Playing RPGs ofer the net

So, recently me and my gaming buddies are preparing to do some experiments with playing tabletop RPGs over the ‘net. There are actually a number of software tools that are built to facilitate it, some of them are even free (and often opensource).

A pretty common characteristic of these programs is that they are built with very tactical games in mind, the sort that needs miniatures, a battlemap, and lots of minutia such as areas of effect, facing, status of the minis, and so on. For our experiment we will use MapTool, a free java app that features a shared map, chat, dice rollers.

We will be playing Spirit of the Century, instead. The game can be tactical in its own way, but it does not strictly need minis, and so on. What we will really need is a table instead… after all this is a tabletop game!

I’ve set up a “map” with maptool that will work as our shared tabletop: each player will have the “variable” part of his charsheet on it, so that wounds and consequences can be written on them, and a set of chips representing the game’s Fate Points, so that the players can bid them, and see at a glance the points.

You can see the Fate Points virtual chips here:

Fate Point Chip

and a sample setup of the table in my rpg pages.

Checkinstall for gnome packets

Checkinstall is a very useful package for linux distros that track their packages with databases (that is, with rpm or deb packages) when compiling from source, and can save you a lot of headaches when uninstalling or upgrading a package.

But I’ve found a nasty twist (not exactly checkinstall’s fault, actually) that should be kept in mind: there are some files that should NOT belong in your package. And not only for tidyness reasons, but to avoid completely screwing up your Gnome installation.

Read on…

Continue reading “Checkinstall for gnome packets”

Weird fedora dbus bug

A couple of days ago I got bit by a nasty and pretty dumb bug in dbus on Fedora Core 6: the service would just hang forever on startup.

To make a long story short, it all goes down to some interaction (I have no idea about) between dbus and ldap (of all things): if the ldap server is not available the servie just hangs.

To make the bug go away simply disable the use of ldap for “User Information” in system-config-authentication. It looks like you can continue to use it for authentication, fortunately.

Well, so I have a blog…

…I’ve resisted this for a long time: blogs I knew tended to be braindumps of people, often whining about their life or something.

But, well, in the meantime I’ve discovered some pretty awesome blogs, mainly in the tech and rpg areas, so I thought one more could do no real damage 🙂

This page will probably become a sort of pinboard (hence the name) where I put links to cool stuff I’ve found on the ‘net, or things I’ve discovered myself, just so that I have somewhere else than my brain to keep all that stuff. You only get so much space, you know…