Wing Commander RPG

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for yet another early weekly WCRPG Update.

Had a pretty good week this last week. In case you missed the general announcement on Friday or the spread on the CIC front page on Saturday, I have completed the last bit of work that was needed on the bases for Epsilon Sector for the Elegy campaign setting. The week started out with a continuation of work on the bases in the Circe system from two weeks ago; that effort wasn't completed until Tuesday (owing to me taking some time to begin a discussion of the Kilrathi language on the CIC forums). I worked on Corsair on Wednesday and was able to complete that in a single day, which left me with Firekka, the final system in the Sector that needed work and the one with the biggest number of large communities on its surface. Firekka went by faster than I anticipated, and by midday I had it done.

That left me to compile notes on factions and prepare begin work on encounter tables. As I mentioned in the campaign's discussion thread at CIC, the next step is going to be finalizing the capabilities of the various factions in the Sector in terms of ships and fighters. I'm thinking the encounter tables themselves will either be based on d% or d10 rolls, giving them a Privateer-esque functionality (indeed, so far the whole campaign setting works much like Privateer, but with a few more elements). I haven't decided if the encounter tables will be d10 or d%-based yet; though d% would be more flexible, d% would give me less overall work to do. I've also had some thoughts on rules that would allow gamers to play in Epsilon into the 2680s and 2690s (when the Nephilim War was ongoing, hopefully leading into an expanded Arena setting).

I've come to realize that there's going to have to be a lot more to the Elegy campaign setting than just the Epsilon Sector data; I'm going to be re-organizing that part of the wiki site some time in the coming weeks. I imagine the Epsilon Sector data will move to a new page when that happens. It'll all still be accessible for y'all's perusing, but I wanted to give y'all a heads-up on that before I did it.

The other big thing that happened this week was (as mentioned) the beginning of a renewed discussion thread about the Kilrathi language (started at the CIC here. As I mentioned in the beginning of that thread, I've completed about as much of the translation work as I can from my own perspective and began the thread to continue the discussion with y'all, let y'all know what I've come up with, get your opinions and see if there's anything that I haven't thought of (and should've). There hasn't been a lot of actual discussion so far and I'm hoping things pick up soon. I'm hoping to have spoken Kilrathi be a major piece of the Elegy campaign; we'll see how things turn out.

That's it for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on December 16th (and I swear it won't be early next time).
 
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capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

Not much to report this week, I'm afraid. I spent most of it working on the Kilrathi lexicon and I can report a fair amount of progress there. I think I'm to the point now where I need to go ahead and collate what I have already and see how much more is needed. I hope to at least get to a "Basic English" degree of vocabulary before everything is said and done there. Most of the rest of the time this week was spent reorganizing the campaign's page on the wiki, work that got started on Monday and commenced in earnest on Tuesday. The structure of the campaign's TOC (yes, it's going to be large enough to warrant breaking it up into individual wiki pages) was pretty much set in stone on Wednesday, though I have room to change things in the main story section. Once I got the Epsilon Sector data moved to its final resting place, I began work on data for factions - the chief goal of which at the moment is to determine which factions are using various craft. I'll need that information in place before I can start work in on encounter tables.

That's all I have for this week. Due to the upcoming holiday week, the next update will be sometime during the day on December 23rd (can't say exactly when).
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

Most of the work on the Elegy campaign this week was centered in and around the lexicon. I decided to go ahead and make the lexicon part of the Elegy campaign and to that end I created a page for it on Tuesday. Work continued on translation as much as possible but at this point I'm to the point where I'm starting to have to just make things up as I go (in most cases this is compounding translated words to form new ones). At least it's all still making sense for the most part (some of the craft have some interesting names now - bhantkara translated to "carrier of the people's blood", bordrav translated to "guard not the red creature"...). I've even begun the process of translating the squadron names from the CCG into Kilrathi (my version of it anyway) and I'll probably add those at some point. Rules for the lexicon's usage are being added slowly but surely; I have my pronoun and number tables up and I've come up with translations for the Seven Dirty Words (except one, and there's one I think I can do better on). I don't yet have a translation for kass'richak but I know it has something to do about blood and striking yourself, so...

A lexicon table for Kilrathi to English is up at this point; it's got over 250 words on it now, so I'm well on the way to a full conlag at this point. Definitely should be able to use it for the campaign like I hope.

Meantime, I've also begun work on the campaign's synopsis. I'm finding that I'm having a real tough time with my original premise based on what I know about Kilrathi culture (I think a public refusal to obey your liege lord's orders will get you killed whether you slay him right then and there or not). I'm still happy with the ending; the exposition needs a lot of work and I have relatively few ideas for the center. I do have a long trip ahead of me this coming week, and those are usually good times for me to gather up ideas. The synopsis is up on Elegy's index page at the moment; if any of y'all have any ideas, suggestions, complaints or scathing criticisms, please let me know.

