Ok so after a week with more sick time in the house and the internet crapping out for a couple of days I am finally back to add more to the whole Delta City post.
Now then I have decided to run what I post on here in the same order that I originally wrote it. And after doing some grammar editing on it last week I found some really interesting tidbits. Like when I created prices for things while detailing out city services I had written everything with an idealistic view of what should be able to be done in 1998 to make things cost effective. Needless to say nearly twenty years later some things are going to sound ridiculous.
Another thing is that I never really made clear is that all of the history and details of the city section should sound like multiple voices. The original document creator and then notes from another person researching the background and details of the city. I think I succeed in making it sound like multiple people, but I cannot be sure how others would read it. If I had a way to really do more styling I would have made all the notes look hand written, in a way that ties them into the hand drawn maps I created.
Ok so first section to publish to the blog is history of the city. Now then in my original documents this is about 30-35 pages of material. I have no idea if the blog host will allow me to publish that much in one go, or if I did publish that much that anyone would bother to read it. So lets experiment shall we…
Part 1… The city itself
HISTORY OF DELTA CITY
(As known by a very few)
Let me just start out by saying that I am not a real historian, but with my connections in and around Delta City I have put a few things together and decided to put them down on paper so that I can get a better grip on what I do and don’t know about this place. By taking historical dates and information from the city records and some diaries that I have managed to collect I think I put together a rather solid look at the history of the local area. Then there are the notes that I have added. Investigations and strangeness that I have added to help get a clearer picture of the City history. Hopefully it is not too confusing, but some of it is very stream of thought.
If you are reading this then you should know that the runes you saw on the back of every page will make you read the whole of this document, and then remove what little mind you have, so if anyone other than myself is reading this, I will see you soon, and you are unlikely to ever see anything again. So enjoy learning what you can from this.
Just kidding, I am hoping that this little historical tour and the official tourist guide to the Delta City area that I have modified for the benefit of those new to the city will help you get acclimatized faster than if you’re just a tourist.
Welcome to Delta City. Let the fun begin.
Compiled by David Carter, Delta City Historical Society
To get the full history of Delta City going back to the very beginning of time would not be a bad idea. Looking at all the forces that conspired to make reality come together, the energies that were unleashed, and the disagreements that apparently happened between those forces that caused all the divergent realities to spring up next to each other.
But going that far back in time and looking into things so far beyond the scope of mortal minds is a little beyond the skills and abilities of this author, so we will focus instead on the flow of time in the area that would become Delta City, making jumps forward as needed to skip the periods in time that things were mind numbingly mundane.
The area that would one day be the home of Delta City has always been an unusual place. Even in the times of Pangea there were things there that would draw attention to it. The two things most prevalent to the history of that area are that the world walls, the harmonics, the forces of divergent reality, whatever term you choose to apply to the forces that keep all the different possibilities of reality from happening in the same place at the same time, have been weak in this area from the start of all things. And the pit like presence of what is now called the Core has been here just as long. If there is a correlation between the two, this author cannot say, there are others who have suggested that the Core is a pin going through the cosmic all, and since it is so far from our reference we can only see the hole that its existence leaves in this reality. But as was said the comparative discussion of that is beyond the scope of this writing.
In the past the area around Delta City has been a haven for things not of this world. Beings looking for peace, entities looking for change, and many other things for many other reasons. It is thought that a great many creatures that were in the area, including dinosaurs, would have left this world immediately after the crash of the asteroid that lead to the fall of most of the dinosaur population. This would have left the area open for new inhabitants as the world reinvented itself.
Since there is no real need to go back as far as that, in detail anyway, let us instead look at something closer, the last ice age.
Up to that point in time there were visits from other realities had put very few beings into that area for more than a little while at a time. But during the last ice age there is evidence to suggest that two clans of being came through the world walls looking for some new place to call home. One of the clans migrated to the north, and if the historical theory is correct, passed the tribes that crossed into the Americas to become the for-fathers of the Native Americans. This is mostly conjecture due to the lack of records on the Sasquatch and the Yeti. But the storytelling time lines would be appropriate. With the Sasquatch driving deep into the mountains and developing a very naturalist culture while the Yeti moved into their mountains in the Asiatic areas and to all apparent stories let flourish a very philosophical and possibly technological culture. This bridging of worlds, both literally and culturally could help explain the divergence that built up between the Native American cultures, and yet their massive similarities. This author has been assured that this version of history is indeed accurate, and the person who related the tale leaves no room for doubt in mind.
Shortly after the land bridge started to fall came the historical flood that so many cultures remember. With ice melting in years, not centuries, and water levels raised so quickly that even the most advanced human culture on the planet was caught by surprise. The Atlantis culture that had been born during the ice age was falling apart. Survivors from the culture spread all over the world, trying to help other peoples survive something that may well have been the fault of Atlantis. Some will say that they were looking for a way to warm their cities, some have suggested that they were using a weapon or magic that went far beyond their control, some say they challenged the lords of creation and failed. Whatever the reason the culture of Atlantis fell, its people scattered, and some few who knew of the area around Delta City are sure to have come to that place to see if they could find another world to call home instead of staying on this Earth with the memories they had forged.
After the Atlantis survivors that passed the world walls the area was rather quiet for several thousand years. As cultures rose and fell around the world, there were indeed visitations from other worlds. And some of those people and creatures stayed. Some became local legends to the area, some traveled the world, and more than a few left it all together. There are local stories that suggest at some thousand years before Columbus, or even Leif Eriksson crossed the Atlantic that there was another mass exodus that passed the world walls. There are stories of days of light. Stories about arrows or stars that shot from the earth and went into the sky, no evidence was left behind, but it would appear that something from somewhere else was in a great hurry to leave something behind and get as far from it as fast as possible. But this is not something to worry about unless connections are drawn to it and later events.
As time rolled on the Native American tribes in the area came to regard the area that would become Delta City as something mystical, a place of reverence. No hunting or gathering was allowed in the area, for it was hoped that by not disturbing the area things would remain in balance. There are stories in at least one of the local tribes that suggest that the Core was looked into, and that there may have been several people lost to it at more than one time. But no one can be sure just what the truth behind those tales are. Even though they suggest the Core, it may well have been a wave of illness or some other bleakness that befell the people of the area. Instead of lingering on inaccurate translations on non-linear language though let us move forward to the times closer to the present.
The following events are placed in the years that they happened, as specific dates are a little beyond me for the most part.
REAL DATES + NOTES
1540 +- The man who calls himself Marcus, and is known to the people of the McGregor Sanitarium as John Doe 17, first appeared on this world and started to watch the flow of time at an accelerated rate. No one is known to have ever spotted him until around 2001, but my sources tell me that this is the point that he arrived in this world.
(Note – Try to find Marcus again and get the full version of his view of this place and how he came to be here.)
1774 – Spanish exploration ships begin looking over the northern areas of what would become Oregon and Washington. While they apparently spotted the inlet that would become Grey’s Harbor they did not see fit to explore it.
(Note – This could be one of the first real examples of the ‘Forgetfulness’ about the area that seems to happen if you do not live here. I should talk to some of the Native American elders and see if they have any stories about people not remembering this place, unless it was home.)
1785 – British trade ships start to converge in the area to protest the Spanish control of the area.
(Note – It seems unlikely that after eleven years of trying to build a fur and resource trade with the natives that no Spanish ship would have come into the cove area but according to the records that is just what happened. I am of the opinion that the landmass that would become known as Industrial Island might have given the illusion that there was no harbor here, or just a small inlet, but from the sea today you can easily see the open inlet. I guess someone will have to get a working, time machine for me to know for sure just what they did and did not see.)
1789 – British trade captain Grey finally explores the harbor that now bears his name. Even after the exploration of the harbor area it is discounted as a prime harbor but it is noted as a place to put up for shelter as the island in the inlet blocks much of the ocean wind and helps reduce the waves greatly.
(Note – I can only guess that Grey had no intention of making the area home, and the area responded in kind somehow. There are stories that some of the local Native Americans tell that illustrate how the British sailors did not even spend a full day mapping the area. The natives did find their schooner impressive though.)
1796 – Independent British traders establish a trading post on the northeastern corner of the island in Grey’s Harbor. The men who established this location at the time had no connection to any of the major British trade houses, but did their level best to work trades with everyone. The monies that they raised in their endeavor did draw attention to them but not until they had already made the island their home, and shortly thereafter, even the people holding grudges seemed to forget how to get in touch with them.
(Note – While the note under the 1774 entry does seem to imply the forgetfulness that this area inspires this entry states it bluntly. The men working in the area were forgotten by their enemies, very useful to have if you’re playing more than one side against the middle. Second note – Get back to the library and write down the books that this was found in for future reference.)
1801 – Local diaries tell a story about a ship of unknown origin laying anchor just off the island and a crew of very fine-featured people that brought some rather wondrous trade items to the trade post. Apparently, the local Native Americans were not surprised to see this vessel, but the level of trade items that they brought and what they asked for in return shocked the people running the post.
(Note – If I am right about the entries that I am reading in these diaries then it would seem that this was a shipload of elves, assiar, fae, whatever you want to call them, trading things like silks and wines for things like furs and a case of black powder. Overall, I think the post got the better end of the deal, but the lack of surprise by the natives seems to suggest that this kind of trading was not unknown to them.)
Also – The use of steam powered water pumps is initiated in Philadelphia.
1807 – The young United States temporarily bans all foreign trade.
1811 – John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company begins trading furs in the area.
(Note – From the records I have been able to find it would seem that not only did the Pacific Fur Co. start trading in the area in that year, but they helped set the foundations for Aberdeen with their posts. Strangely enough the records also show that most of the trading being done in the area by Astor’s company was with the trading post established fifteen years earlier on the island by the independent traders. I guess that fifteen years of good business made the locals a little wary of the new company in town.)
1812 – Tobias Alter, his Native American wife (Note – Still trying to find her name anywhere. She seems to be almost a work of fiction, but there are tintypes of the two of them so she must have been real.) and several of their friends from the Aberdeen post, join up with several of the independent traders from the island and lay the foundation for the building of a city in the area. They establish that they wish to keep trade and the city separated just in case there is trouble in the future. So, the construction of Fort Alter is started. Historically it is placed at the crossroads of 7th and Alter.
(Second note – There is no historical evidence that that really was the location of the fort, this is all local hype, or so it seems. There is an archeological dig outside of the city limits much closer to Aberdeen that may be the true location of the fort, but we will not know for sure for a few years.)
1813 – The main ships of the Pacific Fur Company are captured and sold to the North-West Company. This effectively ends the Pacific Fur Company, and allows a great many of the records about Tobias Alter and his associates disappear as well. Trade continues out of the Fort Alter area though and the island is still a point that many of the locals come to for selling furs and other interesting finds in the area. The North-West Company tries to solidify their influence on trade in the area by setting up forts and charting out trade districts. The Fort George District ends on the southern edge of Grey’s Harbor officially. Unofficially the area around Grey’s harbor remains fully in the control of Fort Alter and the independent traders.
(Note – Could the loss of records be part of the effect of the area, I know I have not bothered to file a tax return for the last seven years and no one in the IRS seems to care, could it be the same thing?)
1815 – Transient traders, explorers, and a few of the local Native Americans now permanently reside in Fort Alter. This pushes the local permanent non-native population to over 100, and the local native population residing in the fort at over 30. This is the year that the first grain mill, and wood wright’s open shop. The fort begins to become self-sufficient.
Also – Several ‘fine boned folk’ disembark from a unique trading ship in the harbor and set up residence in the fort.
(Note – This would appear to be a small group of elves, or mayhap just some fine-featured humans, not really sure. I have to admit at this point that the diaries I am using are damned old and trying to read what passes for French and English at the time is a pain in the ass, I could very easily be misinterpreting all of this. Then again, I could be right.)
1816 – A woman named Grace arrives and using money and barter opens up a bar.
(Note – Sorry but I promised not to say anything.)
1817 – Not a historical note but something that I found in the diaries of a few of the people who apparently lived in the fort. The people living in the fort seemed to start to see the effects of the area, and how it makes people outside forget about it. The diary entries seem to have a lot of heartbreak in them about families back east no longer writing, no longer making contact of any kind. If they did not really understand the effect at least they noted it.
1818 – Tobias Alter recognizing that the main trade from goods in the area is with the Chinese makes official policy regarding trade with that nation. The basic policy is that no matter which government body is in control of the area that trade relations through the fort and the island docks will remain open to the Chinese.
(Note – These rules are still on the city books and city charter. Even during the times that the United States had officially severed trade relations with China their ships and business were still welcome in this area. It would appear that you don’t have to live here to know it is an important place, because trade with China has always been good business.)
1821 – The North-West Company merges with the Hudson Bay Company. During this merger all the remaining records of the people in Fort Alter, and their business, is lost. Most people begin to disregard the area around Grey’s Harbor as unsuitable for trade. Even though the people of Fort Alter are still making a good living with trade with the Chinese.
Also – The first dredging project in the harbor begins.
Also – The first seawall is started.
