I had the same consideration when Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News, died. People on the forum I was part of at the time celebrated his death, and I couldn't reconcile it with the fact that a person died and people are cheering.

    At some point I figured it's worth limiting the amount of empathy you give to people who've made it their life goal to feed off fear and worry on a national scale. Johnson is a thorougly-unpleasant man who's charismatic enough to get away with it if you forget the shit he's been doing for decades to sow discord in the UK and put his country in opposition to EU.

    If he dies of COVID-19 complications, I wouldn't be too concerned for him.

    9 votes
  19. Comment on What old tech are you holding onto and why? in ~tech

    ThatFanficGuy
    Link Parent
    This reminds me: Editing is an important part of my note-taking process. My thinking is fuzzy, it continues even as I write things down, meaning I may want to edit the half-note I've just written....

    This reminds me:

    Editing is an important part of my note-taking process. My thinking is fuzzy, it continues even as I write things down, meaning I may want to edit the half-note I've just written. Digital notes make it effortless, which is one reason I may prefer those. Outlining is easy when you don't have to worry about editability. Paper loses this by failing to show up.

    If I could replicate the paper experience with editability, you bet I won't be going to actual paper any time soon.

    As for paper vs. tablet: I need feedback. It's why I don't like virtual keyboards: they provide no kinesthetic response to being pressed. Techies generally dismiss physical keyboards on smartphones because of their poor quality, but I'm convinced I'd prefer to have one because that's how I orient myself on a typing surface: by touch and spacial memory.

    If tablets were able to provide me with the physical feedback of writing, that would eliminate much of my concern about tablets. Doesn't matter much whether it's freehand writing, virtual keyboards, or a different method entirely, as long as I can feel material resistance. For that matter, I'd even consider Mass Effect-like magnetic-resistance finger implants for non-physical (i.e. holographic and the like) keyboards. That should clarify just how much I need to feel the touch.

    In terms of putting my hand down, I do it all the time and haven’t had any associated issues these past years.

    That's good to know. Perhaps the technology improved from the last time I checked it. I'd like to give it another shot if I get to use someone's tablet for half an hour.

    1 vote