Due to the Christmas and New Year's holiday, I have no intention of posting an update next Monday; the next scheduled update will take place on Monday, January 6th sometime between 11-14Z. I wish y'all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the first weekly WCRPG Update of 2014. I hope y'all had a pleasant holiday season.

Not much to report this week, unfortunately; I spent my holiday break actually taking a break for once, which meant almost no work whatsoever took place. I had intended to do some work late this week, but my holiday was given an unfortunate extension owing to the passing of one of my great uncles. As a result, I've spent at least part of each day since this past Thursday travelling and yesterday was devoted to catching up on household chores.

So...translation work over the past two weeks has been limited to two terms, nis = motor / set in motion / to go and vi = tool / item (extracted from lannis and vorghath, respectively, with lannis translated as "place of the motor", i.e. "engineer", and vorghath translated as "creature's great tool of death"). I still have some terms left to translate and I've obviously not expanded the vocabulary much past 250 words, so I still am not to the point where conversational Kilrathi is possible. But I still hope to get there soon.

I was able to get my wife into a brief conversation about the problems I was having with Elegy's exposition and she gave me a few ideas that I'm kinda excited about. They have to do with the nature of the Ra'Khaj character and adding some additional nuance to him - and it solves the question of "under what circumstances would a sworn retainer not commit zu'kara at the news of their master's death". It does mean I'll need to have some kind of break between Ra'Khaj and Bloodeye at some point late during the campaign, but that actually shouldn't be too big of a deal and I think I might still be able to use that event to help tell the story I wish to tell. I still have a lot to do before I get to the point where I can write the plot; hopefully I can get started soon.

That's it for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on January 13th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

This week I continued my forays into the Kilrathi language. At this point I'm really making some headway towards something that hopefully will be usable in the Elegy campaign and beyond. On Monday, I began the process of seeing if I had enough material translated to go ahead and translate some of the more well known material "back" into Kilrathi, namely the Oath of Service from Armada, the Codices and Warrior's Oath presented in False Colors (I still need to prepare to add the response), and the Prophecy of Sivar; when I have these translated there should be sufficient material available to move onto other things. Translation of the Oath of Service went quickly and I had it done by the end of the day on Tuesday. I decided then to have some fun with the language based on a post in the WC Online Workshop thread and began a translation of the "Major General's Tune" from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. I managed to translate the first verse of that by the end of the day on Tuesday, though I'm still stuck on the second verse (largely due to the fact that before I can translate the words into Kilrathi, I have to figure out just what exactly Gilbert was trying to say in his libretto in the first place - I mean, how many of you know the definition of "animaculous"?).

Did a couple of Bible verses on Tuesday as well; presented everything that had been translated up to that point on the CIC on Wednesday. Wednesday was largely spent cleaning things up on my translation workbook, which by that point had grown to nineteen distinct worksheets. The main effort there was to "sync up" what I had in my main overarching spreadsheet with what I had on the wiki so far and to begin "decommissioning" some of the pages that were now redundant (still kept them, just marked that they were no longer needed). Thursday and Friday was spent on a translation of "A British Tar" from HMS Pinafore, as well as the completion of work on Kilrathi clan and squadron names (which I have not as yet presented to the community at large). Silly though the Gilbert and Sullivan work was, it generated a good number of additional words for the lexicon; as of this morning I have a ~375 word vocabulary, not necessarily counting all of the original translations and words that are appearing elsewhere in the lexicon discussion (such as pronouns and invective).

This week I hope to finish up with the basic lexicon - I still need to decode the codices and the Prophecy of Sivar and create a few more basic words such as colors and cardinal directions. As I've said, I plan to finish up just what I've started translating at this point before moving on to other things with the Elegy campaign. A review of the Kilrathi names of places will take place then, and then the plan is to go back and finish up the Sector map information (histories and encounter tables).

That's it for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on January 20th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

This week I remained focused on work on the Kilrathi lexicon for the Elegy Campaign (special thanks to the CIC staff for the frontpage spread on Sunday). I started the week out by finishing a translation of the Prophecy of Sivar as well as the Warrior's Pledge and the Response from False Colors, all of which were posted to the language discussion thread at the CIC forums. Work on the codices then got started. For the lulz, I started a translation of yet another piece of music from Gilbert and Sullivan, in this case "Three Little Maids" from The Mikado. "Three Little Maids" was translated on Wednesday and I got to add a few words to the lexicon that one wouldn't necessarily associate with the Kilrathi right away (such as "fun" and "pert"). I did that one as a total translation - even Gilbert and Sullivan's names were translated into Kilrathi, which was fun (as was coming up with a translation for "Mikado"; the literal translation turned out as "Emperor of the Land of the Coming (i.e. Rising) Fiery Hall of our Ancestors (i.e. Sun)"). Work on Taunts began on Wednesday, with work on taunts completed Friday. I've still got some work on taunts to finish up at this point. I've also gotten some new materials over the weekend from CIC forum members Shades2585 and FekLyrTarg, which I will be perusing this week and there are some other items that I have not yet had time to review this morning. So I didn't complete my goal of reaching a stopping place with the lexicon work, but things are progressing. The introductory "letter" for the lexicon chapter is complete at this point and there's not much else I plan to do with the sounds section. I do need to work a bit on the syntax section and there are a few more words I need to come up with.