Also – The two docs at the end of the island are expanded, one is ‘modified’.
(Note – Ok that is a lot to happen in one year, and it points heavily to the foresight of the people running the trade and the fort, that they wanted to make sure that the ships coming in would have all the space they needed at the docks and under their ships. What I don’t understand though is that the total population of the area seemed to be only about one hundred fifty people or so, that does not include the natives as they kept their numbers to themselves. That’s one hell of a lot of work to be done by that few people. I have a funny feeling that some of the workers on these projects are beings that stepped thru the world walls around this time. Either that or there is an aquatic race in the harbor that helped out that no one has on the books. I don’t know which idea to look into first.)
1823 – Fort Alter burns to the ground in an accident that killed only one person. This is seen as a stroke of luck and rebuilding is begun immediately. The rebuilding though is not as a fort, but the original layout of streets is mapped so that expansion can begin and so can the selling of land. The natives make Alter and his aides aware of the Core and what they know of it so that they can be sure to build around it.
(Note – If the current historical theory is correct this is when the area of the original fort was abandoned and the move a few miles away made for the start of the city to come. Some of the diaries that I have obtained speak of rumors that the fire that burned down the fort was not an accident, but set on purpose. Again, this is something that I would need a working time machine to investigate, as I have found no immortals in the city that know about this time. No not even she will talk about it.)
1824 – Alter officially changes the name from the Alter Township, to Delta Township. No one is sure why, but when it is explained that the old Greek letter for change is Delta, most of the town smiles and agrees that it fits.
1825 – Gremlins.
(Note – That’s the only way to describe what happened that year. Things breaking, people vanishing, small fires, and general chaos for over a month, then it just stopped. I have a feeling that something or some things very small or that the locals could not see slipped through the world walls and started causing trouble.)
1827 – Epidemics begin sweeping through the Native American population. The worst of them hits from 1830 – 1833. As malaria epidemic sweeps the region killing between 60 and 90% of each tribe it hits. During this time the Native Americans in the slowly growing Delta Township open their doors to the sick and do their best to help. The traders operating out on the island stop bringing in certain goods and do their best to bring in medicines to try and help. The area around Delta Township has the best survival rates in the northwest because of this.
(Note – I say it was greed. The best trappers and hunters in the northwest were the Native Americans. They could do things that no one else could on the land, and I would lay down a hefty bet that the incoming illnesses were not accidental. Then again, they could have been.)
1830’s (Late) – 1840’s – More and more settlers start moving into the area. The Willamette Valley to the south in what was to become Oregon had the most, but from time to time more and more people were finding their way north into the area of the Delta Township. The population growth from this incoming migration was not as staggering as it was for the areas like what became Portland, but the steady pace made it rather easy for the Township to control growth and do their best to keep it organized.
1830 – Electromagnetic motor invented. It would be a few years before a use was found for this invention though.
(Note – According to the diary of one of the younger people in the city at this time it would appear that the electric motor was already being used in several things in the city. There are descriptions of certain businesses humming. The way the statement was written makes me think not of something doing a lot of business, but that there was a hum coming from the structures.)
1835 – Photography invented.
(Note – Much to the bane of the ninja, I am going to find them here in Delta City, somewhere.)
1836 – The revolver changes the face of gun use.
(Note – For a period of about a month after the revolver started to go on sale in Delta City there are stories of fights, and trades with several beings that landed at the dock that had been ‘modified’. These beings looked human in the dark, but in the sunlight their skin glowed black and their ship hummed with a life its own. These beings apparently claimed that the gun would be the doom of the human race. They wanted to save us from our own self-destructive behavior it would seem. Or did they just want a bunch of guns. Sorry to be so stream of thought in this entry tortured reader, but there are 15 diary entries from this time and they all seem to view these people/beings differently. It’s amazing really)
1837 – Tobias Alter dies at the age of 59. His will states that at the point if his death that control of the Township should be put to a vote, and that he felt that everyone, white, Native American, black, and even the Chinese who had decided to make this place their home should have a say. This caused more than a little disharmony in the city as the standing of Native Americans was very much in question, and the blacks and Chinese technically had no rights in this area, but as was stated very eloquently by Mrs. Alter, ‘If you live here you are a part of this growing town, what right do those outside have to say who lives here and who does not.’ This was the only time she is known to have spoken publicly, and the only time she had the chance to as she left the area to mourn her husband’s death alone in the mountains.
Also – Telegraph invented.
Also – The first power tools are invented.
1841 – Delta City water project starts.
(Note – I found this little tidbit to be rather interesting. It would appear that the new management of Delta City knew even in 1841 that having water for everyone was going to be a key note in the future of the city. The project itself appears to have been a combination of linked wells and working on an underground system based off the structure of roman aqueducts. I think those are some of the oldest structures in the city’s underground, and they still work! From here on out I am going to include estimated Delta City population every few years, it looks like the city grew a lot faster than most in the region, and stabilized later than most. Given the nature of the area, that hardly seems surprising. Estimated population at this time is a little over three thousand permanent residents in the area that would become the city limits, this does not include the staff of the trading post and docks that is on the island. Numbers on that bunch don’t become stable enough to count for another few decades, but I am thinking from the level of trade that is being done in the area that there had to be at least a couple hundred if not more out there.)
1843 – Vulcanized rubber is invented.
1844 – The Oregon Territory outlaws black immigration.
(Note – This pathetic little law was something that stayed on the books for a long time and then vanished. It is interesting to note that when the word of the law reached Delta City, it was not only disregarded, but it was campaigned against.)
1846 – The Oregon Treaty establishes the border between the United States and Canada. This also officially puts the Oregon Territory in the control of the United States government. There is now official law and regulation in the territory.
(Note – It seems a little strange to say that there was official law and regulation. Delta City seems to have long set its own rules and laws on many topics. Sometimes even disregarding federal regulations in favor of what the locals would prefer.)
Also – Sewing machine invented.
1849 – A small group of blacksmiths and other metal workers team up to make a business in the area between them. Forge is the name they give their group effort.
Also – The Land Grant Act offers 320 acres of land to anyone willing to homestead in the western United States.
(Note – When Forge put itself together it looks like one of the reasons all the smiths involved teamed up was to come up with a way to make sure there was not another gremlin problem. It really looked more like a self-defense thing than a profit idea. Looking at Forge today though you cannot say that it was a money losing idea. Local population at this time looks to have jumped to almost six thousand. From what I can see in the local records a great majority of the people coming into the area were not arriving by boat or the Oregon trail, which would suggest that there was a lot of activity in the world walls, this may be another reason behind the Forge alliance, it would not be easy to compete with mystical or fantastical technologies if you are limited to the current technologies.)
1850 – 1855 – During this five-year period there are over twenty treaties with Native Americans that are arranged by the governor of the territory that go to congress for ratification. The only one that makes it through congress is one that was established on the behalf of Delta City residents. This treaty, unlike most of the others, does not try to establish controlled living spaces for the Native Americans, but establish their right to trade their goods and services freely in Delta City. The loose wording of the treaty effectively gives all Native Americans the right to free trade in Delta City, not just the local tribes.
1851 – Chinatown declares itself an independent city.
(Note – This might look like a strange move but if you look at the maps of the time you can see that what is now the City Center and the Historic Old Town regions were expanding in all directions. The Industrial area on the south-east side of the city was staring to build up, with the Forge alliance and other noisy and smelly [visit a leather shop that uses classic techniques if you don’t understand] businesses moving out that far to keep from hindering the growth of trade in the city and on the island.)
1853 – The Washington Territory is established.
Also – Grace’s closes the doors on its second shop. A third opens just a few weeks later, apparently owned by the ‘cousin’ of the first Grace.
1854 – With the continued growth of the city an official sewer project is started. Many end points are considered and then discarded before an underground solution is settled upon. Over the next several decades all the areas that are served by the original city water system have secondary and larger tunnels dug nearby to allow the wastewaters to flow to a point several miles south of the city. Many of these tunnels are still in use today.
(Note – When I first found out about this set up I did my best to track the sewers to the end of the line and find the dumping out ground. At first, I had my suspicions that even though the official record was south of Delta City, that I would find the dumping spot for the sewers at the Core. Strangely enough, even with nearly constant calls to Ms. Carter at the city offices, I was unable to find this endpoint. I did find venting tunnels that lead to the coast south of the Beach House district, but they are set up in such a way that nothing can go up, save for air. I found other points of exit around the waste facilities, but never a dumping ground for the waste. It is impossible for the physics of this dimension to allow something to go on forever, and or go nowhere, so I can only assume that there is a spillway into another world down there somewhere. I hope whoever the city is dumping their crap on never decides to dump back. Also, to look at the layout and the tunnels that I did find it would be safe to say that there was a massive crowd that worked on this project. The fact that is went all over the area, and into places that had no real homes and the like yet would seem to suggest that they had an idea about how the city would develop, if not a plan. Also, some of the tunnels appear not to be made by digging and then laying in massive tubes, but hollowed out of the ground itself. This is an impressive engineering feat for the times and might suggest that there was more to the project that first thought. Note to self – look into the possibility that some of these tunnels were natural and just ‘finished’ by the people making the system.)
1855 – 1858 – Several minor Indian Wars break out all over Washington, Oregon and Idaho. During all of this Delta City is respected as a neutral ground by the Native Americans, so their trade treaty stays in effect.
1855 – 1864 – Minor gold rushes in Idaho, Oregon and Eastern Washington creates and influx of new blood into Delta City. Being a very convenient waypoint for miners heading up from California, and slightly closer to Oregon but not as expensive to equip in as Portland, Delta City sees growth in a great many ways. From people just going through the city to somewhere else, to new small businesses being created to serve the moving people, the change in population is a daily thing.
(Note – Being of a conspiratorial mindset I cannot help but think that these last two sets of dates are interrelated. Yes, most of the conflicts have something to do with trying to move the locals from one place to another, but if you note that the gold was coming out of areas that no longer had natives in them, it would look like someone knew what was going to be found there and moved them out before hand. Then overcrowding and the like leads to a boiling point and the wars happen, well away from the gold mining, but they still happen.)
1856 – A small group of very short and very large men come through Delta City to head toward the gold rushes. These people are noted due to their return late in the same year with very little gold but a fervent desire to add their skills to the Forge group.
(Note – Dwarves and what? That was the only thing that these beings could be that I can put together. It is the big ones that make me wonder, especially since none of the local graveyards from that time have any names like Flamebeard in it, so I have to wonder if they are still alive in the city or not.)
1857 – Delta City and Chinatown agree to set aside area that Native American families and traders can gather in and still be under the protection of Delta City’s trade treaty. This agreement would last until 1894, when the area is officially incorporated into the expanding Delta City and becomes the groundwork for the International District in later years.
(Note – Another strange yet forward thinking act on the part of the growing Delta City. This idea specifically put aside some area for those not belonging to either of the rapidly growing majority ethnic backgrounds, European and Chinese. Even though the area was later absorbed back into the city itself the freedom that the region would develop in mixing itself together just seems to be a natural. Local population seems to be running at about eleven thousand in Delta City, three thousand in Chinatown, two thousand on the island, and about one thousand in the Native American freehold. Just to make sure it is clear, numbers like this are unusual at this time unless you are a major city like New York or San Francisco. In a great many ways Delta City is just like them. But its seclusion from the rest of the world would seem to make this an anomaly.)
Also – The first passenger elevator is put into use.
1858 – The first electric burglar alarm.
(Note – I included this here because it would appear that in the same year that the Forge Group put some of these items into the foundry that they had established. Interesting to see a first line invention put to use by a company that makes steel items. But then again by this time Forge was starting to gain a reputation for some of the best-made steel items on the west coast. It is no secret that as soon as trains hit the area they started bringing the engines to the Forge yard for reworking and for new pipes to be fit into the boilers. While this may not seem like very technical work to some, it is technical and dangerous, but the money paid by the rail roads made it well worth the time.)
1859 – Darwin’s “Origin of Species”
Also – The first oil well is sunk.
1860 – Logging hits the Northwest. As one of the major long-term businesses of the region it will have very little impact on Delta City as a whole. The main business point for logging in the immediate area is Aberdeen. Delta City does benefit from the logging in Aberdeen though, with the city’s open trade agreement with China, and continued improvements to the mouth of Grey’s Harbor to ensure that the city remains a deep-water port, trade goods needed in the region for loggers, and wood products going out keep adding to the business in Delta City. Footnote – By 1880 Washington was ranked 31st in logging production, by 1890 it was 5th, and by 1905 it was ranked 1st.
(Note – There is actually an official city record of a vote being taken as to if the city would join in the logging industry directly or just work as traders for the lumber coming out of the area. Not only did the people vote to keep logging out of the area but also, they put a conservation act for the city limits on the bill and passed it the next year. The city’s conservation act actually states that for any tree cut down either a new tree must be planted or eight shrubs that have a tendency for high growth will be planted. Not only is this law still on the books but also the city takes it very seriously. This could explain why so many of the neighborhoods and districts have all the trees and green in them.)
Also – The repeating rifle is brought to the field.
