Wonder Wednesday

How could this not be an Everything, Everywhere, All at Once appreciation post?   Whatever meaning the Oscars may or may not have, it won big, and deservedly so.  It is an astounding, excellent, inventive, powerful, heartfelt, inspiring, insightful, transformational, and a storytelling tour de force.  A real display of passion by all those involved, that, with what might be considered modest means in today’s movie-making complex, shows what’s possible when authenticity is unleashed and aligned.  10000% fabulous.

And while it’s only gotten one philosophy highlight here so far, there will be more to come once I can put it into words…

Until then, if you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly, recommend it, and then watching it again, and again, and again. I certainly have.

— fanart poster by Daria Kalashnikova

Philosophy Tuesday

“I suppose it’s an invitation.  Won’t you be my neighbour?  It’s an invitation for somebody to be close to you.  You know I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable.  And consequently, the greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving.”

— Fred (aka Mr) Rogers

(Pairs wonderfully with this quote also from Mr Rogers and the follow-up post.  And it’s always worth a revisit to his testimony before congress.)

Architecture Monday

Oh this is neat, a visitor centre for Fort  York in Toronto done in part by Patkau Architects (who were some of the first architects I gushed about in these Monday posts).  Set as a backing to a hill behind, with a cool use of rusting steel and somehow making the underside of the Gardiner expressway feel livable.  I’ll need to check it out next time I’m home.

Fort York Visitors Centre by Patkau Architects and Kearns Mancini Architects

Wonder Wednesday

There’s something just so iconic about the green and white bi-level GO Train cars, especially the older riveted ones (you can also see one of the newer welded ones in the background).  It always amuses me to see them operating with different different livery on other services… they look so familiar yet also so not quite right?  (But I’m always happy that their design is standing the test of time and providing so much great transit!)

photo by me

Philosophy Tuesday

“It emphasizes the fact that you can’t rely on the applause of the wider world to tell you whether you’ve lived well or not. Public acclaim may be nice to have, but ultimately, it’s not worth very much. It’s treacherous, fickle, it’s usually wrong… you’ve got to take a lonely private view of what is success and failure for you. I think that is what it’s saying. You’ve got to try and find a meaning that’s within yourself…”

Kazuo Ishiguro on NPR

(I love this, not only for the bit about the creative arts, but that creation and art the most personal to us, the art of living our everyday life.  Who, in that context, is our audience?  Who are we seeking applause from? What actions have a big ‘in order to‘ in them to seek that applause? What default and inherited contexts are we living in, what unquestioned ‘truths’ about what makes for a good life for us?  Where are we being passive and seeking external validation?  We can examine all of these and set any aside that do not enliven and empower ourselves and those around us, and seek our meaning and answers from within, rather than from without.)

Architecture Monday

A sweet little clinic in Japan!

With smooth walls and a pure form that pops in and out, the building creates a sculptural ribbon that turns the corner on its L-shaped lot.

All those zigs and zags create a tonne of slices for windows on the inside, leading to lots of light and lots of views out onto small gardens and trees, a nice calming environment.

Very nifty and cool!  A creative and dynamic building to enliven the medical experience.

Asahicho Clinic by hkl studio


The Aurora RPG – Example A

It’s been about three years since I released the Aurora RPG Engine to the world.  And I’m still excited to have done so!  But the core engine itself always had a bit of a problem which was… well, it’s just an engine with a bunch of designer notes.  Not only do you need more design around the engine to create a complete and playable game, as the experience with Cortex Prime shows, even a toolbox can be opaque without a focused implementation.

So, in remedy of that… here’s an Example RPG!

There is one quick caveat: this example isn’t a full and complete example set of rules, not yet.  It is the core of it, with character creation, how to run skill tests, and just a smidge of conflict rules to illustrate how the Margin of Success system interfaces feeds into it.  But character growth, advanced resolution systems, and the complete conflict module including initiative, action handling, modifiers, recovery, etc are still absent.  Plus, as an example, it isn’t written with all the expansiveness, detail, and polish (especially polish!) that a published RPG would have.

But it is a start, and I will update and add to it over time.  And these rules have been playtested through the Star Wars campaign I have been running over the course of these same three years, where it has been working very well.  I’m still tweaking the conflict portions to get it just right, which is why their release is being postponed for a little while longer.

Despite this incompleteness, I hope this example still gives a good sense of how to use the Aurora RPG Engine and shows off some of its advantages and gaming oomph!  And please feel free to send back any feedback you might have.

Grab the Aurora RPG – Example A here (or click the image above), and happy gaming!