So for the coming week the hope is to finish up with the basic lexicon - I need to finish decoding the codices and see if the new materials still fit in with what I've done so far. I also still need to create a few more basic words such as colors and cardinal directions, though at this point the vocabulary is up to just short of 500 words so there should be enough there to speak the language conversationally. As I've stated previously, I plan to finish up with the translation work before moving on to other things with the Elegy campaign. A review of the Kilrathi names of places will take place then, and then the plan is to go back and finish up the Sector map information (histories and encounter tables). I may do one more song before all is said and done; not Gilbert and Sullivan, just something for myself.

That's it for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on January 27th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

This week I continued my ongoing efforts to construct the Kilrathi language for the Elegy campaign. After taking the day off on Monday, I continued my work on the Codices and had them completed by the end of the day on Tuesday. I followed that up by writing "original" translations of the stories of Karga and Vorghath (the "fables" as I've labeled them) and by working to complete translations of the few remaining terms I had from the Green Lantern and CIC sources. I finished that work up on Wednesday and for good measure I added some basic notions that were up to that point missing from the language, notably cardinal directions, color prefixes and basic weather terminology. Thursday I completed going through the materials that Shades2585 gave me previously - though there wasn't a great deal of new terminology there, there were a few things I could add. I finished Thursday out by posting a translation of "Gaeta's Lament" from the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica. At that point I was on to a list of "practical" terminology (items one might need if one were serving aboard a capital ship) as well as the 250 word list of Qualifiers and Actions from Basic English - this last bit is, as I've indicated previously, where I intend to cap things off for the time being. I am still working on these lists, though I did take the time to translate one more song on Friday.

I am finding that I really am enjoying the process of building a constructed language, and I'd still like to get some more practice in doing it (mainly to see if there are additional words I could create for it). So I'll repeat the offer I made on the language thread here: I'm willing to attempt to translate anything into (my version of) Kilrathi, provided it's not too terribly long. This can be fragments from the games, popular or classical music, famous speeches, anything (after suggesting it, I've already started in on the Gettysburg Address). If there's anything you'd like to see translated, just let me know. I've also indicated a willingness to do names in Kilrathi, though I fear asking for the necessary information to do such a translation will sound like a phishing scheme. Still, if anyone is so interested, PM me and I'll send you some instructions.

Okay - so this week, the goal is to stop adding new things to translate and get the Basic English and Practical Terms done. With that done, I move back to the main part of the Elegy campaign, which as I recall was awaiting selection of craft for the various factions. System histories and overviews also still need work.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on February 3rd.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

This week saw the end of principal work on the Kilrathi lexicon tables for the Elegy campaign. On Monday, I finished up my translation of the Gettysburg Address and was able to finish up the work on the Basic English descriptors, leaving practical terminology as the last piece of work to complete. Tuesday I completed the last few words and spent the rest of the day adding them and the Basic English descriptors to the lexicon tables, work that took up the entire day and wasn't completed until Wednsday, which was when I was finally able to create the reverse English-to-Kilrathi lexicon table. Overall there are just over 850 Kilrathi words in the core lexicon, corresponding to an English list of just short of 1500 words. I also added the core translated materials to the wiki, finishing up the "back half" of the treatise. At this point I'm working on finalizing the individual sections for word usage. The sections on Verbs, Adverbials, Conjunctions, Names and Address and Syntax need the most work. I also need to finish composing the chapter's introduction. Some of the other sections need some additional work - for example, I need to figure out the significance of double apostrophes (K''vr is the name of a planet in the Kilrah system, so this does have some relevance). I don't necessarily plan to complete this work this week, though it'd be nice if it could happen.

I have received a bit of a distraction of late: Thursday night I was showing a friend of mine the work I'd done on the Kilrathi language and he issued me a challenge - in two weeks time, I would need to translate "RE: Your Brains" by Jonathan Coulton and any two Weird Al Yankovic songs of my choosing (the original challenge was specifically for "Amish Paradise", which I flat out refused as impossible). With both RE: Your Brains and Still Alive done at this point, i'm still trying to decide which two Al songs I'll do. "Six Words Long" would be relatively simple to do - the second choice is proving problematic. My sister suggested "Albequerque", for which I promptly labelled her as a sadist.