1861 – 1865 – The American Civil War
(Note – While this may seem like a small historical note, it is not. Delta City was involved with the Civil War on a great many fronts and several books have been written on the topic already so all I will do is paraphrase what has come before. Underground Railroad, Delta City was an end point for many on that road. North or South, Delta City never officially took a side in the war. Some of the best doctors they had in town at the time headed for the war though in an effort to save lives on both sides. Some ideas for weapons and armor for the war came from the Forge group. Overall Delta City was far enough away from the main conflicts of the war that a position of neutral was maintained. These are just the highlights; there is a lot of history in those five years.)
1863 – Roller skates invented.
(Note – I figured after seeing things like guns and war a little levity was needed in the timeline. That and the fact that even with a lack of paved streets (most were stone or brick) roller skates were a very popular mode of transit in Delta City for several years after they were invented.)
1864 – Michael Stone and David Briar, both geologists from the Boston area back east, meet in Delta City and decide to team up to start a quarry with the interesting rock finds they have made in the hills around Delta City.
(Note – These two and their descendants seem to have such an affinity with the rock of the area that they could find things that normally are not attributed to the North-west. While not a major business at the moment they would see a lot of work come to them in the future. Even though it is ten years after the sewer project started I can only believe that these two helped in the making of the tunnels. As there is no official end date to the sewer project and from what I saw of the tunnels, it may still be going on today.)
1865 – Offset printing is developed.
1867 – Type writer invented.
Also – Delta City’s main newspaper, The Tradesman, is established.
(Note – It is not unusual to see a newspaper that is almost one hundred and fifty years old. Not if you are on the east coast. The archives for this paper though are very, very useful. It looks like the paper started out as a trade journal for the city. Letting everyone know what was trading the best and what the latest strange ships or lights from the sky had offered in exchange for what. It looks like instead of a fat cat paper that wanted only the rich to get richer, The Tradesman started out doing its best to get everyone in Delta City a shot at making it rich.)
1868 – The first official Unites States trade treaty with China is passed.
(Note – While this is the record of the first ‘official’ trade treaty with China, Delta City had been involved in trade with China from the start. Then again so were many of the trade towns that were built up during the early 1800’s. Even though the Delta City area is still just a part of Washington Territory at the time, this means that other areas are now opening themselves to direct trade with China. I have a feeling that if it were not for the options open to Delta City in their trade with other worlds, that Seattle and San Francisco may have taken away the trade relations that kept the area strong. But really, how could Seattle compete with the access to other worlds, even if it was not talked about loudly.)
1870 – The first pneumatic subway is put into use.
Also – A commission is set up to begin regulation of commercial fishing and hatcheries in the United States.
1871 – Delta City and Chinatown officially merge into one city. The initial agreement for Chinatown’s self-sufficiency is struck.
(Note – This was a major turning point in the history of Delta City and the surrounding area. Merging the two growing communities into one city gave them a collection of connections that would make them a trading powerhouse for a while. The local population total is somewhere over thirty thousand by this time and Delta City is starting to import food goods from outside their local area. Trade has become the only way to keep the city alive as there are not enough farms in the area to keep everyone fed.)
1874 – Three ships of unknown origin dock at Delta City for five days.
(Note – The descriptions given of these ships would suggest that not only have the elves returned, but that some other group of beings would like to make trade with the Delta City region. One of the things that apparently came from this visit was that the families of Davis and Smythe either came to town at the same time or came off the boats. There is also a report that some of the people from the ships and some of the people from Forge met and either threw a party or had a major fight. With some of the crowds around here it is sometimes hard to tell the difference.)
Also – The first structural steel bridge is erected.
1875 – The electric dental drill is invented.
Also – The mimeograph, the predecessor of the photocopier is invented.
Also – Just outside of the city limits two large objects engage in a conflict that lasts a little over three hours. Both are described as looking like men towering over twelve feet high, one covered in strange writing, the other made of metal and arcing with electricity.
(Note – I can only think that this was the first of the open conflicts between the Davis and Smythe families. I just hope that the current members of the family don’t decide to pull those things out again or make them bigger, they would do a hell of a lot more damage in this day and age.)
1876 – Early spring has reports of flying lights landing on the island and things that no one can explain trying to open up trade accounts for local food items.
(Note – I really have no idea. Aliens, other dimensional creatures, whatever they were once again the local Native Americans were not surprised, and the traders on the island seemed to get the better of the deal. Strangely though there are a few older families in the area that still have items from those trades that they cannot figure out if they are art or just what. Having looked at a few of these things myself I am sad to say I am just as confused as the people who own them.)
Also – The telephone is invented.
1870’s (Late) – Northern Pacific Rail picks Tacoma as the Puget Sound Terminus for their rail lines. The city planers for Delta City meet with the senior officials of NPR while they are in Tacoma and secure a deal that will insure that any spur of their line that goes into Olympia will also go into Delta City.
(Note – With trade being the lifeblood of this city I can only think that this deal was one of the keys in keeping the city alive. With the expanded access that rail would give them to the rest of the United States there was no way they would run out of supplies, and the items that they could get in trade from Asia and the otherworldly contacts that seemed to be slowly developing could make their way to larger markets back east and into California.)
1877 – Salmon fishing as an industry hits the west coast. Due to the free trade agreements and treaty with the Native Americans, Delta City deals itself a severe trade blow by banning any non-Native American fishing trawlers in their port. This restriction is only on the salmon trade but there are a great many other vessels that turn to Seattle as a friendlier port to the fishing trade. There is an exception to this, whaling. Although the waters around Delta City are protected by mutual agreement, there are many Native American Groups with connections to Chinatown traders that end up making alliances in bringing all things whale into Delta City.
Also – The phonograph is invented.
1879 – The first reports from people working in the underground of two things, shifting tunnels and predatory creatures. With the water and sewer tunnels size the arrival of predators should not have been a surprise, but the fact that the tunnels themselves seemed to have been in places other than where they were set was.
(Note – There are suggestions in the city records that this was not the first time something like this was reported. There are hints that even during initial construction there was an area that had to be tunneled through three times in a week before the tunnel itself stayed in place long enough to be cemented. Most of these are put off as being people out of their skulls or drunk. The fact that there is an official city record of this at this point in time suggests that it had become common enough that they needed to keep a record of it. As for the predators, the occasional wolf or mountain lion I am certain they would not have given much thought to, but ‘a thirty-foot-long serpent’, and ‘something that was all fangs and claws’, both being on record suggest that there was a lot more than wolves going on in there.)
1880 – A young woman named Lucy Carter joins the Delta City staff.
Also – Of the strange ships that dock at the city harbor from time to time this is the first time that one full of immigrants is seen. Almost five hundred people of various races and species disembark and apply for citizenship within a period of a few days. After six days another ship of similar design is seen in the harbor and the first sets sail, only to be sunk in the harbor by hostile fire from the second boat.
(Note – The descriptions of this fight in the local paper and in some of the diaries I have obtained make the fight look like it happened between mages on both boats. There is no record of the second boat leaving, nor is there word if anyone survived, or if there was anything left in the harbor. Might be worth getting a rental on a mini sub and checking out the area for leftovers.)
1881 – McGregor Sanitarium established.
(Note – This is someplace that I have strived to avoid in all my time in Delta City. I have done no personal investigation of the place, and even in my description of the city I just have the tendency to say, ‘yup’ there it is. This place was built gothic and impressive. I have never been sure if it looks like it was meant to keep people in, or keep them out. And that scares me a little.)
1882 – The United States puts an immigration ban on the Chinese. This is in response to the growing fears, outrage, and just plain prejudice that is pouring out of California and other states that have long used the Chinese people as cheap labor, but now that people are settling in greater numbers from the eastern United States, there is a need to enforce the classic ruling class. It should be noted that even with this ban in effect the official numbers for immigration are all that are on record, and unofficially there were many Chinese that entered the United Stated through British Columbia, Mexico, and Delta City. This ban would officially last for ten years, ending in 1892.
Also – The electric fan is invented.
(Note – Population seems to level out for a while, it looks like there were about one hundred ten to one hundred and thirty thousand people in the Delta City area at this time. Making it one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi. That makes for a population growth of four to five times what it was just thirty years before. I cannot imagine that would have been fun to watch. Even though I put this note here, it looks like this growth rate returns again in a few years. I wonder if I could find an accurate list of population growth in the city. I have a funny feeling that it would almost look like a tidal flow chart.)
1885 – Official records show that there were a little over eight hundred miles of rail in Washington. Over ninety of those miles are linking Delta City to Olympia and points beyond.
Also – Rabies vaccine.
1886 – Racial tensions in Seattle between whites and Chinese end up in an evacuation of Seattle by all but a couple thousand of the Chinese residents. Most of the Chinese that leave Seattle permanently go to other cities to establish new lives. Delta City is on the short list of most common places to evacuate to.
1887 – Dawes Act passes in congress. Delta City calls a local election in response to this and holding an open vote repeals the act by a 25 to 1 majority. It should be noted that Delta City was the only city at the time that not only allowed Blacks to vote but Native Americans as well, all you needed was proof of local residence.
Also – The Klondike gold rush begins. Delta City is not in as good a place as Seattle to cater to this new gold rush, but there are those that use Delta City as a launching point instead of Seattle, and a good many of the ones that do end up returning to Delta City after the rush.
(Note – It looks like there were not only people from this earth interested in the gold rush, there are a number of records and pictures of people that just don’t look quite human heading out of the city toward the gold. It would appear that a good portion of the people who came back were not only the unusual ones but the regular humans as well. Best I can tell that means that there are several not humans still out there in the world. It would be interesting to find some of them and see just how they are getting along in a world that really has no idea what they are and probably would not accept them for what they really are if it did know. For those that do not know what the Dawes Act was, and still is, it was the action by congress that gives the president the authority to not only put native populations on reservations, but generally deal with them as they are seen fit by those in power. No wonder the locals voted it down.)
1888 – Candalmas arrives.
Also – The Kodak camera is invented.
(Note – It was not hard to miss Candalmas in the records. It is not often that someone in immigration actually writes down Satyr as the race of someone. In fact, Candalmas is the only one I have seen in the city records. That by no means is to say he is the only one. There are at least two others that I know of which means that there are at least a couple more.)
1889 – Washington becomes a state.
Also – The first dishwasher.
(Note – The day that Washington became a state was met with a few parties in the city and also the first official presentation of a vote to secede from the union. There is a separatist party in the city that to this day is trying to find a way to make Delta City a place that is totally independent from the United States. There has never been enough support to get the city to give it a shot. But it does get closer every year. I would not be surprised if during the next city elections that at least one of the separatists gets into office, which will be something very interesting to watch.)
1890’s – Forrest preservation is taken up in Washington State. When the first conservation and preservation acts are passed in the State senate Delta City celebrates by establishing the two main city parks.
1890 – The Alaska gold rush begins. See notes on the Klondike.
1891 – Eight potential garbage companies start to form as Delta City officially ends its control over that business.
Also – The escalator is invented.
(Note – To those familiar with the current state of affairs between the garbage companies, and think it’s a little out of hand, check your history. It would appear that the eight companies that started out trying for Delta City’s trash were not only more violent, but also more open about it. The next several years would not be a lot of fun, at least as far as trash was concerned. I just want to know which of the companies today has their hands on the “…large glowing blob that seemed to suck everything, even my poor cat Mittzy right off the streets. Sure, it’s clean, but I miss my cat.” That’s a quote from a diary. Makes you wonder, eh?)
1892 – The gas-powered car comes to life.
(Note – There are records in the city about vehicles like the old Model T and even things like trucks and tanks before this. I just thought it was important to note exactly when we are credited on this earth with creating the damn things. Sure, if you look at the city records for 1854 there is something in them about a machine driving into the dock area, loading up stuff and driving off, and everyone on the docks wanting one. It looks like I need to look a little more closely at the whole situation with the busses. I will explain that later.)
1893 – Great Northern Rail places its Puget Sound terminus in Seattle. Through some rather impressive negotiations Delta City managers establish a deal with GNR that matches the deal made with NPR, there by securing rail services for Delta City solidly.
Also – The zipper is brought to us. It becomes popular but will not really become famous until later.
1894 – University of Washington ground breaking.
Also – A ship of unknown origin is reported to have risen out of the harbor and proceeded to dock at the piers. Trading seemingly impossible metals and milled goods for things like roller skates, yo-yos, candies, and the recipe for Graces homemade beer. Twelve hours later the boat moves away from the docks and apparently sinks. No trace of it was ever found in the harbor though.
(Note – Ok I just have to think that this was the good fucking sub lollypop. Unless of course Peter Pan got a hold of the Nautilus. What the hell is going on with all these strange trades in the history of these boats? Here is a clue. In other times things that are considered luxuries come at a very high price to any who can afford them. Can you imagine coming home from a trade mission with a boat load full of things that while you got them cheaply could be sold for a few thousand times what you paid. And if you are the only ship that has them on board you can even trade them for so much more. The only thing that makes more money than luxuries is a weapon during wartime.)
1895 – Diesel Engine invented
Also – Radio invented.
(Note – The population of Delta City had hit about two hundred thousand at this point. That is a very large city. The diesel engine and radio started changing things even in Delta City though. Communication and power. The first diesel trains would soon follow. Radio stations and radio communication would change the way people could talk. Radio in particular would have an interesting effect on Delta City. More than once Delta City has been investigated by beings that picked up on the radio signals that slipped through the world walls. It is a good thing that more people did not try to use radio around here earlier than they did. But with the stations that we currently have locally I am surprised that anything at all would come to investigate, shut the noise down and make the pain stop I could believe, but not investigate.)
1898 – Treaty of Paris ends the Spanish/American War.
Also – The Filipino/American War starts. This conflict will end in 1903.
Also – The first real submarine.
1899 – Mount Rainer National Park established.
Also – Delta City College ground breaking.
Also – Tides Research established.
(Note – These Tides guys looked like they had something going on back in the day. There were not many people looking into the ocean and the things that it offered the world. But these guys were, and it looked like they found something interesting because in just a few years they went from being a research company to a conservation group, with an army of lawyers on call to make sure that the world was treated right. Whatever they encountered, found, whatever it was, must have been serious to take a company from leading the charge to find ways to exploit the waters of the world, to finding ways to protect it all.)
1901 – Delta City throws the Turn of the Century Party
(Note – If ever there was a party to end all parties, this should have been it. According to city records it took two weeks to clean up, and everyone was welcome. There are pictures from the paper that have shots of men, women, and things, making Mardi Gras look tame. It looks like it was an anything goes kind of time. There are even a couple of pictures from the paper that seem to show people fading in and out of the city. This might be the first and only shots that I know of that seem to show the world walls at work. I really should see if the photographer is still around or any of his kids have some of the old negatives.)
1902 – The Old Man arrives
Also – Crater Lake Park established
Also – Air conditioning invented.
(Note – Grace told me a story about an old man once. She said the story was a few years old, but it seemed more than a little creepy even for Delta City weird. I need to put a copy of that story in here somewhere, but after she finished telling me that little story she looked me dead in the eyes and told me that he had first came to Delta City on October 11, 1902. The seriousness that she had when she told me that last bit made me think to put it in here.)
1903 – Kymen College groundbreaking.
Also – The Wright Brothers flight at Kittyhawk.
Also – Ford puts the assembly line into place.
(Note – It looks like the rivalry between the Davis and Smythe families was getting subtle. Both families invested heavily in the colleges that were built here. It looked like they did it for the privilege of not only having seats on the collegiate boards, but for the right to teach. Can you think of a better way to get people on your side than by teaching them that you’re right?)
1904 – The Angel Statue dedicated into Angel Park. The Angel Park area of Industrial Island officially declared off limits to further construction and development.
(Note – Nope still can’t talk about it.)
1909 – Phone service is brought to Delta City in a big way.
(Note – Even though it had been over thirty years since the phone was invented Delta City waited this long to officially bring the service into the city. The city council apparently wanted to make sure it was more than a passing technology fad before doing something with it. But when the city acted boy did they act. They offered the territory of Delta City to any company that would agree to certain set conditions and that they would be written into a contract that would include any and all companies that the original passed onto in the future. What is interesting is that there were at first, six companies that agreed to this. By modern times there is only one left, but the contract is still in place and still being enforced.)
1910 – Women gain the right to vote in Washington State. This is an expansion of the rights already gained by women in Delta City as they have held the right to vote since the first mayoral elections when it comes to city issues, now they can also legally vote on state issues.
Also – The groundwork for the F.B.I. is put in place.
(Note – Apparently while the F.B.I. was being formed one of the first field offices to open was in Delta City. The office was operating directly under the jurisdiction of the head of the F.B.I. and, from what I can find was supposed to be investigating the city’s rapid growth of resident aliens. When you think about it on the most mundane terms, it could be a serious problem. But looking at it from being in Delta City for a while, and it almost makes you laugh. Actually, from what I could dig up it did make the director laugh in 1916 when the first major report was made. Made him laugh hard enough that he threatened to close the office down to save tax monies. Well either the director forgot or the agents in the city did something to make him change his mind, because the F.B.I. has one of the largest offices in the downtown area. I have no idea what they are doing with all those people there, but I am going to talk to someone this afternoon that might.)
1914 – The assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand starts World War 1.
(Note – Did anyone ever figure out who really did the deed? I met a man, looked to be in his twenties, who claimed to be the assassin. Said he worked for the secret chiefs of the United States and did a lot of work like that. They made him age slower than everyone outside the conspiracy, and still called on him from time to time to do what he was best at. Now then normally I would have put him off as being a crackpot. But considering the fact that he told me this after waking me up in the middle of the night, while holding a gun to my head, well it made me think he just might be telling the truth. Sad to say that I could not take his warning to stop looking into the past of Delta City, although I have a tendency to move at least once a month if not more these days, and pay a lot more for custom security. I still have no idea how he got in and out of that old apartment without leaving any trace, maybe he was ninja trained.)
1915 – Rail expansion in Washington State now gives the state over 6000 miles of rail lines.
(Note – Ok so we have established rail was important, what I am not going to be mentioning anymore is the continued appearance of strange ships in the harbor, trains that are not really like anything that you would know as a train, or even the little, and large, balls of light or U.F.O’s that seem to show up at the docks. By now it is so commonplace that people are only mentioning it in their diaries and in the paper if it was really strange. If you want to see what I am talking about go down to the docks and look at docks seven and four, those are the two that are modified to handle whatever comes to town. There is too much more to look into to keep adding notes on this though.)
1917 – The United States officially enters WW1.
1918 – WW1 ends.
(Note – It is a shame really to only have that little listing for all of the First World War. But to be perfectly honest even I don’t believe all the things that I have found out yet about the involvement of people and things from Delta City in the war and will not even go so far as to speculate until I have some hard evidence. Or at least a diary or three on hand that I can quote from.)
1919 – The first licensed flying carpet in Delta City
(Note – this is not to say that they have not been around for a while now but this is the first time that someone actually got a license plate for one. It’s kind of strange given the volume of magical events in Delta City that these things only account for about 0.05% of the transport in Delta City today, that’s right only 5 in every ten thousand LICENSED vehicles in Delta City is a flying carpet . You can find them just about everywhere but most of them run illegally because they are not licensed.)
1920 – The first radio stations go on the air.
Also – National Prohibition is put into effect.
(Note – Talk about a mood killer, radio stations start popping up all over the United States just as they tell us we can’t have a beer. Ok, so I was not there for it, but to hear grandpa talk about it, it was a time that I can only imagine. I made note of the radio because according to the paperwork the two local radio stations in Delta City were actually started up just as radios were going on sale. There are a couple of radio stations locally that are just rebroadcast points for national radio, and then there are a few dozen ham style radio stations that are totally not legal. Speaking of not legal prohibition, and Delta City, can you say smuggling? I knew you could. Delta City was founded on trade, legal or otherwise. Prohibition suddenly makes a very pricey market for something that they can get cheap from just about everywhere. It’s funny because it looks like the people working on the island were actually getting smart enough not to record the trades for booze from the native craft, but did keep track of the stuff they got from the glowing balls of light, and the occasional schooner of elflike nature. I am meeting with someone tonight who claims to have one of the bottles from that time, going to have to see if the hype is worth it.)
1921 – Garbage collection and disposal is now firmly in the hands of two companies. It remains in the hands of these two up to present day.
(Note – I am not going to get into this, I could write a book on the garbage men, but I think I would fear them more than the damn ninja.)
1926 – Rockets are invented.
(Note – Found evidence of less than gravity rockets launching from outside Delta City in 1925, I am still not sure just what that means but I am going to keep looking into it until I do.)
1927 – Television is invented. It will become very popular but not get a lot of use until pay-per-view cable comes along.
(Note – These days we get channels from all over the world, and if you happen to be in an area that the world walls are thin you can sometimes get channels from other dimensions as well. I am proud to say that I have a full collection of shows that never were on this world, I don’t know why I am proud of that, must have had too much to drink last night.)
1929 – Stock Market crash.
Also – Frozen food.
(Note – As you might have guessed after the stock market crash and the resulting Great Depression really had very little effect on Delta City. Yeah some of the local fat cats got hit and hit hard, but overall the area seems to be much more interested in investing in itself than investing in outside things. While the ‘Dust Bowl’ hit the mid-west hard the northwest was still in pretty good shape, and the few remaining local farms actually managed to boost their income during that crisis. Delta City did see a good influx of people during that time, but surprisingly many did not want to stay. So, the areas growth rate, while still high, was not over the top. I have managed to collect a couple of diaries that were left from that time, and some of what they say is rather interesting. Apparently, there are people outside Delta City that know about the world walls. During the Great Depression word got out about them and some people chased the chance to not only get out of the money trouble, but out of this world all together. I have no idea where they might have ended up but I can only hope wherever they got to, they are ok.)
1931 – The first use of radio astronomy.
(Note – While radio astronomy is an interesting thing, this is also when the city got the records for the 1930 census. The returns say that Delta City had a stable population of about three hundred thousand people. There was still plenty of room to move around, and even the people who were just ‘passing thru’ could have had something if they stayed, but that’s the depression for you.)
1933 – The Grand Coulee Dam is started.
Also – National Prohibition is ended.
(Note – You will note the other dam listing for 1937, and will probably wonder why they are being mentioned at all. Well when you see in the information for the construction of the dams that Stone & Briar was one of the major contractors for the supply of raw native materials then you can tell just what the reason was. Even though it doesn’t show in Delta City itself much these contracts gave Stone & Briar a bit of influence outside the city, and added to the monies flowing into the city. I am lead to believe that the company still has contracts for government consulting, but they keep rather quiet about it, this could be why the owners are not seen much in town.)
1937 – The Bonneville Dam is started.
1939 – World War 2 starts in Europe.
Also – The first digital computer is built. The use of it and research on it will be put on hold, officially, until the end of World War 2.
(Note – Actually the computer idea was only officially put on hold, Touring Machines and the like were going up all over the place for use in code breaking, and a few other uses. The Kymen College science department was actually hard at work making the first computers that were on record, and they were sharing their findings with the government. First directly then under the auspices of the O.S.S., it’s strange to think that Delta City may have had a hand in all the code breaking that went on during the second World War, to get more on that I am going to have to see if anyone in the O.S.S. office will talk, but more on that later.)
1940 – Japan begins its invasions of Indo-China and China outer regions.
(Note – I have it, evidence of the ninja in Delta City! Right here, I can now prove since I have… … … DAMNIT!!! Sneaky little bastards! They got it, while I was writing they got it!!! SHIT!)
1941 – Japan invades China proper.
Also – The Pearl Harbor bombing by Japan enters the United States officially into WW2.
(Note – It was at this time that Forge went thru its major reorganization. They stopped working 24/7 and went to two shifts. They also started to add the trees and shrubs that surround the factory today. I can’t get close enough to the higher ups in Forge to see if they can tell me what’s up, the people working on the floor of the foundry though have heard all the stories, and there is talk, hopefully just rumors that anyone crazy enough to go looking into the stories has a massive need for the medical benefits that the company is so proud of. If they are really going to that much trouble to keep something quiet, it’s worth knowing.)
1942 – The O.S.S. is formed, this is the body that would lay the groundwork for the forming of the C.I.A.
(Note – See notes on C.I.A., it’s worth it, it really is.)
1945 – VE Day.
Also – VJ Day.
(Note – While it is a very sobering thought to know that in the year of 1945 the second World War was put to rest, that the atomic bomb was put to the test, and that there had been death on such a scale that the world hoped that such a thing would never happen again, it’s a sad thing to see the world racing to find an excuse to do it all again it would seem. The bigger thing that I have to mention here is that in the fifteen years of time from the last census it would appear that Delta City grew to a population of just over four hundred thousand. With all the death and devastation from World War Two you would think that the population would have taken a drop. This is the biggest growth spurt in the city’s history, and it makes me wonder if we do all the wars again, will Delta City grow like this again?)
1947 – The C.I.A. becomes an official agency.
(Note – The birth of the supreme intelligence gathering agency in the United States, banned from operation on U.S. soil, but charged with protecting us all, or so it would seem. The C.I.A. was born from the international code breaking teams that made up the O.S.S. during WW2, and some intelligence experts from other areas. It seems strange to think then that the offices for the O.S.S. in Delta City never closed after WW2. The people were never reassigned, and they still recruit, take missions on behalf of the government, and get paid on the government payroll, even though the O.S.S. was shut down to make the C.I.A. Then you have the fact that the C.I.A. in Delta City is working very hard at making something understandable out of Chinatown, and finds the International District to be something they feel they can operate in. Does this confuse the hell out of anyone but me, because when I finally dug up the O.S.S. offices and the C.I.A. offices in town they seemed to think it made perfect sense.)
1948 – King TV opens in Seattle.
Also – The first electric guitar.