Plan for the week: work on Al, work on the sections of the lexicon chapter that need to be finished, try to actually get it all wrapped up. Then I move on to assigning forces for the various factions in Epsilon.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on February 10th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

Well, work has still not wrapped up on the lexicon, though I am closer to being done with it at this point. I was able to complete my friend's challenge on Wednesday this past week, posting the final entry ("RE: Your Brains" by Jonathan Coulton) at CIC that day. The Weird Al songs I selected ("Six Words Long" and "Gump") were posted at RSI earlier in the week. With that essentially done, I turned my attention to work on the individual sections of the lexicon chapter for Elegy. I completed the introductory section on Tuesday and began some additional work on the Sounds Section, which was not finished up until Friday. Some minor tweaks were done to the Pronouns and Numbers section as well, and all of the other sections saw at least some work. At this point, there are half a dozen sections that need some work, and only two of them need to see major work at this point. My friend's challenge did generate over sixty new words and so I did have to add them to the lexicon tables; that work was completed on Thursday.

On Thursday, CIC forum member WCX, the guy who started the initial work on deciphering the Kilrathi language back in 2010 and upon whose work I based my own work on the language, posted a message. He applauded my efforts and said he would like to see some Chaucer in Kilrathi, as it was a favorite of Baron Jukaga's (mentioned in Fleet Action right after the False Armistice is signed). After asking for suggestions both at CIC and RSI, I've decided to go with Whistler's/VADMRisko's suggestion to do the Squire's Tale. Work on this started on Friday. Given its length, I'm considering it a side project; I need to finish codifying the rules for the language before I get too far into it, I think. Finding a reasonable modernization of the text has also been interesting - the translation I came up with did not translate the king's name into "Ghengis Khan" (who apparently is the monarch Chaucer was writing about in that tale). Nevertheless, work has started and is proceeding slowly.

My overall plans haven't changed much: work on the sections of the lexicon chapter that need to be finished and then move on to assigning forces for the various factions in Epsilon. I'll be working on the Squire's Tale off and on but I need to try to stay focused on Elegy if I can.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on February 10th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

More work to report on the lexicon this week, though I can report that my efforts were less focused on specific translations and more on sections of Elegy Chapter Ten, which discusses usage of the lexicon. On Monday, I completed the sections on the usage of nouns and conjunctions, and worked on the Names and Address section. Work on that section wrapped up on on Wednesday (at long last), and my focus shifted over to verbs. I worked on verbs through Friday, when I finally finished it up to my satisfaction. My current focus is on modifiers - adjectives, adverbs and determiners. I have considered consolidating the work there with the noun and verb sections, though I'm still considering whether or not that would be a wise idea. The section on modifiers and the section on syntax are the only portions of the Chapter remaining to be done.

I did do some specific translation work this week, completing a translation of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First" routine at the request of RSI forum member Freem as well as the Merle Haggard song "Okie from Muskogee" at the request of Aginor at CIC. The two exercises added a total of thirteen new words to the lexicon table, bringing the current Kilrathi total up to around 950 and the English translations just short of 2000. I am a little concerned about my translation of the word "Okie" - b'hra'hra, in that the -'hra suffix is supposed to indicate persons of indeterminate number, so b'hra could mean both "red people" (i.e. Oklahoma) and "red person". Perhaps b'hra'hra would be the more formal "Oklahoman", and b'hra "red person" would be the shortened form "Okie". I dunno; if I go that way, the translation is off. And yet it still works either way.

The Squire's Tale has been slow going. Aside from having to determine the meaning of what the Squire is saying, I keep on wishing the bastard would shut the hell up and tell the damn story already (apparently, I'm the Franklin). I have had some interesting translations so far - probably the one that may prove to be a problem is my translation for the name of the god Mars. The god of War. War god. Siv + -ar...

The overall plan for Elegy remains the same: work on the sections of the lexicon chapter that need to be finished and then move on to assigning forces for the various factions in Epsilon.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on February 24th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

Well, this week I'm pleased to report that principal editing of the lexicon chapter of Elegy has finally reached a conclusion. This involved a quick addition and correction to materials in the nouns and verbs section on Monday, an update of the introductory "letter" and numbers section on Tuesday, and finishing work on the sections on syntax and modifiers. I followed the completion of work with a review of the examples I'd placed at various points around the chapter to make sure everything still conformed with the final rules set. I found a number of errors within the grammatical sketch beginning on Thursday; those errors have been corrected at this point, leaving the practical section left to review. As of this morning I've finished a review an update of the Terran phrase section, Fables and Propecies, leaving maxims, taunts, oaths and codices left to review. I have high hopes that I'll finish this review work later this week, leaving the lexicon in a position where only further additions to the lexicon tables are necessary.