(Note – Apparently the first TV signal received in Delta City was from another world that had the invention for quite some time, or at least something like it. TV in Delta City is a hodge-podge of not quite legal UHF signals, two local channels that are network affiliates, cable, and the leakage from other worlds, a lot like radio in the area. I just wish I could figure out where all the cables that people are hooked into go, not all of them connect to the trunk lines, and you have to know that is not the best thing in this area.)
1950 – 1953 – The Korean War
1950 – The United States starts getting involved in Vietnam
(Note – Now you are going to wonder about all the notes in here on the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The reason is simple really, both of these wars had China involved as a player on the team that the United States was up against. From those events the trade relations between the U.S. and China started to break down and at times became downright hostile. Then came trade bans and the like that made it necessary to have trade with R.O.C. Taiwan, instead of China. For those not in the know R.O.C. stands for Republic of China, but that seemed good enough to get past customs in most U.S. ports. I know that in Canada and Delta City though you could still find ships from China with a fair frequency.)
1951 – UNIVAC 1, the first mercury tube computer.
(Note – While UNIVAC 1 was the first to the outside world, some of the tech geeks in the colleges were already working on the basics for microprocessors, don’t ask me how, but I have seen the records, and there is a heck of a lot of information that suggests that Delta City has been playing with tech a little higher up the food chain for a long, long time. I am going to have to look a little deeper into this though because the old college paper that I found celebrating the announcement of UNIVAC 1, seems to have a picture of a young woman, and she looks almost like an elf to me, holding something that looks very much like a memory card for a PC.)
1954 – Boeing launches the first 707.
(Note – This was at the same time that Boeing opened up their local office. Technically it’s an R&D center, but who knows what they are looking into, I don’t, yet.)
1955 – The first nuclear submarine.
1956 – The foundations for the first floor of the Delta City Pavilion are laid.
Also – The U.S. starts training troops in South Vietnam
(Note – To look at the Pavilion today you could almost get the feeling that some massive creature of steel and stone squatted down and relived itself on that site. Not that I go inside often, but I had to when I saw the original drawings for the place. I had to see just what the hell went wrong. Apparently, the place was always designed to be capable of modular expansion, not just to spread further out but also to go up like they have. If you get into the hidden halls of the place you can see where the people building more levels to the place ignored the original steel and stone. The same thing happened with the third level. What is really strange is that I cannot find any city records that tell me just who built the other levels, and when they got the permits to do it.)
1957 – Washington Public Power Supply System established.
Also – The Hunter arrives.
(Note – I think this is when the power deal for Delta City was struck, but I really cannot find any official records of it, I think I will have to dig a little harder in the city records for that one. The Hunter though, that’s something I am trying not to find. When I was looking into the city sewers some of the people living down there told me about it, showed me its tracks, and told me the story of its arrival. Apparently, it is just as smart as people are, and has the raw power of a small tank, I am going to put a little story in here that seemed like a dream to me, but it may have been that the Hunter was telling me how it got here, I really hope it was a dream, because otherwise that means there is more to the Hunter than even the folks in the underground suspect.)
1958 – Candalmas opens the FlipSide.
Also – Mikee arrives.
(Note – It seemed a little appropriate to have these two listed in the same year. For those like me who have membership the FlipSide can be a scary place, and Mikee, Mikee is a scary individual. The FlipSide is something that has to be seen to be believed, and if you are offered a membership I suggest that unless your morals are low and you have a good amount of extra ready cash, you pass. It can be worth it to see though, but understand, once you’re a member, you’re a member. This is one of those groups that you just don’t get out of. Mikee, why is it scary? Why am I saying ‘it’? Well that is just because no one knows what the hell Mikee is. Never the same thing twice, but always the same mind. And running two shops by itself, that seems a little too much even for me. I will find out more, it’s inevitable, but I am not sure I am going to like what I find out. Mikee itself though always seems nice and polite, I really hope that if I find out anything it’s all good, I could use another friend in this town.)
1960 – The start of the “Hippie” movement. This period would run through the early 1970’s and some of the effects of it would be felt even to modern times.
Also – The first basic laser.
(Note – Is it just me or does the idea of hippies and lasers just seem like a really bad idea. Then again I think there were a few movies about that in the 70’s. Anyway, even though the space had always been there and the people using it were home owners and the like, in 1964 several of the more well-off hippies started buying up property in what is now the artists’ colony area of town. Putting up local communes and the like. And then like everything else in Delta City it just seemed to grow into more than it was. The area still has a lot of the feel of the 60’s to it, but the touch of the modern mixed in with the peace generation has not dimmed the area at all. If I could just keep the people following me off my back for a few years I think I could actually settle here. It’s good to know there are still areas that not only talk about the ideals of artistry and peace, but chase them too.)
1961 – Weavers founded.
Also – Hero’s Ltd. founded.
(Note – On the founding of Hero’s Ltd. There was a lot of press coverage over this moment. Apparently, there was a dragon that made its way to Delta City, I still have no idea if it was a native creature to this world, or came through the world walls but damn, it was laying waste to whatever it could, and those that were close to it could swear they heard it calling out form someone, but could never remember the name it was crying. The cops were at a loss, and there seemed to be nothing anyone could do, even the garbage men were keeping well away. Then a woman came on the scene, leading a large group of people that all seemed to have talents and gear that was beyond the norm, even by Delta City standards. The dragon was felled, but the body was never recovered. When the event was over the woman leading the team refused to give names to the press, but told them how to contact her if they needed help again with something like that. It looks like the business name and all was put in place shortly thereafter, and the company’s first contact list was set up just as fast. Makes me wonder if she did not have a hand in getting the dragon here in the first place and this event was just a very costly publicity stunt.)
1962 – Seattle World’s Fair.
Also – The first use of Agent Orange
(Note – I have to say it, it’s more than a little strange but from everything I have seen it looks like by this time in life that the strange is so common in the city that the mundane is starting to seem odd. But then what can you say about a place that when you go to work in the morning the bus driver is an ogre, really, and you get to work and buy espresso from the gremlin at the counter, there is an alien thing that seems to know what you want before you do at the lunch counter, your co-worker is telling you about this hottie with the pointed ears that works in the building across the street, at least three of the taxi’s have the ability to fly but you really never can get them when you need one, when you go shopping you see things in men’s, women’s, and thing’s sizes, every few days there is a ship in the harbor that either is defying time or physics, the local public broadcasts have an ‘I was Abducted Show’ where you can actually talk to the aliens who did it, and all of that is just on Tuesday. Damn I love this town, if it weren’t for all the damn ninja though…)
1963 – Mikee opens the Last Element, the first location in the Artists’ Colony. The second location in Historic Old town opens in 1974.
1964 – Pets Plus opens its doors.
Also – IBM creates OS/360, the first mass computer operating system.
(Note – Pets Plus is another one of those businesses that makes me a little worried. These guys are very good at what they do, almost too good. Once I got a look at the old records they keep it would appear that they did indeed traffic in slaves at first, but that side of the business seemed to fade away, like they just quit writing it down more than it was something that they stopped doing. Can’t prove anything though, which is a pity. I would not mind having a hand in shutting their doors for good, but when you are getting the money that they are for the things they are, they have to have bought some serious local support by now. I will say though that I am looking into the people that they have on file as having standing orders for some of the more exotic predators. That really cannot be a good thing.)
1965 – U.S. troops officially in Vietnam
Also – The First minicomputer.
1967 – The Core arrives.
(Note – This one is for the freak files. If this were any other city in the world I would think he was a work of fiction, but this guy has power, connections, and people in all the right places seem to owe him for something. I just hope that I can find out what he is up to before he does something major.)
(Second Note – Just got word from a contact in Net7, it looks like I am not the only one looking into this one, and I have been made a very handsome offer to pass on anything I come up with. The only sad bit is that I am not sure that I want money, more information might be a better trade. Then again with the cash I might be able to finally get enough security to keep my nosy ass safe.)
1968 – Shoji opens his dojo to the public.
(Note – I really feel sorry for Shoji some days. He has been looking for something in himself for a long time, and it looks like the opening of his private dojo to the public was his attempt to see if someone might just bring it to him, instead of him searching for it. He is a nice guy, and I really hope he finds what he is looking for, even if he won’t talk about it.)
1969 – The moon landing.
(Note – It looks like the population growth in the city had slowed by this time, as the best estimates I can get put the local population at around four hundred and fifty thousand people at this time.)
1970 – Fiber optic glass is invented.
1972 – Pong.
(Note – Hate to admit it, but this is the only video game that I have ever played. Still fun though.)
1973 – The last U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.
1974 – Spokane Worlds Fair
Also – The events of ‘Hero?’ happen.
Also – The Freedom of Information Act is passed. This would have repercussions felt throughout Delta City for a long time to come as trade of goods started to fall and the trade of information became a larger and larger resource.
Also – The first bar code is used.
1976 – Echoes’ opens its doors.
(Note – This place is worth all the hype, the view, the food, it is all some of the best. I just wish I could afford to hit the place more than once in my lifetime.)
1978 – Tanager Meats opens.
(Note – I found out something interesting the other day. Apparently, Tanager is the main supplier for Echoes meat. Considering that Tanager has things on its sell board that I have seen nowhere else I have to wonder if there might be a connection between her and Pets Plus as well. Something to look into another time I think.)
1980 – Mt. St. Helens erupts.
(Note – The biggest BOOM in the Northwest that white man has been around for. The ash, the dark, the end of an era? If you can imagine the strangest place on earth getting stranger for a few days, the prayers to the earth spirits, the invocations, the looks of hope and fear, along with some of the strangest block parties that anyone has ever offered. What can I say but this city is strange.)
1981 – The first launch of the space shuttle.
(Note – You know that there were more people into space at this time than any other save for the moon landing, and there is a reason. Not only were there odds makers taking bets on fly or fall, but also people had hope that man would reach the stars again, and maybe go further than the moon. It would be nice to see that in my lifetime. The interesting thing is that the photos that they sent back to earth, they caught Washington state in some of them and for the life of me, I cannot find the usual city blur that you get from space when you look on a city. I am going to hit a few of the older research sites and space flight photos, but if I am right, I won’t see Delta City on any of them.)
1983 – The PC is introduced to the world.
(Note – Most of the work I am doing is on a custom laptop, I picked it up used from a little shop in the Commercial District near the mall. I know just enough to tear the whole thing down and make sure it all works before I use it, and so I did when I bought this little toy. There are copyright and trademark stamps on some of the components that apparently date as 1968. The thing is that they are better than most of the stuff that is new from the big boys. I don’t know where all the bits came from but I am working on a machine that will not have to be updated for about another six years at the current rate of growth in the industry. They had a few more on the shelf when I bought this one, but by the time I figured out what I had and went back for more, they were sold out. I hope the others are in good hands.)
1984 – The members of the Net7 board arrive. Later that year they open the doors to Net7 Data Controls, usually just called Net7.
(Note – This is a company that needs to be watched, and watched closely. The seven members of the board are all active in information gathering, electronic security, and computer safety. They are also apparently the best there is at what they do. I can find semi-official records of actions that this company has taken since 1984 for companies, individuals, and governments around the world. They have not always succeeded, but their loss rate is less than one half of one percent in the last twenty years. These people have a reputation that is well earned, and you have to respect what they can do. Examples can include the event in 1988 with Hero’s Ltd. Apparently the head of Hero’s was wary of them and sent in a team of about twenty-five to get something from them, from what I can see only three members of the Net7 board were involved in that dust up, and none of them fell. Another example includes the time they threatened to release the names of all of the people still being held in North Vietnam if there was not a compromise that let people in for atomic safety inspections. After a ten-minute meeting with a North Vietnam delegate the United Nations inspectors were allowed in. Overall these guys look like they are flying on the sides of the angels. Something in me says that not everything is as it seems though.)
1985 – The first genetically engendered food is given the go ahead by the USDA.
(Note – Sometimes I wonder if the term eugenics is not a part of the whole genetic engineering lexicon anymore, because technically everything we use these days is genetically engineered. There of course are stories about things like genetic pets and all that just blow even my mind. I hope all the things that I heard about things like that are just stories.)
1989 – Black Dragon Couriers quietly let it be known that they are in business.
(Note – Creepy but cool. I just placed an, ‘If dead’ order with these guys. They have all the access codes to my work, investigations, and theories about what goes on here and around the world. The orders they have are if I am out of touch for more than three days, collect everything and deliver it to Net7, the press, and a few people at the colleges. Not that I fear death, but that guy with the gun found me again, and told me that he did not usually give people a warning, let alone two, but he liked my attitude, and the fact that I was trying to challenge him. Hopefully no one but the Couriers and me know where everything is hidden.)
1995 – The Maddics, Crandon, and Tigue law firm opens.
(Note – My attorneys should anything happen to me. The same day I made the order with the Couriers I put this office on retainer. With that noted I also want to mention population growth. The numbers look like about half a million people at this point in the city. What I found out in the city records recently made me smile. Apparently, all you have to do to be considered a citizen of Delta City is be here for a year or so, then even if you don’t have a green card the city will treat you as if you were a full-on U.S. citizen and give you all the rights and privileges. Interestingly enough that also means that you get included on the census that the city does every five years, so this number is not just the Americans, it’s not even just the humans, it includes everything, and everyone that lives above the streets. It looks like they tried to include the underground in the 1960 census but lost too many people in the tunnels, so they let it drop. Maybe it is that attitude that leaves the C.I.A. and O.S.S. running around this city like they actually have the right to work here. Definitely something to look into.)
1998 – Hillside Couriers forms their alliance and begins working together.
(Note – A collection of more independent and free souls I have not met. Even though the symbol of the alliance seems to be a bike, it is not all that uncommon for some more interesting forms of transportation to be seen in this group, they even have a couple people who just run. If you have anything to get around the city, call them they are in the book.)
1999 – All Things Anime opens its doors.
(Note – Ok this place is just too weird, even for me. I know there are a lot of fans for this stuff, but please, life sized dolls of all the characters is just a little much.)
2000 – The Millennium Scare
(Note – interestingly enough Delta City was not immune to this phenomenon. Just as many strange cult groups and survivalists popped up here as anywhere else, and some of the theories they had were a lot sounder than you would guess. There were a few big fights, and some reports of things that sound like dragons, and other mythic beasts wandering the streets. Strange thing to all this was that it lasted all year in Delta City. People did not calm down until the clocks rolled over onto 2001. Of course, I am now waiting to see what happens in 2005, May 5th. That is supposed to be the date that there is a big planetary alignment, and the date that one of the Mesoamerican cultures put on their calendar as the end of the world, and or their return to power. I can only figure that if anything like that happens it will start here.)
2001 – The Brawl
(Note – That’s the only way to describe what happened. From the city records and my own pictures of the week-long fight it looks like someone got a bunch of students riled up over something, they started protesting, the cops tried to pull them back, Hero’s Ltd. tried to get everyone separated, and then something snapped. I still have no idea what, even though I had a great view from the rooftop I was on, something snapped and the crowd just got angry. If you have never been in a riot there is no way to describe it. After about four days of off and on violence all over the city it was the garbage companies that ended up getting everyone to settle down. They just started bringing trucks to where ever the fights were, and dumping the loads. I am still trying to figure out just what happened to set this all off, because I have the feeling that it was not your standard student protest gone bad.)
2002 – The Delegation is opened.
(Note – An interesting idea that one would think would have happened long ago. Right on the edge of the City Center, a rather large building opened its doors to the public. While there are cultures from a lot of different places in the International District, this place was set up to let people get introduced to all of them and even more that are not in the city, in a smaller area. No matter the race, creed, species, or wattage it looks like just about everything ever living in the area has a small booth or some kind of interactive display to introduce people to the culture in question. I found it very interesting because it suggests that even though all these strange things that happen in Delta City seem localized, that is not really the case. There are places here that talk about the culture of the Amazons, the underwater cities, and I am lead to believe that the Yeti and Sasquatch will soon be opening up booths of their own. It looks like that even though it can all happen in Delta City, we really do live in a strange and wondrous world after all.)
Ok so that is the history section. I know it stops in 2002, but that is for a reason. Many of the fiction pieces I wrote go from the early 2000 to about 2010 and I do not want to spoil that section of things.
Next section would be the maps and layout of the city. That may come next week or a little sooner depending.
Now gimme the dice I got another world to roll up.
So back in the late 90’s I had the inspiration to create a place where all of my friends could write stories, set RPG’s and have fun. Well it never took off really. I could not get folks interested in sharing. But the exercise itself was a lot of fun. I also ended up creating several characters/NPC’s (however you want to view them) that sort of demanded that I block out a series of events in the timeline for the city that was more highlighted fiction than anything else.
At this point in time it has been several years since I have added anything to the timeline for the city, and I have been trying to figure out how to share it again. So I am going to do a series here on the blog that goes into the city, parse out the info and let the rest of the world do with it what it will.
That being said I retain the rights to all the characters and locations that are in the material that is published here for Delta City and the fiction that is posted. If you want to use them in any way shape or form you have to give me credit. That’s it. Other than that feel free to insert it into your fiction, your games, whatever. Simple aint it.
So this first post is going to talk a little about the city, when I post the second part, and those that follow, will be material from my documents. To be honest I have about 300 pages of material between all the different bits of fiction, timelines, maps and so on that I have created over the years.
So what the hell was I building?
Like I said I wanted to build a place that all of my friends could use in some way. That meant that I needed to have a location that could run fantasy, sci-fi, supers, horror, modern fantasy, military, espionage, and a host of other things as games, stories, debates or whatever else came to mind. So to put all that together I needed three things, a location, a reason why all these things were possible, and a way to fit it into the rest of any other world without anyone noticing. The second and third items came together for me really easy. The first one bugged me for a while until I found a place that I could put a major city in the real world that already had a couple of small towns. I am sure that if I get readers in that area they will be annoyed that I removed their towns from history, but hey, that is the way fiction works some times.
The mechanic that I came up with to explain why all these things could come together was the idea of World Walls. Sort of a dividing line between this reality and others. Not only are they very thin in the area of Delta City but there is also a focal point for them that is called the Well of Worlds. Sometimes also called the Core. For some reason the Well of Worlds bent things so that unless you called Delta City ‘home’ then you had a tendency to forget it was even there.
You may notice the use of the past tense there. Well that is because in the fiction I wrote I had a series of events happen that ended up bringing Delta City to the attention of the world. And when that attention was grabbed the whole world ended up not being able to let go and it changed things. I kinda left things there because I had so many ideas about how to take it further I could never sort out what way I wanted to go.
Eventually I moved on to other projects, but Delta City always runs in the back of my mind. The place ended up taking on a life of its own and I just wrote down the stuff I noticed going on in all the hubbub. I have so many bloody notes for where to go next, for other things that had been going on in the background, and for all sorts of one offs that I could likely spend the rest of this life and several others just fleshing out all the little details that came to mind.
Now then if someone else does want to use this as a setting, be it game or fiction, just remember that what I am presenting is my story, my idea. I would expect that for some this might just be inspiration and they build something of their own. Others might want to use it but not take things in the direction I did. Some may want to take it further. All of that is OK. Just like any RPG designer knows, not everyone is going to use the material the way you wrote it, and some folks will just rip out the one or two pieces that they feel they need. And I am good with that, as long as you remember what I said above, just give me credit for what I created.
All righty I am going to leave things there for now. Since I am going to copy stuff out of other documents I may post more than once a week while doing this section and leave Sundays for game reviews and other rants.
So gimme the dice, I need to set up a random encounter table, encounter table.
Just because I thought it would be a funny combination of having something listed as being 21 and teenage at the same time.
So how many of you out there are familiar with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? And no I do not mean the animated ones from the late 80’s early 90’s. And no I dont mean the Michael Bay abominations that made it to the big screen. I am talking about the original Turtles. Before there was any desire to have politically correct non-lethal child friendly cuddly turtles. I am talking the original TMNT. Done in black and white. Where you could only tell the turtles apart by the weapons they carried and by actually reading the dialog to understand how different each one was. These turtles used their weapons to injure and when needed, kill enemies, who were trying to kill them.
These are the Turtles that I know and love. These are the Turtles that were created back in 1984 (or at least first published) and in 1985 there was an RPG put out about those Turtles by Palladium Books.
Now then dispite what the wiki page says these Turtles were not part of RIFTS. RIFTS did not come along until five years later. So if anything RIFTS is an expansion of the Turtles :). A more honest timeline would be that Heroes Unlimited came out, then TMNT, and in true Palladium fashion another game setting called Ninja’s and Superspies, released in 1987 could be used to expand the martial arts past ninjitsu. After publishing about seven books for the TMNT over several years Palladium and the original creators of the Turtles called it quits. Dont know why, I do care, but I cant let that drag me down. Now then one thing I cannot speak to is if the mechanic for mutation was originally part of the TMNT game or if it was first in Heroes Unlimited. I have not seen a first printing of the HU game. But I can say that it is one of the things that makes the game really cool. And it has been in every edition of the HU game that I have played and still exists in the Palladium books and it still lives in the After the Bomb RPG that Palladium still releases.
Like other licensed products by Palladium the TMNT game does its best to keep to the source material and give players a good way to get into the world of the characters they have come to love without actually forcing them to just play the characters from the source material.
The game also has one of the coolest game rules that I have ever encountered. I have modded it a little bit from time to time over the years to add it to other games that I have played. The team character rule. As originally printed if players are going to share an origin and all be the same type of mutant animal then you get extra character levels. So if you have four characters of the same animal type sharing the same origin, with the same mutations then you are all starting at level four. If you have a different animal type, or different mutations still sharing the same origin then you drop a level off of that. It was something that encouraged players from the start to build a story together. I usually found it too limiting for a game group to all want to be the same animal so I would mod that so that if they all just shared the same origin then it was all they needed to get the bonus levels.
The mutation mechanic also allows you to build just about any kind of mutant you would like. And the supplemental books added ways to give your animal super powers, and to even use animals that came from other times. Personally one of my favorite builds is a T-rex that stands about four feet tall that has super strength and practices Muay Thai. Yeah, you can do that kinda stuff with this game. I also really enjoyed making a mutant porcupine that looked totally human but still had quills and was trained as a bookkeeper/bodyguard. You can do some totally off the wall stuff with this mutation engine and it all balances out. But to do all that I brought up means you have to use multiple books and so we need to pull it back to the main book itself.
I have lost track of the number of times I have played this game over the years. And considering that the first copy I had was back in 1986… I think… It is a lot of years. Sure I have had good game sessions and bad ones, but mostly it has been fun. And considering the number of ways that Palladium books crossover, it can get really weird the things you can do. Ahem… yeah… A band of mutant animals and ninja with a couple of supers and a disgruntled mystic taking over the SDF1 and driving it to RIFTS earth to try and stop the Coalition. Shhhhh, shhhh, dont fight it… it will all be over soon.
Ahhh still trying to pull back to the main book…
Ok here we go… So this game engine still suffers from the usual issues you see in a level based engine for character growth, and it does not allow for later enhancement or alteration of mutation. Mutation is a point based system derived from potential bio energy, and that potential is usually limited only by the size of the creature. So the bigger you are the less energy you have. To get more you need to get small. Now then sadly the original engine did not completely balance that energy level and so there were one or two animals that you could mutate the heck out of while others you would struggle to get a pair of opposable thumbs. Back when I started playing this just meant that there were a few animals that never got played. Later in life it just takes a few minutes to re-balance any animal to a set of numbers that works completely.
Ok so how do the numbers look?
Overall Fluff 5/5 – The story bits and art are mostly from the original comics and the creators. The character backgrounds and samples are also from the original character info from the comics. Some of the supplemental art is from artists who really understood the TMNT mindset.
Overall Crunch 3/5 – There was a need right off the bat with the original printing to do some game balancing, but overall the Palladium rules are a solid level based system. The rules are a bit soft on some of the gear and tools you can use and their overall game effects, but if you have other books by the publisher it works easy enough.
Overall Mod 4/5 – This particular Palladium book seems to have brought the mod to the table. It is easy to balance things out, and of course you need to mod all characters according to taste, while also having the first and best team creation rule in an RPG.
Overall Fun 5/5 – Speaks for itself. Mic drop.
Total Score 17/20 – Ok so there are a lot of points here. Is it worth it? To me this is one of those games that if you love any version of the Turtles, you need to hunt this down. You wont find any legal PDF copies online, because, licensing. You can usually find them in used book stores starting at about 10 bucks.
Ok so once again, my thoughts my opinions, get out there and game for yourself and make up your own mind 🙂
Keep it fun folks
Gimme the dice, I need to see if I can make all my skill rolls to get through all the running around today.
So yeah this one qualifies as a bit of a rant. Also though it is something that I would hope invites discussion.
There are a lot of reasons folks play role playing games. Sometimes it is about working out your aggression in a safe and relatively sane manner. Sometimes it is all about getting out of the current world/life you are in and wanting to see something that is better. Sometimes it is to experiment with alternatives to who you happen to be at the moment. Sometimes it is to be social and see folks. Sometimes it is to build a world. And sometimes it is to tell a story. I know there are lots of other reasons. Actually there are likely as many reasons to play role playing games as there are people who play them. But I want to take a moment to look at the story telling one.
One of the best descriptions I have ever heard about playing role playing games is that it is like playing “Lets make believe (with or without the adult parts) but with rules and paper.” The second best though is that everyone playing is doing collective story telling.