CIC member Aginor asked me several questions about the language this week, including an attempt to translate the opening line of the Gettysburg Address (the original, not the Simple English version I'd done previously) as well as some death metal (at least, that's what I assume it was; I still know the name of the song nor who performs it or I'd provide a link). The discussion there prompted the review work in the chapter. It also prompted me to add a special section in the lexicon for the three Kilrathi words for death and killing; that discussion is now part of a sub-section of the Verbs section. I am glad that other folks are attempting to use the language at this point.

My wife suggested that I should give a standing invitation to those who want to use the language and wind up having to invent a word to finish translating what they wanted to say, and it's a good idea: if you have a word you've translated into Kilrathi and would like to see it added to the "official" lexicon table, post on the WCRPG discussion thread at either CIC or RSI. Note that I will take my original rules and methods for translations into account and I will be reviewing any submissions made, so it's not a definite that a translation made will wind up in the table. That said, if you make a suggestion, there's a good chance it'll wind up in the lexicon (and if it doesn't, you'll at least be getting an "official" translation for the word in question). I will be sending off a version of the lexicon table to print eventually (with the entire Elegy campaign); the sooner a word is sent in, the greater of a chance it'll be in the final campaign.

A reminder - I am still looking for folks who would like to see their name translated into Kilrathi. PM me if you're interested.

No work on The Squire's Tale this week; I figured finalizing the grammatical rules was a bit more important. I am considering a new way of approaching the translation work there (basically reordering the text into how it would need to be rendered in Kilrathi first).

The Plan as it stands as of this morning: finish the review work and then move on to assigning forces for the various factions in Epsilon. Resuming work on the encounter tables is a short-term goal, one I hope I can begin attending to before March is out.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on March 3rd.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

This week was kinduva mixed bag. It started off with the review of the remaining Practical Kilrathi sections of the lexicon, producing a few additions to the lexicon tables on Monday. The conclusion of that work allowed me to "officially" wrap up work on the lexicon and move on to the work on factions in Epsilon (I will still be adding to the lexicon tables as necessary but for the time being I'm satisfied with the rest of the Chapter and I'm finally ready to move on to other things). Tuesday saw work on the history of the Confederation as well as one of the planned pirate clans in the campaign, and the introduction of a formal system of assigning available craft to a faction. Work on the Confederation and Kilrathi took place on Wednesday along with initial note taking on the Merchants Guild and Mercenaries Guild. A restructuring of the campaign took place on Thursday - Elegy was shortened from ten chapters to eight (and considering who the story's about - namely the Kilrathi - that seems a very appropriate thing to do). Thursday saw some work on Confederation force disposition, more work on the Guild descriptions, and initial work on the history of the Union of Border Worlds. Further work this week was curtailed due to a family emergency; my eldest son had a severe asthma attack and spent most of the day on Friday in the hospital. With my laptop out of commission, I was unable to avail myself of the otherwise ample "free time" to do any work on Elegy, not that that was on my mind at all that day...

I did some work on the Squire's Tale on Wednesday, including a review of what had been written so far to make sure it conformed to the finalized lexicon rules. Work is still continuing at a snail's pace, again mainly due to the fact that the Squire refuses to shut the hell up and tell his story already.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Aaron Allston (author of several of the Star Wars EU novels and, more significantly, the author of Claw Marks) late last week. I've made the decision to dedicate the Elegy campaign to his memory and I will be attending to that at the first opportunity.

The Plan as it stands as of this morning: continue assigning forces for the various factions in Epsilon, with the short-term goal of resuming work on the encounter tables. I have been doing force dispositions concurrently with faction descriptions and histories; it occurs to me that I might be able to speed things up a bit by just assigning force dispositions for now and leaving the histories until later. I don't know; it is work that will need to be finished before Elegy is all said and done.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on March 3rd.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Morning all. I haven't got a formal update ready to go this morning; my wife was fairly sick over the weekend and it fell to me to get all of our normal weekend chores completed. Didn't have time to type up the update, so I'll just go over the highlights real quick. This week was spent working on force dispositions, faction histories and faction descriptions. I've completed the Confederation and UBW at this point, with some work underway on the Firekkan Planetary Alliance and the Landreich (they'll be a peripheral faction, present but fairly minor in the overall scheme of things). Work is also completed on the Black Lance and mostly completed on the Church of Man. The UBW actually took up most of the week. Wednesday I did a reorganization of the TOC to turn Chapter Seven into a miscellanea chapter, where I intend to put information on new craft, characters and expanded commodity tables. The plan is still to continue work on force dispositions in Epsilon and get back to work on encounter tables. Next scheduled update sometime between 11-14Z on March 17th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens, and Happy St. Patrick's Day! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

Another slow week this last week, largely accountable to frequent meetings at work disrupting the opportunity for breaks. I'm also typing this up as I go this morning (again), so this is liable to be short, incoherent and full of non-sequesters and unnecessarily large words. This past week I remained focused on working on faction descriptions for Elegy Chapter Six. Monday I finished writing all that I intend to write on the Firekkan Planetary Alliance and the Free Republic of the Landreich. I worked briefly on the description of the Broken Claw Agency and began work on the Kilrathi Assembly of Clans, work that didn't finish up until Wednesday (largely the delay had to do with figuring out the structure of that particular government). After formalizing the Landreich force disposition, work on the Governments section of Factions was completed and I moved on to Guilds and Organizations. Work on the descriptor of the Merchants and Mercenaries Guilds was completed on Thursday. My log doesn't show any notes for Friday, but I spent most of the day working on the history of the Guinterin Combine and preparing to construct the force dispositions for the Corporations (I figure they'd be running their own "merchant marines" as it were, providing an extra element - namely targets - to the campaign). I'm considering adding additional benefits to being a member of the Mercs and Merchies Guilds; there will definitely be a perk to being a member of the Thieves Guild, for which I still need to compose a description.

The Plan as it stands as of this morning: continue working on factions in Epsilon, with the short-term goal of resuming work on the encounter tables. It seems obvious to me at this point that I need to decouple work on the force dispositions from work on the histories to speed things up, especially if I want to start working on encounter tables again by the end of March. I may go ahead and proceed as I have been for this week only, but I intend to have force dispositions down pat by the end of the week.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on March 24th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

Well, this week I can report work completed on force dispositions; that happened on Monday with some minor adjustments taking place on Tuesday (along with the addition of the ISS faction). I did go ahead and decouple the force disposition work from the work on faction descriptions and histories as I've mentioned doing in the last two updates; as expected, that sped things up considerably. With that out of the way, my attention has turned back to encounter tables. The first part of that involved coming up with a mechanism for determining encounters, something that I knocked out with surprising speed on Wednesday (given how long I've been wrestling with this particular issue). Basically, each nav point in Epsilon will have an encounter probability associated with it. When the players visit the nav point, the GM will roll for an encounter - if one is not indicated, nothing happens. If one is indicated, the GM will look at the "ones-place" die and compare its result with the encounter table for the nav point and build the encounter from the result. This will have an end effect similar to that of Privateer, where each nav point in the game had a set of pre-determined encounters and a probability of a specific encounter occurring. Players can then proceed from there as they so choose; they might run across a friendly transport and decide to do nothing, come up against a pack of Retros and have to fight, and so on.

The big obstacle I'm working with towards generating the encounter tables at this point is determining where exactly the major trade routes are located. I figure there will be three classes of trade route - high profitability, medium profitability, and low profitability; the high profitability routes will be hounded by the more professional pirate groups only, medium routes will be hounded by all of the pirate clans, and low profitability may have the lesser groups on them. Plus there will be higher chances of coming across warships on more profitable routes. I'm using a mechanism in GURPS Space to determine the economic volume of each system as a whole, and I intend to analyze the trade volume between each system (which the GURPS Space system indicates is a final step before establishing trade routes). That's a pretty daunting task, as there are over 60 systems in Epsilon; I have already resorted to coding in order to conduct the analysis. Wednesday and Thursday were devoted to collecting information about each system - what corporations are present, what clans are present, what facilities are in each system, what kinds of bases are in each system, what the overall population of each system is, and so forth. Friday was when I began coding work.

The Plan as it stands as of this morning: continue work on the trade route analysis and begin determining encounter probabilities, and start forming up a few encounters. With work on force dispositions complete, this should be within the realm of possibilities for the coming week but it is going to be contingent on how the analysis goes. One key factor part of the GURPS Space equation I'm working with that I'm trying to figure out how to go without is the distance (in jumps) between systems. I'm debating as to whether or not it needs to be part of the factoring at all, and if it does how best to handle it. This part is turning out to be a lot of work already as it is.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on March 31st.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the weekly WCRPG update.

I had a short working week this past week, on account of my wife having oral surgery performed in order to remove her wisdom teeth this past Tuesday. I spent the majority of the time caring for her and my boys. I was still able to get a fair amount of work accomplished on the Elegy campaign setting, just not as much as I could've. Also means this is going to be one of those rambling updates I type up in the thirty minutes prior to 14Z...

My first priority for the week was to complete work on my trade volume map. As y'all can recall from the previous update, I was trying to figure out if I needed to bother with distances between worlds for determining trade volumes; I ultimately decided I did need that information, so I bit the bullet and started a spreadsheet to collect that data. Had it finished up by Wednesday, and with the data I'd already collected on the systems in Epsilon in hand I was able to feed it into the code I'd written to calculate trade volume. By the time I went to bed on Wednesday, I had all the data calculated. On Thursday, I used that information to determine the average daily commercial traffic each system would receive, from which I determined the "strength" of the trade routes - which in turn gave me probabilities for pirate and military activity in each system. Friday I began using that data to attempt to start building encounter tables, starting with the Torgo system in Deneb. I'm still refining my methods for building the encounter tables from there; I've got a lot of useful data on the system level now, but the challenge is going to be figuring out how that all is going to translate down to the level of individual nav points.