If you are not familiar with the concept of collective story telling, I think that two series of fictional works would help better illustrate the idea than me just rambling along. The first is Thieves’ World edited originally by Robert Asprin and Wild Cards edited by George RR Martin. Both of these fiction anthologies were created with characters created and written by multiple authors, and the authors all agreed to work those characters into a single world, and follow some simple rules to respect each others work. By working together they created a cast of characters, both good and evil, and built a world with them that was shared by, well, tons of people. Strangely enough both of the settings have been turned into RPG settings as well. You can see more about that in the wiki links above. You can also read about how Wild Cards started out as an RPG group that turned their game into fiction… which then turned into a game… yeah…
I know that when I set up to run a game I usually try to build up a serious plot line of some kind and then back off and let my players either run with the plot or come up with something on their own. That means I try to build out a lot of little things that they can run with. But none of them have to be followed. Hells even my main story does not have to be followed. I see that as playing sort of a Star Wars RPG vibe. I mean you cant all be Luke or Vader, but there are a lot of other things going on in the universe other than that story. So why not explore a ton of them, or even set yourself up to run the main story off its rails and create your own alternate Star Wars reality… Now then you will have to trust me that this can get stranger than any fanfic you have ever read.
This is also why I encourage players to blue book (a term that wiki has finally failed me on. The term blue booking is encouraging players to use notebooks [originally college testing blank books called blue books were encouraged to be used because they were cheap and easy to store] to hold private communications with each other or with the game master so that not everyone was privy to everything going on) in whatever media works for them. Be it old school note books or in text messages and forum posts. So that they can build up ideas with each other and with me.
To my perception all of this work that we are doing and all the fun we are having tells a story. It may not be the one that I was originally going for, but telling the story I had set up is not the point. Telling the story that the players want to tell with me is the point.
I enjoy the process and the concept of collective story telling. Hells I have tried to write fiction with partners a number of times to try and recreate that feeling. I even got suckered in by White Wolf when Vampire first came out and they used the tagline for their game engine that it was the Story Teller game system.
So my reason for bringing all this up is not to try and pull out anyone’s preferred reason to play an RPG, or to say that any given reason is more right than any other. I want to put all this out there to try and get folks talking about the kind of story they want to tell when they play an RPG. If you want to play just to vent frustration and rampage in a world that will not arrest you for destroying the bad guy maybe your kind of story is an action story. If you want to play to be something else maybe your kind of story is a story of acceptance. If you want to conquer the world then that might be an epic adventure with political and military drama. If you want to be the bad guy it might be a drama or an assassin story. I think you get the idea.
I also think that if players and GMs can all talk about the kind of story they want to play in you can do a lot to make sure that everyone is having fun. Sure it might be a challenge to get an action adventure/romance/vengeance/quest for acceptance story. But if Deadpool can do it, I think that those of us who game can give it a go. I mean there are tons of articles and chapters in game books that talk about the player types and the character types (my favorite is still the first one I read in Strike Force by Aaron Allston for Champions second or third edition), but I have not seen anyone really talk about the stories.
The only thing that I could think to ask is that unless all the other people participating in the game you are playing agree to it, everyone’s story matters. That means that the GM may have to give up a little or a lot, the players will have to give every other person the chance to be in the lime light so their story can take the stage from time to time, and most of all everyone needs to find a way to work on it together. That is what makes it a collective story telling experience. And that to me is what a role playing game is.
All righty now that I have that out of my system and folks can dissect or destroy or ignore or whatever. I hope that everyone is having fun gaming and keeps it up.
Now gimme the dice, I need to set up a random toy encounter for my cats…
Ok yeah so its a little odd for me to do two game reviews in a row but I have a need to get this one out there.
You see there is a movie coming out shortly Ready Player One. Based on the book of the same name by Ernest Kline. (Movie / Book) Now then I am not sure how much they are going to keep in the movie, but in the book Tomb of Horrors plays a role. I am tempted to give a book review on Ready Player One, but let me just say that if you ever played Adventure on the Atari, and geeked in the 80’s you will likely find several things to enjoy in the book.
So what is the Tomb Of Horrors? This is a module created back in 1975 for AD&D. Published in 1978, and became a tournament standard in 1981. Penned by Gygax it created the S series of (mostly) tournament modules for convention play. That means the module comes with a lot of add ons that you did not always see in D&D modules. Like art books so you could show your players just what they were facing. And a list of tournament PCs so you at home could play the same characters that came up at the convention.
Now then the S series of modules in general gets some serious crap from players. It also gets some of the best reviews. The whole batch of four modules was reprinted by Wizards of the Coast in a hardcover archive format in 2013. So you wont have to pay collectors prices to get it. You can also download it in its entirety online. There have been remastered versions that were published for D&D 3.5, 4th and I think 5th edition as well. Also a Return to the Tomb of Horrors was created to be an official sequel but to my mind its not.
The reason why it gets so much crap, and the reason I do not see Return to the Tomb as a sequel, is because the modules are mostly TPK (Total Party Kill) modules. These things are hard core and so over the top that in all likelihood your players will not get out alive. Seriously. There are steps in the module that say things like “Count to six, any players that have not stated that their characters have moved to another part of the room by the time you reach six, those characters are dead.” There are several moments like this. No chance is listed to detect the trap, high powered magic items are needed to see them, and if you are playing AD&D the old way, then they are freaking rare.
I have been a player in this dungeon twice. Decades apart in play time. The first time we had a TPK. The second time we ended up having one player make it out alive with cuttings from the rest of us so we could be resurrected or reincarnated. And when that character suggested that now that we know what we are up against we could go back and really clean up, the rest of the party killed him and refused to get him brought back to life. To be honest though, as a player I look forward to the day I have a team at the ready that can clear this place. The design is sweet, the set up is of course a challenge, and if you actually get to the real final boss you had better have some serious spells and magic at hand because that beast can auto kill up to eight party members without you getting a save.
As a DM I have looked to the Tomb of Horrors for inspiration. This thing is not a one off game night kinda place. This is what the approach to the final boss of an epic story should be. This is the place you have to bring your best, everyone on the team needs to bring their best. And if you as a DM have inspired the players with your story and your encounters that lead up to the Tomb then you are going to see them pull out all the stops and they will have one of the best games of their lives. I have not used the Tomb… yet… but I have built it into more than one of my worlds so that I can use it as the finale should the players go after the big bad.
Frankly I think that “I survived the Original Tomb of Horrors” products could make Wizards of the Coast some serious bank with old school players.
So how do the numbers look on this beast of an adventure?
Overall Fluff 3/5 – There is very little backstory as is the case with a lot of the early modules, as it was designed to be dropped just about anywhere. The added art is very VERY 70’s fantasy. Sometimes it is a little hard to look at, but the level of detail is awesome and can be useful in game. However it is also in black and white so all the color elements that come up in the module need to be described in just as much detail to really make them work well. Flavor text is minimal, which is actually unusual.
Overall Crunch 5/5 – Normally a module would not have much in the way of crunch but this thing has so many GM Fiat moments (the players get no say in the moment shit just happens) that it sort of feels like there is a good selection of new rules and the materials are presented in a way that makes it work.
Overall Mod 1/5 – Now then usually I find it really easy to change a 1st edition D&D or AD&D module over to something else like 3.0 or Pathfinder without an issue. However those same GM Fiat moments make it a pain to convert it. Other game systems might allow a save or have some kind of warning that you would have to put into place, or a character might have an ability or power that could nullify a trap or something. Meaning you need to take a lot into account if you are going to try and change it around and fit it into something other than its original setting.
Overall Fun X/5 – Ok I am fudging the hell out of this one. As I said above this thing is written as a TPK module. It is winable but it is not an easy win by any means. I have heard more horror stories about this module than almost any other adventure. But the folks who have survived and made it back with stories to tell seem to walk a little taller if you know what I mean. Having lost characters to it twice myself I am leery about going back in, but I want to. I need to rate this one as an X because sometimes I love it for the inspiration it brings, and some times I hate it because of just how lethal it is.
Total Score 9+X/20 – Ok so this is my first review with a variable score. Because I torn with the love it or hate it. So it is both a 10/20 and a 14/20 at the same time. I honestly think that if nothing else folks should look it over, and see what I mean about it being an inspiration. Then love it or hate it you can figure out what to do with it on your own.
So as always I have to say remember that this is my opinion and you need to decide for your own bloody self if this is for you or not. I am not here to make up your mind for you, just to put my words out there and see how you feel about it.
Ok now gimme the dice, I need to see how many cats would survive if I set a thousand of them loose in the Tomb. Curiosity and all that 😉
Keep gaming and have a great time folks.
Ok so even though I have a request in to do a review of another product I decided to go with Spycraft instead. Why, well it is a d20 game and this is the 20th game review I have set up, and my wife and I have been watching a lot of Archer lately and when I busted up during a season 4 episode I told my wife I could actually turn this whole thing into a RPG setting she actually said she would play it. Since she has never expressed even a joking interest in playing a table top RPG before it got me thinking very seriously about how to put a game together. And that train of thought lead me into Top Secret (the game not the movie), and Spycraft. Still have not settled on a game to use yet, but that is a story for another post.
So a little history on Spycraft. Spycraft is a d20 rpg that came out after the publication of the original 3rd edition D&D but before d20 Modern. Originally published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) currently under license to Crafty Games, unless they have finally bought it completely and I have not heard. Now then the time line is a little funky on publication as I can only find notes online that say it was published in 2002, just a few months before d20 Modern came out, but I have a PDF and a copy of the book that says copyright in 2001 and lists that for the original print date. I know that distribution may not have happened until 2002, I mean if you look into the history of AEG’s early print and to shelf history it reads a lot like Palladium Books history. Sorry guys but neither company has a rep for getting things to the stores in a timely manner or anything close to when you stated it would be published.
Not here to rant about that though.
Spycraft took the original d20 Players handbook and stood it on its ear to create a modern setting. This was not the only game to do that, but in my personal opinion it is the one that did it best. They took a few hints from the licensed Star Wars RPG that Wizards of the Coast was publishing and improved on them. Examples would include having a defensive bonus instead of just an AC and having your Hit Points/Life Points being tied more directly into your Con than being based on a roll every level. Instead of a race you would have a Department, and the classes, while they stuck to a lot of the basic tenants of D&D at the time (there is a function that each class does really well and most others can only half @$$ at best), they also established a firm role for the characters in the setting unlike d20 Modern. The fact that you can still multi-class gives you the chance to make very detailed agents and enemies. They also added class level features called Budget Points and Gadget Points. Not as quick to use as simple cash, but better than the d20 Modern finance system by far. The initial setting reminded me a lot of the old Top Secret game but with a lot better depth and detail. Making a comparison on that is not really fair as Top Secret had to come in at under a hundred pages, and Spycraft came in at almost 300.
Second edition made some very interesting changes to pull it a little further from the basic d20 system, but that is also not something for this review.
Having had a lot of fond memories of being a teenager and really messing with Top Secret game sessions… (“Ahead of you in the darkness you see a stair case.” “Ok we stare back.” and “You have successfully snuck to the door without being seen. All of your intel says your target is inside that next room.” “Ok so we open the door just a little and toss a grenade in.” “You what?!”) I was really looking forward to having some fun with Spycraft. Unfortunately the first two groups I played with were all about recreating James Bond situations, and that meant that you could not really go off the rails and one of the players was always going to be the main spy. The games rarely lead to the types of teamwork the game engine makes possible or the levels of fun I was trying to recapture. So I let it go for quite a while. The potential was there, but my game groups did not really want to go in that direction. But now with Archer on my brain, I am looking again.
Ok so that gives you some background. How does it rack up in the scores?
Overall Fluff 3/5 – The art in the game is hit or miss, and the background material is sparse in some areas. Admittedly later supplements fleshed things out a lot, but the core rule book was more about making sure you could play, than making sure you had everything you might want in a setting. Like I said earlier though it is a big improvement on the old Top Secret game. It is enough to spur the imagination and not force you down any one path.
Overall Crunch 4/5 – Being a d20 game engine much of the rules are cut and paste. Easy enough to get by with. The added rules are good and do not bog down action, they just mean you need a little more time to set everything up before you begin an adventure. Overall I think it is one of the better d20 adaptations.
Overall Mod 4/5 – Again it is a d20 engine so you can mod the hell out of it. Because of its independent concepts it is a little challenging to bring in outside source materials, but a little effort there and you can come up with some really X-files like stuff.
Overall Fun 2/5 – Yeah this score is a little low. And that is more from my personal experience with the game than from its potential. A game setting like this is going to be something where everyone wants to be James Bond or Maxwell Smart. The one person who can get it all done. But RPGs are mostly about teamwork and story telling, not being a stage hog. Same sort of challenge you usually get in a pulp setting.
Total Score 13/20 – Could have been higher if I had a better time with it originally, but I still see a lot of potential to dust it off and run with it anyway. Anyone who is into d20 games could get this running really fast. I am still looking forward to putting together a Wheel-man / Black Ops character so that I can add a Transporter like character to a Spy game.
As always my final recommendation is to look it over and decide for yourself if this is the game that will do what you want and let you play what you want. If not then toss it. If it is, then AWESOME you got a winner. 🙂
Well thats it for now. Hope everyone is having a great 2018 so far and is remembering to date documents and checks correctly. Yeah checks, some of us still use them.
Now gimme the dice. I need to check to see what sort of random encounter is showing up here next.
Ok so I have left this hanging since mid December and it is time to clean house and end this series.
So what parts have been brought together to make this world?
- The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
- Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
- Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.
- Timeline is about 30 years in the future and there are older humans who remember ‘today’ as the good old days.