The Plan as it stands as of this morning: continue refining my methods for determining encounter probabilities and begin finalizing a few encounter tables. I'm probably ggoing to miss my "end of March" deadline for having at least one encounter table built, but with any luck at all I hope to have one done before the end of the week. It's getting into the time of year where the weather around here gets nasty; I'm hoping it doesn't interfere too much with my work. Definitely hoping for a calmer season this year.

That's all for this week; next update sometime between 11-14Z on April 7th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens!! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update. Going to be typing this one out on an iPhone, so hopefully I don't get nailed by the autocorrect...

Well, this week work started in earnest on the encounter tables for the Elegy campaign. I began the week by adding all the raw data I've generated over the past month to the sixty systems in Epsilon; I did this off and on as the week progressed and had all of the important stuff in and done by the end of the day on Thursday. Meanwhile, I began to build the structures that would take that raw data (which was generated for the system-level) and translate it into encounters on the level of individual nav points. I originally started with the first system on the list (Ayer's in Deneb), but by Tuesday I had switched over to Canewdon. I don't recall the reason for the switch; were I to guess, I'd imagine it was because I still wasn't satisfied with how military encounters were being handled, an issue I dealt with when I went back to Ayer's on Wednesday. Canewdon went reasonably quickly as far as the generation of a coded encounter table went; decoding that table was fairly time-consuming. Canewdon's encounter table was completed on Wednesday; barring work on its history, that system is now complete. I turned my attention to building additional coded encounter tables; generated coded tables have proved much easier. As of this morning, I have coded tables for Ayer's, Chanel, Goddard, Bifrost and Torgo. Work on decoding Torgo's table has commenced on account of its history already having been completed; I had hoped to report one system in the campaign as 100% complete this morning, but alas it was not to be. I'll have it done by next week for sure. Given the length of time it takes to decode a table, however, I'm once again considering turning to coding to help me out.

Plan for this week: continue work on the encounter tables. Long term goal is to have coded encounter tables completed by the end of the month and to begin work on rounding out system histories. There are a few additional refinements I'm going to implement to reduce encounter probabilities a hair, but other than that things are set for me to start churning encounter tables out, and I anticipate having a good number of tables done by this time next week. My upcoming overnight shifts will also no doubt be productive; got a few more weeks before those start up, though.

That's it for this week; next update between 11-14Z on April 14th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens!! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

This past week I was focused on the production of encounter tables for the Elegy campaign setting. I began by adding a few final notes from my maps to each system, including average daily traffic, system population, total trade volume and the system's overall rank as far as trade volume is concerned. That work was done by the end of the day on Monday, as were a set of coded encounter tables for Granita, Circe and Bistangio. On Tuesday, I began writing a Python script to decode the encounter tables, with the idea of speeding up the process (something I learned very quickly was going to be necessary with manual attempts to decode the Canewdon and Torgo tables). Work on the script took all day on Tuesday with debugging still ongoing by day's end. On Wednesday I was able to finish debugging the code successfully, and after building a coded encounter table for the Firekka system, I was able to successfully decode the tables for Bistangio, Circe, Firekka, Bifrost and K'Nag Rha, with major decoding done on the Ayer's, Chanel and Goddard systems (meaning everything but encounters with the Black Lance). I did find one error with the code after all that (it was putting capital ships of one pirate clan in with fighters of another in certain encounters because I had copied the one over from the other and didn't change the appropriate text in the code), but it only affected two of the systems done to that point and correcting the error in the finished tables was not excessively time consuming; naturally I fixed the code as well and I was able to use it to finish building encounter text for Torgo. On Thursday I finally finished decoding the Torgo system encounter table, making Torgo the first system in the campaign to be 100% completed. Ayer's quickly became the second system to become 100% complete, and I was also able to finish decoding the Goddard and Chanel encounter tables. Additional completed encounter tables on Thursday and Friday included Valgard, Corsair, Midgard, Masa, Qual'lat and Jakal, with additional partially decoded (all but Lance and Militia) tables done for Deneb, Epsilon Prime and Orsini. It's currently taking about 35-45 minutes to build a coded encounter table, largely due to the fact that at the moment my focus is on those systems with large numbers of Nav Points. As of this update, all systems with at least eight nav points are either decoded or partially decoded; as I get into the smaller systems, I anticipate the process speeding up a bit. The code runs very quickly - nearly instantaneously - but even with it I still have to do encounters with the Black Lance entirely by hand and I have had a few errors related to typos in the coded tables that take a little bit of time to clean up.

This week I also got my first taker on folks who wanted to have their name translated into the Kilrathi language. After a private discussion with CIC member cff, the two us determined his full Kilrathi name and his Kilrathi war name (husiv) - Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi. cff has since added both names to his profile and signature, so I'm pretty sure he doesn't mind me sharing that information with y'all. If anybody else would like to try to find their Kilrathi name, shoot me a PM. My own husiv, incidentally, is Yurakh'hra nar Qithska, and my long name is Yurakh'hra Ragnithorguk dai Irarg'ga ko Daik'a lan Hra'niskarhtashav lak Qithska nar Bhaki'Lani erg Tharag'nithjhak. That'll be useful in the event I ever get to play my own game as a Kilrathi character. Might also be able to slip in a character with that name into Elegy or something...

The Plan for this week is to continue churning out encounter tables. Histories remain to be done for the systems in Epsilon; as the encounter tables are finished up, for most of the systems that's all that remains to be done and there's now enough data available to take a serious crack at composing those in the near future. If I can get all the tables done this week, that'll be where I turn my attention next. It does occur to me that I will need to add instructions on how to use the system data, but that shouldn't take too terribly long to do. Things coming up on the radar after that are finishing up faction descriptions (which will finish up Chapter Six) and then moving on to Chapter Seven - where I will add stats on all the new ships, update stats for some of the old ships, add some additional commodity tables and begin building characters. Most of this is probably still a few months off; all depends on how much time I have. I do hope to begin work on the actual Elegy campaign story before the next CIC birthday celebration - that's definitely a long term deadline, but not an unrealistic one.

That's it for this week; next update between 11-14Z on April 21st.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens!! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

This past week was short, owing to some traveling I did with my family later in the week and due to a half-day on Tuesday (which was incidentally one of the most singularly unlucky days I have had for quite some time). My focus for the week continued to be on the generation of encounter tables for the Elegy campaign setting; tables completed this last week included those for the Antares, Charon, K'k-Tahn, Shariha, Peleus, Morpheus, Orestes, Ross 34F, Tv'x Aq, Cephid 17, Lennox, Pasqual, Vigrid, Veronica, Asgard and Jotunheim systems. An additional coded table was built for the D'vd Tang system, but the opportunity to decode it did not present itself before week's end. As of this morning, all systems with six or more navigational way-points have completed encounter tables and tables for the entirety of Deneb Quadrant have been completed. I have 23 more tables left to build in all and if I can continue at my current pace I should be able to complete work on all of them either during this coming week or the week after next. I'd wager on the week after next owing to this coming week being Staff Week at work (i.e. another irregular week with fewer chances to work).

Not much else happened this week, so I'll end it there; The Plan for this week is to continue churning out encounter tables. Should I finish those up, it'll be on to system histories.

That's it for this week; next update between 11-14Z on April 28th.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens!! Time for the weekly WCRPG Update.

Good news to report this week; despite an unusual and somewhat shortened working week due to Staff Week at work, I was able to finish work on the encounter tables for all remaining systems in Epsilon for the Elegy campaign setting, work that was started with table generations for nine systems on Monday and the remaining 14 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, all of the partially decoded encounter tables (read: everything done except for encounters with the Black Lance) were uploaded to the wiki and the process of squashing the very few remaining bugs commenced. By mid-morning I was working on finalizing Lance encounters. I was able to churn those out quickly, and by noon I had the last of them done and the wiki updated. The Epsilon setting is now fully usable to player groups at this point.

My attention then turned to working on system histories; with base data, distances between nav points and the encounter tables for all systems finished, the system histories remain the only major piece of work left for the systems in Epsilon (and they're largely just window dressing). My focus was on Deneb Quadrant; I finished five of the system histories on Wednesday, another three on Thursday and another two (Morpheus and Peleus) on Friday. With the prior completion of the Ayer's and Torgo systems, I am happy to report this morning that work has been rounded out on the Deneb Quadrant. I also knocked out the Asgard system in Tr'L Rass Quadrant on Thursday; as of this morning, it is the only system in any of the other three Quadrants that is complete, though notable progress has been made on the histories for Valgard and Kabla Meth. I'd say the work on system histories is just short of 25% complete as of this morning.

So, my plan for this week is to continue churning out system histories. My plan is to do Tr'L Rass Quadrant next, Sa'Khan Quadrant after that and Antares Quadrant last (owing to it being the largest). I do still need to add instructions on how to use the system data. I'll be sticking to the long-term plan I outlined a couple of weeks ago in the event that I somehow manage to finish up the other 45 histories this week (i.e. I'll head on into Chapter Seven and start adding stats for the new craft that have been introduced). Since this coming week is (un)dead week and the week after that is finals week at OU, I will be doing overnight shifts; those will give me opportunities to begin work in Chapter Seven if nothing else (I don't necessarily see myself working on system histories at 4:30 in the morning, but you never know).

That's it for this week; next update between 11-14Z on May 5th.
 
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