- There are many alien races but humans currently only know five.
- There are two “magics”, technology and psychic powers. Psychic powers are used to stratify the over reaching galactic society and technology is used as a tool and extra lever over ‘lesser’ races. And humanity is one of the very lesser races.
- Game Engine is d6 system.
The question would now be how did I put that together to make a sci-fi setting that I would be presenting to my players?
In 20XX (this is done to allow games to be started at any reasonable point in the future and so that the game setting does not become limited by a timeline that would have to be rewritten) the world gaped in awe as an object the size of a small moon was noted passing Jupiter and heading on a flight trajectory toward Earth. With the number of orbital satellites and exploratory satellites in the system that look for, well, anything, the media around the world was in a fury trying to find out how something so large on a course so direct could have been missed until it was passing Jupiter. The speed it was traveling at left less than a day before it arrived at Earth. Constant sky watch roused the world to panic levels. No one was sure if the object was going to hit the Earth or miss, theories were passing over the internet about how it had to be an alien craft, or a missile launched at Earth. Governments cried out they were on it, but between the people wanting to greet alien visitors and the doom sayers, panic seemed to be the overall order of the day.
When the object parked in lunar orbit without any negative effects on the Earth or the Moon due to gravity the question of alien ship versus missile of doom seemed to be answered. Moments after its arrival however the question came up again as every method of communication around the planet was over ridden and the ‘message’ was heard by all.
“Greetings citizens of world 152b-3. Your species has been determined to be ready to enter the Collective of Worlds. Your species will be granted class three status. In order to ensure your compliance targeted energy pulses will disable your military complexes and primitive attempts at nuclear power and weapons. Resistance to these precautions will have your species downgraded to class four status. Changes will be put in place at once. In one planetary rotation your representatives will be contacted via your attempt at a centralized world government so your duties and responsibilities in the Collective of Worlds can be formalized.”
Of course humanity resisted. Orbital weapons platforms that no country would have admitted to were re-targeted. Missiles capable of breaking free of earths gravity were launched and experimental weapons that no one really understood were launched and fired. They had no effect. Except to have the second message sent.
“Citizens of 152b-3, due to your resistance you have been downgraded to class four status. Energy pulses will now be global in effect. Loss of life is now expected. As property of the Collective of Worlds survivors of your species will be cared for and given work. Please do not resist further or your species will be designated as vermin and eradicated. Disabling of technology in 4…3…2…1…”
Then the world went dark.
Every day since there have been craft not of the Earth in our skies. Communication is down to written works that get spread by hand. Food is dolled out or farmed ourselves. Rich, poor, skin color, background, none of it seems to mater any more. Sure some folks tried to tell everyone they were still superior at first. But that did not last long. Humanity as a whole seems to have become a third world nation. Some people disappear forever into the alien complexes. Some come back with new clothes and tell us about the wonders of serving the Collective of Worlds. Others come back with blank faces and distribute food and the like to folks who still don’t know how to care for themselves. More of the young ones, locally at least are pushing to go to the Collective. They don’t know any better. Don’t know their own history. It has only been twenty five years but there are a lot of us that still remember when being human meant everything.
All we have left now as a species is to find a way to fight back. Take what the Collective has and make it our own. Rebuild human history and drive these damned things off our world.
In 20XX when humanity was at its worst, separate countries and businesses trying to take whatever they could and trying to drive everyone into classes based on money and resource control, we were given a chance to be better. A greeting ship from the Collective of Worlds arrived in our solar system and after an analysis of our media and planetary capacity reached out and offered us the chance for an uplift. Some will tell you they came and gave humanity an ultimatum, but if you listen to the recordings they transmitted that are available in the uplift centers you will see that humanity was actually given a choice to join the Collective or to decline. However the people in power decided that it was a threat and not a choice and so they tried to attack the Collectives greeting ship. In self defense they disabled most of Earths technology. They had only intended to block military power, but they overestimated how robust our technology was.
In order to help humanity get back on our feet they set up centers around the world so that they could help with food, medicine and other essentials. And they are willing to take anyone who is interested into the larger Collective. Sure we don’t have the full status that the regular citizens have in the Collective but if you think about just how primitive humans are compared to the collective as a whole, it is obvious we need time to adapt to the new possibilities.
So many new technologies to learn. Languages and cultures to learn. Philosophies and religions to learn.
I am not going to apologize for the fact that lives were lost when the Collective stopped the military threat that humanity had presented. But if you take a look at humanity’s own history there have always been conflicts and loss of life when one culture encounters another. Humanity just was not ready. We as a species could not accept that there was a stronger, older, and more powerful culture out there, and we freaked out. Yes it could have been handled better on both sides. But in spite of the losses, I think we have gained more. More opportunities, more worlds. All we have to do is take them.
The truth as always falls in-between the extremes. Earth was contacted several times by the Collective of Worlds before the arrival of the greeting ship. Several world leaders had agreed to join the Collective and to bring the rest of humanity into the fold. In exchange for personal power they offered to sell humanity to the Collective as slaves. When the Collectives offer came in though all of humanity was to get the same deal. The rich and powerful would not get a bonus in status or privilege. This was because the human species has no intrinsic psychic gifts. Sure one will pop up from time to time but the Collective leadership is all made of highly gifted psychic races. And they would not set aside their own power. So without privilege or power the humans in charge of the world made the mistake of attacking the greeting ship. Humanity lost.
The Collective established stations across the Earth. To support and educate a subject species. In a few generations it might be possible for humans to move out of the subject species class four status they have now. But for the time being the Collective views humans as a whole as a group of slaves.
Individual non humans and even some non human cultures see more in humanity than that. Some few even call humans friend. But that cannot be counted on.
Currently on Earth
Right now on Earth there are three non human races that are working to help control and elevate humans so that they can be useful.
D’xid – An anthropomorphic insectoid race. Bipedal and with four manipulator limbs they are the Collectives highest ranking members on Earth. The D’xid share a hive mind that stretches between the stars. Able to communicate everywhere they have a presence the D’xid are as powerful as any species could be in the Collective. Class one citizens.
011100110110100001100001011100000110010101110010 (binary for Shaper) – An AI race. Sharing one base code but total independence from each other the units of the 011100110110100001100001011100000110010101110010 are free to develop whatever forms they choose to function in the roles they choose to explore. They are philosophers and repositories of knowledge in the Collective. Class three citizens.
Vulloos – A race of amphibious hexapods that have a form reminiscent of an Earth squid or octopus. They have minor telekinetic abilities that allow them to maneuver in a fully upright manner on land. Curious and highly spiritual, they have a desire to see other races uplifted as quickly as possible. Class two citizens.
Hundreds of worlds and dozens of species make up the Collective of Worlds. In the standard laws of the Collective species are designated by a caste like system.
Class 1 – Citizen species of the highest order. These races have psychic abilities of high order. At least one ability must be present in every member of the species. The range and power of the racial ability must be deemed significant by all other Class 1 species. Currently there are less than ten such species.
Class 2 – These races have psychic abilities that are determined to be lesser by the Class 1 species. Or there is something of a wild card to a races abilities. This could mean that power levels across the race are not standard, or that the abilities themselves are not standardized.
Class 3 – These species have sporadic psychic abilities or can contribute to the Collective in a specific technical or environmental area. Sometimes both. Class 1 and Class 2 treat these races as lesser beings usually and see them more as labor or servants.
Class 4 – Subjugated or slave species. Currently only fit for menial labor or fighting in wars for the Collective. In several generations the species may define itself in such a way that they could be elevated to Class 3. But this is uncommon.
Vermin – A race that is hostile toward the Collective. To be exterminated whenever found. These races may appear to match any class of citizen. But due to their hostility to the Collective they are seen as the enemy only.
Before the Collective of Worlds came to Earth, many of the things they could do were only possible in the realm of science fiction. Due to the assault on Earth by the Collective there is little on Earth above the age of steam that continues to function.
Role of Players
Players and the GM are going to need to decide on a campaign before creating characters. Do they want to play humans on Earth fighting against the Collective? Do they want to play slave soldiers in one of the Collectives extermination efforts? Do they want to play as characters that are in the service of a Collective citizen? Or maybe they used to be soldiers and servants but have taken over a ship and become pirates?
Of the current races on Earth the D’xid should not be allowed as PC’s. The others should be limited as the majority of any characters in a party should be human.
The longest any human would have been in service to any of the Collective efforts would be twenty years. But humans like that are rare. Most of them have left Earth and are either unable or unwilling to return to Earth.
So I know in a lot of ways this leaves you with something rather vague to play with. But just as when I did the fantasy setting I dont want to spell it all out for you like a game manual but give you enough info that you can do whatever creative work you want to on your own and build up a world you can have fun with.
I hope that everyone is having a great 2018 so far, and that the good times roll. 🙂
Now gimme the dice, I need to see what else is on the 2018 games table.
Hello dear readers
Today is new years eve and instead of a recap or a blow out of some kind I am just going to post a Happy New Year message to everyone and hope that they stay safe, keep gaming, and have fun in 2018 or whatever the system of denomination you choose to use is for this big blue balls next roll around the sun is… 🙂
Now gimme the dice I gotta see what the 2018 prophecy tables hold…
Hey there readers.
So I know it is not quite Christmas but we have already passed Yule and that is the holiday my wife presented me with what has to be the coolest gift I have ever gotten. A new desk.
So why would this top the list of best gifts ever… Let me just show you.
Is this freaking awesome or what?
Yes those are pages from game books, and yes those are MTG cards and yes those are comic books.
My wife built up this wood frame and stained it, recycled game book pages and stained them into place, added MTG cards and some comics from the quarter bin at the local used book shop. Then she put a resin coat over the whole thing.
The little ‘zilla is not sealed to the desk.
My wife does not play table top RPG’s nor does she want to. But she knows of my love of them and wanted to make something truly unique for me for Yule this year. And this just blew my mind.
And the space is huge even if it does not seem like it from the pics.
And she did not stop there she also did a little remodel for some floating shelves in my office and well, forced me to organize a few things because she just could not take my mess any more.
Seriously fellow gamers and geeks, if you ever find someone that loves you enough to go through challenges like this to make your work space better, to pull things you love together so that you can revel in them while you are working. Marry them. Or at the very least give them a reason, hells, tons of reasons to stick around.
I am one lucky son of a gun and I really just wanted to post this as a brag more than anything. 🙂
Ok so thats enough rant gloat from me.. I hope that everyone is having a safe and awesome holiday season regardless of what you do or do not celebrate.
Peace on earth and good will to dragons. 🙂
Now gimme the dice, I need to start rolling up a few random holiday encounters.
So while I am not the only one out there doing game blogs and creating stuff and giving advice, I wanted to dedicate a short article to others who are having fun, and promoting games and game discourse.
There is a lot of fun to be had out there in the big bad electronic world. And there are some people who take it further than others. Door Monster is one of the posters on YouTube that I like to go to when I need to see people acting out the games I have played at the most ludicrous levels. Take this piece on using the Diplomacy skill in a d20 fantasy game setting for example. Another one I enjoy on YouTube is Puffin Forrest. Now you will notice that I did not put a specific piece on that one. That’s because Puffin is all over the place. Some of the posts are rants about games, or players, or characters, or any number of other things. Some are stories and some are reviews. I did not want to push a specific one there. And who can forget when Wizards of the Coast was putting 4th ed out and they put this up on YouTube to help promote it.
Now then if I am feeling more like reading or setting up some bait to get an argument started I look for some good forums. If I feel like discussing a specific game product I will go to Drive Thru RPG or RPG Now (same site really, owned by the same company and offers the same stuff on both). If I really want to get in depth though I will go to either RPG Net or Pen & Paper.
Now then did you notice that I have not listed, nor posted a link to any specific game community? Or to any group that specifically supports one game, or even one style of game? Yeah, there is a reason. Those folks get hard core quick. I have been ejected from a few because I was not online posting all day, or I did not pick Kirk over Picard for higher stats in the classic Star Trek RPG. There are tons of them out there. Over the years I have found some to be very accepting and some to just be full of asshats. I will instead say just google it and good luck.
Speaking of google. Need some character ideas or game art? I hit up google images all the time. Also kinda fun to wander around in Deviant Art.
Oh gods and the number of online comics about games is just… damn… I mean WereGeek is a long time favorite but they have gone rather off the rails in their latest story arc… And if you don’t know Full Frontal Nerdity then, well you really should. 🙂
Of course you could always go and hang out at your local game shop too…
Basically what I am saying here if you have not figured it out, no mater your social niche or how anxious being out in the physical world makes you, if you enjoy gaming there is no reason not to enjoy it and to enlist others. Heck there are even online services so that you can set up a table top game in an entirely virtual environment. I have played one session with folks from multiple countries. It was… more challenging that going to a game con and playing straight and serious on day three.
Ok all, thats it for now. Hope everyone is having a great weekend and is looking forward to a great holiday season, or having one, or recently finished one, or whatever 🙂
Gimme the dice, I need to roll to see if the laundry is still fresh.